Monthly Archive: October 2006

Oct 17 2006

Slaughter in Iraq-2

(See part 1) Let us take one by one the “criticisms” that are being made against the Johns Hopkins study about the levels of deaths in Iraq. I put the word in ironic quotes because these are more accurately labeled as attacks, since the word criticism implies a certain level of considered and thoughtful response, …

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Oct 16 2006

Slaughter in Iraq

I don’t think anyone other than the standard issue Bush cultist will deny that the Iraq invasion has been a disaster on many levels. It has alienated the world, it has enraged Muslim sensibilities, and it has strained the American military to the breaking point. And the worst part is that the administration has nothing …

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Oct 13 2006

Looking for deep ancestors

Richard Dawkins in his book The Ancestor’s Tale (2004) tells a fascinating story. He models his book on a journey that, rather than moving through space to a particular destination, is moving in the temporal dimension, going steadily back in time. He calls it a “pilgrimage to the dawn of evolution.” He starts with present …

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Oct 12 2006

My ancestor Pharaoh Narmes again

I began this series of posts saying that I had discovered that there was an 80% chance that I was descended from Narmes, the first pharaoh of a united Egypt. As subsequent posts have indicated, I arrived at this, not by any detailed investigative work in tracking my lineage, but by depending upon the analysis …

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Oct 11 2006

Sexual selection

In a previous post, I discussed the fact that although all of us have the identical set of ancestors who lived just 5,000 years ago, this does not mean that we have the same genes. The fact that we are different is due to the fact that if most of the mating occurs within a …

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Oct 10 2006

Why we look different despite having identical ancestors

In the previous post in this series, I reported on a paper by Douglas L. T. Rohde, Steve Olson, and Joseph T. Chang and published in the journal Nature that said that if we go back about 5,000 years, the ancestors of everyone on Earth today are exactly the same. This date is called the …

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Oct 06 2006

The Supreme Court in the cross hairs

Some people now look to the US Supreme Court to overturn the torture-approving legislation passed last week by the Congress. Some members felt that it was unconstitutional but voted for it anyway, perhaps fearing that they would be charged with being ‘soft on terrorism.’ Depending on any single agency to defend fundamental rights on our …

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Oct 05 2006

Constitutionality of torture

Republican senators Arlen Specter and John McCain and Lindsey Graham are media favorites who get a lot of positive attention for seeming to stand up for the right thing even though they almost invariably capitulate to the White House. (McCain in particular has this totally undeserved reputation as a ‘maverick’ and ‘straight talker’ and ‘moderate’ …

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Oct 04 2006

No one is now safe from arbitrary imprisonment and torture

In yesterday’s post I spoke about the qualitative change that has occurred in this country as a result of the passage of the legislation last week that took away almost all the rights on which a truly free society is built. Some people may be consoling themselves that these drastic actions will be only taken …

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Oct 03 2006

What happened to the ‘land of the free’?

Last Thursday saw the day when the US as a nation formally decided that it no longer accepted the basic human rights that have been the foundation of its civil society since the time it adopted the Bill of Rights. In particular, the nation went on record as declaring that habeas corpus was expendable and …

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