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Article updated on 1/18/15
In the most recent Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders attacked Hillary's political pragmatism that has sucked at the teat of the medical-industrial complex for 70 years.
"Will Congress act to save taxpayers billions of dollars–and protect the solvency of the Medicare programs–by taking on the AMA, the drugmakers and the insurers? Don't hold your breath."
–Wendell Potter, author and private health insurance whistle-blower
Read Bernie Sanders' universal healthcare plan, Medicare-for-All: Leaving No One Behind.
"People are dying and not buying the food they need because they have to pay outrageous prices for medicine."
"We need a commissioner who will stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and protect American consumers. Dr. Califf, you are not that person." – Senator Bernie Sanders
We Need Leadership Willing to Stand Up to Big Pharma
Who Were the Winners from the Healthcare Expansion (Affordable Care Act)? It's clearly not the American people.
Result of no public option or single payer healthcare (Medicare-for-all): "The public option's demise is another win for insurance companies, which didn't want to compete with the government. And they'll get $447 billion worth of federal subsidies through customers given money to buy coverage."
"The people who figured out how to get rich off this expansion of government were the private insurance companies."
Remember, this is a system where both patients and physicians are unhappy. Who else benefited from the Affordable Care Act? "If success is measured by return on the dollar, the pharmaceutical industry made a killing. A win by pharmaceutical companies includ the swift death of drug reimportation. The industry argued on safety grounds." The "safety" argument is unacceptable catering to the pharmaceutical lobby.
Infographic: It takes 10 healthcare administrators for every 1 physician to create one of the least efficient, least equitable healthcare systems in the developed world. Click images to enlarge and for links.
End Prescription Drug Price Gouging: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Grill Obama FDA Pick on Big Pharma Ties
SANDERS interviews FDA Commissioner Nominee: We can bring fish products and vegetables from farms all over the world but we cannot bring from across the Canadian border brand name drugs. You don't think we have the capability of doing that?
CALIFF: We have the capability, it would add additional cost and systems would have to be put in place to make it work.
the world, but we cannot bring in brand name drugs manufactured by the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world from a country like Canada. I just, do not, accept that.
#RxProblem: America's Psychoactive Prescription Drug Problem, Followed by Price Gouging of American Taxpayers to Clean Up the Mess that Medicine Made
CDC Vital Signs report: "Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes.
When the prescription opioid supply decreased, users switched to an unregulated and much cheaper opioid–heroin, administered via injection–resulting in increased overdose deaths and infectious disease transmission. The image above shows how the increase in heroin-related overdose deaths mirror the increase in acute cases of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C may lie dormant for years and not cause harm to patients. However, when it become acute, it destroys the liver and kills those who have it. Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is a new drug that can cure hepatitis C, but it costs $1000 per pill and is busting state Medicaid budgets. In India, the cost per pill is $4.
Click to enlarge.
Reign in Mental Health Spending on Inefficient Therapies and You Will Get Mental Health Parity
But I am so grateful that I live now and not 50 years ago, when there would have been almost nothing to be done. I hope that 50 years hence, people will hear about my treatments and be appalled that anyone endured such primitive science."
Mental Illness, 1978 vs 2015. Any changes? Any better?
Mental Health Care in the Most Expensive and Inefficient Healthcare System in the Developed World: Inaccessible, Unaffordable
From Andrew Solomon's Ted Talk, Depression, the Secret We Share:
"I was struck by the fact that depression is broadly perceived to be a modern, Western, middle-class thing, and I went to look at how it operated in a variety of other contexts, and one of the things I was most interested in was depression among the indigent. And so I went out to try to look at what was being done for poor people with depression. And what I discovered is that poor people are mostly not being treated for depression.
And so I found an academic who was doing a research project in slums outside of D.C., where she picked up women who had come in for other health problems and diagnosed them with depression, and then provided six months of the experimental protocol. One of them, Lolly, came in,and this is what she said the day she came in. She said, and she was a woman, by the way, who had seven children. She said, "I used to have a job but I had to give it up because I couldn't go out of the house. I have nothing to say to my children. In the morning, I can't wait for them to leave, and then I climb in bed and pull the covers over my head, and three o'clock when they come home, it just comes so fast." She said, "I've been taking a lot of Tylenol, anything I can take so that I can sleep more. My husband has been telling me I'm stupid, I'm ugly. I wish I could stop the pain." This therapy helped her, but at a cost.
Unfortunately, dozens of expensive talk therapy sessions will never be affordable for most low to middle-income Americans. Government nor insurance companies will ever be willing to pay for this intensive level of mental health care. Consider psychoactive plant medicines: If an appropriate clinical or ritualistic framework can be established, consider providing this type of therapy before stress or worries from life reach a crisis level.
Solomon continues, "But we've had a lot of trouble with Western mental health workers, especially the ones who came right after the genocide." I said, "What kind of trouble did you have?" And he said, "Well, they would do this bizarre thing. They didn't take people out in the sunshine where you begin to feel better. They didn't include drumming or music to get people's blood going. They didn't involve the whole community. They didn't externalize the depression as an invasive spirit. Instead what they did was they took people one at a time into dingy little rooms and had them talk for an hour about bad things that had happened to them."
The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System is arguably the best we have in the United States, yet even it cannot provide adequate mental health care to patients.
DisabledAmericanVeterans.org: “Self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs is not a rarity among veterans returning from war. According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, more than 20 percent of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) abuse such substances. For Jensen, the destructive forces of substance abuse culminated the day he put a gun to his head in front of his wife and two young children."
Through nearly half a year of treatment, Jensen was prescribed five different kinds of depression medication, three types of anxiety medication and two different sleeping aids. But none of it provided the relief he was hoping for. “Everybody’s different. You need to find the right fit for you, and in order to do that you need to try new things.”
“There are other methodologies besides medications and expensive treatments that they can do themselves and have for the rest of their lives without spending a lot of time and money,” Yellin stated.
The American mental health system trying to do things right by doing rigorous research on non-drug therapies. However, if thought leaders in the United States do not focus heavily on therapies that are affordable, decent mental health care will never be available to Americans.
What is not being done that should be done?
Government should fund research of non-addictive classic hallucinogens, also known as "psychedelics," as well as cannabis. Schedule I drug laws preventing research of these medicines have been a great detriment to on neuroscience research and treatment innovation.
In the long-term, hallucinogen research will provide tremendous insight into their unique ability to temporarily alter consciousness in a therapeutic manner without harming the patient or causing addiction.
Spread the word! Help author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss fund personal and groundbreaking psilocybin research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. ➡ SEE THE FUNDRAISER
"A recent but still unpublished study at Johns Hopkins demonstrated rapid, substantial, and sustained (lasting up to six months) antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects of a single dose of psilocybin in psychologically-distressed patients with life-threatening cancer diagnoses. This is incredibly exciting. What if we could decrease or avoid altogether the known side-effects (and frequency of consumption) of current antidepressant drugs like SSRIs? This study could help establish an alternative.
Current popular antidepressant medications have significant adverse side effects, with up to 50% of patients failing to respond fully and as many as 30% remaining completely resistant.
Psilocybin has been safely consumed by humans for millennia. Despite this, the study of entheogens like psilocybin was blocked for several decades due to political rather than scientific factors. Now, we can finally explore the therapeutic and medical potential of these powerful compounds."
The work Tim is hoping to fund "will determine the efficacy of psilocybin in treatment-resistant depression, and will also use cutting-edge brain imaging to clarify the mechanism of action of psilocybin's antidepressant effects. In the world of science, it is a rare opportunity to be able to conduct such potentially groundbreaking work for a mere $80,000. It’s almost unheard of. Psilocybin has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of major depression that cannot be properly addressed with current treatments. This also applies to end-of-life care for terminally-ill cancer patients." (Follow Psilocybin and Cancer Research on Facebook).
Much is left to be learned about the effect of hallucinogens on positive emotion–joy, pride, contentment, and awe–and how it modulates the immune system, inflammation, HPA-axis, and other areas of health.
We must do better in the United States and it could start with large-scale, culturally competent, government-sponsored research of classic hallucinogens and mindfulness. Both are archaic means of resilience that will not bankrupt the nation and provide immense help to every social strata.
List of Selected Hallucinogen Studies and Educational Resources
Blog: PTSD, Mindfulness and Psilocybin
Psychosocial Interventions for Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A Framework for Establishing Evidence-Based Standards
Science and Psychology of Classic Hallucinogens
MDMA psychotherapy to treat PTSD
America, Don't Fight Mental Illness and Addiction with One Arm Behind Your Back
FDA-Approved Drug Therapies and Classic Hallucinogens to Treat Alcoholism: Barriers, Background, and the Latest Research
HUGE Speaker for "Breaking Through," TEDMed 2015: Psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths
Psychology Study Explains Psychedelic Ethics: Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior
The New Yorker: Trip Treatment
Dr. Gabor Maté, M.D., discusses how ayahuasca offers addicts insight into self-destructive behaviors
Psychedelic Stroke of Insight for Smoking Cessation
Hofmann's Potion: "I thought this was the greatest discovery that man had ever made"
A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin
Will "The Coming Boom" in Brain Medicines Include Mental Health?
Stunting the Growth of Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and Pain Meds: Meditation & Hallucinogen Therapy as Mental Health Preventative Medicine?
CARERS Act Could Justify Re-Scheduling of Psychedelics Psilocybin, LSD, Ayahuasca, Peyote
American Ethnobotanists Richard Evans Schultes, Dennis McKenna Discuss Hallucinogenic Plant Medicines, More
MassGeneral: Hallucinogens: A Trip to Therapy
Gordon & Tina Wasson Award Winner Paul Stamets Wins the Psilocybin Mushroom Wizard Award
Modern Stress on Prenatal Life: Autism, Inherited PTSD, Behavioral Disorders, Personality
Address to the Jung Society - Psychoactive Substances of the World
Psychedelics Reclassification & Research the Right Thing to Do For Mental Health? UK Psychiatrist James Rucker Thinks So.
Is Consciousness the Only Savior for a Changing America? Meditation Has People Believing
Science & Nonduality: Magic Mushrooms Work Like Meditation? The Latest Evidence
Science & Nonduality: Ayahuasca, Autism, Aging and the Default Mode Network…New Research
NYU Alumni Magazine: A Trip to the Doctor
Courageous Heffter-Funded Work at UAB School of Public Health that Changes Perceptions & Could Change Your World
Individual States and an American Public Fraught with Addiction, Mental Illness, and Jail Time Looking to Alternatives
Fear & Hate-Based Ideology Past & Present Countered by Shock & Awe-Based Therapies, Past & Present
ASCO Post: Researchers Discuss Pilot Study on Hallucinogenic Therapies for Cancer Anxiety
End-of-Life Pain & Palliative Care as an Alternative to Physician-Assisted Suicide. Johns Hopkins Seminar Series
Ketamine vs. Psychedelics
Johns Hopkins: Meditation effective in treating anxiety, depression, Hopkins research suggests
Dr. Gabor Maté Talks Addiction, Culture, Ayahuasca... and Drug Policy
Top Ayahuasca Researchers Discuss Challenges and Achievements
Shamans of the Amazon: Ayahuasca, Politics, & the War on Drugs (1999) McKenna, Shulgin
Peyote: Last of the Medicine Men - Shamans of the Huichol People
Pahnke & Leary's 1962 Good Friday Experiment Explained by Psychology of Religion Expert Ralph Hood [Full Video]
Dr. Gabor Maté Talks Addiction, Culture, Ayahuasca... and Drug Policy
Sacred Medicines are to Be Respected. The Effects are Profound But Temporary: Current NIH Director Francis Collins and others discuss psychedelics, religion, and science at a Pew Forum in 2009
I remember thinking about this a couple of years ago as I sat for 11 hours, from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on the dirt floor of a teepee. I was at a Navajo peyote ceremony in Lukachukai, Ariz. There were about 30 of us. Everyone but me had ingested a whole lot of peyote – the active ingredient is mescaline. It’s basically a psychedelic. I kind of wish I had as I watched everyone looking pretty happy, their heads bobbing to the beat of the drummers like little bobbleheads. But, alas, I was there to observe. So there I sat cross-legged for 11 hours.
Question for NIH Director Francis Collins: With the poor level of preventing and treating mental illness and substance abuse in the United States, is it unethical for NIH not to expedite the rescheduling of classic hallucinogens to facilitate their research?
Around midnight the woman who was the center of the ceremony broke her silence. Her name was Mary Ann, and she suffered from shingles. She had had it for a couple of months. It had gone untreated, and this was a healing ceremony. Around that time she confessed that 20 years earlier she had accidentally run over a man on the highway. She stated he was already dead when she ran over his head. But at any rate, for the past 20 years, a headless man kept haunting her dreams, and she wanted forgiveness. She wanted the peyote, which Navajos consider to be the mediator between the spirit world and the human world – she wanted the peyote to kind of broker the deal between this guy whose head she had run over and her.
So I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed that we may have just had a confession to vehicular homicide. Everyone was just smiling happily and nodding. A few hours later, after a lot more peyote, Mary Ann announced that the shingles were gone. She said, the spirit came before me and forgave me and now I’m healed.
Peyote is like other psychedelic drugs, including LSD and magic mushrooms – magic mushrooms and psilocybin are kind of the same thing. They seem to prompt mystical experience. Scientists have discovered recently that these psychedelic drugs have a couple of interesting things in common.
Chemically, they all look a lot like serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that affects parts of the brain that relate to emotions and perception. Now scientists at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that they all target the same serotonin receptor, serotonin HT2A. So what that receptor does is, it allows the serotonin or the psilocybin or the active ingredient of these psychedelics to create a cascade of chemical reactions, which then create the sounds and sights and smells and perceptions of a mystical experience. Essentially, they’ve discovered a “God neurotransmitter,” in a way.
So now they can get a sense of what happens in the brains of mystics or you and me when we have a spiritual experience. What’s really cool about this is that the war on drugs ended this sort of research for about 35 years, but now at Johns Hopkins and other places, the government’s allowing this to go on.
They’ll be able to give you a capsule of psilocybin, slide you into a brain scan, and actually watch spiritual experience unfold in an FMRI. This has really opened the door for understanding the brain mechanisms of spiritual experience.
So the question is, does that mean that God is just a chemical reaction? I think probably a lot of scientists would say, yes. But Roland Griffiths, who’s the researcher at Johns Hopkins, doesn’t think so, and he doesn’t think so for a couple of reasons. One is that people who have spiritual experiences can do this without help from their chemical friends, right? They can do it through meditation and prayer and chanting and fasting – all of these can spark spiritual experience. Second, he says it’s just as plausible that the chemical reactions and the electrical firings in the brain are reflecting an interaction with God or the spiritual realm.
Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance. Griffiths. J Psychopharmacology. Editorial & Commentaries. Press Release. Griffiths Q&A. 2006.
Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later. Griffiths. J Psychopharmacology. Press Release. 2008.
2011. Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness. MacLean. J Psychopharmacology.
And he uses this analogy: He says, when you eat a piece of apple pie, all sorts of things happen in your brain. The part of the brain that mediates smell will light up or taste will light up. Probably the part of the brain that handles memory will light up as you think about the last time that you had a piece of apple pie. But does the fact that there is this predictable and measurable brain activity – does that mean that the apple pie doesn’t exist? Of course it doesn’t. So maybe, Griffiths says, this brain activity is chronicling an interaction with the divine.
He raises a third issue, which Francis alluded to, which is, why? Why are we wired to have mystical experiences in the first place? Is it possible that there is a God or an intelligence who’s created this way? I mean, if there is a God who wants to communicate with us, he probably wouldn’t use the big toe; he’d probably use the brain. Doesn’t it make sense that this is how God would communicate.
Now in the end, I don’t think science will be able to prove or disprove God, but I do think there’s a really fascinating debate – and I’m going to close with this – that’s circling around spiritual issues. We may actually make some headway about it. There may be a way to tackle this issue in a definitive way. It’s the mind-brain debate, or can consciousness operate when the brain is stilled
I just have one more story to tell you to illustrate a point. In 1991, there was a woman named Pam Reynolds. Have you all heard of her? She was found to have had an aneurysm on her brain stem. Her doctor told her that it might rupture at any moment and that she could die at any moment, and so she decided to undergo what was then a very experimental surgery called a standstill operation. She flew out to Arizona to a place called the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
Essentially what they did was they put her under anesthesia, they taped her eyes shut, they put in molded speakers in her ears that emitted really loud clicks – about 90 to 100 decibels. That’s what a jet plane sounds like when it takes off. So loud clicks were firing in her ears. Then when her brain no longer responded to the clicks, the surgeons knew that they could proceed.
2014 Herbet Disrupting posterior cingulate connectivity disconnects consciousness from the external environment environment
2014 Carhart-Harris Was it a vision or a waking dream? (A commentary on: Disrupting posterior cingulate connectivity disconnects consciousness from the external environment)
2014 Carhart-Harris How Do Hallucinogens Work on the Brain? The Psychologist Magazine. The British Psychological Society.
So she was basically without blood in her head or in a deep coma-like state for over an hour. When she awakened, she had quite a story to tell. Basically, she said that she floated upwards – she had an out-of-body experience and watched part of the operation – not all of it because she had a near-death experience in the middle of it. But what was interesting was, she could describe the operating theater – how many people were there, who was placed – she could tell where men and women were. She didn’t know their names, obviously.
She could describe a very unusual-looking bone saw called the Midas Rex bone saw and the blade container. It’s unusual; it looks like an electric toothbrush, so it’s not something you see all the time. She heard conversations, including the one where a female surgeon said that her arteries were too small in the left groin for a tube and so the chief surgeon told the other surgeon to try the right side – she heard this kind of conversation. So she saw things, heard things even though her senses were apparently blocked.
And then she had a typical near-death experience – the white light, seeing the dead relatives, yada, yada, yada, yada. Now I’m not all that interested in the near-death experience, but her ability to describe the operation while under deep anesthesia when her eyes were taped shut and her hearing blocked – it raised a question for me: Was Pam’s mind or consciousness operating separately from her brain? I’ve heard dozens of stories about people who died on the operating table or in a car crash and felt themselves float above their bodies and claimed that they could see everything that was going on. I thought they were interesting, but not conclusive stories.
It’s entirely possible that their brains were operating and that this is what a brain does when it is shutting down – it creates illusions, it creates sensations. It’s entirely possible that this is normal activity that’s explained by material means. But Pam Reynolds’ story feels a little bit more compelling to me, probably not to a lot of you, but to me it does. For one thing, it’s corroborated. A doctor named Michael Sabom got all the hospital records and the transcripts from this operation and found that when Pam said something happened, that in fact did happen in the order that she suggested. It seemed to corroborate her account.
I interviewed the chief neurosurgeon, Robert Spetzler, who confirmed that she was in a deep coma for an hour and could not have seen or heard any of the operation. I asked him how he explained it, and he said that he “had absolutely no explanation from a scientific perspective.” He also said that this has changed the way he thought about reality.
I just want to conclude by observing that in my year of interviewing scientists, I learned something about scientists. When they hear of a case that they don’t like – one that doesn’t jive with their worldview – they call it just an anecdote. When they like a story, they call it case history.
Now most scientists would probably say this challenge to a materialist worldview is an anecdote. After all, Pam’s story could lead to the astonishing notion that somehow we have consciousness or maybe a soul that could survive death. Other scientists – in fact a growing number – will call Pam’s story a case history, something to be explored and not just so easily dismissed. But I’m sure of a couple of things. First, this question of consciousness is the next big battle in the emerging science of spirituality. And second, how a scientist comes down on the debate about consciousness will be as much a matter of his own belief system as it will be of the science."
Appalachia, American Politicians Lack Courage to Go "All In"
on Opioid Maintenance, Harm Reduction, and Mental Health
Prescription pills are Britain’s third biggest killer:
Side-effects of drugs taken for insomnia and anxiety
kill thousands. Why do doctors hand them out like Smarties?
Top 10 Drug Company Settlements
Over the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful drug, promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects and made billions of dollars. This is the inside story.
End-of-Life Pain & Palliative Care as an Alternative to
Physician-Assisted Suicide. Johns Hopkins Seminar Series.
Living and Dying (Steve Jobs, Terence McKenna)
Sound familiar? The Appalachia region of America has mining communities with widespread poverty, a poor healthcare system, and rates of opioid addiction that are highest in the world.
Black lung is also back and worse than ever. Coal companies have a habit of denying disability claims until victims die an early death.
Center for Public Integrity: Breathless and Burdened
Yearlong investigation examines how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, have helped defeat the benefits claims of miners sick and dying of black lung, even as disease rates are on the rise and an increasing number of miners are turning to a system that was supposed to help alleviate their suffering.
Part One: The Law Firm
Part Two: The Doctors
Part Three: The Next Battleground
Good news! The Johns Hopkins black-lung evaluation program that routinely sided with coal companies against the claims of miners who said they were suffering from pneumoconiosis has closed for good.
Scroll down to learn more about poverty, addiction, and cancer rates in Appalachian mining communities. Click the image on the right to learn why America's victims of addiction are turning to heroin.
The Video that Ruined Larson's Televangelism Career
Poverty, Addiction, and Healthcare
Problems in American Mining Communities
Corporations and politicians gain financially, while holding the health and vote of Appalachia hostage with threat of employment leaving. As the information below shows, the human cost is severe.
Study says advanced form of black lung at historically high levels:
Life Expectancy Change by County, 1997 - 2007
From WV Public Radio:
"We also ask whether society is ready to treat addiction as a health issue, or whether we are still quick to make moral judgments about people with drug addictions. Finally, we debate what's at fault.
The Needle and the Damage Done: West Virginia's Heroin Epidemic
"West Virginia has the nation's worst rate of drug overdose deaths. It started with prescription painkillers, and now is increasingly fueled by heroin."
War on Poverty vs. War on the Poor
Poverty in Central Appalachia
Because it has worked for them, to keep their labor force vulnerable, keep them powerless.”
-Cynthia M. Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
Fox News is Unfortunately a Popular
form of Entertainment in Appalachia
Learn more about the SafeLink phone program from FactCheck.org
Guest panelist Katie Pavlich:
"On top of it, we're subsidizing cell phones for these people... Not only were people who aren't qualified getting these phones, they're actually selling them back for drug money and using the money from their sold Obamacare phones to buy drugs."
Pavlich's most recent book:
Assault & Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women
Pavlich also won an award for her blogging:
Speaking of drugs, Journalist Gary Webb's 1996 'Dark Alliance' series in the San Jose Mercury News prompted the first and last Central Intelligence Agency director Q&A session with the community (in Los Angeles), and inspired the the 2014 movie Kill the Messenger.
DemocracyNow: "For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the 'crack' capital of the world."
Imagine when citizens didn't have access to the internet. The most vulnerable were easy victims. It is still a struggle.
If you look at history, there has always been a champion of the poor against the social class with the most power and influence.
Abuse of the underserved is what happens when income inequality becomes vast and large segments of the population are marginalized.
When did class warrior become a negative thing? Class warriors have been the voice the American working class against "robber barons" since the 19th century.
NPR: You're being treated unfairly at work. How do you react — voice your concerns or stay quiet?
"The reaction may indicate whether you're a powerful or powerless person, this study says, but it could also explain how inequality is maintained in society. Powerful people react swiftly when they are victims of unfairness, while less powerful people are slow to notice and react to injustice, according to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
"Power shapes how quickly you respond to self-related injustices.
When people have a lot of power and resources, they come to feel like they deserve better outcomes than others," explains Takuya Sawaoka, Stanford University doctoral student who also authored
Social anxiety and self-consciousness in binge eating disorder: Associations with eating disorder psychopathology."
Hit single by 'Postcards of Life': Children of the Sun
3 Perspectives to Change Your Outlook on Life (Click image to access link)
Bernie's 95 Theses at Liberty University: Abortion, Poverty, Racism, War on Cops, and Other Unconscionable Acts
Tonight, we target the question regarding racism that Liberty University asked Bernie Sanders on September 14:
If you were elected president, what would you do to bring healing and resolution to the issues of racism in our country?
Fox News: The Poor They Know
Link: Once again, there is no ‘war on cops.’ And those
who claim otherwise are playing a dangerous game.
Here are the remaining 2 questions David Nasser, the senior vice president for spiritual development at Liberty, asked Bernie following his speech at the university on September 15.
Question 2: What would you say to Christians concerned that they will now face discrimination both in society and in the workplace for holding a traditional view of marriage?
@OAWoww: Liberty University students must rethink their definition of discrimination. Are they talking about preventing LGBT couples from getting married? Do they realize how important a life event marriage is to human beings? Preventing a lawful marriage is nearly equivalent to stripping someone of their religion. If you personally cannot issue a marriage license, please have a backup plan. This is not an issue of religious discrimination or religious persecution, as Ted Cruz likes to call it. Sometimes America can be cold as hell.
Question 3: You've talked in your campaign about how it is immoral to protect the billionaire class at the expense of the most vulnerable in our society: obviously, children. A majority of Christians would agree with you, but would also go further to say that children in the womb need our protection even more. How do you reconcile (long applause)..How do you reconcile the two in your mind?
Nasser: Obviously you can see this is what they want to ask. I know that you have a different view. I know that, you sir, that you and I don't have to be eye to eye on it.
Senator Sanders: Understand, this is an area where we disagree. I do understand and I do believe that it is improbable for the United States government or state government to tell every woman in this country the very painful and difficult choice that she has to make on that issue.
And, I honestly don’t want to be too provocative here, but very often Conservatives say, “You know, get the government out of my life. I don’t want the government telling me what to do.” But on this very sensitive issue on which this nation is divided, a lot of people agree with you, a lot of people agree with me. But my view is, I respect absolutely a family that says, “No, we are not going to have an abortion.” I understand that. I respect that. But I would hope that other people respect the very painful and difficult choice that many women feel they have to make and don’t want the government telling them what they have to do.
But, but...I want to take that question a step further, David. We do disagree on that issue, no if, and, or buts about it. But here is where I hope we have common ground. Now, I've not tried to be partisan during my remarks. I have not. But I'm going to be partisan for a moment, because I wanna lay this on your shoulders. I am the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. That means I lead the Democrats in opposition. The Republicans control the House and the Senate.
Now I wanna to tell you what was in the Republican budget that passed a number months ago. Check it out if you think I'm not telling you the truth. When you talk about issues of children, understand that the Republican budget threw 27 million people off of healthcare, including many children, at a time when many families cannot afford to send their kids to college. And I'm running on a program, by the way, that says every college and public university in America should be tuition-free. But at a time when families cannot afford to send their kids to college, the Republican budget cut $90 billion in Pell Grants over a 10 year period. At a time when children in America are going hungry, the Republican budget cut billions of dollars in nutrition programs, including money for the WIC program which goes to low-income pregnant women and their babies. And to add insult to injury in that budget, the Republicans provided over $250 billion over a 10-year period in tax breaks to the top 2/10 of 1 percent (top 0.2%). I don't think that is a moral budget.
Nasser: I'm not..I don't pretend to be an expert on budgets, but, uh, I think a lot of us would be very interested in our government and budgeting for Planned Parenthood. I think a lot of us would be interested at looking at those budgets..I think they get a lot more complex.
One student took issue with Sanders:
“The biggest inconsistency is the woman’s right to control her own body,” said Cameron Swathwood, a student [at Liberty] who attended the speech. “That assumes her body is the only one in question. … But if the unborn is in fact a human being which science and philosophy say it is, that killing the unborn is a grievous moral wrong.”
Our Amazing World's take:
Is it not equally as immoral and a greater detriment to our country to allow children to grow up in poverty with parents that struggle to provide appropriate care (and healthcare) for their children because of poverty?
“How can this be the wealthiest country in the world when one in four of America’s children has been living in poverty for over four decades?” said Thomas K. McInerny, MD, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). "The AAP and the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) have decided that now is the time to work on reducing childhood poverty as a major step to improve the health of our nation’s children, our most precious resource.”
PBS Frontline: Poor Kids
“As a society, we have chosen to use government programs to protect seniors from poverty. What the U.S. does for seniors is clearly good; so why do we not also protect children from the life-altering effects of poverty?” said Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP, past president of the APA and co-chair of the APA Task Force on Childhood Poverty.
Don't forget the effect of poverty and prenatal stress on an unborn child, as well as the effect of poverty and stress on early childhood development.
Is it Immoral to Allow Corporations to Continue
Making Huge Profits on Addictive Psychoactive Drugs
That Do More Harm Than Good in Our Society, While
Turning a Blind Eye to the Lack of Non-Drug Options?
(All we ask for is for more options, better regulation, and mental health parity)
Regarding rights of unborn children, do Liberty students know about the harm placed on unborn children (and living humans) at some Pentecostal churches in their own backyard? Serpent handling is not the safest of religious practices among pregnant women. Religious Freedom laws should protect churches that perform serpent handling, as well as churches that use yagé, teonanáctl, and peyote as a religious sacraments.
Clockwise from top right: Teonanácatl presentations at the New Mexico State Capitol, DEA Headquarters in Albuquerque, and Santa Fe Police Department show that after 494 years of prohibition, sacred sacraments are legal for certain Native American Church-affiliated chapters to utilize.
Religious Freedom Laws should not protect and provide tax breaks to
televangelists who rip off vulnerable seniors and homebound adults.
Religion should worry about their own religious practices and not worry about what other people are doing to their own bodies.
From BC3: A Season of Dedication..
There were few good jobs in Quitman, GA. Meat packing and textile jobs had moved overseas, leaving people without work. Quitman was deteriorating like many other towns in the Deep South.
In the 2000 Census, the median income in Quitman was $20,924 per household and $24,154 per family. The per capita income for the city was $10,594. About 31.2% of families and 34.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.7% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over."
According to the Washington Post and national statistics, the South looks in rough shape on national maps of many kinds:
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2013 was a difficult year for residents of Quitman, Georgia, population 4,500. Brooks County High School students Jicarre Watkins, Johnie Parker, and Shawn Waters died in a single-car accident before football practice on July 9, 2013.
Head Coach Maurice Freeman had spent half of his adult life helping young men grow in Brooks County. 2013 would prove his most challenging.
"Jicarre Watkins, number 72, he was a left tackle and he was also a defensive end. He could also play inside linebacker better than everybody else I had. So that dude had a motor, halfway crazy, good in school, and could play some dog-gone football.
And the toughest thing about that...about three hours after the accident Troy State called and said 'Hey coach, we want to talk to you about Jicarre Watkins.' And I said, what do you wanna know? ..Because I thought they knew about what had happened. They said 'Coach, we'd like to bring him back down. We're thinking about offering him (a scholarship).'"
Freeman talked about all three of the students.
Many parents who were financially able felt their children would receive a better education and high school experience elsewhere, and would often send their children to schools in neighboring Lowndes, Colquitt, and Thomas counties. It was tough for both the school and students who had grown up together.
Coaches and their families prepare kids for life. Even in high school, coaching can be a thankless job unless the team is winning. At small high schools, coaching is not about the money.
Life goes on in small towns as our country changes. Parents, educators, and townspeople who support each other, have empathy, and are eager to understand other perspectives are the rock in communities like Quitman.
Images from 1994, Freeman's first year coaching at Brooks County:
Quarterback Malkom Parrish graduated after the 2013-2014 school year and is now a student athlete at the University of Georgia.
Tribute to Jicarre, Johnie, and Shawn