July 2005 Archives

Boy Scouts or Torture


Several years ago the Boy Scouts won a lawsuit by establishing that they are a private organization entitled to discriminate in their membership. The obvious fallout of such a win is that as a private, discriminatory organization they are no longer entitled to governmental perks like funding. The government can no more fund the Boy Scouts then they can a Church or a Klan.

However, the Boy Scouts, used to decades of government preference, don’t like their welfare checks being cut. They avoid becoming a responsible private organization and instead choose to lobby politicians to continue their welfare. Activist politicians in turn have little need for pesky things like American principles and waste no effort criticizing the patriots who want the Boy Scouts to live up to their claims as being a private organization. Today the Senate amended the Defense Department Appropriations bill to state that “Boy Scouts should be treated the same as other national youth organizations.”

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, a former Boy Scout who sponsored the Senate provision, said it is necessary to push back on a spate of lawsuits to limit Boy Scout activities on government property.

Unfortunately for power hungry Frist, congressional activists do not have the power to destroy the First Amendment in an appropriations bill. But Frist apparently doen’t care too much about the Boy Scouts or our troops since he is delaying the appropriations bill because the White House doesn’t like the provision that say that they can’t torture prisoners. (Hmm, I wonder why the AP didn’t feel fit to include that in their Boys Scout report.)

Heck, maybe Frist can combine his interests and require the military to train the Boy Scouts in torture techniques.

Paper Accepted


At the end of June, I submitted a manuscript to The Fifth Georgia Tech International Conference on Bioinformatics. The conference is publishing select manuscripts in a special edition of Bioinformatics.

I learned today that my manuscript has been accepted for publication pending revisions. I have to revise the paper based on the reviewer’s suggestions and return it to the editors by August 6th.

The paper is entitled “DNA Assembly with Gaps (Dawg): Simulating Sequence Evolution” and describes an application, Dawg, that I have developed over the last year. The application produces simulated data sets of aligned nucleotided sequences using phylogenies and evolutionary models.

Since the term “DNA Assembly” is popular in another context which involves gaps, I may rename it eventually to something different, say “DNA Alteration with Gaps.” I am really surprised that no one has complained about this.

Hell has Frozen

The roofers have actually come to our duplex and are fixing the roof. Hopefully they will fix the leaks so we can get our ceiling repaired and new insulation install.

Tour de France

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