Photo of the Day

Dr. Walter Freeman (left) and Dr. James W. Watts studying an x-ray before performing a lobotomy. In the 1940s Dr. Walter Freeman gained fame for perfecting the lobotomy, then hailed as a miracle cure for the severely mentally ill. But within a few years, lobotomy was labelled one of the most barbaric mistakes of modern medicine.

Lobotomy — The Ice Pick Cure

Do you take yourself too seriously? Are you in major need of a sense of humour? A lobotomy may help lighten you up so you can enjoy life, instead of spending the rest of your days as an angry troll!

Would an ice pick driven through the eggshell thin bone above your eye into your brain cure your ‘maladies’, your ‘melancholy’, your ‘madness’? During the middle decades of the 20th century transorbital lobotomy, or ‘ice pick’ lobotomy, a radically invasive form of brain surgery, was used extensively for patients with psychiatric illnesses. It was a rapidly executed procedure, taking perhaps a few tens of minutes in total, requiring no more than a local anaesthetic, conducted for the purposes of ‘psychosurgery’.

Cruising around the country in his “Lobotomobile,” Dr. Walter Freeman coined the visited mental institutions all over the United States performing prefrontal lobotomy and transorbital, aka “icepick,” surgeries on the mentally ill.

The first documented case of psychosurgery was in 1888 by Swiss psychiatrist Gottlieb Burckhardt. He claimed success in 50% of patients (3 of 6) Burckhardt was met with overt criticism from his contemporary medical colleagues. The next attempt at this type of surgery did not occur until the mid 1930s which produced many documented success stories and soon became an accepted surgery procedure in many countries. From the late 1930s to the 1970s approximately 100,000 psychosurgeries / lobotomies were performed world-wide.

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Comment of the day

Our new guest poster and commenter Lushington D Brady made this comment on his post yesterday that helps us to understand why Social justice bullies and Left-wingers choose to be outraged and offended so often.

As Theodore Dalrymple says, “Outrage is a substitute for religion: It convinces us that our existence has some kind of meaning or significance beyond itself … therefore we go looking for things to be outraged about as anteaters look for ants. Of all emotions, outrage is not only one of the most pleasurable but also one of the most reliable”.

-Lushington S Brady

Cartoon of the Day

This is the story of a good Kiwi farmer

Lizzie Marvelly did a disgusting story painting a very one sided view of the Treaty. She also demeaned Maori by suggesting they achieved nothing but get on the booze. You have to wonder how an editor of a major newspaper could publish such rubbish. Story is here.

I have written an alternative story below. It paints the other side.

This is the story of a good Kiwi farmer. Let’s call him Joseph Smith.

Joseph’s family had been toiling living a subsistence existence with much uncertainty. The farmers had no governance structure that they all respected and they were often at war with each other. They would often lose their land to farmers who would lead raids against other farmers killing or enslaving their captives. That all changed, however, the day Joseph signed the Agreement.

The Agreement seemed like a great idea at the time because it provided a mechanism for them to settle disputes that did not involve war because they were to become British subjects and enjoy the same privileges and protections of the British settlers. They would for the first time ever be given security of property rights and be allowed to enjoy their property without fear of losing it and their lives to raiding farmers.

Signed by most of the farmers around the country, it formalised the Government’s promises of equal rights and protection like any other British subject. Even the slaves were given these rights and so the practice of keeping slaves came to an end. Many farmers were upset by this complaining of loss of mana when slaves were allowed to live as free people.

The agreement guaranteed the farmers ownership of their land for as long as they wanted to keep it.

With law and order established in the country and legal mechanisms in place, farmers were able to trade and improve their life from the previous toil of a subsistence existence and constant war. They were also able to sell their land. There was much difficulty because the city dwellers wanted to buy the land but the farmers were often unable to ascertain who owned it. Often the city dwellers had to buy the same land several times from different farmers to ensure all farmers were paid. Sometimes they had to buy the land from the farmers who were living on the land as well as the previous farmers who the current farmers had stolen it from. Read more »

The domino effect of Resolution 2334 continues

UN Resolution 2334 sponsored by the chairman of the security council, Murray McCully, whose strings were pulled by John Kerry and outgoing President Obama, sent a message to the Palestinians that Jerusalem was theirs. Now PLO President Abbas is pulling out all the stops to try to stop incoming President Trump from moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Why is he so against it? It is because it sends a strong counter message that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and therefore does not see it as Palestinian land.

Interestingly New Zealand shows its lack of diplomatic respect for Israel by locating its Israeli embassy not inside Israel but inside the Muslim majority country Turkey in their capital Ankara. We recognise the capitals of Muslim states so why don’t we recognise the capital of Israel?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent letters to a number of world leaders on Monday urging them to prevent the stated goal of the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. to the official PA news outlet Wafa, Abbas sent letters to the heads of Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Arab League secretary general, “asking them to spare no effort in preventing the US embassy from moving to Jerusalem”

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What will you do in a post-Carbon world?

To be honest, apart from not knowing what that means, I hadn’t considered that we had yet another problem ahead.

Weka at The Standard explains

The Powerdown is a process where societies, in the face of climate change and resource depletion, choose to transition to a post-carbon world sustainably. Sustainably, because we cannot have perpetual growth in a physically finite world. Nor can we ecologically afford for the whole world to have Western middle class lifestyles, but instead we must live within the natural limits of the world in a way that allows that natural world to continually restore itself. Counting carbon and reducing it to zero is not enough.

The Powerdown is not based on high tech solutions (although we can continue to use various levels of tech as appropriate), because reliance on high tech as our major approach fails the resilience test and takes too many resources. Instead it looks at providing for human needs by using fewer resources and energy, and designing within whole systems frameworks in order to maintain the least disruption to human life while still giving us a chance at surviving. It isn’t a process where we all end up living in caves or reverting back to some imagined pre-industrial agrarian, nasty, brutish and short existence. Instead we take the best of our knowledge and design systems that enhance life rather than strip-mine it. In other words, we can powerdown and live good, meaningful lives. But yes, it means that we in the West will need to give some things up.

That’s more or less what we’ve been doing already.  Due to better science we have better yields in crop production.  As for the things that take more resources, they cost more money.  Scarcity drives invention/development of alternatives.  The system works. Read more »

An update on my health

I went to see the Neurology specialists yesterday at Auckland Hospital. After lots of tests they came up with a final diagnosis.

My pain has been caused by a viral infection, and the anti-virals have given it a good hiding and it appears that it is on the way out. The pain is still present but thanks to the heroic efforts of SB, while also writing posts for the blog, we have managed to get on top of the pain so that I no longer get pain bursting through the medication. It’s still there, I can still feel it, but it is manageable. If things go well up to the weekend and I feel some progress there I will start reducing the morphine. Read more »

Subscription Competition: May the best Whaleoiler win

Welcome to the 2017 Whaleoil Subscription giveaway that was generously funded by Whaleoil supporter David.

The judges are the Whaleoil reading public.

The three most persuasive commenters with the most upvotes will win one of the following prizes.

1st place winner: 12-month ad-free membership
2nd place winner: 6-month ad-free membership
3rd place winner: 1-month ad-free membership

Read more »

The UK knows they screwed up, now they are opposed to Resolution 2334

Theresa May

PM Theresa May has realised that she screwed up by supporting Resolution 2334 and that poor decision has been reinforced now that 28 EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels adjourned without issuing a statement adopting the Resolution.

May’s relationship with Israel is interesting. Two weeks ago she made a heart-warming speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel and then last week she strongly condemned John Kerry’s anti-settlements speech.

May’s office retorted that “we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” It said in an emailed statement late Thursday that “we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.”

Despite May’s apparent support of Israel, Britain helped write resolution 2334 and voted in favour of it even though the resolution claimed that East Jerusalem (including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) was now Palestinian land. So why did this happen? Why the two contradictory stances?

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An Iranian woman on the Greens list

A Green Party candidate is aiming to be the first refugee to become an MP in New Zealand.

Auckland barrister Golriz Ghahraman, originally from Iran, has been confirmed as a candidate for the general election.

She says electing a refugee to Parliament would send a strong message during a global refugee crisis and at a time of rising anti-refugee and immigrant sentiment.

“It would be historic for New Zealand and I think it will mean something at this particular moment in a time when we are seeing one of the worst humanitarian disasters in a lifetime in the Middle East,” Ghahraman said. Read more »