We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In which Nicholas Kristoff proves himself to be a fad-chasing dope (like Thomas Friedman). How much science did Kristoff take in school? Does he really know how to skeptically analyse data - with the math?
Once upon a time, MSM reporters, columnists, and editors mediated our information environment. Authoritative newspapers, such as the New York Times, and newsreaders, like Walter Cronkite, not only determined what the news of the day was but also established the acceptable parameters for discussing the news. The advent of the blogosphere introduced a complication to this structure. Suddenly, true experts in their fields could discuss what they considered to be the news in an unmediated fashion with their readers. One of the more interesting outcomes of such "contamination" of the once pristine MSM narrative was the spreading awareness that reporters, much of the time, are out of their depth talking about most technical subjects and that their biases blind them all too frequently to a full understanding of their subjects. This would be embarrassing and deflating to our MSM sages if they but noticed. Unfortunately, to a large extent, the MSM still determines what qualifies as "news" and continue to exercise their role as information gatekeepers in ways which damage our society.
Nicholas Kristoff also mentioned what apeared to be an increase of frog deformities. He wrote about a week before publication of research showing the majority were owing to non-human-chemical causes, such as insects eating parts of frogs as eggs developed into tadpoles - with the eventual frog missing limbs - and other such. Normal, and the "increase" may have more to do with expansion and improved collation of data than actual increases.