Tag Archives: Harvard

More Deadly Than the Unabomber

Manhunt UnabomberThere have been many bombers, but “going postal” is a phrase which began due to several infamous USPS shootings, sparking discussion about workplace violence. It spawned books and a violent video game, Postal. While the Unabomber case was a significant tech-related case involving three deaths and 25 injuries, a more deadly incident in Edmond, Oklahoma was chilling: when postal clerk Pat Sherrill, about to be fired, turned his rage on co-workers, killing 14 and wounding five more. Within a decade 11 rampages at post offices ensued. Why? The monotony of the job, the relentlessly by-the-numbers demands of management, and mental illness. (Employee screening is lax: former military are given preference, regardless of their unresolved issues on battlefields.) People can “snap.” As for Ted Kaczynski, he is a Harvard educated mathematician now in supermax prison in Colorado. Unlike OJ Simpson, he will never walk free. His manifesto, which he preferred to call an “article,” discusses technology as the enemy of freedom, and he has things to say about AI, too.

unabomber manifesto

Apparently, he was friends with Timothy McVeigh of the Oklahoma City bombing, who was also at the prison prior to execution, and had things to say about Osama bin Laden wanting to access technology to pull a power play in a nationalistic sense, something that must be stopped. He also questioned the tendency of the media to produce fake news.

fake news PostalOn Oct. 10, 1991, former U.S. postal worker Joseph Harris shot two former co-workers to death at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The night before, Harris had killed his former supervisor, Carol Ott, with a three-foot samurai sword, and shot her fiance, Cornelius Kasten, in their home. After a four-hour standoff with police at the post office, Harris was arrested. His violent outburst was one of several high-profile attacks by postal workers that resulted in the addition of the phrase “going postal” to the American lexicon.

Harris, who was born in prison and had a lifetime of psychiatric problems, was fired from his job in April 1990. Harboring a grudge against his ex-employer, he began to stockpile automatic weapons, grenades, and ninja swords. Two years later, he learned that he had lost as much as $10,000 by investing it with broker Roy Edwards. Dressed in a black ninja costume, Harris entered Edwards’ Montville, New Jersey,home and handcuffed the family. After sexually assaulting Edwards’ wife and two daughters, he shot Edwards to death. Since hundreds of investors had lost money while dealing with Edwards, police never even considered Harris a suspect in his death until after the mass slaying on October 10.

Arguing that he was insane, Harris’ lawyers said that he had told psychiatrists that he was driven by the “ninja spirit” to commit the crimes. In 1992, Harris was convicted of both the Montville and Ridgewood attacks and was sent to death row. But in September 1996, two days before a New Jersey State Supreme Court battle to overturn its death-penalty law was to start, he died of natural causes.

IRON IS THE NEW LEAD

nutrition

Went into a health food store looking for flour without added iron. The owner asked me why. I told her about the new book THE MINDSPAN DIET, which shows that the American diet is saturated with supplemental iron, and it is a leading cause of dementia. She started to lecture me about nutrition, saying that no one knows what causes Alzheimer’s. I told her it was a recent book with new science. She didn’t want to know the title or the author, or anything about it. Instead she repeated her contention that “no one knows,” and that studies are “first one way and then the other.” So I tried to explain that surveys were taken of the longest living people on Earth with the least dementia, and in all cases those areas showed the least amount of supplemental iron or red meat in the diet (red meat is high in iron.) She began to get angry. How dare I, a mere customer, suggest she might be wrong? Her identity was tied to her knowing what her customers do not, and, after all, so many of her products are fortified with iron, how could they all be wrong? I smiled, made my purchase (twice the cost of regular flour for one not “enriched”) and left. Then I went to my sister’s and found that she had purchased many prepackaged “nutrition” dinners and “healthy” snacks from Nutrisystem and Medifast. They all contained supplemental iron. Most cereals contain supplemental iron. Most breads and cakes. The author, a geneticist from Harvard, says that Americans already get 100 times the amount of iron we need, and no one needs added iron after grade school. The levels of iron Americans get can be toxic to people over 40, and cause dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. But the general public largely doesn’t know this yet. We still believe the labels. It sounds so good: “fortified with iron.” And apparently it is all a LIE. Just like Coke and Pepsi told us that HFCS was okay as a sugar substitute, or that artificial sweeteners are okay too. Except this is even worse. Alzheimer’s is now the #3 killer. Like diabetes, it is epidemic. And very costly. Why wouldn’t you want to know?

iron

Unlike the health food store owner, to me it doesn’t matter who says something or what someone believes. My opinion doesn’t matter. Only the science matters. You go where the science goes. Convince me otherwise, and my opinion will change. As it should. How about you? Thoughts?