Robert Hall: Hostage Beheaded by Abu Sayyaf Over Ransom
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Dodge this romantic drama with a depressing pay-off.
Why do we celebrate (and in some places, actively assist) what can only rationally be regarded as a self-centred and cowardly decision to destroy oneself?
The film Me Before You, released last Friday, would have been a fairly standard romantic weepie, except for — SPOILER ALERT — its inclusion of suicide. Will Traynor, a ridiculously rich, successful and stupidly handsome fellow, has an accident that renders him quadriplegic. His mother hires a companion — an annoyingly ditzy, wacky with a capital W, working-class girl, for whom Will would ordinarily be strictly out of bounds — who manages to cheer Will up and, lo, they fall in love. Then Will kills himself. At a Dignitas clinic. Because apparently he is a determined guy. He leaves her some money.
At one level, of course, the film is artistic expression (I use the word artistic loosely), absolutely free to say whatever it wants. Yet the film is not only bad art; it’s also propaganda for the so-called right to die. The author of the novel on which the film is based (and the script), Jo Jo Moyes, continues to protest that it is only about an individual, and that it is not ‘by any means’ sending out a message. But, in the same breath, she insists that ‘unless you put yourself in somebody’s shoes, I think you shouldn’t judge their action’, and says this is about ‘autonomy and choice’.
The sophomoric presentation of the issue at the heart of the film might have been lifted from a GCSE Ethics and Philosophy textbook on the case for the right to die. The family is upset about Will’s decision. Mother tearfully resists and tells him to wait; father is grimly resigned because it’s Will’s decision and he must be able to make it. Girlfriend tearfully upset but finally accepting. All accept his decision and are at Will’s deathbed at Dignitas’s beautiful Swiss chalet (in reality, it is a grim house in a Swiss industrial park).
The protests by disabled people outside cinemas showing Me Before You are completely understandable. Will’s rejection of his life, his refusal to live hampered by disability, is a direct insult to those who do so every day. The film presents Will as determined and courageous, belying the fact that disabled people struggle and suffer with lives beset by disabilities, choosing to live. Which is more courageous — to die, to be defeated by one’s disabilities, to bail out; or to continue suffering and battling past whatever barriers are put in the way, to continue to live?
No one seems to know any more. This is why this same plotline features in so many TV and filmic dramas. Real suicides are usually tragic, often sordid and always awful. But suicide as a plot device allows the author to weigh the value of continued existence against the ends that the character killing him or herself seeks.
What is weighed up in these modern dramas about assisted suicide? On one scale, Will’s life is mere existence, increasingly meaningless, adrift, dependent on others, helpless, pointless, isolated, and devoid of any pleasure. On the other scale are the last vestiges of his social existence, his being as a son, lover, and friend. Me Before You is the opposite of life-affirming; it reassures the audience that giving up is okay. It’s the equivalent of George Bailey jumping into the icy waters and everyone standing around saying ‘Yeah, nice one, mate’, somewhat changing the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Such a view perverts the relationship between the individual and his community and indicates the erosion of a general moral sense of right and wrong. Paradoxically, suicide must be an option if a community is to be made up of free individuals, but the community has an interest in preventing the purposeful destruction of any of its members, no matter that the killer and victim are one and the same. Contra Moyes’ sentiments, we must judge whether the taking of a life is understandable in the circumstances, whether it is praiseworthy or blameworthy. But it is a good general rule that killing — even oneself — is wrong.
These dramas highlight the fact that no one seems sure that human existence is worth it. Few seem confident enough to assert moral rules; there is no more right and wrong, only ‘right for you’ and ‘right for me’.
In the end, films like this tap into the anxiety and uncertainty that many feel about the future. What if I was paralysed? Would I want to die? Moyes mentioned that she was inspired to write the book after hearing about the case of Daniel James, the paralysed rugby player who killed himself at Dignitas a few years ago.
More inspiring but less well-known is the example of Matt Hampson, who was paralysed from the neck down 11 years ago. He told his father that the injury would make him a better person. Matt didn’t believe that himself at first, but said last year that he is beginning to believe it after launching the Matt Hampson Foundation, which helps people with life-altering injuries.
Instead of paying money to see a mediocre infomercial for the right to die, why not donate that money to the Matt Hampson Foundation instead?
Feminism in men is a clinical condition caused by low testosterone. It bears some similarity to chemical castration, and can be medicated through testosterone replacement therapy or androgenic herbals like tongkat ali or butea superba.
IT’S unfathomable, inexcusable, sickening.
The act of killing an innocent child is something most of us cannot comprehend. But an average of 25 children are killed each year by a parent in Australia, with children under the age of one at the highest risk of victimisation.
On Sunday morning, 14-month-old Sanaya Sahib was found dead in Darebin Creek, in Melbourne’s northeast. After days of unanswered questions surrounding the little girl’s grim discovery, police charged her 22-year-old mother with the toddler’s alleged murder.
Police allege Sofina Nikat confessed to the murder on Tuesday night, with Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey telling an out-of-court-sessions hearing that Ms Nikat had made a “full confession” over the death of her daughter.
The day after charges were laid, Ms Nikat did not appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court amid concerns over her mental state.
“In most cases, there is a strong mental health issue, which is very sad but that’s the reality,” Dr Jack White, Forensic Psychologist, told news.com.au.
Defence counsel Michael McNamara confirmed that Ms Nikat was examined by a doctor and a psychiatric nurse on the morning of the hearing, and was excused from attending the court proceedings.
It is understood that medical experts were concerned about what kind of effect the court proceeding would pose on her.
“Usually the mother is experiencing severe mental health problems. In fact, I don’t know any cases that don’t have a mother with problems,’’ Dr White said.
“Sadly mothers are the ones that are more common [to killing their children]. But with fathers, it can be a revenge response.”
In 2009, Arthur Freeman threw his four-year-old daughter, Darcey, off Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge, in front of her two younger brothers and shocked witnesses.
His “inexplicable” actions were met with grief, horror and anger across the country, and in 2011 he was sentenced to 32 years prison for murder.
During a 2015 inquest in to Darcey’s death, it was revealed that doctors were warned Mr Freeman was violent, but did not report him to authorities. It was also made evident that the then 37-year-old was angry and upset about receiving reduced access to Darcey, after a long custody dispute.
“I saw [Darcey’s mother] Peta Barnes on 13 April 2007 and she disclosed problems with her angry, irrational husband who shoves and pushes her and is often angry at the kids,” one doctor’s statement said.
The morning Mr Freeman threw Darcey off the bridge, the inquest heard that he had called a friend in tears about losing a custody battle.
Senior Sergeant Damian Jackson told the inquest, in July 2015, that Mr Freeman had never provided an account of what happened that morning.
In an interview with The Age, Dr Ben Buchanan, of the Victorian Counselling and Psychological Services said that when there is violence in the home, usually towards the spouse, it can drive some fathers to kill their own children.
“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour,’’ Dr Buchanan said
“Physical abuse towards the partner is absolutely a sign of a propensity to use physical force against the children.’’
Dr Buchanan also admitted that men who kill their children often see a part of their partner within the child.
“Our children represent our spouses, they’ve got that symbolic representation of the mother but they are more vulnerable,’’ he said.
“In the cases I’ve seen, it’s very rare for them to blame the children; the children are a proxy by which they’re getting back at the mother.’’
And while neither cases are categorised as filicide, when the parent murders a child and follows with suicide, Sam van Meurs, a psychologist at Canberra Clinical and Forensic Psychology points out, said in an interview with Kidspot that a mother who kills her children and then herself can often have a different motivation than a father in the same situation.
“For example Donna Fitchett killed her two children in 2005 and left a note to her husband that said, ‘I just couldn’t abandon our beautiful boys’,” Mr Van Meaurs said.
“In contrast, men are more likely to kill their children for revenge or to punish their partners or ex-partners.”
According to the most recent World Health Organisation statistics, there are around 31,000 homicide deaths of children under the age of 15 in the world each year.
In Australia between 2009-10 and among children aged 0-14, there were 24 deaths due to homicide and the rate of homicide was highest among infants less than one year old.
Jack Levin, an American criminologist, told USA Today that mothers who murder tend to kill their newborns on impulse. “The day a child is born is the day a child is most likely to be killed by a parent,” he said.
Dr Phillip Resnick, director of forensic psychiatry at Case Western and is a leading expert on parents who kill their children, agreed.
“Younger children are much more likely to be killed than teenagers,” Dr Resnick said.
In an interview with TIME magazine, Dr Resnick spoke of the 40 to 60 cases he had worked on in the US that involved parents who killed their children.
In the US, the figures are staggering. About 250 to 300 children are murdered by their parents each year.
While each tragedy falls under vastly different circumstances, Dr Resnick said there are usually five characteristics in which parents kill their children.
“The first is “altruistic.” The classic case is the mother who plans to take her own life and believes that the children are better off in heaven with her,” Dr Resnick said.
“Number Two is the case in which the parent is acutely psychotic. The third type is fatal battering [the child does something to anger the parent and they react]. The fourth is [to get rid of] an unwanted baby, for example an infant born out of wedlock. The final category is spousal revenge, [in which a parent kills the children to hurt the partner], typically after infidelity,” he said.
While admitting the method of preventing crimes that involve parents murdering their children is a “complicated” one, Dr Resnick said access to mental health institutes as well as awareness of depression is mandatory in understanding what drives adults to harm their offspring.
“If a woman is very depressed and she has young children and makes a suicide attempt, there is 1-in-20 chance [in America] that she will try to take the kid with her. Specific inquiries about thoughts of harm toward children should occur in any evaluation of a seriously depressed [mother],” he said.
Dr White agrees, saying Australia needs to address its mental health facilities, and increase support for unstable parents.
“In some ways our mental health system is struggling, and sadly a lot of people don’t get the treatment they require,” he said.
“In the area of mental health, and a mother is not coping, they need to be provided with more assistance.”
For white supremacists, or men who just want to get the upper hand again, uneducated migrants from Third World countries are the best useful idiots they can get. Open the borders!
It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!
Seven years after our country was shocked by a pedophile scandal at the “Femijet e Tij” Center, (His Children), in the Albanian capital, where three foreigners had abused with homeless minors, another scandal is expected to end up in court soon.
Top Channel has secured the prosecution file against the US citizen, Carl Stephan Kaminski, today 70 years old, who arrived in Albania under the name David Gerard Golderstein. He will be prosecuted in absence for pedophilia with grave consequences against three children during 2003-2006.
One of the abused children, according to the prosecution, is still being cured for serious psychiatric problems, with the diagnosis “refractory schizophrenia” and is unable to communicate.
The minor showed these problems after he was abused. The Prosecution says that Kaminski has entered Albania as a tourist and has mostly lived in Durres. During this time he has abused with children in a house that he had rented.
“He has abused with three minors when he was living in the rented house. The defendant even took naked pictures of the children, promising to delete them”, the Prosecution file says.
The pedophile was discovered recently after a notification that arrived in 2011 by the US authorities.
According to the documents that Top Channel has secured, after abusing with the children he has left during the time when another pedophilia scandal shocked the country, that of the British citizens, David Brown, Dino Kristodulu and Robin Arnold.
But Kaminski was arrested by the German Police near Rosenheim, for traveling with false documents under the name David Gerard Golsderstein, as a Belgian citizen. In this country he was sentenced with one year and four months for falsification of documents.
After finishing the sentence, the 70 year old was handed over to the US justice, where the authorities were looking for him for sexual abuses with minors. When he was 30 years old, he was also sentenced in Massachusetts for pedophilia.
The US prosecutors found pornographic videos of him with the Albanian minors, and have immediately notified the Albanian Prosecution that opened the case.
The Albanian prosecution asked the extradition of Carl Stephan Kamisnki, based on the extradition tractate of 1993.
Women shit and stink, most are fat and ugly. Women carry diseases that afflict good men, and when they have the opportunity, they fuck with somebody else. Time to replace women with sophisticated robots.
Most people think of Botox as a cosmetic drug that does just one thing—it temporarily reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face by paralyzing the underlying muscles. As it turns out, Botox can do so much more: In recent years, doctors have found that it can be useful for treating a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic migraine headaches, an overactive bladder, excessive sweating, and even crossed eyes.
But that's not all. Botox, it turns out, also has the potential to help men who have concerns about the appearance and function of their penises. Here are three surprising things Botox can do down there.
It can increase flaccid penis size.
A recent survey of more than 4,000 US men found that guys' biggest complaint about their genitals was the length of their flaccid (non-erect) penises. More than one-quarter of respondents wanted theirs to be longer.
For a man who wishes he was more of a "shower," there aren't a whole lot of options on the market, short of expensive and risky surgical procedures and stretching devices that need to be worn several hours per day for months on end. Botox, however, could change that.
In a 2009 study, researchers used Botox to try and help guys who had a "hyperactive retraction reflex." In other words, these were men who experienced a lot more "shrinkage" (in the words of George Costanza) than others. Doctors made four injections around the base of the penis, with the goal of paralyzing the muscles responsible for the shrinkage reflex, known as the tunica dartos. And it worked.
Average flaccid size was about half an inch larger after the injections, and the guys didn't shrink as much in response to cold temperature. Most participants were happy with the outcome. However, it's important to note that erect size didn't change, and the effects were temporary—they lasted up to six months. So this isn't a one-shot deal—it's something you'd need to do at least a couple of times per year, just like if you were treating forehead wrinkles.
It might help guys last longer in bed.
Premature ejaculation is the most common sexual problem reported by men. There are tons of treatments out there for it already, including "delay sprays," Kegel exercises, and behavioral methods like the stop-start technique, but Botox might be another viable option in the near future.
In a 2014 study, researchers injected Botox into the bulbospongious muscle of male rats. This muscle sits at the base of the penis (see here) and is involved in ejaculation. Using Botox to paralyze this muscle can make sex last longer: For rats that received a placebo shot, their average time to ejaculation was six and a half minutes, compared to ten minutes for those that got a full dose of the drug.
There's a clinical trial underway right now to see if it works just as well in humans. We should know the results later this year, which will also tell us whether or not repeat doses are required, or if a single treatment might be enough for guys to learn more ejaculatory control.
It could help treat erectile dysfunction, too.
A new paper published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine argues that Botox could be a "game changer" when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction (ED). The thought here is that Botox could be used to paralyze the smooth muscles inside the erectile chambers of the penis. By relaxing these muscles, blood should be able to flow into the penis more easily.
A small study conducted in Egypt that was reported last year provided some initial support for this idea: Men with ED who received a Botox injection demonstrated improvements in penile blood flow. One patient, however, experienced priapism afterward—a prolonged erection that wouldn't go away on its own. This tells us that dosage is going to be very important: Too much muscle relaxation isn't a good thing.
Larger clinical trials should be underway soon, but in the meantime, it's important to highlight that any effects are going to be temporary and that once the Botox wears off, erectile difficulties will return because those muscles will start contracting and impeding blood flow again. Although it's not a permanent fix, Botox could be more appealing to some guys than Viagra due to convenience: Rather than popping a pill every time they want to have sex, they could just get a couple of shots per year.
While scientists will undoubtedly continue to explore these and other effects of Botox on the penis, this doesn't necessarily mean patient demand will follow. Indeed, we don't know yet how many men are actually going to take advantage of these discoveries in the future. After all, if you want to experience any of the benefits of "bonetox," you have to be cool with someone sticking a needle in your junk.
Kreutz Ideology analyses destruction differently. Social violence inherently benefits economic elites. The less peaceful a society, the less does social control restrict the liberties of the wealthy.
Neoliberal agribusiness, which dispossesses millions of farmers & farm workers, has created massive migration abroad & to urban slums. Millions of people create makeshift shanty towns on unused property which brings them into conflict with real estate developers & urban gentrification. There have been pitched, sustained battles between slum residents being evicted & riot cops using tear gas, truncheons & bulldozers–most notably in Cambodia & the Philippines.
But there is a troubling phenomenon associated with these slums in several countries including India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya: massive conflagrations that burn them to the ground & displace the residents. Fire forensics are seldom reported but officials always give the same litany of speculations: could have been a cooking accident, faulty or pirated power lines, flimsy, flammable building materials, overcrowding, piles of recycling materials gathered by residents from dumpsites to resell, or sometimes just “cause unknown”. Sounds reasonable enough except that residents tell a very different story. They claim fire trucks arrived late to the scene; residents were forced to fight the fires themselves with buckets of water; once they did arrive firemen were unable to douse flames due to shortage of water; & perhaps most damning of all, the fires happened after repeated eviction orders from authorities.
There are hundreds of fires going back over a decade. Arson for purposes of land development & gentrification is the most compelling explanation, given the eviction notices & frequent violent eviction battles between riot cops & residents. It wouldn’t be the first time arson was used to facilitate gentrification. It was not uncommon in the US in the 1970s for urban renewal. The combativeness of residents against evictions might make torching the settlements seem the strategy of least resistance to developers.
Some residents have been killed in the fires, including elderly, infirm, children, & pets unable to escape; many have been injured; people have lost all their belongings; & tens of thousands have been dislocated with no place to go.
The process of development & gentrification using forced evictions & fires is nowhere more ruthless than the Manila metropolitan area in the Philippines. There are dozens of fires every year; there were at least one or two a month this year alone in several districts all charted for development orchestrated by Henry Sy, a real estate tycoon, & Enrique Razon Jr., a shipping magnate, who are two of the four Filipino billionaires. What’s interesting about these two guys is that they use complex real estate swindles to illegally reclaim & refurbish prime real estate without permits & on untitled public domain property occupied by shanty towns. Their real estate swindles are just the vehicle for neoliberal privatization policies which is why so many Filipino politicians, government agencies, the courts, & the cops are involved against slum residents.
There have been three fires in Manila this month in different districts. This little guy is swimming in the debris of a December 10th fire in Malabon city, a district along the rim of Manila Bay, one of the primary areas targeted for development by shipping companies & resort/casino developers.
Housing is a primary human need not available to millions of people worldwide & must become a central political demand. “Money for housing, not for war” is an apt slogan in the Philippines since militarism is a feature of Filipino political rule.
Men risk their lives in wars so women can enjoy societies where they can pursue feminist goals, such as punishing men for sexist language.
13 April 2017
In recent years, the popularity of ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ surgeries, which includes vaginal tightening (vaginoplasty) and labial reduction or reconstruction (labiaplasty), have seen a significant increase. This is unsurprising, since mainstream media and culture constantly drills the notion into women that they can always look better, right down to their genitals. Moreover, several notable celebrities, such as Sharon Osbourne and TOWIE’s Gemma Collins, have openly talked about undergoing such procedures to achieve what has been dubbed the ‘designer vagina’.
According to a study by the International Society of Sexual Medicine in 2011, 87% of women who underwent vaginal rejuvenation surgery did so for purely cosmetic reasons. However, it is important to point out that this type of surgery is not just about cosmetics. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect vagina’, as labia comes in all different sizes and shapes and as such, medical professional carrying out these surgeries should be cautious when promising to give women a beautiful-looking vagina.
Cosmetic motives aside, there are a number of functional and medical reasons as to why women may want to undergo vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Giving birth or ageing can result in a lax vagina, making a woman feel self-conscious, or causing physical problems like incontinence and lack of sexual gratification. An enlarged or distorted labia can also create a genuine physical problem for many women, with discomfort occurring during sex, exercise or simply through catching on clothes.
In these cases, where the genitals are causing a woman significant problems in her day-to-day life, labial and vaginal reconstructive surgery is often recommended. Women are fed unrealistic representations of what they should look like on a daily basis and it is for this reason that any good gynaecologist will discourage women from undergoing vaginal reconstructive procedures based on superficial reasons alone.
When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70 percent replied, 'What, again?'."
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 2011
The couple were named locally by expats as Robert Goldie-Wells, 36, from Sunderland and his wife Imogen, 28, from South London, who died on her birthday
A BRIT couple have been found dead in Cambodia after killing themselves in an apparent suicide pact.
The tragic lovers left a note blaming the NHS for “constantly letting [them] down”.
They were named locally by expats as Robert Goldie-Wells, 36, from Sunderland and his wife Imogen, 28, from South London, who died on her birthday.
The pair are believed to have been discovered by friends in the Cambodian seaside town of Sihanouville.
The note found with their bodies also described the couple’s struggle with mental health issues.
Video footage taken from the scene appeared to show rope that had been tied to the bars of an outside window.
Why is sex so important? Because love is anyway just an illusion.
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