Ebola And Cannabis?

I took two of my recent favorite topics and combined them for a ‘net search. Just to see what came up. And what came up was interesting. To say the least.

First off, in business news.

Ebola.com Purchased for $200K by Marijuana Company. And It Gets Stranger From There. Yes it does.

Ebola.com was sold to a marijuana-related company based in Russia that paid mostly in the stock of another marijuana company.

But the story’s not over yet. As recently as September of this year, Weed Growth Fund was known as Ovation Research, which according to this BusinessWeek profile was in the business of distributing “stainless steel cookware products for retail and wholesale customers in North America.”

Then, on Sept. 19, the company filed with the Nevada Secretary of State changing its name to Weed Growth Fund. (We tried to contact Weed Growth Fund by phone and email to ask about the deal and name change, but got no answer.)

Why would a marijuana company want to own the URL Ebola.com? Elliot Silver, DomainInvesting.com’s publisher, asked Blue String Ventures founder Jon Schultz this very question. And while Schultz replied that he did not know why Weed Growth Fund wanted the domain, he did send Silver to this Marijuana.com article in which Cannabis Sativa CEO Gary Johnson (the former two-term New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate!) claims that marijuana can be used to treat Ebola. (You can see him do it in this Fox Business interview.)

Here is the interview. I think Gary makes a point. What harm is there in trying to help with cannabis? Who knows? It might help. (We’ll get to that in a bit.)

Can Cannabinoids in Cannabis Paste fight off Ebola? Interesting question.

Brad Morehouse, founder of NewCure.org believes that it will greatly decrease the mortality rate and, quite possibly, be beneficial in clinical use.

“Enough research has already been done, and current evidence of cannabinoids killing other diseases, such as Lyme disease, is overwhelming,” says Morehouse. “Cannabis is currently being researched as a natural substance to fight HIV and build up the body’s immune system, since it’s one of nature’s best antiretrovirals.” U.S. federal and state laws, as well as research restrictions on drug companies, severely hamper the advancement and investigation of the healing properties of Cannabis. The worldwide research conducted so far indicates that Cannabis has significant medical potential and myriad therapeutic uses. Researchers in the natural-cures arena, however, are at a further disadvantage–they cannot work with the Ebola strain as the mandatory Level 4 Bio-Safety lab is way beyond the reach of such research. Regardless, Morehouse believes the time has come to tap into the anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabis (which is now being utilized in a cutting-edge paste form) and its benefits to the immune system.

Studies conclude that Ebola kills by cytokine storm, a potentially fatal immune system reaction. Besides Cannabis having antiretrovirals, cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory, which decreases the severity of cytokine storm. The study of cannabinoids has led to many important discoveries in immunology–not only the existence of a new physiological system (the endocannabinoid system), but also its role in the regulation of the immune system. Studies examining the effect of cannabinoids on immunity have shown that many cellular and cytokine mechanisms are suppressed by these agents. Klein&Cabral, 2006

The people at the link are selling Cannabis Paste. So they might be biased. OTOH they may be on to something if the research they point to is valid.

Here is some one I trust Dr. David B. Allen on the question.

There is good scientific evidence that cannabinoids, and in particular Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections (4). Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials. (1)

Ebola is a complex RNA viral organism that causes the cell to engulf it by pinocytosis, and then the virus hijacks the cell to replicate itself. This replication can involve many mutations in the RNA code that make it difficult to impossible to create an effective vaccine. There are U.S. Patents showing evidence that Cannabinoids have significant anti-viral activity. (3) (4)

Normally any virus infected cells will produce surface proteins that are identified as foreign. The Immune system attacks these cells when the surface protein is identified as foreign. The Ebola virus infection causes the cell to produce proteins that hide the virus from the immune system. The viral proteins are sterically shielded, i.e. “hidden” from view, thereby hindering cellular (and thus viral) destruction by the immune system. This mechanism allows the RNA virus to hide the infected cell by shielding it from view from the immune system.

The cause of death by this virus is the body’s own immune response to the viral infection. This is what causes the mortality and morbidity of this infection. Subsequently, the virus triggers the immune killer cells to release the enzymes (cytokines) they hold. This release of enzymes causes other lymphocyte to release even more Cytokines in a Storm of release. This is properly termed a Cytokine Storm.

Causes small blood clots to form in all arterioles, called; DIC or Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation. Causes a massive Coagulopathy where the blood will not to clot properly simultaneously with the DIC (Bleeding and clotting occur at the same time.) Toxic Shock Syndrome occurs when the cytokines release causes the blood vessels to dilate to such an extent that a shock state exists.

Cannabinoids are proven to reduce and prevent Toxic Shock and DIC (2)

There is much more at the link. Dr. Allen knows cannabis and endocannabinoids so he may be on to something.


Smoking Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola.

The video explains simply what Dr. Allen ran down in more medical terms.

The video was done by THC University.org


Prohibition Support On The Left

Eric brought to my attention that although it is generally true that Prohibitionists reside on the conservative right it is not strictly true. In Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu opposes medical cannabis while her main opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La favors medical cannabis.

There’s no reason Landrieu shouldn’t be for legalizing marijuana in such situations. There’s no reason anymore anyone should oppose it.

Landrieu’s not the only slow liberal Democrat on this one. National Review was for it 18 years before The New York Times finally backed it earlier this year.

Also for it: Landrieu’s main challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

The best thing to do would be to make marijuana legal, period, then sell it and tax it as we do tobacco and liquor. Barring that reasonable move, however, the next best thing is allowing people suffering through chemotherapy or other draining regimens to smoke some pot.

Nevertheless, there was Landrieu on the stage in Shreveport last week, staring down a rising Cassidy and about to see a poll the next morning that had her trailing him by 9. The first lightning round requested a “yes” or “no” on medical marijuana.

Cassidy, who fielded the question first, had already said “yes.” His affirmative response seemed to take one of the very nice liberal moderators aback for she asked him to repeat his answer, and the candidate (who is also a medical doctor) said “yes” again.

Next up was retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness and out shot an immediate “no.” I’d like to see Maness change his mind on that issue, but he’s a military officer and those guys have a way of being hidebound on issues like allowing someone withering away because they have no appetite from firing up a bong hit or two and getting the munchies.

Finally the question came to Landrieu. And she said “no.”

According to Real Clear Politics Cassidy is likely to be the final winner of the race if no one gets a majority in November.

In other news, Eric has kept me up on a challenge to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) in Federal Court in the Eastern District of California.

The U.S. government claims marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug with no medical benefits. But that claim will be up for debate Monday in California when a federal judge is scheduled to hear testimony from doctors that conclude the opposite.

Doctors Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, retired physician Phillip Denny, and Greg Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington will testify Monday that marijuana — real name, “cannabis” — is not the demon drug the federal government makes it out to be. Accepted science does not justify the listing of cannabis as a dangerous “Schedule I” substance, many say.

There is more on this all over the ‘net. Have a look around. And if you are wondering why the case is sometimes referred to as “Schweder” and sometimes a “Pickard” you can follow the motions made in the case and the rulings of the judge at eastern_district_of_calif/schweder-marijuana-case/. And just to relieve the suspense: it is a multiple defendant case and Schweder and Pickard (is that you Jean Luc?) are two of the defendants.

What is happening is that Prohibition is breaking down. The state of the law is going to be messy for a while.


Ebola By The Numbers

Let us say that by transmission methods encouraged by the left Ebola doubles every 21 days. In 31 doublings there will be 4 billion dead. Lets do the math 31 *21 = 651 days. A little less than two years.

A commenter elsewhere who made a similar calculation says:

The above post is a bit over simplified as it ignores changes in the population. At some point the infection rate will slow down as logistic curve effects begin to suppress exponential growth. You obviously cannot have more infected than exist in the local population pool and as the death rate grows the number of immune survivors also increases and at some point then will become a large enough portion of the population that the fertile ground for growth in a virgin population will also start to slow the spread as fewer and fewer members of the population are susceptible to the infection. Also social behavior will change when it really gets out of control just as it did during the plagues. Towns will cut themselves off from infected areas, high risk behaviors such as social kisses will disappear.Visits to prostitutes will drop off as people realize such contacts put them at very high risk.

That said the above growth numbers will be valid in the early expansion of the disease through virgin populations at the point where the infection is like a grass fire burning across an open prairie.

Well for now the stupids – although retreating some – still have the upper hand. It will not last. Imminent death has a way of focusing the mind.


Opposing The Insanity

A screed by ChiefIO on Ebola:

F*#king Hubris of Ebola Doctors and Loony Left.

So we’ve already dodged the bullet once (maybe – we still have about 3 weeks to know) in Dallas. So what happens? ANOTHER brilliantly clueless idiot who is enamored of his own specialness and noble cause manages to put all of NYC (and through it all of the globe) at risk of a disease that has a 70% mortality and no proven treatment.

Yes, there are a few speculative treatments. I hardly find it comforting to think of a few speculative treatments as how to ‘bet the future of humanity’ in a prudent way.


Given enough trials, one of these times the ‘bug’ will escape to the general public. Some returning guy will spend the night with a hooker who has a dozen clients in the next dozen days (who did not give their names) and it’s “off to the races”. During flu season, those dozen will not be diagnosed as Ebola until AFTER they have infected another 2 or 3 each. At that point, in a dense urban place like NYC, this ends when 100% are dead, recovered, or naturally immune. The present mortality rate has at least 1/2 and up to 70% of NYC dead. Maybe not this time, but soon enough….

And in another bit of world class stupidity:

Ebola travel bans are ‘irrational,’ says head of Red Cross.

Well no. They are entirely rational.

Update: 25 October 2014 0341z

Rationality is starting to prevail.

New Yorkers and New Jersey not dumb…

NEW YORK (AP) — Alarmed by the case of an Ebola-infected New York doctor, the governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all medical workers and other arriving travelers who have had contact with victims of the deadly disease in West Africa.


Drug War Nazis

I last visited this subject in March of 2013. In light of my many posts on how cannabis can cure cancer at least in some people and given this is breast cancer awareness month, and in recognition of the GOP effort to continue drug prohibition I thought the subject could use a revisit.

A definition is in order and the wiki is probably good enough in this instance.

Crimes Against Humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, “are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings.”[1] They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder; massacres; dehumanization; extermination; human experimentation; extrajudicial punishments; military use of children; kidnappings; unjust imprisonment; slavery; cannibalism, torture; rape; political, racial, or religious persecution; and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice.

So would widespread persecution of people for what they like to smoke be considered a crime against humanity? How about denying the ill medicine in order to continue the persecution? Well that probably qualifies.

And where do the majority of these Nazis reside in the current era? As Bill Quick has pointed out and the Heritage Foundation has so amply proved, they reside for the most part in the Republican Party. And they do not appear to be ashamed of their position.

Help them out. Make Drug War Nazi a common phrase. And when asked, point out that they would deny some people medicine in order to continue the persecution of other people.


What bureaucrats can do to you (and with “diligence”!)

Among other things, they can steal your house:

A Norcross, Georgia, woman is pleading with city leaders not to take her home over an overdue tax bill of $94.85.

The woman says she never received any notices and never knew her condo had been sold at auction. Now city officials are trying to figure out what, if anything, went wrong.

Xui Lui says she never knew there was an overdue tax bill on her place because the notices were returned to city hall.

Lui bought the two-bedroom Norcross condo with cash in 2011. She lives there with her 4-year-old child. Records show she’s paid the county taxes and the city tax every year except that first year, when the certified letters warning of the outstanding balance were returned to the city because of clerical errors. That error turned out to be an incomplete address.

So she lost her house over a pittance, based on a bill she never received.

The city says they are “doing” their “due diligence”:

Norcross City Manager Rudolph Smith told WSB-TV on Monday, “We are going back and doing our due diligence. (The city contractor who handled the sale) will try to work something out.”

However, since the property has already been legally sold to another buyer, it’s unclear what can be done.

“Legally sold.” What a disgustingly loaded term that is. The state can take your property by right without even informing you?

Makes me wonder how many others have been screwed out of their property by governments.


ACLU Lawyer Gets Bipartisan Support For DOJ Post

Eric covered the nomination of Vanita Gupta, as acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, runnning down the Drug War aspects of her nomination. Surprisingly, a pro drug site, The Weed Blog, covered some other aspects.

The Washington Post reports that Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Deputy Legal Director, to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division. This news comes not long after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his imminent resignation, and indicates a continued initiative of positive federal drug policy changes.

Gupta has been outspoken on a number of issues, including racial sentencing disparities, federal incentives to state police that prioritize the investigation of drug arrests over violent crime, mandatory minimum sentences and related disparities, as well as marijuana legalization. She currently leads the ACLU’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Gupta has also garnered bipartisan support with conservatives Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and David Keene, former president of the NRA, both speaking highly of her.

“Vanita Gupta has witnessed the damage caused by our erroneous policies throughout her career. She’s a brilliant choice for this position,” says executive director of LEAP, Major Neill Franklin (ret.). “This shows that the federal government is aiming to look at drug policy issues through a social-justice lens rather than a criminal justice one. ”

Americans for Tax Reform? The NRA? Well other than the Drug War she does not seem to be a bete noire of the right.

So lets have a look at WaPo.

“In that zone, she’s been good to work with and a serious person,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said in an interview. “She’s been open to working with conservatives on good policy. She has played a strong role in the left-right cooperation in criminal justice issues.”

David Keene, who was president of the National Rifle Association from 2011 to 2013, also praised Gupta’s “collaborative approach.”

“Vanita is a very good person,” he said in an interview. “I’ve worked with her on criminal justice reform issues. Most of the Obama administration people have been so ideologically driven that they won’t talk to people who disagree with them. Vanita is someone who works with everyone. She both listens to and works with people from all perspectives to accomplish real good.”

What our friends on the right fail to grasp is that except in certain small sections of the country the Drug War does not garner huge support. Last I looked the % of the population favoring an end to Cannabis Prohibition was 58% and rising. At what level of support for ending Prohibition does the Heritage Foundation give it up? If Segregation is any guide there will be die hards remaining for quite some time.

Well the Right wants to remain stupid on the issue. It will eventually cost them. Unless they can find a way to support Rand Paul.


Support the War on Drugs!

Anyone who has been reading M. Simon’s recent posts about marijuana and who thinks that the War on Drugs is (or ought to be) winding down should get a load of today’s Drudge headline:

DOJ's New Civil Rights Division Chief: Decriminalize Possession of All Drugs...

The link goes to this Heritage Foundation pro-Drug War screed opposing the nomination of Vanita Gupta for daring to have opined that drug possession be decriminalized.

While the Drudge link might give the impression that the attack on Gupta is a “news” article, that is hardly the case. The hit piece was written by a Drug War booster who links his “research” which makes the claim that marijuana is

“an addictive, gateway drug. It significantly impairs bodily and mental functions, and its use is related to increased violence.”

Got that?

What are the Drudge/Heritage think tankists thinking?

That pushing the Drug War a good campaign issue for the GOP?

Whatever they’re smoking, I don’t think it’s the right stuff.


Tits And Pot

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And it is a Big Deal. So big our local paper made its front page pink. Evidently no one is aware that cannabis can cure some (maybe all) breast cancer. From the US Government. Copious links omitted here are available at the link.

Antitumor Effects

One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.[3] During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo .[4] In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.[5-8]

Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.[9-12] Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents.[13,14] Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.[15]

The effects of delta-9-THC and a synthetic agonist of the CB2 receptor were investigated in HCC.[16] Both agents reduced the viability of HCC cells in vitro and demonstrated antitumor effects in HCC subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. The investigations documented that the anti-HCC effects are mediated by way of the CB2 receptor. Similar to findings in glioma cells, the cannabinoids were shown to trigger cell death through stimulation of an endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway that activates autophagy and promotes apoptosis.


I sent the above excerpt to my local paper along with:

There is much more. And yet your paper like so many others in the country continues to ignore the subject. Prejudice kills. And then there is cannabis and Alzheimer’s. Cannabis and diabetes. Cannabis and so many diseases. Because we have more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than any other receptor type.

When this becomes general knowledge it will be an indictment of our whole “news” dissemination system. And you will deserve it.


Not Very Good Music In Extremely Poor Taste

In other news: Asking If ‘Big Gov’t Sucks’ Got This Girl Kicked Off Campus. Because you only have free speech rights in free speech zones. The rest of the country is zoned unfree.

And a real surprise here: A Heart Warming Police Story. Sort of. At least no one was shot. And no puppies were involved. Probably fortunately.

And of course the perennially popular …rich people versus French and German banks, Goldman Sachs, and the Chinese Communist pals of Henry Paulson.


Even The Left Is Stupid On The Matter

I’m reading (well skimming more like) a long article on the woes of being an Alzheimer’s care giver in National Journal. No where in the article is there anything about how cannabis can help.

Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

Findings from the experiments, using a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease, were reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers from the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute showed that extremely low doses of THC reduce the production of amyloid beta, found in a soluble form in most aging brains, and prevent abnormal accumulation of this protein — a process considered one of the pathological hallmarks evident early in the memory-robbing disease. These low concentrations of THC also selectively enhanced mitochondrial function, which is needed to help supply energy, transmit signals, and maintain a healthy brain.

THC? Isn’t that the stuff that gets you high? How can hat be good for you? Anyway my guess is that that kind of prejudice goes a long way.

Update: Well that post I linked on cannabis was from August of this year. How about Time Magazine – October 2012? In the very first paragraph:

…a new review suggests that drugs similar to marijuana’s active ingredients may hold promise for preventing— or even reversing— brain aging and possibly Alzheimer‘s and other degenerative brain diseases.

It is not like the information is new or hidden. It just doesn’t register.


Sexual McCarthyism

This is an outrage:

The case against a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student charged earlier this month with rape has been dismissed, authorities said Friday afternoon, and he has been found “factually innocent” of that allegation.

Eugene Quillin was scheduled to enter a plea in the case Friday morning.

But Teresa Drenick, Alameda County district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said Friday afternoon that the case against Quillin was instead dismissed.

Quillin’s attorney, Ted W. Cassman, said shortly before 4 p.m. via email that the case was dismissed for insufficient evidence, and that the judge ruled Quillin to be factually innocent.

For over a week now, I have been reading about this case on an almost daily basis. The kid was arrested, held with a huge bail, excoriated in the press, etc.

And now? Will there be any apologies?

Does it matter that his life has been nearly ruined?

A friend said he didn’t understand why there aren’t more consequences for these accusers, and I think this comment explains why:

There seems to be a very reactionary, radical feminist movement on college campuses across America. It is clearly big enough to influence government and policy decisions. Unfortunately this movement seeks to subvert one of the basic tenets of the American criminal justice system: the rights of the accused. As a result, this young man’s future at Cal is over. Hopefully he is able to recoup his losses through some sort of lawsuit, and start fresh at another school.

When hysteria prevails, the rights of the accused mean nothing.


Goodness me, Goodness me, Government Disease

Dave has already touched on it, but I just couldn’t resist. pResident Obama appoints a lawyer to head ebola response. Not a doctor or a nurse, not a public health specialist or a disease researcher. A lawyer. Normally when you want to solve a problem you bring on some one who has relevant training and experience. What is the relevance of a lawyer to a disease outbreak?

Now what does this tell me? Assuming it is a rational decision and not the product of a diseased mind: Obama does not want to solve or manage the problem. He wants it to get worse (on the ground) while providing spin coverage in Washington.

And just to get the conspiracists hopping I’ll throw in a link to Agenda 21/America 2050 – depopulation. Is any of that rational? Reasonable? Possible? Well appointing a lawyer to solve a disease problem kinda makes me wonder.

And then sending troops to areas with high infection rates makes me wonder. The purpose is what? Getting the troops infected? Because I have never seen in the military literature anything about deploying divisions against a virus.

I will add that I just got a State ID the other day and was informed that because I’m of a certain age it doesn’t expire until I do. I do not think government has my best interest at heart.



There’s been a lot of criticism of this choice, but if Klain can do for Ebola what he did for Solyndra, I’m sold.

I’ve personally been wondering if it might be a good idea to stock up on lysine, which has some data (and a lot of anecdote) supporting use as an antiviral. Hopefully more research will be done on supplements, it’s picked up lately but still a ways behind where it should be.



Sometimes life is a circus:

A cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers was denied entry to Mexico — and forced to return to the United States — after officials discovered that a woman on board is a health-care worker who handled fluids from a man dying of Ebola.

The lab tech, who worked at the Dallas hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan died, set sail from Galveston, Texas, on Sunday aboard the 1,000-foot Carnival Magic.

The woman — who has shown no symptoms of the deadly virus — waited until Thursday to quarantine herself and her husband in their room, the cruise line said in a statement.

“The individual remains in voluntary isolation,” Carnival said.

The rest of the passengers were permitted to disembark in Belize on Thursday, but the country would not allow her to go through its port to get a flight back to the United States.

On Friday, they arrived in Cozumel, Mexico, where Mexican officials refused to allow the ship to dock. The crew decided to go back to Texas, where they will arrive on Sunday.

Hey maybe we’re all gonna die!

I think not.

If the disease and as virulent is as deadly as some think, then after all these years why aren’t there more cases?


Why only animals?

Here’s a San Francisco news item that may or may not amuse readers. Animal rights activists are now targeting restaurant patrons:

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – An animal rights group said they would continue to target restaurants after one of their members stormed into a San Francisco restaurant and gave a tearful speech urging diners not to eat meat.

Kelly Atlas of Direct Action Everywhere entered Bluestem Brasserie and spoke out on the plight of her chicken Snow, in a videotaped speech that has gone viral. As of late Monday night, the video had more than 573,000 views.

Atlas and others said they want equal rights for all animals, not just cats, dogs and other non-food species.

“All animals” would include mice, rats, insects, worms, coral, and jellyfish, although it might unfairly exclude microorganisms. I mean if there are to be equal “rights,” why stop with insects and worms?

Shouldn’t the same rights be enjoyed by the hepatitis, AIDS, and Ebola viruses?

This narrow approach strikes me as animalcentrism.


The Impossible Thruster


NASA confirms ‘impossible’ thruster actually works, could revolutionize space travel By Drew Prindle — August 1, 2014

You just bounce microwaves in a cavity. So far about 50 micro Newtons of constant force. Not a lot. Now put this sucker in a circular orbit and watch it go. A nuclear battery would do nicely for about 10 years of thrust. BTW the microwaves were at about 950 MHz. Not too hard to generate these days.

The drive people have a news page.

NASA link.


Don’t you laugh!

A bumper sticker I saw for sale the other day cracked me up:


Not very politically correct, is it? How dare anyone play games with the sacrosanct “O” that was a very slick icon of a very slick campaign?

Political satire which ridicules this administration is frowned upon in an unprecedented manner. When I was a kid, ridiculing LBJ was fair game, and so was ridiculing Nixon. Over the years, I watched Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush all subjected to endless, often vicious ridicule. But making fun of this president is treated very differently.

Even this (which I saw the other day) might be considered disrespectful:



An Obama sticker on a garbage can? Could that have been some sort of passive aggressive statement, or was it an innocent mistake?

Comrade Kaprugina wants to know!


What if rights were treated equally?

From a piece by Bob Barr:

Imagine if voter ID laws were as rigorous as gun regulations found in many of America’s major cities. In order to vote in such a scenario, citizens would be forced to take a day-long class (at a cost of $100 or more) about the basics of the U.S. government and electoral process. They then would be required to take a competency test (only available at inconvenient locations during normal working hours) on the current election’s issues. Finally, after paying a non-refundable processing fee of $100 to score the results, they would then be forced to wait months for the actual voter registration card — which could be rejected for any reason — to arrive in the mail. If a voter decided to seek the help of a tutor to help ensure his non-refundable processing fee was not wasted by a possibly failing grade, he would have to be prepared to shell out another $100.

Why not allow all voters to own guns?


A tl;dr Critique of Islam

At Samizdata. Which also suggests Why I Am Not A Muslim.

And just for the jokers among us. I did read it all.