Monday, April 21, 2014

In The US, It's Good-by To Democracy

A new study conducted jointly by  Princeton and Northwestern universities concludes that the United States is no longer a democracy.  The studies authors say the country fits the definition of an oligarchy instead -- a state where a small group of people have control over a country.  They bases this assessment on the fact of a small number of  business elites now have over-wielding influence on government functions.  The most recent extension of the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend an unlimited amount of funds on campaigns, worsens this trend.

So even though we have the appearance of free elections, the outcome is heavily influenced by large spenders.  Since running a campaign has become and an expensive ordeal, dependency on these large sponsors has become a necessity for any politician to get elected, giving corporations enormous power.

What's more, even after individual candidates are elected to office, elected officials tend to bow to corporate lobbyist interests.  We've especially seen this in the regulatory agencies such as the EPA, FDA, or financial watchdogs . . .  The corporations being "regulated" often write the regulatory laws and dictate what goes on.

Business elite also dictate what the government spends money on.  Washington has become a place where politicians will pass a prison bill, or a military spending bill, not because it's needed, but because politicians need support from the beneficiary of that bill come the next election period.

The above is just something interesting we thought everyone should know about.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marijuana Induced Hallucinations Leads To Murder

A Colorado man using legal marijuana was arrested for killing his wife while she was on the phone with police.  The woman had called 15 minutes earlier to say that she believed her husband was hallucinating after eating marijuana candy.  She was shot in the head just before police arrived.

The police in this case are receiving flack for not prioritizing this call and responding sooner, since had they arrived just a little bit sooner this incident could have been prevented.  But it's also a case that illustrates that "soft" drugs like marijuana aren't as harmless as people think they are. 

He was on other medications at the time, and it is possible that the THC interacted poorly, but many people also hallucinate from, weed alone. The week before this incident, a college student ate more of a marijuana cookie than was recommended, began behaving erratically, and ended up jumping from a motel room balcony to his death.  Though not an advocated for prohibition (it never works and usually creates more problems than it solves) we also want to remind people that ALL drugs (even pot) create numerous family and social problems, and should never be considered as a safe "high."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nine-Month-Old Baby Accuesed of Attempted Murder

In Pakistan local officials recently came under scrutiny for charging a nine month old baby with attempted murder.  It seems to stem from an incident where his family was accused of throwing stones at police and gas company workers who had come to collect money.

Reporters said that the "defendant" seemed "agitated and confused" and cried at his first hearing, but that at his second hearing seemed more subdued and did not cry despite all the cameras and attention.  (We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.)

The judge did end up throwing out the case against the baby, siting Pakistani law which doesn't allow children under seven to be charged with crimes, and stern action was taken against the investigating officer.  The rest of his family, however, remains in legal trouble.

Visit our website for helpful child safety information.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Diminishing School Violence

Buckminster Fuller once said something to the effect of 'we won't be able to operate this planet much longer in the divisive way we've been doing it.  It has to be everybody or nobody.'  Nowhere is this principle quite as evident as when it comes to mass violence.  As we endure yet another school incident (this time a mass stabbing), we should all take time to consider these words.  In these attacks, we see first hand just how much damage one marginalized individual can do.

Although each mass attacker emerges from their own unique circumstances, it inevitably comes out that they all share one trait: they are individuals who felt isolated, bullied, stigmatized, or alienated from society.

Instead of the usual debate on hoe to best fortify our schools, which is an exorcise in illusionary control, perhaps we should look at those we alienate and isolate people to begin with.  Because it's not just a few disillusioned souls out there.  For every mass attacker there are 10's of thousands of young people who feel so marginalized they've considered such a thing.  When these events occur, you are seeing the tip of the iceberg . . . just one person who boils over and snaps hails from a much larger pot that’s boiling.

This pot is boiling because our cultural psychology teaches divisiveness, exclusion, and the marginalization of those seen as odd or different.  Teens incorporate this same mentality into school culture.  It's time we start looking at ways to turn down the heat.  It won't cure all mass violence, but it will keep the pot from boiling over so often.

Check out this link to discover the causes of bullying.