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science meets sci-fi

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♫ Everything That’s Old Is New Again ♫ (in Eurotrashistan)

(from Peter – in full, because it’s too important)

A brave new world indeed!

Courtesy of a link at Borepatch’s place, we learn that Belgium is now euthanizing – i.e. judicially murdering – the mentally ill and incompetent.  The Washington Post reports:

Once prohibited — indeed, unthinkable — the euthanasia of people with mental illnesses or cognitive disorders, including dementia, is now a common occurrence in Belgium and the Netherlands.

This profoundly troubling fact of modern European life is confirmed by the latest biennial report from Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia, presented to Parliament on Oct. 7.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for patients suffering “unbearably” from any “untreatable” medical condition, terminal or non-terminal, including psychiatric ones.

. . .

In December, 65 Belgian mental-health professionals, ethicists and physicians published a call to ban euthanasia of the mentally ill.

Seemingly stung by these criticisms, the commission spends two of its report’s pages defending the system, explaining that all is well and that no one is being euthanized except in strict accordance with the law.

. . .

Of course, this ignores the essential objection, which is that, by definition, the mentally ill may be less capable of forming a “true will,” or, at least, that their intentions are intrinsically more difficult for a doctor — or anyone — to establish with the necessary certainty upon which to base a life-or-death decision.

. . .

Euthanasia of people with autism, depression, schizophrenia and dementia in the Low Countries represents a global moral crisis for psychiatry, and all of medicine, that can no longer be ignored.

There’s more at the link.  As Borepatch points out, there are also reports that organs are being harvested from the bodies of euthanized patients.  This makes it increasingly likely, in a world without meaningful morals or ethics, that someone might be nominated for involuntary euthanasia purely on the grounds of how many others can benefit from his or her organs.

I have no hesitation in calling this absolutely Satanic in its evil.  Those who, by definition, have diminished rational capacity cannot give fully informed consent to such a procedure.  It’s as plain as the nose on your face that someone is encouraging them, persuading them to make that decision . . . perhaps even making it for them.  After all, it’s convenient for the health care system to be relieved of the burden of caring for the mentally incapacitated.  If they’re euthanized, the costs and facilities that would otherwise be devoted to their care can be used instead for someone more ‘deserving’ – or not used at all, thereby saving money for the state.  How utilitarian can you get?

We’re seeing the beginnings of the same thing in this country, too.  Just last month, a woman in California reported that her medical insurance had refused to pay for expensive chemotherapy to treat her cancer . . . but it was quite prepared to pay for euthanasia, if she selected that option!  That’s not the first time this has happened.  The first case of which I’m aware was in Oregon in 2008.  Think about what those insurers are saying to their policy-holders, in so many words.  “You’re not worth this much of our money, but you’re worth that much . . . if you let us kill you.”  Charming, isn’t it?

This was predicted back in the 1960’s by Pope Paul VI in his controversial encyclical letter Humanae Vitae.  The full text is available online, but in brief:

Pope Paul [warned] that … the desire for unlimited dominion over one’s own body extends beyond contraception. The production of “test-tube babies” is another indication of the refusal to accept the body’s limitations; so too are euthanasia and the use of organs transplanted from those who are “nearly” dead. We seek to adjust the body to our desires and timetables, rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.

Many disagree with the teaching of Pope Paul VI, and the Catholic Church, about artificial contraception:  but I think there’s little doubt that this was a prescient warning.  We’re seeing it in operation in the euthanasia policies of the Low Countries.  Nature is no longer allowed to take its course;  it’s ‘helped along’, willy-nilly.

Think about this from your own perspective as you grow older.  I’m very familiar with this, after years as a pastor, so I can put myself into the shoes of a patient fairly easily.  You begin to lose your ability to concentrate . . . you can’t remember things that happened fairly recently . . . you may not recognize people you’ve known for years.

One day, a doctor you hardly know starts talking to you about ‘medical options’ and ‘procedures’ and your ‘right’ to be free from pain, fear and worry, and he pressures you to sign ‘just a simple form’ for ‘further treatment’.  One month later, he sticks a needle in your arm, and you ‘fade to black’.

Your organs are harvested for distribution to others (at a fat profit to the hospital, but none to your estate), and your relatives divide your money and possessions between them.  Most of them probably won’t bother to come to your funeral.  They’ll be too busy fighting over the spoils.

Welcome to our brave new world.

Peter

Manchurian Candidate Time

Mr. B (In the Middle of the Right)

queen of diamondsposted the following…

Have you noticed

That the Gun Massacres were few and far between until the Gun Control folks began their push?

(Even CNN has noted this ) (via Tam)

And there are so many things that make the Conspiracy folks go crazy in every story. Sometimes I wonder if they are right.

Ferinstance, this guy’s story has a lot of holes in it (starting about 2:40) (“The bullet was as big as my finger and it was sticking out of his leg (shows 6 inches)”)…. Makes one wonder. (Plus admitting that you might have trapped others to die?)

It would seem that the incident of gun massacres are increasing. I am beginning to wonder if they are all real whackjobs (as opposed to staged things) especially when I see “witnesses” like the above…It is odd that we had so few until a few years ago….Almost as if the farther behind the gun grabbers get, the harder they try the murderous gun whackos grow bolder….

Odd that.

I used to know a psychologist (NOT as a patient) with whom I was discussing the PROGRAMMING OF HUMAN BEINGS.  The discussion came about not because of the excellent film The Manchurian Candidate (the original, not the poor remake), but because of accusations Sirhan Sirhan (the poor bastard who was convicted of shooting Robert Kennedy from behind, even though he was never behind him!) had been programmed by folks wanting Kennedy dead for his pro-Israeli stance.  (Of course, Sirhan DID shoot many around Kennedy).
I had been reading a sketchy book regarding the assassination, and had questions, thinking I would be laughed at for bringing programming up.
The shrink told me we had been involved in programming since the 50’s, and had picked up much of it from the Soviets (this conversation was in the 80’s), who had begun research in the 40’s!!
YES.  There are lone nut-jobs out there.  And YES, conspiracy theories abound.
But it IS interesting that while any kind of mass shooting now gets increased media attention, that more seem to happen when there is an election looming.  And, of course, The Left is there at-the-ready with numerous, poorly-written screeds in an effort to pass more anti-rights legislation (also pre-prepared, well in advance).
Directed against the law-abiding citizen.
 
Odd that.
tin_foil_hat_area“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”  –  Rahm Emanuel (now Chicago Mayor)

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #21 of 22)

Cellular Telephone Security

Remember the old adage, “Never put anything into email you don’t want someone else to read.”

(Secretary Clinton, are you listening?)

Of course, with modern security software and pass codes (etc.) we needn’t worry about that with our smartphones, right?

(from Bayou Renaissance Man)

So you think your smartphone is secure?

Not according to CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ program.

Hering is a hacker himself, he’s the 30-something whiz who cofounded the mobile security company “Lookout” when he was 23. Lookout has developed a free app that scans your mobile phone for malware and alerts the user to an attack.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How likely is it that somebody’s phone has been hacked?

John Hering: In today’s world there’s really only — two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven’t.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How much do you think people have been kind of ignoring the security of their cellphones, thinking, “I’ve got a passcode, I must be fine?”

John Hering: I think that most people have not really thought about their phones as computers. And that’s really starting to shift.

Sharyn Alfonsi: And that’s what you think– it’s like having a laptop now?

John Hering: Oh absolutely. I mean, your mobile phone is effectively a supercomputer in your pocket. There’s more technology in your mobile phone than was in, you know, the space craft that took man to the moon. I mean, it’s — it’s really unbelievable.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Is everything hackable?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Everything?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: If somebody tells you, “You can’t do it.”

John Hering: I don’t believe it.

There’s much more at the link.  Highly recommended – and disturbing – reading.

Peter

So, about that porn you’ve been sneaking a peek at on your lunch hour…
PS – I saw a recent interview with Jim Caviezel, John Reese of Person of Interest (Season 5 – probably the last – starts TONIGHT 05/03/2016!).  He was asked if he changed any of his habits in real life, having done a political science fiction TV series about rampant surveillance.  He responded he is thoughtful regarding what he says in cellular telephone calls, and ELIMINATED THE INTERNET FROM HIS HOME!  Said he doesn’t need it!  Food for thought…

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

Boolits. Now in 3-D! Why?

Here’s why:

Michael Crumling, a 25-year-old machinist from Pennsylvania in the United States, has developed a round designed specifically to be fired from 3D printed guns. His ammunition uses a thicker steel shell with a lead bullet inserted an inch inside, deep enough that the shell can contain the explosion of the round’s gunpowder instead of transferring that force to the plastic body or barrel of the gun. Crumling says that allows a home-printed firearm made from even the cheapest materials to be fired again and again without cracking or deformation. And while his design isn’t easily replicated because the rounds must be individually machined for now, it may represent another step towards durable, practical, printed guns-even semi-automatic ones.

Finally, a reason to like technology!

I’m certain there are others!

h/t Alphecca

The Trouble With Tribbles

(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)

As told in LOLtrek GIF style!

Tribbles-Gif_zpsmq6l3lx1

Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!

When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball!  For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).

But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking.  Lost in Space?  Puleez!

I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends.  “Gotta watch it!”  So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on.  The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.

I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show.  Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.

Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication.  And I started picking it up by default.  Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time.  Later, I learned to appreciate it.  Great stuff!

It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!

Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.

(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! 🙂 )

My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show.  I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television!  Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!

This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!

The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!

“STEAMPUNK Shooter Ready?”

My dear friend Brigid and her ‘partner-in-grime’ (as she puts it) EJ have taken over ePostal Match duties temporarily from Mr. Completely (as he is involved with medical issues – heal quickly, bro!)

In an effort to kick it up a notch, they have designed this month’s target to have a STEAMPUNK theme!

Steampunked – ePostal Match Time

(c) HOTR

(c) HOTR

Please visit the link above for the particulars.  I know some of you are just crazy enough to dress in full regalia to shoot your black powder or pinfire smokewagons.  🙂

If I had such finery, I would!

I’d love to hear about some montebank or ne’er-do-well in a morning coat and topper pull his Velo-Dog pistol from his (or her) waistcoat and commencing to engage the target.

Or, Hell, use your Deagle – whatever works!  😛

“Paging Claude Rains!”

or some Romulan ship…

(for all you Gen X or Y types, Claude Rains played Captain Renault in Casablanca, and was The Invisible Man!)

invisible

h/t Plan of the Day

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…