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June 12, 2014 |
The following article first appeared in The Fix. Also on TheFix.com: Why I'm More Sober Than You!; The Spirituality of Recovery; Are Athletes More Susceptible to Eating Disorders?
You've probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature. Our basic biology is not to be trusted; the seeking of pleasure leads to disaster; one must therefore overcome biological desires through reason, education, and the inculcation of morals; those whose willpower or morals are weak must be controlled and corrected.
The rat addiction studies also seem to validate the main features of the War on Drugs. First is interdiction: prevent the rats from getting a taste of drugs to begin with. Second is “education” – conditioning the rats into not pressing the lever in the first place. Third is punishment: make the consequences of taking drugs so scary and unpleasant that the rats will overcome their desire to press the lever. You see, some rats just have a stronger moral fiber than others. For those with a strong moral fiber, education suffices. The weak ones need to be deterred with punishments.
Alexander found that when you take rats out of tiny separate cages and put them in a spacious “rat park” with ample exercise, food, and social interaction, they no longer choose drugs; indeed, already-addicted rats will wean themselves off drugs after they are transferred from cages to the rat park.All of these features of the drug war are forms of control, and therefore sit comfortably within the broader narrative of technological civilization: the domination of nature, the rising above the primitive state, conquering animal desire with the mind and the base impulses with morality, and so forth. That is, perhaps, why Bruce Alexander's devastating challenge to the caged rat experiments was ignored and suppressed for so many years. It wasn't only the drug war that his studies called into question, but also deeper paradigms about human nature and our relationship to the world.
The implication is that drug addiction is not a moral failing or physiological malfunction, but an adaptive response to circumstances. It would be the height of cruelty to put rats in cages and then, when they start using drugs, to punish them for it. That would be like suppressing the symptoms of a disease while maintaining the necessary conditions for the disease itself. Alexander's studies, if not a contributing factor in the drug war's slow unraveling, are certainly aligned with it in metaphor.
Posted by MrScorpio | Mon Jun 16, 2014, 03:48 AM (14 replies)
Leave a flower for a fallen character.
By Kate Blair and Chris Kirk
If you watch Game of Thrones, chances are you’ve watched the show kill off a character who mattered to you: a lord, a sellsword, a queen, a knight; someone you loved, or someone you loved to hate. It’s so hard to say goodbye, even when the deceased are fictional. That’s why we’re opening the Game of Thrones Graveyard, where the show’s most well-known characters rest for eternity. Buried in this sacred ground are brave souls who George R.R. Martin took from us too soon, likely by beheading them, filling them with crossbow bolts, slitting their throats, or all of the above. Others lasted far too long and died far too easily considering their depravity. But good or evil, they all touched our lives in some way.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Jun 15, 2014, 03:30 AM (2 replies)
A mother in Sunrise, Florida is now facing a federal criminal charge after disappearing with her two-year-old daughter last month in order to avoid having her vaccinated. (This served the dual purpose of keeping her from being "brainwashed" and keeping her out of school, where she might learn about black history).
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Megan Elizabeth Everett, 22, disappeared on May 6th after Robert Baumann—with whom she shares custody of their daughter, Lilly—dropped Lilly off at her home. Everett was supposed to return Lilly a week later, in compliance with a shared custody agreement, but never showed up. She instead left a note for Baumann, saying:
"You are a great dad. If I let them take her and vaccinate her and brainwash her, I wouldn't be doing what's right. I cannot let a judge tell me how my daughter should be raised. We will miss you. But I had to leave."
A warrant for Everett's arrest was issued on May 19, on charges of kidnapping, interference with custody, and concealing a minor contrary to a court order. The federal charge accused Everett of crossing state lines to avoid prosecution for the state charges.
"In the state of mind my daughter is in, Lily would be better off with Robert," Everett's mom, Pam Everett, said Friday. "I have four kids, and Megan is my baby. I don't know what happened to her." Everett and Lilly had lived with Pam until Everett became involved with a man named Carlos Lesters, at which point she severed ties with her family.
The Sun-Sentinel states that court documents describe Lesters as a "Confederate-flag-waving gun enthusiast with family members in Georgia and Kentucky."
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Jun 15, 2014, 02:22 AM (4 replies)
WASHINGTON—Looking back on his 13-year tenure in the House of Representatives with reverence, resigning House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reflected on the long list of accomplishments he had thwarted during his time in office, sources confirmed Thursday. “From obstructing a jobs bill to put Americans back to work in 2011, to derailing gun control measures any time they reached my desk, I feel blessed to have had such an incredible run of preventing productive policies, and even a few pieces of landmark legislation, from ever passing,” said Cantor, explaining that as a young man, he “never would have dreamed” that some day he would be in a position to hinder the entire American lawmaking process and completely neuter dozens of bills. “Of course, I’m disappointed because I thought I had many more years of impeding accomplishments ahead of me, and I’ll be the first to admit that I never quite managed to stall environmental policies as much as I would have liked. But at the end of the day, I’m very proud of how I helped Congress accomplish so little during my time in office.” Cantor added that he took solace that his legacy of hampering federal policy was secure, and trusted that “many, many more” in his party would be inspired to follow in his footsteps.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Jun 15, 2014, 02:15 AM (8 replies)
Tacoma officer runs over man lying on streetTACOMA, Wash. —
Police said an officer ran over a man lying on a Tacoma street
Authorities said the officer was patrolling the area and did not see the man on the roadway
The victim is a 22-year-old man, who is in critical condition
Tacoma police are investigating after an officer ran over a man lying on the street early Saturday morning.
The incident happened at about 1:20 a.m. in the 600 block of North Fife Street.
Tacoma Police Department spokewoman Loretta Cool told KIRO 7 a patrol vehicle traveling at 10 mph ran over a person lying on the roadway.
Police said the officer was patrolling the area and didn’t see the person on the roadway.
A resident in the neighborhood caught the incident on surveillance video and shared it with KIRO 7.
The victim was a 22-year-old man. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.
Cool said the investigation remains ongoing.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Jun 15, 2014, 02:10 AM (6 replies)
Yes, I'm well aware that, on the surface, it looks as if I've lost my mind by suggesting that Louie Gohmert should be the next GOP House Majority Leader, but please bear with me here as I state my case.
First off, I have to reiterate my delight at having Eric Cantor lose his seat in a primary challenge to someone, who in all likelihood, could be a dilettante dominionist Teabagger with latent socially, politically and economically regressive tendencies. But, I've had the distinct impression that Cantor himself was much less a skilled political statesman, despite his position of leadership in the Republican Party caucus, than he was an empty-suited whore for corporate interests. Cantor's greatest asset for the cause was that that he freely sold his own ass to any corporation for a price and said and supported any policy in Congress that his masters deemed necessary. Cantor was chosen as Majority Leader primarily for his ability to raise corporate bucks and less so for either his paltry skills as a legislator or even as a politician.
As so, Cantor pretty much ended up representing the 7th congressional district in Virginia's actual constituents as much as he actually represented this gentleman we have here dressed as both a Klingon and a Stormtrooper:
Cantor will be presumably setting off into perhaps that sunset lifestyle of a K Street lobbyist. I'm sure that he'll be extremely adept at dedicating his entire time and effort in a way that most suits his particular skill set and interests… For the right price, of course.
Whore away, Eric. Whore away.
And when lame duck Cantor officially steps down next month, at this point, it looks as if he'll be replaced by the irrepressibly boring Kevin McCarthy of California's 23rd congressional district. And since Republicans aren't necessarily renown for altering their patterns of behavior and reasoning, one can only presume that McCarthy would turn out to be as just as big a corporate whore in the Majority Leader's seat as has been Cantor himself. Unfortunately, for Mr. McCarthy, once it was revealed that he would be the most likely congress-critter to replace Cantor, the news hasn't engendered any real excitement or enthusiasm, other than noting that he was the man whom Kevin Spacey shadowed, researching for his role in the TV show, HOUSE OF CARDS.
McCarthy is from BAKERSFIELD, for gawd sakes, the Podunkistan of California. He's about as exciting as a front end alignment. Basically, his promotion will be nothing more than simply a paean to politics as usual. Both pundits on the Right and the Left see McCarthy as someone who is neither right to make changes, or rock some boats or even generate some waves in Congress. Predictions abound that he will serve as Majority Leader as nothing more than as a functionary buzzard, waiting to pick the bones of Speaker Boehner when he expires. Considering his origins, that would predict his ambitious intentions.
But enough of McCarthy for now.
Instead, I look at this as a perfect opportunity for Republicans to show their dedication to integrity by drafting a man who pretty much says what he really thinks, rather than what some corporate lobbyist downloads into his brainstem and enhances his clout through campaign donations, and I'm talking about none other than the one and only LOUIE GOHMERT of Texas.
Yes, Gohmert is a certifiably racist, Right-Wing nut bag moron. He never disappoints by saying the most idiotically reprehensible nonsense imaginable at the drop of hat. Louie, is by far, the most intellectually stunted brain donor in a veritable sea of Right Wing congressional stupidity. The things that come out of that man's mouth at times make Homer Simpson seem like Albert Einstein by comparison, we all know that for a fact.
Louie IS the epitome of utter dumbassery. There is NO disputing any of this.
However, say what you will about Louie's diminished cognitive state, you can't dispute the fact that whatever he says, you're getting NOTHING EXCEPT PURE UNCUT LOUIE. He's a man who says whatever he thinks and he's quite generous with giving us all a piece of his mind, no matter how paltry of an amount he has to give. But in spite of that, you can't say that Louie is anything but his own man.
And he's exciting to behold. His penchant for shock value, whenever he opens his slobbering maw, is worth his own weight in gold alone. He's anything BUT boring and he's too stupid and guileless to serve effectively as a corporate whore. Instead of selling his seat and access to the highest corporate bidder, as long as he's willing to ONLY speak his own atrophied mind on matters of governmental policy, rather than what some lobbyist has paid him to say, then you can depend on Louie to represent his position from ONLY that of simple-minded integrity.
Louie has proven that integrity time and time again. Check out some of these most notable context free quotes and tell me that someone else has put this garbage into this man's head:
"Anyone who thinks you can pay $3,100 to the federal government and thinks you can get that money back completely in services - like I said - he may go to M-I-T but he is an N-U-T."
"And I know the president made the mistake one day of saying he had visited all 57 states, and I’m well aware that there are not 57 states in this country, although there are 57 members of OIC, the Islamic states in the world. Perhaps there was some confusion whether he’d been to all 57 Islamic states as opposed to all 50 U.S. states. But nonetheless, we have an obligation to the 50 American states, not the 57 Muslim, Islamic states. Our oath we took is in this body, in this House. And it’s to the people of America. And it’s not to the Muslim Brotherhood, who may very well take over Egypt and once they do, they are bent upon setting up a caliphate around the world, including the United States. And this administration will been (sic) complicit in helping people who wants to destroy our country."
"There are consequences if you stand up for what you believe. Heck, you might - you might lose your sponsors if you're a talk show host; or if you're running for office, you know, people not give to you or people might not vote for you."
"So when (caribou) want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. (…) So my real concern now (is) if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?"
"You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place. ... We've threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God's name, they're going to be jailed ... I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don't want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present."
“I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system. And it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby. They wouldn’t even have to pay anything for the baby. And then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. And then one day, twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life. ‘Cause they figured out how stupid we are being in this country to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get set up in a position to destroy our way of life.”
"And I can’t help but be a little bit cynical here. Because we find out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for August the 3rd, celebrities flying in from all over. And lo and behold, August 2nd is the deadline for getting something done so he can have this massive, the biggest fundraising dinner in history for a birthday celebration. (…) Isn’t that amazing? The timing of this?"
Or his latest stupidity eruption:
Lynn pointed out that he had received the Medal of Freedom from the Roosevelt Institute for his work supporting the freedom to worship.
“But that wasn’t awarded by Roosevelt himself?” Gohmert interrupted, before asking if the pastor understood that the “meaning” of being a Christian was to evangelize.
“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to Hell, consistent with Christian beliefs?” the Texas Republican wondered.
Lynn, however, disagreed with the congressman’s “construction of what Hell is like or why one gets there.”
“So, you do not believe somebody would go to Hell if they do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth, the life?” Gohmert pressed.
I know that withstanding all of that stupidity was a rough going, but it had to be done in order to prove a point. And, yes, I have to admit my bias towards Louie. I can't help but to admire the plucky fucker. I hope to God that he eventually finds his missing chromosome some day; but until then, I can only see him as an inspiration to everyone whose brains are permanently in park while their mouths are running in fifth gear.
Louie in the Majority Leader's office would strike a severe blow against GOP political cronyism. Who in their right minds would pay this clown good money to advocate for their corporate interests? There is no way in HELL that Louie could ever be an effective and viable corporate whore. Can you just imagine the havoc that his installment as the campaign donation gateway between Republicans and their string dangling corporate puppet masters would wreak inside the boardrooms across America?
So, for political integrity, the only real choice for the job is Louis Buller Gohmert, Jr. The man is an American Icon, and the only real vessel to bring integrity back to Republican politics. He's the REAL DEAL.
Sure, after Boehner runs off to run a tanning salon for liver impaired hacks once his time is up, Louie would be primed to wrangle the Speaker's gavel, if the House remains Republican controlled in the next session of Congress. But that's just a risk that we should be willing to take, in order to watch the GOP caucus collapse in on itself from the lack of corporate funding, because Louie stood as his own man.
So, please, tell me how you feel about this… Is Louie the one?
I can't wait for the feedback.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sat Jun 14, 2014, 07:53 AM (27 replies)