March 20, 2003

The Second Front: Hollywood

Apparently, it is all about ... Oscar. The buzz coming from the Pentagon is that the real "shock and awe" will come in 2-3 days. At the outside date that puts the campaign on Oscar day.

Obviously, this date has been carefully orchestrated to "shock and awe" the antiwar forces in Hollywood. It's a twofer. The Pentagon gets to pound Iraq and simultaneously pound its enemies in the entertainment industry.

Special effects are impressive, but for real spectacle, it is hard to beat real missiles, real tanks and real men and women doing a real job. The self-puffing, script-reading troops of Tinseltown wouldn't last 30 seconds in a war zone.

PsyOps (psychological operations) is about demoralizing, dispersing and disabling your foe -- rendering them incapable of effective opposition. Look out, Oscar, GI Joe and GI Jane are coming after you.

Posted by campbell at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2003

Hysteria Deranges Antiwar Movement

A sense of the hysteria of some on the antiwar left can be sensed at the (nicely designed) truthout website. For a particularly wacky example that is being circulated amongst the loonerati, check out the dark vision in William Rivers Pitt's editorial "Into the Darkness." Key graf about the results in the US of the "inevitable" terrorist attack:

Martial law will be declared, habeas corpus will be suspended, posse comitatus will be left aside, and the strictures outlined by both Patriot Acts will come to full bloom. 227 years of constitutional law in America will draw to a close.

I thought it was only people over on the right who had delusions of black helicopters.

Posted by campbell at 03:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moderate Alcohol Use Fights Dementia

An article in the JAMA reveals health benefits to the elderly from moderate drinking:

The study of 373 dementia patients older than 65 and a like number of control subjects revealed that the lowest rates of dementia were among subjects who drank between one and six alcoholic drinks a week, who had half the risk of teetotalers.

People who abstained from alcohol and those who consumed between seven and 13 drinks a week were at about equal risk of developing dementia, while those who drank more than 13 drinks a week had a significant 22 percent higher risk.

The reason: better blood flow through reduced hardening of the arteries.

One other interesting fact: "People who had a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease and who drank heavily were at triple the risk" of developing dementia.

For those keeping score: that is from 1 to less than 2 drinks per day.

Posted by campbell at 12:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2003

Ecstasy and Depression

Club drug ecstasy has been linked to depression, according to researchers at a London University.

According to the researcher, even a half tablet led to a depressed condition. But you can get to some very serious depression with larger amounts.

...She suggested the results tied into previous studies which have indicated that ecstasy can affect key brain chemicals.

"There is a lot of data in animals showing that ecstasy damages the neurotransmitter for serotonin, which is known to be involved in depression."

Serotonin also plays an important role in regulating memory and behaviour. The researchers are now looking to see if these are also impaired on people who take ecstasy.

Next up I guess: Ecstasy and Prozac cocktails.

Updated: Removed the reference to the number of ecstasy pills. Pointed out by Bill Stewart in comments. Checked original and BBC had removed the reference to the number in the article.

Posted by campbell at 12:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack