Open thread

Huh.  Can I say “I told you so”?  “The White House dismissed a classified CIA draft assessment that found no conclusive evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program, The New Yorker magazine reported.”  It’s Iraq all over again.

Can you imagine!  The election’s over and now the price of oil begins increasing.  I pondered leading up to the election why it plummeted so rapidly.  Now, I’m once again pondering why it’s going back up.  Coincidence?  Sure, there are ample explanations about supply and demand and glut and consumption.  I suspect that’s quite true.  It’s still a little odd to have such a dramatic drop in the weeks prior to the election when oil-married Republicans needed all the help they could get, and now that the polls are closed and the damage done, the price begins creeping upward yet again.

I hope this works.  “A coalition of marine scientists has launched a campaign to halt Japan’s annual ‘dolphin drive,’ in which thousands of bottlenose dolphins are herded into shallow coves to be slaughtered with knives and clubs. The government-sanctioned event, which extends through the fall and winter, has been under fire for years from environmental and animal rights activists. But in a potentially influential escalation of that battle, mainstream scientists and administrators of zoos and aquariums — some of whom have been criticized for buying surviving dolphins for use in their shows — have united to condemn the practice. The campaign pits the emerging science of animal intelligence against a centuries-old cultural tradition. In an online statement being released today, the organizers — including many of the world’s leading dolphin scientists and the man who trained the television star Flipper — say the hunt is nothing less than a ritual massacre of creatures that, according to a growing body of research, are not just intelligent but sophisticatedly self-aware.”

How repulsive.  “A judge has rejected a family’s plea that a 53-year-old woman in a vegetative state should be allowed to die. He has ordered instead that she should be given a drug that could wake her up. Theoretically the patient could then spend the rest of her life severely disabled and aware of her condition.”  The judge ordered them to give her Ambien because it’s an experiment.  They believe a sleeping pill will bring a brain-damaged woman out of a persistent vegetative state.  How Terri Schiavo of them.  But this is worse.  A judge is supporting experimentation on a person against the wishes of that person’s family.  Repugnant.

Grand Rounds 3.9 is available for your perusal.  Don’t miss the best the medical blogosphere has to offer.

When religion loses its credibility.  This is a must read.  It’s written by a Baptist minister!  Like, Oh. My. Gawd.  “What if Christian leaders are wrong about homosexuality? I suppose, much as a newspaper maintains its credibility by setting the record straight, church leaders would need to do the same: Correction: Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God’s followers.”  Please, go read it.  This man is right on the money, and he uses the same scripture to prove why this religion-backed bigotry is so very wrong and so very unchristian.  I doubt it will change many minds, but even one is a good start.

U.S. Airways is a discriminatory, intolerant company.  And so are its passengers.  “The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Tuesday for an investigation into the behavior of airline staff and airport security in the removal of six Muslim scholars from a US Airways flight a day earlier. A passenger raised concerns about the imams — three of whom said their normal evening prayers in the airport terminal before boarding the Phoenix-bound plane, according to one — through a note passed to a flight attendant, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways. [. . .] The six were returning from a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Omar Shahin of Phoenix, president of the group. ‘They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way,’ Shahin said after the incident.”  After it was all over and done with, the airline refused to put them on another flight so they could get home, and it told them directly it would not sell them any tickets.

Progress is progress and we’ll take it however we can get it.  From Israel: “In a precedent-setting ruling, the High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that five gay couples wedded outside of Israel can be registered as married couples. A sweeping majority of six justices to one ruled that the common-law marriages of five gay couples obtained in Toronto, Canada, can appear as married on the population registry.”  That’s a step in the right direction.  [via Coturnix]

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