Jack Saturday

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 577-579

What was proper 50 years ago is not proper today--So the virtues of the past are the vices of today. And many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today--and the moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time here and now.
Joseph Campbell

Researchers are finding indications that obesity, diabetes and mental illness among adults are all related in part to what happened in the womb decades earlier.

One of the first careful studies in this field found that birth weight (a proxy for nutrition in the womb) helped predict whether an adult would suffer from heart disease half a century later.

kids facing stresses before birth appear to have lower educational attainment, lower incomes and worse health throughout their lives. If that’s true, then even early childhood education may be a bit late as a way to break the cycles of poverty.

One study in this field, by a Columbia University economist, Douglas Almond, looked at children who were born after the great flu pandemic of 1918. The pandemic lasted only about five months and infected about a third of pregnant women in America, so Mr. Almond compared those who had been exposed to it while inside their mothers with others born just before or after.

Ms. Paul quotes Mr. Almond as concluding, “People who were in utero during the pandemic did worse, on average, on just about every socioeconomic outcome recorded.” They were 15 percent less likely to graduate from high school, 15 percent more likely to be poor, and 20 percent more likely to have heart disease in old age.

Stress in mothers seems to have particularly strong effects on their offspring, perhaps through release of cortisol, a hormone released when a person is anxious. Studies show that children who were in utero during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War of 1967 were more likely to have schizophrenia diagnosed as adults.

“Given the odds stacked against poor women and their fetuses, the most effective antipoverty program might be one that starts before birth,” writes Annie Murphy Paul in a terrific and important new book called “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives.”
At Risk From the Womb
New York Times
Published: October 2, 2010

(emphasis JS)
Joseph Chilton Pearce: I've often talked about three important characteristics of all teenagers. The first is a feeling they have of great expectation that something tremendous is supposed to happen in their lives around the age of fifteen or sixteen. The second is the feeling that some greatness exists within them. The third is a longing that is so intense it can never be assuaged. And so at this point teenagers begin looking for models of who they can be, someone to help them define and put that deep longing into perspective. And what do they get? They get MTV, they get rock stars, they get all of the rest of the trash in movies and on television.

Kim: This is the stage of life when many other cultures encourage spiritual growth through things like coming-of-age and rights-of-passage rituals. Do you think the absence of these in our culture is one of our downfalls?

Joe: Certainly, but the things you're speaking of are vehemently blocked by our society because they're not economically viable. They can't be given a dollar value. Young people looking for something of meaning and substance out there have a terrible time finding what they're seeking because they are locked into our cultural system. Look into Ralph Nader and Linda Coco's new book on the corporate exploitation of children. It's a bomb shell. For instance, when Ralph Nader approached Bob Pittman, who invented MTV, and asked him if he realized the profound influence they were having on fourteen year olds, the guy leaned back and said, "Ralph, we don't influence fourteen-year-olds, we own them."
Joseph Chilton Pearce


  • Whenever I hear the phrase "not economically viable" I think of the protesting guy outside the bank in the movie Falling Down.

    It's the sort of cold and clinical phrase you associate with a health insurance company denying a life-saving operation to a four-year-old.

    By Anonymous Markus, at 8:46 PM  

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