Medicating children and adolescents

How bad science sells bad drugs to kids by Robert Whitaker

• If we want to understand how our society may end up deluded about the merits of psychiatric medications, we can look at the research published by Robert Gibbons, Director of the Center for Health Statistics at the University of Chicago, on antidepressants and their use in children and adolescents. His latest articles appear in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry and if we examine his research and look at how critiques of his research have been treated, we can see how bad science ends up creating a false “evidence base” for the use of the medications.

» See full article

Enbridge Pipelying hearings

by Reimar Kroecher

• The Gateway Joint Review panel has come to town and left again. I was one of the hundreds of official interveners allowed to deliver a 10-minute talk. It was the only “public” hearing I have ever attended that was not public! With heavy police presence everywhere, the public was not allowed into the speakers’ room. The only way for the public to watch the hearings was via a TV screen, located 13 city blocks away at the Westin Bayshore.

» See full article

Seralini and science: an open letter

Scientists critique the corruption of science by special interests

• Although impartiality is fundamental to science, scientific inquiry itself has always been vulnerable to manipulation by, or attack from, vested interests. The oil industry underminded climate change science, the tobacco industry denied the cancer connection, and so on – all the way back to Galileo, and beyond.

» See full article

Why the world doesn’t end

Sunrise By The Ocean

Renewal in times of loss by Michael Meade

• To be alive at this time means to be exposed to the raw forces of nature as well as the rough edges of culture. The world is awash with profound problems and puzzling changes and beset with seemingly endless conflicts. It is a time of great uncertainty and surprising changes that include extreme weather patterns as well as the rise of religious and political extremists. We are subject to increasing levels of fear about the health and future of the planet we live on as all the great questions about life and death and all the great fears about dissolution and destruction hang in the polluted air and trouble the waters all around us.

» See full article

The machine’s embrace

3d Man Machine

by Geoff Olson

• Years ago I read a fantasy short story – I’ve long since forgotten the author’s name – that begins with the death of a worker on an assembly line. The man’s fatal heart attack leaves his wife to grieve alone in an empty bed. Then late one night at the factory, after all the workers have left for home, there is movement at the work station where the man had laboured for years. Pulleys stretch and bolts break. After detaching from its moorings, a robotic apparatus lumbers across the darkened factory floor and ventures outside into the cobbled streets. The thing makes its way into town, searching for the man’s home in the moonlight. Finding a side door, it enters and stealthily crawls into bed next to the dead man’s sleeping wife, in an attempt to comfort her in its cold, metal embrace. As I recall, the story ended there.

» See full article

What do Indians want?

by Thomas King

Thomas King is one of Canada’s premier Native public intellectuals. For the past 50 years, he has worked as an activist for Native causes. He has also taught Native literature and history at universities in the US and Canada. He is the bestselling author of five novels, including Medicine River and Green Grass, Running Water, two collections of short stories and the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth About Stories. He most recently published The Inconvenient Indian. Look for more non-fiction writing by Thomas King in subsequent issues of Common Ground.

» See full article

West of Memphis

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead

• When the hog-tied, naked bodies of three eight-year-old boy scouts were discovered at the bottom of a ditch in 1993 it didn’t take long for local authorities in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, to find their men. Three working class teenage boys – one whose diary revealed a lurid interest in Satanism – became the chief suspects in the crime. A full confession was extracted from one of the boys. Witnesses and a medical officer corroborated evidence that the victims were killed as part of a bloodthirsty, satanic ritual and the prosecutor had little problem convincing the jury of the boys’ guilt. Two of the boys, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, got life sentences while Damien Echols was sentenced to death.

» See full article