Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 49

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/cache.php on line 403

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 534

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 553

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 649

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/classes.php on line 674

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-content/plugins/filosofo-comments-preview/filosofo-comments-preview.php on line 410
Melantrys’ Page » America

Archive for the ‘America’ Category

Look, I’m sure this came with a warranty.

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 75

In September 2009 a US American woman, Torry H., adopted a Russian child, Artyom S.

According to H. and her mother Artyom - or Justin, as he was now being called - had been showing antisocial and dangerous behaviour, ranging from hitting, kicking and spitting to uttering threats, compiling a “hit list” and even recently having started a fire in the house.

So this weekend the seven-year-old boy was put on a one-way flight to Moscow by Torry’s mother, apparently carrying nothing but a backpack containing sweets, cookies, crayons and a note from his adoptive mother with him.

The note said: “This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues … After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child.”

“A man” was paid $200 to pick the boy up at the airport and discard him drop him off at the Russian Education and Science Ministry.

(The adoptive grandmother) said it wasn’t child abandonment because a stewardess was watching Artyom on the flight and a reputable person picked him up in Russia.

According to Russian authorities, the boy accuses his adoptive mother of being “bad”, not loving him and having pulled his hair.

I am having several problems with this.

No matter which version is true, or whether both are, we are talking about a seven-year-old child here.

He was taken away from his natural mother by Russian authorities.
There is no information available on why that happened, but I’d say it is safe to assume the kid is carrying baggage from whatever must’ve taken place there before the authorities stepped in.

Then he spent about a year in an orphanage. Nothing six-year-old children really benefit from.

Then he is taken into a strange country.
A certainly frightening experience for such a young child.
He may have exhibited all those traits that the adoptive mother and grandmother describe.
Hell, if you adopt a child, you should be prepared for problems.
If they turn out to be severe surely no one will blame you if you seek help from a psychologist. That’s what they’re for after all.
Well, whatever happened in the US, after a good half year they just decide to discard him like some faulty kitchen appliance.
I don’t even want to try and imagine what that must do to the mind of a child.

Actually, none of us need much imagination here, just click the link in the second news quote, they have a photo there of the boy.
And then look at his face.

And Nancy H. has the gall to bandy words and reject the term “child abandonment”?
What does one call putting a child on a plane with the intent to deliver him onto the doorstep of the Russian Education and Science Ministry?
It doesn’t matter that a flight attendant and then a paid courier were with him at all times.
The child was abandoned at a fucking ministry in Moscow.

Never forget to carry your student ID in America

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 75

… especially if you look like your name may be Mostafa…?

Three days ago, at around 11:30pm on Tuesday night a UCLA student by the name of Mostafa Tabatabainejad failed to produce his student ID at a random check done by Community Service Officers in the CLICC Lab in Powell Library. Furthermore he allegedly did not leave in a timely manner.
Nevertheless he was said to already have been approaching the exit when the UCPD officers whom the CSO’s had called arrived. One of them grabbed the student’s arm.

Now, it may be unwise to yell “Get off me” in that kind of situation but getting tasered for that and tasered at least another three times for not getting up off the floor and going with the UCPD officers seems to be a rather… drastic… response to the young man’s behaviour.

Go see the movie documenting most of the incident on Safiyyah’s blog and make sure to follow the link imbedded in her post, as the Daily Bruin gives a much more detailed account of everything that happened than the rather bad quality movie does.

Small blame on the camera man or woman though, quite apart from a lot of people milling around, I guess the person did not wish the officers to realize that somebody was filming the incident.

According to UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young the “drive stun” setting used by the officers involved “would not likely demobilize a person or cause residual pain after the shock was administered”. Contrary to that statement a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001 states that a charge of three to five seconds can indeed immobilize a person for five to 15 minutes, which - the Daily Bruin concludes - would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so. (Furthermore this type of stun has been known to kill people.)

But even if the stun did not immobilize Tabatabainejad, I can’t help but wonder if he might not simply have been too terrified to get up and go with these officers. After all, if they were not shy in using the taser repeatedly in front of the other students - not to mention threaten to taser another person as well when he demanded to see an officer’s badge number - what were they likely to do to him out of sight of witnesses? Hell, I know I’d have been scared of those officers.

I for one would be very interested in the officers’ reasons for their behaviour.

Was it “just” the overall fear of Islamist terrorism that led to a gross overreaction, was it common racism, or was it the tendency of some officers of the law to think they’re allowed to do whatever they please? Or maybe a bit of all three? The latter must at least have been part of reason or else there wouldn’t have been any threats against the student who was exercising his right as an American citizen by asking to see badge numbers.

Yet another update on ID

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 75

Due to recent events a huge German political magazine wrote a long article about ID. Actually they wrote about this subject in September already, which might have been the reason why CDU politician and Minister President of Thüringen Dieter Althaus cancelled his invitation to micro biologist and author Siegfried Scherer to speak at a political discussion forum next year.
Scherer is the most famous German follower of ID, although he claims not to be any more.
Up until 2003 he was a member of the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Now he renounces them, and distances himself from their plans to force ID into the schools’ lesson plans. On the other hand he is busy with sowing doubt against the Theory of Evolution in his role as chairman of the Studiengemeinschaft Wort und Wissen (study community Word and Knowledge). He is convinced that the Fall of Man caused our mortality. Had Eve not made Adam eat that apple we would still be immortal. Oh, and all the animals too.

The magazine also published the results of a poll:

13% of the Germans believe that God created Man and the world in 6 days

23% believe that God or another higher being guided evolution along its way

60% believe in evolution without any divine influence

Results by region, creed and school type:

God created Man and the world:

14% in West Germany
8% in East Germany

14% of Protestants
17% of Catholics
5% of people without creed

28% from Hauptschule (lowest level of education)
14% from Realschule (medium level of education)
4% from Gymnasium/Hochschule (highest level of education)

God or similar helped evolution along:

25% in West Germany
14% in East Germany

26% of Protestants
29% of Catholics
11% of people without creed

22% from Hauptschule
19% from Realschule
27% from Gymnasium/Hochschule

Evolution without divine interference:

57% in West Germany
73% in East Germany

54% of Protestants
50% of Catholics
80% of people without creed

43% from Hauptschule
63% from Realschule
67% from Gymnasium/Hochschule

And at the end let’s go back to where it all came from: America.

In Pennsylvania the mother of a 16 year old girl is suing the school.
Her goal: Nothing but her constitutional rights. The American constitution bans religion from schools (separation of church and state).
Her reasons: Growing uneasiness about the changes at her daughter’s school, climaxing in utter dread and terror when her daughter came home from school, screaming at her: Why do you believe in evolution? What kind of Christian are you? Why did you teach me all those lies? Evolution is a lie!
This she had learned from her friends and - yes - in school.

I call that brainwashing. They’re brainwashing the children, so that the new generations will all be followers of ID.

And they don’t want to stop just there. (As if this wasn’t enough already.) Here’s some other things they’d like to get rid off:
- sex education right along with Darwinism and Theory of evolution
- homosexuals
- abortion
- atheism
- materialism

I only hope the judges will rule in favour of the plaintiff.

I’m not having very high hopes though. If even the funny monkey, er, President of the United States is violating the constitution by supporting the teaching of ID at schools, what is there to expect, really…?

Lord, throw down some brain!

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /www/htdocs/w0081e40/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 75

… as we Germans say.

Today I read an article in the newspaper about the Creationalism/Creationism/Intelligent Design in America.
These Creationalists (or Creationists; no two sources seem to be able to agree on the name…) believe in Genesis.
By careful study of the Bible and doing some maths over the genealogies they arrived at the conclusion that this here world that we’re sitting/standing/lying/lounging on is 6,000 years old.

God created the world in six days indeed, yeah, and if the saurian fossils aren’t just decoration then we were all trundling about on this world together back then, humans and the T.-Rex side by side (no clear opinion on those two possibilities either it seems; the newspaper article mentioned the latter).

Let the faithful believe what they will in their churches you might say, but they don’t intend to keep it in the churches.
They don’t want their own children to learn the “false” Theory of Evolution at school, and get likeminded people to sign their petitions. And they’re sneaky and get not very well educated people to sign as well, by asking questions like “Do you want your child to only learn about the Theory of Evolution, or would you like your school to offer differing theories as well?”
Now, either you believe in Creationalism and don’t need a twisted question like that, or you paid attention at school, and know that the only other “theory” is religion, which has no place in biology classes. Or - unfortunately - you did not pay attention, don’t understand what the question is implying and blissfully say “Why, of course I do. My child should learn everything there is to learn.”
In some places these petitions already bore some fruit. There is the odd school that has substituted Genesis for the Theory of Evolution on their biology syllabus, and in some states like Georgia (thanks to Fizzy for that info weeks ago) biology books must bear the sticker “The Theory of Evolution is just a theory”.
Which seems to allude to a saying of theirs, i.e. “if the Theory of Evolution is just a theory, it obviously isn’t right”.

Also, they seem to have made it a hobby to visit museums and drive employees there wild by contradicting everything they say.

Their “teachings” apparently reached and convinced an appalling number of people. Surveys show that 54% of U.S. Americans do not believe that humans ever were anything but human.
54%! of the population of that huge country that thinks it is better than anyone else and can tell the world what to do does not believe in the simplest scientific facts!
I did some research on the net just now, and a lot of blogs and forums popped up on the search term. If they’re anything to go by the surveys are right. There’s bundles of people out there in the U.S. of A. “arguing” Genesis and laughing every counter-argument off or burbling out some pseudo-scientific crap that would make me laugh if the whole topic weren’t so sad.

Now, although I personally do not believe in anything godly anymore I’d be the last person to grudge anyone the “God nudged things along though” view of evolution. Fine by me. Faith is faith, and you can’t mess with that. But this 6,000 years and no relation to the apes thing…… I mean, come on, Bible Belt, wake up to the real world!!!

I’d like to conclude this with a quote I found in another blog, and which I just loved. Apparently one Arthur Naebig wrote in some paper:
“What the argument comes down to is the scientific evidence balanced against no evidence. Scientists collect evidence and attempt to formulate answers to the questions about our world, but admit they may never have all of the answers. Creationalists (Intelligent Designers?) collect no evidence and state that they already have all the answers. A thinking person should have no trouble deciding which group to believe.”