Global Warming- in terms a conservative can understand


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Powell-Science-Pie-Chart

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Sources:

The Consensus Project

Skeptical Science

Posted in climate change, environment, global warming, obama, politics, science, social, tea party | 3 Comments

Eat your (psychedelic) mushrooms- they’re good for your brain


So says the evidence presented from a brain mapping project using psilocybin in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

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Just in time for Independence Day, we get a good dose of science in support of Cognitive Liberty.  In short the study found the psychedelic trip of magic mushrooms to be similar to a “waking dream” that caused people to have increased brain activity in areas related to emotions and memory for months afterward.

An article on the study at the Washington Post is here. The study can be read in the journal Human Brain Mapping here and it can be read or downloaded in PDF form here. The press release can be read here.

 

Some of the organizations that had a role in enabling this research are: The Beckley Foundation, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and The Heffter Institute

 

Posted in drug policy, drug use, medical cannabis, medical marijuana, religion, science, social | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

America needs to look in the mirror


I remember once hearing a story about the tour buses in the 60’s that would take the mad men/leave it to beaver era folks through the Haight-Ashbury seen to see the “freaks”. And of the hippies that would run alongside the buses holding up mirrors…

This popped into my mind while thinking about the recent “crisis” of “illegal immigrant” children from Central America. Because America does need to take a good, hard look in the mirror.

These children are by and large fleeing a situation in their home countries we in large part created. While our misdeeds in that region stretch back at least the early 20th century (revolving largely around United Fruit and competitors). Then picked up steam in the anti-communism fervor of the 50’s/60’s (anyone seeing a connection yet? Abuses by American corporations leading to a desire by the affected people for a government that would look towards their interests?). And really coming to a head under the Reagan/Bush administration, with America supporting assissinations of democratically elected leaders, supporting, arming, and funding brutal dictators and death squads, the Iran/Contra affair (which ties in the long sordid US history in the middle east).

These children are indeed the proverbial chickens coming home to roost.

And of course the need to look into the mirror stretches much further…

9/11 and Afghanistan? Shall we discuss Reagans support of the mujahideen, who largely became the dreaded Taliban, in their war with the evil USSR? Only to utterly abandon them when their usefulness as a tool against Russia was dulled.

Or Saddam Hussein, a favored son of the Reagan/Bush era? Who WE supplied with weapons of mass destruction in their war with Iran? And of course we would need to discuss Reagan playing both sides of that war…

Or much closer to home let’s just have a real look at the backlash we have witnessed once a “black man” was elected to the “white” house. After well over two centuries of horrible abuses and injustices we passed the Civil Rights Act, patted ourselves on the back, and largely pretended the issue was resolved.

The list goes on and on…and on. I am afraid that if we don’t start taking a real look at ourselves and our own major role in creating most of our problems…if we continue to see the rise of the mentality of the far right where the US is some grat, pure, infallible nation and all the problems are because of “them”… then I am afraid the US is on track to be one of the shortest lived nations in world history.

Posted in obama, politics, social, socialism, socialist, tea party | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Is it time for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire?


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by Bill Clinton, is 81 and the oldest of the justices. (reagan appointees Scalia and Kennedy are both in their late 70’s).

In the upcoming midterm elections we see the Senate up for grabs. The Senate that oversees the justices confirmation hearings.

Then of course the presidential election in 2016…

A republican/tea party take over of the Senata in 2016 and Presidenccy in 2018 would almost certainly see Ginsburg being replaced by a conservative. And with both Scalia and Kennedy likely to step down under such a scenario we would see the court stacked much further to the right for a generation.

Even a better case scenario where the right takes the senate but looses the presidency could well see Obamas replacement having an ugly fight in the senate on nominees. Tying up the Senatefrom important work, putting pressure on the right to stand their ground on any and all issues in the senate at that point, and possibly ultimately forcing the president to appoint a far more conservative nominee.

I’ll admit- I am pessimistic. We are living in times where the predominantly white, male. “christian” conservatives are having a very hard time with the reality that the world is leaving them, and many of their archaic beliefs behind. And they are scared. And scared people are dangerous people…

So people- the future of America will be greatly impacted by the elections over the next couple of years. So, make sure you are registered to vote and actually vote. Educate yourself on your candidates and whiat, if anything, they actually stand for. Especially in the primaries and in cases where there are 3rd party candidates running there may be times when crossing party lines makes most sense- it is not the time to throw away your vote on a loser. And I would argue this is especially true for moderate republicans- where these days it seems the democratic candidate may well closer match your beliefs on most issues then the tea party republican candidate who may be running under “your” banner.

And if you can spare any time or money- get involved. Especially if you live in a state that has curtailed voting rights. Or support groups shining light on “dark money” and super pacs.

The right-wing nuts screamed “Facist” when Obama used the slogan “Forward”. Because they don’t want to move our nation forward. As they drag us backwards to some imagined good ole days that never really existed, and that are responsible for the mess this nation is in today.

Posted in christian values, environment, gay marriage, gay rights, global warming, gun rights, obama, politics, social, tea party, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

What beauty looks like


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A fascinating piece over at The Atlantic of Esther Honig, a journalist and social media manager who sent a simple picture of herself to web designers around the world asking them to photoshop her with the simple request of “make me look beautiful”.

Fascinating. The article along with larger images of the results of beauty from around the world can be found in the link above. More on her site here.

While I can’t find any info, I’d be interested to know if all the designers were men? or which, if any, where women.

Posted in social | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) Returns! (sort of…)


Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes quietly snuck pack into the spotlight this week, doing the middle panel in a collaboration inthis weeks Pearls Before Swine comics done by Stephan Pastis

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“Exclusive” article at the Washington Post here (which includes the various comics)

Article in Pastis hometown paper, the Press Deomocrat here

And the Pearls Before Swine comics in general can be found at GoComics. This weeks start here

And- Stephan Pastis blog here on Wordbress: here

 

Kudos. Some brilliant work from two of my favorite comic strip creators! And even better- apparently the original strip drawings will be auctioned off later this year to raise money for Parkinsons research.

Posted in social | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the 2nd Largest Religion Where You Live?


Found this in an article at The Washington Post.

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Fascinating stuff. The group who releases this religious census every decade, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies site is here.

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Posted in catholic church, catholics, christian values, religion, social | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments