Profile

Cover photo
Ben Shults
Works at Forensic Anatomy/Med School/Uni
Attended University of Life.
Lived in Australia Earth
627,633 views
AboutPostsPhotos

Stream

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Post Via +Samuel Wilson
Jenny loveva
 
The Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding breeds.[6] With a history possibly dating back to the Roman Empire,[7] the Rottweiler may be a descendant of ancient Roman drover dogs; a mastiff-type dog that was a dependable, rugged dog with great intelligence and guarding instincts. During their quest to conquer Europe, the Roman legion traveled in large numbers across the continent. The non-existence of refrigeration meant the soldiers had to bring herds of cattle with them on their excursions for food. These drover dogs were not only used to keep the herds of cattle together, but to guard the supply stock at night. Around A.D. 74 the Roman army travelled across the Alps and into what is now southern Germany. For the next two centuries the Roman drover dogs were continually used in herding and driving cattle for trade even after the Romans were driven out of the area by the Swabians.[8]

A town in this region was eventually given the name Rottweil.[8] It became an important trade center and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth by driving the cattle to market and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals.[8] The dogs are said to have been used by traveling butchers at markets during the Middle Ages to guard money pouches tied around their necks.[9] The dogs eventually came to be called Rottweiler Metzgerhunds, or butcher dogs.[8] As railroads became the primary method for moving stock to market, the need for the breed declined, as did the number of Rottweilers. The number of Rottweilers diminished so severely that by 1882 in a dog show in Heilbronn, there was only one very poor representative of the breed.[8]

The buildup to World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler. During the First and Second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.
7 comments on original post
3
Ben Shults's profile photoDodie Wyckoff's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Ben Shults your welcome! Hugs and kisses to ya my dear friend:):):)😙😗😚😘
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Post Via John Poteet and David Brin.
Courtesy of Scientific American.

More information /articles below story.
 
Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year. There’s a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antarctic-co2-hit-400-ppm-for-first-time-in-4-million-years/
The most remote continent on Earth has caught up with its more populated counterparts
7 comments on original post
10
Dodie Wyckoff's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
16 comments
 
Thank you +NobleJr AurtherNobleFeller​​ :) 
+fable fable​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Myths Busted!

Powerful Speech
12
Lordy's profile photoSomewheremaybe's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
7 comments
 
Thank you
+John Poteet​​​​​​
+Sergio Bassan​​​​​​
+Aurther Noble Feller​​​​​
+NobleJr AurtherNobleFeller​​​​
+Michel Neo​​​
+Arun Chavan​​
+Helena Grankovskaya​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Beautiful photo from photographer
JONATHAN USHER
Taken in New Zealand.
 
"Infinity Pool"
Best viewed large

The Milky Way rising over a Fjiordland lake astounded with a dizzying reflection as stars twinkled all the way from my feet to the zenith...

Jonathan
77 comments on original post
11
1
Dodie Wyckoff's profile photoheungheung wong's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
30 comments
 
Thank you +Arun Chavan​​
+fable fable
+Samuel Wilson​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Eyes without a face. BILLY IDOL 
Some of my stuff in: Editorial Los Grandes Groove Democracy Check and download my mixes here: http://www.mixcloud.com/OsvaldoWilson/
9
NobleJr AurtherNobleFeller (boipupkiller)'s profile photoRoland Jäger's profile photoDen Jay Rich's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
7 comments
 
Thank you +heungheung wong​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Post Via my friend, John Waters
 
Do you think Google knows I'm wearing 'Blue Boxer's', today? ... just don't tell them, okay?
When you use Google, you are making a deal. You...
View original post
5
1
Buddy Hunter's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
4 comments
 
PS +Buddy Hunter​ Situation dire. Additional shock info 2 weeks since.
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
A Long read but it's very worthwhile to read it. Seriously. It Gives much information to think about and to consider. You will, if interested, learn much about what is causing the problems of today. No matter who is in power politically in the current climate.
H/T to +Sue Travers
+Peter Stremple
 

AUSTRALIA’S TRAITORS: CHAMPIONS OF NEO-FEUDALISM
How analysts, commentators, and politicians are distorting Australia’s political landscape. A personal assessment of the battle for Australia as an independent nation rather than as a minor feudal colony of imperial powers.

[Thanks to Google's anti-text post policies, this is definitely better read on a large desktop screen via Minority Reports at http://peterstrempel.com/2015/02/05/australias-traitors-champions-of-neo-fedualism/.]

The persistently silly public opinion about the Queensland State election, and prospects for an embattled Coalition government, lead me to consider just what it is about these developments that commentators and bar-room sages don’t understand.

Unfortunately I think the answer is ‘everything’. That is to say, applying traditional filters of political partisanship, reliance on established statistical models, and even betting on moneyed power, no longer offer the certainty they might once have extended.

Back to basics, then.

What is it about the Queensland LNP that made voters want to see them gone? And is it the same thing that sees the federal Coalition trailing opinion polls and contemplating Seppuku?

My answer is ‘yes’. But it is actually a series of answers flowing from a series of causes. To make this a comment rather than a thesis, I will focus principally on economic policy, from which many other political causes, effects, and phenomena can be traced.

The economic policy platform sported as the emblem of Australia’s Liberals, and their vassal allies, is pretty simple. It is the imported American prescription for neo-feudalism, in which all wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer individuals, and in which fewer and fewer but larger and larger trans-national corporations overrule democracy, destroy competition with market rigging, eliminate middle classes as political counterbalances to their own infleunce, and reduce wages to make of people a new kind of feudal peasantry, owned and controlled by their corporate overlords, who have the power of life and death over them. Quite literally.

If that seems dramatically overstated at this stage, read on a little to see why it is actually astonishingly accurate as a description of contemporary capitalism. And I confess that this is not my original assessment. It comes from American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein, with recent amplification from American billionaire Nick Hanauer (see http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014.html#.VNLZvJM70gs).

Neo-feudal economics

To understand the propaganda about free markets that gives rise to neo-feudalism, there is no choice but to understand its historical foundation. Not to attempt such an understanding is a surrender to ideological lies at the outset.

Let me state categorically that anyone who quotes Adam Smith today is about to justify an overt lie. Smith wrote at a time (1750s to 1780s) in which the agrarian revolution had barely found its full expression. He is worth reading as an adjunct to subsequent thinkers, but nothing he said sheds any light on contemporary capitalism. Instead it is an admission about wanting to retreat into a mythical past.

We are better served to look at more recent thinkers. Like John Maynard Keynes, and Friedrich August von Hayek. Hayek is known as the anchor of arguments that free market activity avoids the tyranny of totalitarianism, and Keynes is still recognised today as the advocate for state intervention into the economy at times of market failure.

Hayek and Keynes

In 1944, with the war against the Nazis in Europe not yet won, Keynes wrote to congratulate Hayek on ‘a grand book’ with which he mostly agreed. The book was The Road to Serfdom, which has ever since been misquoted to justify complete freedom for private interests to do as they please.

Such interpretations overlook Hayek’s assumption that free markets were also to be free from corporate manipulation and abuse of power, particularly in the unregulated trans-national spaces of tax evasion, price fixing, and unaccountable amorality, if not outright criminality.

In the wartime correspondence it is clear that Keyenes and Hayek were not nearly as opposed to each other as they have since been portrayed, particularly in efforts to characterise Labor as the party of Keynes, and the Coalition as the faction of Hayek.

Keynes wrote:

Dangerous acts can be done safely in a community which thinks and feels rightly which would be the way to hell if they were executed by those who think and feel wrongly.

Keynes is long dead and his precise meaning can be argued ad infinitum, but it seems pretty clear he was talking about humane ethics and sound economic fundamentals.

British peer and politician Robert Skidelski suggested the two men agreed in principle on an accommodation of economic theory with politics so long as there was an underlying understanding that it was an accommodation:

A society in which ‘‘dangerous acts’’ by governments become continuous will lose its understanding of why they are dangerous – that is, its sense of what it is to be free. And this has happened to some extent [writing about Britain in 2005, during the Blair era].

Admittedly, the threat Hayek and Keynes faced was totalitarianism in the concrete manifestation of fascism and then communism. But the words are eerily appropriate to describe the contemporary circumstance where communism and fascism are the lesser threat to a totalitarianism perpetrated by corporations and their super-wealthy beneficiaries.

Since the 1980s, Hayek has been invoked by free market economists as the intellectual justification for deregulation, lowering taxes on the wealthy, and cutting back welfare measures.

In the USA, as is so often the case, Hayek’s ideas were given local names to play to the jingoistic illusion that Americans have always been first with better solutions and ideas than anyone anywhere else in the world. In terms of the free market intellectual framework this means Americans think of the Chicago School and Milton Friedman, even if Friedman was really just a bowdleriser and propagandist for the Chicago chapter of Austrian School of neoclassical economics. This point is not just gratuitous ridicule, even if deserved, but has a major bearing on how terminology has obscured what is actually at stake.

Neoclassical economics is today misappropriated, by people who are economically illiterate, to mean complete freedom from any law or regulation for corporations and the wealthy. Worse, left critics have mislabeled this ignorant, incompetent approach to economics as ‘neoliberalism’ when there is in fact nothing new or liberal about it.

The most accurate description for what has been the ascendant economic doctrine, emanating from Wall Street, Washington, and London (probably in that order of impact on the rest of the world), is plutocratic authoritarianism, or a plutocrat driven neo-feudalism (more of that later).

The doctrine persists despite the demonstrated failure of all its justifications. These failures include the absence of any ‘trickle-down’ effects, sustainable and stable economic growth, competition and greater consumer choice, and its compatibility with democratic freedom.

Instead we have seen much faster concentration of wealth at the expense of creating massive new economic underclasses, a contraction of competition and consumer choice as huge corporations rig markets to keep new entrants out and maximise their own profits, and massively unstable markets fuelled by the casino economy of an unregulated speculative free-for-all on Wall Street and in the City of London.

This is the doctrine proposed by the Coalition as the sole answer to Australia’s aspirations and possible futures.

Australia’s neo-feudalist policies

The American plutocratic economic blueprint pushed relentlessly by the Coalition is described by Harvey and Manfred & Roy to include deregulation of the economy, trade liberalization, and privatisation of state assets and service providers. These broad strategies are usually accompanied by unsustainable tax cuts for business and wealthy individuals, deep cuts in anything resembling welfare (including healthcare), monetary policy as the instrument to keep inflation low, anti-union measures to drive down wages, and conservative social policies coupled with big spending on police and enforcement as instruments of social control.

It is no accident that since the later 1990s such policies have been explicitly recognised as bulleted list known as the Washington consensus (see http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidtrade/issues/washington.html).

The left has uncritically adopted the term ‘neoliberal’ for this prescription for reasons best explained by David Harvey (see references below), but I regard it as an inaccurate label since there is nothing new about neo-classical economics, and there is no hint of liberalism in the intentions or outcome of the policies. Instead I see it as more appropriate to refer to such political designs for what they aim at and achieve: autocratic plutocracy, and the neo-feudalism to which plutocrats aspire.

Let’s look briefly at what each policy item means.

Deregulation is a fancy word for removing the legal constraints on business. The more deregulation there is, the less businesses, particularly the larger ones, have to comply with laws about issues as wide ranging as paying taxes, not endangering human lives, lying to customers, or engaging in other deceptive practices. In America this has led to brazenly open and unpunished criminal activity not just on Wall Street, but by Silicon Valley corporations and many others in between the two coasts. It is compelling to conclude that this lawless state of affairs is exactly the goal of the people arguing for deregulation.

Trade liberalisation means removing tariff protections for local business. These protections were usually created as taxes and charges on imported goods competing with local ones, to make the imported competitors artificially more expensive. What has never been acknowledged is that huge corporations tend not to be Australian, and are able to kill off local manufacturers, suppliers, and primary producers by flooding our markets with goods at prices we will never be able to match. This is part of a transnational corporate strategy to eliminate competition from smaller businesses not able to achieve their buying power or economies of scale, and then to further concentrate ownership by reducing even the number of larger corporations. The long-term outcome is completely lawless market manipulation, price gouging, and reduced choice, making a mockery of the term free markets.

Privatisation is not just the sale of state assets and service providers, but the repudiation of a long-held principle that the state should intervene in economic activity when there has been market failure (Keynesianism, but also traditional liberalism). As such, when the state uses taxpayer assets to provide goods and services back to taxpayers, it may do so more effectively than the private market, and corporations wish to remove that level of competition because it reduces their ability to artificially raise prices and reduce choice. It is also ‘money for free’. Buying up valuable public assets at a fraction of their cost or potential profitability in monopoly or near-monopoly conditions allows price-hgouding, which is artificially inflated prices people must pay with no choice because they need the goods or services and there is no competition in the market. This is particularly true in Australia for Telecommunications (including ISPs), and power generation and transmission. In both areas privatisation has led to massive cost increases without any greater choice or quality of service.

Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Why would anyone oppose tax cuts! Removing the ability of the state to fund infrastructure or welfare means extra taxes on the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid every time it comes to necessary maintenance of that infrastructure (roads, ports, schools, hospitals, etc), and double-dipping user-pays charges that can be afforded only by the already rich, as well as coming on top of taxes already paid to fund the goods and services now subject to extra fees. This is exactly what the Abbott Government is attempting to do. For example, by removing Medicare: make people pay for health care twice by having already paid the taxes for it, but now imposing a charge that the wealthier Australians can afford, but that will hit poorer Australians already struggling to make ends meet quite hard. This is particularly the case for injured, disabled, or elderly Australians, who may need to see a GP regularly.

Monetary policy. This usually means policies designed to influence the interest rate paid on loans. By keeping that interest rate low, it is argued businesses will feel empowered to borrow more to invest in new economic activity, including employment. But it also encourages consumers to borrow more to fund lifestyle with debt, which may become unsustainable if interest rates rise and debt repayments exceed the capacity to pay. Coupled with deregulation in financial markets, it has also led to egregiously fraudulent lending practices. More highly visible in Australia are obscenely large bank profits. Interest rates have been used by banks to skim profits off the difference between the rate at which they can borrow, and the rate at which they will charge consumers. Massive profits for no value-added activity at all. As for business investment, Nigel Lake of the Pottinger consultancy wrote an assessment of extraordinary timidity by Australian businesses here (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-is-in-crisis-2015-2) which all but alleges they are bludgers waiting for handouts and expecting captive markets rather than taking the risks of competing in international markets.

Anti-union measures are an article of faith with the Coalition parties. This has two deeply seated reasons. The first is that Australian trade unions are the industrial, economic, and principal support base of the Labor Party. Killing of unions is seen as killing off Labor. The second reason is that unions are the principal obstacle to Americanising minimum wages by abolishing any kind of benchmark at all, leading to full-time jobs that pay less than subsistence level incomes. This is plutocratic greed, pure and simple. In Queensland the LNP’s notional anti-bikie laws were actually 1960s revamped anti-union laws, and unions were the real target of rules that allow arbitrary arrests of people simply for associating with other people.

Conservative social policy is a bit of a misnomer in Australia. These policies, most notable in areas like marriage equality for gays, or stem cell research bans for religious reasons, are in fact reactionary hysteria against social and technological change that has already happened. Real conservatives are opposed to legislated rapid changes, not to acknowledging organic changes already evident in society. In themselves reactionary social policies serve nothing but contrived divisiveness. That is, people claiming to be conservatives are really class warriors asserting their moral superiority over less narrow-minded or deluded citizens.

Police and security subversions of liberty seem never to lack funds even when politicians decry the most dire economic circumstances. We always seem to have enough money to fail to prevent real crime, particularly the high-cost white collar variety, but pursue and gaol extraordinary numbers of people for piddling offences like jaywalking, not having paid fines, or smoking a joint. Such spending is usually a smokescreen for building public service empires, slipping public funds to private providers in the legal and correctional industries, and to make people afraid so they don’t focus on the real issues that should concern them.

To all of these acknowledged features of the new feudalism, I would add another. The white-anting of democracy itself. It works like corporate plutocracy, removing competition and choice by insinuating that only one political economy is valid – that of the corporate thieves – and all other options must be decried under threat of slipping credit ratings. Credit ratings set by known corporate criminals in the USA (see the ABC about the USD $1.5 billion fine for Standard and Poor’s rôle in defrauding world markets: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4173830.htm). From that confected credit ratings threat flow other lies, like the refusal by cortporations to invest or do business with a nation that doesn’t cater to neo-feudal policies. But the reality is that if there’s any buck to be made, some enterprising individual or business will find a way to make it. And if not, that market failure could be filled by the state.

If no political party in Australia is courageous or independent enough to call the plutocrat bluff on investment, however, the Australian public is only ever offered the narrowest range of policy options. This is usually accompanied with lies about there being no other options. What this means is that we no longer actually choose different governments. We just get to vote for different sides of the same government wrapped in different colours and slogans.

Consequences

Perhaps inevitably, but definitely observably, there have been some flow-on effects of plutocratic neo-feudalism. These are most obvious in organised politics itself.

Democratic self-destruction

For democratically elected representatives to implement policies which rent their legislative power, exercised on behalf of their electors, to unelected and unaccountable corporate interests appears at first glance to be mind-numbingly stupid.

But it is really only an ignorant variety of dull-wittedness: most of them don’t understand that this is what they are doing because they don’t understand their parties’ economic policies, let alone the consequences or any alternatives.

Worse, politicians don’t seem to realise that by following this path of ignorant subservience, they become pimps, whoring out the entire population of Australia as cheap prostitutes serving, and servicing, principally American-based trans-national corporations.

I see this reflected in and reinforced by an anti-competitive practice in political party structures, where the unelected party bureaucrats have all but eliminated longer-term planning in favour of 12 to 18-month cycles, split across election timing as implementation, coasting, and re-election phases, with no provision for strategic planning. Longer-term planning seems not to take place even during the long periods of opposition in which considerable resources ought to be freed up to do the intellectual groundwork for developing policy options.

When you compare this political short-sightedness with the almost fetishistic, perverse corporate focus on quarterly profit and loss statements, the cause for political decline becomes apparent.

Corporations work to eliminate competition, reduce choice, and artificially raise prices while reducing costs.

Political parties not yet entirely owned and operated as corporate subsidiaries, like the American Republicans, have nevertheless emulated the same tactics:

Eliminate competition by displaying extraordinary bipartisan cooperation in driving new or minority parties out of business, and making things very hard for independents;

Reduce choice by not actually offering different policies so much as different speeds of implementation and slightly different labels;

Increase the cost of the entire system by giving themselves and senior bureaucrats such enormous salaries and perks, including endemic corruption, they can no longer empathise with less wealthy people, much less understand poverty, anger, and electoral backlash;

Reduce the incidence of public funds flowing to those most in need so a larger percentage is available as perks, bribes, subsidies and tax breaks to the already wealthy, including politicians and senior public servants, while calling this cost-cutting.

All this is just a gravy train ridden by people who seem not to comprehend that they are betraying their constituents and progressively selling Australia like chattel or property to corporate interests. Since most of the corporations in question are not even Australian, there is cause to call the strongest advocates of neo-feudalism traitors, working overtly to subvert Australian interests in the employ of foreign powers.

Social division

Perhaps worse than political conspiracy to subvert democracy is the unthinking willingness of many Australians to see themselves as tied to party political lies.

This isn’t unique to Australia, and the fullest expression of that trend is evident in America, where society seems bitterly divided into a multiplying number of selfish clans, albeit polarised around a dithering Democrat inferiority complex, and the corporate brand of Republican neo-feudalism. Most people caught in this clannish behaviour are unaware of what ideas they actually support. Their activity has become just oppositional, like supporting one team over another in some mindless sport. It has become so mindless that many people actually end up voting for ideas and policies that work directly to their own personal disadvantage.

Australians may be less bitterly divided, and may have fewer people unquestioningly aligned by party politics, but the continuing message from all parties about ‘bludgers’ vs ‘wealth creators’ has caused a distinctly mean-spirited coarseness in public debate, and noticeable anti-social tendencies in public conduct. I have personally and repeatedly seen the difference in treatment I get in shops or public service offices related directly to how I dress: respectful deference when I wear a suit and tie; barely disguised contempt when I wear a singlet and football shorts.

Australia’s culture wars

This difference in treatment gives weight to claims of a contrived class warfare in Australia, albeit that it is principally the Coalition aligned politicians and voters who create it, and then blame it on everyone but themselves.

This is also conspicuously evident in what we call the ‘culture wars’, in which Coalition-aligned people congregate around positions that call for cuts to funding for the ABC, SBS, the arts, and any public centre for ideas and people who don’t stroke them the right way. The cuts are justified with vague cries about bias and hatred of the Coalition. But no quantitative evidence is ever produced to substantiate such claims.

What is really counterproductive and destructive for Australia is that it has given rise to a culture in which there is to be no middle ground.

The notional left has become obsessed with totalitarian witchhunting under the guise of political correctness, to discredit ideas it cannot defeat intellectually, usually by vilifying the people who propose them.

The notional right has retreated into Fortress Murdoch, like a gated community, from which only very few sally forth to snipe disdainfully at everyone else, regardless of whether they deserve it for their ideas or political alignment.

The entire nation misses out on any new ideas thus destroyed or crippled by internecine feuding among the already few and élite public voices in Australian national debate.

The failure of journalism

Leaving aside the grim legacy of concentrated media ownership, the most appalling sabotage of journalism has been perpetrated by journalists themselves. They gather in incestuous small groups to eliminate independent thinking, and most of what they write about politics is written for audiences of other journalists, politicians and senior public servants. The idea of a broader audience seems to have been abandoned.

The Guardian’s Jason Wilson illustrated exactly that anodyne homogeneity in his comment on media commentators following the LNP rout in Queensland (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/03/the-rightwing-reaction-to-queensland-shows-they-want-to-rule-not-govern?CMP=soc_567#comment-47073785), in which it is quite plain that public voices sought to colour voters as stupid and irresponsible without ever considering the more difficult terrain of reality.

Since when does democracy require people to vote only for pro-corporate policy? Is that not in fact an explicit statement of support for autocracy coming from journalists? Does it not say: ‘We know better, and you peasants should do as we say’?

This dull subservience of journalists to corporate propaganda is again an elimination of competition and choice, this time in the realm of publicly expressed ideas. Most shamefully of all, though, it is a kind of surrender to Orwellian Newspeak that is imposed by journalists themselves more often than by censorious editors or meddling owners.

The consequences appear to be a dumbing down of the entire national debate. Fewer ideas with fewer justifications, pitted against fewer counterarguments with equally fewer justifications, repeated endlessly. Is no one in the public sphere willing to admit that no one in the cities, suburbs, or regions of Australia actually cares for debates that don’t relate to the realities they face in their daily lives?

No conclusions

There is no magic cure for all the contradictions and tensions to which I have pointed.

There is no manifesto at the end of this, nor any suggestion for concrete policy alternatives. Creating these as more than meaningless rhetoric requires the hard work of hundreds of people, with access to detailed information about the Australian political economy as it really is, not just as it is presented to us by politicians and journalists.

And it requires that work to be carried out with a will to formulate a new political vision with a strategy to realise it in practice. A vision on the scale of ambition we last saw in the 1980s as ‘Australia Reconstructed’. It does not have to be a Labor vision. It does not have to be a party-political vision at all. But I assert that it must be a vision for an Australia that exists as a community of people, not just as a pool of cheap labour and mute consumers for corporations.

Politicians, journalists, and other public commentators could do us all a favour by at least trying to talk about alternatives to serfdom and ignominy.

___

Sources not cited in the text include:

Harvey, D. (2005). A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-38.

Skidelski, R. (2006). ‘Hayek versus Keynes: the road to reconciliation’, in Feser E., ed. (2006), The Cambridge Companion to Hayek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 82-110.

Steger, M. B. & Roy, R. K. (2010). Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 13-20.
11 comments on original post
6
Imran Khan's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
7 comments
 
Hello Fox! 
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Post Via +John Poteet
A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes
1 comment on original post
6
Ben Shults's profile photo
3 comments
 
Thank you +John Poteet​​​​​​​​ :) 
+yozo sano​​​​​​
+Arun Chavan​​​​​
+Dodie Wyckoff​​​​
+Helena Grankovskaya​​​
+NobleJr AurtherNobleFeller​​
+fable fable

Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
NEUROSCIENCE
Post Via Philippe Roi - Tristan Girard​
 
Neuronal connectivity in brain function and disease
The brain is a puzzle of remarkable genetic, structural, and functional complexity. Projects that aim to map the brain and define its circuitry are complemented by advances in our understanding of how development and experience shape the connectivity underlying its functions. On March 22, 2016, the Academy's Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group presented Neuronal Connectivity in Brain Function and Disease: Novel Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets to explore both the importance of structural synaptic plasticity in shaping neuronal connections and the technical advances that enable functional analysis of the brain's ultrastructure and circuitry. Mapping brain circuitry and its relationship to behavior elucidates the formation of thoughts and emotions as functional outputs of brain connectivity. As biomedical and computational technologies expand, so too does research on neuronal connectivity, promising unprecedented insights into the brain and its disorders and new options for diagnosis and therapy.
Bruce McEwen of the Rockefeller University described how neural circuits are shaped by stress hormones, with moderate stress improving focus and memory but too much stress having the opposite effect. Neural plasticity is the result of neurogenesis combined with growth and shrinkage of dendrites and synapses, modulated by experience. During acute stress, adrenal steroids and excitatory amino acids, such as glutamate, improve synaptic function and memory. But repeated or intense stress suppresses neurogenesis, neuronal excitability, and memory. After serious challenges, such as seizure, stroke, or head trauma, adrenal steroids and glutamate can cause irreversible damage. In the aging brain, glutamate, free radicals, and inflammation are involved in Alzheimer's disease.
Glutamate mediates stress-related plasticity via dendritic remodeling. Hippocampal CA3 neurons are particularly vulnerable to damage from stress but can sometimes recover. Indeed, reversible shrinkage of apical dendrites of CA3 neurons after repeated stress may be protective. A dramatic example of such CA3 plasticity is found in the hibernating European hamster, which has apical CA3 dendrites that atrophy during hibernation and rapidly grow back afterwards. Glutamate is regulated by stimulatory glucocorticoids and suppressed by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2) in presynaptic terminals, which prevent an overflow of glutamate that is known to contribute to depression, neurodegeneration, and brain aging. The amygdala and prefrontal cortex turn the hippocampal stress response on and off, respectively. "Whatever is happening in the circuitry ... is going to alter the balance between the areas," McEwen said. Most stress-related plasticity occurs in the hippocampus, and structural changes in this area are not always a sign of damage but sometimes show resilience.
Read more -http://www.nyas.org/Publications/EBriefings/Detail.aspx?cid=b054610e-2542-4c99-bad3-3af508de83dd    
#neuroscience #brain #neurons #synapses #connectivity #medicine #science #HumanBrain #SpatialMemory #depression #RetinalNeurons #mutations
9
NobleJr AurtherNobleFeller (boipupkiller)'s profile photoheungheung wong's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
18 comments
 
Thank you +Michel Neo​​​
+yozo sano​​
+Arun Chavan​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
IMPORTANT HAVE YOU BEEN PWNED

IN OTHER WORDS, HAS YOUR PVT DATA AND DETAILS BEEN COMPROMISED BY DATA BREACHES
CHECK OUT THIS SITE
https://haveibeenpwned.com

POST VIA GOOD GUY, GLENN MURRAY.
 
If you haven't already, you should use this site to check if any of your website logins have been exposed. Three of mine had: Adobe, LinkedIn, Xbox Scene. Fortunately I changed my Adobe & LinkedIn passwords immediately after the breaches, as well as any other logins that used the same combination of email + password.

https://haveibeenpwned.com/
10 comments on original post
5
Steve ldnuk's profile photoheungheung wong's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
7 comments
 
Hello and Thank you
+Greg Anderson​
Add a comment...

Ben Shults

Shared publicly  - 
 
Post Via the courtesy of ALEX P
 
Example of vegan DHA from algae (97% of omega 3 fatty acids in the brain is DHA, 93% of omega 3s in the retina is DHA), each liquid capsule has 450 mg of DHA. The body converts some DHA into EPA. The famous Ornish diet (and variants of that low fat vegan diet that many MDs recommend) to reverse diabetes, arterial plaque and heart disease is based o a low fat diet, so low, that people avoid even walnuts, flax seeds and other seeds or nuts and all vegetable oils, relying mainly on fats naturally found in legumes, etc and on vegan algal oil such as the one pictured (walmart and other places carry it). Men make less DHA from dietary ALA (another omega 3), so for those not eating fish, such as vegans and vegetarians, it makes perfect sense to take vegan DHA or vegan DHA-EPA, just like others take fish oil to get the same DHA-EPA benefit. Fish oil has cholesterol, saturated fat, PCBs, mercury, etc... So, it's not that good anyway.

One lesser known thing is that cooking fish or canning fish can often remove all omega 3 acids ► https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlexP/posts/BXYektzUKEt. Thus, even non-vegans may be DHA deficient if their intake of ALA omega 3 and other precursors of DHA-EPA (there are a few other precursors, less known) is low. A low fat diet prevents diabetes, heart disease, etc. I personally gave up on walnuts, flax seeds or chia seeds for the most part (we will know in a year if i stick to this) - since they got too much fat, and use this DHA algal oil pill for DHA. But everyone is different. Also I noticed that both walnuts and all forms of seeds have a need to be soaked a lot to make them more digestible, and even then, it's not a clear cut for a lot of people who may be slightly allergic to whatever lectins, phytic acid, and other chemicals in nuts and seeds that are there.

The richest vegan sources of omega 3 are

walnuts - 4 times the omega 3 in salmon, 5.4 times the omega 3 in sardines, 41 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 32 times the omega 3 in tunahttps://plus.google.com/+AlexP/posts/4eaSGEwuNiS

No nut comes even close, the only one close in omega 3 to omega 6 ratio are macadamia nuts, but those have 44 times less omega 3s. Walnuts have 9.1 g of omega 3, 38 g of omega 6 in 100 grams ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3138/2.

flax seeds - 10 times the omega 3 in salmon, 14 times the omega 3 in sardines, 103 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 80 times the omega 3 in tunahttps://plus.google.com/+AlexP/posts/6JTzFJ5AaaY

Flax seeds are very cheap (compared to walnuts or chia seeds) and have 22.8 grams of omega 3, 5.9 grams of omega 6 in 100 g ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2

chia seeds - 8 times the omega 3 in salmon, 11 times the omega 3 in sardines, 82 times the omega 3 in tilapia, 64 times the omega 3 in tuna - 17.6 grams of omega 3 in 100 g, 5.8 g of omega 6 in 100 g. ► http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2. For more on these seeds you can go to https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AlexP/posts/iNnEtutSc8w.

I know a lot of MDs (Ornish) suggest avoiding oils, all foods with fat added, even nuts and seeds to maintain perfect arterial health and just relying on vegan DHA-EPA and the ALA and fats in normal foods - so many people used a low fat diet to reverse diabetes and heart disease. I avoid all vegetable oils (even olive oil has a bad omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, 1:12, and little omega 3, 0.76g, compared to walnuts, 9.1 g) Some people eat avocados for omega 9, but i almost never eat avocados either, being a low fat vegan to prevent heart disease. Avocados (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2) have omega 3 to omega 6 1:15, very bad, and just 0.1 g of omega 3 per 100 grams, 90 times less than walnuts. I don't think eating walnuts, chia or flax seeds rarely is an issue, it's just some people don't digest them well unless soaked.

Flax seeds and chia seeds have far less omega 6 than walnuts, so they are superior from that point of view (flax seed oil has omega 3 to omega 6 ratio about 4:1, while walnut oil has this ratio 1:5), but not many people eat flax seeds, even if they are cheaper. With a coffee grinder, one can grind them and add them to foods. Or one can go to Walmart or amazon and buy algae vegan DHA or DHA-EPA capsules.

Omega 3 fatty acids increase brain volume. People thought the brain shrinks with age always, but it's not true. DHA-EPA can reverse that shrinkage. DHA is 97% of all omega-3 fats in the brain and 93 % of omega-3 fats in the retina. 8% of the brain is omega 3 fatty acids.http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/8/omega-3-fatty-acids-increase-brain-volume/page-01.

The vegan algal plain DHA or vegan DHA-EPA supplements are way better than "mercury free" fish oil supplements for those few people (usually men) who cannot turn ALA into DHA. Today many fish oil supplements are mercury free, but there are PCBs and other heavy metals sometimes in fish oil - besides saturated fat and cholesterol. The animal saturated fat and cholesterol in fish (which was shown to affect heart and vascular health of babies in the womb) and fish oil supplements are working against recommending intake of fish during pregnancy or at any other time, since vegan DHA exists.


Violence increases when there is low omega 3 in diet ► http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2006/oct/17/prisonsandprobation.ukcrime.

Notice how ALA conversion to DHA is men is 5 times less than in women sometimes, leading to low DHA. Could this explain why we got so much more men engage in violent crime? Perhaps that's why men should always take vegan algal DHA if they are vegan, since almost everyone gets too much omega 6, which furthers lowers ALA to DHA conversion and the uptake of DHA by the brain.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12323085 explains that in healthy young men 8% of ALA (alpha linoleic acid) is converted to EPA and 0 to 4% is converted to DHA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12323090 shows that in healthy young women 21% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 9% is converted to DHA. So, women have far less issues with DHA than men. Even so, it's better to get some DHA (the typical 200 mg per day found in most algal DHA capsules) to be safe, especially since most women today get too much omega 6 from vegetable oils.


DHA can convert into EPA at a rate of about 9% ► http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9076673. Therefore, many people choose to take DHA only or DHA mainly supplements, such as vegan algal DHA supplements. There are also vegan DHA-EPA supplements, but there is a huge debate whether DHA is more useful than EPA and should be used in larger quantities - so many people who believe DHA is more useful tend to go for DHA supplements, as they view EPA as secondary and anything needed is made from DHA anyway. Also many papers showed too much fish oil leads to cancer and that some algal vegan DHA oil has more DHA than fish oil percentage wise and is better than fish oil for a variety of reasons related to fats interfering with the fatty acids biochemical cycles in the human body and the prostaglandin synthesis as relating to inflammation. I myself just use vegan DHA algal oil supplements, since I think DHA is more important than EPA and any EPA is made from DHA and ALA.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20861171 was a 4900 people study that showed that vegans and fish eaters had almost the same level of EPA and DHA in their blood plasma, with vegans having more DHA (286 micromoles per liter instead of 271) but less EPA (50 instead of 64). These studies indicate that when we eat less DHA, the body increases the conversion rate of ALA to DHA and makes better use of DHA. Hence, DHA supplementation may only be needed for pregnant women and those males (females convert ALA to DHA much easier) who have very low DHA in their blood due to poor conversion, or those vegans who eat very little ALA due to being on a very low fat diet to prevent heart disease or diabetes. There are many studies that show ALA to DHA and EPA conversions being low (you will see that there is a wide variation in these studies where they give people ALA and measure blood level of DHA and EPA), but in the end all we need to look at is the final DHA and EPA concentration in the plasma, not what happens when you increase ALA in the diet. The body is very intelligent and knows when it needs more DHA and it produces more regardless of how much ALA is in the diet.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164236 has the full free paper that found that the Japanese (the longest living nation on Earth, Monaco lives longer but it's just a town of 37000 people) have 2 times the EPA-DHA level in their blood compared to Americans. However, other studies found that Norwegians eat as much DHA-EPA as Japanese and have poorer heart health, probably due to eating more fat. The Eskimo studies have shown that just eating 4 times the DHA-EPA omega 3 that Japanese eat doesn't improve heart health, since they get too much saturated fat. Apparently, DHA is only effective as dietary intake method to prevent atherosclerosis, etc when the total fat is low and people avoid too much saturated fat. The blood levels of DHA and EPA are affected by the amount of EPA, DHA and ALA ingested, smoking, diet, omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, and lots of other things. Every second a million trillion chemical reactions take place in our body, so it's very hard to determine which people may have their ALA (the omega 3 precursor to DHA in most plant foods) to DHA (the omega 3 in algae that is used by the brain, eyes, etc a lot) and EPA (the other major omega 3 used by the body) conversion working better. Even when 2 people have the same blood level of EPA-DHA, one cannot really know how much DHA is made from ALA and is being taken by the cells or stays in the blood. So, while we may look at a lot of biomarkers and assess these concentrations over a few weeks after a rise of ALA consumption, it's hard to know precisely what is going on at the cellular level. Some people pick and choose a study or two and write a general nutrition article and then come up with a conclusion, but with the hundreds of related studies and issues of the fatty acid cycle biochemistry, things are quite complex - so it's very hard to make any preliminary conclusion or hypothesis into a "science fact".

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nhs.12182/abstract is a very good study too ► Low DHA in blood was found in depressed women ► Nursing & Health Sciences, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 257–262, June 2015
4 comments on original post
5
Dodie Wyckoff's profile photoBen Shults's profile photo
5 comments
 
Thank you +Arun Chavan​
Add a comment...
Story
Tagline
Diverse Interests And Approachable! *PLEASE NOTE: I DO ON USE HANGOUTS* *IT'S DISABLED*
Introduction
Likes: Sciences, Medicine, Animals,Science fiction/fantasy. Reading, History, People, Different Cultures. (Trying to learn Spanish) Humour, A variety Of Music,The  Romances, Romance. Philosophy. Dislikes: Hangouts, Violence, War, Weaponry, Cruelty, Hurting People, Fanaticism, Myopia.   Appreciates: Nature, The Arts, Photography, (but doesn't have a camera). The Human Form, (Not Gender Specific) Life. The Rest Is For Me To Know And For You To Speculate Upon.
Education
  • University of Life.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Enjoy Life!
Employment
  • Forensic Anatomy/Med School/Uni
    present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Australia Earth - England, New Zealand, This Universe!
Links
YouTube