Closing Thought–08Feb17

Chimeras on the loose!

If you have ever been bored and surfed the tube for something anything to watch you may come across a program called “Ancient Aliens”…..these are those whack jobs that try and explain all history as the invention of aliens that have visited us in the past, which is about as believable as some of the stuff the morons on the Right spout.

Sorry I digress….any way they had a program about human-animal chimeras that explains the images that come out of ancient Egypt….of course it was experiment that these aliens preformed…..

What got me to thinking about this program was something I read the other day……

Researchers have created part-human-part-pig embryos in what other scientists are calling an “exciting” step toward proving the viability of human-animal chimeras, the BBC reports. The researchers injected human stem cells into pig embryos, then implanted those embryos into adult pigs. After a month or so, the developing pig was part human, and the stem cells were turning into the makings of a heart, liver, and neurons, according to the Washington Post. Researchers published their findings Thursday in Cell. Still, the embryos were less than 0.001% human. And Seeker reports the host pigs were “euthanized and incinerated” after four weeks to prevent the accidental creation of super-smart pigs or something equally horrifying.

The goal of the research is to eventually be able to grow human organs inside “large host animals.” Approximately 22 people in the US die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. Researchers say this new process could allow organs to be grown on demand, ending organ shortages. But they warn that’s far in the future. In the meantime, it could be used to research diseases and test drugs in animals. But there are still moral questions surrounding the creation of animal-human chimeras, with some scientists expressing concern about making animals with human brains or reproductive organs. (A “human chimera” resulted in a dad learning that his unborn twin “fathered” his son.)

I have two thoughts on this story…..

One, half man half pig?  I think we already have that and most of them are in Congress or in the White House….

Two, not sure but is that not a violation of the laws of nature?

Thoughts?

If this did not peak your interest…then how about Cream…..Tales Of Brave Ulysses…..

My day is done…..must be off like a dirty shirt…..see ya tomorrow….Be well, Be safe……chuq

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Take The Punishment And Smile

WE have had about 2 weeks of a debate on “fake news”….even here on IST there has been a bit of a conversation….and as usual there will remain two sides to this debate…..those that see the “fake news” and those that will not…..

The Trump camp is doing nothing to clarify this debate……and they have even admitted that they use the term “fake news” to punish those that criticize the president……

Deputy Assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, said that the White House is going to continue calling the media fake news until the press stops being critical of Trump.

According to CNN, Gorka said, “There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term. That’s how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, ‘fake news.’ I’m sorry, Michael. That’s the reality.”

Any story that criticizes Trump, or that the President does not like is going to be labeled “fake news” by the White House. It seems that the only real news that the White House will accept is stories that praise Trump.

The real point of the Trump White House’s adoption of the fake news term as a weapon is the delegitimation of the free press. The White House is attempting to delegitimize facts and information that they don’t like by labeling them as not real. If President Trump and his team are able to successfully confuse the American people, it will be more difficult to hold them accountable for their actions.

Personally I think it is a bit juvenile….what can you expect from a reality star…..but now we know that there use of “fake news” is just a tactic……

Really?  Journalism is truly dead!

NO one is allowed to be critical?  I believe a history student, even a dumb one, can point to a time when this was used extensively…..and that did not turn out well.

Side note:  After all the grief the Right gave Obama for his golf games and Trump played just over the weekend and nothing nothing was said….I wonder why?  (that was rhetorical and sarcastic)

The Foreign Policy Legacy of Barack Obama

Barack Obama has left the building and in slinks the new lord and master…..and now he will set about to secure his place in history…but what will his legacy be?

When his rule began I told my readers not to expect too much change with his presidency…few listened and those then set about whining about the journey he laid forth for the country in foreign policy…..

Below is a wealth of links for those interested in the Obama foreign policy legacy…..read then you decide for yourself……

When Barack Obama became president of the United States, few would have guessed that he would be followed by an administration touting nationalism and protectionism. What happened? World Politics Review has compiled 24 articles that trace Obama’s foreign policy legacy and what it means for the Trump era.

Source: The Foreign Policy Legacy of Barack Obama

I was so critical in the early days that Daily Kos did everything but ban me from the site because I would not tuck my tail and follow them into the abyss….

I cannot wait until the Trump years are behind us and I can write about his legacy….that is if there is a world left to write about…..but that is a post for another day.

But guess what?  So far Trumpie boy is no different than the last 2 presidents…..

“Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti- war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances,” Illinois State Senator Barack Obama said in 2002. Later in the same speech: “What I am opposed to is a dumb war.”

Although elected president at least in part on his image as “the peace candidate,” Obama owned eight years of constant war. He waffled on then partially reversed the withdrawal from Iraq negotiated by his predecessor. He stretched the eight-year Afghanistan war to 16 years and counting. He began or expanded operations in Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, escalating even to extra-judicial assassinations of American citizens.

Source: Trump’s Foreign Policy: Obama’s Third Term, Bush’s Fifth by — Antiwar.com

But the more I think about it….it may not be that difficult after all…..

It’s Iran Again

Iran pretty much fell off the radar there for about a year but then we had an election and the winner has started saying one thing then another….and when you have leaders in DC with nicknames like “Mad Dog” then there has got to be chest thumping about Iran…..

I was taking notes to write this post and then decided I would do it another way because in the last week or so everybody has had an opinion on Iran and how to handle the situation…..

So to make it easier on me and for my readers I will give you links on this issue and you decide what you want to know……get caught up before the fall…..

The Trump administration is exploring ways to break Russia’s military and diplomatic alliance with Iran in a bid to both end the Syrian conflict and bolster the fight against Islamic State, said senior administration, European and Arab officials involved in the policy discussions. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

President Trump’s tough talk on Iran is winning him friends in the Arab world, but it also carries a significant risk of conflict with a U.S. rival that is now more powerful than at any point since the creation of the Islamic republic nearly 40 years ago. – Washington Post

New sanctions that the Trump administration imposed on Friday to punish Tehran’s latest ballistic missile test marked the beginning of what officials called the end of an era in which the United States was “too tolerant of Iran’s bad behavior.” – New York Times

Iran on Saturday began extensive military exercises in a defiant response to a week of warnings from the Trump administration, including new sanctions, with a senior Iranian military commander calling the actions “futile” and threatening to “rain” missiles down on the country’s enemies. – Washington Post

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described Iran as the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism on Saturday, but he emphasized that there was no pressing need for the United States to beef up its military presence in the Persian Gulf region. – New York Times

Until President Trump’s inauguration, Iran’s clerics felt comfortable leading worshipers in a chorus of “Death to America” while simultaneously signing a $16.6 billion deal with Boeing. Now, the establishment is treading carefully, with even most hard-liners concerned that the smallest provocation could lead to military conflict. – New York Times

Iran is set to boost its crude output next month and a deadline to bid for oil and gas fields has been pushed back, a top Iranian oil official was reported as saying Saturday, amid fears a recent missile test could lead to new U.S. measures that would deter foreign companies from investing in the nation’s petroleum. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Donald Trump jetted off Friday for his first weekend away from the White House after his first two weeks in office, capping off 14 days in which his administration moved aggressively to move on his campaign promises and take shots at the Obama era. Yet, as the president heads for his Mar-a-Lago retreat in South Florida, his first two weeks produced little clarity about the next four years. – Roll Call

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration is likely to remain in place. – The Hill

A member of the House Armed Services Committee is urging the Trump administration to build a new ballistic missile defense system in the Middle East to counter Iranian aggression and defend U.S. allies, according to communications to the White House obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. – Washington Free Beacon

Iran’s nuclear chief says it will have 60 percent more stockpiled uranium than it did prior to the landmark 2015 agreement with world powers after a shipment expected later this week. – Associated Press

Editorial: Iran’s missile launch is a deliberate effort to test the seriousness of the new U.S. Administration. Iran may now decide to test the White House again on how far it is willing to go to enforce the meaning of “on notice.” The more unequivocal the Administration’s response, the sooner Tehran will get the message that, this time, it faces a U.S. government that means what it says. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Editorial: Rolling back the gains Iran has made across the Middle East in the past decade will be, at best, a work of years. To succeed, the Trump administration will have to clarify priorities: Russia, which it regards as a potential ally in the region, has become Iran’s strategic partner. Leaving the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad in place will lock in Iranian domination where it matters most. Until it has a strategy for addressing such challenges, the administration will find it hard to impress the mullahs. – Washington Post

John Bolton writes: Time always works on the side of nuclear proliferators, and the Iran deal is providing the ayatollahs with protective camouflage. Every day Washington lets pass without ripping the deal up is a day of danger for America and its friends. We proceed slowly at our peril. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Fred Fleitz writes: Putting Iran on notice is significant because it signals the return to the global stage of a strong and decisive United States prepared to reinstate the successful national-security strategy of President Ronald Reagan: “peace through strength.” Such a jolt to the international order could convince rogue states such as Iran and North Korea to dial back their destabilizing behavior and possibly agree to talks to address regional concerns about their missile and weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. – National Review Online

As Iran tries to calibrate how to deal with President Trump, its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in caustic comments to air force commanders, thanked the new American leader for revealing “the real face” of the United States. – New York Times

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged Western leaders to follow U.S. President Donald Trump in imposing fresh sanctions against Iran. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Sanctions the Trump administration imposed on Iran after the country conducted another ballistic missile launch are more symbolic than punitive, a former Obama administration Treasury Department official said Monday. – The Weekly Standard

James Rubin writes: Republicans and Democrats can and should agree on the broad thrust of U.S. policy toward Iran’s nuclear program and Russia’s international aggression. For one day at least, that is possible. – Politico

Mark Dubowitz and Behnam Ben Taleblu write: The administration could also accelerate the process, both technical and diplomatic, of getting America’s Middle East partners and allies to integrate existing ballistic missile defense systems. But most important, the U.S. can respond against future missile tests by targeting sectors of the Iranian economy that underwrite, procure, produce, develop, and house those capabilities. – The Hill

See what I mean?  Anyone with a keyboard has a better idea…..

On The Barbary Coast

Most Americans do not realize that the US involvement in the Arab world is over 200 years old…..its involvement began with the very founding of the country after the great Revolution of independence…..

As usual I cannot help myself…..you will get a bit of my usual historic perspective…….

The US involvement in the Arab world began with its confrontation with the Barbary republics of North Africa……

These actions were called “the Barbary Wars”……

  • The Berber Muslim states of northwest Africa—Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco, collectively known as the Barbary States—regularly attacked ships in the Mediterranean, demanding tribute from various countries.
  • President Jefferson’s administration refused to give the tribute and went to war in the Mediterranean in 1800, ending in an American victory and a treaty of peace in 1805.
  • After the First Barbary War, the United States found its attention diverted to its deteriorating relationship with Great Britain, and the Barbary States took this opportunity to resume attacking American and European merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Second Barbary War occurred in 1815 under President Madison’s administration again as a result of piracy in the Mediterranean. Like the first war, the second war ended in victory for the United States and granted it full shipping rights in the Mediterranean Sea.

The First Barbary War…..

The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Coast War, was the first of the two wars fought between the United States and the Northwest African Berber Muslim states, known collectively as the Barbary States. These included Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers, which were quasi-independent entities nominally belonging to the Ottoman Empire, along with (briefly) the independent Sultanate of Morocco. Pirate ships and crews from the Barbary States regularly attacked and captured ships in the Mediterranean, extorting ransom for the lives of captured sailors and demanding tribute from various countries to avoid further attacks.
The war began when Thomas Jefferson became president of the United States in 1800 and refused to pay the Barbary States a tribute, the amount of which was greatly increased upon his election. Upon Jefferson’s refusal, Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha (or Bashaw) of Tripoli, declared war on the United States; however, Algiers and Tunis did not follow their ally in Tripoli. In response, Jefferson sent a U.S. naval fleet to the Mediterranean on May 13, 1801, under the command of Commodore Richard Dale. Throughout the war, the U.S. navy bombarded the various fortified cities along the coast and maintained a blockade in Tripoli’s harbor. After a stunning defeat at Tripoli and wearied from the blockade and raids, Yussif Karamanli signed a treaty ending hostilities on June 10, 1805, and the United States was given fair passage through the Mediterranean.
(boundless.com)
Seldom is the end of this conflict covered beyond…the US won the engagement….but there was so much more to this……
In agreeing to pay a ransom of $60,000 for the American prisoners, the Jefferson administration drew a distinction between paying tribute and paying ransom. At the time, some argued that buying sailors out of slavery was a fair exchange to end the war. William Eaton, however, remained bitter for the rest of his life about the treaty, feeling that his efforts had been squandered by the state department diplomat Tobias Lear. Eaton and others felt that the capture of Derna should have been used as a bargaining chip to obtain the release of all American prisoners without having to pay ransom. Furthermore, Eaton believed the honor of the United States had been compromised when it abandoned Hamet Karamanli after promising to restore him as leader of Tripoli. Eaton’s complaints generally went unheard, especially as attention turned to the strained international relations which would ultimately lead to the withdrawal of the U.S. Navy from the area in 1807 and to the War of 1812
(wikipedia)
But this was NOT the end of our conflict in this region…..Pres. Monroe had to deal with it also……

After the First Barbary War, the United States found its attention diverted to its deteriorating relationship with Great Britain over trade with France, which culminated in the War of 1812. The Barbary pirate states took this opportunity to resume their practice of attacking American and European merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea and holding their crews and officers for ransom.

The Second Barbary War, also known as the Algerine or Algerian War, occurred in 1815 under President Madison’s administration. At the conclusion of the War of 1812, the United States returned to the problem of Barbary piracy, and on March 3, 1815, Congress authorized deployment of naval power against Algiers. By the final week of June, the U.S. navy had won several battles at sea and reached the coast of Algiers. The United States initiated negotiations and made demands for compensation, and the Algerians signed a treaty under which they agreed to return all American captives and pay $10,000 for seized shipping. The treaty guaranteed no further tributes by the United States and granted the United States full shipping rights in the Mediterranean Sea.

(boundless.com)

As you can see Monroe did not compromise the status of the US at the end of this conflict as Jefferson had with the 1st war…..
But there is so much more to these wars that our history does not teach us…that is unless one is a grad student……
Here are some interesting and little known facts about the First Barbary War.
I do so enjoy teaching little known history to my readers….I know sometimes my historic perspectives are a pain in the ass but knowledge is well worth any momentary discomfort….
Class Dismissed!