THOUGHT CAPSULES
            
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By John J. Moelaert



FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is a fascinating phenomenon. It costs nothing and yet you can't buy it at any price. It usually starts simply: with a smile, a helping hand, a good laugh--sometimes with a tear or two. Friendship is not something that can be forced nor even be earned. It doesn't have to be spelled out. Friendship is something you sense. It permeates one's being and shapes one's behavior. It rejects envy and overcomes adversity. Friendship recognizes that life without love is a bird without wings and that happiness is multiplied by being shared. Real friends care about each other and show it. The poorest person in the world is not a pauper, but a friendless one. JM

GLOBAL WARMING MUCH MORE THAN INCONVENIENCE

Al Gore's presentation on climate change creates the illusion that with some minor inconveniences we can prevent the catastrophic consequences of global warming. We can not!
Climate change is not merely an inconvenience: it is a matter of life and death for the human race and countless animal species.
The environmental abuse inflicted on our plundered planet has created its own momentum which will take many decades and drastic measures to reverse.
There is an illusion afloat that suggests that we can avoid global disaster by making some minor adjustments and that life will go on pretty much as usual. This cavalier attitude is even reflected in our language with terms such as "sustainable development" which ignores the fact that our destructive environmental activities can not be sustained.
Scientific warnings about the negative effects of pollutants on global climates date back to the 80s and what has been the response? Bigger cars, larger houses, over-fishing, deforestation and most destructive of all: overpopulation. The much trumpeted pollution reduction proposal of 20 per cent will be nullified by population growth and increased consumerism. World-renowned explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau called the world's population explosion the greatest threat to human survival and described "sustainable development" as an illusion.
A Cornell University study predicts "an apocalyptic worldwide scene of absolute misery, poverty, disease and starvation" if current population trends continue. While scientists disagree on how close we are to global disaster (estimates vary from 20 to 100 years), there is general agreement total social and environmental collapse is inevitable if drastic changes in our reproductive rates and economic policies are not made very soon. There is no evidence that this is about to happen. On the contrary, unlimited human reproduction is not only allowed, but even encouraged by business and religious interests. Population growth means economic growth and increased profits. It also means an increase in pollution, global warming, resource depletion, poverty, crime and starvation. It is crucial to understand that none of these environmental and social problems can be solved unless population growth is reversed. To fully comprehend the astronomical rate of human reproduction consider this: it took about one million years for the world population to reach the 2.5 billion mark in 1950. The next 2.5 billion people took only 37 years to produce.
The basic dilemma is the contest between economic interests and environmental priorities. US Vice President Dick Cheney recently stated categorically that he would oppose any environmental legislation that would have a negative impact on the US economy. What has escaped Cheney and other Neanderthal thinkers in government and big business is that the costs of multiplying natural disasters will far exceed corporate losses due to any progressive environmental legislation.
The world economy is not a philanthropic institution, but is based on waste and driven by greed. Economic policies are formulated on the basis of whatever is financially profitable with little or no regard for the public interest and the environment. The irony is we understand the problems and we know the solutions, but most politicians and business executives lack the foresight and the compassion to implement the necessary remedial actions.
The real bottom line is not consumerism at any price, but a quality-of-life achieved in harmony with the natural laws of this fragile planet. The human race right now is accelerating in the opposite direction. It will take a lot more than lip service, tokenism and mere inconvenience to reverse that process.

Muslim traditions we can do without

I am a Canadian by choice—not by chance. As an immigrant I strongly believe that it is incumbent on all immigrants to adapt to the customs, culture and laws of Canada—not the other way around. Anyone who prefers the customs, culture and laws of their country of birth should stay there. Not a single person has ever been forced to immigrate to Canada.
It was wrong for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to allow some of its members to wear turbans instead of the standard headgear. If it is that important for recruits to wear turbans they should not join the RCMP. Now some immigrants refuse to wear hard hats on construction sites for “religious reasons.” Breaking safety rules invites serious injury, possibly death, so anyone refusing to wear a hard hat should not be allowed where such gear is required. Another growing controversy in the Western world is Muslim women wishing to hide themselves by wearing burkas in public to cover their entire bodies, except for a narrow slit for their eyes. Such garments make them impossible to identify and renders integration in Western society all but impossible.
It is amazing how much importance millions of religious people attach to their headgear. Sikhs wear turbans, Jews skull caps, Muslim women cover their heads with kerchiefs or burkas, Catholic and Anglican bishops wear miters. Interestingly, Jesus and Buddha never wore any headgear. Many believe headgear shows respect for God, but surely how you use your head is far more important than what you put on it.
There are many Muslim traditions that are unacceptable in democratic societies, for example, denying women education and the right to vote, let alone run for political office. Millions of girls are mutilated in the Muslim world every year by having their clitoris cut off to keep them “pure.”. Women have been sentenced by Muslim courts to be gang-raped to "restore the honour" of families. Muslim women--unlike Muslim men--are sometimes stoned to death for having sex outside or even before marriage. Such barbaric practices and gross injustices cannot be tolerated in any free and democratic society.
See also Islam and terrorism in ARCHIVE.

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM OR...?

Since time immemorial people have wondered how we got here: through evolution or through creation. Both belief systems require a generous dose of gullibility.

EVOLUTION: is based on the premise that life is the result of random chaos. In other words given enough time and external factors it was inevitable that amoebas would eventually develop into other life forms and those new species into yet newer life forms and so on until the present fauna had evolved, including oysters, canaries and giraffes. This evolutionary process is called natural selection. It is based on the principle that life forms which best adapt to a changing environment will survive--perhaps even flourish-- through life-altering reproduction. For example, if butterflies mate in a dark-colored environment, the dark offspring will less likely fall prey to predatory species than the lighter-colored ones which are more visible. Hence the dark butterflies survive in larger numbers than the light ones and thus are much more numerous in such an environment. Failure to adapt to changing environmental conditions can lead to extinction, e.g. the dinosaurs. The main weakness of the evolution theory is the so-called missing links. E.g. while there appears to be a genetic link between birds and reptiles (both have scale tissue), there are no reptiles with partially developed wings.

CREATIONISM: Christian fundamentalists believe the earth is only 6000 years old and that God created all creatures in six days and rested on the seventh. According to this theory dinosaurs and human beings coexisted at one time, despite the fossil record and carbon dating which suggests the earth is 4 1/2 billion years old and human beings and dinosaurs lived millions of years apart.

THE THIRD OPTION: The main difference between these two theories is the so-called "causal factor." In other words who or what caused the countless forms of life on planet Earth. The WHO supporters vary widely in their beliefs, ranging from a belief in a supreme deity being solely responsible for the existence of all life to alien visitors bringing life from other planets.
Liberal creationists accept some of the evolutionary claims, while rejecting other more simplistic beliefs held by fundamentalist creationists. They subscribe to the theory of Intelligent Design. As one Anglican bishop put it: "it takes a much bigger act of faith to believe that life in all its forms is the result of a cosmic accident than to recognize life as the result of divine creative intelligence."
For example, who would believe a Boeing 747, the Mona Lisa or say, the Eiffel Tower just happened?! Probably no one. Instead we recognize the "intelligent design" in all three examples. Why then should anyone reject the "intelligent design" of far more complex things such as hummingbirds which migrate from Central America to as far north as Canada and back or salmon swimming many hundreds of miles to spawn where they were born or dogs that guide blind people to walk, shop and circumvent obstructions?
Regardless whether we believe life is an accident or divinely created, no one can deny that nature is a highly sophisticated complex system. For example, as we learned in Physics 101, the lower the temperature of water, the heavier it becomes.
So when we heat a kettle of water, the warm water will rise while the cooler water will go down. This phenomenon makes it possible to boil water efficiently. The weight or specific gravity of all solids and liquids increases as temperatures decrease. However, there is a critical exception to this rule: when the temperature of water goes below 4°C it reverses the rule and the water becomes lighter instead of heavier. If this were not so, ice would form on the bottom of lakes and rivers instead of on the surface, surely a remarkable occurrence..
The Oxford dictionary defines the word miracle as "any remarkable occurrence." By that definition life is full of miracles. Indeed life itself is a miracle. Despite millions of miles of outer space exploration life has not been found anywhere else which of course does not mean it will never be found. Indeed our world is an oasis in a seemingly lifeless solar system of rocks, gases and vast space. In sharp contrast Planet Earth is brimming with life in incredible diversity and with amazing interdependence.
How does one look at a flower, an eagle, a shark or a cheetah as an accident? When you see a swarm of hundreds of birds swooping through the sky have you ever wondered why some do not crash and plunge to the ground? Some form of intelligence must be involved in the design of these birds.
Another remarkable occurrence is the release of endorphins (opiates) by the brain when pain becomes extreme and unbearable. Since this phenomenon has no survival value how did it evolve? Darwin postulated that only those things that have survival value attain permanency, but where is the survival value of a natural built-in painkiller or the song of a nightingale or the beauty of an orchid?
Then there is the mystery of migration. How in the world do migrating birds find their way to their winter and summer destinations? Are these navigational skills learned from their parents or passed on genetically? Scientific studies have shown that when eggs are hatched by migratory birds belonging to a different species, the young birds will follow the migratory routes of their biological parents--which they have never seen--instead of the flight patterns of their adoptive parents! Scientists refer to this phenomenon as "instinct," a word often resorted to in the absence of a plausible explanation. This migratory fact, however, proves that navigational skills and patterns are genetically transferred -- not acquired from parental example. Somehow this complex information is stored accessibly in the bird's brain which in the case of a hummingbird is about the size of a pea -- perhaps not a miracle, but definitely remarkable.
So who are right? The creationists or the evolutionists? Quite possibly neither and yet both--at least in part.

MUSLIM DEMONSTRATIONS

When it comes to mass demonstrations Muslims take second place to no one else. For example, all it took were a few insensitive cartoons to get hundreds of thousands of Muslims demonstrating all over the world, often accompanied by violence and even killings -- all the while proclaiming that Islam is a just and peaceful religion. So why are there never Muslim demonstrations protesting beheadings, stoning of women, kidnapping and murder of innocent people, clitoridectomies of young girls?

THE CANCER WAR HOAX
By John J. Moelaert

No matter how many people shave their heads or run for the cure or cycle all over the place, cancer will continue to spread in our midst and claim more and more lives so long as carcinogens are allowed to enter our food, water, air, soil and yes, even some cancer drugs, treatments and diagnostic procedures, while innovative research is blocked instead of encouraged and prevention is largely ignored.
Year after year, decade after decade, the public is made to believe that the battle against cancer is being won when in fact more people get and die of cancer today than ever before--far beyond population growth. The latest statistics show that an average of 187 Canadians die of cancer every day, an increase of 38 per cent in 17 years. SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). The incidence of cancer in Canada and the US doubled in 12 years from one in five in 1988 (The Cancer Industry, PP 33) to one in 2.5 in 2000 (Canadian Cancer Statistics PP 48).
In 1971 then US President Richard Nixon officially declared "war on cancer" and a cure was predicted within five to ten years. Now --decades later-- we have a cancer epidemic instead of a cancer cure. At least forty per cent of Canadians get cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and of those victims 64 per cent die of the disease (Statistics Canada). But cancer is not only a terrible disease, it is also a multi-billion dollar industry. As Dr. Deepak Chopra has pointed out more people make a living of cancer than die of it. Hence a cancer cure (especially an inexpensive one) would be about as welcome among cancer profiteers as a shark in a swimming pool. When a cancer drug has proven effective in treatment trials, but is considered not sufficiently profitable, production is stopped (Cancer: Taming the Beast CNN August 28, 2005).
The CCS raises about $110 million a year through various fundraising campaigns. There is a widely-held illusion that all this money goes to research to find a cancer cure. The facts are quite different. Only about 40 per cent of the money raised goes towards research and then only to research projects that are potentially profitable to the pharmaceutical industry. The rest goes to "salaries and benefits," (27 per cent), financing fundraising campaigns (12 per cent), with the balance covering miscellaneous expenditures (CCS).
According to the World Health Organization at least 80 per cent of all cancer is environmentally caused and can therefore be prevented, but having read the descriptions of dozens of cancer research projects the word PREVENTION was not in any of them. Moreover, the cancer establishment blocks any innovative research that has little or no potential fiscal benefit for pharmaceutical interests no matter how promising such research may be. It is interesting to note that while it is public knowledge how much politicians make, the incomes of CCS executives and researchers who also get paid out of public funds are confidential and are not disclosed. Obviously they should be.
Curiously, claims of medical breakthroughs in cancer research often coincide with fundraising campaigns, never to be heard of again. For example, the National Post in its April 1, 2000, edition devoted two full pages with a front-page intro on anti-angiogenesis treatment that was to be available by Christmas of that year and --gushed the Post-- "Painful chemotherapy may be a thing of the past." Simply put the treatment is based on cutting off the blood supply to tumours. Like interferon that was supposed to have saved Terry Fox’s life and interleukin-2 that was trumpeted as the summit of cancer research, anti-angiogenesis has also failed to live up to expectations, but like all so-called cancer breakthroughs it proved to be a great fundraising tool. To understand the cancer industry’s dismal failure to reduce the overall incidence and mortality of cancer consider this:

If the billions of dollars spent on cancer research ($32 billion during the past 25 years in the US alone) had been effective and if all the so-called cancer-breakthroughs had been true, then obviously fewer and fewer people would get and die of cancer instead of more and more (far beyond population growth). Clearly the public is being misled by the cancer establishment. The future looks even worse. If present trends continue, new cancers are expected to increase 70 per cent by 2010 according to an April 1999 CCS news release.

For the past half century conventional cancer treatment has remained limited to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy (also known as slash, burn and poison). The CCS's own statistics show that in most cases such conventional treatments fail. In fact, the consequences of cancer treatment are often worse than the disease itself and frequently hasten death rather than prevent it. A 33-year study by the late Dr. Hardin Jones, Professor of Medical Physics University of California, found that "untreated cancer victims live up to four times longer than treated individuals." (The Betrayal of Health by Dr. Joseph Beasley) The prestigious British medical journal The Lancet in its summer 1998 issue reported that studies have shown that lung cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy have a 20 per cent higher mortality rate than non-radiated ones. A McGill survey revealed that most doctors in Ontario would not accept chemotherapy for themselves or their family if THEY had lung cancer.....Cancer patients subjected to both chemotherapy and radiation get secondary tumours 25 times the normal rate (The Cancer Industry by Ralph Moss, Ph.D.) Misleading information is not limited to cancer treatment: it also applies to diagnosis. For example, mammography is widely believed to reduce the breast cancer mortality rate when in fact it increases the risk of inducing cancer. According to a study published in The Lancet (January 8, 2000) "for every 1000 women screened biennially throughout 12 years, one breast cancer death is avoided whereas the total number of deaths is increased by six.". Mammography subjects a patient to a radiation dose equivalent to 100 chest x-rays or 5000 milli-REM (Roentgen Equivalent Man), but according to a pamphlet produced by the BC Government the exposure is next to nothing, i.e. the same as received during a flight across Canada (5 milli-REM). In the meantime breast cancer mortality has remained virtually unchanged at around 30 per cent during the past 50 years while breast cancer incidence during the same period has nearly tripled from one in 20 to one in eight today.
Public ignorance about the politics of cancer is the result of widespread distortion and suppression of relevant facts by the cancer industry, most mainstream news media and government. As two-time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling put it "the war on cancer is largely a fraud." The veracity of that statement is widely substantiated by books such as: The Politics of Cancer Revisited by Dr. Samuel Epstein. The Betrayal of our Health by Dr. Joseph Beasley. The Cancer Industry by Ralph Moss Ph.D. The Cancer Wars by Prof. Robert Proctor. Cancer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth by Phillip Day. Patient no more - The Politics of Breast Cancer by Sharon Batt.
See also: http://cancertruth.org

John Moelaert is a Victoria writer who has researched, spoken and written on the causes, prevention and politics of cancer since 1980. He is the author of The Cancer Conspiracy

SEE: http:/members.shaw.ca/cancerconspiracy


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