Advice & Dissent: 2010

Why in an age saturated with information, do we believe bizarre things? Things like crop circles, alien abductions, and 9/11 conspiracy theories? Why do we believe wild Toyota stories like the 94 mph "runaway Prius"? The gearbox allowed shifting into neutral by merely reaching…Read More
What's that? Your throat feels sore? You're sniffling and sneezing? Bit achy? IT'S THE RETURN OF THE SPANISH FLU! Okay, that's satire - but not by much. Since 1990, every time some new viral pathogen comes along that grabs the media's attention, we hear it may be the Second…Read More
"Now that the dust has begun to settle on Toyota's recall fiasco, it's being made clear that the toll on human life was greater than initially reported," reports U.S. News & World Report online. The title: "NHTSA: 89 Deaths Caused by Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Vehicles…Read More
"President Obama tried Wednesday to channel public outrage about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill into support for a climate-change bill, seeking to redefine an issue that threatens to tarnish his presidency," according to the Washington Post. I've written on how absolutely anything…Read More
The "anti-denialism" campaign is, to use a word I rarely employ, a literal conspiracy - albeit something of an open one in that it's openly pushed by Chris Mooney. The purpose is two-fold. Brand those with the "wrong" scientific views not just as "kooks" or "nuts" but as…Read More
"Panic is what we want,"* Washington Post* columnist Anne Applebaum wrote last May of swine flu. "Panic is good," she said, also labeling the disease a "pandemic" five weeks before the World Health Organization (WHO) did.The Post's rational response to swine flu Yet flu season…Read More
When will we fully accept that highly talented writers, even if convicted murderers, should never be in jail? Didn't we see that with the killer Norman Mailer helped spring, who just a month later stabbed ... Uh, never mind.Celebrity murderer Wilbert Rideau, living the good life…Read More
Toyota complaints keep pouring in to the National Highway Safety Administration, and some are pretty darned bizarre. But most are less so than a Colorado woman's woman's claim that a vampire attacked her Chevy Blazer.Subaru killed my mommy! The 58-year-old woman, whom police said…Read More
The king is dead. More accurately, Larry King is hanging up his suspenders after 25 years on TV interviewing essentially everybody who was anybody. His secret? A studio that "felt less like a hot seat than a warm bath," as one critic put it. But by letting his guests spout off…Read More