Links for 7 June 2012

Is Fear a bad thing for a Christian?
Well, depending on the context, it certainly could be. Irrational fear, worrying about the future, fear of death, etc., could all be indicators that the Christian is not fully embracing the hope inherent in Christianity. From Stan Jantz,

When we succumb to fear (and I’m counting myself in that habit), we are basically telling God, “I don’t trust you.” We’re saying, “Faith isn’t good enough; I need facts.”

However, are there times when a healthy appreciation of fear is the most prudent and, dare I say it, the wisest thing to do? Fear can be that quality in our psyche that alerts us to things untoward – situations out of the ordinary – or people to be wary of. Listening to that part of our brain which tells us something is amiss is not paranoia but a survival instinct. And survival is not a wrong thing, in and of itself – indeed – the lives we have been given, by God, are by no means trivial enough for us not to be concerned with managing them well.

In The Gift of Fear, Gavin DeBecker does a very good job outlining the way we can utilize the signals our brain already sends us regarding everyday events, situations, encounters, etc., to better prepare us for untimely events in life.

Remember:  Be prepared, not scared.


Avoid these words online if you don’t want the government breathing down your neck
But remember… it’s for our safety.


Not really.


Are you on LinkedIn? Better change your password
Millions of passwords from LinkedIn leaked online.


Mobilizing on Capitol Hill for children taken by food allergies

Less than six months after the death of her daughter Amarria, who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction at school, Laura Pendleton walked the halls of Congress today, joining the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN™) as it continues to work toward passage of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.

The urgency behind the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (S. 1884/H.R. 3627) is heartbreakingly illustrated by Pendleton’s loss. Her 7-year-old daughter Amarria died earlier this year after eating a peanut at the Chesterfield, Va. school where she was enrolled in first grade. She did not have an epinephrine auto-injector at school.


And people were scared about having Vice President Sarah Palin?
From the article,

Vice President Joe Biden told the graduating seniors of Cypress Bay High School in Florida today that they should imagine a world where hunger no longer exists because crops grow without the need of soil, water or fertilizer.

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 32)

Air Traffic Controller sleeps on duty at Reagan National Airport
Isn’t it ironic, considering that President Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers, that an air traffic controller falls asleep on the job at Reagan National Airport?


Similar to the boy in the bubble among us? Or simply a nuisance to everyone else?
Where do we draw the lines to our accommodation of those with disabilities? At what point do we say, enough, you (the disabled person) need to limit your actions because of your predicament? Regardless, it’s another reason to homeschool.


eBooks, weeding, and the demise of the public library?
No, the title is not an Elmer Fudd pun on the act of reading. An interesting op-ed argument regarding how the advent of ebook technology, along with the limits of ownership rights, may impact how libraries currently function.


Imagine a truck, full of printer ink, spilling its load
Imagine no more (click the image for stunning detail)…

Image ©


Video: Pelosi violates the “separation of church and state”
But it’s okay, because it suits her needs.


Geek News of the Week:  Hi-res photo of Mars Rover Opportunity from orbit
7 years into a 3 month mission, Opportunity was photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Click the image for a hi-res version.


Well, it IS “Frie”-day
For all those IN-N-OUT aficionados out there (and for those who long for the experience).

Nuts in ignorance

“Anaphylaxis is an acute multi-system severe type I hypersensitivity reaction.” Such a reaction is brought on by the human body reacting to an allergen, or allergens, which it perceives as poisonous. Those persons, who happen to have a hypersensitivity towards certain allergens, such as peanuts, will experience an allergic reaction upon exposure to said allergens. The reaction, which runs in a cascade manner, has the potential to progress into anaphylactic shock, a condition where the body’s airways are swelled and constricted, and cardiac arrest occurs. In other words, if left immediately untreated, a person going into anaphylactic shock will most likely die.

Enter a post at both hellinahandbasket and Chicago Boyz in which James Rummel likens the banning of peanuts from commercial airline flights as one example of our leaning towards a nanny-state environment. From the Chicago Boyz post,

I’m voicing my bemusement over this situation because I just heard that there are tentative plans to have the US government ban all peanuts on commercial flights.

No more peanuts for you, you healthy bastard! Your inflight snack, which is nothing more than an ounce or two of roasted nuts, might cause the poor bastard sitting next to you to keel over from the odor!

My private charity for 18 years was a free self defense course for violent crime survivors, and I specialized in the elderly and disabled. I don’t think anyone can credibly claim that I am unsympathetic to the plight of those suffering from disabilities.

But banning peanuts because someone sitting somewhere on an entire airplane might be allergic? If there are people out there that are so hypersensitive to something so prevalent in our society, then they should be living inside of a bubble somewhere. If the problem is so deadly, their bodies so sensitive, then they could be passing someone in the street who ate a peanut butter sandwich and die in their tracks!

Now I read James on a pretty regular basis. He’s very level headed. While I can understand his frustration at the notion of losing access to airline peanuts, albeit for a few hours at a time for however many (or few) times he travels by air, I do take exception towards his attitude about those persons who do have a medically confirmed hypersensitivity towards peanuts (to be specific). His expecting someone so hypersensitive to live in a bubble is tantamount to expecting his disabled, elderly students, confined to wheelchairs / walkers, to stay in their homes and not bother the rest of us able-bodied persons to accommodate them as we get on with our daily business.

Yet, why the push for banning allergens, such as peanuts, from airline flights? In a word, time. As I mentioned earlier, the anaphylactic shock reaction is a cascade function, which is neither initiated or limited simply by the amount of allergen perceived. Therefore, reactions can occur with minute contact and reactions, once started, can progress into full anaphylactic shock. Once such a reaction occurs, treatment with epinephrine must be immediate. Those individuals who are diagnosed with hypersensitivity typically carry two doses of epinephrine with them at all times. However, while these injections provide immediate reversal of the allergic reaction, their effectiveness is limited in time (~30 minutes). Hence, it may be necessary to provide the individual with additional medical care.

This is why you see advocacy for limiting or banning allergens from airline flights and you don’t see advocacy for banning peanuts from, say, baseball games. I doubt that people, who are hypersensitive to peanuts, would choose to attend a major league baseball game, what with the bags of peanuts flying about. However, if they were to make the poor decision to attend such a game, and if they were to find themselves in anaphylactic shock, then a call to 911 would typically find paramedics at their side within minutes. The differences between the airline flight and the baseball game should be clear:  need vs. want, non-accessible vs. accessible medical facilities.

A commenter, emfdl, at hellinahandbasket, states,

Ban ‘em for all I care; I take my own peanut butter crackers with me when I fly. And I’m sorry, but if someone has that big a problem with an allergy, best they should stay in their air controlled bubble and let the rest of the world get on with life.

I don’t know who the person is, but if he truly believes that statement, then he’s an ignorant fool. And heaven help the likes of emfdl if they take that attitude while amongst me and my loved ones who suffer from allergic hypersensitivity.

Whenever I’ve heard of someone suffering a heart attack, while onboard an airline flight, it seems that the flight always diverts to the closest airport in order to provide that individual with the care they need. Rather than write-off individuals, with medically confirmed hypersensitivity, shouldn’t we extend them the same level of concern we do to other disabilities?

Also ref: The Peanut Allergy Answer Book