Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Whom do you trust?

The debate on whether or not vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary is really a debate about trust. Their safety is touted by governments, scientists, doctors, and, most of all, the companies that manufacture them. On the other hand, more and more doctors and scientists are speaking out against their safety, efficacy, and necessity. So whom do you trust? While those who speak out against vaccines have little or nothing to gain from that stance, those on the other side have much to profit from. Here are some important questions that I feel should be answered by individuals before deciding whether or not to inject themselves and/or their children with these chemical cocktails:

1) Do you trust a company like Merck, when lawyers prove in court that they sold a painkiller for years, knowing full well that their own researchers had concerns regarding it’s safety?

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market in September 2004, after a clinical trial proved that it increased the risks of heart attacks and strokes. But internal company documents showed that Merck’s scientists were concerned about the risks of Vioxx several years earlier. And a large clinical trial that ended in 2000 also showed that Vioxx was much riskier than naproxen, an older painkiller sold under the name Aleve.

(source)

2) Do you trust this company, knowing that they’ve spent $1.2 billion defending the drug they knew had potentially lethal side effects?

3) Do you trust this company, knowing that they spent $5.17 billion last year to advertise the safety and efficacy of their products?

Direct to consumer ad expenditure for US prescription pharmaceuticals came close to record levels in 2015, according to estimates from Nielsen, reported by industry blog DTC Perspectives. Total spend reached $5.17bn last year, capping three years of gains since 2012’s low of $3.4bn.

(source)

4) Do you trust this company, knowing that they manufacture (and advertise and safety and efficacy of) this list of vaccines?:

– COMVAX® [Haemophilus b Conjugate (Meningococcal Protein Conjugate) and Hepatitis B (Recombinant) Vaccine]

– GARDASIL®9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant)

– GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant]

– M-M-R®II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)

– PedvaxHIB® [Haemophilus b Conjugate Vaccine (Meningococcal Protein Conjugate)]

– PNEUMOVAX®23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent)

– ProQuad® (Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella Virus
Vaccine Live)

– RECOMBIVAX HB® [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant)]

– RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent)VAQTA® (Hepatitis A Vaccine, Inactivated)

– VARIVAX® (Varicella Virus Vaccine Live)

– ZOSTAVAX® (Zoster Vaccine Live)

(source)

5) Do you trust the company that manufacturers and promotes a vaccine that causes such widespread and serious side effects that it has been removed from other countries’ vaccination recommendations due to concerns of it’s safety?

Around 2,000 reported side effects after using Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine have determined Japanese government officials to withdraw Gardasil from the market in 2013, despite the vaccine being highly promoted in the United States and now approved by the European Union.

“Japanese health officials have recorded nearly 2,000 adverse reactions – hundreds of them serious,” reported Judicial Watch, the Washington-based corruption watchdog that has been monitoring the effects – and health costs – of the drug’s use in the United States for years.

“The alarming reports have led Japan’s government to take action, suspending recommendation for the controversial vaccine which is billed as a miracle shot that can prevent certain strains of cervical cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV).”

“The U.S. government has taken the opposite approach amid equally alarming cases of serious side effects. Not only does the Obama administration continue recommending the vaccine (Gardasil), it spends large sums of taxpayer dollars promoting it and works hard to keep details involving its dangers secret.”

The side effects of using Gardasil include seizures, brain damage, blindness, paralysis, speech problems, pancreatitis and short-term memory loss, while other patients have died after taking the vaccine.

(source)

6) Do you trust this same company that released a “hit list” of doctors who criticized the drug (Vioxx) which they knew had serious side effects, in order to discredit them?

Merck made a “hit list” of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors’ names with the labels “neutralise,” “neutralised” or “discredit” next to them.

According to The Australian, Merck emails from 1999 showed company execs complaining about doctors who disliked using Vioxx. One email said:
“We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live …”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer gave this assessment:
“It gives you the dark side of the use of key opinion leaders and thought leaders … if (they) say things you don’t like to hear, you have to neutralise them … It does suggest a certain culture within the organisation about how to deal with your opponents and those who disagree with you.”

(source)

7) Do you really think this company would do any different for doctors or scientists who dare to speak out against the safety, efficacy, or necessity of the long list of vaccinations they profit from?

8) Finally, do you trust the government officials who are responsible for the list of mandated vaccinations, who also financially profit from the very companies who manufacture those vaccines?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a group of individuals hand-picked by members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends which vaccines are administered to American children. Working mainly in secret, ACIP members frequently have financial links to vaccine manufacturers. Dependent on federal CDC funding, administrators of state vaccination programs follow CDC directives by influencing state legislators to mandate new vaccines. Federal vaccine funds can be denied to states that do not “vigorously enforce” mandatory vaccination laws.
Conversely, the CDC offers financial bounties to state departments of health for each “fully vaccinated” child. In a recent year, the Ohio Department of Health received $1 million in such CDC bonus payments.
At CDC national immunization conferences, Merck and other vaccine manufacturers wine and dine thousands of attendees who make their living promoting and administering vaccines.

Are physicians beholden?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a major supporter of mandatory chicken pox and other vaccine mandates across the country, shares incestuous financial ties with Merck. When constructing its new headquarters in suburban Chicago, the AAP solicited funds from Merck, and received $100,000 for its building campaign.
Vaccines represent an economic boon for pediatricians. Profitable well-baby visits are timed to coincide with vaccination schedules established by the AAP and the CDC.

(source)

I think that these are valid questions that deserve consideration, before we allow our government to take away our right to choose whom to trust.

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The Truth About Cancer

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If you want to learn the truth about cancer that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know, I highly recommend this FREE documentary series, which will be available to watch on April 12. Here’s a brief description from the website:

When this documentary series first aired (to limited release) in 2015, it took the Internet by storm, with hundreds of thousands of views and shares within days.

Quite literally, this documentary series has already saved many lives.

Each episode is packed full of new and amazing information, survivor stories and much more in our pursuit to find a cure and eradicate cancer… once and for all.

And though it features interviews with many of today’s leading cancer experts – including M.D.s, scientists, and more – the mainstream media refused to air it. (HINT: Pharmaceutical companies are one of mainstream media’s biggest sources of income.)

Now “The Truth About Cancer” is about to release the complete series again… worldwide. And when you enter your name and best email and submit, you’ll be on the exclusive list to see it all first, 100% FREE.

So don’t wait another second, register right now… You’ll be amazed at what you discover.

You can sign up to gain FREE access to this documentary here!

To learn more about The Truth About Cancer, visit their website here. Here’s a brief description of their purpose:

ABOUT US
Let’s end the cancer pandemic once and for all! Every single day, tens of thousands of people, just like you, are curing cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies.

It’s time to take matters into our own hands and educate ourselves on real prevention and treatments. It could save your life or someone you love. Doctors, researchers, experts and survivors show you exactly “how-to” prevent and treat cancer in “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest.”

(I am being compensated for promoting this FREE documentary series. However, I would never promote something I didn’t fully support!)

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Disconnect to Reconnect

It’s pretty common knowledge that rats will choose to use cocaine addictively in a laboratory setting, if given unlimited access to it. But did you know that rats who are placed in a fun, engaging, social, mentally-stimulating environment will not partake in the cocaine in an addictive manner? Researchers have realized that the rats in the community environment don’t feel the need to use cocaine excessively. It’s only when in isolation that the rats choose the cocaine. Because why not? What else have they got to do with their time?

The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was — at the same time as the Rat Park experiment — a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

I theorize that all addiction is the same thing… lack of connection. I have no trouble staying off Facebook when I’m out and about, visiting with friends or family, running errands, etc. It’s when I’m feeling lonely, isolated, faced with either cleaning my house (again) or scrolling through my news feed that I just can’t seem to resist.

Until not that long ago, humans interacted tangibly with each other daily. And not with just members of one’s family or extended family, but with members of the greater community at large. The lack of connection we as a species are experiencing is likely a driving force behind increases in everything from crime to mental/physical health problems to parenting struggles. (For a great read on the adverse effects the decline of the community on child development, and why this happened, read this article by Peter Gray, Ph.D.)

Loving, caring physical touch has been known to lower stress levels so significantly that wounds even heal faster. I would posit that just being in the presence of happy individuals improves one’s mood. Which is why churches are so successful… they meet several times a week, sing uplifting songs, hug everyone, and talk about things like loving your neighbor. Why wouldn’t people like to go there? And how better to get people to donate money to you than to give them happy feelings? Not that all churches are taking advantage of this, but some definitely are. What we need are communities like churches, without the hell and damnation, without the silly recitations and expectation of belief in a deity; but with all the things like visiting the sick and elderly, free child care, potlucks, food pantries, love and concern for all.

The question is, how do we get people to see that Facebook isn’t real connection? Beyond that, how do we get people to see that they know more about their favorite sitcom family than their friends’ families… and what a tragedy that is? This disconnection is so pervasive, it might take a huge jolt to wake everyone up to it.

I think we all know, deep down, that connection is what we need. It’s why we’re so quick to click that tantalizing button: “Connect with me on ______.” (Fill in the blank.)

So what’s it going to take to end the disconnection, once and for all?

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How scared should we be?

I value knowledge. I don’t appreciate fear-mongering memes that attempt to make people believe that they are at risk of something terrible, without providing any evidence to back up this claim. When I see memes like this one (I won’t call it an infographic, because it’s not), I feel compelled to do the research necessary to support or refute the claims made:

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The text accompanying this meme states:

Be careful with those little baby joints… Pediatricians who volunteer time in responding to questions for peaceful parenting have let us know that ‘swinging’ by well meaning adults is one of the most common ways for babies and children to suffer from dislocated joints and joint problems. Babies and children should not be swung, lifted or picked up by their arms.

(peaceful parenting on Facebook)

This type of elbow dislocation is called “nursemaid’s elbow”, because it was often seen in children being yanked about by their nursemaid (a.k.a. nanny).
(source)

The elbow has a ligament called the annular ligament. Its job is to keep the two bones in your forearm in the correct position around the elbow. When a child’s arm is pulled, the bone around the elbow can slip out of position. This most often occurs in children ages one to four. As you age the ligament strengthens making it less likely for the bone to slip out of place.

(source)

Here is what I found, after wading through similar scare tactics on popular health information websites:

The most common cause of nursemaid’s elbow is being grabbed or jerked by the arm, especially if these are done violently.

(source)

There is a slight risk of this occurring due to swinging your child by the wrists. However, the only source of information regarding the cause of this particular dislocation is most likely the person who perpetrated the injury. How many parents or caretakers claim they were swinging the child in play, when they actually yanked the child out of frustration or anger? At any rate, the risk is negligible.

The largest study of it’s kind found that, at one hospital, out of 240,000 pediatric patients (30,000 patients per year over the course of 8 years), 1,228 children presented with a dislocated elbow. That’s .5% of patients, for anyone interested in the actual prevalence of this occurring. Also, this study found a correlation between the child’s weight and the dislocations. The authors posit that childhood obesity increases the risk of this injury occurring. 27% of the children in the study were over the 95th percentile for weight. The study can be found here.

I like risk assessment. I like statistics. I like informed choices. Given the incredibly small chance of elbow dislocation during innocuous playful interaction with my children via swinging or other physical play, I think I’ll take my chances.

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Will the UK legalize cannabis before America?

The jolly good UK will have a debate on the legalization of cannabis tomorrow. In an article on the Mirror, Paul Flynn (leader of the debate) has stated:

Cannabis should be as legal as cigarettes because the war on drugs is a ‘disaster’,…

Furthermore, he stated that:

…the drug is harmful but claims the world ‘has recognised the futility, waste and cruelty of prohibition’ in parts of the U.S. and Portugal.

He goes on to say:

“We waste billions on arresting and imprisoning cannabis users for a taking a substance that is less harmful than alcohol.”

Flynn’s reference to Portugal is, of course, it’s decision to decriminalize small amounts of drugs for “personal use” back in 2001.

Fourteen years after decriminalization, Portugal has not been run into the ground by a nation of drug addicts. In fact, by many measures, it’s doing far better than it was before.

As you can see from this chart, drug-induced deaths have sharply declined:

So why haven’t more countries followed suit? Well, partially because they’ve been waiting to see what transpires in Portugal, I’m sure. More likely, though, they simply haven’t figured out a surefire method of maintaining their control over a population that might very well lose it’s dependency upon the vast array of pharmaceuticals they currently ingest.

Overall, Americans use more medicines than people in other developed countries. They rank first for their use of antipsychotics as well as drugs for dementia, respiratory problems and rheumatoid arthritis.

Not surprisingly, cannabis can be used to treat most of the same conditions. The complete list of conditions that could be treated with cannabis might surprise you. The most notable one being cancer, of many different types. Imagine the trillions of dollars that Big Pharma would lose in the treatment of cancer alone! Now ask yourself again…why is it that cannabis is illegal?

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The Disempowerment of Women

The disempowerment of women has a long, sordid history; but women were not always seen as the “weaker sex”. In fact, until fairly recently in the scope of human history, men and women were generally considered equals.

A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes men and women tend to hold equal standing and influence, suggesting that sexual equality was the norm for humans throughout most of our evolutionary history.
Mark Dyble, the leading anthropologist on the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”

(source)

I believe that, while the superior physical strength of men may have enabled them to dominate women, it was the advent of religion that brought with it the most power to control.

“Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being. For the Jews, Mohammedans and Christians among others, man is master by divine right; the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female.”

-Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex 1949

(source)

Women were figuratively and literally silenced by the rise of the Christian Church. One of many verses in the Bible that condemn women to silence states:

“Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

(I Timothy 2:11-14)

Women were not allowed to have roles in the church, thereby giving them no voice in regulations which the Church imposed. This gave the Church (and in effect, men) free reign to oppress women, especially those who dared to “disobey” them. Once they had taken the women’s right to be heard, deeming them inherently evil and unintelligent, they began to strip away the very essence of being a woman, not only claiming it to be “immoral”, but even illegal. 

One such example is that of the admonition of “witchcraft”. People, especially women, who practiced any sort of healing, herbology, and even midwifery, were viewed as heretics, witches, and were looked upon as “going against God”. As early as 975 CE, there was a punishment on record for such women:

The English Confessional of Egbert said, in part: “If a woman works witchcraft and enchantment and [uses] magical philters, she shall fast for twelve months…If she kills anyone by her philters, she shall fast for seven years.” Fasting, in this case, involved consuming only bread and water.

(source)

Then came the the more popularly-known torture and execution of said “witches”.

1326: The Church authorized the Inquisition to investigate Witchcraft and to develop “demonology.” This is the theory of the diabolic origin of Witchcraft.

1330: The popular concept of Witches as evil sorcerers is expanded to include belief that they swore allegiance to Satan, had sexual relations with the Devil, kidnapped and ate children, etc. Some religious conservatives still believe this today.

(source)

We aren’t talking about women in pointy hats standing over bubbling cauldrons here. We’re talking about normal, everyday women. Mothers and grandmothers, taught by the women who came before them how to cultivate and administer herbs to heal their sick relatives. This invaluable knowledge saved countless lives, far more than it killed. There has been a resurgence of interest in herbalism in recent years; but sadly, much of the knowledge that we once held was incinerated in the fires of Salem and the like. Not to mention, herbalism is still viewed as “dangerous” and “irresponsible” by the vast majority of society.

With the demonizing of women’s innate ability and knowledge to heal, the Church stole away a big chunk of the value of being a woman. Women are supposed to care for their families, emotionally and physically. It’s in our nature to nurture. But now, they were not only forced to submit to their fathers, husbands, governments, and churches, but also to men of science and medicine, thus relinquishing a large part of their feminine identity.

Next came the assault on traditional birth. We can agree that knowing the importance of hand washing, drinking clean water, not washing dirty diapers in wells, and properly disposing of trash and sewage were important discoveries. However, giving birth at home is perfectly safe with basic rules of sanitation in place. In fact, it’s now suggested that it may be safer for women who have previously had an uncomplicated delivery than giving birth in a hospital. (article and research)

By 1800, in America, most wealthy women were turning to doctors, rather than midwives, to care for them during childbirth. The common belief being perpetuated was that midwives were untrained and unintelligent, and therefore inferior to the newly trained obstetricians of the time. This is the same mentality as the persecution of “witches”.

By 1900, less than 5% of births occurred in hospitals, but half or more of births were attended by doctors rather than midwives.

After 1900, most women were attracted to hospitals because hospitals could offer painless birth not available in homebirths.

1914: Twilight sleep was introduced into the United States. Upper-class women formed “Twilight Sleep Societies.” Obstetric anesthesia became a symbol of the progress possible through medicine.

(source)

Twilight sleep…is an amnesic condition characterized by insensibility to pain without loss of consciousness, induced by an injection of morphine and scopolamine,[3] especially to relieve the pain of childbirth. This combination induces a semi-narcotic[4] state which produces the experience of childbirth without pain, or without the memory of pain.[3]

(source)

Remember, ever since Victorian times, women were viewed as weak, frail beings who could not handle pain, hard work, or the like. Obviously, this only applied to the upper class, but those with money are the ones with power. They control the media, they sway public opinion. Everyone wants to be like them because they are so powerful. As maternity wards became more prevalent and affordable, coupled with popular belief that midwives were incapable and indecent, deliveries in hospitals began to soar.

Enter Dr. Joseph DeLee.

1915: The Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality published a paper in which Dr. Joseph DeLee described childbirth as a pathologic process. He believed that childbirth was not a normal function and that midwives had no place in childbirth.

(source)

Dr. DeLee’s name is one of the most well-known in the field of obstetrics. He defined “professionalism” for many decades by his theory that childbirth was itself a pathologic state, about as “normal” for the mother as “falling on a pitch fork”. He insisted that the baby was inevitably damaged by being used as a “battering ram” against the mother’s “iron” perineum. These philosophies elevated the routine use of episiotomy and forceps as a crucial adjunct to “good” obstetrics and are still influential today. He also invented obstetrical forceps that bear his name and the DeLee mucus trap, used the world around to prevent meconium aspiration in newborns.

… he acknowledged the deplorable circumstances of obstetrical education and admitted that more mothers died at the hands of physicians than midwives.

(source)

At this point, women had been subjugated to their fathers, husbands, government, religion, doctors, and hospitals. They had been led to believe that they were incapable of decision-making, self-control, education, healing, and if that wasn’t enough, they were now told that giving birth was unnatural and that it was rare for the delivery to be uncomplicated. Soon, not just the birth event was micromanaged, but the entire pregnancy. Women couldn’t seem to do anything without the help of men, not even something so instinctive as giving birth (something that can actually be accomplished with absolutely no outside assistance or knowledge, by the way). But if you thought that was the last straw in the affront on women’s abilities, you are sorely mistaken. The one thing that women had left was their ability to nourish their babies from their breast, right? Wrong.

With the invention of the modern feeding bottle and nipple, the availability of animal’s milk, and the change in society’s acceptance of wet nursing, artificial feeding became a popular choice. As a result, medicine began to focus on infant nutrition from an alternative milk source.

(source)

This was at about the turn of the 20th century, when most babies were only fed via wet nurse or bottle due to maternal death or inability to lactate. Although most upper class women had preferred a wet nurse for centuries, due to concerns about “ruining their figure”, and the inability to wear fashionable clothing or participate in social activities expected of them.

The use of artificial feeding substances grew rapidly and was significantly influenced by advertising campaigns. This had a profound negative effect on breastfeeding trends, despite research that revealed many discrepancies between breastfed and artificially fed infants.

(source)

In 1885, John B. Myerling developed an unsweetened condensed milk, labeling it as “evaporated milk.” Myerling’s product was also a popular choice for infant feeding and was highly recommended by pediatricians from the 1930s to the 1940s.

(source)

As formulas evolved and research supported their efficacy, manufacturers began to advertise directly to physicians.

(source)

By the 1940s and 1950s, physicians and consumers regarded the use of formula as a well known, popular, and safe substitute for breastmilk.

(source)

In fact, after giving birth in hospitals, women were separated from their babies and only allowed to see them for a matter of minutes, approximately 6 times per day. (I apologize for not being able to find the source where I originally read this. If I find it later, I’ll edit it in here.) That is nowhere near the amount of time that newborns need to spend nursing. What happened was that the mother’s milk would dry up or not come in at all, therfore creating a “need” for formula where there shouldn’t be one. Remember, money is power, and there is a lot of money to be had in convincing women that they not only “need” prenatal care and hospital deliveries, but that they “need” formula and baby bottles. My grandmother told me that she was instructed by her doctor to stop nursing at 6 months and give her babies cow’s milk mixed with corn syrup instead.

So there you have it. By the mid-1950s, women viewed as weak, indecisive, wicked, unintelligent, and incapable of curing illness, giving birth, or nourishing babies without great help or guidance from men. And that brings us to greatest push toward equality since the time of the hunter-gatherer. I think that if we are to achieve social equality between the genders, we need to start by taking back the natural abilities of women. The ability to heal, and the ability to produce and sustain life. These are innately ours, as women. We can heal most ailments naturally, we can give birth naturally, we can breastfeed our babies (most times that women think they can’t, it’s because they lack experience and/or support of what “normal” breastfeeding is). Take back the realm of femininity and empower the next generation of women!

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It’s high time…

…we decriminalize the use of cannabis! (Pun intended.)

In all seriousness, the more we are allowed to know about cannabis, the more ridiculous it is that it’s still illegal in most places in America. The most recent study confirms this, once again:

…there is a surprising body of evidence about smoking pot that could be worth revisiting: marijuana has been found, in decades of pulmonary research, to be much safer to smoke than tobacco, and even has been linked to decreasing the risk of developing lung cancer.

…According to Dr. Donald Tashkin, professor emeritus of medicine at UCLA, who has studied the drug and its effects on lungs for over 30 years, the smoke content of pot is similar to that of tobacco, even when it comes to high concentrations of carcinogens in tar by-products. But despite that,…logical health concerns could be misplaced. “Through my studies, we failed to find any positive association,” he said, saying that instead, “the association would be negative, between lung cancer and the use of marijuana. The likelihood is, that despite the fact that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, we don’t see the same heightened risks of cancers that we see in tobacco.”

In fact, Tashkin said that marijuana’s anti-inflamatory and suppressant qualities significantly cut down the chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is the third leading cause of death in America, according to the American Lung Association. According to a 2013 study by Tashkin, “the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.”

You can read the article in it’s entirety here. (Emphasis in the quote was added by me.)

Not only is cannabis associated with a lower risk of lung cancer, but it’s extraordinarily safer than alcohol.

Recreational pot…is less dangerous than both alcohol and tobacco, scientists assert.

The safety of marijuana versus booze is not a new claim but, for the first time, researchers measured the potential harm of these drugs in a more quantitative way — that is, by comparing a lethal dose to how much of the substance is typically consumed socially.

Their findings showed the dangers of marijuana “may have been overestimated in the past”, while the risk of alcohol has been “commonly underestimated,” researchers said.

The report, published in Scientific Reports at the end of January, compared the potential of death from the typical, recreational use of 10 drugs: marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. Marijuana was, by far, found to be the safest, even when compared to alcohol and cigarettes….

Lead author Dirk Lachenmeier told NBC News the findings, “confirm earlier results of other study groups [but] with completely different methodology.” And while his results may not be surprising, “the absolute differences in riskiness between substances” was even higher than expected.

You can read the rest of that article here, and follow the links for further reference.

Does it even matter that death by cannabis overdose is virtually impossible?

According to one frequently cited study, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying.

On the other hand…

In 2010, overdoses were responsible for 38,329 deaths. Sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs. In the same year, a total of 25,692 persons died of alcohol-induced causes, including accidental poisoning and disease from dependent use.

You can read the article with those two quotes here. (Again, emphasis added by me.)

Doesn’t it seem a little backwards that cannabis is still illegal?? If you’re asking yourself that question, you’re in the majority of Americans now.

A majority of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to a new poll from CBS News — and it’s the highest percentage in support since the news organization began asking the question in 1979.

…CBS News released a poll showing 53 percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization.

Although that’s the highest amount of support for marijuana legalization CBS has ever polled, it isn’t the highest level of support ever found. And because survey methods can vary, it’s useful to look at a number of national polls to get a fuller picture of the issue.

…In 2013, Gallup found 58 percent of Americans supported legalizing marijuana — a 10-point surge from the year prior — but in 2014, the organization found a sharp drop in that support, to 51 percent. A report released last month by the Democratic-affiliated Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker found 61 percent of Americans in favor of legalization — some of the highest support for marijuana legalization to date. Earlier this year, General Social Survey, widely regarded as the most authoritative source when it comes to researching public opinion, found 52 percent of Americans in support of legalization.

If you would like to read the whole article, or follow the links provided, you can do so here.

Once again, it’s time politicians start listening to not only the majority of Americans, but scientists, as well. End the madness, legalize!

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You know you’re a nerd when…

…your idea of a fun Friday night consists of reading about panpsychism at the suggestion of your husband.

Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world which exists throughout the universe.

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I’m a Dirty Hippie

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Even after a good scrubbing, I have dirt ingrained into my fingers and under my nails. But that’s OK. It’s evidence that earlier, I pulled a bunch of weeds out of my rock driveway, rather than saturate the Earth with more chemicals that are poisoning all living things. I was bra-less, shoe-less, and glove-less. I was at one with the Earth. My babies played happily in the grass with a hose, also barefoot, and got beautifully muddy while we soaked up the sun. Then, we fawned over our rapidly growing organic veggies and fruit and gave everything a good soak. If this is what it means to be a dirty hippie, I fully embrace that term!

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Dyslexia and Me

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https://www.distractify.com/dyslexia-is-no-joke-1197927201.html?ts_pid=2

Dyslexia is something that not many people unaffected by it can fully comprehend. This picture is an example of the alphabet, as seen by Dan Britton. You can read more about it in the link above, here’s an excerpt:

Diagnosed with dyslexia in his third year of college, London designer Dan Britton wanted to show exactly what printed words look like to him and others who live with the disorder.

I have never been diagnosed with dyslexia, but I know I have it. Most people think it’s just mixing up left and right or reading letters backwards, but it’s so much more than that! Here is a complete list of behavioral differences experienced by dyslexics:
http://www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms.htm

And then there are the multiple levels ofdifficulties reading:
http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/sas/Student%20Wellbeing/disability/support_info_staff/learning_difficulties/Pages/dyslexic_student_reading_difficulties.aspx

Here’s some of my personal experience, so you have a better idea of what it’s like. When I read, if I read something incorrectly, it’s because my brain literally flipped a letter backwards, which makes certain letters become a different similar letter (b to d is a really confusing one); or my brain actually read the letter as a different letter altogether (“shave” could become “slave”). Often, letters get switched around within the word, to create a new word with the same letters (“salt” could become “slat”). For example, I remember that one of the first times I read the word “gnu” in a sentence, it made absolutely no sense to me. I read it multiple times, getting more and more frustrated. Finally, I realized that the word was “gnu”…I had been reading it as “gun”. The other thing that happens often is that words from one line above or below the one in reading will appear in the midst of the sentence I’m currently reading. That make it really confusing because I have to go back a few lines or sentences to realize what I did wrong. Add to all this the confusion between directions (left and right, up and down, etc.) and the other behavioral differences, and it’s no wonder “regular” people call dyslexia a disability! I don’t see it as such, though. Far from it! There are so many positive things about being dyslexic. Here’s a great list:
http://cancercrushingfacts.org/9-things-dyslexics-are-good-at/

The one that stands out to me most is this:

Dyslexics tend to think in pictures rather than words. Research at the University of California has demonstrated children who are dyslexic have enhanced picture recognition memory.

My husband thinks is odd that I imagine every concept as a picture, but I think it’s one of the reasons I’m so creative artistically! I wouldn’t cure my dyslexia even if I could. This world would be boring if everyone thought the same way about everything.

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