Dave Stancliff 2010-04-25 blogarama.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

When Warriors Cry, Who Listens?

They have been crying out seeking help for decades and America has turned its back on these special warriors. We knew there were problems not long after the first fireballs lit up the skies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but we did nothing. We, the nation of great global compassion for those who suffer through every manmade and natural disaster, have had little to no feeling for our own warriors who were exposed to atomic radiation.

Our atomic veterans have been facing the ravages of disease caused by exposure to ionizing radiation since 1945. That is a sixty-five year history of our country failing to care for the very people we placed in harm’s way. In fact, our government was so negligent in its atomic testing program that it failed to keep adequate records of the thousands upon thousands of servicemen it exposed to elements that brought about radiogenic disease.

Was atomic testing truly harmful to our military personnel? You can answer that question yourself. With very few exceptions, atomic veterans are male. Worldwide, the average life expectancy of a male is 67.2 years. In the United States that life expectancy is 78 years. Since 1945 those military personnel exposed to atomic radiation have died at an average age of 57 years.

Most of those who were party to our atomic testing program have marched on to their final reward. Of those who remain among the living, nearly all suffer from some form of radiogenic disease. They are now in their 70s and 80s. For them time is running out.

Another question to ask is… What are we doing for these veterans who have been crying out to us for more than half a century? Well, the Democrat Party has made some political capital with the issue by the establishment of HR 2573, but Representative Bob Filmer (D – Cal) Chairman of the House Veterans Committee has done nothing to move the bill out of his committee for more than a year. It has not even had a single hearing.

What does HR 2573, endorsed by the American Legion, the Marine Corps League and the Radiated Veterans of America do for our service personnel in need of treatment? It provides for all atomic veterans to be identified as having service connection for all recognized radiogenic diseases. This includes an expanded list of radiogenic presumptive diseases that the medical community has recognized as caused by exposure to radiation. To date the Veterans Administration does treat or compensate atomic veterans for many of these recognized diseases and cannot do so unless Congress acts.

As with most legislation or proposed legislation that those in Congress have determined will gain them little political advantage or campaign donations, HR 2573 is about to die, just as the veterans it would help have been doing since the end of World War II. All those now in the House and Senate, along with all Americans who have failed to support these veterans, should bow their heads in shame. Our warriors cried out…and nobody listened.

Semper Fidelis
Thomas D. Segel
tomsegel@sbcglobal.net

NYC’s Times Square evacuated in bomb scare

Image: Police in Times Square

Federal official tells N.Y. Times that the incident was not terrorist threat

Excerpt:

“Reuters quoted a New York Fire Department official as saying the vehicle was found to contain explosives, gasoline, propane and burned wires. The officer, who did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said a man was seen fleeing the vehicle.”

NEW FEDERAL ARRESTS RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT OBAMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA POLICY

Ridgecrest, CA:  A medical marijuana raid by the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service has led to the arrest of five defendants. They have been federally charged for distributing marijuana for the R&C
Collective next to the China Lake Naval Base.
  It should be noted that the NCIS, not the DEA, led the operation  Unlike the NCIS, the DEA operates under the Justice Dept and is supposedly subject to AG Holder's memo to honor state MMJ laws. Other federal agencies that are outside the DOJ do not seem to be bound by the AG's directive.
Patients living near the border have reported harassment from Immigration agents, who are under the Dept of Homeland Security, and who claim they have received  no instructions to honor state medical marijuana laws.)
   A summary of federal medical marijuana defendants can be found at  www.canorml.org/news/fedmmjcases.htm The continuing raids point to  glaring weaknesses in the Obama administration's announced policy of DOJ non-enforcement. The time is overdue for real regulatory reforms  to  fix bankrupt federal MJ laws. One of these is rescheduling marijuana for medical use, the object of an eight-year-old petition that is overdue for a response from the DEA. The upcoming confirmation hearings of DEA chief Michele Leonhart present an excellent opportunity for Senators to quiz the administration on its policy.
- California NORML Release - May 1, 2010
- Dale Gieringer, Director (415) 563-5858

Guest Blogger: What if Teabaggers Weren’t White?

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care.

Excerpt:

“Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition.

And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic?

What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired.

Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

( read the entire post here)

Parent Alert: Kids' Tylenol, other drugs recalled

Company says more than 40 children's medicines affected

McNeil Consumer Healthcare issued the voluntary recall late Friday in the United States and 11 other countries after consulting with the FDA. The recall involves children's versions of Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, because they don't meet quality standards.” Photo source

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kent State slayings 40 years later: Special graduations set

Ohio National Guardsmen throw tear gas at students across the campus lawn at Kent State University during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration at the university on May 7, 1970.  The Guard killed four students and wounded nine.

This years’ Special Graduation for the Kent State Class of 1970 is about closure.

I wonder when I, and the other Americans who went into Cambodia and sparked this sad incident, will ever get closure?

Who will talk about our experience and disillusionment when we found out that students our age were being shot by the National Guard because they were protesting what we were doing in Cambodia? We were there to end the war. We knew the enemy command center was operating out of Cambodia for years. They’d cross the border and then dash back to Cambodia, knowing our politicians wouldn’t let us chase them down.

Then the decision was made to bring the conflict to an end by killing and capturing the NVA Command structure that was staging attacks in Cambodia. At first, most Americans didn’t even know we were there, let alone what our mission was. When bits and pieces leaked out about our activities the general picture formed by college students, and activists, was that the war was being extended and more people were going to die. They reacted accordingly. What followed was a tragedy.

I wish someday our story would be put into a different context. We thought we were bringing an end to the war, and that we’d be greeted as heroes when we defeated the enemy. Instead people remember what happened to the students and it seems like those of us that went into Cambodia were/are the bad guys in history. Even the men that died fighting there have been given no respect. Their ghosts haunt me, and I guess they always will.

Excerpt:

“Forty years later, Gary Lownsdale is still haunted by what he felt and what he saw in the last days of his senior year.

Shock and outrage over the May 4 National Guard slayings of four Kent State University students, on the other end of Ohio from his University of Cincinnati campus. Then fear and confusion as schools across the state and much of the country saw the demonstrations against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia swell into angry, combative confrontations.”

Nothing Screams Charity Like Naked Women

The first non-profit that I noticed using naked women as a lure was PETA. Apparently, there are plenty of other organizations (like the two non-profits mentioned in this article) that use the same female hook to bring in the bucks in the name of something.

“Is it the shock value that will get more attention to the project, and hence more money to the cause? Or maybe, just maybe, this is just the closest men can come to paying for sex and both get away with it AND feel good about it?”

It’s been 35 years since the fall of Vietnam –what have we learned?

It’s hard to believe over three decades have passed since I was slogging through rice paddies. My experience there changed my life. All of my world views went out the door as I learned how to survive by whatever means. I had to numb myself against the almost daily horrors there. When I returned to the states I was so lost that I led a homeless life for two years – living out of my old 1964 Chevy Impala.

So what has our country learned about the futility that was the Vietnam War? In my opinion, our government hasn’t learned a damn thing. The lesson didn’t soak through to the Pentagon Hawks who steered us into TWO WARS (better than one!). Afghanistan, in particular, is a mirror of the Nam. How could people not see this?

Then again, some people knew all about history, but ignored it for the cause of greed. Greed, you say? Let me explain; we know that Iraq was an “oil war,” but are you aware that Afghanistan is one too? That’s right. Testimony before the US Congress is circulating on the internet. It pertains to a proposed oil pipeline through Central Asia that is applicable to the current war in Afghanistan.

See “Is pipeline behind the War?

I think we have the answer as for learning our lesson in Vietnam. We didn’t, and the Hawks in the Pentagon continue to sacrifice our troops in the name of greed. What really pisses me off is when we try to take the high ground and claim we just want to free the Afghanistan people from tyranny. What a hypocritical lie that is!  

35 Years after the Fall of Saigon in pictures and story.

Excerpt:

“By the time American forces withdrew in 1975 and Saigon fell to Ho Chi Minh's Communists, 58,000 Americans and between 1 million and 2 million Vietnamese had died. It was the longest war in U.S. history and the most unpopular American war of the 20th century. In this 1965 photo, paratroopers cross a river in the rain near Ben Cat, in the south.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

They only want to help the little guys…right?

Image Source

Why Obama should not have checked 'black' on his census form

President Obama fills out his census form in the Oval Office on March 29.

Here’s a good opinion piece by Elizabeth Chang,  on why President Obama should have acknowledged both his black and white backrounds when he filled out the census form this year.

She also correctly pointed out it was important to recognize all of one’s heritage. Not just one side. There’s no stigma to being biracial these days, and I agree with the author – Obama blew it.

“I have always considered Barack Obama to be biracial, and I had hoped that his election would help our country move beyond the tired concept of race. Unfortunately, the president is not getting with my program.

Although I knew Obama self-identifies as African American, I was disappointed when I read that that's what he checked on his census form. The federal government, finally heeding the desires of multiracial people to be able to accurately define themselves, had changed the rules in 2000, so he could have also checked white. Or he could have checked "some other race." Instead, Obama went with black alone.” Go here to read the rest.

Folk art on four wheels

IntroductionWhether you consider them to be transportable treasures or just a bump in the road of modern-day car culture, it's impossible to ignore art cars when they come into view.You'll know them when you see them — they're those wacky vehicles that artists transform from anonymous look-a-like automobiles into one-off works of art using paint, glue, magnets, lights and a wide variety of attached materials and objects. Go here to read this article.

VAT’s All the Fuss About?

Have you heard about the value-added tax (VAT), a horrible new tariff Americans will soon have to shoulder?

The alarm is sounding on the conservative Web site Townhall.com, in the editorials of The Wall Street Journal, and on the opinion pages of The Washington Post (as well as in the pages of NEWSWEEK): consumers can expect to soon see the feared VAT sneaked into price tags nationwide.

How an unlikely tax became right-wing pundits' latest fascination                                           

 image source

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where are the Tea Partiers when you need them?

Activists for Latino and immigrant rights -- and supporters of sane governance -- held weekend rallies denouncing the new immigration law in Arizona and vowed to do everything they could to overturn it.

You know who I was looking for?

 The Tea Partiers. Why shouldn’t I have looked for these patriots who believe that an overreaching government poses a serious threat to individual freedom? It seems to me that a law allowing individuals to be detained and interrogated on a whim -- and requiring legal residents to carry identification documents, as in a police state -- would send the Tea Partiers into a frenzy.

But there were no “Don’t Tread on Me” flags waving. There were no men and women wearing colonial clothing and passing out copies of the Constitution. I looked for the placards calling for the good old days – We Want Our Country Back! But there were none. Several weeks ago I wrote a column Tea Party Utopia: no taxes, no government that generated a lot of reader input on the T-S chat forum. The following observation enraged some people and they called me a racist. 

“I've yet to see persons of a minority race at a political tea party. I'm not sure why that is. It would be nice to see the mainstream media showing tea party rallies that include people of different races calling to “get their country back.” I don't think that's happened yet. I could be wrong.”

So I ask again, why weren’t the Tea Partiers out there supporting the American Hispanics who would be adversely affected by this new immigration law? What about their rights? What about that talk of Big Brother waiting to take away the common Americans rights? 

 Or is there some kind of exception if the people whose freedoms are being taken away happen to have brown skin and might speak Spanish? You tell me.

Photo Source

PHARM CO. TO PAY FINE FOR PROMOTING SEROQUEL AS ANTI-PTSD DRUG USED BY THE VA

seroquel

This news should be of great interest to millions of veterans who were given AstraZeneca.

Thanks to VAWatchdog.org :

AstraZeneca has to pay a half billion dollar fine for claiming Seroquel was as anti-PTSD drug. The medicine was used as part of the VA's deadly PTSD cocktail given to PTSD sufferers.

Feel down? It may be better to talk to the dog

millie

My pug Millie (shown here) is a great listener. She’s also a great therapy dog. I better watch out here – she isn’t a licensed therapy dog and I don’t want some therapy dog activists getting upset thinking I’ve don’t know the difference.

In one of my recent columns I talked about therapy dogs: 

What do dogs, cats, and PTSD have in common?

When the column came out most people enjoyed it, but there were some therapy dog trainers with organizations that felt I was misleading the public when I said my pug Millie is my therapy dog (in the column). I was being light-hearted about it, but some people just didn’t get it I guess.

Anyway…let’s segue into today’s article on pets and people:

Many married couples say they share their troubles with their pet, poll finds

Excerpt:

“A third of pet-owning married women said their pets are better listeners than their husbands, according to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll released Wednesday. Eighteen percent of pet-owning married men said their pets are better listeners than their wives”

‘Sunset Daze’ reveals bawdy reality of seniors

Image: Joanne Hauncher of "Sunset Daze"

Retirees display dirty mouths, sense of adventure on new reality program


Sunset Daze,” which makes its debut tonight, pushes the button as it tries to hold its own in the boozy, oversexed reality TV genre. The first episode has commentary on vibrators and going “commando,” slang for not wearing underpants. WE positions the series as “The Golden Girls” meets “Jersey Shore,” the ribald MTV series that spawned Snooki.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mexico warns citizens in Arizona

Turnabouts fair play I’d say. How many times have we issued warnings to our citizens traveling in Mexico?

This is an issue that’s growing bigger by the day as November elections loom nearer. We’re already seeing plenty of grand-standing, but folks…we ain’t seen nuthin yet! 

Critics decry new immigration law as discriminatory

“Mexico warned its citizens living in or traveling to Arizona that they could be "harassed" there after the state passed one of the toughest immigration laws in the United States last week.”

Newborn diminutive pinto stallion may be a record-breaker

Four-year-old Garrett Mullen watches three-day-old ...

Four-year-old Garrett Mullen watches three-day-old pinto stallion named Einstein in Barnstead, N.H., Sunday, April 25,2010. The diminutive horse born in New Hampshire could lay claim to the world record for lightweight foal. The pinto stallion named Einstein weighed just 6 pounds and measured 14 inches in height when he was born Friday in Barnstead, N.H. Those proportions fit a human baby just about right but are downright tiny for horse, even a miniature breed like Einstein.

Go here to see more photos of Einstein.

Are Tea Partiers Racist?

A new study shows that the movement's supporters are more likely to be racially resentful.

Since the Tea partiers emerged there has been accusations that they are racist. There’s been no empirical evidence to support those claims…until now:

Excerpt:

“A new survey by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality offers fresh insight into the racial attitudes of Tea Party sympathizers. "The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability"—25 percent, to be exact—"of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters," says Christopher Parker, who directed the study. "The Tea Party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Vintage ads - What are these people doing?

What are they doing? Apparently, the girl on the left is choosing a modern-styled lamp, and the couple on the right is preparing to drill and paint things (and can barely contain the excitement).

If you like this kind of vintage advertising go here to see more.

CCLE advancing freedom of thought

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) is a network of scholars elaborating the law, policy and ethics of freedom of thought. Their mission is to develop social policies that will preserve and enhance freedom of thought into the 21st century.

The CCLE is dedicated to protecting and advancing freedom of thought in the modern world of accelerating neurotechnologies. Their paramount concern is to foster the unlimited potential of the human mind and to protect freedom of thought.

The CCLE supports technological advances, and believes that the application and regulation of new drugs and neurotechnologies are best channeled by a renewed allegiance to the fundamental right to freedom of thought. Their guiding principles are privacy, autonomy and choice.

image source

Betting on Ruin – threats abroad and at home

Image source

Do space aliens pose risks to Earth? One genius thinks so

Growing up I watched every Sci-Fi movie that came out. The majority of the space aliens depicted during the fifties and early sixties were threats to mankind.

But things started to change in the late seventies and early eighties and space aliens got a makeover. Instead of being threats, aliens were friends with earthlings. Think E.T., and it’s popular spawn of good space aliens that followed on the big screen.

A noted Astrophysicist, Stephen Hawkins, recently told his peers (and the press) that earthlings better avoid contact with space aliens because he doesn’t think they are going to be nice to us.

Shoot…Hawkins even suggested that if space aliens discover our world that they will probably want to colonize it.

I’m not sure how this genius (and I’m not being rude because he is a real genius) came to the conclusion he did, but the way I figure it there was always a 50-50 chance of extra terrestrial’s being good or bad. Call it universal odds. The fact is we can speculate all we want about visitors from space. Until contact is made the story won’t be told. If anyone’s still around to tell it that is!

Should the military intervene in civilian crime?

I think calling in the military to fight the violence in Chicago would be a mistake. There’s enough people angry at the federal government right now, without giving them fuel like this.

The growing violence is a problem, but the local politicians need to address it at the state level and not incite people by bringing in the military. I can see no good coming from that arrangement. 

Lawmakers: Military could quell Chicago violence

Excerpt:

“Two Illinois lawmakers say violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the National Guard must be called in to help.

Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday to deploy troops.

The request comes amid a recent surge in violent crime, including a night last week that saw seven people killed and 18 wounded, mostly by gunfire.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What's therapeutic, affects moral judgment, and confuses crocks?

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 04/25/2010 01:27:24 AM PDT

It's a comic villain's dream. The good guy is strapped down and bombarded by a powerful beam that can alter his sense of morality. It's also reality, according to a recently released report on magnets by the publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists from MIT, Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center got together and scrambled the moral center of some willing subjects, using magnets. No, really. It does sound kind of sinister, but these respected neuroscientists suggest just the opposite. They believe the research has useful applications that may, for example, benefit the courts.

The researchers reported they affected the “moral decision-making process” with magnetic fields. The study discovered the part of the brain that changes people's moral judgments. I don't think this new study will change our legal system soon. It's a big, clunky setup involving huge magnets. It sounds scary to me, and I hesitate to consider all the nefarious applications if it ends up in the wrong hands. That's assuming it hasn't already.

Go here to read the rest. 

PHOTO: Florida wildlife managers have taped magnets to the heads of crocodiles to try and stop them from returning to residential areas. The temporary headgear is thought to disrupt their ‘homing’ ability because the reptiles are thought to rely on the Earth’s magnetic fields to navigate. Researchers at Mexico’s Crocodile Museum in Chiapas reported they had some success with the method, using it to permanently relocate 20 of the reptiles since 2004.”                                                                     Photo source