I know I don’t usually post a round-up on the weekend, but, I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to sneak a peak at my Google Reader, this morning, and see what random tidbits I could find.
I got my morning cuppa and I’m ready to go…
From Minstrel Boy:
Militarily, the PKK are not very strong. The figure given for its forces inside northern Iraq is about 3,000. They claim that they have been trying to abide by a ceasefire since 1 October 2006, but it is a curiously flexible ceasefire that includes the right of self-defence and retaliation. The PKK’s pin-prick attacks do not have much military impact on the 100,000 Turkish soldiers massed north of the border. But they do inflict serious political damage on the Turkish government because any Turkish casualties drive it towards an invasion of Iraq that it does not want to carry out.
A suicide bomber blew himself up near the headquarters of a nationalistic Sunni insurgent group that has turned against al-Qaida in Iraq north of Baghdad, killing a woman on her way to the market and wounding four other people, police said.
“Good. That is good,” the lanky Marine said in a quiet, almost reverential tone as he watched workers load filth into the back of an orange dump truck. “It makes me happy, just to see them working.”…
(Dizzy sez: This looks like good news. If only the rest of Iraq was facing battles so trivial…)
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty speculated on Wednesday about how George W. Bush’s unilateral grab for presidential power might be reversed.“The president of the United States didn’t have the power to spy on Americans … operate secret prisons … suspend due process … torture … hide the conduct of the government from the public,” Cafferty stated. “It’s not like anybody gave President Bush any of these powers — he took them, as a brain-dead Congress just stood there and watched.”
(Dizzy sez: Tsk, tsk, tsk…some people are so cynical…)
Since neither President Bush nor the U.S. Congress will hold Rumsfeld accountable for violating the Geneva Conventions, perhaps the courts in France will.
(Dizzy sez: I would feel better if the U.S. Congress would hold the entire Bush administration accountable…)
Of course, the resurgence of interest in atheism is a reaction to the perceived rise of religion, whether in the form of Islamic fundamentalism or US-style Christian conservatism. But in taking their cue from resurgent religions, atheists also adopt something of their inward-looking focus. From attempts to popularise the term ‘bright’ as a positive identity to calls for atheists to be included on the roster of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’, it seems that some want to establish atheism as an alternative, non-religious camp for people to belong to. But atheism itself ought to be the least interesting thing about atheists, who surely have various and often conflicting beliefs and passions of their own.
(Dizzy sez: I’m not really looking to join up and hang out with other atheists, merely because of their “unbelief”. Heck, my own atheism is the least important thing to know about me, which is probably why it rarely, if ever, comes up as a topic of discussion in my personal life. I was very religious for 28 years, but, in the last 10 of those years, I realized that trying to connect with people merely based on our “shared faith” was a colossal waste of time and energy when we had absolutely nothing else in common. I have had similar experiences when attending groups with predominantly atheist membership. I realized then that I didn’t need any special organization in order to find comfort in my identity, no matter what that was: mother, military spouse, home-school mom, singer, entrepreneur, Libertarian, atheist. I prefer to make my associations with individuals that I like being around rather than trying to fit in with a collective, of any stripe.)
James Lovelock’s Gaia theory started life as an interesting scientific hypothesis. A new book shows that it has since morphed into a mystical creed that sees Mother Earth as vulnerable and humans as wicked.
From Guardian Unlimited:
The Ministry of Defence is conducting a major study into brain injury in troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan amid fears that thousands of soldiers may have suffered damage after being exposed to high-velocity explosions.The US army says as many as 20% of its soldiers and marines have suffered “mild traumatic brain injury” (mTBI) from blows to the head or shockwaves caused by explosions. The condition, which can lead to memory loss, depression and anxiety, has been designated as one of four “signature injuries” of the Iraq conflict by the US department of defence, which is introducing a large-scale screening programme for troops returning from the frontline.
(Dizzy sez: There are soldiers, returned a year ago, who are still being diagnosed with TBI, in my neck of the woods. Think about that…one year since they returned from Iraq, there are still many soldiers who are going undiagnosed.)
From BBC News:
One is the rich are getting richer, and can effectively “buy” longer lives through more regular holidays and leisure activities.But increasingly, research suggests that the very nature of people’s work, and not just the lifestyle it affords them, can have an impact on longevity.
“Monotonous jobs where workers have little control over what they do can be much more stressful than more high-powered jobs, where people have much more freedom,” said Professor Dorling.
“And that ultimately may take its toll.”
(Dizzy sez: Is it just me or are there way too many studies coming out that state the obvious?)
On a marshy peninsula 50 miles from this Red Sea port, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is staking $12.5 billion on a gargantuan bid to catch up with the West in science and technology.
As usual, an unusually eclectic band of posts cropped up, today.
Until tomorrow, take care and be safe!