Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lawrence Solomon: How Tesla’s Elon Musk became the master of fake business





 
 
You would not launch any of his businesses without a mountain of cash and government support.  Yet he has grabbed any such business likely to meet just those criteria.
 
 
He is a promoter and whether those deals work out is no matter and next?  I spent years working with the junior league.

These are all commercial adventures just as likely to flop.  His task is to make enough noise to provide cover for the money brokers .
 
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Lawrence Solomon: How Tesla’s Elon Musk became the master of fake business 

Musk’s genius is primarily in the subsidy-seeking realm. By 2015, U.S. governments alone had given his companies US$5 billion through direct grants, tax breaks, cut-rate loans, tax credits and rebates

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Lawrence Solomon


August 11, 2017
7:00 AM EDT


http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-how-teslas-elon-musk-became-the-master-of-fake-business/wcm/12e8fd62-b49d-40d1-90e4-03105e49a514 
 
The fastest-growing industries over the last two decades have been fake industries, those that thrive despite having few customers willing to buy their products except at fire-sale prices. The fake industries all have the same angel investors — governments — and the same promoter touting their wares — again governments. These fake industries, the brainchild of subsidy entrepreneurs, also tend to be dazzlers, the better to wow their politician backers and the stock market speculators betting on cash flows of government subsidies. Today’s fake-industry leader is Tesla, the electric car developed by subsidy entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also heads SolarCity and SpaceX, other government darlings. Musk’s genius is primarily in the subsidy-seeking realm — by 2015, U.S. governments alone had given his companies US$5 billion through direct grants, tax breaks, cut-rate loans, cashable environmental credits, tax credits and rebates to buyers of his products. Counting subsidies from Canada and Europe, the government bankroll could be double that. Counting indirect subsidies — such as electric-vehicle-friendly infrastructure — the subsidies soar ever higher. Speculators who bet on Musk’s ability to continue to get government backing have been well rewarded — Tesla’s stock value has skyrocketed, so much so that its market valuation topped that of BMW this year. Tesla stock is now valued at US$801,000 per car sold in 2016, compared to $26,000 per BMW sold and $5,000 per GM car sold.
Todayu2019s fake industry leader is Tesla

That inflated stock value rests entirely on government subsidies, as seen by what happened last year when Denmark decided to reduce its subsidies. In 2015, Tesla sold 2,738 cars in Denmark; in 2016, after the government said it would be phasing out subsidies, Tesla sold 176 cars, a drop of 94 per cent. Tesla’s car crash was even more pronounced in Hong Kong. After the government there cut its tax break on April 1, Tesla sales plunged from 2,939 in March to zero in April and five in May

The Tesla, in effect, is a beautifully engineered toy for the conspicuous-consumption market, accessible to millionaires but beyond the reach of the commercial market. Neither it nor most other electric vehicles have any place in a competitive, free-market environment. As an indication of how economically injurious these playthings are to society on the whole, the U.K.’s National Grid estimated that Britain would need to increase its peak generating capacity by 50 per cent to meet the government’s plans for electric vehicles, the equivalent of building 10 new nuclear plants.

The driver of the electric-vehicle industry — government fixation on global warming — has spurred even larger fake industries, led by wind turbines and solar photovoltaic cells. Neither they nor the many other anti-carbon inventions such as carbon sequestration plants are in any business sense “real.” The global renewable-energy industry, having squandered trillions of dollars building economically unjustifiable infrastructure, represents the greatest loss of wealth in the history of commerce.

The Tesla, in effect, is a beautifully engineered toy for the conspicuous consumption market
Fake industries have always been with us, but today’s scale is greater by at least an order of magnitude. The previous record holder for wasteful enterprise was the nuclear power industry, which even today, more than a half-century after its launch, still is not viable. Just last month, two heavily subsidized reactors nearly half-built in South Carolina were abandoned after US$9 billion had been spent on their construction, on the realization they would never be able to produce power competitively. Ontario is still paying for the demise of its nuclear industry a quarter-century ago, which bankrupted Ontario Hydro and cost the province its Triple A credit rating.

Fake industries prey on government’s weakness, like Charlie Brown with that football, to never let constant failure stop it from trying to pick winners. An Elon Musk predecessor, Malcolm Bricklin, in the 1970s convinced New Brunswick’s premier to back a sports car with gull-winged doors for export to the U.S. It went bankrupt after producing 2,900 cars. In the 1980s, Philip Sprung, a Calgary subsidy entrepreneur, convinced Newfoundland’s premier to grow cucumbers in a greenhouse for export to the U.S. Two years and $22 million later, it too went bankrupt. In the 1990s, Ballard Power Systems convinced governments to back hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Its stock, which topped US$120 per share in the year 2000 amid hype that it would revolutionize transportation, is now under $3.

Subsidy entrepreneurs like the Musks of the world — often self-deluded true believers — should be distinguished from the Bernie Madoffs, who are fakes within real industries, and who prey primarily and illegally on private investors. The Musks are fakes in fake industries who prey primarily on taxpayers, a time-honoured practice that remains legal.

Report: 15 of the 19 “hijackers” on 9/11 were CIA agents, never on the plane



Understanding that the whole enterprise was plausibly a CIA construct set up to railroad the USA into a major war, leads to the next important question.  Just who where those guys?  This item starts to give us answers.  At the same time planes and passengers also disappeared.  What happened there?  These are not tidy loose ends.

Yet thousands did die in the twin towers and on those planes.  Missing planes are always a problem and impact explosions to cover a controlled demolition means a likely cruse missile coming from a stealthed USS ship nearby.


Now we are really interfacing with the true deep government that has not been forthcoming since Reagan and H.W. Bush if then even.

I am saying that the resources existed and the primary motive was to create a modest war economy that allowed massive money to be properly siphoned off to support the Space fleet itself.  We have actually tentatively traced that activity and it is definitely sufficient to support that secret fleet.

And just were are call the aggrieved families of those hijackers?

Report: 15 of the 19 “hijackers” on 9/11 were CIA agents, never on the plane



04.17.2016 @10:01 AM EDT

9/11 hijackers now proven to be CIA agents; actual details of government sponsored plan emerging

https://www.intellihub.com/report-15-19-hijackers-911-cia-agents/

(INTELLIHUB) — According to a newly released report, 15 of the 19 Saudi Arabian “hijackers” were actually CIA agents who were, at the time, covertly working with rogue factions of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex to carry out a sinister multifaceted, multi-vectored, plot to loot billions if not trillions of taxpayer dollars from the Corporation of the United States, later funneling the loot into private corporations through defense appropriated funding and numerous no-bid contracts related to the roll-out of the PATRIOT Act.

Additionally, the report concludes that the hijackers never physically boarded any the alleged “hijacked” airliners, which were purported to have crashed into the Pentagon and Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center, which at the time was an iconic American monument in New York.

Press TV reports:


“We know that the 15 hijackers who were Saudis, the alleged hijackers, because they were not on those planes – not one of the 19 hijackers, or any Arabs, were on any of the four planes, according to the passenger list, and according to all of the evidence that would be there if they were on the planes, but has not been produced,” Dr. Barrett said.


“So these 15 Saudi patsies, who were set up to take the blame for 9/11, were in fact CIA agents. We know this – I had this confirmed directly by a CIA source that these 15 Saudis entered, and repeatedly reentered on these supposedly – they call them employment visas, but there’s a special number for employment visas that are only given to CIA assets as a reward for their service to the Central Intelligence Agency, and this visa allows them to come to the US. Typically they’re paid for their work for the CIA in Saudi Arabia, and then they are given this special kind of visa which is disguised as an employment visa but it’s of particular type,” he stated.


“And all 15 of these guys had that visa. That shows that they were in fact Central Intelligence Agency agents. Some of them were living with FBI people in California. So these 15 Saudis were not working against the United States government, they were working for the United States government, and they were set up so that Saudi Arabia could be potentially blamed for the September 11 attacks, which were actually perpetrated by Israel and its American assets,” he pointed out.


While the report goes on to point out that the sole purpose of 9/11 “was to destroy the seven countries in five years,” it fails to link the funding and involvement of key U.S. assets and officials who were deeply involved with the operational aspects of the attack and a subsequent cover-up of the events, which additionally may include the detonation of nuclear munitions inside a major U.S. city as I reported previously.


Additionally for the haters who say Press TV is not credible and that there is no way the hijackers were CIA operatives funded by the U.S. Government — here is an excerpt from a ‘mainstream’ Newsweek article released on Sept. 14, 2001, three days after the attacks, which shows the hijackers were trained on U.S. military installations:


U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday’s terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s.


Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.-known as the “Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation,” according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source.


Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United States, according to the Pentagon source.

So that’s what’s up. Now if you still want to believe the official story be my guest.

Shepard Ambellas is a journalist, filmmaker, film producer, radio talk show host and the founder and editor-in-chief of Intellihub News & Politics. Established in 2013, Intellihub.com is ranked in the upper 1% traffic tier on the World Wide Web. Read more from Shep’s World.

The Cetacean Brain and Hominid Perceptions of Cetacean Intelligence


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How extraordinary!  these creatures are wonderfully optimized for intelligence.  They are not physically optimized to easily  extend that intelligence, but we have that covered.

Intelligence still needs input, so these creature observe a homogeneous three dimensional world and make the most of that.  We seriously need to learn how to mind share.  By this i do mean something much more that sharing images and communicating with images alone.

We need to share the power of mathematics and need to allow document reading.  So far we have been terribly clumsy.

The great news is that they are willing.  We must join with them to properly manage our oceans.  That will ultimately employ billions of us.


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The Cetacean Brain and Hominid Perceptions of Cetacean Intelligence

Posted on August 28, 2014Categories Uncategorized



This essay originally appeared on Captain Paul Watson’s Facebook page



“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason!

How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable!

In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god!

The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!”

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet


https://knowledgeutopia.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/the-cetacean-brain-and-hominid-perceptions-of-cetacean-intelligence/


The human species may not be the paragon of animals as Hamlet so eloquently described to us. There is another group of species on this Earth perhaps more deserving of such lofty praise.


It is ironic that science, in its pursuit of knowledge, may soon lead us to understand that we are not what we believe or desire ourselves to be, that we are not the most knowledgeable life-form on the planet. Biological science is provoking us to shatter our image of human superiority. Confronted with new realities, we may be forced to change our perceptions. For the first time in our history, a small group of scientists stands on the threshold of communicating with a non-human intelligence. Probing the oceans instead of deep space, they are searching for an alternative terrestrial intelligence. (ATI)


Astronomers devoted to SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) keep our collective inquisitive ears tuned for signs of sentience from space. At the same time, cetologists observe, document, and decipher evidence that points to a profound intelligence dwelling in the oceans. It is an intelligence that predates our own evolution as intelligent primates by millions of years. Furthermore, it is an intelligence that may prove to be far superior to us in terms of complex associative, linguistic, and survival abilities. Dr. John Ford’s patient monitoring of the speech of orcas off British Columbia has revealed distinctive dialects between orca populations, so distinctive that it is possible to link a captive animal of unknown origin with its long-lost family in the wild. In the cold waters off Patagonia, Dr. Roger Payne thrilled the world with his recordings of the songs of the humpback whale. Behind the aesthetic value of whale music, Payne’s research has revealed fascinating insights into the complex and highly sophisticated language of whales.

In the realm of zoological study, no other family of species has had such a profound impact upon human researchers. A few brilliant researchers have even been accused of losing their scientific objectivity simply because their study of cetaceans revealed knowledge about themselves. “You see,” wrote Dr. John Lilly, “what I found after twelve years of work with dolphins is that the limits are not in them, the limits are in us. So I had to go away and find out, who am I? What’s this all about?” Dr. Paul Spong, who came to the study of cetology as a psychologist, found himself transformed into a devout advocate of dolphin freedom. “I came to the realization,” says Spong, “that at the same time I was manipulating their (orca) behavior, they were manipulating my behavior. At the same time I was studying them and performing experiments on them, they were studying me and performing experiments on me.” Both men have taken to heart an advice: eloquently expressed by novelist Edward Abbey that, “it’s not enough to understand the natural world, the point is to defend and preserve it.”


Other scientists have told me that they understand this effect that cetaceans have on people and resist the tendency to become “involved” with their subjects only from fear of ridicule from other scientists. Knowing something is so does not mean that others will accept it or even be open-minded enough to ponder it. Some things are just not on the table for serious scientific debate, and the idea that humans are subordinate in intelligence to another species is one of them.


Ingrained anthropocentric attitudes dismiss the very idea that a dolphin or whale could be as intelligent as a human being, or more. In this respect, science is dogmatic and intransigent, differing little in attitude from the Papal pronouncement that the Earth could not possibly revolve around the sun.


Human imagination can instantly recognize intelligence in a blob of purple protoplasm or an insectoid extraterrestrial if it steps from a space ship dressed in a metallic suit and armed with a fantastic proton-plasmodic, negative-charged, ionic-cell destabilizer-blaster. Dolphins, on the other hand, just eat fish.


We willingly accept the idea of intelligence in a life-form only if the intelligence displayed is on the same evolutionary wavelength as our own. Technology automatically indicates intelligence. An absence of technology translates into an absence of intelligence.


Dolphins and whales do not display intelligence in a fashion recognizable to this conditioned perception of what intelligence is, and thus for the most part, we are blind to a broader definition of what intelligence can be.


Evolution molds our projection of intelligence. Humans evolved as tool-makers, obsessed with danger and group aggression. This makes it very difficult for us to comprehend intelligent non-manipulative beings whose evolutionary history featured ample food supplies and an absence of fear from external dangers.


I have observed whales and dolphins in the wild for fifty years, seeing varied and complex behavior that has displayed a definite pattern of sophisticated social interactions. They have exhibited discriminatory behavior in their dealings with us, treating us not like seals fit for prey but as curious objects to be observed and to be treated with caution. They can see beyond to the manifest technological power that we have harnessed, and they can adjust their behavior accordingly. It is a fact that there has never been a documented attack by a wild orca on a human being. Perhaps they like us. More likely they know what we are.


The interpretation of behavior remains subject to the bias of the observer; one observer can classify behavior as intelligent, and a second observer will dismiss the same behavior as instinctive. There is also the tendency to be anthropomorphic — to attribute human feelings and motives to the behavior of nonhumans. Until we can actually talk with a nonhuman, it is difficult, if not impossible, to do anything but speculate on what is being thought or perceived. We cannot even understand with any certainty what a human being from a different culture, speaking a different language, may be thinking or perceiving. Even among people of our own culture, language, class, or academic standing, it is a formidable task to peer inside the workings of the brain. In this respect all brains other than our own are alien, and I might venture to add that the inner workings of our individual brains are still a mystery to each of us that possess one.


It is a great tragedy for our development as a species that we have been alone among hominids for the last thirty thousand years. Imagine Homo neanderthalensis existing today as a separate intelligent species of hominid primate. Our perception of the nature of intelligence would be profoundly different.



Homo neanderthalensis is an example of a species that possessed both technology and media communication. This tool-maker created haunting images of its experiences and environment. Some Neanderthal tools, artifacts, and cave art from the Chatelperonian period have survived and remind us that we are not the only species capable of material artistic expression. Neanderthal ivory and bone carvings were used for adornment in addition to more practical purposes. Symbols carved on antlers relating to the movement of animals in relationship to the seasons indicate that Neanderthals may have invented “writing,’ and carried a hunting almanac around with them.


I have often heard lectures and read articles on the art of early humans. Yet seldom have I heard it said that it was not Homo sapiens alone but Homo neanderthalensis who also left us that legacy. Another species created something that we believe we alone created.


We perceive reality based on how we preconceive it. In other words, we see what we want to see. Let’s take a close look at the anatomy of the brain. This is an organ that the human organism shares with most species above the invertebrate order. More specifically, we should look at the mammalian brain that is an organ composed of three distinct structures.


The foundation of the mammalian brain is the paleocortex, sometimes called the “reptilian” or “ancient” brain. The paleocortex segment reflects the primordial fish-amphibian-reptile structure. This basal combination of nerves is called the rhinic lobe (from the Greek rhinos, for nose) because it was once believed to be the area that dealt with the sense of smell. The poorly developed rhinic lobe is overlaid by the slightly more advanced limbic lobe (from the Latin limbus, for border). On top of this lobe is overlaid the third and much larger segment called the supralimbic lobe.

Draped over these three lobes is a cellular covering called the neocortex, meaning “new brain.” This is the instantly recognizable, fissured, convoluted layer that envelops the other two more primitive segments. The neocortex is a bewilderingly complex community of intertwined axonal and dendritic nerve cells, synapses, and fibers.


The mammalian brain is a complex layering or lamination of evolutionary processes that reflects hundreds of millions of years of progressive development. The billions of electrochemical interactions within this complex organ define consciousness, awareness, emotion, vision, recognition, sound, touch, smell, personality, intuition, instinct, and intelligence.


The first factor in determining the mammalian stages of development is the number of brain laminations. The layering of the neocortex differs greatly between humans and other land animals. The expansion of the neocortex is always forward. This means that neocortex development can be used as a fairly accurate indicator of the evolutionary process of intelligence. We cannot assume, however, that the determining factor in comparative intelligence is neocortex mass. The other factors considered in the equation are differentiation, neural connectivity and complexity, sectional specialization, and internal structure. All these factors contribute toward interspecial measurements of intelligence.


Interspecies comparisons focus on the extent of lamination, the total cortical area, and the number and depth of neocortex convolutions. In addition, primary sensory processing relative to problem solving is a significant indicator; this can be described as associative ability. The association or connecting of ideas is a measurable skill: a rat’s associative skill is measured at nine to one. This means that 90 percent of the brain is devoted to primary sensory projection, leaving only 10 percent for associative skills. A cat is one to one, meaning that half the brain is available for associative ability. A chimpanzee is one to three, and a human being is one to nine. We humans need only utilize 10 percent of our brains to operate our sensory organs. Thus the associative abilities of a cat are measurably greater than a rat but less than a chimp, and humans are the highest of all.


Not exactly. The cetacean brain averages one to twenty-five and can range upward to one to forty. The reason for this is that the much larger supralimbic lobe is primarily association cortex. Unlike humans, in cetaceans sensory and motor function control is spread outside the supralimbic, leaving more brain area for associative purposes.


Comparisons of synaptic geometry, dendritic field density, and neural connectivity underscore the humbling revelation that the cetacean brain is superior to the human brain. In addition, the centralization and differentiation of the individual cerebral areas are levels higher than the human brain. Many of us may remember our lessons from Biology 101. We were shown illustrations of the brain of a rat, a cat, a chimp, and a human. We listened as the instructor pointed out the ratio of brain to body size and the increased convolutions on the neocortex of the human over the chimp, the cat, the rat. The simplistic conclusion was an understanding that humans were smarter. Of course, it was a human demonstration of intelligence, and the conclusion was arrived at by discrimination based on the selection of the examples. When the brain model of an orca is inserted into the picture, the conclusion based on the same factors places the human brain in second position.


Unfortunately for the pride of humankind, this simple comparison is elementary compared to a truly astounding fact: whereas the human brain shares three segments with all other mammals, the cetacean brain is uniquely different in its physiology.


Humans have the rhinic, limbic, and supralimbic, with the neocortex covering the surface of the supralimbic. However, with cetaceans we see a radical evolutionary jump with the inclusion of a fourth segment. This is a fourth cortical lobe, giving a four-fold lamination that is morphologically the most significant differentiation between cetaceans and all other cranially evolved mammals, including humans. No other species has ever had four separate cortical lobes.


This well-developed extra lobar formation sandwiched between the limbic and supralimbic lobes is called the paralimbic. Considering neurohistological criteria, the paralimbic lobe is a continuation of the sensory and motor areas found in the supralimbic lobe in humans. According to Dr. Sterling Bunnell, the paralimbic lobe specializes in specific sensory and motor functions. In humans, the projection areas for different senses are widely separated from one another, and the motor area is adjacent to the touch area. For us to make an integrated perception from sight, sound, and touch, impulses must travel by long fiber tracts with a great loss of time and information. The cetacean’s paralimbic system makes possible the very rapid formation of integrated perceptions with a richness of information unimaginable to us.


Despite Biology 101, brain-to-body ratio is not an indication of intelligence. If this were so, the hummingbird would be the world’s most intelligent animal. Brain size in itself, however, is important, and the largest brains ever developed on this planet belong to whales. More important is the quality of the brain tissue. With four lobes, greater, more pronounced neocortex convolutions, and superior size, the brain of the sperm whale at 9,000 cc or the brain of the orca at 6,000 cc are the paragons of brain evolution on the Earth. By contrast, the human brain is 1,300 cc. And by point of interest, the brain of a Neanderthal was an average 1,500 cc.


Apart from our collective ego as a species, the idea of an Earthling species more intelligent than ourselves is difficult to swallow. We measure intelligence in strictly human terms, based on those abilities that we as a species excel at. Thus we view hand-to-eye coordination as a highly intelligent ability. We build things; we make tools and weapons, manufacture vehicles, and construct buildings. We use our brains to focus our eyes to guide our hands to force our environment to conform to our desires or our will. Whales cannot or do not do any of the things we expect intelligent creatures to do. They do not build cars or spaceships, nor can they manage investment portfolios.


Cetaceans do have built-in abilities like sonar that put our electronic sonar devices to shame. Sperm whales have even developed a sonic ray-gun, so to speak, allowing them to stun prey from a head filled with spermaceti oil to amplify and project a sonic blast. However, we expect an intelligent species to arrive in a spaceship armed with laser rayguns, bearing gifts of futuristic technologies. This is a fantasy that we can understand, that we yearn for. For us, technology is intelligence. Intelligence is not a naked creature swimming freely, eating fish, and singing in the sea.


The whale is an organic submarine. A whale may not arrive in a spaceship, but it is itself a living submersible ship. All of its technology is internal and organic. We do not accept this. The human understanding of intelligence is material. The more superior the technology, the more superior the intelligence.


Yet intelligence is relative; it evolves to fulfill the evolutionary needs of a species. All successful species are intelligent in accordance with their ecological position. In this respect, the intelligence of a crocodile or a whale, an elephant or a human is non-comparable. A complex intelligence exists within every sentient creature relevant to its needs. We as humans cannot begin to compare our elaborate intelligence to the complex intelligence of other creatures whose brains or nerves are designed for completely different functions in radically different environments.


Most modern humans believe that we are vastly more intelligent compared to our ancestors of 75,000 years ago or even 10,000 years ago. Our technology is proof, is it not? The fact is that the brain of a person living today is identical in size and composition to that of our kind from tens of thousands of years ago. If you were to set Einstein’s brain beside the brain of a cave-dweller of the Paleolithic era, you would not be able to find a single difference in size or complexity. Our technology is cumulative, the end product of millennia of trial and error. It is also exponential, and we now live in the time of the most rapid exponential growth. Individually, the average cave-dweller of the past could match the average citizen today in associative intelligence and would be as capable of learning. Our intelligence is also cultural, and the vast amount of information that we have at our disposal lies outside of ourselves as individuals. Apart from the community, we are severely limited in understanding or manipulating technologies. Left to our own resources on an undeveloped island, most of us would have absolutely no idea how to survive. We do not even have the knowledge to construct rudimentary stone tools or weapons. In this respect stone age humans would be our intellectual superiors.


If we look at the comparative intelligences of species strictly on a morphological basis, judging all aspects on cortical structural development alone, we can assign an average associative score relative to human intelligence. Let’s assign the average human brain a score equal to 100. This is the number we consider average on human Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests. Based on associative skills as defined by the physiological structure of the comparative brains, we will find that a dog scores about fifteen, and a chimpanzee around thirty-five. These are scores that are comfortably within our understanding of intelligence.


Based upon comparisons of cortical structure alone, a sperm whale would score 2,000.


The truth of the matter is that we know absolutely nothing about what goes on in the brain of a whale or a dolphin. In our ignorance, we resort to the arrogance of denial and dismissal. We deny the physiological evidence and in general we have denied that other animals can think or even feel. We forget that all mammals have climbed the evolutionary ladder with us, and some, like the whale, started climbing that ladder tens of millions of years before we evolved from that apelike ancestor that we shared with the Neanderthal, the chimp, and the mountain gorilla.


The whale has evolved in a different manner, its natural physical abilities giving it little cause to desire material baggage. The spear was not needed to get food — the whale is one of the most efficient hunters in natural history. The whale’s ability to travel, to communicate, to care for its young, and its complex social systems are all separate from external material acquisition. Whales have biologically evolved what we utilize technology to achieve. Technology is something that the whales have never needed. They contain all the assets needed for survival and development within their massive bodies and formidable brains.


Humans are big-brained manipulators. Cetaceans and elephants are big-brained non-manipulators. The hominid brain grew in size from 450 cc to 1,300 cc over a period of only five million years. Cetaceans had already reached 690 cc in brain size some thirty million years ago and had developed to their present capacity well before our own evolutionary jump in brain development.


Another major difference between the cetacean and human brain is the shape. The cranium of the whale evolved over millions of years to conform to the need for streamlined movement through the water. This need has shaped the brain, making it higher, but shortening the length front-to-back slightly. And this shape has resulted in a relatively thinner layering of the cortex that is more than compensated by the much greater surface area of the neocortex due to the tremendous in-folding of the convolutions. According to Pilleri and Gihr, dolphins, toothed whales, and primates have the most highly differentiated brains of all mammals, and Krays and Pilleri showed through electroencephalographical studies that the Amazon River dolphins have the highest degree of encephalization, much higher than primates.


Construction of the cortex was found to be equal or superior to primates. Cetaceans are the most specialized mammalian order on the planet, and we see intelligence in dozens of species. By contrast, Homo sapiens are the sole surviving hominid.


Humans may be the paramount tool-makers of the Earth, but the whale may be our paramount thinker. We can only imagine how a dolphin perceives the stars, but they may well do so better than we. Indeed, if the power of such an awesome brain could be utilized, travel to the stars might have already been achieved. The mind can travel to realms that rockets can never reach. Or perhaps they have already discovered that the ultimate destination of a voyager is to arrive back where it belongs — in its own place within the universe. The desire to travel to the stars could very well be an aberration, a need within a species that has been ecologically deprived. Intelligent species here or else where in the universe may have determined that space travel is not the ultimate expression of intelligence. It may only be the ultimate expression of technology: technology and wisdom may be widely diverse expressions of different forms of intelligence.


Intelligence can also be measured by the ability to live within the bounds of the laws of ecology — to live in harmony with one’s own ecology and to recognize the limitations placed on each species by the needs of an ecosystem. Is the species that dwells peacefully within its habitat with respect for the rights of other species the one that is inferior? Or is it the species that wages a holy war against its habitat, destroying all species that irritate it? What can be said of a species that reproduces beyond the ability of its habitat to support it? What do we make of a species that destroys the diversity that sustains the ecosystem that nourishes it? How is a species to be judged that fouls its water and poisons its own food?


On the other hand, how is a species that has lived harmoniously within the boundaries of its ecology to be judged?


It is an observable fact that whales and dolphins hold a special place in the hearts of human beings. We have had an affinity with them for years, recognizing in them something that it has been difficult to put a finger upon. What we do know is that they are different from other animals, apart from them in a manner that suggests a unique quality that we can intuitively recognize. That quality is intelligence.


Recognizing this quality has profound moral responsibilities. How can humans continue to slaughter creatures of an equal or superior intelligence? The path toward the reality of interspecies communications between cetaceans and humans may lead us to the recognition that we have been committing murder.


Utilizing the computer technology of our species in company with the linguistic and associative skills of cetaceans, we may be able to talk with these beings some day soon. The key is in understanding the different evolutionary developments within two completely different brains with uniquely developed sensory modalities.


Imagine being able to see into another person’s body, being able to see the flow of blood, the workings of the organs, and the flow of air into the lungs. Cetaceans can do this through echo-location. A dolphin can see a tumor inside the body of another dolphin. If an animal is drowning, this becomes instantly recognizable from being able to “see” the water filling the lungs. Even more amazing is that emotional states can be instantly detected. These are species incapable of deception, whose emotional states are open books to each other. Such biologically enforced honesty would have radically different social consequences from our own.


Sight in humans is a space-oriented distance sense which gives us complex simultaneous information in the form of analog pictures with poor time discrimination. By contrast, our auditory sense has poor space perception but good time discrimination. This results in human languages being comprised of fairly simple sounds arranged in elaborate temporal sequences. The cetacean auditory system is primarily spatial, more like human eyesight, with great diversity of simultaneous information and poor time discrimination. For this reason, dolphin language consists of very complex sounds perceived as a unit. What humans may need hundreds of sounds strung together to communicate, the dolphin may do in one sound. To understand us, they would have to slow down their perception of sounds to an incredibly boring degree. It is for this reason that dolphins respond readily to music. Human music is more in tune with dolphin speech.


Utilizing their skill at echo-location with elaborate detailed mental images of what they “see” through auditory channels, dolphins may be able to recreate and transmit images to each other. In other words, whereas our language is analog, cetacean language is digital. With the invention of the computer, we are now communicating with each other digitally, and this may be the key to unlocking the doors of perception into cetacean communication.


The possibilities are fantastic. Instead of communicating across the vast expanse of space, we may be able to bridge the chasm between species. But we will not be able to say that “we come in peace.” The tragic reality is that we will be speaking with species that we have slaughtered, enslaved, and abused. We can only hope that they will be forgiving of our ignorance.


If so, the future holds a place for the exchange of knowledge, the secrets of the seas, alternative philosophies, and unique and different perspectives. I can envision the words of the whales translated into books. Instead of just listening to the music of whale song, we will be able to understand what the songs convey. This may open up new horizons in literature, poetry, music, and oceanography.


In return, Moby Dick by Herman Melville might serve to show the whales that our species has come a long way toward peace between humankind and whalekind. The whales will learn the mysteries of the land and will be able to negotiate the release of members of their families that have been held captive for human amusement. Perhaps we can convince them that our species is not uniform in its evolution toward morality and understanding. If so, we may be able to convince them that our whalers are aberrations, throwbacks to our more barbaric origins and a collective embarrassment to our species.


Most importantly, we will learn the lesson that we cannot presume to judge intelligence based upon our own preconceptions, prejudice, and cultural biases. In so doing, we will be able to understand that we share this Earth with millions of other species, all intelligent in their own manner, and all equally deserving of the right to dwell in peace on this planet that we all call our home — this water planet with the strange name of Earth.


“They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.”

— D.H. Lawrence, Whales Weep Not


Bibliography and Sources:

Bunnell, Sterling. 1974. The Evolution of Cetacean Intelligence.

Deacon, Terrence W. 1997. The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain.

Jacobs, Myron.1974. The Whale Brain: Input and Behaviour.

Lawrence, D.H. Whales Weep Not.

Licino, Aldo. “Just Animals? Mammalian Studies Point to an Anatomical Basis to Intelligence.” Mensa Berichten: Mensa International Journal Extra. June 1996.

Lilly, John. 1961. Man and Dolphin.

Morgane, Peter. 1974. The Whale Brain: The Anatomical Basis of Intelligence.

Pilleri, G. Behaviour Patterns of Some Delphinidae Observed in the Western Mediterranean.

Sagan, Dr. Carl. 1971.The Cosmic Connections, The Dragons of Eden.

Watson, Lyall.1996. Dark Nature: The Nature of Evil.

Some information based on conversations over the last two decades with Dr. Michael Bigg (orcas), Dr. John Ford (orca dialects), Dr. Roger Payne (whale communication), and Dr. Paul Spong (orcas).


Illustration: Comparison of a human and dolphin brain showing the 4th lobe and more complex convulsions upon the neo-cortex of the dolphin as opposed to the human brain.
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The secret to man's intelligence? POTATOES

Big complex brains require lots of energy to develop and function properly. While synthesis of glucose from sources other than starch-rich tubers like potatoes is possible, it is not especially efficient, and such high glucose demands would not have been met on a low carbohydrate diet


 













Surprising actually but truly makes sense.  All those roots, and not just potatoes, demand boiling in order to be easily eaten.  They were also the largest and best source of food for a hunter gatherer.  Having seen a film of a bushman harvesting a large tuber, it is a safe bet that the land everywhere is full of tubers of some sort.

A local band would soon learn how to identify them.   Grains and seeds are much more trouble.  At best you can gather a handful or two and then you have to cook them long in order to chew o eat.  Until we actually planted those grains it would be too difficult.

Thus the pot would want roots and meat first.  Leaves perhaps.

all good.

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The secret to man's intelligence? POTATOES: Humans evolved large brains because our ancestors ate starchy carbohydrates
  • Eating meat was credited with allowing humans to develop large brains
  • But study suggests cooked starchy foods like potatoes were vital too
  • Human brain uses high levels of blood glucose found in carbohydrates
  • Starches would have been readily available to ancestral human populations
The human brain is unique - no other animal possesses such a large brain relative to the size of its body. 

It has been argued that an increase in meat consumption could have triggered the increase in size, but now scientists believe that we may have another food to thank: the humble potato.

Researchers suggest carbohydrate consumption, particularly in the form of starch, was critical for the extraordinary development of the brain over the past million years.

Big complex brains require lots of energy to develop and function properly. While synthesis of glucose from sources other than starch-rich tubers like potatoes is possible, it is not especially efficient, and such high glucose demands would not have been met on a low carbohydrate diet

They say starches would have been readily available to ancestral human populations in the form of potatoes as well as in seeds, some fruits and nuts.

The new study combines archaeological, anthropological, genetic, physiological and anatomical data to argue it carbohydrate consumption was key in the human brain's evolution. 

Up until now there has been a heavy focus on the role of animal protein and cooking in the development of the human brain over the last two million years and the importance of starch rich plant foods has been largely overlooked.
Dr Karen Hardy and her team at the Autonomous University of Barcelona say that there are five crucial reasons why a starch-rich diet was critical in human development.

WHY IS THE HUMAN BRAIN SO UNIQUE?
 
Humans have a larger cerebral cortex relative to the rest of the brain than any other creature in the animal kingdom. 

The cerebral cortex handles many of our unique skills, like language and problem solving. 

Last year scientists at Oxford University discovered a new region inside the brain that added to its uniqueness.

The brain region is called the lateral frontal pole prefrontal cortex and is linked to higher thinking processes.

This part of the brain houses Broca's region, which plays a critical role in language. 

Differences in the ventrolateral frontal cortex have also been tied to psychiatric disorders such as compulsive behavior disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Firstly, the human brain uses up to 25 per cent of the body's energy daily budget and up to 60 per cent of the body's blood glucose.

While synthesis of glucose from other sources is possible it is not especially efficient, and such high glucose demands would not have been met on a low carbohydrate diet.

This need for carbohydrates would have been satisfied in part by the development of cooking.  

While raw starches are often poorly digested in humans, when cooked they lose their crystalline structure and in turn make the assimilation of nutrients much easier. 

The ability to use fire for cooking would have unlocked nutrients and enabled our ancestors to eat a far broader diet including tough, starchy roots.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding also place additional demands on the body's glucose budget.

Low maternal blood glucose levels compromise the health of both the mother and her offspring, which suggest that a certain level of carbohydrates would have been essential for survival.

In addition to this, starchy carbohydrates would have been readily available to ancestral human populations in the form of tubers, as well as in seeds and some fruits and nuts.

The human brain uses up to 60 per cent of the body's blood glucose. It is thought that cooked starchy food like potatoes could have provided a glucose-rich diet necessary for this to develop in our early ancestors


The human brain uses up to 60 per cent of the body's blood glucose. It is thought that cooked starchy food like potatoes could have provided a glucose-rich diet necessary for this to develop in our early ancestors

The researchers also point out that humans possess six salivary amylase genes, while other primates just have two, increasing the ability to digest starch. 

The exact date at which these additional genes appeared remains uncertain, but analysis suggests it was at some point in the last million years.

Dr Hardy explained that after cooking became widespread and the salivary amylase genes multiplied, this increased the availability of dietary glucose to the brain and foetus which, in turn, allowed the acceleration in brain size which occurred from around 800,000 years ago onwards.

She said: 'In addition to the increased energy availability from starch, other advantages of the coevolution of cooking and amylase expression include a reduction in chewing time, increased palatability and digestibility of polyphenol-rich plant foods, and improved reproductive function; a reliable supply of glycemic carbohydrate is likely to have sustainably supported foetal growth, provided the extra caloric intake needed during lactation, and improved infant survival.

'The regular consumption of starchy plant foods offers a coherent explanation for the provision of energy to the developing brain during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene while the development of cooking, and a concomitant increases in salivary amylase expression, explains how the rapid increases in brain size from the Middle Pleistocene onward were energetically affordable.'

Added Dr Hardy: 'Eating meat may have kick started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still.'

The study was published in The Quarterly Review of Biology. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Researchers Track an Unlikely Culprit in Weight Gain




This may turn out to work.  Better yet it may simply be helpful.  In either case it is the basis for an age related therapy, perhaps also augmented with hormone balancing ginseng.  I was recently astonished to learn that ginseng is slipped into a wide range of pharmaceuticals today, so my very real conjecture regarding ginseng is also shared by an industry often selling outright fraudulent products and this helps prevent anything going seriously wrong.

None of this is the result of a detailed study but of  informants unaware of my underlying ideas.  A detailed study is thus likely to turn up many more surprises.
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Researchers Track an Unlikely Culprit in Weight Gain 

By GINA KOLATA 

AUGUST 7, 2017 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/health/fsh-hormone-weight-gain.html

For middle-aged women struggling with their weight, a recent spate of scientific findings sounds too good to be true. And they may be, researchers caution.

Studies in mice indicate that a single hormone whose levels rise at menopause could be responsible for a characteristic redistribution of weight in middle age to the abdomen, turning many women from “pears” to “apples.” At the same time, the hormone may spur the loss of bone.

In mouse studies, blocking the hormone solves those problems, increasing the calories burned, reducing abdominal fat, slowing bone loss and even encouraging physical activity.

The notion that such a simple intervention could solve two big problems of menopause has received the attention of researchers and has prompted commentaries in prestigious journals like The New England Journal of Medicineand Cell Metabolism.

“It’s a super interesting idea,” said Dr. Daniel Bessesen, an obesity expert and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. With obesity rising, “we definitely need some new ideas.”

The work began when Dr. Mone Zaidi, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, became curious about whether a reproductive hormone — F.S.H., or follicle-stimulating hormone — affects bone density.

It had long been assumed that the hormone’s role was limited to reproduction. F.S.H. stimulates the production of eggs in women and sperm in men.

Researchers knew that blood levels of F.S.H. soar as women’s ovaries start to fail before menopause. At the same time, women rapidly lose bone — even when blood levels of estrogen, which can preserve bone, remain steady.

Dr. Zaidi reasoned that F.S.H. could be a culprit in bone loss. So he and his colleagues created an antibody that blocked F.S.H. in female mice whose ovaries had been removed.

Since the mice were making no estrogen at all, they ought to have been losing bone. Indeed, the bone marrow in such mice usually fills with fat instead of developing bone cells. Much the same happens in women: That’s why their bones become less dense.

But in Dr. Zaidi’s lab, the mice that received the antibody did not develop fat-filled bone marrow — and, to his enormous surprise, they lost large amounts of fat.

“This is a weird, weird finding,” he recalled telling his friend Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, a bone specialist at Maine Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Zaidi persuaded Dr. Rosen to help repeat the experiments independently, each in his own lab.

At first, Dr. Rosen was dubious: “I said, ‘I don’t believe it, I think it’s not going to work, and it will cost a lot of money.’” But he received a grant for the research, and the two labs got started.

Two and a half years later, they had their results — and they replicated Dr. Zaidi’s original findings. The researchers also came up with a theory that might explain increased metabolic rates in mice in which F.S.H. is blocked.

There are two kinds of fat in the body: White fat primarily stores energy, and brown fat burns calories and throws off heat.

Brown fat is more common in children, but researchers have found that adults also carry small amounts. In the experimental mice, white fat was being converted to brown fat.

At the moment, Dr. Rosen is withholding judgment about whether the results will apply to humans. “I think the idea has some credibility,” he said. “But does it mean anything? I don’t know.”

But these are not the only researchers to find a link between obesity and the strange interplay of hormones.

Wendy Kohrt, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, has been studying the effects of menopause on women’s body fat and the amount of calories women burn.

Dr. Kohrt has given healthy premenopausal women a drug that blocks production of estrogen and F.S.H., putting them into a reversible state of menopause.

Within five months, she found, the women’s fat moves to their abdomens, increasing by 11 percent on average. And they burn 50 fewer calories per day.

The effect is reversed when the participants stop taking the drug or when Dr. Kohrt gives them estrogen.

Something similar goes on in men, although it’s not clear that F.S.H. is the sole cause, said Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Washington.

Men with advanced prostate cancer often take Lupron, a drug intended to stop the production of testosterone, which can fuel their tumors. Often, they gain weight, accumulating fat in their abdomens.

Lupron also blocks production of F.S.H., and the mouse studies suggest that this should prevent weight gain. That might be because of the loss of testosterone.

Yet in experiments in which men were given both Lupron and testosterone — leaving F.S.H. the only blocked hormone — they still did not lose weight. F.S.H. clearly is not the only factor at work, then.

But the dream of an easy way to prevent abdominal weight gain is so appealing, you just want it to be true, said Dr. Philipp E. Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

He has seen too many mouse studies fail in humans to be persuaded that this one will succeed. “I will be on the sidelines waiting,” he said.

Dr. Zaidi is undeterred. He is already preparing to test an anti-F.S.H. antibody in people.
“Whether it works in humans, I have absolutely no idea,” Dr. Zaidi said

Were Modern Humans in Indonesia 73,000 Years Ago?

 


I have thought that modern humanity and its late predecessors all arose in the continent made up of the south China Sea and the Malay Indonesian archipelago.  My reason for this is having ample access to hospitable sea coasts. Sea coasts around Africa are far from hospitable, whereas even today villages occupy the Indonesian coast line as against the close interior.  I may be overstating the case but this are looks to be as ideal as possible for the initial creation of larger communities learning to cooperate while growing larger brains in order to do so.

Adaption to the intertidal waterways also could easily arise here over even millions of years.  After all the food was ample, not unlike the Pacific Northwest.

Thus I fully expect evidence to support this to steadily accumulate and less plausibly elsewhere.  In fact the adaption to interior living could have been a natural subsidization between such sea adapted smart primates and fast running land primates.  recall just how much variation exists among us in terms of leg engineering while water adaptation is universal.

All through human history, a successful adaptation either physical or otherwise became global in under one thousand years.  This does not show up too easily in the archeological record. Yet i do think that the phase of sea adaptation was a physical evolution and was long and largely local to an ideal niche.  It was hybridization with effective land primates that gave the larger brained culturally more adept water based primates their legs.

All good .


Were Modern Humans in Indonesia 73,000 Years Ago?

By Gemma Tarlach | August 9, 2017 12:00 pm


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/deadthings/2017/08/09/were-modern-humans-in-indonesia-73000-years-ago/

The conventional timeline of human evolution and migration continues to crumble in the face of new research. The latest finding puts anatomically modern humans deep in Indonesia up to 73,000 years ago — tens of thousands of years before once thought possible.


The old school timeline, still widely taught, went something like this: Homo sapiens evolved into a distinct species from earlier hominins about 200,000 years ago in Africa and became anatomically modern humans (AMHs) about 100,000 years ago. Then, around 50,000 years ago, the AMHs headed out of Africa and spread through Eurasia, interbreeding with (and eventually replacing) Neanderthals and Denisovans.


Easy. Tidy. Except for all that pesky confounding evidence that continues to emerge.


Just in the last year, for example, both paleoanthropological and paleogenetic discoveries have pushed back the start date for Homo sapiens, in some cases by hundreds of thousands of years.


And in July, a compelling study in Nature found evidence of humans in northern Australia by about 65,000 years ago (that’s about 15,000 years before AMHs supposedly left Africa, if you’re keeping score). The researchers dated more than 10,000 artifacts from Madjedbebe, a site not far from the modern coastal city of Darwin.


Today, a separate team announced that they have analyzed teeth from Lida Ajer cave, a site in the highlands of Sumatra in Indonesia, and found them to be from AMHs — and they’re 63,000 to 73,000 years old.







Approximate locations of the sites of Lida Ajer (in green) and Madjedbebe (in blue) which suggest modern humans were in the region much earlier than once thought.


Rover, Wand’rer, Nomad, Vagabond…


The team’s conclusions appear to support a genetic study from 2016 (The third of three stories discussed here) that suggested an early wave of AMHs out of Africa, perhaps 120,000 years ago, got at least as far as Papua New Guinea (rudely cut off above Australia at far right of map above).


To be sure, the case made today is not rock-solid (few conclusions from a single paper are). The teeth were found more than a century ago, back in the late 1880s, during the first excavations at the site. Today’s team used three different dating methods to determine their age, including dating the layers of sediment in which the teeth were found and dating other, non-human teeth found in the same layers.


(The human teeth were not dated directly because the method used would have destroyed them; the researchers dated a few orangutan and gibbon teeth from the same deposit, since remains of both animals are far more numerous than the two human teeth found at the site.)





Researchers behind today’s study compared a tooth they describe as modern human from Lida Ajer (left top) and its scanned image (left bottom) with an orangutan tooth (right). (Credit Tanya Smith and Rokus Awe Due)


While critics may quibble about the confidence of dating material that was collected more than a century ago, the researchers’ analysis of the teeth is more straight-forward. Based on a number of traits, from size to unique features such as the incisor’s double-shovel shape, the team concluded that the teeth can only belong to AMHs.


Living The Rainforest Life


Accepting the age of these AMH teeth makes them the oldest human remains found in a rainforest environment, say the researchers. The big deal about that is that, despite what looks like lush and easy living in a glossy travel photo, rainforests are a challenging environment for humans.


Our species evolved in the open environments of Africa’s savannas, not the “closed forest” environment of Sumatra’s interior. Many researchers believe humans leaving Africa traveled along coasts, which tend to have better resources year-round, or followed big game for the nutritional payoff. In contrast, rainforest resources tend to vary widely by season, and the flora and fauna in that ecosystem typically offer less bang for the buck in terms of caloric density.





The immediate vicinity of the Lida Ajer cave, located in the karst highlands of Sumatra, shows the rugged environment which researchers believe would have been challenging for its first human inhabitants. (Credit Kira Westaway)


Living in a rainforest 70,000 years ago would have required a good deal of planning, prep and technological innovation which, say the authors, are hallmarks of our big-brained species (though, quite frankly, to me that smacks a bit of Homo sapiens exceptionalism. But that’s another discussion for another time.).


By the way, the researchers believe the area around Lida Ajer was a rainforest environment when humans occupied the cave because of the kinds of animal bones, including plenty belonging to orangutans, found in the same deposits. Today’s study was published in Nature.

Oregon To Decriminalize Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, LSD and Ecstasy #o4a #news





Let me make this abundantly clear.  All forms of prohibition using the rule of law serves to manufacture a commercial monopoly that it defended at the expense of the state and promoted and exploited by a newly formed criminal class who can charge monopoly prices.  It is so blindingly stupid and it reminds us just how stupid and ignorant so many lawmakers are.

This obviously and naturally expands the market as the majority of vulnerable prospective users are located and converted by the hungry criminal class.

The correct approach is to make the manufacture and distribution a state prerogative tied to aggressive protocols aimed at discouraging non medical use.  After all an addict risks losing the capacity to gainfully contribute to the economy and this is something the State has the right to change.

Criminal promotion is cut out and usage is carefully monitored for signs of addictive behavior.

How many addicts would volunteer for a second rehab stint in the boreal forest grooming the woodland amidst black flies and mosquitoes.  Self discipline can come naturally there.



Oregon To Decriminalize Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, LSD and Ecstasy #o4a #news

August 8, 2017 

https://overpassesforamerica.com/?p=54104

Oregon is an amazingly strange state, and it got even more so last month when its legislature voted to defelonize cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone, LSD and ecstasy.

Oregon already had a weed-friendly history that goes back to 1973, when it became the first state in the union to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. In 1998, medical marijuana went legal, and in 2015, recreational weed was legalized.

While states across the land have stepped up to legalize or decriminalize medical and/or recreational pot in soaring numbers (29 so far), people get a bit squeamish about doing the same with hard drugs.
Although it is widely reported that when Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and replaced criminal sanctions with civil penalties and health interventions, drug use did not explode. Indeed, the opposite occurred.

Then, of course, only recently the United Nations called for decriminalization of all drugs, so it’s not as though Oregon is suggesting something unheard of, or unreasonable.

If Governor Kate Brown signs Oregon House Bill 2355, as expected, it will become state law.

However, it is worth noting that this is not an all-out legalization bill; rather, it will decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs for people who do not have more than two prior drug convictions or any felony convictions.

If it becomes law, Oregon will become the first state to defelonize hard drugs.

So why do they think this a good idea?

The logic is: lifting prohibition on hard drugs will usher in even more benefits than legalized weed because hard drugs are more dangerous, just as the failed War on Drugs is, was and always will be.
Oregon’s law would follow a model close to Portugal, where the number of overall drug users fell during the first 15 years of decriminalization.

The number of heroin addicts was cut in half, with most remaining addicts in a form of treatment. Meanwhile, drug overdose rates have fallen, and Portugal’s overall drug-induced death rates are more than five times lower than the European Union average and don’t hold a candle to ours, which are exorbitant and climbing.

In view of the heroin and opioid crisis facing our country, we are clearly in need of innovative solutions.

The likes of the president’s opioid commission, which suggests dispatching opioid units around the country, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plans to build more private prisons and throw drug users (including MMJ consumers) inside them are not going to cut it.

Prohibition makes dangerous drugs more dangerous. Hence, Oregon’s bill is a step in the right direction, IN THEORY.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a Democrat from Portland, agrees with many drug education experts that addiction should be treated as a public health problem—not a criminal one.

“We’ve got to treat people, not put them in prison,” said Greenlick. “It would be like putting them in the state penitentiary for having diabetes. This is a chronic brain disorder, and it needs to be treated this way.”


Figuring Out The Kennedy Assassination, Part 1





I have posted extensively on this topic and have come to a clear understanding that Oswald was the go to patsy needed to shield the perpetrators from too enthusiastic police attention. That has tended to let me largely ignore the actual Oswald story itself except to note that he was most certainly a CIA asset with all the intricacy that entails.

The actual assassination was pulled off by drawing the motorcade into a kill box that had at least three sniper teams set up.  The chancy location but the best  location was head on behind the so called grassy knoll.  As it was, that worked best.  He likely would have survived the rest.

This item fills in a lot more detail on Oswald and the actual background of events.  JFK's great misfortune was that he was a career politician first and foremost with scant street sense.  His father had been felled by a stroke at the very beginning of his presidency and was in no position to ever properly advise on that.  JFK understood that much needed to change, but then made speeches about it rather than act first and explain last.

I so not seeing Trump ever making that mistake.


Figuring Out The Kennedy Assassination, Part 1
The Washington Post and Politico recently published two articles entitled “President Trump, Give Us the Full Story on the JFK Assassination” and “How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder” by historians Larry J. Sabato and Phillip Shenon.
The thrust of the articles was to call on Trump to release all of the still-secret records relating to the JFK assassination belonging to the CIA and other federal agencies that the National Archives is required by law to release by October. In the Post article, the authors state that they have received reliable information that at least two federal agencies are going to try to persuade Trump to block the release of some of the records. In my opinion, it is a virtual certainty that the CIA is one of those two agencies.
Sabato and Shenon are correct in arguing that Trump should reject any such request. The notion that the release of records that are more than half-a-century old will threaten “national security” — however that undefined term is defined — is manifestly ludicrous.
But then Sabato and Shenon go astray. Like so many others since the JFK assassination, they try to figure out what the motive of the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was. In the Politico article, they posit that maybe — just maybe—Oswald somehow discovered the super-secret assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro by the CIA and the Mafia, which had entered into an assassination partnership to kill Castro. Their thesis is that Oswald, as a supposed communist, loved and revered Castro, and therefore decided to retaliate by assassinating Kennedy.
There is a big problem, however, with that thesis, one that is inconsistent with the thesis. Like many other writers on the JFK assassination writers, the authors simply do not confront that inconsistency, perhaps thinking that if they just act like it isn’t there, their thesis might somehow, in isolation, make sense to people.
June 1963. That was when President Kennedy made his famous Peace Speech at American University. In that speech, he threw down the gauntlet to the CIA, Pentagon, military-industrial complex, and the rest of the U.S. national-security establishment by announcing that he was ending the Cold War against Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union and was reaching out to the communist world in a spirit of mutual coexistence, peace, and friendship.
The speech was a culmination of a vicious war that had been waged between JFK and his brother Bobby against the CIA ever since the CIA’s disastrous plan to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The war had expanded to the Pentagon through Operation Northwoods, the infamous plan unanimously approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that called for a fraudulent pretext to invade Cuba, which the president nixed. It continued through the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which the military establishment considered the worst defeat in U.S. history and akin to Chamberlain’s capitulation to Hitler at Munich.
The war between Kennedy and the CIA-Pentagon bureaucrats had become so vicious that the president didn’t even pay them the courtesy of advising them of what he planned to announce in his Peace Speech at American University.
Kennedy didn’t stop there. Over the vehement objections of his national-security establishment, he entered into a nuclear-test ban treaty with the Soviets. He then ordered the Pentagon to begin a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and told aides he would order a full pullout after winning the 1964 presidential election.
It is impossible to overstate the enormity of what Kennedy was doing and the rage and animosity it generated. To get a better sense of the magnitude of the change he was proposing and the enemies he was inciting within the national-security establishment, I recommend FFF’s ebook JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board, the agency that was responsible for bringing all those records to the National Archives that are set to be released in October.
As Horne details, Kennedy was changing the direction that the nation had followed since the end of World War II and which it ended up following for another 25 years after Kennedy’s assassination. From 1945 to 1990, the United States was consumed with the gigantic threat that communism and the Soviet Union supposedly posed to the United States, a threat that would obviously guarantee ever-growing power and budgets for the national-security establishment, including its army of contractors, for decades to come.
The change that Kennedy was implementing would have put the quietus to the Cold War and the U.S. government’s anti-communist crusade. In the process, it also threatened the ever-growing power and stream of income of the entire national-security establishment.
For their part, the bureaucrats within the national-security establishment were convinced that Kennedy’s actions would result in America falling under communist rule — that is, that Kennedy’s actions posed a grave threat to “national security.” After all, keep in mind that what Kennedy was doing — reaching out to the Soviet Union and Cuba in a spirit of peace and friendship — was what got Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Castro in Cuba, and Allende in Chile targeted for assassination and regime change at the hands of the CIA and Pentagon.
Now, here’s where common sense, reason, and logic come into play.
What does the official story say about Lee Harvey Oswald? It holds that he was a devout, committed communist, right? It holds that he loved and revered Cuban president Fidel Castro, right?
Well, then, here’s the $64,000 question, the one that Sabato and Shenon simply do not address, perhaps because it doesn’t fit within the paradigm on motive that they posit in their article: If Oswald was the devout, committed communist they say he was and if he loved and revered Fidel Castro, then why kill Kennedy? Kennedy was the president who was making peace with Russia and the Cuba, both of which had responded positively to Kennedy’s plans to end the Cold War.
In the process, Kennedy was also the one who was waging war against the agency that was trying to assassinate Castro (and also, through his brother Bobby, who was the U.S. Attorney General, waging war against the CIA’s partner, the Mafia). Ironically,  on the very day that Kennedy was assassinated, he had an emissary personally meeting with Castro about ending the Cold War while, at the same time, the CIA was employing an assassin in Paris to kill Castro.
So, why would Oswald, the supposed devout communist, want to kill Kennedy when it was Kennedy who was initiating a dramatic turn toward peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence with the communist world, one that would obviously bring an end to the CIA’s assassination attempts against Castro and, for that matter, other people whose only crime was believing in socialism or communism? In fact, why assassinate Kennedy given that he would be replaced by a vice-president, Lyndon Johnson, whose mindset mirrored that of the national-security establishment that Kennedy was waging war against? Don’t forget, after all, that Johnson put a quick end to Kennedy’s plan to end the Cold War and soon began ramping up the Vietnam War, which ended up killing more than 58,000 American men and millions of Vietnamese people.
In trying to come up with a motive for Oswald, Sabato and Shenon, of course, are not alone. Ever since the Kennedy assassination, people have tried to come up with a motive for Oswald. None of them, including the Warren Commission, has been successful. That’s because the question they ask — What motivated Oswald to kill Kennedy?— is fatally flawed, as we will see in Part 2 of this essay.

[ Oswald quacked like a patsy from top to bottom in the whole narrative and this made accepting the official story line impossible - arclein ]

FIGURING OUT THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION, PART 2

by Jacob G. Hornberger
 
The official story of the Kennedy assassination is that he was killed by a former U.S. Marine, lone-nut, communist assassin named Lee Harvey Oswald.
The big problem, however, is that the official story has never comported with much of the circumstantial evidence in the case nor with common sense, reason, and logic. That’s why no one has ever been able to come up with a credible motive for Oswald to kill Kennedy.
As I pointed out in Part 1, by the time he was assassinated Kennedy was ending the Cold War against the communist world and had announced his intention for America to live in peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence with the Soviet Union, especially Russia, Cuba, and the rest of the communist world.
If Oswald had, in fact, been an genuine communist, that would have made him ecstatic. Why kill Kennedy knowing that he would be replaced by Johnson, who vehemently disagreed with JFK’s change of direction and, instead, was on the same page as the Pentagon and the CIA?
Indeed, it wasn’t communists who hated Kennedy for what he was doing. It was instead the U.S. national-security establishment, which believed that Kennedy’s actions constituted a grave threat to national security.
In 1947, the federal government had been converted from a limited-government republic into a national-security state. The reason? To combat communists, communism, and the Soviet Union, especially Russia.
In the late 1940s, the U.S. government prosecuted officials in the U.S. Communist Party for belonging to an organization that embraced communist literature, literature that called for the violent overthrow of capitalism. The Smith Act prosecutions were big-time news in the 1940s and early 1950s. There is no way that any American would have been unaware of them.
And then there was the Korean War in the early 1950s, where the U.S. government intervened in a foreign civil war, without even the semblance of the congressional declaration of war required by the U.S. Constitution. In that “police action,” as U.S. officials called it, U.S. forces killed and injured millions of North Koreans, not only by carpet-bombing the entire country, including rural villages, but also by illegally using germ warfare. The rationale? The same rationale that would be relied on later to justify the massive killing of people in Vietnam’s civil war — that they were all nothing but “commies, Reds, and gooks.”
Today the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War. But it wasn’t forgotten back in the mid-1950s. Everyone knew about it. And everyone knew that the U.S. Marine Corps had killed a lot of “commies, Reds, and gooks” during the conflict.
Oswald was studying socialism and communism as a teenager. That was during the 1950s. By the time he was studying communism and socialism, the U.S. national-security establishment’s anti-communist crusade had been in full swing for years. The crusade was already part of the national psyche, especially given the Korean War and the persecution and criminal prosecution of suspected communists.
The obvious question arises: Why would a genuine communist want to join an organization — the U.S. Marine Corps — that had just killed and injured millions of communists in Korea? Why would he join a government that was persecuting, prosecuting, and jailing communists here in the United States? Why would he join an organization by which he could be ordered to go anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice and kill more “commies, Reds, and gooks,” such as Vietnam, Laos, or Berlin? Does that make any sense at all?
So, how does one explain this conundrum? How does one explain why Oswald, a supposed communist, joined the Marine Corps, an organization devoted to killing communists?
There is an easy explanation — one, however, that is not consistent with the official story.
In the 1950s, there was a famous television series called I Led Three Lives, which is based on a book of the same name by a man named Herbert Philbrick. The series revolved around an American man who posed as a communist but who was actually a FBI agent. The man’s job was to infiltrate communist cells that were supposedly operating here in the United States and secretly report their activities to the FBI.
It’s worth watching a couple of episodes of I Led Three Lives just to get a sense of what life was like here in the United States during the Cold War and the anti-communist crusade. You can access them on YouTube by searching for “I Led Three Lives.” The commies were supposedly everywhere — the State Department, the Army, Hollywood, the public schools, and other walks of life. The Russians were coming! They were coming to get us, take over the federal government, and turn America entirely Red.
Needless to say, the star of I Led Three Lives was portrayed as a heroic, courageous, and patriotic American. Risking his life every day at the hands of the communists, who might suddenly discover his secret identity, he was fighting to protect Americans from a communist takeover, fighting to keep America “free.”
For any teenage boy in the 1950s who had come to the realization that becoming Clark Kent and Superboy was beyond his reach, it was different with I Led Three Lives. Any American boy could grow up to become a G-Man and devote his life to ferreting out communists, prosecuting them, and jailing them, as U.S. officials were doing with members of the U.S. Communist Party in the 1940s and 1950s.
As a PBS documentary entitled Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? pointed outI Led Three Liveswas Lee Harvey Oswald’s favorite TV Show as a teenager.
Now things makes sense. Since this was his favorite television show, the teenage Oswald would naturally have begun fantasizing growing up to be like the hero of the show — a secret G-man who falsely portrayed himself as a communist in order to find and destroy the countless communist cells that were supposedly spreading across America.
The teenage Oswald would have realized that the job would necessarily involve learning everything he could about communism and socialism. After all, as you can see in the television series, any G-man who was falsely portraying himself as a communist to other communists would have to play his role convincingly. He would have to know communism as well as his enemies and be able to convince them that he too was a committed communist. To do that would require extensive study of communism and socialism.
Now it makes sense why Oswald would join the Marines, just as his older brother had. His joining the Marines demonstrated that like his hero in I Led Three Lives, Oswald hated communists as much as any other Marine. Moreover, he must have known that the Marines were where he would stand a good chance at being recruited to work for the FBI and maybe even the CIA.
In fact, take a look at the website of the CIA. See if it doesn’t point out the CIA looks to the U.S. military as a prime source for recruiting new agents. Clearly, the U.S. Marine Corps would rank near the top. Semper fidelis!
Soon after the Warren Commission got established, the chairman, Earl Warren, called a top-secret meeting of the committee. Its purpose? To address information that Warren had received that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, was in actuality an intelligence agent, one who had been secretly working for the FBI and maybe even the CIA.
It would certainly explain how Oswald learned to be fluent in Russian while he was in the military.
It would also explain why he was never abused, insulted, prosecuted, or thrown out of the military for proclaiming he was a Marxist Marine while he was still on active duty, even though U.S. officials were carrying out their anti-communist crusade against suspected communists all across America, including within the U.S. military.
It would explain why the military discharged him early so that he could travel to Russia where he would supposedly defect.
It would explain why the FBI and the CIA never indicted him or even summoned him to appear before a federal grand jury after he returned to the United States after supposedly attempting to defect to the Soviet Union.
It would explain how Oswald got a job with a company in New Orleans that was owned by a right-wing, anti-communist businessman.
It would explain why Oswald printed the address of a former FBI agent as the return address on a pro-Cuba pamphlet he was distributing in New Orleans.
It would explain what Oswald was behaving like a communist in New Orleans, with nary a peep from U.S. officials.
It would explain why the person standing in line next to Oswald when he was in New Orleans getting a visa to travel to Mexico was a CIA agent.
It would explain Oswald’s trip to Mexico City prior to JFK’s assassination.
It would explain how Oswald got a job in a photography business in Dallas that developed highly classified documents for the U.S. government.
It would explain why Oswald was seen in the company of a CIA agent in Dallas.
After he was arrested, Oswald proclaimed his innocence and claimed that he was being framed for the assassination of the president. Many people have never given that possibility any consideration. The automatic assumption has been that Oswald was guilty because the pat evidence pointed toward guilt, evidence that was entirely consistent with a good frame-up. Thus, the only question over the years has been: Did Oswald act alone or in a conspiracy with others?
The problem is that when the question is framed like that, it leads to nothing but contradictions, inconsistencies, anomalies, mysteries, and conundrums that cause people to throw their hands up in despair. It’s also why we still have people like Larry Sabato and Philip Shenon trying to come up with some motive for Oswald more than 50 years after the assassination. Many people simply cannot accept the possibility or probability that Oswald was telling the truth — that he was, in fact, innocent and was being framed by the very people who actually did have a motive for assassinating the president — the same motive that drove them to target Mossadegh, Arbenz, Castro, Allende, and others for regime-change operations. They simply cannot accept that that an agency that specialized in protecting “national security” through assassination and cover-up in other parts of the world would actually do its job here in the United States when circumstances supposedly required it.
As I detail in my ebook The Kennedy Autopsy, there was clearly a cover-up involving the autopsy of the president. Today there is no reasonable question about that, especially given the extensive information in Douglas Horne’s five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.
For example, when the ARRB summoned former Navy photography official Saundra Spencer to testify in the 1990s, she said that the autopsy photographs in the official record were not the ones she developed on a top-secret, classified basis on the weekend of the assassination. The ones she developed, she testified, had a big hole in the back of Kennedy’s head, which connoted an exit wound, which implied a shot fired from the front. Her sworn testimony confirmed the statements of the Dallas physicians who confirmed that there was a huge exit-sized wound in the back of Kennedy’s head. Yet, the official photographs in the records show the back on Kennedy’s head to be intact.
Spencer’s testimony stands today. It was never contradicted by the Pentagon or the CIA. That means that the official autopsy photographs in the Kennedy case are fraudulent, which necessarily means that there was a cover-up. The question naturally arises: Who would they be covering up for on the very night of the assassination?
In 1953, in the run-up to the Guatemala regime-change operation, the CIA published a top-secret assassination manual that demonstrates that the agency had begun specializing in assassination early on. Equally important, the manual demonstrates that the CIA was also specializing in how to keep people from discovering its role in state-sponsored assassinations. By the time the 1960s rolled around, the Pentagon and the CIA were teaching Latin American military dictatorships that in the case of covert state-sponsored assassinations, a good strategy would be to blame the assassination on a communist. I wonder why they were so convinced that the blame-a-communist strategy would be successful in keeping people from discovering that a political assassination was state-sponsored.
Was Oswald in fact an U.S. intelligence agent whose secret portrayal as a communist was used to frame him for assassinating the president? As I show in my ebook Regime Change: The JFK Assassination, that’s the only thesis by which all the mysteries, anomalies, inconsistencies, and contradictions disappear. It’s the only thesis by which all the pieces of circumstantial evidence fall into place in the Kennedy assassination.
The problem is that all too many Americans find it too frightening to go down that road. While they now accept the U.S. regime-change operations in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Congo, and others, which took place before, during, and after the Kennedy assassination, unfortunately they still cannot bring themselves to see that the assassination of President Kennedy is as much a part of our nation’s national-security heritage as those other regime-change operations are.

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