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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Monday, November 22, 2010

22 November - Morning Musing/News

Irish people!Image by Éole via Flickr

Illness, medical bills 'plunge millions into poverty'

More than 100 million people are plunged into poverty every year by illness or "catastrophic" medical bills, the World Health Organisation said Monday, launching a global drive for universal health care.

A crisis in dyingWorld Health Organisation building from south,...Image via Wikipedia

An aging population and a strained health-care system point to a looming crisis in palliative care in Canada. While Quebec debates euthanasia, many critics say the country needs to fix the palliative care system before seeking A more radical option.
A perfect storm is brewing on the horizon in Canada. Three factors are coming together that will create an unprecedented scenario in our society in a decade or so. At its centre swirl questions around how, when, where and at what cost Canadians will die. At the eye of the storm is physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, a thorny issue that raises controversy and passion wherever it is broached, and is currently being debated in Quebec.
Other factors compound the issue. Many palliative care advocates say before we even consider physician-assisted suicide, Canadians have a long way to go to perfect our palliative care system.
And Canada is a death-denying culture, in which discussions around death are avoided, and the natural effects of aging are fended off with Botox and a host of other strategies, so few Canadians, and fewer politicians, are interested in preparing for this storm.

Duchess of Kent House Trust Enhancing the qual...Image via WikipediaRemoval of life support systems, which include feeding tubes, respirators and cardiac machines, is not euthanasia, nor is it physician-assisted suicide. It is simply good palliative care when it occurs at a point when the dying individual is only being sustained by these measures.

( Watch that POV attacked to the max by the same idiots who posit the undeveloped unborn as 'people' despite only having the potential for becoming same - while ignoring institutional war, torture and  murder of actual, real, vital, aware, developed people. Personally, I have at least as much sympathy for any adult animal - despite being an unapologetic ominvore. )

What does the Irish bailout mean?

 Europe and the International Monetary Fund are discussing the final details of a rescue package worth up to 100 billion euros to bail out Ireland's banking sector. What are the implications of the bailout for Irish people and the rest of the world?
Ireland needs funds to shore up balance sheets after its government pumped billions of euros into Irish banks to keep them afloat, effectively nationalizing most of them. The European Central Bank is lending money to Irish banks because other banks won't. And lately people and companies have been pulling funds out of the banks. 
The extra banking injection will take Ireland's fiscal deficit from the planned 11.75 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to as high as 32 percent. That's 10 times higher than the three percent allowed under the Maastricht Treaty agreed by the EU when it laid out the foundations of its single currency in 1992.
( Sidebar here - and I'm really not qualified to say much - but 25% profit on investments pretax is an old standard target for investment returns on established businesses. I  can't see such a high repayment schedule as other than Mafia-style usury...and destabilizing for the Irish economy.
Isn't it odd though : paying at 32% rate for 4 years runs just about at that figure. )
International Monetary FundImage via Wikipedia







Pakistan denies U.S. request to expand drone access

( Except of course there is no face to put behind such claims. Despite that, such a reaction should be natural : who wants the cowboys firing missiles in the neighbourhood ; Israel ? That's called 'begging the question' and isn't a serious proposal -  but a note how such ideas are received elsewhere. )

Stonehenge builders 'used ball bearings to move giant slabs of stone into position

Scientists showed how balls placed in grooved wooden tracks would have allowed the easy movement of stones weighing many tons.
Hat Tip  Unexplained Mysteries

The masters of our minds: Meet the brain scientists battling to preserve our sanity
The greatest threat to humanity is all in our minds  -  Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's affect millions, while one in six of us will die with dementia

The 'technological tree': The incredible Taiwanese skyscraper complete with floating 'leaf' observatories

It looks like something designed for the set of a Star Wars film or science fiction video game.

The glue made from genetically-modified bacteria that can knit cracks in concrete back together

U.S. open to North Korea talks despite nuclear advances

 The United States and its allies on Monday accused North Korea of being a danger to the region after it showed off its latest advances in uranium enrichment, but Washington said it was still open to talks*.
South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Tae-young raised the temperature when he hinted at the possibility of redeploying U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in response but his department quickly attempted to tone down his comment.
( There's a bright spark. He reminds me of Curtis LeMay . And 'open to talks' is really big of the faraway nation that has attacked North Korea for decades, don't you think?  It isn't as if there wasn't a 'war' on. )

Washington is particularly worried by the threat of North Korea -- whose ravaged economy has long relied heavily on arms exports -- selling nuclear weapons material to other states. It has conducted two nuclear tests to date and is believed to have enough fissile material to make several nuclear warheads.
( No competition, please. Not that China, Canada, Russia and more haven't marketed nuclear generating plants at some time. You know : the facilities to generate electrical power peacefully as 'guaranteed' compliant signatories of the NPT ? Guffaw here. )

The NPT and the Nuclear Power TRAP

The Abolition Caucus is a group of committed NGOs with specific expertise, who are deeply devoted to the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

On May 20, the Abolition Caucus, delivered a statement to UN 2010 NPT delegates stating concerns about the May 14 Report of Main Committee II, the body assigned to address nuclear energy which made “glowing” claims about nuclear power’s benefits for energy, the environment, health, the economy, and Millennium Development Goals.

Abolition Caucus NGOs are alarmed at the dangers and proliferation risks in the face of delegates’ overwhelming enthusiasm and promotion of nuclear power. Why the huge discrepancy?

For 40 years, there is virtual, unquestioned acceptance of nuclear energy, with frequent and automatic repetition of the mantras –the “inalienable right” to “peaceful uses” of nuclear energy, the “the third pillar” throughout the speeches. The belief in nuclear power is so deeply and widely held that it may seem outrageous to even question it.

While the delegates are skillful in diplomacy and consensus building, they are not natural scientists. Their opinions on nuclear energy are largely informed by the IAEA, with its contradictory role in both promoting and regulating atomic power, and by vested interests, such as Areva, a French multinational nuclear power conglomerate and others who spend fortunes on deceptive propaganda promoting nuclear power. 

The NPT bubble is a perfect environment for “groupthink” defined by Yale research psychologist Irving Janis as: “A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” 

In a “groupthink” environment, pressures for consensus implicitly or explicitly discourage independent thinking, creativity, and expression of doubts. Failure to consider alternative views, facts and bodies of knowledge impairs sound decision-making processes, often leading to irrational, flawed and hasty decisions.
The NPT culture has been driven by political and economic influences. Our global nuclear power system – including structures, financial investments, infrastructures, institutions, networks, jobs, dynamics, language, thought patterns, and belief systems, has evolved from what Nobel physicist Murray Gell-Mann calls a Frozen Accident, which begins with an event, say the NPT organized around a central role for the IAEA. It generates widespread, diverse consequences, bifurcations, deviations and path-dependent processes that are reinforced through positive feedback and result in a “frozen lock-in state” which can dominate an entire system and shape history.  The way a path develops is not inevitable and could have turned out differently.

The NPT is tightly organized around nuclear power, which is a TRAP –a Toxic RadioActive Proliferator. NPT Groupthink is still driven by archaic ideas, beliefs, interests, language, symbols and images that are frozen in consciousness, eclipse deeper understanding and constrain wiser actions. As the third pillar of nuclear energy keeps knocking down the other two pillars – nonproliferation and disarmament – might the system designed to prevent proliferation paradoxically provoke proliferation?

Intel Hub - Seattle University

Gulf Fisherman’s Son Poisoned By Corexit, Kidney Stones at Age 10

How long do these ingredients last?

I suggested to someone that they convert their dollars to cans of food today, but which food? Well, stuff which you can eat straight from the tin and which your family like to eat is always going to be a popular choice, and I found a useful guide to how long you can reasonable expect to be able to store various foodstuffs on the web page you can find at the link below.

Stressing Motherhood: A primatologist discovers the social factors responsible for maternal infanticide.

 Throughout history, from the fictional Medea to the tragic reports of modern times, women have taken the lives of their children under a variety of contexts, whether it is to punish the father, escape from the burden of motherhood, or even to protect a child from what they perceive as a fate worse than death. In this regard humans share yet another feature, albeit a tragic one, with nonhuman animals since females in a variety of species have been observed to abandonabuse, or even killtheir own offspring. To stress the importance of motherhood in human societies today, how can we best understand this behavior so that we can better predict, and prevent, its recurrence?  

One of the most serious impacts on maternal behavior, one with potentially lethal results, is so common in modern life as to be nearly invisible: stress. O
But periods of long term or excessive stress can cause serious physiological damage and an increased susceptibility to disease. It can also result in what Maestripieri calls the “dysregulation of emotion,” or turning what would be  adaptive response into potentially dangerous overreaction.
It has been shown in humans that stress is a major risk factor for postpartum depression and for child neglect and abuse.

Cayo Santiago has been for more than seventy years ( Caribbean island ) home to a provisioned colony of rhesus macaques, one that offers the ideal conditions to study the effects of stress and group dynamics. 
Maestripieri and his doctoral student Christy Hoffmanstudied the cortisol responses among 70 females, all of whom were experienced mothers. 
The largest change in cortisol levels occurred among the lowest ranking females and was four times greater than those who were higher in the pecking order. The most likely explanation for this, say the scientists, was a lack of control. 

Low-ranking mothers were living in a state of constant panic. They would watch as their offspring were confronted by dangerous group members but they were powerless to do anything about it. Unable to act while their innate warning system screamed at high alert, their anxiety simply grew, expanding out of proportion as a result of the social inequality.

Terror Pot. Far Out, Man.

This is just more proof that the gov't doesn't have a freaking CLUE who the people of this country really are. Pot growers? Why not expect the Amish to do this same kind of thing? Those Mennonites are sure dangerous folks, aren't they? You know who I think we should be spying on? Sushi chefs. They are ALWAYS playing with knives, they could kill dozens before we take them down. The elderly. Lots of them went to war, and are trained in guns and explosives. And are THEY radical!
This gov't is so afraid of us it's just amazing. That explains why they fell they need to gas, shoot, taser, beat, or in some other way abuse us at every opportunity. I've smoked cannabis for over 25 years, and I've NEVER even threatened to blow up a dam. Why would I start now?
These people are just insane. I think a far more realistic scenario would be a group of right wing ceos, holding a company's worth of employees hostage until one of their ceo friends is given his bonus. And it's FAR more likely to occur than their current game.
( Or - withhold from people the means to cure cancer, moderate pain, substitute hemp for plastics..amping up fear. Rather like war and monopoly and empire, isn't it ?  )

  • US report: The murder rate of transgender persons is 17 times the national average
  • Pink News: Every three days a transgendered person is killed somewhere in the world…the number of reports of murdered trans people is increasing.
  • Transgender.org
  • (  If you have read any writings by homosexuals/lesbians then you might note their exclusion from society and mental mindset have given them insights which they might not have another way. The same thing with 'black' bloggers - who have small tolerance for hoo-rawing b.s. 
  • Looked at that way, where 'thinking outside the box' can often generate options missed by being hidebound, the greatest violence discrimination does is to mental flexibility and concentration on matters of real importance. A culture of sex, violence, celebrity,flash and excitement is also a distraction from matters of survival. 
  • PS Would somebody kindly point out how to turn off the capitalization that is randomly inserted into my text ? )
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