Thursday, July 21, 2011

Missing Mom Jacque Waller Latest Update

Missing Mom Jacque Waller Latest Update: "Latest update on Jacque Sue Waller Missouri mother missing in suspicious circumstances since June 1st. Last seen after visiting estranged husband she had split from after years of domestic abuse."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is tot mom Casey Anthony Guilty?

Casey Anthony Who killed Caylee?

The acquittal of Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old young mother, of the murder of her photogenic 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony has caused outrage across the United States. 2 out of 3 Americans believe Casey Anthony to be guilty of the murder.

Why the fury at the acquittal? Is this the result of reality TV, Nancy Grace, CSI or the American tradition that one side must win in sport, or a mix of all these? A murder trial is a real life event and not TV entertainment, which Nancy Grace is.

The United States justice system is imperfect, but then no justice system in any country, society, or culture can be perfect. The subject is too complex. There is always a system of checks and balances necessary to save the innocent. This means that some guilty people will slip through the net. A society where innocents can be sent to jail on circumstantial evidence to make sure that ALL guilty are punished is barbaric and brutal.

It might be difficult to see that someone, in real life, can be not guilty, while still being not innocent. Reality TV, CSI and Judge Judy fog the issue.

In this specific case:
  • Casey Anthony is probably not innocent, but we do not know what she is guilty of.
  • We do not know who murdered Caylee. Only the Anthony family does.
  • We do not know exactly how Caylee was killed.
  • We do not even know if Caylee was murdered or if it was due to callous stupidity, neglect or an “accident.”
  • We do not know if Casey was sexually abused as a child by her father George, or by her brother Lee.

What we know:
  • Casey behaved in a way that is pathological. But not totally abnormal for an immature victim of sexual abuse as a child.
  • Casey’s family is dysfunctional. No, Casey’s family is toxically dysfunctional.
  • Casey’s family do not understand the concept of loyalty. But they do appear closed like a narcissistic family.
  • Casey is a pathological liar. Is this a result of nature or nurture? How much is learned behavior from her parents’ behavior?
  • Casey’s father, George Anthony, is a liar.
  • Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, is not only a liar, but an embarrassingly lousy liar.
  • Cindy Anthony is controlling.

Vengeance or Justice?

This is a fundamental question in the Caylee Anthony case. That there is nobody held accountable for the murder of this beautiful child cuts into the heart of the sense of justice all normal people feel.

Vengeance directed against a person who did not do the callous deed is not justice. In our Western societies, there is the idea of prison as a reforming institution. There are two major reasons people are sent to prison: firstly to prevent others from committing similar crimes, and secondly to reform the criminal so that on release he or she will not reoffend.

The question of the death sentence is a debate on the side of these two issues. There are some people who cannot feel remorse and cannot be reformed. Psychopaths.

Casey Anthony’s behavior was disgusting, that a mother can behave in such a way when her 2-year-old daughter is missing, or had recently died, is difficult for normal people to understand.

How much of that behavior was due to psychological issues resulting from Casey’s father molesting her when she was a child?

Her mother Cindy was in denial while Casey was pregnant. Casey’s pregnancy was not treated in a normal way. There was a rejection of Caylee before birth and a rejection of Casey after Caylee’s birth. Cindy Anthony used Caylee to control Casey. This family had narcissistic and toxic  behavior patterns. Was this that which resulted in Casey to lie and act without apparent remorse after Caylee went missing

If Casey Anthony had been found guilty and sentenced to death she would not have been given a lethal injection. The waiting list in Florida’s death row is so long she would die of old age before her turn came.

What Future for Casey Anthony?

Casey Anthony has spent the last few years in jail. Mainly in solitary confinement.

She has been separated from her toxic family. That is maybe the main benefit she has had from her stay in jail. She must stay away from her family, as in never contact again, for the rest of her life.

She has had plenty of time for reflection.

She has matured. Casey is probably still not an adult emotionally, psychologically and mentally.

She will still need years of therapy before she “finds herself.” One therapy that would be beneficial for Casey is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

If she can go through that there is a possibility that Casey Anthony can be reformed and live her life as a constructive member of society. If this happens, she will be filled daily with a cringe inducing shame for how she behaved, and what she did when she was an early twenty something.

She will remember photographs of her beautiful 2-year-old daughter. That is a worse punishment than locking her away without therapy, keeping her in a pre-programmed narcissistic mind frame, where she is angry, but unrepentant and constantly blaming others.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wikileaks Conspiracy | Assange Extradition

British authorities are currently holding the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, while he fights extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Assange denies any wrongdoing.

His lawyer, Mark Stephens, has heard from Swedish authorities that there has been a “secretly empanelled” grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia. This might be why the UK and Swedish authorities want to keep Assange in jail, long enough for the United States to stitch together some form of charge on which to extradite him to the United States.

Since late last month, Wikileaks has been slowly releasing some 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. Wikileaks previously released thousands of U.S. military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Actually it is not Julian Assange who is guilty for leaking these documents. He is only the messenger. It is the United States authorities. What sort of national security system do they have when millions of people have access to this information? Bradley manning the private, who leaked these documents to Wikileaks in the first place, was disciplined two times during training for breaches of security. His officers should have been aware that he was not psychologically and motivationally suitable for the work he was doing.

Bradley Manning’s chain of command are guilty, he should never have been given his posting.

The charges Assange is accused of are ridiculous. The women are big girls and they were very willing to go to bed with Assange, even behaving like a stalker in one case. Rape is a serious crime and rapists deserve harsh penalties. Women who falsely accuse men should also be punished, and prosecutors who allow themselves to be political stooges and play roles in political conspiracies should be fired.

But where does that leave Julian Assange? A poll in Time magazine had Assange on the top of the list for most influential person in 2010. Russian Prime Minister Putin suggested he be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Hillary Clinton is probably preparing a kennel for him at Guantanamo Bay.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Republican Smear Campaign

Now that we are in October, the month for surprises in any United States Presidential race, it comes as no surprise that Obama is being targeted for having an affair.

McCain and Palin have had their turns, so who next. Obama. If this dies fast enough then a few days before the election the Republican rumour mill will churn out sleaze on Biden's affair.

A lady (well we still have conventional sleaze mongering, next election it will be a homosexual relationship of choice) who is a super fundraiser has been suggested.

She had a lucrative business going in Washington D.C. and suddenly closed shop and disappeared to an island in the Caribbean. All very hush hush, the type of behavior that brings dirt diggers out of the dungheap.

Vera Baker worked as a fundraiser on Barack Obama's staff during his senate campaign in 2004. She was apparently sidelined after Michelle Obama became uneasy over Barack Obama's friendship with Vera Baker.

the woman said that sha left the United State because she was in love with the man, who she is still living with. He is from the Caribbean island.

So far it seems mud is being thrown at Obama in the hope that some of it will stick.

John McCain is married to the woman had an affair with while married to his first wife.

When will the United States grow up and behave like a democracy? Surely there are more important issues than whether Sarah Palin uses lipstick or if she had her lips tattooed.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jewel of Medina

A novel about the Muslim Prophet Mohammed and his child bride Aisha, by American novelist Sherry Jones, has been released in Britain this month. The book is a fictional account of Mohammed's relationship with Aisha, his child bride. The story follows her life from the age of six to the prophet's death.

Last month, Random House, the United States publisher, decided to cancel publication of the book “The Jewel of Medina” as it feared the book could incite violence. This was after the book was quickly withdrawn from bookshops, in Serbia, after protests from the local Muslim community.

The British Gibson Square publishing house said it was imperative that “The Jewel of Medina” be available to the public and has published the book in the U.K. This resulted in an arson attack on the office of Gibson Square Publishing by three Muslim men.

Speaking on the subject of offending Muslims, the author said, "Anyone who reads the book will see that it honours the prophet and his favourite wife." This book, which has been described as a wonderful and inspiring love story, has evoked feelings reminiscent of the reaction to the Mohammad cartoons a couple of years ago.

Why is this? Is Islam such a week faith that words by a non-Muslim can strike right through the shield of their faith and actually hurt them?

Personally I respect believing Muslims, those who really follow their Faith. Yusuf Islam for example. I understand and empathise with Muslims who feel offended by statements made by non-Muslims in Europe and the United States. As a fundamentalist Christian, or a Christian holding to the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, I am deeply offended by statements made daily in the media and on television programs, such as “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

Similarly I know I would feel offended by the film “Religulous” directed by Bill Maher. That is why I will not go to see it. I expect a large part of the film will be legitimate criticism of cult like behaviour by religious hypocrites, but seeing the filmmakers mock hypocrites and lumping them together with people with real Faith would sadden me. I feel sorry for Bill Maher, that he is unable to comprehend the difference between religious traditions and Faith.

The response from a spiritually mature person, who has his or her identity firmly in his or her Faith, should be to have pity on the poor ignorant humanistic souls, and pray for them. They are so far away from God, they have no concept of a relationship with God. To expect them to understand Faith is absurd.

Jon Stewart, who hosts the “Daily Show,” needs prayer badly. The poor man does not understand his own faith, Judaism. He lives in New York so it should not be too difficult to find some good Chassidic courses. Once he has grasped the fundamentals of Chabad Chassidism, with that newfound insight into reality, he might then look into the New Testament. There he could then see that Chabad Chassidism is soooo close to Christ, who is after all the long awaited Messiah and the one and only true Tzadik in the history of Judaism. After that long journey he might be ripe for accepting Christ as his Saviour. Jon Stewart accepting Allah is another issue.

If Muslims believe in their faith, have confidence in their faith and believe their own personal faith is strong, why not challenge Christians and Jews to pray for the blasphemers' souls. Have a prayer challenge like Elijah on Mt Carmel. Reference is 1 Kings Chapter 18, and for our Jewish friends M'lakhim Chapter 18. Then we maybe will see Jon Stewart hosting the “Daily Religious Hour,” or something similar.

Jesus, on the cross, looked at the people who had been baying for their Messiah's blood and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Has Islam Lost Faith in Itself?

After posting the last blog post, a thought struck me. Islamic states appear paranoid about their religion. Muslims do not seem to have faith in their faith.

Christianity has been through its dark days. Those were the times when the Church was a secular power and not following Christ. By definition a Christian must be a follower of Christ, otherwise the person is something else, an Arminianist, Calvinist, Lutheran, Wesleyan or follower of some other man’s interpretations. Those dark times were marked by a spiritually weak Church, and in fear banned the reading or possession of the Bible.

It appears Islam is in such a dark period, if their paranoia is anything to go by.

The mandatory death penalty in Iran, for a Muslim turning to any other faith seems quite out of proportion to the “threat” Christianity poses for Shiite Islam in Iran.

Other countries in the region show a similar paranoia. Not only Bahá'í, Christians and Jews are thrown into jail in the region. In Pakistan, a country President Bush counts as a friendly country, they have laws even against Muslim denominations. Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan who believe that their 19th century founder was a prophet have been, by law, declared non-Muslims for the last 34 years. Ahmadis who even name their sons Muhammad face imprisonment for blasphemy.

For the record, a list of the countries considered worst cases for not abiding with freedom of religion:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Indonesia, Jordan, Kosovo, Laos, Maldives, Mali, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

It appears, except for Myanmar (Burma), which is a special case, and India with Hindu extremists attacking Christians, Dalits and Muslims, all with equal vengeance, these countries fall into two groups. Communist (or that way inclined) and predominantly Muslim.

The best Muslim countries in this regard are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey. All show official religious intollerance.

Now is this a coincidence, or is Islam at heart insecure and violent?

Is Islam a faithless faith? A faith without faith in itself?

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Iran Criminalizes Christianity

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is arriving in New York this week to speak in front of the U.N. General Assembly.

In 2007 a group Christian leaders met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while he was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. They defended the meeting saying they wished to promote dialogue as an alternative to military confrontation.

In a church hall across from the U.N. they held a warm and friendly exchange. President Ahmadinejad is an intelligent and knowledgeable man. He is respectful, cordial and even witty. He spoke about the unity of the Judaic, Christian and Islamic messages. The meeting went off very well. President Ahmadinejad knows how to use every opportunity to his advantage.

This week President Ahmadinejad is once again in New York to speak in front of the U.N. general Assembly. The same group of Ecumenical Christian leaders are going to meet him again for dinner and dialogue, on Thursday the 25th September. This will take place during an iftar, the traditional meal served during Ramadan to break the fast.

The difference this time, is Iran passed legislation two weeks ago outlawing converting to the Christian Faith, with the death penalty as mandatory punishment. Yet these Christian leaders are naive enough to think they can have a positive influence.

The Iranian Parliament voted on September 9th in favour of the legislation with 196 votes in favour, seven against, and two abstentions. Included in the law are a list of crimes for which the death penalty is applied, are having blogs and websites promoting corruption, prostitution, and apostasy (read Christianity). The law mandates the death penalty for apostates. For anyone converting from Islam to any other religion, there is only one punishment, the death sentence.

For a person born to Muslim parents there is only a death penalty waiting. For a person born to non-Muslim parents, there is a three day period after sentencing when the person will be encouraged to change their mind. If the person still refuses then the death penalty is to be carried out.

Two Christians, Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad, 53, and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, 40, who are both Christian converts from Islam, were charged with apostasy last week at the Public and Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Iran. They are awaiting the court’s verdict. They have been in detention since May 15.

In August, there were five known arrests of Iranian Christians in three cities by authorities, according to the persecution watchdog agency Compass Direct News. Among those arrested was Ramtin Soodmand, who is the son of the last Christian convert to be executed for leaving Islam, on Aug. 21.

Sharia laws vary from region to region. There is a tendency to cherry pick verses for support according to the ideas of the more senior leaders. Two basic rules of Bible interpretation are; a text out of context is a pretext, and the Bible does not contradict itself. The last one means if one finds a contradiction, then there is a misunderstanding/misinterpretation somewhere. This has as an obvious presupposition the Bible is God's word.

Assuming from a Muslim perspective that the Koran is Allah's word, and using the same basic rules, then these anti Christian laws should be explained in the context of the following two passages in the Koran. There are many other similar passages in the Koran.

Sura 3 Al-Imran verse 50: (Jesus speaking)

‘And I (Jesus) have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me.’

Sura 5 Al-Ma'idah, Allah says in the 46th and 47th verses: (‘We’ is Allah)

‘We sent 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), confirming the Torah that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Torah that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for the pious.

Let the people of the Injeel (Gospel) judge by what Allah has revealed therein.

These verses are conveniently ignored.

There are other people from other faiths such as Bahá'ís in Iranian Islamic jails for their faith.

The “Christian” participants are the American Friends Service Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker UN Office, Religions for Peace, and the World Council of Churches UN Liaison.

A major protest will be held on Thursday 25th September at 6pm, to counter the meeting with these “Christian” leaders, across the street from the Grand Hyatt Hotel East 42nd Street, near Lexington Avenue and Grand Central Station in New York City.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Christian President Bush AWOL

President Bush is very friendly with the Indian government. Bush is also a vehement defender of the West against terrorist extremists. He is also frequently professes to be a Christian. Do these statements mesh?

For the last month there have been vicious attacks on Christians in India.

Mobs of Hindu Extremists rampaged, attacking Christians, killing, raping and burning homes and churches. In some cases Christians were given a choice, to reconvert back to Hinduism, or be killed or have their homes destroyed. They saw no choice, but to be killed or have their homes burned.

The (BJP), desparate to regain the power they lost in the 2004 general election, has been accused of inciting violence against Christians instead of calming the tense situation in the state. The Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and a part of the political base for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have been inciting Hindus in a number of Indian states to burn Christians’ homes and force Christians to reconvert to Hinduism.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's growth was built on the VHP's base.

Many of the Christians had been low caste Hindus, who often see Christianity as an escape from the caste system. The Gospel gives them a hope, which is not there for them within Hinduism. Hindu extremists perceive this, as a threat to the Hindu social structure. Lower-caste Hindus convert willingly to escape the Hindu caste system.

The Bajrang Dal is also known as vanar sena or the “army of apes” for their violent behaviour, are a militant political Hindu youth militia. Its members are young Hindu extremists who focused on purifying the Hindu religion and Hindu society. They even have training camps where they are taught martial arts and hate. This is the opposite of Ghandi's dreams and philosophy.

The Bajrang Dal have previously attacked Dalits and Muslims, now they have used the murder of a VHP leader as an excuse to attack Christians. This was not spontaneous mob violence, it had been planned for a long time, the Bajrang Dal leaders were only waiting for an excuse to trigger the violence.

It is about time the Bajrang Dal be declared for what it is, a terrorist organisation.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Offshore Drilling Smokescreen

Yesterday the United States House of Representatives approved an energy bill. This included a package of energy initiatives, including measures that would allow oil drilling as close as 50 miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to finance the long-term development of alternative energy sources.

Frightening is the thought of how much power ignorant bumbling politicians have. They are voting on issues they seem to have no clue about.

As mentioned in a previous post, it will take at least a decade before production in the oilfields will be on-line.

Is this legislation serious, or only trying to get votes for November? 85 per cent of known offshore oil reserves are inside the 50-mile mark, so these new areas 100 miles out will not make much difference.

The United State's own Energy Information Administration (EIA) has published a report on the energy outlook to 2030. In it the EIA stated that it will take at least a decade before there is production from these offshore continental shelf areas.

The Offshore Energy & Minerals Management Service(MMS) has estimated in their strategic plan for the period 2007 to 2012, there are around 18 billion barrels in the underwater areas now off-limits to drilling. There are 10 billion barrels of known oil reserves available for exploitation in oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal Alaska and off the coast of southern California. In addition an estimated 86 billion are yet to be discovered. The information is so upto date that even undiscovered oilfields are known!

To put these figures in context, according to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. uses 7.6 billion barrels of oil a year. World consumption is 31.8 billion barrels a year.

The EIA estimates that by 2030, U.S. oil demand will be 8.4 billion barrels a year. The world demand is expected to be 43 billion barrels a year.

A month ago House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ruled out a vote on new offshore oil drilling. But this is election year and the election is close, so they vote election tactically instead of on principle.
Recently there has been a swing in public opinion, towards allowing offshore drilling. This is dynamic democracy, with parties vioting according to the latest gallup poll we can do away with elactions, and even political parties for that matter, since party principles appear to be outdated.

Beyond 100 miles offshore is far enough away from ecotourists, so there can be a free-for-all. Between 50 miles to 100 miles from shore, states will have the choice whether to allow drilling, and no drilling will be allowed within 50 miles of shore. The Republicans say the measures are not enough. They want to drill three miles off the coast.

Congress has until Sept. 30, when the current ban on offshore oil drilling will expire, and exploration will be allowed as close as three miles off all U.S. coastlines. Congress has renewed bans on drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida yearly for the past 26 years.

A mention of oil-shale slipped in among the hoo-ha about a pointless offshore legislation. That is where the real oil resources in the United States lie. This legislation allows for oil-shale development in Western states. That is something environmentalists should take note of. Maybe the drilling 100 miles offshore is a smokescreen for developing oil-shale and oil-sand deposits?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is President Bush a Christian?

President George Bush has on many occasions professed to be a devout Christian. He has stated that God told him to attack Iraq. Can one tell if he is genuine, or merely another hypocrite politician, cynically using religion to manipulate the people of the United States? Maybe he has not understood cultural paradigms or even the concept of religious paradigms?

There is the rule of thumb, “By their fruits you will know them.” There are Internet sites tracking the President's fruit and they weigh heaviest on the “bad fruit” side. Another sign is how concerned he is of the plight of other Christians. In this test he has failed miserably.
Before the United States army entered Iraq, there were 1.2 million Christians living in relative peace. Although they made up only a few percent of the population in Iraq, they make up forty percent of the refugees who have fled the country.

Saddam, left them in peace, but after Saddam's fall they were free game for Sunnis, Shiites and any other faction to attack with impunity. The are the most persecuted group in Iraq.

Unlike Iraq's Muslim factions, Iraq's Christians do not answer violence with violence.

Bush should have been aware, before he sent the troops in, that there was a vulnerable Christian community in the predominantly Muslim country. If he did not know, shouldn't his pastor or priest have told him on his Sunday visit to church, or one of the congregation during the after service tea and chat.

By the end of 2006 he should surely have known. That was when faith leaders and religious freedom activists held a rally in Washington, calling on the political leaders of the United States to “save Iraq’s most vulnerable population.”

The situation of Iraqi Christians has been called a humanitarian crisis.

Christianity in Iraq has a history going back to Jesus disciples. There was an established Christian Church in northern Iraq before Christianity spread to Europe outside Rome and Greece.

Because of President Bush's unfortunate choice of words early in the crisis, when he compared going after the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks, to a “crusade,” he firmly identified Christians with the West, in the minds of Muslims. This association of Iraqi Christians with the United States (Great Satan) and the West, makes them unprotected and vulnerable allies of the occupying forces. They are an easy target as there is little protection they can expect. Not from the police, the surrounding community, and neither from the occupying forces, who ignore their plight.

Churches are bombed, Christians killed some through crucifixion or burning alive and the White House says nothing. The Western press is filled with reports of Sunni-Shiite violence, ignoring a genocide, an ethnic cleansing, in open view.

Another result of the association with the West, and that so many of their fellows have left Iraq, is that some extremists think the Christians who are left can raise money abroad, from family and friends. This makes them prime targets for kidnapping and ransom demands.

Bush says he regularly reads the Bible. Maybe he should pay some attention to what the Bible says. After all, in Christian matters Jesus should have the last word.

In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25, verses 31 to 46, Jesus says:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations. And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right-hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say to them on his right-hand, ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you took me in, naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison, and you came to me.’

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and fed you? Or thirsty, and gave you drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and took you in? Or naked, and clothed you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and came to you?’
And the King shall answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.’

Then shall he say also to them on the left-hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger, and you did not take me in, naked, and you did not clothed me, sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.’

Then shall they also answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when saw we you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not care for you?’

Then he shall answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did it not do it to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life everlasting.’

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Offshore Drilling is Pointless

The Republicans are making much of offshore oil drilling in restricted areas, and how this offshore oil production can help in the energy crisis to bring down the price of gasoline. Clearly it can help get John McCain elected, but will do nothing for the United States’ energy situation in the next few years. Nothing as in zero, nada, and zilch.

In a country where a significant part of the population still think Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11, maybe it is not strange to believe anything a politician states as truth. Sarah Palin is a Christian and Christians don’t lie, or? It is impossible to be a top politician and not lie, so Christian politicians must lie to survive in politics. This is not cynical; it is reality.

There are vast oil reserves, in oil shale and oil tar deposits, in the Unites States in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and in Canada in Saskatchewan and Alberta. More than in the Middle East. The offshore oil in restricted areas is negligible by comparison.

Missing in the debate on offshore drilling are the minor development issues such as geology, geophysics and geological surveys. Much more detailed surveys are needed before offshore drilling companies will send a drill bit down. It involves more than just drilling a hole and collecting, crude that shoots up in the air.

To check if the offshore drilling is feasible, is easy. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has a website with a report on predictions of energy resources and management to the year 2030. There they have published a report titled: “Annual Energy Outlook 2007 with Projections to 2030.”

The $4 gasoline is a problem now, but the man from the Straight Talk Express is talking like a previous presidential candidate. George Bush Snr said, “No more taxes, read my lips.” After entering the White House Bush increased taxes, which he must have been aware he would do when he made the promise. McCain knows he is talking baloney, or else he is repeating what his speech-writers wrote and is as clueless as America’s mainstream media on the issue.

The Energy Information Agency says there is not much oil in the restricted areas. The oil will not be on the market for another decade, and when it does it is unlikely to make any impact on the gas price. Well not more than a couple of cents . . . literally.

The connection, offshore drilling – lower gas prices, is a lie.

This environmentally controversial drilling will possibly yield at a peak about 200,000 barrels per day by 2030. In perspective of world production, that is a trickle. In other words, drilling in the restricted areas will produce 0.2% of global output in 22 years.

In presidential terms that is a loooong time. That could be six presidents away, or three if each is re-elected for a second term.

The Energy Information Agency report states that the projections in the restricted offshore drilling areas, indicate that theese regions, Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf, do not have much oil. This will not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production, or prices before 2030.

If restrictions are lifted immediately after McCain takes office, production would not be expected to start before 2017. Without the offshore drilling, expected domestic oil production will be 2.4 million barrels per day, and with offshore drilling 2.4 million barrels. The report continues, “Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.”

On the feasibility of drilling in these the report predicts, “. . . conversion of those resources to production would require both time and money. In addition, the average field size in the Pacific and Atlantic regions are smaller than the average in the Gulf of Mexico, implying that a significant portion of the additional resource would not be economically attractive to develop at the reference case prices (predicted price).

Before any drill bit touches the continental shelf, and any offshore development takes place, the oil companies will have to carry out surveys. Test drilling follows these surveys. Normally there is much drilling in many holes before production can start. Oil exploration has an element of luck in it.

Encouraging Detroit to produce more economical car engines can reduce the need for oil, thus improving the environment. Drilling offshore is a senseless exercise that has potential for environmental damage without any great benefit.

Quotes of the day:
“Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.”
Charles De Gaulle (1890 - 1970)

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”
Nikita Khrushchev (1894 - 1971)

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Is this a Christian Vice President?

From a Bible believing Christian perspective, there is a problem with the Palin family. Besides the fact that a politician cannot be REALLY honest and truthful (compromising and white lies or worse goes with the territory) there is the question of choices based on attitudes.

If Sarah Palin were secular, or merely a “Sunday Christian” these comments would not apply. But she is presented as the real thing; a genuine committed Christian. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God, and the Christian's life should reflect this. Christianity is not about what the Christian does, but why the Christian does it.

A bit of paraphrasing to bring Biblical concepts into perspective might help. Paul writing to Timothy wrote (paraphrased for context):

The leader, then, is to be a man/woman of good name, the husband/wife of one wife/husband, self-controlled, serious-minded, having respect for order, opening his house freely to guests, a ready teacher. Not quickly moved to anger or blows, but gentle; no fighter, no lover of money. Ruling his/her house well, having his children under control with all serious behaviour. For if a man/woman has not the art of ruling his/her house, how will he/she take care of leading the country?

In the secular America, the attitude of an emotionally immature, macho, redneck teenager might be cute. Christianity is independent of specific cultures. Christian mores are universal.

For Palin’s daughter to choose a boyfriend who is such an inane, self-centred, narcissistic slob and proud of it too, says something about her daughter’s judgement. Unfortunately it also says something about the parent’s lack of judgement and their not imparting Christian morals to their child. Do they understand basic Christian principles of how to live a Christian life?

For the record, and to put parental responsibility in a neutral secular perspective, in some states the boyfriend would be guilty of statutory rape. In Alaska he gets off on a technicality (the age gap between them). If he were 20 years old it would be statutory rape even in Alaska. How did they raise their daughter?

It is not so much a question of the daughter’s out of wedlock pregnancy. It is having a boyfriend with those attitudes that is troubling. Christianity is not only about abortion. It is lifestyle choices. Christianity is not about children born in or out of wedlock. Making a mistake by getting pregnant is one thing. Compounding it, by a forced marriage to an egotistical, selfish jerk for political expediency, is not Christian. The boy said himself that he was not interested in marriage or kids.

Going back to the Bible and reading about the qualifications for a leader: Ruling his/her house well, having his children under control with all serious behaviour. For if a man/woman has not the art of ruling his/her house, how will he/she take care of leading the country?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ADHD Terminology

The behaviours described as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKD) were mentioned in literature over the centuries. Historical mentions of ADHD include Shakespeare who called it, in Henry VIII, a “malady of attention.”

150 years ago, modern psychology saw these as moral disorders or “morbid defects of moral control.” This was when the Attention Deficit Disorder terminology started evolving.

The next stage was to describe the “moral disorder” as symptoms of brain disorder or “Postencephalitic Behaviour Disorder” because of behaviour changes in survivors of encephalitis. This morphed into “Minimal Brain Damage.” Since many of the children had not suffered a brain trauma from either a disease or a blow to the head, the terminology evolved to “minimal brain dysfunction” or MBD.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language. “In America children were “hyperactive,” but over the other side of the pond they were “hyperkinetic.”

To clarify the evolving confusion in terminology, terminological taxonomy of symptoms developed. In the United States, it was the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), while in Europe another, but similar system, the Classification of Mental & Behavioural Disorders (ICD) was preferred.

In the long history of science, when a subject begins with basic terminology, which later becomes confusing, this is a sign of not realising something fundamental. After systematising the terminological flora, and restoring order, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. If more terminological weeds then sprout up again, this suggests basic flaws in reasoning are still somewhere in the background.

Probably the major flaw is the assumption that a DSM classification suggests a disease. What the ADHD classification is in reality is a syndrome of behavior, decided on by opinions in a committee of the American Psychiatric Association, and thus not a scientifically established fact.

Sometimes the specialists in a field, in their eagerness, do not see the obvious. Two such “emperor’s new clothes” scenarios are a result of the search after 1 (one) cause for ADHD, ADD and HKD.

Fundamental in research, but unfortunately not taught much, is the concept of analysing research methods for possible paradigm traps. These happen when researchers are so stuck in their paradigms that they are unable to realise that their methods and interpretations are functions of their paradigm perceptions and not of reality. The results of the research are facts, but the interpretations of these facts are subject to the researchers’ paradigms, or worse, paradigm blindness.

For example, there are distinct functional and structural difference between brains of children, with ADHD and after many years of medication, compared to brains of children without ADHD and no medication. That is established fact. The conclusion, so often published, with the assumption there is a difference in the brains of non-medicated ADHD compared with brains of non-medicated, non-ADHD children, is nonsense. There is no proof of this. To make that statement requires other tests; namely non-ADHD children should be medicated for some years and compared with ADHD children who have never been medicated.

The research most likely shows the damage Ritalin, and the other Schedule II stimulant drug, given to ADHD diagnosed children does to a developing child’s brain.
A red flag-waving is the increase in numbers of children diagnosed with this condition. There appears to be an epidemic. This is worse in the United States than in Europe by a factor of 10. There are 10 times as many ADHD diagnosed children per 1000 children in the United States than in Europe. Figures bandied about in medical journals now make claims such as 8-12% of children worldwide are suffering from this “disorder.”

If 8% to 12% of children worldwide can be diagnosed as “suffering” from disorders as ADHD, ADD or HKD, then there must surely be a “disorder” in the diagnosis. Such a large percentage suggests this “disorder” is within the normal variation of healthy children.

Another red flag is this “chemical imbalance in the brain” and “it's genetic.” These statements might sound reasonable to a researcher isolated from the real world in his or her ivory tower. In the real world epidemics caused by genes do not happen over a generation or two, with exceptions to populations exposed to nuclear radiation, as in Hiroshima and today in Iraq and Afghanistan (caused by bombs with depleted uranium).

The “chemical imbalance cause” hypothesis has some fact behind it. There are imbalances in the neurotransmitter systems in the brain of people with ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc. Medicating however merely masks the symptoms. The source of the imbalance is ignored. The drugs work by causing a further imbalance in the brain, and in response to this, the brain slows down. This is not even an attempt at establishing and curing the underlying cause.

The problem is not THAT there is an imbalance, but WHY there is an imbalance. Stress, anxiety, abuse emotional or physical, frustrations, medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia and lead poisoning can all cause this.
The origin of the “chemical imbalance cause” idea is not in science, but in philosophy. It is a question of the brain and the mind. Science deals with the material aspects of our reality. Science cannot deal with our immaterial reality. The brain is an example of the material, while the mind and consciousness are examples of the immaterial. What comes first, the state of mind such as depression or the chemical imbalance? Is the chemical imbalance a response to the depression? The cause of the symptom or the symptom?

For ADHD, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is as effective, 3 years after treatment, as is medicating for 3 years, although the medicated patient is still not cured. Medication does not cure ADHD and has to be taken daily as long as the “condition” is there, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy does have a lasting effect. Medication works on the brain, while Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works with the mind.

The thought of anything immaterial is anathema in Western society today. Yet we deal with concepts we do not understand on a daily basis. Engineers and scientists make basic calculations daily such as F=ma (force=mass x acceleration). Science still does not know what mass is. There are only hypotheses to explain it. Scientists used the concept of gravity without understanding what it was. Our Standard Model of the structure of matter stands or falls on our hypotheses on mass, it is so fundamental, yet we still do not know what it is.

This is not as strange as it may first seem, to use a concept we do not understand. When we weigh ourselves we do not measure our mass. We measure the result of the effect of our mass. Since we do not know what mass is and cannot measure mass itself, we do the best we can, and accept it.

Treating the mind, through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Neuro Linguistic Programming cures hyperactivity or controls through better self-awareness and coping skills, for both child and parent. Medication does not and carries with it serious and unpleasant side effects. Why not then try what works.

Maybe it is time to stop stewing the alphabet noodle soup, and accept ADHD for what it is and treat the ADHD cause.

Those who have ADHD symptoms because of allergies do not have ADHD, but allergies.

Those who have ADHD symptoms because of lead poisoning do not have ADHD, but lead poisoning.

Those who have ADHD symptoms because of lead poisoning do not have ADHD, but lead poisoning.

Those who have ADHD because are anxious do not have ADHD, but have anxiety.

The list is long, but finally we come to people who have a hyperkinetic or hyperactive and distractible personality. If we can get beyond seeing this as a disorder, then we can adapt our attitude to accept and support these people, many of whom are creative and gifted.

The disorder is more prominent in the western society than in other cultures, possibly because we are less flexible in the West. School is inflexible. A child who learns by moving, feely, touchy, has to sit still and is not allowed to fidget. A fidgeting hyperactive (hyperkinetic) child is able to focus. Without focus fidgeting, the child concentrates on not fidgeting and is oblivious to the lesson.

Anxiety is the next step, as the child tries to control their movements while still too immature to have learned coping skills. The inner turmoil and sitting still makes it almost impossible to learn or remember what the teacher said in class.

The child, who was healthy and intelligent to start with, now falls behind with lessons and develops a learning disability. This causes frustration to on top of the existing anxiety. Is it strange that so many children are diagnosed as ADHD in the West?

One example may suffice. A child who needs to learn kinaesthetically, but has to sit still while the class is learning the alphabet, can become dyslexic. This is not because there is anything wrong with the child’s brain. The symbols drawn on the blackboard do not make sense and the child cannot internalise them without movement. If that child can move while learning, and act out the letters, then the internalising can take place.

Maybe the ADHD and HKD disorders are symptoms of ADD or Absurd Diagnostic Disorder.

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