Closing Thought–17May18

I have never been a fan of the antics of so-called “Security Firms” or as they should called by their real name….mercenaries…..that aside …..during the Iraq debacle some employees of Blackwater were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians…..then they had the Supreme Court rule on their appeal……

The supreme court has refused to consider appeals by the former Blackwater security contractors convicted in the 2007 slaying of 14 Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic junction in Baghdad that marked one of the lowest points in the bloody conflict.

The court announced on Monday that it will not hear an appeal brought by the four men convicted in 2014 trial. They worked for the North Carolina-based private security firm then called Blackwater Worldwide that was contracted by the US government to provide security to US officials working in Iraq.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/14/blackwater-supreme-court-appeals-rejected-iraq

I am pleased to see that these paid killers, mercenaries, are not above the law……we probably have not heard the last of this situation.  Stay tuned.

So goes another day……I shall retire and be back in the morrow with more stuff.  chuq

Advertisements

Closing Thought–09May18

Pres. Trump has jumped on the problem the US us having with opioid abuse….Trump’s big deal is that he thinks people that push opioids should be put to death and abusers should be getting massive jail sentences……this, according to him, will alleviate our opioid problem…..

Seriously?  Is that all it will take?

Criminalization of drug use and possession has had almost no impact on actual levels of drug use. However, the criminalizing of drugs does practically ensure a cycle of criminality and greater prison sentences. As outlined in a January memo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants longer mandatory minimums despite their destructive impact on the United States. At this point, it’s evident that the War on Drugs is a frantic grasp for control in a broken system.

But enacting longer prison sentences does not help reduce the misuse or abuse of drugs. Instead, it worsens it. Thankfully, there are policy alternatives to the status quo. Legalizing drugs would allow us to focus on treating drug addiction and breaking the pattern of being labeled a “criminal.” If there is no victim, there is no crime—and that’s why the War on Drugs is a war on addicts.

http://theantimedia.com/locking-up-addicts-wont-solve-opiate-crisis/

As usual Trump has lots of opinions but little grasp of the causes and the effects……in other words he has NO idea about policy just of the mind that comes with the IQ of under 50.

The Theft Of History

Closing Thought–03May18

As a history wonk and have been to many historical sites I was sadden by war and the theft of historic artifacts…..they say that ISIS is using the stolen artifacts to fund their operations ……

I think anyone that buys stolen artifacts needs to be shot for stealing a people’s history…..and one of the biggest thieves was American company Hobby Lobby….

When their Museum of the Bible was busted for having massive amount of stolen artifacts I post this post….

https://lobotero.com/2015/10/28/speaking-of-good-christians/

Now they have returned many of the artifacts in the Museum…….

Hobby Lobby’s “passion for the Bible” may have made it a bit overzealous when it came to purchasing antiquities from other lands. The arts and crafts retailer obtained thousands of illegally smuggled artifacts from Iraq in 2010—then subsequently agreed to send them back—and now that day has come. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced that 3,800 of the 5,500 ancient items purchased from dealers in the UAE and Israel will be sent back to Iraq on Wednesday, per NPR. The cuneiform tablets (some from the ancient Sumerian city of Irisagrig), cylinder seals, and other items are “mostly legal and administrative documents, but also include an important collection of Early Dynastic incantations and a bilingual religious text from the Neo-Babylonian period,” an ICE statement notes.

“These pieces are very important to us and they should be returned home … to Iraq, to the rightful owner of these pieces,” an Iraqi Embassy official tells NPR. The DOJ had filed a civil action complaint in July 2017 after Hobby Lobby purchased the artifacts for $1.6 million, with the intention of displaying them in the Museum of the Bible it opened last fall in Washington, DC. That purchase was made despite the company being warned by an archaeological ace that the artifacts could be stolen and that Hobby Lobby should make sure to definitively identify them. Some of the artifacts that came into the company’s possession were mislabeled on either their contents or place of origin. It’s not clear if Hobby Lobby, which said it made “regrettable mistakes” during the purchase, knew the artifacts were obtained illegally, or the status of the other 1,700 artifacts it purchased in the 2010 deal.

Will these bastards go unpunished?  They did not know they were stolen?  They spent $1.6 million and did not vet the people they were doing business with…..they knew!  Now the question is what will be their sentence for buying stolen goods?

If it were me I would be under the jail and the key thrown away….but this is a corporation and “good Christians and they will get off scott free.

Talk about BS….this is it a big pile of it.

The Dog Ate My Homework!

Still a good Saturday all around……my day in the garden is lovely….the wine is tasty……and the cheeses are magnificent…..

As usual I try to find interesting or humorous stuff to post on weekends to save my sanity from the circus we call our government…….I found a good one for today……..

We all have heard the story of the excuse for not having your homework….”my dog ate my homework”….right?  I actually used that excuse in high school and of course the teacher rolled her eyes….but I produced the shredded document with all the holes my dog had left when he had his way with the paper….the teacher was amazed that she had actually found a time when that excuse was accurate and not  con job…..

I recently read an article of something along those lines but instead of homework it is drugs……

“The mice ate the marijuana” was an excuse no more believable than “the dog ate my homework” for authorities in Argentina, where eight police officers have been fired over the disappearance of around 1,200 pounds of pot. The officers in Pinar, roughly 40 miles west of Buenos Aires, argued that the missing drugs had been “eaten by mice” in the warehouse for impounded drugs, the Guardian reports. Some 13,220 pounds of marijuana had been registered there two years earlier and investigators found that the total was more than half a ton short. Forensic experts testified that it was very unlikely that even a large number of rodents could have consumed so much marijuana.

A spokesperson for the judge said, “Buenos Aires University experts have explained that mice wouldn’t mistake the drug for food, and that if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse.” The shortfall was noticed by the new police commissioner, who notified the internal affairs division. In a hearing next month, a judge will try to determine whether the marijuana went missing because of negligence. USA Today notes that although the internal affairs investigators in Argentina decided that rodents could not have consumed the missing pot, police in Wichita in 2013 said mice had managed to chew through evidence bags containing marijuana.

Really Chief….rats ate the weed…..

Yep sounds like a con job…the same as it was when you were in high school…..

Public Enemy Number One: Opioids!

We have a new president and a new number one problem in this country….with Trump it is the opioids abuse.

He has put Kelleyanne Conway as the Opioid Czar and her take on preventing the abuse is for addicts to eat ice cream or french fries…..a sound medical advice from another Trumpian that has NO clue about the world around them.

I read an article written in “The Cipher” on this problem…..

Americans are facing one of their deadliest foes in recent history: not ISIS, but opioids, painkillers that are highly addictive and killing thousands of Americans annually. Drug overdoses took the lives of 64,000 people in 2016, with two-thirds related to opioids.

Congress has taken a good first step, providing the federal government an additional $3.3 billion to fight the opioid crisis in its fiscal year 2018 spending bill with a focus on public health efforts. Most of the money, $1.4 billion, will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for a new State Opioid Response Grant program and also for the Mental Health Block Grant, according to Vox. The second highest chunk of funding, $500 million, is for the National Institutes of Health for more opioid addiction research.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column/expert-view/targeting-one-americas-deadliest-foes-opioids

Interesting thoughts from an agent of the DEA….I would like to hear from my readers on their ideas on the opioid abuse situation.

I agree that abuse is on the rise but on the same token opioids do good for people that suffer with chronic pain.

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Back in the 1980’s I recall a commercial about Reagan’s War on Drugs….it was a frying pan with an over easy egg cooking with sound…..”This is you brain on drugs”……all this ad did was increase the profits of the Waffle House….it was a worthless waste of air time for it did NOTHING to curb the abuse of drugs…..

Well I bring up this bit of nostalgia because our well informed president has weighed in on the newest war on drugs…..this time it will be zeroing in on the opioid crisis this country is facing……..

The White House has rolled out the “more nuanced” response to the opioid crisis it promised after President Trump talked about executing drug dealers earlier this month. The revised plan White House officials discussed Sunday still involves the death penalty, but officials say they don’t plan to make trafficking in fentanyl a capital crime, let alone launch a Rodrigo Duterte-style bloodbath. Instead, the administration says it will seek capital punishment for drug traffickers where appropriate under existing federal law, the Washington Post reports. Federal law allows the death penalty in four kinds of drug-related crime, all of which also involve murder, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Andrew Bremberg, Trump’s domestic policy director, says the president also wants Congress to pass legislation lowering the minimum amount of fentanyl and other strong opioids needed to trigger mandatory sentences for dealers, the AP reports. The administration says it also has a plan to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third by 2021. “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions,” adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters, per Politico. Trump is expected to discuss the plan on a Monday visit to New Hampshire, one of the states hardest-hit by the crisis that he has declared a national public health emergency.

Trump’s speech on the crisis was something to behold……he even mentioned the making of bad ads like the frying pan of days gone by………

In a speech officially unveiling his administration’s plan to combat the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump on Monday saod he would fight the crisis with “toughness”, the creation of “very…very…bad commercials” aimed at children; and—as expected—proposed that the death penalty be applied to drug dealers.

However, as drug policy reform advocates feared, he showed little understanding of the origins of the crisis and neglected to mention numerous measures public health experts have advocated for to stop the deadly epidemic.

A key tenet of Trump’s plan to combat the crisis, which killed nearly 64,000 Americans in 2016, is to launch an advertising campaign showing the effects of opioid use.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/19/full-war-drugs-scare-fest-trump-proposes-death-penalty-and-very-very-bad-commercials

Trump’s plan is more about some sort of vengeance than solutions to the crisis…..

Vengeance is not a public health policy. But it’s implicit in a policy measure coming out of the White House, which would attempt to solve the opioid crisis with a plan that includes sentencing some high-intensity traffickers to death. It may feel good, and for some segment of the population, vengeance may even look good.

The death of those deemed to be problematic is how some strongmen leaders that President Donald Trump has embraced keep their hold on power — such as Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte, who is following through on his pledge to kill every drug dealer he can find. But adding to the number of lives lost at the hands of the opioid crisis is not what the United States needs.
This whole policy thing smells like an utter failure…..kinda like the failure from the 1980’s.

Foreign Attack On American Soil

I guess my days of posting on weekends things that were not necessarily “big news” stories are gone.

I can remember when Fridays were considered slow news days…..those days as well are gone……..

This is not about a physical attack on American soil but rather an information war from the Russians….indictments are handed down for these “terrorists”…..

Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities were charged Friday with an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
The indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, per the AP. The charges are the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling in the election. As for any links to the Trump campaign: Some of the suspects “interacted with Americans associated with the Trump campaign, but those Trump associates did not realize they were being manipulated,” per the Washington Post.

The Post adds that the charges are linked to a “notorious Russian troll farm” known as the Internet Research Agency. “From in or around 2014 to the present, defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the grand jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016,’’ the indictment states. Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said the goal of those charged Friday was “spreading distrust” of 2016 candidates and the political system.

Before I go any further I need to state that NO Americans are named in this indictment……the president or otherwise.  But that did not stop the president to take this indictment and make it about him.

Following Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals for crimes related to interfering with the 2016 presidential election, President Trump claimed victory, the Hill reports. “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President,” Trump tweeted Friday. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!” Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that Trump “is glad to see the special counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.” But the White House’s celebration may be premature.

A “person with knowledge of the probe” tells Bloomberg that Mueller is still investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump or his associates and that Friday’s indictments are only a small part of Mueller’s investigation, which may include obstruction of justice by Trump. And federal investigators haven’t actually concluded Russian interference didn’t impact the 2016 election. Furthermore, the indictments disprove Trump’s repeated claims that Russian election interference is “fake news,” the Daily Beast reports. In November, Trump said he believed Vladimir Putin when the Russian president said Russia didn’t meddle in the election. Elsewhere, the New York Times has a profile of one of the people indicted Friday. Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of Russia’s richest men, got his start running a hot-dog stand after prison before eventually running a Russian troll farm

This did not name any American nor did it clear any American of wrong doing to include the president.

This should have all Americans on the edge of their chairs…..regardless of who won some damn election this is an attack on our soil….on our election process and I cannot understand why more Americans are not up in arms over this.

For years the Russians were the bastards of the international stage and now they are just a group of guys going about screwing with our elections our society and Americans are okay with it.

What has happened to this country that we are willing to overlook this attack?

May I suggest before you make any statement that you read the indictment or you could just go to FOX and get the pile of crap…..be informed for a damn change!

https://www.scribd.com/document/371673753/Russian-Indictment