The 366-30 vote declared the obvious, that the US has not authorized war in Yemen, yet US support for the side that is directly murdering hundreds of children, and indirectly murdering hundreds of thousands through starvation and disease, continues unabated.
It should be constantly remembered that Saudi Arabia is presently causing the greatest outbreak of cholera in recorded history, as well as the starvation of millions. This is happening now, in broad daylight, with too little outrage or even attention paid. One year from now, there will be millions fewer Yemenis alive due to the Saudi blockade. And the Saudis wouldn’t dare engage in such atrocities without the full force and faith of the US government.
850 students will divide $3 million among themselves as part of a settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit after sheriff’s office locked down school and subjected them to an invasive, four-hour search.
$3 million is more than twice the $1.4 million annual budget of the sheriff’s office, and a sizable chunk of the county’s $10 million budget. The lesson: out-of-control police departments are a huge liability.
Tom Dispatch: How to Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington
The Surveillance State is in a Hobbesian state of nature, according to a fresh Bloomberg article. But should it be feared more or less once it emerges from that state?
“Aside from puncturing the aura of the NSA as an all-seeing eye, the Times story also shows that today the greatest threat to our privacy is not an organization with a monopoly of surveillance power, but rather the disaggregation of surveillance power. It is not the citizen versus the state. Rather it is a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of all against all. Today, foreign governments and private hackers can use the same tools we all feared the U.S. government would use.”
This is a most interesting piece, ascribing to total surveillance the qualities of a virus, rather than a centralized, top-down government program. With the theft of digital CIA spy tools, total surveillance is likened to a plague for which there is currently little in the way of a cure. We are the surveillance state, and we are the surveilled. We are the architects of our own Panopticon.
The recent NYT story, Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the NSA to Its Core, the Bloomberg piece links to paints a damning portrait of the NSA: an agency powerful enough to create extremely potent cyber weapons, but not the means to keep them safe. Once the theft occurs, the thieves then taunt the agency as it descends into culture of wide-eyed paranoia about who may be leaking.
Despite all this, I’m an optimist. I believe a shield, a vaccine, can be developed and widely distributed just as easily as the surveillance virus has been. But it pays, I think, to question the wisdom of a government agency creating powerful spy tools, without a care as to what Pandora’s Box they’re opening.
Slate: The Fragmented Surveillance State. Most important read of the day. We often think of Big Brother surveillance as far off, deep within a high-tech NSA bunker, when it’s really down the street in your police department.
High Times: DEA says it won’t arrest CBD oil users. A voice of reason from the agency thinks their resources would be better used by targeting the opioid crisis rather than cracking down on people treating their illnesses with a harmless oil.
Time: The Real Risk of Buying Medical Marijuana Online. Study finds that only 30% of online cannabis products contain amount of CBD oil stated on label.
Contrary to the admonition of every wretched Drug Warrior that ever spoke at your school, marijuana is most certainly not a “gateway” to harder drugs. The lack of availability of a safe high is what drives people to use harder drugs. Marijuana, on the contrary, is an “exit” drug that can wean addicts off heroin, meth, crack, and other deadly substances.
“Substituting cannabis for drugs like heroin, alcohol, and prescription opioids is a type of “harm reduction,” Schrank explains, a recovery paradigm that prioritizes reducing the negative consequences of drug use rather than stopping patients from using completely. High Sobriety is aimed at patients who haven’t responded to traditional rehab programs—and there are a lot of them. According to recent estimates, AA is only successful for 5% to 10% of people. Some experts even say it can even be detrimental for a number of reasons.”
Consider the headlines.
Psychedelic drugs saved my life. So why aren’t they prescribed?: “A group of drugs long considered taboo is poised to transform the way we treat mental health. Recent research suggests that psychedelics – once regarded as a relic of the hippy-dippy 60s – could prove powerful tools not only to treat, but also potentially cure, many mental health problems regarded as chronic.
Psychedelics do something that our current go-to psychiatric drugs cannot: transform hardwired neural patterns to reroute the very architecture of the brain, sometimes in a single dose. Roland Griffiths, a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, has likened psychedelics’ ability to bring about neural rerouting as akin to a “surgical intervention”.
Take psilocybin, better known as magic mushrooms. A single dose of the drug can do “in 30 seconds what it takes antidepressants three to four weeks to do”, according to David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.”