Is John Kerry a nut about to crack?

In the light of concerns about President Bush’s mental state and possible anti-depressant use, a frightening development means that US citizens may have to choose between two lunatics for president this November.

Washington whispers have recorded worrying talk of Kerry suffering from “severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. From the National Centre For PTSD:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health.The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

An unidentified UK based mental health expert confirmed “It can strike at any time. He could literally flip out at any time. He is a nut about to crack, and when these veterans blow, it is the mental and emotional equivalent of an atom bomb. My generation feared Wargames scenario, but this generation will have a real life “Dead Zone” where mad boy Kerry could turn out to be a real life Greg Stillson.”

Given Kerry’s well known cognitive problems, rudeness to waiting staff, apparent confusion and pathological inconsistency, this appears to be an open and shut case.

Oh yes, and he looks like a donkey and that counts for something.

Linda Ronstadt , Republican presidents and Philip K Dick's VALIS…

Last week a colleague remarked that singer Linda Ronstadt has caused a near riot in a Las Vegas casino after dedicating a song to propagandist Michael Moore.

We had a brief chat about how polarised US politics had become and continued on with our business.

On my way home that night, I was finishing Philip K Dick’s superb book “VALIS” which is mostly indescribable (read it, READ IT!) but is partly about the downfall of an evil republican president (ostensibly Nixon) brought about inter alia by a girl child prophet.

Imagine my surprise when I open page 213 and read about the protagonist having a dream where he is being driven around by..you guessed it..Linda Ronstadt..who sings him a message. The message is cryptic and highly symbolic. The dream comes after the protagonist frets that the The Empire – recently set back by the downfall of Nixon – will make a comeback and they will have to wait until the child is an adult before they can expect help. What he does not realise is that the child has just been killed in a freak accident. The dream is a message from the messiah child. Linda Rhonstadt is a symbol of her as an adult.
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Teen pregnancy may mostly a psychological problem

From Scienceblog:

For many adolescent girls, pregnancy may be no accident

As social scientists and health educators grapple with causes of adolescent pregnancy in the United States, some researchers suggest that one component of the problem has been largely ignored. Though most adolescent pregnancies are accidental, a substantial number of girls want to get pregnant. MORE

Judges attack rape case reforms [BBC]

“Judges have attacked government reforms aimed at preventing rape victims being questioned in court over their sexual history as “fundamentally flawed”.

The law was introduced in 2001 to stop alleged sex offences victims being asked about their sex lives unless the information was relevant to the case.

But a Criminal Bar Association report says the legislation is too restrictive as it denies judges discretion.

Most of 70 judges interviewed said the changes were too “victim orientated”.

…It said the reforms tended to assume people who made allegations of sexual assault were necessarily victims – an assumption which coloured their attitude to the trial process” MORE

The State of Wireless London [Informal.org]

Abstract: This study looks at how wireless networking (WLAN) in London has developed over the last three years from hacktivist pastime to mainstream pursuit. Comparing networks built by freenetwork groups, commercial hotspot providers, and public sector initiatives the study also examines the sales and uptake of WLAN equipment and makes some direct measurements of wireless activity in the Greater London area. Finally the study looks at the development of WLAN in the home and makes a recommendation for a Wireless Festival for London in 2004/2005.

Divorce Courts get even crazier [Long and rough, unfinished Post]

It is now widely known that the Family & Divorce Courts are deeply sexist and anti-male. Surprisingly, far from improving thing are getting worse with the courts heaping new injustices on old with strong government collusion.

Witness this latest gross unfairness reported in The Times:

The former wife of the Premiership footballer Ray Parlour has won her claim to more than a third of his future income in a legal landmark that could change the face of divorce law.

…The appeal has set a new precedent in divorce law. Previously, maintenance was awarded on the basis of a spouse’s “reasonable needs”, rather than on the equal share principle that applies to division of matrimonial assets.

The fleecing that men get in these courts is already so bad that I am staggered that they found a way to make it worse.

You are a high earner. You marry some floozy. You divorce a year later. She gets 1/3 of every penny you earn in the future. If you made the mistake of breeding with her, she will probably bet another 1/3 for the children too.

There are those who claim this sort of thing is destroying marriage by putting off men. Some are begging men not to fall into the trap that is modern marriage. By my reckoning most people – men and women – are completely ignorant of how ruinous and downright unfair divorce courts are to men.

Even the way break-ups are conventionally conducted (and supported by the courts) are grossly unfair. Men, often the victims of adultery, are forced out of their homes. Have to struggle to see their own children and in many cases have to endure the adulterous wife’s new lover moving in to their family home with their children. Not only do they have to suffer this painful humiliation, but they are often falsely accused of abuse – sexual and violent – against their children or their former spouses.

A recent tabloid case highlights the absurdity of how we treat men and fathers today in the UK. A woman writes to her husband who is a serving soldier in Afghanistan and tells him “I have met someone else. I don’t want you.”

When the stunned soldier went home on leave in a bid to save his marriage, [she] taunted him by revealing she had also slept with a 15-year-old boy.

He downed at least seven pints of lager on his ninth wedding anniversary then burst in on [she and her] lover..and terrified them with an imitation pistol.

…a sympathetic judge decided not to jail him

…he cracked on his wedding anniversary and went back to the marital home. [She] claimed [he] hit her in the face before pointing the imitation gun at her and her boyfriend.

His lawyer Deborah Charles told Canterbury Crown Court: “He lost his marriage, his children and his home. To make it worse, he lost them to a man who was now living in what had been his home.”

He was given a two-year community rehabilitation order on condition he gets psychiatric help. Judge Adele Williams told him: “People who use any sort of firearm to frighten people normally go to prison.” But she spared him because of his good character and remorse.

Remorse! He was dead right.

That divorced and separated men are in crisis is ignored. Divorced or separated men are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as men who remain married whereas a marital split is not a significant risk factor for suicide among women [Source].

The drum of female victimhood beats louder than any other. Government policy has become so staggeringly lopsided and sexist that in the same month one can read that:

Men can no longer use provocation (like adultery) as a defence in spousal murder. The courts must hand down 15 year sentences.

BUT

Women who kill allegedly abusive husbands must be spared jail – you guessed it – because they have been PROVOKED.

How can this be fair? Where is the equality before the law?

In the eyes of the Law, an alleged punch in the face delivered a man to a woman justifies his murder but years of physical or more importantly emotional abuse by a woman of a man counts for nothing if a man murders her.

I suppose the government is not aware that emotional pain is registered in the same part of the brain as physical pain. It is widely accepted that even in cases of domestic violence – it is the emotional pain that is much worse that the physical bruising. Yet, when it comes to men – that emotional pain, inflicted with the tongue rather than the fist – counts for naught.

But words are words; I never yet did hear
That the bruised heart was piercèd through the ear

                                       Othello I, iii

From male suicide to domestic violence, they are missing the crucial element: the mental state of men. They up the punishments. They rile and abuse and discriminate against men more fiercely – and the problems worsen. We need smarter solutions. We certainly do not need this gross anti-male bias in the courts and parts of the elite.

I think we need a much stronger Men’s Movement, especially the Movement as conceived by Steve Biddulph which is basically a network of gentlemen: emotionally healthy, independent, women-loving, committed fathers, principled and most importantly manly. Gone are the days of weeping “New Men” banging drums and hugging in the forest. The emergent and hugely popular men’s protest movement is a positive advance. Groups like Fathers-4-Justice and Mankind are helping with this fight.

Men need to learn alternatives to the violence and depression that engulfs them. They need to be helped with emotional and communication skills. These skills can be taught – easily. Most importantly men must be stop being abused in the courts and fatherhood must be valued as highly as motherhood.

More on this tomorrow.

Anti-hate laws to protect the chief haters

The Home Secretary is set to announce new laws against the ill defined practice of “Inciting religious hatred”…again. BBC Online reports today that

Inciting religious hatred will become a crime under plans due to be unveiled by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The government tried to get the offence passed by Parliament in the wake of the US terror attacks in 2001 but was forced to drop the plans.

In a speech in London, Mr Blunkett is set to revive the proposals.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today he insisted that the legislation would not curb people’s right to express their view of other people’s religions.

“The issue is not whether you have an argument or discussion or whether you are criticising someone’s religion. It’s whether you incite hatred on the basis of it,” he said.

There is already an offence of inciting racial hatred but this does not offer protection if someone is being targeted because of their religion.

The government is worried in particular about discrimination against Muslims.

Well I am worried about discrimination and hatred from Muslims. My fears are well founded. Take the case of Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who will be “guest of honour” at a debate hosted by the Greater London Authority next Monday:

Race hate cleric ‘honoured’

A row erupted today over a hardline Muslim cleric’s invitation to a London conference.

Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who supports Palestinian suicide bombers, is “guest of honour” at a debate organised by the Greater London Authority. He has already been banned from the US on suspicion of terror links and is renowned for his anti-Semitic views.

Dr al-Qaradawi said this year that the beheading of American Nick Berg by Islamic militants in Iraq had to be seen “in the right context”. Ken Livingstone was under pressure to scrap plans to speak alongside the Egyptian-born sheikh after the Home Office pulled out of the conference. Home Office Minister Fiona McTaggart today revealed she had withdrawn her support after discovering full details of the cleric’s extremist views on Jews and homosexuals.

Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who supports Palestinian suicide bombers, is “guest of honour” at a debate organised by the Greater London Authority. He has already been banned from the US on suspicion of terror links and is renowned for his anti-Semitic views.

Dr al-Qaradawi said this year that the beheading of American Nick Berg by Islamic militants in Iraq had to be seen “in the right context”. Ken Livingstone was under pressure to scrap plans to speak alongside the Egyptian-born sheikh after the Home Office pulled out of the conference. Home Office Minister Fiona McTaggart today revealed she had withdrawn her support after discovering full details of the cleric’s extremist views on Jews and homosexuals.

So the government is legislating to protect Muslims and the left-wing press creating a brouhaha about Islamophobia but all the while the completely ignore the fact that the most vicious hatred in the country is pouring out of the Muslim community via near-insane clerics like al-Qaradawi.

It is people like al-Qaradawi who generate Islamophobia. Their hatred, threats and insults cause fear and loathing.

The government needs to stop furiously attacking imaginary threats like the widespread bigotry-based Islamophobia and concentrate on very real threats like militant Islam, Islamic terrorism and the erosion of our civil liberties by misguided government and pressure group campaigns against the responses of the victims of hatred rather than the actions of aggressors.