Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Human Be-In - History Written in San Francisco

Tomorrow, there will be a calendar date, which you may not celebrate, or even remember as being of some importance. Well, it is January 14, 1967, 48 years ago, when San Francisco hosted historical event - The Human Be-In, event, normally considered as Prelude to the Summer of Love.

Two decades after the end of World War II, the children of those Americans who fought courageously in Europe and the Pacific found themselves with fewer and fewer reasons to believe in the society they grew up in. In spite of the slight positive changes in the public consciousness, the discriminatory practices against African-Americans had not stopped. Combined with newspaper and television images of the relatively peaceful civil rights protesters being beaten by police across the South States, young Americans found the injustice intolerable.

At the same time, Cold War tensions shaped public perceptions of national government. The three-week Hungarian Revolution against communism and the subsequent Soviet military action to crush the rebellion in 1956 seemed to demonstrate how far those in power were willing to go to in order to maintain it.

When the government of California made the psychoactive drug LSD illegal in October 1966, disgruntled college students from around San Francisco Bay joined together in Golden Gate Park for the Love Pageant Rally in protest. Near the eclectic Haight-Ashbury district, an 18-block collection of dilapidated Victorian homes with low rent attractive to free-spirited youths, the Rally brought together a few thousand hippies.

Throughout “The Haight,” LSD was an accepted feature of the culture and attendants wanted to cry out against its prohibition without instigating a conflict with local police.

Inspired by the sit-ins performed by African-Americans to raise awareness of inequality throughout the southern US, the group peacefully sat in the park and took a single dose of LSD all at the same time. Following a couple of speeches, local musician Janis Joplin and rock group The Grateful Dead performed a free concert. The hippie counterculture, striking out against the values of the previous generation by encouraging communal living and drug use to attain “higher consciousness,” suddenly realized it could come together in large numbers.

“A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In,” organized by Haight-based artists Michael Bowen and Allen Cohen, would occur three months later on January 14, 1967. Driven by the common goals espoused in the burgeoning unrest at universities in nearby Berkeley and Stanford, the two decided to bring together a variety of performers and speakers for what was supposed to be a peaceful protest reflecting the two-word mantra of many in both throughout the hippie community and the anti-Vietnam War movement erupting on campuses: “Question authority.”

With somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people spread through Golden Gate Park, a host of luminaries in the blossoming counterculture movement took the stage. Poets Allen Ginsburg and Gary Snyder delivered addresses to the LSD-laced crowd, but former Harvard professor Timothy Leary gave the event -- and, by extension, the free love movement -- its slogan when he spoke about the importance of psychoactive drugs for attaining higher consciousness. Throughout the next several years, students would follow his advice to “turn on, tune in, drop out” across the US.

It was indeed an unforgettable afternoon. Thousand men, women, and children assembled around a makeshift stage at the edge of an open meadow. Gary Snyder opened the proceedings by blowing on a white-beaded conch shell. Beside him were other poets from the beatnik era -- Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lenore Kandel -- while a group of Hell's Angels guarded the PA system. Allen Ginsberg chanted OM and clinked his finger cymbals. Just two months earlier, in a "Public Solitude" address at a church in Boston, Ginsberg had proposed that every American in good health over the age of fourteen "try the chemical LSD at least once ... that, if necessary, we have a mass emotional nervous breakdown in these States once and for all." But there was no need to reiterate such remarks on this unseasonably warm winter day in San Francisco. The be-in was a healing affair, a feast for the senses, with music, poetry, sunshine, bells, robes, talismans, incense, feathers, and flags. The smell of marijuana lingered over the park slope, and acid flowed like lemonade.

"Welcome," said a calm, clear voice from the platform. "Welcome to the first manifestation of the Brave New World." It was a rather ironic way of introducing the hip superstars who were about to address the crowd. Clad like a holy man in white pajamas, Timothy Leary teased the audience with one-liners such as "The only way out is in." The High Priest of the psychedelic movement spoke of expanded consciousness as the "Fifth Freedom," urging everyone to start their own religion -- which was exactly what he and his Millbrook friends had done. Leary's be-in appearance was part of a barnstorming tour to promote his new group, the League for Spiritual Discovery. The League had only two commandments -- "Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow man" and "Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from altering his own consciousness." A tireless proselytizer, Leary had presided over a series of "psychedelic religious celebrations" featuring dramatic re-enactments of the lives of the Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, etc. The purpose of these well-advertised, well-financed productions (one promoter called them the "best thing since vaudeville") was to reproduce the effects of an acid trip without drugs.

The be-in was not organized to protest a specific government ordinance or policy. Thousands of people had come together to do nothing in particular, which in itself was quite something. They sat on the grass, shared food and wine, and marveled at how peaceful everyone was. There was not even a single uniformed police officer around to spoil the party. At one point, a man parachuted down from the sky within view of the gathering. A rumor spread that it was none other than Owsley, the premier acid chemist, descending upon the faithful in waves of billowing white silk. It was just another piece of instant myths, that characterized the day. As Michael McClure put it, "The be-in was a blossom. It was a flower. It was out in the weather. It did not have all its petals. There were worms in the rose. It was perfect in its imperfections. It was what it was -- and there had never been anything like it before."

It was this huge number of spontaneously gathered celebrants that attracted national media attention to the psychedelic Haight-Ashbury community, and made everyone involved realize that a profound new movement in American culture was being born.  The ethos of this new movement was a fundamental questioning of authority, a focus on individuality, decentralization, ecological awareness, and consciousness expansion through cultural openness and the use of psychedelic drugs.  These ideas transfixed mainstream culture, and the phenomenon of the “hippie” burst full force into the public consciousness, transforming a generation.

The song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie, inspired by the events, rocketed to the top of the charts. Soon spreading like wildfire around the globe, it led to similar hippie-like expressions in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and other major metropolitan areas throughout North America and Europe, even becoming the anthem for rebels during the 1968 uprising in Czechoslovakia.

Original Video Footage

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why the Russian Economy Collapse is a Good Thing?

Russia faces its gravest economic crisis since 1998, when the country defaulted on its debt following financial crash in Asia.

 Putin’s economy is in crisis

The country's currency, the ruble, is plunging against international currencies, causing panic among domestic consumers and global investors to withdraw capital. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the meltdown poses perhaps his sternest test of leadership.

He can expect little help from Washington or from Europe. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama will sign a measure by the end of the week applying new sanctions against Russia because of its actions earlier this year in Ukraine.

What is happening to Russia's economy? Russia's crisis has been triggered by a sharp plunge in oil prices since this summer and international sanctions over Russia's March annexation of Crimea. The ruble is collapsing. The currency lost 10 percent of its value and fell to a record low on Tuesday, dipping to more than 80 rubles to the dollar before rebounding to 68 rubles -- it is down more than 60 percent this year.

"The end is near for Russia's economic and financial stability," said Carl Weinberg, chief economist with High Frequency Economics, in a note. "This is an unrecoverable spiral. The combination of economic and financial sanctions by NATO governments and the crash of global oil prices has killed Russia's economy."

How will the drop in oil prices impact Russia?

How is Russia responding to the crisis? The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) surprised financial markets overnight by abruptly jacking up interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent. The goal is to shore up the ruble, including the exchange rate with other currencies; maintain fiscal stability; forestall inflation; and discourage global investors from pulling their capital out of Russia. Of particular concern for policymakers is whether Russia has enough money in reserve to weather the decline in oil prices and its growing isolation from global capital markets.

The CBR has made a number of moves in recent months to soften the blow from sanctions and the drop in energy prices, with limited effect. The ruble continued to fall Tuesday ever after the massive rate hike, while gauges of financial risk, such as the price of credit insurance on Russian debt, are flashing red.

"No one expected the ruble to hit 60 this year against the dollar, let alone 70 or 80 even," said Timothy Ash at Standard Bank in a research note. "And no one is positioned for this. This will impart huge short-term damage to Russia. There is now a huge credibility gap for Russian policymakers in the eyes of the market."

Russian Economy

What are the risks for Russians? The spike in interest rates could slam the brakes on Russia's troubled economy, slowing growth and pushing up the country's already high rate of inflation, now around 9 percent, even higher. The Russian stock market has fallen more than 25 percent since yesterday.

Some Russians are panicking, with reports of people looking to put their money into other financial assets, or even big-ticket goods such as washing machines.

What happens next? Russian officials are meeting today to discuss the turmoil. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also scheduled Thursday to address the nation in an annual live TV call-in show, offering him a chance to discuss any plans for stabilizing the ruble and the economy. One key question for Russians and global investors: Would the Kremlin consider implementing controls to stem a flight of capital?

Yet even capital controls might not stem the crisis in Russia. IHS economist Chuck Movit says that monetary policy alone is unlikely to contain the damage, noting that the ruble's strength depends chiefly on oil prices and the impact of sanctions. Other analysts worry that Putin also could resort to other measures, such as escalating the conflict in Ukraine, to distract public attention from Russia's economic problems.

"Any further escalation would probably trigger further sanctions, from which Russia would again be the loser," said economist Andrew Kenningham of Capital Economics in a report.

How is the Russian crisis affecting the rest of the world? Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters, has enormous currency reserves and is not in immediate danger of default. Alexander Moseley, a senior portfolio manager at asset management firm Schroders, notes that Russia has enough liquidity to repay its external debts.

Meanwhile, the country does not carry much public debt, and its credit profile is solid. The sanctions against Russia and instability in the region has also reduced its financial and trade links with the rest of the world. For now, that is expected to damp the global reverberations. Russia accounts for only 2.7 percent of world GDP, according to Capital Economics.

Still, financial crises are hard to contain, especially when they involve a large economy. Russia's economy is unbalanced -- nearly one-seventh of its GDP comes from oil -- and risks tumbling into recession. That would stunt global growth, with China also slowing down and Europe fighting its own deflationary spiral. Such a slowdown would almost certainly impede the U.S. economic recovery just as it is gaining strength.

Putin is also unpredictable. If Russia's economy continues to founder, he could even consider reneging on the country's foreign debts, High Frequency Economics suggests. That would put global lenders, including U.S. banks, investors, insurance companies and other major financial actors, on the hook for major losses.

"Russia is in a full-blown currency crisis, and currency crises end when either the central bank overreacts with overwhelming policy steps to support the currency or the underlying source of stress ends," Moseley said by email.

Economic Background

General forecasts for Russian growth were being downgraded well before the Ukraine crisis sent investors running for the exits. Putin had left the Russian economy overly reliant on exports of oil and gas. Calls for greater action to scale back government involvement in the economy, tackle corruption and stimulate local investment had largely gone unheeded.
Russia's decision to back separatist rebels following the removal of Ukraine's pro-Moscow government had markets worried before Moscow formally annexed Crimea in March. Worried by rising tension between Moscow and the West, the ruble and Russian stocks hit the skids in late January. The flight of capital accelerated.

After months of largely symbolic sanctions aimed at Russian officials -- including asset freezes and travel bans -- first the U.S., then Europe, were stung into serious action by the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in June, and Moscow's continued support for rebels blamed for the crash.
They took measures to prevent Russia's biggest banks and companies raising funds in the West, and targeted the country's key energy and weapons industries with restrictions.

Moscow responded by banning various food imports from Europe and the U.S. That hurt European food exporters, and dealt another blow to investor sentiment. However, it also drove up food prices in Russia, further fueling inflation that was already on the rise due to the devaluation of the ruble.

At about the same time global energy prices started to fall, completing the perfect storm for Russia. The oil crash accelerated last month when OPEC decided not to cut its production target. Assuming oil holds at current levels -- and that is far from certain -- Russia's economy will contract by about 5% next year. That is as bad as it got during the country's financial crisis of 1998.

Why Collapse of the Russian Economy is a Good Thing?

Why indeed I wish Russian economy to collapse?

Because it is, unfortunately, the only way to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine, against humanity. More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers fell in the battle. Russia lost from 1,000 to 5,000, while most of the bodies are buried secretly to avoid the public attention to the publically rejected notice that Russian troops are involved in the conflict directly.

Russian president Putin keeps his finger on the Nuclear weapon button, so direct military operations led by NATO or USA, might end in worldwide disaster. However, being largely depending on gas exports, Russia has limited monetary reserves to support the falling currency, broken business structure, and newly captured Crimea and part of the Eastern Ukraine.

Russian propaganda is strong, both internal, and external. Who is responsible for this economic collapse? Ukrainians, fighting for freedom, homosexual perverts, residing in Europe, and dummy Americans.

Is there a future for the Russian economy? Definitely, yes, but not before Putin and his gang’ members will be removed from power. Really, who will invest in the economy, where any business or company can be stolen, ruined, or nationalized in favor of the criminal interests of the rulers’ team?

Sources and Additional Information:

Monday, November 24, 2014

How Marijuana Cures Incurable Leukemia

Brave Mykala is Cancer Free

Pediatric cannabis therapy is saving children. Are you surprised? But, that is the modern reality.

Brave Mykala had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare, aggressive, and overall deadly form of childhood leukemia. It accounts for 15-18% of childhood leukemia cases. Her DNA has been altered in some way, and it caused her bone marrow to start producing leukemia white blood cells. She fell unwell May 2012, and July 2012 doctors discovered a basketball sized mass of lymphoblasts in her chest. The mass was so large that she was not able to be sedated for risk of death from the pressure on her esophagus and heart.

After all approved treatments failed to stop spreading the disease, she got permission to start the experimental Cannabis Oil treatment July 26th, 2012. By August 2nd, 2012, Lymphoblast percentage in her blood smear dropped from maximum 33% to ZERO.

From this date, Mykayla was in remission. You may here the expert opinion, that cannabis is inappropriate for children. Well, it is hard to disagree. However, cancer is inappropriate for children even to the higher degree.

The anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids and THC have been demonstrated for quite some time now.  In the 1980’s, cannabinoid receptors were discovered in the human brain, which made it obvious that our body has to synthesize something that binds to these receptors. Our bodies produce these compounds in our own endocannabinoid system, which is now known to be responsible for a number of biological functions.  This is why the plant has such a wide therapeutic potential for multiple diseases, including cancer.

Numerous studies have demonstrated again and again the anti-tumoral effects of cannabis. Studies have shown that cannabis completely kills cancer cells, and it has a great impact on rebuilding the immune system. Cannabis has the potential to replace a multitude of pharmaceutical drugs, and it remains a mystery as to why human trials are not under way.

In the United States, there are only two approved treatments for cancer, radiation and chemotherapy.  Scientists have discovered that chemotherapy fuels cancer growth and kills the patient more quickly, yet nothing has been changed.  Both are extremely toxic to the human body. Thanks to a growing awareness related to cannabis medical use, and its high rate of success with individuals choosing to try it as a cancer treatment, more people are starting to realize the healing power of this plant. Coupled with all of the success stories, are hundreds of scientific studies that prove cannabis kills cancer, it’s really becoming a no-brainer.

When you are an adult with cancer, you have the choice to use the two recommended options or refuse treatment and select alternative methods. When you are a child, your parents do not have the option to refuse the approved way without facing legal repercussions, which can include loosing custody of the child.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood or bone marrow, most often white blood cells. White blood cells are part of the immune system and play a key role in defending the body against infections.
Leukemia does not refer to a single disease, but rather covers a broad spectrum of diseases. Leukemia can be classified as either chronic or acute, depending on the rate of progression, and by the type of white blood cells that are affected. Acute lymphocytic (or lymphoblastic) leukemia is the most common leukemia that occurs in children.

Most forms of leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. However, treatment becomes less effective when leukemia spreads – usually to the central nervous system, skin and gums, and sometimes in the form of tumors.

Furthermore, treatment outcomes vary greatly and, in many instances, leukemia will eventually resurface after a period of remission.

Latest Studies

One of the latest studies in UK confirmed that compounds derived from marijuana can kill cancerous cells in patients with leukemia.

"Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive," explained study author Dr. Wai Liu, an oncologist at St. George's University of London. "For that reason, it has really good potential over other drugs that only have one function. I am impressed by its activity profile, and feel it has a great future, especially if used with standard chemotherapies."

Dr. Wai Liu studied six different non-psychoactive cannabinoids (compounds derived from marijuana that do not get the user high like its THC component does). He found that certain non-psychoactive cannabinoids “resulted in dramatic reductions in cell viability” and “caused a simultaneous arrest at all phases of the cell cycle,” according to the study summary posted online.

In 2012, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that CBD — a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis — can stop metastasis in some kinds of aggressive cancer.

How THC Kills Cancer Cells

The social and legal restrictions on Marijuana use still affect amount of efforts and funding for the related anti-cancer research.  

Insight into how THC (the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) cures Cancer is explained by molecular biologist, Dr. Christina Sanchez, in the video above. A scientist at the Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, she relayed her long-time studies and enlightening findings with Cannabis Planet TV.

If you want to understand the Cannabis components action against cancer in more details, here is the explanation provided by biochemist Dennis Hill in more details.

First let us look at what keeps cancer cells alive, and then we will come back and examine how the cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) unravels cancer’s aliveness.

In every cell, there is a family of interconvertible sphingolipids that specifically manage the life and death of that cell. This profile of factors is called the “Sphingolipid Rheostat.” If endogenous ceramide (a signaling metabolite of sphingosine-1-phosphate) is high, then cell death (apoptosis) is imminent. If ceramide is low, the cell is strong in its vitality.

Very simply, when THC connects to the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor site on the cancer cell, it causes an increase in ceramide synthesis, which drives cell death. A normal healthy cell does not produce ceramide in the presence of THC, thus is not affected by the cannabinoid.

The cancer cell dies, not because of cytotoxic chemicals, but because of a tiny little shift in the mitochondria. Within most cells there is a cell nucleus, numerous mitochondria (hundreds to thousands), and various other organelles in the cytoplasm. The purpose of the mitochondria is to produce energy (ATP) for cell use. As ceramide starts to accumulate, turning up the Sphingolipid Rheostat, it increases the mitochondrial membrane pore permeability to cytochrome c, a critical protein in energy synthesis. Cytochrome c is pushed out of the mitochondria, killing the source of energy for the cell.

Ceramide also causes genotoxic stress in the cancer cell nucleus generating a protein called p53, whose job it is to disrupt calcium metabolism in the mitochondria. If this were not enough, ceramide disrupts the cellular lysosome, the cell’s digestive system that provides nutrients for all cell functions. Ceramide, and other sphingolipids, actively inhibit pro-survival pathways in the cell leaving no possibility at all of cancer cell survival.

The key to this process is the accumulation of ceramide in the system. This means taking therapeutic amounts of CBD and THC, steadily, over a period of time, keeping metabolic pressure on this cancer cell death pathway.

Gaining Recognition

Though federal law still prohibits the use of Cannabis, as much as 25 States have legalized its use for medical purposes for certain medical conditions.

Official government site Cancer.Gov lists the following positive effects of Cannabis for cancer patients, stating that Cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

The possible effects of cannabinoids include:
* Anti-inflammatory activity.
* Blocking cell growth.
* Preventing the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors.
* Antiviral activity.
* Relieving muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.

”The cannabinoids in cannabis prevent cancer cells from spreading, and they contribute to cancer cell death because they hit some receptors that are generally up-regulated in cancer cells,” confirms Professor Marja Jäättelä, who heads the Cell Death and Metabolism Research Unit at the Danish Cancer Society. “This has been demonstrated in several studies. There is no doubt that cannabinoids are very effective at killing cancer cells.

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