Articles of Interest, December 11th, 2007

What Your Tongue is Telling You About Your Health

You may not give your tongue much thought, but chances are your doctor does. “Telling a patient to stick out their tongue is a valid way to start examining someone,” says Dr. Jordan S. Josephson, attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of Sinus Relief Now. “In fact, in Chinese medicine they believe that the tongue actually reflects all the diseases of the body.” If you have a mystery tongue problem, Josephson recommends going to see a board certified otolaryngologist (more commonly known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist).

  • This is one of those interesting articles that you really have to read the whole thing to get the maximum benefit of the information.  This article is part of a series of health articles that talk about how various parts of the body i.e. tongue, nails, hair, etc. can tell a lot about your health.  We should take this very seriously as health is very important.  Check out the article, trust me, it’s good information.

Cool Cars We Miss

Some cars are so fun to drive, so pure in design, and so innovative that it makes you wonder how they could ever be discontinued. For each generation of car enthusiasts, these are the machines that make you smile even if you never owned one.

Outlined here in alphabetical order is a small slice of recent successes and upcoming cult classics that haunt the minds of enthusiasts. Destined to be the “barn finds” of future generations, the upside is that many are now within easy reach via the used-car classifieds at AutoTrader.

  • For car geeks such as myself, this is a great editorial about those cars that the manufactures made that for whatever reason decided to pull the plug.  I personally miss the Mitsubishi 3000GT, Ford Probe, Toyota Supra, and the NSX of course.  Check it out if your into auto nostalgia like me!

Is human evolution speeding up?
WASHINGTON – Science-fiction writers have suggested a future Earth populated by a blend of all races into a common human form. In real life, the reverse seems to be happening.

People are evolving more rapidly than in the distant past, with residents of various continents becoming increasingly different from one another, researchers say.

“I was raised with the belief that modern humans showed up 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and haven’t changed,” explained Henry C. Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah.“The opposite seems to be true.”

  • I don’t know what to think about this.  While I’m not necessarily against the theory of evolution, this research sure brings up many questions and variables.  In case some of you are wondering, I do believe that the concept of evolution and Islam do not conflict each other.

Israel launches widespread Gaza operation
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip – Israeli tanks and bulldozers backed by attack aircraft moved into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing four militants in the widest operation in the territory since Islamic Hamas forces wrested control in June.

The violence took place on the eve of the first formal peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians since early 2001. The Israeli military described it as a routine operation “against the terror infrastructure” in Gaza.

But the scene on the ground — bodies lying amid the rubble of a destroyed building, Israeli tanks pushing deep into Palestinian territory, schoolchildren scurrying for cover — looked anything but routine. Palestinian officials accused Israel of trying to sabotage the peace talks.

  • Nothing says “PEACE” like tanks, fighter jets, and bulldozers.  There’s no better way to teach young Palestinian children that Israel wants peace than to scare them with an incursion that makes you leave school and run for cover!  It’s really simple people:  NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!

Colo. shooter identified as 24-year-old male

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The gunman believed to have killed four people at a megachurch and a missionary training school had been thrown out of the school a few years ago and had been sending it hate mail, police said in court papers Monday.

The gunman was identified as Matthew Murray, 24, who was home-schooled in what a friend said was a deeply religious Christian household. Murray’s father is a neurologist and a leading multiple-sclerosis researcher.

  • Did anyone notice something?  There is no mention of this guy being a Christian Terrorist!  But that’s what he is right?  Think about it:  The media feeds us this idea that our biggest threat in America is Muslim Terrorists, yet every school, church, etc. shooting in America in the last several years has been committed by whom?  Even that Cho guy in VA TECH claimed to be doing this for Jesus!  But I digress…. Furthermore, why is it necessary to point out that he was home-schooled?  As if home schooling parents raise their kids to be religious zealous wacko’s!  We home school our children, but then again, since our religion doesn’t teach that everything you do is against “White Jesus” our kids don’t have a problem dealing with non-Muslims or reading Harry Potter, and things like that.  I can sort of see how home-schooling goes wrong with these Evangelical types, go to one home schooling conference or read their “education” curriculum’s and you will either cry laughing or in sadness, or both.  What can I say?  Indoctrinate “weird” things, ideas, and isolationism, expect “weird” results.  Great thing the security guard had nerves of steal to stop this wacko!

100 million pennies displayed in NYC NEW YORK – One hundred million pennies for your thoughts on the latest display in Rockefeller Center. New York first lady Silda Wall Spitzer joined hundreds of public school children on Monday to unveil a mass of $1 million in pennies collected for charity. The display, called the Penny Harvest Field, includes an estimated 100 million pennies — plus a few nickels, dimes and quarters that slipped in by mistake.

The exhibit, 30 feet by 165 feet, as long as a city block, is the culmination of the nonprofit organization Common Cents’ 17th annual Penny Harvest, a national educational program designed to teach children about their value as contributors to society. Hundreds of thousands of city students from more than 800 schools spent the weeks between Oct. 22 and Thanksgiving going door to door and collecting the pennies, which will be donated to organizations of their choice for causes such as protecting the environment and helping the elderly.

  • This is an amazing and inspiring exhibit and project.  We should all get together to do similar projects and expand it to help charities all over the world!

Iranian president: US report positive

TEHRAN, Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday called a U.S. intelligence report concluding Iran stopped developing its nuclear weapons program four years ago a “step forward” in comments that marked a change from his usually harsh anti-Western rhetoric.

The hard-line leader told reporters that an “entirely different” situation between the two countries could be created if more steps like the intelligence report followed.

“We consider this measure by the U.S. government a positive step. It is a step forward,” Ahmadinejad said.

“If one or two other steps are taken, the issues we have in front of us will be entirely different and will lose their complexity, and the way will be open for the resolution of basic issues in the region and in dealings between the two sides,” he said.

  • You mean to tell me that diplomacy is actually possible when rhetoric, propaganda, and accusations decline!  Who would have thought of that!

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases: adviser

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will never allow the United States to have permanent military bases on its soil, the government’s national security adviser said.

“We need the United States in our war against terrorism, we need them to guard our border sometimes, we need them for economic support and we need them for diplomatic and political support,” Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said.

“But I say one thing, permanent forces or bases in Iraq for any foreign forces is a red line that cannot be accepted by any nationalist Iraqi,” he told Dubai-based al Arabiya television in an interview broadcast late on Monday.

  • That surely sounds good, but I wonder if they will actually stick with it?  I mean, America doesn’t tend to spend money on bases and mega embassies just to leave.  I’m willing to bet that by “permanent” he meant 100 years.  Now 20 years is a whole other thing! 🙂

From Iran’s Fiery Leader, a Slightly Tamer Blog

TEHRAN, Dec. 10 — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of net surfers and instant messages. Yet, it turns out, the man is a blogger.

Equally surprising for a leader known for a kind of thundering public presence, his blog is not especially tough. He condemns Washington’s policies, but writes infrequently and more ponderously than in his confrontational speeches. Yet the reader comments posted alongside his own seem far less censored and harsher than one might expect.

“I think you are an evil leader,” one comment posted by an American reader said. “Freedom and tolerance are necessities in this day and age, and the fact that your country kills intellectuals, journalists, minorities is horrible and deeply disturbing.”

Another reader said his claim at Columbia University in September that there were no gays in Iran was absurd and called his domestic policies “brutish.” Still another wrote: “Shut up please, would you? I get headaches reading your nonsense stuff.”

Those comments run along with supportive ones, including postings that seem to refer to the new American intelligence estimate that Iran is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon, something Mr. Ahmadinejad had repeatedly asserted.

“I knew you were telling the truth,” wrote a Canadian.

The exchanges are available at in Persian, Arabic, English and French. The president has been keeping the blog for more than a year and promises to spend 15 minutes a week updating it.

  • Now this is news!  I’m getting that link up on my sight ASAP!!!!  I wonder what the Iranian President would think of my comments! 🙂

Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

  • If a bunch of criminals are given a lot of money and no bid contracts, what type of organization and quality should one expect?  Granted, it’s a “little” harsh to blame an entire company for the actions of it’s employees, however, money and greed has a way of blinding people when it comes to principle.  Therefore, actually ensuring the quality of a product or the quality of the people you hire, become less and less important, especially in the light of the greater profit.  So, these Halliburton stories and scandals really don’t surprise me that much these days.  The tragedy in all this is that American citizens can’t often rely on Justice in this nation of laws, because of “loopholes” in the system, that value those with power over principle of justice.

Malice, Ignorance Demonize Islam: Priest

CAIRO — Right-wing groups and widespread ignorance are the main culprit behind the demonized image of Islam in the West, a leading French Catholic bishop has said.

“There are some people, who give a negative image of Muslims in Europe for malicious goals to demonize and tarnish Islam,” bishop Michel LeLong, the founder of the Islam-Christian Dialogue Department at the French Catholic Church, told in a Live Dialogue.

LeLong said Islamophobia in the West has become politically motivated.

“Some are trying to impose their agendas and prove that Islam is a horrible religion,” he said.

  • No surprise here, but it’s nice to see that there are those Christians out there of conscience and true faith that believe in Justice.  Allah (swt) in the Quran tells us that there are Christians out there that are near in friendship because among them are people of piety.  Let us be reminded of that Muslims.

Australia Honors Muslim Explorers
CAIRO — The National Library in Canberra will host on Wednesday, December 12, an exhibition dusting off the neglected and unrecorded great contributions of Muslim cameleers to Australia in the 19th century, Sydney Herald Morning reported on Tuesday, December 11.

“Muslims have come to this country and contributed blood, sweat and tears,” said Philip Jones, the curator of the “Pioneers of the Inland: Australia’s Muslim Cameleers” exhibition.

Jones added that expedition diaries confirm several cameleers deserve the status of “explorers.”

“Cameleers assisted all major expeditions into Australia’s uncharted interior, starting with the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860, and have contributed significantly to Australia’s economic and cultural development,” he said.

  •  It’s always wonderful to be recognized.  This is a great step in the right direction.  Let me explain why I highlight this….I tend to compare the struggle for the truth about Muslims and Islam to that of Black Americans and our history here, right or wrong.  One of the best way to get away with destroying your adversary is to dehumanize them.  In American history this has been an effective tactic.  Blacks were looked at as insignificant inferiors who contributed little or nothing to history or civilization, although that was/is far from the truth.  The same is being done to Muslims, we are dehumanized by lies about our beliefs and history as well.  It’s great to see truth shine through the propaganda that is routinely spread in order to continue the abuse of “those” and “that” people and religion.

On Romney, Mormonism, and Islam

Although Islam and Muslims were hardly relevant to Romney’s speech, Naomi Schaefer Riley of the conservative Wall Street Journal couldn’t prevent herself from shoving Islam into the picture, predictably in an unfavourable light. In her article, “What Iowans Should Know About Mormons” (December 7), Riley cites a recent Pew poll which shows that “only 53% of Americans have a favourable opinion of Mormons.” She then observes: “That’s roughly the same percentage who feel that way toward Muslims. By contrast, more than three-quarters of Americans have a favourable opinion of Jews and Catholics.”

Riley then gets to her main and vindictive point: “Whatever the validity of such judgments, one has to wonder: Why does a faith professed by the 9/11 hijackers rank alongside that of a peaceful, productive, highly educated religious group founded within our own borders?”

Not only did Riley isolate 9/11 from the pre and post 9/11 contexts — again conveniently neglecting the fact that nearly a million Iraqis were killed by those who mostly profess the Christian faith —, she also implicitly indicated that Mormonism is everything that Islam is not. The latter religion is thus hostile, unproductive, backward, and alien.

Riley was hardly satisfied with selectively linking a religion professed by over a billion people of all colours and ethnicities worldwide — including millions of Americans — to a few hijackers. She used the rest of her inadequate “analysis” to inappropriately bring Islam to a discussion from which it should have been entirely spared.

Based on Whose God Is Best

One can understand the urge of the faithful of any religion to make preferences for presidential candidates on the basis of their faith. One can thus also understand why politicians cater to the religious sensibilities of their constituents, even if this means resorting to untruths. But one cannot in any way sympathize with the mainstream media — perceived largely as “liberal” — for failing to realign the debate by bringing it back to its proper boundaries: that of equitable democracy vs. religious prejudices, looking at Romney as a man who can do good, or bad for America rather than a man who professes a “wacky” or “cult-like” faith.

It’s odd that in the first decade of the 21st century, the media still validates the same religious thoughtlessness that had prevailed in America when Catholic John F. Kennedy made his famous statement in 1960 asserting that the Pope would not sway his presidency. Indeed, the media should have chastised the entire debate which ranks potential presidents based on whose God is best, or whether comparative religion should be discussed at all. Needless to say mediocre journalism like that of Riley should have never made it to print in the first place.

  •  I find a little humor every now and then in the ignorance and arrogance of the press when they talk about Islam.  Sometimes the things they say as highlighted by the author of this article are just plain foolish.  Just imagine if the press did this about Judaism!  There would be riots in the street and people fired, but Muslims…..well we are expendable and what we believe and feel is irrelevant!

On the Confederate Flag April 18, 2000

Most white Americans understand why so many Blacks want the Confederate flag removed from state office buildings specifically and from out of their sight in general. That is really not the crux of the flag debate. The real debate is whether white Americans have the political will and incentive to do anything about it. For some whites, the flag coming down represents little more than the political establishment giving in yet again, to the demands of the Black Electorate. And for them, that is too much to bear.

At present, the Black Electorate views the issue more in the context of cultural terms than in political terms. Blacks want whites to know how the Confederate flag makes them feel more than they want any specific political agenda items established as law. The Confederate Flag issue represents the opportunity for Blacks to make a statement to American society as a whole and not just to its political establishment. But Whites hear the cultural argument made by Blacks and generally internalize it in political terms. To them, the issue is seen as a challenge to the status quo, no matter how legitimate the case against the Confederate Flag may be.

Deep down, these whites realize a far greater truth and its implications. They know that nothing has been done under the Confederate Flag that has not been done under the American flag. In their minds, if the political establishment were to back away from the Confederate flag, such action would represent a subtle step away from America itself. And because of this, whites are hesitant to concede any political ground on the issue. To do so would raise the problem of race and the history of slavery – two explosive subjects that are increasingly becoming taboo in American politics because of their implications.

For many whites, even on a subconscious level, admitting culpability for slavery and admitting that the legacy of slavery exists in real terms today is to admit that America as a country has failed to live up to its promise. Such an admission would require action and such action would come in large part through the political mechanism. So, though it may not appear to be the case initially, the different reactions to the Confederate flag among Blacks and whites reveal much about the soul of this country. And even more striking than the very colorful personal reactions to the flag is the slowness of many whites to move in the political arena to do anything about a symbol that they concede offends a significant portion of its population. To many, the issue is not about right or wrong but rather it is about power.

  • I decided to post this article, because it highlights the many issues of race, power, and politics in America.  This flag, (rebel) no matter what people say, is a very emotionally charged topic, even today.  I did a post about it earlier this year, which to date is my most popular post and judging by the comments of many of it’s supporters it becomes very clear why many Blacks still have problems with that flag….

One Comment

  1. What could be more trivial or superficial than having a fellow pushed through without opposition to the the U.S. Senate, and then immediately running for President?

    It smells.

    And, why do people keep trying to turn America into a religious nation?
    It long ago left that obsolete and archaic provincialism to attain its once international prominence. Why do people keep trying to cripple it with religious concerns?


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