Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fat, Al-Sadr, troop increase

Scientists link weight to gut bacteria

Wed Dec 20, 5:54 PM ET

AFP/File Photo: A woman stands outside a sandwich shop. Certain gut bacteria may encourage obesity, according to...
WASHINGTON - Maybe it's germs that are making you fat.

Researchers found a strong connection between obesity and the levels of certain types of bacteria in the gut. That could mean that someday there will be novel new ways of treating obesity that go beyond the standard advice of diet and exercise.

According to two studies being published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, both obese mice and people had more of one type of bacteria and less of another kind.
A "microbial component" appears to contribute to obesity, said study lead author Jeffrey Gordon, director of Washington University's Center for Genome Sciences.

Obese humans and mice had a lower percentage of a family of bacteria called Bacteroidetes and more of a type of bacteria called Firmicutes, Gordon and his colleagues found. (link)
Just what people need, another way to get fat. Of course if this really does pan out, maybe they can give you a bacteria to make you lose weight?

Al-Sadr wants a cease-fire?

Radical cleric mulling Iraq cease-fire

AP Photo: Iraqis carry a coffin with the body of Munqith Ahmed (29), along with posters of...

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 9 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who heads a militia feared by Iraq's Sunnis, is considering a one-month unilateral cease-fire and may push his followers to rejoin the political process after a three-week boycott, officials close to him said.

The issue is expected to come up at a meeting Thursday in the holy city of Najaf between al-Sadr and a delegation representing the seven Shiite groups that form the largest bloc
in Iraq's parliament, the Shiite officials said on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the talks.

Half the delegates traveled to Najaf on Wednesday night, and were gathered Thursday morning at the home of the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, an official in al-Sistani's office said on condition of anonymity because of political sensitivities. The others were traveling to Najaf on Thursday, he said. (link)
Will this cease-fire be a standard arab one? (ie: keep shooting each other, but in public call it a cease-fire) Why now? Is it because Iraq and the U.S. are contemplating (whether they should be shot for allowing him to live) targetting Al-Sadr in hopes of stopping the violence there. You would think that a good plan for stopping someone from committing violence (or inciting others to commit it) would be to take them out. Of course, our first plan was to invite him into the government, and that's worked swell. Declare war on Al-Sadr, take the Iraqi army (with U.S. embeds) and wipe the neighborhood of insurgents, repeat on every group that is causing problems. Then the Iraqi army can provide the necessary protection for their country.

Also, notice the source? "...Shiite officials said on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the talks." If it's so damn secret, why are these officials telling the press and why is the press reporting it? There should be a law stating that if you use a secret source, you can't say you are doing it because of the secrecy of the issue.

Gates asking the troops their opinion? Wonders never cease(TM)
Troops to Gates: Extra forces would help

AP Photo: In this image released by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates,...
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
3 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the rest of the Bush administration may be undecided on whether to send more troops to
Iraq, but several soldiers he met with at Camp Victory here on Thursday morning here said extra forces would help.
"I really think we need more troops here. With more presence on the ground, more troops might hold them off long enough to where we can get the Iraqi Army trained up."

The troops may be somewhat at odds with military commanders, who worry that rushing thousands more Americans to the battlefront could prompt Iraqis to slow their effort to take control of their country.

Those concerns are "clearly a consideration" in mapping out future strategy, Gates said. (link)
What a novel approach, asking the people doing the job what they need to do it. Maybe this will catch on (gasp) and the people in charge will show some sense when approaching a difficult situation. Of course, had they simply treated Iraq like a war to begin with, this wouldn't be necessary.
Reason amongst the dhimmikrauts

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 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying