A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

CrossTalk on RT: The Yemen "template of success"

Amazingly the Obama administration still calls Yemen a "template" of success when it comes to its counterterrorism efforts. Closer to the truth is probably still another poorly thought out foreign policy adventure. And double standards abound - what is deemed legitimate for Yemen is denied in the case of Ukraine.

[embedded content]

Comment: Some interesting contrasts drawn between the response of the US to the toppling of the legitimately elected leader of the Yemen vs the response to the toppling of the legitimately elected leader of the Ukraine. Bottom line, there is no pretense of consistency. Whatever course appears to preserve US hegemony is the one they will follow. Without this lens, the actions of the US appear incomprehensible to normal people.

13yo Logan LaPlante shares his experience with Hackschooling, an alternative to traditional education

[embedded content]

When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.


When you are a kid, you get asked this one particular question a lot, it really gets kind of annoying. What do you want to be when you grow up? Now, adults are hoping for answers like, I want to be an astronaut or I want to be a neurosurgeon, you're adults in your imaginations.

Kids, they're most likely to answer with pro-skateboarder, surfer or minecraft player. I asked my little brother, and he said, seriously dude, I'm 10, I have no idea, probably a pro-skier, let's go get some ice cream.

See, us kids are going to answer something we're stoked on, what we think is cool, what we have experience with, and that's typically the opposite of what adults want to hear.

But if you ask a little kid, sometimes you'll get the best answer, something so simple, so obvious and really profound. When I grow up, I want to be happy.

[Logan LaPlante] Source: LYBIO.net

For me, when I grow up, I want to continue to be happy like I am now. I'm stoked to be here at TedEx, I mean, I've been watching Ted videos for as long as I can remember, but I never thought I'd make it on the stage here so soon. I mean, I just became a teenager, and like most teenage boys, I spend most of my time wondering, how did my room get so messy all on its own.

Did I take a shower today? And the most perplexing of all, how do I get girls to like me? Neurosciences say that the teenage brain is pretty weird, our prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped, but we actually have more neurons than adults, which is why we can be so creative, and impulsive and moody and get bummed out.

But what bums me out is to know that, a lot of kids today are just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, not bullied, and be loved for who they are. So it seems to me when adults say, what do you want to be when you grow up? They just assume that you'll automatically be happy and healthy.

Well, maybe that's not the case, go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, boom, then you'll be happy, right? You don't seem to make learning how to be happy and healthy a priority in our schools, it's separate from schools. And for some kids, it doesn't exists at all? But what if we didn't make it separate? What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy, because that's what it is, a practice, and a simple practice at that?

[Logan LaPlante] Source: LYBIO.net

Education is important, but why is being happy and healthy not considered education, I just don't get it. So I've been studying the science of being happy and healthy. It really comes down to practicing these eight things. Exercise, diet and nutrition, time in nature, contribution, service to others, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, and religious or spiritual involvement, yes, got that one.

So these eight things come from Dr. Roger Walsh, he calls them Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes or TLCs for short. He is a scientist that studies how to be happy and healthy. In researching this talk, I got a chance to ask him a few questions like; do you think that our schools today are making these eight TLCs a priority? His response was no surprise, it was essentially no. But he did say that many people do try to get this kind of education outside of the traditional arena, through reading and practices such as meditation or yoga.

But what I thought was his best response was that, much of education is oriented for better or worse towards making a living rather than making a life.