Well put. And quite accurate too. People have been misled into having a narrowly focused opinion as a measure of control over their behaviour and thoughts.
If the general public were given the truth about the effects, society would be quite different, and the control structures governing your behaviour would topple.
Saying drugs are responsible for societies ills and crime and misfortune is like saying the knife was responsible for its victims death instead of the person who thrust it into them.
Personal responsibility is everything and many people demonstrate a complete lack of it. The people who suffer negative effects of drugs are people who don't exercise caution, don't bother to research the pros and cons, don't think about what the ramifications may be, or let others pressure them into it and so on.
The folk who discover/ed many of these substances and their effects were or are most often scientists who in many cases test it carefully themselves. Alexander Shulgin is a prime example.
More to say in my next article on Turismo Associati blog. Danger
What many Americans, including many scientists, think they know about drugs is turning out to be totally wrong. For decades, drug war propaganda has brainwashed Americans into blaming drugs for problems ranging from crime to economic deprivation. In his new book High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, Carl Hart blows apart the most common myths about drugs and their impact on society, drawing in part on his personal experience growing up in an impoverished Miami neighborhood. Hart has used marijuana and cocaine, carried guns, sold drugs, and participated in other petty crime, like shoplifting. A combination of what he calls choice and chance brought him to the Air Force and college, and finally made him the first black, tenured professor of sciences at Columbia University.
Intertwined with his story about the struggles of families and communities stressed by lack of capital and power over their surroundings is striking new research on substance use. Hart uses his life and work to reveal that drugs are not nearly as harmful as many think. For example, most people who use the most “addicting” drugs do not develop a problem. Rather, Hart says, drugs are scapegoated for problems related to poverty. The policies that result from this misconception are catastrophically misguided. AlterNet spoke with Hart about his life and research.
Kristen Gynne: What are some of the false conclusions about drugs you are challenging?
Carl Hart: There are multiple false conclusions. There is a belief, for example, that crack cocaine is so addictive it only took one hit to get hooked, and that it is impossible to use heroin without becoming addicted. There was another belief that methamphetamine users are cognitively impaired. All of these are myths that have been perpetuated primarily by law enforcement, and law enforcement deals with a limited, select group of people—people who are, in many cases, behaving badly. But to generalize that to all drug users is not only shortsighted and naive, it’s also irresponsible. The impact of that irresponsible behavior has been borne primarily by black communities. Nobody really cares about black communities, and that's why this irresponsible behavior has been allowed to continue.
It's also true that we've missed critical opportunities to challenge our basic assumptions about drugs. If drugs really were as damaging as we are led to believe, a respectable society should do something to address that problem. But the thing is, the very assumptions driving our drug policy are wrong, and must be questioned.
KG:How does the lack of people of color in academia or research affect our understanding of drugs?
CH: I'd just like to be clear, I don't say people of color, I say black people, because people of color can mean a number of other [races]. I'm talking about black people who, like me, when we go back to our communities and we ask about people who we grew up with, the response is, "Well, they got caught up with a drug charge, they're upstate. They're doing some time” or, “Oh, he's doing better now that he got out of jail. He can't really find a good job, but he's doing his best.”
It would be nice if we had black scientists, more black people in science, to incorporate these kinds of experiences as they think about the questions they investigate. The problem is it’s so homogenous that critical questions about our community are ignored because they're not seen as being important.
KG:And the result is that they don't comprehend environment, or the other variables that are affecting someone's decisions or behavior, and miss the mark?
CH: That's exactly right. It's that if you don't contextualize what is happening with drugs in the country you might get the impression that drugs are so bad they're causing all these people to go to jail: “Let's find out how drugs are exerting these awful effects.” Now, you have just completely disregarded context in which all of these things occur, and that is what has happened in science. If you don't fully appreciate the context, and you think that drug users are awful, then you don't think about how a person takes care of their kid, takes care of their family, goes to work, but they also use drugs. If you don't think about all of those contextual factors, you limit the picture and that's what we've done.
It's not that science lies. Science doesn't lie. But when you look at your research with a limited view, you may erroneously draw conclusions about drugs, when in fact other variables you might not understand are what's really at play.
KG:You talk about how people are always blaming problems on drugs, when those issues really spring from the stress of poverty. What are some examples?
CH: I think crack cocaine is the easiest example In the 1980s, as I was coming of age in my teens and my early 20s, people—black people, white folks, a number of people in the country—said crack was so awful it was causing women to give up their babies and neglect their children such that grandmothers had to raise another generation of children.
Now, if you look at the history in poor communities—my community, my family—long before crack ever hit the scene, that sort of thing happened in my house. We were raised by my grandmother. My mother went away because she and my father split up. She went away in search of better jobs and left the state, but it wasn't just her. This sort of thing, this pathology that is attributed to drugs, happened to immigrant communities like the Eastern European Jews when they came to the Lower East SIde, but people simply blamed crack in the 1980s and the 1990s.
Another example is that, since the crack era, multiple studies have found that the effects of crack cocaine use during pregnancy do not create an epidemic of doomed black "crack babies." Instead, crack-exposed children are growing up to lead normal lives, and studies have repeatedly found that the diferences between them and babies who were not exposed cannot be isolated from the health effects of growing up poor, without a stable, safe environment or access to healthcare.
KG:What about the idea that drugs can turn people into criminals?
CH: The pharmalogical effects of drugs rarely lead to crime, but the public conflates these issues regardless. If we were going to look at how pharmalogical drugs influence crime, we should probably look at alcohol. We know sometimes people get unruly when they drink, but the vast majority of people don't. Certainly, we have given thousands of doses of crack cocaine and methamphetamine to people in our lab, and never had any problems with violence or anything like that. That tells you it's not the pharmacology of the drug, but some interaction with the environment or environmental conditions, that would probably happen without the drug. Sure, new markets of illegal activity are often or sometimes associated with increased violence, or some other illegal activity, but it is not specific to drugs like people try to make it out to be.
Other than crime, you have myths that drugs cause cognitive impairment, make people unable to be productive members of society, or tear families apart. If the vast majority of people are using these drugs without problems—and a smaller proportion of users do have problems—what that tells you if you're thinking critically is it can't be only the drug, or mainly the drug. It tells you it is something about the individual situations, environmental conditions, a wide range of factors.
KG:What about addiction? Won't some people who use drugs inevitably become dependent on drugs?
CH: Given the large percentage of people who are not addicted and try these drugs, it's something other than the pharmacology of the drugs that's causing addiction. We find that 85% of the people, for example, who use cocaine are not addicted, even though they use the same cosmetological substance as those who are. Somebody could say there may be something biologically predisposing people who get addicted, but there is no evidence to support that position. Certainly, that idea should be investigated, but there is far more evidence to support the view that there are other things going in the lives of people who are predisposed to addiction, that can predict their addiction as well as other problems.
KG:What kinds of environmental factors matter?
CH: Well, let's think about drug use. Drug effects are predictable, and some drugs are really good at increasing euphoria and feelings of positive reinforcement. Now, if you don't have anything competing with drugs for pleasure and happiness, all you have is deprivation. Why wouldn't you get high?
If you have competing reinforcers or alternatives, like the ability to earn income, learn a skill, or receive some respect based on your performance in some sort of way, those things compete with potentially destructive behavior. And so as a psychologist, you just want to make sure people have a variety of potential reinforcers. If you don't have that, you increase the likelihood of people engaging in behaviors that society does not condone.
Skills that are employable or marketable, education, having a stake or meaningful role in society, not being marginalized—all of those things are very important. Instead of ensuring that all of our members have these things, our society has blamed drugs, said drugs are the reasons that people don't have a stake in society, and that's simply not true.
KG:So if drugs aren't the problem, why do we say they are?
CH: They’re just an easy scapegoat. You can imagine if so few people have engaged in an activity, you can make up some incredible stories about that activity, and be believed. And that's what's happened with drugs. Note that you can't make up those incredible stories about marijuana today, but there was a time when we could: the 1930s. That has passed because more people have tried marijuana, but you can make up those incredible stories about methamphetamine because so few people have used methamphetamine.
Well, I should say so few people actually know that they use methamphetamine. All those people who use Adderall and those kinds of drugs, they are using methamphetamine, basically. It is the amphetamine, not the "D" [like Adderall] or "meth" in front of it, that creates the effects.
KG:What is actually responsible for problems often linked to drugs?
CH: Poverty. And there are policies that have played a role, too. Policies like placing a large percentage of our law enforcment resources in those communities, so that when people get charged with some petty crime, they have a blemish on their record that further decreases their ability to join mainstream, get a job that's meaningful, and that sort of thing.
The policy decisions that we make play a far bigger role than the drugs themselves. When I turned 14, for example, there was a federal government program that, in order to keep kids like me out of the streets, gave us jobs. Under these federal government programs, we had money for the summer, for clothing—it was great. When we cut these types of programs and kids have nowhere to go what do you expect to happen? It doesn't take rocket scientists to figure this out.
Now, I have an 18-year-old who, this summer, won't have anything to do. I'm trying to find him some sort of work. Having a federal government program for underpriveleged children, that was great. That let kids know that the society might care about you. We teach them work skills, we teach them something about responsibility, we make sure they have money in their pockets. Now, you take away all of this, and you miss the chance to teach them about responsibility. You miss the opportunity to help them put food on the table, to put clothes on their backs.
KG:In your acknowledgements, you thank Aid to Families with Dependent Children, which you call "welfare as we once knew it."
CH: All of my childhood, we were on welfare. My mom received aid for families with dependent children—welfare. Without that, we wouldn't have had subsidized housing. Most of my childhood we had a two-bedroom apartment, but eventually we got into the projects, where we had four bedrooms. That was great.
We got food stamps that helped make sure we had something to eat, even though it was little. Without that program, I wouldn't have developed physically. There would have been a lot more stress in the household.
Now, the interesting thing about it is that all of my sibling were all on that program because of my mom, and all of my siblings now have jobs and they're responsible, taxpaying citizens. That's the typical story on that program, but the conservatives, under Reagan, they began to perpetuate this narrative of the welfare queen, when in fact, we know who the biggest welfare kings are: the people on Wall Street. The federal government gives far money to them than to poor families, but welfare became so villified that we essentially got rid of it.
KG:How does institutional racism affect policy? In your book, you talk about how crack, which is pharmacologically almost identical to cocaine, is punished with an 18-1 (and once 100-1) sentencing disparity because of racially coded language linking the "crack scourge" to bad behavior in poor, black communities. There was also a recent ACLU report, which found that blacks are an average of four times more likely to be arrested for pot than whites.
CH: I often testify as an expert witness to help women who have used marijuana while pregnant to keep their children. Case after case is a black woman. Security in the court is all black; the judges are all white; and the lawyers are young and white, building careers. It's just slavery all over again.
When you have a group that’s already identified as an “other,” or a villified group that is a minority, it's easier to associate a behavior with them. But people don't see black people as being fully human. That’s what happens in the US, although people won't tell you that.
Because when we think about Trayvon Martin, when we think about Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, these black kids who were killed at the hands of some security or law enforcement person—that almost never happens with white kids. If it did, it would be a national crises. But it's not a national crises because we really don't value black men and boys in the same way we value white boys and men. We don't see them as being equal.
I look at how people behave, and it's clear. As long as you view this group that way, you can continue to put large percentage of law enforcement resources in those communities, but not so much to make them better. If you want to make it better, you give people jobs. Instead, we put police in those communities to pretend that they care, to pretend that you're doing something. But that's not helping.
Whereas drug reactions are predictable, interactions with police are not and too often become deadly. As a parent of a black youth, I'd much rather my kids interact with drugs than law enforcement. White people don't need to think about that. Police officers too often see young, black boys as less than human. It creates a mentality where black kids are supposed to "know your place," and it affects your psyche. Indignities become part of who you are.
KG:How is meth changing this conversation?
CH: Meth is the new crack. It is the same thing as Adderall, but we are told it causes people's faces and teeth to decay. There is no evidence to suggest meth alone, versus poor hygiene, makes people look ugly. At the same time, because most people who use or arrested for meth are white people—poor of course, people we don't like—it creates an opportunity to say the drug war is not racist.
In Montana, they have invested in sentencing alternatives, like a maximum one-year sentence and treatment, for meth users. Could you imagine that happening with crack cocaine? Hell no. It's interesting because, with meth, we are doing our job, trying to seek alternatives to help people. Still, in some places, like Oklahoma, they're still locking white people up.
KG:In your book, it seems as though you feel some guilt for being successful, as if you have abandoned your community. How has your life changed?
CH: In terms of where I'm at now, I have money and I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, so that's a really good thing. Whereas, when I was an adolescent, it was a good day if I ate two meals. Now, I expect to eat three meals, and that sort of thing. But, on the other hand, when I think about family, friends andthat sort of thing, it was a lot better where I was previously because you knew where everyone stood, you knew everyone had your back, you didn't have to worry about people backstabbing you or trying to go after you for a variety of reasons. Mainly, you were just being who you are—that's one of the things I bring with me from the past.
Whether I am there or here, I have this sense of community responsibility and I hope that will always be with with me. When it's no longer with me, perhaps it's time to die.
KG:How do you navigate two different cultures?
CH: That's very difficult, because I deal in mainstream and my family, they don't as much. Not only do I deal in mainstream society, I deal in mainstream as a fucking professor at Columbia. Now, when I take that mask off to go home, and it takes me a few days to acclimate, to be like OK, I'm no longer in the shark pit, I can relax, and relax my vernacular. And then I have to leave again.
So, my family might see this Columbia personality, and they may take it as a personal affront. I feel like a fraud, oftentimes, at home, but it has nothing to do with how I feel about my family. It's just that I'm catching hell in the mainstream. In the mainstream, I’m suspect because I’m black, I have dreadlocks, I have a goatee. I mean, I'm just suspect. In my classroom and at Columbia, I'm not as suspect because it's clear I know what I'm doing, but I am still suspect. And people are curious; they don’t know that I have the same dreams and aspirations as they do. They think that I may be different somehow.
This sort of issue would be a fascinating topic for research, particularly when we think about physical health or mental health, and how it manifests. But that will never be approved by National Institute of Health, because it's not of interest to white researchers. These are just things that I have to live my life with.
KG:How does this book adress your experience in academia and black America?
CH: I speak the language of both. And as a result, I think it speaks to both. And I’m hoping in the process, maybe along the way, the people who are back home, whose stories I'm trying to share, will see themselves in my story. And the people in my mainstream—I'm trying to help them see themselves in my story.
At some point, I just hope that it merges, that they see we're not that different. We have the same hopes and dreams and aspirations. The expression of those hopes and dreams may be slightly different but we are very similar. That's what I'm hoping.
KG:What would policy that reflects reality look like, and how do we get there?
CH: That is complex, but quite simple to start. The first thing is we decriminalize all drugs. More than 80% of people arrested for drugs are arrested for simple possession. Wen you decriminalize, now you have that huge number of people—we're talking 1.5 million people arrested every year—that no longer have that blemish on their record. That increases the likelihood that they can get jobs, participate in the mainstream.
Number two is dramatically increase realistic education about drugs—none of this "this is your brain on drugs" stuff, but real education, which looks like making sure people understand effects of drugs they're using, particularly potentially medical affects. Don't use heroin with another sedative because it increases the likelihood of respiratory depression. Realistic education, telling people what to do, how to prevent negative effects associated with drugs. We do it with alcohol—you shouldn't binge drink, don't drink on an empty stomach—and could do it with other drugs.
Carnea de peste marin contine un procent ridicat de proteine in comparatie cu cea de peste de apa dulce. Cantitatea de proteine in carnea unor astfel de pesti ca platica marina, caranxul, lichia, limba de mare ajunge la 19-20 %. Si mai bogata in proteine este carnea de macrou (21-23 %) si ton (22-26 %). Untuta de peste este o componenta importanta a carnii de peste. Ea contine o cantitate mare de acizi grasi, mai pretiosi fiind considerati acizii linoleic si arahidonic.
Numarul de portii: 2
somon roz conservat 100 g
un ou fiert
cascaval topit 30 g
o ceapa uscata
maioneza 1/4 pahar
piper negru macinat
Somonul roz se paseaza. Oul si cascavalul se dau prin razatoare, ceapa se taie marunt.
Toate ingredientele se amesteca, se pune sare, piper si se drege cu maioneza.
Se orneaza cu verdeata. Se serveste cu krekere sau cu painite din cereale expandate.
Proteinele din carne de peste se asimileaza mai usor de catre organismul uman decat proteinele din carne de animale. Daca produsele din carne sunt asimilate de catre organism in aproximativ 5 ore, apoi cele de peste, in 2-3 ore.
Numarul de portii: 4
peste marin (file) 200 g
ciuperci champignon 100 g
o ceapa uscata
lapte 3 linguri
iaurt de 9 % grasime 100 ml
faina 2 linguri
unt 2 linguri
ulei 1 lingura
Parmezan ras 40 g
usturoi 1 catel
pesmet 1 lingura
nucsoara praf un varf de cutit
Ceapa si usturoiul se curata. Ceapa se toaca, usturoiul se taie in jumatate. Ciupercile se spala si se taie in bucati mici. Pestele se spala si se taie in bucatele lungi de 1,5 cm si late de 1 cm.
Se incinge uleiul intr-o tigaie cu peretii inalti. Se prajeste ceapa. Se adauga ciupercile si se lasa pe foc, amestecand, pana se evapora tot lichidul. Se ia de pe foc.
Faina se prajeste pe tigaia incinsa, pana devine maronie. Ameatecand intruna, se toarna laptele si iaurtul. Se pun bucatelele de peste si se prajesc 2 minute. Se iau de pe foc. La peste se adauga ceapa prajita si ciupercile, se drege cu sare, piper si nucsoara, se amesteca.
Vasele de copt se freaca cu usturoi. In ele se distribuie compozitia pregatita. Deasupra se presara un amestec de cascaval ras si pesmet. Totul se pune in cuptorul incins la 180o C si se lasa pana capata o crusta aurie. Julienul se serveste fierbinte.
Mancarurile din peste sunt foarte folositoare si gustoase, uimindu-ne prin diversitatea si aroma lor deosebita. Chiar si din cel mai ieftin peste, din legume obisnuite si diverse condimente se pot gati mancaruri dintre cele mai gustoase.
Numarul de portii: 6
peste 1 kg
faina de grau 3 linguri
ulei 1/2 pahar
zeama de carne de pui 400 g
ulei 50 g
nuci 150 g
ceapa uscata 2
usturoi 4 catei
faina de grau 1 1/2 linguri
boabe de rodie 6 linguri
otet de 3% 50 g
scortisoara macinata si sofran cate 1/2 lingurita
verdeata 1 legatura
boia de ardei rosu
Pestele se taie bucatele, se da prin faina amestecata cu sare si piper, se prajeste in ulei.
Pentru sos, se taie marunt ceapa si usturoiul, se calesc in ulei impreuna cu faina. Se toarna zeama calda de carne de pui, amestecand intruna, ca sa nu se formeze cocolosi; cand sosul incepe sa fiarba, se ia de pe foc.
Nucile se maruntesc, se adauga otet, condimente, sare. Compozitia din nuci se amesteca cu sosul, se incalzeste, se adauga verdeata tocata si se amesteca totul.
Peste pestele prajit se toarna sosul pregatit si se lasa sa se raceasca.
“E neproductiv sã luptãm împotriva morilor de vânt”. Mai multe jurisdictii europene au interzis complet cultivarea unor OMG-uri. Germania, de exemplu, a interzis în 2009 porumbul modificat genetic de la Monsanto, MON810. Acesta e unul din cele douã soiuri modificate genetic aprobate spre cultivare în UE, împotriva cãruia s-au exprimat si tãri precum Franta, Austria sau Ungaria.
Celãlalt e cartoful Amflora, produs de compania BASF, care a încetat sã mai vândã OMG-uri pentru cultivare anul trecut, dupã ce s-a confruntat cu o opozitie extinsã.
La rândul lor, alti mari producãtori de OMG-uri, ca Syngenta si Bayer CropSciences, s-au retras de pe piata europeanã.
Purtãtorul de cuvânt german a spus însã cã Monsanto va continua sã vândã porumb MON 810 în Spania, Portugalia si România, unde autoritãtile sunt mai deschise la cultivarea OMG-urilor decât în alte pãrti ale Europei.
Totodatã, compania va încerca în continuare sã convingã Uniunea Europeanã sã aprobe importurile de furaje pentru vite care contin organisme modificate genetic. În rest, îsi va orienta activitatea spre piata americanã, unde a fost aprobat recent asa-numitul “Act de Protectie Monsanto”.
Consumatorii si guvernele din Europa au respins organismele modificate genetic într-o mãsurã mult mai mare decât în alte pãrti ale lumii, cum ar fi America de Nord. Aceastã opozitie s-a nãscut din teama privind potentialele riscuri asupra sãnãtãtii si rãspândirea monoculturilor, considerate dãunãtoare biodiversitãtii si lantului alimentar.
Sâmburii de caise contin o cantitate mare de amigdalină, o vitamină ce distruge cancerul.
Este un fapt demonstrat: această substantă distruge repede celulele canceroase. Autorul oferă mai multe informatii despre vindecarea bolnavilor de cancer gratie B17, precum si explicatiile stiintifice ale actiunilor sale si ridică întrebarea "De ce medicina conventională nu recurge la aceasta pe scară largă împotriva bolii înselătoare?", scrie Agerpres.
Griffin sustine că vitamina B17 nu este utilizată în medicina conventională nu din ratiuni de ordin stiintific, ci din cauza politicii elitei mondiale în domeniul oncologic. Miliarde de dolari sunt cheltuite anual pe cercetare si tratamente ale cancerului, alte miliarde sunt cheltuite pe productia armatei de substante chimice destinate să lupte împotriva bolii. Astfel, ascunderea vitaminei B17 este de ordin economic pentru o industrie farmaceutică dominantă în lumea noastră.
Vitamina B17, care ucide cancerul, este continută în special în sâmburii de caise. Acestia au fost declarati oficial medicament împotriva tuturor tipurilor de cancer încă acum 35 de ani. După cel de-al Doilea Război Mondial, dr. Max Gerson si-a tratat cu succes pacientii cu acest remediu si l-a inclus în metoda sa de combatere a cancerului.
Amigdalina se găseste în sâmburii de caise, migdale, visine, piersici, prune si mere, precum si în semintele de mere, sorg, mei, seminte de in, linte, unele soiuri de fasole si struguri. De asemenea, în unele plante si multe alte produse pe care omul modern nu le utilizează în mod curent în alimentatie.
Modul actual de viată ne face să consumăm produse din făină rafinată, mult zahăr, ulei de gătit si alte produse industriale si procesate, în timp ce alimentele organice naturale au fost mult timp absente din meniul nostru. Bunicii nostri au mâncat alimente naturale nerafinate, iar cancerul pe vremea lor era un eveniment rar. Ei consumau fructe uscate, pâine din făină brută si chiar pâine din mei. Astfel, ei aveau acces, fără să stie, la vitaminele necesare pentru o viată sănătoasă, ferită de boli, inclusiv amigdalina (B17).
Vitamina B17 a fost interzisă pentru tratamentul cancerului acum 35 de ani, chiar dacă numerosi savanti sustineau că, dacă o persoană ar consuma zilnic această vitamină, ea nu ar dezvolta cancer, sustine autorul volumului mentionat. Potrivit acestuia, gigantii farmaceutici, precum si Ministerul Sănătătii al SUA au exercitat presiuni uriase asupra Directiei de control pentru calitatea alimentelor si medicamentelor, care a declarat drept ilegală comercializarea vitaminei B17, împreună cu informatiile atasate despre efectele sale terapeutice împotriva cancerului, precum si vânzarea unor categorii de fructe proaspete si sâmburi de caise.
Tactica mai includea răspândirea de zvonuri că sâmburii de caise si de migdale contin cianură si că aceasta i-ar putea otrăvi pe cei care le mănâncă. Dar adevărul este că nimeni nu s-a otrăvit din această cauză până în zilele noastre, chiar dacă a consumat în cantităti mari sâmburi de caise sau migdale, scrie Edward Griffin în volumul său.
I reply: " A half smoked joint". He says: "You know I can take you down to jail for that." I replied: "You know you'd be taking me to jail stoned, wouldn't THAT be illegal?"
He looked at me like I had said the dumbest thing.
He says: "Ok wise guy we will see how wise you will be when I take you down to jail." I replied: " How can you be wise taking me to jail for a joint, when there are people out there selling crack to teenagers in neighborhoods you pussies are too afraid to go into. Poor people of different races are beating eachother/their children/their wives up while you guys turn your blind eye, because rich people are robbing them en masse, and you motherfuckers are arresting people for joints just so you can fine me and make more money at the end of the month. You sir should be in jail." He says: " No, it is my duty to catch crime and take you to jail. "
So I reply: "How many people did I kill, and rob for that joint? Because the president robs and kills people every day and I'd love to see him go to jail for his crimes." He slams me against the wall, puts handcuffs on me and takes me to his master to sequester me. I yell at him while they're forcing me to go down to my holding cell: " So much for Liberty, Brotherhood, and Equality." In my jail cell I met a guy who works for the local mafia, and he had smuggled a joint into the holding cell. We went in a corner where the camera couldn't see us, and smoked it. He told me about deals the local mafia has with the mayor to bring drugs in from North Africa to Marseille by boat, thanks to millionaire mansions along the coast. Good friends of the mayor. And tells me how the local mafia regularly send their own to get caught with petty crimes just to keep the local police distracted. And how some police officers high up in the hierarchy get paid hush money.
Then he explains the best part: "None of us are going to go to jail for more than a year because the jails are overpacked, and even if we do, we own the jails, we run the drugs in there, the cigarettes, the food... it's basically like a vacation home for people in the mafia. Even in there we cause violence just to keep drug prices high, and pay the guards to catch innocent people to fill their quotas."
And you'd think this was unique, but this is going on ever...
If you put a plaster cast on a broken arm the skin starves for Vitamin D, the muscles weaken due to strangled range of motion, the nerve synapses depress to a whimper of their former joy. Twenty-first century hominids? We shroud our entire skin palette except for face, neck and hands - we obliterate symbiosis with the planet.
We hide in cocoons, when we could be free as butterflies.
History reveals many cultures that were not clothes-minded. Spartans were basically bare and their victories in pan-Hellenic sports competitions enticed all neighboring Greeks to exercise nude, creating the word “gymnasium” (Greek gymnos = naked). Romans mingled in magnificent bathhouses, enjoying dense communal nudity as they drank, dined, defecated, bathed, read books, argued politics, and watched theater. Adamists — naked heretics — performed stripped-down church services in North Africa, Bohemia, the Netherlands, and England. Pre-Hitler Germans were avid adherents of Freikorperkultur (“Free Body Culture”) with 70,000 attending co-ed Nacktkultur schools.
There’s naked Japanese in hot springs, naked Finns in saunas, “sky-clad” Jain monks in India, plus millions of nudists worldwide going to “Nakation” camps, beaches, and resorts. They’re still sporty as Spartans, eager to hike naked (“free bush rambling”), canoe naked (“canuding”), bicycle naked, ride horses naked, run naked, play volleyball, badminton, ping-pong and chess naked, swim naked, dance naked, do Naked Yoga, Naked Tai Chi, Naked Gardening, Naked Bowling, and of course, many of us, perhaps you and I, dear readers, are NIFOC — Naked In Front of Computers.
Many famous figures were bare-all aficionados; too many politicians to name, so I’ll just list sci-fi and scientists: Leonard Nimoy, Alexander Graham Bell, Robert Heinlein, and seismologist Charles Richter. Nudism is prominent in Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld books and John Varley’s Steel Beach. Celebrities? Many movie stars skinny-dip at the French Riviera, trying to elude paparazzi seeking pix of Bruce WIllis’ willy or Natalie Portman’s port side.
Here’s evidence suggesting that skin-only can be superior:
Born Free. Pediatricians agree that infants thrive with a daily dose of “naked time” because the unhampered range of motion aids brain development, stimulating neuron growth. Recent discoveries reveal that the “plastic” brain changes and develops throughout our entire lives. Neuroplasticity pioneer Michael M. Merzenich believes, “Everything that you can see happen in a young brain can happen in an older brain.” Doesn’t this imply that “naked time” is equally valuable for humans of any age, especially the elderly?
Weakened Bodies. A 2003 University of Reading study entitled “A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites” posits that “humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease.” Unfortunately, the garments we wear can be a breeding ground for filthy fungi and bad bacterium, causing yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rotting toenails. Lyme Disease deer ticks can grab onto our sweaters and sea lice can sneak into our bathing suit crotches. Cinched-up belts, ties, and clothes impede breathing. Men’s snug pants raise testicle temperature, lowering sperm count and fertility.
Barefoot Medicine. Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections. Dr. Norman Doidge (author of The Brain That Changes Itself) believes skipping shoes increases brain flexibility and youthfulness, and many podiatrists now advise going barefoot as much as possible. Bare feet are today’s prescription. Will tomorrow’s elixir take the next step: Bare Body?
Superior Socialization. Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed “Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.” Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.
Tolerant Views. A University of Central Florida 2008 study of 384 participants concluded that pro-nudity students “were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians” when compared to the anti-nudity students. They were also “less prejudiced towards ethnically dissimilar others.”
Soothe Away Your Crazies. Massage is recognized as a therapeutic treatment for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, borderline personality disorder, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. The skin stimulation of massage — improving blood flow and detoxifying the lymph system — is duplicated by the warmth, freedom, and improved circulation generated in nakedness.
Soak Up The Rays. Vitamin D deficiency is currently soaring, with up to 75% of USA teens and adults receiving insufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Lack of this essential health aid is a factor in numerous ailments, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Anyone who bares all outside as a “naturist” harvests larger amounts of Vitamin D in a quicker time span.
Financial Liberation. Clothes are a huge money and time-suck with shopping, laundry, closets, dressers, and gazillions of hours wasted wondering what so-and-so looks like with their garments removed. The global markets for swimsuits alone is expected to reach $17.6 billion annually by 2015; our carbon footprint would shrink like a wool sweater if fabric was no longer manufactured.
Longevity (just joking!). Have you noticed that the furry Norway Rat only lives 2-3 years, while the Naked Mole Rat survives to be 28?
So… is the future going to be full frontal? Will the post-Singularity planet be stripped? Will everyone in a climate-controlled tomorrow choose to be nude, strutting around like the Nuba dancers and boxers of Leni Reifenstahl?
Trends point to an era where there won’t be a stitch to worry about. Many resort areas are are now offering nudism to increase tourism, and American naturist clubs claim their enrollment is growing 20% annually. The German airline OssiUrlaub.de offered nude chartered flights to a Baltic sea resort, and today’s lengthy luggage searches at airports are steering travelers to destinations where they only need carry-on towels and sunblock. Twenty million Europeans already go to nude beaches and spas.
The producers of the film Kevin & Trae Booth and Brian Patterson have worked with LEAP since 2007 and have spent three years working on this film. We believe that the sobering message of "American Drug War 2" will be a LEAP recruiting tool for many years to come.
The producers need the help of all our LEAP members to ensure this film gets the attention it deserves Here is a link of the cities the film is currently booked to play on June 6th and each screening will be co-hosted by a LEAP speaker.
This may sound somewhat obvious, but I would argue that this is a fundamental sticking-point when discussing such matters, as it is difficult to link individuals to the antisocial and unethical actions they perpetrate [1:2] without a historically accurate point of reference.
For example, when discussing matters such as the proposal that 9/11 may have been initiated by our ‘leaders’ , I find that people quite often respond with the simple question ‘why?’, as it seems absurd to think that our ‘leaders’ would do something quite so inhuman and immoral for some sort of political gain. I will not attempt here to go into what their motives were, but rather into why it is that we, the general public, rarely remember the lessons of the past and continue to be misled about the circumstances leading to each and every conflict.
At this juncture I would suggest that the reader check out an article by John Pilger entitled ‘Our children are learning lies’ in which he clearly sets out several examples of how we are taught about an historic event at school and how this information will in turn have a direct effect on the formation of our future perceptions of the world 
Unfortunately, this information can all too often bear little or no relation to the actual event (Pilger uses Vietnam as a prime illustration of this), because the language and information used to teach us essentially pre-programs our comprehension of future warfare, automatically predisposing us to whichever side has been identified as the ‘goodies’ while creating a vested dislike or even hatred of the ‘baddies’.
Perhaps ‘baddie’ should be rephrased in Orwellian terms as ‘a figure of hate’. From what I remember of my own learning on Vietnam, I recall thinking that the Americans became involved in order to help protect the ‘Democratic South’ against the ‘Communist North’ — this is probably what most people believe. According to Pilger, this analysis of the Vietnam conflict is far from the truth; in fact, almost completely contrary to the reality of the situation. The excerpt below comes from his article referring to a school textbook written on the subject:
It says that under the 1954 Geneva Accord: ‘Vietnam was partitioned into communist north and democratic south.’ In one sentence, truth is dispatched. The final declaration of the Geneva conference divided Vietnam ‘temporarily’ until free national elections were held on 26 July 1956. There was little doubt that Ho Chi Minh would win and form Vietnam’s first democratically elected government. Certainly, President Eisenhower was in no doubt of this. ‘I have never talked with a person knowledgeable in Indo-Chinese affairs,’ he wrote, ‘who did not agree that . . . 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader.’
Not only did the United States refuse to allow the UN to administer the agreed elections two years later, but the ‘democratic’ regime in the south was an invention. One of the inventors, the CIA official Ralph McGehee, describes in his masterly book Deadly Deceits how a brutal expatriate mandarin, Ngo Dinh Diem, was imported from New Jersey to be ‘president’ and a fake government was put in place. ‘The CIA,’ he wrote, ‘was ordered to sustain that illusion through propaganda [placed in the media].’
Phony elections were arranged, hailed in the west as ‘free and fair’, with American officials fabricating ‘an 83 per cent turnout despite Vietcong terror’. The GCSE guide alludes to none of this, nor that ‘the terrorists’, whom the Americans called the Vietcong, were also southern Vietnamese defending their homeland against the American invasion and whose resistance was popular. For Vietnam, read Iraq. –Extract from ‘Our children are learning lies’ by John Pilger 
What this essentially tells us is that, for all the democratic ideals that America and the West claims to espouse, as soon as someone who does not agree with their viewpoint is voted in they will do anything in their power to subvert and undermine them. This is rephrased and then becomes the ‘official’ history of events, finding its way into everything from textbooks to documentaries – George Orwell and 1984, eat your heart out!
You don’t have to look far to find similar examples of this subversive reinvention of recent history – simply look at how Hamas has been marginalized despite winning a clear majority in the Palestinian legislative election of 2006. 
Hamas was not ‘permitted’ to govern, despite winning the overall support of the Palestinian people, due to their not having the same agenda as the policy makers in Washington. That is not to say that we should agree with all Hamas policies (or anyone else’s, for that matter), but that we should at least respect the fact that the Palestinian people, through seemingly fair elections, have chosen their own government. The Americans evidently did not: they swiftly imposed sanctions and withheld aid from the Palestinian Authority in protest at the audacity of the Palestinians voting for an anti-American party . The power sharing deal between Hamas and Fatah hammered out afterward under American influence is the equivalent of the Conservative Party in Britain winning over 50% of the seats in a general election and then being forced to govern in coalition with the previous losing Labour Administration — a ridiculous prospect but arguably a comparable scenario. 
According to the words of former Republican Presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, the Palestinians are an “invented people” and are merely part of the larger Arab community, despite the fact that each Middle Eastern country has its own form of Arabic language and customs .
It could be argued that these types of statement serve to de-legitimize any section of society. Looking at history, this stratagem has been used as an excuse for ethnic cleansing, whether it be the United States in their treatment of Native Americans in the 19th Century; or 1930s Germany rounding up of the mentally ill, homosexuals, Jews and any other so-called undesirables; or the genocides in Bosnia or Rwanda in the 1990s – all the way through to Australia’s expunging of aboriginal culture during the first half of the 20th Century.
To say that Palestinians are not a people is evidently to completely ignore the reality of their current political situation. Very few countries have the same boundaries as they did 200 years ago, so it can be reasonably argued that the Palestinians who reside in the “occupied territories” are on the land of their forefathers and have every right to be there. Claiming that they are part of the larger Arab community and not a people is to imply that no Arab country is sovereign unto itself; something that would certainly be disputed on talking to most Moroccans, Saudis or Jordanians.
Let us not forget that although the Israeli nation is intrinsically a modern construct, this doesn’t mean that the Israeli people don’t have a sense of nationhood or national culture; they evidently do. Are Walloon-Belgians to be considered as ‘French’ simply because they have the same language as France? Is Scotland, Wales or the United States to be classified as ‘English’ simply because they share similar customs? Unfortunately, this type of rhetoric is all too often put forward; and even if the effect is not immediate, it is likely to influence the thinking of a significant number of people over time as the corporate media repeatedly relays these words to the wider population.
For further examples of this duplicity, we could briefly consider the undermining of Daniel Ortega as leader of Nicaragua, and the deposition of Mohammad Mosaddegh as Prime Minister of Iran. Ortega led a movement to oust the previous brutal U.S.-backed regime under Somoza and had put in place massive public programs to increase the living standards of his countrymen [10: 11]. Despite being lauded as the most free elections ever conducted in Nicaragua’s history, the Western establishment media was falling over itself to imply they were in fact rigged. . The illegal methods used by the U.S. and its agencies included the funding of an armed insurgency, later became known as the Iran-Contra affair – a huge topic in itself, well worth reading about as an illustration of the extent to which those in power will go in order to destabilize governments that do not agree with their policies. 
Democratically elected Mosaddegh had instituted changes to transfer control of Iranian oil from Anglo-American interests to Iran. This resulted in a U.S.-sponsored regime change which saw the brutal Shah being imposed on Iran for the next 25 years, until his overthrow by the Islamic revolution of 1979 . This fact is little known or cared about by Western observers, but it is widely known and taught throughout Iran. As Robert Fisk mentioned in a recent article in The Independent, ‘It is a weird irony that Iranians know the history of Anglo-Persian relations better than the Brits’  This is something worth thinking about when looking at current Western-Iranian relations.
My point here is that these three events (and there are many more), although in the public domain are not widely known about or understood by the general population. Moreover, I would argue that discussion of these events is actively suppressed by the Western-controlled media, as this in itself would show the collusion of Western agencies in these events.
However, it is my belief that the situation is more dangerous than this, as noted at the start of this article. It is precisely this lack of information that prevents the general public from making informed decisions on a whole range of current areas of controversy — be it Iran, Syria, Libya or Sudan. We are presented with dubious information from a young age through to adulthood via the public-education system and the corporate-owned media, and it is hard to filter it out and be objective. Grant Allen may have been onto something when he wrote that “No schooling was allowed to interfere with my education.” 
There is much that could be said on this topic, but my main point is that it is absolutely vital for those who have an interest in these matters to critically appreciate and understand the history of how public opinion has been manipulated, how perceptions have been altered, and how half-truths have been purposely put forward by the media. It can be argued that in this way the media support the “Military Industrial Complex’s” agenda .
George Santayana wrote ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ . If it is true that we are being deliberately misinformed and poorly educated about still-relevant historical events, shouldn’t we begin to at least question why this is the case? Might there be something more sinister at work in the world today?
All the information is still freely available and out there on the Web or in books for anyone who cares to know. It’s up to each one of us to find out everything we can so that we can understand the realities behind global and national policy making, thus enabling us to make informed and rational commentary and contributions to society.
This is where a revolution in thinking should start. This is where the morally “repugnant” elite control structure should end. 
Author: Andrew Fell lives in the Czech Republic and is a lecturer of English at a Social Work College in Prague. He has a keen interest in geo-politics, ethics, history, cooking and playing music. He can usually be found armed with a smile, sipping a cup of tea at a èajovna in Prague.