Humans: Never Satisfied

Quoting John A. Livingston from his book, The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation, in a chapter called “The Arguments: 243

“Before we go further, it will be useful to sum up those arguments for conservation that are based in individual and collective human self-interest, as put forward here. The most fundamental message is: if we can’t be good, at least we can be prudent. The message has been delivered historically and is delivered today in a number of ways: the ‘wise use’ arguments involve husbandry, stewardship, harvest, future resources…

“The guts of the self-interest family of arguments is that they are entirely and exclusively man-orientated, anthropocentric. Whether it is directed to individual, group, nation, or species, the appeal is to the human being and the human interest.

“Throughout we assume nature as ‘resource,’ whether for physical use or as a source of aesthetic enjoyment. In this sense, living sensate wildlife beings are no different from water, soils, and land forms, all of which were set in place by a beneficent nature expressly for human purposes. Whether man is good steward or renegade, whether answerable to God or to the bio-system or to the future human generations or not, there is no question about the locus of vested power and authority on Earth. This is illustrated best, I think, in the monumentally dull-witted arrogance of the concept of ‘harvest’ as applied to wildlife species.

“I no longer believe that there is, in practice, such a thing as a ‘renewable’ resource. Once a thing is perceived as having some utility–any utility–and is thus perceived as a ‘resource,’ its depletion is only a matter of time. I know of no wildlife that is being ‘renewed’ anywhere–not yellow birch or hemlock or anchovies or marlins or leopards or salmon or bowhead whales or anything else. ‘Renewable resource’ is self-contradictory in coherence, at least as applied to wildlife.

“If ‘resource’ continues to mean something that is put to human use, then no resource is renewable. Our demands have quite outstripped the capacity of those resources to satisfy them, and much less to satisfy them on a ‘sustainable’ basis. And we are, of course, never satisfied.”

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After Oregon, California Pharmacists Can Prescribe Birth Control Pills to Women


California has finally cleared the way for women to get and easy access to birth control pills, without needing a prescription from a doctor. California has become the second state in the United States to allow pharmacists to offer birth control pills to women.

Oregon as the only state which gives right to its pharmacists to prescribe birth control to women will be joined by California. A 2013 law that allows California pharmacists to directly provide prescription contraceptives went into effect. However, there are some critics who oppose the newly introduced practice.

Senate Bill 493, introduced by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, allows pharmacists the authority to furnish oral (the pill), transdermal (the patch), vaginal (the ring), and Depo-Provera injection prescription birth control methods for women. This means that there is no more need to fix appointment with gynecologist to seek the best prescription for birth control. This could also give wrong message to the teens according to opponents of the law.

“Community pharmacies are the face of neighborhood healthcare — open beyond normal business hours, and patients do not need an appointment to see their pharmacist. That means pharmacists providing contraception will go a long way to expand women’s birth control,” said Jon Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacists Association, which sponsored the original legislation on behalf of the state’s 6,500 community pharmacies.

There are certain things pharmacies have to be prepared for. Some pharmacies have even started training their employees for the new challenge. It is mandatory for pharmacists to ask a patient to complete a health questionnaire and to consult with the patient about the most appropriate form of birth control. In some cases, taking a patient’s blood pressure is required by pharmacists.

Among the opponents is California Right to Life. They say that availability of birth control from another source could not benefit young people and would build gap between a mother and a child communication over the matter.

A report published in LA Times said, “Many public health advocates and doctors say that birth control is extremely safe and point to studies that show that women can generally choose one that works well for them. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the largest group representing OB/GYNs, supports legislation that would make birth control truly over-the-counter.”

Women requesting birth control will have to complete a health questionnaire. A pharmacist will also consult with the patient about the most suitable form of birth control. In some cases, they will have to take the woman’s blood pressure before issuing a prescription.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration can decide if a medicine can be available over-the-counter. The most state legislators can do to increase access to birth control is to allow medical providers other than doctors, such as pharmacists, to furnish the medication.


Why Ted Cruz Is Unfit to Be President

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 00:00

Written by
The Daily Take Team By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program

Ted Cruz isn't just winning the support of religious extremists; he's celebrating their support, and in some cases, hiring them to work for his campaign.Ted Cruz isn’t just winning the support of religious extremists; he’s celebrating their support, and in some cases, hiring them to work for his campaign. (Photo: CJ Hanevy /

One of the most disturbing developments of the 2016 Republican race for president has been Donald Trump’s popularity among the most racist elements in US society. The New Yorker, for example, had lengthy piece over the summer detailing the excitement he has generated in the neo-Nazi movement. But here’s the thing: Trump isn’t the only guy with dangerous supporters.

The media don’t talk about it as much, but Ted Cruz – Trump’s closest competitor for GOP front-runner status – has also won the backing of some downright terrifying people. Take, for example, anti-choice activist Troy Newman, who the Cruz campaign just tapped to head up “pro-lifers for Cruz.”

As the head of the radical male supremacist group Operation Rescue, Newman straddles the very thin line between “activism” and domestic terrorism – and I mean really straddles it. His organization harasses abortion providers and their patients, and some of its members have been involved in plots to blow up women’s health clinics. Newman himself has called for the murder of abortion doctors, said AIDS is a warning from God and believes that drought is God’s revenge for abortion.

See more news and opinion from Thom Hartmann at Truthout here.

Seems like a great guy, huh? Well, he’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ted Cruz’s supporters.

There’s also Dick Black, who the Cruz campaign has appointed as the co-chair of its Virginia campaign. In addition to advocating for the total criminalization of homosexuality, Black is also a rape truther. Back when he was a Virginia state delegate, Black openly questioned the existence of marital rape, something one of his opponents hammered him on in a campaign ad.

So much for family values, huh?

Cynthia Dunbar, Black’s fellow co-chair of the Ted Cruz campaign in Virginia, isn’t much better. She’s compared women having reproductive rights to the Holocaust, fought to make far-right Christianity part of the public school curriculum and believes that elected officials should have to pass a “biblical litmus test.” She also says that politicians “don’t have the freedom to make any laws if they are contrary to what God has said in his Holy Scripture.”

Swap out the words “Holy Scripture” for “Qu’ran” and that speech could have been made by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS.

Another Ted Cruz supporter, Iowa conservative and head of The Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaats, also says the US should be a Saudi Arabia-style theocracy. Here he is just a couple of years ago talking about why our government should be based on “Godly principles” – i.e. far-right evangelical Christianity.

As unsettling as that kind of talk is, it’s nothing compared to what Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson, another big-time Ted Cruz supporter, said about homosexuality this summer: that it was worthy of the death penalty.

Amazingly, it gets even worse than that.

Ted Cruz supporter and Texas preacher Mike Bickle believes that Jews should be forcibly converted to Christianity and says that if they refuse to do so, God will send a “hunter” like “Adolf Hitler” to get them to change their minds.

Now, it’d be one thing if Mike Bickle was just some random guy with bigoted views who just happens to support Ted Cruz, but he’s not, or at least not according to the Cruz campaign.

When Bickle announced last week that he was endorsing Ted Cruz for president, the Cruz campaign published a statement on its official website saying in big bold letters, “CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENT OF MIKE BICKLE.”

There’s an old saying that says you are the company you keep, and if Ted Cruz is the company he keeps, that’s downright terrifying.

He’s just not winning the support of people like Mike Bickle and Dick Black; he’s celebrating their support, and in some cases, hiring them to work for his campaign.

Of course, there’s always the case that this is just one big cynical ploy to win the Evangelical vote, but even if it is, it says a lot about Ted Cruz as a person and as a leader that he’d willingly associate himself with people who are pretty much the US version of ISIS.

This is one of the biggest stories of the 2016 race for president, but the really disturbing thing is that the media almost completely ignore it.

Turn on CNN or any of the other major networks and you’re more likely to hear about poll numbers than the fact that the potential Republican nominee for president has been endorsed by a guy who thinks Hitler was sent by God. It’s almost like the media think it’s acceptable that someone running for president likes to pal around with Christian extremists and theocrats.

Well, it’s not acceptable; it’s a direct threat to our democracy, which is why it’s time for the media to start taking Cruz and his extremist endorsements seriously. Based on everything we’ve seen up to this point, we have every reason to believe that a Ted Cruz presidency could mean the start of a Saudi Arabia-style theocracy right here in the US. The media should function as the fourth estate and wake the American people up to this before it’s too late.

Surprise, Surprise, Humans Used to Massacre Each Other as Hunter-gatherers


How long have humans been laying waste to one another?

Choose the most likely answer:

500 years.

10,000 years.

100,000 years.

Since the industrial revolution.

Since the agricultural revolution.

Since the dawn of Man.

No one seems to know for sure, but a safe bet is: ever since our first narcissistic primate ancestors climbed down from the trees and started preying on other animals.

But lately, revisionist history would have us believe that human on human conflict started with the agricultural revolution 4 to 6 thousand years ago.

A new study from Kenya reveals that humans from even as far back as 10,000 years ago were killing one another in what would today be considered mass murder.

In today’s news:

Unearthed at Nataruk, near Kenya's Lake Turkana, the battered bones provide "conclusive evidence of something that must have been an inter-group conflict," Cambridge University anthropologist Marta Mirazon Lahr explainedUnearthed at Nataruk, near Kenya's Lake Turkana, the battered bones provide "conclusive evidence of something that must have been an inter-group conflict," Cambridge University anthropologist Marta Mirazon Lahr explained

The Dangers of Willful Denialism

A good friend and blog reader posited that perhaps humankind allowing anthropogenic global warming to run further and further amok is facilitated by the same ingrained denial that people employed as they saw Nazi Germany take control of more and more of Europe and carry out their brutal holocaust.

Maybe what the modern human world is doing to Nature by changing the climate so fast that wild species can’t adapt in time—resulting in mass extinction—is just too unbearable to comprehend or believe. Denial, she theorized, is “our forte”—the traditional fallback position.

I have to take it a step further by adding that such denial is willful. I read the blasé reactions to the shattering, unprecedented news that tropical wintertime hurricanes were now invading the arctic. CNN and FOX News set the tone by sounding a collective “ho hum.” Who can be bothered by calls to halt our carbon goose-steps? We humans have an appointment with a brick wall and nothing’s going to stop us until D-day.

Willful denialism allows folks to look the other way while the animal holocaust provides them with their methane-marinated meals of tortured beef cows, or tormented pigs, fish and chickens.

Possibly the epitome of willful denialism: the more people degrade their environment, the more they want to have babies.


“Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases…” Paul Ehrlich

Date: Tuesday – November 17, 2015
Host: George Noory
“Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and so worsens climate disruption. Every person you add to the planet, means we have to grow more food…” Paul Ehrlich

In the first half, Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich discussed his work on population theory and mass extinction. He argues that many species of birds and mammals are being annihilated due to the human population explosion, along with commercial endeavors and the continuing development of natural areas. “Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and so worsens climate disruption. Every person you add to the planet, means we have to grow more food…and the biggest enemy of the climate is agriculture– about 30% of the greenhouse gases…come from our food system,” he noted. We’re running out of soil, and toxifying the entire planet, he added.

A huge variety of creatures are being eliminated under current conditions. For example, he cited how the orange-bellied parrot in Australia is disappearing largely because of habitat destruction, passenger pigeons in North America, that once numbered in the millions, are now extinct due to hunting, and many types of bats, which eat a lot of problematic insects, are dwindling down in numbers. Ehrlich estimated that the human population is 4-6 times too high, and for the planet to be able to support us, we should have no more than 2-3 billion people. For those interested in fostering change, and making the Earth more sustainable, he suggested getting involved with the organization MAHB (The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere).

Have Denialists Reached Their Carrying Capacity?

by Jim Robertson

Denial seems to be the fallback position for those who don’t understand a particular science and/or have a political motive not to believe said science. Lately we’ve been hearing much about the denial of anthropogenic climate change, but willful ignorance can be employed for everything from evolution to overpopulation.

Generally speaking, denialists want to hold humans harmless of something they’re clearly responsible for, whether it’s having a carbon footprint—or a literal footprint. But no one is innocent of the ultimate crime of being born a human. (An aberration. An abnormality. An irregularity. A meat-eating monkey.)

Some still cling to the denial that tobacco (or meat) can cause cancer. Others just don’t care. Many would probably balk at the analogy that humans are a cancer to the Earth.

Historically, it was deniers of the obvious–gravity, astronomy and evolution (literal flat-Earthers)—who we heard the most from. Today’s deniers still include a few who question the “theory” of gravity, evolution and other realities.

But few have gone so far as to call for a de facto book ban as Laurie Mazur did recently in a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled, “China drops its ‘one-child’ policy, now let’s ban the ‘population bomb’,” featuring the irrational statement, “Let’s be clear: slowing population growth is not a panacea for the challenges of the 21st century.” I’m sure biologist Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book she attacks in her article, would challenge that statement. Let’s be real: slowing our population growth is the only lasting remedy, assuming we care about the rest of life on Earth at all.

Has Ms. Mazur ever heard of the term carrying capacity? In Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s 1996 book, Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future, they write in answer to the naïve notion that there is no overpopulation:

“To understand how fallacious this statement is requires recognizing that overpopulation can be reached very quickly by exponentially growing populations in situations of seeming abundance. There is overpopulation when organisms (people in this case) become so numerous that they degrade the ability of the environment to support their kind of animal in the future. The number of people Earth can support in the long term (without degrading the environment)—given existing socioeconomic systems, consumption patterns, and technological abilities—is called the human carrying capacity of the planet at the time. And carrying capacity can be exceeded without causing immediate effects obvious to the untutored observer. ‘Overshoots’ commonly occur in nature with all kinds of organisms. A population has an ‘outbreak,’ grows far beyond its carrying capacity, consumes its resources (for animals, usually food), and crashes to a size far below the previous carrying capacity.”

Homo sapiens has never been a light-touch or low-impact type of creature. Once you realize that, it’s easier to believe they’re overpopulated and have been actually changing the planet’s climate. Whether or not our species has peopled the Earth to the point of saturation, the denialists have undeniably reached their carrying capacity.


Talk about Denialism



There are many forms of denial; denial of human overpopulation is coming into vogue. Get a load of this OP/ED in today’s L.A. Times, reminiscent of 1984:

China drops its ‘one-child’ policy, now let’s ban the ‘population bomb’

OP/ED by Laurie Mazur L.A. Times

Now that China has laid to rest its infamous “one-child” rule, it’s time to retire the “population bomb” fears that inspired it.

The one-child rule grew from a population panic in the 20th century, when human numbers were growing at a faster rate than ever before (or since). The increase conjured a dystopian hell of environmental destruction, resource shortages and massive human suffering.

[Not to mention, non-human species extinctions. Then there’s carbon pollution (both of which Paul Ehrlich mentioned in his book and are directly related to overpopulation) . Has this editor tried to drive the LA freeway lately?…]

World Vasectomy Day

Sent via email from Center for Biological Diversity


World Vasectomy Day
November 13

One of the calendar’s most underappreciated awareness days is fast approaching: World Vasectomy Day, Nov. 13. The population conversation often revolves around the need for reproductive justice and access to healthcare for women, but the other half of the population has an important role to play, too. World Vasectomy Day, started by filmmaker Jonathan Stack, is the perfect opportunity to talk about why men get vasectomies and celebrate those who have already made the choice as an act of love — love for their families, their partners and, of course, the planet.

A vasectomy is one of the best ways to avoid unplanned pregnancy, reduce your carbon legacy and help leave space for wildlife. If you chose to get a vasectomy — or are thinking about it — for the sake of the environment, we want to hear from you. Send us a few sentences about why you “got whacked for wildlife” and we’ll send you our conversation-starting “Get whacked for wildlife” T-shirt. We’ll share your story online (first name and state only) to help inspire other men.

World Vasectomy Day isn’t all talk. On Nov. 13 more than 650 doctors around the world will be performing thousands of vasectomies, many of them for free or at a reduced cost. The Center is supporting New York City doctors working to expand access to the procedure by sponsoring 20 vasectomies next month.