will brady's ruminations
ALBERT EINSTEINWe know him mostly for the famous equation
, noted on the left | But the E=mc2
mathematician / philosopher Albert Einstein was also known as "The Hell-Raiser of Saranac Lake
" thanks to his semi-reckless strafing
of the shores with his powerboat; creating large wakes and soaking all who were within range | He was, then, loveable prankster as well as an icon | 2
Einstein was also a humanitarian | I don't know if his having closely escaped from Nazi Germany's clutches was the impetus for his beliefs, but I no doubt played a part | He had a lot to say about the state of the world, on knowledge and humanity |
The US FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, kept a 1,427 page file on his activities and recommended that he be barred from immigrating to the United States, alleging that Einstein "...believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches a doctrine which, in a legal sense, as held by the courts in other cases, 'would allow anarchy to stalk in unmolested' and result in 'government in name only
'" | Were he alive today I have few doubts of what he would have to say about the erosion of civil discourse, the abandonment of scientific inquiry, the wholesale decimation of critical thinking |
Einstein opposed tyrannical forms of government and after World War II, Einstein lobbied for nuclear disarmament and a world government | Effectively, he has said it already | Here are some of his quotes:
Do not pride yourself on the few great men who, over the centuries, have been born on your earth through no merit of yours. Reflect, rather, on how you treated them at the time, and how you have followed their teachings.
It is a mistake often made in this country (USA) to measure things by the amount of money they cost.
We are faced with the dismaying fact that the politicians, the practical men of affairs, have become the exponents of international ideas.
Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
Democratic institutions and standards are the result of historic developments to an extent not always appreciated in the lands which enjoy them.
It may affront the military-minded person to suggest a regime that does not maintain any military secrets.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
All of us who are concerned for peace and the triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.
One misses the elementary reaction against injustice and for justice - that reaction which in the long run represents Man's only protection against a relapse into barbarism.
In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.
One is born into a herd of buffaloes and one must be glad if one is not trampled underfoot before one's time.
One has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists. If such humility could be conveyed to everybody, the world of human activities would be more appealing.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Einstein's passing | He died on 18 April 1955 at the age of 76 | He obtained his doctorate 100 years ago | 90 years ago the famous theorem on Relativity was published | This year is also an Einstein Centenary Celebration
| Read more about Einstein
ACTING AS A BLUE STATEFresh from passing Civil Union legislation
Connecticut takes its next step as a real Blue State | The tax-writing committee unveiled yesterday a new taxing scheme that would renew the rich paying a more proportionate share into the state's coffers |
Predictably, legislators from Millionaire's Row [Fairfield and Litchfield Counties] made woeful noises for the media, claiming that the rich would be assailed by a "...tsunami of taxes on [those] who are already wet... [and who]... will drown in this
..." [William Nickerson
, R-Greenwich] and bewailed that their constiutents would "...literally be taxed from cradle to grave
..." [Andrew Roraback
, R-Litchfield] | Representative Kevin DelGabbo
, Republican from Naugatuck was said to have been "...astonished...
| As if paying Society's bills was something only the poor, working and middle classes should have to burden; truth is, that would, and does, represent a fundamental social injustice |
Fact of the matter is, that even as these increases are proposed, the wealthy 10% shall get other tax obligations further reduced
on the Federal level | So as money spigots run even drier from Washington, it becomes all the more important that the well-to-do and wealthy pay their share of the state's expenses |
Taxes pay for sponsoring performing arts organizations, [mostly attended by the better heeled]; for roads and road maintenance [hell, even the bigbucks have to go to work]; for schools and edcuation programs [I'm sure that Greenwich matrons don't want illiterate servants]; and for basic medical expenses for the poor [you know, so that greeter at WalMart can be healthy enough to meet you at the door].
There's a lot to be said for social stability and ensuring that the rich remain wealthy | History is replese with lessons that show that, without fiscal social stability, eventually the rabble will uprise and take back what they think is their to begin with |
But let's face it, another sad fact of history is that those on the lower rungs in monied ladder, while they may aspire to make it on to the upper rungs, are often relatively content where they are ...so long as there is some illusion of societal fairness | The philosphical power train running this country since the so-called Reagan Revolution doesn't understand this | Grabbing ever more for the whole package of goods is the ultimate social destabilizer | Just ask the French
The average American Citizen has got to soon awaken from that torpor that allows the rich to ride roughshod over the lives of the rest of us | The members of Connecticut's legislative tax committee has finally shown the moral courage essential for real leadership | Let us pray that the rest of the Legislature recognizes that it's time to stop those fiscally obese hogs from feeding at the public trough while complaining that life is difficult in Fat City |
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHINGfrom 1984
by George Orwell |
It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is that victory is not possible.
The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of human labour.
A heirarchy or society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance.
In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation.
The war is waged by the rulijng group against it's own subjects and it's object is not victory......but to keep the very structure of society intact.
| Came across this at UltraSparky
and while it wasn't actually sent to me, the thread is something that I find irresistable |
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be? Why?
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man | Of humble origin, self taught, Paine revered wisdon and logic; was suspicious of supertstition, bigotry, and inherited class privilege | Able to articulate the thoughts of many, a visionary, this tome was, and is a call to revolution and social change | A firebrand with a clear vision and a message of social justice | Works for me |
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Hmmm | Don't think I've had a "crush" on anyone in ages, real or fictional | But, I'll give it a go | One of the protagonists in a Robert Heinlein book; can't recall the title but the story line was that a group of explorers were teleported to a far away planet by accident | I've had crushes on a number of characters in Louis Lamour novels |
The last book you bought is:
Cass Sunstein Why Societies Need Dissent | Picked it up at the MASS MoCA bookstore |
The last book you read:
Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 by Annie Proulx
What are you currently reading?
My reading bounces around a lot | Here's things I've been working on | Flophouse: Life on the Bowery, by David Isay, Stacy Abramson and Harvey Wang | Fresh Men, New Voices in Gay Fiction, selected by Edmund White | The last [online] issue of the Grey Literature Report | Magazines: New Yorker; Colors; Planner's Web; NRA's American Hunter | I'm always reading Elizabteh Castro's HTML for the Web, does that count?
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
1- Ancient Carpenter's Tools: Illustrated and Explained, Together With the Implements of the Lumberman, Joiner, and Cabinet-Maker in Use in the Eighteenth Century by Henry Chapman Mercer | Sure as shootin, I wouldn't want to just live in a thatch hutWho are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
2- The Art of Warfare by Sun Tzu [I'll get fussy; I'd want the 1993 Roger Ames translation] | best to be prepared, never know when that desert island gets visited by hostile invaders
3- The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy or The Wild Palate by Nancy and Walter Hall | depends on whether I want to appease my inner hypochondriac or identify edibles I had not previously known
4- 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin | With the first I'd finally be able to figure out who is whom in relation to one another; with the second, I'd have the proxy companionship of a throughly interesting man
5- The thickest [# of pages] blank sketchbook [pH neutral paper, of course] I could find. I'd no doubt want to write and sketch while left there
Van Waffle, because he's a natrualist, writer, photographer and reader; Joel Sax, a poet and author who'se seemed to enjoy memes of this sort; and Stuart Savory a peripatetic traveler of the internet's vast territories and whose perspectives I respect |
4/20Since so much of today's entries
are about drugs [see below] I would be remiss if I didn't also make mention of this | Marijuana, maryjane, pot, cannabis, ganja, spliff, weed, dope, toke, doobie, joint, grass | For reasons not entirely clear, 4:20 is also code
for this oft maligned substance |
Psychoactive substances don't have to be bad | It is, I suppose, in how one applys them | Some of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis [according to this pdf file pamphlet
] are said to be relieved with marijuana use | Marijuana, or its synthetic derivatives have been shown helpful in treating glaucoma; restoring appetite; chronic pain and [in numerous cases of people with cancer] helps in abating the adverse effects of chemo treatments |
We are long overdue for re-evaluating the decriminalization of marijuana, if not the actual legalization of its use | The latter making it all the easier to regulate it, presumably to ensure most efficacious use and results | Not to mention potential tax revenues...
PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS "Paradoxical effects"
| The language of obsfucation is always fascinating | BigPharma and Mental Illness Inc. sometimes use this term when referring to known negative effects | The researchers in the industry know this stuff, they just seem so averse to sharing it | I wonder why?:Some recent observations
1- The latest issue of Mother Jones describes what happens when the Drug Lords manage the mental health system | Aliah Gleason was a direct victim of the Texas juvenile mental illness promoters | They took her from her family, pumped her full of a polypharma regimen, then kept her from her family |
Seems that she was lucky | She survived | Some sources indicate that as many as 17,000 kids in Texas are subjected to forced psychiatric drugging |
Rhetorical question time: Why is it that when the Soviets subjected their citizens to forced drugging it was recognized as torture but here in the USA it's just treatment as usual?
2- FDA Warns Antipsychotic Drugs Dangerous to Elderly The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory to alert health care providers, patients, and patient caregivers to new safety information concerning an unapproved (i.e., “off-label”) use of certain drugs called “atypical antipsychotic drugs.” These drugs are approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and mania, but clinical studies of these drugs to treat behavioral disorders in elderly patients with dementia have shown a higher death rate associated with their use compared to patients receiving a placebo (sugar pill).
3- How Bug Spray Works | This is here because of a search I did on "paradoxical effects" of psychiatric medications | The read is interesting and relevant since the article first talks about the brain's neurons communicate with one another, and how drugs affect that communication process |
Read down and you'll find that a chemical known as Acetylcholine is used by the neurons that control your muscles, heart, and lungs | It is also used by many neurons in the brain that are involved in memory | Acetylcholine crosses the brain synapses and tells the muscles to extend by stimulating the receptor sites on the muscles |
When nerve signals are terminated this is called “reuptake” | Acetylcholine is rapidly broken down by a chemical called acetylcholinesterase | Have you ever looked at the fine print on a bottle of Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft? It says in there that the drug is a “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” (SSRI) |
Now, read the fine print on a can of insecticide | For some of them, it says that the active ingredient is an “acetylcholinesterase inhibitor” | So, the same effect that we see with bug spray, can be facilitated by SSRIs | You do the math |
As an FYI, nicotine directly stimulates acetylcholine receptors | Alzheimer’s disease results when these acetylcholine-using neurons in the brain die |
[As an aside, does this new info about bug spray provide us any fresh insights on the actions of former insect exterminatior Tom DeLay?]
4- Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports magazine) is working with Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Dodd (D-CT) in organizing a news conference to introduce their legislation that would create an Independent Office of Drug Safety. This media event may take place as early as tomorrow (Thursday, April 21st).
They are looking for someone to speak at this news conference from their home states of Connecticut or Iowa that has suffered from, or has loved ones that have suffered from the side effects of prescription drugs, particularly those that have been given media attention lately (Vioxx, Bextra, Neurontin, and SSRIs, like Paxil).
Information on the importance of this legislation is available here. Please contact Elizabeth Foley soon if you know of anyone that may be interested in working with this.
What got me started on this thread was my frustration with a community-based treatment team who accused one of their clients of "doing cocaine" when what changes they have seen with the guy are the result of the "paradoical effects" of jacking up his anti-depressant prescription | This has occured with him many times over the years, and they never seem to recognize it | Of course, if they didn't keep changing docs every couple of months...
BLOG FEATURENYC and portrait photos both © 2005 / Ron GilbertRon Gilbert
has an intriguing weblog
, generally known for the brevity of his entries, interesting links and a jam packed photoblog
at Flickr | I've often been drawn to something else as a result of his terse prose and color saturated photos |
He writes about life in Desert Hot Springs, California; pop culture; 20th century architecture; AIDS Awareness; human interest politics [yup! A term I made up just right now
]; getting the trains to run on time; gay life in the desert and all sorts of other things | He's minimalist on idle gossip, which is also fine by me |
So... go view his sites, they are both a visual treat and good for stimulating the synapses |
WEBSITES OF NOTEKirkbride Buildings
| Named after Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, a nineteenth-century physician who authored a treatise on hospital design
| Kirkbride buildings are most recognizably characterized by their somewhat unique "bat wing" floorplan and their often lavish Victorian-era architecture | The site's author has done some remarkable web architectural design as well | Easy to maneuver | Useful site for anyone researching mental hospitals | FROM a YAHOO Search on Abandonded Mental Hospitals Psychosurgery.org
| We may not wish to remember the horror of lobotomy | But we must | Lobotomy was not a procedure on the fringe of science. It was a mainstream treatment advocated by many highly-educated physicians and prestigious institutions, praised in breathless news articles, and touted as the latest in a long string of amazing neurosurgical advances | Remebering this grim failure in treatment will help keep us clear about other "miracle cures" to avoid | FROM Legacy of Lost HopesDream Anatomy
| Based on a U.S. National Library of Medicine Exhibit, the site provides a stunning collection of images created for the study of human anatomy | Some of the images quite grizly, yet strangely beautiful | FROM Kirkbride Building's Links Newtopia Magazine
| While attracted to the site because of a comment about Henry David Thoreau
, I stayed | Site blurb: "...a journal of countercultural thought covering a wide-ranging, decentralized network of alternative art, culture, economics, history, politics, social movements & commentary, independent thought, sustainable communities, and radical solutions
| FROM Wood's LotMediblogopathy
| A nursing student with an outrageous sense of humor treats her readers to experiences while in training | Don't be dissuaded | She's a really good writer | FROM Blog Shares Fried Dough Around the World
| I can't say where this came from; I don't know | Maybe while doing a Google Image search | It was sufficiently esoteric for me to reference it here | Yeah, I know it's a commerical site | It's still quirky enough for me | FROM Source Unknown Marlon Violette
| "Visualist" | Beautiful stuff | I just like the way it looks | The site is simple to navigate | FROM Source Unknown Trinity College [Australia] Aboriginal Links
| The list is current and worth a reviw by people interested in knowing the ancient history of Australia | First place to start? Finding proper terms to use and get away from "aborigine", foitsed on Australia's Real People by British Immigrants | FROM
COMBATTING INTOLERANCEA reader wrote
, while talking of injured souls who nevertheless begin to speak out against injustices, "...our folks tend to be dogmatic and intemperate and use intense language, which is another reason why we have trouble getting along.
"Our folks" in my belief, are no more or less intemperate or dogmatic, proportionatly, that the rest society. And it is, I'll agree, every bit as destructive within the group as it is within the larger society.
I really believe that some people, not all, have trouble getting along with others because they do not want to get along with others. Intolerance of ideas that are different from our own, maintaining attitudes, beliefs and practices that show others that others are less than oneself, are destructive practices.
If there really are mental illnesses, I would place racism, bigotry, intolerance and hatred among the diagnostic manual entries.
Our society doesn't look at things this way. If anything, much of what is done in this society and culture is based on prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, one-upmanship, egotism, greed, vanity and pride. Those who work in the so-called mental health system reflect these things in their daily actions.
Ultimately, some of those working in the field, believing in negative energies and forces, act and make decisions that adveresly affect others accordingly.
More sinisterly, the wrongs perpetuated in that MH system [and within Society in general] are made all the worse by truly evil individuals whose intent is more to be able to control others and of personally being in power. Such persons could care less about social justice, equity, equinamity, fairness, compassion, concern about human rights or spiritual growth.
PARODYPoking fun at Big Pharma
is this "advert" for a new chewable tranquilizer that will help Mom manage her unruly ADD addled progeny | At least I think
it's a joke | None of the BigPharma point men have mentioned it | Click on the image to see the mpeg file [file size 2.0 megabytes] about this new helpful psyche drug |
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
THE WAR PRESIDENTJoe at American Leftist produced this portrait
The images used to generate the mosaic portrait are composed of the photos of American service men and women who have died in Iraq |
This image was Nominated for a Koufax Award You can see how the vote went on this at Wampum | Click on the picture to see a larger, more detailed image ~but note, it is over 1.2 megabytes in file size |
SOCIAL INJUSTICECriminally venal Bankruptcy Bill to be signed
| The Economist
noted that both creditors and debtors are to blame for the position the United States finds itself | But although John and Jane Q Public may be remiss at racking up huge debts, there are other reasons for finding greater fault with the corporate behemoths, totally lacking in moral certitude.
The foundation stones for this debt slavery law
also lie in the Judiciary's elimination ursury caps, higher costs for health care, and legalized gambling |
Less publicized, is the complete elimination of Estate taxes by the year 2010, an action sure to benefit only the monied classes, notthe poor, and most certainly not the middle class |
The bankruptcy bill has passed the House 302 to 126. 73 Democrats voted for it. See the final vote roll
| President Bush is expected to sign the bill | It becomes law 180 days afterwards |
An interactive listing of the Bankruptcy Bill vote roll call
, sortable by caucus, vote, party and Representative, as well as by the median household income of their districts shows exactly where each Cognressional representative voted on this debacle |
Mind you, the hands of the opposition were tied from the start | Republical Congressional leadership:
1) allowed none of the 35 amendments the Democrats had proposed to be voted on;
2) ordered the Rules Committee to allocate only one hour -- far too little time -- for substantive debate on this complicated 500-page bill; and
3) ordered the House moderator to rudely interrupt every Democrat when they lined up one-by-one to register their objections in brief biting statements.
Mark my words | There will be an accounting for the crimes of this Administration, and of those who stand behind it; from the diabolocal Neocon powermongers to the self-righteous who hide their lust for power behid the cross |
Oh; one more thing | There is more to the anti-Islamic sentiment pused and promoted by the rabid dogs in front of the money brokers | And that is the Islamic Codes prohibiting ursury, speculative profiteering, and making money from money
| Of course, the War President's front men aren't paying any shills to make the rest of us aware of that |
A Progressive perspective on the bankruptcy debacle can be found at Political Affairs, with an article on Moral Bankruptcy and from Joshua Marshall's Talking Points | Portions of this entry inspired by ATypical Joe |
CELL PHONE CAMERAFinally figured out how to e-mail from my cell phone
| Yeah, I know this is no big deal for lots of folks, but for me it's a milestone | Here's one that I hope to send to the Mirror Project
| Taken while waiting for a double cheese pizza at Pizza Pal
in New Britain, CT | It was well worth the wait, incidentally |