All the Ways That IQ Is Relevant to Society

Intelligent Mouse: By “relevant for society” i meant relevant for economics. IQ can matter for many reasons, like for example just being interested in any form of scientific rigor in understand behavior could make it relevant to an individual as the person would seek for all (or at least most) alternatives in models. But lets investigate some of the potencial usage of intelligence meassurments and see how IQ tests meassure up. Measuring potential school performance: Some small amount of years in school will already give the teachers or parents ample information about their prospects, but also traits that make IQ more productive in synthesis: https://books.google.se/books?id=SCyEAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=Layzer+(1973:+238)&source=bl&ots=9Rf9sy0Jd6&sig=WjWMXZsLTGLGy7SS7JSZQ9RLmNE&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjl0q7t78fdAhUQpIsKHXb7AFsQ6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=Layze Job performance: Well, IQ correlates around 0.3 with job performance, but the measurement is subjective so it might capture some things that correlate with social-class and therefore IQ. Eugenics: Pleitropy and polygenic structures makes eugenics by swapping SNPs impractical. Breeding programs can only do so much without further molecular biology knowledge. Twin studies seem kinda ridiculous: Twin Studies, Adoption Studies, and Fallacious Reasoning And i also agree with: Behavior Genetics and the Fallacy of Nature vs Nurture and (which is what GWAS interested behavioral geneticists like Steven Hsu agree on): Height and IQ Genes making eugenics very hard. If we already knew the mechanisms behind Testing mental health: This is actually the best use of IQ, as decreasing IQ is indicative of loss in brain stuff. Criterion validity and correlation: I also think that IQ´s criterion validity lies on shaky grounds when its founded on correlations that are only tested in narrow environments, essentially just creating the same correlation again and again without testing the methodological validity by testing the correlation appropriately. to test correlation appropriately would find anomalies in the pure environmentalist approach (or any level of conviction to environmental explanations) or finding causal IQ relationships (which Environmentalists have done). I’m not really an IQ denier though, i think there probably is an range of IQ that any given person can inhabit, but the fact of individuals sticking around the mean makes it hard to know who could be where, especially in such large and genetically similar groups like economic classes and races. Some people are obviously extreme, but as previously stated, we don’t need IQ tests to know that. And whats to say that smart people have high IQ? IQ is contingent on G, but all of my criticisms on IQ are pretty much equally (for better or worse) valid against G. I see no use in IQ if not for future developments. Its an unfinished project at best.

  I do not think that people realize what they are criticizing when they attack IQ. For IQ is simply the best measure we have for measuring intelligence in human beings. No better test has ever been devised. So when you criticize IQ as a concept, you are actually criticizing human intelligence itself. Do you IQ critics who say IQ is not that important really want to say that human intelligence is not important for human beings? Because that is exactly what you are saying. You realize IQ correlates very well with all sorts of things, right? Percentage of country that are college grads. Grades in college, SAT. Good correlation between college grades, SAT scores and IQ. Wealth of society. As IQ rises, societies tend to become more wealthy. As IQ falls to a low level, you can end up with extreme poverty, a lot of crime and chaos, rampant disease, and sometimes even a failed state. State of the infrastructure of society. Infrastructure of society improves as IQ rises. People and society are more likely to maintain things. When IQ falls to a low level, people often do not know how to fix broken infrastructure and there is a tendency to jerry rig or do temporary quick and dirty fixes to problems that last for a bit but then fail again. Civilizational level of society. As IQ rises, societies appear more civilized. As it drops to a low level, countries can appear downright barbarous. Crime rate of society: As IQ rises, the nation’s crime rate falls. Whether or not you will go to jail or prison and how long: As IQ falls,  you are more likely to be imprisoned and for longer. Whether you will go on welfare programs. As IQ falls, welfare use increases. Whether you will get an advanced degree. As IQ rises, advanced degrees become more common. Income (up to a certain level). Income rises in tandem with IQ up to 125-130, after which it falls Accident rate. As IQ falls, people get into many more accidents, some fatal. Includes car crashes, recreational accidents, accidents at home, etc. Hospitalization rates. As IQ rises, people are hospitalized less often. Rates of alcoholism and serious drug abuse. As IQ rises, rates of drug and alcohol abuse fall. The environment you create for your children. As IQ rises, parents create better environments for their children. Stability for chaotic nature of your surroundings. Even if you look at it on a neighborhood level, as IQ rises, the neighborhood becomes calmer, sometimes nearly to the point of being boring. Yet only three miles away, a large group of apartment complexes housing many low wage workers has a lot of noise, a general chaotic atmosphere, frequent police calls, a lot of yelling and screaming coming from homes, more frequent and more chaotic parties, more violence, more residential crime, and more drug and alcohol abuse. Domestic violence rates. Domestic violence falls precipitously as IQ rises. Men at the highest IQ levels seldom beat their wives. As IQ falls down to a low level, domestic violence becomes commonplace to the point where most men are beating their wives.

Street Crime in Latin America

Rahul: What I noticed about crime in South America was that in most areas crime isn’t really prevalent, however cities just yank up the crime rates. And the cities are very very bad. In the rural areas, a lot of drug production happens, in the cities, the drug shit happens. Oh, and gang rivalries and violence certainly help in increasing the crime rates.

Chavistas studying the issues think it started with the drug production and dealing in the area. Drug production and dealing is going on all over the region, and a lot of crime is associated with it. Yes the crime in poor parts of Venezuelan cities is very bad, but in the wealthier areas, it’s not that dangerous. Other cities in Latin America are similar. Colon, Panama supposedly has a very high crime rate and it’s a real shithole. A lot of Black Caribbean countries are serious shitholes of violent crime. There is a lot of crime in the rural parts of Mexico though because that is where the drug cartels are. Lima, Peru, has a lot of crime. Hold onto your wallet or get a money-belt, better yet. Watch out for your purse. Pickpockets, petty thieves and purse-snatchers are everywhere, especially in tourist areas. Crime has been horrific in Brazilian cities like Rio and Sao Paolo forever now, of course. There is a lot of street crime in Latin America. You need to be very careful of your surroundings and who you are associating with, especially at night.

Alt Left: Some of My Positions on Conservative and Liberal US Foreign Policy

Is it ok for me to believe in Leftist economics yet still agree on many points with the neocons when it comes (rhyme, hah) to foreign policy? Conservative opinions I like:

  • Occupation of Palestine.
  • bombing of Yemen.
  • Invasion of Iraq.
  • Invasion of Lybia.
  • Anti Hamas and Hezbollah sentiment.
  • Pre-coup Erdogan (he has one of the rails now).
  • France´s colonization of Algeria.

Now these things aren’t perfect, but optimal compared to the other alternatives.

  • Aggression against Russia regarding Ukraine, I’d prefer to have an referendum in Ukraine about EU membership, to give NATO aggression legitimacy. The issue with this is that the European Commission isn’t clear on whether it wants Ukraine in the EU. I want to replace all of the non-White subsidies/investing (welfare for children, loans for adults) with EU subsidies and troops in Eastern Europe, LEBENSRAUM!!!. https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/more-than-half-of-ukrainians-want-to-join-eu-poll-shows-32735

The liberal foreign policies I agree with are: -Legalization of drugs (affecting Latin america). -Diplomacy with Iran (I’m a big fan of Obama s negotiations about the nuke thing.). -Ok with leaving Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine to Russia (Ukraine would already be losing an shit ton of people to Russia anyway through emigration) as long as it leads to EU membership of Ukraine,

Sure, the fact you like my economics is amazing enough to keep you around. My positions: Conservative opinions I like: – Occupation of Palestine. NOPE – Bombing of Yemen. NOPE – Invasion of Iraq. NOPE – Invasion of Libya. NOPE – Anti-Hamas and Hezbollah sentiment. NO on Hezbollah because I love Hezbollah. I don’t like Hamas too much, but the Hamas-haters are worse, and anyway they are pragmatic for Islamists. – Pre-coup Erdogan (he has one of the rails now). NOPE. Rails? – France´s colonization of Algeria. NOPE. Aggression against Russia regarding Ukraine, id prefer to have an referendum in Ukraine about EU membership, to give NATO aggression legitimacy. The issue with this is that the European commission isn’t clear on whether it wants Ukraine in the EU. I want to replace all of the non-white subsidies/investing (welfare for children, loans for adults) with EU subsidies and troops in Eastern Europe, LEBENSRAUM!!! NOPE. Not sure if I want Ukraine in the EU. Anyway, I hate the EU. Mostly I don’t want them in NATO, Hell no. Also I do not want more North American Terrorist Organization troops in Eastern Europe. Not sure about cutting the safety net either, especially racially like that. See? Look above. Conservatives are always wrong on foreign policy. Period. The liberal foreign policies I agree with are: – Legalization of drugs (affecting Latin America). OF COURSE. – Diplomacy with Iran (I’m a big fan of Obama’s negotiations about the nuke thing.). SURE. – Ok with leaving Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine to Russia (Ukraine would already be losing an shit ton of people to Russia anyway through emigration) as long as it leads to membership of Ukraine. ABSOLUTELY, I support the annexation of Crimea and I support the Donbass fighters. I wish Russia would just annex the Donbass. It would solve so many problems. Not sure about Ukraine and EU membershit. Anyway, I hate the EU too. EU is the economic arm of the North American Terrorist Organization. See? Liberal foreign policy is always right.

Alt Left: How Many Men Are Gay, Bisexual and Straight, and How Common is Homosexual Behavior in Men?

It’s been a longstanding shibboleth in the gay community that all men are basically bisexual and with straight guys, all you need to do is seduce them into their natural tendency. First of all, the common myth that everyone is bisexual, attributed to Freud, is just not true. The best study I found, of medical students in Australia, found that 6 However, most of that 3 Once you get to 70-30’s and 60-40’s, you are starting to get into more of your true bisexuals. But even these men are straight leaning. I would imagine quite a few of those men have at least tried gay sex. 50-50’s or true bisexuals are very rare in both men and women, constituting only Anyway, of all men who have some attraction to other men, 8 But it makes sense when you realize that 9 But there is a good argument that a lot of people lie in phone or face to face surveys. In particular, many lie about homosexual attraction or behavior, and it is very common to lie about hard drug use. So there’s typically a lot more hard drug use or homosexual/bisexual behavior or even identity than the typical survey finds. How do we know this? Because of one study which was done completely blind. Subjects were in a closed room with a computer entering answers. They were assured that they each would only be given a number and no one doing the study would know what any subject entered. So subjects felt that this was a completely anonymous survey. Subjects were young college-aged men in Ontario, Canada. The results were very interesting. A whopping 1 And the rates of heroin and PCP use were also quite high. ~ Anyway, no, all men are not bisexual, the difference between a straight man and a gay is not a six-pack of beer, etc. This is all just wishful thinking and solipsism on their part. The gay men are acting like solipsistic women. They are very attracted to men, so therefore all other men must also be attracted to men too. Solipsism is a problem with boundaries where the boundaries between the self and say half the population dissolve. People like this just can’t believe that anyone would think differently from themselves.

Alt Left: What Percentage of Homosexual People Is Acceptable To You in a Given Population?

Answered on Queera.

Believe it or not, all of the answers said that if a country’s population was 10

How could having 10

A given population as in for a country?

  • Homosexuals live 20 years less than heterosexuals. It is horribly sad for gay people that they miss out on so many years of wonderful life, but it seems to me that reduced lifespan is costly to society.
  • Gays have higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders. While this causes a lot of suffering to gay people, and this is sad, at the same time, mental illness is costly to society.
  • Gays have much higher rates of drinking, smoking, and drug abuse than straights. The gay male party and play scene revolving heavily around methamphetamine and club drugs is particularly alarming. Lesbians in particular smoke a lot. The costs of drinking, smoking, and drug abuse to gays themselves are no doubt significant in terms of disease, mortality, and the suffering that can come from excessive substance abuse; nevertheless, this incurs a lot of costs to society.
  • Gay men obviously have a very high STD rate. At 2
  • Tragically, gay men have a suicide rate 3X higher than straight men, even in San Francisco, the most gay-friendly place in the US. The attempted suicide rate is also very high. Gay male teenagers have a tragically very high attempted suicide rate at 8X the normal rate. Suicidal behavior causes unfathomable and heartbreaking suffering on gay men. However, attempted and completed suicides impose considerable cost on society.
  • Domestic violence rates are very high in gay and lesbian couples, especially the latter. A gay man is much more likely to beat his partner than a straight man is. A woman is much less likely to be beaten by a male partner than by a female partner. This causes immense suffering to the partners of gay and lesbian batterers. In addition, domestic violence is costly to society.
  • In gay areas, gay men typically take over all of the public restrooms and turn them into miniature sex clubs. This renders most public restrooms unusable by the rest of us. Most gay men typically vociferously support the use of public restrooms as sex dens for gays. I don’t have much sympathy here. Gay men are simply being very irresponsible with this depraved mindset. Further, this is a cost to society.

It is first of all most important to point out that gay men themselves suffer worst from most from these largely self-imposed conditions, a suffering so profound that it almost moves you to tears. Compassion is essential. Nevertheless, there is a cost to society. Some of these issues may be caused by discrimination (see the high teenage gay male attempted suicide rate), but there is a cost to society no matter what causes it. Some of these problems would lessen with increased acceptance of gays, but others would linger or possibly even worsen.

The question comes up whether gays pay for the costs they bring to society. Many gays seem to have above average intelligence for some reason, especially gay men. Gays seem more artistically talented than straights. More gays than straights seem to get college degrees, in particular gay men. Gay men seem to earn higher than average wages and are disproportionately employed in high paying and prestigious professions.

I am always hearing about a homosexual, often a gay man, who is contributing something noteworthy and exemplary to our society such that it mentions a media notice. Obviously, gay men contribute more to the tax base per capita than straights. So gays, especially gay men, offer considerable benefits to society, not flowing from their homosexuality but from other aspects of their lives.

I have not discussed lesbians here because I know little about them, but I doubt that they impose serious costs on society other than reduced lifespan.

However the question rises whether gays pay for themselves. Despite their excellent contributions to society and their higher than normal tax contributions, I still do not think that homosexuals pay for themselves.

The question then arises about whether the rest of us should be willing to carry a small burden for our gay brothers.

Personally I feel that at

Honestly, even when you get to 1

Homosexuality in society seems to be one of those things, like many things in life, that is best in small doses.

Where is LSD in the United States Made, and Who Makes It?

Answered on Quora. After the arrest of Picard, there has been an LSD shortage in the US. Nevertheless, it is still made in the US. Most LSD in the US at the moment is being made in small labs in Southern or South Central California. They make batches every 3–5 years. In Canada, most LSD is presently being made in Southern Ontario. The available LSD has been of very poor quality since the 1990’s. However, with the advent of the Dark Web, LSD has undergone a renaissance. There is one site in particular on the Dark Web that sells a lot of LSD. In addition, there are people on the Dark Web who test and review various batches of LSD. The result has been a lot of competition, increasing demand, and slowly increasing quality. The days when pure white crystalline LSD was available are long gone.

Psychopathology of Serial Murderers

The primary problem with almost all serial killers is simply ASPD, Antisocial Personality Disorder, (derived) sociopathy or (primary) psychopathy. It is present in almost 10

Very rare is the serial killer without this disorder, although there have been a few. I remember a long-distance trucker who turned himself when he walked into a Northern California police station with a woman’s breast in his top shirt pocket. He had camped out in forests while trucking and had picked up women and killed them. He kept the body of one in the truck for three or four days and drove around with it.

Experts said he was quite unusual in that they said he actually felt bad about what he had done. I wonder how bad he really felt though. You could not get me to drive around in a truck with a dead woman in the back for very long. I would go into severe panic pretty fast, stop the truck, and get out, and start walking or probably running away.

I would not be able to walk around with a woman’s breast in my shirt for long either. I would completely panic almost right away, take the shirt off, throw it on the ground, and start running. But then I am a pretty guilty type person with a strong conscience.

Based on that, while I am sure he may have felt some guilt for his killings, the fact that he was able to drive around in a truck with a dead woman in the back for 3-4 days shows without completely flipping out shows to me that he didn’t feel that much guilt, certainly not on the level that most of us would.

And the fact that he could rather calmly walk into a police station with a cut-off breast in his pocket without flying into total panic shows to me that he didn’t feel that bad about it. So guilt, even when it is present, is not as strong as in most of us, otherwise they would not have even done such horrible things in the first place.

Sexual sadism is also often present, and I have heard that Sadistic Personality Disorder is very common. Juvenile delinquency, voyeurism, exhibitionism, burglary, prowling, petty thievery, etc. typically precede the serial killings. When the serial killer starts killing, he usually has a fairly long rap sheet of more minor offenses. The murders are best seen as an escalation of a chronic criminal character type.

The ones who kill children are typically though not always preferential or fixated pedophiles. Certainly the ones who kill only children are preferential pedophiles. There is a type of pedophile called a mysoped, which is a sadistic pedophile. They are not very common. I doubt if

9

The rage rapist is dangerous, but he generally does not intend to kill his victim although he assaults her. If she fights back or gets difficult, he can fly into a rage and beat her so badly that she dies, but again he usually does not intend to kill. I doubt if these types go serial much if at all. Serial killers intend to kill; rage rapists do not.

Malignant narcissism, the disorder, believe it or not, of our wonderful President, is also present sometimes. Ted Bundy was a malignant narcissist. Yes, our wonderful President has the same mental illness as Ted Bundy! Comforting thought.

A few have Schizoid Personality Disorder, and some of the more disturbed ones have Borderline Personality Disorder.

Schizotypal, Paranoid, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders are rarely if ever seen in serial killers. Schizotypals are probably too disorganized and decompensated and just out and out strange to commit such crimes. The serial killer must blend in, and schizotypals do not do that. A few schizotypals have committed mass murders. James Holmes the Aurora Batman Theater Shooter, was a notable case. But note that he was caught immediately.

Paranoid PD is rarely if ever seen. These people tend to be rather retiring and like to hide away from a hostile world. They also do not like to call attention to themselves from a hostile world. They are suspicious and distrustful by nature, and this makes it hard for them to blend in well with ordinary society as serial killers often do.

Narcissists are usually too self-centered to kill. While narcissists are often very mean, the disorder is usually well-controlled in that the rage rarely escalates to homicide. There have been a few cases of NPD’s committing mass murder, usually of their families. The case of Jeffrey MacDonald, the mass murdering physician of Fatal Vision, seems to be such a case. This is a superb true crime book by the way.

Also narcissists think that if they kill, they will get caught, and if they are in prison or jail they will not be able to live this wonderful life they are supposed to be killing. They are “too cool to kill.”

Killing would mess up all their wonderful plans to exploit others and hold them up to contempt by millions of people, which the narcissist would have a hard time taking. The narcissist is “too good for prison.” Prison would be such a crushing blow to their self-image that it would very hard to take.

However, malignant narcissists can be very dangerous because this is a combination of psychopathy, sadism, Paranoid PD and Narcissistic PD. When you weaponize NPD with paranoia, sadism and particularly psychopathy, you create a dangerous illness.

Cluster C Personality Disorders like Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder, Self-Defeating Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder are rarely if ever present in these types. These are PD’s where aggression is mostly displayed passively, and serial killers display aggression actively, not passively.

Mood disorders do not seem to be common. Bipolar Disorder is not common, and serial killers are rarely if ever depressed. They displace guilt and loathing outwards instead of pushing it inside of themselves as depressives do.

Depressives are passive, and depression acts as sort of a freezing agent in that it tends to immobilize people by its nature.

Men in general tend to either experience less depression than women or mask it with other things such as anger and rage, drinking, drugs, gambling, promiscuity, or even workaholism. It is simply not acceptable as a man to be depressed, so depressed men simply channel their depression into other things and say they are not depressed, they are just drunks or workaholics, for instance.

Substance and alcohol abuse issues are quite common with serial killers, but the better ones are more sober, as drinkers and dopers tend to be scattered and unreliable, and serial killers must be on the ball  24-7.

Only a few are psychotic.

They are motivated by many things, but your typical rape-murders or murders of attractive young women almost always have a sexual component. I would call these serial killings lust murders. The Germans coined the term.

Even among the lust-murders, there are a number of different types. Some are motivated by purely sexual desires, others get off specifically on killing and the power gained from it, others are hunter types who get pleasure from the hunt and chase as if they were hunting an animal, which they are of course, but when we refer to hunters, we are always talking about hunters of non-human animals.

Get Her Drunk! Give Her Drugs! Have Sex with Her! Yay!

That is, I get loaded or drunk on dope or booze with women and then I fuck them. Of course the women and girls are willing participants, but feminuts say it’s rape anyway. Anyway, intoxicated sex is a blast, and I recommend it to all discerning degenerates. I have gotten high on a lot of drugs with women and then had sex with them, mostly marijuana and cocaine, and pills. The only pills were tranks like Xanax. They are ok for sex as they relax you. I’ve never done psychedelics, Ecstasy or PCP and had sex. It sounds a bit frightening. I don’t do speed. I’ve never done narcotics and had sex, but that sounds like a bad idea anyway, and the only narcotics I ever took were pills, and I hardly ever used them. Narcotics kill sex anyway. Don’t dose women. That’s as sleazy as it gets, and it’s quite illegal these days. Do I feed women drinks to get them drunk? I dunno? As I usually drink along with them, I guess not. Don’t feed women drinks to get them drunk.If you want to get her drunk, I understand, but you may as well drink along with her. It’s only fair. If a woman gets drunk and has sex, it’s rape and she’s not responsible, say feminuts. That can only be possible if women are children. So are women children? I guess women are children. I would like to point out that a lot of females have sexual inhibitions, and they deliberately drink themselves to get themselves loosened up enough for sex. I have been a party to such self-dosing on many an occasion. Taking the feminut theory logically, I guess these women are raping themselves by getting themselves drunk, but even when women rape themselves, I guess men are still guilty. After all, feminists insist that women are eternal children, objects who have no agency. I agree that women are objects, but I do not agree that they have no agency.

LSD, Flashbacks and HPPD

Man with OCD here. I’m taking medication for it. I will take LSD for the first time in a few weeks. What are the possibilities of having HPPD? You’ve said you got visual disruptions, what does it feels like? Is it the same thing which is called “flashbacks”?

I am not even sure what flashbacks even are, and I am not sure if I have experienced them. After I first took LSD at age 16, my marijuana trips changed dramatically. It was like the LSD had altered my brain and changed the pot trips. The pot trips became way weirder, more colorful and rather frightening, but I sort of enjoyed them anyway in the way that you enjoy the very scary rides at the amusement park. They scare the crap out of you, but you love it. Plus it was like journeying to another planet every time I smoked pot. About six months after I had taken LSD, I went to look in the mirror. To my shock and horror, my entire face was deep, dark blue almost like someone who has had a heart attack. I flipped out and ran upstairs to my parents room and looked in their mirror. Now my face had changed and it had a slight reddish tinge to it. I ran down to the downstairs bathroom again and looked in the mirror again and all that was left was a faint greenish tinge over my face. I think I ran back to my parents’ bathroom instead and looked in the mirror again. I have no idea why I was running from mirror to mirror, but my instinct just old me that there must be something wrong with the mirror. Thinking about it now, it seems so idiotic, but that is what I felt at the time. This time all of the colors were gone. The whole thing could not have taken more than a minute or two. I happened one more time a few months later in the same mirror. This time it was a very deep dark red, as deep and dark as the blue-purple had been. I did the same thing of running from bathroom to bathroom and mirror to mirror, and after a minute or two, it went away. I always thought for some reason that thee were LSD flashbacks, though I never had those colored faces on LSD. I do not know why I thought it was an acid flashback. I suppose I could not think of any other reason. It never happened again, and to this day, I have no idea what caused it. I never worried about it although it was a hallucination. I never worried that those hallucinations meant that I was mentally ill or brain damaged somehow. I simply shrugged them off. Non-mentally ill people can hallucinate and even hear voices at times. The occasional hallucination is not big deal and nothing to fret over. You guys can call me insane all you want to because I had couple of hallucinations. See if I care. I doubt if many people get HPPD from one use of LSD, but perhaps it is possible. I have dated some women lately who are or were LSD users. One ~50 year old woman had taken LSD 350 times. Another much younger woman had taken it maybe 30 times and was definitely a current user. These are only two heavy users that I have met in recent years. Neither woman had any HPPD symptoms at all. I know many people who have taken LSD, including folks who have taken it many times, and I never met anyone who had HPPD. I think it is not common. However, a recent survey of university students found that of those who had taken LSD 50 times or more, 4 I took LSD nine times and other psychedelics (mescaline, peyote, LSA, Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, psilocybin) about another 20-30 times, so maybe ~30-40 trips total. I have not taken psychedelics since an acid trip in 1987, 29 years ago. I am a bit worried about doing psychedelics now. I figure I am nuts enough as it is, so why take psychedelics and risk making myself even crazier than I already am? I am not sure when the HPPD hit, but it is not very bad. On some occasions, I get very bright colors. I rarely get them anymore, but sometimes if I have taken a lot of caffeine or the drug Benadryl, I get the colors again. Actually the world looks much better all lit up Technicolor like that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It only bothers me if I start freaking on it and thinking, “Why is the world all lit up this? Is there something wrong with my brain?” If I just relax and accept it, it’s not a problem and actually is rather fun. I called up an eye doctor once and complained about my symptoms, and he busted out laughing over the phone. “Oh! The colors are getting better, huh? Well that’s great! Hope you enjoy it! We only care when the colors are getting worse. What you have is not a problem.” Apparently he was referring to loss of color vision.

How Can You Tell If a Woman Has HIV?

Chris writes:

Very interesting articles Robert…I have got a lot of questions that I am interested to know. How would you tell if a woman have HIV? Can I smell them if they smells something bad like fishy? My ex bro-in-law have told me that I would only get tell when I smells her virgin that smells like fishy or very cheesy, then I would know she is infected?? He said that if I look at her eyes to see if she is on drugs or something that looks suspect spots on her body, then I would know she might have HIV? And he said that most black male are HIV-positive. Should I always ask my partner if she have shag a black male or with someone who are on the drugs? If my partner say she have shag a black male or with someone that are on drugs, then I would know she might have HIV? If my partner say she is sick or she is on the pills, then I would know she might have HIV?

Let’s go through these one by one here:

Very interesting articles Robert…I have a lot of questions that I am interested to know. How would you tell if a woman have HIV?

You can’t.

Can I smell them if they smell something bad like fishy? My ex-bro-in-law have told me that I would only tell when I smell her vagina that smells fishy or very cheesy, then I would know she is infected??

A fishy or cheesy smell indicates some sort of a vaginal infection, especially a yeast infection. A fishy or cheesy smelling vagina does not indicate HIV infection at all.

He said that if I look at her eyes to see if she is on drugs or something that looks suspect spots on her body, then I would know she might have HIV?

You generally cannot look in someone’s eyes and tell if they are on drugs or not. You can’t look for suspected spots on their body either. One thing you can do is look for track marks or needle marks, usually on their arms, but they can also be in other places.

And he said that most Black male are HIV-positive. Should I always ask my partner if she have shag a Black male or with someone who are on drugs?

Absolutely not true. It is not true at all that most Black men are HIV-positive. In fact, I doubt if

If my partner says she has shagged a Black male or with someone that is on drugs, then I would know she might have HIV?

Absolutely not. The vast majority of women who have had sex with Black men are not HIV positive at all. In fact, the percentage of women who have had sex with Black men where the women are now HIV-positive themselves is no doubt quite small. Ditto if she had sex with a drug user. However, if she had sex with male IV drug users, now that is another matter.

If my partner says she is sick or she is on pills, then I would know she might have HIV?

Not at all. People get sick all the time and they also take pills all the time. I take up to 10-11 different pills every day right at this moment, but it is usually more like eight or nine pills. However, if she looks quite sickly, especially if she is pale and emaciated, then you might want to see if she is HIV-positive. However, many other diseases can also make you look like that. But if someone looks like that, one thing you know for sure is that they are quite ill.

When Anti-Maidan Was Destroyed I Fled from Kiev…

Fantastic article. An interview with a young woman who was an anti-Maidan activist. This piece gives the lie to the nonsense that these people are just being stirred up by Russia. Nonsense. They have risen up on their own against the Nazis, and they could care less what Russia thinks about it. It also shows up the lie that the war is all about Russia conquering territory.

 

But there is no such thing as “Eastern Ukraine.” That region was always a part of Russia. Lenin lumped it into a republic of the USSR, but the boundaries of the Ukrainian SSR were the internal boundaries of a state within a country and have no value or international legitimacy.

 

These people themselves would like to join Russia on their own. 5

 

Russia isn’t manipulating anyone into thinking or doing anything. To state that implies that the Novorussians are inanimate objects, marionettes with no thoughts or feelings of their own other than whatever Russia has schizophrenically projected into their fervid and receptive heads.

 

Russia doesn’t even want this land, and they have always only wanted a federalized Ukraine. However, with all the killing that has gone on, Russia is no longer pushing that. I think Russia would prefer that Novorussia be an independent country allied to Russia. If Russia annexes the territory, it will probably be internationally isolated.

[Preamble: The third part of the interview series by Ilja Degtjarov features a young woman associated with the Anti-Maidan movement. She gives us a glimpse “behind the scenes” into that what was never addressed by Western mass media, much less reported. In addition to her narrative regarding the attack on buses with Anti-Maidan activists who were back on their way back to Crimea, we show the documentary The pogrom of Korsun at the end of this article. (The editors) Part one of the series is here.]

I have interviewed one of the first organizers of the Ukrainian Anti-Maidan. Her name is Ekaterina Kornienko, and she has been engaged in humanitarian aid for the East of Ukraine since March 2014 in Russia. Before that she lived in Donetsk and fought against the Junta regime, which came to power by the end of February and intimidated the Anti-Maidan movement by reprisals, and silenced it in most Ukrainian regions.

Recorded by : Ilja Degtjarov

How big was the Anti-Maidan movement in Kiev; were there Anti-Maidan movements in other cities in the eastern, perhaps in the western areas?

When the Maidan came together for the first time, we gave it no attention. We did not consider whether there was a possibility of accession to the EU. Nobody asked us either, if we wanted to. The West of the Ukraine always wanted to join Europe. This is their life: half of them have already been working there. They regularly went, for example, to Poland, just as we regularly go to Russia, including in the Rostov region. We work there, or we transport goods to-from there. And as they started to occupy buildings, we had to react somehow. Originally we gathered on the Europe Square in Kiev. The Europe Square is just a stone’s throw away from the Maidan, so we could hear each other. After a while, it became dangerous.

In the beginning we did not set up tents, but a lot of people came to us by train and bus. They wanted to support our demonstration. At that time we did not use the word “Russia”. We were all sticking to a unified Ukraine, our motto was “unitary land’, i.e. the motto which has been adopted now by the ‘maidanized’ – I cannot call them differently. When we organized the Anti-Maidan, we decided that it should be placed next to the Parliament, the Rada. That was the most important strategic object of our representatives within the Government: the President, which we chose, and our coalition.

We wanted that they should be able to continue their work. At that time Kiev had already blocked the work of all government bodies and only the Parliament was still functional. Otherwise the chaos would have been even bigger. We tried with own forces to stop what happened there. Then we built a tent camp on Anti-Maidan. There were representatives from Donetsk, Kharkov, Nikolaev, and Odessa, i.e. from all regions of our eastern part of Ukraine. Many residents of Kiev also joined us. These were people who disliked the devastation on the Maidan.

To tell the truth, I myself went several times to the Maidan out of sheer curiosity. It was interesting to look at this brainwashed crowd. Even to enter their turf, one had to say “Hail Ukraine”. Anyone who didn’t say it was simply not let in. You had to make the arm movement, which the fascists have combined with “Sieg Heil”. I believe that all homeless from Kiev gathered in this pigsty, because you could have free food and get some money. It was joyful: dancing, hopping, marriages. It smelled incredibly, especially when it became warmer and the snow started to thaw.

Our original name was not Anti-Maidan: the people made up this name for us later. We, ourselves, called ourselves “Maidan of Unity”. We had stickers and symbols that said, “Stop dividing this country”. I still have photos of this sticker, which we spread out constantly in Kiev. At that time we already anticipated what would be coming up on us. Our Maidan area was very tidy, we had cleaners. We paid attention to order. In the tents of the Donetsk delegation we had everything set up like we had at home, in contrast to the Maidan.

With regard to the question, why did we split? On February 18th I personally witnessed some events. They – the Maidanites – constantly walked around our camp and shouted “Down with the power!” “Down with oligarchs!”, and other mottoes. On of February, a large group came and performed a short demonstration; but after 20 minutes they began to throw Molotov cocktails, fireworks and paving stones. Between them and us there were still police officers standing. Many people were injured. They lost their hands and their eyesight, but no mass media have shown it.

Though Ukrainian mass media were visiting us, but they did not film something like that. They were filming when we handed over the Maidan people we caught to the police. In contrast to the Maidan, we have never tortured anyone, never held anyone as prisoner. After our camp was destroyed on February 18th, it was announced that the Maidan would be cleared within two hours.

The Maidan was encircled, and we were sure that when order was finally restored in Kiev everything would work again. But Yanukovych, a man of weak character, arranged for a corridor of safety for women and children to be organized. As a result, the Maidan armed and mobilized itself. When I woke up on February 20th, I heard everywhere from the radio sets: “There is shooting”. At that time they already tasted blood, At that time they already understood that you can kill.

Remarkable. So, what is happening now in Donetsk and Lugansk?

The Ukrainians believe, they are convinced, that they are waging a war against Russia. But in these areas there were no Russians; apart, perhaps, from some few volunteers. From my friends with whom I communicate and with whom I grew up, about 7

Those fighting and dying were ordinary people. Yes, Russia provided humanitarian aid. However, this help did not go to the militia, but to ordinary, peaceful civilians. You could see that we delivered goods to peaceful civilians who became hostages of war. For what are the children to blame, who are being killed? For what are women to blame, who are being shot without pity?

Those Ukrainian soldiers, who first shouted they would kill, were later, in captivity, very different. In captivity, they claimed that they knew nothing at all about against whom they fought; that they didn’t know that they were killing simple women and children. But they knew that! Those who did not want to participate in the war, those who were not infected by this national idea; they stayed at home, hiding from the mobilization. Those who went consciously wanted to fight against us.

Let’s take the case of this underdeveloped Lyashko, a person who comes from – who knows where – a pederast. He is speaking openly on a Ukrainian TV channel that all the boys from the East, even at the age of only one month, must be killed, and that all women have to be raped; so that only ‘Ukrainians’ are reproducing.

Did he say really that?

All TV channels showed that. Where do they look, those who are responsible for international conventions, for human rights? They choose to look the other way just as they once did in Yugoslavia, Syria and Libya. Nobody listens to us and also nobody wants to listen to us. Very often, friends and acquaintances from Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev describe me as ‘Putin’s prostitute’. This information war is currently the most powerful weapon. Long ago these people were already brainwashed.

I was born in 1992, when Ukraine was already independent, so I am still very young. I have always considered Ukraine as my home country. Therefore there was actually no reason that I wished a reunification with Russia or to fight for Russia. I speak Ukrainian very well. I know the anthem; I had my school lessons in Ukrainian. So that was my country, where I grew up. But now, after they came to us, to kill us – my father, my mother, my brother, my sister – I can no longer consider myself as Ukrainian.

I am ashamed that I’m Ukrainian; I want to have my passport swapped. This nation has become nationalistic, even fascistic. Also, the traditions have become fascistic. I have always said that we must distinguish between patriotism and nationalism. I am a patriot. I love my people, I would die for them, but I do not hate other countries. Despite the war with Germany my attitude towards the Germans is neutral. The war was long ago and today’s people took no part in it. This is really a new, completely different nation. Why should I hate the Germans or the French or Russians or Polish? I have a neutral attitude towards them. In contrast, the nationalists accept only themselves. This is the old psychology of fascism.

They regard themselves as descendants of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, est. 1929)/UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army, est. 1942), like the world-famous Bandera. These however, were people who led punitive commands and killed their own citizens from the Soviet Union, peaceful Ukrainian civilians.

Lately we had a tense situation with regard to the Russian language. My mother and my father speak Russian. It is very difficult to meet someone in Donbass who will speak Ukrainian. The people even turn around when they hear it. This is originally a Russian region, where Russian was spoken from the outset. But we have not been reluctant to use Ukrainian: you have to fill out all documents in Ukrainian; everyone was able to master it more or less.

I’d like it very much, if Putin would be our President, too. Look at Crimea. What was done after the reunification? Russian, Ukrainian and even Tatar are acknowledged as official languages. But that is not talked about in Ukraine at all. And in this situation you always have to watch the interests of the regions, to maintain peace and order.

Now it is no longer possible to continue to coexist peacefully with them; after all these murders, after all these children have been killed. According to official reports about 50 children have been killed. We do not know how many actually were killed. Now, they speak of 71 children killed; okay, 71.

Anyway, we cannot know exactly how many children and women from the civilian population died. After something like that we can never live here again. And if you call us Ukrainians, e.g. in reports of refugees, that is already insulting us. We are fighting to not be Ukrainians any more. We are inhabitants of Donetsk, Lugansk, but definitely not Ukrainians any more. This is the result of the actions of the current Government. You also cannot overlook what the Maidan has not accomplished: the oligarchs remain in power.

What happened here, with the founding of the people’s republics, was the manifestation of the will of the people. Prior to the events in Odessa [on 02.05.2014: the mass burning of Anti-Maidan activists] many were not sure whether they should be for or against the people’s republics. Somehow, they have continued to live, to work. Many did not need more than that. But when people were burned alive, absolutely everyone has changed their mind. Then, we have conducted the referendum. On May 2, people were burned, and we carried out the referendum on May 11th. This incident has greatly influenced public opinion.

If we go back to the Anti-Maidan: In the West, one would say of course it had been paid by Putin, or by Russian oligarchs, and everything has been a Moscow project.

They didn’t pay us. I personally was on the Anti-Maidan for ideological reasons. Yes, there was a food supply. Also, there were tents, blankets, heaters and gasoline given to us, because it was so cold. All the people who were there were peaceful. They all were for finally ending the chaos in the country, for peace, understanding, for a united country.

At that time we hadn’t even thought of Putin and Russia and their money. If you had told me in February that we soon would conduct a referendum for the Union with Russia, I would have considered such a person insane. We didn’t need Russia. It was not too bad for us even without Russia: there was building/construction in the country, people had adapted to the circumstances. I had made the point that Russia in no way needed us either. I was one of the leading organizers of Anti-Maidan and I did not want to know anything of Putin, etc. No, we were not paid and I want this to actually reach the people: we were not there for the money, we just wanted this chaos to come to an end.

It was a shame for the young policemen who were there. They were mostly just 18-to-20 year old boys, for whom we bought several things at our own expense. Ukraine is a poor country: the guys had hardly been equipped for their orders. We bought them cigarettes and food, and helped them as we could. And since we were there together for a long time, we became a family. And we looked at all that happened there as a betrayal of the people that we had protected.

We were for the unity of the country. About two hours after the destruction of the camp of Anti-Maidan, when we went there and looked at it all, I felt an inner emptiness. We understood that we were betrayed and that a disaster was coming towards us; that no one would help us. When we returned to Donetsk – like me, or to other cities – Sevastopol, Kharkov etc. – we knew that a certain limit has been exceeded.

By the way, I was very surprised that our area of Donetsk had risen anyhow. We work a lot in our area and have no time for politics. All have completely different concerns: start a family and support it, buy a car, feed the children. We had no time for nonsense. What have the inhabitants of Western Ukraine have been busy with? In their cities, they are occupied with tourism; therefore they just let their houses and apartments on a lease. They did not have other occupations. Accordingly, they came easily to the Maidan and were paid for this as well.

How big were Anti-Maidan events, and did Ukrainian and Western journalists attend them?

Once three journalists from Lithuania and Estonia dropped in. They spoke Russian very well. They came over by accident. They said that they did not know at all that an Anti-Maidan existed. They were very astonished how friendly we were; we welcomed them with open arms. They were puzzled how clean and well arranged our tents were, what discipline we had. With regard to the total number of participants, some days there were up to 50,000 people.

This particularly applies to days of mass demonstrations, e.g. when the Maidan wanted to prevent the adoption of the budget of the country for the year 2014. They blocked everything. And how shall live without a budget, how should we pay out the salaries of the officials: the police, the doctors, the teachers? At other, ordinary days, there were not many people, about 3-4 thousand per day.

Because it was not paid then, they had to work.

Yes, we could not simply live there, we had to work. [mobile phone rings]I am called by people from Kazakhstan, from Belarus too. They help us a lot. They are also worried and think about how they can help us. However, I wouldn’t say that there is much help coming from other countries.

Nearly everything is coming from Russia. What would we do without Russia? I cannot imagine at all. To where would we flee, what would we do if Russia had refused to accept these masses of refugees? Currently only 4

If we count up all the refugees, i.e. people who moved within the Ukraine, those who emigrated to Russia, those who live in refugee camps or with their relatives, I personally have the impression that there are already over a million refugees.

Yes, that’s what it looks like. I don’t know the official information and – to be honest – I never paid attention to that. I have too much work to do and do not have the time to search for those numbers. But it is a fact that we are talking about more than a million. About 7 – 8 million people live in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and when you see how empty it is there – no people, no cars, empty shops – one can assume that there are no people in the cities. Over 5

It remains engraved in the psyche of the generation who have experienced it all, and this is terrible. These refugee children, whom I visit so often, and that I’ve met in various Russian cities – during thunderstorms, when it thunders they are afraid that they are fired at. I was, for example, in Perm, Russia. Actually, each of them needs psychological help. Imagine how many of them there are, masses. It is virtually impossible to eliminate these fears. They will have to spend their whole life with their fears.

Half a year ago I definitely did not think that in my country a war would be waged, that the country would be divided. Now we can see that this is the case. The city Slavyansk e.g. is completely bombed. There is nothing to repair: you have to rebuild it completely. And that in a poverty-stricken country. Now from these poor people, like teachers, from their salary of 1,500-2,000 hryvnia is deducted; partly for the financing of the army although one cannot feed oneself by this money anyway. Plus, everything has become even more expensive from bread to the living costs.

It looks like the beginning of a famine. It is really ridiculous if the Ukrainian army steals food from the militia: they are just hungry; this is simply a poverty-stricken country. And with this governance the nationalists want to live in the future? They will have nothing to eat, they will have no work. But they were screaming that our territory will get subsidies. That was never the case! On the contrary, we are an industrial area, we have mines, therefore we had to share everything we earned with Kiev.

I want that every Ukrainians to finally understand: it must not continue like that any further. Every person has some pity, compassion, and when I see videos from militia, showing destroyed Ukrainian armored cars, I think of these dead soldiers: young people, twenty years old. I just feel very bad about them. They have been charged with these emotions, with this desire to murder and that works pretty quickly with young people. They die, without understanding what they are fighting for, what they are killing for.

We know, however, what we fight for: we are fighting for our country, for our children, our women. We will never give away this country to anyone, because we were born here, because we grew up here. Every house was rebuilt after the Second World War. My grandmother has the status of “Child of the war”. She was born in 1936 and was, therefore, a kid during the Great Patriotic War. And she says that she is now experiencing the same times or sometimes even worse. At that time we were fighting against Germany and it was clear that the Germans were our enemies. Now, this is not clear. This is a civil war and there is nothing worse than civil war.

Both sides have been prepared for this conflict. I went to school in 1999, we still used old textbooks then. And when the new books appeared, the teachers told us that it is impossible to pack the history of the World War II into only two pages. And they told us the whole truth [despite the new textbooks]. However, they have taught the children in Western Ukraine, that Germans were their liberators. Because of that it is hard to explain anything to them: they were educated like that.

And the government did not care, which also applies to the representatives of Eastern Ukraine – Yanukovych and his party of the regions. You have not been paying attention to what children were taught. Ten years ago they were young children and nobody cared about their proper education, with appropriate consequences. My brother is 9 years old and when he asks me why they kill us, I cannot answer him.

Are there any reports of drug abuse on the Maidan? Have you heard anything about that? Why have people become as they are, even those who appeared quite normal recently?

I did not just hear about the drugs, I saw them. People we detained on February 18th, were questioned by us in the Department. We did not beat them, didn’t tie them up; we simply put them on the floor and talked to them. The first five hours they kept repeating endlessly, they were Europeans, they had to join Europe, they had to kill and other nonsense.

There was an 18-year old boy, still a child. I felt so bad about him that we did not gave him to the police, but to his parents. The first five hours he repeated like a maniac, one must kill, one has to throw Molotov cocktails. It was impossible to talk to him. After five hours he showed withdrawal symptoms, he felt nauseous. We called both doctors and his parents. The parents were shocked, that their child was obviously on drugs.

The people of the Anti-Maidan felt sympathy. All Maidan supporters had been treated medically. I even walked around there with antiseptic agents. However, our guys who had been taken captive by Maidan supporters never returned. Many of them are still missing. When the Anti-Maidan was destroyed, I left by train. And – I don’t know whether you have heard of it in Germany – departing buses were shot at up in Crimea

I myself, as well as the head of the delegation from Crimea have talked to people who were fired at, and it was terrible. Words failed them. Many of them are still regarded as missing. One participant is living in Sevastopol with a bullet in the coccyx. Doctors from Sevastopol cannot perform the removal of the bullet, it’s too dangerous. At that time the war had not yet started: someone had simply stopped them because they were inhabitants of Crimea, because they were opposed to the Maidan, and they were shot at.

How many have been shot dead?

About 27. Most died in the first bus that was shot at. And they had no sympathy: at Maidan they gouged the eyes of a boy from the Special Unit Berk ut. And they filmed everything as well. They beat people to death. For what? To maintain law and order? The police did not care who was in power: their task was to ensure law and order. And yet their fingers were chopped off, their eyes gouged out. There are countless examples of that.

Now it is simply war, but at that time, at the very beginning, everything just looked crazy. There was another case when the head of a teenager from our ranks was shattered with a paving stone. We had to suture his skull directly on-site. How inhuman do you have to be to pelt people with stones? We didn’t use these paving stones until the very end. The police protected themselves with shields and we just stopped at a distance. Two tents of the Donetsk delegation, which were closer to the supporters of Maidan, went up in flames. There were documents, passports, stuff from some participants. Anyway, it was forbidden by the police to take paving stones.

Nevertheless, when we understood, that we not could beat back attacks in a different way, we started to throw them at the Maidan followers. This was self-defense after many of us were injured. Some of us had their hands torn off. They have pelted us with explosive packages, which resulted in a slight concussion. I picked up such people, at first they were not even able to speak. Additionally also pelted us with fireworks. It is no secret that you have to deal with that correctly. And if you throw them at people, they can have dreadful consequences. ‘Fireworks’ sounds harmless at first, but in reality people were seriously injured.

There are reports that Germany is helping the Ukrainian army. Officially, it was reported that Germany provides uniforms. In Lugansk packaging of German combat helmets were found at the site where the Ukrainian army was stationed. In an interview by Anna-News the militia stated that they have heard German on their radios. Do you know anything about this?

About the Germans I haven’t heard anything, there have been no further reports. But we are in contact with stringers from Anna-News and I can confirm that they have heard German through radios. Whether they are involved in the fighting or spying, I don’t know. At first, for a while, we specifically searched for evidence of mercenaries. Now we no longer do that.

By accident – well, not quite by accident, because our comrades were involved – we received photos of passports from mercenaries. These documents were a bombshell. We were called by many TV stations and were asked whether they could use these materials. We allowed it. It is true that there are British mercenaries here to join. Regarding Germans, we know nothing, so personally I do not know which side they support.

It’s a fact that American military dried foods have been found here in the woods…

If America did not help them, the war would have ended long ago. Ukraine itself has no resources for it. They have even touched the state food storage, which may only be touched in case of war. This means that they cannot feed the army in a different way. At the same time, war was not officially declared: They call it ‘anti-terrorist operation’. And the stocks in these stores are slowly coming to an end, so they cannot feed the people anymore. Therefore, America jumps in with the dry food. About American arms I cannot say anything, I do not know if anything has been delivered.

By the way, on the Internet there are plenty of photos of helmets having something in German in it. Is it possible that any goods came from Germany to Ukraine?

They delivered them officially. They are very proud of it and showed it on all the news. So, this was not a secret operation. Could we but go back to the Maidan. It is not hard to guess where they had the money from, but I would ask you to comment on this.

Even the richest oligarchs here would not have been able to pay so much money to so many people. I heard the prices and was extremely surprised. We have nobody here who could have given so much money. Accordingly, the money came from outside, not from our country. Those who pulled the strings, all those European leaders who visited the Maidan, they paid for everything. They brought food and were distributing it in front of cameras. They didn’t distribute the cash money they brought with them in front of the cameras. This is no secret. All know that America paid for this, too. America would collapse without war.

You mentioned prices. How much money was given? Can you convert that into Euros or US dollars, to make it clear?

For living on the Maidan, people were paid 160 US dollars per day. One was paid $50 for throwing a Molotov cocktail. Per every three people who threw, there was one that counted and was paid for. People who did shoot, got $1,000 per day. They knew that they could be arrested, in case the plan would not work. One must take into account that this is a great deal of money in our country. Actually, already $150 per day is a huge amount for an average Ukrainian. In the Western Ukraine, $150 is a monthly salary.

Female – Male HIV Transmission in the US

John writes:

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, and I am going to ask her to give me an HIV test, maybe also check for other diseases. I read up on HIV transmission in several countries and on certain cites it says transmission is mainly heterosexual. How is this possible? By this do they mean that it’s mostly men giving it to women? I also read on several websites that the highest concentration of HIV viral cells is in semen, followed by blood, and then vaginal fluids right? Can you get HIV from just exposure to vaginal fluids? What are the chances (in fractions/ratios/percentages) of getting HIV from one incident of vaginal sex with a woman of unknown status when there are no visible cuts/abrasions, no blood present, and her vagina is naturally wet? The CDC says the risk for insertive vaginal sex is about 2 in 10,000. I suppose this is reduced greatly since I have had no symptoms of sickness, there were no cuts or abrasions present, and the vagina was wet, also I’m circumcised and I took a piss shortly after the sex and I washed my dick right after in the shower. (I read that non-circumcised men are at greater risk because the virus can get caught under the foreskin and stay there) How can one even get HIV from vaginal sex with no cuts or abrasions? It would have to travel very far up the urethra in order to get into the bloodstream. Or are the cuts so small (microtears) that they are invisible to the naked eye? Anyways, taking my test tomorrow (I didn’t specify to the doctor that I was taking a test for STI’s I just made an appointment with plans to tell them there, as there is no specific option for STI test when scheduling online) What is your verdict Robert?

Those vaginal fluid titers are so low that I am amazed it even transmits. Women -> men HIV transmission is heavily associated with men having diseases like Herpes that cause ulcerating sores. The virus goes in via that opening. It is also associated in vaginal sex with vaginal and/or penile bleeding. Honestly, this is a blood borne illness. Men get it via exposure to blood. If you’re not exposed to blood, you probably will not get it. Really men get this disease in two different ways. 1. Receptive homosexual anal sex. 2. IV drug use which involves sharing needles. You can get it other ways, but that is a small percentage of the transmission. As far as heterosexual transmission goes, the disease goes from males to females and then it stops! Women are the end of the line as far as transmission goes. That CDC figure is really 1/10,000, and that is if she is HIV positive! A study in the 1980’s (Nancy Padian study) had a number of couples discordant for HIV and followed them for 5 years. By that time the men had had sex with their HIV positive wives ~700 times. Even after screwing them 700 times over 5 years, 8 You can also get it from having anal sex with a woman because there can be some minor bleeding on her end when you do that, and that would expose your penis to blood.

What are the chances (in fractions/ratios/percentages) of getting HIV from one incident of vaginal sex with a woman of unknown status when there are no visible cuts/abrasions, no blood present, and her vagina is naturally wet?

Incredibly low. Something like 1/1,000,000.

Alt Left: Heterosexual HIV Transmission in Southeast Asia

John writes:

If you look at the transmission statistics for several Asian countries, it will say “heterosexual” is the main form of transmission. Laos, Thailand and Vietnam included.

Anyways, several of my friends from Southeast Asia say they barebacked prostitutes several years ago (10+ years ago) and nothing happened to them, and now they have families (a wife and kids) and they are showing no health problems. Not that I advocate barebacking whores because it seems risky (even if you don’t get HIV, you can still get some other nasty disease or infection), but they were lucky.

Well in Thailand the disease there probably started originally with IV drug users, and that still drives a great deal of it. IV drug users give it to each other, and then those men take it home and give it to their wives. That is what is driving the epidemic in Southern Thailand on the peninsula around the Phuket region.

Then a lot of it was going due to transmission from whores to their clients. This was mostly the Thai whores were serving Thai men, and that scene is a lot sleazier that the more high class ones that serve Westerners. The ones that serve Thais were working in brothels where they had to serve many men a day, and after a while, they did not even get turned on anymore, so they were getting fucked dry. This can cause some bleeding, so these whores were bleeding when they were having sex. The bleeding was spreading it heterosexually to the Thai men.

However, some Thai whores who were serving Westerners were also HIV positive, and there was some transmission taking place to the Western customers. There are reports, though not common, of Western men barebacking Thai whores only one time and getting HIV.

But an information campaign got a lot of those whores to use condoms and now the rate of female -> male HIV in those brothels is very low to none.

I have no idea what is driving the spread of HIV in Laos and Vietnam, but Thailand had a serious HIV problem at one time at least.

In addition, that particular subtype of HIV does seem to spread easier female -> male. They even proved this scientifically when they tested HIV positive women who had this subtype. Titers were significantly higher in vaginal fluid in these Thai women then they are in US HIV positive women who have the subtype B clade. The subtype B clade for whatever reason seems to mostly want to spread via blood. Titers in vaginal fluid of women with the B clade are so low that I wonder how they can even transmit the illness.

There are other subtypes in parts of the world outside of the US and Europe. Some of these are in places where there seems to be is more HIV spread by heterosexual contact than in the US, where it mostly goes:

HIV drug user male -> other male HIV drug user -> woman -> transmission stops.

For whatever reason, almost all HIV in the US has always been clade B since the start of the epidemic. The other subtypes have just not made it over here yet in any real numbers, though there are some non-B clades in Europe.

HIV Subtypes Around the World

Nice map shows HIV subtypes around the world.
Nice map shows HIV subtypes around the world.
In the US, the Caribbean, most of South America, Europe and Australia, subtype B is predominant. This subtype is very hard to spread heterosexually from woman to man. Such a transmission is possible, but it is not very likely. For instance, even if you had sex with an HIV positive woman, you would have to have sex with her ~700 times over a ~5 year period to even have a 2 In the rest of the areas, the picture is much murkier. Russia is a mixture of A, B and AB recombinant. Most spread in Russia is going via needle sharing. In China, B, C and BC recombinant is most prevalent. Much transmission here is also going via needle sharing. In Southeast Asia, B and CRF_o1AE are common. Much spread here is also going via needle sharing and needle-using men giving it to their wives, but there is also some going via gay male sex, and prostitutes have a high rate of being HIV positive. In addition, there has been a lot of transmission from women to men in this region, mostly prostitutes giving it to their clients. However, this seems to have been associated with vaginal bleeding on the part of the prostitutes. Once that matter is cleared up and the clients use condoms, very little transmission is occurring. In India and East and Southern Africa, Subtype C is prevalent. Reports indicate that much transmission is occurring heterosexually, either through normal heterosexual sex with either a man or a woman or via prostitutes giving it to their clients. The role of long distance truckers acquiring it from truck stop prostitutes and then spreading around the region is important in both regions. Other than that, little is known about spread in this region, but it does look like Subtype C is being spread pretty easily heterosexually both male to female and female to male, so this subtype is looking like a scary type of HIV. Subtype D is found in Central Africa and may well be spread heterosexually as easily as Subtype C is. Subtype A is found in both Russia and coastal East Africa. It seems to be going heterosexually both ways in Africa, but in Russia, there seems to be little heterosexual transmission. This doesn’t really make sense, and it is a mystery that needs to be cleared up. Brazil is home to Subtypes B and BF recombinant. The type of transmission here is little known, but male homosexual transmission seems to be very important. In West Africa, CRF_02AG, similar to the SE Asian subtype is the main subtype. Transmission routes are not known, but it looks as if some heterosexual transmission is occurring both ways, however, the rate of heterosexual transmission seems to be much lower than with subtypes C and D. In West Central Africa, HIV is prevalent but probably not as high as in the C and D areas. A huge variety of subtypes are found here, including subtypes F, G, H, J, K, CRF_01 and various recombinations of these subtypes. There is little information available, but heterosexual transmission both ways seems to be occurring here, higher than with CRF_02AG, but lower than with subtypes C and D. People keep saying that other subtypes are bound to show up in the US and therefore straight men are bound to be at risk in the future, but it hasn’t really happened, although some different subtypes are occurring in gay men, who sometimes get infected with different subtypes. This is because HIV positive men figure once they are HIV positive, they can fucked all they want to, as they can’t catch HIV now as they already have it. Unfortunately, although they can’t catch HIV per se, they can catch a new strain of it. Infection with more than one strain at once makes HIV more virulent. These cases are nastier and progress more quickly. Death often comes after not too long a time has passed.  

About That Poverty-Crime Link…

Jason Y writes:

I live near West Virginia. Just wait in a few years, this place will be a ghetto. We got plenty of one parent homes, along with pill and meth abuse. The only thing keeping this ship from going down is all the people who aren’t doing drugs. In black inner cities, unfortunately, there aren’t enough good guys to outweigh the bad.

West Virginia is the second poorest state in the US. It also has the second lowest crime rate, and nearly all of the crime there is property crime. So much for that poverty-crime link. The catch? West Virginia is almost all White. The single parenthood thing is not good, but the White rate now is ~2 The drug thing in West Virginia has been going on for a very long time now. Most of it is pills – narcotics pills like Oxycontin. West Virginia in the past was way poorer than it was now. That place has always been Deliverance dirt poor. West Virginia ain’t turning into a ghetto any time soon. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

"Counterfeit Cash," by Alpha Unit

In Memphis, Tennessee, two early morning Black Friday shoppers were arrested for passing counterfeit bills. Police confiscated a total of about $1,600 in fake bills, computer equipment to make fake bills, and methamphetamine. The circumstances are similar to earlier cases, such as the case in Oklahoma City in which two people were arrested after a raid at their home. Police found large amounts of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine, along with several sheets of counterfeit 20-dollar bills. Materials and equipment for making fake currency were found in a home in Santa Rosa, California, during a raid. In addition to counterfeit bills the police found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. Not that long ago counterfeiting was a difficult and expensive operation. The best counterfeiters were skilled printers who used heavy offset presses to turn out pretty convincing 20s, 50s, and 100s. Doing so required the ability to cut intricate designs by hand into metal plates. Not anymore. A lot of teenagers in this country can tell you that all you need to make fake money nowadays are a PC, a scanner, and color inkjet printer. (Of course, those teenagers are usually caught in no time, since it’s not easy to produce truly authentic-looking bills.) In case after case of counterfeiting you will see drug use implicated – particularly methamphetamine. Meth addicts often steal mail and commit other property crimes to get their hands on the money they need for their habit. They can stay awake and focused on repetitive tasks for days, making them good at such crimes as forgery, identity theft, altering checks, and trying to perfect counterfeit currency. Millions of dollars worth of counterfeit cash is supposed to be in circulation in the United States, and there’s usually an uptick in detection during the holidays. Counterfeiters see this as the ideal time to try to pass fake bills; that’s when they think they’re more likely to get away with it. A business that ends up with counterfeit bills doesn’t get compensated for the loss and usually raises prices to make up for it. If you end up with a counterfeit bill, the US Secret Service wants you to tell them. They say to notify your local police department or the nearest Secret Service field office. There’s no financial compensation for turning it in, though. Central banks say that to do so would subsidize counterfeiting, providing a financial reward for counterfeiters’ criminal behavior. Turning it in is just another civic duty.

Cannabis and Cancer: Is There a Link?

Dan writes:

You may want to check your facts as well. Though the link between marijuana and cancer is one that is still very much up for debate there is no doubt that many studies have linked the smoking of cannabis (without tobacco or any other additives) to various types of cancer including lung, testicular, and bladder.

Also, as a previous poster pointed out marijuana does contain carcinogens (pretty much anything that creates smoke does) and on top of that any hot vapor that is inhaled can singe the alveoli of the lungs. In conclusion, feel free to enjoy smoking your marijuana just don’t try to say that it is some magic substance that has no side effects (everything has side effects). At the moment, there is not yet any proven link between cannabis smoking, or any cannabis use, and cancer. Though if any readers can dig up any studies, I might like to read them. Smoking isn’t exactly good for you though. You can now smoke cannabis via a vaporizer, and you inhale almost no smoke. It’s a better way to go. Surely cannabis use has ill effects (especially heavy use does) but cancer doesn’t seem to be one of them.

"You Can Do It in 23 States," by Alpha Unit

How would you like to spend some time with a Backwoods Bastard? Or a Dirty Bastard? The Backwoods Bastard doesn’t sound so bad:

Expect lovely, warm smells of simple malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.

And the Dirty Bastard sounds pretty good:

So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.

Backwoods Bastard and Dirty Bastard are made by Founders Brewing Company, a craft brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as:

  • small – annual production of 6 million barrels or less
  • independent – less than 2
  • traditional – either an all malt flagship or has at least 5

People also call craft breweries microbreweries. The term originated in the UK in the 1970s to describe a group of small breweries that were focused on making traditional cask ale. “Microbrewing” initially referred to the size of the breweries but came to reflect a different attitude and approach to brewing, summed up by Founders Brewing as “We brew beer for people like us” – passionate beer enthusiasts. By the 1980s the microbrewing trend had caught on in the US. This article touches on what had preceded it:

In the early 20th century, Prohibition drove many breweries in the US into bankruptcy because they could not all rely on selling near beer or “sacramental wine” as wineries of that era did. After several decades of consolidation of breweries, most American commercial beer was produced by a few large corporations, resulting in a very uniform, mild-tasting lager of which Budweiser and Miller are well-known examples. Consequently, some beer drinkers craving variety turned to homebrewing and eventually a few started doing so on a slightly larger scale. For inspiration, they turned to Britain, Germany, and Belgium, where a centuries-old tradition of artisan beer and cask ale production had never died out.

Some of these breweries were so successful that a new category had to be created for their product – craft beer. The largest of the craft beer brewers in America is the Boston Beer Company. They make Samuel Adams. Founders Brewing Company began in 1997 and has become one of the highest recognized breweries in the US, they tell us. They’re an award-winning company that has been ranked the second-best brewery in the world since 2011. The company made news earlier this summer when the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board lifted a ban on Backwoods Bastard and Dirty Bastard. The board’s licensing director rejected the names last spring because of a state law that says no ad for alcoholic beverages can show a person “posed in an immodest or sensuous manner” and that they can’t have any profanity or offensive language. In Alabama, grocery stores and convenience stores sell beer and wine where anyone can see them. Dirty Bastard beer got rejected over a concern that parents wouldn’t want their kids to see rough language on the shelves. Founders Brewing and craft beer lovers in Alabama raised a fuss over this decision. A committee that was set up to review the decision approved Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard at the first meeting. A major reason? If they were going to deny Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard, they’d have to reconsider a board decision years earlier to allow the sale of Fat Bastard. Fat Bastard is a French wine that had been sold in Alabama for years. No one wanted to pull it off the shelves. You can sit down with a Dirty Bastard or a Backwoods Bastard in 23 states now.

Drugs, Mental Illness and Psychiatrists

Sutanu writes:

Hi Robert, Your article was very interesting, I have a very personal experience with schizophrenia and I do not know the role marijuana had to play in it. I have been a pot user since I was about 22. My wife was a cigarette smoker since age 18 and alcohol user since 20. She started smoking pot since age 24 – sometimes 3-4 times a week sometimes once daily. Around the age of 29 she started developing symptoms of schizophrenia, which was full blown by the time she was 30 (with auditory hallucinations). She has been in treatment for the last nine years. In the opinion of her psychiatrist, it was the use of pot that triggered and maybe even possibly caused the illness. Reading your article and your responses, I am now confused whether this is possible as you have said that the safe age to start on pot is 21. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Statistics show that there is no increased risk of schizophrenia after age 20. Your risk is almost all used by age 19 or 20 anyway. Anyway, the cannabis-schizophrenia link does not appear to make any sense. Of all of the recreational drugs out there, cannabis is one of the easiest of all on your brain. Schizophrenia appears to be characterized by extensive damage to the brain. Since cannabis does not cause extensive damage to the brain, there is no way that cannabis could possibly cause the sort of brain damage that is present in schizophrenia. Since the 1960’s, rates of cannabis use have gone through the roof and the rate of schizophrenia has been completely flat. In fact it has actually declined a bit. If cannabis were causing any schizophrenia at all, much less tons of schizophrenia, we would have expected rates to have increased if not skyrocketed since the 1960’s They have not, so the notion that cannabis or illegal drugs in general cause schizophrenia is very dubious. I have known hundreds to thousands of cannabis users in my life. Two developed schizophrenia. One had very extensive meth use for decades. They other has a mother with schizophrenia. It’s certainly possible that cannabis can trigger schizophrenia in a vulnerable person. However, those persons were probably going to get it anyway. Cannabis may bring schizophrenia on sooner than before. This is a tragedy as each year lost to the illness is a year is a lost year for the person who has it. Psychiatrists are assholes. They all hate illegal drugs, and they think that illegal drugs cause tons of mental disorders. If you have a drug history and you go to a psychiatrist, the asshole will automatically and immediately say that the drugs caused your disorder, no matter which disorder you have or how little you drugs used. If you smoked one joint in your whole damned life, the asshole psychs will insist that it caused whatever you might have. Psychologists on the other hand for some reason to not seem to have these same prejudices against illegal drugs and in general to not seem to blame illegal drugs for causing tons of mental illnesses. My observation has been that heavy drug users sometimes appear to be mentally off in some way or another, and sometimes their behavior is disordered. In general however, the off mental behavior seems to clear up when the person stops using, and they just go back to their previous psychological state. I do not believe that drug use in general causes long term psychological damage persisting after the use of drugs has ceased.

"Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee," by Odin Crow

Warning: Long, runs to 51 pages. This is a fine piece by US expat Odin Crow. Relax and enjoy it.

Canada At Ground Level: Observations of a US Refugee

By Odin Crow

I am an American citizen living in Canada. I am not a sociologist, anthropologist, economist, linguist or any other ist. What I am is a middle class, late 40s working-guy who wishes to share with you what he’s learned about his adopted country from his own personal experiences and hopefully dispel a few misconceptions at the same time. But first, my take on the differences in basic character of these two countries and how they came about.

A Tale Of Two Siblings

If Canada and the US were brothers, the US was the one who said “fuck you” to the parents and left home as a teen. Granted, mom and dad were treating him like shit; he was a breadwinner, the loud, risk-taking one with big plans and ambitions and, to be honest, mom and dad were oinking up the fruits of his labors without giving him any say in how the household was run. Sure, mom and dad got him started, set him up with everything he needed to be successful, but the dynamic didn’t seem fair to Elder Brother, who went indy. Canada, on the other hand was the brother who just wanted to live his life and be left alone. He didn’t ask for much from mom and dad; they gave him very little to work with and neglected him for the most part. But Younger Brother never complained and did receive the benefit of some guidance and wisdom from time to time as he grew up as well as help when he really needed it. So Younger Brother kept his nose to the grindstone, worked hard, minded his own business and slowly built a nice sane, stable life for himself. Meanwhile, after a nasty spat with the folks, who started it out of sheer vindictiveness (and whose side was taken by Younger Brother, since Elder Brother lashed out at him and, to be honest, Younger Brother was still basically an extension of Mom and Dad) Elder Brother built a dizzyingly dramatic, risk-taking, get-the-fuck-outta-my-way life for himself, with stellar highs and deep, abysmal lows, being sometimes unbelievably heroic and idealistic and sometimes bewilderingly selfish, paranoid and self-righteous. Over time, though, both siblings and parents’ relationship evolved into one of general support and respect, coming to each other’s aid, engaging in great endeavors and providing moral support to one another, even though one or more of them may not always have clearly been on the side of right. So if the US is the “loud” one, the flashy, big-talking Type A, the stunning over-achiever who makes everyone else in the room feel inadequate (or at least tries to), the one who’s been out in the world reaping fame and glory, constantly striving always to grow his own wealth, power and influence, Canada’s the one that dresses down, doesn’t dominate the conversation at the dinner table, has his mortgage paid off and worries more about just being a good neighbor and minding his own business. He’s the one who, through patience and consistency, has built himself a very comfortable, stable, relaxed life, and people generally find his company enjoyable. Others generally have mixed feelings towards Older Brother, being sometimes jealous of him, sometimes afraid and very often both. Older Brother wants everyone to be like him and feels the need to justify his choices constantly; Younger Brother’s the one who goes, “No thanks, I’m good, but whatever works for you.”

How I Got Here

I married a Canadian woman, it didn’t work out, and I stayed. I had applied for permanent residence with my wife as my sponsor, which involved paying around $900, submitting a criminal background check and medical examination, filling out a form and waiting seven months. During the interim, I was not allowed to work legally or receive any public services. Once my application passed, I received my “landing papers”, a SIN (Social Insurance Number or Canadian SSN) and was then eligible to live permanently, work and receive health care. My status lasts 5 years between renewals, during which I must spend a minimum of 2 years on Canadian soil or abroad as an employee for a Canadian company. I cannot vote or serve in the military. If I had applied for public assistance (welfare, etc) during my first 3 years, my sponsor (ex-wife) would have been responsible for paying it back to the government. I can and have received unemployment insurance.

What It’s Like To Be a Working Guy in Canada

I have no college degree and am actually a high-school dropout, though I’ve always lied about it, and it’s never been questioned (fortunately, they didn’t check on that in my residency application). I live in Alberta now, so I don’t pay provincial income tax. Regardless, when I was in Nova Scotia, I still took home more of my wages than I did in California, despite paying both federal and provincial income tax. Canadian tax rates are lower for lower incomes, higher for higher incomes. If I were to make 100 grand a year, yes, I’d pay a higher tax rate, but I don’t. The Canadian and US Dollars hover around parity for the most part, so for all intents and purposes, a buck is a buck. My cost of living is about the same as in the US. Rents are comparable and so are utilities. Food can be more expensive, and smokes are over 10 bucks a pack for most brands in Alberta and more in some other places; the more liberal, the more expensive – same with booze. Gas is currently about $CN 1.12/liter., ($4.20/gallon.) in Alberta, which has the lowest gas prices in the country, naturally. It’s as much as $CN .50 more a liter in other places. Canada has a federal sales tax of Nova Scotia, being a notoriously liberal and socially-conscious province with higher unemployment than the national average, has a HST of 1 Alberta, which is shoveling in oil revenues like there’s no tomorrow and has a thriving agricultural industry (grain and cattle) is probably the least socially-conscious of all the provinces, being somewhat the Canadian version of Texas. It has no HST, only the So, in short, I’ve sort of made a deal with the devil by coming out here for work after having been laid off in Nova Scotia; I enjoy the economic benefits, but am slightly at odds with the social climate which is, to be fair, still more liberal than that of the US as a whole. Here’s an example of the difference between the IRS and Revenue Canada: I get a check every 3 months for $CN 100 as a GST rebate because I make below a certain income level (I gross between  $CN 38k-45k/year). When was the last time you ever got anything from the IRS aside from something terrifying telling you you’re fucked? Summary: Being an average, middle-class working person in Canada means you can actually have a good, comfortable life.

Health Care

If you live here, either as a citizen, on a visa or as a permanent resident, like myself, you get health care. Each province administers its own system, and it comes out of the tax base; there is no premium deduction from your pay, no check box on your tax return form. I hear Alberta (surprise, surprise) used to have a mandatory premium deducted from your tax return each year, but not any more. Your provincial health card will get you care no matter where in the country you are. Emergency room, ambulances – no charge to the insured. Neither dental nor optometry are covered, and seeing a specialist requires a referral. My employers provide me with health insurance for things like optometry, dental, chiro, prescription plan, etc, as does everyone else’s, to my knowledge. But if you’re a small business, one less burden of responsibility and concern has been removed. Even if you’re a cheap, mean bastard who cuts corners every chance he gets, you and your employees are still covered. Here’s how my Canadian doctor visits have gone: Scenario 1 Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before? Me: No. Receptionist: Can I see your card, dear? (I hand her the card). Is this your current address? Me: Yes. Receptionist: OK, here’s your card back, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes. 10 minutes later: Mr. **********? Scenario 2 Receptionist: Hello, dear, have you been here before? Me: Yes. Receptionist: Your name? Me: ********** Receptionist: Is this your current address? Me: Yes. Receptionist: OK, have a seat and someone will call your name in a couple minutes. 10 minutes later: Mr. **********? This is not a fantasy; I am not exaggerating. No co-pay, no multi-page forms to fill out, no pissed off, fat, black bitch in teddy-bear scrubs studiously ignoring me as I wait for her attention, all-but-daring me to interrupt her personal phone call by meekly saying “Excuse me”, no interminable wait, nothing. Now, I’m sure a clinic in a huge city like Toronto or Vancouver would probably be much busier (though nothing like the Cinco de Mayo fiestas of Southern California, I’m sure) and its staff more unpleasant (my experiences are limited to Halifax and my small Southern Alberta town of 2,000), but seriously, anyone who can compare this with an HMO experience in the US and see no difference is an abject boob. My ex-wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 20. She had surgery, was treated, recovered fully and takes thyroid medication. Aside from the cost of the prescription, which was about 12 bucks a refill, her cost was zero. She had merely to show her Nova Scotia Health Card and her life was saved without any worries that she would face any complications when it came to receiving care or paying for it afterwards. Summary: It is not a myth – the Canadian health care system works and it works very well. For everyone.

Politics

Quick primer on the parliamentary system: Political parties elect a leader. General elections are for MP’s (Members of Parliament), the equivalent of House representatives in the US. Whoever gets the most MP’s in Parliament is the Majority – their leader becomes Prime Minister. You do not elect a Prime Minister, you elect a Party with whom you agree. As long as that party is in the majority, their leader is Prime Minister. There is a Canadian Senate as well, but Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister – not elected – so they are all, inevitably, of the same party as the Majority (I’m sure there are a couple exceptions, but for the most part, who’s going to pick a guy from the Opposition?). I’m not clear what the Senate does, but I know that the lawmaking process is not bicameral. The Majority party is the Progressive Conservatives (PC), colloquially known by the traditional English term “Tories”. The Opposition are the Liberal Party (which held power for quite some time but has diminished in recent years due to lack of leadership), the New Democrats (which are the largest minority and surged suddenly in ranks at the last general election), the Green Party (a handful) and I think Bloc Quebecois still has a couple MP’s. Bloc Quebecois is essentially an ethnocentric provincial party whose only real platform has been the secession of Quebec, and their place in national politics has been the subject of some contention; they have been, however, utterly decimated, many of their seats lost to the burgeoning ND Party in the last election. There may be some stragglers from all-but-defunct other parties with a seat here or there, but I’m not sure and nor would be your average Canadian. A Canadian Conservative is a lot closer to a US Democrat than it is to a US Republican. They are not trying to repeal universal health care, abortion rights, gay marriage or any of the other causes celebres of their Bizarro-World US counterparts. They object to things like making trans-gender public restrooms mandatory and legalizing pot and support things like privatizing government entities and easing up on business regulation, etc., for the most part. Yes, PM Harper and his crew are trying to emulate some US Republican fashion trends, for example a “3-strikes, tough-on-crime” bill and building more prisons, but everybody’s response to that is generally, “Why? The crime rate is actually dropping.” Thanks to the Canadian Parliamentary system though, the MP’s are really not much more than what they should be, which is bureaucrats put in charge of keeping shit running smoothly, sanely and reliably. Canadian politicians are also by-and-large not millionaires and lawyers as they are in the US. They come from a pretty wide demographic (a recently-elected ND MP from Quebec is actually a female bartender). At the provincial level, Canada has Premiers instead of Governors (It always reminds me of some Communist Eastern European country when I hear that term – still doesn’t sound right to me). They attain office the same way as national PM’s: Parties field candidates as reps for the various provincial “ridings“, and the Party with the majority’s leader becomes Premier. In Alberta, the Tories have maintained a hegemony over provincial politics for the last 40 years (PM Stephen Harper is an Albertan). The current Premier, Allison Redford, was a constitutional attorney, a field of expertise rather uncommon amongst US Republican politicians, but not among Democratic Presidents it would seem. Provinces sometimes have provincial political parties, limited to provincial politics, though Quebec’s Bloc Quebecois made its way into Parliament, concerned as they are with Quebec’s secession, though their position and influence in federal politics is marginal to say the least. Alberta‘s further-right party, the Wild Rose Party, went balls-out during the last provincial election, and their gaffes were many and hilarious; one of their candidates mentioned in a mass emailing something about gays being “condemned to a lake of fire,” and another quipped that he would win his riding easily as he was the “only white guy“ on the ballot. In true neocon fashion, the party responded not by asking either of the doddering farts to step down, but by making the statement that “there are many differing views within the Wild Rose Party, and all are tolerated.” Needless to say, they got their asses handed to them instead of winning a majority. In Alberta, the Tories have been making noises about privatizing Alberta Health, giving the usual bullshit arguments about how the “private sector can deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively than the provincial government can,” etc., but it’s not a position that seems to be gaining much traction with the electorate….. To put it simply, Canadians are generally not stupid; they see what works with their own eyes, thus they are far less susceptible to specious arguments, panic-mongering and outright bullshit than their US counterparts. They know when something is working and aren’t obsessed with change for its own sake, not even Albertans. Summary: Politics in Canada actually has more to do with working for the people than it does furthering ideological agendas or political careers.

Immigration and Race

Per the most recent census statistics, Canada is comprised of 8 One of the things I truly love about Canada is that there aren’t Mexicans all over the place. There are no undocumented aliens per se, since not only is Canada not conveniently within walking distance of Mexico, but an illegal alien isn’t able to get work or free medical care here. There are no mobs of day laborers in the Home Depot parking lot, nor have I seen massive, ethnically-homogenous ghettos in which an illegal can live and receive community support with impunity. This may not be the case in the bigger cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, but the numbers of illegals must be so low as not to have much effect as a socioeconomic issue. Illegals aside, I don’t see Canada suffering the negative social and cultural impact of being overwhelmed by immigrants from one particular culture. Canada has a policy of basing immigration approval upon needed skills. Since Canada is not suffering from a shortage of gardeners, pool cleaners or sidewalk ice-cream vendors, that would pretty much exclude the bulk of the Mexicans wanting to come in. Canada has a foreign temporary worker program just like the US used to since there’s more work here than there are people who want to do it. A Newfoundland seafood processing plant that had shut down for awhile opened back up when the catches improved and couldn’t find enough locals for the jobs, so they imported a bunch of Thais along with an interpreter. However, in most other circumstances, immigrants have to prove a functioning grasp of either English or French depending where they‘re going to be working and living. Children who cannot speak English are sent home by public schools, and the parents are informed that the school will be happy to teach their child once the parents have taught the child English. Recently, the English requirement for citizenship was actually increased. Canada seems to feel, oddly enough, that two of the keys to properly managing immigration are ensuring that an individual not only can speak one of the official languages but that they can somehow contribute to the economy and society as a whole. Absent giant ethnically-homogenous communities of immigrants, Canadian immigrants seem to assimilate much more quickly and willingly than in the US. Every first-generation-born Canadian I’ve met has no foreign accent; they say “eh”, and they seem to hang out with just about anybody. I never get the vibe that foreigners and their kids here hate Canadians while enjoying the benefits of being Canadian. The mayor of Calgary, the biggest city in the most conservative province, is a Muslim – Naheed Nenshi – and you’d never know by hearing him speak on the radio. You see “people of color” scattered throughout the media and government, and they all seem to retain ethnic names, despite sounding and acting like Canadians. Blacks in Canada are not ubiquitous. In Calgary, the Blacks I meet are invariably immigrants; there is no “Black” part of town. In Halifax, which was, among other things, at the other end of the Underground Railroad, the Black population is mostly descended from former American slaves and is proportionally larger than in many other areas of the country. This population in Halifax began in earnest following the War of 1812 during which “Black loyalists” (slaves willing to fight their masters in exchange for freedom) were deeded land on the outskirts of Halifax as reward for helping the Crown, which was named Africville. Africville has a tragic and disappointing history which I’m going to expand upon in a separate piece, but suffice it to say that Blacks in Nova Scotia suffer from many of the same socioeconomic problems as do their counterparts in the US, though certainly not to the same degree. I understand that there are Black communities in and around Toronto which are primarily Caribbean in origin, that there is public housing inhabited mostly by Blacks and that crime rates are higher in these areas, but I’m not aware of specifics. I have never heard a Canadian say “nigger”. Oh, I’ve had friends say “What up, my nigga,” plenty of times, but as far as it being used as a pejorative, never. Much of what many Canadians believe about Blacks, since many of them have never spent much time around or lived around them, they get from US TV shows, so many of them are understandably scared shitless. In Nova Scotia, where there is a Black population descended from American slaves and not immigrants, I often heard the general stereotypes bandied about by Whites: They don’t like to work, but they do like to commit crimes, do drugs, get bitches pregnant and split, etc. My ex-wife was utterly petrified of them. She saw a Black kid walk down our street once and, since no Black people lived on our street, wanted to call the police, I shit you not. She did not, though, and the ensuing argument lasted about two hours. Canadians are, however, very quick to characterize Americans as racists, despite the fact that Canada had Jim Crow “Whites only” bylaws in rural areas just like the US did. But, in fairness, the institution of slavery did not exist here, and that counts for rather a bit. Aboriginals, still commonly referred to as Indians, seem to take the place, in many ways, that Blacks do in US society. They are disproportionately plagued by crime, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction and prejudice and are distributed across Canada. They receive government assistance and are spoken of by most of the Whites I know as a “problem” and with little compassion. A disproportionate number of their males are in the prison system. They are, in effect, the Blacks of Canada, and the origins of their problems are as convoluted and difficult to figure out as are those of US Blacks. However, to be real, they were doing OK before Whitey showed up.

The French

As you may or may not know, the English defeated the French in the battle for supremacy in Canada but allowed the French to stay and maintain their own culture. Like any defeated people, despite the magnanimity of the victors, a lot of them are still sore about it. As I’ve mentioned before, there are elements within Quebecois society who believe that Quebec should exist as its own separate country. Anglo Canadians love to point out that the federal government paid for and built their infrastructure, so if they want to pay back all of that, fine, go ahead; many Anglos are constantly irritated and annoyed by the French. Despite this, however, Quebec and its French culture are clearly things that make Canada, well, Canadian and add an extremely cool flavor to the whole mix here. In 1980, Quebec held a referendum about whether it should secede from the Canadian federal government or stay. Literally thousands of people from all over Canada came to Quebec to plead with the citizens to remain part of Canada. I’ve heard the old radio news reports from that time, and people were actually crying, “Please don’t leave.” Many Quebecois were also crying, saying, “How can we consider this? What does it say to the rest of the world?”. Fortunately, the results were 60-40 against. I can’t help but imagine that if Texas tried to do the same thing, millions of Americans would show up saying, “Please! Do it! Leave and good riddance!” OK I was being a smart-ass with that one, but I think you’ll understand my point. Canadians seem to like other Canadians more than most Americans like other Americans, even when they’re French. Summary: Canada is very White, its culture is Western European, and the people who emigrate to it seem to acknowledge and appreciate that, as such, it is a much better place to live than wherever they came from. Canada is a clear example of the superiority of Western Culture and the benefits of White Rule.

Religion

Yes, we have it here. I see churches all over the place, especially in Alberta, which I believe boasts more churches per capita than any other province (once again, proof that Alberta secretly wishes it was the 51st State of the US). However, there is much less “religion” here. It is not part of the political conversation and seems rarely, if ever, to be part of polite conversation. Alberta is the province which boasts the most Evangelicals, and it’s the only one where I’ve seen occasional billboards in rural areas featuring Right-To-Life slogans. However, when I tried to call the 800 number on one to tell them to suck my dick, the number was disconnected, and the website on the sign no longer existed; that’s the degree of religious fervor out here. In Nova Scotia, I did see an anti-abortion protest outside of a hospital: Two old ladies in camp chairs watching a portable TV on an ice chest, their picket signs leaning against the fence behind them as people walked by in both directions. Summary: In Canada, religion is essentially no one’s business but their own, so shut the fuck up, and please don’t block the sidewalk.

Guns, Crime and Violence

Guns are not banned in Canada; they are regulated and controlled. Allow me to slack off for a second and quote a Wikipedia article for a brief historical background:

Registration of firearms in Canada has been an issue since the 1930s when the registration of handguns became mandatory. Over the past few decades, legislation had become increasingly restrictive for firearm owners and from 1995 until 2012, all firearms were required to be registered. As of April 6, 2012 the registration of non-restricted firearms is no longer required in any province or territory, except for Quebec, pending litigation. Systematic auditing and criminalization of firearm owners and sports is implemented and enforced in most of Central Canada, and to a lesser extent, in Western Canada (in most cases firearm ownership regulations vary slightly in different provinces and territories, where some provinces have decided to mandate their own laws, such as the Quebec Law 9 course, which is mandatory for all owners of restricted firearms). The Criminal Code of Canada provides recognition of self-defense with a firearm; The Firearms Act provides a legal framework wherein an individual may, acquire/possess and carry, a restricted or (a specific class of) prohibited firearm for protection from other individuals when police protection is deemed insufficient. This situation is extremely rare, as evidenced by the fact that the (publicly available version of the) RCMP Authorization To Carry application refers only to protection of life during employment that involves handling of valuable goods or dangerous wildlife.

In short, you can have a gun if you have a good reason for it. “Personal protection” and just being afraid the government is going to show up and shove you in a FEMA trailer for re-education are not considered valid reasons. It is a matter of record that Canada’s rates of homicides and suicides using guns have further decreased as more and more restrictions have been put into place. This has not eliminated crime, but it has clearly mitigated it. I’d rather have a guy come at me with a knife than a gun even if I’m similarly armed any day – I don’t know about you. To anyone in the US who maintains that lower violent crime can be achieved through an “armed society”, you need only look to Canada to see how absolutely shit-brained-stupid that is. Canada has crime though. People get their cars stolen, there are rapes, there is drunk driving – all the usual. Canada even boasts some celebrated serial killers as well. Most Canadians do lock their doors when they leave for work and when they go to bed, despite what Michael Moore might want you to believe. The difference between Canada and the US in this regard is the crime per capita. In a city as big as Calgary (approximately 1.4 million), which is about 30 minutes from me, the amount of crime compared to a similar-sized US city is ridiculously lower. There isn’t even as much trash on the ground. I’m not kidding – same goes for the rest of what I’ve seen of Canada. What doesn’t exist are gangs to any great degree. In Vancouver you have some Asian gang stuff, some minor shit with Russians and some others in Toronto and Quebec, but nothing even close to what you have in the US. Another thing I’ve noticed is the role of the “career criminal”. In the US, being a criminal is an actual occupation for many, one which they pursue with great professionalism and acumen. In Canada, most of the criminals I’ve seen and read about are basically stupid assholes. They steal some shit, maybe sell some drugs, and they get caught. This one idiot drug dealer in Halifax lived in a trailer park, yet bought a bright yellow Hummer and parked it out front. After a few stray bullets zipped through his neighbors‘ homes courtesy of a rival “drug kingpin “ (yes, this is how the local news referred to him), the cops pretty much figured out that if they nabbed the guy in the yellow Hummer at the bridge toll-plaza, they’d get some answers. Random acts of violence occur. Guys get dumped and kill their ex and her new boyfriend; a middle-aged loser who’s sponging off his grandmother’s pension checks decides he can smother her with a pillow and pretend she’s still alive; some guy hears Satan tell him he can fuck Avril Lavigne if he kills his whole family in their sleep, and so on. But to be honest, most random, violent crimes I hear about around my neck of the woods, few as they are, involve immigrants. You can take the boy out of Viet Nam, but if you smile at his girlfriend during lunch time at the meat processing plant, he just might shove a fork in your neck. The cops here are actually nice, at least the ones I’ve met. You’ve got your Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP’s), which function as the equivalent of the FBI and State police in provinces without a provincial police force (unlike Ontario or Newfoundland), the city police forces and the “peace officers” who enforce by-laws and do not carry weapons. The only times I’ve dealt with cops, whether local or RCMP, they have said, “Hey, how’s it going,” introduced themselves and shook my hand, then calmly figured out what was going on. No twitchy hyper-vigilance, no hand on the gun as they approached. I’m guessing they may be a little different in the metropolii, but still, you don’t get Rodney King situations here. If called to a bar in response to a complaint of a disturbance, a Canadian cop is more likely to say, “Hey, I think your friend’s a little drunk, why don’t you take him home?” as opposed to calling in six cars for backup and making the entire place lie face down with their hands behind their heads. There are occasional stories of abuse, and there was a spate of deaths caused by tasering, but generally, since everyone doesn’t automatically hate them and want them dead, I think the cops are a bit more relaxed and less concerned with being intimidating. They are, after all, just guys trying to do their jobs, and I get that most Canadians understand and appreciate that. Despite the fact that they seem less violent as a culture, do not make the mistake of thinking Canadians are pussies. Canadians drink, and they also fight. Hockey, the world’s most violent sport is, after all, a Canadian invention. The difference, though, is the absence of ubiquitous and constant belligerence. If I go to a crowded concert or sporting event in the US, it’s a safe bet there will be more than one fight. My ex-roommate’s best friend from Northern California was jumped and had his brains beaten after a Dodgers-Giants game in LA; it put him in a coma, and he’s barely escaped being a vegetable. It would be impossible to me to conceive of that happening here and actually is impossible to any Canadians I’ve spoken with about it. Can Canadians hold their liquor better, or are they just generally less angry, violent and belligerent? Maybe a little of the former and a lot of the latter. Summary: Less guns, garbage, crime and violence, nicer cops, fewer incarcerated citizens and far less anxiety as a whole.

Weed

I smoke a lot of weed. I have been doing so for over 35 years. In Canada, medical marijuana is federally legal, but I can’t just go to a podiatrist and tell him I’ve been having trouble sleeping to get a license like in California. It requires multiple signed applications by several doctors and, like the gun licensing, the determining criterion is, “Why do you need it?”. Unfortunately, mild insomnia isn’t considered a valid reason. Things like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and serious medical conditions which require pain management are generally what are required. Once licensed, it means you can go anywhere in the country without getting hassled; you can even walk through an airport with a sack in your pocket, provided you have your license on you. You cannot, of course, burn one in public (legally). You can also grow some. Despite the fact that I must, then, smoke weed illegally, there are a couple of benefits to doing so in Canada. First and foremost is that I can get a half ounce of good smoke for 120 bucks. Second is that the general attitude towards marijuana law enforcement is pretty relaxed. In most metropolitan areas, it is considered of “lowest priority,” officially, when it comes to enforcing pot laws. In Vancouver, there are Amsterdam-style cafes where everyone’s smoking weed, and the cops leave them alone. In the case of illegal grow-ops, though, or significant trafficking, the cops, understandably, do not look the other way. But as far as normal people getting high and not causing any problems, the worst they usually do is take it away from you, tell you to “watch it”, and maybe smoke it themselves after work. For the record though, Harper and the Tories have stated unequivocally that marijuana will not become legal as long as they are the majority. Fuck the Tories. Summary: Canada’s a cool place if you smoke weed; just remember it’s still illegal (technically).

Civil Liberties

Gays can marry here – it’s been legal for quite some time – and, despite that fact, they are not running around having anal sex in the streets. Pre-employment and random drug screenings are forbidden as unconstitutional, yet people aren’t snorting coke at work or showing up baked to the gills. Women can get abortions, and their health care covers it, yet there is not an epidemic of female promiscuity (much as I wish there were). Prostitution is, by certain definitions in certain areas, basically legal, or at least not criminal. Even the age of consent is much lower in some provinces, yet teenaged girls are not being incessantly fucked to death and discarded by middle-aged men. The guiding principle behind Canada’s attitude towards civil liberties seems to be, “If they’re not hurting anyone or causing a fuss, leave them the fuck alone, it’s none of your business.” Pierre Trudeau wisely stated that the government has “no place in our bedrooms, period,” and he was agreed with by even the most right-wing politicians at the time, eventually. I laugh my ass off every time I hear some Republican or Libertarian troll threaten to “move to Canada” if Obama gets re-elected. Not only would they not be issued a visa for such reasons, if they were, they would be forced to live in a place where fags can teach their kids, sluts can get abortions, niggers can get decent jobs, hippies can smoke weed and people claiming God speaks to them are not only banned from public office but they’re quite often placed under psychiatric observation. Summary: I think my freedoms are more well-protected here than in the US.

Language

Canadians do not say aboot. Most commonly, the ow diphthong, which is broken down into the phonemes a (like cat) + oo in US English (and every English dictionary), is very often pronounced eh-oo in Canada, similar to how the Irish pronounce it. In Atlantic Canada, it is common to hear the diphthong pronounced oh (I had a boss who actually spelled couch as coach because that’s how he pronounced it). They also usually pronounce sorry as soar-ee, been as bean, produce (n.) as prah-duce, project as proh-ject, process as proh-cess, schedule as shed-jule, missile as miss-isle and a slew of other British pronunciations. What drives me nuts though is their insistence on pronouncing virtually any a they see as the short a in cat. It’s difficult for me to represent graphically, but go ahead and say to yourself the following words with that short a and see how lame it sounds: pAsta, tsunAmi, drAma, mAzda. Ugh. Sonically, it makes me fucking cringe. And I know it’s a matter of taste, but to me, mispronouncing names and proper nouns from other languages in that fashion just seems ignorant. I guess that’s a vestige of the famous British contempt for other cultures giving a last, dying twitch. I have adopted the Canadian forms of spelling; I think it’s cool. They use the British forms here almost exclusively: colour, centre, defence, and so on. They do not use the spelling aluminium. They do, however, use the silent h in herb. But while Canadian spelling I may have adopted, most of Canadian pronunciation I have not. The exception is when I play “I’m pretending to be Canadian.” I have at various times when doing this been pegged as a Maritimer (someone from Atlantic Canada), since I have a good grasp of the accent and “isms“ I absorbed while in Nova Scotia. Though I am functional in French, I rarely have occasion to use it. Canadian French, though, is far more dissimilar to its parent than Canadian English, and volumes could be written about Francophone (French-speaking) culture in Canada, and I haven’t enough experience to do so with any credibility or thoroughness. Summary: Someone could drop you in the middle of any major Canadian city outside of Quebec in your sleep, and it’d take you a bit to realize, just hearing people speak, that you weren’t in the US.

Civility

This is, to me, the single most important difference between Americans and Canadians, and I believe this trait informs all the positive ones I’ve previously outlined. Canadians are civil. They are brought up holding doors for other people, apologizing if they think they’ve offended or been a nuisance and just in general trying to be kind and decent to everyone else, even if they don’t like them. The concept that your negative personal feelings towards others should not inform your actions towards them, that it’s right and beneficial to society to be polite to everyone regardless of whether you hate their guts or not is so obvious to them that it doesn’t bear mentioning. Canadians’ default mode is “nice”. When in doubt, just be nice. Don’t understand something? Be nice and ask what someone meant, don’t just immediately go “Oh, yeah? FUCK YOU!” and start swinging if you aren’t sure whether you’ve been insulted or not. Canadians don’t automatically assume the worst motive for the actions of others. If a guy’s going off and making a fuss about something, the first thought is usually, “Wow, he must really be having a bad day.” One of the keys to civility is cutting each other some slack, being easy on each other, at least the first couple times. Canadians seem much better at this “a mile in my neighbor’s moccasins” philosophy than most Americans. They’ve been inculcated with good behavior through example; they don’t even think about it. As a result, even the immigrants get in on it within a generation. Of course, there are those who recognize this tendency towards civility and understanding and try to subvert it for their own purposes. These types will invariably either adopt a disingenuously oblivious mien (“Oh, did I cut in front of you? Gee, didn’t see the end of the line.”) or will behave blatantly aggressively in the hopes of causing others to back down and avoid any type of confrontation, something that seems bred into most Canadians from birth. I am at times frustrated by what I sometimes perceive as a pathological need to avoid confrontation of any kind. I see people allow others to take advantage of and inconvenience them without saying anything, and it pisses me off. Some ass-wipe the other day at a movie theater, in which one joins a single line while waiting for the next available cashier, was standing near a particular window which looked as if it would free-up next, clearly intending to head straight for it while avoiding the line. I, of course, ever-vigilant to such things and being a self-appointed Guardian of Civilization and Warrior against the Americanization of Canada, moved forward immediately when the register became available, shoving in front of the asshole and saying, “I was here first. The line’s over there.” He muttered something under his breath as he walked to the line. Coincidentally, he was quite swarthy and spoke with a thick Middle-Eastern accent. Fuckers who style themselves “wolves among sheep” in this country fill me with cold rage. Despite the fact that your average Canadian finds my attitude and actions inappropriate, I will gladly suffer their disapproval, kinda like Batman has to. Canadians are also far more respectful, in general, of people’s privacy. I hear less gossip and less mean shit behind people’s backs than I did in the States. People don’t pry as much, they aren’t as obsessed with going through your laundry, and are far less likely to share something private they may have learned about you. For example, I was a porn actor in the US for a time; I got some press, and my stuff shows up on cable every now and then (gotta love Canadian cable; when they show porn, they leave in the penetration), so I am infrequently recognized. A guy I worked with, when I confessed about my former occupation after having known him a few months, told me he already knew. When I asked why he didn’t tell me he knew his response was that if I’d wanted him to know, I would have told him, and it was none of his business. In a similar situation in the US, a guy I worked with was so excited to know that he told everybody I worked with, including my bosses, and from then on, every time I spoke with them, though they never let on they knew, there was this weird awkwardness, like they couldn’t look at me without seeing me naked. On the flipside, an Iranian immigrant kid I was in training with at this call center in Halifax sat down next to me one day, grinning. “Hey, hey, do you have tattoo? Show me”. I lifted my sleeve and showed him, and he all-but shouted “Ha! I knew it! I see you, I see you on TV!” I convinced him to keep his mouth shut, but I’d catch the weird little fucker staring and grinning at me from across the room fairly often, and he’d give me the thumbs-up if I looked up at him. Summary: The more civil you are, the better everyone gets along and the better your civilization.

In Closing

A banking system under control, sane gun laws, lower crime, universal health care, a thriving middle class, no illegal immigration problem, cheap weed, way less garbage all over the place, fewer assholes per capita, a strong federal government with excellent social programs…isn’t this sorta what Obama’s America would look like?

"Summertime in Northern California," by Alpha Unit

It’s gotten so bad that you can’t go hunting, fishing, or hiking in peace in certain parts of Northern California anymore – all because of marijuana growers with guns. On Friday the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced that law enforcement officials had raided pot-growing farms in the Mendocino National Forest during a 2-week operation that will be ongoing. Every summer law enforcement launches this effort on public lands. At least half a dozen federal agencies took part this year, along with the state anti-narcotics bureau and 6 sheriff’s departments. This year’s bust, described as “huge,” is supposedly a major blow against illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in Northern California. Agents uprooted over 460,000 pot plants. They also seized about 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana, almost 30 guns, and 11 vehicles. There have been over 100 arrests. According to the Associated Press:

The 900,000-acre forest – larger than Rhode Island – spans six counties in a region of mountains and forests known as the Emerald Triangle for its high concentration of pot farms. Agents raided more than 50 gardens teeming with trash, irrigation pipes, and chemicals that damage forestland and waterways, authorities said.

Pot growers favor public lands for their remote location and rugged terrain, people say. This year’s focus was on the Mendocino National Forest after nearby residents started complaining last year about the increasing number of confrontations with armed guards protecting pot grows. Moreover, Forest Service officials have complained about the environmental consequences of illegal pot farms. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says that the California National Guard, Forest Service workers, and volunteers removed 46,000 pounds of trash, 120 propane tanks, 116,000 feet of pipe, 13 man-made dams, 57 pounds of pesticides, and tons of fertilizer from raided grow sites. Usually Mexican drug cartels are blamed for some of this activity. The U.S. Attorney says that 25 of the people arrested are already facing federal charges, but she wouldn’t say where they’re from.

“Summertime in Northern California,” by Alpha Unit

It’s gotten so bad that you can’t go hunting, fishing, or hiking in peace in certain parts of Northern California anymore – all because of marijuana growers with guns.

On Friday the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced that law enforcement officials had raided pot-growing farms in the Mendocino National Forest during a 2-week operation that will be ongoing. Every summer law enforcement launches this effort on public lands. At least half a dozen federal agencies took part this year, along with the state anti-narcotics bureau and 6 sheriff’s departments.

This year’s bust, described as “huge,” is supposedly a major blow against illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in Northern California.

Agents uprooted over 460,000 pot plants. They also seized about 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana, almost 30 guns, and 11 vehicles. There have been over 100 arrests.

According to the Associated Press:

The 900,000-acre forest – larger than Rhode Island – spans six counties in a region of mountains and forests known as the Emerald Triangle for its high concentration of pot farms. Agents raided more than 50 gardens teeming with trash, irrigation pipes, and chemicals that damage forestland and waterways, authorities said.

Pot growers favor public lands for their remote location and rugged terrain, people say. This year’s focus was on the Mendocino National Forest after nearby residents started complaining last year about the increasing number of confrontations with armed guards protecting pot grows.

Moreover, Forest Service officials have complained about the environmental consequences of illegal pot farms.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says that the California National Guard, Forest Service workers, and volunteers removed 46,000 pounds of trash, 120 propane tanks, 116,000 feet of pipe, 13 man-made dams, 57 pounds of pesticides, and tons of fertilizer from raided grow sites.

Usually Mexican drug cartels are blamed for some of this activity. The U.S. Attorney says that 25 of the people arrested are already facing federal charges, but she wouldn’t say where they’re from.

Alcohol/Drugs and Brain Damage

Repost from the old site. For those who are worried, I would add a few pointers from my own life. I’ve been using drugs and drinking, one or the other or both, recreationally, for almost 40 years, and my health is superb. Of course, as with all things, moderation is the key. There were some wild binges of drinking and/or drug use where I thought, “Wow, this time I have definitely damaged my brain for sure!” At that time, I just stopped using whatever it was that had me worried and waited for a bit, and it seemed that at some point, all my brains came back, and then some. In some cases, I a number of cases, I had to wait for 3-10 days (average ~1 week), but in one case, it took a month to get back to where I was. After almost 40 years, you would think that I would be getting more and more fried by the year, but it’s just not so. To be quite honest, in many ways, it seems like I am smarter than I have ever been. Furthermore, no one who meets me or knows me ever thinks I am stupid in any way whatsoever. It is quite the opposite. Not trying to brag here but people regularly say things like, “You’re are one of the smartest people I know.” I don’t think they would say that if I was fried. When you exercise or play sports, they say listen to your body. With drinking and drugs, that too, but also listen to your brain. If things start seeming foggy, slow down for a bit and see if things clear up. Most if not all cases of permanent damage from this stuff have occurred from people who did not heed the warnings and careened right on ahead. To summarize my writings on the subject: Methamphetamine and Ecstasy are terrible for the brain, Ecstasy so bad you should not take it even one time. PCP is quite bad for your brain and probably ketamine is too. You can play around with any of those drugs a dozen or so times in a lifetime (and possibly more), and you won’t suffer any permanent damage. Any more than that, and things get a lot dicier. Heroin is easy on the brain but nasty in any other way. Opium, and all opiates, are also harmless to the brain but can be addicting. Use must be judicious and occasional, if at all. In particular, don’t mix with other downers. Long term alcoholic drinking permanently damages the brain. With less heavy drinking, the permanence of damage is much less clear. At low levels, drinking causes no damage whatsoever. The widespread notion, proffered even by many doctors, that each drink “kills brain cells” is utter nonsense. Cannabis, marijuana or hashish is one drug that can be used even very heavily by adults with minimal permanent effects on the brain. Occasional use by adults seems to be completely harmless to your brain. The question of brain damage by very heavy cannabis use has not yet been resolved, but even if it occurs, most of it seems  to clear up on cessation. Daily use of small amounts by adults can occur for years with apparently minimal damage. Any damage that occurs has not yet been proven, but if it exists, it seems to be quite subtle, and I am uncertain how significant it is. Unfortunately, for minors, the question of little to no damage is much less firm, such that I recommend that anyone wait at least until they are 18 to begin using cannabis. Of all of the drugs of abuse, as far as heavy use goes, cannabis is by far the easiest of them all on your brain.

People Are Getting High on Bath Salts

Here. Actually it is some kind of designer drug being sold over the counter as a bath salts or plant food. Apparently you can use them for those purposes and they work just fine and don’t get you high. You sniff it inject it or smoke it. The drugs in question are mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV. Apparently these are stimulants something like methamphetamine, but I don’t know much about them. Looks like a pretty crappy and evil drug, I would say. It’s mostly in Louisiana right now for some reason, and the state has banned the sale of the drugs. But the Feds have not banned them yet since they are not marketed for human consumption. Banning them will take some time. Most users are apparently meth users looking for a new high. I increasingly agree with the Neurosoup girl on Youtube. She hates meth, cocaine, PCP and heroin. She comes right out and says that they are crappy and evil drugs.She doesn’t like alcohol either. She’s up on marijuana and what she calls entheogens, which is something like hallucinogens. If a lot of the people using coke, meth, alcohol and heroin started using pot and entheogens instead, our society would look a lot different. I would say that the damage from drugs would go way down. The hallucinogens are somewhat self-limiting in use. They are so strong, and people are so afraid and paranoid of them that people tend to only use them for a short period of time. People want a drug they can get high on regularly. My generation promoted the use of coke and to some extent speed. I would say we screwed up bad on that one. Those drugs are just crap. One thing I always hated about drugs were the anti-drug morons. They’re still everywhere; in fact, they’re the majority. Instead of being sensible like the Neurosoup Girl and dividing recreational drugs into different classes, the anti-drug morons just lump them all into one great big mess. They’re all the same. They’re all dope, and they’re all evil. Weed is meth is heroin is coke is LSD is mushrooms. It’s nuts. I had to deal with this all the time while growing up as a pothead. As a pothead, I was said to be “into drugs” and was lumped in with PCP users, cokeheads, meth freaks and heroin addicts. It was all the same. To some extent, this was true of drug users too. They weren’t so stupid as to think all drugs are the same – no user is that stupid – but since pot was illegal, and you had to deal with illegal drug users to get it, a lot of pot users were also using and promoting the use of other stuff, often along the lines that the other drug was as easy and safe as pot. Pure pot users were quite rare. Legalizing pot would put it in the class as alcohol. How many people have you met who drink, often a lot, but won’t touch any “drugs” (LOL)? Lots. Making weed legal would increase the number of pure pot users who don’t mess with other stuff. One thing I noticed that is people, often the older generation, will talk about someone who ruined their life on drugs, often the son or daughter of a friend. Often I will ask, “What kind of drugs?” A legitimate question, right? After all, I’m an old drug fiend, so I’m very interested in details like that! I always get this frustrated response, “I don’t know!” as if it doesn’t matter. Ok, so they got into weed, is that right? Is that how they ruined their lives? This is more of the, “All drugs are the same,” BS. Very frustrating dealing with this moronitude.

New Sex Poll

Repost from the old site. A sex poll came out 2 1/2 years ago, but I am only just now hearing about it. Oh, well, it seems like sex is always leaving me standing at the station these days. The articles on the poll deal with teenagers having lots of oral sex, apparently instead of intercourse. The article all act like this is horrible, but I actually think it is good. Despite my feast or famine bachelor life, I actually do love sex, and I am a sexual liberationist. The articles mostly fuss on and on about all of the diseases one can acquire from oral sex. First of all, this is part of an insane national neurosis we have long had in this nation about sex. Europeans have long commented on it. We are Puritans, yet we demand that Americans be having sex continuously. Even if they are not married. Even if they are not 18. Yes, it is true. There’s a $6 billion dollar a year porn industry, and we are in the midst of a Mass Hysteria called Child Molester Hysteria. Although there are reasons to worry about adult sex abuse of children, I really fear that this is part of our neurosis about teenagers, especially teenage girls, having sex. Child Molester Hysteria, the way I understand it, pretty much makes it illegal for teenage girls to get laid. If she does it, the guy’s a molester, no matter what his age is. It is understandable that conservatives, Christians, married men and vaginized males of all types would be behind this Protect Our Teenage Girls! bullshit. What doesn’t add up is that the feminists are behind it too. Yep, feminists, the very women who ought to supporting teenage girls who choose to have sex, who ought to even be urging girls to learn to have an orgasm by age 15 since science shows waiting longer increases the odds she will never get one, are leading the charge of this preposterously chivalrous, putting girls on a pedestal, nonsense. Anyway, on the article. Article says, teenagers not screwing so much, good. Having oral sex instead, bad. Why is it bad? Because, the article worries, you can get VD. What sorts of VD can you get? Well, syphilis, warts (HPV), gonorrhea and herpes. Well, let us look at this notion. As far as cunnilingus goes, it would be quite hard to catch much of anything from doing that. You would be better off to worry about getting hit by a meteor. So go ahead and do it! To your heart’s content! She’ll love ya for it, guys! Now, onto fellatio. It is true that one can get gonorrhea of the throat from doing this, but it’s not a common problem, except maybe in the gay community. Syphilis is quite rare outside the gay community, and you always just very noticeable symptoms. So it’s not much to worry about. About herpes, well, one out of every six adults has it anyway, and it won’t kill you. It comes on strong at first, then it fades to an annoyance, and there are drugs that take out the flareups. So no worries. HPV is much more troubling here since research shows that you can catch it in your throat, and it apparently can lead to throat cancer. I’m at a loss for words about this, but I don’t think it’s the worry of the century. Lesbianism got a lot of writeup in the study. Apparently 14. What’s interesting is that whenever they go out and do these face to face surveys about sex and dope, they come with some very low figures for both gay sex and dope. No one wants to fess up to being a fag or a doper, even if they were only gay for a day or they didn’t inhale. But recently a new study allowed persons to answer questions about sex and dope anonymously via computer in a locked room. They were assured repeatedly that there would be no way to link up their computer answers with their actual selves, since the testers themselves were not grading the tests. As one might expect, scores for sex and drug use for young Canadians were much higher when the answers were submitted via computer privacy than via face to face. The authors considered that maybe people were making stuff up on the tests, but rejected that. Testers had been closely questioned before about the importance of being honest on their answers. If they were inclined to make stuff up, they were asked not to take the test. The numbers for current homosexual behavior among this group of young Canadian males were about 13-1 This was in Southern California in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Other studies have shown some fairly high levels of males experimenting with homosexuality. Kinsey got 3 The same computer surveys above also found remarkably higher drug use among respondents than face to face surveys found, especially of hard drugs like PCP or heroin. One of the major findings of the study was that more and more straight folks are getting into anal sex. 4 Porn has made anal sex very popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. As a sexual liberationist, I really don’t care how people do it. I think people ought to consider that there may be a health downside to this type of sex. I have seen reports on bulletin boards of women aged 30 or so who had lots of anal sex in their 20’s who now have to wear a type of diaper because they have lost some control over their bowels. That’s called anal incontinence. I don’t know how much anal sex you have to have before something terrible like this happens to you, but it’s something people might want to think about before they jump into anal sex too much. There are all sorts of gay rights types and sex educators that say there is no way this can happen to you if you practice anal sex the right way, but I wish they would spell out their theory in clear science so it’s something more than a crap shoot.

Nice Sid Vicious Montage

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fsf8cHiLU&feature=related] Tracks are Black Leather by the Professionals and Here We Go Again by the Sex Pistols. Sid Vicious was a complete asshole, but I love him anyway. He embodied the punk spirit very well. I still miss him. The story of the love affair between Sid and Nancy Spungeon is a sad one. After the Pistols broke up, Sid and Nancy moved to the Chelsea Hotel in New York and Sid tried to get his career going. They were both very heavily into drugs, in particular opiates and heroin. Nancy was found dead in Sid’s place with a single stab wound to the abdomen. Sid said he awoke from a drug stupor to find her dead in the bathroom. He gave conflicted reports at booking, claiming that he did it, then claiming that she fell on the knife, then saying that he loved her but she treated him like crap. They fought all the time and were both totally strung out on drugs. There are other stories claiming that a heroin dealer killed Nancy that night. Rockets Redglare is sometimes named as the killer. A dealer, he had delivered heroin to them that night. Another dealer was supposed to come over later. Redglare said he thought that that dealer had tried to rip off the drugs from them while Sid was passed out and ended up getting into it with Nancy. Surely the world of heroin dealers and heroin users in New York City is a sleazy one and ripoffs no doubt go down all the time. Most heroin addicts are after all thieves themselves. I would probably trust your average heroin dealer about as far as I could throw them. However, Nancy was stabbed with Sid’s very own knife. This mystery will probably never be solved. Redglare died in his early 50’s from a lifetime of drug abuse. His liver and kidneys were shot. He was an interesting person, and a movie about him has recently been made. Nancy Spungeon was a very mixed up person. A beautiful young Jewish woman, dead at age 20. At age 15, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but that can’t be correct. Borderline Personality Disorder is more like it. She was despised by the rest of the band for her unpleasant and abusive behavior. Sid was arrested for Nancy’s murder. Soon after, he attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. Four months later, there was a gathering celebrating Sid’s being released on bail. Sid’s Mom (!) sent him some heroin, although he had been clean for some time. Sid had began using drugs as a boy when he took up using speed with his speed using Mom. Sid shot the heroin that night in three doses. It was nearly pure heroin. He passed out with his new girlfriend and was found dead the next morning of heroin overdose. This very strange and sad story was immortalized in a move called Sid and Nancy, which is highly recommended.

Strange Case Out of California's Emerald Triangle

Here. Interesting. A gang of young men tried to raid a marijuana garden in the Emerald Triangle of California last year. They were met by other young men defending their crop. Some of the raiders were taken prisoner. The raiders attacked with sticks and chunks of concrete to try to free their prisoners. All prisoners escaped but one, who was badly beaten with sticks and was in a coma. Police arrived, took the beaten man to the hospital where he soon came out of his coma. The people who assaulted him were not arrested! The police decided that the many marijuana plants were “in violation of local ordinances” and confiscated them. None of the growers were arrested! Wow. Only in California, eh? The comments below are interesting. The Triangle is experiencing its worst spell of ripoffs since 1979. Thefts go down all the time, and everyone is paranoid. Much of the growing is sadly now being done by Organized Crime gangs. Reading between the lines, the Organized Crime growing in the region appears to be Nuestra Familia (locally Nortenos) and La Eme (The Mexican Mafia or Surenos). Nuestra Familia and the Mexican Mafia are the real hardcores, and the Surenos and Nortenos are mostly just the local sets on the streets. Sort of like the Mafia and little local Italian street gangs loosely associated with them. Apparently most of the grows are being done by Nuestra Familia, since this is Northern California after all. Grows are as large as 100,000 plants. These large grows are widely resented as sucking streams dry, mix fertilizer in the bottoms of wells and bury their trash in holes in the ground. It looks like cops only get a very small amount of the crop. A friend of mine used to grow up there in the mid 1980’s, around 1984-1985. He worked construction about 1/2 the year and made a bundle back when unionized White construction workers could make excellent money. The other half of the year he was up in the Triangle growing marijuana. There were three guys in on the grow, and I think they made $150,000 between them, or $50,000 apiece. Pretty nice for 6 months work. He did it for a few years and never got caught. He would bring it back down to Orange County and sell it. Even back then, this was very strong pot – skunk, sinsemilla, whatever you want to call it. It went for ~$2000-2400 a pound and the price per ounce was pretty high too. I have no idea how that compares to prices nowadays. He said that the main problems were deer and spider mites. Spider mites are tiny insects that infest the undersides of the leaves of marijuana and other plants. I’ve seen them before. The deer are mostly a problem in the fall when most of the vegetation has dried up but of course the pot plants are still very green, so the deer just hone right in on them. He said busts were a worry also around harvest time for the same reason. Everything is brown and dry but the pot, which is still bright green and can be spotted from the air by helicopters. He said that you can’t really walk around out there. He said “everyone is growing,” it’s all private property, fenced in various ways, and no one dares trespass on anyone else’s property. If you do, as soon as you are on anyone’s property for 5-10 minutes, people will be right there onto you asking you what you are doing. Back then, people regularly got short prison terms up there for growing pot, but in recent years, I understand that law enforcement is having a hard time finding juries willing to convict. In up 8 I have been in and around this region exploring extensively once. I went to Cloverdale, Ukiah and Dos Rios. I fished in the Russian River and Eel River. I caught a Steelie looking trout in the Russian River and another trout in the Eel. While fishing the Eel, a water snake took off across the river right next to where I was fishing – an Aquatic Garter Snake. There was a large bird making a huge racket across the river the whole time I was there. I finally figured out that I was fishing across the river from an Osprey’s nest and the bird was trying to tell me to get away from its nest. I was there in the Spring, and there was water everywhere. It’s basically a gigantic forest and there is a stream or rivulet pouring down off the slope every few hundred yards or so, with many much larger streams and even rivers, mostly unnamed, pouring down at less frequent intervals. It’s a mountain forest that’s basically leaking water like a full sponge. There are hippie looking mountain man characters roaming around all over the place. If you ever get a chance, you might want to go check this area out.

Juice Fasting

Repost from the old site. Juice fasting is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to try it. I just live off coffee, juice, wine and water for a few days. After about four days, things start getting kind of weird. You will start to get a lot more energy, but you will feel strange, like you are on LSD. The increased energy is because your body is not wasting energy digesting food all the time. You may also find that aches and pains may also go away during the fast. I also found radical diminishment of anxiety and much clearer thinking. But that seems to go away as you start eating again. Water fasts are dangerous, but are ok for a day or two. Juice fasts work great. Just drink around 32 oz of juice per day for 1-4 days. You can go up to 64 ounces or so. It’s completely harmless. Your body odor will start to stink after a well and so will your breath and your farts. This is probably because you are leaking out toxins. You can exercise, but be careful as you may faint. Just go real easy. You may find yourself tired a lot. Just lie down and sleep. You can also lose weight this way, and I have lost 12 pounds doing juice fasting lately. Make sure to drink 40 ounces of water per day. You can continue to drink coffee and alcohol. After all, what does a man need but coffee, wine, water, juice and sex? And maybe a steak once in a while? In fact, alcohol will get you very intoxicated when you fast. Break the fast after 1-4 days. I don’t really care how I break it, but some say it is important.

Rumors of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Savvas Tzionis, one of my favorite commenters, writes in, expressing some concern:

Robert,I thought YOU were dead…. post wise, you were (relatively) quiet! LOL

Boo! I’m here! Scared you, huh? Sorry folks, it’s Thanksgiving, I’ve been depressed for some reason, and I’ve been extremely tired. This is a very bad time of year for me. I tend to get depressed from around Thanksgiving to around Christmas and maybe through January too. This coincides with the two months in which the days are the shortest of the whole year. Not only that, but even when the sun bothers to come out, it might as well not even be there. It gives off little heat and the light it gives off is pitiful. You look up at the sun and think, “Damn, is that all you can do? You’re sorry!” Sometimes the sun is so shitty and dim, I figure the moon might as well come out in the day instead and it’d be a wash. I think I may have Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. This time of year is so damned dreary for me! I used to have it a lot worse, but I’m on Lexapro fulltime now, and ever since then, I don’t have it as long. I used to have it all winter until the start of true spring! I remember once I was in therapy for OCD and Depression. It was March or so and we were making no progress with the depression. I was apologetic, but when you’re down, you’re down, and there doesn’t seem to be much you can do about it! I had a girlfriend at the time and she was getting pissed too, because she wasn’t really subject to depression. Finally, Spring came, and I brightened up just like that! Nothing had changed; my life still more or less sucked just as bad as before. Next therapy session, I announced that my depression had lifted. The therapist was joyful and wanted to take credit. I shot him down real quick. It was nothing he had done, it was only that the seasons had changed! He looked a little downcast, but he was still happy that I was better. Often, it’s Spring, Summer or Fall, and I’m happy as a clam. Every now and then I look around and notice that my life frankly sucks to high heaven, but I’m happy as a pig in shit anyway. Then I look outside, it’s 90 degrees outside, and it’s like no matter what’s going on, how could you possibly be depressed in this? I’m told that most humans in non-tropical climates get happier and more active in hotter weather and longer days and gloomier and less active in the depths of the dark and cold days, but it’s only clinical depression in a minority. I’ve also heard of folks in Minnesota or places like that who had bad Winter Depression moving to tropical places like the Philippines and suddenly they were happy year-round. By the way, there are high suicide, depression and alcoholism rates in Siberia, Russia, Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska. Obviously, it’s related to latitude and little else. I wonder if any of my readers have the same experiences?

Facts and Nonsense About the Brain

Repost from the old site. Like most things, there is much nonsense spoken about our brains. Our brains are very interesting to us, even to stupid people, because we use them to think. Yes, even dumb people do use their brains to think. We don’t really understand how our brains work, so some of us try to sound smart by pontificating about our mysterious brains. Here are some widespread myths about our brains: We only use [choose one: 1 It’s one of those feel-good statements that is complete nonsense. We use all of our brains. Even total idiots are using all of their brains most of the time, strange as it may seem. There are parts of the brain that are emotional and parts of the brain that are dedicated to cognition. This one is not nearly as silly as the first one, but it’s still not true. I know this because 15 years ago I was acquainted with a neuropsychologist. He did various sorts of cognitive testing, and he also worked with people with various forms of brain damage. He was also a strange guy, but he was nice enough, and he did have a PhD. I assumed that getting the PhD had probably driven him partly crazy, and he was neurotic as a result. He informed me that there were no emotional or thinking parts of the brain. He said that all of the brain engages in both thinking and emotion. Sure, some parts, like the amygdala, are more dedicated to emotion and other parts, like the prefrontal cortex, are more dedicated to thinking, but all the parts do both. Every drink (or joint) kills a few brain cells. I can’t believe even physicians tell me this crap. It’s nonsense. Yes, alcohol is one of the few drugs that actually kills brain cells, but you have to drink alcoholic-style for years before it happens. Cannabis, like many drugs, does not kill brain cells at any dose. Unfortunately, drugs don’t need to kill cells to mess up your brain. They can damage cells and destroy connections between cells. Male brains are better at math and science than female brains. Actually, they start out the same, but worldwide studies show that at about age 13, when massive male hormones kick in, males all over the world start to surpass females. A personal observation is that females who do well at these subjects are more likely to be more masculine (not necessarily lesbian) than other women. The President of Harvard, Lawrence Summers, was recently massacred for stating this obvious fact. Female brains are better at verbal than male brains. Apparently the case, though there are arguments about which type of verbal we are talking about. If you think about it, there are evolutionary reasons why females would end up better at verbal (needed to raise young kids) and males are better at visuospatial (needed for hunting). There are some more facts about the brain that you may find interesting. We have a maximum number of brain cells at age 23, and after that, there is a steady decline. This is correlated with what is known as fluid IQ, a rough measure of brain efficiency. This is why mathematicians, physicists, novelists, poets, songwriters, musicians, artists and others like them tend to do their best work when they are still pretty young. On the other hand, only an insane person would put the 18-22 year olds in charge of a country. This group has never been put in charge of anything in any society, with good reason. Their brains are going like gangbusters, but they don’t have any sense. They think they know everything, but they don’t know shit. They are supremely self-confident, and they have not even reached the stage of self-doubt. Other than passing their classes, they are contemptuous of learning and knowledge in general and never admit there is anything they don’t know. If they can’t figure it out, it’s worthless. This age group is a prime example of the notion that a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. They have a grotesquely poor understanding of their fellow man, and they are horribly intolerant. Also, they are very much group-thinkers who are terrified to defy group-think and peer pressure. If we put them in charge, it would be a nightmare. They would hold public executions and would probably torture people in public. There would be stupid wars all the time. Everything would be legal, and no one would care. There would be private armies all over the place and probably some form of fascism would be the flavor of the day. We occasionally put them in charge of some stuff, like being Presidents of fraternities, but often they even fuck that up. Mind you, I was an 18-22 year old too, and those were the best days of my life. I remember myself as being supremely mature and with-it, but I assume I had my head up my ass like the rest of them. Yes, the brain declines with age, but wisdom is good. The crystallized intelligence of age does have advantages over the rarely-used super-brains of the young. Our brains are slower, but with the gifts and harsh lessons of time, we are vastly superior at making decisions. Any tribe or civilization of any worth always put middle-aged to old guys in charge and revered its elders. We are cautious and careful, and we already did most of the dumb things there are to do, and we are not likely to do them again. Crystallized intelligence is more or less the stuff you know. As you age, you accumulate knowledge and theoretically wisdom. You don’t get a hardon with every passing breeze, but you’re much less likely to do stupid shit. It’s called a trade-off. A process called pruning occurs in which there is actually a massive loss of brain cells and connections. Most folks do not know this, but there is a massive overgrowth of brain cells in childhood. At adolescence, the brain decides to clear out all those stupid dirt roads that don’t go much of anywhere and make some superhighways instead. The result is like pruning a tree, and the brain works much better as a result. There is quite a bit of loss of brain structure in the process, but it’s all good in the end. In fact, pruning is an essential process for the adolescent brain. If you observe most adolescents, it would not seem controversial that they are experiencing massive loss of brain structure, but a lot of folks still refuse to believe this. There is a window in the brain for language that starts to close at about age 7. If you wait until later, you never really get language right. We have folks born deaf who got hearing at age 33 and have still never picked up language right. You can learn a foreign language in adulthood, but you will always have an accent, and you will never get 10 There is a blind cave fish that has a window for sight. If it is exposed to light before a certain age, it can see. If not, it just figures there is no light down in this cave, so it just goes blind and turns the visual portion of the brain over to something else. The brain seems to open up windows, so to speak. The brain opens a language window that says, “Any language here?” as it waits for input. If there is no input, the brain just closes the window, figures there is no language coming, and turns the area over to something else. The brain is plastic. That does not mean it is made out of polyurethane. It just means that it is smart. For instance, if one part gets damaged, your brain will try to reroute connections around the damaged area. Also, other areas of the brain will try to take over for the damaged area. Brains are smart! They actually think about how to fix up messed up brains! Cool!

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