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10 killed in religious clashes in Nigeria
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 3: Non-WoT
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11 00:00 Captain America [283] 
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Page 4: Opinion
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Africa Subsaharan
Newborn corpses, foetuses clog sewers weekly in Zimbabwe
Socialism works.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The corpses of at least 20 newborn babies and foetuses are found each week in the sewers of Zimbabwe's capital, some having been flushed down toilets, Harare city authorities said, according to state media yesterday.

Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya said the babies' remains were found among a wide variety of waste and garbage cleared by city council workers unblocking sewers and drains in Harare. "Apart from upsetting the normal flow of waste, it is not right from a moral standpoint. Some of the things that are happening now are shocking," the state Herald, a government mouthpiece, reported Chideya as saying.

Acute shortages of revenue and gasoline in the nation's worst economic crisis since independence in 1980 have crippled public utilities and garbage collection services across Zimbabwe. Hospital fees and charges for scarce medicines have soared. Church and charity groups blame economic hardships for an increase in illegal back-street abortions.

Chideya said workers removed at least 20 tons of sand from sewers every day. Inflation is running at 613 per cent and many impoverished Zimbabweans, unable to afford cleaning materials or detergents, use sand to scour cooking pots and household dishes. Salt is also used as a substitute for toothpaste.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/21/2006 04:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [527 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is horrid
Posted by: Captain America || 02/21/2006 7:43 Comments || Top||

#2  It's symbolic of Bob's legacy.
Posted by: Spot || 02/21/2006 8:22 Comments || Top||

#3  They aren't lazy. They're beaten down by a horrid dictatorship. YOU try living there and making sense of the place.

Bob's gotta go. Now.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/21/2006 9:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Cecil is probably happy it hasn't his name any more.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/21/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Steve is right.

I have acquaintances who lived in Rhodesia in the 70s and 80s. They are horrified by what the country has become.

Besoeker, it's time for you to check your disdain for other races at the door before entering Rantburg. You have now been warned openly, since more gentle feedback is being ignored.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 9:57 Comments || Top||

#6  This is heartbreaking. If there was ever any proof that the Zimbabweans feel hopeless about their country, this is it.

But if you are looking for a big campaign on this, keep dreaming. The minute someone opens their yap, some pro-choice group is going to start screaming.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 02/21/2006 10:43 Comments || Top||

#7  Mugabe has said that Zimbabwe would be a better place with only half as many people. This seems in line with his 5 year plan.
Posted by: RWV || 02/21/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Given the prevalence of abortion on demand in the WEst, who are we to cast the first stone. We just have better methods of disposing of the evidence.
Posted by: RWV || 02/21/2006 10:46 Comments || Top||

#9  Not to "pile on" on the abortion arguments, but I agree with RWV. However, this does signify the absolute worst in humanity, showing how Bob's literally flushed his country down the drain.
Posted by: BA || 02/21/2006 10:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Bob's gotta go. Now.

It won't happen.

The population is too beat down.

There is no coherent and unified opposition.

The intellectual and political elite won't oppose. Bob. Their concern is poverty, hunger and lack of health care for the citizens. They'd let Bob and his ilk run things forever if his government provided the basic necessities. They'd even ally with the Devil if it meant the people got fed. Oh, and the cricket team got to play out-of-country.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/21/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#11  Besoeker, the people of Zimbabwe are sytematically having their humanity stripped away by their own leadership. Every day the bulldozers come to knock down more homes and plow under the tiniest of vegetable gardens. They have no access to *anything*: no shelter, no food, no birth control, no medicine, NO F*ING SOAP to wash their hands. Don't you dare accuse them of laziness.

And the same horror is about to be visited on South Africa, in the name of 'justice'.

If you're smart, you'll apologize to lotp, who is absolutely more than capable of telling you these things to your face.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/21/2006 11:54 Comments || Top||

#12  Thanks, Seafarious.

Besoeker has been poop-listed. That's not a step we take lightly, but only in the face of repeated provocation after requests from moderators to tone things down.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 11:59 Comments || Top||

#13  Mugabe is a classical example of the post-colonial African Curse : "One man, one vote ----- one time". As long as he and his party remain in control, Zim is doomed to a Cambodian death spiral. And now that Mbeki and the ANC have announced their intention to follow Zim down the drain, the whole of Southern Africa is in danger of collapse, civil war, and becoming the homebases of Al-Q and other terrorist organizations.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 02/21/2006 13:19 Comments || Top||

#14  lotp, I hope you read this. I can't speak for Besoeker, but I know that this situation of Islam vs. the modern world has taken a turn for the worse. Many people don't yet know that, but some are more prone to awaken early. I am convinced that radical Islam will force a clash of civilizations on a monumentous scale. We had a similar situation in WW2 against Japan. The Japanese were a national cult who believe that their emperor was a living God and therefore infalable. (a bit like Mohammed, but still alive)
The Japanese were prepared to fight to the last man for their emperor/God. The immage of nuclear bombs wiping cities from the face of the earth, shocked the Japanese into belief in modern technology and doubt in the potence of their emperor. Following WW2, the Japanese became a model modern culture. A major surprise and delight to the west. Besoeker is aware of the collision course we are now on. So am I, and many others. When we act civilized, we pretend to be pulled into this collision. As we resist, we allow our boys in uniform to take the full impact of the enemy's hatred. The 'moderates' among Muslims will not act. The best we can hope for is that they will hide until the war is over.
Watch what is happening in Nigeria. Step by step, Islam is taking Nigeria. Taking it's people, it's land, it's oil, until all of Nigeria answers to Allah. This is what the Japanese were doing in Asia Minor prior to WW2. But, they did it with marching armies. Our new enemy is too cowardly to dress the part. They sneek and bomb indiscriminately, killing bystanders, and while doing so, killing law and order. Besoeker sees this, even though you don't. He urges actions that you may some day resort to.
Some people just read the waves ahead of the storm. Some of us are frustrated by the waiting.
But, we are brothers, so we will wait for the rest to see the storm approaching.
Posted by: wxjames || 02/21/2006 13:58 Comments || Top||

#15  wxjames, trust me - I'm fully aware of the gathering storm. I've been watching it since doing business in the middle east in the mid-late 80s, including with the Israelis and the Saudis.

And I know as well as nearly anyone here what we are facing. It's true that I am not in uniform - full military service was not a real option for a female when I was young. However, much of my family and my husband have been career military, many with combat experience, and my daily colleagues and close friends are mostly active duty or retired military today.

They include people with recent experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where our military action is lower-profile.

But it is one thing to know what we face and another thing either to revel in it or to resort to hate- and scorn-filled dehumanization of people who are NOT our direct enemies. In the last 36 hours or so, Besoeker has managed to dismiss the basic humanity and worth both of Mexican miners trapped near death and of Zimbabweans caught in horrific circumstances. That goes way beyond being clear eyed about our world situation -- and it is part of a long pattern of occasional comments on his part here at Rantburg.

I am not afraid of the coming conflict, if it must come, and while I have not been in combat myself I think I have a pretty good idea of what it might entail.

Ground fighting? I've talked with many veterans of some of the most brutal fighting of the last century. To take an earlier conflict, my beloved god-father/uncle, for instance, whose light infantry bore the brunt of the elite German Nordwind special forces attack at Bastogne. Three weeks later when he was finally sent back for medical care he had earned a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars and 3 Purple Hearts - and he had taken out several German machinegun emplacements himself, with his squad dead around him. He was among the 40% of his regiment that survived those 3 weeks and he bears the costs of his physical injuries today, at age 85 - and the memories of what he did and saw done, as well.

Air attacks? My father was a Naval aviation gunner. Survived having two ships sunk underneath him, had his plane shot down in the south pacific in WWII, came home in a body cast.

Insurgencies? My cousin flew 2 engine prop recon planes in the treetops of Cambodia when we 'weren't in Cambodia'. If he had crashed or been shot down, he would have been disavowed.

Nuclear? Another close cousin who commanded missile silos and whose marriage fell apart while he spent long shifts holding one of the two keys that would have launched massive death.

Our daughter's godfather was an attack sub officer, chosen when Rickover himself interviewed and passed judgement on every potential commissioned officer in the nuclear-powered fleet.

Space? My husband's work was in the highly classified unmanned space program. Draw your own conclusions.

Special ops? I won't name names, but I know a few in the field.

Genocide? On my father's side we lost 95% of our family and all our lands during the Russian revolution and under Stalin. 95%.

It's precisely because I know EXACTLY what we may be facing that I do not embrace it eagerly, even as I recognize what we may be forced to do. No one should embrace it eagerly, because it will - do not kid yourself, it WILL - cost us part of our soul if it comes to that.

As it may.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 14:27 Comments || Top||

#16  Maybe we could get some new stem cell lines....nevermind, too crass even for me.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 02/21/2006 15:23 Comments || Top||

#17  Just to add to the comments here:

If seafarious and lotp hadn't poop-listed Besoeker, I would have.

I'm tired of the racist nonsense. I'm more than ready, as Old Patriot notes, to defend me, mine, ours and yours with whatever violence is necessary. But I will not condemn whole peoples to death, I will not make sport of some poor guys stuck in a collapsed mine, and I will not support the 'nuke 'em all and let God sort them out' stuff.

That's not me, and as far as I know, that's none of the moderators, including Fred.

There are serious problems out there, and Rantburg can lead the way in discussing the solutions and offering high-quality snark. But we don't do racism here. And you can take dat to da bank.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/21/2006 15:45 Comments || Top||

#18  If they all got lives they probably wouldn't have time or money to operate the website anymore. The software didn't come out of a box, the management and bandwidth isn't handled by some distant charitable organization...

IF you want a soapbox, go contact a web hosting service on _your_ dime. Please.
Posted by: Phil || 02/21/2006 16:05 Comments || Top||

#19  One loaded B2 from Diego Garcia can change the whole course Zimbabwe.
Posted by: ed || 02/21/2006 16:10 Comments || Top||

#20  Sounds indiscriminate to me, ed. Better put a laser kit on every one of those or you're over THE LINE, bubba.
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 16:32 Comments || Top||

#21  Sorry .com. I'm all tapped out from splurging on cartooning supplies. Would a $1.99 laser pointer strapped to each JDAM suffice?
Posted by: ed || 02/21/2006 16:43 Comments || Top||

#22  LOL. Works for me. Need a PayPal contribution to help cover costs? Buffs carry a shitload, bro. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 16:47 Comments || Top||

#23  Oops, saw B52 instead of what you actually wrote.

How about this generational pic, in recompense for my error?
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 17:06 Comments || Top||

#24  There can't be much left to bomb in Zimbabwe, besides the presidential palace. Didn't Mugabe have the suburbs and part of the city pulled down?

wxjames, that last was well said, in my opinion. But we didn't kill all the Japanese, either. Truman authorized using nuclear bombs to get their attention, so we wouldn't have to.

Radical Islam has been warring against the West for a generation -- they've just now become overconfident enough to crow about it. Hopefully we won't have to go medieval on them -- but OldSpook said something a long time ago (I think when the contractors were murdered, then their burnt bodies hung from Fallujah bridge (can someone correct me on that?), when the rest of us were calling for the rubble to be bounced) along the lines of: we will do what it takes to win, but coldly and calmly, not in the heat of anger. That really impressed me, as you can see, even though I don't remember his exact words (and I don't know how to do a quick search to find them, darn it!). As I've hung out here, and read the words of people who actually know something about war and peace, and the waging thereof, I've become confident that we will win this one. We lost the battle of VietNam because we walked away; but we won the Cold War nonetheless. Likewise, after knowing y'all here, I have faith, bone deep, that we will win this Long War in the end. And I know that we will do what it takes along the way -- coldly and calmly. And without killing them all -- although if it takes too long, they may push us to killing most.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/21/2006 17:22 Comments || Top||

#25  Sounds like a good sniper is needed....

Just sayin', 's all.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/21/2006 17:34 Comments || Top||

#26  I just realized how much a B2 looks like a southern tidal stingray.
Posted by: 6 || 02/21/2006 18:41 Comments || Top||

#27  we will do what it takes to win, but coldly and calmly, not in the heat of anger.

A good example of that is what happened to the clan that killed the SEALs downed in Afghanistan.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 19:18 Comments || Top||

#28  I've made this point before, but there is significant evidence that we will respond in a manner that is consistent with the attack that provokes the response.

What we did to Japanese in WWII was horrific and beyond the scale of anything else done in wartime as far as the numbers of civilians killed per day or per raid. But those raids were done at the end of the war, after we had fought the Japanse soldiers to the death. It was the opinion of our leadership at the time that there was no alternative. Even so, they were extremeley concerned about the potential outcry from US citizens.

If we are hit hard (nuke, etc.) we will respond with corresponding savagery. Until then, I seriously doubt you will see a total war response to any provocation. Yest I agree with LOTP and TW, we will get this done. I fear that it will get very, very ugly before it is over, but we will win.
Posted by: remoteman || 02/21/2006 20:23 Comments || Top||

#29  The rant is great but this post seems to be flawed. First the "state" run media is running this story? Why? The government/dictator would only let this out for a reason. You cant flush a Koran down the toilet let alone a baby, no matter how small. This story seems to fit in a propaganda attempt to get money for something and to pull on our hearts to do it.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/21/2006 21:39 Comments || Top||

#30  No one who ever stood the watch with the nuclear fire ever says "nuke 'em all." It's an easy thing to say when you don't know what it means, not so easy for those who do. It is a triumph of the American will that it has been over 60 years since nukes were used in anger. I can't begin to say how good it feels to see B2s dropping iron bombs and the Navy talking about converting boomers to launch conventional warheads.
Posted by: RWV || 02/21/2006 22:21 Comments || Top||

#31  So, in the big picture, what is to be done with cases like Zim-bob? Does the country have to go totally down the toilet, literally and figuratively, until Bob is removed by Zim's own citizens?

Obviously, the UN will do nothing. Who makes the decision for regime change? Zimbabwe does not have a big pile of diamonds, platinum, copper, oil or some other resource that NA, Europe, or China wants, so there is no direct interest in regime change except humanitarian.

So what happens? Do we feel bad and hope folks inside the country take out Bob, and let it go.

It's like Somalia. It is a first class sh*thole. But who charges themselves with the authority to unf*ck the place?

And we see the same slippery slope happening to South Africa. But is it in our interest to go in and rearrange their heads to stop this insanity?

I guess that the bottom line comes down to how a situation affects our national interest. We certainly do not have the resources to take on the world.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/21/2006 22:39 Comments || Top||

#32  Quite a pedigree, lotp. Don't be too hard on besoeker. I don't think he's a troll; I think he's just had a hard week. He often makes sound, if harsh, sense. I remember something here (I think it was the Murtha foolishness) that caught me on a bad day and I wrote a frothing rant that had people calling for cleanup in the aisles. Later on I could see the wisdom in their opinion but it took a while to get back to the "I used to be disgusted but now I try to be amused" mindset.
Hopefully that's what is going on with him. JMHO, with thanks to Elvis Costello ;-)
Posted by: mac || 02/21/2006 22:59 Comments || Top||

#33  Absolutely disgusting, the lazy buggers. From the earliest of times simple human dignity and sanitation dictated the burial of the dead, even if dug with a stick or bare hands.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/21/2006 9:05 Comments || Top||

#34  Besoeker, it's time for you to check your disdain for other races at the door before entering Rantburg. You have now been warned openly, since more gentle feedback is being ignored.

It is in indeed in a class with infacts in the dumpster as we see here in the states all to often. If they give birth to your own flesh and blood (or abort), and do not have the human decency to give the infant a proper burial or call someone who can, you are both lazy and WORTHLESS! I stand by my comment and would say further that "it is time" for you to stuff your continued allegations of "racisim" up your fat you know what! Making the use of the four letter werd "lazy" a 'holocaust denial' violation equivalent is simply thought policing communism. I am too old and have humped too far to listen to that kind of kak from someone who would not make the comment in a face off. RWV's comment is spot on by the way.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/21/2006 11:07 Comments || Top||

#35  South Park needs to do an episode on Zimbabwe.
Posted by: bk || 02/21/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

#36  Oh for phuechs sake, liten up and get a life.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/21/2006 15:59 Comments || Top||

OPEC may cut output because of over-supply: Kuwait
KUWAIT CITY - A cut in oil production may be necessary at OPEC’s meeting next month as over-supply may reach two million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter, the Kuwaiti energy minister said on Monday. “We believe the market is well-supplied and we believe the second quarter will be over-supplied ... with between 1-2 million bpd,” Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al Sabah told reporters in parliament.
So much for the Chicken Littles on the Left (yes, you, Mr. Krugman) who keep saying that oil production has peaked ...
“We have to wait for our March meeting. If necessary and if prices will go back to be determined by supply and demand, we have to do our cut,” Sheikh Ahmad said. “But if prices continue as they are now ... we will continue to support stable prices for the future,” he said.

The oil price is being driven higher by factors other than supply and demand, the Kuwaiti minister said, adding that he believes current prices are reasonable. “I think that prices now, with the geopolitical problems and weather, are reasonable because everybody thought that, with these problems, the increase will be more,” he said.

Oil prices jumped higher on Monday after fresh unrest in Nigeria slashed output in the country, and as the market kept a close watch on talks in Moscow to resolve a standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Go ahead asshats Bush: US cannot be held hostage by foreign oil
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/21/2006 6:09 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
'Don't mess with me, girl,' Chavez tells Rice
CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched a new verbal attack on Sunday against US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, bluntly warning her "don't mess with me, girl".
"Or what, buster?"
I've seen the Condi 'double-claw' move. Hugo, surrender now.
Responding to remarks before the US Congress last week in which Rice called Chavez a "challenge to democracy" in Latin America, Chavez warned the top US diplomat to back off. "She messed with me again," he said in his weekly "Hello President" television show, deliberately mangling her name as "Condolences." Last week, after her US Congress testimony, Chavez dismissed Rice as "the imperial lady". He vowed that Washington would fail in its bid to arouse international opinion against Caracas, and accused the George W Bush administration of fomenting transit strikes and other unrest to destabilize his country.
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice pic. Does Chavez have a new metal hanging around his neck? And aren't nipple-covers supposed to be worn inside your clothing? Someone consult Janet Jackson.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/21/2006 8:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Close Besoeker...
Posted by: Jerenter Shaing5389 || 02/21/2006 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Methinks Hugo has a big ol' crush on Condi....
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 02/21/2006 10:40 Comments || Top||

#4  DB, it was the boots and the long black jacket, I think.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/21/2006 10:53 Comments || Top||

#5  lol, DB! Who knew that they got spanish re-runs of The Fresh Prince in Caracas? I hope that "girl" messes with him and hard!
Posted by: BA || 02/21/2006 10:53 Comments || Top||

For your collections... Larger image here.
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Yep, that's the poster Hugo has on his bedroom wall....surrounded by little pink hearts. ;)
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 02/21/2006 13:33 Comments || Top||

#8  "don't mess with me, girl"

Are you still breathing, Hugo? Then she isn't messing with you yet.
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/21/2006 15:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Lol, SM - too right!
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 15:42 Comments || Top||

#10  'Don't mess with me, girl,'
I can't get out of my head the image of Hugo saying that with a Queen Latifah look and attitude.
Posted by: ed || 02/21/2006 15:45 Comments || Top||

#11  A cheap thug uses words to trash women. It's the only thing he has to use. He certainly can't match Condi on intelligence.

Hugo's "democracy" is having his underlings cow to him. He'll get his eventually.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/21/2006 17:49 Comments || Top||

War of words between Chávez and US heats up
Accusations of spying and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats might seem the stuff of historic ideological battles between Washington and Moscow. But such cold war antics look set to take centre-stage in the saga of deteriorating ties between the US and Venezuela, home to the largest energy reserves in the Americas.

At the weekend, Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan president warned Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, against trying to build an international alliance to curb his government’s expanding tentacles of influence across Latin America.

“I will sting those who rattle me, so don’t mess with me, Condoleezza,’’ he said, blowing Ms Rice a kiss during his Sunday television programme.
On Friday, he insisted that the US would receive “no more oil” if it “crossed the line” in its supposed efforts to undermine his “revolution”. The volley of threats follows Mr Chávez’s expulsion two weeks ago of the US’s naval attaché in Caracas on allegations of co-opting Venezuelan officers into passing secrets to the Pentagon. The US reciprocated with the expulsion of the chief of staff at Venezuela’s embassy in Washington.

Analysts believe some of the recent provocations come because Mr Chávez is seeking to radicalise his anti-imperialist credentials ahead of elections in December. He has already begun his re-election campaign by insisting that his true opponent will be George W. Bush. “Relations with the US are deteriorating and they are going to get worse,’’ says Adolfo Salguiero, an international relations analyst in Caracas. “At some point this year we could well face a grave diplomatic crisis as Chávez attempts to rally nationalist sentiment ahead of the election.’’

Mr Chávez, who has been in power for seven years, recently reiterated his prediction of an inevitable showdown with the US. He may be right.
he's certainly trying to provoke one
US officials have in recent weeks determined that the Venezuelan president is not only their top political irritant in the region, but that he is also undermining US interests.

Ms Rice said last week that the US must pursue an “inoculation strategy’’ to curb Mr Chávez’s oil-funded influence in the region. “A united front against some of the things that Venezuela gets involved in’’ was needed to contain Mr Chávez’s activism in Latin America, Ms Rice told the House of Representatives.

Caracas has financed billions of dollars’ worth of projects in the region, and Mr Chávez has made clear his support for candidates and movements with an anti-US stance.

He has in the past threatened to sever oil supplies to the US, even if most analysts have dismissed such a threat as economic madness. Venezuelan oil is especially heavy and can only be processed in US-based refineries owned by Citgo, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company’s refining and marketing subsidiary in the US.

However, the US Government Accountability Office, Congress’s non-partisan investigative agency, is examining the risks for the US economy of losing its most secure supplier of oil.

Ms Rice’s recommendation appears to put flesh on the bones of the idea of “containing Chávez’’ suggested a year ago by only the most hawkish members within the Bush administration. People familiar with the policy development in Washington say it has gelled as a result of recent appointments in the area of security. “The policy is to convince the governments of South America that Chávez is a danger to the hemisphere, if not to the US,’’ said a US security consultant who has been party to the discussions.

Robert Zoellick, deputy secretary of state, is believed to have advised Ms Rice recently of the risk of neglecting Latin America. Similar views have been taken, the consultant said, by Porter Goss, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, and Patrick Maher, the national intelligence officer for the western hemisphere.

The US has vetoed the sale to Venezuela of military equipment from Spain and Brazil, on the grounds that the hardware contains US-made components. Meanwhile, Mr Chávez has extended warm relations to radical movements in the Middle East. Venezuela said recently that it would welcome leaders of Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamic group. It is also backing Iran’s position on its nuclear programme.

A new cold war would seem to be in the making.
or not so cold, if he keeps this up
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Chavez surely doesn't think that he will be able to keep or operate the Citgo refineries in the US if he decides to shut off the oil to America. Like many US Democrats, he thinks rules are for Republicans. If Chavez isn't very careful, Condoleeza Rice and George Bush will jerk a knot in his tail that will end the Chavez thugocracy.
Posted by: RWV || 02/21/2006 0:58 Comments || Top||

#2  "I know you are, but what am I?"
Posted by: mojo || 02/21/2006 10:26 Comments || Top||

#3  I get the impression that Hugo sees that he’s running out of "Technically Legal" maneuvers. But it appears he still hasn’t grasped his role in the Pimp/Whore dynamics. Refusal to recognize this will most assuredly result in a Bitch-Slap like he’s never seen.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/21/2006 11:38 Comments || Top||

#4  kook, hugo is president of a population of 14 million and he see's his revolution as correcting that demographic inconsequentiality.

hugo is like all the lefts useful idiots, belicose and vastly over rated. If hugo was the revolutionaries revolutionary, he'd help those dying in the camps of North korea with food and some compassion for these poor souls suffering. Predictably he wont do this because its the ideology of the left that bankrolls incidious behavior in order to expand its power. hugo thinks his revolution will expand across latin america, with him at the center......how many venezuelans will die between the start of this trip and the abrupt end is really the question.

Whats not up for debate is the fact that hugo and hugos ego are all that matters to hugo and his followers, no different than kim, and pol and all those whose blueprint he follows. Failure is the only option when your intellectual bank is rupt.
Posted by: Hupeating Sleretle7337 || 02/21/2006 13:59 Comments || Top||

#5  It would be as simple as locking the gates to CITGO for a week and he will come crawling. He is a creature that we are allowing to operate. We should slap them down faster than we do, which seems to be few and far between. This guy will get momentum and friends like Kim and Hamas and expand his capabilities. We should do something now. Not war, but economically, and make it significant. Threaten to nationalize, US that is, the CITGO refineries in the best interset of eminent domain.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/21/2006 21:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Russia's ARMYPRESS.com has an article describing that there are no legal obstacles preventing Russia from selling MIG fighter aircraft and other types of asets to Chavez. ARMYPRESS also has an article about NORTH AFRICA will be a new region of competition between the USA and Russia for local arms deals.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/21/2006 22:04 Comments || Top||

Germany Sends in Military to Fight Bird Flu Outbreak
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

Great White North
Canadian & US Navies to stage exercise
HALIFAX (CP) - Five Canadian warships were set to leave Halifax on Monday for an intense, three-week training exercise that will see them working with the U.S. navy. The vessels were to join three U.S. destroyers, along with Canadian fighter jets and land forces.

HMCS Montreal, the flagship of the exercise, was to be joined by HMCS Ville de Quebec, Summerside, Moncton and Preserver. Canada's only operational submarine, HMCS Windsor, was also set to take part. About 1,000 personnel were expected to participate in the exercise, set to take place in waters off Nova Scotia, Norfolk, Va., and Boston, Mass.

Navy spokesman Lt.-Cmdr. Ken MacKillop said two such training exercises are typically scheduled each year. "This one is an excellent chance to exercise the Joint Task Force Atlantic command and control concept, so they will be working more jointly out there using the headquarters here to run the operation," he said.

Joint Task Force Atlantic is one of several regional command centres responsible for conducting domestic operations under Canada Command. The centres were announced last year to focus on disasters at home. MacKillop said this week's exercises will also allow Canadian and American units to work as a cohesive unit. Combat capabilities will be tested in the areas of anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare and boarding operations.

It's the first time Preserver has conducted fleet operations since its $40-million refit last year.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And the whole world is asking .... when did Canada get five warships?
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 02/21/2006 0:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Just so none of them is a sub
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/21/2006 0:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Wow...not that they have five ships, but that they were able to get five ships running and out of port at the same time.
Posted by: gromky || 02/21/2006 1:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Wow...not that they have five ships, but that they were able to get five ships running and out of port at the same time.

All of the ships will be back in port by Friday at 5:00. There is no overtime authorized.
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 02/21/2006 1:42 Comments || Top||

#5  You're kidding, right? Canada has a warship? Like for war?
Posted by: Mike || 02/21/2006 10:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Canada has a warship? Like for war?

It's like the 90-year old guy who keeps a box of condoms in his medicine cabinet...
Posted by: Pappy || 02/21/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#7  "You sank my ballteship!"
Posted by: mojo || 02/21/2006 12:12 Comments || Top||

#8  #1 Formerly Dan - You beat me to it!

Now here I am, all snarked up and no place to go. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/21/2006 13:56 Comments || Top||

#9  The frigate Ville de Quebec and submarine are the only warships. The other three are patol boats and a supply ship.
Posted by: ed || 02/21/2006 15:42 Comments || Top||

£5.5m needed to restore education in quake zone
Save the Children, a non-government organisation (NGO), has appealed for £5.5million to international donors, including the Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help restore the education system in the quake-hit areas. “Rebuilding all schools will take years. It is completely unacceptable for children to miss out on their education. It will have a negative effect on their future,” Peter Sykes, the emergency programme manager, said.
I think we've spent quite enough money on Pakistan for now. I imagine the Danes and the Norwegians feel about the same way.
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  define education.
Posted by: 2b || 02/21/2006 0:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Ima tapped out. I give to Rantburg. Go talk to the Soddies, Swampy.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/21/2006 2:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Are they going to educate them in Western values, math, reading and spelling, etc.?

Or just madrassah the boys and treat the girls like the property doormats they are?

Decide. Then we'll talk.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/21/2006 13:59 Comments || Top||

#4  And if we only had a tax, we could skim from it, throw a few crumbs at this, and ignore your objections and demands for accountability! Damned Americans! It's unfair that you have so much wealth!

Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 14:05 Comments || Top||

#5  LOL .com

They want us to pay for their madrassas. No way. My "Christain Charity" is all tapped out when it comes to allenist and allenist states.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/21/2006 15:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Sorry, tapped out. Spent all my money this month on art supplies.
Posted by: ed || 02/21/2006 15:47 Comments || Top||

Singer A Nayyar forced to recite Kalma
Minorities in Lahore are worried by the recent incident in which prominent Christian singer A Nayyar was robbed and forced to recite Kalima.
That's when you accept Islam. Now he can be killed if he doesn't bump his forehead five times a day...
A Nayyar was walking to his house in Canal Park near Punjab chief minister’s house after recording songs at 2am on February 16 night, after he was dropped by a friend on the main road. Five or six unidentified young men, some of them wearing bandanas, stopped him, stole his money and after recognizing him, beat him up asking him to recite the Kalima, Mrs Nayyar told Daily Times. The young men ran away when people came out of their houses. Nayyar, who was injured, was not available for comment.

Mrs Nayyar said that they wanted to report the incident to the police and A Nayyar would visit the police station on Tuesday (today). She said the incident might be linked to the recent protests against controversial cartoons published in European newspapers. She said that they would lodge a formal complaint today (Tuesday). The incident has been condemned widely, and citizens said even if it was a routine robbery, it was alarming that young criminals forced a Christian to recite the Kalima for fun.
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does this kalima by any chance begin with "fuck you"?

I could get down with that.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/21/2006 14:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortuntely no.
It is the "there is no god but allen and mo' is his messenger" bit.

Remember, "there is no compulsion in islam" TM
So say your kalima before I'm forced to thrash you.

And "islam is a religion of peace" TM
Believe it or I'll behead you...

Posted by: john || 02/21/2006 14:10 Comments || Top||

#3  The Muzzies obviously have no difficulty with the cognitive dissonance thingy, just like the Lefties in the West.
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 14:12 Comments || Top||

200 wedding guests food-poisoned
GUJRANWALA: More than 200 people were food poisoned after having dinner at WAPDA Town Marriage Hall on Sunday night. The people had come from Qila Didar Singh and were served with lunch boxes in the marriage hall. On their return to Qila Didar Singh, they started showing signs of food poisoning. Ten people fainted, while 20 people were taken to Javed Hospital Qila Didar Singh, 24 to Zahid Asghar Minhas Hospital, 24 to Latif Hospital while others were taken to different clinics of Qila Didar Singh.
"The party was ruined! Simply ruined!"
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "....would this be much more serious if the man someone had died?"
Posted by: GK || 02/21/2006 7:02 Comments || Top||

India, France sign civil nuclear, trade deals
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

Give Mulford the boot: Indian Opp
NEW DELHI: The Indian opposition, ruling alliance partners and Left parties asked the government on Monday to show the door to United States Ambassador David Mulford for interfering in the country’s internal matters. Mulford had sent a letter to the West Bengal chief minister calling on him to stand down from his anti-US stances and accept foreign direct investment in the retail trade.
Give them a Wal-Mart. Good idea.
How can an American official direct an Indian chief minister, asked the angry members. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee advised the members to “maintain dignity” and not accuse the government of “surrendering”.
Maybe you should spend less time being dignified and more time being productive.
CPI (M) group leader Basudeb Acharia raised the issue and BJP, Shiv Sena, Janata Dal (U), Akali Dal, Biju Janata Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party agreed that the ambassador had transgressed diplomatic etiquette by advising the chief minister. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said that he would convey the members’ concern to the prime minister and asserted that the government had never compromised upon national dignity. However, the leftists staged a walk out, saying they were not satisfied with the government’s response. No other opposition party joined them.
Posted by: Fred || 02/21/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

Iraqi politicians to visit South Africa to learn about democracy
PRETORIA - Ten Iraqi politicians will visit South Africa next month to learn about the country’s peaceful transition to democracy, the deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday. “The United Nations feels the politicians, who will be Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds who participated in the electoral process there, can benefit from visiting South Africa and interacting with our politicians from across the politican spectrum and all sectors of society,” Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad told AFP.

The Iraqi politicians will spend about a week in South Africa.

Apartheid ended peacefully in South Africa in 1994 when the African National Congress (ANC) and Nelson Mandela were voted into power in the first democratic and multi-racial elections. “The world was expecting the greatest catastrophe here, instead we have developed into one of the first emerging nations in the world,” said Pahad.
Posted by: Ebbosing Slavins7298 || 02/21/2006 12:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ummmm - guys, that would be the WRONG place to go.

Especially since the UN "feels" it's a good idea.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/21/2006 17:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Sudan was booked up, huh?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/21/2006 17:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Next they'll travel to Cuba to learn economics.
Posted by: Iblis || 02/21/2006 17:34 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
New wash-n-wear military uniforms driving dry cleaners out of business
Edited for brevity.
The new boots don’t need a shine. The new uniforms don’t need to be dry cleaned and they come complete with velcro for patches that once had to be sewn on by hand. The Army’s new wash-and-wear combat uniform is great for soldiers, but a nightmare for the nearly 60 small shops around Fort Bragg that offer dry cleaning, pressing, alterations and boot shining. At least three have closed since the debut of the new Army Combat Uniform, and the owners of several others say their business has been cut in half. There isn’t much hope for improvement, either. A little less than a third of the 45,000 soldiers at Fort Bragg, the sprawling post that’s home to the Army’s Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne and a variety of other units, are still wearing the old uniforms. They’ll soon make the switch.
Posted by: Dar || 02/21/2006 13:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

#1  the sprawling post that’s home to the Army’s Special Operations Command,

And YES, The new unforms are GREAT!!
Posted by: ARMYGUY || 02/21/2006 14:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Forgot to add this originally:

Hat tip: Murdoc Online
Posted by: Dar || 02/21/2006 14:04 Comments || Top||

#3  That was not a 8.0 earthquake. Old First Sergeants were heard rolling over in their graves. Parkas now being issued in Hell.
Posted by: Fleating Gleating1618 || 02/21/2006 16:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Someone said, "The side with the simplest uniforms wins."
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 02/21/2006 16:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Finally we get a uniform that does not cost a hundred bucks a month to keep clean and starched. But not to worry, I sat some General from the Pentagon the other day in a set that the patches were sewn on and they were crisp, I assume starched if not ironed. It probably wont be long before they approve starch for parades and it will creep back in.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/21/2006 18:41 Comments || Top||

#6  I always thought the center of Hell was frozen, Fleating.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 02/21/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Hay AG, have you been to Tampa lately, this article seems to know the difference between a staff and commands!LOL!!!
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/21/2006 20:53 Comments || Top||

#8  As the senior officers are fond of saying, this uniform was designed by the senior NCOs to incorporate exactly these characteristics. The days of breaking starch are over.
Posted by: RWV || 02/21/2006 22:26 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Supreme Court OKs Hallucinogenic Tea
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God.

Justices, in their first religious freedom decision under Chief Justice John Roberts, moved decisively to keep the government out of a church's religious practice. Federal drug agents should have been barred from confiscating the hoasca tea of the Brazil-based church, Roberts wrote in the decision.

The tea, which contains an illegal drug known as DMT, is considered sacred to members of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, which has a blend of Christian beliefs and South American traditions. Members believe they can understand God only by drinking the tea, which is consumed twice a month at four-hour ceremonies.

New Justice
Samuel Alito did not take part in the case, which was argued last fall before Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor before her retirement. Alito was on the bench for the first time on Tuesday.
Posted by: tipper || 02/21/2006 12:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [402 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is there an iced tea version?
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 02/21/2006 15:20 Comments || Top||

#2  What was the vote???
Posted by: Iblis || 02/21/2006 17:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Like 6-4 or was that 8-3? But like the majority was awesome, dude.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/21/2006 17:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Heh. "Unanimous". Nevermind...
Posted by: Iblis || 02/21/2006 17:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Can we order it at work? I mean our database design could not be any more screwed up.

I feel a religious conversion coming on!

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/21/2006 17:51 Comments || Top||

#6  Atlanta and 34 seconds is the answer.
Posted by: 6 || 02/21/2006 18:48 Comments || Top||

#7  some background on DMT from the LSD-FAQ


1) DMT, DET, psylocin, psylocybin, : The mushroom psylocybin cubensis contains all four of these indole derivatives, as well as others. DMT is
dimethyltryptamine, an indole derivative which has functionalized at the 3 position with the dimethyl ethylamine group. It is a close relative to the
amino acid, tryptophan, which until recently was available in bulk at vitamin shops, until some jerk poisoned himself by taking a wonga dose of
it. [Actually it may have been a single toxic batch mistakenly produced in Japan.] A prep came out in 1984 for LSD using l--tryptophan as the
precursor, so this may have facilitated the government's pullin it from the shelves.

DMT, and it's brother DET (diethyltryptamine), have no oral activity, so have to be smoked. They stink like fish oil when lit, though. Both have hallucinogenic effects within 2-3 minutes of toking, wand while DMT lasts for only a half hour, DET is a smoother, more euphoric high, lasting twice as long. DET has effects similar to psylocybin.
Psylocybin is DMT which has a functional group, phosphoryloxy-, at the 4 position on the indole ring. This group is immediately converted to hydroxyl- as soon as the stuff hits your stomach to give the cousin, psylocin. In preparing the drug, then, it is not necessary to proceed beyond the psylocin.
DMT and DET are easily derived from many indole derivatives, the easiest of which is indole-3-acetic acid. The reaction stinks to high heaven of indole gunge, skatoles (methylindoles), and indenes. Bad news if you want to make it at home, because the stench is pervasive. Other derivatives, using phenyl or butyl groups have been reported as having oral activity, so it is not necessary to smoke the stuff. Doses run at about a hundred mgs for smoked drug,(a disclaimer further on says 20-30mgs with 100 killing one) while psylocin is orally active at about 5 mgs.

... and it continues on to describe plants that contain it extractions and such.

The key point is:
DMT, and it's brother DET (diethyltryptamine), have no oral activity,
so have to be smoked.

So if they are drinking it as tea the effect would only be in reaction with something else added to the mix. Perhaps that's one reason the Supremes didn't get too excited.

/ 3
// \--- --- CH CH N
|| || || 2 2
\ // / CH
N 3


When DMT is smoked or injected, effects begin in seconds, reach a peak in five to twenty minutes and end after a half hour or so. This has earned it the name "businessman's trip." The brevity of the experience make its intensity bearable, and, for some, desirable.


DMT FAQ (Draft, inserted into LSD FAQ)
8 Aug 94

DMT, DiMethylTryptamine, or 3-(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)-indole is a chemical
in the same class of drugs as Psilocybin and LSD. Structurally related to serotonin, their effects on the body are similar and cross-tolerance can and is developed between DMT, LSD and Psilocybin.

DMT is not absorbed into the blood stream when taken orally and therefore is usually inhaled as a powder or smoked.

Description and properties:

DMT, N,N-diemethyltryptamine, Nigerine, desoxybufotenine, 3-(2-dimethylaminoethyl)-indole is a white, pungent-smelling, crystalline solid with a melting point of 49-50 degrees Celsius, hydrochloride salt hygroscopic, picrate m.p. 171-172 degrees Celsius and methiodide m.p.215-216 degrees Celsius. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in organic solvents and aqueous acids.


DMT was first synthesized in 1931, and demonstrated to be hallucinogenic in 1956. It has been shown to be present in many plant genera (Acacia, Anandenanthera, Mimosa, Piptadenia, Virola) and is a major component of several hallucinogenic snuffs (cohoba, parica, yopo). It is also present in the intoxicating beverage "ayahuasca" made from Banisteriopsis caapi, and it may have oral effectiveness due to the presence of several naturally occuring inhibitors of catabolic deamination.

.. there is the TEA the Supremes approved ..

Human Biochemistry and Pharmacology:

Both the parent compound tryptamine and the N-methyltransferase system which is capable of converting it to DMT, occur in humans, but there is as yet no evidence that DMT is formed "in vivo". DMT has nonetheless been identified in
trace amounts in the blood and urine of both normals and of schizophrenic patients, but its origins and functions are unknown. Following intramuscular administration, maximum blood levels of about 100 ng/ml are observed in 10 minutes, coincident with the maximum changes in electroencephalographic responses. The plasma clearance t-1/2 [half-life] is about 15 minutes.
Elevated blood levels of indoleacetic acid (IAA) are seen during the time of peak effects, implying its role as a metabolite. Urine levels of IAA are also elevated and account for about 30% of the administered drug. An increase in 5-hydroxy-IAA excretion suggests the involvement of serotonin in DMT action. Unchanged DMT is not excreted.

Human Psychopharmacology:

DMT is inactive orally at dosages of over 1000mg. With intramuscular injection, there is an abrupt threshold of activity shown with 30mg, and a
complete psychedelic experience results from the administration of 50-70mg (75mg subcutaneously, 30mg by inhalation). An unusual feature of the induced intoxication is the speed of onset and short duration. Within 5 minutes of administration there is mydriasis [dilated pupils], tachycardia [rapid heart beat], a measurable increase in blood pressure, and related vegetative disturbances which usually persist througout the drug experience. In 10-15 minutes, the full intoxication is realized, generally characterized by hallucinations with the eyes either open or closed, and extensive movement within the visual field. There is difficulty in the expression of one's thoughts, and in concentration on a given subject. There is usually a mood change to the euphoric with unmotivated laughter, but instances have been reported in which paranoid ideation has promoted anxieties and feelings of forboding into a state of panic. The subject is largely symptom-free at 60 minutes, although some residual effects have been seen in the second hour. With the inhalation route of administration the time scale is contracted, with onset of effects noted in 10 seconds, a short period of full intoxication at 2-3 minute, and a complete freedom from any residual effects within 10 minutes. At higher drug levels, there are increased vegetative symptoms, and these effectively overwhelm the psychedelic experience at dosages of 150mg i.m. Interactions with other drugs are rarely seen; a sensitivity has been observed with pretreatment with methlysergide, but there is no cross-tolerance
with LSD. Repeated usage does not appear to lead to either physical or psychological dependency.

Legal Status:

DMT is explicitly named as a Schedule I drug in the Federal Controlled Substances Act; registry number 7435.

Lots more in the FAQ but that's a good start at understanding what the Supremes just approved.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/21/2006 20:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh I left out the effects of the drug this wise men just approved. One wonders if they tried it before voting... Imagine meeting a person on this tea or even worse if they are driving a car..

Here is a person's trip-report from the same FAQ

a hit of dmt 10/9/84 - zarkov

i loaded about 40-50 milligrams of dmt into a glass pipe on top of a small amount of damiana. even though i had been warned, i was still
shocked at how harsh the first toke was. it tasted and smelled like burning plastic. i involuntarily exhaled. i immediately took a second toke. the heavy white smoke rushed up the pipe as harsh as before, but i was somewhat better prepared for the terrible taste and i was able to
hold the smoke for a few seconds. i exhaled, took a third toke, and was able to hold this last lungful. suddenly i began to hear a loud,
moderately high-pitched carrier wave. immediately, the room started vibrating in sympathy. the pattern on the wall hangings oscillated madly
in time to the buzzing that overlaid the carrier waves fundamental tone. simultaneously, a heavy, trembling feeling swept over my entire body as
if i were being propelled at multiple g acceleration by some giant rocket engine. my visual field dissolved in the most amazing colors. i could not see the room over the intensity of the visual effects. the events of the preceding paragraph occurred in the space of a few short seconds.

closing my eyes, i got a glimpse of several entities moving in front of a giant complex control panel. the visions were not crystal clear and seemed as if i were viewing it through a scrim. the creatures were bipedal and of about human size. it was impossible to say more other
than they did not move like the giant insect creatures i have seen clearly under the influence of stropharia mushrooms. there was a direct
awareness of an overwhelmingly powerful and knowledgable *presence*! it was neither frightening, nor encouraging. it was just mentally there. a thought came, unbidden, into my head. i realized that i was viewing god central. the central panel i saw was the control panel for the entire universe.the vision was fleeting and dissolved into a vision of much greater clarity. a gaggle of elf-like creatures in standard issue irish elf costumes, complete with hats, looking like they had stepped out of a hallmark cards happy saint patricks day display, were doing strange things with strange objects that seemed to be a weird hybrid between crystals and machines.

this vision was also fleeting, and it dissolved into a visual pattern unlike that experienced by me on any other psychedelic or combination of
psychedelics. the visuals were interlocking sinusoidal patterns arranged in a japanese chrysanthemum pattern that filled my entire visual field. the pattern was ever-changing and the colors of the individual patterns changed independently of the underlyng pattern. the colors were intense and came in a magnificent variety of colors: metallics, monochromes,
pastels, each flickering in and out of existence as if obeying some undetected ordering principle.

an idea came into my head that i was seeing the true universe or universe as it really exists. that is to say, i was seeing *directly* the vibrations of every particles in the universe that i was somehow in contact with. i was directly seeing the universe withough ordering it into an arbitrary reality tunnel -- i.e., perceived solid, objective reality. the visual pattern seemed to be a sort of m-dimensional lissajous curve formed by the intersection of i with the shock wave of
space-time causality.

the carrier wave remained strong throughout the experience. while definitely the same type of phenomena as the carrier wave heard under the
influence of psilocybin mushrooms, the dmt carrier wave was *much* louder than even the loud carrier wave heard under the influence of ten grams of
very potent, dried stropharia mushrooms. also, by comparison to the mushroom experience, the carrier wave sounded as a purer tone -- i.e., the sinusoidal component dominated the buzzng component. my throat was too sore from the harsh smoke and the control of my breathing was hindered by the intensity of the expereince, so i was unable to sing or even generate a solid tone, to attempt audio driving of the visuals.

the overwhelming sense of a *presence* did not disappear when the vision changed to visual patterns, but remained an almost palpable entity as lon as the visuals remained intense. i never felt the foreboding -- let alone the direct challenges -- i have felt under the influence of
stropharia mushrooms whenever the feeling of contact with the presence has been strong. the presence was just there and *very* powerful. i
felt that i had glimpsed whiteheads god.

the period of intense visuals lasted about eight minutes. the side effects remained unpleasant, but easily ignorable. the dmt left me euphoric and very bemused for about an hour.

definitely far out and very impressive!

Posted by: 3dc || 02/21/2006 21:23 Comments || Top||

#9  I'm the same way with Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti
Posted by: Frank G || 02/21/2006 21:38 Comments || Top||

Over 500 Scientists Proclaim Their Doubts About Darwin’s Theory
SEATTLE — Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The statement reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The list of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington.

Discovery Institute first published its Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS’s “Evolution” series. At the time it was claimed that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.”

“Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory,” said Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list.”

According to West, it was the fast growing number of scientific dissenters which encouraged the Institute to launch a website -- www.dissentfromdarwin.org -- to give the list a permanent home. The website is the Institute’s response to the demand for information and access to the list both by the public, and by scientists who want to add their name to list.

“Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought,” said Dr. David Berlinski, one of the original signers, a mathematician and philosopher of science with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC). “It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”

Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/21/2006 09:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [678 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Assholes.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/21/2006 9:32 Comments || Top||

#2  This is outside of what Rantburg's supposed to cover, and incredibly stupid to boot.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/21/2006 10:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I usually avoid this highly controversial subject, because I know that, on both sides of the discussion, too many people have already decided to lock their brains into a closet of prejudice.

But the comment #1 is a bit too much for me, so I will try to comment.

These scientists are probably not so assholes as the commenter #1 thinks: what is at stake in this discussion is something DEEPER than this or that theory. What is at stake is the Freedom to think in a complex way, as opposed to think with the herd.

Are we allowed to ask ourselves if, beyond the FACT (allow me, for now)of MUTATIONS, THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY of mutations ?
Are we allowed to ask ourselves how SIGNIFICANT this possibility is ?
Are we allowed to say that BEFORE the mutations happen they CAN happen and that this POSSIBILITY is the most interesting FACT ?
Are we allowed to think that the wonderful order of Nature looks like it IS in fact built in a way that ALLOWS the existence of HUMANS ?
Are we allowed to ask how much of the last sentence "allows" can be changed into "CALLS FOR" ?

I am not glad to see the Darwinist crowd showing the same closed mind they pretend to fight.
The deep questions that I have briefly recalled above are just a methodological beginning and there would much more to discuss, but at least we should, ALL, learn to discuss with a deep respect for the human right to think and to think deeper.

Thank you for your attention.
Posted by: Poitiers-Lepanto || 02/21/2006 10:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Clearly these hundreds need to be burned at the stake for heresy.
Posted by: eLarson || 02/21/2006 10:15 Comments || Top||

#5  We are all just Crumbs of the Cosmic Muffin...
Posted by: mojo || 02/21/2006 10:25 Comments || Top||

#6  So I'm not going to mutate into Wolverine?

Posted by: danking_70 || 02/21/2006 10:30 Comments || Top||

#7  I believe in evolution and am still a Christian bible believer how you ask.

For me its simple the bible says we were made from the earth the dirt the earth (fits evolution) & were made in 6days. The bible also says that a thousand years on earth is but a minute in heaven that begs the question was the bible speaking 6 earth or heaven days (if heaven fits evolution time frame).

And the best one to throw on atheist is simple OK evolution what started it OK big bang who or what snapped their fingers (my answer would be God)? Either way it all started somewhere no matter how far you go back the answer is were God sits.

God works in mysterious ways when he wants to do something he does it often though people or things. Evolution just seems to be another tool like how clouds are formed.

Christian leaders should stick to the important things that matter today like moral issues ect.. Even if they win on evolution it wont help today’s situation at all.

All the screw science thinking just dilutes their important ideas. I mean we got openly gay bishops that’s like having a non-repentant prostitute preaching WTF. TV teaches open promiscuity accepted in society, backbiting and deceit is celebrated in TV, Hollywood (even the blind see them), yet evolution is the big threat to religion and US?
Posted by: C-Low || 02/21/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#8  C-Low, I come from (similar) but opposite pursuasion (Christian who disbelieves in Darwin's theories). My biggest argument (again, speaking from belief in the Scriptures) is that evolution (at least, as taught/believed now) it has been used to push many of the things you speak of. Again, this is my opinion (it and $4 can buy you a cup of Starbucks), but when humans have been "de-humanized" to animal status, it allows all kind of things to happen (abortion is #1 result of this, in my mind, again, just my opinion). That is, if we (humans) are just evolved stew/cells/monkeys/whatever, why not just act like animals? The huge difference between animals and humans is that humans have consciences. Animals react to any situation based upon instinct. Humans act on instinct, plus conscience (most of the time at least), plus learned experiences. And, to add, post #1 adds to my belief of just what Poitiers-Lepanto is saying. BOTH are "religions" in their fury and beliefs. It's just that, I, for one, always tend to side with freedom, and to stifle dissent (by name-calling, or going to court over the issue) eats away at ALL of our freedoms. Case in point: Allowing "itelligent design" to be taught in the classroom...what is so wrong with that? Teach BOTH sides of the theory and allow the kids to think and make up their own minds. This theory of evolution is just that...a THEORY, not 100% fool-proof law! This argument is just 1 step away from sharia law, in my mind, in that NO other options are even allowed to be discussed. And, P.S., that's why I love Rantburg...free and open discussions with anyone to join in! Where else could I (one of those VRWC types who's a "religious right nutcase" to boot) come and verbally spar with atheists, Jews, agnostics, etc (and live to tell about it the next day)? Again, this is my personal belief and opinion, but we are ALL entitled to one!
Posted by: BA || 02/21/2006 11:14 Comments || Top||

#9  "We are all just Crumbs of the Cosmic Muffin..."

LOL, mojo!
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 11:21 Comments || Top||

#10  And, then, you always have .com, Besoeker and mojo to make you take pause and laugh at yourself. I, for one, will always fight for the cause of Christ, but will not take myself so seriously that I can't enjoy a good chuckle. Now, back to the original programming.....
Posted by: BA || 02/21/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

#11  removal of the weak and unfit

That's a direct threat to me, isn't it?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/21/2006 11:45 Comments || Top||

#12  BA

I’m with ya somewhat. Although the bible does basically call us animals it says we are of the flesh and that is why we are all sinners its our nature of the flesh or animalism. What separates us is our Soul and unlike animals our ability to see the big picture reason and comprehend.

We are all sinners and of the flesh the difference between humans and animals is animals don’t control their animalism just do whatever. Humans recognize what is right or wrong and act accordingly controlling their flesh with mind. I get hungry I don’t just go kill the neighbor and throw him on the grill its wrong even thou the flesh don’t care it just wants food.

A flesh body is nothing but a vessel to grow a soul religion is about control over our flesh and flesh over the soul is monkey mentality (for lack of a better word heathen animals).

I don’t agree the theory of evolution is what has caused the current society we find ourselves in. That is a product of 100% flesh. The flesh says do what feels good not what is right the flesh says live for now not tomorrow. This Hollywood mentality is what is the problem it’s the flesh not evolution and science. Science is only a tool that could be used by both sides.

When someone dies we say it was their time God took them we don’t debate about how it cant be true because science says he was 89 and had a bad heart with X-rays and so on. Debating this science trying to convince people it wasn’t a heart attack but an act of god is lame both are right God made the heart attack is the answer. Science and God can coexist science.

God is nature and works through such so yeah sure there is a natural way for the red sea to part so what the fact it happened at just the right time has God written all over it. Their will always be a scientific, natural explanation for gods acts of course that’s what they exist for.

To force people to choose between science and religion is wrong and a recipe for failure.
Posted by: C-Low || 02/21/2006 11:49 Comments || Top||

#13  Only the fields listed in the article, only the 154 biologists might be qualified to pronounce on the subject -- for the rest it is opinion as unsupported by knowledge and understanding as mine to comment on things military. I do so comment, on occasion, but those of you who have worn/are wearing a uniform no doubt smile gently (or laugh aloud) when I do.

That said, it is always good when scientific claims are re-addressed. The evolutionary biologists no longer cleave fully to Darwin's understanding of the mechanism he proposed -- the change of entire species, one into another, by the increased number of surviving descendents of more effective mutation-holders over those of the general population. Rather, they speak of "punctured equilibrium," where a mutation more favorable to survival in an isolated population of the species develops into something new, while the main population continues on essentially as it was, to live on or die out as conditions change. And, if serious scientific inquiry changes their understanding yet again, Science itself will benefit. Likewise, I think more than Darwinian evolution should be taught in high school biology classes -- as an exercise in scientific inquiry. It would require the students and their teachers to properly understand the rudiments of statistics, biochemistry, anatomical dissection, paleontology, genetics, common logical fallacies, and perhaps a few other fields, and would require them to actively think about the information presented rather than simply memorizing. But in the end they would understand, rather than decide by faith and feelings. The Republic would benefit from students so taught, as they then re-apply such thinking skills to, say, the arguments of "Progressive" politicians against the War on Terror.

I'm sorry your little South African seahorse is in trouble, Besoeker -- but I believe all the species in the Family are. They need such a specialized environment, and present the dangerous world with so few defences, the poor, pretty, little things.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/21/2006 11:52 Comments || Top||

#14  Believing in evolution and Darwinism are two entirely differnet things. Darwin tells that mutation take place at random. This poses a significant number of problems.

It implies that an animal gets a beneficial mutatioona nd then it will transmit to its descendents and because they have a higher probability of surviving they end inindating the eco-system so teh old form gets obliterated. But what if the animal of the new species has an accident? What if the gene is recessive?

But if you postulate that several unrealated animals of teh same species get the mutation at more or less teh same time then it is not random.

Also since human population is several orders of magnitude larger that in Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon times then if randiom mutations are at origin of evolution then the human species should be experiencing an evolution a hundred or a thousand times faster than in times of Cro-Magnon. Where are the Homo Sapiens Post-Sapiens?

That does not mean that creationists are right, just that darwinism is wrong and that mutations are not random but somewhat directed. That this direction comes from G_D or from a kind of genetic in,telligence it is to you to decide.
Posted by: JFM || 02/21/2006 12:09 Comments || Top||

#15  Again, all, I echo my comments above. THIS is why I love Rantburg....TRUE debate! And, C-Low, maybe I mis-stated. I don't believe Darwinism is the cause of ALL of our current problems. It was just another sliding step toward complete debauchary, "animalism," etc. I do disagree with your statement about us (again, Humans) being animals. If, by animal, you mean in a flesh body...then, yes, I agree. If, you mean we ARE animals, I disagree. I believe God's word tells us to go and rule OVER the animals, and, thus, in my mind, separates us from animals. Agreed on all other points though (about animals vs. humans being flesh vs. soul). Again, carry on.....
Posted by: BA || 02/21/2006 12:25 Comments || Top||

#16  I believe in freedom of religious choice. That being said, I respect everyone's right to believe as they feel is the right direction for them. However, don't push your beliefs on me, allow me my beliefs as I see fit.
I feel that if we teach religion in the schools, we need to represent all religions so the student can make an informed choice. That any one type religion should be kept out of the schools, that it should be taught in the homes. In small rural communities there is alot of room for folks in power doing the wrong thing.
I feel school should be for scholastics. The division of church and state is an important one, otherwise we open up the perverbial can of worms riggling into all the wrong areas.
With our family units being broken down with drugs and unchecked supervision I feel this plays a large part in all of this sadly.
Posted by: Jan || 02/21/2006 12:39 Comments || Top||

#17  JFM, as I understand it, most mutations are actually harmful (susceptibility to cancers, for instance). That is, more mutations limit the individual's ability to survive and reproduce than otherwise. Separately, any mutation will not be preserved if the individual does not, for whatever reason, have offspring. Historically, at least 25% of human children have not made it to adulthood, for instance, regardless of how many beneficial mutations they may carry in their genetic material. Of those mutations that are not harmful, most are of no consequence whatsoever to survival -- like eye colour, hair colour, large or slender derrieres, etc in people, or petal colour in tulips.

Also, you are right that mutations are directional, although not in the way you said. Each possible mutation of a DNA molecule is limited by what is already there, the accumulation of historical events. Thus, while a mutation might make my teeth more or less susceptible to dental caries, it will not give my offspring a chicken's beak, or a snake's ability to sense odor chemicals with its tongue.

I don't know if God has so ordained the world or not -- and it isn't the job of Science to test what is by definition untestable. Science tries to discover the rules by which the universe works, not how or by whom the rules were established.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/21/2006 12:39 Comments || Top||

#18  i don't believe in darwins theory at all, hard to explain why but if you look at creatures that have weird self defense skills, well darwin claims they got these defensive means through generations of development etc etc - now hold on but they'd all be eaten by the time it takes to develop some stupid paint scheme that scares other creatures away or venimous skin. Nah it does not add up - look at some creatures today and tell me how the fck they got to be like they are. Dinousaurs now theres another one - modern t.v like walking with dinousours suggests we know everything about these creatures,thier colour, what they like to eat, who they like, what sort of nest they made, how much they slept etc etc and yet they say all this as if it were solid fact! I'm sure some of these latest dinosaurs are simple made up by the guy doing the CGI for the program, the other week i saw a programme that claimed mackrel yes the fish once grew twice as big as a bluewhale! no that is just utter BS, they even showed a CGI version next to london buses! arghhhh
Posted by: ShepUK || 02/21/2006 12:43 Comments || Top||

#19  It implies that an animal gets a beneficial mutation and then it MAY transmit to its descendents because they have a higher probability of surviving in that environment.

Mutuation is a constant that's why humans have 2 copies to cope with defects. A rational designer just wouldn't make things that way.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/21/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#20  “Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought,” said Dr. David Berlinski, one of the original signers, a mathematician and philosopher of science with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC). “It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”

Personally, I'd nominate blind fundamentalist belief as the true "white elephant" of our time. One need only examine the entire issue of Islamism for confirmation of this fact.

I urge all of you to read "Origin" by Irving Stone. Darwin was a deeply religious individual whose original career was to be a clergyman. Scientific method is one of the few functional tools developed by mankind that does not rely upon faith or inductive logic. Like quantum physics, the theory of evolution provides coherent answers to so many of nature's curiosities that it remains in place due to the sheer strength of its merits. By comparison, Intelligent Design is nothing more than creationism dressed up in a shabby tuxedo.

Yes, it is astonishing that hydrogen is an odorless, flavorless, invisible gas that given enough time turns into people. It almost seems as if life is a disease of matter. Religion simply requires too many articles of faith to function in the place of science. Its notions and ideas do not necessarily propel thought and consideration into the realms of empirical observation and experimentation the way that scientific method does. Until that time, my money is on science. The wealth of technological and medical benefits it has brought to the table easily threaten to outweigh the constant loss of human life and misery that has gone on throughout history in the name of whomever's God of the moment.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/21/2006 12:47 Comments || Top||

#21  Amen, BA.

The difference between what we have and cherish vs the rest - is the liberty to pursue truth, honest self-examination, and (on a really good day) minds open enough to accept the results. When you add these traits to the Scientific Method we move forward, albeit in fits and starts, lol.

[Note: preachy shit follows.]

I strongly suggest we all remember to keep separate:
What you believe from what you actually know for a fact.
What you want from what you actually need.
What you blather from what you will back up with your own narrow ass.

They almost always, without fail, have little overlap.

My personal ruleset:
1) Never buy your own bullshit.
2) Keep your word or keep your mouth shut.
3) Be an asset or be gone.
4) Show yourself - yeah, sometimes it'll hurt.
5) Share yourself - you have something to contribute.
6) Keep no emotional accounts - clear the decks on the spot.
7) Be seriously fun-loving and learn to let go.
8) Keep your wonder, your innocence, your awe. The Universe is damned interesting, so don't miss it.

Nope, there's only 8. Get over it, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 12:52 Comments || Top||

#22  So sorry you clipped the lovely graphic. It was the reason I posted the thing in the first place.

Ah, well, for those of you who missed it, here is a link to it on photobucket:

Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/21/2006 13:05 Comments || Top||

#23  Ahhh, if only I had a narrow little ass, .com.... but then how very unbalanced the rest of me would look!

Thanks for that. Well said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/21/2006 13:09 Comments || Top||

Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 13:10 Comments || Top||

#25  tw :)
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 13:16 Comments || Top||

#26  'Moose, the graphic was making ugly with the formatting on some browsers, that's why it went away. I liked it, for the record.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/21/2006 13:19 Comments || Top||

#27  "This is outside of what Rantburg's supposed to cover, and incredibly stupid to boot."

actually RB covers Darwinism all the time. "work" accidents - natures way to improve the species :)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/21/2006 13:22 Comments || Top||

#28  Reduced...
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 13:22 Comments || Top||

#29  Likewise, I think more than Darwinian evolution should be taught in high school biology classes -- as an exercise in scientific inquiry. It would require the students and their teachers to properly understand the rudiments of statistics, biochemistry, anatomical dissection, paleontology, genetics, common logical fallacies, and perhaps a few other fields, and would require them to actively think about the information presented rather than simply memorizing.

So much for that idea - at least in our public schools. No one (aside from serious geeks) studies logic and rhetoric anymore - to the great detriment of our entire culture.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 02/21/2006 14:22 Comments || Top||

#30  Besoeker, Social Darwinism was in my last-semester history class (Global History Since 1500) distinctly dismissed as an invalid 'offshoot' of Darwinism, without basis in Darwin's On The Origin of Species.
Posted by: Edward Yee || 02/21/2006 14:42 Comments || Top||

#31  Where are the Homo Sapiens Post-Sapiens?

Many of them spend time posting at rantburg. Who is to say a Post-Sapien wouldn't just be advanced in intelligence. At some point brains became sexy which shows to me at least that the species is advancing somewhat.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/21/2006 15:59 Comments || Top||

#32  Where are the Homo Sapiens Post-Sapiens?

Many of them spend time posting at rantburg.

Right but I expected something more spectacular like being able to jump over tall buildings and working in a newspaper under the name of Clark Kent.

Err that was the previous generation of Supermen post homo-sapiens. Now they write for blogs instead of for the MSM.

Posted by: JFM || 02/21/2006 16:19 Comments || Top||

#33  This is a fascinating topic. I don't know who's correct, and I don't care. It is difficult for me to see how I or anyone else would do anything differently tomorrow regardless of which side prevailed. Thus it becomes another religious argument.

Yet people feel compelled to stick little fish or lizards on their cars to make a public but utterly unpersuasive statement about their belief. The vehemence of the arguments remind me of nothing so much as the dudgeon of those offended by pictures of Mo. But religion has a way of doing that to people.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/21/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#34  About the problem of evolution my own theory is that somewhat living beings transmit different genes according to the environment they have being living. It goes like this: you take two identical twins you submit to two differnt environments (running in plains/climbing in forest, cold/warm) and the sperm/eggs produced by each of the twins or more exactly contained in the "winner" spermatozoid/delivered egg will have differnt genetic contents in the twin who lives in plains than in the twin living in forest.

So in fact what we have is not random mutations but tuned mutations. And if we admirt that ta beginning mutations werfe random but that one day a species got a mutation who consisted precisely in that: self-tuning it would easily outcompete the non self-tuning variety.
Posted by: JFM || 02/21/2006 16:31 Comments || Top||

#35  We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation (alone) and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.

I could write a book on this topic, but I'll try to keep it short. The problem here is what I call 'naive Darwinism', which is what is taught in schools and believed by many professional scientists.

Naive Darwinism says that all biological chances to an organism that result from gene expression, result from random mutations.

The random aspect is important. Non-random changes don't count as evolution (for reasons I don't have time to explain).

There are two problems with this.

I. Most (in fact almost all) changes to genetic material are not random. An example is the genetic changes that result in Down's Syndrome, always occur at one of two specific locations. So, non-random mutations clearly result in changes to an organism.

2. All changes to genetic material are expressed first order. First order expression means (random) mutations directly result in changes to the organism. There is nothing in Darwin's theory of Natural Selection to preclude second or nth order expression, and IMO considerable evidence such expression occurs. More than 90% of vetebrate DNA is so called 'junk'. That is, it doesn't express first order. This begs the question what purpose does it serve, because if it doesn't serve a purpose, Natural Selection would have eliminated it. I consider bird flu a good example of nth order expression. Where (H and N) changes attributed to random mutations are in fact recycled old mutations that succeded in the past (probably originating millions of years ago).

Note, this is highly controvertial and few mainstream scientists would go as far as me on this subject.

JFM. note this explains what you describe in Darwinian terms.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/21/2006 17:47 Comments || Top||

#36  A big part of the problem with this debate - outside these hallowed halls, of course - is that scientists assume that evolution proves there is no God, and a lot of folks that believe in God think He's incompatible with evolution.

Do we hafta choose? Why can't I have both? If God created the world in six days, suggesting we rest and honor God on the seventh (that's why even God rested!) couldn't God drive evolution?

Couldn't God set the universe off on a path and sit back and watch it evolve?

I do a bit of reading on evolution and cosmology, from time to time, and - I'll tell ya folks, we do NOT know all there is to know! (Babs, DiFi, Teddy, and John-Boy, notwithstanding).

Religion will never disprove science, and science will never disprove faith.

From Babylon Five) the Sci-Fi TV series from the 90's, you morons!) - "Faith Manages".
Posted by: Bobby || 02/21/2006 18:28 Comments || Top||

#37  You are correct Bobby. Darwin or God is a false dichotomy, mostly propagated by the scientifically ignorant on the Left (and the two are frequently synonomous).

I'm an Athiest, but if want to believe that God came up with the incredibly elegant mechanism of Natual Selection, go ahead. Science can't disprove it.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/21/2006 18:45 Comments || Top||

#38  My fundamental problem with the argument against evolution is that those arguing aginst always start from the end and work backwords.

I think that what an awful lot of people overlook is that there is no need for things to be as they are. If things went just a wee bit different, some dinosaur's decendents might be having this discussion....probably with the same ferocity I suspect.

To my way of thinking that says nothing for or against the existance of God.

That's my perspective which is probably just as dumb as all the others I suppose.

But it makes me happy.

Posted by: kelly || 02/21/2006 18:48 Comments || Top||

#40  Be careful with that sort of argument, tho. For instance, since that statement was published in 2004, physicists have been able to make physical measurements of dark matter properties.

I'm no ideologue about Darwin or other scientific theories, and I do note that scientists can be less objective than they think. But science does have some built-in self-correcting mechanisms and does make progress.

I'm also not Catholic, but I note that the Vatican says pretty much the same thing. Religion answers different questions than science, IMO.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 19:50 Comments || Top||

#41  phil_b, what if "junk DNA" is there merely to spread out the crucial nucleotide sequences so that our overall genetic material becomes less susceptible to radiological (cosmic ray) damage?

Such a structural shift would definitely be favored as more compact genetic codification would entertain greater damage over the same amount of time.

Think of it as akin to making "Stop" signs in Texas the size of billboards so that they could withstand exposure to repeated shotgun blasts and still remain readable.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/21/2006 20:03 Comments || Top||

#42  LOL. As a Texan I protest! And verify! Lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/21/2006 20:06 Comments || Top||

#43  Scientific American has been carrying stories about the effects of what were thought of as junk genes. Like this one.
Posted by: lotp || 02/21/2006 20:07 Comments || Top||

#44  Zenster, keeping 'backup' copies of expressed genetic material is likely one of the Junk DNA's functions. However, in order for it to be used, some kind of activation mechanism is required, which would another example of nth order natural selection. I.e. Natural Selection has created a mechanism that switches on otherwise non-expressing DNA when required.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/21/2006 20:13 Comments || Top||

#45  Actually phil_b. Mutations are random. However, forsmuch as such mutations affect the phenotype they are subject to selection---due to interactions with the environment. This selection is not random.
That's all evolutionary theory in a nutshell. Everyone who "questions" evolutionary theory: from the most respectable physicist to the most primitive redneck, is somebody who doesn't understand (0r willfully ignores) parts of the above statement.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/21/2006 20:31 Comments || Top||

#46  Mutations are random.

This is a widespread fallacy. Hardly any mutations are truly random. That would require mutations to occur with equal frequency at all points in an organism's genetic material and all possible changes to the genetic material occur with equal frequency.

Actual mutations are heavily concentrated at certain locations and are of certain types.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/21/2006 20:48 Comments || Top||

#47  A true statement would be:-

All evolutionary significant mutations are random.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/21/2006 20:52 Comments || Top||

#48  The world was made in six days
And finished on the seventh
According to the contract
It should have been the eleventh
But the painters wouldn't paint
And the workers wouldn't work
So the quickest thing to do
Was to fill it up with dirt
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/21/2006 22:49 Comments || Top||

#49  And one more verse, heh, to wit:

Pharaoh had a daughter, she had a winsome smile,
She found the infant Moses a-floating on the Nile.
She took him to her father with the old familiar tale,
Which is just about as probable as Jonah and the whale.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/21/2006 22:51 Comments || Top||

#50  People have lost their sense of perspective to give so much time and effort to such a silly question.
Posted by: bk || 02/21/2006 10:34 Comments || Top||

#51  Edward, I've not studied it enough to make an intelligence assessment. It's probably like a great many other hypothesis, some truth, some speculation. Don't hear much about it anymore.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/21/2006 16:08 Comments || Top||

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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2006-02-21
  10 killed in religious clashes in Nigeria
Mon 2006-02-20
  Uttar Pradesh minister issues bounty for beheading cartoonists
Sun 2006-02-19
  Muslims Attack U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Sat 2006-02-18
  Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
Fri 2006-02-17
  Pak cleric rushdies cartoonist
Thu 2006-02-16
  Outbreaks along Tumen River between Nork guards and armed N Korean groups
Wed 2006-02-15
  Yemen offers reward for Al Qaeda jailbreakers
Tue 2006-02-14
  Cartoon protesters go berserk in Peshawar
Mon 2006-02-13
  Gore Bashes US In Saudi Arabia
Sun 2006-02-12
  IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
Sat 2006-02-11
  Danish ambassador quits Syria
Fri 2006-02-10
  Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Thu 2006-02-09
  Taliban offer 100kg gold for killing cartoonist
Wed 2006-02-08
  Syrian Ex-VP and Muslim Brotherhood Put Past Behind Them
Tue 2006-02-07
  Captain Hook found guilty in London

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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