Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Finally ! The Power Elite recognizes Global Warming

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This is quite amazing. These folks must have finally made sure they will not "lose power" when it comes to the changeover to solar/nukes. After all, staying in power, controlling the money, is the bottom line for the global nobility. PG&E has finished beta testing having local home owners push power back into the grid, and so now the rebates disappear. It will be illegal to sell your power to your neighbor.

Bush 'must fight climate change'
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers said it was time to take action
Chief executives of some of the largest companies in the US have urged President George W Bush to introduce measures to tackle global warming.

The executives from nine corporations said Mr Bush should support a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Bush will address the issue in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but will not introduce binding rules for emissions, the White House says.

President Bush has in the past rejected mandatory controls on greenhouse gases.

Former President Bill Clinton signed the Kyoto protocol but it was never ratified by Congress.

'Desire for clarity'

"We can and must take prompt action to establish a co-ordinated, economy-wide market-driven approach to climate protection," the executives said in a letter to President Bush.

US President George W Bush. File photo
Mr Bush is preparing to make his State of the Union speech

They have formed a group - the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - which they intend to use to push for mandatory caps on greenhouse gases to cut them by more than 60% by 2050.

"It's time for the nation's political leaders to come together and act," Duke Energy chief executive Jim Rogers - a USCAP member - told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

Other members of the USCAP are CEOs of Alcoa, BP America, DuPont, Caterpillar, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, FPL Group and PG and E.

The pressure from big business stems from a desire for clarity, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says.

At the moment, some states impose caps and the severity varies.

The White House said President Bush was going to make an important announcement about energy efficiency and greenhouse gases.

But White House press secretary Tony Snow said "binding economy-wide carbon caps" are not part of Mr Bush's approach.

Mr Snow added that the president believed that industry must come up with innovations to address the issue of climate change.

Go Paperless, Yes Indeedy ! When You Give Me DSL...

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Go Paperless, Yes Indeedy ! When You Give Me DSL.

I got shifted to "go paperless" options at every turn when trying to pay my bill at ATT.

Now I'm sure the executives at ATT think all of us out here in rural areas are morons for not going paperless. Afterall, they can look at their bills on line and flip page to page effortlessly, in their fiber optic cocoons of the future. Us peasants, however, out in the hinterlands, are stuck with flaky dishes or s l o w dialups, and don't have the time to wait 45 seconds or more between pages.

So why do we need to flip through pages like executives anyway ? Well the other day I noticed my bill was a bit high and discovered a new charge for $6.95 had been added for an "extended voice mail" plan. I had never requested such a thing. It was a third party add-on. Apparently ATT thinks it just fine to bill us for whatever any third party says we've requested, without even bothering to ask us if indeed we have requested it. Had I been viewing online at dialup speeds, I might not have bothered to wait to explore my bill so thoroughly. As it was, it's taken several calls to get this charge removed. How many others out there are been scammed the same way ?

So here's my offer to ATT. You get me a reasonable price for a DSL connection, and I'll go paperless.

Frankly, I think the entire country should be wired equally, and damn the cost. It's a utility, and should be available equally to all citizens. Yes it costs more for people to vote in rural areas, all that expense of driving the machines out there, but we still do it, regardless of how few citizens there are, and how inefficient it is. Rural folks are being deprived of their right to be equally seen and heard in the Cybersphere, and to receive information. We are second class cybercitizens, and that's discrimination by geography.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dogs are fun, and then some....

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Dog-owners 'lead healthier lives'
Dogs can provide companionship
If you want to live a healthier life get a dog, research suggests.

The companionship offered by many pets is thought to be good for you, but the benefits of owning a dog outstrip those of cat owners, the study says.

A psychologist from Queen's University, Belfast, said dog owners tended to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Writing in the British Journal of Health Psychology, she says that regular 'walkies' may partly explain the difference.

Dr Deborah Wells reviewed dozens of earlier research papers which looked at the health benefits of pet ownership.

In some cases, the social support offered by an animal is greater than the support than another human could offer
Dr June McNicholas
Health psychologist

She confirmed that pet owners tended in general to be healthier than the average member of the population.

However, her research suggested that dog ownership produced more positive influence than cat ownership.

As well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol, she said dog-owners suffered fewer minor ailments and serious medical problems.

There was also the suggestion that dogs could aid recovery from serious illnesses such as heart attacks, and act as 'early warning' to detect an approaching epileptic seizure.


Dr Wells said the precise reason for the benefits was not totally clear.

"It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress, one of the major risk factors associated with ill-health.

"The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and facilitate the development of social contacts, which may enhance both physiological and psychological human health in a more indirect manner."

Dr June McNicholas, a health psychologist who has specialised on research into the health effects of pet ownership said that an important reason for the improved health of dog-owners was not just the exercise received while taking it for walks, but the opportunity for social contact with other dog-owners.

She said: "For older people, an animal can fulfil the 'need to be needed', perhaps after children have left home.

"In some cases, the social support offered by an animal is greater than the support than another human could offer."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Forget Global Warming, The Chinese Do Very Dangerous Things

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Starting off, when I say Chinese, I refer to the idiot leaders who thought it would be cute to show that China could blow up a satellite orbiting in space.

There is absolutely no rational reason for doing this. You simply add to the dangerous space debris, and turn a simple object which coulkd have been retrieved into the space equivalent of a wild shotgun blast. Dumb dumb dumb !

So they want to be macho and waive sabers ? The world just does not need it. If China wishes to dominate the world, the world will be destroyed. It is that simple. We have enough submarine born missles to wipe them out, they have enough missles to wipe us out. It's deja vue all over again, CCCP (USSR). Religion and Politics. Can Man and Womankind survive them ????? Tune in next century to se how it turned out, if there's anything left.

One of my best friends, Chinese, informed me that racism lives in China, and that most Chinese view other races as the traditional whites of the late 19th century viewed blacks. This does not bode well for a peaceful future. Anytime one group (racial, religious, cultural, etc., us vs them) views others as "subhuman," there has been hell to pay in history. It happens over and over and over........

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sometimes the Pressure to Cave-In to Oslo is Too Great

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If the child/prisoner is subjected to enough stress, you can get a Shawn situation.


Devlin, jailed on $1 million bail, is charged in the kidnapping of 13-year-old Ben, but authorities also expect to charge him with abducting Shawn Hornbeck, a 15-year-old who went missing four years ago.

Ben thanked Mitchell Hults, 15, a friend who helped authorities find him by identifying a small white pickup seen speeding away after Ben's abduction. The boys were found at Devlin's apartment in Kirkland, a St. Louis suburb.

"Thank you for being such a great big help in this entire thing," Ben said, addressing Mitchell.

"If it wasn't for what Mitchell (saw) I don't know if we'd be sitting here talking to you right now," said Ben's father, William Ownby.

He said he didn't know when Ben would return to school.

"I'm ready. I just need my backpack," the boy said.

The Ownbys said authorities had asked the families of both boys not to speak about their time in captivity. That left open the mystery of how their captor kept them from escaping.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday cited anonymous investigators as saying that Devlin kept Shawn from fleeing by threatening to kill the boy and his entire family, perhaps explaining why Shawn passed on ample opportunities to get away. Devlin's attorney, Michael Kielty, did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday seeking comment on that allegation. (Watch how kidnap victims sometimes deal with their abduction Video)

Kielty said earlier he has not seen any evidence and will enter a not guilty plea at an arraignment Thursday morning at the Franklin County Courthouse.

Shawn apparently had the freedom to go outside, and perhaps even to use phones and the Internet.

While his alleged kidnapper was at work, Shawn or someone pretending to be him put photos of him online and posted a message on a site created by his desperate parents: "How long are you planning to look for your son?"

{a real parent will look forever, regardless}

Since Shawn's rescue, Web users have discovered a profile at mindviz.com, and online comments have flooded in.

"Welcome home Shawn," wrote one of the nearly 40,000 visitors to Shawn's site on Monday. "I have prayed for you and I know many others have as well. Glad you are safe and healthy."

Investigators would not comment on the postings, and it was not immediately known if they were, in fact, created by Shawn or by someone else. Either way, they add to the long list of clues that no one seemed to pick up on while the boy was missing.

Shawn, now 15, was 11 when he was kidnapped in 2002 while riding his bike near his rural home.

Investigators have given no motive for the crimes and no details on what the boys went through. Officials said Devlin did not appear to have a criminal record.

Devlin's two jobs often took him away from the modest two-bedroom apartment they shared, which had a landline phone and a cell phone, as well as a computer.

A series of Web postings, some under the name "Shawn Devlin," have raised questions about whether he was trying to send clues about his real identity.

At 1:59 a.m. on December 1, 2005, a "Shawn Devlin" asked in a forum on the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation Web site: "How long are you planing (sic) to look for your son?" Shawn's parents, Craig and Pam Akers, started the foundation to help find their son and other missing youngsters.

Later that same day, at 2:56 p.m., Shawn Devlin wrote to ask if he could compose a poem for the family. The poem never appeared in future postings.

Other Web profiles also appeared to be of Shawn, including the profile on mindviz.com, which described "Shawn" as a single atheist with a pet cat living in Kirkwood.

Dr. Juliet Francis, a clinical psychologist and consultant for the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, said it is not unusual for a bond to develop between an abductor and the child.

"It developed when someone feels that their life is being threatened, but they aren't killed," she said.

Some neighbors said they never saw Shawn with books or a backpack. Neighbor Krista Jones, a stay-at-home mom, noticed Shawn wearing black clothes and piercings in his ear and lip. She said she figured he was either a dropout or attended an alternative school.

Larry Douglas said his younger brother, Tony, and Shawn were best friends and often went skateboarding and biking. He said Tony had no idea of Shawn's real identity. Larry Douglas said his family was not allowing his brother to speak to reporters.

Before Tony Douglas' family made him unavailable to the media, he told Fox News that on three occasions, police stopped the two for being out beyond curfew. Officers gave the boys a lift home, unaware of Shawn's real identity, Tony said.

The Post-Dispatch cited another encounter between Shawn and police that occurred September 29 when an officer stopped the boy, who was riding his bike about 11:20 p.m., about a mile from the apartment.

The police report stated that Shawn told the officer his name was Shawn Devlin and gave a birth date of July 7, 1991 -- 10 days off his actual birthday. Shawn told the officer he was biking to the apartment after visiting a friend's home.

"He was wearing dark clothing and didn't have reflectors on his bike," Glendale Sgt. Bob Catlett told the newspaper. "The officer stopped him to find out who he was.

"He said he was Shawn Devlin, and we had no reason to doubt him."

Tony sometimes spent the night at Shawn's apartment, but rarely spoke with Devlin. Larry Douglas said his brother saw no indication of abuse, or clues that Shawn was a captive.

"He just hopes to see his friend again," Douglas said. "He's happy for Shawn."

from a current news story...

Eventually the truth will come out, no matter what you say to them, and then you'll have a wee bit of explaining to do..........good luck and love through the whole messy process, --- dad

One of the Possible Results of Oslo Syndrome

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Child abuse link to future health
Children who are abused have poorer health as adults
Children who suffer abuse have an increased risk of physical ill health in adulthood, results suggest.

Researchers at King's College London followed 1,000 people in New Zealand from birth to the age of 32.

A third of those who were maltreated had high levels of inflammation - an early indicator of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Preventing abuse in childhood could help to reduce the burden of illness in adults, experts said.

Participants in the study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were monitored as children and were also asked to recall any maltreatment they had suffered as children at the age of 26.

What we have observed is the long-term effect of stress from a phase when children are particularly vulnerable
Dr Andrea Danese, study leader

The researchers took into account many other factors which could account for poor health, including stress, depression, poor status attainment as well as smoking, diet and physical activity.

They took blood samples to measure levels of C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and white blood cells - substances which are known to be associated with inflammation in the body.

Adult survivors of childhood maltreatment who appeared to be healthy were twice as likely to show clinically relevant levels of inflammation compared to those who had not been maltreated.

Inflammation is known to predict the development of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

C-reactive protein in particular has been recommended by the American Heart Association as a screening tool to help assess a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Public health

Study leader Dr Andrea Danese, a psychiatrist at King's College London, said that public health interventions to prevent maltreatment in childhood could help reduce illness in adults.

"We know already that adults who were maltreated in childhood have worse health than other people, but we had no idea how that could be explained so what we're adding here is one of the possible explanations."

Dr Danese explained that stress or fright can lead to inflammation, but if physical harm does not occur the body needs to switch it off quickly or it will cause damage.

Previous research has shown that early-life stress can reduce levels of a hormone - glucocorticoid - that normally works to switch off the inflammatory response.

Dr Danese hypothesised that in maltreated children low levels of glucocorticoids may lead to persistently high levels of inflammation.

"What we have observed is the long-term effect of stress from a phase when children are particularly vulnerable.

"Whether this is reversible is a question we are unable to answer."

Professor Brent Taylor, professor of child health at University College London, said the findings added biological plausibility to what experts already knew.

"It makes sense. We have known for a long time that a bad environment and poor quality parenting is associated with reduced life expectancy as well as other health problems.

"It perhaps suggests there should be more focused attention on preventing maltreatment in childhood."

From the BBC

One Way of Handling Oslo Syndrome

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This is one way, which some can chose.........

Watson gets more than 9 years

Man held wife, daughter hostage in 2005

By Robyn Moormeister, robynm@theunion.com
January 10, 2007

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In a two-hour court hearing this week, Grass Valley engineer Larry Watson was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison for holding his wife and 16-year-old daughter hostage in August 2005, holding guns to their heads and threatening to kill them.

"This was an odd case and an amazing sentence because (Watson) had no (criminal) history," Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis said Tuesday. "There really is something very sinister about him and the way he has been treating his wife and daughter for the last 17 years."

Francis said Watson had been inflicting psychological and emotional abuse on his family for so long that his wife was nearly void of self esteem.

She compared the situation to "Sleeping with the Enemy," a movie about a man's pathological need for power and control over his wife and her struggle to be free of his abuse.

"(Watson) would make (his wife) hang his shirts all facing one direction on the same-colored hangers," Francis said, adding that Watson would often punish his wife if she overlooked such details.

"He would make her stand outside naked in the winter," Francis said. "He made her sleep on the floor without a blanket."

Abuse reaches a boiling point

Watson's 16-year-old daughter, who he had recently begun physically abusing, reported the 2005 incident for which he was charged:

It started when Watson, upset with birthday cards he had received from his wife and daughter, gave the cards back and told them to re-write them.

"The guns didn't come out until later that night," Francis said.

She said Watson pointed handguns - one of which was loaded - at his wife's and daughter's heads, locked all of the doors, turned on the house alarm, shut off the phones and lights and threatened to kill them if they called police.

Watson had been drinking alcohol and taking a lot of Xanax at the time, Francis said.

The next morning, Francis said, Watson's wife made their usual breakfast of hash browns, eggs and coffee. Watson "acted like nothing had happened" and he drove his daughter to school.

"Once she got to school she went straight to the principal's office and wouldn't say a word until she could verify that Mom had made it to work," Francis said. "Then there was full disclosure of everything."

Police arrested Watson and he was released from jail at 4 a.m. the next morning. Soon afterward, he located his wife and daughter, who were staying at a local motel under a fictitious name.

He had recognized their car, even though his daughter had tried to conceal it with a car cover.

"He put his thumb over the peephole," Francis said. This time, Watson's wife called the police, who found a copy of an emergency restraining order in Watson's briefcase while they arrested him.

The Nevada County District Attorney's Office charged Watson with two counts of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, violating a restraining order, stalking and brandishing a weapon.

Longtime victims get closure

Francis prosecuted the two-week jury trial that concluded on Aug. 17, 2006, when Watson was found guilty. She argued for the maximum sentence during Monday's sentencing hearing, and Judge Robert Tamietti granted it; nine years and eight months in state prison.

Francis said state law dictates Watson is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Four of the eight charges Watson was convicted of count as violent "strike" offenses, Francis said, which means that if Watson is convicted of one more felony in California, he will be automatically sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

"(Watson's wife and daughter) are so excited about the sentence and you could just see the relief on their faces," Francis said. "But they do believe that he will hunt them down when he gets a chance."

She said the woman and her daughter have been attending counseling and plan on leaving the area soon.

"It's a chilling story," Francis said. "It's incredibly typical."


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@ theunion.com or call 477-4236.