Common Painkillers Could Decrease Skin Cancer Risk

Via IFLScience:  ‘Common over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can decrease risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published today in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer.

The results mean these drugs may have potential as skin cancer preventative agents, especially for high-risk people, said study co-author Catherine Olsen.’

 

This Orangutan Is Now A Legally Recognized Nonhuman Person In Argentina

Via io9: ‘History was made this past weekend in Buenos Aires when an appeals court ruled that an orangutan held in a zoo is a nonhuman person unlawfully deprived of its right to bodily autonomy.

The legal strategy used in this case is similar to the one recently employed by the Nonhuman Rights Project in the United States. Both are claiming that highly sentient animals like great apes are deserving of bodily autonomy, or habeas corpus.’

 

Is Moral Offsetting™ Right for You?

Via 3quarksdaily: ‘Everywhere we turn there are people demanding that we take moral responsibility for ever more features of our lives and the implications of our actions. Almost everything we do turns out to be involve a moral choice, or more than one, in which our deepest principles are at stake.

 

If you’re an egalitarian, how come you help your kids with their homework? If you’re against child-slavery, how come you still eat chocolate? If you’re against racism, how come you enjoy ‘white privileges’ like not being afraid when the police pull you over? And so on. Want to put milk on your breakfast cereal? There’s a moral philosopher out there who wants you to read about murdered baby cows first…

But it gets worse. Although they are presented as moral challenges, as tests of your principles, many of these demands are actually moral puzzles with no right answer…

If everything we do is wrong, why bother to even try to do the right thing?

Fortunately the solution is at hand. Here at Moral Tranquillity plc we believe that good people should be able to live a life free from guilt. That’s why we have developed a range of Moral Offsetting™ products that make meeting your moral responsibilities simple and affordable.’

 

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

This NYTimes editorial reads, in part:

‘…Americans have known about many of these acts for years, but the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality: In addition to new revelations of sadistic tactics like “rectal feeding,” scores of detainees were waterboarded, hung by their wrists, confined in coffins, sleep-deprived, threatened with death or brutally beaten. In November 2002, one detainee who was chained to a concrete floor died of “suspected hypothermia.”

These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.

So it is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were. As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal.

In July 2002, C.I.A. lawyers told the Justice Department that the agency needed to use “more aggressive methods” of interrogation that would “otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute.” They asked the department to promise not to prosecute those who used these methods. When the department refused, they shopped around for the answer they wanted. They got it from the ideologically driven lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote memos fabricating a legal foundation for the methods. Government officials now rely on the memos as proof that they sought and received legal clearance for their actions. But the report changes the game: We now know that this reliance was not made in good faith.

No amount of legal pretzel logic can justify the behavior detailed in the report. Indeed, it is impossible to read it and conclude that no one can be held accountable. At the very least, Mr. Obama needs to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation.

And concludes:

‘Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.’