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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Facebook Police: Blocking Cellphones, Saving Lives...?

A BART train in the station.
In "Is Social Media Free Speech" I discussed the nature of things like Facebook relative to free speech.

Today we have the California Bay Area Transport (BART) in the  news for shutting off cellphone (I've always wondered why Google spell check thinks "cellphone" is one word but not "highschool") coverage inside its tunnels as a planned mechanism to limit an anticipated protest.

Apparently in the recent past a BART police officer (and why do thing like BART or the NY Subway have their own police forces? Are the crimes somehow different?) shot a homeless man who was supposedly wielding a knife.  The protest was related in someway to this event.

In anticipation of the event BART turned off cellphone coverage in four of its stations for several hours. One of the reasons was ostensibly that, like London, the protestors would be using cellphones and social media to coordinate the protests (see this).

So now we have an interesting dilemma.

On the one hand, using social media to coordinate a riot protest would be a crime - though a crime if and only if it was not approved by the government and did not remain peaceful.  (I've often wondered about violent protests against those who conduct violence on innocents.)

On the other hand, what if grandma has a heart attack during her ride and no one can call for help so she subsequently dies?

Neither event happened - no riot protest, nobody's grandma is dead.

And BART claims that since it owns the cell antenna's in its stations it has the right to do what it like with them.

But what if their actions bring harm to others - even indirectly?  Isn't cell service today like a utility?  Something people rely on for daily on-going life? Can I rely on cell coverage to coordinate the pickup of needed medicine?  A ride to the hospital?  A life and death matter with a doctor?

Certainly there would be problems shutting off power to a few blocks of the city in anticipation of trouble.

As for cellphone "blocking" the US Criminal Code 47, Sections 301, 302a, 333 says that "The Act prohibits any person from willfully or maliciously interfering with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under the Act or operated by the U.S. government. 47 U.S.C. Section 333. The manufacture, importation, sale or offer for sale, including advertising, of devices designed to block or jam wireless transmissions is prohibited. 47 U.S.C. Section 302a(b). Parties in violation of these provisions may be subject to the penalties set out in 47 U.S.C. Sections 501-510. Fines for a first offense can range as high as $11,000 for each violation or imprisonment for up to one year, and the device used may also be seized and forfeited to the U.S. government."

Cell jammers are illegal so one imagines that shutting off a cell antenna is a similar problem.

The problem here is that government, in this case BART in the guise of the State of California has taken it upon itself to limit your free speech in anticipation of you doing something illegal or wrong with that free speech.

Mind you there is a difference between texting "meet me in front of Joe's Diner" and "help me destroy Joe's Diner" and "OMG I can't believe what's happening at Joe's Diner."

In the first and last cases I may or may not know why I am to meet at Joe's - leaving other events or evidence to determine if I am involved in the "conspiracy" to trash Joe's Diner.  In the second case merely showing up is proof of my involvement in a conspiracy to damage the diner.

And even if previous public Facebook plans are made to riot protest in a BART station doesn't shutting off cell service leave the remaining patrons without a means to call for help?  The riot protest has already been coordinated - its not like someone is actively standing on the BART platform publicly calling for assistance in rioting protesting.  (If they were it would be like shouting "fire" in a theater - there are already laws on the books to address that.)

Instead I think that BART is acting more like a building owner who chains the EXIT doors of a theater reasoning that there won't be a fire.

It seems like BART is taking the view that some or all of its patrons are potentially guilty of conspiring to riot protest illegally and therefore it is okay to deny everyone else their rights to use their phones for which they have paid, for which the service providers have paid, and for which services have become a public "utility" like power or water.

Sadly this sort of "you must be guilty" action of the part of government has been creeping into society for years.  If, for example, police find drugs on one person in a car in most states you, who have none, are also considered "guilty" do to an implicit conspiracy.

The long term effect of these types of laws and actions such as BART create chilling societal effects.

For example, I no longer give anyone I do not know a ride.  Why?  Because I don't know what you might have on you and I do not want to pay the price for your stupidity should I be stopped.

This makes society a less friendly place in general because those that are responsible are treated as if they are not.

Another effect is that, since you treat me as if I were a criminal or outlaw in the first place, then I lose nothing by acting like one.

Actions such as BARTs make using the subway a negative choice for patrons - particularly if they have need of communication while in route.

It seems like all of this is the slow and steady drive to "thought crime".  Social media makes it easier for the government to "listen in" on what the citizenry is up to (due to their own ignorance or lack of understanding that posting it on a publicly viewable website might be a crime).

Of course, this will only catch "stupid" criminals who Facebook about their criminal activities.

Which will lead to 'profiling' of the stupid and criminals.

Which will lead to making places like Facebook 'fairer' so that the stupid and criminal are not singled out.

Which will lead to more government agencies to help stupid people use Facebook "properly".

Which will lead to the "virtual Facebook police".

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

An Short Iodine Story...

Mrs. Wolf told me an interesting iodine story the other day.

Six months ago her friend, Miss C, had confided that she had recently had a mammogram that revealed a small lump in her breast.  The doctor, while concerned, suggested she come back in six months to have a follow up.

They had been previously discussing iodine and its affects so Miss C decided that she would purchase some over-the-counter skin-use-only iodine from the local drug store and apply it to her skin.

After doing applying this to herself regularly for six months it came time to visit the doctor again.

The doctor was shocked to discover that the lump in Miss C. breast could not be found.  So shocked, in fact, that she sent Miss C for additional tests - none of which could locate the lump.

Miss C received a clean bill of health with an admonishment to periodically checking in with the doctor.

Did this simple at-home iodine treatments alter Miss C's outcome?

You'll have to decide that for yourself.

However, there are many sites around the internet (such as this, this and this) claiming links between breast cancer and iodine deficiency.

A few months ago Mrs. Wolf was talking to a woman who was in graduate school (I forget the exact discipline - microbiology or something like that) studying the genetic aspects of cancer.  Mrs. Wolf asked if the woman thought that cancer was in any way related to diet.

"Oh no," said the woman, "its a genetic disease."

So Mrs. Wolf asked "don't some cancer's come from the environment?"

"Well, yes," replied the woman, "certain forms..."

"Isn't your diet part of your environment?" asked Mrs. Wolf.

A lengthy discussion ensued.

The woman conceded that indeed it would be possible that cancer and malnutrition could be related.

More interesting, though, was that until her discussion with Mrs. Wolf it would have never occurred to the woman to think that diet and/or environmental changes could improve a cancer outcome.  Her education was such that looking at cancer beyond the standard dogma was simply out of the question.

(Kind of like "Of course the world is flat.")

While its nice the FDA is so very worried about all the evils of things like cigarettes and child safety you have to wonder why there is so much less interest in something as simple as proper nutrition.

Then there is lung cancer and smoking.

I have always been fascinated by the fact that 1/3 of all smokers don't get lung cancer.  Why one third - what's so special about them.  The relationship of smoking to cancer is a statistical one.  Not every one who smokes gets cancer and not everyone with lung cancer smokes.

I am starting to wonder if its in fact the case that things like diet play a significant roll in lung cancer.  Could it be that those with certain dietary elements, for example, high iodine, could react to smoking differently.  The Japanese, for example, smoke quite a bit and yet their lung cancer rates are much lower (though rates for other cancer are equivalent to the US and some types are higher.)

Could it be their high-iodine diet?

See this for some interesting results:  "The risk of lung cancer in the United States study population was at least 10 times higher than in Japanese despite the higher percentage of smokers among the Japanese."

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bioweapons in Your Sinus... (Part II)

On of the most popular posts I ever wrote was "Bioweapons in Your Sinus" on my personal blog.

If you suffer from any sort of sinus problems you should read it.

Around the same time I also wrote "Are You Iodine Deficient" - no where near as popular.

One of the interesting things about these blogs is it makes tracking changes in my life pretty simple.  I can look up what I was doing a year ago and have a pretty good idea of where are I stand today relative to then.

I discovered iodine deficiency after I wrote about sinuses.  If you read the Sinus article you will see that I have been a big fan of sinus flushing over the last several years to clear out infections.  Over all I would say that up to that point it was about the most effective thing I could do.

However, in the eight or nine months since I wrote those articles I have been following along a different path.  It started with this post: "Where For Art Thou, Oh Iodine".

I discovered that the entire US is, for the most part, vastly iodine deficient, myself included.

In the intervening months I have undertaken to fix this problem by supplementing my diet with iodine as I describe in the Where post - I basically added a drop or two a day of Lugols 2.2% solution to my diet.

My results so far:

- No more need for sinus flushing.  At ten drops a week of Lugols 2.2% my sinus problems have all but disappeared.  Nada, none, zip.

- My chronic athlete's foot, er, well small right toe, went away (in others I have seen an increase in iodine kill off that nasty yellow toenail fungus).

- Not one day of illness.

Over all interesting results.

I surmise from this that I have been supremely iodine deficient and, that with a full complement of iodine for my thyroid to use, I am in dramatically better health that I ever was - even at 54 years of age.

About a month after the iodine article I wrote "ADHD & A Spoon Full of Sugar" about memory loss and other problems.  Since that time (December of 2010) I have been taking Cod Liver Oil as well every day.

This has cleared what I thought was an "old age" mental fog.

(Just to be clear I also upped my Vitamin C dosage to 2000 mg per day from about 1100 mg during this time.)

The bottom line in all of this is that, to my mind least, most of what people think are "wrong" with them - from digestive ails to sinus problems to various other significant health issues are more than likely related to or have a strong nutritional component.

Now iodine today is nothing - nothing in the minds of the medical establishment - nothing of interest for research - really nothing at all.  Most if not all doctors believe that iodized salt is doing the job.

But the problem with that belief is that you'd have to eat an unhealthy amount of iodized salt to get enough iodine.  There is just enough iodine in iodized salt to keep you from getting a goiter - and that's about it - not enough for proper bodily function.

A while back I heard on the radio an interesting comment on vitamin C.  How, the commentator asked a guest, did the government RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for vitamin C get set he wondered.

The guest replied that it was based an amount large enough so that you would not get scurvy.

Well, asked the commentator, is that enough as in what you really need?

No, replied the guest.  The amount in the RDA is really about "enough" so that you don't see the symptoms of scurvy - but not enough for proper nutrition.

(When my wife bred English Mastiffs she always supplemented their diets with 1000 mg of vitamin C because though dogs produce their own vitamin C they do not produce enough if they are large.)

This conversation, for me, sums up modern medicine: "Just enough nutrition so that you don't have symptoms - we'll fix the rest with costly, dangerous prescription drugs."

The truth, of course, is that if you had proper nutrition you probably wouldn't need nearly as much "modern medicine" to be healthy.

I believe this enough to follow it in my own life - and it's been vastly successful so far.

(Of course I fully expect that I could drop over dead at any time just because that's how the world works - but even that would not change my mind at this point.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Open Mic at Mike's New Moon Saloon - Thursday's

Thursday's 8 PM to Midnight in Gibsonia, PA

Mike's New Moon Saloon
2059 Saxonburg Blvd
Gibsonia, PA 15044
Phone: (724) 265-8188

Located in Northeastern Allegheny county - Easily accessible from Rt 228, New Kensington, south Butler, Freeport, Natrona Heights.

Good prices on drinks and food. Friendly atmosphere.

Mike's on Facebook...

Directions via Google Maps...

See the "Lone Wolf" in action...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Women are Insane, Men are Stupid (Where have all the good men gone...?)

There is an article over on WSJ about "Where Have All the Good Men Gone?" by Kay S. Hymowitz.

She points out that men, er boys actually, in the late twenties and early thirties are basically useless as men.  They live in a quasi-child/adult roll partying, loafing, and generally being unproductive.  She talks about a "gender gap" where women of the same age have societal value, careers and a life.

What I wonder is why is this a surprise?

These young men are useless because the women in society have made them useless.

That's right - women have made them useless.


Very simply by making "adult sex" a part of the "extended 30-something childhood" she complains men are living in today.

Let me explain.

For the last few hundred thousand years or so women have always had to make the greatest investment in societal progression.  The investment I talk about here is not one of money but instead of self, of time and of focus of effort.  Once attached to a man a woman was responsible for having and raising the children, for taking care of the man, for advancing their (the family, the couple, the children) social role in society, and much more.

This investment was often the ultimate investment - women literally sacrificing their lives for the betterment of their children and families. (Is this really crazy?  I think not...)

And like any shrewd investor women had to make the very best (and wisest) investment that she could given her situation.

And what were they investing in?

Men, of course.

Women (or the woman's family) selected the best men they could to be their spouse.  After all, they would spend their lives with that man, so they better pick the best one available.  Just like investing in a stock or a bond, women (and/or her family) shrewdly analyzed what was available based on extended family, genetics, appearance, strength, and whatever else to help make the best decision.  This choice often, at least before about 50 years ago, involved a strong familial element as well: A father would want to know if the man was good enough?  Did he work? Was he reliable.  And so on.  So the investment often went beyond just a single woman planning a future but involved the progression of the entire family unit.

Would the man be reliable enough to keep the daughter around when the daughters parents got old so they would have a place to live.  Even thirty five years ago I remember the fear of meeting the 6' 4" 300 pound father of my future wife - would he kill me on the spot?  (Years later I would come to find out that her family knew I was a hard working guy and I would make a good husband - I guess the "kill you on the spot" act was just for show...)

The choice made of a particular investment the woman next set about to "close the deal" as it were.

This might have meant "making the best" of an arranged marriage or might have involved meeting a man through a family connection.  But whatever the details it was up to the woman to make it work.  And clearly sex and children were part of making it work.

And what was the man to do in this situation?

Like any prize show animal his job was to, well, "show off".  To demonstrate how he would be able to make a successful life - whether by showing off dad's previous efforts or his own.  Show his strength, his fast car, his daring...  Show the woman he was the one for her (hormones I suppose).

And the real driver behind all of this?

Sex.  Plain and simple.

No wife, no sex.

Sex, for the man, was the reward for acceptance of the responsibility of adulthood.

And so, as a man, your future sex life was defined by being married.  (Sure you could fool around and certainly there were women who would oblige.  But over all this was not the focus of society.)

And once there was sex there were mostly likely children, responsibility and all the rest.  All the rest of the reasons that a man has to grow up and be a man.  And if you as a man didn't look like a good investment opportunity your chances of sex over the long haul were very limited.

But all this changed in the 1960's when feminism cast out the traditional role of woman from society.

Now the role of women and sex is different.  There is no investment involved.  Woman can have sex as indiscriminately as men.

Whatever you might think about this consider what this has done to the role of being a man.

It has removed the "prize" aspect of selecting being selected by a wife.  Of being thrust into a role of responsibility, of having to grow up.

Ms. Hymowitz talks about a movie where twenty-somethings loaf around all day smoking pot, playing video games, and planning to develop a porn site.  What's not said, of course, is that foolish women are certainly "hooking up" on the sly with these guys on at least a semi-regular enough basis to keep them lazy, stupid pot-smoking loafers.

If there were no sex involved in their current lazy, stupid lives they would quickly grow up and find a serious relationship.

So my point is simple.

Modern feminism has made men superfluous.  Men can find sex without commitment, effort or responsibility - and so they do.  And that keeps them stupid and lazy.

Since only women can offer sex to the men it is they who are responsible for the men being foolish, stupid and lazy.  Men, as they say, are stupid to begin with and taking away what drives them to overcome this is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want good men.

So, Ms. Hymowitz, things are only going to get worse, not better.  In a decade or two your daughter will find that men will still be "adolescent" in late 30's or 40's instead of the 20's and 30's of today.

Men, left to their own woman-less existence, will continue to invent amusements like video games, cell phones and other geek toys, Maxim magazines, porn web sites and the rest to alleviate their need for a strong, solid on-going relationship with a woman.

There still are good men out their - you just cannot find them because you are not looking for the right kind of man nor are you looking in the right kind of place.  A serious man that wants a long-term relationship with a woman for the old fashioned reasons I mention above is not going to be readily available for an on-the-sly "hook up" and the local speed dating site or bar.

(He, no doubt stupidly, thinks better of a true woman than that...)

You see there are still good men out their - and its harder for them to find good women - women who want the have children and raise families.

They just know better than to hang out where modern women might find them...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Single Serving Egyptian Friends (I hope you are well...)

I have been following the protests in Egypt with interest.  About six years or so ago Lexigraph, my business, was working with a couple of people from the Egyptian offices of a large, international computer business.  This was for a potential project related to some printing for an international gathering.

As part of the project Basem and Asra came over from Egypt to the US to spend a week on the design of the system we were building.  Basem, the IT Specialist, was a Coptic Christian and Asra, the Project Leader, a practicing Muslim.  Both are a relative rarity here in rural western Pennsylvania where I live.  Over the course of the week they were here I had a chance to get to know them and learn a little bit about their culture.

What made me think of them was the fact that much has been said about the fact that many of the protesters are "young", use cellphones and the internet for communication, and so on.  Of course, both Basem and Asra were relatively young and no doubt fit the profile as "tech savy" types that would be plugged into the protests, at least according to the news accounts.

As the visit progressed we were able to take our guests to lunch and sometimes dinner.  Each outing was an interesting cross-cultural affair.

As a Christian Basem was considerably more westernized in his views - though perhaps more with an flavor of the 1800's than the 21st century.  Coptic Christianity, which originated int the first century, is a faith practiced by about 1/6th of all Egyptians (10 million out of 60 million) - a figure surprising to me at the time as I considered Egypt to be a Muslim country.

(Even the name Egypt is a western creation.  It was first used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptos, from the ancient Egyptian words (Hut-Ka-Ptah), one of the names for “Memphis”, the first capital of Ancient Egypt.  I spent some time studying the Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek languages in school.)

Basem was gregarious and cheerful.  He was happy to talk about his culture, his life and his family.

For example, he told us dating was allowed only as a group affair - there were no western-style boy-girl dates.  Basem, who I estimated to be in his middle-late twenties, described of how mixed gender groups of friends would get together and go out to restaurants or parties in order to get to know one another.  As two people's interest in each other would grow there was eventually a formal process for the male "asking for the hand in marriage" of the female dictated by their culture and faith.

There was no "living together" or any of the common western-style relationships one finds today.   Beyond this he was generally familiar with the west and our views - though he considered our model for male/female courting and dating absolutely bizarre.

Asra, on the other hand, told us that she was initially frightened of us.  Being a practicing Muslim woman from the middle east alone in the USA her perspective on the west was that we were probably all war-mongering barbarians (sort of along the lines of the Capitol One airline mile credit card barbarians you see on TV).  However, as the days passed her views changed, at least a little.  By our second or third group trip to lunch she began to believe that we would not attack and kill her and began to relax a bit.

We found out that she was concerned, for example, that she would not be able to eat anything here because of Islamic dietary laws.  However, that turned out not to be the case as she found that most places we went to had a large variety of food on the menu - much of which that could be fit to her dietary requirements.  Asra, did not talk much about herself, her family or her social life I think out of fear.

At one point my wife and I took the two of them to dinner.  Up until this point both Basem and Asra had only interacted with males since the entire corporate staff of four at that time was all male.  Upon meeting my wife Asra seemed to open up considerably talking about how afraid she was initially that we were all barbarians and talking openly how she believed that everyone in the USA was out to destroy and kill all Muslims.  I think that this dinner to some degree gave her a different perspective on us western barbarians.

At the end of the week when they were preparing to leave they offered us gifts - papyrus paintings of the pyramids and Spinx they had brought with them.

The project was ultimately canceled (run by a shady Brit it turned out to be just hot air) and he left Basem and Asra's employers with a very large unpaid bill. Unfortunately, like so many "single serving friends" you meet in the corporate world we lost touch over the years.