Month: April 2006

Dental drilling dates back 9000 years

Imagine getting drilled sans novocaine or other aenesthetics. BBC News tells us that they’ve found drilled teeth that date back some 9000 years . Then the practice mysteriously stopped 1500 years later.

Interestingly enough, that coincides with the rise of the first religions. Even then fundamentalists tried to impede human progress. Nice of them.

Now if I could only get a glass ionomer filling that lasts more than 3-5 years I’d be happy.

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Even in 1953 we knew about Global Warming


Notice the date on this blurb – August 1953. That’s right, just shy of 53 years. We could have done something by now that would have pushed us away from the tipping point. But no, heaven forbid we stop burning 2 billion pounds of coal a year.

The Modern Mechanix blog is fun to read. It’s interesting to see how many things from the past made it to today.

71% Of Americans believe we cause Global Warming

We’ve been lied to for years. Global warming is a real and present danger, as the residents of New Orleans can attest to.

But now a recent survey of 1,200 people shows that an overwhelming percentage both believe that it is an issue, and that we can do something about it.

I am the ultimate when it comes to that. I recycle to the point of having a compost bag, I walk frequently or take public transit, cold water wash, heat down by several degrees if only because natural gas prices are freaking crazy, and I use 27W fluorescent bulbs wherever I can.

When I eventually move south and buy a home, I plan to put solar on as well as a wind turbine. I want to be as completely off the power grid as possible.

The New Robber Barons

Dr. Rost hits it out of the park. This dovetails nicely with the three books I recently received:

Regime Change Begins at Home by Charles Derber. I’m roughly half way through and note that corporate entities truly do want serfdom. But Derber outlines ways that we can take back control. After all, the New Deal policies were in force for nearly fifty years before the Republicans dismantled them for their corporate masters. But then, the neo-cons have only been in control for twenty five years and look what they’ve done. He considers them the a tipping regime. I dearly hope he’s right.

Then there’s Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy by Ted Nace

And finally, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century by Thomas L. Friedman.

I’ll let you all know how I like the other two when I read them.

Effects of Agent Orange Still An Issue in Vietnam

Agent Orange was sprayed over most of Vietname to defoliate it so that Viet Cong could be found and exterminated.

Typical of corporations of the time and the same could be said of corporations today, the effects of the dioxin in Agent Orange were probably known but never publicised. To do so would invite a host of lawsuits. And in the long run, American and South Koreans sued Dow and Monsanto and won.

But in Vietnam, no cleanup has been done and the people never compensated. The few examples of the toxins effect on children is heartbreaking. Spina Bifida is one of the more prevalent effects but the article mentions the four year old girl with only indentations instead of eyes, or the boy whose skull is so highly pointed and eyes bugging out that he just stares into space. I’m making a jump here in saying that dioxin appears to have some very severe neurological effects.

But now there’s hope that there will be some compensation as Vietnam seeks to join the WTO. Time will tell.

Of course you’ll never find a story like this in the U.S. mainstream but you can find it here.

Tell me again that Iraq isn’t turning to this generations Vietnam

Just read this article on Guardian Unlimited titled “If you look at them as humans, then how are you gonna kill them?”

First, I’m extermely displease with this perpetual state of warfare that’s been going on.

Secondly I’m very tired of people not being able to see the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. You only need look up the definition of quagmire to understand the best parallel there is.

But the thing that really iritates me is the blatant disregard for life. By that I mean both the lives of our soldiers, and the lives of the Iraqi people. In particular, the Iraqi’s lived under a brutal dictator for the better part of thirty years, and now we’re doing the exact same thing.

Problem is, in order for a military machine to be effective, you have to dehumanize the enemy. Referring to Iraqi’s as ‘hajii’s’ doesn’t help. It shows our ignorance – Iraq is more Persian than Arab. But then I suppose it’d be a bit more eyebrow raising if we were to cast them as ‘muslims’. Because that is the common binding element, and even at that you have the various sects like sunni, shia, wahabi, etc. How the hell do you tell the difference unless you’re an Islamic scholar. Most of it comes down to disagreements about dogma. Of course we in the U.S. have the very same thing going on with Christains – choose the sect that best fits your dogma. But our true motives for going into Iraq had nothing to do with WMD. Instead it had to do with PNAC but I’ve discussed that ad nauseum. If you don’t get it by now, you never will.

But what really makes my irate is the treatment of our guys. I know for example that both my male grandparents suffered from PTSD but never received treatment for it. But they were fighting what I consider to be a just war, even if they U.S. was dragged into it because Britain could never have defeated Germany without us. My father also suffers PTSD from his tim in Vietnam. Now imagine what’s going to happen when soldiers start returning from Iraq.

Just imagine what Mr. Shackleton is going through:
We are in a Mexican diner in Mississippi when Alan Shackleton, a quiet 24-year-old from Iowa, stuns the table into silence with a story of his own. He details how he and his comrades in Iraq suffered multiple casualties, including a close friend who died of his injuries. Then he pauses for a moment, swallows hard and says: “And I ran over a little kid and killed him … and that’s about it.” He has been suffering from severe insomnia, but later he tells us that he has only been able to see a counsellor once every six weeks and has been prescribed sleeping
pills.

Sleeping pills. That’s all he gets. Just look at how the Bush administration is trying to cut veterans services. It’s enough to make you sick. But the backlash will be felt by the citizens of the U.S., not our rulers.