Thursday, August 16, 2018

Critical Thinking Skills

In February 2016, while delivering a victory speech following the Nevada caucuses, Donald Trump proclaimed his love for the various demographics that led him to victory.
As part of that list, he exclaimed, "I love the poorly educated."

Why would anyone say such a thing? Poorly educated people often lack critical think skills and thereby make perfect patsies for shysters and con artists ( or the current administration, as is the case today).

I always try to accentuate the is getting more difficult by the day.

I was thinking of the Statue of Liberty...

What might she have to say about the current state of affairs in America today? We are currently watching the erosion of democracy and a blatant push by the administration towards autocracy. If you can't confirm that on your own, you are not using your critical thinking skills.  

Critical thinkers are able to make better strategic and more effective decisions based on the evidence in front of them, not what they’re told by others or assumption they made. It’s never a good thing to simply accept what you’re told as fact. Within all arguments there should be facts and evidence, which can then be used to form your own opinion. Evidence is important to critical thinking.

The Statue of Liberty (SOL) American symbol for justice and liberty...I'm thinking she might say..."SOL is right! If we keep going down this path, we will all be "Sh*t Outta Luck". 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Hedge Apples...who knew??

A update on the hedge apple post...

FYI - I am happy to share hedge apples with anyone who has an interest and no access. All I ask is that you pay postage. It will be the end of August before their ready. Just let me know.

Read the original post here.

One reader commented with some excellent information and the research to back it up!

Thanks for all the good info, Brian! Scholarly articles promote critical thinking! Below are conclusions and URL's to some of the articles Mr. Barnabas provided, as it relates to Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside or TSG (found in hedge apples):

3 - "Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside not only prevents, i.e. at an early stage, the learning-memory deficit in AD-like model, but also can reverse the learning-memory deficit in the late stage of AD-like model. Thus, TSG could be considered among the future therapeutic drugs indicated for the treatment of AD."

4 - "TSG, which shows effects and mechanism in part like atorcastatin, is a major constituent with blood-lipid regulating effect of P. multiflorum and can be explored as a potent medication for hyperlipidemia. Effects on LDL-C and AI, as well as on gene expression of TSG were first reported."

5 - "In summary, the data showed that THSG possessed an anti-inflammatory effect, which was perhaps related to the inhibition of COX-2 enzyme activity and expression in RAW264.7 macrophage cells."

6 - "In conclusion, THSG possesses the antagonistic effects on oxidation of lipoprotein, proliferation and decrease of NO content of CASMCs, which partially explain the mechanism of anti-atherosclerosis of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb."

7 - "In conclusion, THSG exerts protective effects on experimental colitis through alleviating oxygen and nitrogen free radicals level and down-regulating iNOS expression."

8 - "In conclusion, hippocampal synapses count and synaptophysin expression decreased in aged rats, which may be one of the mechanisms involved in learning-memory deficit. TSG reversed the above changes in aged rats, suggesting that TSG may be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer disease or cognitive impairment in old people."

9 - The results suggest that the ability of THSG to trap reactive dicarbonyl species makes it a potential natural inhibitor of AGEs (advanced glycation end products. Many studies have shown that AGEs play a major pathogenic role in diabetes and its complications.

10 - "These findings indicate that the protective mechanisms of TSG on diabetic nephropathy are involved in the alleviation of oxidative stress injury and overexpression of COX-2 and TGF-β1, partially via activation of SIRT1."

11 - "Our data demonstrate that TSG promotes LTP induction and this effect may contribute to the enhancement of learning and memory seen in animal models."

I'm not a doctor, so I don't understand all of this science lingo - but it looks to me like the hedge apple may have more health benefits that I ever suspected. Medicine - straight from the source - Nature!!
Thanks again for all the good info Mr. Barnabas!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Make America Great Again????

I really just can't make the connection with the slogan of the administration in the White House right now. This country has a rich history of some really unethical actions, even by today's standards. 

The audacity to think a human being has the right to own another human being.

The forced removal of indigenous peoples from their ancestral homelands.

The antiquated idea that women could not vote or own property because women are somehow inferior to men.

Let the good old boys run things the way they used to? Say what you really mean Donald Trump - "Make America White Again" 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Trail of Tears...Not so great!!

According to Encyclopedia Britannica - The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation during the 1830s of Eastern Woodlands Indians of the Southeast region of the United States (including Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among other nations) to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Estimates based on tribal and military records suggest that approximately 100,000 indigenous people were forced from their homes during that period, which is sometimes known as the removal era, and that some 15,000 died during the journey west. The term Trail of Tears invokes the collective suffering those people experienced, although it is most commonly used in reference to the removal experiences of the Southeast Indians generally and the Cherokee nation specifically. The physical trail consisted of several overland routes and one main water route and, by passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act in 2009, stretched some 5,045 miles (about 8,120 km) across portions of nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee).

The roots of forced relocation lay in greed. The British Proclamation of 1763 designated the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River as Indian Territory. Although that region was to be protected for the exclusive use of indigenous peoples, large numbers of Euro-American land speculators and settlers soon entered. For the most part, the British and, later, U.S. governments ignored these acts of trespass.

In 1829 a gold rush occurred on Cherokee land in Georgia. Vast amounts of wealth were at stake: at their peak, Georgia mines produced approximately 300 ounces of gold a day. Land speculators soon demanded that the U.S. Congress devolve to the states the control of all real property owned by tribes and their members. That position was supported by Pres. Andrew Jackson, who was himself an avid speculator. Congress complied by passing the Indian Removal Act (1830). The act entitled the president to negotiate with the eastern nations to effect their removal to tracts of land west of the Mississippi and provided some $500,000 for transportation and for compensation to native landowners. Jackson reiterated his support for the act in various messages to Congress, notably On Indian Removal (1830) and A Permanent Habitation for the American Indians (1835), which illuminated his political justifications for removal and described some of the outcomes he expected would derive from the relocation process.

This is your legacy Donald Trump

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Maybe this is when America was great??

Greenwood, Oklahoma was known as the Mecca for black enterprise. It was a district featuring 108 black-owned businesses, two theaters, two black schools and 15 doctors’ offices. With Tulsa being segregated by north and south, there was only one place you could go if you were black and wanted to establish a name for yourself. For many, that safe haven was Greenwood. It became so prestigious that Booker T. Washington coined the term “Negro Wall Street of America.”
On May 31st, 1921, Greenwood was destroyed. 50 square blocks were decimated, burned to the ground by angry white mobs. Many homes and businesses were looted in one of America’s worst race riots. The cause: white outrage over a false sexual assault allegation.

The Tulsa race riot of 1921, occurred between May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob started attacking residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 39 dead, but the American Red Cross estimated 300.

The riot began over a Memorial Day weekend after a young black man was accused of raping a young white female elevator operator at a commercial building. After he was taken into custody, rumors raced through the black community that he was at risk of being lynched. A group of armed African-American men rushed to the police station, to prevent a lynching, where the young suspect was held and a white crowd had gathered. A confrontation developed between blacks and whites; shots were fired, and some whites and blacks were killed. As this news spread throughout the city, mob violence exploded. Thousands of whites rampaged through the black community that night and the next day, killing men and women, burning and looting stores and homes. About 10,000 black people were left homeless, and property damage amounted to more than $1.5 million in real estate and $750,000 in personal property ($31 million in 2018). Some black people claimed that policemen had joined the mob; others said that National Guardsmen fired a machine gun into the black community and a plane dropped sticks of dynamite. In an eyewitness account discovered in 2015, Greenwood attorney Buck Colbert Franklin described watching a dozen or more planes, which had been dispatched by the city police force, drop burning balls of turpentine on Greenwood's rooftops.