I didn’t vote. I never have.

I don’t have any say in your life or affairs. You don’t have any say in mine. Period. Based on that simple logic, voting is wrong.

I have more of an influence over my social circle, because my percentage of a say is much larger, and I have the option of “voting with my feet”, which means if I don’t like it, I can leave.

Can’t say the same about voting in America. The cost of voting with your feet is way too high. You can’t just get up and go as easly.

It’s also stupid, because the system is broken. Nothing will change unless the structure of the American IdioDemocratic fuckall-System changes. So I don’t participate, because I don’t support it. You support the broken system by voting, therefore, you have zero right to complain when it does not work. Change? Where the hell is your change? Good luck.

 

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Low-income women/Texas pulls planned parenthood/abortion rights/evolutionary thoughts

Leave it to Texas to prove its manliness by taking away some women’s rights.

From the Burlington Free Press:

“Texas officials are vowing to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood after a federal court sided with the state in a challenge over a new law that bans clinics affiliated with abortion providers from getting money through a health program for low-income women.”

From NYmag.com:

“Texas’ authority to directly regulate the content of its own program necessarily includes the power to limit the identifying marks that program grantees are authorized to use. Identifying marks represent messages,” the judges wrote. “If the organizations participating in the WHP are authorized to use marks associated with the pro-abortion point of view — like the Planned Parenthood mark — Texas’ choice to disfavor abortion is eviscerated, just as it would be if the organizations promoted abortion through pamphlets or video presentations.”

Now apart from the abortion issue itself, it seems that this specifically targets low-income women, AND is an idiotic move by Texas from a financial standpoint.

The normal cost of a first-trimester abortion runs between $350 and $550, depending on subsidies, the method used, and other variables such as cost of living. That’s without insurance paying for any of it.

If a low-income woman needs welfare, cash AND food stamps benefits (this info may be outdated by a year or two), a family of four gets about $930./month. HANDED TO THEM. Multiply that by 18 years, and you’ve spent over 16k. Additional children are also a greater burden for low-income families. It’s also not the best way to raise a child. They’re more likely to be disadvantaged.

Long term, Texas is being stupid/bull-headed/ignorant. Short term, they’re a bunch of dudes who don’t believe women should have any rights.

Now, into the abortion issue.

We’re animals, through-and-through. The only thing separating us from the animals in the wild is our ability to reason.

Infanticide has been found in many species, including humans and other primates, cats, dogs, whales, rodents, insects and fish. http://www.ratbehavior.org/infanticide.htm gives the following reasons for infanticide: to gain food; to gain increased access to physical resources like food, nesting sites or space; to avoid caring for unrelated offspring; to bias the sex ratio of the litter. Adult males may kill a female’s young to increase his chances of mating. Infanticide may also be due to aggression or to disturbances in the physical or social environment. For example when female voles, mink and other mammals are in a state of psychological stress, they may eat their young.

It’s pretty much natural and normal to kill your offspring if you can’t properly care for it, or if it would excessively burden the quality of life of the “tribe”. It’s definitely your right to do with your body what you chose. I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but to deny our nature and where we came from, to ignore the evolutionary perspective, is pretty much to deny the fact that you are human.

If you want to get into our rights to kill, you’ll have to dig into whether or not it’s our right to kill other animals, for sport or any other reason, including preparing land for farming, building things, etc.

We kill to eat. We kill to survive, to sustain our quality of living. It’s natural. Meat: it’s what gave us big brains, and gave us the ability to reason at all. Killing made us Homo sapiens.

Is it any different to kill a baby cow than it is to kill a baby human? At what point can you say “this animal has a certain cognitive ability, therefore we ought not to kill it”? Does that mean dolphins or chimps are off-limits? Does their cognitive ability measure up close enough to ours where we can impose laws on them, to prevent them from killing their offspring? Where do you draw the line? Why are we different?

Related to and in support of this topic: Ethics of meat eating.

At what point can it be said that behavior wholly subsumed in the nature of a species of animal can be wrong, unethical to practice? To even ask the question requires an introspective, intelligent conscience—the qualitative aspect of our being that differentiates us from other animals. Because otherwise, the question we’re asking demands first that we identify and explain how ethics could arise external to our own natural experience, from some super-existent realm sporting an external authority that trumps our own individual authority over our own behavior. In simpler terms: we are ethical beings. Ethics, a sense of right and wrong, is as much a part of what makes us human as the consumption of other animals along the way made us human. It’s all baked into the cake: meat gave us the nutritional density to evolve big brains, big brains gave us the intelligence to introspect, and conscious introspection gave us ethics. Eating meat made us ethical beings. As such, eating the flesh of non-ethical beings can’t logically be unethical.

Read the whole essay [here]

So have at it in the comments section…

Reblog: The difference between eating paleo and being paleo

geicocavemen
 

by Russ Crandall

As the Paleo FX Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium (so glad they didn’t go with the long version of the event’s name) wound down last week, it felt like the Paleo blogging world and its faithful audience (hereafter “Paleosphere”) had worked itself up into a frenzy. Over what, I’m not quite sure. It may have just been the gathering of like-minded individuals with strong online presences. What left a lasting impression was the tone of the Paleosphere during the event, and it just so happened that the timely coalescence of Paleo personalities and its ensuing social media onslaught brought everything to a head for me.

You see, I’ve been following a Paleo way of eating for about 18 months now, and it’s had a profound impact on the way I view the world, how I feel, and (obviously) how I eat. I replaced most grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugars, and seed-derived oils with whole foods and many of my autoimmune symptoms went into remission. I can honestly say with conviction that I “eat Paleo”. However, I do not identify myself as “being Paleo”. I think there’s a distinction that needs to be made before we move on.

To me, “being Paleo” means that you are self-identifying with a group. It’s like calling yourself a musician or a video gamer (as opposed to simply writing music or playing video games). The problem with identification is that disidentification – the mentality of “us vs. them”, and a focus on what you are NOT – often emerges. Consider the in-group-out-group bias. This phenomenon can lead to aggression and prejudice, and some suggest that it leads to a lack of productivity, as identifiers take action while disidentifiers tend to just make a lot of talk. (And who is the “them” in this case? Just about everyone else – those pesky grain-eaters that make up the rest of the population, and those cursed Vegans that try and muck everything up!).

While the Paleosphere (thankfully) doesn’t focus too much on the “them” aspect of the diet, there’s definitely an overbearing “us” momentum that isn’t entirely healthy, either. I often see the Paleosphere as being on this slippery slope towards extremism.

As an ever-increasingly-large group of people that eat a similar diet and in many cases hold similar values, I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of the fact that extremists and ideologists often alienate themselves from the rest of society. How are we supposed to make an impact on the nutrition world if we work the Paleosphere up into a frenzied cult status? John George and Laird Wilcox, scholars of fringe movements, have identified the following characteristics of political extremists and ideological contrarians:

1. Absolute certainty they have the truth.

2. [The belief that] America is controlled to a greater or lesser extent by a conspiratorial group. In fact, they believe this evil group is very powerful and controls most nations.

3. Open hatred of opponents. Because these opponents (actually “enemies” in the extremists’ eyes) are seen as a part of or sympathizers with “The Conspiracy,” they deserve hatred and contempt.

4. Little faith in the democratic process. Mainly because most believe “The Conspiracy” has great influence in the U.S. government, and therefore extremists usually spurn compromise.

5. Willingness to deny basic civil liberties to certain fellow citizens, because enemies deserve no liberties.

6. Consistent indulgence in irresponsible accusations and character assassination.

Does that sound alarmingly familiar to you? Admittedly, the above characteristics have a major political slant, and the fact that big corporations have major influence on what ends up on our dinner plates may not lead to some of those characteristics (like the willingness to deny basic civil liberties part).

I can’t deny that a relatively extreme diet (side note: it’s sad that the Paleo diet is considered “extreme” in this age of processed/fast foods) will attract people that gravitate towards fringe thinking – as sociologist Daniel Bell put it, for those on the fringe, “the way you hold beliefs is more important than what you hold. If somebody’s been a rigid Communist, he becomes a rigid anti-Communist – the rigidity being constant.” How many ex-Vegans are in the Paleosphere? Lots. (As some would argue: not enough.) An extreme lifestyle will attract extremists, which simply isn’t preventable. My point is this: just because there are crazies in the Paleosphere, we don’t have to listen to them, and we need to keep ourselves in check to make sure we don’t become them. An easy way to prevent this is to continually challenge ourselves to question our dietary standards, and to avoid dogmatism.

So where do we start? How can we make sure that we promote this diet in the most open, pragmatic, unobtrusive, and inclusive way? Here are some quick suggestions:

1. Don’t tell people that you “are Paleo”. Hell, don’t even tell them that you eat “Paleo”, because the use of labels is in itself exclusionary. Just tell them what you eat, and maybe what you don’t eat. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Look at the Weston A. Price dietary guidelines. It’s very similar to the modern interpretation of the Paleo diet, and they don’t tell you what to avoid, even once. Focus on the whole foods, not on yet-to-be-completely-proven-as-evil grains, legumes, etc.

2. Don’t use flawed ideas or gray areas to promote the diet, because it calls the Paleosphere’s credibility into question. Don’t worship bacon, which is likely not good for you, even if it is (was) somewhat fashionable to “baconize” stuff. It’s a useful ingredient in cooking, but it’s not our flagship food. Don’t celebrate “Paleo versions” of sweets like Paleo brownies because that’s not helping people overcome their underlying food issues and if anything it’s guiding them towards failure. The last thing we should do is to set people on shaky foundations. Personally, I’m all about Dr. Kurt Harris‘ incremental process, because it encourages folks to improve their health even when they’re not ready to dive into a full-blown Paleo eating orgy.

3. Avoid dogmatic thinking. Are potatoes evil? What about white rice? What about dairy? Aren’t we supposed to be eating low carb? Remember that human variance, health history, and gut flora are major factors in food tolerance, and macronutrient ratios are highly individualized. This diet is ever-changing (and it should be as scientific study helps enlighten our views on nutrition every day); be open to suggestion.

4. Try not to alienate others by flaunting an overbearing self-identification of “being Paleo.” You’re not a caveman, and you’re certainly not living like one, so why label yourself as one? If anything, I suggest embracing what we do have in common with our ancestors – the fact that we’re all on this planet. Go take a walk/hike. Watch a sunset. Spend a few days camping. That’s certainly closer to being a caveman than eating a pound of lean red meat straight out of a slow cooker after a hard day at the office and then blogging about it.

5. Bear in mind that everyone has their own burden. I’m pretty sure that most people simply cannot afford to eat fresh organic vegetables and grass-fed meats all the time. My family can’t afford it, despite the fact that a huge chunk of our income goes towards our groceries – nearly twice as much as before we switched our diet. Additionally, many people don’t have the resources to find out whether or not they have access to affordable grass-fed meats anyway – online resources are often outdated, and I’ll wager that many excellent farmers are out working and not updating their farm’s webpage and social networking fan pages. Many don’t have access to local, affordable health food markets. This is no reason to make people feel bad for having to make sacrifices to make ends meat meet; instead celebrate the steps that people are willing to take for their health that are within their means.

6. Avoid the fringe, and consider the power of prudence. What is the point of wearing t-shirts that say “Meat is awesome” or “Vegans suck”? Before shouting from the rooftops about how stuff like cold thermogenesis and eating butter straight out of the container is awesome, take a step back and think about how crazy that sounds to the average person. I’m not saying that any of those extreme elements are bad, but they might not be helping the Paleo movement along when that’s the stuff we get identified with. When it comes down to it, who better to police the Paleosphere than ourselves?

Lastly, please don’t take this as an insult to anyone that’s exhibited these behaviors. Dramatically improving your health through simple changes in diet is awesome, and exciting. I don’t fault you for telling people that “you’re Paleo”. My only purpose in writing this article is to help consider the fact that we need to do what we can to impact those that aren’t lucky enough to know much about sensible eating yet. As much as it may be fun to be part of a cool, elite club of Paleo dieters that share cool pictures and sayings amongst themselves, isn’t our energy better spent on refining the diet itself through scientific study and attracting people that haven’t been exposed to the diet yet?

This article was recently featured on the Highbrow Paleo blog. Russ Crandall also blogs at The Domestic Man where he posts many wonderful recipes with lots of high quality photos. Read about his amazing story here.

Hunter-Gatherer origins of hook-up culture vs. modern westernized social standards

One of the oldest hunter-gatherer societies still in existence, the !Kung, provides enlightening views on ancestral human sexual selection.

Mankind has spent 99% of his existence living the life of a hunter gatherer, therefore, by getting a glimpse into the thought processes of Nisa [main subject of this book] we simultaneously shed light on who we were at the beginning of time and how little we’ve changed despite this brief appearance of the modern conveniences of civilization.

The often repeated theorem by evolutionary biologists that we could not have possibly populated this planet by starting off as faithful monagamous pair bonds is brought into clear view by Nisa’s revelations. The sexual strategies employed by our highly social ancestors were the result of hundreds of thousands of years of refinement via sexual selection. The prevalence of bawdy sexual behavior and a prevailing hookup culture on many college campuses attests to the fact that despite our western conveniences, our westernized religions, and our PC indocrination, we have changed vey little if any since our emergence 100,000 years ago.

We see these two relationship phases arise within the hunter-gatherer society:

In psychoanalytic literature, a Madonna–whore complex is the inability to maintain sexual arousal within a committed, loving relationship.[1] First identified by Sigmund Freud, this psychological complex is said to develop in men who see women as either saintly Madonnas or debased prostitutes. Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna).[2] Freud wrote: “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.”[3] Clinical psychologist Uwe Hartmann, writing in 2009, stated that the complex “is still highly prevalent in today’s patients”.[2]

The view of women as either Madonnas or whores limits women’s sexual expression, offering two mutually exclusive ways to construct a sexual identity.[4] The duality implies that women must assume subservient roles, either as madonnas to be protected or as whores to be punished by men.[5]

The original experiments with rats applied the following protocol:[6] A male rat was placed into an enclosed large box with four or five female rats in heat. He immediately began to mate with all the female rats again and again until eventually, he became exhausted. The females continued nudging and licking him, yet he did not respond. When a novel female was introduced into the box, he became alert and began to mate once again with the new female. This phenomenon is not limited to common rats.[7] The Coolidge effect is attributed to an increase in dopamine levels and the subsequent effect upon an animal’s limbic system.[8]

Human males experience a post-ejaculatory refractory period after sex. They are temporarily incapable of engaging in sex with the same female after ejaculation and require time to recover full sexual function. In popular reference, the Coolidge effect is the well-documented phenomenon that the post-ejaculatory refractory period is reduced or eliminated if a novel female becomes available.[9] This effect is cited by evolutionary biologists as one reason why males are more likely to desire sex with a greater number and variety of partners than females,[9] though of course sometimes human females are known to copulate with multiple and novel partners as well.

While the Coolidge effect is usually seen demonstrated by males—that is, males displaying renewed excitement with a novel female—Lester and Gorzalka developed a model to determine whether or not the Coolidge effect also occurs in females. Their experiment, which used hamsters instead of rats, found that it does occur to a lesser degrees in females.[3][4]

The fact these hunter-gatherer humans so effectivly articulate these relationship phases indicates this may just be an almost inescapable side effect of long-term relationships, no matter what social norms dictate.

Missing Link(s)

More information about gene expression and controlling our genes. Also interesting facts about exercise and coffee!!

A great post at Marks Daily Apple about gene expression research

More discussion that disease and other problems are not caused by simply posessing bad genes. Something actually has to turn them on!

While genes play a role in many disorders, so do the conditions and circumstances of your life and the decisions you make.

More about gene control related to MS (multiple sclorosis)

Genes are cool!

The most difinitive guide to obesity. Hyper-palatable modern food and how it screws up your body’s fat regulating mechanisms.