Friday, January 25, 2013

Breeding for Brains

For those of you who've asked, here's a brief history of my peculiar cat-breeding experiment.

            The experiment began many years ago, back when I was in college.  I was taking Biology 101, had just completed the section on Evolution, and was fascinated with the biological mechanism: how mutations create new structures and natural selection chooses between them. 
            That was when one of my classmates showed up at our rental house with a box of kittens to give away.  I'd been wanting a pet, and was charmed by the adorable little creatures, so I petted them and looked closer.  I noticed that three of them – two toms and a queen, all jet-black – were subtly different from the rest.  They were more imaginative and clever in their playing, their little spines attached not at the back of the skull but slightly underneath it, and their little craniums were bigger than usual.  In short, I was looking at a mutation for higher intelligence. 
            So I adopted not one but three kittens.  As I raised them, I studied them.  I also played games with them to exercise and stimulate their intelligence.  Finally I tested them, saw that they were indeed more intelligent than the average cat, and wrote up the whole experience as my final paper for my Biology class.  Yes, I got an A on the paper.
            I also kept the kittens, now full-grown cats.  I named them Makhno, Kropotkin and Bakunin after famous Anarchists – fitting for all-black cats – and bred them together, and observed and tested the kittens.  I kept the most intelligent of the kittens and gave the rest away, carefully, to people whom I could be sure loved cats.  My term paper had turned into a lifelong project. 
            At present -- all these cat-generations later -- I have four of my super-smart cats at home: two queens and two toms, three of them color-points and one ebony.  The older queen, Comet, is pregnant again.  In a few months I'll be advertising my kittens again, and I hope I have enough local fans who'll be willing to take them.

--Leslie <;)))><    

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Behind the Global Warming Hoax

All right, to take on the whole megillah at once (note that all the facts mentioned herein are readily available on the internet):

I first heard the Global Warming theory some 20 years ago, and it didn't make sense then.  The story was that evil-evil American Industry -- and cars, and exhaling -- put a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2, for those of you who skipped Chemistry in junior high school, high school and college) into the atmosphere, and the CO2 reflects heat/sunlight back at the Earth, thus heating up the atmosphere.  Now I recalled from my grade-school science class that animals -- including humans -- inhale oxygen and exhale CO2, while plants inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen, and this nice exchange has been going on for about two billion years.  I also knew, from friends who worked in the business, that commercial greenhouses often pump in CO2 to make the plants grow faster.  So why, I pondered, wouldn't all the plants in the world happily inhale that extra CO2 and grow faster?

I was also not impressed by the evidence.  According to the "climatologists" (a science I'd never heard of before), Earth's weather has been warming up for centuries.  Well, a bit of research will show that Earth's weather has been warming up since the end of the Ice Age, which is why the Ice Age ended.  In fact, according to paleontologists (a real science, of respectable age and discoveries), there have been at least six ice ages, at regular intervals over the past few million years.  Before that, Earth's climate still varied wildly. There was a time when there was almost no ice anywhere on Earth, and giant amphibians swam in the lakes of Antarctica.  There was another time when all of Earth's surface was covered with ice, and life survived only around volcanic vents in the ocean depths.  Earth is a dynamic planet, still evolving, and its climate is the result of complex interactions between its own plate tectonics and the likewise complex cycles of the weather of the sun.  For proof, note that during the same years when, the alarmists claim, Earth's general temperature has been rising, the ice-caps have been melting on Mars -- and the temperatures on Titan and Pluto have risen two and one degrees centigrade, respectively.  I don't think we have any industry or cars on Mars, Titan and Pluto.

And there's more.  Most of the temperature readings that the Global Warming crowd claims as evidence were taken by volunteers, with donated recorders.  Most of these volunteers, like most humans, live in cities -- and didn't go far from home to plant their recorders.  Cities are notorious heat-generators, besides being a bit short on plant life, and there was a notable shortage of recordings taken in rural or wilderness areas.  This is a guarantee for skewed data.  On the other hand, temperature recorders planted by actual scientist teams -- which were duly placed at equally-distant points all over the planet -- show that the temperature of Earth's climate has not changed in the last 16 years.  There's also solid evidence (again, collected by scientists, not volunteers) for "Dimming the Sun" -- from the PBS documentary of the same name (available on YouTube).  This holds that air pollution, particularly soot, blocks sunlight from reaching Earth's surface to a significant degree -- enough to slow water evaporation in lands as distant, and different, as northern New York and eastern Australia.

Then there's the fact that the steady rise of Earth's general temperature since the Ice Age has not been a smooth climb, but a rhythmic fluctuation.  There was the cold period that helped bring down the Roman Empire, followed by the Early Medieval Warm Period -- when Vikings raised dairy cattle in Greenland, vineyards grew in England, and freshwater crocodiles frolicked in the rivers of France (thus adding to the legend of dragons) -- which was followed by the Little Ice Age of the later Middle Ages, and so on up to the present day. There was no evil-evil modern industry during the early Middle Ages.  The recent melting of a glacier in Austria revealed artifacts (like broken spear-points, worn-out sandals and ancient fireplaces) that proved the ground had been ice-free and inhabited by humans just 3000 years ago.   Finally, I can tell you from personal observation, that here in Arizona the last five winters have each been colder and wetter than the last. 

None of these Inconvenient Truths jibe with the Global Warming theory, which just might explain why the Global Warming pundits have begun referring to "Climate Change" instead.

The question is, why has this shaky and contra-indicated theory become so popular?

Well, it's been pushed and pimped by expert flak-artists.  Never mind Al Gore (whose personal "carbon footprint" is greater than that of any four average American households) and his movie;  why didn't the Nobel Prize committee, whose job includes checking out the actual science of any science project submitted to them, check out the facts before handing him the prize?  Why did other respectable scientists, as revealed in their own emails, make a point of muzzling and denigrating other scientists who presented solid evidence contradicting the Global Warming theory? 

Well, for one thing, there's been an awful lot of grant money handed out, over the past 20 years and more, for studies on Global Warming -- and almost none for studies on possible returns of the Ice Age, or very-long-term patterns of Earth's weather.  Where has all that slightly-biased money come from?  It's impossible to track it all down, but one might consider that about 20 years ago certain Asian interests tried to push the US and several other western industrial countries into signing the Kyoto Accords.  The US refused, because after examining the Accords political analysts realized that following them would effectively strip the US of its manufacturing capacity.

There are two good reasons why countries like China, India, and especially Japan, would like to make the US and its western allies give up on manufacturing.  First, simple competition: China and India would love to become the new industrial giants of the world, and Japan assumes it already is.  All that stands in the way of their total economic domination is their pesky western rivals.

The second reason is that the Asian countries, and particularly Japan, remember that what allowed the US to win World War Two was its uninterrupted industrial capacity.  At the height of the war, the US was churning out better than two navy ships, ten tanks, twenty artillery pieces, 500 combat rifles and 1000 rounds of ammunition per day -- not to mention other troop supplies.  The Axis countries, regardless of their troop numbers, couldn't match that.

The Asian industrial countries are primarily concerned with their own agendas, and are not necessarily friends of ours;  they know full well, from their own histories, that economic rivalry often leads to war.  How could they disarm their foremost rival in advance?  Well, how better than by playing on our current concern with environmental damage and reliable Liberal Guilt?  Add to that their decades-long policy of inviting western industries to move their plants, whole-cloth, to -- yes -- China, India, Japan, and other Asian countries under their influence, with promises of business-friendly governments and lots of nice cheap labor, and the result is a lot of western mines and mills -- especially mills -- standing idle.

The real irony here is that China, with India not too far behind, is the worst air and water polluter in the world right now.  Air pollution from China is massive enough to drift across the entire Pacific, to register on pollution-counters in California.  And never mind what they dump into their water!  Our Asian trade-partners aren't really that concerned with environmental quality, even on their own land.    

Could America today -- with more than twice the population we had then -- mount an industrial and military effort as great as we did in World War Two?  The issue is in doubt.  Among other things, our attitudes -- or at least our politicians' attitudes -- about precisely how to win a war are very different from what they were then, as our military performance over the last 15 years displays.  Our attitudes toward industry and manufacturing are different too.

We could always regain that capacity, cut drastically into our unemployment figures and repair our sagging economy just by changing those attitudes, but the Global Warming-- ooops, "Climate Change" -- theory won't be any help there.

--Leslie <;)))>< Fish                    

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paved With Good Intentions

I was originally planning to do a long piece about global warming, but I came across this article and thought it was more immediately relevant.

"SSRI's: Turning People Into Monsters
The massacre of 20 children and 7 adults at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT on Dec 14, 2012 has the nation and the world reeling in shock and horror.

It has revived the debate about gun control, but a growing chorus of voices that have been desperately trying to cut through the media censorship for over a decade document the real cause of these unfathomable events: Psychiatric drugs, especially SSRIs, serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and more.

In an estimated 5% of people taking these drugs, which are freely prescribed to children and adolescents, a condition known as "akasthisia," occurs. This is a build up of electrical impulses that causes the brain to disassociate, causing the victim to erupt in sudden, extreme violence, often: murder, mass murder, suicide, arson and more. Characteristics of SSRI violence include hallucinations, and amnesia so powerful that all memory of the event is absent, in those who survive.

This website documents over 4,800 cases of such extreme violence, including 66 school shootings, in which SSRI drugs, often more than one, had been prescribed. (The list ends in 2010)

16 year old Corey only remembers being in bed, tired, when "next thing I know, I'm in the detention center." He had been arrested for holding 23 classmates hostage, and he did not even remember it.

"There's no doubt that the medication did this," says his father. "He had amnesia, hallucinations earlier, abnormal dreams, which are all side effects of the medication."

"His father says the pills turned Corey from a sensitive boy to a volatile marauder, susceptible to blind rage" says the Fox anchor.

"It was out of character," said Corey's father.

The burning issue is neither guns, nor "evil" in our youth, nor bad parenting, but rather a truly evil pharmaceutical empire that has steadfastly preyed on our children, in their schools, in programs often funded by the Pharmaceutical industry, such as "Teen Screen," which seek to diagnose and medicate kids at every possibly opportunity, turning a number of them into Manchurian Candidates--assassins--operating from compulsions caused by the drugs.

The mass media, with a few exceptions, are complicit in the deaths of the very children they appear to lament, until they face their professional obligation to investigate this enormous story.

--Celia Farber

This ties in with something I'd noticed earlier -- that almost every perpetrator of a school-shooting in the last 20 years had been taking anti-depressants for days beforehand.  And haven't you noticed that, in all those TV ads for anti-depressants, the announcer also mentions -- in a fast mumble -- that "rare side effects may include mood changes, aggressiveness, suicidal thoughts or actions"?

It's perfectly understandable that the media, and the politicians, have ignored these little facts and gone haring off after gun control instead.  After all, the "gun lobby" is nothing compared to the Big Pharmaceutical lobby.

--Leslie <;)))><  )O(