Archive for October, 2014

And Off I Go – First Time Travels to France

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

On Monday October 27th I will cross the proverbial “pond” for the first time in my life.  I am venturing to France to visit my sister for a week who is studying abroad in Rennes.  There are plenty of emotions flowing through me as this will  be an unforgettable and new experience to enjoy.   However; those things being said, I’ve been asked numerous times by those close to me if I am nervous to travel abroad given the current state of the world.  Being that I am involved in writing for Can the Man my brain is constantly swimming with the news of incidents outside the United States.  I suppose in a way I am afraid of what could happen, but I am more concerned that harboring the fear of these improbable events will supersede my ability to enjoy this once in a lifetime trip.

 

The world isn’t a stable place, we all know this.  The United States is a country where most of the population has lived in fear since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  We’ve been culturally conditioned by the mainstream media and our government to mistrust people based on their ethnicity, religion, and appearanceOur minds have been subconsciously infiltrated with this idea of “fearing” the possibility of tragedy and that we should live differently because of this.  This is detailed perfectly in the airports where  TSA agents can essentially grope travelers all in the name of “safety.”  There are metal detectors at sporting events at nearly every level, and there is always the continued infiltration of private communications by the NSA.

 

So, in advance of this trip, I’ve committed myself to being open-minded, trusting, and non-judgmental.  If I let  fear of Ebola, ISIS, or any array of other things overcome my mind—I have let the Man win.  Most of these fears are fueled by endless media coverage that stirs the pot of hysteria and drives conversation about the state of the world.  The planet isn’t a scary place, but we’ve been conditioned to believe that it is.  If you are constantly afraid of the miniscule probability of these things impacting your life directly, you will never live life to the fullest.  Cliché as it sounds, it is true.  This has never been clearer to me—life is meant to be lived and I won’t let CNN or FoxNews or any politicians scare me.  For quite a long time I have been hesitant to travel the world due to the projected risks of doing so.  I’m ready for this wonderful adventure to start, and can’t wait to finally experience a sliver of what the rest of the world  can offer.

 

-Spencer James-

Too Much Sugar Is Rotting Our Brains

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

ctm brain image 1

 

Are you having trouble keeping your thoughts straight?  Could it be that Mountain Dew you had at lunch?  A number of recent studies have linked sugar intake with a decrease in brain function.   In fact, the average American eats 156 pounds of added sugar every year, this is referring to sugar that does not naturally occur in foods like apples.  All of this added sugar is impairing our brain function and ruining our health.  One of the major contributing factors to our nation’s struggle with health is government subsidized corn, which accounts for an inordinate portion of the U.S. diet, a leading cause in our expanding waistlines (three-fifths of U.S. citizens are overweight).  The most pernicious form of corn consumption is high fructose corn syrup, a key ingredient in everything from soda-pop to chicken nuggets.  Aside from breaking down our bodies, what else is a high sugar diet doing to our society?

 

With the drop in brain function people are not making the best choices.  This traps individuals in a cycle of poor food choices and may even open people up to manipulation.  There is a correlation between brain function and the inordinate consumption of added sugar.  This relationship can weaken our ability to function properly as members of society, impacting the decision we make individually, which will ultimately have an impact on our society.  Not only is our health being compromised by our sugar consumption but our very ability to think logically may be impaired by our eating habits.  The fact that highly-subsidized corn produces one of the most insidious culprits in inhibiting brain function, high fructose corn syrup, is not only a cause for alarm but for deeper inquiry.  Why is so much government money being spent on something that makes us fat and impairs our ability to think?  This is a point worthy a deep inquiry beyond the scope of this blog.  What can we do? Fortunately we can all greatly combat this scourge, on an individual level, through more mindful eating habits.

 

Loren

Ebola: The Difference Between Justified Panic and Unwarranted Hysteria

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Are you aware that a deadly hemorrhagic fever is spreading like wildfire throughout the world and that containment is a mere pipe dream?  If you believe everything you hear on the news, you might believe that, but it isn’t true.  Yes, I’m talking about Ebola.  The terrible disease that has spread throughout Western Africa has now been reported in Dallas. The media driven hysterics are out of control.   Fox News and CNN are no strangers to blowing relatively inconsequential stories out of proportion to appeal to their audiences, but reporting falsities about Ebola is stoking unwarranted paranoia.

 

To start, what is Ebola?  Ebola is a virus that affects humans and primates, which is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.  The disease is mostly found in Africa, and this current outbreak started in Guinea where a two year old child is believed to be “Patient Zero.” Ebola has since spread throughout several African nations and claimed thousands of lives. There is no question that this outbreak of Ebola is terrifying, which is why the American media fervor over the potential spread of the virus, in this country, is counterproductive in the grand scheme of things.

 

The reason Ebola spread so fast through Africa is not debatable.  The countries impacted are by no means modernized and their medical facilities are not designed to treat an outbreak of this size and severity.  It is also important to note the cultural fear of treatment that has spread throughout the infected communities.  When thousands of Hazmat suited technicians and American soldiers descend on your humble village with chlorine sprays and begin taking people from their homes and burning what remains behind—distrust is a normal reaction.  Residents of Liberia and Guinea have raided Ebola treatment tents to rescue loved ones and some patients have even hid the fact that they were carrying the virus to avoid treatment.  So when a man who recently traveled to Africa turns up with Ebola in Dallas, it is no surprise that media paranoia took off.

 

Am I afraid of Ebola?  Yes. But am I afraid that it will spread like wildfire through the most advanced medical country on Earth and ultimately the world?  No, absolutely not.  As long as we continue to separate those believed to be infected and to survey all people who return from a foreign country upon arrival, the United States should remain relatively free of any outbreak.  In a time of constant war, terrorism, and tragedy, we seem to forget that one of the most potentially devastating and debilitating of things is a tiny virus.  We can attempt to control ISIS with bombs and we can limit auto accidents with laws—but there is very little we can do to control the spread of this disease on a large and impoverished continent.  Ebola is a horrible bit of evolution that threatens the security of everyone on the planet. That being said, don’t buy into all the hysteria that CNN and Fox News are broadcasting.  Chances are, you’ll be just fine and the Ebola crisis will eventually be contained without spreading throughout the United States.  There is a distinct line between true concern and the unwarranted hysteria the media is fueling in the public mind.  Western media has a cruel fascination with the “end times” scenarios, and the Ebola crisis fits into their scheme of premier television.

 

 

 

-Spencer James

Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Kurdish Women Battling ISIS

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014