Thursday, August 30

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer

Oh kiss me out of the bearded barley,
Nightly , beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You'll wear those shoes and I will wear that dress

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift you open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon's sparkling,
So kiss me

Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me , upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring , bring your flowered hat
We'll take the trail marked on your father's map

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift you open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon's sparkling,
So kiss me

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift you open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon's sparkling,
So kiss me.

Listen! Simple, happy and sophisticated.

Wednesday, August 29

Things that never change

In an era where uncertainty is in the back of the mind of all to keep going requires a little effort. Little things become important and the idea or thought of things that will always be there is a way of quieting our minds.

Imagining and thinking about them helps. I'm making, mentally, lists of some of these things. I'm accepting contributions. For the moment I have this list:

- the noise of rain when we are in bed under the covers;

- the smile of a child;

- the numerous hues of green of  the leaves;

- the sound of a piano being played in the distance;

- a hug from someone we love;

- searching for a four leaf clove;

- blue, my favorite color;

- all the colors;

- friends visiting or phoning...

Your turn now. Don't forget to feed the fishes. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 28

Rachel Corrie's murderers not responsible according to Israeli verdict

"Tom Dale, a pro-Palestinian campaigner who witnessed the death of Rachel Corrie, refutes the judgement of an Israeli court that the death of the American activist was "a regrettable accident"."

"I am absolutely clear that the bulldozer driver would have been able to see Rachel. It was a clear day, Rachel was standing in open ground, wearing a high-visibility vest and the bulldozer driver moved toward her from 20 or 30 metres away and absolutely would have had a chance to see her as she stood in one place, motionless, in that time".
Source: The Telegraph.

I just received this e-mail and I feel the obligation to publish it.
It's appalling that the "international conscience" is quite aware of what is happening in Palestine and condemns Israel, still, nothing is done not even when the victim is an American citizen.
Something has to be done immediately.

International Solidarity Movement
11:49 (3 hours ago)

to International

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is deeply concerned by the verdict of Judge Oded Gershon that absolved Israel’s military and state of the 2003 murder of American ISM activist Rachel Corrie. Rachel was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the American administration stating that the Israeli military investigation had not been "thorough, credible and transparent" and the Israeli government withholding key video and audio evidence, Judge Gershon found no fault in the investigation or in the conclusion that the military and state were not responsible for Rachel’s death. Judge Gershon ruled  that Rachel was to blame for her own murder and classifies her non-violent attempt to prevent war crimes as proof that Rachel was not a “thinking person".

By disregarding international law and granting Israeli war criminals impunity Judge Gershon’s verdict exemplifies the fact that Israel’s legal system cannot be trusted to administer justice according to international standards.The ISM calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable by supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and continuing to join the Palestinian struggle in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Describing the situation in Gaza 2 days before she was killed, Rachel said, “I'm witnessing the systematic destruction of a people's ability to survive. It's horrifying.”  Rachel’s analysis holds true today, confirmed by the United Nations a day before this ruling, which reported that Gaza would not be "liveable" by 2020 barring urgent action.

The verdict is a green light for Israeli soldiers to use lethal force against human rights defenders and puts Palestinian and International human rights defenders in mortal danger.
This will not deter us. As long as our Palestinian sisters and brothers want our presence, the ISM will continue to find ways to break Israel’s siege, and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. As Rachel’s mother Cindy put it, “There were children behind the walls of the home Rachel was trying to protect...We should have all been there”.

Judge Gershon’s verdict is a travesty of justice but it is not exceptional.  As a rule the Israeli legal system provides Israeli soldiers impunity to commit murder. The only Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000 was Taysir Hayb, a Bedouin citizen of Israel for shooting British ISM volunteer Tom Hurndall in the back of the head with a sniper rifle as Tom was carrying a child to safety. At least 6,444 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces in this period, with no justice for them or their families.

Monday, August 27

Movies' visual quotation: "Shall we Dance"

"The rumba is the vertical expression of a horizontal wish. You have to hold her like the skin on the thigh is your reason for living. Let her go, like your heart's being ripped from your chest. Throw her back, like you're going to have your way with her, right here on the dance floor. And then finish like she's ruined you for life."

I recorded it, terribly  39 seconds home-made, because of the quotation but also because at this movie each character is so important that claiming that any of the actors is the leading and the others are supporting is not true for me. Susan Sarandon, one of my favorites actress, is recognized at this movie because of what Beverly says in a scene about marriage being witnessing each other's lives but this is not another one of her greatest performances.

Lisa Ann Walter's Bobbie is an amazing woman and next to Jennifer's Paulina they make a great contrast of two expressions of femininity.

Each character is important and we know the story of all of them which is one of the most important aspects of this movie for me. However for some people it is impossible to detach themselves from the leading character and the rest. This is the movie of Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez for many.
This is a movie about all of them.
Another criteria would involve searching who earned more money .

It's a nice movie to watch on a Sunday and as it's being transmitted at HBO for a long time I believe that many people have watched it. It's great when a movie can touch so many people around the world uniting us all.

Sunday, August 26

Bourne Identity and NATO's Secret Army: Daniel Ganser analyzes reality and movie

NATO’s Secret Army's author interview
by Alexander Artamonov
Global Research, May 5, 2012

Interview with Daniel Ganser

NATO’s secret army existed on the territory of Western Europe until the beginning of the 90s. And maybe it is still functioning today. It was called Gladio, which means sword in Latin. One of its emblems is a salamander, which marks its belonging to the secret services syndicate.

In order to understand what this movement really represented or, possibly, is still representing, we consulted the well-known Swiss historian Daniel Ganser, who has published a book about the secret army.

Mr. Ganser, you are a historian, specializing in modern history and international relations since 1945. You lecture at Basel University and you are the author of numerous works which caused a sensation all over the world. I would like to speak to you about your most well-known book “NATO’s Secret Army”.

Daniel Ganser: NATO’s Secret Army is a poorly studied phenomenon. Even my colleagues used to say to me: "But NATO has never had any secret army!" The whole world thought that such a thing did not exist. And then, in 1990, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed that all the European NATO countries had secret armies. Their aim was to resist a Soviet invasion. But during the Cold War period nothing of the kind happened, as you know. Therefore, people thought that these armies were useless, but it was not so. They were used in order to manipulate the political climate in many European countries - France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, Portugal,and Finland. It was a large-scale phenomenon all right.

Your book “NATO’s Secret Army” inspired film director Emmanuel Amaro on the creation of an excellent documentary lasting 52 minutes. Your book has to do with both Russia and Western Europe. Has your book been published in Russian yet?

Daniel Ganser: No, not yet! But in two weeks I am presenting the Russian version of my book in Moscow.

We received evidence that the secret army had actually existed, at least until the beginning of the 90s. And still there is no reason to believe it was dismissed.

Can you add some important details to the above-mentioned?

Daniel Ganser: Historians say that in fact this army conducted acts of terror, aimed at changing the political course of one or another country, consistently dissociating it from the USSR and Eastern Europe. So, on August 2, 1980, a bomb exploded in the waiting room of a railway station in Bologna, which took the lives of 85 people. 200 people received injuries of varying severity.

At first, the Italian police attributed this terrorist act to the Red Brigades, but ultimately Gladio was pronounced guilty. A month and a half later, during Oktoberfest in Munich, there was another act of terror. Colonel Klaus Fishner, a former employee of the counter-intelligenc e service of Stasi, said: "The task was to create tension in NATO countries and to suppress any political left-wing deviation." As we can see, that was the mission, aimed at justifying the existence of the secret army.

German historian Erich Schmidt-Eenboom affirms that in Germany a considerable part of the secret army, about 25%, was recruited from former members of the SS.

The general public is well-acquainted with the film "The Bourne Identity." Only people do not know that the mysterious organization Dread Stone that stood behind the anonymous American political killers and was housed in Langley, has a real terrible prototype. And this is Gladio.

Daniele Ganser is a Swiss historian who specializes in inter-national relations and international history from 1945 to today. His research interests are peace research, geostrategy, secret warfare, resource wars, globalization and human rights. He teaches at Swiss universities, including the history department of Basel University. His current research is focusing on the so called "war on terror" and peak oil.

Friday, August 24

The fascinating art of Artmagenta

Due to the difficulty of choosing among so many great croquis I decided for the theme "girls dressed with hats" that is a category, a criteria like any other. Why not?

When I first did a tour at Artmagenta's blog I was enchanted by his croquis, sketches, caricatures, drawings and birds.

Ulf Andersson, is a Sweden illustrator who not only has the gift of mastering the techniques but created a style of his own in all the different works he does.
His croquis are not only exercises like for most artists and he creates amazing creatures that are unique and have their own lives. Each piece is a moment of their existence.

The witty captions he adds at each of his creations helps telling their story or help building the scene.

Take a look at his blog an make a tour around his universe.

Why do you draw nude models?

"Croquis is sketching or figure drawing from a live nude model. Also called life drawing. The purpose is exercise in how to draw the human body. Each pose lasts from 1 to 5 minutes. You are trying to get the correct proportions and balance of the human body. My total exercise will last for about 2-3 hours and most of the sketches are not worth saving/showing - but a small percent comes out as rather good drawings. These are some of those better drawings..."

Thursday, August 23

You asked and they are back: "The Four Dogs"

From left to right:   First dog:                             "I'll get out of here."
                              Second dog:                         "Stop staring at me."
                              Third dog (to the first:)              "No, won't go now bro."
                              Fourth dog:                           "I hate discussions."
Eighteenth of The Four Dogs collection.
Only two to complete the series of twenty.

Tuesday, August 21

Bums and vagrants are not homeless

Do not search meanings in dictionaries and don't try to help them because they don't want us telling them what to do.
According to your views you can give them money but useless to talk to them if they don't want.

They don't want charity, they don't want a home.
They just want to be left alone.

Image: Clochard by macilic

Monday, August 20

Oliver North questioned by Jack Brooks: plan to suspend American constitution

FEMA plans on suspension of the US constitution exposed during Iran contra hearings. Oliver North is questioned by Jack Brooks:

Mr. Chairman: ... I may ask that you do not touch upon that...

Jack Brooks:  "I was particularly concerned Mr. Chairman because I read in Miami papers and several others that had been a plan developed by that same agency, a contingency plan , that would suspend the American constitution and I'm deeply concerned about and wonder if that is the area in which he had worked."

Mr Chairman: "and I must respectfully request that in that matter should not to be touched upon at this stage...

"Pierrot" by Brazilian singer Marina Lima

I wanna share this music. This is Marina Lima one of our greatest singers who is also interested in philosophy, poetry and is one of these persons you feel that has a wonderful universe. She was born in US and first learned English.

As she came to Brazil in her childhood she speaks Portuguese with no accent whatsoever. I've translated, adapting is more accurate, this lyrics so that you can have an idea of what she's saying. The Portuguese version you can find here but I know you will not understand a single word, perhaps not even Brazil because we write it with "S".

The good new is that you can listen to her beautiful voice as an instrument and not connect it with words. The video is very beautiful. Hope you like it. There it goes the adaptation (sorry Marina, I'll try to improve.):

Marina Lima

Yes, I decided to absent myself
To conceal my pain
I've run away, lied
Perhaps for modesty.

Many things have happened
And I have stop to think better
I came back to tell you the much I felt
For not kissing you.

And life goes on, this to-and-fro
All waves of love
Spins, whirls
Just like a Pierrot.

One day all fall apart
It's impossible to deny.
I came back to tell you that here in my Brazil
Another flower doesn't exist.

In Brazil: each town is an island, without trap, trace, without track
And the fear to guide us
So: welcome to my land made by men on war
And others eager to love

And it's been like this, since the world is world
Men fearing passion
It hurts, it kills
Just like a dragoon.

Defy it causes so much fear
But running away is worse:
I came back to tell you that on this war
There is no winner.

In Brazil: each town is a harbor, said a poet to a chick
That didn't want to risk
Come, welcome to my land, made by men in war
And others eager to love.

First published at justAna.

"All We Have to Fear" another book about Psychiatry's criminal practice

There are already so many books exposing the absurd way that psychiatry is being done that it's amazing that some people have not a clue about it all. Maybe people don't have the habit of going to bookstores or if they do they go straight to the best-sellers shelves.

The LA Review of Books has published this article about "All we Have to Fear: Psychiatry's Transformation of Natural Anxieties into Mental Disorders" by Allan V. Horwitz  PhD and Jerome Wakefield PhD:

 Psychiatry’s legitimacy crisis
By Andrew Scull, LA Review of Books~

ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO, American psychiatry faced an escalating crisis of legitimacy. All sorts of evidence suggested that, when confronted with a particular patient, psychiatrists could not reliably agree as to what, if anything, was wrong. To be sure, the diagnostic process in all areas of medicine is far more murky and prone to error than we like to think, but in psychiatry the situation was — and indeed still is — a great deal more fraught, and the murkiness more visible. It didn’t help that psychiatry’s most prominent members purported to treat illness with talk therapy and stressed the central importance of early childhood sexuality for adult psychopathology. In this already less-than-tidy context, the basic uncertainty regarding how to diagnose what was wrong with a patient was potentially explosively destabilizing.

The modern psychopharmacological revolution began in 1954 with the introduction of Thorazine, hailed as the first “anti-psychotic.” It was followed in short order by so-called “minor tranquilizers:” Miltown, and then drugs like Valium and Librium. The Rolling Stones famously sang of “mother’s little helper,” which enabled the bored housewife to get through to her “busy dying day.” Mother’s helper had a huge potential market. Drug companies, however, were faced with a problem. As each company sought its own magic potion, it encountered a roadblock of sorts: its psychiatric consultants were unable to deliver homogeneous populations of test subjects suffering from the same diagnosed illness in the same way. Without breaking the amorphous catchall of “mental disturbance” into defensible sub-sets, the drug companies could not develop the data they needed to acquire licenses to market the new drugs.

In a Cold War context, much was being made about the way the Soviets were stretching the boundaries of mental illness to label dissidents as mad in order to incarcerate and forcibly medicate them. But Western critics also began to look askance at their own shrinks and to allege that the psychiatric emperor had no clothes. A renegade psychiatrist called Thomas Szasz published a best-selling broadside called The Myth of Mental Illness, suggesting that psychiatrists were pernicious agents of social control who locked up inconvenient people on behalf of a society anxious to be rid of them, invoking an illness label that had the same ontological status as the label “witch” employed some centuries before. Illness, he truculently insisted, was a purely biological thing, a demonstrable part of the natural world. Mental illness was a misplaced metaphor, a socially constructed way of permitting an ever-wider selection of behaviors to be forcibly controlled under the guise of helping people.

The problem was exacerbated when some psychiatrists sought to examine the diagnostic process. Their findings dramatically reinforced the growing suspicion that their profession’s claims to expertise were spurious. Prominent figures like Aaron Beck, Robert Spitzer, MG. Sandifer and Benjamin Pasamanick published systematic data that dramatized just how tenuous agreement was among psychiatrists, even the most prominent ones, regarding the nature of psychiatric pathology; consensus barely exceeded 50 percent whether the subjects were patients in state hospitals or out-patient settings. And in 1972, a systematic study of diagnostic practices in Britain and the United States found massive differences: New York psychiatrists diagnosed nearly 62 percent of their patients as schizophrenic, while in London only 34 percent received this diagnosis. And, while less than five percent of the New York patients were diagnosed with depressive psychoses, the comparable figure in London was 24 percent. Further examination of the patients suggested that these differences were byproducts of the preferences and prejudices of each group of psychiatrists, and yet they resulted in consequential differences in treatment.

Nor was this chaotic situation hidden from a larger public. In the legal profession, the civil rights movement of the 1960s led to the emergence of public interest law. A number of these attorneys broadened their focus from race to include other stigmatized and disadvantaged populations. By the early seventies, this led to the creation of a mental health bar, two of whose prominent practitioners seized on the results reported in these studies. They intimated that psychiatrists should no longer be credited with the status of “expert witnesses,” since their judgments amounted to “flipping coins in the courtroom,” as they put it. Shortly thereafter, a cleverly designed study by a Stanford social psychologist, David Rosenhan, appearing in the august pages of Science, poured gasoline on the flames. Rosenhan had eight pseudo-patients (including himself) show up at a dozen psychiatric hospitals complaining they were hearing voices and uttering the words “empty,” “hollow,” or “thud.” The so-called patients otherwise presented their normal selves. Seven received the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the eighth was labeled manic-depressive, and all were hospitalized for terms as long as 52 days. The article garnered massive media coverage, made Rosenhan a star and made of psychiatry a hapless buffoon.

To address the embarrassment, one of the profession’s internal critics, Robert Spitzer of Columbia University, persuaded the American Psychiatric Association to authorize the development of a new diagnostic manual. The document he and his Task Force produced, approved and published in slightly modified form in 1980 as the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM III for short) launched a revolution in American psychiatry whose effects are still felt today. Versions III R (revised), IV, and IV TR (text revision) and DSM 5 (to be released in 2013) have been produced with numbing regularity. The advent of DSM III and its descendants constitute the backdrop to the argument presented in the new book by Allan Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield, All We Have to Fear: Psychiatry’s Transformation of Natural Anxieties into Mental Disorders.        

Horwitz and Wakefield want to argue for the harmful impact of what is often called the neo-Kraepelinian revolution in psychiatry. Emil Kraepelin was the fin-de-siècle German psychiatrist who launched the fashion for descriptive psychopathology and first made the distinction between dementia praecox and manic-depressive illness. Horwitz and Wakefield suggest that the efforts of Kraepelin’s late-twentieth century successors to make psychiatric diagnoses more rigorous and predictable have instead enabled psychiatric pathology to get out of hand. They identify two problems: the psychiatric profession’s obsession with simplistic, symptom-based diagnoses, and the looseness of its criteria for defining mental states as pathology. All sorts of anxieties that are in reality part of the normal range of human emotion and experience have been transformed by professional sleight of hand into diseases. The upshot, they contend, is that whereas thirty years ago less than five percent of Americans were thought to suffer from an anxiety disorder, nowadays some widely cited epidemiological studies have decreed that as many as 50 percent of us do so.

Horwitz and Wakefield are scarcely the first scholars to suggest that rising rates of mental illness are a reflection of the widening and loosening of diagnostic schema. Three decades ago, the British psychiatrist Edward Hare and I engaged in a vigorous debate on this issue in the pages of the British Journal of Psychiatry. He argued that the growing number of lunatics in Victorian museums of madness were victims of a new viral disease, schizophrenia, and I countered that it was more probable that other factors were at work — namely, the amorphousness of nineteenth century definitions of madness, the decreasing willingness and ability of families to cope with difficult or impossible relations, and the eagerness of psychiatrists to enlarge their sphere of operations. Of more contemporary relevance, a range of commentators have noticed the explosive growth of depression as a diagnosis, to the point where it is now frequently termed ‘the common cold’ of psychiatry; the equally dramatic expansion in the number of children being diagnosed with ADHD; the appearance out of nowhere of juvenile bipolar disorder, which apparently became forty times as common between 1994 and 2004; the epidemic of autism, a formerly rare condition afflicting less than one in five hundred children in 1990, which has now mushroomed into a disease found in one in every ninety children. More than a few scholars have been tempted to attribute these seismic shifts not to any real alteration in the numbers of sufferers from these disorders, but to disease-mongering by the psychiatric profession and by Big Pharma, the multi-national pharmaceutical industry that obtains a huge fraction of its profits from the sale of drugs aimed at mental disorders of all sorts.

Among the most zealous critics of the expanding psychiatric empire have been two unlikely souls: Robert Spitzer, the principal architect of DSM III, and Allen Frances, who played a similarly large role in the construction of DSM IV. As the latest edition of that tome, the largest thus far and the most delayed, struggles to be born, those assembling it have been assaulted by Spitzer and Frances for creating a version built on hasty and unscientific foundations; they claim it pathologizes everyday features of normal human existence, and that, like its predecessors, it will create new epidemics of spurious psychiatric illness. Allen Frances, in particular, has taken to uttering frequent mea culpas, taking the blame for loosening the criteria for diagnosing autism in DSM IV, and thus, so he claims, sowing fear and mislabeling thousands and thousands of children.

Before focusing on Horwitz and Wakefield’s contribution to this debate, it is worth acknowledging that Spitzer and Frances’s claims have proven to be highly controversial. Not unexpectedly, given the huge revenue the American Psychiatric Association rakes in from each edition of its manual, and the centrality of that book’s place to psychiatry’s claims to be a science, the oligarchs who run its operations have been swift to condemn the renegades. The oligarchs have launched a series of ad hominem attacks on the renegades’ motives and on the nature of their criticisms. Interestingly, equally fierce if not fiercer reactions have been manifested from an entirely different source: the relatives of those who have been diagnosed with ailments whose boundaries Spitzer and Frances want to shrink. Particularly vocal in online discussions have been the parents of children diagnosed with autism, for whom the loss of the label will mean being deprived of social services and support that is conditional on retaining that status. At times, the vituperation that has rained down on Frances’s head has been extraordinary — and indeed it’s hard not to form a mental image of families all across the country sticking pins into a Frances voodoo doll. Whatever other lessons are derived from this state of affairs, one point should be obvious: It is not just professional imperialism on the part of psychiatrists, nor the greedy machinations of Big Pharma, that explains the burgeoning problem of mental disorder in early twenty-first century America. And a burgeoning problem it is. To cite just one statistic[EM1] , one in every 76 Americans in 2007 qualified for welfare payments based on mental disability. As we examine Horwitz and Wakefield’s work on anxiety disorders, it is therefore important to bear in mind that theirs is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Indeed, the same authors have already examined another example of this phenomenon, the medicalization of sadness, and its transformation into pathology.

Horwitz and Wakefield rightly place the DSM in its various post-1980 incarnations at the center of their explanation of how we are to account for the massive growth in the numbers of people diagnosed with pathological anxiety. DSM III “solved” the legitimacy crisis that psychiatry faced in the late 1970s. As long as one employed its methods and categories, high levels of agreement among psychiatrists confronting the same case were all but assured. In that sense, psychiatric diagnosis became, as statisticians would put it, more reliable. How was that feat accomplished? By rendering the diagnostic process mechanical, employing a tick-the-boxes approach to deciding whether or not someone had a mental disorder, and if so, what disorder it was. Display any six out of ten symptoms, and voilà, a schizophrenic. Tick another set of boxes and you had General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and so forth. A given patient might potentially have several “illnesses” at once, a problem alleviated by setting up a hierarchy of psychiatric diseases and awarding patients the most serious of them, or by creating a category called “co-morbidity” and thereby accepting the presence of multiple illnesses. The overlap in symptomatology between two schizophrenics with the “same” disease might be as few as two out of ten symptoms.

Why is psychiatry forced to rely on a grab bag of symptoms to make its diagnoses? Because, fundamentally, it has nothing else to offer. The cause of the overwhelming majority of psychiatric disorders remains as obscure as ever. Periodic weightless claims, endorsed by credulous science journalists, that schizophrenia is triggered by a newly discovered gene or by a dopamine deficiency in the brain, or that people suffering from depression have a shortage of serotonin, which can be reversed by taking a Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) such as Prozac to immerse their synapses in a serotonin bath, are so much biobabble ­­­— scientific nonsense that has proved good marketing copy for Big Pharma but is otherwise worthless.

This reliance on symptoms, and on the simplistic approach of counting symptoms to make a diagnosis, creates a bogus confidence in psychiatric science. Such categories have an element of the arbitrary about them. When Robert Spitzer and his associates created DSM III, they liked to call themselves DOPs (data-oriented persons). In fact, DSM’s categories were assembled through political horse-trading and internal votes and compromise. The document they produced paid little heed to the question of validity, or to whether the new system of categorizing mental disorders corresponded to real diseases out there. And subsequent revisions have hewed to the same approach. With the single exception of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which, as its name implies, is a diagnosis having its origins in trauma of an extreme sort, the various categories in the DSM, including the anxiety disorders that preoccupy Horwitz and Wakefield, are purely symptom-based. (The construction of the PTSD diagnosis, incidentally, as the authors show, was every bit as political as the creation of the other DSM categories.) Because so much depends on the wording that describes the symptoms to be looked for and on how many symptoms one needs to display to warrant a particular diagnosis (why do six symptoms make a schizophrenic, not five, or seven?), small shifts in terminology can have huge real-world effects. The problem is magnified in studies of the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders. As Horwitz and Wakefield point out, to make studies of this sort cheaper and allow those producing them to employ laypeople to administer the necessary instruments, the diagnostic process is simplified even further in these settings. They write that psychiatric epidemiologists make “no attempt to establish the context in which worries arise, endure, and disappear so as to separate contextually appropriate anxiety from disordered anxiety conditions [and thus they] can uncover as much seeming psycho-pathology as they desire.”

By contrast, at least initially, psychiatrists were expected to exercise some independent clinical judgment when reaching their professional judgments. Being anxious and fearful is, under some circumstances, a natural and healthy human response to the world. How are we to distinguish between healthy or normal fears — perhaps even fears that are exaggerated but had their origins in an earlier period of our evolutionary history — and pathological forms of anxiety? Allow too much room for clinical judgment and the goal of standardizing psychiatric diagnosis goes away. Eliminate it and the anxieties that people naturally feel when they’ve survived a bad marriage, recovered from a serious disease, or lived through a war or a disaster like Katrina, are all-too-readily relabeled as illness. DSM attempted to cope with this problem by insisting that the anxiety had to be “excessive” and “prolonged,” six months in duration or longer, and to be perceived as “abnormal” or disabling by those subject to these emotions. These are inadequate and fallible correctives, but they did something to make it less likely that normal people would be called “mentally ill.” As the manual went through successive editions, however, and as its categories were simplified to make the job of epidemiologists easier and cheaper, the effect, as Horwitz and Wakefield argue, was steadily to enlarge the numbers of ordinary people drawn into the ranks of the mentally unstable, often to a spectacular degree. And because of the seemingly scientific basis of the labels, the consistency with which cases were diagnosed, and the translation of human judgment by means of this verbal alchemy into statistics, the multiplication of the anxious and nervous (as with other psychiatric categories) has proceeded in relentless fashion.

Through detailed analyses of the underlying terminological changes and their effects, Horwitz and Wakefield show how “social phobia” multiplied six-fold in the course of a decade. They document a similar pattern with PTSD, with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and a whole variety of other anxiety disorders. Less satisfactorily, they make some attempt to link these developments to issues of professional imperialism, the financial interests of Big Pharma, and even the demands of patients and more especially of patients’ families, for whom a particular diagnosis may be the sine qua non of obtaining access to insurance payments and other forms of social support. Two other critics of the DSM, Kutchins and Kirk, have suggested that the looseness of its categories means that “the prevalence rates in the United States will rise and fall as erratically as the stock market.” To this comment, Horwitz and Wakefield add a rueful and all-too-accurate coda: “Kutchins and Kirk are only half correct. Prevalence rates in recent epidemiological studies go in only one direction: upward.”

All We Have to Fear is nonetheless a curate’s egg of a book. There are good bits and bad bits. Horwitz and Wakefield manage to make a strong case for the prosecution: Psychiatry has indeed lost its way and seems increasingly unable to resist pathologizing ordinary life. But before the reader gets to that case, he or she will have to plow through the seemingly endless and tedious pages of evolutionary psychology that make up the key sections of the book’s first three chapters. Here one finds claims about genetic endowments that were built into human beings at the time of cave-men and hunter-gathers, and persist as part of our mental constitution. These inheritances from the past are invoked to explain our contemporary fears and anxieties, even ones of quite specific sorts. The alleged features of normal human nature and the supposed hold our genes have over our behavior are as speculative as most neuro-maniacal accounts of modern man. More importantly, they are unnecessary, and get in the way of an argument that depends on no more than the self-evident proposition that all of us experience fears and anxieties, which are intensified in certain social situations and by large-scale trauma, but which cannot be termed “mental illnesses.”

Even setting that objection aside, the remainder of the book is heavy-going. Much of the discussion is wandering and repetitive. The same arguments are mobilized again and again, moving across only slightly varied terrain. What could have been a long article thus becomes a book of sorts — one that many readers will have trouble finishing. This is too bad, because contemporary psychiatry is on the brink of one of those periodic crises of legitimacy that have been so notable a feature of the profession’s history over the past couple of centuries; the story Horwitz and Wakefield recount helps us to understand one of the reasons why renewed turmoil threatens to engulf the psychiatric enterprise."

Source: first published at JustAna.

Sunday, August 19

Ugly Melanie: Marilou Berry's funny and enchanting girl

Ok, ok, it is a French movie... and it is amazing! I can get enough of watching Melanie and I took the liberty, a nice way to say that I'm a criminal, to catch this minute where she finally gets control over her sexist boss and sit at his table.
The image is terrible because I don't know how to set the camera yet but the intention is doing a visual quotation of the movie. We can quote the screenplay, can't we? Why not one minute of the movie?

This scene makes me laugh and laugh even thou I have already seen it four times and I'm ready to watch it again. At 00:21/22/23... I laugh a lot.
I don't wanna do a review about the movie. I loved it. That's all.
Melanie Lupin is sort of anagram of Amelie Poulain another movie that is at this blog.

Watch the movie. It is at HBO. You'll have fun and also find tenderness.

Wednesday, August 15

A glimpse of me

This is me in a picture out of focus. I'm shy.
Update: November, 2014
I removed the picture temporarily.

Come Away with me by Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies

And I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won't you try to come?

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

Since yesterday this music is on my mind and I felt like sharing even knowing that depending
on the state of mind it will not be this song that many will feel like listening.
But there it is. Come away...

Tuesday, August 14

The artistic brotherhood universe

When I looked at this photography at Joe's blog I had the feeling that I have already been to this room and  sat on a chair where I could watch the drawing according to this perspective.

Everything is familiar to me and it seems that I know the artist who lives in this house that also has friends that I know.

The brushes waiting to be used, the frame of the drawing... I look around the room and, yes, I came here many times and we talked for hours.

Joe lives in Hungary and even thou I'm in Brazil it doesn't matter. We have already been talking many times because those who are passionate by art are part of a group that doesn't know borders.
From the corner of a room we can see the universe.

Monday, August 13

Amnesty International instigating crimes against humanity

On March, 2011 I wrote a post about Amnesty International paying tribute to Joan Baez and in September I did an update about the organization's agenda being pro-war just like Human Rights Watch.
After analyzing the work of Amnesty International it is clear that their aim is not defending human rights all over the world, on the contrary, it has joined the mainstream media in their work of creating fictitious stories to justify war, interventions in countries that leads to numerous heinous crimes against humanity. How ironic.
Today Globalresearch has publish this article that I want to share with you:

Amnesty International: An Instrument of War Propaganda?
by Felicity Arbuthnot

Amnesty International has released satellite pictures of "craters" in Syria, citing : "an increased use of heavy weaponry, including near residential areas".

The BBC reports, quoting Amnesty: "Images from Anadan revealed more than 600 probable artillery impact craters from heavy fighting between Syrian armed forces and armed opposition groups." (My emphasis.)

Further: "Turning Syria's most populous city into a battlefield will have devastating consequences for civilians. The atrocities in Syria are mounting already," warned Christoph Koettl, emergency response manager for Amnesty International USA, without acknowedging that the killings of civilians are committed by the US-NATO Free Syrian Army (FSA) rather than the government.

The Syrian military and the opposition fighters must both adhere to international humanitarian law, which strictly forbids the use of tactics and weapons that fail to distinguish between military and civilian targets", he added.

Amnesty's record on impartiality suffered a fatal blow when they stated in 1991 that Iraqi soldiers had torn babies from their incubators in Kuwait and left them to die on the floor of the hospital's neo-natal unit. Arguably this sealed the 1991 onslaught on Iraq. The story that the Kuwaiti government rewarded Amnesty with $500,000 for endorsing this pack of lies has not gone away - and as far as I am aware, to date, has not been denied.

Amnesty's record suffered a further blow when it organised a demonstration last year, outside the London Syrian Embassy, with CAABU (Council for Arab British Understanding) calling for the overthrow of the sovereign Syrian government. A plan which was outlined by the US Embassy in Damascus in December 2005. This action arguably falls under the definition of incitement to terrorism, set out by the UN Security Council on 4th May 2012. (SC/10636.)

The Syrian government is doing what any nation would do to defend its country when attacked by terrorists, many from outside and many also with British accents, according to recently escaped, kidnapped British and Dutch journalists.

However, back to your 600 craters. The insurgents also seemingly have rocket propelled grenades and have also boasted of capturing tanks with heavy weaponry. However many craters or not, they will certainly be responsible for many and will not have clean hands.

Further, I do not seem to remember Amnesty blasting the British and Americans soldiers for killing, raping, murdering whole families of Iraqis and Afghans, also illegally invaded, who simply wanted their countries back, or were totally innocent victims.  

No doubt the all is now directed by your new US Head, former top aide to Hilary Clinton, who seems to hate most of the world's non Western population, especially those of the Middle East, or of predominantly Muslim heritage.

Amnesty has moved a long way from its fine founding aims. (emphasis added)

Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Image: Digital Globe via Amnesty International "More than 600 probable artillery impact craters, represented here with yellow dots, were identified in Anadan, in the vicinity of Aleppo, according to Amnesty International.

Monday, August 6

Al Pacino while I'm away

I have already posted about Al Pacino since he is one of the greats according to my parameters.
I use different nicks and I'm Ana Pacino at one of the social networks I go. Sometimes people joke and ask if I'm related to Al and I say: "Sure, I'm his Brazilian lover." and they have nothing left to say.
I once said "He is sending you a "Hello"." "Yes, he came to spend the week-end." and I kept talking about things like the Syria intervention or, NDAA... these subjects people don't like to discuss.
Someone has to do it.
One of the things that I love about him is his voice and it's improving with age... going lower, the kind I like.
He has Italian blood... me too.
He was homeless once. I didn't thank God!

Maintenance for one week

I have some important issues to solve and will not be blogging this week.
Have a great week!

Saturday, August 4

Olympics 1,500 freestyle : Sun Yang gold and new world record

I just watched Sun Yang setting the record for 14min 43.25 sec:

"I did not see the time clearly at first, then I saw it."

""I have gone through many things this year, training very hard in many places like Australia and Athens. The training environments were very challenging. My time reflects my training.""

I love swimming and watching the professionals is a ballet for me. Unfortunately little is said about the style of each swimmer and it's characteristics.
Race competitions are highly underestimated.
Congratulations Sun Yang! It was a beautiful spectacle and I would also cry if I was there.

Image: AFP, Christophe Simon.

Thursday, August 2

Gush Etzion settlements pearl of Zionist tourism: "Eliminate the terrorist!"

Left:  Five-year-old Tamara Brown fires clay bullets at “terrorists.” Israeli settlers from Gush Etzion run a shooting range for tourists where they can “pretend-shoot a terror operative…hear stories from the battleground, watch a simulated assassination of terrorists by guards, and fire weapons at the range.”

Source: Cosmic Intifada.

I found this article and felt like sharing:

Zionist shock tourism draws ‘em in
West Bank shooting ranges welcome kids, teach them to ‘eliminate terrorists
June 18, 2012, 1:35 pm
by Hillary Zaken

"Imagine for a moment a group of American tourists, deep in the West Bank, clad in comfortable clothes, tennis shoes, and baseball caps, chanting together “Eliminate the terrorist!”

Welcome to a demonstration of the hottest Israeli tourism trend of the summer: extreme Zionist tourism.

Visitors from around the world are welcomed to such shooting ranges as Caliber 3 in Efrat, which offers a two-hour “anti-terrorism” program for tourists of all ages which “combine[s] together the values of Zionism with the excitement and enjoyment of shooting which makes the activity more meaningful,” according to their site.

Tourists seeking something a bit more exciting than the usual tours of holy sites and archaeological digs, with stops on the beaches of the Mediterranean, can venture into the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, where the shooting instructors of Caliber 3 will teach them how to fend off terrorists.

Michel Braun, 40, from Miami, told Yedioth Ahronoth that he had arrived at the range with his children “to instill values in them.” Even his five-year-old Tamara, participated, shooting clay bullets from a real weapon at targets set up on a wall.

“This is part of their education,” Braun said, “So that they know where they are from, and of course to get a little action.”

“This is tourism with added value,” said Davidi Perl, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council to Yedioth. “An experience like this… can create worldwide recognition for Gush Etzion as a pearl of tourism."

Source: Times of Israel.

"Terrorist" is a very confusing label. They are always the others.

Wednesday, August 1

Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 and Monet

"I don't think I've ever heard this piece before in my life, but listening to it for the first time now, it feels like it's an old friend. I wonder if 
my tears are from the music or from my own reflection."

This comment at Youtube expresses the feeling of many people when listen to this music for the first time.
I hope this is the soundtrack for August: quietness and peacefully.
At the left Monet's 1905 Water Lilles.
The video was done by Radchenko who did a sensible and beautiful work adding images to this great music.
It was one of the reasons why I decided to post the video and also because this is a must-listen music.
Click and see for yourself.