Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastro-enterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the I.R.S.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise. May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends. May you find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues. May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may the commercials on TV not be louder than the program you have been watching, and may your check book and your budget balance - and include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your siblings; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor. And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Happy 2008 friends!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Eid Mubarak

Wishing you all a blessed eid! And a merry christmas for all who celebrate it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Fresh snow on the ground:
half full- it's eeringly beautiful outside, looks like a postcard.
half empty- drive to work took 2 hrs instead of 30 mins.

Much needed rain in an area with drought:
half full- great! The reservoirs will fill up and the plants will quench their thirst.
half empty- the water will fall as freezing rain and the roads will be slippery wet.

It is Autumn:
half full- the fall leaves and color change are spectacular.
half empty- with all the leaves off the branches, the trees look like skeletons, scary at night, snow freezes into ice and well you guessed it, slippery roads.

Huge sales for the Christmas season:
half full- great prices on really good stuff.
half empty: the stores are a mob and it's horrible going anywhere.

Eid is round the corner:
half full- even though I am far from my, I have my sister and nephew to celebrate with.
half empty- being far away from home on Eid sucks big time. What sucks even more is having to work.

Finals are over:
half full: first semester down, I am beginning to feel like I can do it and now I have a full month to myself. I can't believe I made it through math econ alive.
half empty: I did not get the grades I want and somehow I feel as if I am slacking. Quick give me something to do!

Great professors:
half full- the label summed it up, who knew learning can be immensely enjoyable?
half empty- my instructors asked me what and where Bahrain is, then proceeded to sarcastically tell me that it must be a great place to live followed by his surprise that Bahraini women are allowed to drive?!!! Even the educated are ignorant!

Hosting a It's a Girl! baby shower for the parents to be:
half full: making my own, stunning (if I may say so) diaper cake and going wild with the theme.
half empty: nearly going crazy in the process, having a couple fight over with whether the man actually changed diapers and an invitee bring her step-mum's much older friend who in the karoake game requested 6ala3a el badro 3alaina followed by some anasheed deeneya :S

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who Owns You?

Does a person own him or herself? The Rights of a Private Property differ with the different schools of economic thought;

· Socialism's fundamental principles are centered on a critique of this concept, stating, among other things, that the cost of defending property is higher than the returns from private property ownership, and that even when property rights encourage the property-holder to develop his property, generate wealth, etc., he will only do so for his own benefit, which may not coincide with the benefit of other people or society at large
· Libertanian Socialism generally accepts property rights, but with a short abandonment time period. In other words, a person must make (more or less) continuous use of the item or else he loses ownership rights. This is usually referred to as "possession property."
· Communism argues that only collective ownership of the means of production through a polity (though not necessarily a state) will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and the maximization of benefits, and that therefore private property should be abolished.

Both communism and some kinds of socialism have also upheld the notion that private property is inherently illegitimate. This argument is centered mainly on the idea that the creation of private property will always benefit one class over another, giving way to domination through the use of this private property. Communists are naturally not opposed to personal property which is "Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned" (Communist Manifesto), by members of the proletariat (Source: Wikipedia).

During my microeconomics class the issue arose about the test for full private property rights. The professor asserted that the ultimate definite test for full ownership of anything is if you can see that good or your share in that good.

This brought John Locke’s quote to mind: “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.”

Back to my question: Does a person own him or herself?

If that is true, should a person be allowed to sell themselves or take his/her own life?

Or on a less drastic scale, should people be allowed to sell their organs to the highest bidder when they can in fact choose who to donate their organs to?

And whatever your answer is, who decides? Should the government decide? Society? Or each person?

I have conflicting thoughts on private property rights. I have my religious perspective leaning one way, societal perspective running along the religious thought although not completely similar. Then there is the economist in me, that comes up with a whole different answer.

As I am writing down my answer, conflicting reactions spring up, showing that even for me, a person who thought about this for a while, studied it even, the matter is not so clear cut. So for now my answer will have to wait!

I am curious to read other people’s thoughts and see if they vary in a place as small as Bahrain.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Finals are Here!

In a week or so I have my finals, next Tuesday I have my micro exam. Next Thursday I have math econ. The thought of the math exam sends me in full-fledged panic mode.

Then for a whole month I am free of school. YAY More time to blog, shop, exercise (yah right!) watch movies and do nothing! One whole month free from study groups, staying up late doing hw, reading 700 pages a week and night classes. I can't wait.

There are things I want to write about: sexual abuse for one. A real from the heart post rather than reciting stats. Although the stats are necessary for they do drive the issue home. I also want to write about my classes and professors. Last, I want to write about capital punishment and decriminalizing drugs. Yes I know that my topics are all over the place but they are the things that I have been thinking about lately.

As always, sorry about the typos. I really need to get back to studying and don't have the time nor the inclination (terrible I know) to proof read my thread.

Wish me luck!

Here We Go Again!

Uff! So I change my layout and template and there goes my links! I was tired of the black layout. It was starting to depress me. I needed something light and airy, easy to look it and something not half bad. Well, my choices are limited but I like this harbor template. Problem is, same as before, as soon as I changed my template, my links disappeared. Last time Silly Bahraini Girl came to my rescue with a timely and blog saving email. It included instructions that even a techie dodo could figure out, a cut and paste job really.. Thanks SBG.

So growing more confident and tired of the ugly black, I decided to change my template. No worries coz I already had SBG's instructions, plus I saved a copy of my old template. In some ways, limited as they may be, I consider myself tech savvy. Well, I had to eat a huge portion of humble pie; no matter what I do, what I include or omit, I can't for the life of me add links to my page. This makes me feel, well, like a idiot!

So for the next two week until I am done with my finals, my blog will remain frill-less, link-less and well just less! I am sure I can find someone or the other who can fix this in like 30 seconds or so.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sexual Abuse- Wake Up and Face the Facts

Think you don’t know anyone that has been a victim of sexual abuse. Think that sexual crimes don’t happen in your society. Think it is a problem of the other cultures and societies. THINK AGAIN. It is time you wake up and face the facts.

No One is Immune
-1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
-1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
-1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
-Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.

Family Comes First
-30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
-Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
-Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
-Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
-Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
-Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE (I a curious to see the number in Bahrain, I bet it is much higher).
-Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
-Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
-Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. -Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.

Once isn’t Enough
-Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims.
-An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

Health and Behavioral Problems
-The way a victim's family responds to abuse plays an important role in how the incident affects the victim.
-Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who "tell" and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems often lasting into adulthood.
-Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are more likely to experience physical health problems (e.g., headaches).
-Victims of child sexual abuse report more symptoms of PTSD, more sadness, and more school problems than non-victims.
-Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to experience major depressive disorder as adults.
-Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents.
-Adolescent victims of violent crime have difficulty in the transition to adulthood, are more likely to suffer financial failure and physical injury, and are at risk to fail in other areas due to problem behaviors and outcomes of the victimization.

Drug and/or Alcohol Problems
-Victims of child sexual abuse report more substance abuse problems. 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use.
-Young girls who are sexually abused are 3 times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or alcohol and drug abuse in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused.
-Among male survivors, more than 70% seek psychological treatment for issues such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Males who have been sexually abused are more likely to violently victimize others.

Teenage Pregnancy and Promiscuity
-Children who have been victims of sexual abuse exhibit long-term and more frequent behavioral problems, particularly inappropriate sexual behaviors.
-Women who report childhood rape are 3 times more likely to become pregnant before age 18.
-An estimated 60% of teen first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. The average age of their offenders is 27 years.
-Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
More than 75% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.

Adolescents who suffer violent victimization are at risk for being victims or perpetrators of felony assault, domestic violence, and property offense as adults. -Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children.
Over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.