Necking in the Dark: Evolutionists Clueless about Giraffes

first_imgEvolutionary storytelling about giraffes’ long necks goes back before Darwin, but all the tales have one thing in common: they don’t work. Doesn’t matter. Evolution marches on.Nature‘s Editorial this week should have been a supreme embarrassment. But when only evolutionary explanations are tolerated, those in power have no fear of shame. They can toss out various ‘narratives’ and ‘scenarios’ with alacrity, never needing to submit any of them to serious testing or debate. This editorial is a case in point: “Giraffes could have evolved long necks to keep cool,” the headline reads. “Another explanation offered for one of animal kingdom’s most distinctive features.”How did the giraffe get its long neck? The obvious answer — and some of you are probably shouting it at the page or screen right now — is that it evolved as a benefit that allowed the animals to reach and eat higher leaves. Perhaps. Probably, even. That was certainly Charles Darwin’s explanation. But it’s not certain, and other possible origins for one of the animal kingdom’s most distinctive features are still a topic of debate among zoologists and evolutionary biologists alike.So here in 2017, over 150 years since Darwin, evolutionists are still debating the neck of the giraffe. Further reading shows that no evolutionary theory works. Lamarck’s theory was wrong (that adults stretch their necks to reach higher leaves). Darwin’s theory was wrong (that necks evolved to be long first, then were found to be adaptive). Chapman Pincher’s 1948 theory was wrong (that the neck evolved so giraffes could reach water past their long legs; the authors claim that giraffe ancestors “had managed perfectly well with long legs and short necks for millions of years”). Sexual selection theories come and go (that females like long necks, or that males use them to battle for females).Surprisingly, the Editors have something nice to say about Lamarck’s defunct theory: “The French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck suggested that giraffes’ necks became stretched as they constantly reached for foliage (an idea very much ahead of its time but for which he is sometimes unfairly ridiculed).” Maybe they refer to the fact that Darwin evolved to become more Lamarckian in later editions of the Origin. They wouldn’t want to indirectly disparage the hero of evolution.The latest story getting the Editors’ vote is that giraffes keep cool with longer necks in arid environments.And then there is thermoregulation. Originally, the suggestion was that long necks (and legs) significantly tilted the balance between volume and surface area that determines how quickly animals (and other bodies) gain and lose heat. Giraffes might look as if they have a larger than usual surface area compared with barrel shaped rhinos, elephants and others — but do they? It turns out that few people have tried to measure the surface area of enough giraffes to be sure. That’s what the scientists do in the latest study.They looked at measurements made for dozens of giraffes culled in Zimbabwe. They found that, pound for pound, the surface area of a giraffe is actually no larger than would be expected for any other animal of the same mass. And the creatures are no better at keeping cool, until, the scientists go on to suggest, they turn to face the Sun — as many giraffes are seen to do on hot days.That’s it. That’s the end of the Editorial. Sound convincing? What evolved, a behavior (turning to face the sun), or the neck? If this were a law of nature, every mammal in the same environment should either evolve a long neck, or learn to face the sun, or both. Why not just face the sun with a short neck? Why not just evolve to prefer shade? Why not evolve sunscreen, like the short-necked, fat hippos do? Why not evolve to live in the water, like the hippos? Why not evolve big ears to shed excess heat, like the elephants? Why not evolve to burrow underground? Why not become nocturnal? So many easier options exist for thermoregulation; why the long neck?The Editors fail to list the numerous random mutations that would have had to occur to evolve a long neck. The heart would have to get much stronger. The vertebrae would have to expand. The skull would need an absorbent tissue to prevent the giraffe’s brains from exploding every time it bent over for a drink. Valves in the veins would have to check rapid downward flow when bending over. A giraffe with a long neck but none of these engineering changes existing simultaneously would die.In the Journal of Creation last year, Jean K. Lightner compared neck vertebrae of okapi, giraffe and alleged intermediate fossil form Samotherium from a design perspective.Update 9/20/17: A new paper in PLoS One announces new post-cranial bones (ossicone, astragalus and metatarsal) of members of the giraffe family. The bones, found in Pakistan, they claim cover 1.3 million years of the Miocene epoch. The paper, “The earliest ossicone and post-cranial record of Giraffa,” contains a surprise (but not to creationists). Has the giraffe evolved? No; the fossils “demonstrate that the genus has been morphologically consistent over 9 million years.” The paper has nothing to say about evolution, Darwin, Lamarck or natural selection. Their last sentence affirms this was a surprise: “The described specimens are the first and only Miocene non dental material of Giraffa known, and are pivotal in our understanding of the ever-surprising genus.”The Nature editorial is so inane, it almost seems like the Editors are asking for spitballs and tomatoes. But nobody will shoot their ideas down, because they live behind impregnable walls that skeptical volleys cannot penetrate. Having outlawed all voices from intelligent design or creation scientists, the Darwin guards can just tell stories all they want, laugh, and get away with it. The lapdog media will be sure to honor them appropriately for their wisdom and scientific insight.Like Dr Bergman wrote yesterday, criticism of Darwinism is forbidden because it is politically incorrect. King Charlie’s domain is a totalitarian regime, where non-cooperators are Expelled to fend for themselves outside the walls of the castle. DODOs laugh among themselves, but never take a hit for their silly, unscientific stories. Do they hate creationists all the time? No, because they never hear them. How can you hate a non-entity? In Darwin Fantasyland, giraffes evolved long necks for one materialistic, unguided reason or another. How doesn’t matter. Stuff happens.(Visited 651 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Don’t Quit Before You Reach the Tipping Point

first_imgThe great Aikido master, Ikeda Sensei, says: “Aikido works. My aikido works. Your aikido may not work.”His point is simple and profound (and all you have to do is get close enough to him on the dojo mat and you will feel its profundity as you fly through the air, landing on your back). Ikeda Sensei has spent a lifetime on the mat mastering the fundamentals of his art. He has worked to gain a deep understanding of the principles of aikido. Ikeda Sensei’s aikido works because he didn’t quit, he didn’t give up, and he didn’t walk off the mat. He worked on his aikido, and he gave it time (In his case, a lifetime. You don’t need that long for the results you want).Why “It” Isn’t WorkingThe reason that whatever you are trying isn’t working is not because it doesn’t work. It’s that you haven’t given it enough time to work. You haven’t stuck with it long enough to begin to get results. It takes time for you to get a feel for things and to gain enough competency in “it” to get results.The reason what you are trying isn’t working is because you are giving up too soon.You’ve decided to work with a new approach to making cold calls. You try it for a couple days and find no change in your results. So you quit and quickly fall back into what feels comfortable.You adopt a new sales process. You go all in and do your best on a couple opportunities, but you can’t tell that it’s making a real difference. You set it aside and go back to doing what you have always done.Your company has a new offering. You don’t know if the market is right, if your market is ready. You go out and talk to a few customers and a dream client or two. No one seems overjoyed, so you go back to selling what you have always sold.Anytime you start doing something new, you have to give that new initiative time to reach the tipping point, the point in time when you have done it long enough to start getting results. But most people quit long before they get to that point. They never give themselves time to learn and to gain the competencies they need. They never give the new initiative a fair chance.Aikido works. But your aikido may not work.QuestionsWhat did you try and give up on before you should have?Why does it take some time before new things start to produce results?How much time should give something new before you write it off and go back to what you have always done?What should you be giving more time to now?last_img read more

Juventus to compensate Nike with $2.2 million

first_imgJuventus will have to pay two million euros ($2.2 million) to compensate their former kit provider Nike for including a third star on the club’s jersey during the 2012-13 season in reference to wining the Serie A 30 times, although the Italian football federation only recognises 28 of them following the 2006 Italian football scandal.It seems that Juventus have contracted another sponsor to provide unofficial kits including the three stars, which led Nike to file a complaint against Italy’s football giant, reports Efe.After the 2006 scandal, better known as the Calciopoli, Juventus were stripped off the 2004-05 and 2005-06 league titles following match fixing investigations.The arbitration court in Geneva received a complaint from Nike to impose a fine of 80 million euros ($88 million) against Juventus, which was later mitigated to $2.2 million.Now, it is up to Juventus’ management, whether to accept the punishment or appeal against it.last_img read more

QSST win Girls 18’s final at NYC

first_imgTwo touchdowns to captain Emily Reed has helped QSST beat NSWCHS in the 18’s Girls final at the X-Blades National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour. Reed scored one touch down in each half to lead her team to a 6-2 win at BCU International Stadium.QSST and NSWCHS were worthy of their places in the final, being seeded 1 and 2 respectively in the tournament. Leading into the game, both teams had set the benchmark in attack and defence, with QSST only letting through 8 touchdowns in the carnival and NSWCHS only letting through 10.NSWCHS started the game off strong, with Melissa Peters scoring in her first set of six.QSST retaliated and were on the scorecard within the next set of six, scoring through Reed.The opening exchanges were intense, with plenty of ground being made by both teams. However, there was a lot of dropped ball early and QSST gave away several penalties, giving NSWCHS a great opportunity.Despite having several sets of six close to their line in the early stages of the game, NSWCHS were unable to capitalise and QSST pounced.QSST’s Alika Bedford put her team in front for the first time in the 13th minute, scoring in the corner to give the Queensland girls a 2-1 lead.Kirsty Quince scored for QSST 3 minutes later, on the back of a penalty from the NSW team. NSWCHS fought back quickly to score through Rachel Beck in the next set of six.Desperate defence from NSWCHS player, Jordan McGregor in the 19 minute, stopped the score from blowing out and QSST went to the halftime break leading 3-2.Reed was in again for QSST in the opening set of the second half, scoring her second touchdown. Betty Mareko scored 3 minutes later, blowing the score out to 5-2.After a Latisha Gary intercept in the 5th minute of the second half, NSWCHS’ Eliza Naseby was sin binned after an attempt to chase her down.Although NSWCHS had many opportunities in the second half, they were unable to convert these opportunities into points, despite back to back sets of six and ample time close to their line.QSST’s Latisha Gary intercepted the ball in the closing minutes of the game, to put the game beyond doubt for the Queensland girls, with QSST winning by 4 touchdowns.  Kirsty Quince was named player of the match, and Alicia Quirk was named 18’s Girls player of the championships.last_img read more

16 days agoDavid Moyes open to returning to Everton

first_imgDavid Moyes open to returning to Evertonby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDavid Moyes is open to returning to Everton as manager.Struggling boss Marco Silva is coming under increasing pressure at Goodison Park.Moyes, who left Everton for Manchester United in 2013 after 11 years at Goodison Park, is now the bookies’ favourite to succeed Silva, should the Portuguese get the sack.The Mirror says Moyes wants a return to the Premier League, after turning down the offer of jobs in the Championship and League One in recent weeks.Moyes, who lasted just 10 months at United, is currently out of work after leaving West Ham in 2018, after six months in charge.But the 56-year-old, who also managed Real Sociedad and Sunderland post-United, is now the heavy favourite to become the next Toffees boss – for the second time. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Spanish Town Skills Training Centre Serving the Community for 20 Years

first_img For almost 20 years, the Spanish Town Skills Training Centre (STSTC) has been providing training for professionals, at-risk youth, non-certified and unskilled employees and employers, in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA. Story Highlights After leaving secondary school, Ms Dixon faced several job rejections for the lack of employable skills, but with one year of training with the institution, she is now a permanent employee with a business establishment in the St. Catherine town centre. Student at the institution, 19-year-old Alexis Dixon, has high praises for the opportunities being provided to her through the Centre. For almost 20 years, the Spanish Town Skills Training Centre (STSTC) has been providing training for professionals, at-risk youth, non-certified and unskilled employees and employers, in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA.Student at the institution, 19-year-old Alexis Dixon, has high praises for the opportunities being provided to her through the Centre.After leaving secondary school, Ms Dixon faced several job rejections for the lack of employable skills, but with one year of training with the institution, she is now a permanent employee with a business establishment in the St. Catherine town centre.She tells JIS News that, not only was she provided with the training opportunities but the Centre also sourced employment for her.“I cannot give them enough money for what they did for me, or tell them a million thanks,” she states.According to Ms Dixon, the Principal and instructors at the school, make concerted efforts to impart knowledge to the students, while also sharing life experiences as a way of encouraging growth and development. “It really motivated me to push forward,” she adds.She also encourages young persons in and around the Spanish Town area to get their training at the Centre.“[They should] definitely come to the Spanish Town Skills Training Centre. Don’t hide, it is really a great place, and if you want to move forward, that is the place that you can go,” Ms. Dixon states.Located at 56 Brunswick Avenue in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, the Centre offers training in areas such as Commercial Food Preparation, Levels One and Two; and Customer Engagement at Levels One and Two. In January 2019, the school will offer courses in Early Childhood Development.For former student, Rahean Bailey, he says he is grateful for the opportunity to have completed the Level Two programme in Commercial Food Preparation, and the job that the institution assisted him to obtain. He tells JIS News that in the future he hopes to become Executive Chef.Meanwhile, Manager at the STSTC, Ruth James, states that the vision to offer skills to youth from the area, and elsewhere, has been impactful.“We have seen so many young persons whose lives have been changed, and they are doing very well, all over the world, in the hospitality industry, business process outsourcing, and at front desks at hotels. We are impacting a great number of persons,” she reasons.Mrs. James tells JIS News that while the institution provides services primarily to students between the ages of 17 and 35 years, the school also continues to reach persons who are 35 and older.She informs that on an average, 50 to 70 students are engaged in the day and evening programmes.“We offer at least one month’s work experience, and on most occasions these persons have gained permanent employment with the places where they are sent for work experience,” the Manager shares.Mrs. James lauds the HEART Trust /NTA for providing training opportunities for young people, to gain the necessary skills needed for the work environment.“The standard of HEART Trust/NTA, is international; you can go to most countries with (their certificates) and get a job,” the Manager states.The STSTC mission is to empower participants through goal-oriented activities within an environment that is safe and conducive to learning, while promoting respect of self and others, as well as developing a positive attitude towards work skills, academics, certification and assessment, as required by the Heart Trust/NTA.In the meanwhile, President of the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Levi Johnson, who was a founding member of the STSTC in 1999, says the move to establish the school was in response to the needs of the communities in the area.Pastor Johnson, who headed the Spanish Town Seventh-day Adventist Church at the time, shares that the establishment of the Centre was a move to improve the quality of life for community members.He tells JIS News that the CJC provides resources to keep the institution going, and “once there is a need, we can’t say no to them; because we know how relevant the Skills Training Centre is. We see them as one of our key partners”.For Community Training Interventions Manager at the HEART Trust/NTA, Kevin Walker, institutions like the STSTC help the training agency to meet their mandate.For more information on the Centre, persons can call (876) 984-3571, (876) 419-2249, or email at read more

Sting To Be Honored By Third Street Music School Settlement

first_imgThird Street Music School Settlement, the nation’s longest running community school is pleased to announce this year’s Spring Gala, “Legends & Leaders” will honor Sting, Grammy Award winning musician and renowned philanthropist and Brenda Harris, Third Street Preschool teacher of 22 years.The gala, being held on May 16, pays tribute to honorees for their philanthropic contributions and leadership in supporting the arts and music education.A long time supporter of music education and an activist for creative arts, Sting will receive Third Street’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, joining a roster of previous honorees that includes Yoko Ono, Harold Prince, Philip Glass, and Audra McDonald. The gala raises funds to support Third Street’s work in changing lives through music and arts will be hosted by Pat Kiernan, News Anchor of NY1.“I applaud Third Street Music School Settlement’s commitment to arts and culture and am honored to be celebrating with such a historic and essential organization,” said Gala Honoree Sting.“Third Street is proud to celebrate our 121st anniversary with two incredible honorees this year — Sting and Brenda Harris. We are delighted to acknowledge them for their long legacy of advocating and building musicianship and artistic creativity in their communities and beyond.” said Third Street Music School Settlement’s Anna-Maria Kellen Executive Director, Valerie G. Lewis. “The funds raised from the gala are crucial in ensuring that Third Street furthers our commitment in providing access and quality arts and music education for all those who seek its enrichment.”The Gala Co-chairs are Margaret Crotty and Rory Riggs, Carina Liebeknecht and Andrew Dietderich, Melanie and Neal McKnight, Katie and Matt Sperling. Anniversary Co-chairs include Lisa and Brian Byala, Annabelle Garrett, Jeannie Park and Larry Hackett. Honorary Co-chairs comprise of Barbara E. Field, Philip Glass and Harold Prince.Taking place at Capitale (130 Bowery in Lower Manhattan), the evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00pm, followed by dinner and an awards program at 7:00pm. This event will bring together hundreds of luminaries from the worlds of arts, culture, education, media, business, finance and philanthropy for a night of celebration and giving back. Support through attendance, live and silent auction participation and donations will help raise funds that will go towards scholarships and financial aid services for our students at Third Street.In attendance will be representatives from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Clarfeld Financial Services, Ernst & Young, Steinway & Sons, Putney, Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP, TD Bank and Westerman Construction Co., Inc. The official media sponsor of the gala is NY1.Tickets to the event start at $500 per person and $5,000 per table. For more information about the Third Street Music School Spring Gala, please contact Katherine Nemeth at 212-777-3240 ext. 26 or email For updates, please visit in 1894, Third Street Music School Settlement is that nation’s longest running community music school with its roots tied to the late 19th century settlement house movement. Instrumental in establishing community arts education in the United States, Third Street has been changing lives and its community by providing access and high-quality music and arts instruction to students of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of artistic experience or economic circumstances. Today, Third Street serves over 5,000 students annually, helping them thrive in school and in life by promoting healthy personal and academic development, opening avenues to further study, sparking professional careers in the arts and instilling a lifelong love of learning.Located on East 11th Street in the heart of the East Village, Third Street offers early childhood classes, a unique music-centered preschool, after-school and Saturday programs for children and teens, as well as daytime and evening programs for adults. It also provides in-school arts education through more than 27 school and community partnerships across the city, as well as a year-round schedule of more than 250 public performances. Third Street alumni, many who are professional artists, include violist Masumi Per Rostad of the acclaimed Pacifica String Quartet; 1920’s hit-maker Irving Caesar 9Tea for Two, Bobby Lopez, co-writer of the hit Broadway musical Avenue Q and Academy Award-winning writer of “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen; Ingrid Michaelson, pop singer/songwriter with hits on the Top 40 charts; and Jessie Montgomery, recipient of the Sphinx Award.last_img read more

Texas Is Making Billions From Oil And Gas Drilling But Counties Say

first_imgEddie Seal for The Texas TribuneA tanker truck travels on FM 2067 between Austin and Victoria on April 18, 2018. Texas counties are asking state leaders to help pay for road damage caused by heavy traffic from the oil and gas industry.W.C. Steinmann says his family roots in southeast Texas date back to 1882.The 74-year-old rancher lives in DeWitt County, between San Antonio and Victoria, an area surrounded by oil and natural gas fields. Steinmann and other local property owners say the oil and gas boom is destroying the rural road system.“The base of the roads were not designed for those types of heavy equipment to go on them,” Steinmann said, adding that some roads are so narrow that “you have to get in a ditch to let someone come by you. It gets very difficult day-after-day to travel those roads.”This is not a new problem for Texas, where oil and gas drilling has been a pillar of the economy for generations. And DeWitt County isn’t the only affected area. During the 2013 drilling boom, county officials along the U.S.-Mexico border raised concerns about residents having to navigate yawning potholes, cracked asphalt and splintering shoulders.Texas leads the nation in both oil and natural gas production. In the 2017 budget year, the oil production tax brought the state more than $2 billion in revenue, while the natural gas production tax brought in a little less than $1 billion.But none of that tax money goes to fixing roads in the areas where the production is occurring. Instead it’s divided among several state funds: the Rainy Day Fund, the State Highway Fund and the Foundation School Program.“The drilling continues, the fracking continues, there’s more weight on the road and I don’t really see any relief,” said DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler. “It’d be nice for the state to realize that they haven’t really contributed anything.”Eddie Seal for The Texas TribuneA badly damaged section of road near Cheapside, between Gonzales and Cuero, on April 10, 2018.The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on April 17 to “evaluate the impact energy exploration and production has on state and county roads, and make recommendations on how to improve road quality in areas impacted by these activities.” The House Energy Resources Committee will meet the following day to examine “investments in public infrastructure” in the Permian Basin, the state’s most productive oil and gas region. After both committees meet, they’ll publish an interim report.But until there’s a permanent legislative fix, some rural leaders say the state is enjoying a free lunch at the expense of local property tax owners who have to pay for the damage to their roads — often through higher property taxes. The Texas Department of Transportation has also struggled to maintain farm-to-market roads near oil and natural gas wells because of damage from heavy trucks.“The money from the oil and natural gas production taxes just goes back to the state … and they redistribute it,” said former Nueces County Judge Richard Borchard, who lives in DeWitt County. “The local taxpayers live here, we stay here and we have to deal with these roads. The state needs to understand that the local governments need some help.”In 2014, Texas lawmakers approved a one-time appropriation of roughly $225 million to help counties fix damaged local roads. Of the state’s 254 counties, 191 applied, and identified more than $1 billion in needed road improvements. The biggest grants went to counties in West and South Texas with the heaviest oil and gas production.In the heart of the Permian Basin, Midland County Commissioner Robin Donnelly said the county received $5.9 million from the state in 2014 and put it toward a single road project that’s still not complete.“Our county roads were just never built for the truck traffic that we have now,” Donnelly said. “We have more rigs running in the Permian Basin than anywhere else in the U.S. right now. There’s not a county road that is free and clear of truck traffic.”That money didn’t go far in DeWitt County either, Fowler said. The county received less than $5 million in 2014, which paid most of the $6.2 million cost of repairing four county roads. The county’s road and bridge budget that year topped $31 million, he said.  East of Midland in Howard County, County Judge Kathryn Wiseman said that during the last oil boom from 2011 through 2013 — when the oil price per barrel topped $100 — county roads suffered roughly $30 million worth of damage directly attributable to oilfield traffic. The county received $3.8 million from the state, she said.Eddie Seal for The Texas TribuneTrucks travel along FM 2067 near Cheapside on April 9, 2018.Many county officials are asking legislators to find a more permanent fix. Fowler said he supported a measure filed during last year’s legislative session by state Rep. James White, R-Hillister, that would have taken 2 percent of the money collected from the state’s oil and natural gas production taxes and given it back to the counties whose roads and bridges have been damaged.White said the bill died during the infamous “Mother’s Day Massacre,” when tensions between members of the Texas Freedom Caucus and their Republican leadership boiled over and the caucus members — angry over what they called “personal petty politics” — used a procedural maneuver to kill more than 100 bills.White said he plans to refile his measure during the 86th legislative session, which begins in January.“We’re not against drilling. We’re not against oil and gas,” White said. “I don’t think [my measure] was looting the Rainy Day Fund … this is just a little small percentage going back to these local communities to pay for these roads.”State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, who sits on the House Energy Resources Committee, said he’s hopeful that with the state’s booming economy, there will be leftover money the state can send to rural counties affected by the oil boom. But Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar recently warned lawmakers that they’d only have a $94 million beginning budget when they reconvene in 2019, compared to the $880 million beginning budget they had in 2017.But Clardy’s still optimistic they can find money to help fix local roads.“There’s nothing that money can’t solve, and the good news is we do have a very robust economy” said Clardy, who represents several East Texas counties. “I want to keep our local counties and cities happy. If there are potholes in the road, nobody is happy.” Sharelast_img read more

Medical marijuana in Costa Rica The time has come says La Nación

first_imgIn a surprising Wednesday morning editorial, Costa Rica’s normally conservative Spanish-language daily La Naciónadvocates for the legalization of medical marijuana.The editorial, titled “Cannabis as Treatment,” notes that a large number of Costa Ricans – perhaps hundreds or thousands, it claims – use marijuana to treat a  range of health issues in this Central American country of 4.8 million, and that number is growing.La Nación writes:The illegality [of medical marijuana] not only impedes the collection of useful information; it has much more serious consequences. The main one being that most patients lack professional guidelines regarding recommended dosages and methods of consumption: Although there are doctors who, out of compassion, know of, tolerate and in some cases guide its use, they are legally prohibited from helping patients in a systematic manner.La Nación joins a growing chorus of voices in this democratic country calling for the legalization of medical or recreational marijuana, or both. And advocates aren’t just hippies or stoners. Gerald Murray, who heads the organization Marihuana Medicinal Costa Rica, said during a February conference that Costa Rica could “set an example” in the region if it legalized medical marijuana. Other regional leaders also have pushed for an end to the drug war on marijuana, including Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina.To date, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís hasn’t been keen on the idea, saying after he won last year’s presidential election that while a debate on the issue is needed, his administration would not promote decriminalization of illicit drugs, including marijuana.He has since softened that position after a lawmaker from his own ruling Citizen Action Party, Marvin Atencio, introduced a medical marijuana bill in the Legislative Assembly last August. In a study of the bill last March, board members from Costa Rica’s public health care system announced that they would not oppose the legislation, although they suggested some amendments.During last February’s conference, sponsored by Marihuana Medicinal Costa Rica, Valerie Corrall, founder and president of the California-based Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, boldly proclaimed that “the promise for success in Costa Rica is probably greater than in any other country in the world.”A majority of Costa Ricans now seem to agree. A 2014 survey by the University of Costa Rica concluded that 53 percent of the country’s population supports the use of medical marijuana. Possession of small amounts of cannabis already has been effectively decriminalized, and in September of last year, Costa Rica announced it would become the first country in Central America to host a branch of the drug policy reform group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, an organization composed of current and former cops. Citizen Action Party lawmaker Marvin Atencio estimates that legal medical marijuana could generate $20 million annually for the government. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesOne of the barriers reform advocates face here, however, comes from the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Institute, or IAFA, a government agency partly funded by seized illicit drug funds and which operates addiction treatment centers across the country. (It’s worth noting that IAFA also provides its patients with ready access to an array of pharmaceutical drugs, some of which have side effects that are much more severe than marijuana.)IAFA Director Luis Eduardo Sandí told La Nación that marijuana “has many components that could affect multiple [neurological and cardiac] functions, and could cause dependence.”In response, La Nación wrote in its editorial, “This is yet another reason to legalize it and supervise, with professional rigor, the appropriate therapeutic use.”The daily also points out that several other countries already have taken the initiative to legalize medical marijuana, and Costa Rica could broadly learn from those experiences:[Medical marijuana] is authorized in Canada and is permitted in 25 states in the U.S. (four states have also legalized recreational marijuana use). Joining them are European and Southern Cone countries. In all of these, it’s possible to identify experiences to guide us in our own country. … If rigorous professional criteria back [legalization] inside and outside of Costa Rica, and if the countries with solid systems of pharmacological supervision have approved it, the time has come for our country to also take this step, void of prejudice and strictly abiding by reality and good practices.Hear, hear. Facebook Comments Related posts:Big Tobacco need not apply for work in the cannabis market Global drug policy isn’t working. These 100-plus organizations want that to change. Mexico’s Peña Nieto wants expert debate on marijuana legalization Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even furtherlast_img read more

Satellite operator SES has introduced four new sal

first_imgSatellite operator SES has introduced four new sales regions to  enable it to better focus on emerging markets. The regions are: Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific/ India/ Middle East. They will be headed by Elias Zaccack (Americas), Ferenc Szelényi (Europe), Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou (Africa) and Deepak Mathur (Asia Pacific/ India/ Middle East). All four executives report to chief commercial officer, Ferdinand Kayser.“This organisation and these nominations are another step on our way to consolidate our strong position in Europe and North America while focusing our attention on the emerging markets, where a lot of the future growth for SES is coming from”, said Romain Bausch, president and CEO of SES. “With our regional split and our new sales executives, we have a strong organisation in place to respond to the exciting challenges that lie ahead of us.”Scott Sprague has stepped down from the position of senior vice-president global sales. He will be replaced by Ferenc Szelényi.last_img read more