Friday, June 18, 2010
These psychologists offered their thoughts on what Islamic culture reinforces in its adherents, and what psychological trends in suicide (really homicide) bombers are. Here's one point:
"Also, Western totalitarian movements, like Islamofascism, have been particularly attractive to the psychologically compromised, those whose personal Psychopathology has led them to be particularly drawn to absolutist ideologies with defined objects of hatred. And, again like Islamofascism, Western totalitarianisms have widely made use of the psychologically damaged in their searching out of agents for their murderous agendas." (Read the rest here).
This reminded me again of the Joker, and his skill at recruiting the psychologically compromised to his side. It just goes to show: the Devil just isn't original.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
I just came across an interesting bit of news.
Do you remember that movie about the Aussie racehorse Phar Lap?
As I watched it, I thought that since Phar Lap lived through the attempted shooting, he was going to live a nice, long life and end up cropping grass in a pasture. When he died abruptly from unknown causes, I was horror-stricken.
Of course, a lot of people at the time were, too! No one knew for sure what killed him. There were lots of ideas, but everything was unclear. Some people suspected colic, and others thought it might have been poisoning. The autopsy was inclusive, and by the time they got around to testing for arsenic poisoning, Phar Lap's remains had already been preserved -- using a process that involved arsenic.
Eighty years after Phar Lap died, there's some light shining into this mystery. A group in Australia (appropriately enough!) studied samples of Phar Lap's hair with a method that could distinguish between arsenic that was applied to his coat and arsenic he would have eaten. They found that Phar Lab was poisoned with arsenic.
Boy, is it sad, but at least we know part of what happened! Of course, what's still not known for certain is who actually poisoned him.
Here's the findings from the paper:
Determination of Arsenic Poisoning and Metabolism in Hair by Synchrotron Radiation: The Case of Phar Lap
Kempson, I.; Henry, Dermot. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, 2010, 49, 4237-4240.
Fresh physical evidence about the demise of the racehorse Phar Lap... has been gathered from the study of mane hair samples by synchrotron radiation analysis with high resolution X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analyses. The results are indicative of arsenic ingestion and metabolism, and show that the racing champion died from arsenic poisoning."
(I checked the Wikipedia article about Phar Lap, and while this paper was just published this year, evidently this research group first released these results in 2008. I hadn't heard about it until I saw this paper, though, so I thought I'd pass it along!)
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Today another group of people are fighting stereotypes and intolerance. Only this time around, the discrimination isn't based on skin color -- it's based on Judaism. Even as their cultural heritage and very existence are demeaned and attacked, Jews face the double challenge that many in the public do not recognize the racism of anti-Semitism. Here's one way to remind ourselves: if Ms. Albahri had expressed her vehement hate against any other group of people (for example, African-Americans), could her words have been viewed so passively? One we see the racism we must decide what our response will be. The short-term "easy" choice is to shrug it off as "not my problem."
But this nation can only justly be called the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" if we stand up for all who [are] oppressed -- whether or not we personally are affected. UCSD can take a pivotal role in educating the public and helping Jews fight for a voice and a haven. It's time to hold Jumanah accountable for her words, investigate the anti-Semitism of the UCSD MSA, and take a lead in the struggle of our time. Many of us were not alive during the 1960s, but today we have our own chance to fight racism. Our opposition is more widespread, bank-rolled, violent, and well-established than even MLK's was, but we can do it!
It's time for all of us, Jews and non-Jews, to recognize and denounce the racism of anti-Semitism and defend those struggling for equality today.