body~politic

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Long-Term Marijuana Use Can Double Risk of Psychosis

 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587644,00.html




Long-Term Marijuana Use Can Double Risk of Psychosis

Monday, March 01, 2010
Young people who smoke cannabis or marijuana for six years or more are twice as likely to have psychotic episodes, hallucinations or delusions than people who have never used the drug, scientists said on Monday.
The findings adds weight to previous research which linked psychosis with the drug — particularly in its most potent form as "skunk" — and will feed the debate about the level of controls over its use.
Despite laws against it, up to 190 million people around the world use cannabis, according to United Nations estimates, equating to about 4 percent of the adult population.
John McGrath of the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia studied more than 3,801 men and women born between 1981 and 1984 and followed them up after 21 years to ask about their cannabis use and assessed them for psychotic episodes. Around 18 percent reported using cannabis for three or fewer years, 16 percent for four to five years and 14 percent for six or more years.
"Compared with those who had never used cannabis, young adults who had six or more years since first use of cannabis were twice as likely to develop a non-affective psychosis (such as schizophrenia)," McGrath wrote in a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal.
They were also four times as likely to have high scores in clinical tests of delusion, he wrote, and a so-called "dose-response" relationship showed that the longer the duration since first cannabis use, the higher the risk of psychosis-related symptoms.
A study by British scientists last year suggested that people who smoke skunk, a potent form of cannabis, are almost seven times more likely to develop psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia than those who smoke "hash" or cannabis resin.
Previous studies had also suggested smoking cannabis can double the risk of psychosis, but the British study was the first to look specifically at skunk. Skunk has higher amounts of the psychoactive ingredient THC which can produce psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
McGrath said, however, that "the nature of the relationship between psychosis and cannabis use is by no means simple" and more research was needed to examine the mechanisms at work.
As part of his study, McGrath and his team looked at links between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms among a group of 228 sibling pairs and found the association still held. This suggests other influences like genes or the environment were less likely to be responsible for the psychosis, they said.
A international group of drug policy experts published a book earlier this year arguing that laws against cannabis have failed to cut its use but instead led to vast numbers of arrests for drug possession in countries like Britain, Switzerland and the United States, which cause social division and pointless government expense.













Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?

http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-now-selling-appeals-court-judgeships-health-care-votes




Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?

Obama names brother of undecided House Dem to Appeals Court.

BY John McCormack

March 3, 2010 6:15 PM
Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
“Scott Matheson is a distinguished candidate for the Tenth Circuit court,” President Obama said.  “Both his legal and academic credentials are impressive and his commitment to judicial integrity is unwavering.  I am honored to nominate this lifelong Utahn to the federal bench.” 
Scott M. Matheson, Jr.: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Scott M. Matheson currently holds the Hugh B. Brown Presidential Endowed Chair at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985.  He served as Dean of the Law School from 1998 to 2006.  He also taught First Amendment Law at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government from 1989 to 1990. 
While on public service leave from the University of Utah from 1993 to 1997, Matheson served as United States Attorney for the District of Utah.  In 2007, he was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman to chair the Utah Mine Safety Commission.  He also worked as a Deputy County Attorney for Salt Lake County from 1988 to 1989.  Prior to joining the University faculty, Matheson was an associate attorney from 1981 to 1985 at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C.
Matheson was born and raised in Utah and is a sixth generation Utahn.  He received an A.B. from Stanford University in 1975, an M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980.
So, Scott Matheson appears to have the credentials to be a judge, but was his nomination used to buy off his brother's vote?
Consider Congressman Matheson's record on the health care bill. He voted against the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee back in July and again when it passed the House in November. But now he's "undecided" on ramming the bill through Congress. "The Congressman is looking for development of bipartisan consensus," Matheson's press secretary Alyson Heyrend wrote to THE WEEKLY STANDARD on February 22. "It’s too early to know if that will occur." Asked if one could infer that if no Republican votes in favor of the bill (i.e. if a bipartisan consensus is not reached) then Rep. Matheson would vote no, Heyrend replied: "I would not infer anything.  I’d wait to see what develops, starting with the health care summit on Thursday."
The timing of this nomination looks suspicious, especially in light Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak's claim that he was offered a federal job not to run against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary. Many speculated that Sestak, a former admiral, was offered the Secretary of the Navy job.

University of California campus erupts in riots

http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-03-03/california-berkeley-tuition-riot.html#




University of California campus erupts in riots

Published 03 March, 2010, 00:49
Edited 04 March, 2010, 18:37
Violence breaks out as students at the flagship school of the University of California protest stiff tuition hikes.
 Students at the University of California’s flagship Berkeley campus took to the streets on Friday night, vandalizing university buildings, burning trash cans and clashing with police in the latest expression of frustration over cuts to the educational budget in California.
In November, the University of California Board of Regents voted to raise tuition by 32 percent. At the same time, professors were asked to take pay cuts or be furloughed, classes were eliminated and class size increased. Protests erupted across the University of California system, particularly at UC Davis and UCLA.

The first tuition hikes took place in January, and since then tensions have been on the rise.

“Nobody planned what happened, but anger erupts when it has been building for so long. That’s what happens,” said Callie Maidhof, a student activist at UC Berkeley. “[The regents] are effectively closing off the campus, making it less accessible, and those already here are getting less out of their education.”

The University of California system, made up of 10 campuses with nearly 160,000 students, has long been the envy of other states. For many years, UC has provided a low-cost, world-class education, and scholars and politicians alike have noted the role of the UC schools in building California’s middle class. In recent years, however, the system has been battered by the state’s ongoing budget crisis. California, which has the sixth largest economy in the world, has been hard hit by the economic crisis. Rising unemployment has caused a drop in the state’s income tax revenues and lawmakers have been reluctant to raise taxes, leaving the state government with little choice except to make severe budget cuts.
Schools across the state are planning mass protests on March 4 to protest the $17 billion in cuts to education budgets expected over the next two years.

SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS HITS WHOREHOUSES

http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=357


SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS HITS WHOREHOUSES
by Ann Coulter

March 3, 2010

It looks like Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is on track to win another endorsement from ACORN!

This week, Hynes announced that "no criminality has been found" after his investigation of the videotapes made by investigative journalists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, which show ACORN employees counseling the pair on getting a mortgage for a house of prostitution.

(They got a choice of government loans: Phat Fannie Mae, Prince Freddie Mac or Barney Fresh Daddy Frank ... aka "Sir Fix-A-Lot.")

I'm just glad to know that Hynes conducted a thorough "investigation" first. Who did he have screen the videotapes, Gov. Paterson?

If his investigators had actually watched the videotapes, they would have found ACORN employees apparently advising a pimp and prostitute on how to defraud mortgage lenders, deposit prostitution money in a bank, hide money from the government and avoid detection while running a whorehouse with teenage girls from El Salvador.

I'm not a lawyer -- oh, wait, yes, I am -- but I count approximately a half-dozen state law crimes being discussed on those tapes, from money laundering to advancing prostitution.

In a "Eureka" moment, ACORN Employee-of-the-Month Volda Albert identifies for O'Keefe and Giles the problem they had been having getting a mortgage:

Albert: Um, is it legalized? Is prostitution legalized in New York state?

O'Keefe: It's not. It's not, unfortunately.

Albert: Well see, that's your problem.


As ACORN employee Milagros Rivera said, "You can't say what you do for a living because of the law." But displaying ACORN's can-do attitude, she explained: "Honest is not going to get you a house."

ACORN employees helped concoct a scheme to hide from the lender the source of O'Keefe and Giles' down payment money. Albert suggested that O'Keefe "pay a down payment -- or (Giles) can transfer to somebody else, who is not in that business ... a close friend, then (Giles) can transfer that, and then he can give you, like, a gift to purchase."

Under New York law, hiding the true source of down payment money from a lender constitutes mortgage fraud. Also, using the proceeds of criminal conduct in any banking transaction is money laundering.

Does anybody need a flow chart at this point, or should I continue?

To help Giles hide her income from turning tricks, ACORN employee Albert advised Giles to open two banking accounts, depositing no more than $500 per week in each one. (This would not only enable her to conceal her illegal earnings, it would also qualify her for free checking.)

But Albert's most inspired idea was that Giles get a "house with a backyard. You get a tin can ... and bury (your money) down in there, and you put the money right in, and you put grass over it, and you don't tell a single soul but yourself where it is."

Back when I was in Louisiana, we advised people to put their illegal money in the freezer, but that didn't work out so well. And I guess putting your money in a mattress isn't advisable if you live in a whorehouse.

Anyway, Albert was particularly detailed on the tin-can-in-the-backyard investment plan: "Keep thinking: 'I have a yard. I have a house.' You gotta start coming out with, like, plants and you start doing -- so it won't be suspicious. You start buying plants for the backyard in pots and what have you, and you mark a spot."

She later told Giles: "You are not paying Social Security, so you'll have society, all right? You are not getting a pension, so you need to save that money for in later years." ACORN: Helping Plan Your Financial Future.

If only shady lawyers advised clients to bury money in cans in their backyards, instead of putting it in tax shelters, we wouldn't have all those attorneys clogging up prison cells!

The ACORN employees also stressed that Giles should do nothing to attract attention to her prostitution money. Albert said: "You can buy a decent car for yourself, no big fancy thing to attract people, all right?"

In Albert's defense, this could have been common etiquette advice. No one likes a showy hooker.

Even after Giles explained her plan to house a "slew" of 13-, 14- and 15-year-old girls from El Salvador for her prostitution business, Rivera simply responded: "So you guys ready to schedule that (mortgage application) for the summer?"

Rivera clearly missed her calling -- she should be pushing vacation time shares in Boca Raton beach condos.

Under New York law, a person is guilty of advancing prostitution if he: "knowingly ... aids a person to commit or engage in prostitution (or) ... engages in any other conduct designed to institute, aid or facilitate an act or enterprise of prostitution."

It is a class D felony (up to seven years in prison) if the prostitute is under 19 years old -- as the ACORN employees knew Giles was -- and a class C felony (up to 15 years in prison) if the prostitute is under 16 years old -- as Giles stated the El Salvadoran girls were. (And if she's under 15 years old, Eliot Spitzer may be involved.)

If none of the advice given by ACORN on those videotapes constitutes conspiracy or aiding or abetting a crime, see this column next week for my opus: "10 Detailed Plans to Kill George Soros and Why This Might Be Right for You."

COPYRIGHT 2010 ANN COULTER

National Eyes on McNamee Case

http://community.pacificlegal.org/Page.aspx?pid=1192




National Eyes on McNamee Case
Principal Attorney Paul Beard II with the McNamees
Principal Attorney Paul Beard II with George and Sharlee McNamee

Two weeks ago, the California Court of Appeal in Orange County heard argument in McNamee v. California Coastal Commission, with a decision expected in the next 90 days or so.
The appeal challenges the California Coastal Commission’s denial of a permit allowing the McNamees to keep tables, benches and other beach amenities in their private backyard, which abuts a public beach.  The Commission denied the permit primarily on the grounds that the amenities were too bulky and out-of-character with the surrounding areas, and that the amenities hindered the public’s use of the public beach—grounds that constitute a misapplication of the relevant law and fly in the face of the facts in the record.
Here’s a short summary of the case and argument:
The argument garnered substantial media attention in the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, and even on ABC 7 and Fox News's Fox & Friends:
Fox 
News Report on McNamee Case

Comments?

Share them on our blog.

Paul J. Beard II
PLF Principal Attorney









Whittier College racism, sexual debauchery and corruption

http://www.aztlan.net/whittier_college_racism_and_corruption.htm





Whittier College racism, sexual debauchery and corruption

by
Ernesto Cienfuegos
La Voz de Aztlan

Mug shot of ousted Whittier College President James L. Ash. The sodomite college president was arrested inside a cheap Nevada motel with an 18 year old male student. Inside the motel room, the vice squad found large quantities of crystal meth, syringes, vaseline and homosexual pornography. President Ash went to prison at the Southern Desert Correctional Center and is now an ex-con. The scabs on the pervert's face are typical on meth junkies.
Los Angeles, Alta California - March 2, 2010 - (ACN) Whittier College is a tiny but pretentious liberal arts college in a Southern California town that at one time aggressively enforced "Racial Restrictive Covenants" written into the deeds of properties that said, "No person or persons of Mexican blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property." The purpose of these covenants was to "hold the line" against Mexicans-Americans moving east from Los Angeles. Today this decrepit college of approximately 1300 students is being encroached on all four sides by the majority Mexican population of Whittier and the college Governing Board of Trustees and predominantly White administration are now struggling to survive a series of major scandals. The most recent scandals involve the exploitation of Mexican housekeepers by the college, sexual debauchery, rampant drug use, the recent ousting of a crystal meth injecting homosexual college president and serious accusations that the college is abusing the federal Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program that was introduced under Title V of the Higher Education Act that is designed to serve the academic needs of Mexican and other Latino students.

Whittier College administrator Ken Bohan acting disrespectfully towards Mexican female housekeepers. Whittier College has an acute anti-Mexican bias and abuses Mexican workers. Mexican workers at the college are often shown disrespect and are underpaid and overworked. One worker told La Voz de Aztlan that often they are not paid at all and are threaten with deportation if they complain.
One of the most serious and embarrassing scandals in the recent history of Whittier College is the ousting of the sodomite Dr. James L. Ash, their 12th college president. The scandal started when rumors by students, faculty and neighbors around the Wardmen House (President's Residence on Summit Drive) started flying that President Ash was a crystal meth junkie and was molesting young boys and male students. Neighbors around the Wardmen House gossiped about possible drug fueled homosexual orgies taking place at the Wardmen House because of late parties and young males coming and going from the residence late at night. The College Governing Board of Trustees managed to keep the matter very quiet until a vice squad arrested Dr. Ash in a cheap Nevada motel with an 18 year old male student. Inside the motel room, the police found large quantities of crystal meth, syringes, vaseline and homosexual pornography. President Ash went to prison at the Southern Desert Correctional Center and is now an ex-con. No one at Whittier College speaks about this shameful incident to this day. Last week a group of about 30 student members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) decided to support the grievances of exploited Mexican housekeepers at the college. MEChA assisted in the collection of student signatures on a petition on behalf of the underpaid, overworked and mistreated Mexican housekeepers. The Mexican housekeepers and MEChA students then attempted to deliver the petition to the Director of Facilities Ken Bohan but in the usual and pathetic racist Whittier College way, Bohan screamed "get out" disrespectfully at the Mexican female housekeepers and students and promptly called Campus Safety security cops. Campus Safety, mostly scary looking Blacks, has earned a very bad reputation among students and community members. They are very much feared and are the enforcers of Whittier College racist policies on behalf of the White college administration.

The Wardmen House owned by Whittier College and used as the residence of the college president. It is located on the 13500 block of Summit Drive and it is alleged that ousted President James Ash used it for drug fueled homosexual orgies.
There have been very serious incidents involving Campus Safety cops including a written affidavit of a sexual assault and their use of hard drugs that merit a thorough investigation by state and federal law enforcement agencies. One Whittier College female student wrote, "Once one (Campus Safety) officer, the younger Black one, was sooo cracked out. He was seriously on something. He drove on campus all paranoid, yelling, and asking students weird questions." (See memoir from a former Whittier College student at http://whittiergate.com/memoir.htm and Campus Sexual Assault at http://whittiergate.com/p11assaul.htm ) It appears that the racist White college administration is utilizing two methods to shield themselves. One is to hire scary looking Black campus cops to enforce their racist policies and the other is to hire, what MEChA call "Tio Taco" administrators at the lower levels.
Current Whittier College president Sharon D. Herzenberger who now resides at the "Warden House.". She has not responded to complains about abuses by the Campus Safety cops.
La Voz de Aztlan last Friday had a similar experience when one of our reporters visited the Whittier College campus to talk to MEChA students concerning the Mexican housekeepers grievances. Our reporter stopped by the Cultural Center where MEChA was to hold a meeting. Administrators gathered there told our reporter that he was not welcomed and to leave the campus immediately. When our reporter objected and said "you can't do this" a heavy set Black said, "We are a private college and can kick you out whenever we want to" even though they are receiving millions of federal dollars in grants from taxpayers. The Black administrator then ordered two Campus Safety cops to escort our reporter off campus. One of the Black Campus Safety cops threaten our reporter with violence if he did not cooperate. During the term of office of the sodomite drug junkie president Ash, Whittier College was about to shut down for lack of enrollment and funds. Ash developed and implemented a series of schemes to obtain massive amounts of federal aid by manipulating Mexican and other Latino student enrollment figures, a practice that campus activists allege is still practiced today, One of these federal aid programs for colleges is called Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program but to be eligible for grants under the program, colleges have to show that they have at least a 25% Hispanic student enrollment. Whittier College has consistently denied access to true Hispanic enrollment figures and graduation rates, a practiced that has generated significant suspicions within the Mexican-American community of Whittier. Four days ago this news service inquired through a written request about Hispanic enrollment, graduation rates and total amount in grants received from the US Department of Education. The request was sent to the administrator in charge, Dr. Charlotte Borst, Vice President for Academic Affairs, but as of today there has been no response. There are now efforts to have Congresswoman Grace Napolitano assist in launching a US Civil Rights and other federal investigations of Whittier College. ( See The Whittier College Diversity Scam at http://whittiergate.com/p10div.htm )
Whittier College is a rapidly deteriorating college that actually presents a danger to its students and surrounding community and serious consideration should be given to shutting it down. The college was founded by the Quakers Religious Society of Friends but today even this group has disowned it due to the decadency that now permeates the campus. The only well known alumni of the campus is former president Richard "Tricky Dicky" Nixon but even he has brought international shame to the college. There is a possibility that Nixon learned his dirty tricks and "Water Gate" spying techniques at Whittier College. Not too long ago another scandal erupted at the college when recording bugging devices where found inside the offices of the Quaker Campus student newspaper. The criminals were never found but it is suspected that the college administration was involved.


This Whittier College coed in only her panties and bra
and probably high on something is being arrested
by the police not far from the campus.
The college is now dependent on federal funds to educate
"under privileged" minorities and on $30,000+ per year fees
from White families whose children did not qualify academically for
admission to better colleges or universities.
(See Whittier College Awash in Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Assault, Sexual Assault
and Communicable Diseases at http://www.whittiergate.com/p5awash.htm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Eat 'real food' for a month

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/23/real.food.challenge/index.html




(CNN) -- The task set by a food blogger seemed deceptively simple: Eat real food for a month.
More than 900 people signed up for the challenge, and some were confident that it would not be difficult to avoid processed foods for 28 days.
But in the age of potato powders, cheese in a squirt can and microwaveable meals, eating only "real food" turned out to be much more difficult.
On Day One of the challenge, blogger Jennifer McGruther gave this instruction: Purge your pantry of processed foods.
This meant everything with refined oils, white flour, sugar, low- and skimmed-milk products, margarine, processed cheeses, refined salt and dried pastas had to go.
Gallery: Lessons on lard
"It doesn't matter if the foods are organic or not. Toss them anyway," she said. "You may well have paid good money for the food at one time, but remember, real health comes from real food, and real food never comes from a box."
Neither a chef nor a nutritionist, McGruther is a full-time real estate office manager and a mother from Crested Butte, Colorado, who enjoys cooking and blogging at NourishedKitchen.com.
In 2006, she started gravitating toward a diet of traditional foods because of her interest in nutrition and farmer's markets. The purpose of her 28-day Real Food Challenge was to show readers that eating only real food could be done.
The philosophy behind traditional food is similar to the slow food movement, which originated in Italy more than two decades ago in response to the growing impact of fast food on the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle. It also espouses locally grown foods and traditional preparations.
By eating real food, "you allow your body and taste buds to reset. You can taste the full array and subtle nuances in your food," McGruther said.
Throughout the month, McGruther taught readers how to render lard to avoid refined oils, sprout grain, cultivate yogurt and make cheese instead of using premade convenience products from the store.
Photo Gallery: How to render lard
Limiting processed foods can be rewarding because it encourages people to eat more fruits and vegetables, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and an American Dietetic Association representative. But she warned against villainizing all processed foods.
Processed food is defined as any food that has undergone a change of character. For example, edamame would be unprocessed, and tofu would be processed.
I like the idea of less processed foods, but you can find healthy stuff in a package, too.
--Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian
RELATED TOPICS
Blatner said another example is milk that is pasteurized for safety reasons. Some traditional food loyalists recommend drinking raw, whole milk.
"I like the idea of less processed foods, but you can find healthy stuff in a package, too," she said, pointing to low-fat milk, sliced apples and unsalted canned vegetables as examples.
"You have to put everything into perspective. With any diet, you never want to follow it to such an extreme there's something wrong with it."
Whether the philosophy is called "slow foods" or "traditional foods," it's gaining momentum thanks to major bestsellers and influential foodies and chefs.
Families who took McGruther's challenge were stunned by the lack of choices without processed foods.
"I thought we ate healthy," said Kassandra Mier, a challenge participant. "I didn't think it'd be a problem. It was tougher than I thought. Trying to have a breakfast that didn't have anything processed was time-consuming."
In the morning, she ground oats and buckwheat to make pancakes and waffles. She pan-fried eggs and made hash browns from scratch.
"The first week, I didn't think I could continue it," said Mier, who lives in the suburbs of Toronto in Canada. "It made it extra work than it would've been otherwise. I felt like a slave in the kitchen."
The upside was her children had such hearty breakfasts, they rarely asked for snacks.
Mier did not completely follow the challenge, because she continued to buy bread from the store and allowed her kids to have cereal once a week. She hopes to adopt other ideas from the food challenge as she gets faster at food preparation.
Dawn Partlow of Lincoln Park, Michigan, said that throughout the challenge, she prepared simple items including steaks, baked potato and salad, or soup made with previously frozen stock.
"I have to meal plan -- there are grains to be soaked at least overnight, flour to be ground and yogurt to be made. ... Those things aren't time consuming, but all have to be done in advance," she said.
But not every participant had such a smooth transition into traditional foods.
"I got rid of tons of stuff -- enough stuff, that I had trouble figuring out what to feed my kids," said Maggie Towson of Bel Air, Maryland.
After the pantry purge, a trip to the grocery store stunned her.
"There's little real food in them," she said. "That was kind of a shock to realize how limited the choices were."
She and her two kids were dedicated to the challenge, but Super Bowl parties and special events diverted their focus. She tried baking sourdough bread (but she let it rise too long) and fermenting vegetables (into sauerkraut, which her kids didn't like).
"I was stressed out about not being able to keep up," Towson said. "I like to have a checklist and get everything checked off, and it wasn't happening."
But after writing about her frustrations online, the other participants comforted her, and she realized that any small change was an improvement.
Towson, like other participants, said cutting out processed foods was expensive, because grass-fed beef and fresh produce from farmer's markets cost more.
"Real food costs more, because it's worth more," said Nina Planck, author of "Real Food: What to Eat and Why." It's a common complaint about real foods, and it boils down to priorities, Planck said.
"You need to think about where and how you want to spend your money ... ," she said."I buy fruits and vegetables in season, in bulk at the farmer's market. I don't need another sweater, but I have to feed my kids every day."
While the real food challenge may have felt overwhelming, McGruther was optimistic.
"Anyone can do it. It's about taking slow steps, learning one piece at a time," she said.






Stop Obamacare Again

Response to New White House Plan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Serenity Prayer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

 

 

Serenity Prayer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.[1] The prayer has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.
The best-known form is:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] History and attributions

[edit] Reinhold Niebuhr

According to the most common attribution, Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the prayer for use in a sermon, perhaps as early as 1934. He is quoted in the January, 1950 Grapevine[2] as saying the prayer "may have been spooking around for years, even centuries, but I don't think so. I honestly do believe that I wrote it myself."[3]
The prayer is cited by Niebuhr in his book: The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr: Selected Essays and Addresses,[4] and by Niebuhr's daughter, Elisabeth Sifton, in her book The Serenity Prayer: Faith and Politics in Times of Peace and War:[5] Sifton thought that he had first written it in 1943; his wife wrote in an unpublished memorandum that it had been written in 1941 or 1942, adding that it may have been used in prayers as early as 1934, although it was not then in circulation.
In his book Niebuhr recalls that his prayer was circulated by the Federal Council of Churches and later by the United States armed forces.[6] Reinhold Niebuhr's versions of the prayer were always printed as a single prose sentence; printings that set out the prayer as three lines of verse modify the author's original version.
An approximate version (apparently quoted from memory) appears in the "Queries and Answers" column in The New York Times Book Review, July 2, 1950, p. 23, which asks for the author of the quotation; and a reply in the same column in the issue for August 13, 1950, p. 19, where the quotation is attributed to Niebuhr and an unidentified printed text is quoted as follows:
O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The prayer became more widely known after being brought to the attention of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1941 by an early member.[7] The co-founder, William Griffith Wilson, and the staff liked the prayer and had it printed out in modified form and handed around. It has been part of Alcoholics Anonymous ever since, and has also been used in other Twelve-step programs. Grapevine, The International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous, identified Niebuhr as the author (January 1950, pp. 6–7), and the AA web site continues to identify Niebuhr as the author.[3]
Niebuhr himself did not publish the Serenity Prayer until 1951, in one of his magazine columns, although it had previously appeared under his name in 1944, when it was included in a Federal Council of Churches book for army chaplains and servicemen.[8]
In 2008, Yale Book of Quotations editor Fred R. Shapiro published evidence showing that versions of the Serenity Prayer[9] were in use as early as 1936, years before it was first attributed to Niebuhr in 1943.[8] Curiously, all of these early examples were from women, typically women involved in volunteer or educational activities.[10]
Most recently, Duke researcher Stephen Goranson found a variant attributed to Niebuhr in a 1937 Christian student publication: "Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other." Shapiro has now retracted his earlier doubts about the prayer's authorship.[11]

[edit] Other claims

Shapiro suggests that Niebuhr most likely unconsciously adapted the prayer from existing formulations of unknown origin, although he acknowledges the possibility that Niebuhr introduced the prayer by the mid-1930s in an unpublished or private setting.[8] Sifton, in a response published with Shapiro's article, argues that the prayer must have come from one of the tradition's most gifted practitioners, which she believes could only be her father.[12]
The philosopher W.W. Bartley juxtaposes Niebuhr's prayer with a Mother Goose rhyme (1695) expressing a similar sentiment, but without comment:[13]
For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
The prayer's origin is often attributed to Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (1702-1782), but this attribution may be the result of a misunderstanding of a plagiarism of the prayer by Theodor Wilhelm, an ex-Nazi professor at the University of Kiel. Wilhelm printed a German version of the prayer as his own work in his book, Wendepunkt der poltitischen Erziehung; he published the book under the pseudonym "Friedrich Oetinger" (the book did not pretend to be the work of the 18th-century Oetinger; the name was merely a pseudonym, apparently chosen because the author's wife was descended from pastors who shared the theology of the 18th-century Oetinger). Theodor Wilhelm was apparently unaware that the US Army and the USO had been distributing the prayer in Germany since the end of World War II, and later writers who were unaware that "Friedrich Oetinger" was a pseudonym (even though the book was clearly written by a 20th-century author) confused this name with the eighteenth-century Oetinger. Wilhelm apparently chose to publish under a pseudonym because his Nazi past was widely known in Germany at the time.
On a website called Our Special Net, is in an article purportedly reprinted with the permission of a Dr. John Sasser,[14] photographs are shown, said to be of a tavern, built in 1849 in Bergen-Enkheim, Germany. The words of the Serenity Prayer are shown written in German above three windows of the first floor.[15] Close examination of the photographs shows distinctive "watermark" type markings around all the texts and also an additional line of text, unaccounted for in the article, which has been obscured; the lettering, with its sharp outlines, seems to have been painted recently, although the article reports a resident remembering the text being there between 1920 and 1930 when she memorised it as an 11 year old. The essay repeats the confused report that the prayer was written by Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, based on the similar pseudonym used by a twentieth-century author who claimed to have written the prayer (see above).
Other spurious claims for the authorship of the prayer include one that the prayer was written by the Christian philosopher and theologian Boethius just before his execution in the year 524 or 525.
In the movie Billy Jack and the novel Angels & Demons, authorship of the prayer is mistakenly given to St. Francis of Assisi.

[edit] Adaptations and expansions

In 1953 William Spence added a section:[citation needed]
God,
Grant me the serenity;
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage, to change the things I can;
And the wisdom, to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
At some meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, the line "Just for today" is added to the end of the prayer. This practice is, however, by no means universal to AA.
There are also humorous versions of the prayer now in circulation.[citation needed]

Dubai Restricts Israeli Entry After Killing

TEL AVIV—Dubai's police chief said it will enforce an entry ban on Israeli dual nationals, the first sanction by the emirate following its allegations Israeli intelligence agents murdered a top Hamas leader there in January.
Though the countries have no diplomatic ties, Israeli dual nationals, mostly business people, have entered the United Arab Emirates relatively unhindered under second passports.
The Emirates will seek to identify Israelis by "physical features and the way they speak.'' said Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim.

A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister's office declined to comment on the announcement.
Shunned throughout most of the Arab world, Israel prizes even the most minimal trapping of normalization with any country the Middle East.
AFP/Getty Images
Dubai police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khlafan.
"This is a harsh step,'' said Yoav Stern, an expert on the Arab world at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv.
Israeli officials have either denied or withheld comment on allegations that the Mossad intelligence agency played a role in the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhoub in a Dubai hotel room.
Gen. Tamim has said there is a "99%" chance that Israel was behind the killing.
As details of the case trickled out of Dubai, some commentators in Israel and abroad, assuming Mossad involvement, criticized the agency for underestimating the ability of Dubai police to piece together the hit. Dubai authorities identified a team of 26 suspects on closed-circuit TV—some of them disguised in wigs and beards, or carrying tennis rackets.
But many Israelis rallied around Mossad, and during the Jewish festival of Purim, which ended Monday, some Israelis mimicked the suspects' disguises.
Purim is a holiday of public merriment, marking the foiling of a plot by an ancient Persian minister to annihilate the Jewish people. It is customary to dress up in costumes at parties, at readings of the biblical book of Esther, and on the streets.
Rami Patimer, owner of a Tel Aviv costume store, said customers were showing up in groups with newspaper clippings and suspects' photos. Popular items: Wigs, fake mustaches and tennis socks, like those worn by the Dubai suspects on video. "Everyone wants to be a hero," he said. "It's Israeli pride."
Israeli officials have expressed satisfaction that Mr. Mabhouh is dead. He had been sought by Israel for planning the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers in 1987, an allegation Hamas hasn't contested. After news of the killing, Israeli security officials said they believed Mr. Mabhouh was also involved in weapons smuggling between Iran and the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip.
Last week, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni called the assassination "good news." On Sunday, the country's trade minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, told Army Radio that he had no idea who killed Mr. Mabhouh, but he also appeared to use the killing to put Hamas on notice: "None of their people are untouchable," he said. "They can all be reached."
The killing, and Israel's fascination with it, have also become fodder for Israeli comedy shows on radio and TV.
In a mock news interview on the weekly television satire, "Eretz Nehederet," Mossad assassins bicker with one another about their cover names and the room-service bill in Dubai.
"I don't know about you, but I can't wait for our next assassination," says a mock Israeli news analyst on the show.
"Everyone always revered the Mossad, and now when you see it in real life like a James Bond movie everyone is fascinated," said Israeli pollster Mitchell Barak. "It looks very glamorous when it's live TV."
The prime minister's office, which has direct authority over Mossad, didn't respond to requests to comment.
Officials from Australia and European nations—whose passports Dubai has linked to the killing—haven't blamed Israel, but have demanded Israeli help in determining how their passports were used in the case. U.K. investigators were at work in Israel on Monday.
In Europe, the case created a diplomatic furor after Dubai police released passport information for 26 European and Australian citizens viewed as suspects. Most of those identified quickly surfaced, and the issuing governments said it appeared identities were stolen to produce fraudulent passports.

The U.S. Constitution: 200 Years

http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/books/usc_toc.php




The U.S. Constitution: 200 Years of Anti-Federalist, Abolitionist, Feminist, Muckraking, Progressive, and Especially Socialist Criticism

Table of Contents

   Introduction: Bertell Ollman   1


  1. Prehistory of the Constitution
    1. "Shays' Rebellion"   Howard Zinn   13
    2. "The Articles of Confederation"   Merrill Jensen   18
    3. "The Establishment of a National Union"      Louis M. Hacker   25
    4. "The United States in the World-Economy"   John Agnew    29


  2. What Actually Happened in Philadelphia
    1. "The Spirit of the Constitution: A Progressive Introduction"   J. Allen Smith   37
    2. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution"   Charles A. Beard   39
    3. "The Antifederalists"   Jackson Turner Main   60
    4. Selections from Anti-Federalist Critics   73
      1. Patrick Henry   73
      2. Mercy Otis Warren   79
      3. Brutus   85
      4. "None of the Well-Born Conspirators"   89
    5. "The Constitution and Slavery"   Frederick Douglass   91
    6. "A Compact With Hell"   William Lloyd Garrison and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society   96
    7. "Slavery and the Founding Fathers"   W. E. B. Du Bois   97
    8. "Women and the Framers"   Sylvia A. Law   106
    9. "The Voice of Madison"   Daniel De Leon   110
    10. "Social Forces and the Constitution"   Algie Simons   116
    11. "The Founding Finaglers"   Gustavus Myers   125
    12. "The People's Two Bodies: The Declaration and the Constitution"   Sheldon S. Wolin   130


  3. Struggles over Constitutional Interpretation and Practice
    1. "The Constitution as an Elitist Document"   Michael Parenti   141
    2. "The Second American Revolution"   Gore Vidal   163
    3. "Court over Constitution"   Ferdinand Lundberg   187
    4. "The Second American Revolution"   Eric Foner   201
    5. "The Third American Revolution"   I. F. Stone   208
    6. "Corporations Are Not Persons"   Ralph Nader and Carl J. Mayer   214
    7. "The Second Reconstruction: Assessing the Civil Rights Movement"   Manning Marable   217
    8. "Freedom of Speech"   David Kairys   223
    9. "Women and the Constitution"   Joan Hoff   231
    10. "On the Bicentennial of the Constitutiion: A Marxist View"   Herbert Aptheker   247
    11. "Some Truths Are Not Self-Evident"   Howard Zinn   261


  4. Toward a More Adequate Theory of the U.S. Constitution
    1. Law and Constitutionalism in Capitalist Society: Excerpts from the Writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels   267
    2. "Theses on the Capitalist State"   Bertell Ollman   273
    3. "The Development of Legal Ideology"   Michael Tigar with Madeleine R. Levy   279
    4. "The Rule of Law"   E. P. Thompson   285


  5. Appendices
    1. "Ruling Class Intent"   Woodrow Wilson   297
    2. "Economic Bill of Rights"   Franklin D. Roosevelt298
    3. "A Bicentennial View from the Supreme Court"   Thurgood Marshall   300
    4. Constitution of the United States of America and Amendments   306


       Index   329

The New Blue Federalists

http://slate.msn.com/id/2111942/


The New Blue FederalistsThe case for liberal federalism.

Many liberals who haven't yet moved to Canada have indulged the fantasy of a "blue state" secessionist movement. But the American legal tradition does offer liberals a practical alternative to secession or a condo in Vancouver. It's called federalism, aka "state's rights." Liberals often have a reflexive distaste for decentralization of political power: State and local autonomy strike them as provincial and regressive. But much of the association of federalism with conservative politics is the result of historical accident: There is nothing inherently conservative about limitations on the power of Congress and the executive. And now that both of these branches are firmly controlled by conservatives, perhaps liberals will begin to see the merits of meaningful federalism. They won't need to look far: The president, mounting that favorite hobby horse of conservatives—tort reform—has just proposed federal legislation to limit medical malpractice awards. Even a modicum of respect for the prerogatives of the states should stay Congress' hand: Tort liability has always been a matter of state law, and the effects of supposedly excessive awards in one state should have few consequences for the quality or cost of medical care in other states.
Federalism is not just for conservatives, anymore.
Under the Constitution, the power of Congress to pass legislation of national effect is formally limited to specific subject matters. All others are, in theory, the exclusive domain of the states. But in practice, for much of the late 20th century Congress has been able to do almost anything under an expansive reading of the power to regulate interstate commerce. The durability of this expansive reading of the commerce power owes a great deal to the prestige of the civil rights acts of the 1960s, upheld as a legitimate congressional regulation of interstate commerce. Thankfully, few modern lawyers wish to argue that federal antidiscrimination law exceeds congressional authority. And, perhaps as a consequence, until recently modern courts have by and large accepted the truism that almost any activity, anywhere, potentially affects interstate commerce and is subject to congressional regulation, provided that Congress makes a symbolic gesture at its potential interstate effects.
As a result we have, for instance, federal criminal law covering small-scale garden-variety activities such as marijuana cultivation for personal use. In reaction to this nationalization of the law, "Federalists" seek to limit congressional authority to legislate in areas that primarily concern individual states: California's criminal code can deal with the prevalence of homegrown hash on the streets of San Francisco. And with the help of the Rehnquist Court, this idea has gained real urgency in the past several decades.
A few liberals have advocated an embrace of federalism in the past, but for the most part, federalism has a well-deserved bad reputation among liberals (though no worse, I should hope, than secession). "States' rights" has been a central part of a conservative political agenda since Daniel Webster debated John C. Calhoun; and at least since the New Deal economic regulations, social programs (and the taxes necessary to fund them) often have been imposed by feds over the objections of more conservative state governments. "Federalism" is often an alias for conservative judicial activism—a convenient rationale for invalidating acts of Congress conservatives dislike.
But the legal arguments once used to invalidate liberal policies are equally applicable to federal laws favored by conservatives. Virginians successfully resisted the Violence Against Women Act as an inappropriate federalization of criminal law, and now Californians are attempting to resist federal antidrug laws outlawing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes for the same reason. State and local police successfully resisted being commandeered into a federal scheme of handgun registration required under the federal Brady Act; now some have suggested that cities resist federal antiterrorism policies that impinge on civil liberties and target immigrant communities. Justices who claimed principled support of federalism when liberal laws were challenged will and should be hard-pressed to abandon their devotion to states' rights when conservative policies are at issue.
Liberal federalism has similar potential with respect to fiscal policy. When liberals controlled Congress, conservative opponents of federal power railed against the redistribution of wealth through social programs. Now that conservatives are in charge, the rhetoric of the free market has yielded to the reality of fiscal pork, and liberals openly grouse that most of the red states are net recipients of federal largess while blue states are net donors. (Google the phrase "red state welfare queens" and read for yourself.) Conservatives have long admonished Congress to tighten its belt, complaining that the federal taxes necessary to fund liberal largess slowed economic growth. Now conservative spendthrifts follow the familiar pattern of people who wind up on The Suze Orman Show: They fund their binges on credit. Borrow-and-spend conservatives take as much money out of the economy as tax-and-spend liberals did. The era of big government is back, and it has a MasterCard.
To many liberals, "states' rights" is almost synonymous with the old South and Jim Crow. But the political landscape is different today than it was in the 1950s and '60s. Old Southerners used numerous tactics to dilute minority political power, such as discriminatorily applied poll taxes, literacy tests, and racial gerrymandering. Today, thanks to effective enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, these weapons of mass disenfranchisement are unavailable, and minority voters enjoy significant political influence in many state legislatures. Disenfranchised minority voters needed the federal government to act on their behalf. Today, those voters can and do look after themselves in local and state politics.
Of course this wouldn't be true without the federal Voting Rights Act. And federal law serves many other indispensable functions: By setting a floor for occupational safety, environmental protection, and civil rights protections, it prevents a race to the bottom that might occur if states could compete for industry by relaxing such standards. An extreme federalism would undermine any policy initiative that requires a comprehensive national policy. While in theory, states could agree to adopt identical regulations governing, say, minimum wages or environmental protections, coordination would be difficult and the potential for strategic holdouts would be high. (Why impose environmental regulations whose full cost will be felt at home when much of the harm resulting from inaction will be felt in neighboring states downwind or downstream?) Sensible federalism has its limits: It must not allow states to limit the enjoyment of important rights, and it must allow for federal regulation of activities with significant interstate effects.
But this is all the more reason for liberals to take federalism seriously. Given the present composition of the Supreme Court, the federalist revival will almost certainly continue. Liberals can help shape federalist principles so that important and necessary federal initiatives are not undermined. Workable principles of federalism must reflect the realities of a national market and the need for significant coordination of policy among the several states: Federalist principles should limit congressional authority, but only when interstate effects are minor or the benefits of comprehensiveness small.
Federalism doesn't suit the typical liberal's self-image, but one of the most persuasive defenders of decentralizing political power was that ultimate object of liberal cosmopolitan admiration (and conservative scorn), a French intellectual: Alexis de Tocqueville argued that the strength and dynamism of American democracy were found in its local communities. He was right: Local and state governments can be more innovative, daring, and proactive—in short, more progressive—than even the liberal Congresses of distant memory. A growing number of state courts and legislatures have pioneered public-school finance reform, working to ensure that kids from poor neighborhoods are not stuck in inferior schools. Many states have civil rights guarantees that are stronger than those under federal law, especially with respect to sexual orientation discrimination, which federal law does not prohibit. Californians, taking up the slack left by a federal government mired in religious extremism, have just voted to invest $240 million per year of state funding in cutting-edge biotechnology research. In many instances, what progressive states most want from the federal government is that it get out of their way.
States and local governments can be laboratories for democracy, where innovative and controversial policies can be tried out on a small scale before being applied more comprehensively. Take medical tort reform: Several states have already limited malpractice liability. If the proponents of reform are right, we should expect to see the cost of malpractice insurance and subsequently the cost of medical care drop in those states. Why rush to federal legislation when we can wait and learn from these states and their experiences? Such small-scale experimentation is ideally suited for controversial issues in an ideologically polarized nation.
After the validation of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, religious conservatives, pushing for the feds to ban same-sex marriage nationwide, predicted dire consequences for children, the breakdown of the nuclear family, floods, locusts—in short, the end of civilization as we know it. But the worst that could happen is that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse arrive early in Massachusetts. Do most conservatives really think that would be so bad? Similarly, antidrug conservatives claim that California's medicinal marijuana law is a prescription for reefer madness. Mellow out: If California becomes overrun with spaced-out hedonists—well, that is, even more overrun—then people from other states will know not to take a hit from their medical pot pipe. On the other hand, if same-sex marriage promotes stable and loving relationships and medical marijuana relieves human suffering at little or no social cost, other states, having let Massachusetts and California liberals take the risky first vows and first tokes, can join the party. And we promise not to say, "I told you so."
A house divided against itself will not stand. But that doesn't mean we can't have separate bedrooms and lie in the beds we make. A meaningful federalism could maintain fundamental rights and centralized control over activities whose effects cross state boundaries. But it would also let the red states experience more of the consequences of their political ideology and the blue states of theirs. I can't imagine a better way to advertise the virtues of progressive policy.
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