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Submission + - Gates Foundation Failures-Why Philanthropists Shouldn't Set Public School Agenda

theodp writes: As the U.S. entrusts tech billionaires and their fave nonprofits with K-12 Computer Science education, the Los Angeles Times looks back on some of the havoc wreaked on U.S. schools by the well-intentioned Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, citing the organization's costly failures as Exhibit A in the case against philanthropists setting public school agenda. "The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated," concedes Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellm, "and the Gates Foundation doesn’t have all the answers." Still, that isn't stopping Bill and Melinda Gates from pressing Congress "to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science" ($4.2B is a nice start!).The LA Times concludes, "Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’t be allowing them to set the policy agenda for the nation’s public schools. The Gates experience teaches once again that educational silver bullets are in short supply and that some educational trends live only a little longer than mayflies."

Comment Methadone is all the addiction, none of the thrill (Score 5, Informative) 49

The idea is to replace the drug of choice with a drug that will 1) not provide a high, and 2) reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Opiate addicts are a little more functional on replacements than on heroin, but this is only because they don't have to worry about how they're going to "stay well". People can be functional heroin addicts if they don't have to worry about sourcing their next dose. In Chasing the Scream, Johann Hari says that some countries give the give their opiate addicts all the heroin they need, and provide a safe, supervised environment for use. Most addicts eventually age out of their addiction.

I met a real drug addict about a year ago, but I didn't realize it at the time. She fluttered from topic to topic like a butterfly, and I said, to myself, "this woman is high as a kite..." She told me about going to the Methadone clinic every day. She gradually invited me into her world, and I learned that the methadone wasn't enough to fill the "holes in her soul". She supplemented her opiates with the street pharmacy's medicines.

With my influence, by about six months she was doing much better. She quit methadone and alcohol cold-turkey. Then the mental health system got a hold of her, and it's been a real struggle ever since.

Calling the mental health system "Psychiatric torture" is not fair to the suffering endured by people who've actually been tortured, but it precisely describes the hopelessness and futility endured by people who are "treated" with drugs that do not address any of the causes of their condition. "Psychiatric Abuse" will have to suffice.

She got addicted to anxiety medications during her fifth mental hospital stay. She'd only wanted them as-needed, but they forced her to take that pill every day. Two weeks after she was released, she hatched a stupid plan to get through the benzodiazepine withdrawal. We got together the second night of her stupid plan, and had a little fight. She said that I didn't understand that she wasn't going to get addicted again, she just needed it so she could sleep. She said it was barely any heroin at all, and just to spite me, she prepared a second shot and did that too.

When she revived, she was immediately terrified by the sudden presence of people in uniform. The firefighters should've followed protocol and taken her to the hospital, but I'd told them that she was already on court-ordered treatment, so they decided to just disappear into the night. After a few more minutes, the police decided they could leave too. The only evidence I have that anyone was there is the nebulizer used to squirt the anti-opiate drug into her nose.

She did very well for the next two weeks. But I was 2 hours away, and she was left to take care of herself, with the added burden of having to take court-ordered anti-psychotic sedatives. She was back in the mental hospital about 5 weeks after her release from the fifth mental hospital stay.

Psychiatrists must be trained to not care why their patients are in their care. They gave her a new anti-psychotic, but she was still quite delusional when she was released from her sixth mental hospitalization.

By this point I'd obtained the drug that she actually needed. It worked exactly as I thought it would, I brought her to live closer to me, and she started to recover from her anti-psychotic-induced brain trauma. Her new psychiatric nurse initially wanted her to stay on the anti-psychotic sedative, but eventually realized the patient doesn't actually need to be permanently sedated.

But she ran out of anxiety medication recently... Her new court-ordered-treatment provider said they didn't provide those drugs, so my friend went to source them from her old "friends". Street drugs are much easier to source than specific second-hand prescription medications.

Street drugs caused her to become psychotic again. She would have come out of it in a day or two, like the previous time, but the police were called. They found heroin. Unlike the previous set of officers, who took the heroin and left, these officers took her to the county jail.

It is stupid to lock people who are trying to recover from mental health issues in cages, where they are taught to be helpless. Her mother, family attorney, case manager and I are working on figuring out where to go next. I don't need to wonder what people who don't have a defense attorney on retainer would do in this situation: most of us would be 100% screwed.

If the politicians wanted to end the opiate epidemic, they would treat it as a public health problem, and stop punishing people for self-medicating their emotions with nature's pharmacy.

Comment Re:Modern charlatans turn ignorance into profits (Score 1) 416

That's just not true. The typical course of BC pills have placebos solely because women tend to worry about being pregnant when they don't get their periods.

The funny thing is that the "withdrawal bleed" (aka fake-period) is a pill-using woman's most vulnerable time for getting knocked up. The ovaries use the days without being chemically suppressed to do what they're supposed to do.

Comment Re:Modern charlatans turn ignorance into profits (Score 1) 416

Maybe you can help my presentation. People do not advocate for the consumption of linseed oil, because that substance was used to make stain for the preservation of wood. But institutionalized science-mistakes now have people consuming rebranded linseed oil - Flaxseed Oil - as a health food. There are other sites on the internet about the problems caused by consuming polyunsaturated oils, but Society still allows these bad oils to be sold as food ingredients.

A few of my case studies confirm that prescription xeno-hormones are not necessary to improve women's health, and that there are better ways to keep women from getting knocked up. But... the influence of the charlatans is stronger than the influence of scientists who understand these matters.

Comment Women's misery is inexcusable (Score 1) 416

My first wife lost 1/2 the month to moodiness caused by her menstrual cycle. When we were no longer married, my readings had a little dietary "tip" for cheaply making women's periods easier. So I called her up, and suggested she give it a try. "I CAN'T EAT RAW VEGETABLES *CLICK*". They make her bloated.

After we talked she realized that she had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Furthermore, "lunch" I'd proposed was cheaper than what she would otherwise have eaten. A month later she called me back, with tears of joy. Her period had just started, and she wasn't an emotional train wreck. Two or three months later her period snuck up on her, which had never happened before.

There's an old book at one of my state's university libraries whose authors expressed hope that one day menstrual difficulties would be understood, and that we'd learn how to solve these common female problems. Some time in the last 40 years, "science" must have given up. There's a lot of inertia involved in suppressing women's hormone cycles with prescription drugs in perpetuity.

Estradiol is "the heart attack hormone". Inappropriately-high doses of the synthetic estrogen Mestranol is what caused many of the formerly-healthy users of Enovid to drop dead from clotting and heart attacks. Modern birth control pills use smaller amounts of the xeno-estrogen ethinyl estradiol. This drug is more estrogenic than humans' natural estrogens, and is why many woman can only tolerate progestin-only pill formulations.

Comment Modern charlatans turn ignorance into profits (Score -1) 416

"Big business" sells us deodorized ("refined") vegetable oil because it's cheap and plentiful, NOT because it's healthy for us. I maintain that deodorized vegetable oil should only be used as biodiesel. People who eat less biodiesel are almost always healthier than those who eat more.

The Obesity Epidemic: Evidence of a Crime Against The Public’s Health

Similarly, doctors have been tricked into routinely chemically castrating their patients who don't have smooth menstrual cycles. FDA-approved "Birth Control" prescriptions are said to have "hormones", but the hormone-analogues used as drugs are not the same as nature's hormones. The pills really just shut down women's natural hormone cycling in the brain, replacing it with a medicated cycle.

I've talked to enough women to decide that women eventually hate almost everything about Wall Street's "hormones", but their doctors are ignorant of better options.

Women's Health: A Modern Tragedy

Comment Re:The food supply is extensively contaminated... (Score 1) 369

If you had read the link, you would have known that humanity traditionally used linseed oil to preserve wood. But after the paint industry figured out how to use petroleum distillates for their stains, linseed Oil magically transformed itself into flaxseed oil, and was marketed as "essential".

Obesogenic is a regular word that is found in the dictionary:

Comment The food supply is extensively contaminated... (Score 1) 369

Wall Street sells us "imitation food" because the family farm doesn't scale. The most obesogenic of these so-called foods is "biodiesel", aka "vegetable oil".

For better health, we should all eat less biodiesel. Corn oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, grapeseed oil, linseed oil, and all other predominately unsaturated oils should only be used to power diesel engines.

The Obesity Epidemic: Evidence of a Crime Against The Public’s Health

Comment Re:College used to be a place for the rich kids to (Score 1) 393

College used to be a place for the rich kids to go (back when it first got started) with the well round stuff and others did trades / apprenticeships (learning real skills)

Then WWII was over, the soldiers came home, and were restless. There were not enough jobs, because the economy was transitioning to peacetime employment. To fix the problem of an excess of unemployed ex-soldiers, the GI Bill was passed. College prices have been going up steadily ever since.

My one grandfather was already a Dentist, so he used his GI Bill funds to get his pilot's license. The other was already 30 when the war was over, and wasn't interested in going back to school.

Ref: The Screwing of the Average Man

Comment Re:can't wait to see it work on fox news web site (Score 2) 375

meanwhile, we have antivaxxers, moon landing deniers, GM food ignorance, creationists, climate change deniers, fluoride fearmongers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists babbling about burning airplane fuel and steel, etc... assorted douchebag crackpots who are absolutely, undeniably factually wrong, and oftentimes dangerous (to public health, for example), but enthusiastically keep spreading their lies nonetheless

stupid shitbags like this for example are working very, very hard to kill children:

Then you have official misinformation like this site, which is put together by the American Heart Attack Association:
  www. goredforwomen .org/

The American Heart Attack Association tells us that it is important to consume biodiesel instead of humanity's traditional fats (butter, tallow, lard, coconut oil). Official Science refers to nutritional biodiesel as the Omega-3 and Omega-6 "essential" fatty acids, but they always neglect to tell us how much "essential" fat is enough to meet our daily requirements for biodiesel.

Science has two faces: discovery, and product development. Wall Street doesn't care about facts, it just uses the trappings of science to sell defective products.

Comment Re:What it means (Score 1) 222

Scientists' efforts to understand nature were subverted by the industrialists' (JP Morgan et al) vision of an electric meter on every home. The pre-established Laws of Thermodynamics (which were figured out by examining steam engines in the 1840's) guided later scientists' efforts to understand electricity and magnetism.

Nikola Tesla grokked electromagnetism, but the robber barons couldn't allow us to use these insights. Heaviside and Lorentz eventually simplified James Clerk Maxwell's 20 equations and 20 unknowns down to the 4 equations still used today, but nature is not simple. Future scientists will eventually realize their predecessors' old assumptions are not entirely accurate.

Comment "Wall Street" uses 'bad science' to steal from us (Score 3, Insightful) 460

It's very challenging for non-scientists to tell the difference between good science, obsolete science that is used to sell defective products, and charlatan science - 'lipstick on a pig'.

If real scientists want respect, they need to call out Wall Street for all the ways it profits from the obesity epidemic.

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I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943