Sugar is a drug – don’t you know it?

From the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles times reports that “The first step in curing a sugar or fat addiction is, like with any addiction, realize you have it,” said Morley. “This is difficult because we don’t generally think of food as being biologically addictive like a drug, but it can be.”
– – – read the full story

Considering how few include alcohol in their thinking on dangerous drugs, it is, perhaps, not surprising that almost no one includes sugar (the precursor of alcohol). So I am heartened to see this mainstream US newspaper taking up the story. I touch upon it in this paragraph from The Drugs Problem  – chapter 27

“Drugs are an integral part of our culture and, as we learned in school, they made up the core of the early international business that brought the world’s differing cultures into trade with each other. Those products of trade included tobacco, alcohol, opium, tea, coffee, chocolate, cocaine, and sugar. Tea was such a costly drug in the pre-revolutionary US that users would season and eat the dried leaves after drinking the strong tea. Prior to the discovery of sugar cane, the sweeten­ing for Europe had been expensive honey; the intense sugar hit was once a luxury drug. Today, we are made addicts from childhood, with many seeing it as a child’s inalienable right to consume large quantities of sugary things. Yet it is clear that the effects of sugar consumption are more damaging than many illegal drugs, and that for many, sugar is a harder drug to kick.” (get the full ebook online for the price of a cup of herbal tea)

Mexico Bans GMO Corn, Effective Immediately

Just when you think there’s no winning against the biotech industry, news out of Mexico City shows that all is not lost. After years of deliberation, a Mexico judge has placed an indefinite ban on genetically-engineered corn. Effective immediately, companies like Monsanto and DuPont/Pioneer will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.
…read more

a few words on GMO’s from The State Is Out Of Date

“Genetically modified foods are made possible by the state; each product on sale has been officially approved by the government, who thereby assume the responsibility for any downstream consequences that may arise. As Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, concisely put it: ‘Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.’ (New York Times, October 25, 1998).”

What is wrong with our culture? Alan Watts

Alan Watts saw where our culture was headed many years ago, expressing it well in this rich and comprehensive five minute video. He sums up the journey with a point that I have always thought baffling, and  somewhat sinister. I had a few words to say about it in The State Is Out Of Date.

Chapter 17 extract:

“Sex, our primary means of producing children, is another arena in which the state thinks it necessary to protect us from ourselves. Whether in print, film, the market, or the bedrooms of consenting adults, sex is regulated the world over by laws deemed to be for our own good. Many authors have been jailed and censured for writing about the joys of the basic natural mechanism that ensures the survival of our species. A similar fate has met publishers, filmmakers, and performers seeking to include sex in their subject matter.  Conversely, those human acts that damage our species can be freely written about, or portrayed in print or films that graphically depict murder, injury, and destruction. What is so wrong with sex, that the depiction of it in print or film must be so controlled by law? Is it not curious that “sex and violence” are so often joined together when people are in a condemning mood, considering the opposite ends of the spectrum at which they exist? One creates life and the other destroys it.”

Non-food crops could feed 4 billion.

The story at SciDevNet

“Global calorie availability could be increased by as much as 70 per cent — feeding an additional 4 billion people — by shifting cropland use to produce food for humans rather than livestock feed and biofuels, according to new research.”

Meat of the Issue, chapter 26:

“Without the range of subsidies that come straight from our (vegetarian and carnivorous) pockets anyway, the price of animal products and meat would rise to a price reflecting the real cost of production, substantially increasing the price. Meat consumption would reduce to the level of an occasional foodstuff rather than being the mainstay of many diets. That primary position(of meat in our diet) was attained but a few generations ago due to state support, does not prevail in most of the world today, and never can without the accompaniment of widespread hunger, as other mammals feed at our own primary food source. This is further aggravated by today’s strange practice of growing food for cars rather than people, with biofuel production now taking up millions of hectares worldwide and consuming 40 percent of the North American corn harvest. How can anyone have the nerve to suggest that there is not enough land to feed the planet sustainably when they can still find the space to grow food for automobiles?”

News thoughts – it’s weird out there

Did you ever realize that the one-child policy that China has been strictly enforcing for the last 35 years means that the current generation has grown up without brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins?  When their parents die, there will be no relatives at the funeral.

Venezuela has been suffering from a severe shortage of toilet paper. Public upset turned to rage when a senior government official declared that the problem was people eating too much.  This comes at a time when Venezuelans are also suffering a shortage of many staple foods. That’s government for you!

America is publicly puzzled over the surge in suicides, up 30% in the last decade within the 35-64 age group (two thirds of the 85 gun-deaths per day in the US are suicides). I’ve read many of the mainstream stories and they all seem to be missing the elephant in the room: Most Americans over 30 are on medication, and the most commonly prescribed medications are anti-depressants.

It’s kicking off big-time in Turkey just now. It was triggered by a local tree-protecting incident but exploded into discontent over the increasingly authoritarian state. The Islamic party in power promised to be secular, but people doubt this after it mandated which shade of red is acceptable for airline hostesses, and required that images of glasses or bottled of alcohol be blurred out on TV or movies. Inside story here:  from Turkey.
Turn your wheelchair into an earner! Wealthy Americans now bring a special aid when visiting crowded Disney World. They rent out a cripple at the going rate of $130 an hour and thus their party jumps all the queues. As a wheelchair user myself, I rarely use the “C” word, but this abuse of a thoughtful privilege makes me fume.
The current benefits system in the UK has 51 different categories of payment, accompanied by 10,000 pages explaining how to use them. I wonder (not really) how effectively the new trimmed down and fully computerized system will fare.

Murdoch madness…who gives a damn?

This whole Murdoch business is such a trivial drama. Sure, he’s an excellent candidate for thMurdocke “Most Hated Magnate” prize but should we really give a flying fu*k about phone hacking by newspapers? It’s primarily prompted by OUR insatiable appetite for bullshit, whether it’s about the private lives of personalities or that of famous victims like Millie, the murdered schoolgirl. And now it will stop (in the private sector, at least) and it hasn’t exactly scarred the progress of civilization. Nice to see the Murdochs sweating though, it must be said.

Meanwhile: The baseless concocted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan proceed with little public or media concern beyond reporting every death of ‘one of ours.’ The Afghans had nothing to do with the Twin Towers and Saddam Hussein was an enemy of Al-Qaeda. Recent calculation show that drone strikes in Pakistan kill over 100 civilians for every targeted Drone
combatant. In WWI one civilian died for every ten soldiers. In WWII it was one to one. Vietnam was seven to three. In Iraq it is ten of us killed for every one soldier. This is not good. And why is it that targeted domestic homes are always called “compounds?” Depleted uranium weapons are at use in Libya, as they were in Iraq, where the consequence is a 10-15 fold increase in birth defects and a growing cancer rate from soil that will remain contaminated for over 100,000 years. Occupying an entire nation on false premises represents quite a high level of bad behaviour. European and American economies are imploding as a result of borrowing by states that stake our future productivity as collateral against the loans. US Debt is 15 trillion dollars. Amongst much else, that borrowing provides funds for fighting unnecessary wars in foreign countries.Thousand of us are dying every year as a result of continued inclusion of trans fats (hydrogenated oils) in our foodstuffs. It is acknowledged that there is no safe dose of these dangerous additives but they are still legally in use, and widely.

Three nuclear reactors are in an uncontained meltdown in Japan, continuing tFukuo release radioactive materials into the environment. They may stop the releases in ten years or so, maybe never. Much of northern Japan will remain uninhabitable for generations. Many millions throughout the world will suffer cancer for generations to come as a result of this catastrophe.

We are being denied the right to take responsibility for our own health by the suppression of our right to freely choose what route we take to healing.

The American Contradiction – perfectly depressed

Perhaps it is common knowledge, but I was still surprised when I read, in the 29 Sept issue of New Scientist, that antidepressants are the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the USA. Considering that American spends more money by far on pharmaceutical dPaxiLexaProzacrugs than any other nation on Earth, this adds up to one hell of a lot of antidepressants. This is the real drug war the one that America lost decades ago. Whilst they hysterically seek to stamp out the smoking of herbs and psychedelic drug use, vast numbers of the population have drifted into long-term addiction to mind-altering drugs known to have damaging side effects associated with long-term use.

This just raises so many questions I don’t know where to start. For a start, I wonder what the implication are for the rest of the world, aside from the obvious disadvantage of having so much weaponry in the hands of such unhappy people? America has always set the bar for living standards throughout the world. They may not have had the best food or the finest clothes or the most brilliant design, but they had the highest disposable income, the biggest houses, the most food, most cars and roads, the best movies, the most doctors and lawyers and so forth, holding themselves up as the shining zenith of freedom and liberty and hard work. And now we find that America is, it would appear, the most depressed nation on earth; with the unhappiest people on the planet. I bet the people who run those pharmaceutical companies are not the least bit depressed about this state of affairs.

Meanwhile, it increasingly seems as if the “American Model” is that to which all nations of the world aspire. Worldwide dispersal of television has created a global desire for the American way of life, with access to clean water and plumbing, power and appliances, health care and medication, education and employment, transportation and housing, communications and computers, all now regarded as the natural birthright of anybody lucky enough to have been born a human being. We have only to go back a few generations to find few of these assumptions existing in a society that was perhaps, less depressed. Whilst I am not suggesting that any of these facilities create depression, it is quite obvious that they are not, of themselves, raising the enjoyment level of our existence. And we increasingly suspect that growing implementation of all the above is stretching our planet’s facilities past breaking point.

And if we should choose to do without all of the above, to live a simple life in harmony with the planet that hosts us, we would probably end up in jail, as I put forward in the chapter titled “Birthright Denied” in my first book, Uncommon Sense, the State is Out of Date.