Cloning

20 Years After Dolly: Where's My Clone?

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the birth of the first cloned mammal

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DollyRoslinInstitute
Roslin Institute

Twenty years ago today, a domestic sheep named Dolly was born. She was the first mammal cloned using the nucleus of an adult cell. Her creators in Scotland held off announcing that their achievement until February, 1997. Headlines immediately cited ethical concerns and many advocated the banning of the technique, especially an attempts to clone a human being. In my May, 1997 article "The Twin Paradox" I reported a bunch of these bioethical pronunciamentos:

But Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) … introduced a bill to ban the federal funding of human cloning or human cloning research. "I want to send a clear signal," said the senator, "that this is something we cannot and should not tolerate. This type of research on humans is morally reprehensible."

Carl Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, hurriedly said that human cloning should be immediately banned. Perennial Luddite Jeremy Rifkin grandly pronounced that cloning "throws every convention, every historical tradition, up for grabs."At the putative opposite end of the political spectrum, conservative columnist George Will chimed in: "What if the great given–a human being is a product of the union of a man and woman–is no longer a given?"

In addition to these pundits and politicians, a whole raft of bioethicists declared that they, too, oppose human cloning. Daniel Callahan of the Hastings Center said flat out: "The message must be simple and decisive: The human species doesn't need cloning." George Annas of Boston University agreed: "Most people who have thought about this believe it is not a reasonable use and should not be allowed…. This is not a case of scientific freedom vs. the regulators."

Assuming human cloning is safe (and no one knew back in 1997 how safe or unsafe the technique would prove to be), I could discern no ethical reason why the birth of a younger identical twin would be any more immoral than the births of same-age identical twins.

Dolly's creation turns out not to be an ethical cautionary tale, but rather an example of how complicated biology is and how slowly biotechnological progress takes place. Twenty years later, no one has cloned a human being. But Dolly's birth did spark a great deal of research into the possible therapeutic uses of adult, embryonic, and induced pluripotent stem cells.

By the way, if anyone wants to clone me, please just go ahead.

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  1. RE: 20 Years After Dolly: Where’s My Clone?
    Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the birth of the first cloned mammal

    Not to worry.
    Cloning will not be for the unwashed masses.
    Needless to say, cloning will only be for the ruling elites and their armies of politically connected cronies.
    This is for the best.
    Who wouldn’t want to live in a country that Trump the Grump,Heil Hitlary and other wannabe oppressors have themselves cloned dozens of times over?
    Just think of the possibilities!

    1. “Who wouldn’t want to live in a country that Trump the Grump,Heil Hitlary and other wannabe oppressors have themselves cloned dozens of times over?”

      The political class already looks like a bunch of clones to me.

      They’re an army of clones like the Storm Troopers, but without the precision marksmanship.

      1. With 6 fingers each.

      2. “If I’m supposed to be a Hitler clone, then why don’t I look anything like Hitler?”

  2. We’ve already cloned Tatiana Maslany, what more do you want?

    1. The actress who plays Allison on that show is pretty good. I hope she and whoever plays Krystal never leave the show.

      1. Krystal is hot. The girl who plays her has a way better body than the other actresses.

  3. By the way, if anyone wants to clone me, please just go ahead.

    Your clone might be an anti-science statist? just like the clone of the gentle Chance was the angry Second Chance.

    1. Cloned Ron will write articles arguing that global cooling is what is actually happening and make some charts to demonstrate that. Then the 2 Rons will fight. Then one Ron will disappear and we have to solve the mystery of how Ron disappeared Ron.

      Sounds much more fun than figuring out how the daily nut punches are actually representative of a libertarian moment.

  4. Other than having a reliable organ donor or being able to fuck yourself, what’s the point of cloning people?

    1. In case someone drops dead in the middle of a project, you have a spare backup.

      1. + 1 Heinlein

  5. Some day someone will clone me and then send that clone back in time to stop my doomsday device. But that person will fail, as it has already happened.

    1. Write a movie script about time travel without holes, and you’ve solved the problem of time travel.

      Fact.

        1. I must be a time traveller, because I knew what the punch line would be before I saw it.

        2. “Ohhh sure, I’m going to take time-travel advice from Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather.”

      1. Time travel is already possible. If photons can do it, why can’t humans do it? I mean, this is just a matter of scale, right?

        1. Poes’s law is a bitch and a half. I can’t tell if you’re really smart or really dumb. OK time doesn’t really exist on the subatomic scale.

          1. It was a joke, sort of, at least the part about it being a matter of scale. Sub atomic particles actually do all sort of weird stuff though. See entanglement for one thing. How can space/time be the actual underlying reality of things when entangled particles can instantly sync state across any distance?

            1. Also, you can check out variations on the double slit experiment to see where my reference to photons time traveling came from.

              1. OK, So that’s enough of that.

                1. Well, if you say so, I suppose I have to stop it.

                2. The double slit experiment really has nothing to do with time travel.

                  1. Are you sure about that?

                    1. I was/was not the second time.

                      Presently, however, I am unsure.

                    2. Just returned and was told I cannot discuss the matter further.

                      Have a good now.

                    3. By “matter” I meant “subject”, naturally.

                    4. Did you at least bring some for the rest of us?

                    5. See there, you just saw Charles Easterly travel backward in time, merely because we observed his post. But you are still an unbeliever. What we can do with you?

                    6. See there, you just saw Charles Easterly travel backward in time, merely because we observed his post.

                      Emphasis mine.

                    7. See there, you just saw Charles Easterly travel backward in time, merely because we observed his post.

                      Emphasis mine again.

                    8. Are you a wave or a particle this time?

                    9. I see that thrakkorzog has had enough of this silliness.

                      I was actually referring to the version of the double slit experiment where measuring the photon seemed to affect the state of it in the past as though it traveled backward in time. Scientists have since conducted some much more sophisticated experiments that seem to verify this behavior, from what I, as not a particle physicist, can understand.

                    10. Whatever, just so long as you have your act together.

                    11. I’m touched by your concern for me.

                    12. Hyp,

                      Would you mind saving me the time to locate the more recent abstracts of which you write (if you have links to them readily available)?

                      Thank you.

                      I see that thrakkorzog has had enough of this silliness.

                      Perhaps. Nonetheless, as phonons require some sort of medium in order to travel and be “heard”, I would like thrakkorzog’s opinion in one regard.

                      Is Agile Cyborg a solid, liquid, gas, or some combination therefrom?

                    13. I just randomly read stuff on the web, watch documentaries, and stuff like that. You’ll find several sources online if you just search it though, regarding the double slit experiment and the part I’m talking about where measuring a particle can apparently affect it’s state in the past.

                      There’s also a really good documentary from Nova about it, I can’t really recall the name right of it right now, but you’ll find it if you just search quantum mechanics documentaries online.

                      I read a lot of articles here, also:

                      Quanta Magazine

                      Agile is a probability wave, no doubt.

                    14. “Here’s a good one:

                      quantum links ? not space-time ? constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.

                      Here’s a good one:

                      quantum links ? not space-time ? constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.”

                      Thank you Hyp, I caught it just before logging out. It’s too late to read it (and its many sourced references) now and I must needs away.

                      Good night.

                    15. Nite. I was just about to say that I think I remember reading an article somewhere about the wave particle duality theory actually being the uncertainty principle in action. Or something like that. I’m getting tired also.

                    16. Agile Cyborg is a poet. Poets are poets, I And I can’t argue with poetry.

                      OTOH, Here’s Richard Feynman explaining the two slit experiment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mIk3wBJDgE

                    17. Excellent, thrak.

                      I returned to point out to Hyp that much of my understanding is outdated (by way of responding to his earlier question) Are you a wave or a particle this time?

                      I intended to reply with “Why not both?*” and reference wave?particle duality (1965 Feynman).

                      *”Why not both?” seems to be in common usage in these threads and I thought it appropriate.

                      …I can’t argue with poetry. From observing your many comments/insights it seems to me that you and I are often in disagreement. Here we are not.

                      Thanks to the both of you,

                      Good night.

    2. I bet John Calvin would love those sorts of stories.

    3. Can Science make a Fist so Fisty that it posts before Fist?

      1. As long as one of us gets it before you losers.

  6. What if we clone a human and it doesn’t have a soul? Like gingers, you know. Wait… maybe we should only clone gingers since they already don’t have a soul?

    1. Signing up as a sheep-fucker?

      Color me slightly shocked.

      1. It’s shreek, don’t be shocked. He adores Obama and Hillary, sheep fucking is a step up for him.

        1. The signing up part is what slightly shocked me.

  7. ban the federal funding

    Because it’s not real science unless the government picks the winners. Sure we’d like to ban all federal funding of science but every little ban helps.

    1. We have to ban some things so that the wrong type of people don’t win. We can’t have people who won’t vote for me bad players winning.

  8. By the way, if anyone wants to clone me, please just go ahead

    Disclosure: Ron Bailey #3 has investments in cloning-related firms. Ron Bailey #2 and #4 do not. Ron Bailey #1 is still on Holiday and unavailable for comment.

    1. I’m losing track of Ron.

      1. Pretty damn good video for a game. Square Enix must have one hell of a budget.

        I didn’t play the first 2, this one looks tempting. I might pick it up after release.

        1. Just like all major game releases, the best part will be the comments on Steam shortly before and shortly after release, not the game itself.

  9. Cyborists, and transgenetics will be treated the same. Down with the AI.s, and the Human purists.

    1. I thought it was Augs vs Humans.

      1. Like most conflict throughout history it will be ‘decent, honest people vs those sub-human bitches next door that don’t deserve to live’

  10. This sounds wrong, but Orin Kerr is a former federal prosecutor: “No decision on the Clinton email case will please everyone, of course. But Comey’s announcement takes the path of the least amount of politicalization in a uniquely politically charged case.”

    Maybe someone can examine Kerr’s claims?

    1. One thing that grates on me is the near-tautological “this won’t please everyone.”

      Well, given that some people want Clinton prosecuted and some don’t, then it’s hard to imagine a decision which will please anyone.

      But the phrase seems like a rhetorical device to show Comey as a tough guy making the tough calls no matter how tough it is.

      1. I’m not a lawyer and have zero legal training BUT…

        The justice system shouldn’t be there to *please* anyone. That should be obvious by a very light application of logic.

        1. Justice is blindfolded for a reason. And not just kinky ones.

    2. What Clinton was involved in was blatantly, self-evidently criminal.

      The only thing “hard” about the investigation was how to do it in a manner that successfully presented the appearance of gathering and evaluating evidence, and yet still arrived at a forgone conclusion despite the evidence.

      the whole thing was a charade; if complements are deserved, it is for a “well-performed charade”.

      1. I wouldn’t give it credit for being ‘well-performed’. At no point could anyone who was not already firmly on Team Hillary have any confidence that even the appearance of propriety was being upheld. Clinton/Lynch airplane meeting sealed that deal, especially when, only days later, Comey comes out and says there’s evidence of malfeasance, but *insufficient evidence of malicious intent*.

        While I’m a big believer in intent being important, malicious is definitely not necessary – never has been before. What intent means is that you knew what you wanted to do was illegal and you went and did it anyway.

    3. Orin Kerr has always been a pro-Democrat hack. Whenever there’s a controversial issue, he always sides with the Dems: Obamacare SC rulings, Obama’s immigration executive order, and now Clinton non-indictment.

      1. Obamacare SC rulings, Obama’s immigration executive order, and now Clinton non-indictment.

        All of those are examples of things which people should find reason for serious criticism even if you endorse the underlying decision/policy reached.

        At best, people should say “its the worst possible means to a preferred end, and should give any partisan pause”

        Apologizing for “writing legislation from the bench” (Roberts ACA ruling), Obama Ex.Order on Immigration (“re-writing legislation by decree”), and the abandonment of even the appearance of the rule of law (Clinton investigation)….

        …is basically saying, “I’ll pretend to endorse democracy so long as its serving my desired purposes, but when it doesn’t… i have no problem subverting it”

  11. Is Dolly still alive?

  12. I think this answers Ron’s question.

  13. The great orator strikes again:

    More of Obama’s eloquent orating

    Obama: So, if if if, you voting for the other team, it’s not because of the economy. It’s not because of the economy? I mean even, even, even, even, even the, uh, even the, uh, the, the Republicans on the other side don’t really know what the guy’s talking about

    1. I don’t think he’s always been like this. He also looks like he’s aged more than 7 years. I know that’s a common trope for Presidents. But he’s straight up gaunt now. Maybe it’s Michelle’s dietary restrictions.

      Still, The Office seems to have taken a special toll on that guy.

      1. He looks 20 years older, for sure. I’m not sure what’s happened to his speech. Maybe he’s just trying to speak on his own without a teleprompter, finally. He always did do the uh, umm stuff a lot, even while all his sycophant voters were swooning over his great oratory skills.

        1. Most of them come out of their second terms looking haggard – they recover on the golf course pretty quickly.

          But its weird. Being the president shouldn’t really be that mentally demanding of a job. Everyone’s on *your* schedule, short of the aftermath of a major disaster (or a world war) where, nowadays, people think the president *must* show up to kiss boo-boos and make things all better (no sympathy as this is something those assholes have fostered themselves) you shouldn’t have excessively long days. Electrically sign the kill lists, have a nice dinner, watch tv, etc.

          And in your second term – who give a fuck what anyone thinks? What are they going to do, not vote for you in the next election?

  14. The Venture Bros. at least understands the practical application of human cloning.

  15. Posting is unusually slow tonight. Is everyone still hungover from the 4th weekend?

  16. “that this is something we cannot and should not tolerate. This type of research on humans is morally reprehensible.”

    Why? What about it is ‘morally reprehensible’?

    “What if the great given–a human being is a product of the union of a man and woman–is no longer a given?”

    I guess that’s what we’ll find out. Here’s a counter-question though – what if the great given, that man can’t travel faster than 25 MPH, is no longer a given?

    “The message must be simple and decisive: The human species doesn’t need cloning.”

    OK, fair enough. Buuuuuut that’s not how banning works. You need to show how a ban is a) necessary and b) less harmful than not acting. When you can do that then get back to me.

    “Most people who have thought about this believe it is not a reasonable use and should not be allowed…. This is not a case of scientific freedom vs. the regulators.”

    1. again, *why* is it not a reasonable use and *why* should it not be allowed.

    2. It is *exactly* a case of scientific freedom vs the regulators – that’s the *point* of discussing a ban/regulation, to reign in scientific freedom.

    1. 1. again, *why* is it not a reasonable use and *why* should it not be allowed.

      Shut up, peasant, TOP.MEN. have spoken.

    2. OK, fair enough. Buuuuuut that’s not how banning works. You need to show how a ban is a) necessary and b) less harmful than not acting. When you can do that then get back to me

      Yeah, because they really showed that when they banned Cannabis and made it a schedule 1 drug.

      Here’s actually how banning works.

      The media stirs up hysteria about the newest and most scariest boogey man around.

      Soccer moms and other hysterical pants shitters, shit pants and screech for someone to ‘do something’!

      Aspiring congress critters scurry like rats in a fire to ‘save the poor wiminz and children from the new scariest boogey man’ by writing some shitty constitution destroying legislation.

      Other aspiring congress critters trip over themsevles to be the first to vote for the wondrous new legislation.

      New shitty constitution destroying law passes unanimously and is signed into law by the current shit head in the Oval Office.

      Because FYTW.

      1. However, it *is* how banning has worked re: assault weapons.

      2. Just like the “I’m just a bill” short they used to show on TV after school!

        1. Yeah, I remember that. Remy should do a new spoof on that one. Something about how now I’m just a bill, but as soon as they get done cramming me with enough pork to satisfy both teams, then I get voted on again.

  17. I need a legal opinion: If I clone an orphan does that mean I’m the clone’s father? That would really reduce the clonephan’s sale value and I certainly don’t need the headache that comes from having a kid.

  18. Most of you were hoping for brainless, consumer swimsuit model, sex slave clones by now–admit it. Sports Illustrated could make a fortune that way.

    http://www.si.com/swimsuit

    I’m sure there’d be a big market for clones like that. I imagine the swimsuit models of the future licensing their clones for mass production and sex slave work. The clones just need to be genetically engineered to do as their told, right? Sort of like the difference between wild wolves and domesticated dogs, the latter of which has been bred over the centuries to remain in a puppy state with a desire to please their parents masters.

    I wonder how non-engineered women would fare in that world. Valerie Solanas’ world turned upside down! No reason why cloned swimsuit models couldn’t get pregnant if that’s what you wanted, is there? Real women are a pain in the ass. No need for them anymore.

    Someday feminists may look back to when social conservatives lost the abortion debate and say that’s where our ethics first started going haywire. ’cause it’s a woman’s right to choose for her clones, right? Especially when the clones can’t think for themselves. Hell, the clones will hardly be like real people when they’re engineered like that, right? They’ll be just like fetuses.

    1. I wonder how non-engineered women would fare in that world. Valerie Solanas’ world turned upside down! No reason why cloned swimsuit models couldn’t get pregnant if that’s what you wanted, is there? Real women are a pain in the ass. No need for them anymore.

      I’m sure this was moderately pleasant to think out loud, as it were. History says that generally it’s the adult males whose surplus is considered socially easiest to dispose of.

      There is, of course, a bit of truth in your daydream. Real women are a pain in the ass. It’s just forest-for-the-trees myopia, though, because quite frankly, so is everyone else.

      Me today. You tomorrow. Keep that firmly fixed in your mind, and the species might make it another thousand years.

      Which all just belabors the point (myopically, ahaha) because this was the really interesting bit:

      The clones just need to be genetically engineered to do as their told, right?

      Control is an illusion. Human history is a long, overwrought tale of the destruction we wreak attempting to make the other humans conform to our wishes. How happy Top Men would be if they finally solved the problem of an intractable populace.

      If a genetic switch for obedience is found, never mind that women are a pain in the ass. Unless we have managed through some miracle to wrest autonomy from the forms of social control, humanity itself becomes obsolete on that day.

      1. And that, my friend, is absolutely terrifying. There is every reason to think that people could be altered to be more compliant.

      2. “If a genetic switch for obedience is found, never mind that women are a pain in the ass. Unless we have managed through some miracle to wrest autonomy from the forms of social control, humanity itself becomes obsolete on that day.”

        That’s partially why I was talking about the difference between wolves and domesticated dogs. It’s an interesting thing.

        This isn’t my area of expertise or anything, but my understanding is that domesticated dogs exist in a state of perpetual adolescence. It isn’t just that they’re psychologically immature either; there are physical puppy characteristics, as well. For instance, when wolves are puppies, they have floppy ears like most domesticated dogs, but wolves’ ears stiffen as they mature. They lose those puppy characteristics. Wolf puppies also have short snouts, but they lose that characteristic as they get older, too. Domestic dogs, on the other hand, tend to keep those physical characteristics of immaturity throughout their lives. Most domestic dogs have floppy ears and short snouts. The exceptions are domesticated dogs that are genetically closer to wolves: Huskies, Malamutes, German Shepherds, etc.

      3. Thing is, those physical characteristics aren’t the only thing that’s stunted. When most people try to keep a wolf as a pet, they’ll say it was fine for the first three to three and a half years. After that point, the wolf (or wolf-dog mix) will suddenly stop taking orders. It shits where it wants. It eats what it wants. It does what it wants. That’s because their minds become more independent–unlike domesticated dogs. In the wild, they say, “Thanks for everything Mom and Dad, but I’m all grown up now, and I need to go make decisions for myself”.

        Chimpanzees go through the same thing. They make great pets for the first few years. Then, like people, they mature, and they want to live their own lives and make their own decisions. Once they mature, they’re not all about trying to please their parents anymore. That’s why wolves, generally, can’t be domesticated, and the people who keep adults wolves generally can’t keep them in the house.

        There are physical differences between the brains of wolves and domesticated dogs. My understanding is that the brains of mature domesticated dogs resemble the brains of wolf puppies, but as wolf brains mature, their brains change and wolves become increasingly independent as their brains mature and feel less compelled to please their parents or masters.

      4. It might be possible to achieve the same sort of thing with people–without lobotomies. Homo sapien children also have an instinctive need to please their parents. We might just be talking about suspending the development of the human brain in some state before the onset of adult maturity. Just imagine what people would be like if they had the minds of, say, seven year olds. If raised properly, such clones might be eager to go home with a nice man and eager to please him. The clone might have a will of her own–just like a domesticated dog does. But her will might not need a genetic on or off switch per se. Just a lifetime with a brain that’s in a suspended state of immaturity might do the trick.

        Have you ever read about dog discoloration (against wolves) being associated with passivity? Breed more passive wolves together, and you’ll get discoloration that looks like a beagle within in a few generations. If you keep breeding the most compliant among them together, and, eventually, you get something with a brain that doesn’t mature, then if that’s the result of breeding, there’s a genetic component to it in the woodpile somewhere, right?

        1. This article is completely awesome:

          “He had a hunch that he could use them to unlock domestication’s molecular mysteries. Domesticated animals are known to share a common set of characteristics, a fact documented by Darwin in “The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication”. They tend to be smaller, with floppier ears and curlier tails than their untamed progenitors. Such traits tend to make animals appear appealingly juvenile to humans. Their coats are sometimes spotted?piebald, in scientific terminology?while their wild ancestors’ coats are solid. These and other traits, sometimes referred to as the domestication phenotype, exist in varying degrees across a remarkably wide range of species, from dogs, pigs, and cows to some nonmammalians like chickens, and even a few fish.”

          http://tinyurl.com/4z4f3ae

          The question is whether humans can be domesticated, and if domestication ultimately has to do with genetically inherited proclivities that keep a mammal’s brain from maturing as it ages, then my bet is that we can be domesticated just like any other mammal.

        2. So, I’ve been hanging with an old friend of mine. Drop dead gorgeous. Also, developmentally challenged. Very child like when I first met her, 15 years ago. She actually tried to seduce me (I turned her down), but that was only after knowing me for years. I watched some guy spend a couple months trying to seduce her. It ended with her literally kicking out several of his front teeth, and he never got to second base.
          She was impregnated young, loved sex, but had learned a lesson.
          So, even today, she would be considered child-like in her mentality, she is not one to be bossed around and sexually exploited.
          Anyone who thinks a child is easy to control has never cared for a child.

          1. Domesticated dogs will growl and bite too if they’re mistreated. Don’t mess with them while they’re eating.

            Still, they are domesticated. If you take them home and treat them well and raise them properly, they’ll imprint on you and they’ll want to please you. I’m not sure they really have a choice about that. It could be anyone that takes them home, and if the dog is well-treated, they’ll love their master until the day they die.

            It isn’t that way with wolves at all. Seeking the approval of others just doesn’t matter very much to mature wolves. I’ve seen wolves that were set loose and later reunited with their caregivers from when they were abandoned puppies. They’ll never forget their old masters–but they can never be psychologically subject to some master’s approval again.

            I think we’re talking about a species of human that probably hasn’t existed before. I’m not saying these people wouldn’t have the ability to disobey–just like domesticated dogs can and do disobey. But we’re not talking about people who would behave AS IF they were children either.

            We’re talking about people who deprived of maturity will instinctively seek the approval of their masters.

          2. The idea creeps me out (and makes me suspicious of millennials), but I think it’s a real possibility that someone in the future could make people like that. To me, that should be a bold faced, all caps rule in human genetics–DON”T MESS WITH PEOPLE’S AGENCY. But it’s probably more complicated than that. I used to work in a lock down mental hospital. Keeping people docile who were a danger to themselves or others was a big part of what we did. In dogs, docility is genetically connected to seeming unrelated things like coloration. Who knows what it might be connected to in humans?

            And, anyway, I hope you appreciate that I was being tongue in cheek up there about the desirability of making a consumer industry of passive swimsuit model, sex slaves. I was really going for the observation that the implications of treating a fetus as if it were owned by a woman without obligations might have implications in the future beyond the culture wars of the ’70s and ’80s.

  19. OT.
    Once we got Meathead’s surtax on incomes over $1m, there were concerns by some that local teams would not be able to sign ‘the high-priced spread’:
    “Welcome, Kevin Durant. Now about your California income taxes…”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bus…..5bc726f8ec

    Well, Redford shilled for that tax, but he owns a spread in Montana; wonder how long he stays there (from the Durant link):
    “If the basketball superstar establishes his residence in California, he will pay California state income tax on 100 percent of his taxable income, including his salary and endorsement contracts. California’s rate tops out at 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation.”
    I’m just guessing here, but can we presume Mr. Durant might choose to ‘live’ somewhere else and commute to his new place of employment?

  20. Donald Trump is a Hillary Plant: Exhibit 236

    “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. Really bad guy,” Trump said. “But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorists – it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.”

    So does Trump not have staff with the wherewithal to say to him “You know boss, maybe you should focus strictly on Hillary’s server and not praise brutal dictators we deposed for their brutality.”?

    1. GMSM? You’re FIRED!

    2. I don’t want to hear it. I said that Trump was a Hillary plant way back when he first declared, because Willy had called him up and told him he should run as a Republican. And I was laughed at and called a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theory nut.

      You know what though? What Trump is saying there, despite what the media will make it into, makes some sense. It would also make sense if he said the same about Gaddafi. Sometimes leaving a bad situation bad, instead of making it worse, is the sensible thing to do.

      Not only have we made a freaking mess all over the Middle East, but now we’re expected to clean it up, forever apparently.

      1. He’s not necessarily wrong about the world being better off with Saddam in power. It’s a point the left makes all the time in critique of the Iraq War.

        But he’s praising Saddam for mercilessly torturing and killing enemies of the state. That deserves intense criticism.

        1. Yeah, that was stupid. Sometimes even when Trump is about to make a very valid point, he manages to stupid it up with his totally undisciplined style.

      2. Not only have we made a freaking mess all over the Middle East, but now we’re expected to clean it up, forever apparently.

        Politicians are fond of ginning up adventures abroad to distract the voters from their political peccadilloes at home.

        No wonder Hillary’s such a hawk. Anyone want to give me an over/under? How many weeks it takes after a Hillary inauguration for her to have whipped the public into a foaming hot mess determined to get those bastards in *insert foreign country here*.

    3. I think he’s saying that the Iraq War was a mistake.

      Trump is a Democrat circa 2008, who’s willing to say all the things Barack Obama wouldn’t but all Obama’s supporters did. You know Obama beat Hillary out for the nomination because of her support for the Iraq War, right?

      In the meantime, yeah, we lost 4,500 Americans, some 32,000 Americans were wounded, we spent $3 trillion and counting, and in return for our investment, Iraq represents a bigger terrorist threat to American security than it did when Saddam Hussein was still in power.

      Why shouldn’t a Presidential candidate talk about that–when Hillary Clinton was a cheerleader for Iraq every step of the way?

      Fuck Hillary’s email server. Does she want to do the same thing in Syria that we did in Iraq?

      1. She wants to start some more wars and she will, it’s one thing you can count on her for. And the Democrats and the media will remain completely silent about it, unless they’re praising her for it.

      2. See above. There’s saying Iraq was a mistake and Saddam had strategic value in the region and then there’s saying he was totally awesome at torturing and butchering terrorists…like those Kurds he gassed. That was cool.

        1. Yeah, Saddam was a really awesome guy. His son Uday was even more awesome, I hear. I mean if you like psychopaths and all.

          1. If you can’t see the difference between pointing out that American security was better as far as Iraq was concerned back when Saddam Hussein was still in power and saying that Saddam Hussein was an awesome guy, then you’re a moron.

            1. No Ken. You see, Muriccah is the greatest, most bestest country ever, giving the world both Henry Ford and Jesus Christ.
              As such, it is our sacred duty to police the world, and remove any little dictator that doesn’t yet have nukes, creating a power vacuum that will be filled by an even more crazy dictator/group. (After the ideology has conquered a territory, it then resorts to infighting, so that the most psychopathic of the psychopaths ends up ruling.)
              This is called Realpolitik, and is clearly the only sane way to conduct foreign affairs.

              1. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, don’t get me wrong, but when we’re talking about Trump, there’s no need to pretend he’s worse than he is.

                If Trump said that the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, I suspect half the people here might attack him for it–just because Trump said it.

                Just because Trump is an authoritarian asshole doesn’t mean everything he says is wrong, and it’s the same way with Hillary and Obama and me and everyone else.

                I can’t live in a world where I have to keep changing positions based on who I hate the most this week. If Hillary says something this week that I agreed with last week–for reasons that had nothing to do with her–am I supposed to abandon all good sense and logic just to oppose Hillary?

                I’m not that guy. I even agree with Obama when he’s right. He’s just not right very often.

                1. I certainly don’t have to disagree with everything Trump says–or pretend that he supports gassing Kurds–just because I oppose him.

                  I despise Hillary Clinton because she’s a crook and wrong on a whole host of issues, but that doesn’t mean I have to keep up with everything she says just so I can disagree with it either.

                  My grandfather used to say that about my grandmother: She isn’t hard of hearing. She just wants me to repeat everything so she can be sure to disagree with it.

                  Oh, and just because I support Johnson and plan to vote Libertarian doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says.

                  We’re libertarians, damn it. Among other things, that’s supposed to mean we don’t change our positions either way just because top men said something or other.

                  The other thing that bugs me about this? When I say Hillary has disqualified herself by taking money from foreign governments, I’m not just blowing steam. I think it’s already hard enough for people to grok the difference between the truth and the blow hard bullshit. Who can blame people for not really listening when I tell them that Hillary Clinton takes money from foreign governments–when other people are telling them every day that Trump wants to hunt down and kill the girlfriends of terrorists or that he supports Saddam Hussein for gassing the Kurds?

                  1. Oh, I agree. Hillary should be in prison. At the very least, she should be disqualified from holding any office, especially the presidency.
                    Trump is a blowhard idiot. He never set up a private server as a public server with the express intent of thwarting DOI laws. He never sold access to foreign governments. He never abandoned diplomats (who were manning an outlet that existed to illegally arm groups on the state departments terrorist organization list). He will also be obstructed at every turn by both parties and the press, whereas her felonious highness well have full throated support from at least half the political class and 90% of the media.
                    If I lived in CA, or MA, I could vote my conscious and vote for our imperfect libertarian candidates. But I think CO is going to be a tight purple (shut up, Crusty) race, and it is possible that I will vote Trump, simply because, as I have said before, I will vote for Beelzebub before voting for HRC.

                    1. * a private server as a public server
                      I have no idea where that nonsense came from, so I’m going to blame the squirrels, because nobody likes them, anyways.

        2. There are so many legitimate things to go after Trump for–why claim he likes Saddam Hussein because Hussein gassed the Kurds?

          The other day Hazel was on here telling us that Trump wants to kill, not only terrorists, but hunt down and kill all of their wives and girlfriends, too. When you read the link she gave, he was actually talking about the 9/11 hijackers–claiming that some of bin Laden’s associates wives and girlfriends fled the United States in anticipation of the attack, and he wanted to see those women, specifically, brought to justice to face charges as accessories. He wasn’t saying that he wants to track down the wives and girlfriends of every ISIS member and kill them all.

          This is like when the media blew up Sarah Palin’s statement (of fact) that there’s an island in Alaska from which you can see Russia on a clear day–into saying that Sarah Palin thought she could see Russia from her kitchen window.

          There were all kinds of legitimate reasons to go after Palin. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons to go after Trump. Why don’t we stick to those instead of saying that he likes Saddam Hussein because Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds?

    1. No one could have predicted that.

    2. It’s The Guardian, so it didn’t’ take long:

      “Venezuela is rich in oil, but dogged by chronic shortages of basic goods and essential medicines, which critics of President Nicol?s Maduro blame on gross mismanagement of the economy. Government supporters say empty store shelves are caused by an “economic war” against his socialist government.”

      No, Guardian, it’s the ‘attempted management’ of the economy that’s the problem; that’s “mismanagement” guaranteed.

    3. BTW, checked the comments before closing the link:
      1. ‘Venezuela is not true socialism!’
      2. ‘Your capitalist countries bail out corporations!’

      1. Venezuela was true socialism right before they ran out of other people’s money. Remember how the left was praising it just a few years back? Now it’s not true socialism.

        1. Running out of stolen money always turns a socialist country into a ‘not true socialist’ country, but all socialist countries run out of stolen money and thereby turn into ‘not true socialist’ countries.
          So maybe socialism breeds ‘non-socialism’?

          1. And then the left get collective amnesia and can’t wait to start up the failed experiment once again, ruining yet another country.

  21. Found out about this neat article today. File under sad/funny.

    State Department personnel seemed wide-eyed and oozing with a misplaced fondness for cultures that delighted in killing people in the cruelest of ways; often for unforgivable offenses like being a woman and learning to read. Yet, at the same time, these DoS personnel had a repulsion toward guns, which were ironically the tools of the one trade that prevented them from ending up in an orange jumpsuit on Al Jazeera. This repulsion often created stories of both disgust and hilarity. Tales from instructors back in the States told of mandatory firearms training that resulted in some colorful moments. Moments such as someone breaking down crying when they had to hold a pistol. . . or closing their eyes, then emptying their magazine toward the vague direction of the target. . . or rudely casting their weapon aside, into the dirt; shaken and in full disdain that their delicate hands had touched such a weapon of minimal destruction.

  22. Maybe Chipotle should have hired a guy who tasted the food:

    “Chipotle executive turns himself in to face drug charges
    […]
    “The Chipotle executive leading the chain’s efforts to rebound after an E. coli outbreak that has sent sales plunging turned himself in Tuesday to face cocaine-possession charges, his lawyer said.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/cri…..341270.php

    “Food? I don’t need food; where’s my drink? Gotta brainstorm this new program!’

    1. “Mark sure seems enthusiastic about the new menu!”

      1. Enthusiasm a line at a time. Next morning, it doesn’t look nearly as good as it did.
        Ask turd…

        1. Um, I hope I’m not “turd”, I’ve been assured that we are all Tulpa, but I spent a few years as a coke user. haven’t touched it since, but there are fond memories.
          The next morning my nose was clogged and I felt a hangover from the booze I didn’t feel when I was drinking. Lots of money I could have used elsewhere. Never hurt anyone, but definitely got addicted. (Sorry, Addictionisjustamyth)
          Now, I didn’t use huge amounts, just a couple hundy on the weekends between me and my self-medicating wife, but I can see prolonged usage getting really bad.

          1. That is his name for shriek.

  23. Why would we want to clone you, Ron? Or me, for that matter? Or the Babes for Liberty? I’m already forty years the Babes’ senior; I’d be eighty before the clones could come of age!
    And, of course, barring the sudden development of an Axtotl tank, we will have the problem of finding surrogate wombs in which to plant these strange seeds.
    I’d rather improve the race, not clone this body. It makes more sense to me to allow young folks to make babies and let us from the shallow end of the gene pool to die off! Perhaps they will improve the breed. Maybe they will help it along with a little gene therapy.
    Dairy farmers have been selecting female sperm cells out of bull semen for several years, to a point where they’ve produced too many cows (female) and not enough bulls (male). It doesn’t stretch my imagination at all to envision selecting specific sperm cells for their genetic perfection.
    And now I’d better climb onto my ice floe and drift off into the breakup.

  24. Completely apropos, John Varley’s Golden Moon is a really damned good read.

  25. I have a large bed with females bending and twisting and sweating and someway i found the fingers to push past and into some odd time space so I’ll get back to my large bed. Good night, my good men… I will eat a million pink castles for you tonite. Just for my reasonbros

  26. What about the ethical cautionary tale of travelling really fast and de-evolving into giant horny salamanders?

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