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races, whiskey, random ramblings

Hello again, John, and the other list members. Sickle cell anemia is
not defined by race, but by geographical constraints. It's one of those
"I've got good news and I've got bad news" type things. The bad news is
that if you inherit the recessive gene from both parents, you have the
disease in its worst form, i.e., the actual sickle cells, which don't
flow well in capillaries, thus clog up the circulatory system,
eventually leading to debilitation and death. Definitely NOT good news!
But, if you get the gene from only ONE parent, you have a type of
resistance to malaria. "Privateers" has it right in his post about the
hemoglobin. This disease is endemic around the world in areas that are
warm and wet, generally the tropics, that harbor mosquitoes. The
parasite injected when the mosquito bites cannot live well in those red
blood cells that have the recessive gene. Thus, the good news is that
if you have the mild form of sickle cell anemia, you are much less
likely to have (and therefore die) of malaria. Certainly, this is a
good thing in areas where large portions of the peoples are subject to
that disease. It's coincidental that many of the people inhabiting the
tropics are "black". It did arise in Africa, but there are "white"
people with the disease, too. Remember, there's a huge difference
between causal and casual effects. The US government has for years been
telling us that marijuana use leads to heroin addiction. I don't intend
here to start a war on drugs, but can say with absolute certainty that
all alcoholics start on milk. Does that prove that milk leads to
alcoholism? We can all agree that's absurd. We may as well start start
sacrificing virgins at midnight to assure that the big ball of fire
arises in the east the next day!

Your interjection of census classifications, together with the comment
about "administrative purposes" is in total agreement with my views.
The US Census Bureau carries out the will of the legislative branch.
Please read that phrase as showing "purely political" motives in many
of the questions they ask. In this country we give special benefits to
some that are defined as being of a certain race, ethnic group, or from
certain geographical areas. I can't begin to tell you how angry this
makes me. I define myself as a Christian. Jesus said, "The whole of the
law is this: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." If we all
followed that sage advice, we'd have no race or ethnic problems. In
olden days, our neighbor lived close enough to us that we could see him
from our home. Now, the whole world is my neighbor. I haven't heard
anyone here dispute the fact that we should all act that way, sorry if
my comments implied that.

To those on the list with a love of good fiction, find "The Lathe of
Heaven" by Ursula LeGuin. It portrays a man whose dreams come true. He
wants everyone to become equal, so we all become gray. It's a good book
with the moral that's been repeated many times: be careful what you
wish for, it may come true, with unintended consequences.

Whiskey, like my choice of a woman, is a purely personal preference.
I'll allow you yours, and hope you enjoy it! And, what do ducks have to
do with it? :) John, you sound like a fascinating and intelligent man,
when and if I find out where you live, and get to that area, please
allow me to buy you your choice of a good whiskey to start a

Donald, you are so correct. It's the old "duality" thing. No positive
without negative. No light without dark. Etc, ad infinitem. I've had my
periods of excesses, thus understand only too well the imporance of
moderation as I grow old and possibly wiser. There are those who might
dispute that, though. When I turned 40 my dad pulled me aside and said
that when he turned 30 his dad told him that's when a man truly becomes
wise. Then, a pause for dramatic effect, and the comment (with a smile)
that shortly before he died, his dad thought he'd change that to 40! 

I guess I've got entirely too much time on my hands now that I'm not
working this week! Enough ranting and raving, back to our regularly
scheduled programming, already in progress.

Ken DeBusk

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