Monday, September 27, 2010

Good News

A psychiatric survivor, Will Hall, was asked to present at SAMHSA's Alternatives 2010 conference. The title of Will Hall's presentation was changed at the last minute by the organizers and he decided not to go.

Good news, however. The organizers will allow him to proceed and present as planned.

This smells vaguely of Robert Whitaker's experience with this conference. At first, he was invited and then he was uninvited. The internet rage machine immediately fired up. The organizers changed their minds again and Whitaker was back on the rostrum.

As a psychiatric survivor myself, I am not at all surprised at this equivocal whipsawing of views and intentions by people who call themselves mental health professionals. It seems to be just part of their interior landscape and I've learned the hard way not to become involved in it. It's simply not healthy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why they hate our freedoms

Burning the Koran is tasteless and oafish, to say the least. I appreciate that Muslims are offended by it, but as this article points out self-expression is the backbone of our rights. We can burn our Bibles. We can burn our bras. And according to the Supreme Court, we can burn our flag to express our political frustration and even sacrifice small animals to express our religious convictions. It only follows that we can burn the Koran. Nothing need be held sacred in this country (except that very statement itself). And there is no constitutional right guaranteeing your right not to be offended.

in reference to: BBC News - Why US government could not have stopped the Koran bonfire (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, September 6, 2010

From the not quite ready to be poster children department

This is kind of old news, at least in internet time, but it was recently submitted to a board I haunt.

Being at the bottom of the food chain doesn't sound very sexy, until a person realizes that it also means being the foundation for life.

It's hard to use microscopic diatoms as poster children for a cause, the way whales and polar bears are used, but in the grand scheme of things, these little critters are exponentially more important than anything else on earth.

Sadly the article never discussed whether disappearing phytoplankton was a cause or an effect of the rapid ocean acidification.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

400 million year old species is threatened

I love this. These little critters are in the fossil record for the Ordovician era 450 millions years ago They might have existed longer than that but older fossil records are spotty. They are basically unchanged from their earliest known forms and they have survived all five major extinction events.

And now they might be threatened. Good going, people.

Want to help a local farmer beat a Monsanto-Backed incumbent for Iowa Secretary of Ag?

This has become popular on reddit. As someone living in the cornbelt, I have to say Mr. Thicke's cause is righteous. He runs an organic farm in Iowa, which is something very peculiar both here and in Iowa, where a farmer has to run an industrial, economy-to-scale farm to make a decent profit.

It's very sad that living in the country doesn't guarantee me the best food :-( Guys like Mr. Thicke seem to want to change that.