Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

December 20, 2006

DR is Time Person of the Year!

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:06 am

TIME CoverTime has named everyone “Person of the Year” this year. Including you. Including me.

Can I put this on my resume?

December 12, 2006

Great Books for Kids

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:46 pm

I highly recommend these books for kids ages (say) 7-17. Or adults. :-)

Stem Cells from Live Babies in Ukraine

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:12 pm

As predicted, now researchers are reportedly using stem cells not (just) from embryos, but from born-alive infants killed for their stem cells. This according to the BBC, which (understatement alert!) is not exactly a right-wing news source. (Boldface in the original.)

Ukraine babies in stem cell probe

By Matthew Hill
BBC Health Correspondent
Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 09:34 GMT

Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.

Disturbing video footage of post-mortem examinations on dismembered tiny bodies raises serious questions about what happened to them.

Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.

There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.

But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.

Wall of silence

The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.

In 2003 the authorities agreed to exhume around 30 bodies of foetuses and full-term babies from a cemetery used by maternity hospital number six.

One campaigner was allowed into the autopsy to gather video evidence. She has given that footage to the BBC and Council of Europe.

In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.

The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped – and some bodies dismembered.

A senior British forensic pathologist says he is very concerned to see bodies in pieces – as that is not standard post-mortem practice.

It could possibly be a result of harvesting stem cells from bone marrow.

Hospital number six denies the allegations.

December 11, 2006

Rumsfeld’s Farewell

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:48 am

Citizen SMASH attended Secretary Rumsfeld’s last “Town Hall” meeting in the Pentagon — basically, Rumsfeld’s farewell to the Pentagon employees. Read it and weep. Selections:

Donald Rumsfeld is not universally loved in the Pentagon. I’m told that he can be a tough, stubborn, and demanding boss. Rumsfeld is infamous for firing off short memos — known colloquially as “snowflakes” — asking next-to-impossible-to-answer questions or demanding revolutionary changes. He came to the building in 2001, promising to transform the Department of Defense from a Cold War force to a more flexible, agile military, better prepared to face the challenges of the Twenty-first Century. Almost six years later, that transformation is well underway, but not yet complete. Along the way, Rumsfeld has stepped on many toes, and slaughtered many sacred cows. Inevitably, he made some enemies, especially among the senior officers and long-serving bureaucrats who were heavily invested in the “old way” of doing things.

But the troops, and a solid majority of the officers, love him. This is abundantly clear from the warm reception Rumsfeld receives as he walks up to the podium.

Another woman asks what was his worst day, and his best day. I expect him to say “September 11, 2001.” But he surprises me.

“Abu Ghraib.” He says, and a pall crosses over his face. Most men, having been faced with such a profound shame, wouldn’t bring it up voluntarily. But Rumsfeld isn’t most men. He seems genuinely, personally ashamed of what happened in that awful place. It has been reported that he submitted his resignation over the affair, but that the President prevailed upon him to remain.

“My best day?” He pauses. “How about a week from Monday?” A week from Monday, Robert Gates will be sworn in as the new SECDEF, and Rumsfeld will leave the building. He will be missed.

After the questions are done, there is a standing ovation. People in the auditorium crowd up to the aisle, in order to shake Rumsfeld’s hand as he passes.

I’m watching all this from the outside, on the monitor. And then the doors open, and he’s in the hallway. A bit smaller than I expected — I’m guessing about 5’8″ — and he looks really short next to General Pace, who is a giant of a man. But at 74, he’s a remarkably solid man, and he walks with strength and confidence. He proceeds slowly down the line of chairs, stopping to shake hands with several people.

He’s standing right in front of me. I offer my hand, and he shakes it. He looks me straight in the eye. “My goodness,” he exclaims. “Did all of you people stand out here for all this time?”

Read the whole thing.

December 8, 2006

Another Cold War Hero Passes on

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:08 am

Jeanne Kirkpatrick has passed away.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, a onetime Democrat who switched to the Republican Party and warmly embraced Reagan era conservatism, has died. She was 80.

Kirkpatrick’s death was announced Friday at the senior staff meeting of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said spokesman Richard Grenell, who said that Ambassador John Bolton asked for a moment of silence. An announcement of her death also was posted on the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-oriented think tank here where she was a senior fellow.

Kirkpatrick’s assistant, Andrea Harrington, said that she died in her sleep at home in Bethesda, Md. The cause of death was not immediately known.

(Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.)

The aforementioned notices is on the AEI home page. Her AEI biography page is here.

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