Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Of Mice and Mary Jane

There's an old saying I remember from the early days of teh Interwebz, when I used to participate in forums and discussion boards as an enthusiastic ideologue and supporter of the right wing, neo-conned, war-mongering platform: " Libertarians are just Democrats who love their guns or Republicans who love to smoke pot."

Growing up in Hawaii, this definition means a lot of people here are Libertarian and they don't even know it.

Despite being a Bush-voting, gun-toting, Rush-listening, FAUXNews-watching, Republi-conned warmonger that believed in 99% of the right wing platform, I still partook of the medicinal herb like the majority of my classmates, peers and acquaintances while growing up here. In my time, I've personally known police officers, Doctors, CEO's, Bankers, Pilots, Teachers, Engineers, Social Workers and every flavor of blue collared trade workers who all enjoyed the fruits of the forbidden plant. It was the one point for which I would have vehement disagreements with my right wing cohorts on teh interwebz.

These were the early beginnings of my unplugging from the matrix of our bi-factional ruling party charade aka "Democracy."

Indeed, while I was attending the University of Hawaii, one of my classes required researching a socio-political topic, writing a paper and then giving a 10 minute presentation to the class about what I had learned. The professor gave us a list of topics, and I selected "The History of Marijuana Prohibition in the US."

In hindsight, I now realize that selecting that topic was my very first "red-pill" moment.

The history of marijuana prohibition was my introduction to the truly fascist nature of USA Inc. It contained all of the elements of the corporatist collusion of Big Business, the Federal Government, Federal Law Enforcement and controlled media disseminating propaganda to effect cannabis prohibition for the benefit of a multitude of special interests.

It was all there...the DuPont corporation had just patented an expensive, paper making process out of wood pulp when the latest science publications of the day where predicting a revolution in paper making due to the recent development of inventions that made producing paper from hemp far more efficient and profitable than wood pulp. To protect their investments in their wood pulp process and millions of acres of timberland to produce their paper products, the DuPont interests enlisted the first "drug czar," Harry Anslinger to push for prohibition. Anslinger was related by marriage to the Father of "Yellow Journalism," William Randolph Hearst, they colluded to manufacture public consensus to effect prohibition of the hemp plant. In order to get rid of the competitive threat posed by industrial hemp, they went after marijuana and conflated the two similar plants to drive the threat of competition out of the market. Remember: Government Regulation + Industry = Cartel.

This triumvirate was the entity behind the production of sensationalistic, over-the-top propaganda  like Reefer Madness. W.R. Hearst had one of the widest circulations of national newspapers, and he regularly ran tabloid articles that became the forerunner to our modern day's equivalent of fear campaigns in our mass media that support the current "War on Terror" and the continuing trade off of liberty for our so-called security by the rulers of our society. But I digress.

Hearst ran headlines like "Marihuana Makes Fiends of Boys in 30 Days," and "Hasheesh Goads Users to Blood-Lust" and filled his papers with articles describing how epidemic of marijuana-crazed negroes were raping white women and playing voodoo-satanic jazz music while under the influence of the devil weed from Mexico. Indeed, such sensationalist propaganda was cited on the floor of congress during the debates on passing the various acts of legislation that resulted in prohibition.

One of the proponents for prohibition even basically admitted under congressional testimony that the effort was basically a move to make an end-run around the 10th amendment so that the Federal Government could control the sale of marijuana in the exact same way it had done so with machine guns. A lawyer for the Treasury Department (run by Andrew Mellon), Clinton Hester, stated the following:

“The Harrison Act has twice been sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States, and lawyers are no longer challenging its constitutionality. If an entirely new and different subject matter were to be inserted in its provisions, the act might be subject to further constitutional attacks.”

The Harrison Act of 1914 was the first Federal Government Act to control narcotic substances like heroin and cocaine. (Note that one year after the Federal Reserve Act and the first National Income Tax were instituted, the very next thing the Banksters who had taken over the US Federal Government accomplished was the establishment of Federal Bureaucracy to regulate narcotic manufacture and use.)

Those who opposed the original Marijuana Tax Act asked the proponents of prohibition why they didn't just lobby to have marijuana included in the Harrison Act.

Congressman Lewis of Maryland: “On what basis did the justices who dissented question the constitutionality of the Harrison Act? “

Treasury Dept. Attorney Hester: “The focal point of the attack was that the provision which limited the persons to whom narcotics could be sold clearly indicated that the primary purpose of the act was not to raise revenue, but to regulate matters which were reserved to the States under the 10th Amendment.”

In other words the proponents of Prohibition knew the weakness of the Constitutionality of prohibiting substances, and were afraid trying to add marijuana to the Harrison Act would re-open challenges to the Act's constitutionality that the Supreme Court of that era had recently ruled in favor of - goodbye 10th Amendment!.

Instead, they wanted to use the same successful approach to prohibitively tax marijuana the same way they used a tax scheme to make and end run around the 2nd Amendment to prohibit the sale of machine guns to the citizenry.

Hester testified:

"This bill would permit anyone to purchase marijuana as was done in the National Firearms Act in permitting anyone to buy a machine gun. But he would have to pay a tax of $100 per ounce of marijuana and make his purchase on an official order form. A person who wants to buy marijuana would have to go to the collector and get an order form in duplicate, and buy the $100 tax stamp and put it on the original order form there. He would take the original to the vendor, and keep the duplicate. If the purchaser wants to transfer it, the person who purchases the marijuana from him has to do the same thing and pay the $100 tax. That is the scheme that has been adopted to stop high-school children from getting marijuana.”

In many ways, Marijuana prohibition was the first major front of the Borg's implementation of corporatist assimilation of what was once a free market driven, Capitalist Republic into the current Fascist state of our current Brave New World Order. It was the model now employed by a wide variety of BIG industries and their incestuous relationship with Big Government's regulatory agencies to establish Big Business cartels that now span the entire planet.

So what does this all have to do with mice?

Here we are, 77 years after propaganda like Reefer Madness was produced to manufacture consensus and instill fear to accomplish the empowerment of the Federal Government and protect the financial interests of wood-pulp-paper corporations, and the powers behind prohibition are as entrenched in our Government-Corporate-Media triumvirate as ever, and still putting out yellow journalism-styled propaganda to support prohibition.

Just last month the following headlines appeared all over the mass media organs around the world:

Marijuana Use in Adolescents May Lead to Long-term Cognitive Impairment 

Adolescents, but not adults, who regularly use marijuana may permanently impair their brain function and cognition and may also be at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new preclinical research by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Asaf Keller, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UM and lead study author, says that the topic of whether marijuana use in adolescents can cause long-term heath effects is controversial, but that the latest study provides further evidence that regular marijuana use in adolescents can be harmful.

Ok, got it. Regular marijuana use in adolescents can be harmful...then you read on and you find that the research was conducted on adolescents alright...adolescent mice.

"The study began by examining cortical oscillations in mice."

Just like any other study with supposed results, I got a number of questions to pose here. So....did the mice actually smoke marijuana? How much? What kind and quality? Did they use bongs or did they roll them up in joints? Did the specify whether they used indica or sativa strains? Did they smoke some Purple Kush or White Widow? If this study is supposed to be relevant to human adolescents use of marijuana, shouldn't they use it in the same manner typical pot smoking humans do in the interests of accuracy?

Let's look at what they actually did:

Humans were not involved in the study. Instead, Keller and his colleagues used adolescent mice that had never been exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, subjecting the mice to low doses of the active compound for 20 days before reintroducing them to their sibling mice and allowing them to develop normally.

They "exposed" them to THC. Well that answers that, I guess. Whether or not we can extrapolate exposing an active compound to mice versus human adolescents smoking various strains of differing quality  of marijuana (and the hundreds of other components found in marijuana in addition to THC) is besides the point. That last sentence quoted already exposes a giant flaw in this studies methodology.

They removed adolescent mice from their siblings before administering a dosage of THC. What does that have to do with marijuana's supposed impairment of cognitive development in the brains of adolescent mice?

Have a look see here:

The impact of adolescent social isolation on dopamine D2 and cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the adult rat prefrontal cortex.

 "Adolescent experiences of social deprivation result in profound and enduring perturbations in adult behavior, including impaired sensorimotor gating." deprivation in rats caused impairments in cognitive development. I suppose if we can extrapolate adolescent mice experiments to adolescent humans, we can certainly do the same in extrapolating studies from rats to mice, no?

Here's a question for the researchers: Where was the control group of 20 mice that were removed from their siblings and not exposed to THC? 

Oh, and since we're on the topic of extrapolating rodent studies to apply them to humans, what about this study?

Paternal Deprivation Alters Region- and Age-Specific Interneuron Expression Patterns in the Biparental Rodent (pdf)

A variety of studies revealed that growing up without a supportive and caring father increases the risk of mental dysfunctions, low educational performance, and criminal activity (Baskerville 2002; O’Neill 2002; Erhard and Janig 2003; Boyce et al. 2006). The importance of paternal care and the survival benefits for his offspring is also emerging from studies in a variety of rodents (Wynne-Edwards 1987;Cantoni and Brown 1997; Libhaber and Eilam 2002; Wright and Brown 2002; Vieira and Brown 2003; Bredy et al. 2004; Schradin and Pillay 2004; Bredy et al. 2007; Helmeke et al. 2009; Pinkernelle et al. 2009). 
It appears likely that the behavioral differences of father-deprived individuals result from altered brain circuits, which have been formed under semi-deprived (i.e., without father) family conditions.

Somehow I doubt we're gonna see a proliferation of headlines touting the problems of adolescents raised in social isolation or without their fathers as a cause of impaired cognitive development any time soon. We can't consider this, because so much of our current system is set up to profit from the removal of Father's from Western family life. It' can't be that.... It's teh devilWEED!

What's instructive about all this though, is that this is just another example of how studies are conducted IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE, and then misleading headlines and news reports are generated to accomplish whatever agenda the social engineers in control of our mass media want to effect. They use the same tactics to generate informational cascades amongst the populace to get us all to believe whatever they want us to, like: eating red meat is bad (no really, red meat is REALLY bad!), sun bathing without sunscreen at high noon is bad, that salt in our food is bad, that fluoride in our water is good, that saturated fat found in natural foods will clog our arteries, that eating fish will give us mercury poisoning, that soy is a health food, and that we all need to eat whole grains and fiber for our digestive health....

It's a good thing we live in a world for which our Government and media have been able to get we the sheeple to give up beliefs in mythological, primitive superstitions like religion! We've got science, and scientists to figure it all out for us! They would never deliberately mislead us with their scientific studies and science journalism reporting in the mass media to serve a malevolent and lucrative agenda....right?!?!??!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Enjoying the Decline

So Cappy Cap recently linked to an old post of mine, The F You Fund and sent a whole bunch of traffic my way...which reminded me that I owe him one. He sent me a review copy of Enjoy the Decline back in January, and I have yet to write my review.

And I'm still not going to.

Well, not really a standard fare book review (though I do recommend it, it's an easy but thought provoking read worth the time and money), like the one I gave for Athol's Married Man Sex Life Primer.

Instead, this will be a blog post about the ideas, opinions and concepts of our Rumpleminze-drinking, ballroom-dancing, cigar-smoking, economist and eternal-bachelor writes about in his book and my own experiences here in Hawaii as I too have endeavored to enjoy my time in this epoch of civilization's decline.

Indeed, Captain Capitalism's book reads to me like a summary of the realizations I've come to on my own throughout the history of writing here at this blog.

But dire as the situation may be, there is some hope. Genuine hope, not the hope that is found in presidential speeches and pablum. Hope that is practical, real, and will yield results. However, this hope comes from the only place real hope can come from – within – which means we have to focus on ourselves and what is within our control to realize this hope and capitalize on it.

This is the main theme he presents on how each and every one of us finds ways to get the most out of life despite increasingly harder economic times and the breakdown of social cohesion in our increasingly fragmented, atomized, rude and crude society. The first step in the process of enjoying the decline, is to recognize the following:

1. A environment that has changed on us rendering our previous plans impotent
2. A situation we are powerless to control
3. A situation that requires we change our psychology to understand it
4. A situation that requires we change our behavior in order to make the best of it

Ah yes, these 4 points chart quite well with my own experiences of the past decade. My B2B sales career that had been earning close to 6 figures in commissions went down the tubes when the housing bubble popped. I went bankrupt because I thought the good times would never end, that my career trajectory was on an upward track, and I kept buying stuff I didn't need, with money I didn't have.

After a short period of unemployment, found myself resorting to physical, manual labor trade work to make ends meet. All of that time and effort I had sunken into attaining a college degree and the experience of over a decade working in my former desk jockey vocation amount to nothing in the new reality of Hawaii's job market in our current global Great Depression 2.0.

Economically, I've never been worse off. I work a physically demanding job that leaves me exhausted on a daily basis, and we are now living paycheck to paycheck just trying to keep the utilities on, gas in the car and good, wholesome and nutritious food on the table, and good quality booze chilling in the fridge. But, for a number of reasons that Cappy explains in detail, I can honestly say I've never been happier. There's more to life than money...and it's a lot more enjoyable when you've managed to get almost all debts cleared and to live (nearly) debt free.

I'm past the point of trying to get back on track with what was once my former long term goals (a big house in an UMC suburb with new cars) when I was at the peak of productivity in what is now essentially an outdated and outmoded business. If there's one thing I've come to realize about today's Brave New World Order, it's this: the only folks who are thriving right now in this economy, are the corporate entities who are making their money selling goods and services to the Government.

Small businesses and entrepreneurship are under siege on all fronts in today's corporatist economy. All of the small businesses I know of are barely managing to keep afloat, and a large number have been closing up shop. That was basically the story of the small company I worked for. When Cappy writes, " A situation that requires we change our behavior in order to make the best of it," I smile a little.

I had no choice but change my behavior and re-focus my time and attention on more rewarding pursuits. I was forced to re-evaluate what was most important in life and to take enjoyment in things outside of the materialistic, consumerist paradigm.

Gone are the days of eating out at fancy restaurants on a regular basis. Gone are the days of going out every sing weekend to nightclubs and bars and spending hundreds of dollars on alcohol and food. Gone are the days of paying for all the premium cable TV packages. Gone are the days of going out to the movies or ordering Pay Per View sporting events. Gone are the days of mindless shopping as a recreational activity. Gone are the days of hopping on an airplane and taking weekend vacations on a whim. Gone are the days of buying expensive and elaborate gifts for friends and family. Gone are the days of upgrading to the latest phones and electronic gadgets, of buying the latest video game consoles and new release games. Gone are the days of buying CDs, DVDs and Books on a regular basis.

These days, it's all about conserving, re-using, recycling, repairing or learning to do without. Of finding entertainment in the simple things in life that don't require cover charges, service tips, minimizing recurring subscription fees and debt financing big ticket items.

More importantly, it's about investing your time and energy into the thing that truly pays the most dividends in terms of overall life satisfaction. Cappy sums it up perfectly:

With a thorough understanding of what is happening to our country, we need to turn our focus from acceptance and adaptation to one of enjoying life and enjoying the decline. Because no matter how bad things are and no matter how bad things are going to get, we still need to make the most of it. To do this we need to sit and ponder what really matters in life. What is most important in our lives. What is going to bring us the most amount of happiness. Thankfully the answer is quite simple and not up for debate.

Other humans.

Some people will disagree. Some will say riches, some will say wealth, some will say health, but those are all wrong answers. The correct answer is "other humans." The reason why is that out of everything on this planet, humans are the most interesting, entertaining, dynamic and intellectual things we'll ever run into.

Yes. Spending time with friends, family and close acquaintances. People you care about, because you KNOW they care about you.

This is great news in that the largest threats facing all Real Americans are not social, but rather political and economic. The government may be able to take away your money, but it can’t take away your friends. The government may be able to destroy the labor market, but it can’t stop your children from hugging you. And the government may be able to force you to work until you’re dead, but it can’t stop somebody from loving you. In other words, take away all material wealth and economic opportunity, the government cannot take away the one thing that makes life worth living – human interaction.

This is the essence of Cappy's advice on how best to enjoy the decline. I concur wholeheartedly.

What makes friends arguably the most important people in your life, is that they don’t have to hang out with you. They choose to hang out with you. Unlike the family you were born into, your friends aren’t “honor-bound” by blood or social mores requiring them to spend time with you. They consciously decide to spend some of their finite, precious time with you. That’s not only a great thing, that’s a very humbling thing. Out of everything in the world those people could be doing, out of everybody in the world they could be hanging out with, for whatever reason they consciously and purposely chose you over all those other things. This is why you should not only be incredibly grateful for your friends, but why they should play a pivotal role in your life. Because without friends, your life is quite hollow, which is all the more reason we need to learn how to appreciate them and incorporate them into our lives.
First, realize how unique and personalized your friends are. While you can’t pick your family, you can pick your friends. This effectively makes them your own “personally built family.” It also makes them the most important thing you’ll ever build.

This is the point I got to. When the economic times where high, and I lived like tomorrow I would always be able to bring in more money, and I would always have the resources to pay for my recreations, diversions and consumption patterns, I had a much larger group of friends and acquaintances I regularly hung out with.

As the economic times got tough, casual relationships with people pretty much fell apart. Friends who's favorite activity was spending hundreds of dollars a weekend on nightlife stopped making any efforts to stay in touch when we kept turning down invitations to go out with them like we used to.

For some, we attempted to get them to do other activities with us to maintain the relationships. Many of them were not interested. More specifically, those of our former friends (well, not that we had any bad falling outs, we just don't stay in touch anymore) who either worked for the State Government or large multi-national corporations who have not experienced any financial hardships, did not want to give up on their lifestyles of conspicuous, wasteful consumption, and they weren't interested in doing different activities with those of us who could no longer afford the nightlife barfly lifestyle.

Conversely, we have a smaller, much closer and tight-knit social group of friends that we hang out with now, and we all share the same values when it comes to wasting money in pursuit of recreation. For the price of one person's drink tab at a Honolulu Bar, we now buy a case of beer and a bottle of whiskey and get together in the back yard and play music. There's one thing I notice about these relationships we have with our friends - we all treat each other like family and we all trust each other completely. We have all known each other for a number of years, yet we never get bored of each others company. We all have each others back, and when one needs help, we are all there to do what we can. These friendships are profound, and infinitely more satisfying then the superficial friendships of those who's only common value was getting sauced on overpriced drinks in a deafening nightclubs with shitty music every weekend.

Cappy's got that one perfectly right. Find and choose high quality, interesting people to be your friends, and form a family with them based on trust, respect and shared interests, and you will find it much easier to enjoy the decline.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Essential Food for Thought

When I came up with my list of 10 books for my Red Pill Bookshelf, my primary focus was to provide links to free, online copies of all the books on the list. While many readers made excellent suggestions to add to the list of "red pill" reading, more than a few of them don't exist as free downloads.

Yesterday, I came across another free online book that is extremely important to understanding red pill truths while googling through the vast expanses of teh Interwebz: The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3's Were Removed From the Western Diet, and How What We Can Do to Replace Them.

I've mentioned this book a few times before, but I never had the chance to read it until yesterday (i.e. I waited until I could find it online for free.) Up until this point, I could only reference reviews, small excerpts and an interview with the author herself (pdf). That interview was one of the watershed moments I experienced while researching the topic of diet and health.

We finally began to understand that the omega-3s are predominantly concentrated in the green leaves of plants and the omega-6s are concentrated in the seeds of plants, and that basically what we’re talking about here is two families of fats that allow us animals to prepare for the changing seasons, to either speed up, get ready for times of activity and reproduction when green leaves are available and abundant — or to slow down, hunker down, get ready for times of survival — when the fats of seeds are more prevalent.

It’s really a cool system. Plants use the changing light as the Earth makes its orbit around the sun — they adapt to the changing light, and then we adapt to the change in plant food. It really is an amazing thing, but it’s not generally understood.

That made intuitive sense to me when I first read that...especially when you consider that most oils found in the Western food supply is made from grains aka seeds. So is most of the feed fed to all the factory farmed animals that make up a part of the Industrialized feed industry. We have an abundance of Omega-6 rich food and a dearth of Omega-3 food that is a part of the Western diet. The results speak for themselves. When you look out at the landscape of obesity and ill health that plagues the denizens of our Brave New World Order, what you are actually seeing is human animals eating diets for a perpetual winter!

These two families of fats compete for enzymes, for positions in our cell membranes, which don’t care whether they get loaded up with omega-6s or omega-3s. They don’t care for a reason — because they’re built that way so that they can change with the changing seasons and the changing food supply. They’re meant to go through these seasonal changes, slight seasonal changes. The reason we’ve run into problems is because we eat this high omega 6 diet year round.

In the book, Allport dedicates an entire chapter on what we can do to personally address our own Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid imbalance that is the root cause of so many illnesses and disease. I don't agree with all of her recommendations - she advocates the consumption of soybean oil and canola oil - but she does offer a simple enough perspective for people to follow to realize the benefits of having a balanced essential fatty acids ratio in your overall diet. The important thing one needs to consider is that Omega 6's and Omega 3's compete for the SAME enzymes in every cell in your body. To experience the health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids, you cannot simply consume more Omega 3 fatty also have to reduce your consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids in your diet:

"...a simple piece of nutritional advice on which all the omega-3 researchers agree.“You have to reduce your omega-6s if you want to get any benefit from omega-3s,” warns Alexander Leaf. Bill Lands echoes his sentiments: “Eat more omega-3s and less omega-6s. That’s a direction you can go in with certainty.” - p.123

In other words, you cannot simply keep eating all the normal S.A.D. foods rich in Omega 6, and eat some fish or pastured eggs and think that will be enough. You have to also stop eating all the foods rich in Omega 6 fatty acids - namely processed foods and foods cooked in "vegetable" oil.

Not only does The Queen of Fats point out the role the Omega fatty acids play in our bodies, she also goes into the history of essential fatty acid research and the researchers who discovered and named these substances that are the primary determinant on human health and well being.

Her primary conclusion as to why Omega 3 fatty acids have been removed from the Western diet is because they go rancid quickly, while Omega 6 fatty acids are much more stable and have a longer shelf life (but wreaks havoc on human health). But she mostly offers the conjecture that the food manufacturers simply where looking for ways to make food products last longer before going rancid, and that they did not know how bad of an effect it would have on human health.

Again, I would disagree. The Big Agricultural Corporations responsible for the production of all the Omega 6 rich feed are the same folks who also make all the Pharmaceutical medications designed to treat the symptoms of the illness and disease that result from the long term imbalance. I'm not the only one to think this, either. Consider one scientist she interviewed in the book:

"The scientists who work with omega-3s have different ideas as to why it is taking government and health organizations so long to digest this new information about fats. For Simopoulos, “It’s a question of economics. The edible oils industry is a very powerful lobby and soybeans and corn are some of our major commodities.” 

Yes, and the Pharmaceutical corporations who produce the drugs to deal with all of the health problems from the are all connected to the Agricultural corporations that produce the Omega 6 rich feed. THEY profit, while we the sheeple suffer and die.

When I asked Alexander Leaf if his finding that DHA could prevent fatal arrhythmia, the tendency of heart cells to develop abnormal rhythms, was readily accepted, he replied, “Oh, hell no! I had a terrible time getting those papers even published though no one had any criticisms about their methodology. The cardiologists and pharmaceutical industry don’t like to hear this. They have a multi-billion dollar business going on and they don’t want someone coming along and saying, ‘All you have to do is change what you put on your plate a little bit and you can avoid all these problems.’” - p.123-124

Note that the American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in Omega 6 fatty acids. Most cardiologists support the recommendations for folks to avoid cholesterol and to eat the low or cholesterol free vegetable oils.

Gotta make sure Cardiologists have a never-ending supply of patients.

“We’ve changed our foods and we know how to change them back,” says Norman Salem. Let’s all hope so. Otherwise we will remain tethered to pharmaceutical and medical industries that can only fix this dietary problem badly — and at huge costs to society and the individual." - p.145

I would revise that statement to more accurately reflect our current reality:

“THEY have changed our foods and THEY know how to change them back,” But THEY don't want to, so that we the sheeple will remain tethered to pharmaceutical and medical industries that profit mightily from "treating" our sickness and disease."

Think I exaggerate?

Consider this advisory released by the AHA, which urges people to eat more Omega 6 rich foods in their diets:

In summary, the AHA supports an omega-6 PUFA intake of at least 5% to 10% of energy in the context of other AHA lifestyle and dietary recommendations. To reduce omega-6 PUFA intakes from their current levels would be more likely to increase than to decrease risk for CHD.

Now why would they be motivated to recommend that? Have a look at the disclosure tables at the end of the advisory, and you'll see what I mean. One Doctor had a significant research grant from Monsanto, and is also a paid consultant and/or a member of the advisory board of both Monsanto and processing food giant, Unilever. Several others received research grants and/or are members of the advisory boards or consultants of various Pharmaceutical giants like GSK, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Abbot Labs and Merck/Schering Plough. Think all this funding and relationships with Big Ag and Big Pharma entities might have something to do with the issuance of this advisory?

Nahhhhhh.....couldn't be.

Of course these folks don't want the Sheeple to switch their diets and stop consuming all that Omega 6 would cut into the profitability of these various companies medication portfolios. As Allport concludes in The Queen of Fats:

"Once you switch to a high omega-3, low omega-6 diet, you can expect to see significant changes in your blood almost immediately, paralleled by a rapid improvement in heart function and mood, as experienced by Dale Jarvis and others who have supplemented their diets with large amounts of omega-3s. Other benefits, such as a speedier metabolic rate, will take much longer(two to three years, depending on how much adipose tissue you carry) but are worth waiting for.
The one thing readers shouldn’t expect is any surprises. If you are eating a typical fast-food diet, your cells will be full of omega-6s. If you are avoiding processed foods and partially hydrogenated fats and are eating a lot of greens and fish, your cells will have a good balance of omega-3s and omega-6s. In the matter of fats, we truly are what we eat and what we eat truly matters." - p.151
Yes, it most certainly truly matters, in a lot more ways then one would initially think with regards to just physical health.

I've become a regular reader/lurker over at Athol Kay's MMSL forums. Athol and his crew of forum members are doing some mighty fine work in helping out marriages in severe trouble. The people they've helped and the stories they tell have been fascinating to say the least. Athol deserves all the success he's experienced as an author, and now as a  life/relationship coach. I hope he becomes a millionaire doing this sort of work.

Have a look through the 911 Relationship ER posts and you'll find post after post from Husbands and Wives all struggling with diet related issues that compound and exacerbate all of the relationship problems they are trying to find help for from Athol and company.

I find it over and over and over again in all the various stories of troubled marriages and families I've read up on over there...the common thread of poor health and nutrition and all of the marital problems it can contribute to. Depression. Anxiety. Post-Partum Depression. BPD. OCD. Low Testosterone. Erectile Dysfunction. Obesity. Wild and uncontrollable children. Short tempers and episodes of uncontrolled rage (which many forum members refer to as "BSC" or Bat Shit Crazy).

While I have read and reviewed the Married Man Sex Life Primer, I haven't read Athol's newest book, The Mindful Attraction Plan...but I'm fairly positive he addresses the importance of diet in the new book as he did in the old book. And many of these problems could be addressed by changing the dietary intake of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Consider the following:

Dietary Omega-6 Increases Risk of Depression

Study quote: "The current study provides strong evidence that diets rich in omega-6 fatty acids may enhance the risk of depression among general population".

Comment: Experimental studies show that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the omega-3 fat associated with mood improvement, is reduced in the cells, as a consequence of eating a diet high in omega-6 fat.

Low omega-3 index in pregnancy is a possible biological risk factor for postpartum depression.

"In this study population, a low omega-3 index in late pregnancy was associated with higher depression score three months postpartum."

Increased risk of postpartum depressive symptoms is associated with slower normalization after pregnancy of the functional docosahexaenoic acid status.

"From this observation it seems that the availability of DHA in the postpartum period is less in women developing depressive symptoms. Although further studies are needed for confirmation, increasing the dietary DHA intake during pregnancy and postpartum, seems prudent."

Lipids, depression and suicide

"POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACID AND DEPRESSION: In major depression, all studies revealed a significant decrease of the polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids and/or an increase of the omega 6/omega 3 ratio in plasma and/or in the membranes of the red cells. In addition, two studies found a higher severity of depression when the level of polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids or the ratio omega 3/omega 6 was low."

Adolescent Behavior and Dopamine Availability Are Uniquely Sensitive to Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency.

Understanding the nature of environmental factors that contribute to behavioral health is critical for successful prevention strategies in individuals at risk for psychiatric disorders. These factors are typically experiential in nature, such as stress and urbanicity, but nutrition-in particular dietary deficiency of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs)-has increasingly been implicated in the symptomatic onset of schizophrenia and mood disorders, which typically occurs during adolescence to early adulthood. Thus, adolescence might be the critical age range for the negative impact of diet as an environmental insult.

Essential fatty acids and psychiatric disorders.

"The literature shows that ω-3 fatty acids provide numerous health benefits and that changes in their concentration in organisms are connected to a variety of psychiatric symptoms and disorders, including stress, anxiety, cognitive impairment, mood disorders, and schizophrenia."

 There's a lot more where that came from, but I think that should suffice for now. To reiterate Allport's conclusion: "In the matter of fats, we truly are what we eat and what we eat truly matters."

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Longevity "Paradox" - Tobacco

Continued from here and here.

From The World's Oldest: All Smokers -

Smokers die early. How is this 'truth' established? Like this. If, this year, the average life expectancy is 78 and you die at 77 and smoke(d), the year you are missing is ATTRIBUTED to smoking, never mind genetics or the other million every day things that could have made you live one year "less". However, if you live one year "more", that extra year is NOT attributed to smoking because the ideology says that smoking kills by definition - so it must have been something else that made you live a little longer, but CERTAINLY NOT smoking.

Be that as it may, the hard and empirical evidence (no epidemiological attributions needed) shows that the world's oldest are or have been all smokers. To avoid sending the "wrong message" (the "right" one being that "smoking kills"), these people are called "exception to the rule". But are they all exceptions to that rule, or is it just the rule that is flawed by ideology and beliefs?

 There seems to be a whole lot of rules in our Brave New World Order based on flawed ideology, outright deceptions and beliefs inculcated by mass media propaganda and institutionalized brainwashing that most people simply accept at face value.

Perhaps no other issue save "Global Warming" has been as relentlessly propagandized as the meme that smoking tobacco is one of the most toxic substances ever ingested by mankind. To think otherwise is madness. EVERYONE knows, tobacco smoking kills! And even for those who regard conventional wisdom and suspect or downright dishonest, accepting the idea that tobacco may not be as bad as we've all been told to believe is a difficult idea to come to terms with.

Some comments from my first post on the Longevity "Paradox" -

- "I like your post and agree with what you said. But, I am hoping you can have a few citations to back up you claim about tobacco and alcohol use?"

- "Please do give some documentation regarding smoking. Obviously moderate tobacco use is less harmful than heavy use, but I don't have any reason to believe that there's a level of use that's actually beneficial."

- "Looking forward to the second half of this post. It makes a hell of a lot of sense that good, pure tobacco (sans additives) and good alcohol would be beneficial, but I'm interested to see what you've come up with."

 Before I go any further on this topic - and yes, I have found a few citations since I last wrote on this topic to share - there is one thing I've come to believe is the most important aspect of not just tobacco and alcohol use, but in nearly all other aspects of health and well being: having a nutrient dense diet is the most important variable regarding the use and/or abuse of any substance. As my favorite long-time commenter, Anonymous noted:

"Also, I remember reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration where Price noted that people living in smoke filled houses only developed TB after switching to a modern diet. By that line of reasoning then smoking would be harmless on a paleo diet?"

It's my personal view that the nutrient dense diet and general lifestyle is the primary difference between the abundance of anecdotal stories of people like Lorna Gobey and other old folks who smoked and lived long lives, versus the other anecdotes of those who get lung cancer and die in their late 40's or early 50's. Proper diet, proper methods for handling stress, adequate sleep and adequate sun exposure will make all the difference in the world when it comes to the human body handling the various poisons, toxins and other potential health problems that are a normal part of life for human beings on this planet.

With that obligatory disclaimer out of the way, let's get on with looking into the idea that not only is tobacco not as bad for you as we've been all made to believe by the propaganda mass media machine of our Brave New World Order, but that moderate use of unadulterated, high quality tobacco may actually be good for you!

Two things we must consider first and foremost - one, their may or may not be a significant difference between cigarette smoking versus cigar and pipe smoking (the difference between inhalation and puffing of tobacco smoke on health); and two, natural/organic tobacco versus "Big Tobacco" grown with possibly radioactive fertilizers and adulterated with a host of additives that may or may not be the real reason why Big Tobacco cigarettes may be what is really harmful to human health...not tobacco itself. This is a topic I've covered before:

"There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer."

Oh you're telling me that if I took a seed from a natural, organic tobacco plant, and grew it in my yard, and than harvested the leaf, dried it and smoked it, I'd be ingesting industrial chemicals like cadmium, formaldehyde, arsenic, toluene, hexamine, and methanol?

Somehow, I don't think so.
So the real question here is this: Is the tobacco plant itself a cancer causing agent in the human body, or is the fertilizers and/or additives put into the tobacco by the Big Tobacco producers?

I know what I think about that particular topic.

But how about taking it a step further, and consider the idea that not only is tobacco smoking possibly not bad for you at all, but actually quite beneficial to health and longevity?

For one thing, consider Nicotine and Smoking Benefits (and for those that asked previously, here's your citations!):

"In human studies, reported performance improvements with post-trial administration of nicotine have all involved associated learning (Mangan and Golding l883; Colrain et al, l992; Warburton et al, l992)... Nicotine improves performance by increasing the attentional resources available for such strategic processing," [Rusted JM, et al, "Facilitation of memory by post-trial administration of nicotine:evidence for attentional explanation," Psychopharmacology, 108(4):452-5, l992]."

"1. Nicotine improves attention in a wide variety of tasks in healthy volunteers. 2. Nicotine improves immediate and longer-term memory in healthy volunteers. 3. Nicotine improves attention in patients with probable Alzheimer's Disease" -  [Warburton D M,  "Nicotine as a cognitive enhancer," Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 16(2): 181-91, Mar l992]

Nicotine from tobacco smoke may be performance enhancing? Apparently, NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan found that smoking cigars just prior to playing Basketball games gave him such an effect.

Tobacco as P.E.D.? MJ thought so...

   In a sports radio interview, one of his opponents saw him smoking before a couple of playoff games and assumed it was just bravado and posturing:

“One time we played in Washington. We played a five game series against the Bulls. It was the year they won 72 games. We lose all three games by a total of seven points. I saw Michael Jordan come into our locker room with a cigar, while it was lit, and said, ‘Who’s going to check me tonight?’" 

Then later in the same interview,

"Game Three we get off the bus and Juwan (Howard) is from Chicago and used to workout there. I’ll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari and Pippen was right there and they have a cigar lit. We get off the bus and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he’s the Red Auerbach before the game even started. It was almost like, ‘I lit the cigar. I’m celebrating already. This is just a formality, you guys getting on the court tonight.”

MJ wasn't posturing...he was using a legal performance enhancing substance prior to playing at the highest level of the sport! In fact, as he revealed in an interview with Cigar Aficionado Magazine:

 "When they read this, they'll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar."

Does the idea of  Michael Jordan experiencing improved performance from tobacco smoking before big games sound ludicrous? Consider the following from Nicotine and Smoking Benefits:

In a presentation at the 151st annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (June 8, l998 in Toronto), Dr. Paul Newhouse of the University of Vermont reported on his research on treating Parkinson's disease with nicotine. "Preliminary analysis shows improvements after acute nicotine administration in several areas of cognitive performance." These areas included reaction time and central processing speed. The researchers also reported that after chronic use of nicotine on Parkinson's patients, motor function and the ability to move also improved. [Reported by Reuters, 6/8/98, "Nicotine patch promising for Parkinson's" ].

If it improves cognitive performance, reaction time and central processing speed in Parkinson's sufferers, you think it might not have the same effects on a healthy, high performance, elite athlete like Michael Jordan?


Going back to the Weston Price quote - "...people living in smoke filled houses only developed TB after switching to a modern diet." I think this may in fact be the difference between the folks who smoke Big Tobacco adulterated fare who live to advanced ages without experiencing lung cancer and/or emphysema and the other well known anecdotes of people who die of those afflictions after a lifetime of smoking Big Tobacco cigarettes.

Yes, diet and lifestyle are no doubt huge variables in figuring out the differences in anecdotal cases...but perhaps the natural properties found in the tobacco plant itself may also have something to do with longevity and improved health? Perhaps even in the cases for which the person who smoked for decades was inhaling the adulterated and additive laden products of the Big Tobacco corporations!

Now I myself don't inhale tobacco smoke, I occasionally puff on cigars and pipes. But the case against inhalation may not be as cut and dried as one might think.

Consider another idea taken from citations from the aforementioned Nicotine and Smoking Benefits:

"Excess risks of lung cancer found in miners and foundry workers could not be fully explained by the high prevalence of smoking among these occupations," [emphasis added]. - 0495. University of Zurich, Institute of Pathology (Switzerland). Schuler, G. "Epidemiology of Lung Cancer in Switzerland."

"Smoking has a protective effect on immunological abnormalities in asbestos workers." - 0429. Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (Poland). Lange, A. "Effect of Smoking on Immunological Abnormalities in Asbestos Workers
"Relative risk of lung cancer for asbestos workers was "highest for those who had never smoked, lowest for current smokers, and intermediate for ex-smokers. The trend was statistically significant. There was no significant association between smoking and deaths from mesothelioma." - 0565. University of London, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "Cancer of the Lung Among Asbestos Factory Workers."

So it appears that inhalation smoking of tobacco may even provide protective benefits to miners and other workers exposed to asbestos and other inhaled pollutants.

But that's not the only health benefits attributed to smoking...

Though the risks of smoking are highly publicized, the medical benefits of smoking are rarely mentioned. The greatest risks of smoking come from the tars released during the combustion of tobacco, and these tars are implicated in lung cancer and other breathing disorders, though even the tar apparently has some beneficial effects in protecting the lungs from some noxious particulate matter (e.g. asbestos). According to many studies, the chief medical benefits of smoking are from the nicotine, which occurs naturally in tobacco as well as in certain vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and red peppers, though in much smaller amounts.

Interestingly, these three plants originated in the Americas so nicotine was essentially a "New World" substance. Native Americans were well aware of the curative properties of tobacco, and used it both medicinally and ceremonially. Numerous studies have shown the protective effects of smoking with regard to Parkinson's Disease and ulcerativecolitis, and an increasing body of research indicates it also helps protect against Alzheimer's Disease and colo-rectal cancer.

Since these effects are so well known, we have not listed them below but have focused instead on a few more obscure medical benefits culled from the 1984-85 CDC bibliography. 
  1. Smoking improves human information precessing.
  2. Higher nicotine cigarettes produce greater improvements [in information processing]
  than low-nicotine cigarettes.
  3. Nicotine tablets produce similar effects.
  4. Nicotine can reverse the detrimental effects of scopolamine on performance
  5. Smoking effects are accompanied by increases in EEG arousal and decreases in the latency of the late positive component of the evoked potential." - 0574. University of Reading, Department of Psychology (England). Warburton., D.M.; Wesnes, K. "The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Human Information Processing and the role of Nicotine in These Effects "

Here are some other citations regarding various other health benefits associated with tobacco smoking as well:

- "In general, motor performance in all groups improved after smoking." 0530. London University, Institute of Psychiatry. O'Connor, K.P "Individual Differences in Psychophysiology of Smoking and Smoking Behaviour

- "Smokers in general are thinner than nonsmokers, even when they ingest more calories." [Numerous studies, but only two are listed below] - 0885. Kentucky State University. Lee. C.J.: Panemangalore. M. "Obesity Among Selected Elderly Females In Central Kentucky." FUNDING: USDA 0942. University of Louisville. Belknap Campus School of Medicine.Satmford, B.A.; Matter, S.; Fell, R.D., et al. "Cigarette Smoking, Exercise and High Density LipoproteinCholesterol"  FUNDING: American Heart Association."

- " ...all smokers had less plaque, gingival inflammation and tooth mobility than nonsmokers and similar periodontal pocket depth." - Veterans Administration, Outpatient Clinic (Boston). Chauncey. H.H,; Kapur, K.K.; Feldmar, R S. "TheLongitudinal and Cross-Sectional Study of Oral Health: in Healthy Veterans (Dental Longitudinal Study)

- "Smokers have lower incidence of postoperative deep vein thrombosis than nonsmokers." - Guy's Hospital Medical School (England). Jones, R.M. "Influence of Smoking on Peri-Operative Morbidity."Hypertension (High blood pressure) is less common among smokers.

- "Hypertension prevalence rate among smokers was 3.94 percent; among nonsmokers the rate was 4.90 percent." - 0146. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. Chen, H.Z.; Pan, X.W.; Guo, G. et al. "Relation Between Cigarette Smoking and Epidemiology of Hypertension.

- "Hypertension and postpartum hemorrhage were lower in smokers."
0045. University of Tasmania (Australia). Correy, J.; Newman, N. Curran, J. "An Assessment of Smoking in Pregnancy."

- "RBCs [red blood cells] from cigarette smokers contain more glutathione and catalase and protect lung endothelial cells against O2 [dioxide] metabolites better than RBCs from nonsmokers." - 0759. University of Colorado. Refine, J.E.; Berger, E.M.; Beehler, C.J. et al. "Role of RBC Antioxidants in Cigarette Smoke Related Diseases." Jan 1980 - continuing. (A number of studies in the 1991 CDC bibliography describe the apparent protective effect of smoking with regard to mouth ulcers).

 I had no idea all of these health benefits could be attributed to smoking tobacco. All I ever knew from school, the Tell-A-Vision and the endless Public Service Announcements, billboards and magazine ads was the idea that smoking kills was an indisputable fact. But even if tobacco and/or nicotine may in fact be a beneficial substance in treating or protecting us from these various diseases doesn't account for a paradox.

Given the state of how Science is used and abused to make whatever case THEY want to make to scare we the sheeple into certain behaviors and modalities of thinking, I find these citations of numerous studies the world over that make the case that smoking may actually be good for you is not as shocking nor surprising as I once would have.