Ebola. MH17 and ISIS. Is The World Falling Apart?

I must confess that I’ve been very slack writing this website lately, in fact I’ve really done very little work on it at all. However today I was moved to write because it seems to me that the world is falling apart.

I can’t believe what’s happened with MH17. A modern airliner carrying hundreds of people shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

Whilst there is no clear evidence yet it’s pretty clear who did it. And it seems that Russian separatists, backed of course by the Russian government are doing everything in their power to obscure the fact that it was them.

It’s an extraordinary indictment that people would shoot a modern airliner out of the sky killing hundreds of people without turning an eye.

Then on top of all of that there is what is going on with Ebola. Ebola, as far as I can see, is a most horrendous disease and it seems to be taking over in some countries in Africa. There’s been over 1000 people killed there since the outbreak started and it now appears as if it’s spreading to other countries.

And modern medicine seems to be totally incapable of doing anything about it.

I suspect this is just the beginning, I think sooner going to wake up to the fact that there are far more nasty viruses out there that they believed, and I think that antibiotic resistance is going to be the next issue that arises.

And then believe it or not on top of all of this there’s this Islamic Jihadist movement called ISIS trying to take over an entire country and call it their own. And along the way they are murdering hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians. Currently there is 10,000 of them sitting on top of a mountain, and no one seems to know what to do about it or how to rescue them. And it sounds like ISIS is quite ready to murder them all if it gets the opportunity.And then believe it or not on top of all of this there’s this Islamic Jihadist movement called ISIS trying to take over an entire country and call it their own.

And along the way they are murdering hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians. Currently there is 10,000 of them sitting on top of a mountain, and no one seems to know what to do about it or how to rescue them. And it sounds like ISIS is quite ready to murder them all if it gets the opportunity.

And of course the US is looking to get involved as well, which might well help rescue the 10,000 people could lead to another war. Iraq war number 3.

Beyond a certain point you really begin to wonder where the world is headed. Of course there’s always been crises, wars and conflicts throughout history, however nowadays they seem to be escalating faster and faster.

I find it very scary. Would hope that humanity would learn that the only way we can live together is in peace and harmony. Anything else just doesn’t work.

But it will be very interesting to see where it all leads.

How Is Obesity Becoming The Norm Rather Than The Exception?

We are all so fat now, or most of us anyway

I saw an extremely interesting series of documentaries recently about how our society, over the last 30 or 40 years, has changed. And in particular how our food culture has changed and how this links with the current epidemic of obesity.

You just have to walk around the streets to see how so many of us have got so fat now. Have a look in your local supermarket. Wander through McDonald’s, walk just about anywhere and you’ll see that such a huge proportion of us are now overweight or obese.Silhouette of cheese burger and summer garden vegetables

It was a fascinating documentary series. The first documentary talked about how corn syrup started to make its way into our food in around the 1970s. The government encourage farmers to grow corn because corn was a cheap crop to grow and made a good profit for the farmers.

And then once the food giants found that corn syrup was cheaper than sugar and sweeter than sugar they started to put corn syrup in so many of our foods.

The second documentary showed how the average serving size of so many of our meals, mainly manufactured and takeaway meals, has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. This increase in the serving size of our meals has meant that so many of us now just take it for granted that meals, and in particular sugary drinks such as soda, are huge.

And in fact it demonstrated one super-sized soda that had almost 50 teaspoons of sugar in it. Not only that but so many of the takeaway foods we buy now, like hamburgers, are jam packed with calories, because sugar and fat carry a lot of calories as well as flavor and so the fast food companies and other food manufacturers have plenty of incentives to pack that salt and sugar and fat into the foods.

And the third documentary demonstrated clearly how the food industry, via extraordinarily powerful lobbying, managed to defeat just about every government effort to regulate it, particularly in Europe.

That series of documentaries brought home to me very clearly how the dominance of the food industry over the last 3 or 4 decades has contributed directly to the increase in obesity and overweight in our society.

Here’s part one of the documentary

(See below for parts 2 and 3

Of course there’s no doubt there’s some personal responsibility involved here as well. I don’t think it’s fair just to blame the food industry for all our woes. However it’s pretty clear that the food industry has enormous power and marketing influence over our choices, and I think they have to share a large part of the blame.

It’s extremely important, in my view, to be aware of this problem. In particular it’s very important that parents to be aware of this, because they make the food choices for their children, or at least up to a certain age they do. [Read more...]

I Am Extremely Disturbed By Our Gun Culture

Are we all killing each other?

I have recently been reading an extremely disturbing article.

It’s about our gun culture here in the US.

I should say right at the outset that I think that gun culture in the US is an indictment on our society. I have travelled extensively and have never found a country where the citizens carry guns like we do, or at least in peacetime.

In war, maybe. In some third world countries, maybe, but in developed modern first world countries it is unknown.

Did you know that the first school shooting was in 1884 and since then there’s been hundreds? What civilized society allows this?

I’ve recently been to New Zealand. I was there for almost a month, and absolutely loved it. I visited the North Island and the South Island, visited some friends in Christchurch traveled right throughout the South Island in a campervan had a wonderful time.

Only one occasion did I ever see anyone who had a gun. He was a hunter, way up in the mountains, hunting deer.

I spent quite some time talking to people that I met in New Zealand about this, because it’s concerned me for a long time.

They tell me that in New Zealand gun ownership is extremely restricted and is extremely uncommon. The police carry guns, the military carry guns and with the exception of those two groups you just won’t see anyone who carries or owns a gun, except genuine hunters and farmers, for vermin control.

There are strict rules and regulations about who can carry a weapon, what type of gun, and licensing.

Here in America, supposedly the land of the free and the home of the brave, most of us seem to walk around carrying a gun. Well if not most of us then plenty of us. And I don’t think that’s all that brave at all.

Since the latest shooting there has even been a movement in Texes to try to encourage people to carry guns, particularly in restaurants. They call it “open carry”.

These people are suggested that they openly carry a handgun without any licensing requirement.

The argument goes that if everyone is allowed to just buy a handgun and carry it around the criminals won’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.

And there are photos of people walking around with automatic weapons slung over their shoulder.

Where, in any other first world country, could you see this?

And where, in any other first world country have there been dozens, in fact hundreds, of school shootings. In America they began in the late 1800s.

I find it extraordinary that we, an intelligent people, allow this to happen. I know all about the supposed right to carry a gun in the Constitution. What about our right to live? And the right of our children to live?

The article I read, that I referred to initially, said that somewhere around 10,000 children are killed or injured in the US every year, by a gun.

And I know that many of these children are killed or injured in their own home or in the home of a friend because someone in that home has left a loaded handgun lying around so that the kids can find it.

Again I ask, in what other first world country would you see this? In my view none.

A big part of the problem has to be the financial and lobbying power of the NRA. I consider the NRA to be an offensive organisation. Sadly they represent people and businesses that make so much money from the sale of guns that they have too much political power.

The only way anything will ever happen about this is if we, the people, recognize the problem and decided to do something about it. If enough people decide to act things will change.

Got a gun? Buy a gun safe!