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Fri, 28 Jul 2017
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New study confirms big pharma & federal govt root cause of opioid epidemic

A new study published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review painstakingly describes how Big Pharma deception and federal government patenting have brought about the current U.S. opioid epidemic. As lawsuits pile up against pharma companies, this study confirms that for 20 years, the American public has served as the victim in a gargantuan scheme of money and power.

The study, titled The Opioid Epidemic: Fixing a Broken Pharmaceutical Market, gets right to the point in the introduction.
"In this article, we argue that non-rigorous patenting standards and ineffectual policing of both fraudulent marketing and anticompetitive actions played an important role in launching and prolonging the opioid epidemic. We further show that these regulatory issues are not unique to prescription opioids but rather are reflective of the wider pharmaceutical market."
Researchers follow with a primer on the rise of opioid prescriptions and how pain became "the fifth vital sign." By the 1990s, doctors realized that chronic pain was often ignored, and pain management became a hot topic. Physicians were urged to make greater use of opioids, with experts in the field downplaying the potential for misuse and addiction - a view largely based on experience with morphine.


Charges filed against teen accused of livestreaming deadly car crash

Obdulia Sanchez
A California teenager accused of driving while livestreaming on social media and causing a car crash that killed her sister made her first appearance in court today, and her attorney later told reporters that she is "absolutely broken apart."

The driver, Obdulia Sanchez, 18, of Stockton, California, is accused of driving under the influence when she crashed on July 21 in Los Banos, California, about 80 miles southeast of San Jose, the California Highway Patrol said. The car went through a barbed wire fence and overturned in a field, ejecting Sanchez's two passengers, the highway patrol said.

The passengers were both 14 years old and were not wearing seat belts; one was killed and the other suffered a major injury, the highway patrol said.


Pakistani cops arrest 14 village council members after teenage girl raped in 'honor revenge'

© Faisal Mahmood / Reuters
The Pakistani police have arrested more than a dozen members of a village council in the eastern province of Punjab after they ordered the "honor revenge" rape of a teenage girl as punishment for a rape allegedly committed by her brother.

"A jirga [village council] had ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl as punishment, as her brother had raped a 12-year-old," Allah Baksh, a local police official, told AFP. The incident occurred more than a week ago in the Muzaffarabad region of the Punjab province, according to Pakistani media.

According to the police, a man approached the local elders' council earlier in July and said that his sister, 12, was raped by his cousin. The council then ordered the complainant to rape the alleged perpetrator's sister, who is 16 years old, as revenge.

Comment: The punishment is completely barbaric! The so called "elders' council" should be locked up in jail and the key thrown away.


Massachusetts court rules immigrants cannot be detained solely on ICE requests without pending criminal warrants

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
The top court in Massachusetts has ruled that authorities have no right to hold an immigrant after they have been released for a crime. However, some on the federal level disagree.

The state's Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled Monday after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested a court order that illegal immigrants facing deportation be held for up to 48 hours after their initial cases are resolved.

That amounts to a new arrest of a person, the state court found, which is not authorized by the laws of Massachusetts. This is the first ruling of this situation that applies to an entire state, according to Massachusetts' attorney general, Maura Healey, Reuters reported.

Monkey Wrench

Making your flying experience more miserable: TSA now requires separate screenings for all electronics 'larger than a cell phone'

© Scott Olson / AFP
The Transportation Security Administration, the only line of defense between us and an influx of Satanic fidget spinners, just announced new airport screening policies that are designed to make your life a living hell.

The TSA will now require "all electronics larger than a cell phone" to be removed from carry-on bags and placed in their own separate bin for X-ray screening with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. So if you've ever gone through security and thought, "Gee, just my laptop, shoes, belt, and coat? I wish I had to remove more items for separate screening," you're in luck!

The TSA has been piloting (no pun intended) the new screening policies at 10 airports, and is now ready to expand them to all US airports in the weeks and months ahead. In standard screening lanes, TSA agents will be stationed in front of X-ray machines to verbally assist passengers with the new screening procedures.


Grocery stocking robot is about to eradicate thousands of minimum wage jobs

Amazon wiped out billions of dollars worth of grocery store market cap last month when they announced plans to purchase Whole Foods. The announcement sent shares of Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sprouts, and Target, among others, plunging... (WMT -4%, TGT -5.5%, SFM -7.6%, KR -12%).
But, as we pointed out back in May, well before Amazon's decision to buy Whole Foods, Amazon's success in penetrating the traditional grocery market was always a matter of when, not if. Concept stores, like Amazon Go, already exist that virtually eliminate the need for dozens of in-store employees which will allow them to generate higher returns at lower price points than traditional grocers. And, with grocery margins averaging around 1-2% at best, if Amazon, or anyone for that matter, can truly create smart stores with no check outs and cut employees in half they can effectively destroy the traditional supermarket business model.

And while the demise of the traditional grocery store will undoubtedly take time (recall that people were calling for the demise of Blockbuster for nearly a decade before it finally happened), make no mistake that the retail grocery market 10-15 years from now will not look anything like the stores you visit today.

Comment: Disturbing statistics: How quickly robots can replace human workers
A pair of economists from MIT and Boston University have published a report at the US National Bureau of Economic Research outlining the cost of swapping human labour for programmed machines in areas such as manufacture, agriculture, research and development, and even education.

The results aren't exactly great for workers in those labour markets. "Robots, in particular industrial robots, are anticipated to spread rapidly in the next several decades and assume tasks previously performed by labour," the researchers claim in their report.

Each additional robot was determined to reduce employment by 5.6 workers. Not only that, but for every 1,000 workers, one robot could reduce wages by between one-quarter and one-half of a percent.


Mc-Disgusting: More reasons to avoid McDonald's as former employee shares nauseating photos

Photos posted online by a former McDonald's employee have cast the fast food chain in a whole new light. Be prepared, Big Mac fans.

Earlier this month, a former McDonald's employee identified only as Nick lost his job and no, it wasn't because he took too long getting hungry diners their McNuggets.

It was due to the Mc-Disgusting behind-the-scenes images he tweeted about the ice cream machine from his LaPlace, Louisiana, McDonald's locale.

Comment: And Russia is repulsed as well: Moscow's reaction to new sanctions may be banning McDonald's if it is violating sanitary norms

More reasons to ditch McDonald's less than appetizing fare:

Christmas Tree

Iraq War veteran and 11yo girl with epilepsy among group suing AG Jeff Sessions over federal cannabis laws

© Global Look Press
A former NFL star and an Iraq War veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have launched a suit against US attorney general Jeff Sessions over federal cannabis laws.

The pair have teamed with a group advocating the use of cannabis on medical and business grounds and are suing Sessions, the Department of Justice as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In total, the five plaintiffs include former New York Jets football player Marvin Washington, US Army veteran Jose Belen, and an 11-year-old girl who suffers from epilepsy.

They all believe the 1970s Controlled Substance Act (CSA) signed into law by former US President Richard Nixon is unconstitutional.

Star of David

Israeli Knesset member says he wants to 'execute' the relatives of Palestinians who killed police officers

© Screen shot: video with subtitles provided by Ronnie Barkan
Member of Knesset Oren Hazan posts a video to Facebook on July 22, 2107 where he states he wants to kill Palestinians in their homes, and equates them to "scum" that are "vile human beings."
An Israeli lawmaker said he wants to enter the homes of three Palestinians who killed two Israeli police officers near the holy sites in Jerusalem earlier this month, and "execute" their relatives - "execute them all. Yes just like that. With no shame. A quick and simple execution." The comments were made over the weekend by Knesset member Oren Hazan, who posted a feed of himself making the remarks to Facebook Live. A shortened version of the audio was translated into English by Israeli activist and co-founder of the Boycott from Within, Ronnie Barkan.

Hazan further compared Arabs to animals, stating "They are the ones who run away like dogs with their tail between their legs. Without insulting any dogs, God forbid. Yes, even dogs are better than these vile human animals."

At one point in the 12-minute video, Hazan referenced former prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, who ordered over 400 Palestinian detainees be expelled en masse from Israeli prisons to Lebanon. Hazan praised the deportations and made a direct appeal to Israel's current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu who is the head of the Likud party where Hazan is also a member, and urged him to repeat the deportation of prisoners.


Sickening: Cop tackles and cuffs innocent autistic boy who was out on a stroll with his hamster

Parents of a 13-year-old boy with autism filed a lawsuit against the Duchesne Sheriff's Department this month after they say Sgt. Carl Reilley attacked him for no reason. The boy had committed no crime and was out walking his hamster when he was violently taken down by Reilley, handcuffed, and thrown in the back of the patrol car.

The incident happened in April as the boy, who's unidentified for privacy reasons, took his pet hamster for a walk like he does all the time.

As the boy walked by the library, he looked inside because he wanted to 'see the giraffes.' However, a child's interest in animals raised enough suspicion from Sgt. Reilley, who was driving by, to detain him.

According to Reilley, when he attempted to detain the boy - without any reasonable articulable suspicion - he ran. However, we never see the young man run on camera and the family's attorney doesn't believe it even happened.

Comment: As one You Tube viewer wrote:
Cops are far more incapable of processing thoughts and information than autistic people. Who else wouldn't be able to see that this child is disabled, other than a cop? What other, valuable investigative skills does he bring to the table?