About Me

My photo
Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trying to Supply Some Common Sense

This is a post today elsewhere, trying to help a couple of clueless guys who are far from being able to help themselves. They are so conspicuously and consistantly obtuse that I had avoided the thread as a lost cause. I won't say "casting pearls before swine." Pigs are actually very smart creatures. ...and if I had not been taught to eat the bellies of pigs very young, I would probably never do it. As it is, my consumption of swine is way down, and I may eventually get it down to zero. At that point I will confine myself to hunting and exposing human swine only.

The post:

I bit my knuckles and stayed away from this thread. Then two friends showed up, (treesandflowers and bunnie) and I'm tempted to remark "What are two nice girls like you doing in a place like this?" But of course the answer is, you are both trying to help.

Let's take a look at what we know. Both of you are in the category of what I will refer to as "long posters." That is to say, if you feel you have something worthwhile to say, you will go to some effort and care to say it well. Judging by the lengths of your short responses here on this thread, your instincts like mine are kicking in and saying, these people need professional help, or a small helping of good old fashioned common sense.

If I am not mistaken, one of the other posters was elsewhere recommending the ingestion of colloidal silver by a pregnant woman. (This by a fellow who calls himself a science teacher). This sort of "science" is perhaps part of what is wrong in the teaching in some of our schools. Another example would be the attempt to add "creationism science" to the curriculum to "balance" the "unreasonable scientism" we have been forcing down the gullets of our young ones.

My younger son had a science teacher who one day taught the class that it was acceptable and safe to shine dimes with a bit of mercury by rubbing it on them with your fingers.My son jumps up and challenges this concept before the whole class, pointing out that if you shine a dime in this way, as the dime gets shiny, the mercury on your fingers gets black. He pointed to the teacher's fingers to illustrate. I believe the teacher was actually going to let some of the children try shining some dimes.

My kid told me about the incident at the end of the day. I frowned. He said "Was I wrong?" I told him that sometimes being right is not all that counts. He was puzzled by that. I went on to explain that he did the right thing in the wrong way and it will come back to haunt him.

Here is the point. My son, clever little tyke that he was, wanted his classmates to know about the danger: That the black on the teacher's fingers was mercury that had so finely divided that it was no longer in shiny little globules, so finely divided that some of it could even get absorbed right through the skin and into bloodstream, or get residues on the sandwich the teacher would be eating for lunch.

My boy was right to want to be sure the rest of the class knew this. But he was also "showing off." (I have never been able to figure out where he got that from. His mom I expect. She was always a rather flamboyant character.)

Better would have been if he had asked the teacher for a private moment, discussed it with him, and then gave the teacher the opportunity to revise and extend his remarks. It wasn't until the end of the year that the payback came.

My son was flunked with a B+ instead of an A. He was really steamed up about it. He KNEW he deserved an A! I asked if he still wanted the A. His answer was a vehement YES. Ready to fight for it? He blurted out the military vernacular equivalent for affirmative which he was not usually allowed to say, but which he had heard me use on numerous occasions when emphasis was required.

So I helped him plan his strategy and acted as his Second in a conference with the teacher and the Principal. And in the process, my son learned a bit about how to win by other means than direct attack. He did not entirely win his fight for the A. He just got the A- that he deserved (lack of diplomacy and consideration).

(And his failure in that regard is probably due in large part to a certain enthusiasm for confrontation and lively discussion that he may have gotten from one of his close relatives.)

But getting back to what is so conspicuously absent in this thread. There is not the slightest thought that maybe the whole spectrum of general health considerations, like good nutrition or adequate rest or even the emotions might be playing a role in the problem.

Instead, just glob on some coal tar or dozens of other topical substances, many of which have serious and unpredictable side-effects. And in this, doctors are, as often as not, a part of the problem. Try using some careful reasoning and thought about your general health, making your whole body better. Your skin is integral to your body. The first healing must be from within. So look at all the features of your general health and correct as many of them as you can. If that hasn't helped after six months or so, then consider going to someone for additional help.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Adamlp How and Why To Learn

You posted a question about how I go about learning. I have thought some about learning and thinking, but never in the terms you posed. Let me give you an example. I really don't know what I am doing on this blog. I read your comment and published it, but did not have a clue what essay you were posting to. A computer conversant person would have found it without searching for more than minutes. I searched through All of the comments and never did find it. Yet I didn't want to leave a valid question unanswered if I could help it. It is not in my nature.

Since I could not find the question attached to any of my posts, the only way to address it in a way you are likely to find is to title a post with your name. Particularly since you have no blog, nor an Email address in your profile. The point is, where there is a will there is a way. How does one prioritize what one learns? Learn what is most important to you first. If you don't know, figure it out.

In typical schooling, you are pretty much fed what the school administration wants you to learn in the order they want you to learn it. There are many problems with this. It is more akin to conditioning than to education.

There is no real direct motivation. Real learning is goal oriented. It is problem solving. It is finding out, or working out, what you need to know because you need to know it. That differs from our standard institutional education which is all about learning things because others require it of you so that you will obtain some sort of advantage from complying with the requirements set out for you by the educational authorities.

A diploma. An acceptable grade. An opportunity to get a better paying job. This is all nonsense! But it is nonsense which governs most of the people in school, and which has more to do with conforming to requirements, being conditioned in doing what you are told. Being a suitable and obedient industrial employee.

You learn really important stuff, like how not to be tardy and how to get your homework in on schedule. You have undoubtedly been "schooled" in this way. Otherwise, you would know these things by instinct. I was fortunate. I was a feral child with very little institutional education. Therefore my criterion was curiosity and solving specific needs.

Many of my students come to chess class more to learn other things than to learn chess.

For true learning to occur, the actual ideas you are working on must be exciting. Otherwise, why bother? So you can get some kind of diploma? What nonsense! You learn because you really want to know something! You want to solve a problem.

Not because it was assigned to you. Not because someone requires it of you. You are having trouble even setting your priorities, largely because they are not your priorities. You have accepted as priorities what you think others expect you to learn. Stop it. Learn what excites you. what presses your buttons.


Okay, that"s enough for tonight. Future questions will not get lost if You include the title of the original post in your opening line or post on this thread. Or go ahead and post to this thread. It has your name on it. The fact that I never did find your post after I published it could mean that I screwed up, and didn't publish it as I thought I did, or that there was some kind of Blogger delay that I did not anticipate, or something else happened that I don't understand.

So I found another way to get the job done. That is learning See what I mean? I don't neet the Computer Professor to send me a DVD to make it simple. I'll work it out.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Some More Medical Heresy

This is a response to a lovely and helpful lady on Skin Cell Forum with whom I have an ongoing lively and beneficial dialogue. Her name is Bunnie. You can find the rest of the thread in her profile or mine.

Have we diverged from the subject? I don't know that we have. I am definitely not within a(n expert patient) programme. But I have taken considerably greater interest in the subject of eyes than all but perhaps 1/10000 of the patients out there.

I would certainly have stayed to view the introductory tape on cataract surgery if the doctor's (a cataract surgeon I was going to employ) player had not been broken. I was invited to come back to watch it on a later (unspecified) date, a 140 mile trip for me. I was not offered the chance to play the tape on my working machine and mail it back to her.

I am the only patient who has ever done an eye removal successfully under field conditions on a patient initially so close to death that I thought there was virtually no chance he would survive. (Fractured skull, eye in front of the orbit, clearly sightless and unrecoverable). I had to wait many days before removal of the eye for the patient to gain enough strength to survive the operation, forcing fluids and other nutrition. The patient clearly was just ready to die. I would not have it.

All of this, with more detail, is in a rarely read old thread in General Nutrition, titled Kombucha and Kefir, perhaps a half year back. The patient survived and is currently purring in my lap looking up at me with one very large Exotic Persian Cat eye.

This is some small qualification as an "expert patient." Here is more. I invented a very simple device about forty five years ago with which to easily screen groups of children simultaneously for monocularity. The earlier the diagnosis the more successful the intervention, generally speaking. It worked fine. The optometrists I showed it to agreed that it worked well, but were disinterested because they already had equipment in their offices that could do this quite satisfactorily, one patient at a time. They did not see a need for group screening. Go figure.

Why do you think I am so unenthusiastic about even approaching doctors of unknown calibre? It is NOT that I have never done it before. If I want to whack my head against a brick wall a half dozen times, I think I will just go find the nearest brick wall.

I am reminded of Carlson, inventor of the copy machine. Admittedly, it had some serious, difficult to resolve problems, and he went into major debt while he was perfecting it and trying to interest industry. Know what the typical response was of the CEO's that he presented it to? "What do we need that big thing for? We've got carbon paper!"

But there is a Happy ending. After all those years of struggle, Haloid Corporation picked up the machine and ran with it. They gave Carlson 1/10 of one percent royalty, insightful robber barons that they were. They eventually evolved into Xerox. And as for Carlson, he eventually got back on his feet and philanthropically gave away more than $100,000,000. My hat is off to him.

But as for me, I will not spend the rest of my life, hat in hand, struggling to find the right doctor. My eyes are not good enough to find a needle in a haystack. Total cost of rejecting my current surgeon candidate after one visit? About $400. I am also dealing quite effectively with slowly elevating blood pressure, and with the stroke I had two years ago, all without outside medical intervention. My extensive variety of skin lesions (of several years duration) have disappeared, also without medical supervision, with only my ministrations.

I guess the thing that disqualifies me to be an expert patient is that I am almost never a patient, and that I have become rather impatient with the general state of the art, in spite of the strides that have been made. Doctors NEED patients like me and generally have no notion that that is the case.

Why is it that no doctor has ever shown up here, or on my blog to tell me what a fathead I am and list the variety of ways I am full of **it. It is a complete enigma to me. EVERYONE is invited to go tell their doctors on me and give them copies of my relevant posts. The dentist of Biting the Dentist infamy knows my screen name and that I post regularly on Skin Cell Forum and on the blog Eureka Ideas Unlimited at eurekaideasunlimited.blogspot.com So does the ophthalmologist I visited once.

The silence is CONSPICUOUS. I am NOT trying to pick a fight. A constructive dialogue will be just fine, and it will serve the interests of all concerned. I am not out to get anybody or sue anybody. I went on a forum which was medically attended and asked a question dealing with their guideline that questions needed to be confined to two thousand characters (about 400 words). The question was deleted.

I have said very complimentary things about several doctors and at least one dentist, and have NAMED them. Those who have inspired my lack of confidence or disdain have been kept anonymous. I do not know how much more considerate I could be.

Let me close by once again quoting a doctor I respect and admire. This is a short portion of one of his books, permissable in a review, and not a violation of his rights at law. The author is Lewis Thomas. I commend all of his books. In this excerpt he is talking about the state of medicine beginning in 1776 and up into the twentieth century, but the focus is 1830 on into modern times.

"Beginning around the 1830s, medicine looked at itself critically, and began to change. Groups of doctors in Boston, Paris, and Edinburgh raised new questions, regarded as heretical by most of their colleagues, concerning the real efficacy of the standard treatments of the day. Gradually, the first example of science applied to clinical practice came somewhat informally into existence. Patients with typhoid fever and delirium tremens, two of the most uniformly fatal illnesses of the time, were divided into two groups. One was treated by bleeding, cupping, purging and other athletic feats of therapy, while the other group received nothing more than bed rest, nutrition and observation.The results were unequivocal and appalling, and by the mid-nineteenth century medical treatment began to fall out of fashion and the era known as "therapeutic nihilism" was well launched.

The great illumination from this, the first revolution in medical practice in centuries, was the news that there were many diseases that are essentially self-limited. They will run their predictable course, if left to run that course without meddling, and, once run, they would come to an end and certain patients would recover by themselves. Typhoid fever, for example, although an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal illness, would last for five or six weeks of fever and debilitation, but at the end about seventy percent of the patients would get well again. Lobar pneumonia would run for ten to fourteen days and then, in lucky, previously healthy patients, the famous "crisis" would take place and the patient would recover overnight. Patients with the frightening manifestations of delirium tremens only needed to be confined to a dark room for a few days, and then were ready to come out into the world and drink again. Some were doomed at the outset of course, but not all. The new lesson was that treating them made the outcome worse rather than better.

It is difficult to imagine, from this distance, how overwhelming this news was for most physicians. The traditional certainty had been that every disease was aimed toward a fatal termination, and without a doctor and his energetic ministrations, or barring miraculous intervention by a higher force, all sick people would die of their disease. To recognize that this was not so, and that with rare exceptions (rabies the most notable one) may sick people could get well by themselves, went against the accepted belief of the time. It took courage and determination, and time, to shake off the old idea.
Looking back over the whole embarrassing record, the historians of that period must be hard put to it for explanations of the steadily increasing demand, decade after decade, for more doctors, more clinics and hospitals, more health care. You might think that people would have turned away from the medical profession, or abandoned it. Especially since,throughout the last half of the nineteenth century and the full first third of this one, there was so conspicuously little that medicine had to offer in the way of effective drugs or indeed any kind of technology."

Okay, I'm going to stop there. I do not disparage the many advances of medicine. But many of the advances are not true advances. They are widely accepted bullsh**!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Failure and Success

we are ALL misguided to one extent or another. The medical ideas of Galen held sway for many centuries, and were largely worthless, dangerous, or deadly.

Our mistakes are important to our ultimate progress, but only if and when we recognize them. If instead we embrace the mistakes as we so often seem to do, disasters proliferate.

Politics IS bewildering! But it is because so many of its' participants are extremely bewildered in contrasting ways. And they often believe fervently that their perspectives are the only rational ones, and that those on the other sides of the question are completely wrong. Things are rarely that simple.

I have stopped trying to characterize myself as a liberal or a conservative. I have come to believe that the two party system falls short of the needs of the country. But our politics are formed by complex issues and our responses to them.

We have many different crises to deal with, not just politically, but environmentally and across the spectrum of human needs. In the larger scheme of things, within our very disasters lay the potential keys to our future.

The immensity of the World Wars of the twentieth century, the incredible carnage and waste, the suffering, the direct devolution into our present strife, the roots of our eventual (possible) success(es) are within these disasters.

Before I go on with this thought, it just occurred to me that, just as numbers of readers are sharply reduced once posts are scrolled off into archives, the same sort of reductions occur with regard to comments and replies. So before continuing I'm going to copy this and put it in the main body of the blog.

In my view, the single most remarkable thing of our time is the fact that we have gone into space. Humans have gone to the moon. We have landed robots on other planets and made close approaches to the most distant planets and their satellites.

These things most assuredly would not have happened, but for the frictions generated because of the wars and the potential for even more disastrous, even final conflagrations. This is so obvious I won't even prove the point.

The efforts of the two Superpowers both in the Space Race and the mad dash toward nuclear oblivion resulted in one of the superpowers failing economically, with the other trailing perhaps only a few decades behind.

And with the downfall of the one and the multiple and ongoing disasters in international diplomacy of the other, we took our eye off the ball and allowed our space efforts to stagnate. Why is this so important? Specifically because of all the problems that we MUST deal with. Global warming and all the associated problems. Overpopulation, famine, disease, pollution, and last but not least, fanaticism in all its' many guises.

Today there are three main schools of thought about how to proceed with the space program. Only two of them have much prospect to happen. I favor the third, which unfortunately has little likelihood of happening.

The first is to establish a permanent colony on the moon. There are a plethora of problems with this, but also some very attractive possibilities. Very costly, with the potential profits, far, far off in time.

The second is to land on, explore, and ultimately set up some communities on Mars. This is considerably more ambitious, much, much more costly, and with the potential profits for humankind far further in the distant future. In other words, these two options are likely to stall and stagnate because the require such sustained sacrifice, in exactly the same way that the space effort has stagnated over the past few decades. I am not forgetting our great strides on this frontier, but in the seventies the prevailing view was that we would be much further along in space exploration, and might even have had a lunar colony by now.

Of course all of the accomplishments in space are inspiring! And the profits, in terms of advances in many of the sciences and the practical advances that have been made possible, indirectly due to the space effort are too numerous to list. But it is not obvious to the politicians and their constituents. And the space effort has been enormously more expensive than expected, or than it should have been. And since all the spin offs do not seem at first glance to be space related, and because so much of the funding has been squandered, and there is little prospect for immediate profit, we are stuck financially between a rock and a hard place.

Let us go to the third option, the one I favor. It is getting virtually no attention in the debate. I favor missions to the Amore (earth approaching) asteroids. The mining of said asteroids, and the ultimate hollowing out of the asteroids providing space for human habitation, space for industrial production too potentially polluting on Earth, and ultimately, even farming on a large scale.

Just touching on a few of the positives of this option which are really important: These asteroids, by comparison to Mars or the Moon have virtually NO gravity, comparatively speaking. That is not an inconsequential thing. To get a single kilogram off the Moon or Mars costs many thousands of dollars. We must live with the extremely deep gravity well of the Earth. We have no choice. It is where we are. The gravity wells of the Moon and even Mars are far more shallow but are still far (by thousands of times) greater than the minuscule gravities presented by the Earth-approaching asteroids. So getting there from Earth is expensive. Sending cargo back from them is VERY cheap by comparison to the Moon or Mars.

Now let us look at the cargo value. Many, if not most of these asteroids are very high in metals of the Platinum family. The fact is that in terms of near term payoff for our investment, this is the only real viable option. Instead of going into more detail, The floor is open for debate and discussion.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Others Need Not Apply

I just came across Sermo, a site which excludes all healers and innovators without an MD or DO after their name. They did, in all fairness, extend an invitation to non physicians to check with them about being a "client" or a "research partner."

I am looking for an innovative eye surgeon to collaborate with. I am doubtful that a contact is likely to be made through this group, but it couldn't hurt to make contact. This is what I said:

Among my posts on Skin Cell Forum are the threads Preventing Viral Infections and several others which deal with such subjects as dentistry, the state of cataract surgery and disorders of the skin.

On my blog, Eureka Ideas Unlimited, you can see much of the same subject matter without as many distracting posts of ordinary mortals, often referred to as patients.

My name is Anthropositor. I would particularly like to have a dialogue with a surgeon who would like to break new ground in cataract surgery. Odds that such a contact will be made here are slim though, aren't they?

It would be of immense value to physicians to be less insular and full of themselves as a group.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Collective Idiocy

(This was my reply on another blog which featured in its' header an overly optimistic quote of the great Mohandas Gandhi.)

Sometimes it is inspiring quotes, soundbites from notable, even heroic and inspiring people like the Mahatma that can lead us astray.
Genocidal monsters do indeed die of old age without ever being brought to justice. One could argue that it has happened more in the twentieth century than any previous time.

And this new century shows every indicator of outstripping the last, not only in terms of genocide, but in the multiple ecological disasters which now threaten ALL life on the planet.

Mr. Greenwell is certainly correct in his one phrase comment that the world's amphibians are endangered. A quarter of the beehives on the planet have also disappeared recently and we are still clueless as to why. Bird populations too are being decimated. I could go on in this vein for a chapter or two and just scratch the surface.

The blogosphere has the potential for being a great tool for dialogues which could address many of these issues. It is currently being used mostly for asinine one-way chit-chat.

The forums too propagate volumes of nonsense. All the jabbering just drowns out reason and sense. In the half year that my blog has been in existence, not one single ongoing dialogue of any importance has developed. Lamentable. We had better start using these marvelous Internet tools more effectively folks. We are running out of time.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Medical Comment

A number of months ago I had an uncharacteristic spike in my blood pressure of 191/110 mm hg. Although my life is sometimes blessed with an abundance of stress, I was unable to identify a triggering event or cluster of problems which could account for the reading. But bear in mind that we are not always conscious of all the stresses that might be having an effect on us.

Since then, I have paid almost daily attention to what my blood pressure is doing. (It is worthwhile to note that it is the "resting" blood pressure that is indicative of what is going on with your vascular system.) As an example, it could have been quite a hot day and I was driving a car and got quite overheated because the air conditioner was not functional. If I was just short if heat stroke for example, this could have some substantial impact on my blood pressure.

Paradoxically, I have, since that high spike, virtually eliminated the occasional use of the beta-blocker Metaprolol, a Mexican drug equivalent to Toprol XL. My blood pressure has reduced to my target values (116/76) with only dietary changes, (a sharp increase in ingested potassium bearing foods, supplementation of potassium chloride and potassium gluconate, and some reduction of sodium chloride), and a moderate increase in daily exercise.

On Monday nights, when I competitively teach chess to a group of students, the blood pressure generally climbs to about 135/88, but that is, after all, a rather challenging sporting event, with more than five hours of continuous rapid chess. By Tuesday the blood pressure is back to normal, or actually better than normal for a sixty-six year old unmedicated male.

(This post was first inspired by questions put by a woman on Skin Cell Forum earlier today who is scheduled for a surgery on her knee. This woman has had so many surgeries for so many different things, that I doubt she could even count them all with any sort of accuracy. One could refer to her as a surgery addict. Of course I didn't do that.)

Certainly the risks of laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgery are lower than conventional surgeries. Perhaps one of the unfortunate consequences of this is that they are often done as the first resort rather than the last.

Doctors could not maintain their lavish incomes and lifestyles with just good advice. They MUST do surgeries and prescribe fancy expensive new stuff. And they do so on a massive scale. I'm not going to get on a rant here. But I expect I will have more to say on this subject shortly in the thread on my blog titled A Letter To the Eye Surgeon. If memory serves it is in the March Archives.

In the meantime, the two threads in General Health here, (on the forum) one of the same name, and Biting the Dentist are relevant to the subject. It is a fact of life that there are a great many avoidable surgeries and other medical procedures. We place ourselves too readily in the hands of these experts and trust them far more than is warranted by the facts.

Doctors as a group are no more trustworthy than politicians, lawyers, or used car salesmen; all about equally rapacious and opportunistic. I stand ready to defend my remarks.

Meanwhile, since experience tells me that no doctor is going to show up and actually defend his profession, don't just listen to me. Read the various books of Lewis Thomas, a physician who does not even bother to append M.D. after his name on his works.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Paris Hilton Can of Worms

As I write this, Paris Hilton is still at home although the Sheriff's Dept. arrived some time ago to take her to court (presumably to be properly returned to custody). The judge is in a very ticklish position. There is infighting between the prosecutor's office, the court, and the Sheriff.

I am of the strong opinion that the legal system is broken, and I am engaged in a battle in another part of California over issues which involve refusal to apprehend criminals in the process of committing crimes. There is even evidence of a conspiracy. But it is a matter is yet to be tried by the courts.

Now I am currently a couple of thousand miles from California and do not have a California Penal Code on hand. But the Penal Code Section that seems to apply is 1203, having to do with custodial authority. It strikes me that this Penal Code Section is quite likely to be used by the Sheriff to confer the final authority on him due to the ostensible overcrowding of the system, which severely affects the male inmate population.

I know what I would do as a judge, to retake judicial control in the face of this clear contempt, made possible by Federal orders to reduce overcrowding which give the Sheriff wide latitude to thumb his nose at the State Court.

If I were the judge, and I determined that this Sheriff had made an end-run around my sentence, I would preclude the possibility that it would happen again. I would use a provision of this same statute PC1203(.03). This allows the judge to order her to the Intake Center of the California Prison System for a ninety day evaluation period to determine if she is in fact an incorrigible criminal, and then decide her appropriate punishment. She would not ever get as far as State Prison. She is too rich and powerful and she is not a convicted felon. It would cost her many thousands of extra dollars to fight it though. And meanwhile, she would be in a very privileged enclave of the the Sheriff's County Jail.

Of course, some of what I have said is a bit on the whimsical side. This is not exactly how this statute was originally intended to be used, but it would not be the first time that it was used in such a creative way. Other judges have deliberately used this particular law for the very practical purpose of simply adding three months of "dead time" which would not be counted as time served. It is actually "prior" to the ultimate sentence. Something on the order of 98% of inmates who are evaluated under this program are returned to State Prison afterwards with the full sentence prescribed by law. Rarely do they get an abbreviated sentence and do county time instead of prison time.

But in Paris Hilton's case, let's see how this could work. She would be ordered immediately back into custody and held for several weeks while the Prison System determined if she fit their guidelines. She could not be released just to free up a cell for more important prisoners. (I think even Paris Hilton herself would agree, there are no more important prisoners.) Under these conditions, she could not be released without the judge himself playing the decisive role.

For poor people, the result is almost automatic. 95+% are accepted for the program. Virtually all the prospective candidates wait for such acceptance while in custody. But even in this case, where she would clearly have a large chance of being ultimately rejected by the prison system, she could not be released in the same fashion by the Sheriff. She would at the very least do a few weeks in custody waiting for the prison system's decision.

But let us say, just for argument, that she is accepted in this evaluation program. Okay, now she does the ninety days (which for a poor person) is all "dead time." That is to say, it does not need to be counted at all in the imposition of the ultimate sentencing when she is returned to appear before the judge. Of course, that is just for the poor criminals. The ones with no resources to defend themselves.

I do hope someone E-mails this to the judge and the prosecutor, and maybe even His Honor the Governor. I have it on good authority, he has some huevos grande.

I would do it myself but I am already involved in a battle in another part of the State. A battle which I am economically ill-equipped to fight. A battle brought about by another County Sheriff's Department and the collective gross dereliction of duty of five Watch Commanders and assorted Deputies and other Sheriff's personnel, as well as the workers in other enforcement agencies.

Any gutsy, skillful, crusading lawyer practicing in Riverside County, California may contact me to discuss my case. I realize that this is not a matter which is likely to have great impact in the larger scheme of things, and therefore not well placed here. But since this blog has so far accomplished not even the development of some interesting conversations, I see no good reason not to, while discussing someone as noteworthy as Paris Hilton, bring up other lawbreaking by other California Law Enforcement Agents sworn to uphold the law.

I think it is important to point out that most such breaches of the law by law enforcement do not directly challenge the courts authority because they occur at the street level before the courts have become involved. It is "street justice" performed by individual deputies with scant supervision by, in this case, five different Watch Commanders with whom I was in continuous contact or attempted contact while the crimes were ongoing with no arrests or other effective intervention.

It would also appear that the courts exercise considerable latitude to avoid inconvenient involvements, even when there are clear-cut crimes committed against citizens and complete failure of enforcement officers to do the duties they are sworn to perform.

Today I saw a judge in Tennessee drone on for what seemed like a half hour to justify giving the wife of a minister three years after she was convicted of killing him by shooting him in the back. Among other things, he cited such mitigating circumstances as how well behaved she was with her investigating probation officer and that she had no prior criminal record.

Look, I'm sort of reaching here. I have no idea what will catch the thoughts of the readers enough to get them to actually participate and contribute to improving our world. Take a look at my archives. Many of my posts have something concrete to say about a specific problem. Some, like this one, range more widely.

The widespread cynicism affecting our institutions from top to bottom is caused in part by our widespread ongoing apathy. It is not just the widespread corruption of public officials. It is not just incredible illogic. We are not paying attention. We elect idiots and then pay no attention to what they are doing until the disasters they produce are almost beyond repair.

Maybe the new piece of cheesecake will get someone's juices going. This is a good place to stop and give others a chance to express themselves.

If you would prefer to talk about Pandemics or Germs or War, Chess or Medicine, instead of something really important like Paris Hilton, go to the January archive.

In February there is an idea about Taxes, a little poetry and some more thoughts on medicine.

In March is a big post that will enable you to prevent viral infections like colds and influenza. There is also an interesting letter to an eye surgeon. Somewhere in March is also something or other on Heresy.

Then in April there is an eye-opener about more unpunished Genocide, and some encouragement to do something for Mother Earth throughout the year, instead of just on Earth day.

If you have anything to say about any of these subjects, let's hear it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cleanliness and Coincidence

Back before the United States largely lost its' way in the space program, I was periodically called upon to assemble equipment for use with liquid oxygen.

Of course such equipment needs to be manufactured in an ultra-clean environment, a super cleanroom in which even the air is filtered multiple times. You wear a hooded nylon suit and boots, surgical gloves and mask.

Under such conditions, what would be a short bathroom break is suddenly a procedure that takes the better part of an hour and costs a few hundred dollars in down time. Unlike the government and source inspectors whose job it was to observe every move I made as I built the device, even in a six or eight hour period of assembly, I never took a break.

Fortunately, there were always at least two such inspectors, so they could spell each other as I went on working. They never could understand how I could go for such an extended period of time without stopping. Then, even when the job was done, and we were changing back into our own comfortably comparatively filthy clothing, I would simply dress and leave, without ever going to the restroom.

I was anxious to get back out into the smog and other smells of the city. In a cleanroom, the only aromas available are the occasional whiff of alcohol or acetone or MEK or the bad breath or other scent of a government inspector.

One would not think that under such conditions, you would actually welcome the assault of the myriad urban odors that we ordinarily take little notice of. Even the sense of taste is heightened after a day of assembly in an ultra-cleanroom.

Afterwards, I generally treated myself to steak and lobster in a very dark restaurant, being served by a waiter whose intellect surpassed the combined smarts of the inspectors who had watched my every move throughout the day. (It was actually in such a restaurant, reputedly operated by the mob that J. Edgar Hoover insisted did not exist, that I first came across Ichabod. The restaurant was named after a bird other than a canary, whose name also begins with C, in Hawthorne, California.)

It was quite a few years before I saw him again. He sat down across from me at one of the $10-$20 poker tables at the Horseshoe Club in Gardena. I remember thinking how incongrous that was. Now I am less troubled by incongruity or coincidence than I used to be. I certainly never would have guessed that Ichabod would eventually become my butler. But I digress.

The point is, some of the best things in life are not particularly antiseptic.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Germ Prejudice


This study lends greater specificity to what we have known for a long time; that most of us is not us, and that most germs are not only not harmful to our health but of benefit and essential to good health.

It also gives weight to the idea that perhaps we should not be so ready to "clear cut" bacteria indiscriminately with antibacterial products and antibiotics.

This tendency has been fed by two huge influences; the medical profession, and the makers and purveyors of hygiene products and pharmaceuticals.

They have wrongly and wrongfully, even criminally spread the notion that we can indiscriminately kill "germs" without harm to the complex ecosystem. Sort of like burning and clearing vast sections of rain forests so that we can grow corn and beans and other "useful" crops, and provide more territory for human habitation.

Only the varieties of the stupidities exhibited by our governments in international relations increase more greatly. We all need to pay much more attention, generate much more effective solutions, and stop buying into simplistic doctrinaire sound-bite answers.

The widespread desire to put a specific name to every skin condition, as one example, may be a gross oversimplification of the sort that we are collectively prone to, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We want to label and categorize everything. And we want all our answers to be simple and short.

As extinction overtakes more and more species of life, we will see how much more complicated oversimplification has made things.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Blog Archive