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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,781

Journal Archives


Very soon.

Restoring your faith in arachnidia...

Death Metal Rooster


Imagine the horror of forcing a child, who doesn't know any better, to wear Crocs in public. For shame on his parents… FOR SHAME!

Anything about "Dead interns," maybe?

Mourning Joe ranting about search engines impugning the reps of public figures somehow rings hollow.

Captain's Log...

What's that smell?

Sarah Palin, Asshole of the Day for June 16, 2014

by TeaPartyCat (Follow @TeaPartyCat)

It’s not often you see Sarah Palin criticize Republicans and Democrats alike for the same thing, which is really no surprise really when Mitch McConnell and others conspired in 2009 to make sure that Republicans never, ever voted for anything with Obama. In 5 years they’ve pretty much been the Grand Old not-Obama Party.

But with the growing crisis in detention centers along the border, St. Sarah of the North gives Republicans an equal share of blame for doing nothing. Both parties, she says, must do something.

And then, before anyone can think about giving her a primary challenge from the right for being bipartisan and soft on immigration like Eric Cantor, she launches into a diatribe about how Obama caused it, even though of course she expects both parties to fix it:

So, GOP and Democrats alike, where are you on this humanitarian issue of child abuse?

Hang on to your hat, because here’s the issue: Barack Obama has orchestrated this newest “crisis” in order to overload the system with the intention of “fixing” the problems his own policies create – by fiat, and that infamous phone and pen; screw the rule of law. He’s warned you by proudly claiming his executive orders can bypass the peoples’ representatives and obviously ignore the will of the people.


…And I, for one, believe her.

11 Ways Our Society Treats Us Like Caged Rats: Do Our Addictions Stem from that Trapped Feeling?

June 12, 2014 |

The following article first appeared in The Fix. Also on TheFix.com: Why I'm More Sober Than You!; The Spirituality of Recovery; Are Athletes More Susceptible to Eating Disorders?

You've probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature. Our basic biology is not to be trusted; the seeking of pleasure leads to disaster; one must therefore overcome biological desires through reason, education, and the inculcation of morals; those whose willpower or morals are weak must be controlled and corrected.

The rat addiction studies also seem to validate the main features of the War on Drugs. First is interdiction: prevent the rats from getting a taste of drugs to begin with. Second is “education” – conditioning the rats into not pressing the lever in the first place. Third is punishment: make the consequences of taking drugs so scary and unpleasant that the rats will overcome their desire to press the lever. You see, some rats just have a stronger moral fiber than others. For those with a strong moral fiber, education suffices. The weak ones need to be deterred with punishments.

Alexander found that when you take rats out of tiny separate cages and put them in a spacious “rat park” with ample exercise, food, and social interaction, they no longer choose drugs; indeed, already-addicted rats will wean themselves off drugs after they are transferred from cages to the rat park.All of these features of the drug war are forms of control, and therefore sit comfortably within the broader narrative of technological civilization: the domination of nature, the rising above the primitive state, conquering animal desire with the mind and the base impulses with morality, and so forth. That is, perhaps, why Bruce Alexander's devastating challenge to the caged rat experiments was ignored and suppressed for so many years. It wasn't only the drug war that his studies called into question, but also deeper paradigms about human nature and our relationship to the world.

The implication is that drug addiction is not a moral failing or physiological malfunction, but an adaptive response to circumstances. It would be the height of cruelty to put rats in cages and then, when they start using drugs, to punish them for it. That would be like suppressing the symptoms of a disease while maintaining the necessary conditions for the disease itself. Alexander's studies, if not a contributing factor in the drug war's slow unraveling, are certainly aligned with it in metaphor.



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