Missing Flight MH370 Could Be The Result Of A ‘Cover-up’

Missing Malaysian Flight MH370 still has more questions than answers surrounding the mystery behind its disappearance.  Moreover, there have been reports that MH370 will be declared officially “lost” as the end of December of 2014 or sometime in January 2015.

Having searched some 670 square kilometers underwater in a new area of the Southern Indian Ocean since early October 2014, some 9 months after MH370 lost contact and was deemed missing, nothing has been found of the plane.  No wreckage, no debris, no sign or trace of the plane anywhere from the ocean.

Search efforts between Australia and Malaysia Airlines as well as privately hired investigators have cost well over $30 million dollars thus far and turned up nothing that even remotely resembles being close to the final resting place of the missing and ill-fated flight which set off from Kuala Lumpur March 8, 2014 towards its intended destination of Beijing but, never made it.  It suddenly reversed course and headed back over Malaysia in a westward direction, turning northwards while traveling over the north end of Indonesia and finally, appearing to head south.  That’s where there is confusion and the rest of the story appears to be based upon the British Satellite tracking system, Inmarsat’s raw data in a way that has never been the company’s intentional use nor, been done before.  Further details can be read HERE or you can do a search on this blog for other previous entries for more details.

Hugh Dunleavy, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines set MH370 passenger and crew family members into a rage when he stated that Malaysia Airlines and the Australian government would be declaring the plane as “lost” late December or early January 2015 and preparing to compensate the families.  Both Malaysia Airlines and the Australian government have denied such claims from Dunleavy and vowed to continue searching.

What has become clear is that this newest and recalculated flight path, hundreds of miles from the original search sites where they were so sure that they’d heard pings from the plane’s black box, is also proving to be less than accurate as the new search has yet to find any evidence of the missing plane and its passengers.

Equally frustrating is the idea that new theories are now abounding, including conspiracy as well as technical expert opinions where they now believe that the plane was under control at the time and perhaps, had made a landing which would have resulted in little damage to the Boeing 777.  This has led to more criticism towards the handling of the protocol that has and had been used in this plane’s mysterious disappearance and more potential theories as to what happened to it.

One flight authority, Desmond Ross, has stepped forward in more recent days, saying that he believes that the plane’s disappearance is likely the result of a breach in protocol as well as having been the victim of cover-ups.

Ross feels certain that both Malaysian and Australian officials are being led on a wild goose chase as a “façade”.  He states that proper protocol (assumed to mean the procedure when a plane fails to respond and signals are lost to it) wasn’t followed. Certainly, we know that Malaysia Airlines traffic controllers and authorities waited several hours before it declared the plane as missing, in spite of not having heard from the plane since the time of sign off and, sign off towers in Cambodia, asking where the plane was as they had not had contact from it.  Many hours later, Malaysia admitted that it had military radar information which showed the plane had made a 170 degree turn and re-crossed the Malaysian Peninsula in a westward direction, having purposely disabled all communication systems.  Authorities did nothing about it and were reluctant to report it.  It was only with force that reports were finally released several weeks later. All of this resulted in a much delayed and unnecessary delay in search efforts.  The question of “why” is running through many people’s minds.  Ross questions whether there is a cover-up in place.

It doesn’t take a genius but, rather those interested in this story to recognize that something is wrong with this entire scenario from start to finish.

There appears to be pieces of information and evidence that has been held back and searchers have been sent on what is now known to have been fruitless in findings.

With no evidence, no debris at all found, it’s looking more and more like the possibility of a cover-up could be real.  If you’ve read any other entries in this blog, you’ll know that I have believed this since Day 1 of this story and continue to feel about this. Something is fishy and it’s even possible that the so-called “whacky” former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was and is correct when he wrote that MH370 has likely been hijacked, stripped of its markings and will be used by a terrorist group with the CIA knowing more than they are letting the world know.

”Airplanes don’t just disappear,’ he said. ‘Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems, radio and satellite tracking and filmless cameras which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities.”

”The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS [Malaysia Airlines] markings,” he said in his blog.

”It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for pings from the black box.”

So, it seems to proving itself even now, some 9 months and millions upon millions of dollars spent on futile searches which all seems to be turning up nothing towards any evidence whatsoever.  More experts are now admitting that a lot of materials in the plane were made of plastic and something should have washed up on some shore, somewhere.  Nothing has done so to date.  People have called Dr. Mahathir Mohamad somewhat of a quack but, who would know the inner workings of the Malaysian government system better than a former Malaysian prime minister?

It seems that things are not as the public or the families of the passengers of still missing Flight MH370 are being told.  Something is amiss.  Something stinks. Something is being hidden and searchers could possibly be on a wild goose chase as a facade.  One thing is certain…nothing else they’ve done has given any clue, evidence or answer so, this case is as wide open to possibilities as one can imagine.

At least…that’s the way that I’m seeing things from my little corner of life at this moment.

Could Doctors And Prescription Antidepressants Been The Cause of Robin Williams’ Suicide

Could pharmaceutical prescriptions, given by doctors have killed Robin Williams?

Note:  The following are my musings only, based upon information put out by media outlets and do not necessarily constitute truth or reality.

Actor-Comedian, Robin Williams' suicide...could it be the result of side effects from his prescribed medications?

Actor-Comedian, Robin Williams’ suicide…could it be the result of side effects from his prescribed medications?

It’s been 3 months since Actor, Robin Williams ended his own life by hanging himself with his own belt in his home.  Not much new has come out about Williams’ death.  It seems to have been a big news story for a couple of weeks then, after the quick and hushed funeral services, with cremation occurring one day after his death, nothing more was said.

Questions lay unanswered and Life moves on for the rest of the world.  New stories have taken over and shortly afterwards, the world quit wondering, it seems.

However, news has surfaced that allegedly, the toxicology report done during Williams’ autopsy, revealed that Williams had 2 antidepressants and 2 caffeine related substances in his body at the time of his death.  No alcohol or illegal drugs.

Allegedly, the report also states that Williams may have been under the influence of a form of dementia at the time that he committed suicide but, Williams had also complained to his wife, Susan about the way his meds made him feel.

What is most questionable is a bottle of Seroquel, a drug used to treat schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and depression, prescribed a week before his death, were found closed.

TMZ alleges that there were court documents which state that Williams was likely suffering from a form of dementia caused by Parkinson’s Disease, called “Lewy body dementia”.  Initial reports however, stated that Williams was in “early stage Parkinson’s”.

Williams wife at the time of his death, Susan Schneider, has allegedly stated in the Coroner’s Report that Williams was still disturbed over his 2009 move “World’s Greatest Dad” where Williams had played the father of a young man who accidentally ended his own life via the same method that Williams (ironically or not), ended his own.

When asked whether Williams was into auto-erotica (such as that portrayed in the film), Schneider stated that he was not.

The night before Williams died, it has been reported that he appeared to be suffering a form of paranoia where he placed his watches in a sock and gave them to someone (unnamed) “for safe keeping”.  He had also taken out his iPad, something Schneider said he hadn’t done for months.  She saw that as a “hopeful sign”.

According to news sources, several tabs were left open to research on drugs like Lyrica, an anti-seizure medication and Propranolol, more commonly used to treat blood pressure and tremors.  Could it be that Williams was trying to find alternative medications because he felt uncomfortable with the side effects of the medications he was prescribed?

Williams had also reportedly begun taking Levodopa to treat symptoms from the Parkinson’s Disease.

One need only watch the commercials for different prescription drugs to find that depression and suicidal thoughts may appear or become stronger while on a lot of these drugs.  It has become more widely recognized that antidepressants are most commonly the causes of such thinking patterns coming about or worsening.  They have been under scrutiny because of that effect on an already depressed person or to create those types of impulses and thoughts when being used for other purposes. Antidepressants medications are seemingly, being handed out by physicians like candy in today’s medical world to treat everything from Menopausal symptoms to weight issues or even smoking cessation.  Properly used, under the correct conditions, they can be life savers but, seemingly far too many doctors are worrying more about prescribing other medications so, they resort to antidepressant scripts as seeming “cure-all” for everything that ails someone.

Hallucinations is one of the possible side effects of Levodopa, something that has been insinuated as having possibly happened through what has been hypothesized as Williams’ potential Lewy body dementia. Abnormal thinking: holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact

Was it truly Parkinson’s Dementia related or was it the medication’s side effects?

While it is unclear whether Williams had taken any of the Seroquel, side effects of Seroquel may include mood or behavior changes, constipation, drowsiness, headache, and trouble sleeping. Older adults with dementia may have a slightly increased risk of death when taking this medication. It also includes a warning that these side effects can occur and your doctor should be contacted if you experience, restlessness/constant need to move, shakiness (tremor), signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (such as increased anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide).

Sadly, most antidepressants come with this warning:

WARNING: Antidepressant medication and suicide risk

For some people, antidepressant treatment causes an increase, rather than a decrease, in depression—and with it, an increased risk of suicide. While this is particularly true of children and young adults on antidepressant medication, anyone taking antidepressants should be closely watched for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The suicide risk is greatest during the first one to two months of antidepressant treatment.

Monitoring is especially important if this is the person’s first time on depression medication or if the dose has recently been changed. Signs that medication is making things worse include anxiety, insomnia, hostility, and extreme agitation—particularly if the symptoms appear suddenly or rapidly deteriorate. If you spot the warning signs in yourself or a loved one, contact a doctor or therapist immediately.

If you are concerned that a friend or family member is contemplating suicide, see Suicide Prevention.

Having seen all of this, is it any wonder that the “cure” may be worse than the disease?

It seems plausible that perhaps, Williams’ suicide, given all of the above, may have been more as a result of side effects of medications prescribed by his doctors than his actual depression and Parkinson’s Disease.  At the least, one cannot truly rule it out as a possible cause.

Will we ever truly know?  Likely not but, the potential remains that it could have been doctor prescribed medications that drove Williams to suicide or at least, increased the potential for it.  That is also ringing as a higher possibility since it was alleged that Williams had suffered from depression and anxiety for many years but, hadn’t ever gotten to the point of suicide.  Why then?  Could it have been the medications and their side effects?

Of course, his doctors are all going to report that they feel it was some form of dementia due to his disease as opposed to the medications that he was prescribed by them.  What doctors would openly say, “I think the medication(s) I prescribed may have been detrimental and set suicidal thoughts/dementia/hallucinations which drove him to suicide/was to blame for it”?  None.  No doctor is going to admit that possibility and put himself or herself into that position of being slapped with a lawsuit.

I suspect that there’s a fairly 50/50 chance or better that Williams may have been pushed over the proverbial edge and into suicide by the side effects of the medications he was prescribed.  Do I have proof?  No.  Can I be sure that is the case?  No.

This is all just my musings.  Nothing more.  It is simply a possibility and a vantage point from my little corner of life.

American Idol 2015 Already In Full Gear

American Idol 2015 judging panel.  Same table as 2014.

American Idol 2015 judging panel. Same table as 2014.

Though viewers won’t be seeing anything on televisions until January of 2015, the audition rounds for the 2015 season have already been completed, taped and the Hollywood Week Contestants picked out.

If you’re so inclined to see some spoilers, you might want to check out some of the links HERE.

It Must Be My Parent’s Fault

Parents are easy targets for everyone.  What ails your life may be more to do with your own choices, friends, attitude, lack of ambition and drive than it is your parent's faults.  Blaming your parents for everything that goes wrong in your life can hurt you more.

Parents are easy targets for everyone. What ails your life may be more to do with your own choices, friends, attitude, lack of ambition and drive than it is your parent’s faults. However, blaming your parents for everything that goes wrong in your life is likely hurting you more.

My daughter posted a post to her Facebook wall this weekend.  I felt this sense of both failure and guilt wash over me as I read it and questioned everything that I did as both a parent to her and, as a child to my own parents.

None of us grew up in a perfect family.  No matter how much we try as both parents and as the child, every family has some sort of “dysfunction” somewhere in it.  No one escapes that fact.  However, where do we draw the line on blaming our parents for all of our ails and put the responsibility on our own shoulders for how we turned out in Life?

In reading this piece, Hey Stop Blaming Yourself All The Time that my daughter posted, I felt my stomach sinking.  Was I to blame for any problems she had in her life?  Were my own parents to blame for my own issues?  If so, were my parents’ parents to blame for all of theirs and, were my grandparent’s parents at fault for all of theirs, which resulted in it all trickling down to my daughter?  Where was that line?

“The root-cause of the guilt and fear that so many of us are far too familiar with goes back to our early childhood. Raising children is a huge sacrifice for parents. We realized this as kids, and absorbed the sense of being a burden. Hopefully, your parents or guardians welcomed and supported you and your feelings, needs, desires and dreams — not just your survival. But the feeling of guilt, even if it was deep-rooted and not quite conscious, still was there,” Author of this piece, Blake D. Bauer states.  

As children, we depended on our parents/guardians. We were vulnerable. So we learned, by default, to fear losing our parents’ love and support. We don’t want to feel too much, need too much, say too much or do too much. It’s early on in our lives that we develop this impulse to self-censor.” 

We don’t need to fear being rejected and abandoned as adults just because we feared being rejected and abandoned as children. We now can have greater self-awareness, or at least a desire to cultivate self-awareness.”

So, there we have it.  Everything that’s wrong with us, every emotion that we don’t like, every bit of guilt that we feel, can apparently, all be traced back to one single source…our parents.  Simply by virtue of the fact that we were raised by parents, good, bad or indifferent upbringings, we have “guilt”.  We all felt we were “burdens” to our parents and therefore suffered the guilt of knowing that fact.

Isn’t that nice to know?  If you’re a parent (obviously you were a child at some point and were raised by someone), your life and everything that happened in it, was based on the guilt of knowing that your parents gave up something to raise you and, your children are feeling the same way about you, according to this author.

I’m not a psychologist nor, am I a trained counselor and, surely there are cases where abuse was so great in families that there are and were horrid side effects left over from childhood experiences.  However, for the most part, the mere idea that everything negative that we feel, every lack of success that we have, every lack of ambition that we incur in life, all goes back to the idea that we feel “guilty” because our parents raised us, is pure garbage in my mind.

While this author seems to weigh heavily upon guilt being caused by everyone’s parents, one can only guess that perhaps, he had issues himself with his own parents and within himself as an adult, looking for somewhere and someone else to blame for his own troubles.  Or, perhaps, it’s an easy answer for those in his therapy sessions or, a “go to response” which makes his job easier?  I have no real way to discern this but, I can say with probable certainty that if there wasn’t a problem there to begin with, there will be by the time he gets into his client’s minds with this type of theory.

Nevermind the fact that at a rather young age, we are more influenced by our peers and friends as well as teachers and others in authority over us, than we are influenced by our parents.

Forget the fact that we are the ones who eventually make our decisions as to what to do with our lives, our partners, our jobs/careers, the friends we keep, the circles we run it, the possible alcohol or drugs we may or may not put into our bodies.  Our lack of choices in going to school or, in staying stuck in a job that we hate because we lack the skills to get a better one and don’t wish to better them to get more palatable jobs and salaries.  Perhaps, we have chosen the wrong partner and it’s they who are holding us back?  Or, maybe, we are afraid of succeeding because it means pressure on our own shoulders?

Whatever the case is, parents are not the cause of all of our decisions in our lives, unless we wish to find a source to blame, other than ourselves and our own choices or lack of them.  If we were to blame our parents, then we’d also have to blame our parent’s parents and their parents and so on into infinity.  Logic would tell us that if our parents were to have screwed us up, their parents must have screwed them up and so on, right back down the line.

Are there cases where this is true? Of course there are but, there has to be a point at which we recognize that blaming our parents for everything that went wrong in our lives or is going bad, isn’t all due to them.  We have made choices and while we’d like to find a way to blame something or someone else, other than ourselves, we are doing ourselves more harm than good.

Thankfully, there is another theory or point of view to look at that is more healthy in moving forward in our lives.

Author Beverly Amsel balances this theory out in her piece,

Blaming Your Parents Hurts You Most

“At first, when Gloria continued to talk about her desire to hurt her parents, she smiled and said, “Now that I understand that this is what I’m doing, I have to say that revenge is sweet.” She would also get angry in our sessions and acknowledge that this new awareness created a real conflict for her. “Rationally, I get that it’s me,” she said. “I can see that I think my parents are responsible for my being a failure. They made me this way, so I’ll be the loser they created. I want to hurt them. I guess I could work on getting the life I’m always moaning that I’ve never had, and I know that would be the best thing for me. But I just don’t want to give them any good stuff,” Amsel writes of a case in point.  

“My work with Gloria is just one illustration of the ways in which blaming your parents can keep you stuck. There is a terrible paradox in these situations: You are angry and blame your parents’ treatment of you growing up for your unhappiness and failures in your adult life. But the wish for revenge and these angry, blaming feelings keep the connection and repeat the relationship between your “bad parents” and you, the unsuccessful, unhappy child. As a result, you are stuck in the position where you cannot become the person you say you wish to be or create the life you say you desire.”

So, before we all go blaming our parents, and their parents and their parents for all of our troubles, we might want to start looking at the people who are and have been surrounding us as well as our own motives for any unhappiness that we are experiencing in our lives.

We are the Masters of Our Own Destinies.  Once we put blame on others for those, we become trapped as “victims”.  It’s a neverending cycle that keeps us sucked into negative choices, relationships and emotions.  It hurts us more than it anyone else.

I suspect I will be de-friended by my daughter on Facebook for my rebuttal on this matter but, that’s ok. That’s her choice.  If she chooses to blame me for that as well, it’s her choice.

In the meantime, I’m looking for ways in my own life as to how to surround myself with people and situations that better my life versus sitting back, navel gazing and blaming my parents for anything and everything negative that happens or has happened in my life.  It gets me nowhere but, more misery.

At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life at this moment.


Better ‘Redneckesize’ That TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Has Been Cancelled

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and mother, June Shannon's show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" cancelled due to June's relationship with a convicted child molester.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and mother, June Shannon’s show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” cancelled due to June’s relationship with a convicted child molester.

It was never clear why TLC had created a reality television series as a spin-off of their “Toddlers And Tiaras” program with their series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” except to say that people tended to tune in to the show to see the main star, Alana (Honey Boo Boo) Thompson and her southern, redneck family and TLC got the ratings.

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson.  From normal little girl to twenty-something-year-old look alike in TLC's Toddlers And Tiaras.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson. From normal little girl to twenty-something-year-old look alike in TLC’s Toddlers And Tiaras.

While viewers kept the show alive for 4 seasons and several specials, TLC has finally pulled the plug on “disgusting” when “Mama June” Shannon started dating her former boyfriend and convicted child molester/pedophile, 53 year old Mark McDaniel while still being married to co-star and current husband, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson.

"Mama June" Shannon with convicted child molester boyfriend, Mark McDaniel.  McDaniel sentenced to 10 years of prison for molesting Shannon's eldest daughter and another in Georgia but, she's back to dating him and even house hunting.

“Mama June” Shannon with convicted child molester boyfriend, Mark McDaniel. McDaniel sentenced to 10 years of prison for molesting Shannon’s eldest daughter and another in Georgia but, she’s back to dating him and even house hunting.

TLC apparently cancelled the show in spite of having a season’s worth of footage of the show, taped and canned on the shelves which it says will not be shown.

Thirty-four year old “Mama June” had been dating McDaniel over several months after he had been released from prison, having served 10 years for molesting and sexually assaulting June’s eldest daughter, Anna Shannon along with another case of the same from a different county.  Reportedly, Anna has issues with her mother and considers her mother’s actions as a betrayal.  TLC considered it unsafe since June has allowed her youngest daughter Alana to be around McDaniel after having her sister molested by the man over 10 years ago.

"Mama June" in bed in a hotel with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel.

“Mama June” in bed in a hotel with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson is the daughter of June’s current husband, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson.

Critics have long since hated TLC’s choice in this program to begin with but, with the dirty secrets that have now been exposed, TLC has seemingly taken “The High Road” by cancelling the program, shelving another taped season, getting child protective services involved and possibly taking June’s children away from her.

Incredibly, the show’s first episode had a 1.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic, attracting 2.2 million viewers.

For many though, the show along with its originating show “Toddlers And Tiara’s” struck a chord of child exploitation and critics leaped upon the hater bandwagon for the ethics behind TLC’s decision on both programs but, more specifically, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.

Forbes, the American Business Magazine, came down on TLC’s choice as trying to “portray Alana’s family as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason–Dixon line,” stating that “it falls flat, because there’s no true dysfunction here, save for the beauty pageant stuff.”

Many would beg to disagree with this statement.  There was everything “dysfunctional” about both this family as well as the programs on which they appeared, produced by TLC.  There’s nothing glamorous or functional in parents dressing their toddlers up to look like they are 20-something year olds, complete with full faced adult make-up, fake teeth and revealing costumes, training them to walk and act like adult beauty pageant contestants.  It’s a field day for pedophiles waiting to attract them.

Secondly, the family truly is skin-picking, lard-eating, nose picking, dirt rolling, farting, belching, over-eating, overweight, ignorant, dumpster-diving, hicks from the south who live like rednecks.  There is no denying that for anyone who has watched the program but, that’s what TLC seemed to prey upon for its viewership.  People tuned in by the hordes to watch what was akin to a circus freak side-show family and their backwards hillbilly style antics.

Mama June seems to have little if any scruples and has seemingly been passing on her ignorance to her daughters.

June’s first daughter, Anna Shannon was fathered by a convicted criminal, David Dunn who went to prison in 1995 for stealing a gun and again in 1998 for stealing cigarettes. Anna then went on to become an unwed mother in her middle teens during the show’s first season.

Anthony Michael Ford, a registered sex offender is Jessica “Chubs” Shannon‘s father and had served more than two years in prison in 2005 for sexually exploiting a child.

No one knows who fathered 12-year-old Lauryn Shannon.  Sources close to June believe that even she doesn’t know who the father was.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s father was David Michael Thompson “Sugar Bear” and he was sentenced to five years for robbing a series of hunting camps.

Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson's biological father and convicted criminal/thief, sitting with Shannon and her daughters.

Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s biological father and convicted criminal/thief, sitting with Shannon and her daughters.

Mark McDaniel criminal record.

Mark McDaniel criminal record.

Even June, herself was jailed for passing bad checks and stealing money from McDonald’s when she was an employee.  Kind of a less than stellar set of examples for a mother to pass onto her daughters, all fathered by criminals and a couple of child molesters.

June then threw her toddler, Alana into toddler beauty pageants and fed “Honey Boo Boo” a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew before pageants with enough caffeine to catapult an adult into a hyper-frenzied mode, let alone a mere child.

“There are far worse things…I could be giving her alcohol,” June responded without a blink and leaving question marks as to whether she has or would do that if it got her a spot on television.

Finally, TLC has come to its senses in cancelling the series.  Whether they did it because it truly was connected to Mama June’s child molesting boyfriend or whether they were taking flack for it which threatened the network’s credibility, we don’t know but, one thing is for certain, June needs to lose her children until she smartens up a few notches.  Mike “Sugar Bear” also needs a slap upside the head and to lose custody of his daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” because it is alleged that he knew about the affair June was having with McDaniel and did nothing about it.

It seems that an investigation into this mother’s actions is warranted as is the cancellation of the show.  Let Alana “Honey Boo Boo” just be a child and her sisters grow up to be ladies with proper guidance.  Let the circus drop.

More than anything, may TLC be more selective and careful in what programming they put on air from here on out.  It’s called, “The Learning Channel”, not the TCC “The Controversy Channel”.

At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.

Are We All Sitting Ducks For Ebola?

While the global medical community struggles to figure out how to deal with any cases of Ebola that may reach their country’s doors, it seems that there is little action in trying to prevent cases from leaving the hardest hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO (World Health Organization) has been blamed for its lack of proper action and protocol in its leadership in West Africa.  With some 4,484 people dying in West Africa to date and WHO predicting a possible 10,000 new cases every week being diagnosed, it’s certain that this illness is not under control.

“Ebola is a huge and urgent global problem that demands a huge and urgent global response,” reporters were told.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said of the outbreak and the ability of this virus to easily be transmitted outside of the borders of the countries hardest hit.

The UN has noted that WHO heads in Africa have “politically motivated appointments” and that is why this was so poorly handled from the beginning.

When asked why WHO didn’t act more quickly the response from WHO indicated that it was the fault of the office in West Africa.

“It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the frontline,” he said. “And they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent.”

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

What seems more perturbing than this is that most countries are not prepared for Ebola.  Many North American hospitals, though fully staffed and equipped for what we’re used to dealing with, are not at all prepared to deal with Ebola.  Training on how to deal with it is currently being implemented.  That means that a lot of us are at risk.  One can only imagine going into a hospital for a routine procedure or for some other ailment requiring hospitalization, only to hear that a case of Ebola has entered that same hospital and the staff aren’t as prepared as they thought that they were.  Or, worse may be to find out that during a flight you were on, one of the passengers had come down with Ebola and everyone on the plane was possibly at risk.

Officials in North American hospitals have quickly discovered that they are frightened because they are not as prepared to deal with cases of Ebola as they thought they might be.  The virus has already affected several healthcare workers who were ill trained and equipped to deal with the total quarantine procedures necessary.  What was first thought to be effective, has proven to not be fail-safe and needs to be rethought as well as retraining of all front line healthcare workers.  That’s putting a lot of healthcare providers at both great risk and tremendous worry and fear in an already stressful career and, they have stated such in the media of late.

In what might be an unpopular and perhaps, drastic measure, one of the possible scenarios to keep this virus in check or at the least contained, might be to stop all flights out of the countries most affected before having each and every passenger produce a valid, signed document by the medical community that they have been quarantined for at least the incubation period of 21 days before they can board a flight out of that country.

If someone truly needs or wants to go to the countries most affected, it should be a requirement that they cannot board a plane out of it without having remained quarantined for that 21 day incubation period.  While it might put great hardship on some people in doing so, it would be prudent to warn all flights going to those countries that there will be a period in which they cannot return without the proper protocol having been followed.  It would then be their choice as to whether they choose to go or not. This action alone might not stop the virus from spreading but, it is certainly a step forward in working to keep the spread from filtering through the rest of the world like the wild fire it’s been in those countries most affected.

Why aren’t authorities stepping up to the plate with this type of measure, knowing that they mishandled this from the very beginning.  Does it take other countries also becoming hot beds of this virus before something is finally done that may appear a drastic measure but, one that might save thousands more lives?  Are we that money and power driven or, that politically correct that we can’t seem to put restrictions on some people’s “rights” to save other’s lives?

If you choose to enter the countries that are hardest hit, you are also choosing to endanger your own life.  That is your prerogative but, you don’t have the right to endanger other people’s lives with your choices.  There must be far more stringent measures put in place to help protect others who are simply innocent victims of both authorities’ lack of action and other people’s choices.

Something more has to be done to save this from becoming a world-wide epidemic and minimizing the deaths and stop us all from becoming sitting ducks for ebola.  At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life at this point in time.

James Randi, The Illusion of The Great And Powerful Oz

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

I recently stumbled across a statement made by magician, skeptic, James Randi, shockingly saying that Psychic Sylvia Browne’s death was the only way that she was “stopped from hurting so many people.”  His full statement can be read here on his foundation’s James Randi Educational Fund or JREF website.

It was shocking to hear such a statement from anyone.  While I am not a fan of the Late Ms. Browne, she was a person…a human being who has died and, his statements appeared to be those of someone who was relieved that she no longer existed.  It was uncalled for at this point in time, cruel and totally bitter towards her as a person.  He seemed to see her only as her profession rather than also a mother, grandmother and wife who left behind a family and friends.  It begged the question of his own human state of mind in spite of calling himself a Humanist.

Most everyone has heard of James Randi throughout the years.  He’s infamous for his $1 million challenge for any psychic, healer, homeopathy or other paranormal claimant to prove that they have the ability they claim to have.

Born as Randall James Hamilton Zwinge August 7, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Randi became a “conjurist”, a term he carefully uses to replace the term “magician” so that one doesn’t associate the trickery or illusions he creates with anything in the supernatural realm that he is so certain cannot and does not exist and, has spent his life trying to prove doesn’t exist.

Randi appears to give off the public persona of a crusty but, rather humorous and loveable grandfatherly like figure to the public.  Yet, there feels to be a sour bitterness beneath his public appearance that isn’t just an illusion.  He is a man on a mission and has been for many years.  The question is why?  What has set this man into such a frenzy that he has made it what some would call, a vendetta against anyone who makes claim towards having anything paranormal or supernatural especially, psychics/mediums?

There are few photos of Randi without a look in his eyes that almost dares the viewer to try to scam him or, seemingly beg the question from him of “what wool are you trying to pull over my eyes? I’ve seen it all!”

Having spent a good chunk of his life studying and performing magic tricks, he retired from stage performance to gear his sights onto debunking anything someone might construe as supernatural.  For what reason?

During an interview with journalist, 

”They don’t have any scruples on that, just like any other thief or burglar,” he said.  “A thief doesn’t look at a house and think to pass it up because the family has just suffered a recent tragedy. No, he goes in and robs it anyway.”

When Kohls asked if Randi thought it was driven by money, Randi made what can be thought of as an opposing statement to his own test.

“They’re all different. They all want to make money. They all want to make a living,” Randi said.  “They find an easy way to do it, and it’s so easy that the money just pours in. If you found that you could go in your backyard and find gold-nuggets by digging around you would do it. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Unfortunately, they’re taking other peoples money and making them suffer. They don’t care about that though.” (And, Randi hasn’t made a very good living off of this arena too?)

By contrast, Randi’s foundation, JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) has been offering up a $1 million dollar prize for anyone who can prove that they possess some sort of ability in the psychic/paranormal arena.  To date, no one has been able to claim it.  Some have said it is because of the criteria by which they must be tested that hems them in but, most won’t even attempt such an endevour.  It seems almost incredulous that these are alleged people who were in it for the money but, would by-pass such a chance.  It would be more logical that the lure of $1 million would be a huge draw with the “robbers” flocking to try to claim that money.

Kohls also asked Randi if he had ever met someone who had confounded him with something that they claimed they could do.  Randi answered that he hadn’t encountered such a person.

“Frankly, no,” he answered in response to Kohls’ question.  “I’m 83 years of age now, and I’ve been a magician since I was a kid. I know the tricks and none of them are surprising. They’re all the same old-tricks that have been going on for hundreds of years. We magicians know how these things are being done.”

Perhaps, Randi’s answer, itself is giving Randi’s drive away right there?

In other words, what some of us might hear in that statement if we read what’s coming out the other side of his mouth, is that if he can reproduce an effect via some gadget, some set up, some slight of hand, some electronic method, it can’t be real.  It is only an illusion and yes, apparently he’s saying that magicians know it all.  Interesting statement to think about, Randi.  If you weren’t an Atheist, I’d swear you were implying magicians are somewhat forms of “gods” (I say that with a humorous but, sarcastic grin and a wink).

The most telling statement of all about Randi might lay in an answer that he had given to Kohl when he was asked where he “draws his meaning in life” given that he’s a devout Atheist.

“All I have to do is look into the eyes of a two month old baby and I get the whole thing. That’s enough for me. It’s enough to live for, and inspire me,” Randi responded.  “I don’t need miracles and people running around on brooms in the night-sky. I don’t need any of that to make the world a beautiful place. It’s a cruel place, it doesn’t care about any individual in it, because that’s the way nature is. I’ll manage somehow. I don’t have to have a meaning for life. That’s a meaningless phrase in my estimation.”

Kohl is asking him where he draws meaning in his life and, Randi gives a set of opposing statements which appear to show that there is perhaps, both conflict and confusion going on within himself.  Could Randi have foiled his own illusion right there?

On the one hand, Randi is stating that he is inspired by a baby’s glance but, on the other hand, he’s saying that he there is no meaning to life in this world.  How is it that someone can “get it” (meaning) from the look from a baby’s eyes but, sees no meaning in life and calls “meaning”, meaningless?  Quite the mixed mouthful he’s spit out there isn’t it?

Secondly, he’s saying that he doesn’t need any miracles to make the world a beautiful place but in the same breath, goes on to say that the world is a cruel place that doesn’t care about any individual in it.  Someone please tell the babies whose eyes he looks into that because they are in for a let down that life has no meaning and the world is purely a cruel place to be by the nature of it.

Both of those statements seem to openly display the inner workings of a man who has lived a good portion of his life, preaching to others about the lack of need for and in religious beliefs and has tried to debunk it, seemingly smugly feeling that he’s succeeded in doing so.  It is reminiscent of the great and powerful Oz from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.  When the curtain is drawn back, there stands a bearded older man, operating the levers of a projection produced illusion of a great and powerful magical, fear inducing leader who knows all and is much like Randi, even in appearance.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  It’s all simply an illusion, a great and powerful, money making illusion that Randi has projected much like Dorothy had uncovered in Oz when she exposed the man behind the curtain.

What I see personally in Randi and his life, is someone who has more than likely been emotionally hurt rather early in his life, lonely even when surrounded by people and perhaps, was considered somewhat of a “geek” by others within his peer groups. I imagine him as a child, surrounded by books and a train set, doing little else but, reading and mostly, solitary pursuits. It’s known that he spent a good deal of time with books on magic and, I’d be willing to bet that he wanted the appearance of someone as seemingly great and powerful such as the magicians he’d watched on stage or read about as a child.  The draw of fooling others with magic does have a sort of super power feel to it and may be what drew him into it.  How awed would everyone be when they couldn’t figure how he did something as mystical and mysterious as magic tricks seem to be to those who haven’t studied it?  I can imagine him feeling that he would be perceived as a step above those who perhaps, made fun of him.  However, this is only from my own personal reflections and nothing more as is the following.

There is a powerful feel to the name “James” which later became his stage name. Randall may have felt  small and powerless but “James” may have had a sense of strength within its feel to him.  Even removing his last names and never referring himself or attaching himself to his surname(s) seems to indicate that he somewhat distanced himself from his childhood. There feels to be a bitterness from within him, likely beginning in that time frame. Or, perhaps, that bitterness and distancing from religion and his Atheist connection came about when he discovered he was Gay and eventually came out about?  Religions don’t seem to take kindly to the Gay lifestyle and is shamefully, ruining many people’s lives because of that stance.  That bitterness could be understood if that is to be the case of when he pulled the plug on religion.

What we see him proclaim to be doing by allegedly protecting the vulnerable from the charlatans is more likely Randi’s cloaked and hidden protection of himself and his own personal demons.  It’s akin to a crab with its tough exterior shell to protect the inner softness from harm.

Incredibly, Randi has lived his life trying to both fool others as well as divulge the possible foolery in others.  He’s made a living, a rather good living at doing both of these things.  He’s become a martyr in a sense but, been paid well to have done so. He simply justifies his money by labeling it as a noble cause.

If Randi can’t use his five bodily senses to detect it, can’t reproduce the effect, it doesn’t exist.  He’ll even refute Quantum Physics discoveries.  In part, could it be that it might prove that there is a connection between consciousness and a deity or perhaps, simply that consciousness survives physical bodily death and, Randi would be out of business in his skepticism, humanist and atheist involvements?  Would Randi, himself then be de-bunked?

No one, including Sylvia Browne (real or not) could possibly pass Randi’s million dollar test simply because it is set up to cause them to fail.  Randi doesn’t want to see anyone prove what he has spent his life believing doesn’t exist.  Yet, I can’t help wonder if perhaps, there is a tiny part of him that wishes to see someone prove it to him, under the most difficult of circumstances and beyond what he’s set up to cause them to fail so that he can believe.  Let’s face it, Randi is no Spring Chicken anymore but perhaps, it doesn’t matter to Randi.  He’s either going to be dead and not know the difference or, he’ll be surprised in arriving at some place beyond this physical world.  Either way, he has nothing to fear.  His real fight seems to be with himself and this world.

At least, that’s how I am seeing James Randi from my little corner of life.