With Halloween creeping up on us, cannabists are being exposed again to the annual defamatory ritual, sprung from the minds of manipulative propagandists, mouthed by local, state and federal police forces and consumed like fun-sized candy bars by ill-informed and scared silly suburbanites (really, scared to the point of believing out-and-out factually unsupported silliness), the warning from our ‘concerned for the kids’ law enforcers that reefer fiends want in the worst way to get their costumed kiddies “hooked” on the evil weed by spiking their children’s Halloween candy with cannabis.
The hysterical and nonsensical notion that is part and parcel to the urban myth – a myth that began when I was a youth and at that time took the form of dire warnings from police authorities that evil-doers were buying razor blades and inserting them into candy so children will become horribly injured when they scarf down their orange and black waxed paper wrapped peanut butter chewies or Zagnut candy bars – is that cannabis users in general are evil and demented freaks who, at the risk of being jailed and at the expense of purchasing costly legal cannabis, desire to harm innocent children.
Hate to break it to you, but there is not a single documented case of cannabis users tricking children to enter the realm of the devil to be locked forever in a hell of addiction or lie convulsing on the floor of a hospital emergency room by spiking children’s Halloween candy.
With all of the press-releasing and all of those reporters trying to ‘get to the bottom of the story‘ on all of those cannabis usingcandy spiking psychos out there it only makes sense that pharmacies and their employees who want their patients to know about the prescribed drugs that they are taking (including their possible dangers, paramount among these is warning patients of the importance of keeping drugs away from children) are happy to pass their important advice along – makes sense.
This is especially the case with regard to cannabis edibles that are sold as chocolate, gummy bears and soda, just like alcohol lollipops, these products, of course, should not be given to children. But remember, it is not cannabists who designed these products to trick our kiddies, but rather capitalists who want to make cash. And, while you may not agree with me that the consumption of cannabis (by adults) is a patriotic duty of all citizens concerned about the trajectory of American society – capitalism is supposed to be all patriotic and it is capitalist devils, not cannabis fiends who are flooding the market with BabyJane, BudderFinger and mrGreenbud cannabis candies. A salutary component of cannabis legalization is that these capital blinded candy creators can be regulated by the appropriate authorities in WA and CO to ensure that these products are not marketed to children (as tobacco products are regulated) because, you know, legalization is regulation.
Luckily, and speaking of cannabis monetization, a company from Florida has stepped up to allay the fears of cannabis-candy-concerned parents, selling a candy-drug testing kit that parents can use to tell if their child’s candies can be consumed.
Now, if you have used cannabis, these types of stories- rooted as they are in deep misunderstandings about the substance that are the fruit of eighty years of knowing law enforcement and political deceit – are best to be ignored…it may be sad and silly, but it really just ain’t worth the time and energy to refute these zombie propagandist memes as they appear year after year. I agree.
But, it really seems to make sense, in the year that many Americans are reassessing what they have been told by self-interested parties in politics and law enforcement and in light of the full legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington, to state for the record that the suggestion that cannabis users are demented sociopaths who dream of harming children is both unfounded and offensive. And, by the way the propagandists who mouth the meme know it is unfounded and intend for their propping up of the myth to be defamatory and offensive.
The clear intent of these propaganda-pushers is to infer that ‘pot heads’ are evil addicts who actually desire to harm children. And that is a sick way to attempt to foreclose upon the constructive and commonsense nationwide effort to bring compassion and equality to our land by legalizing cannabis.
On March 17, 2013, Christopher Lopez took his last breath at 9:08 AM, stripped and shackled, face down on a cement floor in San Carlos Correctional Facility, while his jailers joked and made chit-chat. During Mr.Lopez’s videotaped death, which began at 3:30 AM, guards subjected him to a forceful cell extraction even though he was limp. When they placed the spit hood over his head and shackled him in the disciplinary transport chair, he slumped to one side and had a grand mal seizure. Without performing any mental health assessment whatsoever, they returned Mr. Lopez to his cell, placed him on the cement next to the toilet, and injected him with two psychotropic drugs.
“Is it lunch already?” the guard asks, followed by inaudible conversation.
“He could swallow his teeth, I don’t care…”
A guard proclaims, “He didn’t even piss on himself, so he’s not seizing.” “What’s he doing now?” a female supervisor asks. “Smells like he peed all over the place,” a man replies. “Is he still on the floor?” “Yeah.” “He likes it on the floor.” “I like him on the floor.” “Yeah, he likes it alright when he’s on the floor.” Laughter ensues. “Isn’t that terrible?”
While the staff makes fun of him, Mr. Lopez’s breathing changes to that of a fish out of water. When his breathing stops and he dies, the on-call mental-health clinician outside the cell door speaks through the window and asks the body, “What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” “What’s wrong? Don’t you like it on Three Right?” She inexplicably adds, “I can see you breathing.” She also tells the corpse, “Open your eyes,” and then she amazingly says, “Good.”
The only thing missing from Mr. Lopez’s horrible and lonely death is the pepper spray, but that was not really an oversight. He would have been pepper sprayed prior to the forceful extraction procedure, but the staff was short that day, the lawsuit describes:
“He actually wants to respond, but he can’t,” Gutierrez-Gonzalez told someone, then called out, “I understand you have some medical condition, but you have to work with me so I can help you.”
Gutierrez-Gonzalez then told Lopez if he didn’t cooperate, there would be a forced cell entrance, during which he would be pepper sprayed.
More than an hour after they noticed Lopez on the floor, a six-member team assembled to mount a forced cell entrance. Before going to the cell, they were told that because of a lack of personnel, gas wouldn’t be used.
The guards entered the cell dressed in riot gear and dragged him out.
Prior to Mr. Lopez’s death, he lived in solitary confinement for more than nine months. In Wilkinson v. Austin 545 U.S. 209 (2005), the US Supreme Court held that procedures for determining which prisoners should be placed in a Supermax prison must satisfy the requirements of due process, but the Court did not address indefinite solitary confinement of the mentally ill. Since Mr. Lopez suffered from schizophrenia, he could not act as his own advocate, file a grievance, or ask a jailhouse lawyer to help him. Instead, his mental health treatment included a slow-motion, torturous death.
“I went to Walmart this morning,” said one of the guards, as Mr. Lopez lay next to the toilet, dying.
Mr. Lopez’s situation is not unique.
In Michigan, mentally ill inmates at Huron Valley were “denied water and food, ‘hog tied’ naked for many hours, left to stand, sit, or lie naked in their own feces and urine, denied showers for days, and tasered,” according to witness letters to the ACLU of Michigan.
Who is in charge of health care for the incarcerated mentally ill? One private contractor is Corizon. According to its website, Corizon is:
As the correctional healthcare pioneer and leader for 35+ years, Corizon Health provides client partners with high quality healthcare and reentry services that will improve the health and safety of our patients, reduce recidivism and better the communities where we live and work.”
Corizon has landed a 100 million dollar contract in California with Fresno jail, the latest in a long list that includes a $224 million contract in Alabama. Corizon Health, “the nation’s leader in correctional healthcare solutions” invites us to browse the website to see their “people, practices and commitment to success.”
Corizon has been sued 660 times for malpractice over the last half-decade. The ACLU adds that “As long as Corizon is motivated by its bottom line, there will always be a perverse incentive not to provide treatment. And Corizon is doing very well. The company makes $1.4 billion dollars a year off sick prisoners. Just last week, Corizon inked a new five-year, $1.2 billion contract with the state of Florida. This means that Corizon is now getting taxpayer money in 29 states. And they’re vying for more.”
Corizon is being investigated in Arizona, for taking taxpayer money designated to provide inmate healthcare and doing nothing or being so egregiously negligent that mentally ill inmates are dying.
In Florida, where Darren Rainey was scalded to death at the hands of guards at Dade CI, George Mallinckrodt, a former mental health employee for Corizon at Dade CI, blew the whistle on the behalf of Mr. Rainey and others. At our site, he commented:
I’m George Mallinckrodt, the only former staffer at Dade CI to come forward publicly about the egregious behavior of guards in the psych unit called the Transitional Care Unit. As a result of the stories broken by the Miami Herald’s Julie Brown, it is comforting to know I’m not alone anymore in bringing the abuse, beating, torture, and murder of inmates to the attention of the public. Almost two years ago, after I answered my phone with a typical “Hello,” my former coworker blurted out, “They killed him!” Ever since, I’ve been trying to get people to pay attention to the murder of Darren Rainey. I contacted the FDLE, FBI, Miami Metro Homicide, and the ME’s office to no avail. When Julie broke the story Sunday, May 18, 2014, there was no doubt in my mind that I would come forward. I may not have been able to change much when I was working in prison, but now it appears I have been more successful on the outside. I’ve got to give the inmate, Harold Hempstead, a massive amount of credit in coming forward as he did. As we all know now, really bad things happen to men in prison.
The complaint I lodged with the Dept. of Justice in DC may now receive the attention it deserves. No doubt one of thousands of complaints filed every year, perhaps as a result of recent publicity, it may move up a bit in the line. Of course, I’d like to see it go straight to the top.
For his trouble, George Mallinckrodt was fired. He continues to speak out against cruelty and to press for a federal investigation into the killing of Mr. Darren Rainey. This petition has 204,365 supporters so far:
When Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” he aptly described the treatment of America’s incarcerated mentally ill in tandem with complete disregard for basic human decency.
A couple of weeks ago, on 10/13/14, the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice was closed on Indigenous Peoples’ Day (aka Columbus Day). Yet at 8 AM on that chilly morning, instead of an empty lot and a quiet building, there was an exuberant crowd readying to accompany Sally-Alice Thompson on her Walk to Get the MOP.
Get the MOP! Photo by Dinah Vargas (c) BurqueMedia Used by permission
Some lady walking to get a mop.
No big deal, right?
Wait… she already has a floor mop.
And why is there money pinned to it?
from Albuquerque to Santa Fe
in the spirit of Granny D
to get a different mop: To Get The Money Out of Politics.
Our ancestors slept around a fire for a million years and had an institutional fear of dangerous snakes and spiders that didn’t run from fire. Recorded in the Middle Ages but probably existing from the cave was a dread of lepers. We have phobias all around us touching people who touched something that will later make them sick is one of them.
Three years ago I rinsed a wire drain to prevent hair from clogging my bathtub by putting my hand in the toilet and rinsing around, and never did it again after someone stopping over saw me do it. For months when my acquaintance came over he insisted on paper plates and plastic ware and me washing my hands several times an hour. Obama’s domestic ebolaphobia is much less than those on the Internet that demand a total travel ban with Africa but since the latest cases in the US with rapid response is being sick for less then two weeks, what’s the big deal over here?
Everyone back from western central Africa has at least a one in the million fear of giving a loved one Ebola, and their friends have some nagging dread of them. So everyone, let’s create nice hotel space in designated airports with anyone without a fever allowed to leave with an embedded thermometer that transmits readings and an escort or two with cameras to be able to alert only a few people who got too close to someone soon to get an Ebola fever.
Other suggestions since the UN is hiring survivors to work with sick infants without protection, let one of them in front of a camera hug a sick relative. Almost 50% of those who got Ebola survived a potentially powerful resource until a vaccine is created, but phobics gets in the way.
If instead we want to fight this instinctual phobia of those who touched Ebola victims but are not yet sick, let’s dine at a sparkling disinfected and totally rinsed clean public bathroom and drink our wine from the toilet bowls.
For some reason the following blog entries of mine did not appear on FDL on My Diary, my.firedoglake.com/richardkanepa/and emailing administrator didn’t help,
*Everywhere. As resources become more scarce, chances of bringing populations up and out of extreme poverty decrease—while the chances of more people being thrown into extreme poverty increase. People must consume fewer resources and accelerate recycling activities if that dismal scenario is to be avoided. Rare earths are particularly troublesome since “they are critical in the automotive, electronics and renewable sectors”, demand for them is escalating—and “supply shortages are predicted.”
*Everywhere. The copper mining industry has a big problem. High grade copper deposits have been mined so thoroughly that mining companies must process much higher tonnage of lower-grade ore to achieve desired yields. That processing leads to more arsenic, antimony and bismuth use which, in turn, result in higher penalties and lower profits.
*US. During last year’s Solar Vortex home heating increased, resulting in a sharp increase in carbon pollution–“the steepest on record in the last 25 years.” There was also a 4.8% increase in the use of energy from coal. Those are contributing factors to doubt about the US’ ability to achieve the goal of a 17% cut in emissions by 2020.
*AZ. The San Pedro River is in danger of drying up due to over-pumping. Right now it’s under additional stress of E. coli from all the livestock that live along the river, and continuing contamination of the flood plain from the Buenavista Mine disaster in Sonora, Mexico.
*MN. strong appeal in the Winona Daily News for voters to support County Commissioners who will protect against frac sand mining plans, including horizontal tunneling into hillsides.
*NM. Opponents of a gravel mine on La Bajada Mesa say the operation “will destroy the mesa’s scenic views and produce dust and noise from blasting.” Santa Fe County Commissioners voted to establish a moratorium on mining applications, but the mining company maintains that action was illegal.
*OK. Working together, the Cherokee Nation and US Department of Interior have transformed “about 100 acres of former abandoned coal mines in Sequoyah County to a swath with lush bluestem and other native grass, a 25-acre lake and wildlife.” Financing consisted of $2 million of an “abandoned mine land reclamation award” from Interior, which receives the funds from coal companies.
*WV. A study conducted by WV University’s May Babb Cancer Center “strengthens” the suspected link between mountaintop coal mining and “high cancer rates in nearby communities” due to “chronic exposure to coal dust particles blown into the air by explosions and massive machinery used in the mining operation”.
*Canada.Resource companies will be required “to publish what they pay to foreign and domestic governments, with a plan to include First Nations governments after two years.” First Nations are concerned that the legislation will actually “infringe on their jurisdiction and undermine benefit agreements they reach with resource companies.”
*Canada.Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, BC, lost its fight against Kinder Morgan’s $4.81 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans. Canada’s National Energy Board ruled against Burnaby, but Burnaby’s Mayor said the city “would now carry this fight to a federal court.”
*Canada. Seven years ago, they were all jazzed about that $60-billion “natural resources treasure trove” in Ontario’s so-called Ring of Fire. Well, that was then and this is now and those “lofty expectations” will probably not materialize. First of all, it’s kinda hard to do much mining where there are no roads, no power. Second, those local First Nations people who actually live there aren’t exactly rolling out any red carpet.
*Canada. Two Innu First Nations communities in Quebec were granted the right by the Quebec Superior Court to sue the Iron Ore Company of Canada for violating their rights and disrupting “their way of life for over 60 years”. Since then, the government has shown interest in involving the Innu in Plan Nord which includes development in Innu territories in Quebec and Labrador.
Sen. McCain Calls Admiral an “Idiot” – Why Do Media Promote That?
Context doesn’t matter with clever kitty videos, but politics is different
BuzzFeed, moving up from cute-cat-tricks to catty-Senator-tricks, caused a few ripples in the political swamp on October 22 with its belated, skewed reporting of Republican Senator John McCain calling U.S. Admiral John Kirby an “idiot” on a rightwing radio show in North Carolina on October 15. OK, nobody really expects BuzzFeed News to publish honest news.
Less defensible, though hardly surprising, is the way the Washington Post and other less well known media outfits picked up the “idiot” story fragment and ran with it as if it was the whole story, without further context, much less identifying Sen. McCain’s own idiotic statements and falsehoods in the very same radio interview.
Here’s the nut of the story, when Sen. McCain, in response to no question, interrupts the host and says out of the blue:
It’s the most amazing thing. It’s the most amazing thing. The spin and the lies out of this White House. I mean, it’s, it’s unbelievable. This idiot Admiral Kirby was asked, I think yesterday, that said, ‘John McCain says that we are losing, what do you say?’ The guy, you gotta run it, you gotta run it. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. I mean, it’s amazing. And how can they possibly now, with ISIS taking about two thirds of the city of Kobani – they’re saying this is effective. You know, there’s two hundred thousand refugees out of that town, thousands have been slaughtered…. [rambling on other subjects for another minute]
Radio Host Tyler Cralle didn’t know enough, or care enough, to interrupt the senator and point out that Kobani’s total population in 2004 was about 50,000. Or that Kobani has been a haven for internal refugee Syrians fleeing the civil war. Or that this flood of displaced persons from elsewhere has reportedly pushed Kobani’s population perhaps as high as 400,000. Not surprisingly there’s no accurate count of these refugees becoming re-refugees, either elsewhere in Syria or in neighboring Turkey. If McCain actually cared about uprooted Syrians, he would have been advocating for them three years ago.
On economic, bread-and-butter issues, there is no significant difference between the Democrats and Republicans, and most Americans know it. So why bother to vote? What difference does it make? Little to none, that’s what. Who cares if the Republicans take the Senate or make gains in the House? Who cares about the Supreme Court? For that matter, who really cares about the Presidency?
The game’s rigged, and voters know it. You have to be rich, Rich, RICH in order to be elected as a Congresscritter, much less to the Senate. Only top ten percenters need apply, and even then only top 1 percenters have any real chance. Even if you’re an incumbent and you’re voted out, there’s plenty of moo-lah to be made as a lobbyist or consultant or sitting on some corporate board while you re-build your “war chest” to take another stab at national public office. And most Americans know that, as well.
Today at work, for example, a Republican coworker with strong libertarian leanings who is so ignorant that he said just a few days ago that a Soviet submarine was being hunted by the Swiss Navy(apparently there was a Russian submarine in Swedish waters, but there’s no difference to him) said that “most politicians are just out for themselves, they don’t give a shit about us,” and he’s right. I agreed with him, and he knows I’m a Socialist, and he was a little surprised, but only a little.
Every day, things just keep getting worse and worse economically for the vast majority of Americans. Wages and salaries are stagnant, most of the jobs being “created” and ballyhooed by the ruling class of both major political parties pay less than a living wage, groceries and utilities and rent keep going up, it’s hard to get credit to buy anything, the cost of health care continues to be unaffordable, and the only things that Democrats and Republicans can agree on are measures that benefit Wall Street or the “defense” industry or…the opulent lifestyles of their leaders with immunity from criminal prosecution.
If there wasn’t a levy on the ballot to help the local public library and community college, a Green running for Governor, and a few downticket races with still-decent people running, I probably wouldn’t bother to vote, either. As if the local library and community college should have to go begging for funds in the first place! That should be guaranteed, dammit! But nooooooo……..
Our political system is terminally ill. Every day, the day of reckoning gets closer. And when it comes, it won’t be pretty.
Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. (May 2011)
Opposes prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research. (Aug 2010)
Opposes federal abortion funding. (Aug 2010)
I consider myself pro-choice. (Nov 2010)
I don’t know how he considers himself to be pro choice maybe he has also re committed himself as a virgin based on the strength of his belief? I said Bob was trying to run to the left on abortion I did not say he actually was. I am not sure just who he thinks he is fooling but when you try and please everyone you end up pleasing no one.
I’m not sure what to believe anymore. A Republican in Illinois birthplace of Ronald Reagan, home of Rumsfeld, Phil Crane ( anti tax before Newt before it was cool) trying to run to the left on abortion and gay marriage but the GOP is winning the election the pollsters say! Ok then why are they compromising like this.
Whats next Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will talk about how we need to help the needy?
They need to throw out Rep. Paul Ryan and elect Rob Zerban, a Kenosha County supervisor and small-business owner, who proudly notes near the top of his biography that he pays his employees family-sustaining wages with benefits including quality health care.
The mainstream news media says almost nothing about this, but Ryan’s a two-timer, big time. He talks soothingly of repairing the social safety net and helping the needy, but that’s only because his polling suggests that’s a smart thing to say.
My Bold I don’t care if he is lying I know he is but the important thing is Paul Ryan is lying because he has to I smell fear, I smell blind Panic.
Whats next the GOP candidate for Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner will back a raise in the minimum wage after talking about wanting to get rid of the minimum wage?
In Illinois, gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has been all over the map on the issue (that’s a map stretching from “eliminate or reduce the minimum wage” to “maybe possibly raise it by I’m-not-saying-how-much and only with a ton of conditions attached”)
The GOP just fought huge Primary war with its Tea Bag wing and for the most part won Rep Eric Cantor was their only loss. Now then does anyone think Tea Baggers, anti Abortion Voters and the we can’t help the poor because they breed caucus of which Paul was a leader can vote GOP without losing their lunch on election day?
Does anyone think that moderate voters after hearing these and other GOP candidates say the exact opposite on these and other issues for years are going to be fooled?
But still the pollsters claim the GOP will win big come election day. Sadly at best the GOP’s changes in position will likely be used to explain how the GOP stole the election. Bush stole Florida the first time he ran, Bush stole Ohio the second time he ran, Karl Rove refused to concede Ohio but some Hackers stopped him from stealing Ohio. Obama has never investigated election fraud so how can we trust election results if we lose?
The first step toward revolution is to get people to care about voting, about wanting to change things. The next step is for the other side to stop change from happening. This keeps on going on until we decide we have no choice the system does not work the system has no legitimacy, no consent of the governed, the Mandate of Heaven has Passed.
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