Monday, December 22, 2008

Hope and Change

The Thin Man Returns usually eschews posts of a personal nature but before the year runs to a close, I'd like to dedicate one post to the memory of my mother Elizabeth Ann who died on October 8 this year at the age of 59.

Without her, Christmas and New Year this year are going to be very different indeed.

One could write hundreds of words to illustrate what a truly remarkable woman she was but everything that needed to be said was said at her funeral attended by family, work colleagues, friends as well as past and present students.

As friends of ours remarked, it's not often one attends a funeral where traffic controllers are required.

Her story of courage, grace and faith during her life is inspiring, particularly in the four years after being diagnosed with random form of muscular dystrophy that hit with the rapid debilitation of motor neurone disease.

The past few years have not been easy.

People talk about having a life changing experience, but what they really mean is suffering a shock and, once over that, they go back to the way they were before - no evidence of a life changed, at least not in any meaningful or positive way.

They think they're 'living' but they're only existing on the periphery, unaware that they're merely playing in the emotional, spiritual and intellectual shallows.

Anyone who doubts the existence of God ought to talk to us some time.

-- Nora

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Taking Over The Asylum

The American Psychiatric Association is preparing to publish the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the inconvenient truth rears its ugly head:

“In psychiatry no one knows the causes of anything, so classification can be driven by all sorts of factors” — political, social and financial.
The New York Times article continues:

The debate over gender identity, characterized in the manual as “strong and persistent cross-gender identification,” is already burning hot among transgender people. Soon after the psychiatric association named the group of researchers working on sexual and gender identity, advocates circulated online petitions objecting to two members whose work they considered demeaning...

“The language needs to be reformed, at a minimum,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equity. “Right now, the manual implies that you cannot be a happy transgender person, that you have to be a social wreck.”

Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychoanalyst and member of the sexual disorders work group, said that, in some ways, the gender identity debate echoed efforts to remove homosexuality from the manual in the 1970s.

After protests by gay activists provoked a scientific review, the “homosexuality” diagnosis was dropped in 1973. It was replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance” and then “ego-dystonic homosexuality” before being dropped in 1987.

“You had, in my opinion, what was a social issue, not a medical one...”
Or, still in the opinion of many psychiatrists today, and made shockingly clear in Madsen and Kirk's homosexual activists' manual, After The Ball, a medical issue that the APA allowed itself to be bullied into making a social one in 1973's DSM-III.

Now, for DSM-V, the APA looks set to cave in to pressure from a group for whom self-mutilation is not only considered acceptable but which requires - and receives - support in achieving this from the surgical medical community.

The truth-baring irony of the issue of transgender disorders being omitted from DSM-V is exposed in that:

Transgender people are themselves divided about their place in the manual. Some transgender men and women want nothing to do with psychiatry and demand that the diagnosis be dropped. Others prefer that it remain, in some form, because a doctor’s written diagnosis is needed to obtain insurance coverage for treatment or surgery.
So, on the one hand, some of the people affected by this disorder would like the rest of society to pretend they aren't mentally ill while others don't mind being considered mentally ill if it means they can bilk their insurance companies into paying for expensive body-altering drugs and 'surgery' for 'gender reassignment'.

One suspects after this admission that the insurance companies might welcome the APA dropping 'transgender' as a disorder. A preferred option would be to stop pandering to the delusions of the mentally ill by offering mutilation as a treatment - a treatment which does not work - and to encourage psychiatrists to cure this disorder where it actually exists - between the patient's ears rather than between their legs.

-- Nick

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Was Only Following Orders...

Atheist fascists validate the Nuremburg Defence:

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, claimed: "This is the just outcome for this case. Employees should not be able to use their consciences as a carte blanche to exempt themselves from performing duties they are lawfully required to perform."
-- Nick

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desperate Dutch Finding Tolerance Intolerable

Can a society liberalise itself to the brink of destruction then recover? Perhaps:

The Dutch are rethinking their famously liberal polices on legalised brothels, prostitution and soft drugs, such as magic mushrooms and cannabis, amid fears of growing crime and social decline.

"The nation's ideals are being tested by the reality they brought," said sociologist Dick Houtman of Rotterdam's Erasmus University.

"The Netherlands went further in allowing all sorts of liberties than many other countries. The test is severe. There is a feeling that our tolerance is the principal cause of many of the problems we experience now. The debate is about where liberty and tolerance should end and where order should begin."

...The murder of the anti-Islam film-maker Theo Van Gogh and the rise of populist anti-Muslim politicians such as Geert Wilders have led to strong perceptions that liberal immigration policy has damaged secular and egalitarian values in one of Europe's most crowded countries.

"The change started out as a rightist phenomenon, but is now becoming more of a mainstream feeling. It is gaining legitimacy and credibility among the working classes," said Mr Houtman.
It's a hopeful suggestion that one of Europe's most troubled regions may yet regain its senses but the road ahead is rocky.

Potential risks are that the movement back towards conservative values may be strangled at birth by intractable leftist elites controlling government thinking or that it may lurch too far right in a reactionary manner and throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Another risk is that it may be too little, too late to save Europe from societal suicide.

-- Nick

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Psychosis Pride

A parade of the mentally disturbed, self-delusionally proud in their illness.

And they've got us so snowed, we think admiring them is something to be proud of too.

-- Nick

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What A Fool Says In His Heart

They need a curriculum to teach this?:

Humanists believe people are responsible for their own destiny and reject the notion of a supernatural force or God.
Rather succinct; says it all really.

If you have to develop a whole ethical framework to prop up the contention, well, that kind of sounds like a religion.

Those concerned deny it, of course:

The society does not consider itself to be a religious organisation and believes ethics have "no necessary connection with religion".
And the disconnection of ethics from religion has been such a success over the last century or so.

It's amusing really - one imagined it was the adult incest lobby that was going to make the most headway into the mainstream this decade but the atheists are moving ahead.

Good time in history to make your move, chaps.

-- Nick

Friday, December 12, 2008

Writing For Robots

Where's the news value in the headline on this story?

One has noticed News' online subeditors using names in headlines frequently. It's a puzzling trend in the cases of ordinary people who are experiencing 15 minutes of newsworthiness.

After all, as a headline, which is supposed to describe the story below, the sentence 'Mavis Smith gives birth in car park' causes one not to wonder at the circumstances surrounding the event as much as 'who the hell is Mavis Smith?'.

With celebrities, it would be a different matter, eg. 'Amy Winehouse gives birth in car park', which would cause one to simply think 'typical'.

One suspects a reason for the meaningless non-celebrity name headlines is to feed search engines and thus bring in site visitors as family, friends and associates of a person suddenly in the news 'google' them to see what's been said. This may increase visitor stats (and ad revenue) but writing for search engine optimisation rather than for sense only further diminishes journalism.

However, in the case of the trial story above, one has to ask what is the motivation in not only making the non-entity guilty party's name part of the headline but also his suburb and city?

The perp's lawyer at one point says of his client's former defacto:

"She is not a movie star or a public figure," he said.
Neither is the respondent.

The headline is either taking SEO to a nonsensical new height, typical News Limited prurience or a rather petty desire on the part of the sub to give the man a taste of his own medicine, something which is not the role of a news story.

At least it shouldn't be.

-- Nick

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bettie Page

1950s S&M pinup turned born again Christian Bettie Page is in intensive care after suffering a heart attack.

She's 85 so the prognosis can't be good but get well, Bettie.

-- Nick and Nora

Update: Vale Bettie.

A Strange "Misunderstanding'

On their 6 o'clock news last night, The Nine Network's Brisbane broadcast played down the affair of an Islamic school that banned the Australian national anthem with a sympathetically spun piece from reporter Phil Wilmington showing the 'misunderstood' school making good by having the kids sing the anthem at their end of year break-up assembly.

Just 20 minutes later, the network's A Current Affair showed the exact same footage of the young Islamists singing Advance Australia Fair while one of the school's outgoing teachers stated the performance of the national anthem was staged entirely for Channel 9's benefit and would not have happened if the cameras were not there.

The overall tone of the ACA item was less than sympathetic.

It was a strange act of editorial schizophrenia, with the ACA item completely at odds with the PC doctrinaire of the 6pm bulletin.

With the media in such mixed message mode, viewers might do best to 'go with your gut' and accept that if it walks and quacks like a duck then it's a duck.

Meanwhile, it can be said with no doubt that reporter Wilmington will make a good dhimmi.

-- Nick

Update: Quote of the week:

"It's like a paramilitary camp that place."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Your ABC

Tolerance for the misdemeanors of their own at the ABC:

"Peter Lloyd has been sentenced to 10 months in prison in Singapore today on drug-related charges, and as such the ABC's employment relationship with Peter has come to an end," an ABC Corporate spokeswoman said in a statement.

"This is due to the fact that Peter is unavailable to work. (emphasis added)

"The ABC has valued and respected Peter as an employee and as an outstanding journalist who is widely admired by colleagues and industry peers."
Admirable indeed, is the ice and ketamine party druggie.

Meanwhile, Australia, here's your 8 cents a day at work:

The broadcaster spent more than $65,000 on initial legal support, counselling and related travel expenses since Lloyd's arrest earlier this year.

(Lloyd's) lawyer, Hamidul Haq, said earlier that Lloyd had expressed remorse.
Would it be too cynical to suggest his remorse was at getting caught doing illegal drugs where they actually punish you for it?

-- Nick

You WILL Be Tolerant

This man is a victim of discrimination by bigots and bullies who want to restrict his freedom and take away his job.

His 'offence'? Being Christian in 2008 Britain.

-- Nick