A heuristic for understanding the type of politics around any particular policy proposal
A heuristic for understanding the type of politics around any particular policy proposal
The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable social psychology experiments conducted by Yale Universitypsychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in … Continue reading →
The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable social psychology experiments conducted by Yale Universitypsychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.
The experiments began in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the question: “Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?” In other words, “Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?” Milgram’s testing suggested that it could have been that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs. The experiments have been repeated many times, with consistent results within societies, but different percentages across the globe. The experiments were also controversial, and considered by some scientists to be unethical, physically or psychologically abusive, motivating more thorough review boards or committee reviews for working with human subjects.
TPP a Disaster for Natural Health 1 BY ANH-USA ON DECEMBER 1, 2015CRONY CAPITALISM, GOVERNMENT FOR SALE Details of the long-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership are public at last: it will undermine the safety of our food supply, make medicine more expensive, … Continue reading →
Details of the long-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership are public at last: it will undermine the safety of our food supply, make medicine more expensive, and give power to the biotech monopoly. Action Alert!
A few weeks ago, the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal was finally released after many years of closed-door negotiations between officials from the US and eleven other countries, all of whom border the Pacific Ocean. Its provisions were apparently kept secret from all but the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
Leaked documents during the trade negotiations provided reason to be concerned about the final agreement. And now, a review of the deal’s twenty-nine chapters and five thousand pages proves these early concerns were completely justified. The final package now awaits a vote in Congress, which is likely to take place in Spring 2016.
Here are some of the most pressing concerns for natural health advocates:
It Undermines the Safety of the Food Supply
The TPP contains a number of provisions that threaten current food safety laws.
Generally speaking, passage of the TPP would mean that any US food safety law concerning things like pesticides, food additives, or labeling that is more stringent than “international standards” may be considered an “illegal barrier” to trade, and subject to enforcement. We have learned to beware of such “international standards.” They are largely determined by global special interests.
The TPP expands corporate power in other ways. The deal includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system in which multinational corporations can challenge a host company’s regulations in an international court. ISDS has been a fixture in other trade treaties, including NAFTA (the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement), and has been used to challenge countries’ economic policies, anti-smoking efforts, and environmental preservation laws. It is another giveaway to Big Food and other powerful multinational interests—a recurring theme throughout the TPP document.
The trade agreement also undercuts US efforts to inspect food imports. The agreement limits food import inspections at the border “to what is reasonable and necessary,” and if an issue arises, a country must also provide an “opportunity for a review of the decision.” This provision, referred to as the Rapid Response Mechanism, may give exporting countries the right to challenge basic food safety provisions in the US.
Published on Nov 25, 2015 Each November, Americans celebrate a mythical version of U.S. history. Thanksgiving Day’s portrayal of the experience of Native Americans under the boot of settler-colonialism is one of the Empire’s most cherished falsehoods. To hear about … Continue reading →
Published on Nov 25, 2015
Each November, Americans celebrate a mythical version of U.S. history. Thanksgiving Day’s portrayal of the experience of Native Americans under the boot of settler-colonialism is one of the Empire’s most cherished falsehoods.
To hear about the true story of native peoples’ plight – from genocide to reeducation – Abby Martin interviews Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, renowned indigenous scholar and activist, about her most recent book “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.”
THURSDAY, NOV 26, 2015 06:59 AM -0600
Every Thanksgiving, like clockwork, an email makes its way around the inboxes of conservative Americans across the country — along with those of the unsuspecting family members and friends to whom they may forward it. The missive claims to tell “The True Story of Thanksgiving.” In reality, all it does is further propagate myths and lies about the already greatly misunderstood holiday.
Limbaugh tells the same story each November, lifted from chapter six, “Dead White Guys, or What the History Books Never Told You,” of his 1994 book, “See, I Told You So.” The accuracy in Limbaugh’s telling of the story basically ends with the title of the chapter — it is indeed a story about dead white guys, and it is a story that, truthfully, is not told in history books.
But the reason it is not told in history books is not, as Limbaugh implies, because the real story has been hidden, stifled, repressed; rather, the reason it is not told in history books is because it is not actual history. It is ahistorical right-wing propaganda; it is conservative mythology that was conjured to defend an idealized, fictitious representation of the United States of America and its origins.
Published on May 16, 2013 “Richard Feynman is one of the most iconic, influential and inspiring scientists of the 20th century. He helped design the atomic bomb, solved the mystery of the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and won a Nobel Prize. … Continue reading →
Published on May 16, 2013
“Richard Feynman is one of the most iconic, influential and inspiring scientists of the 20th century. He helped design the atomic bomb, solved the mystery of the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and won a Nobel Prize. Now, 25 years after his death – in his own words and those of his friends and family – this is the story of the most captivating communicator in the history of science”
Muslim Opinion Polls A “Tiny Minority of Extremists”? “Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is their destination.” Quran 9:73 May 03 2013 Killing Civilians Is More … Continue reading →
A “Tiny Minority of Extremists”?
“Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be
unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is their destination.”
As the Gallup poll shows, of all religious groups surveyed–including nonbelievers–Muslims are the least likely to say it’s OK to kill civilians
Few political terrorists in recent history took as much care to articulate their ideological influences and political views as Anders Behring Breivik did. The right-wing Norwegian Islamophobe who murdered 76 children and adults in Oslo and at a government-run youth camp spent months, if not years, preparing his 1,500 page manifesto.
Besides its length, one of the most remarkable aspects of the manifesto is the extent to which its European author quoted from the writings of figures from the American conservative movement. Though he referred heavily to his fellow Norwegian, the blogger Fjordman, it was Robert Spencer, the American Islamophobic pseudo-academic, who received the most references from Breivik — 55 in all. Then there was Daniel Pipes, the Muslim-bashing American neoconservative who earned 18 citations from the terrorist. Other American anti-Muslim characters appear prominently in the manifesto, including the extremist blogger Pam Geller, who operates an Islamophobic organization in partnership with Spencer.
The modern Islamic fundamentalist movements have their origins in the late 19th century. The Wahhabi movement, an Arabian fundamentalist movement that began in the 18th century, gained traction and spread during the 19th and 20th centuries. During the Cold War following World War II, some NATO governments, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom, launched covert and overt campaigns to encourage and strengthen fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and southern Asia. These groups were seen as a hedge against potential expansion by the Soviet Union, and as a means to prevent the growth of nationalistic movements that were not necessarily favorable toward the interests of the Western nations. By the 1970s the Islamists had become important allies in supporting governments, such as Egypt, which were friendly to U.S. interests. By the late 1970s, however, some fundamentalist groups had become militaristic leading to threats and changes to existing regimes. The overthrow of the Shah in Iran and rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini was one of the most significant signs of this shift. Subsequently fundamentalist forces in Algeria caused a civil war, caused a near-civil war in Egypt, and caused the downfall of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. In many cases the military wings of these groups were supplied with money and arms by the U.S. and U.K.
By the Numbers is an honest and open discussion about Muslim opinions and demographics. Narrated by Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, this short film is about the acceptance that radical Islam is a bigger problem than most politically correct governments and individuals are ready to admit. Is ISIS, the Islamic State, trying to penetrate the U.S. with the refugee influx? Are Muslims radicalized on U.S. soil? Are organizations such as CAIR, who purport to represent American Muslims accepting and liberal or radicalized with links to terror organizations?
It’s time to have your say, go to http://go.clarionproject.org/numbers-…
Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases … but could also be used to create … Continue reading →
Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases … but could also be used to create so-called “designer babies.” Doudna reviews how CRISPR-Cas9 works — and asks the scientific community to pause and discuss the ethics of this new tool.
Bruce K. Alexander (born 20 December 1939) is a psychologist and professor emeritus from Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has taught and conducted research on thepsychology of addiction at Simon Fraser University since 1970. He retired from active teaching in 2005. … Continue reading →
Bruce K. Alexander (born 20 December 1939) is a psychologist and professor emeritus from Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has taught and conducted research on thepsychology of addiction at Simon Fraser University since 1970. He retired from active teaching in 2005. Alexander and SFU colleagues conducted a series of experiments into drug addiction known as the Rat Park experiments. He has written two books: Peaceful Measures: Canada’s Way Out of the War on Drugs (1990) and The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit (2008).
The Rat Park experiments, published in psychopharmacology journals in the late 1970s and early 1980s, flatly contradicted the dominant view of addiction in their day. They quickly disappeared from view, having evoked only negative responses in the mainstream press and journals. Lauren Slater’s controversial psychology book, Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century helped to bring them back to public attention in 2005. These experiments are now widely known and cited.
The Rat Park experiments were among the first to show the error in the once dominant myth that certain drugs, particularly the opiates, convert all or most users into drug addicts. In the 1970s, this myth was said to be demonstrated by the high consumption of opiates and stimulants of rats isolated in specially modified Skinner Boxes that allowed drug self-administration. Alexander and his colleagues demonstrated experimentally that rats isolated in cages of about the same size as Skinner Boxes consume far more morphine than rats that are socially housed in Rat Park. Subsequent research has confirmed that social housing reduces drug intake in rats and that the dominant myth was wrong both for rats and for human beings. Nonetheless, the myth is still embedded in popular culture.
Alexander then explored the broader implications of Rat Park experiments for human beings. The main conclusions of his experimental and historical research since 1985 can be summarized as follows:
- Drug addiction is only a small corner of the addiction problem. Most serious addictions do not involve either drugs or alcohol
- Addiction is more a social problem than an individual problem. When socially integrated societies are fragmented by internal or external forces, addiction of all sorts increases dramatically, becoming almost universal in extremely fragmented societies.
- Addiction arises in fragmented societies because people use it as a way of adapting to extreme social dislocation. As a form of adaptation, addiction is neither a disease that can be cured nor a moral error that can be corrected by punishment and education.
Therefore, the current NIDA Model of addiction, which Alexander refers to as the official view, is untenable. Contemporary world society can only overcome mass dislocation (and addiction) by restoring psychosocial integration on a political and social level. This requires major social change.
Alexander’s controversial conclusions have been celebrated by some mainstream sources outside the United States. Alexander received a 2007 Sterling Prize for Controversy in Canada, a 2009 high commendation from the British Medical Association, and an invitation to present at the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures in London in 2011. Although all mainstream American sources have ignored Alexander’s work, it has acquired considerable recognition in outsider sources.
One line of research in which Alexander played a key role was actively suppressed by the World Health Assembly. Early in the 1990s the World Health Organization (WHO) organized the largest study on cocaine use ever undertaken. Profiles of cocaine use were gathered from 21 cities located in 19 countries all over the world. Alexander was selected as the principal investigator for the Vancouver site. The WHO announced publication of the results of the global study in a press release in 1995.
However, an American representative in the World Health Assembly effectively banned the publication, apparently because the study seemed to contradict the dominant myth of addictive drugs, as applied to cocaine. Part of the study’s findings were “that occasional cocaine use does not typically lead to severe or even minor physical or social problems.” In the sixth meeting of the B committee the US representative threatened that “If WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programs should be curtailed”. This led to the WHO decision to postpone publication. The study has not been published officially but was leaked in 2009 and is available at wikileaks.
Published on Jan 7, 2014
Dr. Gabor Maté talks about the root causes of addiction and how to deal with them. This is taken from the Q&A part of TJ Dawe’s show – “Medicine”.
About Climate Change Adaptation in Europe The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps users to access and share information on: Expected climate … Continue reading →
The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps users to access and share information on:
- Expected climate change in Europe
- Current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors
- National and transnational adaptation strategies
- Adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options
- Tools that support adaptation planning
On Nov. 10, Bill Nye will release a new book titled “Unstoppable.” As only Bill Nye can, he uses the book to explain the science behind climate change, debunks popular myths, and asks readers to take action in their own lives to create a sustainable future. The book is shot through with optimism, but Nye has no illusions about what lies ahead. The message is simple: Climate change is real; humans are causing it; and we have no choice but to build a better and cleaner world.
Some extraordinary phenomena have taken place in recent times; Hurricane Katrina, the heat wave of 2003, polar bears swimming in search of ice and vast swarms of insects enveloping an African village. But are these isolated incidents or are they omens of a greater global change?
Sir David discovers that the world is warming at an unprecedented rate, and finds out why this is now far beyond any normal allowance for cyclical fluctuation. But are humans to blame? These changes are already in motion whatever we do now, but Sir David believes that we may be able to act to prevent a catastrophe. People around the world are having to adapt their way of life as the climate changes; the Inuit in the Arctic whose hunting is now limited, the Pacific island inhabitants forced to move as their homes disappear beneath the waves, and the Siberian homes slowly sinking into the permafrost. Sir David investigates some of the possible scenarios for the future, including rising sea-levels, insect plagues and an increase in diseases.
All rights: BBC
the CIA reportedly is ending a key program that shared the agency’s climate change data — some of it gathered by surveillance satellites and other clandestine sources.
Investigative magazine Mother Jones broke the story last week that the intelligence agency is shutting down the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis program. MEDEA allowed a select group of scientists access to classified information about climate change. Mother Jones said that the data included not only satellite observations, but also ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by U.S. Navy submarines.
The CIA began gathering climate data for global security purposes during the Cold War, when it tracked the effect of climate change on Soviet grain harvests. According to one document mentioning MEDEA on the CIA website, the program was created in the early 1990s, in part through the efforts of then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.), as part of an effort to share intelligence related to environmental problems.
Homo sapiens – 287 million tonnes Domesticated Livestock – 700 million tonnes Wild animals – around 200,000 wolves vs 400 million domesticated dogs 250,000 chimps vs 7 billion humans The Bomb is Still Ticking… by Sharon Ede on 8th November … Continue reading →
Homo sapiens – 287 million tonnes
Domesticated Livestock – 700 million tonnes
Wild animals –
around 200,000 wolves vs 400 million domesticated dogs
250,000 chimps vs 7 billion humans
The notion of homo sapiens somehow being marginalised by concern for nature is not supported by the science – human beings have colonised every available niche on the planet we possibly can. Research by Professor Vaclav Smil from the University of Manitoba in Canada shows that as a percentage of mammalian zoomass, human beings and our domesticated mammalian animals (for food, beasts of burden and as pets) have gone from <0.1% 10,000 years ago, to 10-12% at the start of the industrial revolution to between 96-98% today. Human beings can and will expand to fill every available ecological niche within reach, and has done so at the expense of other species.
At some time in recent pre-history, there were fewer than 100,000 humans, hunter gatherers all, while the rest of mammal diversity was wild. Then humans domesticated plants and animals, and together they came to dominate the landscape in a very short time.
Background to the calculations: Canadian economist and mathematician Vaclav Smil has calculated the best estimates for the biomass of terrestrial mammals on planet earth, dividing them into human, livestock and remaining wild mammals, and the picture is pretty stark.
Sarah C Walpole, David Prieto-Merino, Phil Edwards, John Cleland, Gretchen Stevens and Ian Roberts
The energy requirement of species at each trophic level in an ecological pyramid is a function of the number of organisms and their average mass. Regarding human populations, although considerable attention is given to estimating the number of people, much less is given to estimating average mass, despite evidence that average body mass is increasing. We estimate global human biomass, its distribution by region and the proportion of biomass due to overweight and obesity.
For each country we used data on body mass index (BMI) and height distribution to estimate average adult body mass. We calculated total biomass as the product of population size and average body mass. We estimated the percentage of the population that is overweight (BMI > 25) and obese (BMI > 30) and the biomass due to overweight and obesity.
In 2005, global adult human biomass was approximately 287 million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes were due to overweight (BMI > 25), a mass equivalent to that of 242 million people of average body mass (5% of global human biomass). Biomass due to obesity was 3.5 million tonnes, the mass equivalent of 56 million people of average body mass (1.2% of human biomass). North America has 6% of the world population but 34% of biomass due to obesity. Asia has 61% of the world population but 13% of biomass due to obesity. One tonne of human biomass corresponds to approximately 12 adults in North America and 17 adults in Asia. If all countries had the BMI distribution of the USA, the increase in human biomass of 58 million tonnes would be equivalent in mass to an extra 935 million people of average body mass, and have energy requirements equivalent to that of 473 million adults.
Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth.
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