Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 22nd, 2009

Parent’s have choices: Revisited (February 23, 2009)

In a previous article I stated “All that parents need to know on the condition of a fetus of six weeks is a drop of blood from the mother.  The mother blood carries cells transferred from the fetus and all the necessary information can be obtained from a single cell.  A wide array of diseases of physical and cognitive natures, whether curable or incurable, can be diagnosed at six weeks of the fetus. A sample of these diseases is: sterility, mongolism (Down syndrome), Elephantine, blindness, deafness, metabolic deficiencies, epilepsy, mental retardation, cancer (ovary, breast, colon, and prostate), neurological, Alzheimer, and anxiety to name a few”.

The medical institutions, bolstered with the science of genomes for interpreting the ADN chains and the recognition of the wide gamut of physical and mental characteristics of a person based on his ADN, are in the midst of a new set of challenges. It is possible to perform successful surgeries “in utero” (unborn baby) for cardiac, renal, and spinal-bifida ailments.   Knowing the chromosomal ailments the medical profession can treat the afflicted parts a various stages.  For example, by sorting out the embryos and selecting the least affected, during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and at an advanced stage of pregnancy. “Bubble children” who are confined in sterilized environment are being treated successfully by genetic therapy by injection of modified genes and injection of the lacking proteins.

Do you know that the technology can scan the whole body in 3-dimensions, in and out, and the data stored for further analysis?  Shouldn’t the State covers the cost of scanning the body at birth, when adolescent and when a person reaches 40-years of age?  This facility should save the heath system tons of money because the physicians would have the means to evaluate the progress of ailments and tumors instead of costing countless micro scanning throughout a life time and then many patients realizing that an ailments is far advanced and the expenses are exorbitant in suffering, psychological traumas, and financially.  Very soon, every citizen would be carrying on him a USB of his whole body scan along with his medical card.

The human and social institutions legal, political, and religious are left dizzy; they are scrambling to catch up with the new realities of man and his potential development.  The Parliaments have backlog of fresh laws to organize and codify the new realities. 

For example, should the parents have the right to know the condition of the fetus without the obligation to ask, should the gynecologist inform the parents of the alternative treatments for giving birth to a healthy baby, should the parents have the right to abort when they get the full knowledge of the condition of the baby even after an advanced stage of pregnancy, what are the civil status of “in vitro” born babies, or how long a person is permitted to extend his life with various transplants?  Laws are enacted several years after the fact and they are at beast incoherent and have to be revisited frequently.

We are already experiencing a shift from traditional medical specialties to high tech treatments simply because publishing is the name of the game.  Mentors of medical students want recognitions that only come from up-to-date advances.  How about the cash cow treatments of the other preventive treatments such as vaccines and performing antibiotics? Who is caring for the billions of patients in the under-developed States who are asking for just a low cost preventive vaccines and low cost antibiotics that no pharmaceutical companies care to produce anymore?

Nietzsche: A biography of the philosopher of life (February 15, 2009)

Note:  My intention is to write three articles on the topic; the first part is a biography on Nietzsche, the second part is Nietzsche’s positions on life and his philosophy, and the last part would describing what is known of the ancient Persian religion of Ahura Mazda, its latest prophet Zarathustra, and explaining how Nietzsche comprehended the mazdean religious book the Avesta. (I have updated About)         

Frederick Nietzsche was born in 1844 in Rocken (Germany) on the birthday of the King Friedrich Wilhelm.  His father Karl was a Presbyterian minister, from a long line of ministers in the family, and died when Nietzsche was five of age.  His mother was then 18 and devout. His little brother died after a day of high fever; Frederick had a dream the night before his brother’s death “The church organ is playing. My father step out of his tomb wearing the shroud; then, he returns carrying a little baby in his arms and they enter the tomb”.  Nietzsche regards his childhood as a succession of bereavements; he wrote “I know of nothing the least desirable than childhood and youth.  I was born as plant by the cemetery.  I grew up in the cemetery church” (I recall a book by Amelie Nothomb that I reviewed and titled “Metaphysics of plant”)

            Nietzsche is brilliant in his studies, and at the age of 9 he learns to play the piano and to compose music (at least 50 lieder) “when I cannot listen to music everything seems dead to me”.  He joins the university of theology in Bonn and discover that he” had lost the faith” and pursue philology or the study of the Greco-Latin civilizations through the religious texts.

            In 1868 Nietzsche meets the composer Wagner (aged 52) in Leipzig and spent his happiest moments in the company of Cosima (Wagner’s wife); he had a secret love for Cosima and she was represented as Ariane in his works. In the Greek mythology Ariane saved her husband Theses out of the labyrinth; then she married Dionysus the God of the eternal return.   Frederick hoped to become the tutor of Wagner’s son Siegfried; soon Nietzsche realizes that he is considered as “another piece of furniture in the house and that Wagner amused his invitees at his expense”.  Wagner became Nietzsche’s preferred target of diatribes and more so after Wagner’s death.

            Nietzsche’s mentor, Friedrich Ritschl, managed in 1869 to appoint Nietzsche (aged 25) professor of philology (science of logic?) in Bale Switzerland where he spent most of his teaching life. After reading Schopenhauer, Nietzsche decided to become a philosopher.

            Nietzsche served as nurse during the Franco-German war in 1870.  He suffers from nausea, terrible headaches, and used to losing his sight for many days (these were the symptoms of syphilis contracted maybe around 1866) which developed into a generalized paralysis and coma.  Nietzsche has to take frequent sabbaticals because of ill health and after 18 years of teaching in Bale he had to renounce teaching and retired with a small pension.

For ten years Nietzsche is moving around trying to locate a place that suits his ill health.  In summer time he rents a room (transformed into museum) in Sils-Maria in Switzerland, 6,000 feet above sea level, where his book “Thus spoke Zarathustra” germinated.  In winter time he stays around Nice, Genoa, and finally in Turin (Italy) where he somber into coma in January 1889 and is transferred to Weimar where his little sister Elizabeth (Lama) and his mother cared for him for 11 years.  Nietzsche is practically a dead person, he is silent, and plays piano until he dies in August 1900.

Lama established a museum for her brother in Weimar and published his works.  She became a Nazi member in 1930 and Hitler visited her and the museum and he participated to Lama’s funeral in 1935.

The vaccine is ready; sorry, in ten years: the AIDS/SIDA case (February, 22, 2009)

            AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) or SIDA in French has been diagnosed about 28 years ago. It is a virus that affect of immune system.  How this virus came to be in the first place?  The medical establishments claim that this virus appeared over a century ago in rural Africa.  The people affected by AIDS got weak and lost weight and thus their poor immune system were prime target for many other diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and dozen other diseases.  Thus, death was imputed to these known diseases.

            Then, rural Africa started to flock to the cities and AIDS epidemic flourished and many Europeans and foreigners got contaminated via unprotected sexual contacts. The Cuba military contingents sent to Africa and the South African mercenaries of the apartheid regime at the time and the French troops in West Africa transmitted that disease to Europe and the USA.  Lately, there were published several serious books pointing to probable causes for the widespread of the epidemics; they argued that AIDS was transmitted through live vaccines in Africa intended for other diseases.

            The epidemic was discovered by hazard in 1981. The Center of Disease Control in Atlanta discovered cases of sarcomas of Kaposi (36 cases in 30 months).  In 1983, cases of AIDS were detected in female partners of drug addicts or through infected blood transfusions. AIDS was getting rampant in Haiti and Cuba.  Quarantine health systems were re-applied to all immigrants tested positive to AIDS.

            The UN had issued a report on the state of AIDS in 2006.  There are over 33 millions infected or seropositive (they don’t have AIDS yet but they can transmit the virus sexually or through blood), 2.5 millions infections per year, and 2.1 millions dead per year.  68% of the infected are located in 8 countries in the sub-Saharan regions; obviously, the greatest majority of dead are also from these regions.  China, Central Europe, and South East Asia are experiencing drastic increases in AIDS.  There surely are formulas to predict trends for specific regions, the duration of incubation of the seropositive before it turns AIDS, and the duration to live (life expectancy) before an AIDS patient dies.  These variables are different by regions depending on the State health support and close monitoring of the virus.  In the USA and Europe an AIDS patient can expect to survive 10 years.

            Every now and then we receive news that vaccines for AIDS have been discovered only to get retractions and postponement for another decade.  In the meantime, I suspect Bush Junior zeal to combat AIDS in Africa as means to fund US pharmaceutical companies to pursue testing on ready, helpless, and cheap African guinea pigs.

Bi-Weekly Report (#11) on the Middle East and Lebanon (February 19, 2009)

            The Sudanese author Al Tayyeb Saleh died in London this Wednesday at the age of 80; he had cancer.  I reviewed one of his books “Seasons of Migration to the North” which received so far more than 180 hits before it was surpassed last week by my review of the biography of Al Waleed Bin Talal.

            The theocratic Saudi regime has undergone an “artificial” skin shedding re-structuring of its government posts.  The media claim that the Saudi Monarch is moderating the religious leaders of the Wahhabi sect; he appointed 150 members to the “Shoura” (an assembly of theologian versed in the Islam laws).  Maybe it is a first step re-organization before some changes in the Ministry of the Interior and the National Security administrations.  

Saudi Arabia had launched in the last three decades vast proselytizing campaigns of the Wahhabi sect in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and Egypt.  Extremist Islam is the trademark of the Najd sect mainly funded by the Saudi regime and applied by Al Qaeda, Taliban, and the Somali Moslem regime.  They tried to infiltrate Lebanon via the city of Tripoli but were crushed in the Nahr Al Bared Palestinian refugees’ camp by the Lebanese army. With the advent of a new era in the USA and the serious willingness of Obama to negotiate with Iran then Saudi Arabia is scrambling to put up a face of a viable and sustainable regime to deal with in the region.

            The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Lebanon, Al Shaer, was made Minister of the Media.  There are strong rumors in Lebanon that Al Shaer had “fishy financial transactions” with the Hariri clan and our Seniora P.M.   Seniora stated that he used the cash money aid of Saudi Arabia for the reconstruction of South Lebanon as collateral for borrowing money; go figure, using cash as collateral to borrow money!

            That many foreign officials, who overstayed in their positions in Lebanon, ended up learning the trade of financial embezzlements and bribery is no news. The Syrian mandated officials in Lebanon, for over 15 years, learned the trade and almost wrecked havoc to the Syrian economy.  Before the Syrian, the Israeli army had to retreat quickly to the southern strip in Lebanon because hashish transactions and arms selling business flourished enormously among the Israel Defense Force.  No wonder that the stoned Israeli soldiers were no match to the clean, sober, and decided Lebanese resistance forces.

            The people of Gaza are waiting for an agreement among the political factions for the entrances normal re-opening to traffic.  It appears that Israel is unwilling to come to an agreement before its government is formed; the latest election did not produce any clear cut winner and no single party has enough power to decide for peace; all that Israel is capable of doing is engaging in more of the useless offensive wars for internal benefits among the political parties.  Hamas has shown enough flexibility but Egypt has proven to be just a mediator with no will or capability to impose any change on any of the belligerent parties until Obama makes up his mind.

            Parliamentary election is priority on the mind of the Lebanese politicians.  The Hariri clan has already paid for chartered airplane prior to June 7 for expatriates.  Millions are earmarked for the election though every politician agrees that the difference in seats between the government and the opposition alliances will not exceed three deputies out of a total number of 120 deputies. Saad Hariri is visiting the Sunni Arab States and submitting his obedience, especially Egypt as the vanguard of the Sunni power and dominance.

The real battlefield in the election is in the Christian districts.  The government alliances want to recoup the Christian majority seats off the Change and Reform Movement (Tayyar) of General Aoun who offered critical internal credibility to Hezbollah.  The one special district is the Christian Metn district where the government wants to discredit the dominance of the Tayyar of General Aoun.  The Phalange (Kataeb) is joining with Michel Murr (two major electoral forces in Metn).  Michel Murr is saying that the Tayyar barely contributed 10,000 votes for a total of 50,000 votes to win; that he let the Tayyar win the Metn district and then they discarded his opinions in the last four years and thus this fight is “kasser athem” (bone breaking). 

The last election to fill the vacancy of late deputy Pierre Gemayel was a close call to the Tayyar; the Armenian voter made the difference. During the defeat speech, the ex-President Amine Gemayel (the candidate) alienated the Armenian voter even further by branding this “minority” as essentially not Lebanese patriot.  Michel Murr gave his supporters the choice; the majority of his supporters favored the leader of the Phalange Amine Gemayel.  The other district is Baabda with sizeable Druze voters; in the last election Hezbollah’s Shiaa voters made the difference because it was then allied to the government coalition and thus, permitted Walid Jumblatt to make a clean sweep of both districts of Baabda/Aley and the Choof.

Senator (D) John Kerry visited Damascus, Beirut, Gaza, and Israel.  What I heard from Kerry is that Bush Junior was not wrong in his Middle Eastern policies and that the Obama Administration has no plans to review these policies. According to Kerry, the only fault of Bush Junior is for not starting with political negotiations but to sending out Powell and Ramsfeld to dictate the US policies to the regional leaders through a short list of “do and don’t do”. 

Either Obama is using up these stupid democrats in the higher echelon of the Democratic Party and burning out their credibility or he is indeed comfortable with a bunch of lame outdated Democratic leaders.  Either way, the Obama Administration is on the path of fishy decisions that will inefficiently consume the better part of his four years first tenure.

Note: I have updated my About.

Egocentrist: The fake and the real, you decide (February, 18, 2009)

Life covers infinite shades of typicality and values but sending the right message needs two gross examples for comparison sake. 

Let us consider a person who have or made time to spare and he decided to analyze his behavior, pretty much an exercise in introspection.

This process requires reading a lot, reflecting, recalling, and writing on a daily basis; a diary is highly recommended. 

It is a harsh exercise that demands honesty, guts, and stubbornness. The road is uneven and fraught with despair and loneliness and social uneasiness from the neighbors and close relatives. 

Fundamentally, you are categorized as someone who “lost it” or going through middle age troubles and the longer the process of introspection the definitive is the condemnation.

This process does not rule out socializing and having fun and enjoying life to the hilt; the real hic is “are you going to find whom is willing to join you and sharing your happiness”? 

If you are to go out alone and if you are not ready to socialize wherever you are going to, then why the bother of getting out? You know deep down that you are in introspection primarily because you feel the urge to comprehend the others, to discover resemblance in behavior, more compatible associative links than how you used to judge people.

You don’t want to feel an alien in your surrounding. But first thing first, you need cohesive answers to the questions “Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses? How can I improve and in what way? What is the value of living? How can I contribute? Do I still count after I am dead?”

Now let us consider the other type of individual

He hates staying still; he is constantly on the road; on weekends he is taking long trips hunting, fishing, skiing, camping, vacationing, touring or whatever. He cannot stand being at home. 

He has to fuss around more than of being of help.

After work he hits the bars to rewind.  He lingers as long as he can to avoid returning home. 

At home he has nothing to do but watch cables.  Fundamentally, he hates anything related to reading, reflecting, discussing, and writing.

At best, he might read professional materials to keep up with his profession. He ingurgitates all kinds of pharmacopoeias in order to keep out of home.  It is always the end of time if he has to be tied down to bed because he has to feed his family, because he has responsibilities, because it is not the time to rest and sleep, because “I will sleep long enough after I die

The introspective person implicitly believes that there is a second return after death and that if he learns to witness a change in kindness toward others and himself then he should be ready and up and running to enjoy what life offers. 

The second individual implicitly do not believe that there is another life; even if there is one then it would be of the same nature of struggle among wills for power and another life of strings of miseries.

My question is “Who is the ego-centrist?” 

Is he the one running away from reflecting on his behavior or the one who decided to take the demon by the horns? 

Who will be more capable of mastering “Time” and taking advantage of his older years

Who will be more capable of showing companionship and relating to people as age advances? 

Who will be the favorite listening ears and the least judgmental with age?

Good Old Days: Let’s Review (Part 2, February 18, 2009)

Alexander Fleming published his discovery of penicillin in 1928 and with the aid of Chain and Florey antibiotic was born effectively in 1940. In 1942, enough amount of penicillin was produced to treat 170 injured English soldiers in Africa.

At the end of the war, 300,000 British soldiers were given priority to penicillin treatments, among them 100,000 cases of syphilis and 200,000 of gonorrhea Nietzsche died of syphilis in 1900; he suffered the agony of syphilis progression and devastations for over 34 years. Anyone still longs for the Good Old Days before penicillin?

Suppose these millions of returning soldiers were not treated with penicillin, how many generations of afflicted “crazies” would be running amuck among us? Millions upon millions of civilians were not treated with penicillin because there was not enough in production and millions of new-born “crazies” were afflicted with just this single disease.

The British know how to be first in recycling everything.  In 1847, Victor Hugo wrote “The British dailies state that several millions of human and horse bones were shipped to Hull. These bones were retrieved from the battle fields during the Napoleonic wars. The bones were transported to Yorkshire and grinde into powder and then sent to Duncaster as fertilizer and feed for cows”

A decade later, the first symptoms of “mad cow” were observed in Duncaster and lasted till recently. Only three decades ago did Creutzfeldt and Jacob discover the link between the “mad cow” disease (MCJ) and what the cows were offered to eat. Cows are supposed to eat grass and not the bones and flesh of the dead and dying sheep grinde in powder as feed! Worst, people were contracting a variant of the MCJ disease by eating cow meat.

The biochemist Stanley Prusiner discovered in 1982 that the variant of MCJ in human called “prion” (an acronym) is a protein mutation and not a virus, or bacteria, or a parasite. For an entire decade, Prusiner had to suffer the sarcasm of the medical profession before they came around and gave this protein mutated transmissible agent the label of Non Conventional Transmissible Agent (NCTA).

The MCJ disease was found among a primitive tribe in New Guinea in 1957; the sickness was called Kuru or “The laughing dead” because the terminally ill individual had no control over laughter and died of hunger for failure to swallow.

Adult women accounted for 66% of the afflicted because they were left to eat the innards of dead cadavers after the men had eaten the muscles. Anyone to board a time machine back to primitive New Guinea?

Note: Most of these accounts are extracted from “Amorous Dictionary of Medicine” by the surgeon Bernard Debre.




February 2009

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