The Herb Cannabis & Wartime PTSD Studies & Updates

 

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Though this is a site on herbs, and I want to cover as many as we can (and we will) and you’re welcome to contribute pages, studies, questions, answers etc. for the Herbology site, it appears the herb cannabis (formerly known as marijuana) is in the news almost daily now.

Because so many of our veterans come home with PTSD, and doctors believe it may be due to the military sending our young soldiers on more tours than in previous wars, it is what happens. In other words, the body and brain’s natural response to seeing friends die, to seeing cities wiped off the map etc. results in PTSD (in fact it would be a bit unusual if it didn’t).

And the old argument of “Well that soldier’s duty wasn’t to kill….Maybe he/she was a medic or an operator of machinery.”  Scientists are now saying the PTSD can often be worse in their lives, those not necessarily in the direct line of fire, due to guilt, the feeling they could have done more, etc.   Many come home, get treatment and go on about their lives.

Many don’t. Remember, Iraq was “one big EID” and everyone, regardless of their station there, had to be constantly vigilant and the non-combat soldiers and officers were considered “softer targets” hence targeted often by insurgents. In other words, nearly all our military there was affected by seeing, or hearing of one or more of their friends being killed.  Again, PTSD is a normal response for that kind of discovery or witnessing it.

Keep in mind not every soldier who works in theaters of war returns with this dreaded ailment.  But those who do need to know they are welcome and have a safe place now, and that we care for them, and will care for them.  That’s us now.  We are adults and can’t just “hope they get help”.  Often they need help knowing where it is. Some are frightened and feel they don’t deserve it. Of course they all deserve to recover.  Please always, if all your resources allow is to welcome them home, DO SO.  That means a lot and can help one with PTSD to get treatment and back into society.  We all have that duty as Americans.  They did their duty for us. It’s our turn (even if we aren’t gung-ho for war; know that many of them aren’t either.  They were merely doing the job they committed to do (and it was for us).  Let’s respond accordingly.

Studies show that often PTSD lays dormant and does not manifest until months, even years later.   Many doctors are stumped as to the best treatment.

Enter cannabis.  As mentioned before, it is difficult to get governmental funding for grants for medicinal herbs unless the agenda of the study is to “find out what is wrong or harmful with them”, often most herbs are not even studied or if so, only to find the negative.  And if one looks long and hard enough, they’d find negative in Mary Poppins.

But the facts are this herb is being studied nonstop in countries like Israel, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and many other countries with major medical centers.   The studies are very controlled in the U.S. to keep such drugs as Marinol (and about 9 other drugs that mimic THC) in the limelight and the full spectrum herb (there’s not a lot of money for doctors and Big Pharma if any) in prescribing cannabis; hence studies go slow.

But this time, since there seems to be a great deal of evidence that THC is not even the major healing property that works on PTSD (though it certainly helps CBD and other cannabinoids do so, it appears there soon will be a law, (according to the VA) that will allow all our veterans in every state (whether legal or not) to have access to cannabis as medicine as needed.  Israel has been doing so with their veterans with PTSD for about a decade now, and the program is working very well.  Same is true in several other state-of-the-art countries.

CNN’s medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta said, “Even the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, seems to have softened her stance; she told me she believes we need to loosen restrictions for researchers.”

The studies are positive thus far, that it works for PTSD, and for the first time ever the media is quoting from studies in other countries as valid.  For years if it wasn’t studied in America, the typical response was, “We don’t really have much information or studies on it yet so I really cannot make a comment”.  Those days seem to be coming to an end on all the news networks.

So the major question is “Could cannabis have prevented the tragedy at Ft. Hood yesterday?” Nobody, of course has the answer to that.  But one thing we do know. Not having access to cannabis certainly didn’t help him, and he was getting psychiatric treatment (that didn’t seem to be working), or working well enough.

Many states are moving forward now with federal money to study the effects on cannabis on our veterans of war.  Some, such as Arizona are blocking the federally approved study.

Since 1969, Mississippi (Ole Miss Pharmaceutical Dept.) has been the most active facility in America to study cannabis.  In fact, if the law passes, which it is expected to do, veterans will be receiving the very potent organic cannabis grown right in Oxford, Ms.

However states such as Maine acted humanely immediately and passed the bill into law (veterans there are already receiving cannabis treatment if they have PTSD. Israel has been administering cannabis for soldiers with PTSD for awhile now and, I’m not able to find one mass shooting, one military base shooting etc. that has occurred there.  The government agency in charge there reports the outcome as very positive.  This does not mean it has not happened, but one can google “Shootings On Israeli Military bases” in every different type of wording….and not find one.

Even given the obvious, that cannabis is helping our veterans with PTSD, there is no proof that it could have prevented the shooting at Ft. Hood.  By the same token, there’s no proof that it would not have repressed whatever demons were driving this young man to turn to such extreme violence.

What are your thoughts on the medical community studying and/or administering such herbs for this type of treatment?  If you think it’s wrong, what would you suggest instead?

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Rick London is a writer, musician, cartoonist and nature/hiking buff.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons “Londons Times” or “LTCartoons.com”.  He also has large lines of funny gifts which bear his cartoon images.

What If Cannabis (Marijuana) Is Not Legal In Your State And You (Or A Loved One) Needs It For Extreme Illness

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Last night I found myself in a vigorous conversation on facebook regarding medicinal cannabis (aka marijuana). I realized in the middle of the thread, that many are interested as they have an illness that requires this medicine, or knows someone who does.  One only need watch the news a few nights to understand that cannabis is outperforming most if not all Big Pharma drugs in the realm of about 40 or more diseases, including big ones like cancer, AIDS, MS, seizures and more.  This blog is not meant for recreational marijuana users.  I am not judging them, have done that myself, but there is no useful information here for them. 

I don’t know everything, or even close to everything about the plant (or herbs in general), but I know a good deal as I’ve studied herbology for about 31 years.  To me, cannabis is another of the many medicinal plants on the planet, but it is unique in that none of the others, to my knowledge, even have close to the healing properties as it does.  But others, legal ones, are extremely important to the immune system and can be wonderful addendums to ones diet until the herb cannabis becomes legal in your state. 

Cannabidiol (or CBD) is the most healing of the cannabinoids in cannabis.  Unfortunately, it does not work optimally unless combined with THC, THC-A and several hundred other cannabidoids plus terpenes, phytochemicals etc.; all a natural part of this full-spectrum herb.  A high volume of CBD is found in the (now famous) Charlotte’s Web, a strain of cannabis that is very high in CBD, and very low (under 1% in THC); not enough to get an adult or even a child high.  However, neither cannabidiol (CBD) or THC work real well without each other, combined with the plants natural terpenes, terpinoids. etc.  In other words when scientists begin to isolate it into a “spice form” such as synthetic thc (Marinol), it loses the majority of its power; and, it does no healing; only a suppression of some symptoms. 

This makes the Charlotte’s Web strain ideal for treating children with seizures.  The CBD works with the minimal THC to eraticate the seizures rapidly. It also helps get to the root of the cause, not just the symptoms which big pharma medicine does.  It is way superior to any drug on the market for treating children with seizures according to most research I’ve read. 

Also, we see a lot of “Legal Industrial Hemp CBD oil” for sale on the Internet. It’s quite expensive as it takes about 300 lbs to make one small batch of CBD oil. And it’s a partial-isolate (firms selling it call it a proprietary method).  Though it does have the .75 or so THC, it has one or no terpenes to enable the entire plant to work. In other words its somewhat genetically modified but like most natural things, when tampered with by mankind, becomes a bit less than functional, compared to its female counterpart, the female part that bears the buds/flowers.  However, industrial hemp still has some very effective analgesic and other healing properties which I’ll discuss later.  

The CBD-only law will do a lot to help alleviate symptoms but, cannabis is like any other herb (and I’ve been studying medicinal herbs since 1978);  any “herb isolate” whether organic or synthetic is not great medicine. As mentioned earlier,  Big Pharma has created “Marinol” and about 9 other drugs that mimic THC.  All of them are highly psychoactive (much more so than cannabis (the herb) and are dismal at best in treating chemo patients (at about $400 per mo. bottle). 

The CBD-only med for children having seizures actually does contain less than 1% THC,  (it has to have some for the CBD to work, and vice versa).  But it’s not enough to be psychoactive. That part is a good thing as the ideal healing agent would heal the child without producing a high, and the cannabis oil being prescribed does just that. 

Here’s a tip; there’s a lot of psychoactive herbs out there other than cannabis and many of them are very medicinal.  It’s best not to smoke them (or cannabis for medicinal purposes (or recreational for that matter); unless you just enjoy throwing money out the window.  However, if in intense pain, smoking them occasionally for medicine is okay, as it enters the bloodstream within seconds as opposed to eating it (45 minutes to an hour or more).  However most of the medicinal properties are lost in the high heat of smoking medicinal herbs (any of them, not just cannabis).  

One gets only about 4-6% of the active ingredients of any herb when smoking it.   All those years (in our hippie years we thought we were “being so smart”).  We were being true idiots.  I’m not sure if we had known different (like using the oils, tinctures, medibles etc we’d have cared, we just sought a buzz.  Well those days are long over (for me), but I know that one day (when it becomes legal here which is expected this next election), full-spectrum cannabis (especially in high CBD) reduces the risk of heart attack by 66% (even if someone has already had one) according to U.S. government granted studies and several in Israel.   

I’ve had two major heart attacks and believe me I don’t want another.  And I can just about assure you, you don’t either.  No other medicine offers anything close to that kind of statistic.  My wife is a cancer survivor and though she’s been in remission a decade, most cells are “programmed” to turn into cancer cells again (as are most normal cells eventually); that is unless they are up against a preventative like cannabis. 

Though it is wonderful that states are now passing the CBD-only laws, within a year we are going to find it is not going to be a huge problem-solver.  Only the full-spectrum herb is going to heal most patients, but CBD will help many if the ratio is close (THC to CBD). That is more important than “just high CBD content”. And people worried about THC should relax. CBD disengages the “buzz from THC” yet does not turn off its high-powered healing.

A new law which is scheduled to pass soon will allow our veterans with PTSD to receive cannabis for treatment is a wonderful humane law.  We are losing 23 per day to suicide.  That number is expected to drop dramatically as soon as this program begins (almost immediately).  They are all getting the full spectrum herb, no matter what state in which they live.  There will be a lot of healing happening, and the suffering they’ve gone through post war is considered by mental health professionals every bit as treacherous as during war.  They will have the advantage of CBD, THC all the terpenes and terpinoids; the whole plant. 

 Cancer cells don’t stand a chance against it.  It does not harm good cells.  In the medical industry they call it “making the cancer cells commit suicide” which is what full-spectrum cannabis does.  Ms was one of the first states to decriminalize cannabis, so I imagine it will be one of the early ones to make certain its citizens get the medicine they need.  I’m 59, and a lot of my friends here are past 50.  Studies show that even leukemia cells don’t stand a chance against cannabis (leukemia in most cases is eliminated within 30 days).  However, the longer the patient has had traditional chemo etc., the less chance of cannabis working to its fullest extent.  

 I don’t think there is one of us in my age group who hasn’t seen a close loved one suffer needlessly because cannabis was not available. I take a large bevy of full-spectrum herbs in tincture form (all legal).  Some have extremely strong medicinal preventative properties such as TOA-Free cats claw (or Samento) from Peru.  Studies show it is a cancer preventative (even MD Anderson in Houston has studied it and gave it a thumbs up in one study), and in many prominent European hospitals it is used as a primary treatment.  A synopsis of that study is on the web.  However, before taking a “bevy of herbs” or any mix of medicinal herbs please contact an established naturopathic MD. Also, there’s also plenty of studies on the net. I like to search Google Scholarly articles.   Samento is legal in all 50 states and considered safe. 

 The majority of herbs will not kill you, but the wrong combination can cause nasty discomfort.  Another tip, take organic herbs when possible.  Organic toa-free cat’s claw (samento) in organic form is difficult to find. But that’s okay. It is a vine that grows up trees in the rainforest and is not sprayed. Do not order regular cat’s claw. It is useless. And the cat’s claw grown in the sw USA is poisonous, and (hopefully) not sold on the web.  Don’t take it.  I buy my Samento tincture from a manufacturer called Nutrimedix (I think is the name).  It is legal everywhere and does a lot of the same things cannabis does. In Austria for instance, it is often the primary treatment for cancer and AIDS.  A doctor there named Klaus Keplinger discovered its healing properties and got it into the better hospitals there. 

A lot of herbs come from around the world and Lord knows what they are sprayed with but some are not very clean (unless certified organic).  Take cayenne tincture with every other herb you take at the same time.  It is the “taxi herb” and actually “knows” where the sick organs or part of the immune system is and actually leads the other herbs to the sick spot. It, too is an excellent anti-inflammatory among other goodies it offers.  The hotter the better.  Cayenne is measured in Scoville Heat Units. 

Never take the cayenne capsules they can hurt the stomach badly and offer very little in the way of healing.  I take 200,000 Scoville HU cayenne tincture per day, therefore wasting very little in the way of losing other herbs. 

The type cayenne tincture one finds in health food stores is neither organic nor has over 30,000 Scoville heat units; in other words, it’s pretty much a waste of money.   But if one google’s “Cayenne 200,000” they will find several vendors who sell it).  However it is difficult to find organic cayenne in that high a heat category. I’ve opted to buy it instead of the less-hot useless tincture that often is organic simply because I know the hot cayenne works, the other doesn’t. 

May I suggest to try to get into the habit of calling  marijuana “cannabis” rather than “marijuana”. The reason is marijuana was one of the early words the media and government used to demonize cannabis.  It was commonly called cannabis at the time and was prescribed by every pharmacy in the U.S. for a variety of ailments and was considered extremely safe and effective.  The ban was not due to science, but due to America’s first drugs czar, Harry Anslinger. 

He started calling it marijuana, locoweed etc and told stories of Mexican men crossing the border and kidnapping American women, getting them addicted, and never to be seen again. Of course all his stories turned out to be lies. On top of that, he supplied Joe McCarthy all of his opium while he was demonizing cannabis, from which McCarthy eventually went insane and died.  So street names are fine (for street users and dealers) but it is now extremely serious medicine (always was) and deserves to be called what it is “cannabis”.

I’ll go into the body’s endocannabinoid system but most find it as confusing as I do.  But science now knows all humans are born with one; and the only thing that feeds it is cannabis.  Without it, it rushes the cells into a situation of becoming cancerous faster. 

When we are breast-feeding as babies, the endocannabinoid system is satisfied.  But when that process stops, the cells begin their “reprogramming” to eventually turn cancerous (yes we all have pre-cancer) and the only plant or substance on the planet, of which we are aware, is cannabis.  It almost immediately reprograms our cells to become healthy; and even kills cancer cells while leaving the healthy ones alone in the process. In addition, it serves to make the healthy ones even healthier. 

Finally, I suggest to check the laws in your state.  Make certain it is legal to use cannabis as most states have not legalized it yet, though most are expected to soon.  There’s just too much evidence that it is much more of a healer than we originally thought,  and we (most of us) have bought into some information over the years that is very misleading.  

If it is not legal, I might suggest second best.  Hemp oil is from industrial hemp claims to be legal in all 50 states and can be ordered on the net.  Though as aforementioned, it is not in the same league as cannabis from female flowers, it does contain very high CBD (and minimal THC – less than 1% for the synergy to make it work), it is a good safe legal substitute until cannabis is legalized in your state.  Let me add there is no proof (or really enough studies) to show that industrial hemp can kill cancer cells, but it can’t hurt, and it is an amazing analgesic (for pain).  Simply google “hemp cbd oil” and make certain it is a site where the oil is from industrial hemp (not hempseed oil) but hemp stalks and stems. Hempseed oil has no medicinal properties (of which is known).

If, unfortunately, you already have cancer or heart disease, please don’t be dismayed.  There is much you can do to slow down the process.  Everyone handles it differently.  My wife and I have decided to go vegan and (mostly raw) diet. You will most likely feel much better within 30-60 days.  After that period, I went from homebound to mountain hiking 3 days a week.  In fact, I’m going to finish this blog now as Lee asked if I wanted to go hiking….and I do.  Thanks for reading my blog. There are a lot of other healthy legal “tricks” you can use to satiate your endocannabinoid system if cannabis is not legal in your state.  Numerous herbs (such as samento, cayenne and others) boost the immune system.  Samento (though very much more potent than all the different types of ginseng, is also an adaptagen, that is, it not only boosts the immune system to fight cancer cells and free radicals to a great degree, but helps the immune system to adopt to what is thrown at it.  That does not mean it will counteract the negative effects of smoking, drinking, drug-taking, lack of exercise, or any other negative lifestyle behavior.  But if one decides to start living a healthier lifestyle, it will help along the way.  

Along with cayenne tincture, both are extremely strong analgesics and anti-inflammatories.  Studies have shown that samento is about 6 times more potent a pain reliever than pure morphine, yet there is not addictive, nor is it psychoactive (there is no high). When mixed with cayenne, it creates an extremely powerful healing and prophylactic agent that will help prevent a great many diseases, and even help reverse others.  But patience is also a key. One must truly be committed to a healthy lifestyle. If they don’t want to go vegan, they might consider eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables (and organic if available). If not, from small farms (who tend to spray less).

 If  a person wants to continue to eat meat, he/she should strongly consider only buying grass fed, hormone and antibiotic-free meat.  Omit farmed fish, even salmon (especially salmon).  Stay away from GMO raised foods.  Just making some of these minor changes takes about 20-30 more minutes in the grocery, and the bill may be $5-$15 higher, but well worth it.  After awhile, one knows which foods are healthy or not, and reading labels is not necessary.  One can tell by the particular labels if they are organic or human/manipulated.  All this is important even if one is in a state where cannabis is easily available and legal.  Cannabis alone will doesn’t have a chance to do a lot of healing if one is constantly throwing toxins in their system. 

This blog is not meant to be used for medical advice or an alternative to seeing your doctor. If you are not feeling good,  see your doctor. If you are prescribed drugs, there is no law that says you have to take them.  If they are giving you bad side effects, let him/her know.  If he says “too bad, you’ve not taken them long enough”, perhaps another doctor will help and if you need medication will find one for you that is not so bothersome. 

There are prescription drugs that will help you.  I suggest to read studies (find on google scholarly paper search) and don’t be afraid to print it out and show any studies to your doctor.  Participate in your own recovery if you are ill.  A doctor is a human being, like the rest of us, flawed, and just as likely to make errors.  Help your doctor help you.  The more information he/she has from you about your symptoms and what you’ve discovered in studies already done (of which he/she may not be aware), the more likely you will recover faster.  But don’t “play doctor”.  Many doctors really do know what they are doing. 

I strongly suggest not to use synthetic marijuana or any of the other man-made chemicals found in headshops, gas stations etc.  These products can be extremely dangerous and have no healing powers.   Until cannabis is legalized in your state, my recommendation is to utilize the traditional medical system; with an addendum of legal organic herbal tinctures (nothing synthetic or illegal).  It appears it will be legalized soon, at least medically, in all 50 states.  We are actually a humane nation, and not to do so would be cruel and unusual. 

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Rick London is a writer, designer, songwriter and nature/animal buff.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) and #1 cartoon funny gifts (Rick London Gifts).  He is married to Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who owns the popular nature blog  HikeOurPlanet.com.  

Living Our Dreams. How Did Londons Times Cartoon Turn 17?

“….And please remember to set your watches forward one hour”. One hour?  I just fast forwarded mine 17 years.  And where did those years go?  Londons Times Cartoons is 17 years old this March 2014. Holy Smokes. Where did the time go?  Where in the world did it go.  I know I fought some battles and faced some challenges along the way (that seemed like I was walking through a long bad dream), but looking back, it seemed like last week that all this started.

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The last thing I remember after the workplace still looked like Scott Adam’s cartoon “Dilbert” was being downsized from a cubicle and pc to an abandoned warehouse; living on occasional donations of food and small bills from friends.  I received no governmental support. It was March 1997.

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Shifting career gears and goals from producing/editing/marketing to “writing cartoons” at age 44 was not something that Dale Carnegie might have recommended in “How To Make Friends And Influence People”. In fact if I had to write a book about it’s humble beginnings I might have called it, “So you’ve burned every bridge but your dog still loves you”.  And he did.  As did my new calico kitten which wandered up to the warehouse on day. This caused my loyal dog of many years to reassess his reasons to love me but I found “Pat” the cat a new home rapidly and Thor the dog loved me again.

When I launched Londons Times Cartoons, I virtually had nothing.  My car died and with no job I could unwisely spend what little cash I had on another piece of tin, or put it into technology which would help me “build a cartoon empire” (whatever that is).

Thor was with me for nearly ten years of my journey.  What a wonderful administrative assistant.

My skills were very limited.  I can draw a little but not to the level that matched the vision of the cartoon of which I had in mind.  This cartoon would have an offbeat nature ala Far Side, yet not the cartoony look of Far Side (or other cartoons for that matter). If I could eventually create it, my feelings were there was nothing else like it on the market.  I talked to masters in the cartoon industry. I was too naïve to know to leave them alone.  The bigger these icons were, the more friendly and open they were.  Charles Schulz recommended I recruit illustrators who were also fine artists who might do so on spec. He admitted it was a long shot, but long shots do happen, especially in the cartooning industry.

 

 

 

As time went by, I wandered and called around with my shoebox full of cartoon concepts. Sure enough, a bite.  Problem…he didn’t want to do color.  Color was part of my vision but I gave in and figured I could get them colored later.  As time went by a Ca. tee shirt company offered us $10,000 for rights to 12 images (if they were in color).  My illustrator/partner decided color would be good. And from that moment on about 99% of our cartoons were done in color and still are.

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I slowly moved “up the creative corporate ladder” which meant moving eventually to my own place to my favorite mountains in Arkansas; a place surrounded by the most gorgeous natural beauty in the world.  As my instincts suggested, it would be impossible to hike those hills, and not be inspired to write some unique panels.  At one point I was working with eight different top illustrators and writing from 30-100 cartoons per day (not all great albeit but usually 3-5 were marketable).

There’s a lot more to the story. I pretty much took a permanent break around 2001 to return to college and study business as it applies to the Internet at Western Governors.  The professors were fantastic and I learned things that were pragmatic enough to bring into the workplace and facilitate the same or next day.

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I never thought during my pursuit of my own happiness I’d meet the woman of my dreams, Lee Hiller-London , whom I’d eventually marry and as it turns out she, too, loves to hike in the same mountains, and is a wonderful artist and photographer and is building her own brand based on her art and nature/wildlife photography.  We both love what we do and never get bored.  When I was young I used to jokingly say that might happen to me one day; but I never really believed it.  Lee and I have been married since June 18, 2010.

We’ve changed our lifestyles dramatically.  We’re vegans.  We mountain hike 3 or so days a week.  We’re out in nature all the time.  We’re active with animals and the environment.  We have a good life.

I guess there is a moral to this story; several actually.

We are not our last mistake nor are we an accumulation of all the mistakes we have made.

It is never to late and start right where we are and begin working on our dreams.  I was 44.

There will be obstacles and naysayers, lots of them.  And that’s all they are; and best left ignored, or not ignored but looked at as teachers.

There are those who say “Never quit no matter what”. I say that’s foolish. I say quit every single time you feel fatigued, tired, uninspired, etc. It can be from 5 minutes to 5 years (or more).   In my case I needed more knowledge, hence school.

Oh, in the middle of school, I started receiving emails, mails, phone calls etc from every major charity, religious organization, private school, animal cause, environmental cause etc. all wanting autographed cartoons.

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I thought it was some kind of joke.  Finally friends started congratulating me. Why?  For having Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and gifts.  Several years later also Bing’s #1; and have remained #1 on both search engines since Jan. 2005.

I guess my point is, if I can launch a creative venture mid-life, anybody can.  Please remember 17 years has gone by like a flash so if you plan to start, please get started.

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Rick London is an author, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his #1 ranked LTCartoons.com offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoons. He is married to popular nature photographer Lee Hiller London who runs the popular blog Hike Our Planet.

One Way To End The Slaughter And Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins By Rick London

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I’ve seen the film “The Cove” and I’ve seen the film “Blackfish” and both were top-notch productions.  What I haven’t seen is anything more than petitions from (we, the people), afterwards,  which haven’t seemed to do much; and I realize I could be very wrong. Please forgive me if so.

What I do know is it is time to take action to stop the captivity at Sea World, and the slaughter at Taiji and other similar killing coves.

Here is my proposal. I realize its ambitious. I realize it is grandiose.  But I realize it takes what it takes; and I truly believe this is what it takes; at least one way to make it happen. I imagine there are plenty other ways.  This is mine.

The Cetacea For Entertainment” businesses is archaic. It is cruel and unusual.  The major players are all in denial.  That’s what the type of money that “corrupts absolutely” will do to anyone.  Numb them.  Science has taught us it is not sustainable or feasible; but of course is to the major players, as they are getting rich off the blood of these amazing creatures and sometimes off the blood of their naive/often loving trainers.

Let’s put together all people worldwide who care about these animals, the planet, the ecosystem, or whatever it is that you consider an important cause in your life.  You may just be interested in making a difference in the world.  There is strength in numbers and power in pocketbooks.   The Whale & Dolphin Coalition  TWDC.

The first thing we do is buy up stock in Sea World, a lot of it (I believe owned by Anhauser-Busch). We convert it into a cruelty-free tourist attraction immediately.   Since the land around The Cove in Taiji, Japan, where SeaWorld gets the majority of their animals (via one of the cruelest, bloodiest massacres in the history of marine mammals),  is a National Park, there’s no way to buy or boycott it, but we can buy the land and buildings surrounding the park and/or boycott them; that is if we won’t sell to them to close them down.  If they won’t sell to us we not only boycott those businesses,  but every business who does business with them.  (The Anti-Seaworld Coalition). (TSAS).  It won’t take long to be felt by the killers of Taiji and their enablers.  There are way more than enough good people in Japan who would gladly help with this endeavor.

We could also buy the buildings around the cove and change “the theme” of the whole town if we prefer (rather than close it). If it comes down to it,  we boycott Japan (if they won’t put pressure on the murderers at The Cove involved in this major dolphin slaughter.  Japan is our friend and I don’t think it will take long for them to “see the light”. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management (“Atlantis” in The Bahamas need a business boycott as well. They allegedly own another one in Dubai); or our syndicate buys Atlantis as well and convert it into a cruelty-free tourist attraction.  Canada and Dubai are our friends and I imagine they too will see the light.  Most in all these countries are animal-lovers and if given the chance, i believe will do the right thing. Anti-Atlantis Coalition (AAC)

There are other countries who partake in this barbaric horrendous slaughter and captivity such as Denmark’s Faroe Islands and several others.  They all need economic boycott’s desperately to feel the sting; not just from “greenies” in the U.S. and abroad, but from people of all walks of life, liberal, conservative, Independent, any race, any religion (or no religion). This s not about what we were born or what we’ve become.  This is about what we can do together; and I happen to believe a great deal.

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A lot of talk and petitions are good, and they get attention, but for these people owning and/or running these shows,  the pocketbook and their Cayman account makes them realize there’s going to be a game change.

We need to do the same with the countries who sell and slaughter whales (usually in the name of “research” such as Japan and others). And though Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, Earth Island Institute, PETA and so many others work tirelessly at minimizing what could be a lot worse. It is bad enough, and we need to put the same economic pressure on to have them released as well.

When these establishments opened 50 or so years ago, they could be forgiven.  Science had not caught up with entertainment, and none of us knew that cetacea have feelings, are very intelligent (often more so than humans in several areas), are lifetime family members,  name their friends and family, and way too many other known facts that make us realize they can only survive in a sane manner in the wild; not in a pool.  They communicate with an extremely high-pitch sound that bounces off the concrete walls of a pool, making each of the captive ones insane.  Is that the message you want to give your children?

Now there are no enablers left keeping this slaughter going.   Easier said than done?  You bet it is.  It will be full of challenges, obstacles and other landmines.  But will it not be worth it?

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Rick London is an Internet entrepreneur, designer, writer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times or LTCartoons. He is maried to nature photographer Lee Hiller London who has the popular nature blog Hike Our Planet. The two live in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of  Arkansas where they spend a great deal of time communing with nature in Hot Springs National Park.  Both are environmentalists who are very active in animal rights as well.

Shabbat Shalom…And How We Observe It by Rick London

I’ve always loved Saturdays (at different times in my life for different reasons).  If you’d told me even 4 years ago it was going to be “to observe Shabbat” (or the Sabbath – depending on your language and/or religion), I would have thought you were crazy.  But these days it is because of Shabbat.  Being born reformed Jewish, I never learned much about the religion (it didn’t hold my attention), but neither did much else; probably due to ADHD and numerous other disorders, but these days I find it fascinating and even spiritual at times.

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The irony of it all is that my wife Lee got me interested.  Lee was raised Catholic and Episcopalian.  She has maintained her Christian roots, and practices/follows the Jewish faith.  So in her attempt to get me interested in my own religion, she became interested by enrolling in some kind of online Torah study.  I steered clear of it for about six months or so but saw her enjoying learning it and thought, “Why not?”…… My Saturdays are free and I can basically do whatever I want (within reason).

About 3 or so years ago, Lee got us both copies of Rosetta Stone and we both downloaded the Hebrew language study.  We both decided every Saturday we’d do our language study (which is easier said than done).  Though it only takes an hour or less, it is an agonizing hour (unless one is familiar or fluent in Hebrew…we’re neither) so 3 years later we remain on the “core study”; but it’s finally sinking in .

This comes after our Saturday “Torah Portion” which is online (the Rabbi’s summary) and then the actual reading is on Kindle.

Though we don’t partake in our Hebrew each Saturday, we both complete (or in my case attempt to complete) our Torah study.

The main thing we do is unplug from work; and that is a big change.  We used to work all the way through Fridays and Saturdays. Not anymore.  By 2pm Lee has started on her “masterpieces”; several vegan challah loafs, this amazing bread truly only the finest bakers could attempt.  It is in her blood though. She has info on one ancestor who was a well-known baker and one day he went to work….as the President/CEO of one of the largest insurance companies in the country (nobody really knows how that happened, the “promotion” ‘till this day).  But of course things like that do happen.  He must have baked the right person the right bread.

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So Lee creates this amazing soup (in the winter) or salad in the summer) to go with the challah; and if we don’t have grape juice, we find another juice that is close.

So on Saturday afternoon, after reading the torah study, Lee often reads a book or two (she’s fast at that).  I watch tv and/or play the guitar and sing (in the privacy of my own home) in order not to frighten the horses or small children.

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I did that today.  I love playing oldies, and now, one doesn’t have to buy the songbooks.  There’s a lot of old songs I never learned in the past but love to play and sing them now.  Today it was Poncho & Lefty, Sandman, Folsom Prison Blues, London Homesick Blues, The Letter, and a few more.  I stop only when my fingers have cuts in them that are about to bleed.

Of course there is the option of “nap time”. At 59, and Lee at 56 (she doesn’t mind telling anyone) and I don’t blame her, as she looks to be about 45 or so (very good genes, eats all the right things and gets more exercise than an Olympic hopeful).  Anyway at our age a good nap can be more exciting than winning the lottery.   And we both got one today (she’s still in the middle of hers).  We’re hiking tomorrow so maybe I’ll take a risk and awaken her.  Ok, maybe not.

And to think, the earliest of my memories is loving Saturdays for morning cartoons.  50 years later it is my excuse not to have to create any (cartoons) or even think about “being funny”.  Sometimes that happens by accident anyway (so says my wife).

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) which he founded in 1997 and has been the number one ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts since 2005.  He is married to nature photographer and designer Lee Hiller-London aka Lee Hiller who has the very popular nature and wildlife blog HikeOurPlanet.com.

 

 

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The Importance Of Thanking A Veteran By Rick London

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  Other seasoned artists, writers, musicians etc. with whom I’ve spoken and are friends, understand clearly with no explanation.

For those who have never worked in a field in which the “envelope is encouraged to be pushed”, sometimes they don’t understand when I tell them that Veteran’s Day may be one of the most important if not most important days of the year.

These thank you posts to our veterans, for us, are put up with great emotion; for we know that without our veterans, none of us would be doing the work we love to do, except in hiding, as it is only the countries that suppress, kill, censor and torture their citizens, the one’s that often eventually begin a war to defend their wrongdoing, that consider their creative persons “the most dangerous”.

In a free country, like ours, legends like Mad Magazine, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, Colbert, The Onion, and yes, even Londons Times Cartoons thrive. Matters not if one likes that type media or not, just be glad it exists, because when/if it ever stops, we’re in big trouble as a nation. In countries like America, one does not need to agree with the philosophies of such media, but they better think twice if they don’t think they should exist.  That’s how Syria, Iran and other such countries think, intensely.  So they don’t (exist) in those countries. I take that back; some do, but they are done very carefully “in undisclosed locations”.  

And it is our veterans that have fought for our freedoms so that we don’t have to hide in caves to work. In fact we can be proud of our work and most of us are.

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So when I “Thank A Veteran”, I tell them why.  Almost none of them have thought of that, they tell me, but it is absolutely true.  Freedom breeds creativity. Suppression and censorship are violations to the body, mind and soul.

Even if you don’t work in the arts/and letters, chances are you utilize them at times. You listen to iTunes, you read your favorite magazine or newspaper, you watch movies, and hopefully you read Londons Times Cartoons :).   If you enjoy any of that activity, you too, may thank a veteran.  Without our veterans, chances are very slim any of those would exist, or, if they did, they would be heavily conrolled and censored by the government to fit their philosophy, and only one philosophy would be allowed. 

Please thank a Veteran today.  Let he or she know how much you appreciate him/her and why. It possibly is one of the most important things any of us will do this year.  If you can’t find one nearby, there’s always groups on facebook, Twitter, etc. It only takes a minute and it means a lot to them.  Just let them know you feel they are very important and we could never repay them (and that would be true). 

Thank you kindly.

Sincerely,
Rick London

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Rick London is a designer, cartoonist, songwriter and author.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoon. He is married to popular nature photographer Lee Hiller-London and together they live and hike in their home in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. Lee has he popular nature blog Hike Our Planet. 

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