Marijuana for the Masses: Legalized cannabis and why the government wants us to go to pot

"By this time the soma had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed,
the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face
Daily or almost daily marijuana use in the past year and past month among persons aged 12 or older: 2002-2012
in happy, friendly smiles." - Aldous Huxley's
Brave New World, 1932

On Jan. 1, Colorado legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. In 2012, Washington State legalized marijuana; the State will begin permitting pot shops this spring. Alaska may vote on a marijuana ballot measure in August, while advocates are working for legalized pot in Oregon, Arizona and Massachusetts.

A public announcement from Colorado should say: "Be calm. Feel free to become distracted. Do not focus on how miserable you are or the fact that for the first time in 70 years, middle-class job opportunities have seized up." Then they could ask: "Are you ready for some football?"
Stock Down

Actual U.S. unemployment is 37.2%, not "6.7%", record number of households on food stamps in 2013

girl pays for her mother's groceries using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) tokens
© Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
A girl pays for her mother's groceries using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) tokens, more commonly known as Food Stamps, at the GrowNYC Greenmarket in Union Square on September 18, 2013 in New York City.
As the White House proclaims a recovery is occurring, and the stock market has a head of steam, millions of Americans and their dependents are being left out of the recovery, according to a set of economic indicators.

Perhaps the most worrying yet least reported aspect of the so-called US recovery involves the national labor picture. Although the official US unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, this figure obscures the reality, according to an influential Wall Street adviser.

In a leaked memo to clients, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of Americans out of work at an astronomic 37.2 percent, as opposed to the 6.7 percent claimed by the Federal Reserve.

"The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work," he said.

"Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work," he and colleague Megan Russell reveal in their client report, which was leaked to the Washington Examiner.
Arrow Down

January 22nd is 5th anniversary of Obama order to shut Guantanamo

Washington - On January 22, 2009 President Obama signed an executive order that the United States Detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Cuba be closed no later than January 22, 2010.

Five years later Guantanamo is still open and it is not clear when it will actually be closed. Until a mass hunger strike in 2013 there seemed little urgency to close the facility. There have been a few detainees released since then and some easing of congressional blocking of transfers.

Of course, many detainees have been in Guantanamo not just five years but over a decade. Mahmud al-Mujahid has been at Guantanamo since January 11, 2002 when it first opened. Just this month the executive ruled that his "continued law of war detention" was "no longer necessary". Many of those cleared for transfer come from Yemen but Obama has yet to release any in spite of demands from Yemen that he do so and protests against their continued imprisonment.
Snakes in Suits

Corruption of Science: U.S. psychology body declines to rebuke member in Guantánamo torture case

© motesjj
Mohammed al-Qahtani was twice charged by the Pentagon in 2008 with war crimes related to 9/11.
Complaint dropped against John Leso, involved in brutal interrogation of suspected 9/11 hijacker Mohammed al-Qahtani

- APA: 'We cannot proceed with formal charges' - full letter

America's professional association of psychologists has quietly declined to rebuke one of its members, a retired US army reserve officer, for his role in one of the most brutal interrogations known to have to taken place at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian has learned.

The decision not to pursue any disciplinary measure against John Leso, a former army reserve major, is the latest case in which someone involved in the post-9/11 torture of detainees has faced no legal or even professional consequences.

In a 31 December letter obtained by the Guardian, the American Psychological Association said it had "determined that we cannot proceed with formal charges in this matter. Consequently the complaint against Dr Leso has been closed."

But the APA did not deny Leso took part in the brutal interrogation of the suspected 20th 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed al-Qahtani, whose treatment the Pentagon official overseeing his military commission ultimately called "torture".
Bacon n Eggs

'Fat is good': the message from a man who swapped sugar for bacon and eggs

Bacon and eggs
© The Irish Times
Cardiovascular disease kills some 10,000 people in Ireland each year, the equivalent of the capacity of Hill 16 in Croke Park.

Donal O'Neill's father, Kevin, had hardly put on any weight since the 1960s when he won two All-Ireland football medals with Down.

He was always fit and never drank alcohol but in January 2010 he had a heart attack. Though he pulled through, Donal, who founded the Gaelic Players' Association in 1999, was perplexed.

"I got angry," he says. "I come from a marketing background. I've worked with the big food companies. I know what they do. The more I found out how far removed we are from what works in maintaining health, the more annoyed I got.

"I started to think it was a little bit strange for a man who had been so fit and healthy - he had sailed through these stress tests for checking heart issues.

"That was my starting point and then I thought, 'Am I next?' When they moved to look at my father's brother, my uncle Seán O'Neill, who was the more famous footballer, they discovered he had type 2 diabetes; again - not a man who had abused himself in any way. The research fascinated me."

His craving led to a documentary entitled Cereal Killers, which has just been released by Yekra, the same American company that distributed Oliver Stone's movie, Looking for Fidel. It investigates cardiovascular disease, which kills 10,000 people in Ireland a year, the equivalent of the capacity of Hill 16 in Croke Park, remarks O'Neill.

Despite not having any film-making experience, O'Neill produced Cereal Killers with sports physiologist Prof Tim Noakes. O'Neill is also the focus of the film, as he undertakes a 28-day, high-fat diet monitored by Noakes and his colleagues in Cape Town, South Africa, where O'Neill lives.

Has the U.S. Government "become destructive of these ends?"

Constitutional scholar Dr. Edwin Vieira sits down with Gary Franchi and answers the question... Has the US Government "become destructive of these ends?"

Cowboy Hat

Largest cocaine smuggler in the U.S. revealed: The DEA

For decades, it has been rumored the United States government was secretly sponsoring the smuggling of cocaine into the country. Federal officials have long denied such speculation, pointing out the billions of dollars spent intercepting drugs. Newly released documents, and testimony from Justice Department and DEA officials now show the stories of government running cocaine are true.

An investigation conducted in Mexico found the American government allowed that country's largest drug cartel, Sinaloa, to operate without fear of persecution. That groups is estimated to be responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine coming into the country through Chicago. In exchange, the leaders of Sinaloa provided the DEA information on rival gangs.
Arrow Down

This slaughter is 'lawful', says Japan: More than 200 dolphins trapped in a remote bay are expected to be killed by hunters tomorrow

Taiji Cove
© The Independent, UK
Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane.
Washington and Tokyo, normally the staunchest of allies, have been drawn into an unexpected diplomatic spat over the annual slaughter of dolphins in a secluded Japanese cove.

Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, defended the controversial cull in the town of Taiji as "lawful", swatting away criticism from the US ambassador, Caroline Kennedy.

Ms Kennedy, the only surviving child of the assassinated US President John F Kennedy, joined the chorus of global outrage this week when she said her government opposed the practice. "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing," she tweeted, as fresh images appeared online showing apparently bloodied dolphins being herded into the cove for the slaughter, which is expected to take place today.

Conservationists say a rare albino dolphin is among about 250 of the animals thrashing behind nets overnight. "Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves," said the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is monitoring the cull.

The hunts are notoriously brutal. Fishermen on boats surround pods of migrating dolphins, lower metal poles into the sea and bang them to frighten the animals and disrupt their sonar. Once the dolphins are herded into the narrow cove, the fishermen attack them with knives, before dragging them to a harbour-side warehouse for slaughter. The best-looking dolphins are separated and sold to aquariums.
Eye 1

U.S. stands alone in opposing UN resolution combating glorification of Nazism

Iran, Israel, Syria United, For Almost A Decade, in Support of United Nations Anti-Nazi Resolution; United States, For Almost a Decade, Opposed To This Resolution

On November 15, 2013, the United Nations Third Committee adopted Resolution A/c.3/68/L.65/Rev.1, on the Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The Resolution is entitled:


This resolution is unique within the United Nations because it has united Iran, Israel and Syria, together with 123 other member States, in support of this resolution, repeatedly, year after year for almost a decade, while this same resolution, combating the resurgence of Nazism, has been consistently opposed by the United States, almost in isolation, during the same years.

Obama's lies, NSA spies, and the Sons of Liberty: Will you choose dangerous freedom or peaceful slavery?

"All governments are run by liars." - Independent journalist I.F. "Izzy" Stone

President Obama has managed, with singular assistance from Congress and the courts, to mangle the Constitution through repeated abuses, attacks and evasions.

This is nothing new, as I've documented in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. However, with his recent speech on the National Security Agency - a heady cocktail of lies, obfuscations, contradictions and Orwellian doublespeak - Obama has also managed to pervert and propagandize our nation's history, starting with Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty, likening their efforts to secure our freedoms to NSA phone surveillance.

Frankly, George Orwell's Winston Smith, rewriting news stories for Big Brother and the Ministry of Truth, couldn't have done a better job of revising history to suit the party line.

While it didn't bode well for what was to follow, here's how Obama opened his speech:
"At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the 'The Sons of Liberty' was established in Boston. And the group's members included Paul Revere. At night, they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America's early Patriots. Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms."
Obama's inference is clear: rather than condemning the NSA for encroaching on our privacy rights, we should be commending them for helping to "secure our country and our freedoms." Never mind that the Sons of Liberty were actually working against the British government, to undermine what they perceived as a repressive regime guilty of perpetrating a host of abuses against the colonists.

After such a 1984-esque send-up, it doesn't even really matter what else Obama had to say in his speech about NSA reforms and the like. Rest assured, it was largely a pack of lies. Mind you, Obama said it eloquently enough and interspersed it with all the appropriately glib patriotic remarks about individual freedom and the need to defend the Constitution and securing the life of our nation while preserving our liberties. After all, Obama has proven to be very good at saying one thing and doing another, whether it's insisting that "you can keep your health care plan," that he'll close Guantanamo, or that his administration's controversial drone strikes only target terrorists and not civilians.