Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eretnal Springtime






Eternal springtime
Canopies the soul
At peace with God;
Walking free,
Enwrapped in the
Living consciousness
Of His love.

Reflections






From a thousand heights,
The streams of life
Are ever rushing down:
The jutting rock,
The broken bough,
The crooked bank,
Even the rounded pebble;
Each, and all,
In their personal murmurs,
Are enough to trouble
These shallow waters,
And obstruct
Their narrow course.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

111



Godly sorrow,
Like weeping Mary,
Seeks after Christ;
Saving faith,
Like wrestling Jacob,
Finds, and holds fast
To Yeshua.

Monday, October 29, 2012

To His Glory






As the inlet waters,
Run back again
To the sea;
So too, the
Rushing love of
The Living God:
What we receive,
In His mercy;
We must return,
To His glory.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Honey Dippin'






There used to be a trade in this country, euphimistically called  'honey dipping'. These were men who cleaned out the old just below surface septic tanks that were common back in the 50's and before. They would come and suck-up all the crap and then take it to the rural areas and spread it on the farm fields as fertilizer.

The Obama campaign appears to be the modern incarnation of the honey dippers: they are carrying a load of crap that they want us to pay for and spread throughout the country. Last night, it appeared that Obama had spent too much time sucking up the honey and was overcome by the mess he has created.

Just a thought from a crazy old man.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Living Flame

The Living Flame
Within the lamp,
Is a transformation
In Light:
Christ beheld,
Is Christ incarnate
Within us;
Gazing upon Him,
Are we changed
From glory to glory,
Even as by
The Spirit of the Lord.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow On






We follow on,
That we may know;
Yet we only know,
That we may follow on:
Light prepares
The way for love;
Love girds the loins
Of the heart:
As light refreshes
In the morning,
After a dark and stormy night;
So is knowing,
After the travail;
God's mercies, after affliction,
Are very sweet:
And so, we follow on.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Major Suits

President Obama was nearing the end of a reception line at a fund raiser last month,
when he saw a face approaching that he didn't quite recognize.

He leaned to his chief of staff and asked, Who is that guy?'

"Oh he's ok sir," he replied. It's the guy who made your suits for tonight."

Thus reassured, and with a new confidence, the president flashed a warm smile, put out a firm hand shake, and said, "Major Suits, it's so good to see you again tonight."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yet Shall We Live






How often we sink into those dark and dismal places where we are, in our feelings, as dead men. Has sin never slain you? Has the iron never pierced you soul? Has the accuser never knocked the wind of God out of your soul, so to speak? Has Satan never come with his darts of fire, and all the
firebrands of hell, and sought to scorch away the leadings and feelings of grace and even blot out the very desires within for life? And those times when you seemed to sink in your soul into such a
miserable emptiness of spirit, that it felt as though you
were devoid of all grace, as if it were an impossibility for grace ever again
to renew and revive your soul? Here, my friends, you were in the pallor of death. I have been here myself, more than once,
that's why I can describe it to you. Because I've been there; we all have.

Yet even with all this, there is, within the lamb, that longing
look, a heartfelt groan, a heaving sigh, and a resisting unto the blood, not an utter giving up, nor sinking down into miserable despair. God the Spirit keeps alive his work upon the soul, and Christ, Himself as the resurrection of life comes into our bosom, raising us up and drawing us to Himself, renewing and reinvigorating our lagging, lifeless spirits with fresh
movements of that Life which is in Him alone. Here, we see within us, each of us, and all of us, a personal, individual consequence of his resurrection, "Whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DNC Scientists Disprove Existence of Roberts' Taxon

DNC Scientists Disprove Existence of Roberts' Taxon

WASHINGTON DC - Jubilant scientists at the DNC's High Speed Word Collider (HSWC) announced today they have conclusively disproven the existence of Roberts' Taxon, the theoretical radioactive Facton particle that some had worried would lead to the implosion of the entire Universal Health Care System.
"I think it's time to pop the champagne corks," said HSWC Director David Plouffe. "Then blaze some choom."
The landmark experiment in Quantum Rhetoric began early this week after legal particle cosmologist John Roberts published a paper in the Quarterly Journal of Tortured Logic that solved the long-debated Pelosi's Paradox in Universal Health Care Theory.
"Pelosi's Paradox states that in order to find out what is in a health care bill, it would have to be passed," explained physicist Steven Hawking. "But in order to be a law it would have to be constitutional, which means someone would have to know what was in it, which would mean it couldn't have been a bill in the first place. Think of Schroedinger's Cat, except with a lobotomy."
To solve the paradox, Roberts proposed the existence of the Taxon - an ephemeral, mysterious facton particle that in theory would allow the Universal Health System to be constitutional, without directly observing what was in it. DNC scientists at first cheered Roberts' findings, but it soon came apparent that it opened an even deadlier dilemma.
"If Roberts' Taxon were really to exist, and was woven throughout the Health-Government-Time continuum, the merest realization of it would create a giant black hole in Gallup Space and cause free healthcare reality to collapse upon itself," said Plouffe.
In order to disprove the Taxon, scientists at the HSWC devised a test experiment in their enormous CarneyLab bullshit accelerator. This test involved speeding a small mass of Facton - theoretically containing Roberts' Taxon - and smashing it at near-light speed against a flaming super-dense ionized clod of purified bullshit.
  DNC Collider
Schematic of experiment (graphic courtesy HSWC)
"It was a complete success," said Plouffe. "The collision produced only inert crap particles like Feesons and Penaltyons, obliterating any traces of a single highly radioactive Taxon. What's more, we were thrilled that it also resulted in over 300 milliaxlerods of of positive Fernstroms."
While super high-density bullshit was critical to the experiment, Plouffe said other key variables were necessary to keep potential Taxons from escaping to Gallup Reality Space.
"We were careful to shroud the collision within the Beltosphere, which is protected with a thick sheath of inert, pliable media," he noted. "As additional protection, we surrounded it with a negatively-charged gaseous squirrel field."
Base on the success of the test, Plouffe said the HSWC would soon begin work on destroying traces of a new deadly Facton particle, the Unemployon.

Communion






What is communion;
But the embrace
Of two hearts;
The melting into one
Of two wills;
The flowing exchange
Of two loves;
Each distinct,
Yet close woven;
As the soul,
Of only One.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Light and Truth






Psa 43:3  O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

"O send out thy light." The Psalmist desired that light might be sent out, that
is, that there might be an appearing, an arising of it in some tangible, soul-felt way. The soul, lost in darkness,
and crying out after light, is not satisfied
with a simple conviction, however deep, that with God is light. The thirsty man, parched for water, is
not allayed by knowing that there is water in the well; nor is the miner who
has been trapped in a cave-in, content with knowing that there is light above. One
faint ray of light gleaming through a small crack in the rocks will be worth more to him than a thousand suns,
unseen by him, blazing away, high in the sky.

And thus the struggling lamb will not rest, can not rest,
in the bare knowledge that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all,"
but his sigh and cry is that this light may be sent out of the fullness of
God into his soul, so as to shed abroad His glorious inward light in his heart,
whereby he may see the truth of God; whereby he may see the glory of God, whereby he can see the full love of God
in the sacrifice of His Holy Lamb; and know that his name is written in the book
of life. That he may see  his own eternal union with Jesus, and in seeing his own eternal union with the risen Lord,
he might enjoy communion with Him, and know presence of Almighty God in his soul,
to have His glory revealed, and made manifest in his heart.

This was the cry of David's heart that night, as he sought the face of God. He wasn't
looking for help or sympathy from men or their traditions. He needed, as we all do,
that which only God could provide: Light and Truth.

It is a picture of a tempest-tossed soul. Sun and stars beclouded, compass
lost, chart useless, pilot absent, and breakers ahead. Lost in a storm of guilt,
despondency, gloomy forebodings or dismal, dreary apprehensions.

How many of us can see ourselves here? Driven from our course;  sun and stars all obscured; no clear
evidences, no bright manifestations; darkness above, and a raging sea
beneath; no harbor in sight, and hope of reaching home, fading fast. I think this describes
everyone that I know of, at one time or another.

Yet David knew in His heart where to find the light, as do all lambs.
You find the Light in the Truth.

He says, "O send out thy light and
thy truth." What was "the truth" which he sought to know? The truth of Messiah; the truth of His
sacrifice; the truth of His justifying blood, the truth of His righteousness;
the truth of deliverance from the curse and condemnation of men, that
truth whereby the soul is set free, according to the words, "Ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free;" the truth whereby the
affections of the soul are separated, and set free from the things of time and sense, and fixed on the
realities of eternity; in a word, to know the Truth, Himself, and to discover the Light, in Him
who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It is clear from his words, that David could not be
comforted by any other than God. This is the witness, my friends,
of the work of God's grace upon his soul. When a man
is so distressed in his feelings, so cast down in his mind, and so troubled in his
conscience, that none but God can comfort him, he is at once on the
footsteps of the Spirit. We do not find hypocrites on this ground.  Zion's special mark is that she,
His beloved, can not be comforted by any other than her Lord, her wounds are too deep for human balms, her
sickness too sore for the medicines of men. Almighty God has reserved her comfort for His
hands alone; from His lips only, can consolation be spoken into her soul.

Through the grace of the Spirit of God, David saw the Truth, and received the Light; much
the same as Job, Abraham, Jacob, or Moses. How can this be? You ask. How could David have seen the Truth and received the Light a thousand years before Messiah would come? Because in the Eternal Realms of God, where time has no presence or meaning, Messiah is the Paschal Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world.
The power of His sacrifice flowed backward, as well as forward across time. How else could Job sing out that
He knew his Redeemer lived and would resurrect him at the last day; how else could Abraham see His
day and be glad therein? You can see from the second part of our verse, that David, as Job and Abraham
before him, knew the Truth, and had seen the Light, in the power of the Spirit of the Living God.

Let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. He asks that Truth and Light bring him to the
holy hill of God. In the days before the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, there was no permanent sacred
or holy hill, or place in Israel; he could only be talking about the holy hill of Golgatha, the place of sacrifice,
the holy hill of God, where the Light and the Truth was made manifest in the flesh; slain; and in His resurrection, made available
to all who would seek It. And he asks to be brought into God to celebrate the feast of tabernacles with the rest of God's
redeemed lambs through all eternity.

This was the cry of David's heart, and the longing of his soul as he penned these words. This too is the cry
of our heart, and the longing in our soul as we sail these stormy waters of life, often alone and in distress.
If this is where you are, if you have lost your bearings, or the sight of shore; the same God that came to comfort David
will also bring His refreshment and His renewal to you. Simply follow the path David has laid out for you;
seek the Truth with all that is within you, and you will find the Light; and once we have seen the Light, the journey home is all laid out
for us. We simply need to follow the Light.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Softer Moods






There are softer seasons,
Sprinkled among the years:
Times when the springs
Of life are unsealed,
And heavenly purposes
Come into birth.
We speak of being refreshed,
As though the rain had fallen;
As indeed it has:
Turning the hard ground,
Into forcing beds,
Of luxurient growth.
"I will come down as the rain"
Says the Lord of Hosts;
And like the mist He comes.
Creating softer moods
In the old stony ground;
Causing it to be fragrant,
With the budding fruit
Of His Kingdom of Righteousness.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Homeland Security Laser Scanner Reads People At Molecular Level

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser-scanner-reads-people-at-molecular-level/

 The Department of Homeland Security will soon be using a laser at airports that can detect everything about you from over 160-feet away. Gizmodo reports a scanner that could read people at the molecular level has been invented. This laser-based scanner – which can be used 164-feet away — could read everything from a person’s adrenaline levels, to traces of gun powder on a person’s clothes, to illegal substances — and it can all be done without a physical search. It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports.
The laser-based scanner is expected to be used in airports as soon as 2013, Gizmodo reports.
The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning.
The inventor of this invasive technology is Genia Photonics. Active since 2009, they hold 30 patents on laser technology designed for scanning. In 2011, they formed a partnership with In-Q-Tel, a company chartered by the CIA and Congress to build “a bridge between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.”
Genia Photonics wouldn’t be the only ones with similar technology as George Washington University developed something similar in 2008, according to Gizmodo. The Russians also developed something akin to the Picosecond Programmable laser. The creators of that scanner claim that “it is even able to detect traces of explosives left by fingerprints.”
But what makes Genia Photonics’ version so special is that the machine is more compact compared to the other devices and can still maintain its incredible range.
Although the technology could be used by “Big Brother,” Genia Photonics states that the device could be far more beneficial being used for medical purposes to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

?







Have you ever groaned
In bleeding lamentations?
Has the iron never
Entered your soul?
The lamb comes to Truth,
Only through a bitter draft;
He arrives at the banquet,
Weathered by the pangs of hunger;
He lays hold of the
Robe of Righteousness,
While yet chilled
In his own nakedness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

from Consumed







It is said of life in the flesh that you are what you eat. So it is with life in the spirit:

To eat His flesh, and to drink His blood,
Is to become broken bread and poured out wine;
To eat His flesh, and to drink His blood,
Is to consume His righteousness,
And thereby become the sons of God;
To eat His flesh, and to drink His blood,
Is to partake of His holiness,
And thereby become the priests of God;
To eat His flesh, and drink His blood,
Is to be filled with His glory,
And thereby become the call of God;
To eat His flesh, and drink His blood,
Is to be consumed by His love,
And thereby become the hand of God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

U.S., Israel developed Flame computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say

The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected critical intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage attacks aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.
The massive piece of malware was designed to secretly map Iran’s computer networks and monitor the computers of Iranian officials, sending back a steady stream of intelligence used to enable an ongoing cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials.
The effort, involving the National Security Agency, the CIA and Israel’s military, has included the use of destructive software such as the so-called Stuxnet virus to cause malfunctions in Iran’s nuclear enrichment equipment.
The emerging details about Flame provide new clues about what is believed to be the first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States.
“This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. “Cyber collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.”
Flame came to light last month after Iran detected a series of cyberattacks on its oil industry. The disruption was directed by Israel in a unilateral operation that apparently caught its U.S. partners off guard, according to several U.S. and Western officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
There had been speculation that the United States had a role in developing Flame, but the collaboration on the virus between Washington and Israel has not been previously confirmed. Commercial security researchers last week reported that Flame contained some of the same code as Stuxnet. Experts described the overlap as DNA-like evidence that the two sets of malware were parallel projects run by the same entity.
Spokespersons for the CIA, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as well as the Israeli Embassy in Washington, declined to comment.
The virus is among the most sophisticated and subversive pieces of malware exposed to date. Experts said the program was designed to replicate across even highly secure networks, then control everyday computer functions to send a flow of secrets back to its creators. The code could activate computer microphones and cameras, log keyboard strokes, take computer screen shots, extract geolocation data from images and send and receive commands and data through Bluetooth wireless technology.
Flame was designed to do all this while masquerading as a routine Microsoft software update, evading detection for several years by using a sophisticated program to crack an encryption algorithm.
“This is not something that most security researchers have the skills or resources to do,” said Tom Parker, chief technology officer for Fusion X, a security firm specializing in simulating state-sponsored cyberattacks, who does not know who was behind the virus. “You’d expect that of only the most advanced cryptomathematicians, such as those working at NSA.”
Flame was developed at least five years ago as part of a classified effort code-named Olympic Games, according to officials familiar with U.S. cyber operations and experts who have scrutinized its code. The U.S.-Israeli collaboration was intended to slow Iran’s nuclear program, reduce the pressure for a conventional military attack and extend the timetable for diplomacy and sanctions.
The cyberattacks augmented conventional sabotage efforts by both countries, which included inserting flawed centrifuge parts and other components in Iran’s nuclear supply chain.
The best-known cyberweapon set loose on Iran was Stuxnet, a name coined by researchers in the antivirus industry who discovered the virus two years ago. It infected a specific type of industrial controller at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, causing almost 1,000 centrifuges to spin out of control. The damage occurred gradually, over months, and Iranian officials initially thought it was the result of incompetence.
The scale of the espionage and sabotage effort “is proportionate to the problem that’s trying to be resolved,” the former intelligence official said, referring to the Iranian nuclear program. Although Stuxnet and Flame infections can be countered, “it doesn’t mean that other tools aren’t in play or performing effectively,” he said.
To develop these tools, the United States relies on two of its elite spy agencies. The NSA, known mainly for its electronic eavesdropping and code-breaking capabilities, has extensive expertise in developing malicious code that can be aimed at U.S. adversaries, including Iran. The CIA lacks the NSA’s level of sophistication in building malware, but is deeply involved in the cyber campaign.
The agency’s Information Operations Center is second only to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center in size. The IOC, as it is known, performs an array of espionage functions, including extracting data from laptops seized in counterterrorism raids. But the center specializes in computer penetrations that require closer contact with the target, such as using spies or unwitting contractors to spread a contagion on a thumb drive.
Both agencies analyze the intelligence obtained through malware such as Flame, and have continued to develop new weapons even as recent attacks have been exposed.
Flame’s discovery shows the important role of mapping networks and collecting intelligence on targets as the prelude to an attack, especially in closed computer networks. Officials say gaining and keeping access to a network is 99 percent of the challenge.
“It is far more difficult to penetrate a network, learn about it, reside on it forever and extract information from it without being detected than it is to go in and stomp around inside the network causing damage,” said Michael V. Hayden, a former NSA director and CIA director who left office in 2009. He declined to discuss any operations he was involved with during his time in government.
The effort to delay Iran’s nuclear program using cyber-techniques began in the mid-2000s, when President George W. Bush was in his second term. At that point it consisted mainly of intelligence gathering to identify potential targets and develop tools to disrupt them. In 2008, the program went operational and shifted from military to CIA control, former officials said.
Despite their collaboration on developing the malicious code, the United States and Israel have not always coordinated attacks. Israel’s April assaults on Iran’s Oil Ministry and oil export facilities caused only minor disruptions. The episode led Iran to investigate and ultimately discover Flame.
“The virus penetrated some fields — one of them was the oil sector,” Gholam Reza Jalali, an Iranian military cyber official, told Iranian state radio in May. “Fortunately, we detected and controlled this single incident.”
Some U.S. intelligence officials were dismayed that Israel’s unilateral incursion led to the discovery of the virus, prompting countermeasures.
The disruptions led Iran to ask a Russian security firm and a Hungarian cyber lab for help, according to U.S. and international officials familiar with the incident.
Last week, researchers with the Kaspersky Labs, the Russian security firm, reported their conclusion that Flame — a name they came up with — was created by the same group or groups that built Stuxnet. Kaspersky declined to comment on whether it was approached by Iran.
“We are now 100 percent sure that the Stuxnet and Flame groups worked together,” said Roel Schouwenberg, a Boston-based senior researcher with Kaspersky Labs.
Kaspersky also determined that the Flame malware predates Stuxnet. “It looks like the Flame platform was used as a kickstarter of sorts to get the Stuxnet project going,” Schouwenberg said.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Distinctive Loveliness


Light is sown steadily,
Within the righteous:
A seemless, sequential,
Laying of seed;
That the garden
He has prepared,
Is never without flora
In radiant bloom;
They build, and amplify,
One, upon another,
In invitive succession;
Adorning each new dawn,
With its own
Distinctive loveliness.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cry






Prayer, is in
The intimate breathing
Of the heart
After God;
There is more
Depth, power,
And fertility,
In the inward sigh
And groan
Of a broken heart;
Than in any
Expression
Of the lips.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

After All






The Light,
So magical
In its morning beauty,
Has lost none
Of its Luster:

The River,
Which flows
Through past ages,
Has not dried-up
In the sands of time:

The Fire,
That blazed so clear,
As life itself,
Has not died
Down to ashes:

The Living God,
In all His majesty,
Is still our refuge;
As He has spoken it;
So it will be.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Air Force Document: Drones Can Be Used To Spy On Americans






A newly discovered Air Force intelligence brief states that should fleets of unmanned drones accidentally capture surveillance footage of Americans, the data can be stored and analyzed by the Pentagon for up to 90 days.

The instruction, dated April 23, admits that the Air Force cannot legally conduct “nonconsensual surveillance” on Americans, but also states that should the drones”incidentally” capture data while conducting other missions, military intelligence has the right to study it to determine whether the subjects are legitimate targets of domestic surveillance.

“Collected imagery may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent,” the instruction states.

The Air Force can take advantage of “a period not to exceed 90 days” to use the data to assess “whether that information may be collected under the provisions of Procedure 2, DoD 5240.1-R and permanently retained under the provisions of Procedure 3, DoD 5240.1-R.” it continues.

The Pentagon directives cited authorize limited domestic spying in certain scenarios such as natural disasters, environmental cases, and monitoring activity around military bases.

Should the drones capture data on Americans, the Air Force says that it should determine whether they are, among other things, “persons or organizations reasonably believed to be engaged or about to engage, in international terrorist or international narcotics activities.”

The instruction also states that the Pentagon can disseminate the data to other intelligence and government agencies, should it see fit.

“Even though information may not be collectible, it may be retained for the length of time necessary to transfer it to another DoD entity or government agency to whose function it pertains.” the document reads.

The document was discovered by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Worlder







A restless craving,
Churns in his heart;
For a light he cannot see,
A warmth unknown;
There are aching voids:
Yawning chasms
Within his soul,
That tinsel pleasures
Can never fill.
His hope is ever
Gilding a future,
That the present denies;
Lured and bedazzled,
He pursues the phantom;
Never coming to know,
The object of his search,
Is as far from him
As ever!

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Joy

The joy
Of the morning
Dries
Life's bitterest tears
The heart
Of the child
Leaps
At the sight,

Of his Father's house.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wander

As in water;
Face answers to face:
So the heart of
Man to man.
The winds will blow,
And the rains will fall;
The sirens are subtle,
And the heart of man
Is winsome and flirtatious.
The excursions of a lamb,
Are from a God
He has known --
From a Savior
He has loved --
From pastures he has
Roamed with delight.
We have tasted of the Lord;
Heard His voice;
Fed from His hands;
And yet we wander.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fathoms






A night of woe,
Spreads a heavy drape:
A harbinger - a prelude;
A forecaster of shadow,
Yea, dark things loom
In the deep mists.
Amid the somber hues
Of time and sense,
There is a Garden,
And One who prays.
Faith embraces the
Mystery of Godliness;
Hope casts its anchor
Within the veil;
And Love gently lifts,
To His Eternal shores
Of wholeness.

Monday, April 09, 2012

A fog of drugs and war

SEATTLE — U.S. Air Force pilot Patrick Burke's day started in the cockpit of a B-1 bomber near the Persian Gulf and proceeded across nine time zones as he ferried the aircraft home to South Dakota.
Every four hours during the 19-hour flight, Burke swallowed a tablet of Dexedrine, the prescribed amphetamine known as "go pills." After landing, he went out for dinner and drinks with a fellow crewman. They were driving back to Ellsworth Air Force Base when Burke began striking his friend in the head.
"Jack Bauer told me this was going to happen — you guys are trying to kidnap me!" he yelled, as if he were a character in the TV show "24."
When the woman giving them a lift pulled the car over, Burke leaped on her and wrestled her to the ground. "Me and my platoon are looking for terrorists," he told her before grabbing her keys, driving away and crashing into a guardrail.
Burke was charged with auto theft, drunk driving and two counts of assault. But in October, a court-martial judge found the young lieutenant not guilty "by reason of lack of mental responsibility" — the almost unprecedented equivalent, at least in modern-day military courts, of an insanity acquittal.
Four military psychiatrists concluded that Burke suffered from "polysubstance-induced delirium" brought on by alcohol, lack of sleep and the 40 milligrams of Dexedrine he was issued by the Air Force.
In a small but growing number of cases across the nation, lawyers are blaming the U.S. military's heavy use of psychotropic drugs for their clients' aberrant behavior and related health problems. Such defenses have rarely gained traction in military or civilian courtrooms, but Burke's case provides the first important indication that military psychiatrists and court-martial judges are not blind to what can happen when troops go to work medicated.
After two long-running wars with escalating levels of combat stress, more than 110,000 active-duty Army troops last year were taking prescribed antidepressants, narcotics, sedatives, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs, according to figures recently disclosed to The Times by the U.S. Army surgeon general. Nearly 8% of the active-duty Army is now on sedatives and more than 6% is on antidepressants — an eightfold increase since 2005.
"We have never medicated our troops to the extent we are doing now.... And I don't believe the current increase in suicides and homicides in the military is a coincidence," said Bart Billings, a former military psychologist who hosts an annual conference on combat stress.
The pharmacy consultant for the Army surgeon general says the military's use of the drugs is comparable to that in the civilian world. "It's not that we're using them more frequently or any differently," said Col. Carol Labadie. "As with any medication, you have to look at weighing the risk versus the benefits of somebody going on a medication."
But the military environment makes regulating the use of prescription drugs a challenge compared with the civilian world, some psychologists say.
Follow-up appointments in the battlefield are often few and far between. Soldiers are sent out on deployment typically with 180 days' worth of medications, allowing them to trade with friends or grab an entire fistful of pills at the end of an anxious day. And soldiers with injuries can easily become dependent on narcotic painkillers.
"The big difference is these are people who have access to loaded weapons, or have responsibility for protecting other individuals who are in harm's way," said Grace Jackson, a former Navy staff psychiatrist who resigned her commission in 2002, in part out of concerns that military psychiatrists even then were handing out too many pills.
For the Army and the Marines, using the drugs has become a wager that whatever problems occur will be isolated and containable, said James Culp, a former Army paratrooper and now a high-profile military defense lawyer. He recently defended an Army private accused of murder, arguing that his mental illness was exacerbated by the antidepressant Zoloft.
"What do you do when 30-80% of the people that you have in the military have gone on three or more deployments, and they are mentally worn out? What do you do when they can't sleep? You make a calculated risk in prescribing these medications," Culp said.
The potential effect on military personnel has special resonance in the wake of several high-profile cases, most notably the one involving Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of murdering 17 civilians in Afghanistan. His attorneys have asked for a list of all medicines the 38-year-old soldier was taking.
"We don't know whether he was or was not on any medicines, which is why [his attorney] has asked to be provided the list of medications," said Richard Adler, a Seattle psychiatrist who is consulting on Bales' defense.
While there was some early, ad hoc use of psychotropic drugs in the Vietnam War, the modern Army psychiatrist's deployment kit is likely to include nine kinds of antidepressants, benzodiazepines for anxiety, four antipsychotics, two kinds of sleep aids, and drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a 2007 review in the journal Military Medicine.
Some troops in Afghanistan are prescribed mefloquine, an antimalarial drug that has been increasingly associated with paranoia, thoughts of suicide and violent anger spells that soldiers describe as "mefloquine rage."
"Prior to the Iraq war, soldiers could not go into combat on psychiatric drugs, period. Not very long ago, going back maybe 10 or 12 years, you couldn't even go into the armed services if you used any of these drugs, in particular stimulants," said Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist who has written widely about psychiatric drugs and violence.
"But they've changed that.... I'm getting a new kind of call right now, and that's people saying the psychiatrist won't approve their deployment unless they take psychiatric drugs."
Military doctors say most drugs' safety and efficacy is so well-established that it would be a mistake to send battalions into combat without the help of medications that can prevent suicides, help soldiers rest and calm shattered nerves.
Fueling much of the controversy in recent years, though, are reports of a possible link between the popular class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — drugs such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, which boost serotonin levels in the brain — and an elevated risk of suicide among young people. The drugs carry a warning label for those up to 24 — the very age of most young military recruits.
Last year, one of Culp's clients, Army Pfc. David Lawrence, pleaded guilty at Ft. Carson, Colo., to the murder of a Taliban commander in Afghanistan. He was sentenced to only 121/2 years, later reduced to 10 years, after it was shown that he suffered from schizophrenic episodes that escalated after the death of a good friend, an Army chaplain.
Deeply depressed and hearing a voice he would later describe as "female-sounding and never nice," Lawrence had reportedly feared he would be thrown out of the Army if he told anyone he was hearing voices — a classic symptom of schizophrenia. Instead, he'd merely told doctors he was depressed and thinking of suicide. He was prescribed Zoloft, for depression, and trazodone, often used as a sleeping aid.
The voices got worse, and Lawrence began seeing hallucinations of the chaplain, minus his head. Eventually, Lawrence walked into the Taliban commander's jail cell and shot him in the face.
"They give him this, and they send him out with a gun," said his father, Brett Lawrence.
Up until the Burke case, there had been few if any recent rulings exonerating military defendants claiming to be incapacitated by medications.
Burke's case may have marked a turning point. Four Army doctors concluded that he wasn't mentally responsible for his actions — a finding none of them would have made had he been merely drunk.
"Three drinks over an entire evening is not enough to black somebody out, but I don't remember 99% of what happened over the rest of that evening," Burke said in an interview. "It was kind of like I was misfiring on the cylinders."
Both the American Psychological Assn. and the American Psychiatric Assn. in a 2010 congressional hearing urged the Army to stay the course on psychotropic drugs.
The real danger, said the psychologists' spokesman, M. David Rudd, dean of the college of social and behavioral science at the University of Utah, is if soldiers are frightened out of access to potentially life-saving medication.
The Army surgeon general's office said no one without specific approval is allowed to go on deployment using psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants and stimulants, until they've been stabilized. Soldiers who need antipsychotic agents are not allowed to go to combat.
But are those precautions enough? Julie Oligschlaeger said her son, Chad, a Marine corporal based at Twentynine Palms, came home from his second tour in Iraq in 2007 complaining of nightmares and hallucinations. He was taking trazodone, fluoxetine, Seroquel, Lorazepam and propranolol, among other medications.
"I didn't realize how many pills he was on until it was too late," said Oligschlaeger. "He sometimes would slur his words, and I would think, 'OK, are you drinking? What is going on?' And he'd say, 'Oh, I'm taking my pills, and I'm taking them when I'm supposed to.' I never thought to look."
In 2008, two months before Chad was scheduled to get out of the Marines, start college, and marry his fiancee, the young corporal was found dead on the floor of his room in the barracks. An autopsy concluded the death was accidental due to multiple-drug toxicity — interactions among too many drugs.
At the memorial service, Oligschlaeger looked her son's commander in the eye and reminded him that Chad had waited in vain for a bed in a combat stress treatment facility. "I asked him, 'Why didn't you have your eyes on your Marine?'" she said. "He didn't answer me. He just stood there with his hands behind his back. And he looked at me."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

.Arizona Passes Sweeping Internet Censorship Bill

The state legislature of Arizona has passed a bill that vastly broadens telephone harassment laws and applies them to the Internet and other means of electronic communication.

The law, which is being pushed under the guise of an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials, illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund breaks down Arizona House Bill 2549:

“The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”

First Amendment activist group Media Coalition has written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, urging her not to sign the legislation into law.

The letter notes that the terms used in the bill are not defined in the statute or by reference, and thereby the law could be broadly applied to almost any statement.

    A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“H.B. 2549 would make it a crime to use any electronic or digital device to communicate using obscene, lewd or profane language or to suggest a lewd or lascivious act if done with intent to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’” the letter notes. … ‘Lewd’ and ‘profane’ are not defined in the statute or by reference. ‘Lewd’ is generally understood to mean lusty or sexual in nature and ‘profane’ is generally defined as disrespectful or irreverent about religion or religious practices.”

“H.B. 2549 is not limited to a one to one conversation between two specific people. The communication does not need to be repetitive or even unwanted. There is no requirement that the recipient or subject of the speech actually feel offended, annoyed or scared. Nor does the legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or annoy the reader, the subject or even any specific person.” the letter continues.

In this respect the law could even technically be applied to someone posting a status update on Facebook.

“Speech protected by the First Amendment is often intended to offend, annoy or scare but could be prosecuted under this law.”The Media Coalition letter continues.

“A Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad that were intended to be offensive to make a point about religious tolerance. If a Muslim in Arizona considers the images profane and is offended, the paper could be prosecuted. Some Arizona residents may consider Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments about a Georgetown law student lewd. He could be prosecuted if he intended his comments to be offensive. Similarly, much general content available in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend, annoy or even terrify.”

“Bill Maher’s stand up routines and Jon Stewart’s nightly comedy program, Ann Coulter’s books criticizing liberals and Christopher Hitchens’ expressions of his disdain for religion, Stephen King’s novels or the Halloween films all could be subject to this legislation. Even common taunting about sports between rival fans done online is frequently meant to offend or annoy, and is often done using salty and profane language.”

This type of legislation is far from unprecedented. Last year, former president Bill Clinton proposed a law to censor internet speech. “It would be a legitimate thing to do,” Clinton said in an interview that aired on CNBC. Clinton suggested the government should set-up an agency that monitors all media speech for supposed factual errors.

“That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors” he said. “And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it’s a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money.”

Cass Sunstein, head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has also proposed banning speech on the internet that  the government disagrees with. Sunstein proposed the creation of an internet “Fairness Doctrine” similar to the one that was used for years to limit and eliminate free speech on the radio.

This legislation represents yet another move to police and control freedom of expression via the internet. Once again it grants the state and the government the direct right to determine what is and is not “offensive” on a whim. It then allows for the prosecution of individuals and organisations based on such summations – an extremely dangerous precedent to set.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tiniest Puppy

WEST SACRAMENTO — A puppy named after one of the world's biggest pop stars could set the world's record for tiniest dog.
Animal rescuers in Northern California say the female Dachshund mix, named Beyonce, was so small at birth that she could fit into a spoon. At two weeks, she's about the size of a business card.
The Grace Foundation, based in El Dorado County, says animal control picked up Beyonce's pregnant mother, and she gave birth to a litter of five on March 8.
Beyonce was the last one delivered, and was born without a heartbeat. Veterinarians managed to revive her through chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
The foundation says she'll be ready for adoption in about two weeks.
Meanwhile, it has submitted an application to Guinness World Records for world's smallest dog.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peace

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Here, in John 14, our Lord was about to leave this world; and He knew it. So on this night, in His high priestly prayer, He makes His last requests known; kinda like a living will -- the world's first living will. His soul he committed to his Father; His clothes, He knew would fall to the soldiers; His mother, He would leave in the care of John: but what did He leave to His disciples, and all those who would believe on Him through them? Silver and gold He had none; but He left them, and us, something infinitely more valuable, His peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." I not only give you a title to it, He said, but I give you possession of it.  As a dying father leaves his portions to his children; so His peace is a part of our inheritance as lambs of the Living God; and it can never be taken from us if we do not give it up.

This peace is a harmonic rightness with God implanted deep within our hearts, it is also a budding union with all of God’s universe. Natural forces are at our back, when we are right with God and walk in His peace;  as it is written “The whole creation groans and waits for the manifestation of the children of God.” When a man is one with the Maker he has the co-operation of all that the Maker has made. The winds and currents are his friends, and  the heavens fight on his side -- even the stones of the field lay in covenant with the lamb living in the flow of God's peace.

Most people, when they think of a peaceful setting, would seek it near some secluded mountain-lake, nestling quiet and untroubled far from the beaten path, and where even the cry of a nature is only rarely heard. It is by these “still waters,” and in these deep silences, that they call to mind the gift of peace. Others may see visualizations of a different sort, a beach, a boat, it could be anything; but for me when I think on the peace of God, I think of the verse from Isaiah: thy peace is like a river. this may seem, at first glance, like an odd choice, but for me, the peace our Lord bequeathed to us is a peace of motion and fulfillment, not one necessarily of quiet and stillness.

How prescient and thoughtful was the prophet’s choice of a river as his figure of peace.  Not a lake, not a pool, not a scene of quiet and stillness, but a river. He is not necessarily deriding the idea of a peaceful quietude; he is trying to point to a quality of life and movement:  peace is not motionless quietude, but quiet motion. Peace has its appropriate figure in the brimming river,  quiet because of its steadiness and depth. God's peace in our souls, my friend,  is liquid, frictionless motion, in the midst of the chaos that surrounds it. What he was trying to get across to us is that  this perfect peace is found in a lamb's life only when that life moves and breathes in God’s life without complaint, without fret,  and without friction. It is not so much found in the absence of sound as in the absence of any discordant notes. The peace of Christ is musical movement, it is a divine harmony of spirits.

Our Master’s conception of this peace is given in His often repeated words, “I and My Father are one.” When one life flows into another life with seamless perfection; commingling—will with will, soul with soul, heart with heart, the two become one, this is the the essential secret of experiencing and living in His peace. And when that perfect commingling is between the the lamb's heart and God, he will have learned the secret of perfect peace. That was the peace our Lord enjoyed -- His peace, and this is the peace He  has promised and provided, “My peace I give unto you.”

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Joy Of Possessing

Things that come easily,
Are lightly esteemed:
The pebble lying
On the common way,
Is beneath regard;
Yet the pearl
Buried in the ocean depths,
Is a treasure
Of rare price.
The pain of getting,
So intensifies
The joy of possessing.