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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Studies of Substance Abuse with Interventions for the Youth of Native American Indian Communities #2

Background of the Problem

Chemical dependency, substance misuse/abuse and particularly alcohol abuse, is consistently named as one of the most critical health concerns currently facing Native American Indian communities (Beauvais, 1996; French, 2000; Indian Health Service, 2007; King, Beals, Manson, & Trimble, 1992; Mail, Heurtin-Roberts, Martin, & Howard, 2002; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008; Young, 1988). It has had extremely destructive consequences for both the individual and cultural levels, and it is widely believed that few Indian families remain unaffected, either directly or indirectly. The historical and political context surrounding alcohol use among Native American Indians and Alaskan Natives is far too complex to address in the scope of this study (see E. H. Hawkins & Blume, 2002, H. Zinn, 1980 for a more in-depth discussion of this topic).

Although many communities have experienced social and cultural devastation that can be directly attributed to alcohol use, it is essential to note the large variance in actual rates of alcohol use and related problems experienced in Native America. Alcohol has and continues to be damaging to Native communities, yet there is a sizeable population of Native Americans who do not drink or who are non-problem drinkers (Mail & Johnson, 1993; Myers, Kagawa-Singer, Kumanyika, Lex, & Markides, 1995, Grant, Dawson, & Stinson, 2002).

Although some degree of alcohol use is common among American Indian youth, often it is not the first substance used or the primary drug of choice (Novins, Beals, & Mitchell, 2001).

A Republican endorsing a Democrat ... OMG ... what's next ..?


Three Common-Sense Gun Bills That Can't Pass Congress

America’s gun laws are truly outrageous: in Colorado they allowed James Holmes to stockpile several weapons in a short period of time, including an AR-15 assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine, without ever registering the purchases with authorities. On the federal level, as we described yesterday, there are efforts underway to put guns into the hands of veterans with mental incapabilities, people on terror watch lists, and to weaken the federal bureau that enforces many gun laws.

President Obama has repeatedly relayed that he is only interested in enforcing “existing” gun laws. Even right-wing pundit Bill Kristol thinks this is misguided: he said on Fox News this weekend that “I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they are being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control.”

So what are some moderate reforms that President Obama could get behind? Here are three bills introduced recently in Congress that would easily fall into the category of “common sense”—yet cannot seem to be passed.


Studies of Substance Abuse with Interventions for the Youth of Native American Indian Communities #1


For the past 14 months I have lived in a cabin on 40 acres on the largest Native American Indian reservation in California and working as the Director of Behavioral Health. The motivation for this research project grew from the knowledge that there have been 3 murders, 7 shooting victims, 16 stabbings, 38 domestic violence reports, 2 suicides, and countless fights that have been reported since my arrival in this beautiful valley surrounded by mountains, a little over one year ago. The most common contributing factor in all this external-internal directed violence is chemical dependency and substance abuse/misuse. The average age of the victims and perpetrators is 23. All of this has happened in an economically poor rural environment that has a total population of 2285 people and is 7.1 square miles in diameter. The registered population comprises 971 recognized Native American Indians, 1110 white and 166 Hispanic.

“People are just beginning to understand the problems. We can't answer it for ourselves as a tribe. We need outside people to help us. That work is going to bridge our world with yours, our way of thinking with your way of thinking and we need that bridge. It's like a puzzle. And there are many pieces to that puzzle and they all can connect to each other. It's just that you need people with intelligence to say "Hey, let's put the puzzle down on the table and let's connect these pieces together. And let's build a story. And let's let the whole world hear that story. And it's a puzzle—a puzzle about people.” (Quote from a friend of mine named Coyote, a Round Valley Native American Indian Elder, ex-member of AIM, American Indian Movement, a spiritual leader for many tribes in Native America, June 2009)

“For a subject that has been worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures and television, American Indians are the least understood and the most misunderstood Americans of us all.” (Quote from a speech by John F. Kennedy, President, April, 1963)

“Perhaps more than anyone else, the Native American community faces huge challenges that have been ignored by Washington for too long. It is time to empower Native Americans in the development of the national policy agenda.” (Quote from a speech given by Barack Obama, President, Sept., 2008)

“We’ve got to make sure we are not just having a Bureau of Indian Affairs that is dealing with the various Native American tribes; we’ve got to have the President of the United States meeting on a regular basis with the Native American leadership and ensuring relationships of dignity and respect.” (Quote from a speech given in Elko, Nevada by Barack Obama, Oct., 2008)

The following is an actual question on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

The following is an actual question on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

The answer by one student was so 'profound', that the professor shared it with his colleagues via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.

So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of they religion, you will to go Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' And take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...... leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night,

Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God."



Heart medication converts cancer cells into vaccine

A class of heart medications, cardiac glycosides, can induce immunogenic cell death, whereby dying cancer cells are converted into a vaccine that stimulates antitumor response, according to a study published in the July 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine. (HealthDay) -- A class of heart medications, cardiac glycosides, can induce immunogenic cell death (ICD), whereby dying cancer cells are converted into a vaccine that stimulates antitumor response, according to a study published in the July 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine. Laurie Menger, from INSERM U848 in Villejuif, France, and colleagues developed and used an automated epifluorescence microscopy-based platform to identify inducers of ICD. The researchers found that cardiac glycosides were potent inducers of ICD, and this effect correlated with inhibition of plasma membrane sodium and potassium-dependent adenosine triphosphatase. Their anti-cancer effect was observed in combination with DNA-damaging agents only in immunocompetent mice, and cancer cells treated with chemotherapy and cardiac glycosides were effective as a vaccine in mice challenged with live cancer cells of the same type. In addition, a retrospective analysis of 145 cancer patients treated with a cardiac glycoside and 290 cancer patients who did not receive the drug showed improved five-year survival in patients treated with the cardiac glycoside (hazard ratio, 0.62). "It will be interesting to determine the ICD-inducing capacity of large collections of cytotoxic agents to identify new drugs that elicit an immunological bystander effect," Menger and colleagues write. "Moreover, in the pipeline of drug discovery, it might be advisable to decide on the clinical development of compounds that share target and mechanism of action based on their (perhaps differential) ICD-stimulatory capacity." Several of the authors hold a patent related to the study.


Rage Against the American Dream

After Jared Loughner opened fire on group of people in an Arizona grocery store early last year, apparently targeting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, I wrote a post called "The Lunatic is in my Head". It questioned the mainstream narrative that we were fed about Loughner being a paranoid schizophrenic who had simply gone untreated for too long, and suddenly snapped. Let me be clear - in my opinion, whether Loughner was a "lunatic" or not is irrelevant to whether he should be held accountable for his despicable actions. There is absolutely NO excuse for such actions, and people like him should (and will) be punished to account for justice.

Fast forward to July 20, 2012, and we find ourselves confronted with a very similar tragedy. Police have identified James Holmes, a 24 year old studying for a P.h.D. in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, as the gunman who killed 12 people and injured 40 others at a Dark Knight movie premier in Denver. Should we chalk this horrendous incident up to the homicidal delusions of an abnormal person in an otherwise "normal" society as well, and then forget about it next week? Is there any connection at all between the actions of Holmes and the societal institutions and ingrained culture that surrounds us?

Perhaps it is time we, as individuals living in such a society, really start to ask ourselves why these incidents are apparently becoming more common throughout the developed world, mainly in the West but also in the East. What's happening in our economies, our corporate sectors, our banking systems and our socipolitical environments is not independent of what's happening in our movie theatres and our schools and our workplaces. Something deeper is happening than just chemical imbalances and misfiring neurons here; something more sinister, and something more widespread. I dare say we owe it to the victims and their families to not only offer them our thoughts and prayers, but to offer them our deeply considered reflection on what just happened.

In that spirit, I would ask readers to consider the following summary and review of the book "Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion " by Mark Ames, written in 2007 by Ed Vulliamy for the Guardian. In the book, Ames compares modern shooting sprees to the murderous outbursts of slaves against those around them, including but not limited to their masters - acute episodes of backlash against a culture of severe oppression and alienation. In the review, however, Vulliamy takes it a step further to suggest that perhaps what we are experiencing through these acts IS our culture, and what it has been for many years now. People like Holmes are not victims, rebels or exceptions - they are the metastasized cells of a cancerous culture.



MAP: 36 Mass Murders Across America in 30 Years

It's perhaps too easy to forget how many times this has happened. The horrific mass murder at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday is the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 36 mass murders* carried out with firearms across the United States. We have mapped them below, including details on the shooter's identity, the date of the event, and the number of victims injured and killed. We do not consider the map comprehensive (and there are countless incidents of deadly gun violence in America, of course). We used the following criteria to identify incidents of mass murder:



Moyers and Winship | The NRA Has America Living Under the Gun

You might think Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of and spokesman for the mighty American gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, has an almost cosmic sense of timing. In 2007, at the NRA’s annual convention in St. Louis, he warned the crowd that, “Today, there is not one firearm owner whose freedom is secure.” Two days later, a young man opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students, staff and teachers.

Just last week, LaPierre showed up at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty here in New York and spoke out against what he called “anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens’ right to self-defense.” Now at least 12 are dead in Aurora, Colorado, gunned down at a showing of the new film, The Dark Knight Rises, a Batman movie filled with make-believe violence. One of the guns the shooter used was an AK-47 type assault weapon that was banned in 1994. The ban ran out in 2004.

Obviously, LaPierre’s timing isn’t cosmic, just coincidental and unfortunate; as Shakespeare famously wrote, the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves. In other words, people — people with guns. There are some 300 million guns in the United States, one in four adult Americans owns at least one and most of them are men. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, over the last 30 years, “the number of states with a law that automatically approves licenses to carry concealed weapons provided an applicant clears a criminal background check has risen from eight to 38.”



America's Perverse Titillation With Violence: Mass Shooting as a Form of Entertainment

I wrote last week about the Aurora, Colorado, shooting and America's responsibility for starting to look at our culture of violence - and our glorification of the gun and the "right" of people who feel victimized to use it to avenge themselves.

This is the subtext after all, as BuzzFlash at Truthout pointed out, of the "shoot to kill/stand your ground" law in Florida, which only requires that the shooter perceive a threat - however that might be defined by the shooter - to kill someone.

But there is another perversity at work in the United States when it comes to mass shootings: we wallow in them vicariously.

For the past few days, as BuzzFlash has predicted, we've seen the victims' families in their grief; articles speculating on the character, background and motivation of the shooter; and soon the first funerals.



Arizona Shootings, The Lunatic is in My Head

"The possibility of madness is therefore implicit in the very phenomenon of passion."
- Michel Foucault (Madness and Civilisation)

The mass shooting in Tuscon, Arizona was a sad and unpleasant event, but it was fully expected by those of us who stay informed. We couldn't predict exactly where such an event would occur, when it would occur or how it would occur, but we knew that it was only a matter of time before people began lashing out against "the system" in violent ways. In early 2010, a man lashed out by flying a plane into an IRS building in Texas, but this time the violence directly targeted a federal politician, who is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

The shooter was Jared Loughner, a 22-year old who was "studying" in an Arizona Community College. Since the event, many people have obviously started digging through every single detail of this man's history, from the "incoherent" and "inappropriate" things he said in class, to his "disturbing" postings on the Internet and his drug-related criminal record. There were all kinds of different "warning signs" available to foreshadow the shooting and potentially prevent it, if only those who had observed him had been more vigilant and took some action.

Perhaps it is true that Loughner's parents, friends or classmates could have deciphered his murderous plans and prevented the shooting. But does that mean this rampage was an isolated incident, specific to a hopelessly deranged individual who had inexplicably fallen from the good graces of "normal" society? Frankly, the whole post-event routine reminds me of CNBC pundits attempting to explain a large market sell-off by referencing a mish-mash of "unexpected" economic events and "temporarily" negative data.



Yes, Blame the NRA for the Movie Theater Shooting in Colorado

The Brady Campaign has a 62-page list of mass shootings in America since 2005. It is Wayne LaPierre's resume.

For 21 years, LaPierre has been the executive vice president - and chief political strategist - of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The blood of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting is on his hands.

Of course LaPierre didn't pull the trigger, but he's the NRA's hit man when it comes to intimidating elected officials to oppose any kind of gun control, and he's the nation's most vocal advocate of gun owner rights.

The NRA not only lobbies on behalf of "stand your ground" laws, but also offers insurance to members to pay for the legal costs of shooting people in "self-defense." The NRA also defends the right of Americans to carry concealed weapons, including handguns.



If there was ever a better time to dump the frontman for the banksters ...

it is NOW ....

Grayson: I won't fill the sky with black helicopters

Alan Grayson's back -- and in fine form.

The former Florida Democratic congressman, who is seeking a return to the House from a new Orlando-area seat, responded Thursday to a GOP foe's web video from earlier this week that railed against Grayson “and his progressive cronies.” The low production value video suggested that a vote for Grayson was a vote for a future where lemonade stands are forced to go out of business, the price of gas is near $10 a gallon and guns and ammo are outlawed.

Rarely outdone when it comes to over-the-top political theater, Grayson returned fire in an email to his supporters.

I would like to assure my opponent, and all other right-wing paranoid crackpots, that I will neither eliminate children's lemonade stands, nor triple the price of gasoline, nor outlaw guns and ammunition. If I have a secret plan to do any of those things, it's so secret that even I don't know about it. It's like I'm the Manchurian Candidate, or something.



Alan, I simply ask how you can relate to the 99%ers. ?

Scranton: When Your City Needs to Go Bankrupt

A lot of cities are in financial trouble these days, but the case of Scranton, Pennsylvania, stands out for its unusual degree of bickering as it descends into the fiscal abyss. Mayor Chris Doherty has cut nearly every city employee’s pay -- including his own -- to minimum wage ($7.25 an hour).

The mayor is acting in defiance of a court order mandating that he pay the employees in full. The International Association of firefighters ran a full page ad in the Scranton Times this past weekend, depicting the mayor in a dunce cap for his actions.

Mayor Doherty has a pretty good counterargument: The city literally doesn’t have the money to pay its employees. Two weeks ago, the city’s bank balance dwindled to just $5,000. Now, it’s about $130,000, enough to cover one day’s municipal expenses and not enough to meet payroll. Thanks to a bridge loan from the state, Scranton may soon be able to pay employees in full, but not forever -- the bridge loan only provides enough money to get the city into August.

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