Thursday, 14 June 2007

The Secret - Laws of Attraction

I came by THE SECRET during one of my online class forum discussion, on ethics. Since then I have seen the whole movie and the take of different people on it. I still don't exactly know where my stand is! I would like to hear from people who have seen the movie and anybody else who has something to say!

For those who have not seen anything about the secret, here is their trailer

Here is a nice debate

Below is a comedic take on it. :)

Hope you make up your own mind and take time to share it with ME!

IF you have time, here is their visualisation tool! (This woudn't make much sense if you haven't see the movie I guess)

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Top 10 Reasons why Maldives want Drug Addicts in Prison

10. Partisan Politics - We are against anything that any other political party(or not) is for

09. ..We have a law on drugs, we have a center, so everything is going smooth why change?

08. Gym Coach Mentality - The only solution is 'getting tough', treatment isn't tough enough

07. Think of how many MDP/opposition members woudn't be in Prison

06. Rehabilitation costs too much - and think of all the Rich elite who need MORE money!

05. More partison politics - We the government cannot afford to be seen as soft on drugs

04. Competitive Zeal - we are number one at arresting people for drug offences in the region

03. Tolerance is bad - We should be serious about punishment because we are becoming too tolerant folks

02. War Mentality - If we stop sending them to prison now, then the addicts would have won.

And the number one reason

01. The compassionate Maldivian Public - Let them rot in Jail! they are filth, we should kill them

Ah, to be a Maldivian

Monday, 11 June 2007

Drug Rehabilitation: Prohibition VS Harm Reduction?

With the adherence to the UN conventions, the Maldives adopted the prohibitionist stance promoted by countries such as the United States. The prohibitionist stance fitted with the Islamic Shari’a, and as a result, no effort was done to look for other alternatives. At the time of the UN conventions. Although substance abuse was reported (UNDCP, 2000) it was not classified as a problem by the Maldivian government at that time. When the ‘drug problem’ did start emerging in the late 1980’s the law was amended in 1995 to incorporate a drug rehabilitation service. This move showed that the Maldives no longer strictly adhered to the prohibitionist stance. Rather we started moving away to provide treatment to users. This amendment did still however, retain the prohibitionist language of users being labelled as criminals and had harsher sentences for ‘traders/dealers’. The law at that stage did allow a one time chance for rehabilitation, and if there was a relapse on the part of the client, no more opportunities were given. A later amendment to the law provided the substance abuser with two more opportunities for rehabilitation for convicted substance abusers and also the unique opportunity to enter rehabilitation without having a police record (the opportunity to volunteer). The alarming increase in the substance abusing population (FASHAN et al., 2003) has raised a need for research on culturally acceptable options that would not conflict with the Islamic Shari’a. It is understandable why local researchers would hesitate to suggest harm reduction strategies or methods as a solution to the substance abuse problem. It is perceived that harm reduction methods would be in direct conflict with Shari’a. That is implementing harm reduction strategies would probably mean accepting substance abuse as not a legal problem and there is the belief that this would enhance the belief that substance abuse is not prohibited in Shari’a.
Substance abuse is a problem in other Islamic countries as well. The major categories of the substances abused in these countries include opium, and its derivative, cannabis, khat, alcohol and certain manufactured psychoactive derivatives (Baasher, 1981). With the exception of alcohol there is no reference to any of the drugs mentioned above in the early Islamic era, and there is no direct mention of either of them in the Qur’an or the hadith/sunna (sayings and practices of the Prophet). In later periods in history, the lack of this reference in the Qur’an and hadiths have created a state of dilemma with regard to the use of dependence-producing drugs. Baasher (1981) states that, it is not unusual to come across a person from Sudan or Egypt who abuses some sort of substance with the firm conviction that it was not wrong to indulge in the use of these drugs because they have not been prohibited by Allah, since they were not mentioned in the Qur’an. This attitude seems to have filtered into the Maldivian culture as well. Alcohol is haram (prohibited) while substance abuse is not a good thing to do (but not haram). This belief is upheld because the legal system currently prescribes 40 hadd for people who consume alcohol and is not included in the Law on Narcotics and Psychotropic substances. It is worth noting that Islamic shari’a has clearly stipulated that whatever constitutes a dependence-producing drug and which, therefore should be regarded as harmful, should not be consumed by any Muslim. There is no data available to determine the cause of this split in the legislature between substances of abuse and Alcohol. However, since Maldives is trying to endeavour with the Islamic principles to comply with the Islamic doctrine, it would be useful to look at the model that was first implemented in Islam. The model gave due consideration to the prevailing ecological factors and a step-by-step system of gradual desensitization, persuasion and effective community involvement (Baasher, 1981).

The above text is a direct replication from a thesis done on Maldives Rehabiliation...(with permision from the author)


I should be content
to look at a mountain
for what it is
and not as a comment
on my life
(David Ignatow)

Just how many people can say honestly that they don't take stuff personally?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Alcoholics Anonymous

Last night I was watching a re-run of Penn&Teller (great show). They were going on about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I really liked the spin they put on the 12 steps. Couple of things stood out for me.

  • AA claimed that Alcoholism was a disease - Alcoholism has never fit the criteria of a disease (not the current definition and neither any past definitions)
  • 12 steps advocates - NOT taking responsibility for your actions. Real shame isn't it?
  • AA has never adjusted, evaluated or re-evaluated their steps or service in the past however many years it has been
  • AA itself has never done any research or has statistics to provide their success rates
  • ONE research done in 1983 showed that people who go through AA - sucess rate 5%, people who don't go through it 5% - AA makes no difference!

Penn& Teller - They did have a point.

Here are the 12 steps and some commentary by a fellow blogger

#1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
We admitted that we had no self-control. We drank because we wanted to drink, and we wanted to drink more than we wanted to do anything else. Maybe diving into a bottle was better than actually dealing with stuff. Who cares? It was funner.
#2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Gave up our own will, in order to rely on an abstract. We looked to the heavens and decided that they were better than our own minds, because we were always juiced up, and our minds were a little imbalanced.
#3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Completely threw our hands in the air, and stated that we are incapable of taking care of ourselves, so we should just let someone else take care of it. I don't trust anybody actually around me to help, so I believe that I'll let "God" do all the work. Let's all head over to the nearest church basement and let "God's chosen representative (tm)" tell us how to live our lives. "Just think of the stories we can get these people to tell, that is if they can remember any of them."
#4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Whose "morals"? Ours or someone elses?
#5) Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I fucked up, and I told somebody else about it. They didn't beat me or call me bad names, so I guess it was a good thing. Who cares if it was a bus driver and a voice in my head that I told it to?
#6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
I am not perfect and that is unnacceptible! I must be perfect in the eyes of someone! Wait, I'll make someone up who thinks I'm okay!
#7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Oh crap! Now I actually have to ask the person I just made up to do, what I made him up for. What kind of crap is this?
#8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
First I'd like to recognize Mom. She went through labor to bring me into this world, so I am willing to watch Fahrenheit 9/11, 911 times to atone for the grievous pain I caused her.
#9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Obviously the F 9/11 thing won't work, as watching that "film" 911 times will only encourage him to make more. I could never do that to society.
#10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
"Socks, check. Shirt, Check. Clean underwear, Weeeeeeelllllllll...I'm wrong for not having clean underwear!" Someone hug me.
#11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
"Hey there dude. I know I just created you out of thin air 'n stuff, but can you tell me what you want me to do? Oh yeah, and make me do it too?"
#12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
"So stranger. I notice that you are imbibing a substance that I no longer partake of. Let me introduce you to the fellow that I "just made up". He's really groovy, and will fix all your problems. All you gotta do is ask him."

I say "Do it your Damn-Self". If you can't find any "real people" out there to help you out and give you the support that you need, you need to find some new friends and/or family.
If you don't want to quit, then you won't. If you do (no I mean really do) want to give it up, you will. It's just that simple. Make up your mind and do what you want to do.

One step. Much simpler.