UN report on climate change

March 2014

hurricane Sandy, U.S. Oct 2012I am really discouraged by the new UN report on climate change and the fact that the powers that be continue to shit all over our doorstep as they hide their heads in the sand.

It’s a real shame that so many countries and corporations care so much more about short-term financial gain than our own planet. I suppose it can all be traced to self-centeredness, ignorance of what is really important, attachment to the lives we have become accustomed to, and fear of letting go of material things.

Climate Change May Lead to Food Shortages, Civil Conflicts, Scientists Warn – Mashable

The opiate odyssey of a painkiller addict

rx bottles and pillsAs of this evening, there’s a new post on the Discovery Place blog that describes the opiate odyssey of a painkiller addict (yours truly).

Here’s a preview along with the link to the full article:

As is surely the case with countless others, my own opiate odyssey began as a teen after my wisdom teeth were removed. At least, that’s the first time I can presently recall taking more pain medication than prescribed and thoroughly enjoying the experience. (Actually, that characterization only begins to describe my early affection for opiates, which the addict in me felt sure represented the elixir for all my ills from shyness and inhibition to depression.) I can still remember the dark red Mepergan Fortis capsules I was prescribed by the dentist. Little did I know, my poppy pilgrimage would carry on for decades and end in misery with an extended, miserable buprenorphine weaning. [ Read more... ]

Source: An Opiate Odyssey: Experiences of a Painkiller Addict – Discovery Place blog

How I ended up in drug rehab at Discovery Place

The blog post below represents my first intensely personal contribution to the Discovery Place (DP) blog as a content writer for same, and I’d like to do whatever I can to ensure this blog post is read by as many interested parties as possible, including those who may be suffering from addiction themselves.

The goal is to spread the message that recovery from addiction and alcoholism is possible — no matter how far down you have gone.

Here’s the post:

My initial exposure to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous was back in 1991 or so as a 28-day guest of a residential treatment center in Memphis, Tennessee; however, as an extremely marijuanaimmature young man a couple of years out of college, my commitment to clean and sober living did not really take. As it turned out, I was not nearly ready to fully admit to what turned out to be a very real powerlessness in my still-blooming relationship with alcohol and drugs…

Continue reading this post on the Discovery Place blog

Signing off for several weeks

Happy Saturday to all,

As embarrassing as it is to admit (yet no surprise to anyone given my isolating behavior), it appears I will be a resident at Discovery Place in Burns, TN (a local rehab/treatment facility near Dickson) by Saturday evening (Apr 6, 2013). Please see their website for mailing address, visiting hours, or whatever else you may need or want.

Discovery Place – rehab facility for men in Burns, TN

At this point, I have NO idea whether my stay will be for 7 days, 28 days, or somewhere in between; however, I have my fingers crossed for 28 days (at minimum) for the extra punch it would provide.

Another major point is that I shall not return to live in my parents’ basement; I will be taking the safer route of ensconcing myself in post-treatment recovery at what are sure to be lovely, plush halfway houses. ;)

Naturally, this process will be severely trying at times, which will prove to be welcome — at least, when it’s all said and done. Perhaps I will be a better friend, worker, writer, blogger, et al afterwards; I sure hope so. I certainly do appreciate all the friendship, patience, and well wishes of friends, partners, clients, and other associates.

Good luck in your endeavors and it would be a pleasure to hear from anyone as I will be largely imprisoned, so to speak, for the next couple of months — little or no Internet access and no cell phone for the first few weeks at least.

Love,
Stephen

Documentaries: How corporations, consumerism, other mechanisms work against democracy, greater good

Ethos, 2011 documentary filmHere’s a list of several documentary films which aim to expose some of the drawbacks of unfettered capitalism, consumerism, politics, emphasis of multinational corporations on their bottom line above the greater good, the growing gap between rich and poor, and so on.

Have global corporations become more powerful than government? If so, where might this eventually lead?

Some of these films also highlight the farcical spin, dishonesty, and other questionable areas long inherent in high-stakes politics.

Regardless of one’s personal opinions about these subjects, these documentary films should at least serve to generate some interesting discussion among those who carefully watch them. Most viewers of these documentary films will probably admit that at least a portion of this material warrants deeper research and serious contemplation.

Capitol at night in Washingtom DCAn open mind is a must when considering the material discussed in these documentary films. I’m not a conspiracy theorist; however, parts of some of these and similar films may be deemed by some to veer a bit close to paranoia and conspiracy theory. Again, an open mind is paramount… so is doing one’s homework and vetting the more questionable accusations rather than merely believing whatever is heard.

Just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Partial stretches and questionable premises don’t necessarily undermine these documentaries in their entirety.

The Corporation (2003)

BASIC PREMISE: The Corporation (2003)
It begins with the revelation that, according to a Supreme Court ruling, a corporation must be considered a person rather than an entity. Under this definition, reasons profiler Robert Hare, corporations can be categorized as psychopathic because they exhibit a personality disorder: that of single-mindedly pursuing their objectives without regard for the people in and around them.

RESOURCES: The Corporation (2003)

Ethos (2011)

BASIC PREMISE: Ethos (2011)
Ethos, 2011 documentary filmThis documentary examines the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy and the environment. From conflicts of interests in politics and unregulated corporate power, to a news media that serves the interests of powerful elites; ETHOS explores the systems that lead us into over consumption and warfare. Too often the media celebrates aspects of our society that belong in the dark ages, while at the same time ignoring or ridiculing progressive thinking or ideas. Many aspects of the way our systems work almost guarantee our destruction as a society and that’s what this film is about. Fractured societies, poverty, disparity, pollution, warfare. Is there something inherently wrong with the human race? Is that what we should think of ourselves? We have tried to set up forms of law and government that safeguard the public good. But, if the majority of people want to live in peace and justice in a clean environment and we look around at the world and see that isn’t ..

RESOURCES: Ethos (2011)

Inside Job (2010)

I’d have to say that Inside Job, narrated by Matt Damon, is one of the best documentary films I have seen yet on the broad subject of big banking malfeasance and related issues, beginning with the failure of Lehman Brothers and the American International Group (AIG) global insurance behemoth that were apparently the largest — or at least the first — dominoes to fall leading to the global financial crisis of 2008.

BASIC PREMISE: Inside Job (2010)
Inside Job provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. Inside Job was filmed on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

RESOURCES: Inside Job (2010)

Capitalism Is the Crisis (2011)

BASIC PREMISE: Capitalism Is the Crisis (2011)
Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity examines the ideological roots of the austerity agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis.

The 2008 financial crisis in the United States was a systemic fraud in which the wealthy finance capitalists stole trillions of public dollars. No one was jailed for this crime, which according to the film was the largest theft of public money in history.

RESOURCES: Capitalism Is the Crisis (2011)

You, Me, and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule (2009)

BASIC PREMISE: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule (2009)
You, Me, and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule is a feature length documentary which exposes the latest manifestation of a corporatist agenda that is undermining the democratic authority of the citizens of North America.

RESOURCES: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule (2009)

ZEITGEIST TRILOGY

Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007)

BASIC PREMISE: Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007)
This film gathers information from many sources and puts it together in a way that shows it is possible for people to be manipulated by large institutions, governments and economic powers. Zeitgeist is divided into three (3) parts:

  1. Religion. Pagan astrological beliefs compared to modern and ancient religions
  2. 9/11. An overview of the numerous questionable aspects of this immensely important event
  3. Federal Reserve Bank. A history of its formation and ability to control the economy

With many news clips from tragic historical events, audio excerpts from those who believe people are being misled about the level of freedom they have, this riveting documentary will anger those who agree with it as well as those who do not. Zeitgeist is a timely, important work that all free thinking people should see. Warning: This film contains stock photos and video footage of war action and scenes from 9/11 that may not be suitable for all viewers.

RESOURCES: Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007)

Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008)

BASIC PREMISE: Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008)
Zeitgeist Addendum attempts to identify root causes of pervasive social corruption yet also offers a solution not necessarily based on politics, morality, laws, or any other “establishment” notions of human affairs; rather, the suggested solution is based upon a modern, non-superstitious understanding of mankind and its relationship nature and environment on which we are absolutely dependent and of which we’re an integral part. The work advocates a novel, modern social system encompassing present-day knowledge. It was highly influenced by the life long work of Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project.

RESOURCES: Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008)

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)

BASIC PREMISE: Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is a feature-length documentary film presenting a convincing case for a needed transition outside the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. The documentary film transcends the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and moves to relate the core, empirical “life ground” attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a “Resource-Based Economy”.

RESOURCES: Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)