Sunday, February 20, 2011

Black History Month

Once again we find ourselves in February. It's been designated as "Black History" month since 1976. Before that we had Negro History Week, as far back as 1926, according to my cursory research.

Over the course of my lifetime I've gone from white trash trailer park kid raised by a father who by most measurements would be considered a bigot. There was only two things he liked less than the black race, Jews and Taxes. However, he was a "good man" on the inside, he was just raised in an age, and environment that left him with poisonous beliefs. It didn't help matters much that his holy book also had enough racial material in it to "back up his beliefs".

I never could get in on being a racist full bore, though I must confess that I took on enough of the behavior and language to avoid ridicule from my peers and family. But as I grew older, and matured, and lived my own life, I gathered my own data, and observed things with my own eyes. And I find myself today literally unable to be racist. I may have a touch of "culturist" to me, but I understand it's the environment that creates people who behave poorly, in groups, not human instinct.

I have come to another point, just recently. I was watching some History Channel stuff this month and also having Facebook and Topix discussions concerning such things as religion, evolution, race and others, and it dawned on me, now that I accept evolution, and now that I accept that my distant ancestors came out of Africa, it dawned on me that MY ancestors are black, if I go far enough back down my ancestral lineage.

So in honor of Black History Month, I'd like to proudly proclaim my personal pride in my own black heritage. All of us have evolved from common ancestry, and we are all family.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Abortion Discussion (revisited)

I have often found myself discussing abortion over the years. I've never had a conventional view on the subject. I've never fallen in line with a "democratic" or "republican" party line on the issue.

I mean, what about non-consensual sex, resulting in pregnancy? How does this fit into "every fertilized egg is a life" or "it's a woman's right to choose" First off, you don't want to bring incestuous offspring into the gene pool. It isn't good. I say in this instance, perhaps even late term, with extenuating circumstances.

Or, what if the child has a detectable, severe mental handicap, or physical one. What about congenital diseases that make for very short, uncomfortable lives? Perhaps after we can cure these things, it will become a moot point, but until then, it's a valid consideration when bringing a new life into the world.

On the other side of the coin, at what point does it become immoral to "kill a child"? After a month, you can't tell it's human yet. Two months into the deal, and you can tell it's at least a primate, and since it has no hair, you'd guess it's human. But by the time you get into month three, there is no mistaking that tiny being as anything but human.

Fingers, toes, eyes, mouth, tongue, ears, brain... it's all there by the beginning of the 12th week, or 3 months roughly. At this stage, I have to start siding with the "conservatives". Unless you didn't know you were pregnant, if you let it go this far, and there isn't anything wrong with the "fetus"...

At that point, I don't know whether or not it's "moral" do abort a child anymore. Before this point, it goes from weeks 1-4, it's just some cells, to weeks 5-8, hey that looks kinda weird, around week 9 it starts looking ape-like, and by week 12, THAT'S A BABY! But still, it's only human in physiology at this point. It's brain is not very developed at all, probably less complicated than a rat's brain even.

(on left is 8 week old is web-fingered and legless; on right is 12 week old, with legs and regular fingers and toes)

A recent study has pegged a new milestone though. At week 20, or so, the brain starts going through cycles that are very similar to ones that occur in the adult brain. At this stage, I'm saying it IS a human and to willfully end a viable child at this point should be considered murder, unless there are extenuating circumstances. And then we have another milestone at week 22, that's the youngest preemie to survive incubator care.

Brain cells start sending signals early

Just because you don't WANT it isn't good enough reason. Not to be crude, but if it wasn't non-consensual, you should have not been having vaginal intercourse if you weren't ready for a child.

Breast Cancer Cure ?

Schedule 1 drugs are those drugs which have "no medical use". In this group we have things that used to be prescribed, by doctors, before the "government" made them illegal. Heroin used to be over the counter, if you can believe that. But when it was, people didn't go to the dentist to get pain pills, they just stopped by the pharmacy on the way home, and got some, then made an appointment to see the dentist the next day, or they had some in the medicine cabinet. Cocaine was the same way, some cocaine powder rubbed across the gum ends pain rather quickly... and keeps you up all night.

But the pill companies found out ways to make synthetic versions of these things, and they needed a way to get the old, patentable stuff off the market.... so they lobbied congress. Would you believe that the top three contributors to the Partnership for a Drug Free America are the Alcohol, Tobacco and Pharmaceutical industries?

Marijuana may turn out to be the most insidious member of the Schedule 1 list. "Recent" studies are indicating that marijuana KILLS CANCER.

Marijuana Kills Breast Cancer - NBC News

Marijuana Kills Brain Cancer

Cured: A Cannabis Story (A film by David Triplett)

I call it "recent" because scientists have had an inkling of this fact for nearly 40 years, but legal studies could not be made because of marijuana's Schedule 1 status. As early as 1974 active ingredients of marijuana were shown to kill cancer tumors. KILL them! Recently the American Medical Association has recommended that marijuana be given a green light for research.

Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (including epilepsy), severe or persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis)., the list of maladies that the ingredients of "weed" helps is rather lengthy. Let's be honest, if the plant were discovered tomorrow, every producer of medicines on the planet would be scrambling to synthesize the active compounds. But it's illegal status prevents any research.

I can't help but wonder how much longer this can go on. Currently 25% of Americans have access to medical marijuana, there are 20 states with pending legalization and medical laws... hopefully, sooner than later, people's lives are hanging in the balance.