February 8th, 2009

soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Doctor loses license in live birth abortion case



MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A doctor's license was revoked Friday in the case of a teenager who planned to have an abortion but instead gave birth to a baby she says was killed when clinic staffers put it into a plastic bag and threw it in the trash.

The doctor, Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique, was not present when the baby was born, but the Florida Medical Board upheld Department of Health allegations that he falsified medical records, inappropriately delegated tasks to unlicensed personnel and committed malpractice.

Joseph Harrison, the attorney representing Renelique at the license revocation hearing in Tampa, said Renelique has not decided whether to appeal.

The state attorney's office, meanwhile, said its criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. A fetus born alive cannot be put to death even if its mother intended to have an abortion, police said when the incident occurred in 2006.

The baby's mother, Sycloria Williams, sued Renelique, the clinic and its staff in January, seeking damages.
She alleges in her suit that "she witnessed the murder of her daughter" and said she "sustained severe emotional distress, shock and psychic trauma which have resulted in discernible bodily injury."
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cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

HuffPo: PUPPY LOVER STEELE SEZ: GOVERNMENT JOBS AIN'T REAL JOBS YOU BUMS

Steele Confuses Stephanopoulos: Claims Government Jobs "Aren't Jobs," Private Sector Jobs Never Go Away



There is certainly a political debate to be waged over whether or not government spending can effectively create jobs. But in his interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Michael Steele seemed to suggest, as he did back in January, that government jobs are not, in fact, really jobs.

Rather, Steele said, government jobs are "just work." (Is work not a job?) The newly-minted RNC Chairman added that when it comes to the private sector, job loss is never permanent.

"They come back though George," said Steele. "That's the point. They've gone away before and they come back."

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Text - WTF Have You Done

In an Era of Shrinking Broods, Large Families Can Feel Attacked



And Baby Makes How Many?

By KATE ZERNIKE
Published: February 6, 2009


THE comment from the photographer at Sears was typical. “Are these all yours?” she asked, surveying Kim Gunnip’s 12 children.

“No,” Mrs. Gunnip replied, “I picked some up at the food court.”

But it was harder to find a retort for the man in line at the supermarket, who said within earshot of her youngest children, “You must have a great sex life.”

Now her family, like other larger families, as they call themselves, is facing endless news coverage of the octuplets born in California and a new round of scorn, slack jaws and stupid jokes.

Back when the average woman had more than three children, big families were the Kennedys of Hickory Hill and Hyannis Port, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” the Cosbys or “Eight is Enough” — lovable tumbles of offspring as all-American in their scrapes as in their smiles.

But as families have shrunk, and parents helicopter over broods tinier yet more precious, a vanload of children has taken on more of a freak show factor. The families know the stereotypes: they’re polygamists, religious zealots, reality-show hopefuls or Québécois in it for the per-child government bonus. And isn’t there something a little obsessive about Angelina Jolie’s quest for her own World Cup soccer team?

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lol at the defenses of big families-- they are so delusional, fifteen kids is still fifteen kids whether or not you go camping or are a 'green' family. That's a HUGE environmental impact, no matter how you slice it.
Drink up baby doll

Summers warns that stimulus battle not yet over


WASHINGTON – One of President Barack Obama's top economic advisers forecast Sunday a difficult struggle with Congress over Senate cuts of $40 billion for state and local governments from the administration's massive spending and tax cut package to stimulate the failing economy.

The $827 billion Senate version of the plan — designed to bring the economy out of the worst downward spiral since the Great Depression — was expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday. The House had already passed its $819 billion version of the measure.
 

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Shiela Bair. Fierce.

Maybe you know her name, or not.

But the head of the FDIC, Shiela Bair, has increasingly alienated leaders of the corporate world and the Republican Party by embarking on an aggressive mission to contain the damage of capitalism by seizing US banks that cannot honor their commitments to customers.

NINE US banks have been taken over by Shiela Bair's FDIC since the start of 2009. She was a Bush 43 appointee, but began pissing off conservatives - now Obama is keeping her.

FDIC chairwoman delivers blunt words to Wall Street execs

URGES CAUTION: SHEILA BAIR HAS TAUGHT FINANCIAL THEORY TO ADULTS AND KIDS THROUGH BOOKS AND AS A COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR.

10:00 PM PST on Saturday, February 7, 2009

By ALAN ZIBEL
The Associated Press

The Wall Street crowd that packed into the ballroom of the fancy Times Square hotel didn't know what was about to hit it.

As the bankers and analysts sliced into their grilled beef tenderloin and chicken, Sheila Bair stepped up to the microphone and told them off.

Too many people couldn't make their mortgage payments, she said. The mortgage industry was sitting on a ticking time bomb and just didn't get it. Pick up the phone, she said, and talk to borrowers.

FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair is an outspoken voice for government intervention in the financial crisis that has devastated the U.S. economy.

"The sense of hostility from that audience was overwhelming," said Howard Glaser, a Washington-based mortgage industry consultant who sat at Bair's table that day in October 2007.

"I thought they were literally going to throw their desserts at her."

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GOP seeking to end ban on some donation limits

GOP seeking to end ban on some donation limits

Republicans are making another run at overturning a ban on unlimited "soft money" contributions. Their Democratic rivals say it is an attempt to bring big money back to politics because the GOP can't keep up with President Barack Obama's fundraising machine.

The Republican National Committee is suing to overturn part of a ban on unlimited contributions passed by Congress in 2002 and upheld by the Supreme Court a year later.

The suit is against the Federal Elections Commission, which enforces the law, but the Democratic National Committee and House Democrats campaign chief Rep. Chris Van Hollen have asked the court to let them defend the law as well. The GOP is fighting to keep the Democrats out of the courtroom dispute.

The party positions are ironic, given how the law got its start. The law, known as McCain-Feingold after the senators who sponsored it, restricts donations by individuals to $28,500 per year to the political parties and prohibits the parties from accepting any corporate or labor union contributions.
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You reap what you sow, biatches...
cookie monster
  • capthek

I find this all very scary, any of you dealing with job loss?

I remember when I graduated high school and was first on the job market during the early 90s recession. After many months of searching I was happy to just get a fast food job. Now if either my wife or I lose our job our mortgage and everything we have would be at risk, my heart goes out to everyone who is losing their jobs (ya, I am a bleeding heart). Any stories out there? Story below:

Legions facing layoffs turn to parties, Internet

By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer Sun Feb 8, 2:33 am ET
Phil Berent of New York, right, with a pink bracelet indicating he is lookingAP – Phil Berent of New York, right, with a pink bracelet indicating he is looking for work, speaks with recruiter …

NEW YORK – The bar was crowded with well-dressed professionals enjoying drinks and conversation, a typical evening — except that many of them had no job.

The event was a Wall Street Pink Slip Party, where the unemployed mix with recruiters and curious bystanders to network, look for work, and share their stories.

With employers shedding 600,000 more jobs in January, the undercurrent at this party in a Manhattan bar was decidedly glum.

"Wall Street, directly or indirectly, has ruined the best 10 years of my life," said Susan Lange, speaking of colleagues and friends she lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and the sense now, after being laid off from her job as an AIG training manager, that her world has again turned on its head.

"I'm devastated," the 39-year-old woman said.

Figures released Friday showed that the unemployment rate hit 7.6 in January, a month with more layoffs than at any other time since 1974.

Jobseekers are gathering in bars, delving into the business networking Web site LinkedIn, waiting in lines at city help centers, and even starting up hopeful conversations with prosperous-looking strangers on commuter trains — all in the hope of landing jobs in what seems to be a shrinking pool of opportunity.

"Places have hiring freezes. And they have cutbacks. And they have layoffs. There are a lot more people in the job market," said 32-year-old Ana Arrendell, who has been searching for work since August.

At first, she was looking only for a job in her field, graphic design. But as the months have gone by, Arrendell has lowered her expectations. "Right now, I'll take anything," she said Friday as she left a New York City-run office that offers resume-writing assistance and interview training.

Already having given up hope for a Wall Street job making $80,000 per year right out of college, recent graduate David Gunther is getting creative as he tries to expand his business network.

The 23-year-old has begun hanging around commuter ferries and suburban trains, chatting up professional-looking types traveling to areas where executives live. Recently, at an electronica concert — a wildly different atmosphere than at the career services office at his university — he talked to some fans who introduced him to an entertainment-industry manager. Now he's preparing for a job interview with the man.

Gunther isn't the only one looking for new ways to meet people. Among the groups using the networking service Meetup, the NYC Job Seekers & Career Strategy group has more than doubled in size to 454 people since September, with more than 95 joining since the first of the year. Worldwide, Meetup has seen a boom in career-related groups; more than 2,000 were started in January, compared to about 500 a month over the summer, said spokesman Andres Glusman.
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EDIT: Child star, parents happy with ‘Slumdog’



 

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LOS ANGELES, Jan 30, (Agencies): The makers of “Slumdog Millionaire” have done more for the film’s child stars than their parents ever could, the father of one young actress said. Rafiq Qureshi, whose 7-year-old daughter, Rubina, appears in the film, said that the filmmakers enrolled his daughter in school and “are taking complete care of my child.” “Whatever a parent could have done, they have done much more than that,” he said during an interview with AP Television in Mumbai, India on Wednesday. The film, which has earned widespread accolades and 10 Academy Awards nominations, came under criticism this week after reports in British newspapers suggested the child actors weren’t adequately compensated for their work.

 

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EDIT: winniechili  mentioned in the comments that this has been cleared up. If anyone has a source stating that I'll add it to this post.

EDIT EDIT: Article added refuting the initial article.

Gay woman fights over hospital visitation rights in Miami court

A gay woman not allowed to visit her dying partner at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2007 hopes a federal judge will allow her claims of emotional distress and negligence to go to trial.

BY LAURA FIGUEROA

As her partner of 17 years slipped into a coma, Janice Langbehn pleaded with doctors and anyone who would listen to let her into the woman's hospital room.

Eight anguishing hours passed before Langbehn would be allowed into Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. By then, she could only say her final farewell as a priest performed the last rites on 39-year-old Lisa Marie Pond.

Jackson staffers advised Langbehn that she could not see Pond earlier because the hospital's visitation policy in cases of emergency was limited to immediate family and spouses -- not partners. In Florida, same-sex marriages or partnerships are not recognized. On Friday, two years after her partner's death, Langbehn and her attorneys were in federal court, claiming emotional distress and negligence in a suit they filed last June.

Jackson attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the hospital has no obligation to allow patients' visitors.

Following a hearing lasting more than an hour Friday, U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan said he would try to decide soon whether the case could proceed to trial. He gave no specific date.

 

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Senator 3

America kicks ass!

Evidence of how a British resident held in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp was tortured, and what MI5 knew about it, must remain secret because of serious threats the US has made against the UK, the high court ruled today.

The judges made clear they were deeply unhappy with their decision, but said they had no alternative as a result of a statement by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, that if the evidence was disclosed the US would stop sharing intelligence with Britain. That would directly threaten the UK's national security, Miliband had told the court.

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• >:(
  • schmiss

WHY YOU DO THIS.

Sebelius, Bredesen up for HHS spot



Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is the leading contender to replace Tom Daschle as President Obama's choice for secretary of Health and Human Services, with Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen also remaining under consideration, administration officials told Politico.

The officials said others might be in the mix, but that a decision was likely soon.

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Sebelius near top for health post

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was very near the top of President Barack Obama's list of candidates to head the Health and Human Services Department, a senior administration official said Saturday.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private administration deliberations, said no decision was imminent. But the official added the former Kansas insurance commissioner was rising as Obama considers prospective candidates.

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This is stupid. Sebelius would walk away with the 2010 Kansas senate race. Research 2000's recent poll shows Sebelius beating all Republican competition by double digits in a state that NEVER elects Dems to the Senate.

But since they didn't take Arizona having a wingnut Lt. Gov into mind before picking Napolitano I don't know if that will even be a consideration.

Still, doesn't he have people who are supposed to be watching these things? Like RAHM who were were all excited about??? Or are we just going to pretend red states like Kansas don't exist since Howard Dean isn't in charge anymore?

HOLD ME PLZ.
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Video appears to show hostage killing in Pakistan

Video appears to show hostage killing in Pakistan

A graphic video delivered to The Associated Press on Sunday appeared to show the execution of a Polish engineer by Pakistani militants who had held him captive for more than four months.

Pakistan has seen a rash of kidnappings and attacks on foreigners in recent months, mostly blamed on al-Qaida and Taliban militants trying to destabilize the secular government and punish it for supporting the U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.

An American U.N. worker was abducted last week in the border town of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan. Police said Sunday they were investigating a purported separatist group's claim of responsibility.
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AP IMPACT: Drugmakers' push boosts 'murky' ailment

AP IMPACT: Drugmakers' push boosts 'murky' ailment

Two drugmakers spent hundreds of millions of dollars last year to raise awareness of a murky illness, helping boost sales of pills recently approved as treatments and drowning out unresolved questions — including whether it's a real disease at all.

Key components of the industry-funded buzz over the pain-and-fatigue ailment fibromyalgia are grants — more than $6 million donated by drugmakers Eli Lilly and Pfizer in the first three quarters of 2008 — to nonprofit groups for medical conferences and educational campaigns, an Associated Press analysis found.

That's more than they gave for more accepted ailments such as diabetes and Alzheimer's. Among grants tied to specific diseases, fibromyalgia ranked third for each company, behind only cancer and AIDS for Pfizer and cancer and depression for Lilly.

Fibromyalgia draws skepticism for several reasons. The cause is unknown. There are no tests to confirm a diagnosis. Many patients also fit the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome and other pain ailments.

Experts don't doubt the patients are in pain. They differ on what to call it and how to treat it.
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pen

Prime Minister 'Hell's fury hit Victoria' - Australia

Death toll from Australia's bush fires in the State of Victoria is up around 65 Just under 100

This story is still in progress :(


Friends and family of victims of the fire broke down sobbing outside the Whittlesea community activity centre upon learning of the fates of 12 Kinglake residents who have perished in the blaze.

Marie Jones from Canberra, who was visiting a friend at Kinglake yesterday, said a badly-burnt man had arrived at the property where she was staying with his infant daughter, and told her his wife and other child had been killed.

"He was so badly burnt. He had skin hanging off him everywhere and his little girl was burnt, but not as badly as her dad, and he just came down and he said `Look, I've lost my wife, I've lost my other kid, I just need you to save [my daughter]'," Ms Jones said.

Ms Jones said she was later separated from the pair after travelling with them in an ambulance to Whittlesea.

Cathy Barber, from Pheasant Creek, managed to escape her now burnt-down home and huddled in the Kinglake School, which was also destroyed, before arriving at the evacuation centre in Whittlesea this morning.

 

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Source and more news here


Red Cross Victorian bushfires 2009 - appeal

ABC Comprehensive Bushfire coverage


This is looking to be Australia's worst bushfire in the last 100 years, in terms of life loss and property destroyed.  *sigh*     And the army has been called in.
team science

Hillary Ditches Kiss From Bill For Barack

She probably just didn't see her husband going in for the kiss. Or maybe it was the gorgeousness of Barack Obama that caused her instincts to override any sense of propriety or marital-love. Whatever the cause, it's kind of cold and definitely hilarious.




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LOL. Well, maybe she figured: "At least I know for sure where THOSE lips have been before!"


PS: is that guy on the right sticking a note to his back?
?

waiting
  • bispo

Andrew Sullivan tells Ya'll the real Definition

A pet peeve of mine: so please stop over-using it!
no!! neo-con-tears yes!! 29813734812925dbf21fxz3
The term has become close to meaningless and some of my bloggy shorthand has, I think, contributed. That's what happens when words become epithets and many arguments are conflated, as happens in real time and real discourse. So for some barnacle scraping.

It is unfair to conflate "neoconservatism" with passionate defense of the state of Israel. That is indeed a feature of many neocons, but it is also a feature of many liberal internationalists and many people in between. That neoconservatism has tended to support the maximalist claims of the Israeli right does tend to characterize it accurately, but then again, much of the Israeli center has moved toward that position as well. And Palestinian intransigence has made it far more plausible than it might otherwise have been. At times, perhaps the case against this strain in neoconservatism is best expressed by the the worry that passionate support for Israel can become, if internalized too completely, a blinding and knee-jerk response, and a barrier to thinking more coolly about America's regional options.

I think that's a fair assessment of some aspects of the past eight years, and I include myself as part of the problem.

But neoconservatism can also mean and has meant: a critique of domestic Great Society liberalism (with its heyday in the 1970s); a defense of unipolar American hegemony in the post-Cold War world; the use of force as well as trade and civil contact to promote democratic norms across the globe; a belief that wider democratic reform always advances the interests of the United States; a disdain for multilateralism, etc. This is also not an exhaustive list. Neocons were also on both sides of many of the questions in the Iraq war: troop levels, counter-insurgency strategy, etc. JPod is correct, and this blog has acknowledged, that Bill Kristol and Bob Kagan were among Rumsfeld's strongest critics. To say that someone was once a neocon and is no longer one is therefore all but meaningless without further elaboration. To use the term too quickly or too broadly obscures more than it enlightens. Even in the tussle of blog debate, I'm going to try and be more rhetorically vigilant. My own out-growing of neoconservatism has been entirely a function of trying to make sense of events these past few years. And I fail to see how any intellectually honest neocon can be unchastened by them. But many, apparently, are.

It does seem to me a real question, however, as to why some neoconservatives seem so grittily determined to bring democracy by force of American arms to the deeply dysfunctional politics of Iraq but not to the deeply dysfunctional politics of Palestine. But maybe that will change. Maybe a cooller understanding of Israel's and America's best interests will help.
source: Andrew Sullivan
cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

LATimes: Bow down, Republicans, and worship your king of corpulence.

Rush Limbaugh has his grip on the GOP microphone

LOUD AND CLEAR: After President Obama called out the radio host by name, he went on the air and said: "I am Rush Limbaugh, the man President Obama has instructed you not to listen to!"

As Republicans grapple with their fall from power, not all are comfortable with the talk radio king's suggestion that he, by default, has become the politically wounded party's unofficial leader.


By Faye Fiore and Mark Z. Barabak
February 8, 2009



Reporting from San Francisco and Washington -- In 1994, Rush Limbaugh was a field marshal in the Republican revolution, rallying troops fervid in their passion, armed with a change agenda and determined to shake Washington upside down.

Fifteen years later, Republicans are politically hobbled and Democrats are fervid in their passion, armed with a change agenda and determined, along with their new president, to shake Washington upside down.

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Sauce
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Steele Crazy After All This Year

Steele Crazy After All This Year

First they came for me, because I had made fun of Sarah Palin. And they said, "Well, yeah, she's a congenital liar who can't give a coherent answer to a simple question even with the aid of a TelePrompter and a ventriloquist--but she's not representative of the new era of Republican leadership."

And then I said, "Oh, yeah? Well, how about Michael Steele, the new GOP chairman, who believes that 'work' for the government isn't 'a job' (even though it rewards labor with wages, which are spent by the worker on food, clothing, shelter, and health, which payments go back out into the private economy and provide income for fooders, clothers, shelterers, and healthers), plus this clown Steele says that, while government contracts are temporary, private sector jobs (for some magical reason) aren't."

And they said, "Oh, yeah? Well who is more likely to pay taxes: a private business owner, or the government?"

And I said, "Oh, yeah? Well who is more likely to be in business a year from now: most new private business owners, or the government?"

And they said, "Shut up."
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God Bless
  • lanrek

Paul McCartney names stuffed wolf Ashley

The Grammy awards are usually pretty stale. Old, boring people win, Stevie Wonder shows up to perform with the latest tween sensation, and they tape all of the categories that could potentially be controversial during the pre-telecast.

However, this year there was some subtlety. When known animal rights activist Paul McCartney appeared on stage, Dave Grohl on drums wasn't his only surprise guest...



Now, unless this is the little fellow that was safeguarding the Jonas Brother's promise rings for the night, this definitely looks like a whisper of support for the recent commercial about "Governor Sarah Palin's aerial-wolf killing program" that's been causing a lot of drama.

CBS did a rather nice job of keeping the stuffed animal out of non-HDTV view during the entire performance, though. I wonder if they'll be getting many letters from Sarah Palin supporters watching the Grammys on their TV that hasn't gotten their proper digital converter yet.

Yeah. Probably not.

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cookie monster
  • capthek

There is already lots of debate about "choice" how upset will people get about this? Is it ok?

Unnatural selection: How far will parents go?

by Marlowe Hood Marlowe Hood Sat Feb 7, 11:02 pm ET
Unnatural selection: How far will parents go? AFP/File – Blood serum samples in a clinic in Manila. Picture this: prospective parents excitedly clicking through …
PARIS (AFP) – Picture this: prospective parents excitedly clicking through an online catalogue, ticking off the optimal mix of traits for their yet-to-be-conceived child.
Will they opt for blue eyes or brown. Perhaps green, for a touch of originality? What colour skin? And do they want a boy or a girl?
Are they aiming for an Olympian athlete, or will they stack the deck in favour of intellectual prowess? Why not both?
For some people, this would be a dream come true. For others, a nightmare of widening inequality touching on eugenics.
For biologists, it raises acute questions about evolution.
The principle of species change through natural selection was set down by Charles Darwin, who was born 200 years ago on February 12.
But what "natural selection" means when it comes to Homo sapiens is hard to define. It has already been challenged by medicine, habitat, diet and other factors that affect lifespan, reproduction and survivability.
Genetic selection means our species' evolutionary path would be even more radically changed.
We are not there yet -- but this vision clearly does not belong to the hazy future of science fiction.
Dozens of clinics in the United States, one of the least regulated markets for fertility services, already provide would-be parents in-depth profiles of potential sperm and egg donors.
Atlanta-based Xytex Corporation, for example, offers a long list of genetically-coded physical attributes, right down to the length of eyelashes, the presence of freckles and whether ear lobes are detached.
There is also a summary of the donor's medical history and -- for an additional fee -- personality and educational profiles, a personal essay and photos, as an adult and a baby.
Much of this information has no relation to genetic pedigree and even when it does, the result -- a human child -- may not come out as advertised. But that has not dampened enthusiasm for the tests.
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NARMY

An About-Face on Gay Troops

NYT Op-Ed Contributor
By OWEN WEST



GENERALS are scolded for preparing to fight “the last war,” but if President Obama intends to keep his promise to allow gays to serve openly in the military, he would do well to study President Bill Clinton’s attempt of 16 years ago.

The Clinton argument, based largely on protecting the civil rights of gay troops, was systematically dissected by senior officers and legislators, who focused on how the presence of homosexuals could affect combat readiness. Generals circulated videos made by conservative groups depicting “gay agendas.” Senators brought television crews into cramped berthings. Congress reached a bizarre compromise: a law rendering homosexuality incompatible with military service, but allowing gays to serve under a closet-friendly “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The lesson for President Obama is that this fight is not about rights, but about combat readiness. This is a propitious moment for seeking change: a nation at war needs all its most talented troops. Last year the principal architects of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” former Gen. Colin Powell and former Senator Sam Nunn, said it was time to “review” the policy.

That’s a polite way of saying they’ve changed their minds. So have many of us who wore the uniform in 1993 and supported a policy that forced some of our fellow troops to live a lie and rejected thousands who told the truth.

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I'm happy to see this from an Iraq Vet.