And that is all.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: The Siberian Shaman's Shrooms

The Siberian Fly Agaric Mushroom
(Amanita Muscaria)
Used as an intoxicant by the Koryaks of the Kamchatka Krai of eastern Siberia, the fly agaric mushroom has religious significance in Siberian culture and possibly also in ancient Scandinavian, Celtic, Chinese, Zoroastrian and Hindu cultures. The RigVeda (which was completed orally before 1500 BCE) is a Hindu collection of hymns dedicated to the gods. It tells of the ritual consumption of the psychoactive drink called SOMA. Most of the major symbols related to Christmas (flying reindeer, christmas trees, gift giving, santa claus, etc) are probably based on the Northern European and Asian traditions surrounding the harvest and consumption of Amanita muscaria mushrooms.
NETHERLANDS: Tariq Ramadan sacked over Iranian TV connections
Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has been fired from his position at a Netherlands university over connections to an Iranian-funded television channel. In a statement, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam said that the Swiss-born theologian's hosting of a programme on Iran's Press TV was "irreconcilable" with his position as a guest professor. "Although there is no doubt at all concerning Dr Ramadan's personal dedication, both boards found this indirect relationship with a repressive regime, or even the impression of being associated with it, not acceptable," the university wrote.
AUGUST 5th, Oxford University:
Professor Tariq Ramadan, Research Fellow at St Antony's College, has been appointed His Highness Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Contemporary Islamic Studies. His role will begin on 1st September 2009. Prof. Ramadan is a world-renowned scholar. He has previously worked on a government task force devising policies to counter Islamic extremism in Britain. Ramadan expressed gratitude for his appointment and commented, "such a chair is very much needed today and I am personally committed to making Oxford a centre of excellence on contemporary Islamic issues with worldwide academic connection."

July 17: NY Federal Appeals Court Reverses Decision to Bar Swiss Muslim Scholar
The scholar, Tariq Ramadan, 46, a Swiss academic, was to become a tenured professor at the University of Notre Dame, but the Bush administration revoked his visa in 2004 and denied him a visa in 2006. The government cited evidence that from 1998 to 2002, he donated about $1,300 to a Swiss-based charity which the Treasury Department later categorized as a terrorist organization because it provided money to Hamas.
Judge: US wrong to freeze Ohio charity's assets
TOLEDO, Ohio — The federal government says it wrongly froze the assets of an Ohio-based charity it suspected of having ties to the militant Islamic group Hamas...
Hamas rejects US calls to normalise Arab-Israeli ties

Is Anyone Listening to What The Arabs Are Saying About Israel?
Even if the Obama administration were to succeed in compelling Israel to accept a two-state solution and stop building settlements in Judea and Samaria, this would not placate the Arabs or ensure peace in the region. Before embracing the idea of a Palestinian state, we should ask why the Arabs have consistently opposed partition, and examine the origin of the “Two-State Solution.”
Hamas frees Fatah captives ahead of Ramadan

Abbas visits Sudan for talks with al-Bashir
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday started a two-day visit to Sudan, the first visit of a Palestinian president to the African country. Abbas, who was received by his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir at the airport, said he will discuss with al-Bashir a number of issues concerning the two sides. He said the two sides "are bound by historical and close ties," and there are many things to be talked about here.

Israel Says UN's Nuclear Watchdog Is Withholding Evidence on Iran
Citing unnamed Israeli officials and Western diplomats, the report said senior IAEA staffers in Vienna had deliberately excluded from reports a classified annex signed by the head of the IAEA’s Iran team. The paper said the U.S. and the trio of European Union countries involved in the marathon negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programs – Britain, Germany and France – were putting pressure on ElBaradei to include the information in his report to next month’s general convention.
Israel PM summons minister over call to defy US
Uuuuchhh, BiBi you should be ashamed of yourself.
"I for one am not afraid of the Americans. There are issues on which one should say 'that's enough'," Yaalon said, in statements broadcast on Wednesday night by Channel 2.
UN official voices "grave concern" at Israel's settlement activities

US raps Israel over limit on Palestinian-Americans

The United States has complained to Israel over rules that keep Palestinian-Americans from entering Israel, officials said Thursday.
NY: Syrian Arrested in Plot to Sell Arms to SA Terrorists
A former member of the Syrian military was charged in New York on Wednesday with plotting to sell high-powered weapons to Colombian terrorists in exchange for more than a ton of cocaine.
In Iran, Religious Leader praises Syria's resistance
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says world powers, particularly Washington, have lost their one-time influence in the Middle East. In a Wednesday meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Ayatollah Khamenei said the US-led drive to eradicate resistance movements in the region have come to naught.

"The American blade has lost its sharpness," said the Leader, citing the presence of resistant countries such as Iran and Syria as the reason why. The Leader said Syria has managed to distinguish itself from the rest of the Arab world by taking a stand against Western despotism. “Syria has become a symbol of resistance.”
Assad visits Iran
Syrian President Bashar Assad in Tehran said his country and Iran "are on the same front." Assad reportedly made his one-day visit Wednesday to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election as president of the Islamic Republic.

"Iran and Syria are on the same front, and any political event is an opportunity which must be used at the best way possible while helping one another," Ahmadinejad reportedly told Assad, according to Iranian media. Assad condemned "foreign intervention" in Iran's internal affairs.

He said the West feared Syria and Iran's success in the coming years. "I believe the Iranian people's re-election [of Ahmadinejad] is another emphasis on the fact that Iran and Syria must continue the regional policy as in the past," Assad said.

Iraqi officials held over blasts
Iraqi authorities have detained 11 security officers on suspicion of negligence following attacks in Baghdad that killed at least 95 people
Egypt locks up 38 more friendly brothers of the Al Ikhwan
CAIRO — Egyptian police arrested 38 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood this week, bringing the number in detention to at least 450, a security official and the Brotherhood said on Tuesday.
Lebanon catches fugitive militant

Saudi Arabia announces al Qaeda arrests

OIC delegation visiting Xinjiang following riots
The Saudi-based Organisation of The Islamic Conference, whose membership includes 57 countries, aims to “observe firsthand the conditions of Muslims” in Xinjiang, the conference said in a statement on its website. China has been worried that the violence in Xinjiang could overshadow its developing ties with the Islamic world. Although the riots drew a muted response from most Muslim countries, Iran and Turkey did criticise China and the crackdown that followed.

Objective: “The delegation will also examine the root causes that gave rise to the recent outbreak of violence and the means to tackle the key causes behind the crisis,” the conference’s statement said. Beijing says the violence was not triggered by ethnic or religious differences but was instigated by overseas independence groups. However, ethnic tensions between minority Muslim Uighurs and members of the dominant Han Chinese have long simmered in Xinjiang, a sprawling oil-rich territory three times bigger than France.

Taliban Attacks Close Polling Booths
Taliban attacks forced as many as 11 percent of polling stations in Afghanistan’s presidential election to close, undermining efforts to boost the government’s legitimacy by exceeding the 8 million voter turnout achieved five years ago. The U.S. and its allies are counting on a heavy turnout and a clear result to produce an administration strong enough to turn around an escalating war with Taliban militants that is killing record numbers of foreign troops and Afghan civilians.

Tribal leaders accuse Hamid Karzai supporters of offering bribes

Afghanistan's Dostum denies Karzai vote deal
A former militia chief, whose return to Afghanistan days before an election could tip the balance in favor of Hamid Karzai, said Wednesday he had not made a last-minute deal to back the president.
Karzai's secret weapon: Obedient girl power

Iran to nominate new oil minister

Iranian Cleric Predicts Opposition Will Topple Ahmadinejad

Is China behind Musen's intrusion to Indian Waters?
Now the news that a North Korean merchant vessel MV Musen dropped anchor just five km off Hut Bay Island in Little Andamon without authorization has surprised the Indian authorities. The Indian Coast Guard detained the ‘suspicious’ North Korean ship on 6 August 2009 after more than six hours of high drama that ended with Indian sailors firing in the air. The question that puzzles security analysts in India is why did the vessel violate international law and come to India’s territorial water without permission. Given the close liaison with China, is it a Chinese ploy to use the North Korean vessel to engage in surveillance activities?
Seized North Korean ship moved to Kakinada

Why China is the Next Big Oil Play

CNPC (CHINA) signs agreement with Exxon Mobil

CNPC (CHINA) signs MOU with Abu Dhabi National Oil

Australia tries to halt slide in China ties

Inside Intel / Myanmar learns to love the bomb?

Uganda: Slaves for 'Hire'

The Ugandan government on 5 August put into place an export ban on all private companies sending Ugandan women to certain Arab and near Eastern countries to work as maids. Some of the banned countries include Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

According to the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor, the ban is the result of the testimony of a 24-year-old Ugandan woman who claimed she was “tortured by her bosses after being decoyed by a private company to work in Iraq in May 2009.”


As America Focuses on Trivia, Congolese Die
The secretary of state spent 11 days visiting seven nations across sub-Saharan Africa. At every stop she tried to train a spotlight on some of humanity’s most pressing crises, from the AIDS epidemic to the chaos of failed states. So what was the big story emerging from the trip? A 20-second flare-up in Congo, where she snapped at a student for seeming to ask about her husband’s opinion rather than hers. That was the high point, aired over and over and seared into America’s consciousness.

Trailing behind was her unfortunate rumination in Nigeria on the 2000 Florida presidential tally, in the middle of a pointed exchange on how democracy works. Bringing up the rear was actual reporting on the issues. What little there was came mostly in dutiful round-ups by which news outlets lent their coverage a touch of gravitas. Typically, these featured a sentence or two on each of Clinton’s stops: AIDS in South Africa; corruption in Kenya; troubled democracy in Nigeria, where regional unrest threatens oil production; a mass epidemic of rape and sexual mutilation in Congo, the latest ugly twist in an 11-year civil war that has caused some 5.4 million deaths and shows no sign of ending; indications of economic progress in Angola; a celebratory meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first female elected head of state; showcase achievements in Cape Verde.

But wait. Let’s rewind to Congo. Yes, you read that correctly: Roughly 5,400,000 persons, by the widely accepted calculations of the impeccably button-down International Rescue Committee, have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998 in the course of a horrific, unending orgy of brutality. Why, the careful reader might ask, are we talking about anything else?

Russia's role in piracy crisis a cover for nuclear proliferation
Russian opposition has accused Moscow of ginning up the piracy crisis as a cover to hide potential nuclear proliferation (via Instapundit):
Hijackers Threatened to Blow Up Mystery Ship

Arctic Sea hijackers questioned in Russian jail

Russia tackles Siberian chemical oil slick
Chemical pollution from Monday's explosion at Russia's largest hydro-electric power station has killed fish and spread down a major Siberian river.Russian officials say booms are being deployed on the Yenisei river to trap the transformer oil. Absorbents are being thrown from helicopters.

Siberia/Russia: Blast prompts major review

Russia, South Ossetia and Georgia: Further tension in the Caucasus

Gazprom gets a controlling stake in Turkey's largest gas distributor

Gazprom may cede Kovykta field to State

Poland Expecting Merkel, Putin, Kouchner, Miliband

Russia's South Ravaged by Terrorist Attacks

Medvedev calls for tougher "terrorism" trials

President of Uzbekistan receives Glorious Commander of US Petraeus!
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received General David Petraeus, the Commander of the US Central Command, on 18 August at Oqsaroy residence in Tashkent. Uzbekistan attaches great importance to further development of relations with the United States and is ready to expand constructive bilateral and multilateral cooperation based on mutual respect and equal partnership, Islam Karimov said.

Uzbekistan and the US cooperate in establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan and socioeconomic revival of this country. Through the Uzbek territory, non-military and humanitarian cargoes are delivered to Afghanistan. David Petraeus confirmed the interest of the current US administration in development of cooperation with Uzbekistan in various spheres.

The US general also noted Uzbekistan’s important contribution to the strengthening of stability in Afghanistan and regional security. The sides considered perspectives of Uzbek-American relations and other issues representing mutual interest.
What Do the US and Turkmenistan Have in Common?
Foreign Policy came up with a list of “The World’s Worst Healthcare Reforms”. Keeping company with Russia, China, and Turkmenistan is the good old U.S. of A.: “The United States has the rare distinction of being both one of the world’s richest countries and having one of its least-functional health care systems. … [F]or the most part, the history of health reform in the United States has been a history of failure.” But it sounds like we still have a leg up on Turkmenistan: “In a frankly insane healthcare reform effort, [President Saparmurat Niyazov] restricted the public’s access to care by replacing up to 15,000 doctors and nurses with unqualified military conscripts. … He also implemented fees and created an ‘unofficial’ ban on the diagnosis of certain communicable diseases, like hepatitis.”
Turkmenistan: Forgotten Journalists of the Gulag
MSU Journalism department graduates – the ex-Foreign Affair Minister of Turkmenistan Boris Shikhmuradov and ex-Chairman of the Committee for television and radio broadcasting of Turkmenistan Serdar Rakhimov – have spent over six years in jail, totally isolated from the outer world. Even the closest relatives are not aware of their imprisonment location. They cannot receive letters and parcels. They are not the subject of pardon. They are not allowed to see the representatives of international human rights organizations and International committee of Red Cross.
Five reasons why Kazakhstan doesn't deserve presidency in OSCE

Swine Flu Fears Lead To Designer Masks In Kazakhstan
DejaVu. Oink.

US Recession May Have Ended in June, Goldman's McKelvey Says
HAHAHAHA! These fucking guys are hilarious. Oh.... this is not satire?

Goldman Sachs spent $630,000 lobbying in 2Q
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spent $630,000 in the second quarter to lobby on automotive industry issues and legislation related to the financial bailout program, according to a recent disclosure report.
But Raytheon spent $1.8M lobbying government in 2Q!

Holy Crap, The Gold Man Owns Annie Leibovitz, too!
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it owns part of the $24 million loan to photographer Annie Leibovitz that led to the breach-of-contract lawsuit she faces, and offered to work with her to “resolve her financing needs.”

Leibovitz, 59, faces a complaint filed by another creditor for the loan, Art Capital Group, a New York-based company which lends using art as collateral. Art Capital claims she breached an agreement that allows the company to sell the photographs and real estate she had pledged to back the sum, according to a suit filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on July 29. Leibovitz’s spokesman Matthew Hiltzik declined to comment.

“We are deeply troubled by recent developments concerning Annie Leibovitz and Art Capital,” said Andrea Raphael, a Goldman spokeswoman, in an e-mailed statement. “We have proposed to Art Capital that we terminate the current loan agreement with their affiliate so that we can work directly with Ms. Leibovitz.”


Fresh questions on the credibility of ailing banks' external auditors

Utility companies teaming up with Ford
All the better to track your sorry ass you gleeking serf.
A list of utility companies currently working with Ford Motor Co. on intelligent vehicle-to-grid communications and control systems that will enable electric cars to "talk" to local power grids ~
PNC professor named "Energy Patriot" by U.S. Sen Dick Lugar
Jewsus save me from "Energy Patriots"

Zagats for Healthcare: Will the Government Start Rating All Providers?

Rockefeller Refers to Obama's Science Czar as 'Walking on Water'
In a recent congressional hearing, Senate Commerce Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D.-W.V.) told John P. Holdren, President Barack Obama’s science czar, that he sometimes refers to Holdren as “walking on water.”

Holdren is director the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and a top adviser to the president on climate-change policy. In writings published in past years, Holdren has advocated “de-development” of the United States and redistribution of wealth both within and between nations.

In a 1973 book, Holdren said: “The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”

At a July 30 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee focusing on climate change, Sen. Rockefeller complimented Holdren, using terms that alluded to one of the miracles recounted in the Gospels. “The president, I think, has surrounded himself with some of the most brilliant choices,” said Rockefeller at the hearing.

“Dr. Holdren, I don’t want to embarrass you, but I sometimes refer to you as walking on water.”
Arizona lawmaker Trent Franks worries about Obama advisers
As well he should.

Government enlists employers' help to contain flu

Governors Oppose The Pentagon
STFU you fishy mob of Governors, don't you know that none of this is really happening?
The leadership of the National Governors Association is opposing a new Defense Department proposal to handle natural and terrorism-related disasters, contending that a murky chain of command could lead to more problems than solutions.

Chairman of the association Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R), and Vice Chairman Gov. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia recently wrote a letter opposing the Pentagon proposal. Current law gives governors control over National Guard forces in their own states as well as any Guard units and Defense Department personnel imported from other states. The letter is in response to a Pentagon proposed legislative fix that would give the Secretary of Defense the authority to assist in response to domestic disasters and, consequently, have control over units stationed in an affected state.

In other words take the responsibility away from the governors.

The governors stated: "We are concerned that the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues, complicate interagency planning, establish stove-piped response efforts, and interfere with governors’ constitutional responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of their citizens.”

Nuclear Unit Begins Operations at Minot Air Force Base

A new unit set to manage upkeep of the U.S. ICBM fleet was scheduled to begin operations yesterday at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, the Associated Press reported Roughly 12 military and civilian staffers form the 798th Munitions Maintenance Group, which will lead maintenance, handling and control of the Minuteman 3 arsenal. Such work previously was the responsibility of individual units at Minot and other Air Force bases in California, Montana and Wyoming. "We will definitely be on the road visiting other units, and we'll have daily contact with them to support them," said Col. David Milner Jr., commander of the Minot unit.

Ex-ACORN Vegas director to testify against group
A former Las Vegas director for a political advocacy group accused of illegally paying canvassers to register voters during last year's presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and agreed to testify against the group and another employee.

Christopher Edwards pleaded guilty this week to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. He agreed to testify against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, and Amy Busefink, a former regional voter registration director. The case threatens the group's ability to operate in Nevada, with the possibility that the group could have its status as a nonprofit corporation revoked, said Conrad Hafen, chief deputy attorney general for Nevada.
Homeland Security expands Global Entry

Obama outpacing Bush on controversial 'signing statements'
The Obamanable Bushman Cometh!
During his 2008 campaign for president, Barack Obama was highly critical of his predecessors’ use of “signing statements,” an obscure Executive Branch tool to get things done via back channel. Candidate Obama promised “restraint” in their use. By restraint, he meant not issuing signing statements that “undermine the legislative intent or nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.” But Obama also thinks the signing statement is a tool “to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives.”

Clearly President Obama feels his prerogatives have been threatened by Congress, because he has signed five statements as of July 26, 2009. That pace puts him slightly ahead of President George W. Bush, who didn’t sign his fifth until August of his first year in office. Tell that to your average Obama supporter and they will likely raise their eyebrows in surprise.

Global Spin Doctors
We endure, ignore, or fall prey to as many as 20,000 ads a day. That's one ad every three seconds of our waking hours. We wear ads on our shirts, forward commercials via email, sing jingles with our friends, and even brand corporate icons on our bodies. We've developed vaccines to address this particular virus. There's Naomi Klein's No Logo and the cheeky magazine Adbusters.

There's Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's radio program Counterspin andthe ad-stripping features of TiVo. But the virus continues to mutate and spread. Geopolitics is not immune to this disease. Flip through any foreign policy magazine and you'll find plenty of advertising. Governments, desperate for foreign investment and tourists, take out glossy "sponsored sections" in Foreign Affairs and "special advertising supplements" in Foreign Policy.

The recent news from Nigeria has been pretty bleak: endemic corruption, bloody insurgency in the Niger Delta, fraudulent elections in 2007. The 10-page spread in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, however, mentions none of that: It's all about growth, transparency, and investor confidence. Angola hired a slicker PR firm to design its recent 24-page section in Foreign Policy: nice pictures and graphics, upbeat interviews, and the repeated message that the country has lots and lots of oil. None of the smiling interview subjects mentions that the country hasn't had a democratic election in two decades or that two-thirds of Angolans live on less than $2 a day.

Some of the spinning borders on the surreal. Equatorial Guinea paid the PR firm Cassidy & Associates $120,000 a month for an image makeover, which required transforming an oil-rich dictatorship ruled by the ultra-corrupt Teodoro Obiang into a palatable U.S. ally. All that loot translated into a prominent photo op with Condi Rice and her comment that Obiang was a "good friend." When celebrities say stupid things in public or get nabbed for shoplifting, their agents shift into overdrive.

The same thing happens to countries that get nailed in public for their horrendous human rights abuses. This is what Cassidy & Associates calls crisis communications: "[W]e put this strength to work on behalf of clients that require immediate communications support to protect themselves in the face of unexpected public image challenges." What takes place behind the scenes is perhaps the most pernicious. After all, we congratulate ourselves on seeing through the obvious advertisements. We would never fall for Nigeria's third-rate spread in Foreign Affairs. We would never succumb to the seductions of a TV infomercial. We would never click on the ubiquitous pop-ups. But what about all the money that governments circulate through the media universe to grease wheels, influence politicians, or secure prized appearances on the TV talk shows?

Indeed, the PR race is not that different from the arms race. Russia, for instance, recently paid nearly $3 million to Ketchum for a six-month media blitz to promote the country's leaders and policies. Georgia has retained Public Strategies, Inc. at $50,000 a month. And the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have hired Mark Saylor Co. at $30,000 a month. An uptick of spending on one side will inevitably lead to an increase on the other side, as PR becomes war by other means. The firms hope that the spin they set in motion will, through the alchemy of the media, turn into "facts" in an editorial, or an op-ed, or even a reporter's dispatch.


MIR DIAMOND MINE ~ Mirny, Eastern Siberia.
The World's Largest Hole



6.3 Quake ~ South of Fiji Islands

5.0 rattles Anchorage, southcentral Alaska

Third earthquake in four days hits Colorado

Joann Smith was 11 years old the night she huddled next to her sister, mother and dad as the ground shook and swayed. She heard the screams of people who had been camping at the Rock Creek Campground in Montana, just outside Yellowstone National Park, when a massive landslide roared down. "It was frightening. It was horrible," recalled the Denver resident of the night of Aug. 17, 1959. "You could actually see the ground open up."

Wildfire breaks out in southern Italy

Caribbean Artifacts in Underwater Cave

Biblical Archaeology and the Politics of Nations
There is a growing tendency to use academic argument to delegitimatize Israel...

Latest Islamic figure to deny documented archeological history

Can You Really Trust That Scientific Article?
Readers generally expect objective information from scientific papers authored by doctors at top medical schools. However, evidence suggests a widespread practice of doctors attaching their names to papers actually written by ghostwriters for drug companies. Often such articles have been written in a way to boost the sales of that company's product. The articles benefit from the reputation of the doctor whose name is attached to the paper. This practice breaches the public trust and is an issue of medical ethics. It is entrenched at some universities that fail to acknowledge the problem and don't have rigorous ethics rules for faculty members.
Scientists unlock DIY DNA
Aug 18, 2009‎ Scientists in Tel Aviv say they've demonstrated that DNA evidence can easily be faked to match the wrong person - assuming the nefarious framer has access to a biology lab and DNA database.
The Ultimate Emotional Intimidation...

Pastorious said it first ~ 8/15/09: "COMPARE AND CONTRAST"
Bob Dylan is the Anti-Gates: What CNN Doesn’t Want You to Know
The story is not that the officers were too young to know who Dylan was — it’s the fact that Dylan didn’t mind proving who he was. If we’re ever going to rise above race-baiting, news outlets have a duty to shine an even brighter light on decent behavior. But CNN made sure you’d never know Dylan was the anti-Gates.
The gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has warmly welcomed the decision of Richard Dawkins to back the campaign to win an official apology for Alan Turing, the code-breaking genius and father of the modern computer who committed suicide in 1954 after being prosecuted for being homosexual. More than 2,500 people have now added their name to the on-line petition calling for the Government to recognise the “consequences of prejudice” that ended the life of the scientist aged just 41. Professor Dawkins said that an apology would “send a signal to the world which needs to be sent”, and that Turing would still be alive today if it were not for the repressive, religion-influenced laws which drove him to despair.

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