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    As the presidential debates get revved up, I have been scrutinizing their health care plans.  Both candidates rightly insist that something must be done to cover the ballooning and exploding population of uninsured in this country.  For both, the solution will likely include a hit to the pocketbook of Joe Public, whether through taxes, or through private insurance companies that we are required to purchase coverage from.  This has the standard libertarian masses quite upset.  One thing I am hearing more and more about in the argument against universal Health care coverage is “those people.” Read the rest of this entry »

It’s here again and back on schedule.  This week I’ve got emotion, fear and stigmatization on the mind, parables, heaven and hell and success for the soul and whoopee cushions, spleens and lots and lots of protein for the body, to name just a few.  So without further delay I present especially for you, the reader, the creme de la creme of the internet I happened to have stumbled across surfing the internets- Read the rest of this entry »

    ” We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

            Doctrine & Covenants 121:39

      Few things in life distort the relationship of communities and society more than power and politics.  The American revolution and the revolution in France introduced democracy to both America and Europe in roughly the same time period.  The French revolution ended up much more violent and tumultuous than the former, described by Charles Dickens as “the best of times” and “the worst of times” simultaneously.  The French revolution was an extremely violent and intolerant uprising.  It led to mass beheading and guillotining of the aristocracy.  It led to the rise of the first of the modern despots in Napoleon, who enthralled the recently empowered majority, was voted into power which he refused to release and unleashed upon the rest of Europe, as the revolution ran off its rails.

The Storming of the Bastille in 1789

 

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” Be ye Therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

    We love and adore that which is perfect in our society.  Hollywood is built on the premise that the beautiful people can sell movies, models are airbrushed to perfection to sell magazines.  The Olympic games is going on currently with its motto, “Bigger, stronger, faster.”

    As the records fall, it seems these athletes do live up to the motto.  Just look at Michael Phelps, the epitome of the bigger, stronger, faster ideal.

 

Michael Phelps, olympic swimmer has a very real chance at an unprecedented eight gold medals this Olympics.

 

    Sadly, as recent scandals in Baseball and Bicycling have revealed, the push to be bigger, faster, and stronger can lead to the use of steroids, amphetamines, or other substances with very real consequences for an athletes long term health and well being.  When does the drive to perform cross the line into madness.  In my day, Michael Jordan was celebrated worldwide as the greatest ever, even carrying his team to victory over my beloved Utah Jazz in one game in the finals with Forty some odd point and the flu.  Today, it is Tiger Woods held in much the same esteem, having just won the US open with a severe knee injury in a playoff he counts as his greatest victory ever.  My question is, at what point does this single minded devotion turn into madness.  

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   Medicine for the brain is incredibly complex.  Yet, the joke goes around medical circles that Neurologists are admirers of disease, not treater’s of it.  This is far less true now than forty years ago, and is rapidly becoming less and less true everyday, but that small kernel of truth does say something about we who are drawn to the field.  I really do find the disease processes that affect brain function seriously fascinating. 

 

 We learn almost everything we know about the brain from what happens when things go wrong.  Genetic diseases become our laboratory, nature the experimenter, allowing us to learn things we would be monsters for trying to recreate in the lab with people.  In fact, Nazi physicians are generally hailed as monsters for doing precisely this, reducing the person to lab rat.

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  As noted and documented in a previous link, the summer Blockbuster Batman: The Dark Knight presents a terrifying picture of a the Joker as psychopathic villain holding an entire city hostage to terror in a manner that feels more like a documentary than a movie making it truly chilling.  His view of people is twisted in that he feels sure he can manipulate them into monsters through a series of very twisted, cynical ploys.  (Warning: spoilers ahead) 

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    I thought that for this time in particular, in a era where war against western society has been declared by another group of psychopaths who fly passenger planes into skyscrapers, the movie very timely and relevant.  Read the rest of this entry »

Do men and women weaken themselves in order to bring out the best qualities of the opposite sex?  I am starting to wonder.  Many women I have known throughout my life have a dream of taking the man, rough around the edges, and healing him, making him a better person.  What could be more admirable? If you want to melt a woman’s heart, let her know that she makes you want to be a better person.  This is ultimately Christlike and truly an admirable impulse, embodied in the story of Beauty and the Beast.  There is something amazing about the idea of the magically transforming female bringing out the best in others through love.  I think there is also a dark side to this perception.  Read the rest of this entry »

My own recent deficiencies notwithstanding, this has been an especially powerful and abundant week for the mind, soul and body on the Internet.  There is more to share than I had room for.  It sometimes seems I spend more time bringing everyone else’s work than I do in my own writing, but know this- I do it especially for you, the reader.  What good is wisdom and knowledge if not shared among people.  So partake and enjoy the best of the Internet- Read the rest of this entry »

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