Vermont in the 1840’s: a Time of Revival, Religion, and Expanding Horizons

Vermont in the 1840’s: a Time of Revival, Religion, and Expanding Horizons

Paul Andreas Fischer


Paul Searls

Vermont in the 1840’s: a Time of Revival, Religion, and Expanding Horizons

The population growth of the early 1840’s was fueled by deforestation efforts as agricultural potential expanded greatly. The population had matured and was now part of a great effort to redefine the national identity that had progressed across New England. Early secessionist movements in New England after the war of 1812, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson in reaction to early attempts to expand liberty throughout the Quebec peninsula (Buchanan, lecture) had become directed inwards; the small state and nation as a whole began to see a unique transformation. Important factors of this internal revolution can be seen as religious and political changes (these forces were still operating in lockstep), expansion of economic frontiers as well as technological competitiveness with Southern states who already enjoyed an economic transformation, and educational maturation. All of these combined into a new and cooperative effort to bring a new dawn to the Vermont countryside and the bustling townships which finally saw westward expansion stunted by squabbling over the nature of westward states and military paranoia of invasion from the North and Atlantic.

The religious revival is nationally noted for the education of African-American citizens and slaves, along with their baptism (Thornton, lecture). This revival can also be seen in the unanimously white states of the North, as the young nation had finally seen reason to expand educational efforts in the countryside and established extensive schooling efforts which saw literacy rates rise (Opal, lecture). Liberty was not the sole goal of these efforts, and the nature of the debates which shaped up affected Vermont in a unique manner.

Two primary objectives of the revivalism in Vermont are of particular interest. Which one came first is not immediately apparent, but logically it can be deduced that the stronger was a reaction to the weaker as this is the nature of successful social movements, society defined as a growing entity (Weiner, lecture). Firstly, the temperance movement attracted a great following in a young state (both in demographics and politically); it is likely the great population shifts described later in economic analysis of the state encouraged a persecution of apple orchard farmers who provided the raw materials which fueled the degenerative behavior of alcohol consumption. “An average of one in every four adults volunteered to take one temperance pledge” (Potash, 182). While demographics are unavailable, it is known that this effort was certainly unappreciated in rural and military circles; the latter had militias in which whisky was used as a reward and the former depended on distilleries to boost consumption of their crop.

What sort of political reaction may have occurred cannot be certain, but prosecution of secret groups and the anti-masonic sentiments of the state may be an endogenous reaction to these events in play. “Rousing greater moral and political ardor among Vermonters than temperance or any other reform was the issue of anti-masonry” which played a major role in the natural backlash which occurred as other states likely proved all too willing to provide a bountiful amount of alcohol, but had much less incentive to purchase the raw materials Vermont was capable of producing.

This came pursuant to various political and economic changes which had occurred in Vermont prior to the establishment of significant organized religion in the public sphere. While by the 1840s, Vermont was on the threshold of breaking through with new threshing machines that would transform agricultural capabilities and allow the conquest of the American South later after allegations of unfair democratic procedures and unconstitutional secession (which is only permitted in the event a state or states’ constitution is in conflict with the United States’ constitution, not when federal statutes and state statutes or constitutions conflict). “In the years following the war of 1812, New York Governor Dewitt Clinton backed the projected Erie Canal that promised to reroute trade form the rapidly growing Great Lakes trade region and Montreal to the Hudson River and New York City” (Potash, 168).

While temperance movements may have decried this as a corruption of social morals and code at the time, the economic success of the action cannot be denied; trade across Lake Champlain subsequently increased by a factor of 500%. This is double the rate of agricultural growth in Addison County as measured by sheep count after 1832 pursuant to recovery from the banking crisis at the time (Potash, 173). Slowly for industrialists hoping to finally dot the Vermont countryside with urban areas, but rapidly given modes of transportation and conservative social values, the state saw a distinct demographic transformation.

“In the decade after 1820, although the population increased by almost 19% to almost 280,652, a large number of towns actually lost population” (Potash, 167) though it is possible this change was not as beneficial as it first appears. Unlike today, when the expansion of the technological frontier can rapidly expand economic horizons, during that time period it was difficult to make significant gains, even as economic policies appeared to work. This is likely due to natural barriers from toxic substance use and semi-natural pollutants (medicine and industry were equally barbaric in the release and exposure of workers and customers to dangerous elements). These changes economically have roots in educational changes that occurred at the time.

Prior to the 1840s, “during the 1820s and 30s Middlebury graduated three times as many students as the University of Vermont” (Potash, 179). This gives an example of this principle in action as no significant technological gains are reported until 1850 when this trend can be presumed to have reversed: with an excess of Middlebury graduates in comparison to UVM graduates, despite an abundance of the former, local economic systems simply became saturated without industrial or agricultural concerns to support them; closer to the lake and transportation proved to be more fertile ground for educational investment. In modern times, we can see that as the population increases in intelligence, such as when lead was removed from paint, automobiles and the environment in general, the economy and graduation rates also increase in kind; in this case it can be seen that a change of around 5 points in IQ resulted in triple the number of college graduates and corresponding gains in gross domestic product.

Earlier reference to sheep in Addison county plays a particularly important role to early Vermont educational development. While it is well known that timber played an important role in Vermont’s history, “the state’s economy flourished initially, then absorbed war-time setbacks, and slowly overcame them, while developing an increasingly precarious agricultural dependence on a single crop, wool” (Potash, 146). The expansion of the agricultural capacity of the state must have marched hand in hand with widespread deforestation. With this would come the educational maturation which allowed Vermont citizens to lead some of the most brilliant military victories in the United State’s history as well as several key technological innovations which played a key role in the survival of the state despite numerous human rights violations and keen competition for valuable resources, whether maple sugar to flavor tobacco or the granite which formed the foundation of the nation’s political and economic capitals.

Works Cited:

Buchanan, Andrew. “US Military History.” University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. 2013. Lecture.

Opal, Jason. “American History to 1865.” McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. 2010. Web.

Potash, P. Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont. Vermont Historical Society: 2004.

Thornton, Kevin. “US History to 1865.” University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. 2010. Lecture.

Weiner, Mathew. “Introduction to Logic.” University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. 2014. Lecture.

Marijuana may not only protect against lung damage, but also help nicotine product users regulate or quit their product, and has the potential to aid with other chemical dependencies.

Marijuana may not only protect against lung damage, but also help nicotine product users regulate or quit their product, and has the potential to aid with other chemical dependencies.

One of the most persistent reasons that people favor marijuana use, legalization, and regulation is due to the assertion that smoking marijuana does not do damage to the lungs, while tobacco smokers have a high certainty of dying from their habit. While the claims have been modulated to some extent, this assertion has held true in cohort studies of medical and recreational marijuana use in California, and attempts to determine causality actually found that the smoke from marijuana offers a protective effect to the lungs of users.

Something that has not been addressed as fully, is the impact of THC on the brain and fighting addiction. Nicotine is among the most addictive substances in the world when taken in amounts of 15-20 mg per day and greater for an extended period of time, the threshold for chemical dependence. It has also been shown to do damage to the dentate gyrus of the brain, which contains about 90% of the brain’s memories, at these levels of intake.

Marijuana smokers experience an increase in functional connectivity in the brain, which has been causally associated with an increase in IQ. The dentate gyrus is among the parts of the brain which experience elevated levels of neurogenesis as a result of exposure to an active compound in marijuana, THC. Recent research conducted at Duke University found that tobacco smokers who were able to quit experienced elevated levels of connectivity in the brain as well, while those who relapsed or became heavier smokers tended to lack this connectivity.

This research is of extreme importance as both nicotine products and other addictive substances or pharmaceuticals grip many users in this country. While it is important to make these activities less addictive, for example by limiting the amount of nicotine in a dose, ironically enough the opposite of what manufacturers of cigarettes did decades ago (though to be fair this may have been a simple reaction against hyperbolic at the least and malevolent or unfounded research at the worst targeted at tobacco), or educating people about what level of intake can be diagnosed as chemically dependent, and should be seen as a warning sign of addiction (as a good doctor will do with any prescription), it is also important to develop methods of ensuring successful recovery in the event of chemical dependence.

While marijuana has been prescribed before prohibition, and has a cultural connotation as a substituting product allowing people with chemical dependence to recover past withdrawal for centuries, the nature of its medical value is just starting to be explored now. Of particular interest is whether the factors affecting recovery for nicotine can contribute to recovery from other substances; research carried out suggests that the underlying genetic factors behind addiction are “highly correlated” at the least. Using brain scan technology to see this effect will be exciting at the least, and this particular vein of research is among the most enticing for public health.

Works Cited:

Abrous, Djoher Nora, et al. “Nicotine self-administration impairs hippocampal plasticity.” The Journal of neuroscience 22.9 (2002): 3656-3662.

Addicott, Merideth A., et al. “Increased Functional Connectivity in an Insula-Based Network is Associated with Improved Smoking Cessation Outcomes.” Neuropsychopharmacology (2015).

Filbey, Francesca M., et al. “Long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain.”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.47 (2014): 16913-16918.

Fried, Peter et al. “Current and Former Marijuana Use: Preliminary Findings of a Longitudinal Study of Effects on IQ in Young Adults.” CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal 166.7 (2002): 887–891.

Doweiko, Harold. Concepts of chemical dependency. Cengage Learning, 2011.

Hashibe, Mia, et al. “Marijuana use and the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: results of a population-based case-control study.” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 15.10 (2006): 1829-1834.

Jiang, Wen, et al. “Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic-and antidepressant-like effects.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 115.11 (2005): 3104.

Kempker, Jordan A., Eric G. Honig, and Greg S. Martin. “Effects of Marijuana Exposure on Expiratory Airflow: A Study of Adults who Participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Study.” Annals of the American Thoracic Society ja (2014).

Kendler, Kenneth S., John Myers, and Carol A. Prescott. “Specificity of genetic and environmental risk factors for symptoms of cannabis, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine dependence.” Archives of General Psychiatry 64.11 (2007): 1313-1320.

Ling, H. W., and CB Wynn Parry. “The amount of nicotine absorbed in smoking.” British journal of pharmacology and chemotherapy 4.3 (1949): 313-314.

Crumbling Pyramids: the Fall of Totalitarian Communist Rule in Poland and Memory of the Forest

Crumbling Pyramids: the Fall of Totalitarian Communist Rule in Poland and Memory of the Forest

Paul Andreas Fischer


Jonathon D. Huener


Crumbling Pyramids: the Fall of Totalitarian Communist Rule in Poland and Memory of the Forest

In Memory of the Forest, by Charles T. Powers, the beginning does not assume significance. It does not throw on the tapestries of European historical writing by dwelling on the horrific natures of mutually assured destruction and consumerism that gripped American writers at the time. However, for those who have read Little House on the Prairie or listened to the more contemporary Garrison Keeler on National Public Radio, there will be a reassuring familiarity in the stories of a “little town in Poland”. Looking at the characterization of the Polish nationality and the nature of life under Communist rule may cast some light on the fate and nature of infamous “the disappeared” of totalitarian government in Poland. To understand the missing, it is first necessary to understand how they were while present.

The history of Poland is rife with running. It is a recurring theme, from military withdrawals to the systematic hunt, or Jager, of the Jewish populations during World War Two. Persecution of Jews proceeded under Stalinist anti-zionist campaigns which periodically emanated from Moscow. With the downfall of Communism in Europe and Russia, a new running was beginning: a female friend of the protagonist of the book, Leszek, named Jola says, “maybe I’m running, but I’m running with my family”. Desperate to leave the villages behind, perhaps it finally felt for the Poles as if there was something, an American dream perhaps, to run to, even if this would be found simply in a larger city now.

Bribery can be seen to be rampant at this time, “it wasn’t a question of moral qualm; just lack of know-how” Just as the American rock song The Farm or Tobacco Road by Jefferson Airplane exalts the benefits of country life, the Poles too have an aversion to the city life, compounded by sentiments of anti-establishmentarianism crossed with disdain for the inveterate lack of life found in fellow city dwellers. Father Jerzy, speaking at a funeral points out that “the culture of the totalitarian gives rise to the totalitarian solution, to force, to murder”. This symptom of systemic sickness is easily diagnosed, the smaller observations can be harder to emphasize, though they lie out in the open, both in life and in this book. One frustration in early country life is technological illiteracy; a local priest, Father Tadeuz, refuses to bless a copy machine.

A fundamental distrust of technology is not limited to the clergy. Cars break down, the heavy industry emphasis of early communism, never significantly successful in satellite states, was long gone and the system had entered a period of prolonged decay ominously omitted from Marxist forecasts as symptomatic of an isolated and unnatural economic system. There is an overwhelming claustrophobia about economic conditions, and while things would be getting better, for these Poles it seemed “as though the air were rationed”.

In order for a small village to obtain even basic necessities like coal, someone had to engage in nefarious behavior, from diversion of food to illicit sexual companions or intoxicating substances. The economic value of goods at the time is complicated by the addition of complementary services from necessary connections to perseverance in obtaining what one or a group needed. Yet times are changing and “nothing was sure any longer, the great pyramid of power was crumbling, visibly notched and chunked at the top, reduced to uncertain sand at the bottom”. This change represented a violent movement away from early notions of revolution upon which many in the social structure had become raised to their positions.

Father Jerzy offers greater insight than the mere violence perpetrated, but also points the finger at the behavior of Communists once they had acquired the mechanisms of control. Poland “is poor because the Communists robbed the people for forty years. Suppressed the church. Encouraged the collapse of the family. Sent Bolshevik Jews and Stalinist tyrants to rule over our lives, to remove religion from the schools”. In the final accusation, the remnants of the anti-zionist campaign can be seen; Polish recognition of anti-semitism can be hard to come by, and nearly as great a crime as the purges under Communist rule was the utter lack of apology, the wretched fear and hatred instilled in the population, which was left exposed for the west, still smouldering from decades past.

Unlike many revolutionary or economic constructions and movements in the United States, the fall of Communism was not one of young people throwing off the yoke of the archaic, reactionary system. Instead it was tired old people, ones who had fought and killed for a way of life that stubbornly refused to materialize, desperate for a new solution. The protagonist’s grandpa has a mild, teasing disdain for “anyone he associated with what he thought of as the structure of Socialism”. Meanwhile those who make sure the village is warm and survives from year to year must attend frequent Party meetings to turn the sickening wheels of corruption.

Still, for these young capitalists to lament the totalitarianism seems to be a loss of place in a certain way. Just as in America, the USSR was seen with an uneasy distrust, along with some useful programs that took a long time to take hold here, people behind the Iron Curtain must have also had such misgivings and suspicion of the brave new world offered. Equally important to the protagonist as he snoops around this small village, is the Jewish history, or lack thereof.

“There was no history here, no archive, no memorial”. As useless as an empty American prairie to digest the atrocities that occurred, land once resplendent with clues, from graves to lifestyles of European Jewry, the small Polish town and its inhabitants still wallow in ignorance of the acts committed by local and occupying authorities. Some of the apathy and ignorance of the village is explained by the pathetic “cultural center” which contains a handful of books and a desk. Some, like a travel agent “proud of his crisp uniform” believe in the system. With an arrogant uselessness, the agent’s eyes barely waver from the screen and the protagonist is disgusted.

This is not all of the Polish national character that is contained in this book. Like Poland, the young men are brave. Old men look for the characteristics of their leaders in the eyes of their young. There is a romance, which is flawed by its innocence, and the omniscient recognition that to change this will create folly many times that of any flaw apparent in this relationship. With the tunnel-vision of young love, the social stratification and troubles of the village still must come first. That could be a sole logical fallacy, but as in life, white lies are necessary in literature to facilitate the delivery of important messages and for the enjoyment of the reader. For an American, the disparate love and hatred between child and adult, the ignominious recognition of a failing system is apparent. This strange distance is also quite alien; this brings one closer to the judgemental decisions which are begged and are continually recurring. It is fitting that in conclusion, Leszek confesses for his father. Some would argue as well, that it is fitting that he does not pay for these crimes. Polish families continue to live in the former homes of their Jewish neighbours exiled or killed through the brutal methodology of fear intimidation and exclusion (not to juxtapose the acronym when it is not necessitated).

A final note of how these officiously useless figures and apathetic, ignorant people came to lose faith in a political system convoluted by decades of isolation is needed. “Do I hear my charges now or at the trial?” a chairman of a farmer’s co-op laughingly asks, referring to his potential accusers as young crusaders. The concept of being charged was laughable, the ideation of criminality had lost its grip through repressive measures and negative execution of judiciary demands.

While the book is a memory, and little more, it is also a historical artifact. Interestingly, more striking than the outlandish tales of foreign peoples that characterized early travellers’ accounts such as Marco Polo or Cortes in the renaissance or age of absolutism, this story will touch an American reader with similarities. The small town, rife with mystery and intrigue. A long forgotten but intrinsically detailed past involving every family rushes to meet the villagers in the light of the present day. Morally and ethically, the reader must contemplate reality and juxtapose a unique system of judgement in evaluating these people; so much of what is experienced strikes home, even for one not natural to the Polish character.

Marginalization of Intelligentsia and Extermination of European Jewry in Nazi Germany

Paul Andreas Fischer
Marginalization of Intelligentsia and Extermination of European Jewry in Nazi Germany

The breakdown of academic institutions was felt throughout Germany. Despite Alfred Hitchcock’s assertion that “trading a few books” seemed well worth the military conquests made by Germans, the reality was that the nation was one in freefall and tatters, on a scale virtually unprecedented in the history of mankind. The elimination of the lower end of the “tail” on a natural bell curve through eugenics and euthanasia programs has been well publicized. However, the marginalization of the other tail, the intelligentsia, is less well understood. It will be necessary to work from the Nicosia and Huener anthology, Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany, in order to formulate a concise explanation for the exact method and procedure which resulted in a nation on the forefront of technological progress to become the mechanism for the most destructive killing machine in history.
This breakdown will be seen as responsibility for development of Nazi racial ideology, experimentation and opportunism as well as the consequences for breaches in scientific ethics, and the direct involvement of educated medical professionals in methodological killing as well as in development of the systems, social and scientific, which made this possible. Throughout, it will be analyzed through two lenses. Firstly, the crackdown on tobacco use and production in 1941-2 offers a pericope of cumulative radicalization and of the marginalization of those adequately qualified to hold academic posts in Nazi Germany while offering as well a tangible and previously underexplored explanation for why the final solution was not issued until 1942, and how during a wartime economy 10 percent of national insecticide production would be suicidally diverted to what Nazi leaders referred to as the Jewish problem. Then to expand from this, information will be offered on the destruction of medical and scientific institutions and the role leaders in medical and scientific professions played in using the threat of disenfranchisement to bully subordinates into compliance, use of cumulative radicalization to brainwash citizens to racial ideologies, and in the actual act of killing itself, from development of the newest techniques of mass murder and post-traumatic stress disorder minimization to the selection of prisoners to be killed.
The Final Solution to the Tobacco Question and Confluence to the Holocaust
It is not currently known exactly how much nicotine from tobacco was used during the war years, but one can assume it was substantial; in the post-war years of 1945-50 2,500 tons of nicotine-based insecticide was used worldwide[1]. While annual use of Zyklon B, the killing agent commercially sold as an insecticide, was almost thirteen times greater than the amount used to commit Holocaust, it has been shown that the purchases after 1941 (when gassing commenced) were made primarily at one time and constituted almost a quarter of national supply[2]. Hand picked land is about fifty times less efficient than that treated with insecticide, and that is the sort of prohibitive cost which could have hindered Nazi leaders from recognizing their racial goals early in the regime.
Battling tobacco was not new to the Nazi agenda, but before 1941 this policy had been couched in terms of anti-internationalist agendas. Hitler hoped to use the fact that Jewish Marxists in the professors’ rebellion of 1848 had advocated tobacco use, or at least fought religious anti-tobacco sentiments, as evidence of a Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy. It also reinforced racial ideology as he described tobacco as “the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man, vengeance for having been given hard liquor.”[3]
Yet legal sanctions only began in 1938; until 1941 tobacco seemed to be safe against the prejudices of an academic system gone woefully and extensively awry. The Universal Tobacco Institute continued to operate, as did the hundreds of thousands of Germans the industry employed. Then, eerily close to the first testing of Zyklon B in concentration camps for victim gassing, a militant operation was launched to drive out the tobacco industry. “The Reich Institute for Tobacco Research in Forcheim, ear Karlsruhe, perfected methods to remove nicotine” during the war, which supplemented waste materials to be processed into insecticide for use by the agricultural industry.[4] This was carried out with military efficiency, and while it cannot be known precisely when the change occurred, with estimates variable throughout the war, it can be said with certainty that between 1938 and 1948 tobacco use dropped from almost 130,000 tonnes to just over 30,000 tonnes.[5] The industry would not recover to pre-war levels until 1965.
While the act of smoking had thus far been viewed perhaps as a form of “passive resistance”,[6] after this turning point it also became part of the Nazi’s ultimate ideological goal: racial purification. Convictions were never pressed against the seller of Zyklon B, the Degesch Administrative Board, and though all members were arrested for sometime, charges were dropped within weeks. The board members claimed to have no recollection of foreknowledge of the destination of the gas. Whether the same can be said for the anti-smoking campaigns which created such a surplus in the first place will unfortunately never be known. It can be known that there must have been someone with knowledge of the ideological value of the decision in order to move focus from the Physician’s League’s earlier role of spreading “biographical information about Jewish colleagues who were still practicing medicine” and cementing the scientific basis of the ideological claims of the party.[7]
However, the sudden prosecution of tobacco executives in Nazi Germany was not logically sound or based in science. Research consisted of handfuls of industrial workers who smoked “extremely heavy” amounts of tobacco correlated with data from questionnaires that were empirically useless, which can be seen repeated today in anti-smoking campaigns.[8] Fortunately, what prevented modern science in the USA from following the same path as German scientists did on this matter was adjustment of tobacco studies for levels of exercise in 1999 and demonstration over the years of the actual effect of air pollution and how much air pollution can be generated by a cigarette. This resulted from a rigorous and thorough adherence to the scientific method which was sadly missing in Nazi controlled institutions, which pursued ideological goals before establishing a firm causal to correlative experimental proof. In addition to shooting the anti-tobacco campaigns full of holes, such adherence also could have easily shown fallacies in the logic of racial and euthanasia programs, as the groups played important social roles previously and with rapid industrialization and the entourage of dangerous chemicals had begun to play a technological role that far outweighed what little sadistic gains were made from “experimentation” on murdered victims.
Ultimately the medical profession had the highest level of Nazi Party, SS, and SA membership among professions at the time. This involvement was spurred onwards by promises of job prospects and respect, but retained with the overwhelming death, first of eugenics then war and then industrial murder. It was encouraged at a young age, even in university with characters like Karl Astel who, a “vocal Anti-Semite and high-ranking SS officer, Astel was also a militant anti-smoker and teetotaler who banned smoking at the University of Jena and soon became known for snatching cigarettes from the mouths of students who dared to violate the ban.”[9] Turning a blind eye to the Hippocratic Oath and medical ethics became only too easy as more and more professionals felt they owed their sick success to the regime.

Fascism and Medicine: Cure-all Against Sound Logic
The insistent role of fascism in the medical field had played into earlier euthanasia and eugenics programs which crippled the national understanding of many diseases by eliminating (to use statistical, and not qualitative language) the null values in society; “physicians, dentists, pharmacists – selected those destined for the gas chambers” which reinforced the random brutality of what occurred to those in charge as well as overwhelmed subordinates, and psychological sadism or mental illness did play a role, it is not necessary to look farther than the experiments of Mengele or others to see this. The lack of professional discernment for qualifications and ethics also enabled later reinforcement of racial ideology which evolved from old wives’ tales at the formation of the Reich into a pseudoscience by marginalizing the influence of doctors and professionals whose careers were staked in understanding these ailments or the impact of pollutants which are now known to cause them. With no small irony “the same academic research institutions that gave birth to modern medicine and medical science and medical education also fostered what was to become the greatest program of human destruction in the history of humankind.”[10]
This had already begun in 1936 with a nationwide eugenics and euthanasia program which resonated with calls for racial purification and touched on trends being tested in other nations with sterilization. A poster in support of the program read “We are not alone!” but left out the destruction to German society, starving babies, and industrial contamination which followed. While in other nations, intact academic institutions recognized the social and technological value of these populations, the defunct academic system in Germany allowed the same demagoguery to dominate in the medical system as had already consumed the political system. The two worked seamlessly to support each other and ensure that radicalization of the population occurred.
As Germany prepared for war, medical licenses or approbations were provided with increasingly lower levels of training and as a reward for party membership or loyalty. With the declaration of war doctors began to receive emergency medical licences, or notapprobations, and membership in the SS was admirable. They were deployed, medical professionals of all stripes, to select healthy prisoners, in which there was unanimous compliance. All that separated the doctors was unique sadism on the behalf of a few. This was an organization of death, and the mission and goal was the destruction of Germany’s foes. Compounded by the madness of murder perpetrated on a systemic scale, sadistic doctors found themselves with an open licence, not just in medicine, but in all matters life, death, and pain in between. Examples of torture include radiological scanning with lumbar punctures uniquely painful, “psychological” experiments in which prisoners were simply poisoned with sausages, and violently induced blindness and other disease.
Fortunately, the experimentation did not pan out for German scientists, and the pressure to produce increased. Rather than a return to the hypothesis or theorems being tested (or in practice in this case), which would have been necessitated by scientific method, this was pursued by an economical doubling down on the same old concepts previously rejected. Two things made this decision incontrovertible for Nazi leaders at the time: the coming declaration of war in 1938 and availability of nicotine-based insecticide. Without these catalysts, it is likely that the ivory tower would have provided the protection needed to ensure success in reversing the fundamental fallacies in logic which resulted in some of the greatest tragedies ever seen.
[1] Ujváry, István. “Nicotine and other insecticidal alkaloids.” In Nicotinoid Insecticides and the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, pp. 29-69. Springer Japan, 1999, 2.
[2] Hayes, Peter. From cooperation to complicity: Degussa in the Third Reich. Cambridge University Press, 2007, 296.
[3] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 51.
[4] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 49.
[5] Forey, Barbara, Jan Hamling, John Hamling, Alison Thornton, and Peter Lee. “International Smoking Statistics Web Edition A Collection of Worldwide Historical Data Germany.” P N Lee Statistics and Computing Ltd. October 24, 2011. Accessed April 16, 2015, 10.
[6] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 52.
[7] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 79.
[8] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 47.
[9] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 50.
[10] Nicosia, Francis R., and Jonathan Huener. “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices.” Legacies (2004), 94.

Fine Particulate Matter in Tobacco and Air Pollution, a Prospective Review of Mortality Rates

Fine Particulate Matter in Tobacco and Air Pollution, a Prospective Review of Mortality Rates

    Review of mortality rates among tobacco smokers and non-smokers has been inconclusive. While tobacco use is associated with between 1 and 3 years decline in life expectancy in humans (Ferrucci, et al.) after controlling for exercise (associated with a 10 year change in life expectancy), this does not associate positively with rat studies seen in earlier reviews in which rats smoking over 20 cigarettes a day outlived non-smokers by 5% and human smoking patterns which mostly match this group. Studies have also shown poverty to have a similar detrimental effect on life expectancy, but will not be counted in this study, as the assumption must be made (lacking proper surveys) that exercise and income are positively correlated.
There are two ways of approaching this quantitatively, and both will be pursued in this review to check for logical fallacy. Firstly, the assumption can be made that due to an unsupported difference in the pulmonary systems of rats and humans, that tobacco smoke has a detrimental effect on the lifespan of humans and investigation of how this occurs must happen. Secondly, it can be assumed that there are other confounding factors such as air pollution and radioactive exposure which account for greater levels of mortality in certain geographical areas, making tobacco data coincidental (which would be supported by female trends in the UK where lung cancer increased significantly as smoking declined by 50%, as shown in a previous article).

Fine Particulate Matter in Tobacco: enough to cause cancer, early mortality, neither or both?
The average cigarette delivers 1525 (+-193) (μg/m3) of fine particulate matter (or “tar” on some cigarette warnings) over a period of around 300 seconds (Gerber, et al.), and each puff contains 60 ml  or .00006 m3, and there are around 10-20 puffs on a cigarette (sizes vary from 60 mm to 100 mm in commercially sold products, the 60 mm will be used, as the most commonly used). This means that in a cigarette there is .0006-.0012 m3 of smoke exposure, multiplied by the average 1525 (μg/m3) parts fine particulate matter yielding .72 μg of exposure. This multiplied by an average of 18 (+-8, depending on the state/smoker) cigarettes per day, delivering into the lung between 7 and 25 μg fine particulate matter exposure over the course of a day. This is the equivalent of standing in a closed garage with ten cars running for 30 minutes (Invernizzi et al.) to put it in perspective.
Is this enough to significantly change the risk for lung cancer or mortality, according to modern studies on air pollution, and assuming all other factors constant? Every 10 μg elevation in atmospheric fine particulate matter is associated with a decrease in life expectancy of .6 years which does fall within the realm of possibility of the decline of one to three years associated with tobacco use after adjustment for exercise mentioned earlier, but fails to explain why rats smoking similar amounts of tobacco lived 5% longer. To understand this, further investigation will be necessary into a couple confounding factors which may explain why tobacco smoke has a greater deleterious effect on humans than rats, when physically the pulmonary systems should react in step with each other.

Ferrucci, Luigi, et al. “Smoking, physical activity, and active life expectancy.” American Journal of Epidemiology 149.7 (1999): 645-653.

Gerber, Alexander, et al. “Tobacco smoke particles and indoor air quality (ToPIQ-II)–a modified study protocol and first results.” Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 1 (2015): 5.

Invernizzi, Giovanni, et al. “Particulate matter from tobacco versus diesel car exhaust: an educational perspective.” Tobacco control 13.3 (2004): 219-221.

Pope III, C. Arden, Majid Ezzati, and Douglas W. Dockery. “Fine-particulate air pollution and life expectancy in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine 360.4 (2009): 376-386.

Zacny, James P., et al. “Human cigarette smoking: effects of puff and inhalation parameters on smoke exposure.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 240.2 (1987): 554-564.

Effect of nicotine, alcohol, and THC on vein diameter

Nicotine shown to have half the constrictive properties on veins as alcohol, and marijuana actually will make them bigger (with vasorelaxatory properties identified in THC)!

Nicotine and vein constriction:
“Smoking was associated with significant changes in the aortic pressure-diameter relation that denote deterioration of the elastic properties and were maintained during the whole study period: the slope of the pressure-diameter loop became steeper (baseline, 35.43±1.38; minute 1, 45.26±1.65; peak at minute 10, 46.36±1.69 mm Hg/mm; P<.001) and aortic distensibility decreased (baseline, 2.08±0.12; minute 1, 1.60±0.08; nadir at minute 5, 1.54±0.07×10−6 cm2·dyne−1P<.001). In contrast, no changes in aortic elasticity indexes were observed with sham smoking."

Alcohol and vein constriction:
“Blood ethanol levels achieved at 60, 120, and 180 minutes were 649+-48, 1,285±81, and 2,546+-130jug/ml, respectively. LAD cross-sectional area was reduced significantly from control at the end of each of the three dosing periods (-24± 5%, -40± 3%, and -53±.3%; p<0.004). a-Adrenergic blockade had no effecton LAD cross-sectional area, while nicardipine partially reversed the ethanol-induced vasoconstriction. No significant change in vessel cross-sectional area took place in control dogs."
Marijuana and vein relaxation:
“The present results provide strong evidence that THC is a PPARγ ligand, stimulation of which causes time-dependent vasorelaxation”
This results in a lower blood pressure and better athletic performance.

Desensitization, Fear, and the Promise of Courage in Ordinary Men

The Downfall of the First Republic: Polish Nobility, Five Eternal Rights, Three Contributing Failures, and Three Conspiring Powers

Paul Fischer


John Huener


The Downfall of the First Republic: Polish Nobility, Five Eternal Rights, Three Contributing Failures, and Three Conspiring Powers



Polish nobility were guaranteed five eternal and invariable principles in the constitution of 1793. Unfortunately the monarch and the people were notably left out. Without the absolutism of France (which also failed) or the great rights of Venetian or German merchants and burghers, the middle class, Poland found itself following a colonial model in the chaos of the ancien regime in Europe. The downfall of the First Polish Republic in 1795 was the result of a series of coinciding factors, each of which will be addressed fully and with concise clarity.

The primary contributing factors to the downfall of Poland that will be addressed are economic destabilization, civil strife and political turmoil, as well as an incapacity to perform militarily in such a way as to maintain Poland’s borders in the new nation-state system imposed on much of Europe by nationalism, in a geopolitical sense. Inability to compete economically with other nations created a myth of Poland as a nation without a purpose. Specific trade inequalities as well as industrial non-competitiveness will be seen first, and as a contribution to the exacerbation of other elements of the devolution of the Polish state before its removal from political maps (if not from that of cultural identity).


Economic malaise: The New World and Europe’s Grain Basket

Poland lies along the Oder and Vistula rivers and with the unification of Lithuanian and Polish lands through personal union with the creation of the Republic of the Two Nations in 1569, a great amount of grain harvest was gained. As control of these far flung regions began to disintegrate, so to did the economic prosperity of Poland. The rest of Europe underwent nationalization in an industrial sense, while Polish reforms came too little, too late.

While German reforms granting power to burghers were necessitated by squabbles within the Holy Roman Empire, and in France and Italy these protections were de facto incorporated with their national development in the middle ages, it was not until 1791 that “Poland transformed from a nation of gentry to a nation of proprietors” (Taras, 34). This late realization of economic equality and prosperity to national success meant that “putting-out” systems in Europe took longer to occur in Polish lands, and with them the seeds of industrialization which made European colonial ambitions reality.

Historically, nature had protected Poland from the malevolent forces of economic sabotage or instability. When civil wars or marauding Tartars devastated the farmlands, merchants and nobility were comfortable to wait for times to change, safe in the knowledge that it was impossible for rudimentary military operations to effectively control the territory (at times this included Poland’s own rulers). Unfortunately, divides which economically split these nobles would also result in military conflict later on.

The shift towards Moscow and the Orthodox church resulted in times of entire regions simply refusing to pay tribute or taxes,  and in the Great Deluge, the nation was torn apart in civil war waged by Poland’s elite nobility. Costly military  and political conquests, such as union with Lithuania began to fall apart because “to Orthodox nobles, especially in the distant eastern borderlands, taking service with Moscow often seemed to offer a more promising path of advancement” (Lukowski and Zawadzki, 56).

When economic tithes stopped coming to Roman Catholic authorities, the progression of other country splitting heresy, such as that in Prussia, began to become more commonplace, and the crown and military found itself in a disadvantage. This was worsened by the introduction of New World markets, destabilizing demand for raw materials that Poland was known for. Their economic advantage was destroyed as England’s industrialization provided eastern lands with better products, in a similar manner to the colonies, which undermined the historical technological advantages Polish merchants and forces enjoyed.


Five Liberties, and How Oppression and Repression Tear Poland Apart at the Seams


When the big three neighbours of Poland, Austria, Russia, and Sweden, that were primarily responsible for the nation’s fall, were disorganized and ineffective at projecting power beyond their own borders, Polish chariots established an effective rule over one third of continental Europe. However, as these nations consolidated under the power of some of the most effective rulers in history, and in France the absolutism of Louis XIV became the envy of Europe, Polish compromise made political change grind to a halt. Even in wars within Poland, there was no satisfaction and the nobles expressed indignation at their “oppression” or at the inability to act in a reactionary manner, in either case neither side’s ambitions could be fulfilled, and consequently little conquest, economic development, or other trade marks of the absolute monarch such as imperialism could be fulfilled.

This was endemic and intrinsic to a policy change forced upon the king, “nothing new” in which the Polish Sejm or parliament, “hereby affirmed for all time to come that nothing new may be enacted by Us and our Successors save by the common consent of the senators and the envoys of the constituencies” (Lukowski and Zawadzki, 64), which meant that even funding for a defensive war that the monarch approved of could take three or four years to be approved, if at all. The weakness of a central authority in Poland is illustrated in the case of certain magnates or nobles which held more economic wealth than the royal treasury. Polish neighbours had no love for this egalitarian noble led state, much later, after the fall, Prince Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor stated, “Polonism is only a formula, the sound of a word underneath which hides a revolution in its most glaring form” (Taras, 36). For foreign nations, in pre-revolution and pre-napoleonic Europe, revolutionary ideals were more hated even than the most bitter foes.

Under one king, August III, “only one session of the Sejm was able to pass any legislation at all” (Taras, 31). Enemies of Poland, and of religious authority alike took full advantage of this system to make a mockery of attempted nationhood. The inability to rule was compounded by liberum conspire under which Polish nobility had the right to conspire against authority, and indeed even to wage warfare against the king.

Moving from Polish insurrections to foreign policy, seeing that “this system also generated self-destructive tendencies, especially when skillfully exploited by Poland’s foes” (Taras 32), draws a vivid picture of the conspiracy of multiple malevolent forces in the fall of Polish authority. With one third of the population dead due to war and war-related famines and hardship, and substantial territory lost, this authority had dwindled for nearly a century before the famous partitions and direct involvement of foreign belligerents.

Polish Military and Geopolitical Power: More Than Technological Disadvantage


Neighbouring nations had a contempt for national Poland. The viewpoint of the rest of the world was that Poland was a nation, once too powerful to deal with, with unchanging ideology in the face of a rapidly changing world. While Renaissance and middle age era kings of Poland were able to boast resounding victories over heretics and foreign opponents alike, by the time gunpowder fuelled war machines took dominance, the nation fell apart on the battlefield as well as at home.

While the ultimate elimination of the Polish state was diplomatic, a result of treaties and occurred gradually over the last decade of the 18th century in partitions, it was causally linked to vicious warfare which left the country and people in tatters. With no choice but to fight, and no war machine to fight with, it was easy for foreign nations to dictate terms to Polish nobility, a class that by this time was facing humiliation in the face of successful peasant authority throughout Europe. Poland had no choice to throw its power behind a monarch or decentralize into the peasant masses, either option was fundamentally undermined by the very constitution Poland considered to be the premier among democratic or republican movements at the time.

This was one example of a compromise that failed. Where once, in times of duchies and feudal rule, compromise gave Poland unprecedented authority in negotiations and in integrating new cultures and classes, now this conciliatory nature tore the nation to pieces. With nationalist ideologies spreading in Europe, a mixed background of constituents made consolidation impossible, except through the guiding force of the greater powers.

Unfortunately for occupying powers, this did not work. Poland was ripped apart, eaten digested, and excreted nearly in whole, and periodic nationalist rebellions proved this point. While they did little to restore the Polish state, the idea of a Polish nation remained so ingrained to its people behaviour that nearly 150 years later, the state was able to rise again, a testament to the strength this culture possessed.

The nation survived bitter persecution and is now stronger for that effect. Without the conspiring influence of war and struggle, however, it is possible that Poland could have exerted control over some greater lands and resources. Failure to recognize the future of Europe as interconnected to the destiny of Poland is a failure that is not likely to repeat itself. Thought that which has seen Poland survive thus far is the fierce loyalty to land and nation, and this remains paramount in this nation-state as it has successfully repulsed attempts by the Soviet Union and other powers to absorb their cultural identity.

Works Cited:

Lukowski, Jerzy, and W. H. Zawadzki. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2006. Print.

Taras, Ray. Consolidating Democracy in Poland. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995. Print.


My side of a conversation with Brian Macfadyen on Youtube policies, royalties and economic good sense

If corporations and artists are flat out blocking a film or music video, it’s censorship. There has to be an exponential royalty system, where people who are providing legitimate serious content are getting close to a similar royalty as the music they sample
and those who simply put a picture of a pumpkin and let it be end up with tiniest fraction of that royalty, i think free market compensates for that though because if there is a good music video someone will watch it, and if there is a crappy one they wont, when both are costing the same…
and for artists who dont “make music videos” they might have an economic incentive to use a blog or something bandcamp kind of thing where they can isolate their customer base and force out the competition,if they have a natural monopoly on their sound, that is talent sometimes, cartel economics might be more useful for that particular group.

Easiest way to memorize the Electromagnetic radiation in order of energy!

In order to remember the EMR (electromagnetic radiation) spectrum there is a joke. I thought it up while studying for my chemistry exam and thinking about the beginning of each part.
A hippie walks into a fun house and says: “GrUVI MiRa”
The order of electromagnetic radiation according to energy levels is Gamma Rays, Ultra Violet light, Visible light, Infrared light, Microwave light, and Radio waves
I hope this helps someone studying for an exam!
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