Thursday, April 30, 2009
The warning came... ahead of a planned trip to Europe next week by Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman — his first official trip abroad. The ultranationalist Lieberman's comments about Arabs and Mideast peace have raised international concerns about the new Israeli Cabinet's intentions.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Thursday called Ferrero-Waldner's comments 'very militant' and contrary to understandings with other EU officials."
Sounds like the votes are in. Lieberman is a Bushie.
|Palestine's Holocaust museum|
| By Dania Yousef in Ni'lin, occupied West Bank |
In a small anonymous home in the West Bank, a Palestinian academic has set up a project which is almost unheard of in the Occupied Territories.
In the wake of Wednesday's Taliban attack on German forces, commentators are losing patience with Berlin's unwillingness to commit more soldiers to Afghanistan. The Taliban's advance in Pakistan also has them worried. more..."
Instead of building a permanent lunar base, NASA may send astronauts on short 'sorties' or excursions (Illustration: NASA)
18:33 29 April 2009 | 96 comments
The agency's acting chief says NASA will probably not build a permanent lunar base, hinting it may put more emphasis on missions to Mars or an asteroid"
A whopping 24% of Canadians told pollsters they believe in Creationism, which translates as the belief the Biblical God supernaturally created the world 6,000 years ago. In other words, such people believe humans once walked with dinosaurs. (Maybe I need to say the obvious: The vast majority of scientists say this is NOT true.)"
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
April 29, 2009 10:02 AM PDT
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was still not feeling well enough Tuesday to sit through a lengthy town council meeting over the fate of his Woodside, Calif., mansion, according to his lawyer."
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
THE Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, who was reported to have resigned her appointment on...Tribune"
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
More PC reconstruction of language. Someone needs to to do a better job of defining torture before I decide that listening to Dennis Kucinich is cruel and unusual punishment.
The gay marriage issue has gotten so PC as to escape sarcasm. Why is this word so important to the gay community?
In most of Europe and Canada, the problem has been EASILY solved by creating some sort of law that covers all forms of pairing. In other words any two people can make the same legal commitment to each other as is now called "marriage" here. Most couples of opposite gender choose pairing because religion is less popular in those countries than it is here. It seems to me we could just follow the lead of these more sophisticated societies, with the understanding that religion is a bigger deal here than ti is in the old country/
From my POV, is see no reason to restrict pairing at all. You want to pair with your daughter, your son, your cousin ... just make all pairings equal. If mutually infertile genders (same sex) can pair then what earthly reason is there NOT to allow a brother and a sister to pair as long as they do not intend to copulate? Is "marriage" a synonym for commitment PLUS copulations? Is "marriage" a licence to fuck?
This issue, BTW is very real for many older people who want to live together and commit to one another for financial and companionship reasons. Do these elderly couples need to fuck each other too? It seems easier just to recognize the legitimate desire of any two people to commit to each other without redefining marriage?
I have a funny story in this regard. Sometime ago I had a fellow from Quebec. She and her husband were paired rather than married. His fellowship ended so they asked for support for his health care. Under Seattle law, since they were not gay, the insurance company refused him coverage! ... I did suggest they claim to be a heterosexual gay couple but that did not help either. Apparently, under the law, is you are fucking each other you need to be gay OR married?
So it seems pretty clear that having a pairing law would solve all the legal issues.
Would a pairing law, one that allowed all forms of pairing, satisfy the "gay marriage" crowd? I do not think so. These folks, both gays and straights, want the shadow lifted from gay couples. In Jewish terms, the advocates of gay marriage want to spread the canopy of marriage wide enough to include those of the same gender. Isn't marriage far more of a social and religious issue than a government issue?.
If the government were to redefine marriage, a new problem would arise because we would still need laws or social mores to deal with biology. Men and women are as different as ... men and women. Male -female pairings have implications other pairings do not have ranging from the need of each gender to accept the biologic needs of the other (eg leaving the toilet seat in the correct position) to the differences in potential for physical violence. Pretending that these differences do not exist is as foolish as pretending that rape is just assault.
If we dispose of the term marriage, do we get to invent a new term for male/female couples?
The oddest thing about the marijuan movement is the link between marijuana activism and the traditional civil rights community.
There is an odd polarization on special issues ...
GUNS ... Republicans, racists, Amerika, war hawks, pro-life, black helicopters, Southerners, God, flab, survivalism,
POT ... Democrats, peace movement, artists, gays, pro-choice, evil drug companies, not God or alternative gods
I wonder if there is some sort of lesson here in marketing? Hmm ...
CIGS ... pro-gun, Republican, artists, Limbaugh, flag, God, private heath care, Fox, anti POT
PRIUS ... anti gun, Democrat, UNICEF, anti smoking, pro-peace, mass transit, taxes, education, universal health care.
FOX ... smokers, God, black helicopters, evil mexicans, SUVs, war, no taxes, no education, health care as a privilege,
GAY ... MSNBC, pot, anti prayer in schools, universal health care, anti smoking, PRIUS,
PRAYER IN SCHOOLS (PIS)... smokers, antiPOT, FOX, CIGs, GUNS, anti GAY, pro WAR, pro FLAG,
My suggestion .. we reorganize our parties around interests groups, called Political Interest Groups. (PIGs) Politicians would run on multiple PIG tickets, e.g. Rod McKenna could run as a FOX PRIUS PIS PIG .
The each candidate would raise money CLEARLY form the special interest groups ..SPIGS, most convinced he or she share the candidates interetsd.
No contradictions between PIG interests would be allowed.
- Cuts artery plaque by an incredible 50%...
- Drops high blood pressure as much as 60 points...
And this is not unproven hokum. It won Dr. Ignarro the Nobel Prize!
No doubt you're wondering, "I don't get it. He won the Nobel Prize. Why haven't I heard about it?" I'm afraid the reason is that this amazing discovery has been...
According to Iran-based Press TV, Hossen
Safaie, the head of the Distribution Center of Teheran, expressed his hope that the lawbreakers would be brought to justice and that "his organization will not allow those who want to make a profit ignore the Iranian citizens' religious and revolutionary learning."
Press TV also reported that Deputy Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad Sadeq Mofatteh had offered a 1 trillion Iranian rial prize to anyone who could prove that his ministry had issued a permit for the import of the offensive fruit.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Notable members of the team include Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Human Genome Project leader Eric Lander, MacArthur Genius Award recipient Christopher Chyba, Nobel laureates Ahmed Zewail and Mario Molina, and Microsoft chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie.
After announcing the members of the Council, the White House also unveiled the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog. Shortly after the blog went live, it also got its first blog troll. At least he didn't go with 'firsties.'
The council will be co-chaired by Lander, biologist Harold Varmus (yet another Nobel Prize winner), and previously announced Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren. Whether the team will also fight crime by night has yet to be determined."
At the invitation of Senator Spector (D, Pa) I have just joined the NAACP ,,, National Association for the Advancement of Conservative Principles.
We at the NAACP feel that our principles, the very principles that led to election fo the greatest of the conservative people, Lincoln, have been abandoned by the repricans.
As our first goal we wish to encourage all closet CP .. starting with your AG, Rod McKenna, to join the NAACP. We are firmly non partisan and utterly committed to Rational Conservatism. Non partisna, of curse means NOT GOP, since all that remains of the GOP are its white hooded southern traditions.
General McKenna, we hope, you will join the rest of us by putting down the false banner and white hood of the GOP. The Dems may not be the final answer. We may need, as Lincoln did, to found a new party.
04/28/2009 at 4:38 pm
The Seattle chapter of the NAACP has voted unanimously to request that Texas secede from the Union so that Quebec, a truly divers state, can join the Union and preserve our 50 stars.
Of course, we also want America to build a fence to keep the Texichens from crossing our borders. President Obama, has endorsed this plan and supports the abandonment of e Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. In the President’s word, “Given the abowed desire of Texas to be independent and since the USA was never a signatory and since Mexico never recognized the independence of Texas, we resolve today that the government of the United States does not recognize Texas as an independent state."
The Mexican police have already crossed the border and occupied the Alamo. Secretary Clintoi has said that until Mexico decides what to do about the Bush crime family, all Texans will be considered enemy alines and nto allowed to enter the USA.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Dating back to the time of King Solomon, only a few hundred Jews remain of the once 60,000-strong community."
One, if the vaccine is effective then those who “Choose” not to be vaccinated are taking their own risks (besides, there will probably not be enough doses for everyone, anyways).
Also, if this is a new strain then there ARE NO vaccines available and the flu medications that are available are not particularly effective (Tamiflu barely shortens the duration of the regular flu).
You are a little but correct but mostly wrong. We do yet have a vaccine. However, we will. BUT the real issue is not when we have one but what strategy do we take to prevent a similar virus from killing us all?
The universal vaccination strategies for polio and small pox worked. Leaving some people free to choose NOT to he vaccinated is the same as allowing them to choose TO be hosts. As long as any virus has a host, it can evolve.
Umm, the genomes stuff is just plain silly. why would anyone want their entire genome published? Anyway, it would be a waste of money since most of the genome is interons anyways.
1. You mean introns. Actually most of the genome is not in introns or exons but in large regions that are only now becoming understood. Studies of cancer, for example, show that a lot of the information comes from regions that do not code for any “gene.” Moreover, most of the function of the genome, including viral insertion sites, now appears to be in noncoding (that is non protein making) sequence.
2. There are two major reasons for making genomes public. The first is that we will at the very least need a large number of genomes to understand how less frequent variations at common sites determine disease. A recent series in the New England Journal points out that the current “SNP” approach is based on far too few folks to serve this need.
The second is that it seems very clear that a large part of all diseases is determined by our genetic diversity. Since we clearly are going to state run medicine, why should everyone have to pay more so docs can guess how to treat the Luddites?
I assume you are aware that the costs of genomes are plummeting? A fairly dense genotype (say a few million markers) can be had for a few hundred dollars now and entire genomes will fall below 1000 in the near future.
Finally there is the supposed issue of privacy. I am FAR more worried about the effin insurance companies having access to my medical records (which they now do have despite HIPPA). As long as reasonable efforts are made to protect sensitive information on ethnicity, and as long as the right to health care is assured, how is anyone hurt if we all have our genomes available?
Let me point out that your genome is ALREADY PUBLIC. Unless you coat yourself in plastic, do not breathe or shit, for a small sum we can sequence you now. You leave your identity card around every time you pee. Even if we all had our genomes done, the major issue wold be how that data are used and kept confidential ..no different from your credit card records!
I do agree that this is a potential public
In 1918, the flu killed more people than WWI. It killed healthy young people with strong immune systems - unlike most of the flu strains since. It may be that these people generated too much cell mediated immunity that led to the complications (too much inflammation) of the flu. What is needed is something that can enhance cell mediated immunity yet suppress too much inflammation, at the same time.
First the issue is NOT just cell mediated immunity. The innate immune response and humoral immunity are involved as well as issue like your underlying fitness.
Second, your bet on this sounds very much like the bets most pharmas make. A pill to relieve flu symptoms while allowing the disease to recur will make a lot more money than a tool that wipes it out.
Third, my own guess is that viruses are so embedded in our biology that we can not wipe them out. The line between a virus and a functional piece of nucleotide is pretty vague, there may ven e functional viruses .. that is sequences that WORK by moving from cell to cell or even host to host. Are you familiar with the field of co-evolution?"
Obama promises major investment in scientific research and development
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Monday promised a major investment in research and development for scientific innovation, saying the United States has fallen behind others.
'I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow -- but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development,' Obama said in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
'We will not just meet but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race,' he said.
Obama said the investments he is proposing would lead to breakthroughs, such as solar cells as cheap as paint and green buildings that produce all the energy they consume."
Al Jazeera investigation reveals use of illegal prisons by local officials."
Marks 1.8% growth from last year; Jews make up 75.5% of residents, Arabs 20.2%; 14 cities number more than 100,000 residents, 5 more than 200,000.
Recognition of 'Jewish state' is crucial
Foreign Ministry responds to Abbas's speech, says Palestinian recognition a must for peace process."
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
For the radical religious and the nature is nice crowds, the swine flu OUGHT to be a warning.
Nature is NOT nice. All evolution works this way. This virus has evolved to procreate itself and may fail if we find the way to kill it (unlikely) or contain it. It may also fail, in the longer run, if it kills all its hosts!
Guess what Luddites? Because WE understand evolution, WE get to choose! HorsesAss.Org » Blog Archive » Swine Flu Update: U.S. Declares “Public Health Emergency”
The true MIRACLE here may be our ability to soubnd the alarm BEFORE a pandemic occurs.
The problem for the radically religious right is that this MIRACLE depends on our understanding of evolution. Do they want to trust in the Deity instead of in science?
The problem for luddite left may be just as real. The implications of this event are that a modern health care system is going to require giving up certain civil rights. If the epidemic really gets going, we will need to give up our right to free trial or to choose whether or not to accept vaccination. Even more important, in the long run, I expect President Obama to announce that he and Michelle are going to have their genomes done and made public. Are liberals ready to sign on to public genomes and pnational identity cards? HorsesAss.Org » Blog Archive » Swine Flu Update: U.S. Declares “Public Health Emergency”
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Oldest Nobel laureate turns 100
Rita Levi-Montalcini received France's Legion d'Honneur medal in 2008
The Italian scientist and oldest living Nobel laureate, Rita Levi-Montalcini, is celebrating her 100th birthday.
Despite her age, she still works every day at the European Brain Research Institute which she founded in Rome.
She is described as the grand old lady of the Italian Senate, where she became a senator for life in 2001.
The scientist, whose family were Jewish, told the BBC that Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime was partly to thank for her career.
Born in Turin in 1909, Professor Levi-Montalcini was forced by the anti-Jewish laws of the late 1930s to quit university and do research in an improvised laboratory in her bedroom at home.
NEW DELHI: Phase III of the general elections on April 30 will decide the fate of many political heavyweights, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, L.K. Advani; the former Prime Minister and ..."
Kolkata (IANS) The Samajwadi Party on Sunday said it was open to a tie-up with the Congress after the Lok Sabha polls but ruled out any truck with the Third Front and the Left as they were aligned with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).'As long as our ...
Tough Times for the Humble Beer Mat
Small, beer-soaked and bedecked with all manner of slogans, the humble beer coaster has long been an essential part of a good pub or bar. But with its leading manufacturer now bankrupt, the cardboard institution may be heading for extinction. more..."
There is an important, message in this event.
The virus is highly "recombined." That means it has acquired parts of human, swine, and bird DNA. The virus is MORE scary than HIV, because this little piece of DNA has not even been selcted to live peacefully in swine, never mine in us.
This is living evidence that evolution is happening AND that we endanger our entire species by the anti scientific rejectionism of the Bush era. Like global warming, we scientists knew this was going to happen. Even if this new virus proves less than catastrophic, we MUST invest the money to prepare ourselves for what we KNOW is coming.
1. Evolution is Real
2. The "Designer" is not on our Side.
3. WE need to and can protect ourselves by supporting the science of molecular virology.
we can trust in God!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
In Deefnce of Lieberman
'World leaders must drop their slogans' | Israel | Jerusalem Post: "The path forward, he said, lay in ensuring security for Israel, an improved economy for the Palestinians, and stability for both.
'Economy, security, stability,' he repeated. 'It's impossible to artificially impose any political solution. It will fail, for sure. You cannot start any peace process from nothing. You must create the right situation, the right focus, the right conditions.'"
Lieberman has been depicted as some sort of Israeli Bush. These ideas though do make sense. Does he mean them? Does he have the talent to pull it off.
BTW .. how many people realize that until 1948 "Palestine" was the name IMPOSED on Israel by the Roman conquered following the Jewish Wars? The term usually meant Jews from the Levant and during WWII the Israeli brigade in the Brit forces was "Her Majesty's Palestinian Brigade?"
The concept of an indigenous Palestinian people, other than the Jews, was largely invented by Nasser and Fatah . Of course none of this gainsays the reality that TODAY, a NEW people, the Palestinians, has been forged. Their rights to self govern themselves, whether as a third state in the former Palestinian Mandate or in some sort of union with Jordan, should not be a question.
In the meantime I have had a weird experience. There is a UW faculty group that wants to promote civil discourse on Israel in response to threats by some "peace" groups to disrupt Israel Independence Day this Thursday. I offered to create a symbol .. a combination of the traditional Hamsa used by Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians as a symbol for calm and peace. They liked that but some got uptight because i added a peace symbol (too hippy) while others felt the word peace itself might be offensive. This is my graphic replay!
I wonder if we need a good science fiction writer at this time? You know someone to write "5004; 1984^-1?"
In this inversion of 1984 the Republican party is gone except for a set of fringe sects. Some aspects of Republicanism have now been diagnosed and can be treated by drugs similar to those now used to allow people Io choose gay vs straight personalities. However, if you are diagnosed with severe illness .. paranoia, divine delusion syndrome, sexual addiction, racism, or irrational religion, the courts can mandate implantation of a slow release pump. The wide spread use of the pumps has so reduced crime that our prisons are now being converted into condos.
Of course we still have political parties but these have merged with media empires and those, in turn, have largely been bought out by sovereign banks. The largest party is NBC-Vatican. Using the Vatican bank to fund NV, was a brilliant inspiration of President Condeleesa Rice when she took over the ailing media giant in 2020. Working with Pope M'buto, Dr. Rice created a party/media giant that is rivalled only by Mao-Fox. History itself changes when MF, affectionately called mother-fucker by its opponents, bailed out Mexico and became the first Great Mediocrity to privatize a nation.
And then there is TheChurch. Formed by the Allan-Templeton foundation after NV divested itself of local parishes, TheChurch has emerged as the ultimate in religions, competing only with Global Jihad for followers. We all remember the public conversion of GW Bush and his admission to visitations by the antiChrist, in the form of Dick Chaney. Depak Chopra, then the spokeperson for the "we-are-one" ads from Microsoft/Apple, publicly accepted the elderly Mr. Bush's confession using MS-confessional, the killer app that skyrocketed the onetime software giant into becoming the first truly global faith.
And then there is the New American Union. Few Democrats took Governor Perry seriously when he first introduced the idea of Texas becoming a sovereign state. Little did they know that the Texan had touched on something that would change North America forever. When Texas, Quebec, Cascadia, Alaska, Cuba, and New Hampshire held the first American Union Congress, who would have expected that within ten years the AU would replace the "federal" governments of Canada, the USA, and Mexico? The new capital, located in Havana, with its panache and ample funding from the NV party, has become so popular that Presidente Schwartznegger, leader of the NV party, swept into office in 2025, leaving little for the old federal governments to do but dissolve.
Review by Josh Korenblat"
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Reuters AlertNet - Fatal swine flu breaks out in Mexico: "Fatal swine flu breaks out in Mexico
24 Apr 2009 14:36:36 GMT
By Noel Randewich and Armando Tovar
MEXICO CITY, April 24 (Reuters) - A deadly swine flu never seen before has broken out in Mexico, killing at least 16 people and raising fears of a possible pandemic.
The World Health Organization said it was concerned at what it called 800 'influenza-like' cases in Mexico, and also about a confirmed outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in the United States.
Mexico canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding area on Friday after authorities noticed a higher number of flu-like deaths than normal in recent weeks.
'It is a virus that mutated from pigs and then at some point was transmitted to humans,' Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova told the Televisa network.
He put the death toll at 16 confirmed cases and dozens of other suspected deaths. WHO said about 60 people have died in the country.
The Geneva-based U.N. agency said it was in daily contact with U.S., Canadian and Mexican authorities and had activated its Strategic Health Operations Center (SHOC) -- its command and control center for acute public health events."
This is scary! The public does not understand that viruses are merely pieces of errant DNA or RNA that have escaped the confines of their host species. In the host, the virus is like any other DNA .. it a gene and makes stuff ans works with the rest of the DNA. When a virus gets loose and infects a different species, the rest of that new host is not adapted to the virus and very bad things can happen.
AIDS stasrteed much like this.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Other interesting numbers .. in OUT OF STATE tuition we charge $46,000 ... well above Harvard, $40,000, Hopkins $38,000, and U Penn $41,000. (the top three in research) . In other words students coming here to learn, pay a very high price. In contrast, we charge IN STATE students ..we charge $19,000 . UCSF (ranks 5 in research) $0, U MIch. $$26,000, U. Pittsburgh (ranks #13 in research) $37,000, UNC (ranks 20) $11,000, U Texas SW (ranks 20) $12,000, U Virginia (ranks 24) $30,000.
The bottom line, as Ana Mari has pointed out, WA state kids get to attend a top ranked research university medical school, at about 1/2 the tuition they would need to pay anyplace else.
Not only that, as a state school, we offer both the QUALITY AND THE PRICE NEEDED TO ATTRACT THE BEST STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY!
The interesting exception is California! Med School is free there and out of state they only charge $12,000. This includes the UCSF campus, now rated as on a par with the UW in research (rank = 5).
For non med school types, the quality of medical schools is a very important issue in competitiveness outside the clinic. Top schools attract people who generate biotech. Top schools are also an incentive to live and raise kids in the state since being able to say "my kid is a doc" is a major goal for many parents..
Danger Room - Wired Blogs: "Petraeus to Pakistan: Forget About India
By Nathan Hodge EmailApril 22, 2009 | 8:52:00 AMCategories: Agony of A-Stan, Perils of Pakistan, Strategery
Petraeus_testimony_2 CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -- For more than six decades, Pakistan and India have been enemies: The two countries fought a series of wars, the most recent of which left an estimated 4,000 Pakistanis dead. And last year's spree killings in Mumbai were traced to a Pakistani militant group with government ties.
But yesterday, at a forum here at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus had a message for the Pakistanis: Get over it. These days, your biggest enemy isn't India. It's home-grown extremists."
It personally pains me to see this program decrease in size (one less TA for a psych student), and I am not at all happy about the fact that there are outstanding students who are not getting into UW that could do very well here.
Those of us interested in accessibility (and I hope we all are.. someone has to pay for our social security!) -- need to think about how to create a more steady state of funding for higher education, not just at UW, but at our other 4 years. The real key large issues isn't whether the UW-Seattle is at 60% or 67% although big swings ARE hard for students planning ahead, The UW-Seattle is unlikely to ever have room for 100% of the students wanting to come, or even 100% of the students wanting to come and fully capable of doing well here. But, we MUST make sure 100% of the students in our state motivated and ready to pursue a 4 year degree can do so. And, we must maintain economic diversity at the UW-Seattle too. Others on this list have suggested looking at the tax structure in our state, and that certainly is one important step.
and YES, the UW has the highest graduation rate in the State and is one of the best in the country for a public university. The Summer Transition program is but one example of the programming we provide that demonstrates our commitment to not just admitting students, but to graduating them. I know this sounds corny, but I am REALLY proud to be a faculty member here. There is must to criticize, but we do outstanding work for and with our student colleagues. and we will do our best to continue that despite the budget shortfalls. These cuts will be horrible, although perhaps not as ghastly as the worse case scenario. and it will make it very, very hard - perhaps impossible -- for us to do work as good as our students and community have come to expect from us."
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
PARIS - FRANCE has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin, according to a new study.
Men and women don't perceive their own deficient or excess weight in the same way either, the study found.
'Men denigrate their own bodies when they are underweight, but when they are overweight, they often don't see a problem,' said de Saint Pol, adding that outright obesity was another story.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Soweto's Young Middle Class Left Cold by ANC
The African National Congress is expected to win Wednesday's election in South Africa with leader Jacob Zuma enjoying huge popularity among the poor, despite his corrupt reputation. But for many members of South Africa's burgeoning middle class, the ANC's heroic struggle against apartheid is ancient history. By Jan Puhl more..."
Germans are celebrating the fact that the government has banned genetically modified corn. But the country's almost blanket opposition to genetic modification ignores the fact that it might just help scientists find a solution for feeding a swelling global population. By Christian Schwägerl more...
Anxiety is building up once more in the commercial city of Kano following a renewed threat by the State Sharia Commission to implement the Islamic Legal Code in the state's densely populated Sabon Gari Community. Daily Independent"
Non Muslims need to understand that Sharia is NOT intended only for Muslims. This is intended as a legal code to govern everyone. The equivalent, for Israel, would be to impose Jewish Law, Halachah) on everyone or France to impose Church Law.
Tolerance of any universalist dogma ... Christianity, Islam, or maoism needs t stop when tis proponents wish their view imposed on all of us.
*Gives Minister blank cheque The current power supply situation in the country is taking a heavy toll on President Umaru Yar’Adua who has confessed that he “can hardly sleep...Vanguard"
Pray for govt to be courageous, Yar’Adua tells Christians
PRESIDENT Umaru Yar’Adua, has urged Nigerian Christians to pray for him to have the wisdom and courage to take necessary decisions as the president of a nation which faces several challenges of nationhood. Vanguard
What is sexual harassment? Who is a culprit and which of the sexes harasses the other?
Before now, in Nigeria as in many other Third World countries, there was the common assumption that only men |The Sun
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Fertility expert: 'I can clone a human being'
Controversial doctor filmed creating embryos before injecting them into wombs of women wanting cloned babies
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
A controversial fertility doctor claimed yesterday to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies.
The cloning was recorded by an independent documentary film-maker who has testified to The Independent that the cloning had taken place and that the women were genuinely hoping to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purposes of human reproduction.
Panayiotis Zavos has broken the ultimate taboo of transferring cloned embryos into the human womb, a procedure that is a criminal offence in Britain and illegal in many other countries. He carried out the work at a secret lab-oratory, probably located in the Middle East where there is no cloning ban. Dr Zavos, a naturalised American, also has fertility clinics in Kentucky and Cyprus, where he was born. His patients – three married couples and a single woman – came from Britain, the United States and an unspecified country in the Middle East.
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and Desmond Llewelyn as Q The Security Service is looking for a chief science adviser to keep its spooks up-to-date and equipped with the latest scientific and technological inventions"
Popular Science: "A Synthetic Solution for a Legal 4:20
Synthetic marijuana brand Spice may still technically be legal in the United States, but it’s quickly getting banned around the world
By Joel Barnard Posted 04.20.2009 at 3:21 pm 0 Comments
Legal-ish alternatives to marijuana exist, you just need to know where to look…er, smell. Apparently that’s what someone learned when they put the herbal incense brand “Spice” in their pipe and smoked it. The results were, like, totally rad, dude. It turns out Spice contains the synthetic substance JWH-018, which is incredibly similar to the main active component of marijuana. Although sold legally in many countries, governments around the world are lining up to put the kibosh on the Spice party."
Legislators in Louisiana are considering a bill to prohibit human-animal hybrids. We've been all over this subject before — it's ridiculous and founded on complete incomprehension of what the research is all about. How ridiculous is it? SB 115 bans the "mixing of human and animal cells in a petri dish"!
Guess who is pushing this ban? The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, a collection of professional ignoramuses, like this guy, Archbishop Alfred Hughes: old, white celibates with clerical collars and heads stuffed full of decaying dogma.
A while back, the Institute for Creation Research tried to get approval to issue degrees in the state of Texas — they would have used this authority to churn out science teachers whose knowledge would have been derived entirely from the Bible and young earth creationist tracts. Fortunately, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board flatly turned them down, one of the smart moves in which Texas can take some pride."
Simon says the president doesn’t just control the news cycle, he is the news cycle.
Monday, April 20, 2009
See previous story here on SJ:
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Traditional methods of scientific research have not produced the medical breakthroughs he expected. Now he's going to use his money, through the Gates Foundation, to challenge old ways. The man is breathtaking.
By Robert Fortner"
The error here may well be fatal ... can anyone "manage" science? The real breakthroughs have come about because of paradigm busting experiments. Orderly research can build A bombs and explore the genome but new paradigms?
Washington (PTI): Reflecting its views on the peace agreement by Pakistan government with the Taliban in the Swat valley, the United States said it is not a place where Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden could be welcomed as stated by the extremistleaders.
The Taliban leaders, following a peace agreement with the Pakistan government, have reported to have said that they would welcome Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden in the Swat Valley.
"With regard to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, this is not a place where they should be welcome," the State Acting Department spokesman, Robert Wood said, to query on the issue.
Reiterating America's viewpoint on this, Wood said, "violent extremism needs to be confronted not just by Pakistan, but the entire international community."
Asserting that the US would continue to work with the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to try to help root out these violent extremists, Wood said they're a threat to democracy and stability in the region.
"We call on all those who are interested in bringing about stability to that region to work with us to root out violent extremism," he said.
Once dismissed as junk science, Scott Pelley reports there's renewed buzz among scientists that cold fusion could lead to huge breakthroughs in energy production."
by Ina Fried
* 27 comments
Reporters caught up with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Moscow to get his take on Oracle's deal to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.
But apparently Ballmer, who is rarely at a loss for words, didn't exactly have a sound byte at the ready.
'I need to think about it,' Ballmer told reporters in Moscow, according to Reuters. 'I am very surprised.'
I'm hearing that Ballmer wasn't the only one surprised by Monday's deal. According to a source of mine, IBM hadn't given up on purchasing Sun and was blindsided by Oracle's move.
Oracle is, of course, one of Microsoft's chief rivals in the database and business applications space--a fact that Ballmer highlighted in an interview in February. Sun is also a longtime rival, although the two companies have had a technology partnership in recent years stemming from their settlement of legal hostilities back in 2004.
I imagine we'll hear far more from Ballmer and Microsoft in the coming days and weeks."
Can you spell C L O U D?
U.S. Public Favors Obama's Cuba Approach: Poll
There once was a powerful Japanese emperor who needed a new chief samurai. So he sent out a declaration throughout the entire known world that he was searching for a chief.
A year passed, and only three people applied for the very demanding position: a Japanese samurai, a Chinese samurai, and a Jewish samurai.
The emperor asked the Japanese samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Japanese samurai opened a matchbox, and out popped a bumblebee. Whoosh! went his sword. The bumblebee dropped dead, chopped in half. The emperor exclaimed, "That is very impressive!"
The emperor then issued the same challenge to the Chinese samurai, to come in and demonstrate why he should be chosen. The Chinese samurai also opened a matchbox and out buzzed a fly. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! The fly dropped dead, chopped into four small pieces. The emperor exclaimed, "That is very impressive!"
Now the emperor turned to the Jewish samurai, and asked him to demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Jewish Samurai opened a matchbox, and out flew a gnat. His flashing sword went Whoosh! But the gnat was still alive and flying around. The emperor, obviously disappointed, said, "Very ambitious, but why is that gnat not dead?" The Jewish Samurai just smiled and said, "Circumcision is not meant to kill."
The British mandate for Palestine ended at midnight. Some hours before, the Jewish National Council in Tel Aviv proclaimed a new Jewish State of Israel. The National Council is to act as a provisional Government, and Mr Ben Gurion has been made Prime Minister
Sunday, April 19, 2009
By John C Abell EmailApril 16, 2009 | 12:35:16 PMCategories: IBM, Sun Microsystems
CNBC is reporting that IBM has given what sounds a lot like a final rebuff to Sun Microsystems: We are not interested in re-opening merger talks at any price.
Negotiations between the two companies collapsed two weeks ago after IBM lowered its offering price and a majority of Sun's divided board questioned if the wording of the formal proposal left IBM with the wiggle room to wriggle out of the deal if the going got tough with regulators."
Posted Sun, Apr 19, 10:26 p.m.
The poll, taken last week amid tax protests and tax-paying day, shows soft support for boosting the sales tax to pay for health care and softer support for an income tax. No wonder Olympia politicians are skittish.
Of course noone wants taxes .. that is why I want leadership that can explain to folks what happens when the stated eos not pay its bills! Do we need a democratic party unable to lead? Why?
So sayeth Nate Silver. I believe the Obama campaign would call that 'Portland, St. Louis, and Kansas City'.
Immigration rally organizers would call it 'Between one-half and two-thirds of Dallas'."
Backward: A Purim Spoof
By Anthony Weiss
Published March 04, 2009, issue of March 13, 2009."
FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: "Maybe Democrats should take Rick Perry up on his idea that Texas should secede from the Union."
-- If Texas were not in the Union, the Democrats would currently have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate -- or at least they would once Al Franken gets seated. This is because, in a 98-seat Senate, only 59 votes would be required to break a filibuster.
Coleman told police that he heard a thumping on his door Tuesday night and walked outside to investigate. .............
“He said something, some little obscenity, and then he threw another one,” Coleman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I kind of ducked. A George Bush move.”"
This is the first time an institution-wide strike has been held at the university, in which some 40,000 students are enrolled.
The dispute is centered around continued attempts to gain improved working conditions for the university's junior faculty members, whose demands are based on a collective agreement similar to those which their counterparts at other universities and colleges have acquired.
The strike, which is being undertaken by the entire academic staff, is aimed at changing employment patterns that may be harmful to workers into a foundation for fair labor conditions through a collective agreement, as was done six months ago at all the other universities in Israel, except for the Technion Institute in Haifa, according to Yaniv Bar-Ilan of the Koach Le'Ovdim (power to the workers) association, who organized the strike."
Obama: Event's anti-Israel slant is hypocritical; Lieberman: Fact that 'racist like Ahmadinejad' is main speaker proves true aim of conference."
OK, I have an ego. I know that. But I do like to learn from others and was very disappointed by a meeting this afternoon.
Years ago we joined a synagogue in Seattle. This community has a long and honorable record of social activism. Founded during the intense years of civil rights by young, socially active Jews, the Temple has a number of very impressive members with real talent.
As our kids grew up, the imperatives of Jewish community became less imperative but we continued the membership mainly for high holidays and for our admiratiion for the Rabbis.
The rabbis, a couple, are among the "best" I have met. Rabbi J is a wonderfully thoughtful guy, tolerant of my didactic approach to Judaism and wiliing to listen to any idea. Rabbi B brings a deep knowledge of Jewish mysticism that transcends the all to often sterility of ritual. Both care deeply about society.
I have talked a number of times with our Rabbi J. of finding a way to be useful to the Temple while serving causes that interest me. He keeps encouraging me so, this afternoon we attended a meet-up convened by some neighbors who are Temple members.
The ostensible purpose was to bring together members interested in social activism beyond the usual charitable activities of a liberal Jewish synagogue
Sounds good? ……….not so good.
Somewhere, someone has written a manual on how to assure that a meeting stifles discussion. I suspect the title is “Convenorship” or “Meeting Management for Middle Level Naval Officers” or “Maoist Manual for Communal Discussions.” The room had a number bright people but we were all treated like children scripted for a high school performance on MLK day.
About 30 folks so …we were led by the convener in the usual go around the room to say, “Who Am I?”. Pointedly missing was any invitation to say what causes interested us. Two exceptions to this rule .. politely and subtly, it was made clear that a major agenda for the hosts was universal health care. I was, by this time pretty certain I was not having a good time so I mentioned my interests in crossing the racial gap and promoted this blog.
Next on the agenda? All the students were told to choose a pair. Not four or five folks, but pairs of folks new to each other. I was forced to remember reading a leadership manual someplace (Navy?) about not letting groups larger than three get together if you wanted to maintain control.
Of course the pairs were given, well prepared, written instructions. For ten (not 15) minutes we pairs were supposed to trade a history of our families and how that history led us to be socially conscious Jews. One member of thr pair was supposed to record this on a yellow Post-It. I am not sure why they wanted us to use the Post-It, the ancestry shtick never came up again and notes were not stuck up the wall for the class to read later. I think the intent was to release a few drams of serotonin-blocking endorphins in each of us. It was pleasant.
Following step 3 of the Manual, each member of each pair was then supposed to list up to 4-5 things that kept them up at night. This was to include BOTH personal issues and issues that might be appropriate for joint action. A few folks asked why the personal issues were relevant, but I suspect they (including me ) still had not reached the correct level of serotonin.
My pair volunteered his urinary problems and I countered with worries over my brother. Then we each rolled out our personal causes. As it turned out, Walter is a Professor Emeritus of presidential governance. An interesting guy! Walter and I share some ideas about the decay of participatory democracy, global corporate statism and need for a reversal of Bush-Clinton era classism. A lot to find out in 7 minutes , but by then .. somehow, we also realized this was not the place? We agreed to tal;k later.
The convener then had each pair do a show and tell. You remember the drill? Each student in the class explained what they had done last summer. Our meeting was not quite that divers. The pairs’ lists were as predictable as one might expect of a group of largely over 60 middle class, reform Jews: healthcare, retirement, violence against (women, people of other classes), Israel, drugs, schools, bad social effects of twittering, the decay of our aging minds ……… I was tempted to raise my great concern about hungry pet bears but thought better of it. On the other hand, we just finished Passover so maybe the idea was to recite the ten plagues?
As is usual for such meetings, there was only about 10 minutes left. Most of that was taken up by the host’s husband making his spiel about health care. He is obviously knowledgeable. Naturally, there was no time to explore other ideas. Even if there were, the convener told us The Committee would use the data from the Post-Its to decide where to direct the Temple’s efforts.
One or two folks tried to offer other suggestions but were assured that they were not necessary. Ourm two hour meeting ended on time.
Sad thing is that the host seemed unaware that there were a number of people in the room who probably actually could have been recruited to bring some good ideas to the table. My ego aside, I suspect several folks left the room unlikely to do much more that join in the TBA Task Force of Universal Health Care.