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Archive for April, 2013

New influences on Youth, according to Dewey and Brison

Youth interviewed for my book on how global youth are transforming our future report that just because adults were once teenagers, it doesn’t mean they understand today’s teens because life is different now. The context youth face is described by editors Susan Dewey and Karen Brison as follows. New influences are access to global trends that stress individualism and consumerism made possible by Internet, mass media and mobile phones. Migration or warfare separates youth from their parents. Mass education takes children out of the home and away from family labor may impact socialization of the students differently than what the family values. Other influences are NGOs in developing areas teach “youth agency” emphasizing rights, such as the right for children to go to school rather than have to work or girls’ right to be empowered. They are targeted by some religious groups such ad evangelicals. Youth also have to cope with increasing unemployment rates and reduced government support that followed neoliberal restructuring programs to pay national debts in the 1980s, increasing gaps between the rich and the poor, and being AIDS orphans. Dewey and Brison maintain that young people’s task in facing all these modern changes is to define their own special gendered identities within their local cultures. Developing nations also aim to define their cultural identities; “ideas about children and youth are integral to national and regional attempts to define self relative to former colonizers and wealthier nations.”


Susan Dewey and Karen Brison, editors. Super Girls, Gangstas, Freeters, and Xenomaniacs. Syracuse University Press, 2012.

What drives future social change according to Al Gore

Al Gore identifies the six revolutionary drivers of global change in his book of that name as:

*An interconnected global economy and electronic communications grid. This leads to “the awakening of the Global Mind” or “Earth Inc.” to reform inequities.


*Power shifting from West to East, from nations to private groups, and from politics to markets. This shift is associated with dysfunctional governance in the US and the world community and with increasing inequality between rich and poor in both developed and developing nations–with the exception of Latin America.[i] In the US, the top 1% has more wealth than the bottom 90% and Congress can’t make laws without permission from lobbyists. Democracy and capitalism have been hacked. The global recession of 2008 resulted in the loss of 27 million jobs.


*Unsustainable growth in population and consumption of resources, plus climate change. About a quarter of the 90 million tons of pollution we put into the atmosphere daily will last more than 10,000 years. Gore advocates starting with a tax on carbon omissions to reduce global warming.


*New science technologies that permit seizing control over evolution, including nanotechnology, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.[ii]

[i] Al Gore. The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Random House, 2013, p. 9.


[ii] v


How to Correct Toddlers by Jacqueline Bacino

Developmental Discipline: Time out or no time out?
In order to give a child an effective action-consequence experience, often called time-outs or safe-chairs, an adult needs to consider the child’s developmental level of thinking and processing. A two-year-old child is probably not going to benefit from a time-out longer than 1 minute because they will not understand the cause and effect reasoning because they are extremely egocentric and are still melding that others have feelings and perspectives in the world. We, in Western culture, raise children to think about themselves from a individualistic perspective for the first year that the second year of life is challening because they are then asked to consider other people’s perspectives. Many psychologists recommend children “taking a break” or “getting some space” from an environment that is challening the child or possibly adult–often the adult reads child’s cues and undersirable but the child is looking for space and does not know how to communicate such needs. Furthermore, if a child is three-years-old, many teachers recommend removing them from the environment only after the child looks at the situation and is not forced to say “Sorry” but rather consider another perspective and then be removed until the child can “show” that they can play, behave, act, etc. appropriately and within limits. If a child is asked to not do something and then they do it then an adult needs to consider telling the child what they can do. This situation will often reflect the child’s individual processing skills and an adult should modify the situation appropriately.

Children need consistency, schedules and routines. If you make it a routine for them to find comfort alone and with books then they won’t look at it like a consequence or punishment. However, you need to make sure it also isn’t a reward for a child’s non-desirable behavior. A professor of mine once said that consequences need to match behavior or the child will not learn. If a child hits and is then spanked as a consequence the child is taught in fear and will not learn to keep their hands to themselves, but perhaps keep hitting and spanking. If a child is going to hurt someone or themself an adult can physically remove the child because the situation is extreme. Some children learn how to calm down with small motor meditation movements (linking middle finger to thumb and chanting ‘Om’) but again this takes repetitive practice, almost like Pavlov’s dog experiment. When a child is acting too excited, model for them how to calm down, and then give them reinforcement (verbal or physical ‘high five’, smile, wink) and then continue in the situation. A child should not be set-up to get disciplined, for example, being in a small room with many other non-verbal children, inconsistency in loving relationships, lack of verbal skills, etc. Depending on the child’s coping skills they may not need an adult to model how to calm down, but often at school children need help calming down.


Summary: Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World

Shereen El Feki. Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Pantheon Books, 2013.


For many in the Arab world, Western values include homosexuality, sex before marriage, mixing of the sexes, women’s liberation and pornography. They’re believed to undermine Islam and traditional Arab values, observed Shereen El Feki. She spent two years interviewing Arabs about sex for her book Sex and the Citadel.[i] The irony, she adds, is that discussion of sexual pleasure and “so much of what they brand as dangerous foreign ideas were features of the Arab-Islamic world long before they were embraced by Western liberalism.”[ii] She notes the fear of Western ideas was coupled with a feeling of inferiority that followed Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 and the British occupation from 1882 to 1952. The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s, Hassan al-Banna taught that part of the reason for loss of political power was Egyptian’s sexual immorality and that the solution was to follow Shaira law. (Surveys indicate about a third of Arab young men are sexually active before marriage, compared to about 20% of young women).[iii]

Most Egyptian young women now cover their hair, while their mothers and grandmothers didn’t and could wear short skirts without being harassed. In the 1960s and ‘70s sex was an accepted aspect of films until the rise of Islamic conservatism and official censorship. A return to Islamic fundamentalism was a form of protest against dictatorship, the most extreme form taught by the Salafi movement. Soon after Mubarak was dethroned, Salafi squads of morality police—similar to those in Saudi Arabia—correcting hand-holding couples, etc.

She found a general lack of sex education by either family or schools, leading to many complaints about sexual satisfaction, supported by larger surveys of Egyptians.[iv] Widespread female genital mutilation doesn’t help. A Population Council survey of more than 15,0000 young people under age 30 found that 82% of female respondents are circumcised, with a declining rate for younger girls, although most respondents (64%) think it’s a necessary custom.[v]  It’s considered necessary to cool women’s sexual desire so she won’t want sex before marriage or be too demanding of her husband. Most young people don’t discuss puberty and sex with their parents.

El Feki suggests that authoritarian government requires the same kind of patriarchal family life where the father rules and sex before marriage is controlled and prohibited. Although the nation overthrew its father figure, “the nation’s young people may find that it’s more difficulty to move away from home than it was to get Mubarak out of office.” [vi] More than three-quarters of both young men and women believe that a woman must obey her husband’s orders and two-thirds agreed that wife battery is justified in some situations. When asked about what they were looking for in a spouse, number one was “polite,” meaning well brought up, followed by being religious. Education is also valued for both sexes. Expressions of love are not common between spouses, despite being sung about in popular songs and music videos.[vii] The main focus on the first year of marriage is producing a child. El Feki reports that media—women’s magazines, TV talk shows, newspapers and the Internet—frequently talk about “the trouble with marriage. It’s hard to see how democracy can flourish in a society if its constitutional and cultural cornerstone in the family is so undemocratic.”[viii]

[i] Shereen El Feki. Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Pantheon Books, 2013, p. 6.

[ii] Ibid., p. 294.

[iii] Ibid., p. 97.

[iv] Ibid, p. 50.

[v] “Survey of Young People in Egypt,” Population Council, 2010.

Click to access 2010PGY_SYPEPrelimReport.pdf

[vi] Ibid., p. 287.

[vii] El Feki, p. 63.

[viii] Ibid., p. 91


A Chinese Student Reports

A  Chinese univesity student’s thoughts on money and government:


I’m not willing to spend one more dollar except for necessities, that’s not because I don’t have that money, that’s because I want to save, I’m not the guy who spoils money and is living in a heaven-like house as they believe. The whole family, my parents and grandparents, told me to rely on myself and support myself after graduation. With my children I wouldn’t care about their grades, but about their personality, they shouldn’t be selfish and mean. I won’t expect my son to be very powerful and rich.


Everyone is questioning government policy, but most teenagers care more about their benefits rather than the country. They do complain about unfair policies. If they had the same benefits with those special people they wouldn’t complain. I’m different from my friends because I’m rich enough and I’m able to get out of the system. People hate powerful and rich people, so after they realized I’m able to go abroad to study, some of them came to fawn on me, some just say “Oh, your father is a rich guy” (meaning they believe I have no achievements and abilities). I know those are not actually real friends, my friends love me and I love them, we understand each other. I’m not willing to spend one more dollar except for necessities, that’s not because I don’t have that money, that’s because I want to save, I’m not the guy who spoils money and is living in a heaven-like house as they believe. The whole family, my parents and grandparents, told me to rely on myself and support myself after graduation. With my children I wouldn’t care about their grades, but about their personality, they shouldn’t be selfish and mean. I won’t expect my son to be very powerful and rich.

I’m not sure if I was critical of the government or not before coming to the States two years ago, I can’t really remember. Two things really changed me–Sina microblog and the journey to America. Lots of famous people like Kaifu-Lee (who is well known in China, he used to work for Microsoft and Google) have microblogs. I can use their ideas for reference. All kinds of people have microblogs, I witness them and I can analyze and enrich my knowledge. For the journey to the States, the open Internet is the most terrible enemy for Chinese government, and I finally learned why. We can’t get Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but the faded corner of those dark historical issues could be discovered anytime. I just didn’t know why they have to “whitewash” themselves when I was in China, but now I get information more or less. I don’t work for any organization or individuals that are against Chinese government, but those things are really awful.

My generation is more open, can receive more information. The last generation experienced the change to the new China since 1949, whereas we got the information from textbooks. We only know what the government wants us to know. I only heard about Tiananmen Square after I came to the US. It depends on your education and what your parents want. Fro me I want to earn lots of money and I also want democracy.

High School Life:

We do nothing but study in high school. We get up at 6 am, to bed at the school at 11 pm, we go home 5:40 pm on Saturday, and come back to school at 8 am on Sunday. In the third year [senior year] we get rid of Saturday night. We have two weeks summer break and New Year’s. You get used to that lifestyle. We have PE class but often a teacher will take it away for math, chemistry, or physics except when it’s raining, and they he asks if we want PE. The boys play basketball during breaks, 10 to 15 minute break between classes. Girls prefer to stay in the classroom and chat. My father taught me the importance of exercise—playing tennis. Our teacher said it’s not good for kids not to have PE but we have so many kids, so much competition to study hard and get a good grade, and compete with richer kids. Parents push kids to study harder and harder. Zheyu, 20, m, China

Ask Dr. Gayle K. recent advice column


The Case for Holistic Medicine


Q: I’m a graduate medical student. I don’t trust alternative doctors because they don’t base their advice on scientific studies, right?


Your suggestion that some alternative medicine studies aren’t scientific implies that modern medicine is based on such studies. However, I’m sure your teachers discuss the fact that pharmaceutical companies control the research process, resulting in many unreleased “file drawer” studies that don’t back up their focus on drugs and surgery. This monetary approach results in treating drug side effects with more drugs and neglect of holistic medicine as taught by Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona and in his books and newsletter (drweil.com). Naturopathic doctors learn less invasive remedies widely used by European physicians, such as homeopathy. It’s backed up by over a century of well-documented studies and was used in the US until overridden by Big Pharma. Ayurvedic medicine has been used successfully in India for thousands of years. A scientific medical education would include exploration of non-harmful medicine that works over the centuries, including acupuncture and herbs.

     Your teachers probably also discuss the fact that the main cause of US hospital morbidity is physician error. See Gary Null, Ph.D., et. al.  “Death by Medicine.”[i] The researchers report the number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is 783,936 per year. They conclude the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US! The US spends more on health as a percentage of gross domestic product than every other country, but in 37th place, it ranks near the bottom of industrial nations in healthcare effectiveness. A recent study found that 85% of new prescription drugs are of little or no benefit to mental health patients.[ii] See a book by a local doctor, Jeff Loboski’s It’s Enough to Make You Sick.

      If we just look at the track record of women’s health care, in the 1940s mothers were routinely drugged and unconscious at the birth of their children and told it’s more scientific to use formula rather than breast-feed their babies. Then we had DES and thalidomide babies, Dalkon Shield IUDs, over-prescribing hormone replace therapy for maintaining a youthful appearance, overuse of radical mastectomies, the painkiller Vioxx, artifical food dyes’ impact on ADD in children, etc.

     The National Institutes of Health finds alternative and complementary medical (CAM) treatments worthy of study because they treat the underlying imbalance rather than just the symptom of dis-ease. Respected university hospitals such as Harvard, Duke, Tufts, Scripts, Stanford and UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine treat the whole person in their holistic health centers.[iii] Select a doctor who is informed about CAM and study it yourself, as the health insurance system doesn’t leave MDs much time for research (nccam.nih.gov). For the sake of your future patients, my hope is that you will explore holistic medicine after you graduate and provide them with information about it. It would be interesting to look at the texts used at Bastyr college that trains naturopathic doctors (http://www.bastyr.edu/continuing-education) or the University of Arizona. (http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/). Prescription for Natural Cures is a good overview by James F. Balchand Mark Stengler (Jan 18, 2011)


Reply from my niece: I do not disagree that our health care delivery system in the US has its flaws.  There are many things that I would love to change, but of course it’s not that easy.  We have many medical errors (not just doctors though) as well that cost patient lives and have made recommendations that were not actually the healthiest choice.  But, the younger generations are working on safer health care practices/quality improvement and better communication amongst the different health care providers.  AND, that is why we pride ourselves on practicing evidence-based medicine, so that our recommendations are well studied and we recognize when more research is needed (check out US preventive services task force).  Unfortunately, many providers do still practice based on personal experience.

I fully support the use of holistic medicine.  If a patient believes it works and they say it helps them, great, and why not try a non-prescription option first?  But the DEA requires drug companies to do extensive and expensive research before the drugs are available.  There are no requirements for OTC supplements/vitamins – they can put whatever they want in each bottle and each bottle does not have to be the same.  For all we know, there could be harmful materials in some of those supplements.  They are only taken off the market AFTER they are proven to be harmful.  Those companies understandably don’t typically do double blind randomized control trial studies becasue they don’t have to and they are expensive.  So, it bothers me when they make statements that are inaccurate and unsupported by good research.  I’m sure you learned during your masters and doctorate training that most studies have flaws and must be looked at very closely for quality and accuracy.  The one study that came out about MMR vaccine causing autism has been completely torn apart, de-published, and every author took their name off but one, but yet people still talk about it!

Anyway, it’s a difficult topic because either approach needs improvement.  I am going to do my best to care for my patients as a whole which is why I’m chosing primary care.  It’s my goal to help my patients prevent disease as much as possible.


Dear NaturalNews readers,


In the name of “evidence-based science,” we are all being killed by GMOs, vaccine additives, processed food chemicals and other threats to life on Earth.

I’m not an opponent of genuine, humble science and the search for answers in our universe, but what we’re seeing today is the mass poisoning of us all under the false label of “science.”

In a special 10-part article series, I take a look at the top 10 “scientific” threats to our lives:

#1) GMOs http://www.naturalnews.com/039778_evidence-based_science_murdered_GMO.html

#2) Vaccines http://www.naturalnews.com/039777_vaccines_convulsions_death.html

#3) Fluoride http://www.naturalnews.com/039776_fluoride_hydrofluosilicic_acid_insecticide.html

#4) Pharmaceuticals http://www.naturalnews.com/039775_pharmaceuticals_side_effects_modern_medicine.html

#5) Food additives http://www.naturalnews.com/039774_food_additives_chemicals_artificial_sweeteners.html

#6) Pesticides http://www.naturalnews.com/039773_pesticides_Parkinsons_neurological_disorders.html

#7) Chemotherapy http://www.naturalnews.com/039772_chemotherapy_treatment_cancer_clinics.html

#8) Plastics http://www.naturalnews.com/039770_plastics_BPA_hormone_disruptors.html

#9) Cosmetics http://www.naturalnews.com/039769_cosmetics_skin_care_toxic_chemicals.html

#10) Radiation http://www.naturalnews.com/039768_nuclear_power_meltdown_radiation.html


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