Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spam Crackdown Threatens Koy4Goff's Penis Enlarger Industry

More humor from The Onion

The U.S. is considering sanctions against the Eastern European nation if it does not reduce the number of unsolicited offers for Viagra and replica handbags it sends.

Tom Robbins on Acid, Elvis and Uma Thurman

Richard Luck writes for Sabotage Times:

The author of ‘Even Cowgirls Get The Blues’ talks about taking acid with the world’s leading authority on the subject and explains that there’s no truth to those unkind rumours that he killed the King

Elvis Presley

Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t kill Elvis Presley. For years there was this rumour that Elvis was reading my first novel when he died on the toilet. One of the guys in the Memphis Mafia had said as much in his autobiography. According to the official Elvis biography, ‘The King’ was actually reading a book which compared sexual positions to signs of the zodiac. Which is pretty embarrassing but at least it lets me off the hook.

~ more... ~

The Practice of Heightened Neurosis

Pema Chodron on troublemakers

True democracy needs more of them, don't you think?

Noam Chomsky Responsibility and integrity: the dilemmas we face


Noam Chomsky Responsibility and integrity: the dilemmas we face (Utrecht, Netherlands)

Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia and educated at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his PhD. In 1955 he was appointed to the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has served as professor of foreign languages and linguistics. He has also taught courses and lectured at many universities throughout the world, including Oxford University. Besides his work in the field of psycholinguistics, Chomsky is also well-known as a leftist activist and social critic. He was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and has remained critical of media coverage of politics.

Chomsky visited Utrecht on the invitation of the Graduate School of Humanities, the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, the Centre for the Humanities and the Treaty of Utrecht organisation. His lecture related to the 'Social Responsibility of the Artist' series developed jointly by the Centre for the Humanities and the Treaty of Utrecht Foundation.

~ The entire talk may be viewed here ~

Marco Odino - What A Beautiful War


Video by Sergio Gazzo - Music and lyrics by Marco Odino - From the album Mankind In Amnesia

What A Beautiful War

Com'on this ain't a music show
it's the first act of a new world war
this ain't illusion
there's no confusion
it's just the begin of
a kinda revolution
so don't believe to the things they say
the truth is not by the side they stay
bombs everywhere, rivers of tears
and television say : victory's near
Borders, disorders and any further
it's the begin of a new world order
Sirens are crying, rockets are falling
this is the call of brand new morning
They say we're sure we will won this war
but there's a devil who keeps the score
we are in right and we got the reason
we hate the enemies and their evil religion

And from the sky comes down the angel of death:
a plane full of coffins
Mothers cry: boys are lost

Com'on this ain't a music show... (repeat)

And from the sky come down the fate and the planes
with their load of coffins and pains
while the mothers cry their children
Speakers on television say : "this is the world's greatest show,
tonite on prime time we'll win the war , the biggest show!"
What a Beautiful War !
What a Beautiful War !
What a Beautiful War !

We're in right , we got the reason
We're in right , we got the reason
it's just the begin of a kinda revolution (reason!)
so don't believe to the things they say
Borders, disorders and any further
it's the begin of a new world order (reason!)
Borders, disorders and any further (reason, religion!)
(fight ! score! war ! )
Victory's near

Com'on this ain't a music show (fight ! war !)
it's the first act of a new world war (fight ! )
this ain't illusion (war !)
there's no confusion
it's just the begin of a kinda revolution (fight ! )
so don't believe to the things they say (war !)
(we are in right and we got the reason)
the truth is not by the side they stay (fight ! reason , war !)
bombs everywhere, rivers of tears
and television say : victory's near

Allen Frances: Let's save normalcy from the psychiatrists

As chairman of the task force that created the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which came out in 1994, I learned from painful experience how small changes in the definition of mental disorders can create huge, unintended consequences.

Our panel tried hard to be conservative and careful but inadvertently contributed to three false "epidemics" - attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder. Clearly, our net was cast too wide and captured many "patients" who might have been far better off never entering the mental health system.

The first draft of the next edition of the DSM, posted for comment with much fanfare last month, is filled with suggestions that would multiply our mistakes and extend the reach of psychiatry dramatically deeper into the ever-shrinking domain of the normal. This wholesale medical imperialization of normality could potentially create tens of millions of innocent bystanders who would be mislabeled as having a mental disorder. The pharmaceutical industry would have a field day - despite the lack of solid evidence of any effective treatments for these newly proposed diagnoses.

The manual, prepared by the American Psychiatric Association, is psychiatry's only official way of deciding who has a "mental disorder" and who is "normal." The quotes are necessary because this distinction is very hard to make at the fuzzy boundary between the two. If requirements for diagnosing a mental disorder are too stringent, some who need help will be left out; but if they are too loose, normal people will receive unnecessary, expensive and sometimes quite harmful treatment.

~ more... ~


From Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness by Gary Greenberg, Wired


...The insurgency against the DSM-5 (the APA has decided to shed the Roman numerals) has now spread far beyond just Allen Frances. Psychiatrists at the top of their specialties, clinicians at prominent hospitals, and even some contributors to the new edition have expressed deep reservations about it. Dissidents complain that the revision process is in disarray and that the preliminary results, made public for the first time in February 2010, are filled with potential clinical and public relations nightmares. Although most of the dissenters are squeamish about making their concerns public—especially because of a surprisingly restrictive nondisclosure agreement that all insiders were required to sign—they are becoming increasingly restive, and some are beginning to agree with Frances that public pressure may be the only way to derail a train that he fears will “take psychiatry off a cliff.”

At stake in the fight between Frances and the APA is more than professional turf, more than careers and reputations, more than the $6.5 million in sales that the DSM averages each year. The book is the basis of psychiatrists’ authority to pronounce upon our mental health, to command health care dollars from insurance companies for treatment and from government agencies for research. It is as important to psychiatrists as the Constitution is to the US government or the Bible is to Christians. Outside the profession, too, the DSM rules, serving as the authoritative text for psychologists, social workers, and other mental health workers; it is invoked by lawyers in arguing over the culpability of criminal defendants and by parents seeking school services for their children. If, as Frances warns, the new volume is an “absolute disaster,” it could cause a seismic shift in the way mental health care is practiced in this country. It could cause the APA to lose its franchise on our psychic suffering, the naming rights to our pain...

Japan and the Cult of the Atom: 'Prayers Are Not Enough'

From Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan by Keith Harmon Snow, SOTT.net:

"I repeat, there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors," wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dr. Joseph Oehmen on March 13. "By 'significant' I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on -- say -- a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation."

So begins a recent U.S. business sector article titled "You Can Stop Worrying About A Radiation Disaster in Japan -- Here's Why", published four days after the earthquake struck in Japan. It has already proved false. Properly understood for what it is -- a childish, myopic, arrogant attempt to belittle the truth and influence public opinion -- the article provides an apt example of the rampant industry disinformation that is sweeping aside rational and compassionate and precautionary assessments with irrational jingoism, simplistic emotional appeals, and wrong-headed thinking. The post went viral and was republished widely.

How do we define apocalypse? EARTHQUAKE + TSUNAMI + AGED NUKE PLANT + LOSS-OF-COOLANT ACCIDENT + PLUTONIUM + FIRES + DISINFORMATION + GREED + DENIAL + FEAR + POLITICS = APOCALYPSE.

How many nuke plants are involved? We don't really know. Not that we have not been told, we have. There are six reactors at the Fukushima site, one reactor at the Tokai nuclear facility and three reactors at the stricken Onagawa nuclear complex. There are toxic chemical spills, petroleum refinery fires, gas fires, dangerous debris and human pathogens from the thousands of dead people and animals. The place is an apocalyptic nightmare, to be sure, but from the beginning the most important facts regarding the status of the nuclear pants and their components, their functioning or failing systems, the operability of the control rooms or integrity of the reactor containment structures, were being denied to the public. Now we are seeing some damage control by the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the media.

It is simultaneously as though we are believed to be incapable of even the most rudimentary understanding of what is going on, while also being denied the truth in keeping with more than sixty years of secrecy and denial by the cult of the atom and its incestuous cult of intelligence.

[ ... ]

One fact is certain: we have already been massively lied to about a massive and still unfolding nuclear disaster. The radiation releases from some four to six nuclear reactors in collapse are already known to be excessive, described by reputable experts as "worse than Three Mile Island but not as bad as Chernobyl." It may be worse than Chernobyl yet.

Additional radiation has been reported at the Onagawa complex, but this was explained away as wind-blown radioactivity from the Fukushima complex. Meanwhile, in the same reports, officials said that radiation was not leaking from Fukushima, or it was minimal, and there was no cause for alarm.

After several days of lies and distortions and official government censorship, reports appeared under the headlines "Japan radiation leaks feared as nuclear experts point to possible cover-up". Reports also began citing partial meltdowns of nuclear fuel rods. The threat of meltdown is real, it has been happening to some degree, and it has already occurred far more than we have been told. The physical and thermonuclear states of materials and systems and the spread of radioactivity at Japan's reactors remains shrouded in disinformation and silence.

[ ... ]

Nuclear advocates deride and dismiss public ignorance about radionuclides like, for example, the noble gases. Nuclear advocates frequently state that both xenon and krypton decay and disappear in a matter of seconds or minutes. What they don't tell us is that these isotopes decay into daughter isotopes that are extremely deadly emitters. Many credible physicians, scientists and other nuclear experts -- free of the self-interests of nuclear profits, academic sponsorship or career advancement -- have outlined the absence of epidemiological studies of certain radionuclides emitted or flushed at nuclear reactors. Dr. Helen Caldicott has elaborated the detrimental health effects of the noble gases xenon (Xe) and krypton (Kr), and she notes that these have appearance hundreds of miles from reactors believed to have emitted them.
  • Xenon 137, with a half-life of 3.9 minutes, converts almost immediately to the notoriously dangerous cesium 137 with a half-life of thirty years.

  • Krypton 90, half-life of 33 seconds, decays to rubidium 90, half-life of 2.9 minutes, then to the medically toxic strontium 90, half-life of twenty-eight years.

  • Xenon 135 decays to cesium 135 with an incredibly long half-life of 3 million years.

  • Large amounts of xenon 133 are released at operating reactors, and although it has a relatively short half-life of 5.3 days, it remains radioactive for 106 days.

  • Krypton 85, which has a half-life of 10.4 years, is a powerful gamma radiation emitter.

  • Argon 39 has a 265-year half-life.
"Other dangerous noble gases include xenon 141,143 and 144, which decay to cerium 141,143 and 144," Dr. Helen Caldicott reports in Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. "According to the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP Report No. 60) these three cerium isotopes,which are beta emitters,are abundant products of nuclear fission reactions and have moderately long half-lives. They bio-concentrate in the food chain, and they irradiate the lung, liver, skeleton, and gastrointestinal tract, where they act as potent carcinogens."

On March 14 Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) outlined the risks from Japan. Iodine 131 migrates in air and is known for causing thyroid cancers, especially in children. Strontium 90 causes different cancers. Cesium 137 concetrates in bone and causes leukemia. Microscopic particles of plutonium 239 cause lung cancer if inhaled and Pu-239 kills instantly in any sizeble dose. Areas contaminated by plutonium will have to be abandoned -- as happened at Chernobyl.

"Since 2010, Fukushima Daiichi Unit-3 reactor had been using mixed-oxide fuel (also called plutonium fuel or MOX)," PSR reported, in "Japan's Nuclear Crises Worsens", "which is even more dangerous to the public than a severe accident with uranium fuel. Plutonium fuel contains plutonium and other very toxic actinides that would increase the number of resulting cancers. Current reports say that this fuel has been exposed to air."


~ With gratitude to Eric ~

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