Monday, September 17, 2001
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Wednesday, September 19, 2001

U.S. Awaits War on Terrorism

Small powerful groups of special forces are likely to be involved as one of the first measures in the Bush war on terrorism.

However, a large-scale ground war in Afghanistan is possible and another likely target is Saddam Hussein and his supporters and infrastructure in Iraq.

The war may take place over many fronts and the period of time could be a matter of years.

The war reminds some reporters of Vietnam in the difficulty to pinpoint a specific objective and a specific endpoint for the war as terrorism is an element that requires relatively few people and few resources, so few it may never be possible to say, definitively, the war has been won or the war is over.

Source:

  • ABC News [link inactive]

Stem Cells: New Horizons, New Challenges

Stem cells have the potential to develop into replacements for cells or entire organs lost in many devastating and chronic diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, chronic heart disease, end-stage kidney disease, liver failure, cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and other diseases.

Embryonic stem cells come from 4 to 5 day old blastocysts. Once removed from the blastocyst, the cells can be cultured into embryonic stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are absolutely key to understand fundamental events in embryonic development. One day, that knowledge may be used to explain birth defects and provide means to correct or prevent them.

Stem cells are being researched as a way to deliver genes to specific tissues in the body for various preventative or curative effects.

Through research, mostly with mice, stem cells have been directed to differentiate into transplantable cells (such as neurons, heart muscle cells, pancreatic islet cells).

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Religion's Misguided Missiles

Religion has been used in an ironic way by the U.S. in its response to what was in large part a religious-steeped and religious-caused and religious-excused attack of Islamic fundamentalism upon the U.S. and the western world.

In a cleverly written reply to both the attack and the U.S. response, Richard Dawkins attempts to bring the western world back to a state of reality regarding the causality of religion in the attack and the irresponsibility of those who excuse and turn away from any explanation which points to religion as a fundamental element in the attack.

'Tis one more reason, in a very long list of reasons, why I find Richard Dawkins to be one of humankind's greatest treasures in these times of pressures to be supportive of religions and pressures to be silent towards the underlying risks of religions.

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ID Cards & Evaluation of U.S. Immigration

In the U.S. Congress, leaders are talking about the possibility of tight limits on visas to enter the U.S. and a possible system of using I.D cards to track those who are admitted.

These measures are being considered with knowledge that 16 of the 19 terrorists who attacked the U.S. entered the U.S. legally.

Visa applications to enter in the U.S. last year? 8 million, of which 80 percent were
accepted. What made 6.6 million a "right" number to be accepted last year? What would make 4 million or 8 million a better "right" number? Is the 6.6 million number arbitrary and capricious? Why were the 1.4 million rejected?

How is it decided who visits, who comes and stays, and who cannot come into the U.S.?

I know criminals are not welcomed and relatives of current residents are, but perhaps
the rest revolves around many other issues, including quotas and economics and others with the heightened tensions in the middle
east being just one more in a very long list.

Per the report of the 16 of 19 terrorists entering the U.S. legally, one might wonder
where did their visas come from and is there a problem in a specific area?

Per immigration laws, what are the "right" immigration levels and what part of present law is perfect, flawed, or modifiable in a constructive way?

Source:

  • MSNBC [link inactive]

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