Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ridiculous, Sublime, Ongoing.

Capitalism seemingly creates millionaires and poverty in the same breath, it gives the oportunity to undertake an enterprise using borrowed money on the promise of future reward.
So when academics discovered some hitherto allegedly "unknown" properties of a common weed, they got themslves to the stock market with a bagfull of medicinal oils and wedge of scientific research.
"They done well", and after several years of documented research and hard work, "their plan is paying good".

A simple process to make plant-based tincture that can alleviate the pain caused by amazing.

Here`s how the "Pharma times" plays the news....

Shares in UK group GW Pharmaceuticals were on the rise yesterday following the publication of promising results from a trial of its cannabis-based drug Sativex in cancer pain in a peer reviewed journal.

The multinational, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was designed to pit the effectiveness of Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] and cannabidiol) in improving pain against THC alone and a placebo, and involved 177 patients with advanced cancer who had failed to gain adequate pain relief with strong opioids.

Click to full article.

Of course, capitalism is a cruel thing, and financially, for those who aren`t in the investment circle, this news is of no relevance whatsoever.
For those in pain from cancer or other diseases, the news is perhaps bittersweet comfort.

About two thousand years ago, there was another group of researchers and investors with a similar medicinal compound.
Some saw it as a commodity to be sold and controlled, by the elders and the inner circle of the already wealthy.

Then there were those who estimed that by making the oil available to the sick as a charitable act, and a function of their class, they would thus civilise and improve the lot of the whole community, rather than enhancing the wealth of a minority few.

Link to an older story about a magic oil.

(Unusual graphics, but relevant tale)..... It creates some interesting asides, the website is an excellent resource for further information on the uses and histories of hemp....)

It`s good to know that science can identify and evaluate the properties of such a beneficial plant, however, the question of reinforcing a market monopoly using prohibition as a bar to all competition is downright ridiculous, sublime even...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A soldiers` job.

The first goal in life, our first breaths, are taken to survive..... the Cossacks certainly survived and thrived, more perhaps in their homelands than anywhere else...Fine bit of singing, if you enjoy the thoughts of galloping towards battle, with swords clashing, cannon and rifle shots etc, etc...

Clear images too, of what those men wore, their customs and outlook writ upon their frames.

Meanwhile, the US government strategy of avoiding battles by paying ransom is coming to the fore.....

A good article in the Guardian names the players and the amounts involved.
Once again, the names are familiar, sons and cousins of ministers and warlords, and the amounts run to billions, around 10% of the US money spent on war goes straight to Afghan "Security firms." (link).

So it seeems that all the talk of "new tactics", or "improved weapon systems", or even increasing troop numbers is simply adding good money to bad.

From another angle, there`s an Afghan minister, who alleges that some of the foreign troops, rather than shutting down the poppy fields, are actually profiting from the drug trade.

Nah... who`d a thunk it(link).

To say that the "war on terror" has become a sad and tangled parody of all wars is perhaps an understatement, but it has started to resemble in parts, the plot of the Joseph Heller novel, here`s a lovely clip or two from the film, with insights

....Milo Minderbinder from Catch 22, (link).....

Friday, November 13, 2009

The singing starts.

It`s been a quiet few days in Afghnistan and Iraq, maybe the winds of change are blowing.

Whilst career soldiers clamour for more troops and more helicopters, wiser political minds are calling for negotiation and settlement.

From Britain, Kim Howells calls for withdrawal....

The UK and the US are still in financial doo-doo, with rising unemployment, falling currency values, and they have earned the contempt of the Asian/ Moslem world, and are not particularly welcome in Latin America, or Africa....

The independent carries a fair editorial comparing the situation to that of former presidents, who "inherit" a war.

Apart from these two leading voices for ending the war, there is also a growing sense of disbelief and scepticism amongst the taxpaying voters.
No-one really believes any more that the Taliban are planning to invade the world, or that Iraq is/was full of WMD`s.

Whilst some think wars are won on the battlefields, the tactics and weapons are far more diverse, and it`s fair to say that if nothing else the US/NATO incursions have exposed the military forces of the West as lacking the most important pre-requisite for winning a war, and that is, as according to the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu the moral imperative..., that is to say the full support of their people, the troops and the generals.

It`s pretty obvious, given the rising amount of public protest, even the troops are beginning to doubt the purpose of these wars, and without doubt, the huge spending defecits in the UK and US are going to have to be curbed, and cuts to budgets will have to be made.

We use £50 million helicopters, which are downed by Taliban fighters with cheap Kalashnikovs,... Multi-million pound tanks, destroyed by £100 roadside bombs.

Maybe that`s what we should do in terms of defence spending... equip every town and village with a cache of roadside bombs, give every one a Kalashnikov , and then if any stupid warmongering bastards come round wanting a war, we can follow the example of the the Afghans, and the Vietnamese, the Irish, (to name but a few!) and send any invaders back whence they came.

Let`s face it, the "war" has been lost, not because of insufficient soldiers, nor because of tactics, nor for lack of helicopters or troop transporters, but simply because US and NATO forces lacked the moral imperative.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Mental disorders.

For a change.....I thought it might be interesting to look at the issue of ADHD, rather than the constant focus on war and political corruption.

Call it adhd, call it autism, or even FAS... it`s a sad fact that often children are victimised for non-conformist behaviour.
The system doesn`t appreciate being called into question, and those who show signs of alternative behaviour or opinion are often isolated or sidelined.

The Learning Breakthrough Bulletin November 4, 2009...(click for link to original website)
Parent Tip:

Take the negative stereotypes of ADHD on the list below and turn them into
positive, actionable ideas instead.

Negative traits on left are converted to POSITIVES on right...

Instead of ADHD being thought of as X...Consider them to be Y


Hyperactive or restless.....Energetic

Unable to stay on point....Sees connections others don’t

Forgetful.....Gets lost in what he is doing

Inconsistent.....Shows flashes of brilliance

Stubborn.....Persistent, won’t give up




Some research has been done into the causes of autism, and given the debate over the effects of alcohol on the unborn child , anyone who has ties to children or adults affected by the realities of ADHD etc might like to compare and study the traits of FAS, or Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Is it just me, or are the alcohol producers suppressing any investigations into the phenomenon of children with behavioral difficulties?
There seems to be little or no research into the possible connections, and indeed the government seems to have little or no appetite to curtail the alcohol trade.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome... for more ...

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is the biggest cause of non-genetic mental handicap in the western world and the only one that is 100% preventable. (Click/Link to website)

Not much from government on this subject, one wonders if the alcohol producers lobby is suppressing the message, it wouldn`t be the first time that corporations have hidden the truth, as in tobacco causes cancer, or that fossil fuels are toxic.

Alcohol during pregnancy is the number one cause of non-genetic mental handicap in the Western world.
Jesus H. fucking Christ, that is one extremely sad statistic.