First, from the Wired sidebar:
Separation of Church and Science
11:36 AM Aug. 02, 2005 PT
President Bush told reporters Monday that schools should teach the conservative Christian doctrine of intentional or divine creation, called “intelligent design,” along with evolution. He refused to discuss his personal beliefs but said, “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.” A rebuttal can be found in a 1999 statement from the National Academy of Sciences: “The claim that equity demands balanced treatment of evolutionary theory and special creation in science classrooms reflects a misunderstanding of what science is and how it is conducted. Creationism, intelligent design and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.”
Under that logic, should American schools also teach Native American creation myths in science class, and also balance demonstrations of the solar system with an illustration showing the world resting on an elephant, who is standing on giant turtles, and so on? Grrr….
And then, there was this in BoingBoing:
Chevron being sued in US for hiring Nigerian death squads
My coworker Cindy Cohn is not only EFF’s Legal Director, she’s also counsel for one of the survivors of a small village in Nigeria that was attacked by a government death squad that Chevron hired to clear the way for oil exploration. Chevron’s now being sued in a US court in a case that has gone farther than anyone dared hope it would — maybe all the way to a guilty verdict.
The bodies of the dead Nigerian villagers had not yet grown cold when the Nigerian navy captain presented Chevron with a bill: 15,000 naira, or $165 for responding to “attacks from Opia village against security agents.”
Within 24 hours Chevron paid up. It would be years before the San Ramon-based energy company would acknowledge the role it played in the destruction of Opia and another small village called Ikenyan in Nigeria’s oil-rich delta in January 1999.
Googling “opia chevron” produces masses of results that back this up, and mention many other episodes. Among which are this, which states in part:
In Washington DC, USA, on October 15, ChevronTexaco was given the US Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for its “outstanding corporate citizenship” in Nigeria. In presenting the award to ChevronTexaco which has Chevron Nigeria Ltd as its affiliate, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said the company has demonstrated best international business practices and good corporate citizenship in Nigeria.
In its reaction, ERA described the award was insensitive and condescending. “Powell’s applause for Chevron is a vintage expression of corporation’s being the fingers behind governments”, said Nnimmo Bassey ERA Executive Director. “The fingers of the US government officials are both dipped in oil and blood of the Niger Delta. It is not just a question of short sight or lack of knowledge, it is the case of cash blocking every other considerations”.
I feel so sickened.