When you're at the top of your game, you know it's only a matter of time as pretenders to the throne come to unseat you. Knock, knock, knock. Hear that, GOP stalwarts? The insane asylum has been breached. The inmates have left the building. What to do, what to do?
Rachel Maddow has recently highlighted some of the gilded cagers of the Republican party. Their stalwarts. Their front runners. Their majordomos. Now it's time to add some new names, some old, but all familiar. Not unlike other famous politicos of the past, they share a common outcome with The Titanic, The Hindenburg, The Lusitania and the Doña Paz (I just threw that one in to see if you knew your maritime history, 1987).
In the Republican circles these rising stars are known as Donald Trump, Steve King, Steve Lunergan, and Art Robinson. Front liners, all. But just like movie trailers or coming attractions, they help tease you into coming back and seeing the whole film. With republicans like these, you can see the future. It's going to be standing room only as the orchestra strikes up, "Send In The Clowns."
I'm nothing short of amazed that the party has lasted this long. After having seen this insanity, the RNC has begun sending out a special video and anouncement for the 2016 presidential election. Having a spy on the inside, I was able to get a copy. Here's the message that goes along with the clip below. The announcement reads: "We're temporarily closed for business. Please enjoy this musical interlude while we wait for a new bunch of coconuts to be delivered. Reince Priebus."
CNN is not the first place I look to when seeking out unbiased news. I find they've gone from covering breaking events to evangelizing ever more conservative positions and biased reports. This includes all types of subjects, not just politics. Entertainment, fashion, medicine and science overall. They have staked out a position slightly to the left of Fox News and way to the right of MSNBC. Truth now runs a distant second in their priorities. They're one step away from being a parody. Fairness and journalism don't even make the top five of their concerns. Real news is filler for their dog and pony shows.
I'm not saying everyone there is a fraud -- I'm not saying they aren't either. After all, most of the faces of CNN are just that, faces. They don't write, investigate nor even do research. They're news readers. We know them for their personalities, not their genuine in depth investigation. Yet they do have some people on staff who, from time to time, provide expertise in their particular field.
Take Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He has the expertise and from time to time he flexes it, sharing with us the benefits or dangers of our lifestyles. He's trusted enough as an expert that President Obama wanted him as Surgeon General of the United States, a position he refused. He's very likable and generally well-versed in his particular reports. But, on occasion he's human like all of us. He falls for the corporate BS which passes as fact or in the case I'm going to bring up, the science behind medicine.
Dr. G has for years startled me and many when he's been so blatantly "used" by CNN as a source to quote on the harm and damage that is produced by pot. He's attacked marijuana as a dangerous drug, making arguments justifying it's classification as a schedule one drug. Now he's reversed fields and gone in the opposite direction.
Why? How? Perhaps to better understand things, we should see what the DEA uses as criteria for it's classifications of drugs. There currently are five schedules or groups. Here's the DEA's definition of drug schedules in general:
Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential.
That seems to be the ground rules. So Dr. Gupta has been justifying the classification of Marijuana as a schedule one drug. Here's what falls into that top category.
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
Basically everything else falls into lesser categories. Those are schedules two through five. Schedule five has minor, over the counter medications like anti-diharreals and cough syrups. But look at the next to lowest classification:
Drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien.
Surprisingly, alcohol, doesn't appear anywhere on any of the schedules. So apparently there's no dependency issues with booze. That's a relief. Now I don't know about you, but I'd surely think that a scientific mind like Dr G's would see that cannabis is much more aligned to a type IV classification than to heroin, cocaine and crack. People aren't OD'ing on ganja. They're not losing their minds over simple smoke. But, CNN's paid medical propagandist for years has been speaking out against the demonic weed, justifying it as dangerous.
A few days ago Sanjay decided to come clean. Wednesday he wrote a CNN op ed that included this:
I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."
They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.
Well, it takes some big man to not only admit his mistakes, but to do something about it. He's making amends for misleading everybody with a new special. Here's a peek inside:
With this special, Dr. Gupta has shot up in my eyes. Now hopefully he'll become a leader. Hopefully gone are his days of being a follower of diatribe and dogma fed him by the DEA and other non medical agencies. He's free to share with us his professional knowledge whether I agree with it or not. Just make it real, Sanjay. You deserve a second chance.
Recently featured in an article by Ryan Grenoble was a list of original names of real places. For instance,
If someone told you they hailed from the "Farm of the Elf Counsel's People," you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd grown up in Middle-earth, not Arlington, Texas. Yet according to a very special new atlas, that's precisely what "Arlington" means.
The Atlas of True Names has been compiled by Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust, two cartographers who aspire to uncover the "original" meaning of place names, as determined by their etymological roots. The results are highly amusing: Pensacola, Fla., becomes the land of "Hair People"; Chicago is simply "Stink Onion"; what appears to be Kermit, a small town in West Texas, transforms into "Son of the Envyless."
So here's a fun quiz. Match the state with it's real name: (Choices are below)
1 Land of the Shallow Water
2 Land of the people with dugout canoes
3 Land of the Wind People
4 Land of Little Big Hills
5 Land of Folks
6 Land of those who speak normally
Your choices are:
Massachusetts(E), Missouri(O), Arkansas(N), Maine(S), Illinois(T) Nebraska (H)
Give up? The correct answers, in order, spell out, HONEST. Honestly.
What do you get when you mix Missouri's Republican-led Legislature with their Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. The name Nixon should give you a clue. The answer is chaos.
According to DAVID A. LIEB of the Associated Press, it looks like law enforcement in the "Show Me" state may soon have some new criminals to apprehend. It's the Feds. If the proposed law being debated there right now is passed and signed, here's the scenario: A federal agent attempts to arrest someone for illegally selling a machine gun. Instead, the federal agent is arrested — charged in a state court with the crime of enforcing federal gun laws.
The Missouri legislation is perhaps the most extreme example of a states' rights movement that has been spreading across the nation. States are increasingly adopting laws that purport to nullify federal laws — setting up intentional legal conflicts, directing local police not to enforce federal laws and, in rare cases, even threatening criminal charges for federal agents who dare to do their jobs.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that local police could not be compelled to carry out provisions of a federal gun control law. But some states are now attempting to take that a step further by asserting that certain federal laws can't even be enforced by federal authorities.
A new Kansas law makes it a felony for a federal agent to attempt to enforce laws on guns made and owned in Kansas. A similar Wyoming law, passed in 2010, made it a misdemeanor. The Missouri bill also would declare it a misdemeanor crime but would apply more broadly to all federal gun laws and regulations — past, present, or future — that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms."
So, what is the chance of an arrest if this law passes and is signed? What will it do to other federal laws being followed in other states? Is this anarchy? Looks like only time will tell how long and how far Obama and Atty. Gen. Holder are willing to allow this flaunting. But it sure does make you wonder to what extent the grassroots and tea party organizations are willing to go to make their point.
So, Mr. Federal officer, think twice before you arrest a lawbreaker because you may find yourself in the cell next to him.
We the People suck at staying alive, let alone healthy, compared to our peer nations around the world, according to a report from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.
We live shorter lives and are in worse health than those in other wealthy nations. USA! USA!
The analysis of international health data, available here, determined that American men had the lowest life expectancy among men in 17 countries, including wealthy European nations, Australia, Canada and Japan. U.S. women had the second-lowest life expectancy (only Danish women fared worse.)
The study listed nine health areas in which Americans came in below average: infant mortality and low birth weight, injuries and homicides, adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, drug-related deaths, obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and disability.
But chin up! Turn that frown upside down! The U.S. has low cancer death rates and did well when it came to controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Let's hear it for those incessant Big Pharma Tee Vee ads, ladies and gents!
But here's the part that stuck out like a very sore thumb:
Gun use emerged as a factor: Americans were seven times more likely to die in a homicide and 20 times more likely to die in a shooting than their peers.
D'oh! Someone get the NRA on the phone, stat! We need to let them in on this! Oh, but I kid. Especially in light of proof that carrying a gun won’t protect you in a crisis, a factoid which falls on deaf NRA ears, because they want guns in every single school in 'Murika!
Again, the U.S. has the highest gun ownership per capita in the world. Instead, we have far more gun-related killings than any other developed country.
Marketing and selling more guns (thank you NRA) is not the solution.
Here's an interactive graphic where you can compare the U.S. ranking with the peer countries on specific causes of death.
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Someone get the smelling salts ready for Buchanan.
U.S. Latinos can expect to outlive whites by more than two years and blacks by more than seven, government researchers say in a startling report that is the first to calculate Latino life expectancy in this country.
The report released Wednesday is the strongest evidence yet of what some experts call the “Hispanic paradox” — longevity for a population with a large share of poor, undereducated members. A leading theory is that Latinos who manage to immigrate to the U.S. are among the healthiest from their countries.
A Latino born in 2006 could expect to live about 80 years and seven months, the government estimates. Life expectancy for a white person is about 78, and for a black person, just shy of 73 years.
Researchers have seen signs of Latino longevity for years. But until recently, the government didn’t calculate life expectancy for Latinos as a separate group; they were included among the black and white populations.
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