Turkey, Syria, and Armenians

It’s really depressing that Turkey has apparently supported the violence in Syria.  More detailed report here.  (hat tip to Jared Leto).  I pretty much ignore the WSJ piece, given the bias of Rupert Murdoch.  It starts off with the Canadian Ambassador for Religious Freedom protesting Turkey…and yet my blogs on the Canadian gov’t treatment of First Nations people smacks in the face of that.

For those who don’t know, the Armenians suffered through a massacre a hundred years ago.  A survivor of the massacre tells her story.

Another tragic story of survival here. 

French mayor pushes for Turkey to recognize the genocide.   Others join in.

My past blog on Syria here and here. Bishop Desmond Tutu on Syria here.

Fred Klonsky’s blog on helping in Syria.

 

 

 

Dividing First Nations in other ways…

Scott Sewell has this up on how things changed when the gaming commissions came to town.  A sly way to divide tribes, eh?

There is just something wrong with giving tribes two choices: nuclear waste or gambling casinos.

But the federal government says to Indian people, “I will recognize your sovereignty if you have either a nuclear or toxic-waste dump or casino.” That’s pretty much the only way you get your sovereignty recognized as Indian people.
Let me be clear about this: We are sovereign. I don’t care if the federal government recognizes me, my nation, and my people. That’s of little consequence to me in the long-term picture. The federal government, as far as I’m concerned, is by and large illegal. Most transactions are illegal. It’s like being recognized by a bunch of hoodlums. But under the law, they recognize your sovereignty in those two things, a dump or a casino. So Indian people are in an ironic situation, in that our choices for economic development are so limited.

In Minnesota, I see two examples. I see a reservation like Mille Lacs. They have two casinos. They built schools, houses, roads, clinics, and community buildings. They bought land. Nobody was going to do that for them. No federal appropriation was going to be made for those Indian people to do that, although their land was mostly taken from them. The federal government is supposed to provide those things for them. That’s not going to happen, so they did that with their casinos, and that’s right. They’re making some long-term investments that are smart. They don’t think those casinos are going to last forever, but they’re doing the right thing.

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I have heard of folks willing their land to a tribe native to the area. Cool.

Here is the Native Harvest website Winona mentions.

And the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The grassroots people of Kul Wicasa oppose the development of the power line infrastructure planned by Basin Electric.  The Lower Brule substation is to be located two miles from the Big Bend Damn.  The thick, corrosive nature of tarsands oil (which in its natural state is the consistency of peanut butter) requires a constant temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and necessary dilutants to liquify it enough to be slurried through the pipeline. This will require an enormous amount of power.  Basin Electric stated at a public utilities commission meeting in Winner, SD “the pipeline apparently moves oil under 1440 pounds of pressure per square inch. If the line is to move 700,000 barrels of crude per day, each pumping station requires three 6500 hp electric motors running on 17 megawatts of power night and day.  If the flow rate is increased to 900,000 barrels per day, five 6500hp electric motors are required.  That would use 25 megawatts of power.”

This increasing demand for electricity forces the need for the additional power station at Lower Brule. Transmission studies indicate the current system has reached its load limit.   Given the location of the Lower Brule substation, 2 miles south of the Big Bend Damn, it is apparent Missouri River water will be used to produce electricity.

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Soooo…..they toss a few crumbs with wind turbines…but what they don’t tell them is that the pipeline is going to require even more energy…and precious water to move the “peanut butter” through the lines…um-hmmm…

This is just stunning:

…the land isn’t even there now; it’s an oil mine; there was a lake there that was 200 miles long and 100 miles wide.  Now, the elders are saying, for the first time, the shoreline is receding and the rocks at the bottom of the lake are exposed.  Water is being taken from the rivers and lakes to support the destruction by the tarsands mine. 

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It’s really hard to imagine that much water being used.  It’s gone.  No longer usable by humans or animals.

This pipeline would destroy farmland and jobs, contrary to Big Oil myth.  The First Nations are trying to support themselves with the food production, but once again Big Oil has other ideas.  If you know anything about history, the Native Americans were moved to areas out West…once oil was discovered, suddenly they were in the way and once again moved.  This continued on…and now we have the modern day version of it–pollute the land so it is no longer inhabitable.

 

Rahm Emanuel, Propaganda, and CTU

You would think that Rahm Emanuel would think twice before messing with Karen Lewis, but he apparently hasn’t been, um…schooled.  (sorry, bad pun I know)

She once again delivers a smackdown of the mayor by calling him on the divide-and-conquer politics.

Be sure to click on the links to Fred Klonsky’s blog, which also gives some insight to what is going on in Chicago.  What goes on there, is most certainly going on around the country.  Bless Karen Lewis.

 

10 Foods that are high in Protein…

…but you wouldn’t have guessed them.

Here’s the nutrition data sheet on:

Peas

Black Beans (not pasta, mind you)

I was looking for the absorption rate of the protein because one of the issues that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride- (GAPS diet) has with vegetarian diets is that the body does not absorb plant protein as well as animal protein.  And then there’s the debate on how much protein we really need to be healthy.  They make note that athletes and active people need more, but then leave people in the dark about their definition of “active”….is someone active who exercises two days a week?  Three days? Is an athlete someone who exercises an hour every day?  One bodybuilder site mentions that their standard is two hours a day (for bodybuilding).  It would be easier if they could give more definite terms such as body weight, hours exercised, days exercised, and how much protein is required for those levels.

Lastly, what about the effect of GMO’s and food absorption?  What about inflammation?  If you are consuming beef that is fed GMO corn, how is that being absorbed?  Since beef is more slowly absorbed, does it cause more inflammation than if one is eating organic vegetable protein?  All of those factors need to be considered, too.

 

 

New SAT any value?

Diane Ravitch has a post up on the “new” SAT.  I haven’t seen the test, so I have to go by what Diane is describing.  I do know that I when I first heard of the “new” SAT, I was sure there was some connection to the brainless Common Core.  Yep.

It’s troubling that the writing section will be optional.  Being able to write well-constructed sentences is an art.  It should be a part of the test.

Diane quotes Superintendent Cohen, whom is critical of the “new” SAT:

Nowhere in our new, vaunted Common Core State Standards are teachers told to be concerned with nurturing young people’s imaginations or their original thoughts about the books they read, about the way nature works, about whether our government’s policies are good or bad, about whether the Pythagorean theorem could be used to help design a better bridge over the Hudson river, or whether “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Nor will the “new” and “fairer” SAT ask students to write about such matters.

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Absolutely.  Spot on.   It’s not enough to be able to repeat what another wrote–but to be able to interpret what they wrote and take it beyond that to expand the dialogue.  Or to offer another point of view and facts or theory to back what you’re saying.

As I’m reading the article, I thought about when I took the SAT’s in high school.  It was a gamble on my part, because I did not take the college-bound courses offered.  That was the time that my Mom was pouring cheese soup over crackers for dinner sometimes….college seemed like an unreachable dream, so I took the easier courses offered.  Personally, I don’t think those courses should have been an option–all the students who were capable should have been in the college courses.  One really can’t know their potential until they are tested.  And when you’re young and unsure of yourself, being tested means taking a risk–putting yourself out there for possible failure.  Teenagers would rather die than face what they perceive as humiliation (when in fact it is a growing moment that should be supported, and not humiliated, as some like to do.)  And when you’re poor, your options become even more limited because taking a risk could mean consequences for the family (if one risked going to college, and failed, that money spent on tuition is lost.)

I did pass the SAT’s, and was admitted to Indiana University but on a probationary status.  I ended up not going because of being unsure of myself (probationary status to me meant “failure”) and interference by someone else.  Being supported would have made all the difference at this point in time–maturity, too.

I’m telling this story because I had some rough years in middle school and high school.  My grades reflected that.  But they didn’t reflect my potential.  As you know, I went on to college and graduated much later.  It illustrates how badly misguided the Common Core and Race to the Bottom are–we are who we are at any point in time, but who we might grow to be is not measurable by any human tool.

 

 

 

The Life of Plants

I just watched one of the most interesting Nature shows to date.  And no animal violence, go figure! /just a little snarky

The program was on plants and their ability to communicate with one another.

It started with showing a plant that could not produce its own food, so it was basically a vampire plant that sucked the life out of other plants.  It seemed to prefer certain plants over others–the tomato being one of them.  The scientists performed an experiment where they placed the vampire plant in the middle, with the tomato plant on one side, and another plant placed on the other side.

Using time-lapse photography, they showed the vampire plant doing this little whirling dance around and around until it finally latched onto the tomato plant.  It did this 9 times out of 10.  So, it basically chose the tomato plant.  Isn’t that interesting?

Then they went on to another plant in the west that was making a nuisance of itself.  The name escapes me, but it has destroyed native grasses that the cattle farmers rely on to feed the cattle.  The scientists were trying to find out why this particular plant was able to thrive.  The rancher pulled up a plant by its roots, and showed a small worm/larvae just going to town on the roots…and yet the plant was still thriving.  So there had to be another reason the plant was able to fend for itself.  They discovered that it was sending out chemicals via its roots that killed off other competitor plants’ roots.  Isn’t that amazing?

They also said they knew that plants sent off scents, but they discovered that they also send off warning scents, or what amounts to a “scream” by the plant when they are being attacked.   They illustrated this by stating that the smell associated with freshly mowed grass is the grass “screaming” from being attacked.  The theory is that the plants are trying to warn the other plants that they are being attacked.  The other plants in the area beef up their defense mechanisms.  Wow.

Finally, they wondered about “mother” trees aiding her “babies”.  The theory wasn’t new, they said, but they hadn’t been able to prove it.  So, a research team injected radioactive carbon into a douglas fir and then went back after a time with a geiger counter to see where the carbon ended up.  They found the most concentrated amount in baby firs nearby.  They also found it in carbon “trails” to other firs in the area that belonged to the same plant family. I had one issue, though, with this–and this may have been done, but the program didn’t show it–they didn’t run the geiger counter on the ground or around the trees before injecting the fir with the radioactive material.    This, to me, would have been a “control” to make sure that the radioactivity wasn’t already there from, God forbid, Fukushima or some other source.

So…all of this is not news to the Native Americans, whom have always believed that plants had a “life”. Everything is connected–plants, too.

Yeah, we’re slow as always in catching up to the wisdom.  But at least we’re getting there. 🙂

J. Edgar Hoover would have looooved this…

Pando Daily has this up on a technology that takes pictures for advertising numbers…but has much deeper violations of privacy.

It is presented as being innocent…but we all know by now it doesn’t end up that way.

This is outrageous. Plain and simple violation of a person’s right to move about in public without being subjected to an intrusion such as being photographed.

There are so many holes in this guy’s theory it could be Swiss cheese.

For one–just because a person looks at an advertisement does not mean they will purchase that product or service.  For instance, I may look at an advertisement on a professional bug killer service, but there is no way that I’m calling that service.  The advertisers use bright colors, flashing words or lights, and the usual “grabs” of sex, fear, anger, and love.  All of these factors may draw the human eye towards the advertising, but not mean the person will buy it.

It never ceases to amaze me how psychology is used to interpret a person’s thoughts by outward gestures or appearances, when that psychological conclusion is dead wrong.

I went online looking for Rodolfo Saccoman and found this disturbing video:

It is alarming that they are using “feel good” emotions to justify the psychology software program.  They’re there to “help” with an impersonal, flawed science (in that psychology has sprouted from misogyny and bullying mindset).  Saccoman states that this software will “help” those suffering from PTSD from committing suicide…but methinks that instead it will be used to either label someone as mentally ill who might be having a rough day and just need someone to talk to–not a freaking impersonal computer.  Or it will be used as a tool by Big Pharma to force someone to take unproven and unsafe psychotropic drugs.  I feel it in my gut that this is what is driving this “help”.  I’d like to know if his brother is invested in Big Pharma…it’s not such a big leap when you consider that Saccoman mentions he loves the stocks and even built this software on that model.  If they could get more poor souls buying Big Pharma drugs, well, that’s just more money for them.

And then as the video keeps rolling, we get to the *bingo!* moment…when he says he worked for Morgan Stanley. An investment banker who thinks greed is good and screw the public.   He claims to hate it, but then goes on to say that he made money…so he couldn’t have hated it too much.

He looks at billboards and says they don’t have any intelligence.  You don’t know if anyone is reading them.  Really? Because I can think of several instances where folks have become upset at messages on billboards…so obviously people are paying attention to them.

Privacy never comes out of his mouth when speaking about how great this is and how money is being *lost* by not seizing the opportunity for yet more advertising dollars.

He attended a Tony Robbins show, er I mean, inspirational speech, where he claims they “tear you apart, then put you back together”  Sounds like psychological abuse to me.

Then he shows  commercials for getting people to sign up for this.  Note that the target audience is the young, who don’t have the experience to understand how this violates privacy and the ramifications of that.  The ignorance of the youth on their right to privacy is appalling.

They have concerns about paying for college (understandable), so this is marketed to them as being a way to pay for college.  The subtle play on emotions with their “love story” also reels people in.  They also use the “everybody” is doing it schtick with the line “all our awesome friends are also doing it.”  Again, invading someone’s privacy and their part in it is never mentioned.

Saccoman repeatedly portrays standard advertising as “old school” dinosaurs.  This is another tactic used very successfully by the marketing gurus–nobody wants to be “left behind” so they will buy the latest to be seen as keeping up with the world.  This tactic really took hold in the 70s when there was plenty of money in the middle class to buy the “latest”.  Thank God I have broken myself of that brainwashing.

Another aspect to this way of advertising is driving around to get the “face” quota.  Using gas, spewing fumes into the air, creating more crowded roadways, and possibly causing accidents by distracting people from watching the road and the vehicles around them.  Just yesterday, I saw three people talking on cell phones on Indy’s busiest roadways…and they were driving in ways that showed they were distracted and not paying attention to their own driving or those around them.

Again, the emotional tug is used when the fake “son” talks about  how his fake “Mom” inspired him.  It has nothing to do with the software or the advertising, but is snuck in there to give one the “warm and fuzzy’ feelings.

And the one thing I don’t see when looking at Saccoman’s actual backpack?  A sign in big bold letters saying “YOUR FACE IS BEING COLLECTED FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES” on the backpack.

Near the end, he makes an odd statement to “push” for what you want…but then he gets philosophical and says if it flows, it flows…so which is it? Does one push or just let things “flow”?

Lastly, he admires Steve Jobs and Apple.  Given their illegal wage-fixing, and this response by Jobs over getting someone fired, well, it kind of speaks of character…why would one admire someone so contemptible?