Category Archives: articles

all articles linked from other places go here

Canadian drug policy experts recommend decriminalizing all drugs

Canadian drug policy experts recommend decriminalizing all drugs
By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, May 23, 2013

In a report issued Thursday (PDF), a group of Canadian drug policy experts at the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction recommend that the Harper administration immediately take up decriminalization of all drugs as the first step toward fundamentally reforming the nation’s drug war to fight addiction instead of the Canadian people.

“While countries all around the world are adopting forward-thinking, evidence-based drug policies, Canada is taking a step backwards and strengthening punitive policies that have been proven to fail,” experts wrote, noting the Harper administration’s hard rightward swing.

The administration recently joined U.S. drug warriors in focusing military assets on eradicating drug crops in south America, even after the prime minister himself admitted that the drug war “is not working.”

“The findings of this report, based on interviews with changemakers and service providers, and scans of important documents and research, reveals that Canada is at a crossroads when it comes to drug laws and policies,” the report’s executive summary explains. “A new direction in drug policy is required. We can continue to work within the paradigm of drug prohibition or we can begin to explore alternative approaches and chart a new course that can help save lives, respect human rights and be more cost effective.”

Their top recommendation, mentioned before all others, is the decriminalization of all currently illicit substances for personal use, along with the establishment of a regulatory system that allows adults to responsibly use marijuana. Once that’s done, experts recommended working to reduce the stigmas associated with people who use drugs in order to help overcome some of the social barriers addicts face in seeking treatment.

Likely their most controversial recommendation is step three: harm reduction policies, like supplying clean needles to heroin addicts and clean pipes for crack cocaine users, making drug-replacement therapies available to opoid users, and even allowing heroin addicts a sterile injection site with medically pure, measured doses, then following up with the patient about rehabilitation services.

“Canada has good people working at every level from front line services and organizations to provincial and federal ministries, whose efforts are severely hampered by fear, lack of leadership, and poorly informed policies based on outdated ideas and beliefs about drugs and the people who use them,” they wrote. “At the same time, a global movement of sitting and former political leaders is emerging that acknowledges the over-reliance on the criminal law in addressing drug problems is causing more harm than good.”

“Canada must join the chorus of voices around the globe calling for change,” the summary concludes. “This report is a call for Canadians to meet these challenges head-on with creative thinking and brave policy changes.”

appropos of nothing…

Strange but True: Males Can Lactate
Unless you are an Indonesian fruit bat, though, it probably won’t happen naturally

By Nikhil Swaminathan
September 6, 2007

In late 2004 the Internet Movie Database reported that Dustin Hoffman suddenly had the urge to breast-feed. Had the then-67-year-old Hoffman—who brought mainstream culture face to face with autism in Rain Man and went mano a mano with an Ebola-like filovirus in Outbreak—never quite broken character from his 1982 film Tootsie? Nope. He was just really keen to help out with his first grandchild.

Interestingly, he could have possibly lent a helping, er, breast, if he had held the suckling newborn to his nipples for a couple weeks – although he could also have tried starving himself or taking a medication that would affect his brain’s pituitary gland.

There have been countless literary descriptions of men miraculously breast-feeding, from The Talmud to Tolstoy, where, in Anna Karenina, there is a short anecdote of a baby suckling an Englishman for sustenance while on board a ship. The little anthropological evidence documented suggests it is possible. In the 1896 compendium Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, George Gould and Walter Pyle catalogue several instances of male nursing being observed. Among them was a South American man, observed by Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who subbed as wet nurse after his wife fell ill as well as male missionaries in Brazil that were the sole milk supply for their children because their wives had shriveled breasts. More recently, Agence France-Presse reported a short piece in 2002 on a 38-year-old man in Sri Lanka who nursed his two daughters through their infancy after his wife died during the birth of her second child.

In her 1978 book The Tender Gift: Breastfeeding, medical anthropologist Dana Raphael claimed that men could induce lactation simply by stimulating their nipples. The eminent endocrinologist Robert Greenblatt of the Medical College of Georgia concurred. But Jack Newman, a Toronto-based doctor and breast-feeding expert, insists that in order to produce milk, a hormone spike must occur. “That Tolstoy quote suggests that the father just put the baby to the breast and he would produce milk; I think that’s pretty unlikely,” he says. “It could be that you have this man with this pituitary tumor and he produces milk once the baby starts suckling.”

Newman explains that medical disruptions involving prolactin, the hormone necessary to produce milk, have resulted in spontaneous lactation. Thorazine, a popular antipsychotic used in the mid-20th century, impacted the pituitary gland—the pea-size endocrine gland located near the base of the brain—often causing it to overproduce prolactin. If prolactin levels remained high, milk could follow. According to Newman, lactation is listed as a possible side effect of the heart medication digoxin. A pituitary tumor could also induce milk production: “It would be the same reason—increased prolactin levels — in the one case drug-induced, in the other due to a tumor or some other sort of neurological problem.”

In a 1995 article for Discover titled “Father’s Milk,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author and one-time physiologist Jared Diamond reconciles the nipple stimulation and hormone quandary, pointing out that such stimulation can release prolactin. He also notes that starvation — which inhibits the functioning of hormone-producing glands as well as the hormone-absorbing liver — can cause spontaneous lactation, as observed in survivors of Nazi concentration camps and Japanese POW camps in World War II. “The glands recover much faster than the liver when normal nutrition is resumed,” he writes, “so hormone levels soar unchecked.”

Males of many different mammalian species have the potential to lactate, although only one, the Dayak fruit bat of Southeast Asia, does so spontaneously. Diamond points out, however, that with the societal norm of fathers helping to rear their young, male milk production could actually be to our advantage, especially with all the career women trying to balance the demands of job and family. Why else would men still have nipples?

“Up until a certain age, boys and girls, as fetuses, are indistinguishable, really, so women retain some remnants of the vas deferens, which is the canal that sperm follows,” Newman answers. “If you have no Y chromosome, then certain hormones are released that say, ‘Okay, we’ll set up this child’s breast tissue to develop at puberty so that she will be able to produce milk.’ Men didn’t [secrete those hormones], so we don’t usually have breast tissue.”

“Actually a significant number of boys around the age of puberty do develop breasts,” he continues, “so the tissue is there, but it regresses.” In short, men may not have full-fledged breasts but they certainly can lactate, under extreme circumstances.

Peace Be Upon You

Peace Be Upon You
Internet videos will insult your religion. Ignore them.

By William Saletan, Sept. 14, 2012

Dear Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Jews,

You’re living in the age of the Internet. Your religion will be mocked, and the mockery will find its way to you. Get over it.

If you don’t, what’s happening this week will happen again and again. A couple of idiots with a video camera and an Internet connection will trigger riots across the globe. They’ll bait you into killing one another.

Stop it. Stop following their script.

Today, fury, violence, and bloodshed are consuming the Muslim world. Why? Because a bank fraud artist in California offered people $75 a day to come to his house and act out scenes that ostensibly had nothing to do with Islam. Then he replaced the audio, putting words in the actors’ mouths, and stitched together the scenes to make an absurdly bad movie ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed. He put out flyers to promote the movie. Nobody — literally nobody — came to watch it.

He posted a 14-minute video excerpt of the movie on YouTube, but hardly anyone noticed. Then, a week ago, an anti-Muslim activist in Virginia reposted the video with an Arabic translation and sent the link to activists and journalists in Egypt. An Egyptian TV show aired part of the video. An Egyptian politician denounced it. Clerics sounded the alarm. Through Facebook and Twitter, protesters were mobilized to descend on the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The uprising spread. The U.S. ambassador to Libya has been killed, and violence has engulfed other countries.

When the protests broke out, the guy who made the movie claimed to be an Israeli Jew funded by other Jews. That turned out be a lie. Now he says he’s a Coptic Christian, even though Coptic Christian leaders in Egypt and the United States despise the movie and want nothing to do with him. Another guy who helped make the movie claims to be a Buddhist. The movie was made in the United States, yet Sudanese mobs have attacked British and German embassies. Some Egyptians targeted the Dutch embassy, mistakenly thinking the Netherlands was behind the movie. Everyone’s looking for a group to blame and attack.

The men behind the movie said it would expose Islam as a violent religion. Now they’re pointing to the riots as proof. Muslims are "pre-programmed" to rage and kill, says the movie’s promoter. "Islam is a cancer," says the director. According to the distributor, "The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual."

Congratulations, rioters. You followed the script perfectly. You did the propagandists’ work for them.

And the provocations won’t end here. Laws and censors won’t protect you from them. Liberal democracies allow freedom of expression. Our leaders and people condemn garbage like this video, but we don’t censor it. Even if we did, the diffusion of media technology makes suppression impossible. The director of this movie was forbidden, under his bank-fraud probation rules, from using computers or the Internet without approval. That didn’t stop him. Nor did it stop the Arabic-language distributor from reposting the video and disseminating it abroad.

Online propaganda is speech. But it’s also part of the global rise of lethal empowerment. It’s easier than ever to kill people. In Muslim countries, mass murderers favor bombs. In the United States, they prefer guns. In Japan, they’ve tried sarin nerve gas. The Oklahoma City bomber used fertilizer. The Sept. 11 hijackers used box cutters and passenger planes. Then came the letters filled with anthrax.

Derision is that much harder to control. The spread of digital technology and Internet bandwidth makes it possible to reach every corner of the globe almost instantly with homemade video defaming any faith tradition. It can become an incendiary weapon. But it has a weakness: It depends on you. You’re the detonator. If you don’t cooperate, the bomb doesn’t explode.

This isn’t just a Muslim problem, though that’s been the pattern lately. On YouTube, you can find videos insulting every religion on the planet: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, and more. Some clips are ironic. Others are simply disgusting. Many were posted to bait one group into fighting another. The baiters are indiscriminate. The promoter of the Mohammed movie founded a group that also protests at Mormon temples.

The hatred and bloodshed will go on until you stop taking the bait. Mockery of your prophet on a computer with an Internet address somewhere in the world can no longer be your master. Nor can the puppet clerics who tell you to respond with violence. Lay down your stones and your anger. Go home and pray. God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.

September 11

Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace: The Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan. Robert Fisk met him in Almatig
ROBERT FISK
06 December 1993

Osama Bin Laden sat in his gold-fringed robe, guarded by the loyal Arab mujahedin who fought alongside him in Afghanistan. Bearded, taciturn figures – unarmed, but never more than a few yards from the man who recruited them, trained them and then dispatched them to destroy the Soviet army – they watched unsmiling as the Sudanese villagers of Almatig lined up to thank the Saudi businessman who is about to complete the highway linking their homes to Khartoum for the first time in history.

With his high cheekbones, narrow eyes and long brown robe, Mr Bin Laden looks every inch the mountain warrior of mujahedin legend. Chadored children danced in front of him, preachers acknowledged his wisdom. ‘We have been waiting for this road through all the revolutions in Sudan,’ a sheikh said. ‘We waited until we had given up on everybody – and then Osama Bin Laden came along.’

Outside Sudan, Mr Bin Laden is not regarded with quite such high esteem. The Egyptian press claims he brought hundreds of former Arab fighters back to Sudan from Afghanistan, while the Western embassy circuit in Khartoum has suggested that some of the ‘Afghans’ whom this Saudi entrepreneur flew to Sudan are now busy training for further jihad wars in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. Mr Bin Laden is well aware of this. ‘The rubbish of the media and the embassies,’ he calls it. ‘I am a construction engineer and an agriculturalist. If I had training camps here in Sudan, I couldn’t possibly do this job.’

And ‘this job’ is certainly an ambitious one: a brand-new highway stretching all the way from Khartoum to Port Sudan, a distance of 1,200km (745 miles) on the old road, now shortened to 800km by the new Bin Laden route that will turn the coastal run from the capital into a mere day’s journey. Into a country that is despised by Saudi Arabia for its support of Saddam Hussein in the Gulf war almost as much as it is condemned by the United States, Mr Bin Laden has brought the very construction equipment that he used only five years ago to build the guerrilla trails of Afghanistan.

He is a shy man. Maintaining a home in Khartoum and only a small apartment in his home city of Jeddah, he is married – with four wives – but wary of the press. His interview with the Independent was the first he has ever given to a Western journalist, and he initially refused to talk about Afghanistan, sitting silently on a chair at the back of a makeshift tent, brushing his teeth in the Arab fashion with a stick of miswak wood. But talk he eventually did about a war which he helped to win for the Afghan mujahedin: ‘What I lived in two years there, I could not have lived in a hundred years elsewhere,’ he said.

When the history of the Afghan resistance movement is written, Mr Bin Laden’s own contribution to the mujahedin – and the indirect result of his training and assistance – may turn out to be a turning- point in the recent history of militant fundamentalism; even if, today, he tries to minimise his role. ‘When the invasion of Afghanistan started, I was enraged and went there at once – I arrived within days, before the end of 1979,’ he said. ‘Yes, I fought there, but my fellow Muslims did much more than I. Many of them died and I am still alive.’

Within months, however, Mr Bin Laden was sending Arab fighters – Egyptians, Algerians, Lebanese, Kuwaitis, Turks and Tunisians – into Afghanistan; ‘not hundreds but thousands,’ he said. He supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment. Along with his Iraqi engineer, Mohamed Saad – who is now building the Port Sudan road – Mr Bin Laden blasted massive tunnels into the Zazi mountains of Bakhtiar province for guerrilla hospitals and arms dumps, then cut a mujahedin trail across the country to within 15 miles of Kabul.

‘No, I was never afraid of death. As Muslims, we believe that when we die, we go to heaven. Before a battle, God sends us seqina, tranquillity.

‘Once I was only 30 metres from the Russians and they were trying to capture me. I was under bombardment but I was so peaceful in my heart that I fell asleep. This experience has been written about in our earliest books. I saw a 120mm mortar shell land in front of me, but it did not blow up. Four more bombs were dropped from a Russian plane on our headquarters but they did not explode. We beat the Soviet Union. The Russians fled.’

But what of the Arab mujahedin whom he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerrilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? ‘Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help. When my mujahedin were victorious and the Russians were driven out, differences started (between the guerrilla movements) so I returned to road construction in Taif and Abha. I brought back the equipment I had used to build tunnels and roads for the mujahedin in Afghanistan. Yes, I helped some of my comrades to come here to Sudan after the war.’

How many? Osama Bin Laden shakes his head. ‘I don’t want to say. But they are here now with me, they are working right here, building this road to Port Sudan.’ I told him that Bosnian Muslim fighters in the Bosnian town of Travnik had mentioned his name to me. ‘I feel the same about Bosnia,’ he said. ‘But the situation there does not provide the same opportunities as Afghanistan. A small number of mujahedin have gone to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina but the Croats won’t allow the mujahedin in through Croatia as the Pakistanis did with Afghanistan.’

Thus did Mr Bin Laden reflect upon jihad while his former fellow combatants looked on. Was it not a little bit anti-climactic for them, I asked, to fight the Russians and end up road-building in Sudan? ‘They like this work and so do I. This is a great plan which we are achieving for the people here, it helps the Muslims and improves their lives.’

His Bin Laden company – not to be confused with the larger construction business run by his cousins – is paid in Sudanese currency which is then used to purchase sesame and other products for export; profits are clearly not Mr Bin Laden’s top priority.

How did he feel about Algeria, I asked? But a man in a green suit calling himself Mohamed Moussa – he claimed to be Nigerian although he was a Sudanese security officer – tapped me on the arm. ‘You have asked more than enough questions,’ he said. At which Mr Bin Laden went off to inspect his new road.

interesting…

10 Signs That You’re Fully Awake – this is an article that is intended to be read from a political point of view, but, with very little change, it can also be read from a spiritual point of view and have exactly the same meaning… while i doubt that the people who wrote it were considering a spiritual point of view when they were writing it, it is rather unusual that it can be read that way and have it mean exactly the same thing.

so, “what kind of world do you want to live in?”

Continue reading interesting…

The wrong side absolutely must not win on November 6

The wrong side absolutely must not win
By: A. Barton Hinkle
August 19, 2012

The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.

No reasonably intelligent person can deny this. All you have to do is look at the way the Other Side has been running its campaign. Instead of focusing on the big issues that are important to the American People, it has fired a relentlessly negative barrage of distortions, misrepresentations and flat-out lies.

Just look at the Other Side’s latest commercial, which take a perfectly reasonable statement by the candidate for My Side completely out of context to make it seem as if he is saying something nefarious. This just shows you how desperate the Other Side is and how willing it is to mislead the American People.

The Other Side also has been hammering away at My Side to release certain documents that have nothing to do with anything, and making all sorts of outrageous accusations about what might be in them. Meanwhile, the Other Side has stonewalled perfectly reasonable requests to release its own documents that would expose some very embarrassing details if anybody ever found out what was in them. This just shows you what a bunch of hypocrites they are.

Naturally, the media won’t report any of this. Major newspapers and cable networks jump all over anything they think will make My Side Look bad. Yet they completely ignore critically important and incredibly relevant information that would be devastating to The Other Side if it could ever be verified.

I will admit the candidates for My Side do make occasional blunders. These usually happen at the end of exhausting 19-hour days and are perfectly understandable. Our leaders are only human, after all. Nevertheless, the Other Side inevitably makes a big fat deal out of these trivial gaffes, while completely ignoring its own candidates’ incredibly thoughtless and stupid remarks — remarks that reveal the Other Side’s true nature, which is genuinely frightening.

My Side has produced a visionary program that will get the economy moving, put the American People back to work, strengthen national security, return fiscal integrity to Washington, and restore our standing in the international community. What does the Other Side have to offer? Nothing but the same old disproven, discredited policies that got us into our current mess in the first place.

Don’t take my word for it, though. I recently read about an analysis by an independent, nonpartisan organization that supports My Side. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything I have been saying about the Other Side was true all along. Of course, the Other Side refuses to acknowledge any of this. It is too busy cranking out so-called studies by so-called experts who are actually nothing but partisan hacks. This just shows you that the Other Side lives in its own little echo chamber and refuses to listen to anyone who has not already drunk its Kool-Aid.

Let’s face it: The Other Side is held hostage by a radical, failed ideology. I have been doing some research on the Internet, and I have learned this ideology was developed by a very obscure but nonetheless profoundly influential writer with a strange-sounding name who enjoyed brief celebrity several decades ago. If you look carefully, you can trace nearly all the Other Side’s policies for the past half-century back to the writings of this one person.

To be sure, the Other Side also has been influenced by its powerful supporters. These include a reclusive billionaire who has funded a number of organizations far outside the political mainstream; several politicians who have said outrageous things over the years; and an alarmingly large number of completely clueless ordinary Americans who are being used as tools and don’t even know it.

These people are really pathetic, too. The other day I saw a YouTube video in which My Side sent an investigator and a cameraman to a rally being held by the Other Side, where the investigator proceeded to ask some real zingers. It was hilarious! First off, the people at the rally wore T-shirts with all kinds of lame messages that they actually thought were really clever. Plus, many of the people who were interviewed were overweight, sweaty, flushed and generally not very attractive. But what was really funny was how stupid they were. There is no way anyone could watch that video and not come away convinced the people on My Side are smarter, and that My Side is therefore right about everything.

Besides, it’s clear that the people on the Other Side are driven by mindless anger — unlike My Side, which is filled with passionate idealism and righteous indignation. That indignation, I hasten to add, is entirely justified. I have read several articles in publications that support My Side that expose what a truly dangerous group the Other Side is, and how thoroughly committed it is to imposing its radical, failed agenda on the rest of us.

That is why I believe 2012 is, without a doubt, the defining election of our lifetime. The difference between My Side and the Other Side could not be greater. That is why it absolutely must win on November 6.

You Have the Right to Remain Spied Upon

You Have the Right to Remain Spied Upon
By Peter Bibring
August 16, 2012

Yesterday, a district court judge threw out claims brought by members of Southern California’s Muslim community that the FBI undertook a massive operation to surveil them on the basis of their religion. In tossing these claims from the suit, which was filed by the ACLU of Southern California, the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) and the law firm Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick LLP, the court didn’t say that the FBI had not engaged in the alleged surveillance, or that it had indeed complied with the First Amendment. Instead, the court relied on the government’s invocation of the “state secrets” privilege, saying that even trying to determine whether the FBI had violated the Constitution might risk disclosure of information that could harm national security.

From the term “state secrets,” you might think the case involved spies, hush-hush arrangements with foreign governments, or people detained at secret foreign prisons – as some state secrets cases do. But this one involves the FBI’s investigation into law-abiding U.S. citizens and residents in Orange County, California, called “Operation Flex.” In June 2006, FBI agents recruited Craig Monteilh, a man with a file full of felony convictions, to pose as a convert to Islam at one of the largest mosques in the area. The FBI paid Monteilh to spend the next fourteen months meeting as many members of the Muslim community as he could. He made audio recordings of every interaction, as he gathered names, telephone numbers, e-mails, political and religious views, travel plans, and other information on hundreds of individuals in the Muslim community. According to Monteilh’s own sworn statement, he was told to pay special attention to community leaders and those who seemed especially devout.

The absurdity – and illegality – of Operation Flex were well documented this week on the radio show This American Life. When asked if the FBI had particular targets in the Muslim community that they wanted to have investigated, Monteilh said, “No. They said the targets would come to me.” In other words, Operation Flex was a fishing expedition that targeted people because of their religion. But in the end, after Monteilh began incessantly about jihad and violence, members of the community did exactly what you’re supposed to do: they reported him to the FBI. After hundreds of hours of Monteilh’s time and thousands of taxpayer dollars “Operation Flex” resulted in zero criminal convictions. No one was ever even charged with a terrorism offense.

According to the district court, we’ll never be allowed to know whether the FBI violated the Constitution when they authorized Operation Flex because it would require the disclosure of state secrets. Because the state secrets privilege essentially gives the government a blank check to halt a lawsuit in its tracks, it is currently under fire in Congress. “The ongoing argument that the state secrets privilege requires the outright dismissal of a case is a disconcerting trend in the protection of civil liberties for our nation,” said Representative Jerrod Nadler (D-New York), who earlier this summer introduced a bill to limit state secrets in favor of less drastic alternatives. The privilege also has a troubling history. One of the first modern cases to apply the privilege relied on it to dismiss a suit against the government over the crash of a military plane because of the secrets in the accident report. But decades later, the daughter of one of the pilots discovered that the accident report wasn’t secret at all, and described only negligence — human errors that were embarrassing to the government.

U.S. Justice Department attorney Anthony Coppolino argued that revealing who was being investigated, how they were being investigated, and why they were being investigated would reveal the government’s motives and alert the enemy. But it’s far from certain that the case would require disclosing all that information. And if it ever proved necessary, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides clear procedures for protecting sensitive information. In a particularly unfortunate twist, because the district court allowed the FISA claims against the individual FBI officers to go forward, it may well end up looking at the same evidence to resolve that claim that it would need to address the claims it threw out.

In our democratic society, it is wrong for the courts to allow the government to avoid defending the legality of its conduct under the Constitution when the rights of hundreds of law-abiding Muslim citizens in Southern California are at stake. We intend to appeal the court’s decision.


also, FBI, Secret Service, and Police Swarm Marine’s Home After Facebook Comments Flagged as "Terrorist Threats"

A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

hrmph…

Erasing W

Saturday, August 11, 2012
by Robert Reich

As Bill Clinton is resurrected by the Democrats, George W. Bush is being erased by the GOP — as if an entire eight years of American history hadn’t happened.

While Bill Clinton stumps for Obama, Romney has gone out of his way not to mention the name of the president who came after Clinton and before Obama.

Clinton will have a starring role at the Democratic National Convention. George W. Bush won’t even be at the Republican one – the first time a national party has not given the stage at its convention to its most recent occupant of the Oval Office who successfully ran for reelection.

The GOP is counting on America’s notoriously short-term memory to blot out the last time the nation put a Republican into the Oval Office, on the reasonable assumption that such a memory might cause voters to avoid making the same mistake twice. As whoever-it-was once said, “fool me once…” (and then mangled the rest).

Republicans want to obliterate any trace of the administration that told America there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and led us into a devastating war; turned a $5 trillion projected budget surplus into a $6 trillion deficit; gave the largest tax cut in a generation to the richest Americans in history; handed out a mountain of corporate welfare to the oil and gas industry, pharmaceutical companies, and military contractors like Halliburton (uniquely benefiting the vice president); whose officials turned a blind eye to Wall Street shenanigans that led to the worst financial calamity since the Great Crash of 1929 and then persuaded Congress to bail out the Street with the largest taxpayer-funded giveaway of all time.

Besides, the resemblances between George W. Bush and Mitt Romney are too close for comfort. Both were born into wealth, sons of prominent politicians who themselves ran for president; both are closely tied to the nation’s corporate and financial elites, and eager to do their bidding; both are socially awkward and, as candidates, tightly scripted for fear of saying something they shouldn’t; and both presented themselves to the nation devoid of any consistent policies or principles that might give some clue as to what they actually believe.

They are both, in other words, unusually shallow, uncurious, two-dimensional men who ran or are running for the presidency for no clear reason other than to surpass their fathers or achieve the aims and ambitions of their wealthy patrons.

Small wonder the Republican Party wants us to forget our last Republican president and his administration. By contrast, the Democrats have every reason for America to recall and celebrate the Clinton years.

be careful…

before you know it, they’ll be making breastfeeding illegal more illegal than it already is… 😐

Cannabinoids, like those found in marijuana, occur naturally in human breast milk

Woven into the fabric of the human body is an intricate system of proteins known as cannabinoid receptors that are specifically designed to process cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary active components of marijuana. And it turns out, based on the findings of several major scientific studies, that human breast milk naturally contains many of the same cannabinoids found in marijuana, which are actually extremely vital for proper human development.

Cell membranes in the body are naturally equipped with these cannabinoid receptors which, when activated by cannabinoids and various other nutritive substances, protect cells against viruses, harmful bacteria, cancer, and other malignancies. And human breast milk is an abundant source of endocannabinoids, a specific type of neuromodulatory lipid that basically teaches a newborn child how to eat by stimulating the suckling process.

If it were not for these cannabinoids in breast milk, newborn children would not know how to eat, nor would they necessarily have the desire to eat, which could result in severe malnourishment and even death. Believe it or not, the process is similar to how adult individuals who smoke pot get the “munchies,” as newborn children who are breastfed naturally receive doses of cannabinoids that trigger hunger and promote growth and development.

“[E]ndocannabinoids have been detected in maternal milk and activation of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1) receptors appears to be critical for milk sucking … apparently activating oral-motor musculature,” says the abstract of a 2004 study on the endocannabinoid receptor system that was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology.

“The medical implications of these novel developments are far reaching and suggest a promising future for cannabinoids in pediatric medicine for conditions including ‘non-organic failure-to-thrive’ and cystic fibrosis.”

Studies on cannabinoids in breast milk help further demystify the truth about marijuana

There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in the body — the CB1 variety which exists in the brain, and the CB2 variety which exists in the immune system and throughout the rest of the body. Each one of these receptors responds to cannabinoids, whether it be from human breast milk in children, or from juiced marijuana, for instance, in adults.

This essentially means that the human body was built for cannabinoids, as these nutritive substances play a critical role in protecting cells against disease, boosting immune function, protecting the brain and nervous system, and relieving pain and disease-causing inflammation, among other things. And because science is finally catching up in discovering how this amazing cannabinoid system works, the stigma associated with marijuana use is, thankfully, in the process of being eliminated.

In another study on the endocannabinoids published in the journal Pharmacological Reviews back in 2006, researchers from the Laboratory of Physiologic Studies at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism uncovered even more about the benefits of cannabinoids. These include their ability to promote proper energy metabolism and appetite regulation, treat metabolic disorders, treat multiple sclerosis, and prevent neurodegeneration, among many other conditions.

With literally thousands of published studies now showing their safety and usefulness, cannabinoids, and particularly marijuana from which it is largely derived, truly are a health-promoting “super” nutrient with virtually unlimited potential in health promotion and disease prevention.

of course…

Sadly, Nation Knows Exactly How Colorado Shooting’s Aftermath Will Play Out

WASHINGTON—Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold.

While admitting they “absolutely hate” the fact they have this knowledge, the nation’s 300 million citizens told reporters they can pinpoint down to the hour when the first candlelight vigil will be held, roughly how many people will attend, how many times the county sheriff will address the media in the coming weeks, and when the town-wide memorial service will be held.

Additionally, sources nationwide took no pleasure in confirming that some sort of video recording, written material, or disturbing photographs made by the shooter will be surfacing in about an hour or two.

“I hate to say it, but we as Americans are basically experts at this kind of thing by now,” said 45-year-old market analyst Jared Gerson, adding that the number of media images of Aurora, CO citizens crying and looking shocked is “pretty much right in line with where it usually is at this point.” “The calls not to politicize the tragedy should be starting in an hour, but by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow the issue will have been politicized. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter’s high school classmate is interviewed within 45 minutes.”

“It’s like clockwork,” said Gerson, who sighed, shook his head, and walked away.

According to the nation’s citizenry, calls for a mature, thoughtful debate about the role of guns in American society started right on time, and should persist throughout the next week or so. However, the populace noted, the debate will soon spiral out of control and ultimately lead to nothing of any substance, a fact Americans everywhere acknowledged they felt “absolutely horrible” to be aware of.

With scalpel-like precision, the American populace then went on to predict, to the minute, how long it will take for the media to swarm Aurora, CO, how long it will take for them to leave, and exactly when questions will be raised as to whether or not violence in movies and video games had something to do with the act.

The nation’s citizens also confirmed that, any time now, some religious figure or cable news personality will say something unbelievably insensitive about the tragic shooting.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been through this a lot, and I pretty much have it down to a science when President Obama will visit Colorado, when he will meet with the families of those who lost loved ones, and when he will give his big speech that people will call ‘unifying’ and ‘very presidential,'” Jacksonville resident Amy Brennen, 32, said, speaking for every other person in the country. “Nothing really surprises me when it comes to this kind of thing anymore. And that makes me feel terrible.”

“Oh, and here’s another thing I hate I know,” Brennen continued, “In exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never happened.”

Open Letter to San Francisco Bohemian Club

it’s never going to happen, of course, because the 1% are too conscious of their controversial positions in society, and are well aware of the fact that, if they agree to the 99%’s “recommendations”, their power will vanish, but it’s even more strange to me that i am somehow related to the bohemian club, through hokum… was hokum a full member, or was he one of the “associate” members, whose sole purpose is to provide entertainment for the bigwigs?


Open Letter to San Francisco Bohemian Club

by Peter Phillips – July 4, 2012

Mr. Robert J. Boesch
President San Francisco Bohemian Club
624 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dear Mr. Boesch,

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored has joined a coalition of some twenty-five social justice organizations and occupy groups to protest the San Francisco Bohemian Club’s practices at your annual summer encampments.

We are holding an Occupy Bohemian Grove protest in Monte Rio on July 14, 2012. For publicity and information on this event see: http://www.occupybohemiangrove.com/

Occupy groups from five cities are involved in protesting your annual summer encampment of the rich and powerful 1%. Given that it takes $588,000 in assets to be in the top 1% of the world richest people, we believe that a significant portion of your members fit this category.

Our group has attended the planning meetings for this protest, and want to inform you about the days events and make some policy recommendations for the Club to consider.

The Occupy Bohemian Grove coalition is planning a four hour public assembly from noon to 4:00 on July 14. During that time there will be speakers, music and a creation of care ceremony in opposition to your cremation of care and private talks by policy elites at the Grove. KPFA radio will broadcast live from Monte Rio, No Lies Radio will video feed the proceedings on the internet, and Russia Today TV will be filming and interviewing activists.

We are not planning or promoting civil disobedience or trespassing on Grove property as part of the protest. We are not organizing a march on the Grove, as has been done in the past. Some curious participants may walk up the Bohemian Highway to see your gates.

Recommendations to the San Francisco Bohemian Club in a time of Occupy the 1%.

Whereas:

The 2,000 acre retreat, now privately held near Monte Rio, California, is in part an ancient old growth redwood forest with trees over one thousand years of age and;

The San Francisco Bohemian Club continues to exclude women from membership and;

Significant public leaders in the world give private keynote addresses (chats) on a daily basis on important policy issues, and;

The private happenings inside the summer retreat boundaries face continuing unproven rumors regarding nefarious behaviors and insider deals made by powerful elites.

We Recommend that:

1. The Bohemian Grove recognize the rights of humankind to enjoy a fair share of the common heritage of the ancient redwood forest by opening the Grove to tours on a regular basis when club members are not assembled—

2. The Bohemian Club begin a policy of admitting women and arranging the Grove to accommodate both genders—

3. The lakeside chats and other addresses by key policy officials be made public on-line and transcripts prepared and published—

4. The Cremation of Care ceremony be transformed into a building of unity of care in the world and the ceremony be made public on-line—

5. The Bohemian Club set up an on-line live feed from the main stage and field circle, as events are occurring.

We strongly believe in full transparency of public figures giving lectures to a select few men and we believe that the privacy of your events is unnecessary in a time of increasingly inequality between the 1% and the 99%.

We think that the San Francisco Bohemian Club can demonstrate a belief in an open transparent democratic society by simply changing a few of your historical policies. As symbolic representatives of the top 1% in the world, it is time for you to exercise a responsibility to help build a fair sharing of the world’s resources starting with your own Club.

This letter has been publicly released. We trust you will take our recommendations seriously.

Sincerely,

Peter Phillips
President Media Freedom Foundation


bohemian grove shipping labels
“Mr. R. Stabile” is Hokum W. Jeebs

The Naked Rambler: the man prepared to go to prison for nudity

The Naked Rambler: the man prepared to go to prison for nudity
Six years ago, Naked Rambler Stephen Gough’s hike from Land’s End to John O’Groats brought him media fame – and a prison sentence. Then another, and another, and… why has he been locked up ever since?
Neil Forsyth
Friday 23 March 2012

Winter at HMP Perth. The river Tay carries slivers of ice on its journey past the prison wall. Prisoners’ breath catches in clouds while they glumly circuit the courtyard. At this time of year, many choose not to take their allotted outdoor exercise. The stone corridors of A Hall sit silent; 133 men are in temporary lockdown while one of them is brought to meet me. To many of the prisoners this man is a stranger. They’ve got more chance of seeing his face in a newspaper than around the wing. Continue reading The Naked Rambler: the man prepared to go to prison for nudity

#OWS: Let Me Tell You Wall Street Asshats a Little Something About Hippies

#OWS: Let Me Tell You Wall Street Asshats a Little Something About Hippies
Oct 19, 2011 – by One Pissed Off Liberal

One of the attack memes for right wingers and know nothings is that the Occupy Wall Street movement is merely the wacky doings of hippies, or aging hippies, or dirty fucking hippies.

Now I don’t want to make this all about hippies…because it isn’t. The #OWS movement is a phenomenon all to itself. Blaming it on hippies is just typical weasel behavior from the champaigne-sippin’, caviar-dippin’ greedheads of Wall Street crowd – you know, the ones who got us into this mess in the first place. It’s just their way of avoiding responsibility, and boy howdy are they good at it.

But hippies, young and old, are involved…and that’s a damned good thing.

Let me tell you something about hippies. Hippies didn’t export anyone’s jobs, hippies didn’t lie us into an immoral war, hippies didn’t conspire to steal anyone’s pension funds, hippies didn’t order anyone tortured, hippies didn’t steal so much that it crashed the economy of the entire world, and hippies don’t go on national tv and spew nonsense and propaganda for a very nice living.

So go ahead and blame hippies for everything…as if they had ruled us for decades. We should be so lucky. But we weren’t that lucky – not by a long shot. Instead, we got you.

So if the hippies have some advice for you Wall Street assholes, maybe you should listen. You could do worse. You did do worse. You did a lot worse.

Hippies told you to mind your planet. Hippies told you to make love not war. Hippies told you to not let greed grab you. But did you listen?

No. You and your minions in Congress and elsewhere turned your backs on responsibility. You abandoned the people and sold your souls to the highest bidders. Consequences be damned.

You should thank what gods may be that there are still hippies, that there are still people who put humanity over corporate profits, that there are still those who insist that we do the right thing rather than the profitable thing. We just may save the planet from assholes like you.

Meanwhile, our bought-and-paid-for politicians can’t do shit:

Global warming? Sorry.

Unjust wars? Nope, nothing to be done.

An oppressive and unjust Military Industrial Complex? C’est la vie.

Class warfare by the 1% against the 99%? It’s only class warfare when we say it is.

The disastrous drug war? Whatcha gonna do?

Loss of precious civil rights? Quit yer bitchin’.

Mercenaries on the streets of America? What’s to worry about?

Corporate takeover of the country? Yawn.

No, our bought-and-paid-for politicians can’t do anything that doesn’t involve shoveling cash into the coffers of the already filthy-fucking-rich. And by their inaction they would doom us all.

You greed-deranged fools who have done these things to us had better hope that the dirty fucking hippies come riding to the rescue. Otherwise we are all going to suffer a fate that only you deserve.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something sweet and pure about old hippies like Ben Masel and others. People who still retain their principles and ideals and are still willing to stand up for humanity in the face of unrelenting tyranny. They deserve respect not scorn. Bless them all.