You Are the Weaker Side in a War You Don’t Even Know Is Going On

You Are the Weaker Side in a War You Don’t Even Know Is Going On

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
– John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness (1838-1914)

[DISCLOSURE: This is a rant. It is filled with personal opinion based on the science I have read and the facts on the ground as I have observed them. You can do anything from rage in disagreement to nod your head in agreement to learning more about these situations before you lose the war against your health and welfare.]

You are an innocent victim in a war going on around you that you might not be aware of. Yes, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But in this case the evidence is clear and irrefutable. I will not trouble you with the science (study references) here for the sake of simplicity. If you doubt anything, check it out.

Perhaps the most significant characteristic of your life that has not been taught to you by your doctor, your schools or even what you learn from television or the internet is that you are not just one being. What you consider to be you is the host for billions of tiny microbes, bacteria for the most part, that inhabit virtually every part of your body.

It’s called your immune system. That’s right. Your immune system is actually not part of the cell structure of your body. They are independent organisms that live in symbiosis with you. You can’t live without them and they can’t live without you.

Does that sound creepy? That’s what doctors and the media believe you will think. They believe you will appreciate remaining ignorant about what may be the most important part of your body, certainly the one that keeps you alive every day.

Science can’t tell you how many or even how many varieties of microbes compose your immune system. The reason is that it varies from individual to individual. There could be as many as 10,000 different varieties of microbes in your immune system with anything up to billions of each. If you have a healthy immune system. Which you may very well not have.

Shouldn’t your doctor be able to correct your immune system’s deficiencies? Yes. But they don’t. Antibiotics, indeed most pharmaceuticals prescribed by your doctor will impair or even destroy your immune system. Antibiotics are microbe killers. Trouble is, they kill hundreds of times more good microbes than bad. Yes, antibiotics and most pharmaceuticals (especially the most popular ones) harm your immune system. Drugs kill the wrong things. And you believe the doctors.

If you know a little about good health and the immune system you will likely know that fresh fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system. But conventional industrial farms commonly use pesticides (poisons), herbicides (poisons) and chemical fertilizers on the very same “fresh” fruits and vegetables you will see for sale in your supermarket. Nobody knows what effects the chemical fertilizers will have on your health years later. Nobody ever tests for that. Nobody.

You will have heard of GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods and GE (genetically engineered) foods–same thing, different terms in different countries–and likely read how safe they are. The producers of those chemicals that are put on the seeds they produce that accept those poisons create studies that show how safe the poisons are. But are they? The tests are notorious sources for conflict of interest. Independent studies, which receive little or no attention in the media (that profit from the chemical and pharmaceutical companies–same companies really) become buried, hidden from a public that deserves to know.

Farm workers who apply the chemicals must wear hazardous materials suits that completely enclose their entire bodies.The most famous is Roundup, by Monsanto. Its main active ingredient–glyphosate, claimed to be perfectly safe (yes, a poison they claim is safe)–has been found in mother’s breast milk, in baby foods, in vaccines, in fresh organic foods, in most chemically treated city drinking water, in air samples in a majority of cities, virtually everywhere.

GMO food crops and seeds have been banned in a large number of countries of the world. Glyphosate and similar poisons have been banned in a large number of countries. Banned because they are carcinogens, chemicals that cause cancer. Yet you can buy Roundup freely over the counter in the USA and Canada. And when you apply it you are not required by law to wear a HAZMAT suit like the industrial farmers do. You aren’t even advised to wear a mask or apply it downwind.

Generally speaking, mold, bacteria, insects and many larger animals will avoid eating a majority of food that is available in a supermarket. Some will avoid it even when they are starving because they do not recognize it as “food.” The poison itself is so effective that it kills every living organism in the soil. Everything. How do you think that affects the food chain whose larger organisms feed you?

People are finding themselves allergic to the clothes they buy and the new furniture and draperies they install in heir homes. Others find themselves ill in other ways, including cancer, from the chemicals embedded in the fabric to make it “look better.” You can ask your doctor about any of this.

Your government likely warns you about climate change and advises you that your car emits too much greenhouse gases. Your government does not tell you that airplanes–many fewer than cars–emit almost as much greenhouse gas as cars. They also do not tell you that one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gases is power generating stations that account for almost one-quarter of all emitted greenhouse gases. Those power stations are usually owned by the same governments that want you to cut back on driving your car.

If there is something wrong that is a public hazard, you may be assured that a government will blame you for it. That will distract you from the fact that governments are the greatest hazards to health on the planet. They do not protect you from air pollution. They do not protect you from water pollution. They will not enact legislation that will make your food free from hazardous ingredients. They will not insist on proof that new drugs–always man-made chemicals, never natural products grown in nature–are safe. Testing of new drugs is from three months to a year, usually. Yet they could affect your health years later. You will never know and never suspect it when you are dying and don’t know why.

If you live in a democracy, you vote for the people who make decisions that affect your life and your health and your future. Legislators are ordinary people like you and me. They often make a lot of critically important decisions based on very limited input. Often that input comes from the very people who stand to benefit from their decisions. Or from lobbyists who are paid by the stakeholders.

You should learn. You should teach your legislators. Without your pestering, they may not even know the harm their decisions will make.

You should not be the victim of their ignorance or neglect. Nor should you allow yourself to be a victim of your own ignorance.

Bill Allin in the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about inexpensive and easy solutions that people are not taking to overcome serious problems. The “war against health” is a serious social problem. He has authored hundreds of articles that are available free on the internet.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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TV Commercials Can Ruin Your Life and Health

TV Commercials Can Ruin Your Life and Health

The question for me was, could TV actually teach? I knew it could, because I knew 3-year-olds who sang beer commercials!
– Joan Ganz Cooney, American television producer, one of the founders of Sesame Workshop, home of Sesame Street (b. 1929)

[DISCLOSURE: The purpose for this article is to make readers aware of the effects of following life and health advice offered by TV commercials. These are science based facts, not opinions. The science part is left out to make it easier to read.]

Children, adolescents, even adults learn about life and life skills by watching television. As odd as that may sound, they have few other convenient sources for information they need. Today’s parents literally know almost nothing about parenting and the needs of children other than food, clothing and shelter.

For most of human history children learned about life from their parents and neighbours as they worked and played alongside their parents in fields and workshops. Today children are separated from their parents for almost all of their waking day, leaving surrogates to do the job of teaching them about life.

TV fills that role magnificently as it seeks to mold the minds of children to become devoted consumers of particular products as they get old enough to spend money. The prime objective of programming is to entertain people long enough that they will stay around for the next set of commercials.

But what are television commercials teaching? Is it worthwhile life advice? No. Do parents realize that they have turned the job of teaching almost everything their children learn over to pathological commercial interests who want people to follow what they teach with the same devotion as people give to their religions or their preferred political party? Again, no.

First, I want you to think about all the TV programs you know. Which among them has role models you believe children should follow? Of course we need buffoons to laugh at and actors to play conflicted characters for drama. Would you change lives with any of them?

As you think about the TV programs you know, one that would interest kids, adolescents or poorly educated adults, can you think of any you would like to represent life in your home or workplace? Even one? I can’t.

TV news is filled with violence and perversion. Shows that emphasize personalities tend to have them conflicting among themselves. Comedies show people with personality problems, social problems, even mental illnesses (never identified as such). Dramas (mostly soaps) show people with lives that no one would want to emulate.

Commercials are where real life teaching takes place. Commercials pay the freight for programming. And they are often better produced. Their messages are meant to be taken literally, also to create a long term following. That’s why you see the same commercials repeated over and over. And over. And over. As a hypnotist would do when putting a volunteer into a trance. The rule of thumb in TV advertising is feed the same message to people ten times or more and they will believe it. Anything.

Let’s set aside anything to do with political or religious advertising as it is filled with so much brain twisting propaganda and distortions of truth that networks and stations should be required to flash warning signs before and after them. Networks don’t bother big advertisers because there is too much income at risk.

Let’s begin our look at commercials for personal care at the top. Hair care companies may have done the most and best research about hair care than any commercial product manufacturer. But their products only heal what other products have broken. In fact, most hair would be best treated with a simple soap wash every few days. The hair of a person who eats a healthy diet will look good so long as the natural elements of hair are not stripped away by chemicals. Wash, rinse with clear water, then leave the hair alone for a few days, other than brushing.

Any commercials to do with mouth care are deceptive, if not outright harmful. I have not seen one teeth brushing commercial in decades that shows a person brushing their teeth in a way that would avoid cavities. On the contrary, the ones I have seen would promote cavities and sensitive teeth. Neither is necessary, but both keep other industries like dentistry and teeth cleaners alive and flourishing.

The mouth (along with the skin) is a secondary part of the body’s immune system. After the major immune system component in the gut, the mouth is the first line of defense against attack by diseases. Kill all microbes in your mouth and you destroy one component of your immune system. Wash your body with soap thoroughly in a daily shower and you will decimate another part. Take doctor-prescribed antibiotics and you will destroy the major component of your immune system. That’s what these products you see advertised do. The advertisers make fortunes on your devotion to their somewhat or totally harmful products. Your doctor will come to know you intimately from your frequent visits.

Skin care products are a travesty against good skin health. To begin, cosmetics for women produce a look that studies have shown men do not prefer over the look of no cosmetics. Men know that cosmetics mean “fake” and act accordingly. Women who claim that they make themselves up to make themselves feel better have self esteem issues. Are they trying to compete for attention with other women or attract them?

Clothing fashions are another issue of brainwashing. A man or woman who believes that he or she performs better at work because they look better is a victim of effective advertising and self deception. Most bosses look at job performance before apparel. Should you be known for your good looks or your job skills?

Teeth whitening was originally used by movie actors to make them stand out from other actors on set. Teeth whitening, like fashion and cosmetics, was an industry founded by people who wanted to sell something that people did not need, except to impress others. Generally speaking, those with real talent and skill do not subscribe to that kind of fake.

People who whiten their teeth to look better in real life do indeed stand out. They stand out as being needy, prepared to do anything to get attention. Anyone who chooses a life mate based on white teeth, fashionable clothing, beautiful makeup, type of footwear or kind of car driven is bound for breakup when the fake wears off. Yet that is what TV commercials teach in North America, where the divorce rate is now well over 50% and a majority of kids in school classrooms live in single parent households.

Generally speaking, if you depend on TV commercials or programs to tell you how to live your life you will live a troubled life. And probably in debt.

When you think about buying something you have seen advertised on TV, remember that the choice is yours. Will the long term disadvantage of harm to you outweight the short term benefits? Of this you may be certain, the advertiser always wins. The advertiser has no obligation to benefit you, only to make you believe that you will benefit from the product. What will you believe?

You may think that what you have just read is opinion by one person. It’s not. I don’t care what you do or wear or how you live your life. That is your business not mine. I don’t have time or interest in meddling in your life.

I do take an interest in helping people to think about choices they make, what effects those choices have on themselves and on others. If you “dress for success” to impress others, you will have bought into the model that industry leaders want. You will be a follower, not a leader. A consumer, not an independent innovator.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about inexpensive solutions to major social problems. If you have hear the word “sheeple” you understand that what you have read above is indeed a social issue.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

Who Lied to You Today? Advertising about your Head

Who Lied to You Today? Advertising about your Head

Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.
– Marilyn Monroe

Most of what we learn about our head and parts of it that require our personal care we learn from our parents, our peers or from advertising. Most of what we learn from parents and peers can be directed back to advertising. Most of that is misleading, distorted or clearly wrong. Some is even harmful.

But we believe it, which is why industries that create the advertising keep it going. To them, what is important is not the truth or your health or best interests, but the fact that you keeping buying their products.

A smile makes anyone beautiful. Cosmetics (and a smile) can make the proverbial silk purse out of the sow’s ear. What we know as the cosmetics industry today began with the rise of Hollywood and Bollywood. Cosmetics were intended to attract attention to a character for a couple of hours. But life is longer than that.

Eventually the smile drops and the makeup comes off. Then two people who were attracted to one another in that artificial state must deal with real life. With “just a girl” as Marilyn said it. Cosmetics of one sort or another can be as important to a man wanting to influence others as to a woman.

No one can be certain how many breakups and divorces result from the realization that the real people involved in a relationship do not match with the artificial character behind or beneath the cosmetics. Cosmetics hide the real person only temporarily.

Teeth whitening began in Hollywood when actors and actresses wanted to be seen on screen and noted while those with real teeth colour were not. Off screen, whitened teeth look fake to anyone paying attention for more than a few seconds. Note that many teeth whiteners are composed of hydrogen peroxide, which used to be known as oxygen bleach. Yes, bleach.

Two grades of hydrogen peroxide are available on the market. The kind you buy in a dollar store or most pharmacies will say 3% on it. That is not food grade peroxide. Food grade is much harder to find and is about 35%. As the tissue (skin) inside your mouth is very porous and easily absorbs anything, you want to be certain that you do not put a chemical that is not food grade in there.

Mouthwashes promise to remove millions of vile and supposedly dangerous “germs” from your mouth. Yet saliva does that. A large majority of what advertising claims as “germs” are really microbes that are part of your immune system. Your body protects itself from stuff it doesn’t want to hurt you by killing it as you are eating. Kill those microbes and you destroy part of your immune system. Mouthwashes that claim to kill 99% of mouth germs never tell you in their advertising about the fact that they also kill part of your immune system, your body’s first line of defence. “Clean” your mouth, destroy your immune system.

Tooth brushing you see in commercials is all wrong and will do nothing to prevent caries (the proper dental term for what the rest of us call cavities). Mostly the brushes swipe the broad sides of teeth, which are kept clean by the foods you eat anyway. Nobody gets cavities there. Eating an apple will do that.

We get cavities, if at all, between our teeth and at their base where the gumline is. Brushes do not get there easily, no matter what the commercials say. Only floss can do that. You can buy a pick at a pharmacy that will allow you to remove anything that has built up at the base of your teeth or between them. That is what a dental hygienist uses.

If you use a brush on the flat surface of your teeth, don’t spend more time doing it than a hygienist does. A few seconds per tooth. More than that and you will grind away at the enamel and dentin that protect your teeth from attack. That would result in tooth sensitivity, meaning pain, which would cause you to have to spend more money on toothpaste that is specially made to be gentle.

All toothpastes are designed to grind the teeth. Almost all contain fluoride, which is a poison. The advertising never mentions that. Poison. Read ingredient lists on stuff you put into your mouth to see how many end with “…ide”. They are all poisons. Try to dispose of fluoride in the USA and you will find it is declared a hazardous waste and must be disposed of in an environmentally safe way.

If you must brush, understand that toothpaste accomplishes nothing. You don’t need it at all. Brush, using water only, horizontally along the gumline, not vertically across your teeth. Cavities grow out of plaque, which is composed of harmful microbes that eat through the enamel and dentin. Remove that and you eliminate the cause of cavities. Those harmful microbes hide where you don’t normally brush.

Any over the counter medication you buy at a pharmacy when you have an ache in a tooth or an ear will be mild and only act temporarily, if at all. If they work, you may be experiencing the placebo effect. Not bad considering that the placebo effect works in up to 30 percent of people who believe they are being helped. A doctor or dentist can prescribe something stronger, or cure your problem by eliminating the cause.

Shampoos that “clean” your hair while leaving something beneficial in it don’t really clean. Yes, the take away protective oil from your hair, then leave deposits of other stuff that does nothing to add to your hair’s health. Only pure soap, such as from a bar, will wash your hair clean. For a conditioner (to keep your hair shiny and deter tangles, use a mixture of one part apple cider vinegar and two parts water.

If you wash your hair with city water, remember that most city water contains chlorine, another poison. Chlorine kills microbes in water cities take from rivers or lakes. Inevitably it will also kill healthy bacteria on your skin, another way your body protects itself from attack with its own immune system.

Does it seem as if advertising presents you with a favourable impression about products that will or could do you more harm than good? Now you understand why it is important for you to know about them.

Cosmetics industries create repeat customers the way pharmaceutical companies create lifetime patients, by causing problems that keep you coming back for more.

The above is intended to cause you to think carefully about the chemicals you use on your body. It is not intended to be conclusive or persuasive, or medical advice. It is intended to make sense. Each point is backed by science. Advertising does not have to make sense to be effective at persuading people to buy a product. It just has to make money for the manufacturer. And it does, which is why you see so much of it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book or inexpensive solutions parents and teachers can use to help grow healthy children. He has also authored hundreds of articles.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

What Makes People Want to End Their Own Life

What Makes People Want to End Their Own Life

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows, their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
– David Foster Wallace, American writer and professor (1962-2008)
[Wallace hanged himself, at home, alone, on September 12, 2008]

This is easily the most difficult article I have ever written. It has taken me months to commit it to written text. It takes me somewhere I never wanted to visit again.

I hope to take you today somewhere you have never been. To have a shallow experience of something tragically deep so that you can better understand why suicide has been a taboo subject for so long. Then leave quickly, never to return.

Most of what you have likely read about suicide is wrong. The reason, simply, is that most writers about suicide consider that because anyone can kill themselves, anyone can write about it with authority. The reasoning is similar to that used by people who write about heaven. If you haven’t been there, you just don’t know.

The topic of suicide can be separated roughly into three categories. One is the kind where the victim is distraught, has great difficulty finding a secure place in life, makes what he or she knows is generally accepted as a means of killing yourself, but never intends to die. Such attempts usually attract the attention, or some attention, the person desperately needs but can’t get otherwise and rarely end in death.

This category is the one most people think of when they claim that depression is the mental illness that drove someone to end their life. This is the one where people say “Depression will end” and “Life will get better” and “Find someone who can help.” It’s a call for help that often goes unanswered once the emergency of the moment has passed.

This category is the one most people think causes people to end their lives, when what these people want most is to find someone who will help them to build a life. It is, in its simplest terms, a cry for help. A desperate cry.

These people can be talked out of their suicide attempt. They are most persuaded by the help line “Somebody does care about you, somebody does love you, somebody will miss you terribly if you die.” Later, when they recover and the attention has passed, they find that no one did care that much. So they make another attempt. Sometimes several attempts over a period of years. They seldom succeed because that is not their objective.

They lack the social and emotional/psychological skills that should be taught in schools, but aren’t. Even under care they are more likely to be given drugs than the skills they need to survive and build new lives.

A second category might be called failed attempts at coming close to death without actually dying. In a sense, thrill seeking. People indulging in this may overdose on drugs, even engage in a game where they intentionally asphyxiate themselves. They hope to “see the light” without having to walk into it, to experience coming dangerously close to death without having the inconvenience of dying. Inconvenience for others, of course, if they die, not for themeslves.

People who engage in this also lack social and/or emotional coping skills. Again, despite how basic these developmental streams are to life (the other two being physical and intellectual development), they are not taught in schools. Most parents know very little about these developmental streams, so can’t teach their own children.

Social and emotional skills are surprisingly easy to teach if a teacher knows what to teach and has permission to teach them. If you remember a couple of important life lessons you learned from someone as a kid and remember how easy they were to learn and how simple they were to convey by someone who knew, you understand how easy and devastatingly cheap these would be to add to a school curriculum.

For some reason that is hard to rationalize, some parents object to teachers teaching these skills, claiming that it should be the responsibility of the parents. It is, of course, but so few parents know what to teach, and when. So most parents miss the lessons entirely.

The third category of suicide is the one that has impacted so many of us recently with the death of Robin Williams. Robin intended to die that day. For him, life was over. He tried to slit his wrists, failed, likely because he realized how messy it would be for someone who would find him, then chose to hang himself with his belt. He did not intend to fail.

Though many people in this third category who end their lives leave notes of apology, explanation or (rarely) of accusation, Robin did not. Leaving a note is common, but nowhere near universal for type three.

Why did he do it? we ask ourselves and anyone else who will listen. Was it depression, as many claim, something he was known to suffer from? Was it severe financial difficulty or fear of bankruptcy and the shame of failure society visits on those who fail, as he was known to be obsessed with this struggle? Or the future struggles with Parkinson’s Disease with which he had been diagnosed?

Was it his continuing struggle with substance abuse? Not long before he died he had checked himself voluntarily into the rehab facility he has used previously. Were the mind altering substance the cause or effect of depression? No one can be sure.

Individually, these are each reasons or problems which can be solved, that may be overcome. Collectively? No one can be certain.

There is still another cause for depression, suicide, mental illness, even murder and other forms of criminal activity. Continual and unrelenting stress. The push to succeed, to get even better, to make even more money, to be even more successful. That stress, the driving force of capitalism, never ends.

Is there a pinnacle, a platform at the top for those who have reached the ultimate success, a place to rest when you have finally made it? No. The drive to improve never stops. Most people adjust their lives, recognizing that they have had enough, that it is time to ease back before they crack. Given the shocking number of suicides in the entertainment industry and among other leaders of industries, it’s obvious that too many do not make that adjustment.

We read about the suicides among leaders. Rarely do we read about suicides in the military, among teenagers, among the poor, in aboriginal communities. Suicide rates in these groups are nothing short of shocking. Many times the national average in every case.

Robin Williams was not drugged, drunk or likely depressed enough to want enough to die that he would be willing to resort to suicide. So, why?

Suicide is not an act of selfishness. It’s not a matter of thinking only of themselves, nor an act of cowardice or an easy way out of problems, excuses those who know little attribute as causes. The kind of suicide where the person fully intends to die is completely different, something beyond human life experience.

Have you ever been so wrapped up in music you are enjoying that there is no other world around you but you and that music? If you write or think deeply, the rest of the world disappears, there is nothing around you but your thought. You may attach yourself to a character in a movie so much that you live the role in the movie right along with the character. An actor or performer may be so into a performance that there is nothing else to life but that moment, at that moment. You are no longer an observer, but now an integral part of the action.

When a prey animal, or human, knows it is about to die–when the brain is convinced of the inevitability of death–the brain shuts down. The moment of transition from life to afterlife is actually painless. That’s why when you see a mouse dangling from the beak of an owl in flight or a squirrel hanging from the beak or talons of an eagle, they are not wriggling trying to escape as you might expect.

The brain has a mechanism whereby it refuses to accept pain messages, refuses to suffer at that final stage. A person about to die of hypothermia (freezing) is not cold or even afraid as death approaches. Scientific studies have shown that this is when people who have been that close, then came back to tell about it, find themselves “walking toward the light.” Science is so far uncertain of the actual mechanism for this, but lack of blood flow to the brain is the explanation with the most support.

Would science call that state of not being “of this world” depression, as it does the cause for suicide? Science either totally denies the existence or has trouble diagnosing or explaining anything that isn’t broad enough to shoot a gun at from a short distance. I would call it the human spirit separated from the confines of the corporeal body. With suicide–real suicide–the spirit seeks to make that separation permanent. Whether that may be considered a mental illness or something different may depend on whether or not you have had such an experience.

For a person about to end his life (males end their lives much more often than females–there’s an important lesson there), there is no one else in the world. No family, no friends, no neighbours. No one exists but them and “now” at that time. There is no world other than the room the person is in. Most suicides happen indoors, usually at night, in a closed room, where it is quiet, when they are alone. Their whole world is inside their body.

Isn’t that strange? Yes, may it always seem strange to you.

What could you do to prevent a person in this third category from ending their life? That’s a burning question. Intervention is possible with the first two categories as has been demonstrated many times. But the third?

My theory is that a person in the third category can be forced to postpone suicide, but not to avoid it completely. At least not easily. Anyone who can be talked out of it would be in the first category. Short term intervention for someone committed to killing himself will not work. It will only delay the event.

Consider this: if you are in a position to think about ending your life, or even to consider the pain you will suffer in doing so or the mess and distress you will leave for others if you die, you are not a candidate for category three. You may be depressed or you may be normal as almost everyone thinks about ending their life at some point. They don’t do it for a reason. Category three people don’t consider reasons or consequences. They are alone in their world. There is no “other,” “else,” “later” or “future.”

Isn’t it cruel to end an article on such a depressing note (pun unintended)? Let me throw you a rope of hope. Successful suicides in the third category almost always have the person being alone. Never leave a person who may be at risk alone in a room. Never without another person who is awake and paying attention. All the time, 24/7.

A person who is at risk of suicide in this third category will tell you of his intentions, if asked. Most category threes have hinted or told others outright of their intent to end their life. What if he says no, he does not intend to kill himself? No one says you have to believe him. It may seem surprising, but few category threes will lie about their intent.

If you get the person out of his normal environment, away from the usual stresses of his life, for long enough (it may take at least a year), you may be able to cause something in his brain to change enough to alter his life course.

The other alternative would be akin to brainwashing. This would have to be done by a professional, over several successive long days of intensive therapy, non-stop over those days. A regular psychologist or psychiatrist would not know what to do or how to do it. Drugs would not be used because they would prevent voluntary changes within the brain. Finding a person who could do that would be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But they exist.

I wish I had positive or encouraging suggestions for you if you know or learn of someone in category three. Let me make it even more complicated.

If a person wants to end his life because he can’t get whatever he needs, may not even know what he needs, what are the ethical questions surrounding denying him that right? A person who is “saved” from suicide by persuasion may not get the help and personal care he needs later. Is that ethical?

What is society’s obligation, if any, to someone who wants to end his life? What would your own obligation be? What is right? Each of us must make that decision, if the time comes, and live with the consequences of that choice.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of easily implemented and relatively cheap solutions to problems that plague every community. Suicide is a social problem, likely more of a problem than you are aware of in your own home area.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

The following web site gives tips for parents needing to watch their teenage kids:
http://www.afsp.org/preventing-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/suicide-prevention-tips-for-kids-and-teens

Keeping Kids “Innocent” Is Wrong, Ultimately Harmful

Keeping Kids “Innocent” Is Wrong, Ultimately Harmful

“Now I really suspect that Grandma is hiding [the newspapers with news about the Great War]. That would mean the news was so bad she did not want me to read it. But knowing the truth is better than imagining the worst.”
– Jean Little, If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, part of the Dear Canada series that teaches history and culture to children through story telling

They grow up so quickly, don’t they? How often have you heard that? Or maybe you have said it yourself.

Too many parents try to protect their children from the “cruel world out there” by hiding truth and reality from them. “There will be time for them to learn that later, when they are old enough and mature enough to handle it.”

The trouble is, by the time the parents believe their kids are old enough to handle the bad news about life, the kids have usually already experienced the bad part. They are past the time when they needed the input. The parents failed in their most important function, to raise their children to know how to handle what they face in their lives.

Compared with most mammals and primates, humans have an extremely long period of childhood. Nature has accommodated this by allowing for the slow development of a child’s body. Girls don’t begin to become fertile (able to procreate) until they are old enough that their prehistoric female ancestors were ready to be mothers. Similarly with boys becoming sexually mature.

The frontal lobes of the brain, the parts that help us tell right from wrong, good from bad, and that help us to think our way through serious problems do not fully develop until well on into the teen years.

By the age that adolescents become sexually mature, most of them know almost nothing about what is happening inside their bodies (how the hormones will affect them, not just the mechanics of reproduction as studied in school), how the same is affecting those of the opposite sex and how they can and should manage their strong feelings of sexual attraction toward others.

A recent study in the United States showed that fully half the college students surveyed knew almost nothing about how to avoid pregnancy. Does that seem unbelievable? It isn’t to those college students.

At the adolescent age of their kids, many parents are saying to other parents that “Kids are interested in sex too young these days,” and “I don’t want my kid to be having sex until he (or she) is much older and can handle the responsibility.” That age is not 12 years. But kids (about 15%) have their first sexual experiences by that age. By age 14 or 15, virtually half of them have had sex at least once. Parents are in denial, unless a daughter becomes pregnant. Then they blame the daughter, or TV, or movies, or their family doctor, just about anyone.

There is no such thing as an age when a child is too young to learn about matters of adulthood. That’s the whole purpose of childhood, for them to learn about being adults before they actually get there and have to live it.

However, there is a secret about conveying adult information and knowledge to children. It’s not what you tell them so much as how you tell them. Like any kind of communication, the message must be formed in such as way that the receiver understands it and can absorb it. Preferably that the young person has understood the message enough that he or she can process how to incorporate it somehow into his or her life.

A child can know the intricacies of sex without actually feeling the need to have it with another person. There are consequences. One is pregnancy and that includes becoming a parent long before the adolescent is ready to become a parent, to raise, provide for and protect a child.

Teens have learned how to avoid having intercourse by having sex in such a way that pregnancy is not possible. One method for each gender is cunnilingus (for the female) or fellatio (for the male). These do open the possibilities for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), including HPV infection, even throat cancer or HIV. The answer is not to hide these possibilities, but to discuss them so the adolescent has a chance to understand the risks.

Those who do not know make the most mistakes. The consequences of those mistakes often affect a person for the rest of his or her life. The knowledge young people need is not just about sex. It’s about everything they may be exposed to in their lives, including at school, on the streets, on televison and on the internet.

Innocence in childhood becomes ignorance in adulthood. Innocent children suffer great disadvantages. Ignorant adults become victims of all kinds of problems. To make life worse, ignorant adults who received little help from their parents tend to be shy about asking for help from others when they are adults. In other words, ignorant adults tend to remain ignorant, often to the extent of refusing to learn when they have the opportunity.

There are no advantages for a child to remain innocent. There are huge and harmful disadvantages for an adult to be ignorant about the realities of life. One of those disadvantages is that ignorant adults tend to be more fearful of more different things than those who are knowledgeable. They also tend to lack empathy and often find it hard to be sympathetic. These are critically important characteristics we want in the generation that will soon run our country.

If you want a child who never grows up, get a dog or cat. If you are the parent of a child, help that child become a well balanced and responsible adult. It’s the primary life responsibility of every parent. Talk about it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of easy and inexpensive solutions to seemingly impossible problems. He gives advice through his web site and his internet group. To learn more about these go to http://billallin.com

Why Massive Social Unrest Is A Good Thing

Why Massive Social Unrest Is A Good Thing

Godwin’s Law or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies (formulated in 1990) states, roughly, that in any discussion of a controversial subject, sooner or later somebody will make the comparison to Hitler and Nazism. – originator: Mike Godwin, American lawyer and writer (who opposes using logical fallacies, such as Hitler analogies, in arguments)

Everybody is fed up with something these days. Many are fed up with lots of things. Some can’t focus on their own lives because they concentrate so much on what they dislike. For many, just saying the word “occupy” or the number “1%” evokes distaste or ranting.

They’re fed up with government policies that result eventually in extinction of hundreds of species of animals every year.

They’re fed up with taxes. (“What’s the point of working or getting a raise if it just means you have to pay more taxes? I already pay about half my pay in taxes of one sort or another.”)

They’re fed up with government. (“Elected reps are inefficient and corrupt. They feed themselves and starve everybody else.”)

They’re fed up with The System. (1% of us, the super rich, own almost everything and the rest of us 99% are nothing but slaves.”)

They’re fed up with Wall St. or whatever the financial services location is in their country. (“The rich get richer while the rest of us lose our hard-earned money so we can’t afford to retire.”)

They’re fed up hearing about global warming, knowing that the worst polluters are facilities operated by governments themselves and companies they license. And industries supported by governments with grants.

Aircraft are the worst moving polluters of the air, yet governments give hefty loans, grants and tax benefits to aircraft manufacturers who employ lots of people. When deciding between jobs and pollution, governments always choose jobs. In effect, this choice is between health and jobs. People are fed up with that bad choice.

They’re fed up with government who support big corporations, who end up paying zero or almost no tax, while the lowest income earners who can barely afford to survive have to pay heavily, relatively speaking.

People are not so fed up with pollution that threatens to warm the atmosphere by half a degree. They understand that governments give permits that allow industries to emit half a million chemicals into the air they breathe and 300,000 chemicals into the water they drink. They assume that half a degree rise in average temperature is not much and they haven’t died from bad water or air yet. But they are fed up with governments that give the grants that eventually cause poisoning of the air they breathe and the water they drink.

They’re fed up with hydraulic fracturing (known as hydro fracking or just fracking) by natural gas companies that poisons ground water and may cause earthquakes and volcanoes (one of which, in Yellowstone, could destroy almost the whole of the United States if it ever erupts). Jobs again.

They’re fed up with Big Pharma and doctors that keep people sick while filling their own pockets. Cures are rare because that would end the massive income stream.

They’re fed up with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms, or GEs, Genetically Engineered organisms) that threaten to destroy the health of everyone. People know these exist and proliferate because of corrupt politicians. They’re fed up with vaccines that have been shown through scientific study to cause more harm to health than they have benefits, especially to children.

People are fed up because their very existence is threatened. That makes the survival instinct kick in. So they protest. In some countries it’s the Occupy movement. In others it’s demonstrations that turn into riots, revolutions and the overthrow of governments and dictators.

Why is that good? How could it possibly be good?

Human nature supports the status quo. We dislike change because we don’t know what to expect. We let corporations exploit us and corrupt governments control us beyond what is acceptable by human rights standards of today because we don’t want to cause trouble for ourselves by rocking the boat.

But too many people are now too fed up. When decades of poor health, no jobs and early death face them, they are ready to take action.

Industries have already brought about more changes in one lifetime than have taken place in 16 generations previously. But many of those changes went overboard to further enrich the wealthy and further impoverish the poor. The Middle Class of past generations has now joined the poor. Few can afford to retire at any age before they die.

That makes people want change.

Wealthy industrialists and bankers (a few people control most of the money flow in the world) have bought elected representatives and now manipulate them like puppets. They represent not all voters, but the super rich few.

In what form will the inevitable uprisings occur? In many forms, no doubt. Of this we may be certain, Arab Spring uprisings and even more recent trouble in Ukraine and in Crimea state, if change does not happen soon enough violence can’t be stopped.

We may be certain that the world’s bankers, the ones who have funded every war in recent history–both sides–will not allow change that is against their best interests to happen easily or without a fight. To them, violence, always carried out by lowly “others” is considered nothing more than business as usual.

The people of the world do not want more violence, more wars, more riots. Massive demonstrations begin as peaceful protests and turn violent only when the police or military that are controlled by the government, that is controlled by the elite bankers begin to fire weapons and kill demonstrators. The ones that cause violence are backed by the few with the money, those who have the most to lose if change is forced on their society.

The media, almost entirely owned and controlled by the elite, report demonstrations as “violent” if the police fire weapons or use truncheons. Extremely large demonstrations around the world have often been totally ignored by the media because no violence resulted.

Change is inevitable because the tipping point has been passed. Demonstrations now happen in almost every country of the world, every year. Eventually the leaders in many countries will come together and, standing united, force changes more massive than any seen in human history.

Not only will you be alive to see it, you will be involved, one way or another. This change, this peaceful revolution, will involve almost every person on the planet. You would be wise to be aware if it, even if you do not demonstrate yourself, because your life will be changed as a result of the change.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of inexpensive and easy to implement solutions, especially in education. The coming massive change has been quietly seeded in schools over the past few decades. Learn more at http://billallin.com

Aliens Are Among Us And Available to Help Us and Our Planet

Aliens Are Among Us And Available to Help Us and Our Planet

I know some of my hypotheses sound rather extraordinary.
I may be a little weird, but I’d rather be weird and right than normal and wrong.
– Paul Stamets, scholar of ancient mycotechnology, owner of Fungi Perfecti

Paul Stamets is definitely not like you and me. He knows stuff. He knows how to clean up the land around Fukushima without burying millions of tons of contaminated dirt. He offered a method to clean up, naturally, the oil spill from Deep Horizon. Despite his proof, yes proof, no one in power took him seriously.

Frankly, after reading what I have about him, I would not be surprised if one day I learn that he has ways we can adapt to global warming and its inevitable consequences. (But not yet for that. Bear with me.)

This article is not about Stamets, but about the beings he cares about. You may think you know about these beings, but chances are you will be more than a little surprised.

When I was a kid (maybe when you were too) I was taught that everything could be divided into three categories: animal, vegetable or mineral. Everything we could think of fit into one of those three categories.

The beings I refer to are living things on our planet. Yet not animal, vegetable or mineral, by common definitions. These things may be more shocking, based on what they can do, than any you might have imagined. True, a few people have died over the years through contact with them, but the fault was with the ignorance of the people, not of the beings in question.

Note that these are not the vicious conquering type of aliens we have read about or seen in movies for decades in science fiction. They are about as friendly and helpful to humans as it’s possible to be.

I never could figure out why humans thought of aliens from other worlds as conquerors who would destroy us and what we know. Would we do that if we sent a ship through space to another inhabited planet? Would our astronauts be expected to destroy any life they may find on Mars in coming decades? No.

Before we get to the names, descriptions and modus operandi of these alien creatures, I want you to try to imagine what you think aliens might look like. The fact is, we have no idea. We don’t even know if we would recognize aliens as life forms if they did not conform to our sci-fi images. Remember, it was not that long ago that homo sapiens without white skin were considered to be subhuman, simpler life forms, with much lower intelligence than those with white skin. We really know very little about life of any kind.

Might an alien breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide? Ours do. At least some of them do. How would they move? On feet, hoofs, paws or flexible skin (think snakes), as we are familiar with? Ours don’t. They have roots, at least some of them. They spread or “re-seed” as some plants do. In fact, one being in the west of the USA is so large that it lives in the ground under four contiguous states. No other living thing we know is that large.

Would it have a brain? Almost certainly. At least something we might consider a brain. In fact, some of our beings contain pathways inside that, under a microscope, look very similar to pathways of the human brain. Hmmm.

Might they engage in agriculture? Some of our creatures are known to feed trees, from which they later gain nutrients for themselves. In fact, evidence suggests that they have been known to provide extra nutrients for young trees that are suffering because they can’t get enough sunlight because other nearby taller trees are blocking light from reaching them.

Might they create chlorophyll, as plants do? Ours don’t. In fact, they might consume dying plants (as we do) to extract chlorophyll and other nutrients from them. Keep in mind that all life forms we know consume other life forms to continue their existence–every single one of them.

Some of our aliens live in a symbiotic relationship with plant life we are more familiar with. Some live in a symbiotic relationship with animal life we are familiar with.

You may even have some of our alien life forms in your refrigerator. In fact, health aficionados recommend them highly as extremely beneficial for your health. Not long ago they were considered junk, not worth eating, parasites to the plant world. How our thinking changes as we learn more.

Enough with the teasing. The aliens in your refrigerator are mushrooms. The dangerous ones are called toadstools. Both are fungi, a huge group now considered to be a Kingdom (like animals and vegetables) of their own. When you look at a mushroom in the ground, what you see is the fruit, what you eat is the fruit of the organism.

Fungi are now known to comprise an enormous Kingdom with some 1.5 million members. Among the more familiar ones are yeasts and molds. Yes, they do breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, like animals. Yes, some do have neural systems that look similar to that of human brains. They are subject to many of the same diseases as animals. Like animals, who lack the ability to make chlorophyll and to photosynthesize, they eat other forms of life.

Fungi are a diverse Kingdom. Some, such as yeast, are single cells. Others, like molds, are multicellular. And, yes, the largest known living being is under four states in the western USA. But don’t plan a vacation to see it, it is underground. It feeds trees and it feeds off trees. Strange, huh? Kind of….alien.

If humans did the same sorts of things as some fungi, they would be said to be farming, acting in sympathetic or even empathetic ways to other beings, possibly altruistic. As it is, most people think of fungi as some kinds of strange plants.

To conclude, let’s look at several ways in which fungi could help us to save our planet.

People have made use of fungi for thousands of years. Ötzi, the famous 5000 year old “Ice Man” whose body was discovered a few years ago, carried amadou with him. The spongy inner layer of the horse hoof fungus, amadou has been used for everything from making clothing (it feels and is worn like felt, and is as warm), as tinder for starting fires, for dressing wounds because of its antimicrobial properties, and for preserving foods.

Amadou is the first medicinal ever recorded. Hippocrates (he who created the Hippocratic oath, sworn by new medical doctors– basically: first, do no harm) recorded it in 450 BCE as an anti-inflammatory. Of course you would not likely see it for sale today because it is available naturally on every continent and cheap to make (thus making it of no interest to drug manufacturers).

Agriculture

Soil could be enhanced with mycorrhizal fungi which would eliminate the need for toxic chemical fertilizers while improving crop yields.

Biofuels

Biodiesel made from mushrooms would require less soil and other resources than crops used at present. And mushrooms grow fast.

Environmental Cleanup

Petrochemicals and radiation could be removed from contaminated soil and water as mushrooms can break them down and absorb them. Slimy spike-cap mushrooms gobble up radioactive cesium-137, for example. Mushrooms will not harm the environment, rather they improve it. They would improve soil formerly contaminated with glyphosate.

Wastewater Filtration

Mushrooms could be used to clean runoff from storm drains, farms, logging roads or contamination from mines.

Pesticides

Select fungi could be used to kill off certain species of pests while remaining safe for others and not harming the ground in which they are grown.

Medicines

Carefully selected mushrooms could be used to make new antibiotics, antivirals, immune-boosting compounds and even chemotherapies. Agarikon mushrooms, for example, could be used to protect against bird flu, swine flu, even smallpox.

Forestry

Mushrooms could be used to symbiotically enhance growth of new forests or reforestation of clear-cut land. They help trees grow and, in turn, gain nutrients from the same trees.

Famine Relief

Mushrooms grow quickly, provide many essential nutrients and grow in almost any environment. They could be used to provide quick and fresh relief in disaster zones and refugee camps using just wood chips or saltwater-soaked straw as a starting medium.

Space Travel

Mushrooms could be used not only as freshly-grown food for space travelers, but also as materials for terraforming on new planets due to their ability to create new soil relatively quickly.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of solutions for problems that affect every family and every community, but almost everyone believes they are simply consequences of modern society.

Learn more at http://billallin.com

[Primary Resource: “Mushroom Manifesto”, by Kenneth Miller, Discover, July/August 2013]