Trumpista Policy Part II: “Drugs”


Part I is here (extending private prison contracts).

And who will fill all of these quota-guaranteed by contract prison ‘beds’ besides the usual suspects?  Moar of the usual suspects, I reckon.  Aha: when I’d first read at Reuters that WH spox Sean Spicer had announced that Herr Trump might ‘ramp up’ enforcement of federal cannabis laws especially in states in which recreational marijuana is legal, setting up an (ahem) conflict with those states’ laws, this category of decades’ worth of victims of the failed ‘drug wars’ would be convenient bed-fillers.

Reuters also featured the results of a new national Quinnipiac poll released the same day showed that 71 percent of registered voters favored allowing states to decide whether marijuana should be legal, just 23 percent said the U.S. government should enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized it for recreational or medical use.  And isn’t Herr Trump into ‘states’ rights’?  Oh: just when it serves his purpose…

“”I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said at a news conference. “Because again there’s a big difference between the medical use … that’s very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.”

Spicer’s comments drew criticism from the country’s nascent legalized marijuana industry as it was recovering from a scare after Trump’s nomination of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a long time anti-drug campaigner, as attorney general.”

Reuters also wrote that Obama’s administration largely looked the other way, but not in CA and other states.  He’d declared it something like: “It’s not one of our priorities”. is reporting that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions ‘Suggests Police Need Less Federal Scrutiny’; “We need to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness, and I’m afraid we’ve done some of that,” Sessions said.

“In his first major policy speech as attorney general, Sessions said his Justice Department would continue to prosecute officers for wrongdoing, but suggested federal civil rights investigations could hinder their effectiveness.

He warned of a surging heroin epidemic, rising homicide rates in big cities and said a lack of respect for police has diminished their crime-fighting efforts.”

[The tell]:

“In his prepared remarks Sessions also indicated that, unlike his Democratic-appointed predecessors, he believes some police officers have pulled back on enforcement because of anxiety that their actions could be recorded on video and scrutinized by the public.

We wouldn’t want the public seeing what the po-po are doing, now would we?

Including remarks from a Spicer presser, Sessions himself, and of course, Herr Trump, cavalierly and speciously link cannabis to opioids, including as a ‘gateway drug’ (studies say it ain’t, although alcohol can be) although the latter seems to approve of medical cannabis, go figure.   Maybe he hasn’t looked into it well enough?  Yet, in the Atlantic’s July, 2016 ‘What Can’t Medical Marijuana Do?’; Recent studies indicate that the drug is making seniors healthier and helping stem the tide of the opioid epidemic—all while making their health care cheaper.  (Hint: the Atlantic ain’t exactly a bastion of potheads, now are they?  Or…are they?  ;-)  But I digress.  The main portion of the article focuses on senior citizens, opioid overdose deaths, but jumps to this:

“Of course all of these data are just for Medicare patients, but they match other research that shows that medical marijuana has been particularly effective in reducing deaths (pdf) from opioid addiction.  That research has been corroborated and updated with a new working paper that indicates that states with medical marijuana dispensaries not only see reduced opioid deaths, but also an accelerating decrease in opioid substance-abuse treatment admissions. These data might be applicable for seniors, and the data on seniors might be generalizable across the country. Medical marijuana could be reducing deaths—especially for the most vulnerable populations—making health care cheaper for the most expensive groups, and fighting a public-health nightmare.

Just under half the country now allows medical marijuana, and states like Florida and Missouri are considering it. Support for the drug seem to be expanding among both medical professionals and the public at large. In Florida—which already allows for medical marijuana usage for patients facing mortal illness— medical marijuana could help its large population of seniors and help it combat a serious opioid problem at once. That logic holds for the country writ large, fighting a two-front war against health-care costs and the opioid crisis that is driving up those costs, with seniors in the middle of both fights. Medical marijuana increasingly looks like a useful tool in that fight—and the rare health policy that makes health care both cheaper and more effective.”

In his ‘Capitalism and America’s addiction epidemic’, 25 February 2017,, Andre Damon applies some Marxist analysis to the issue.  All essays are designated Creative Commons, so I’ll quote them liberally…or should I say: radically?

“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report Friday showing that nearly 13,000 people died from heroin overdoses in 2015, up four-fold from the 3,036 deaths reported in 2010. The overall incidence of overdoses from all drugs has more than doubled since 1999.

The drug epidemic affects all ages, genders and races. The overdose rate for the 55–64 age group has gone up nearly five-fold, while the 45-54 age group had the highest rate of overdoses overall.

Whites had the highest rate of overdose deaths of any ethnicity, more than double the combined death rate for blacks and Latinos. The overdose death rate for whites, which was lower than that of blacks in 1999, has more than tripled since then.

What is behind the shocking and tragic growth in drug overdoses?

The drug epidemic has been concentrated in former coal mining regions such as Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, along with so-called “rust-belt” states such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. These areas of the country have been hardest hit by decades of deindustrialization, mass layoffs and wage-cutting, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing ever since.

The social distress that finds a particularly concentrated expression in the rust belt exists throughout the country. In 2015, for the first time in 23 years, US life expectancy decreased, led by a sharp increase in mortality rates for white Americans.

Last month, a survey by the Young Invincibles found that millennials earn 20 percent less than their parents did at the same stage in life, despite being better-educated. Homeownership rates have hit their lowest levels since 1965, with record numbers of young people being too poor to move out of their parents’ homes.

At the other end of the age spectrum, indebtedness among seniors has increased dramatically and household debt as a whole is soaring.

There is a palpable sense that American society is going backward. The drug epidemic is a malignant expression of the fact that millions of people see no prospect for living an economically secure and fulfilling life.

The conditions of life for working people, whose incomes have been stagnant or declining for decades, stand in the starkest contrast to the phenomenal enrichment of the ruling elite, whose wealth has more than doubled since 2009, driven by an unprecedented stock market boom.”  [snip]

“In its quest for cheap and easy profits at any social cost, the American health care system, dominated by the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance giants and for-profit hospital chains, has turned to over-prescribing opioid painkillers. As a result, over a third of Americans now use prescription painkillers, whether obtained legally or illegally. This is a higher percentage of the population than the portion that smokes or uses smokeless tobacco.

Alongside the economic underpinnings of the social crisis there are the crippling intellectual and cultural effects of a quarter-century of endless war and political reaction. War, xenophobia, chauvinism, the worship of money and power—all are extolled by the ruling elite, its political parties and the media and entertainment establishment. These are the symptoms of an economic and political system breaking down under the weight of its own internal contradictions.”  [snip]

“The political impasse caused by the subordination of the working class to the Democratic Party and the two-party system, reinforced by the corporatist trade unions, has fueled the frustrations and dashed hopes that foster anti-social acts, from mass shootings to drug addiction.”  [snip]

“The social crisis expressed in the surge in drug overdoses can be overcome only in a struggle to mobilize the working class in the US and internationally against the capitalist system, the source of poverty, inequality and war.”

The comments beneath Damon’s piece add a lot to the subject, including the hypocrisy of the CIA being ‘biggest drug dealer in the world? Known for drug trafficking in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Vietnam, etc…’, and under the watchful care of US and British soldiers, opium poppies have surged post-Taliban to an estimated 75% of the world’s production.


Consider this list from Ellen Brown (after she delves into the history of cannabis and industrial hemp, legal, then made illegal) of the efficaciousness of the beautiful plant:

“The documented medical use of cannabis goes back two thousand years, but the Schedule I ban has seriously hampered medical research. Despite that obstacle, cannabis has now been shown to have significant therapeutic value for a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, lung disease, anxiety, muscle spasms, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis pain.

New research has also revealed the mechanism for these wide-ranging effects. It seems the active pharmacological components of the plant mimic chemicals produced naturally by the body called endocannabinoids. These chemicals are responsible for keeping critical biological functions in balance, including sleep, appetite, the immune system, and pain. When stress throws those functions off, the endocannabinoids move in to restore balance.

Inflammation is a common trigger of the disease process in a broad range of degenerative ailments. Stress triggers inflammation, and cannabis relieves both inflammation and stress. THC, the primary psychoactive component of the plant, has been found to have twenty times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone.

CBD, the most-studied non-psychoactive component, also comes with an impressive list of therapeutic benefits, including not against cancer but as a super-antibiotic. CBD has been shown to kill “superbugs” that are resistant to currently available drugs. This is a major medical breakthrough, since for some serious diseases antibiotics have reached the end of their usefulness.”

Noting that the pharmaceutical industry both has much to gain and much to lose from legalization of the cannabis plant in its various natural forms, is it any wonder that she asks: “Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?

Way-ull…Mr. Market is pretty bullish on the likelihood of the merger being approved.  And when Warren Buffet’s money talks….sshhhhhh!…people listen.  Note: so far there isn’t a new head of the FTC, just an acting one.  Hard to think that anyone would press any anti-trust objections at this point, isn’t it?

But back to ‘enforcing cannabis federal law’: will cannabis arrestees end up filling the prison beds?  Will those busted for opiates be treated as a health issue…or a criminal issue?  Will it depend on Class Status?  Of course it will.


Bonus: But at least the Master of Grift Bill Gates is ‘Excited’ for Next Chapter With Trump

58 responses to “Trumpista Policy Part II: “Drugs”

  1. Well hell, WD; doncha know the U.S. government don’t like no competition, no how, no way!
    Mess with their drug running and gigantic profits and you’ll surely be dealt with harshly…

    • that you, ollie north? ;-) but hell, whadda you know? i hear you expatriated to the sex tourism capital of the world! (add more of these ! in yer mind…)

      it’s a beautiful world…
      but not for U!

      • No, I self exiled; big difference.
        Oh, you must mean the barking asshole over yonder at Ian’s place, LOL.
        I’m shut of that place as long as he leaves his anal deposits there.
        Sex capital? The irony is that the U.S. of A. created that cesspit during the war it waged against Vietnam. The soldiers had their R & R in Pattaya. The women from the poorest area in Thailand, Isaan (in the N.E.), came to Pattaya to earn money for their families. They made vastly more than they could have, working any other job. So, the barking asshole should be standing in front of a mirror when he makes his pathetic attempts to blame.
        Knowing his pathology, he’ll likely lurk to see if I say anything here about him so he can pounce when next I post at Ian’s place; well, he’s got a long wait and I wish him nothing but what he deserves… ;-)

        • whichever mean hombré had announced it, i’d thought he’d said ‘expatriated’, but you know ho many holes my memory has. ;-) yes, a complete disregard for what imperial war has forced its victims to do to try to survive.

          but sure you’ll be back there; i won’t begin to old you to that. but the whole trip about obama shouldn’t have ‘approved’ the penguin/some other published merger for which his book deal will profit? actually, i’d thought there was a bidding war. wanna bet, like peter, they all wouldn’t mind if the T doj and FTC don’t mention anti-trust w/ the bayer/monsanto merger. because: trump. i used to have the market share the two would command in different areas of er…concern, let’s say. but ‘well-paying’ (sic) JOBS have been (almost) promised, that’s all that matters, yes?

          oh, yeah, and: the obama foundation:

          nice start to a faux-lanthropic foundation, eh?

  2. medicate me…I feel stupid…I never heard a thing about this drug epidemic till Trump came into office. I’m a Harvard-educated (ok, night school) liberal who is really, really slow on the uptake: are you saying that social phenomena like, oh, I don’t know, illnesses, morbidity, addiction, obesity, etc., etc. have trends that cut across the installation of a new party into office? and that we might deduce something, or other, about our society from this…what do you call those things again? “”facts””? we might learn something from this “fact”?


    I mean, I think Trump now gets it. did you see how statesman-y he was? I, like my reps in congress, am more than willing to work w/Trump. if he tones down the rhetoric & shows due respect to the magnificent office of commander in chief.

    But this Russia stuff raises my eyebrow. my eyebrow of concern. I’d have thought that NBC would have found out about any suspicious ties when it did its routine background check for that career-advice show he was on, “the Apprentice.” or Random House when it published his 1987 bestseller. but Russia has been doing this kind of stuff for hundreds of years and it is really scary to think about Russian interference in American media and elections. I know I’m scared.

    aren’t you?
    oh god. the global warming/fukushima apocalypse can’t happen fast enough. M. Whitney’s article today at counterpunch is good. i’m not sure if the Trump people are playing the liberal media for a bunch of fools or if there is a higher order force sort of stage managing these fake brawls among country club members. in either case, Rachel Maddow & co are being played for the inept, clueless, hyper-sincere, bloodthirsty morons they are. and all trump had to do was get up & act all “statesman-like”.

    I think WWE is instructive in these matters. they will knock the shit out of each other…and it’s fake.

    • of course i’m terrified!!! cuz roosian revanchism, and breaking apart the EU and nato!

      but srsly, you’ve lost me on your first paragraph. do you mean that a) trump cares more or is more moralistic about opioid abuse than O was, or b) wants to blame O for it all… but liten, j son of harvahd, what a way to get an ivy degree: at night, while (i assume) working days.

      i confess when opioids firt came on my radar, it was a post at naked capitalism, and i’d never cared enough to click in, reckoning that is was some kind of moral argument or other. binging, i found this ‘legal drug pushing’ one from jan 2016 and another by l. strether in the same time frame, methinks.

      i haven’t watched a T speech yet, and hope dunno about the stage-managed possibilities, but…i’d guess not. cults of personalities and all that. is it true that T’s cutting off all media but alex jones and the breitbart sorts is afoot? or is that #fakenews? ;-)

    • You must be somewhat sheltered not to have heard about the opioid epidemic in the U.S.. It predates Trump by years and is concentrated in the S.E. and mideastern U.S.. Maine, of all places also has a serious problem.
      I could wax on for a long time as to the causes; but suffice to say, the U.S. is going down, down, down.
      It’s the economy, or rather, the lack of one…

    • who wants a drug free america?

      comment fail. on my part. of course I knew about the oxy & stuff under Obama. I was trying to make fun of the liberal tendency to not notice things until the other party dooz it.

      (MOCKING LIBERALS): seriously, despite trump & all, I still think the USG has good intentions.

  3. huffPooo: ‘The White House last week opened the door for a crackdown on recreational marijuana. Today, the attorney general didn’t walk that back.‘
    WASHINGTON ― “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday restated his opposition to marijuana use and offered an ominous warning about state-level marijuana legalization efforts, suggesting that such policies would open states to “violence,” as well as potential repercussions from the federal government.”

    • guess we better enjoy it while it lasts.

      • i freely confess that my violence quotient is sky high since getting my mmj card. ‘member i’d false-memoried wantin’ to shoot mary poppins as a kid? evidence, solid evidence.

        other anecdotal evidence seems to be that for those who get the munchies after imbibing: “i murdered a whole row of ho-hos!”

        but cripes, smokin’, do you have some powerful mojo. you caused mr. wd to believe that at your rec there was a new mike whitney essay at CP. find it if you can; i couldn’t, not even at op-ed news where he cross-posts. may i say: what a waste of…of…never mind. time is on my side…or mebbe not.

        • who wants a drug free america?

          lol. it’s been taken down.

          • sure, om mani padme son of j; pay yer gaslighting $1.99 to the cashier as you go out the door, and roll another one….

            • so bored with the usa

              my paranoid thoughts exactly! j st clair & josh frank are out to get me.

              this m.j./drug thing…people want to alter their consciousness. does Trump expect us to endure the spectacle of himself sober? if the gov’t can poison me (no scare quotes) and everyone else via its “care” of our water supply, then why can’t I “poison” myself by smoking a doob?

              • frank and st. clair fear the power of your miiiiiiind, bro. er: who edits oped news? they wiped it, too, then hey, babe; just get out yer ‘course in miracles’, and whistle a happy tune…. or join the church of scientology, perhaps.

                “…. endure the spectacle of himself sober?” is he sober? or on epic amounts of meds to counteract his narcissistic personality disorder? nah, i know what you mean, but he is a bully, which means he’s skeert inside, yes? and lived his life out to counteract that early knowledge handed him since infancy: you ain’t good enough, you snowflake! but srsly, what do we know about his parents and family?

                but yes, why wouldn’t the PTB want us to have our soma to cope w/ such precarity and the effects of recycled city water being full of tons of big Pharma meds that can’t be filtered out in sewage treatment plants? you may get a boot outta this. while checking CP again to see if the whitney piece might have been a chimera that had reappeared, i found a boring piece that featured this title, so i went a-huntin’:

                Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s new attorney general, said the Ku Klux Klan ‘was OK until I found out they smoked pot’; One of the new attorney general’s biggest enemies is marijuana – will it spell a new drug war?’ independent

                • so bored with the usa

                  i am happy to hear things that confirm my biases against assholes like sessions. no doubt he’s against pot, partly, b/c of its association w/”the coloreds” and was disappointed w/this news from his fellow crusaders.

                  • yep, jazz, beats, harlem renaissance, and for gawd’s sake: “miscegenation!”

                    i’d meant to include in the OP that if T and sessions really cared about ending violence, from gangs and others, decriminalizing all drugs would help it end to a great degree. how many young uns w/ no future deal drugs, and get chirren to be their ‘runners’? how many narco-barons would be out of bidness if that were to happen? but as we know, the US funds both sides of the #FakeWarOnDrugs, and encourages violence.

                    i’d meant to add a few things yesterday from this piece from critical resistance cross-posted at BAR, but couldn’t even think how to synopsize it. i guess the ‘trump lies about the stats’ is the main thing; elsewhere, i’d seen one year (2015, ’16?) as a major outlier. but perception is all, as they say.

                    on edit: “The DOJ plans to withdraw from a six year long legal battle against Texas’ voter-ID law, one of the strictest in the nation. This is the first major voting rights case the DOJ faced under Sessions, who called the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act’s pre-clearance provision “good news, I think, for the South.”

                    • a proud non-voter

                      so if voting doesn’t change anything, why are soulless crackers like Sessions always trying to limit it? well, as poorly as works out in practice in this country and planet, it represents an ideal, of equality, political change by non-violent means, etc., etc.

  4. heh. i guess i’ve voted in every election possible since i turned 18, even if i left some fields blank. but voting can matter in some gov races and down ticket races. think walkerstan and other states refusing block grants for expanded medicaid and (maybe) snap benefits) think: nixon’s southern strategy, as well.

    on edit: but dig it: what the soros Dems are really tryn’ to do is bring the racist a-hole down for is…having talked to a roosian ambassador. rallies, protests, pelosi calls for his resignation!!! what was his confirmation vote? i’ve forgotten, if i ever knew.

    but as to the drug topic, we can add this:

    Fueled by demand from the north, drug trafficking through Central America continues to wreak havoc on the local environment. The illicit drug trade in Central America not only destroys lives by fueling violence and insecurity, but also leads to massive environmental destruction, with drug trafficking linked to intensified levels of deforestation, according to an annual report from a United Nations monitoring organization.

    The report released by the International Narcotics Control Board, INCB, on Thursday said that the trafficking and growing of cocaine (they mean coca, no?) , particularly within Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, is linked to deforestation.”

    which central american countries have had the most ‘attention’ from the US?

    • i’d forgotten that i’d meant to look up if the west’s evil green capitalism REDD program might have led to some of this. quick bingle:

      NoREDD: “This month’s World Rainforest Movement Bulletin includes an article about REDD in Central America, written by Henry Picado (Red de Coordinación en Biodiversidad), Zuiri Méndez (Kioscos Ambientales), and Mariana Porras (Coecoceiba Amigos de La Tierra).

      Looking at the REDD process in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama the article concludes that none of these countries “has carried out a broad and transparent consultation process with communities”.

      REDD is increasing the privatisation of forests and territories, and is restricting forest dependent communities’ use of their forests. And REDD does not address either the main cause of climate change which is burning fossil fuels, or the destruction of forests for extractive mega-projects and monocultures of oil palm, sugarcane and pineapple.

      Instead REDD is leading to more violence against forests, territories, and communities.”, etc.

      • drug war total pacificist

        the drug war just keeps on giving, don’t it? i don’t know what the enviro impact from growing poppy all over afghanistan is but surely growing food would be better for the local populace?

        • well, dwtp, whether the taliban kept poppy growing under control as per hamid karzai’s alleged ban is a political football, as i just discovered binging. but wasn’t there are a grand move afoot to grow both pomegranates and saffron instead?

          but on another subject, this essay seems to have some of what you’d reported seeing in that m. whitney piece, although you know my memory…and i’d hate to try and find your comments again.

          i also have another essay to ask you about later; i was once again stymied by nietzsche’s pressentiment and the upside down of it, seemingly.

    • Beauregard’s confirmation vote: The 52-47 vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat, Sen. Mountain top removal Joe Manchin, joined the Republicans to back their Alabama colleague.

      “THE PRESIDENT (at cpac): We’re preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy, including shale, oil, natural gas, and beautiful clean coal, and we’re going to put our miners back to work. (Applause.) Miners are going back to work. (Applause.) Miners are going back to work, folks. Sorry to tell you that, but they’re going back to work.”

  5. Can’t have those private prisons empty in CO and WA, can we? Those contracts commit state governments to keeping the big house full.

    I remember from 30 years ago Anne Wilson Schaef’s “When Society Becomes an Addict” during the first discussions of addiction, co-dependence and an entirely different approach that somehow only applied to the top 10%’s addictions. Seemed to work after a while.

    But doesn’t keep the riff-raff down nor does it give jobs in rural areas that now are part of the prison-industrial complex. I’m thinking this one is about the jobs as guards.

    • ll, howdy, stranger. i kept thinking to write and ask if you were okay, hoping that RL involvements were far preferable than being online. i’d intended today to send along my new post on the standing rock camps having been totally vacated by now (sigh), as well, reckoning that once you surfaced it might be of great interest to you.

      prison guard jobs, oh my, yes. but in part of one this whole sessions theme was a separate link by george lavender of ‘in these times’: “how do private co’s make money from incarceration?” spoiler alert: it’s the entire incarceration complex. so many jobs, so many profiteers, plus ya get rid of the rattiest of the rabble/riff-raff, yes. and dissidents/political prisoners are part of that group. ;-)

      your mention of shaef pinged my memory vaguely; it seems that she’s still giving seminars. read a few reviews of the title you’d mentioned, only one dissenter on amazon. mustta been her target audience lovin’ it, yes? ;-)

      nice to see you, and my best to miz THD.

  6. Jesse Ventura just chimed in re: pot crack down: Not on my watch!
    Since the reality of Trump as president I’ve been pretty quiet; just watching and listening.
    Well, we’re in very deep trouble; hugely bad ju ju going on; the U.S. is gravely, fatally, fucked.
    That’s about all I can say, with some degree of confidence.
    Chok Di (good luck)

    • dunno what jesse might have in mind, but…more power to him, or: chok di! yeah, rather than gettin’ all antifa-outraged, i reckoned i’d bide my time to see what he actually…did, as he says so many things, then his er…advisors help him walk stuff back. even the rapprochement w/ roosia seems as though it will be much harder now, doesn’t it?

      fiddlesticks, i stuck a link from a thai media site i wanted to ask you about, but…it’s probably 3 word docs back by now.

      • Well, if you find the link I’ll be happy to respond.
        As to Trump; he’s a fucking loose cannon, rolling on the deck in stormy seas; incompetent, totally out of his element, and shepherded by people with agendas rooted in their own interests; having nothing to do with the best interest of U.S. citizens…

        • yeah, but at least he’s Drain’ the Swamp™! but srsly, like mumia: ‘if it takes a trump to end clintonian neoliberalism…” thing is, from what i can tell about his grand infrastructure plans, it IS neoliberal as all giddy-up. but more on that on a future diary (lol, i have some links on that….somewhere).
          but yes, when i find the piece in question, i’ll ask. meanwhile, vanessa beeley’s oeuvre on the white helmets psyop might be more accessible to a Tom than b’s at moa.

          i confess that a day or so ago i ended up spending far too much time on a long psychological analysis on herr Hair. arrrgh on me.

          • No; unfortunately there is no depth there; what you see is what you get; plumbing the shallows of each others brains…

            • over yonder, you mean? i might stick in some funny stuff about st. clooney, et. al. i’ve written about star power w/ an able assist from jason. dunno if i want to even weigh in on such an hilarious thread, tho.

              • I was more referring to Trump. As to Tom; he’s a bundle of right wing spewing shit and a troll to boot.
                I’ve not seen one so wrong about so much; where he gets his crap is a mystery, and I’ll not waste my time trying to solve it.
                But, I just couldn’t let him off scot free. But then he’s a fool and that makes me a fool’s errand…

                • ah; you’d said “each others’ brains’, so i reckoned you might have been referring to a group. but yep: T’s magic 8-ball Tweets. i just read some of b’s open thread comments, and there does seem to be a concerted effort to get rid of those who aren’t “trump fan boys” as someone put it.

                  i’ll stick up those links later; we have a house guest coming this afternoon, so i need to do some chores first. oh, and i will say that leftwing/rightwing have lost almost all meaning for me by now, as…the only ‘left’ now seems to be the radical left, and damned few of them are left, so to speak. ;-)

                  but as for tom and others, at least we know how effective the white helmets psyop has been, even to maz hussain at ‘the intercept’ writing them w/ all sorts of homages. blech.

  7. Yep, it’s official … drug ODs have passed car wrecks as the leading cause of death by accidental injury. And those drug ODs are almost all opioids and the deaths from pharmaceutical opioids are greater than the no-logo variety. Drugs are ~90% of the US poisoning deaths each year.
    The prescription rates are astounding… approaching the rate of an Rx for every person in the US every year. From 12.6 keys per 10,000 people in West Virginia, division gives an average dose of 3.4 mg per day per Mountaineer.

    Sad thing is that much of the codone stuff is compounded with other NSAID painkillers. That way the suicidal person, rescued by naxalone, can be left an internal wreck on the verge of death… perhaps needing transplant and if they die anyway it’s later and may well be counted otherwise. Have heard an expert say that the Rx codone serves as an effective gateway to heroin because people get hooked on the pills and as the well understood opioid tolerance builds up the victims of the pharmaceutical industry need the straight stuff [heroin] to avoid the poisonous dreck [acetaminophen].

    WV is the worst for volume of Rx and OD deaths and went for Trump by the widest margin. By eyeball there appears to be some correlation between Trump states and the worst of the opioid issues east of the Mississippi – however, the West is ‘all over the map’ … rather think that Trump and Opiate ODs are complexly related to more basic things (age) and societal factors like history, failing industry &/or education. Or booming industry for that matter…
    Goodness me, goodness me!

    • well, holy crow, look who the south wind blew in! it’s mister occupy abq mayor berry’s office, and testifyin’ in front of the council! ‘member, in the recorded video you were so vexed w/ yourself for droppin’ your papers? and still, you did so well, i swear. i was thinkin’ those things the other day when i saw you as an author on the left, w/ your charming banksy avtar.

      as to the opiod mixes, i’d grabbed some yuuuuge chart that designated all the mixes, and backed out early in my ignorance. but it did make me wonder a lot about the makers of oxycodone pretending tht it was ‘safe’. but see, i’m the peep docs won’t prescribe for, they must think i look like an addict. ;-) nah, it was long ago, post-k-nee surgery. “nuttin’ in my kit but percodan!” (well, fuck it, if i take one of em i wanna bit car wheels or worse”.

      your last graph: i dunno, really. it’s left to interpretation, i expect, but immiseration and precarity must be boosters to addiction and death by opioids, and as many say, once no mo’ Rxes are forthcoming, many buy heroin on the black market. for the toffs and stars addicted, my guess is they don’t rally like who they are, which is….what it’s all about, isn’t it?

      gotta scoot for now, but how wonderful to see you, lemoyne.

  8. Well, WD, I never did occupy much but a bit of Yale Park and had a falling out with some of those folks… more like I fell apart. Trump and then Sessions have had me ‘cringing on the edge of fear’ but I hoped they would overreach and boy howdy have they ever.
    Your post on the renewed drug war and your lovely pix from CO made me turn to a video that ALWAYS makes me cry. Good for the sinuses and the soul.

    Free The Weed!

    • my apologies for getting your history wrong, then, but the ABQ anti-police state efforts were certainly the precursors of black lives matter and others, if unconsciously.

      oh, my; i see why you cry every time; how astounding. we’ve read quite a bit about the efficacy of cbd oil for autism spectrum as well, so yes: free the weed! wonder what seeds of charlotte’s web cost? ;-) mebbe free?

      i’m so tickled you like my banner photos; i do, too, and sometimes sit and click them to see…what’s next.

      the dire straits mix images were damned nice, eh? industrial disease by poisoning may indeed contribute to the tendency for opioid addiction, but herr T’s gonna fix appalachia’s depression tendencies: “that’s right; sorry folks, but the coal miners are gonna go back to work in a big way! and w/o regulations! no, i like regulations, just not 3/4 of the redundant ones!”

      most mornings i wake up and get online to check if the fact that herr Hair is the prez…wasn’t just a bad dream that i’ve woken from. but,no. quite a system we have that led…to this. tear it down is great advice, but given that most of the pushback is quite partisan and dem-centric and funded and still Imperial, who knows how effective any of it will be?

    • for now to lemoyne, cuz i need a rest:

      a longtime blogging friend and ally from back in the wayback tpm café days and (the accursed ‘dagblog’) was here for a day and a night, and totally unbidden had offered that his younger sister (lives alone, unable to stand, much less walk for a long time) due to having MS, plus (iirc) a friend’s spouse with epilepsy (perhaps not as hideous as dravet syndrome) have both found some measure of relief w/ both cannabinoid oil ingestibles. the former’s process may be too far advanced by now to reverse it, but still. any port in the storm, no?

      he brought some wine as a gift, one a cabernet sauvignon that was indescribably smooth and delicious. (we only can afford to buy wine to cook with; i like rex goliath for the heady graphic, the name name, and the…punch. can’t swear i’ve tasted it on its own, though. ;-) )

      he was headin’ to texas to see them, so i played some glen cambell and george strait to send him on his way: amarillo by morning, though he’ll get there by evening. in Lulu’s honor’ travel safely my friend. the snowy day is turning to a sunny one:

  9. v arnold: ‘Regime Change and Continuity of Agenda: Trump Adviser Now Chairs NED’, joseph thomas, NEO

    “In other words, not only is Dr. Shelton now the new chairperson of NED, she has been directly involved with NED since at least 2005, long before, and all during NED’s role in training, funding and backing the armies of regime change that swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) beginning in 2011. She also served on NED’s board during the US-backed coup in Ukraine between 2013-2014.

    Before that, between 2009-2010, NED-backed mobs took to the streets in Bangkok, Thailand in attempts to overthrow both the sitting government at the time, and also the Thai military and Thailand’s head of state. While these events have been assigned to the Obama administration for political convenience and compartmentalisation, it is actually organisations like NED that serve as the working mechanics that make such events possible.”

    “Dr. Shelton’s ascension both within NED and the Trump administration is yet another symptom of continuity of agenda, not the change many may still be waiting for in the coming weeks, months, and years.”

    no where did he say that ned is cia + allies, but still; not so much changing O’s foreign policy, but…he must know.

    • U.S. NGO’s are the Trojan horses to screw with foreign governments.
      The Thai student activist Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa is reportedly paid by an NGO to demonstrate against the Thai junta.
      For what I hope are obvious reasons, that really chaps my ass.
      As usual; everything is not what it seems…

      • NED indeed; more double speak from big brother.
        I’m to the point where the very word “democracy” is an insult to my ears and eyes.
        Its become a weapon of mass destruction…

      • i do indeed understand, v arnold. but wait: the Imperium is ALL about ‘exporting democracy for *some*). oh, the PTB and the founders hated democracy, didn’t they? ‘weapon of mass destruction’, yes, thank you.

    • speaking of ngo’s, a good friend of mine just posted this on her FB page:
      and said, “I know they are good. I have worked w/them.” this is re S Sudan and how, oh god, we must do something!!!! and that something does not start w/having even the tiniest clue about Sudan (on which subject, i’m as guilty as the next person.)

      me being a gigantic a-hole, I took a gander at their board of directors or elder council or whatever.
      yeah, those goldman sax Harvard mba do-gooders…the sad thing is that people can’t see that ngo’s do do *some* good. They have to. it’s part of their cover. I met a young person working in a girl’s school in Nepal via the Clinton foundation. She raved about the Clintons (gag) and the work going on at the school. I have no reason to doubt what she says about her experience. that the school & her salary is funded by the yemen-destroying head choppers in Saudi Arabia and no amount of school building (or home building; got that Jimmy Carter?) could ever ever compensate for the awful things these people do is not a subject most people are interested in. don’t want to pollute my beautiful mind w/such thoughts.

      control of the limitless (so far) food supply for the world makes most everyone reside in a gigantic Skinner box. clap like a happy seal for your masters to get a treat! if you don’t, it’s cuz you are lazy, self-indulgent, need time management skills, etc., etc., and are a bad undeserving seal who can just starve.

      • i like their promise: “Over the last five years, we have spent 87% of our resources on programs that help people in need.” are all of the people involved volunteering their time (not to be a cynic; oh: wait, i yam)?

        but sure, don’t stop the Imperium and their clients the sauds from bombing the shit out of yemen, there are houthis to kill, IS (aqap) to obliterate! yep, it’s hard to know what’s really afoot in south sudan, including climate change, ‘insurrections’ against the epically corrupt leader™ making farming (and oil production) impossible, but it’s nice to see that those generous bidness peeps are on the case.

        “Since it began in March 2015, the Saudi-led campaign, made possible by continuous support from the US government in the form of intelligence, logistics, military equipment and aerial refueling, has killed more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians and wounded 40,000. Saudi bombs have hit hospitals, schools, marketplaces, factories and residential neighborhoods.

        The war has plunged the poorest country in the Middle East into a humanitarian disaster, with the UN estimating that at least 19 million Yemenis, more than two-thirds of the country’s population, are in need of assistance and protection.”

        sign me up! i can’t seem to meditate myself to cooperative oblivion!

        • mind if i do a j?

          megawow on the gizmodo article. the plot of the remake of The Manchurian Candidate w/Denzel W. centers on controlling your assassin thru brain implants, as well as the usual drugs, torture, etc. I never read Zamyatin’s “We” but I think lobotomization is part of the program in that dystopian novel. kudos to the ethicist who sees DARPA’s & co’s neuroscience goals as the same as consumerism: conformity. (beside making Jason Bourne type super soldiers.) brain implants? maybe. capitalist brain implants? fuck no.

          ! and !!

          • did i ever see that remake? if not, we’ll try to get it. (as an aside, was it you who’d rec’d ‘the visitor’ to me/us? if so, thank you: “it’s just like syria here”.

            yeah, i’d read some of the ‘super soldier’ claims earlier, plus all the ‘never need to sleep’ ones afoot. thing is, i kinda believe it, myself. no fair on delgado’s chimp fukkery, either. but yeah, just pop the lid of your brain (like data’s positronic brain’s cranium) and bob’s yer uncle. but see?

            ““Then there is the array of ethical questions that brain technologies like DBS inspire. Does inserting a chip into someone’s brain to mediate their brain circuitry change their identity? Might it, eventually, lead to the ability to simply treat ourselves when feeling blue, a sort of high-tech take on Aldous Huxley’s soma? Could you use a DBS device to hack into someone’s brain? Or control them? Or enhance them? Is it potentially dangerous in the wrong hands?”

            like remote control birth control chips, perhaps?

            • mind if i do a j?

              how can a machine fear that it is becoming or is only a machine simply by having an additional circuit implanted in the cerebral CPU? why would a machine fear that?


              “…science itself will teach man (though to my mind it’s a superfluous luxury) that he never has really had any caprice or will of his own, and that he himself is something of the nature of a piano-key or the stop of an organ, and that there are, besides, things called the laws of nature; so that everything he does is not done by his willing it, but is done of itself, by the laws of nature. Consequently we have only to discover these laws of nature, and man will no longer have to answer for his actions and life will become exceedingly easy for him. All human actions will then, of course, be tabulated according to these laws, mathematically, like tables of logarithms up to 108,000, and entered in an index; or, better still, there would be published certain edifying works of the nature of encyclopaedic lexicons, in which everything will be so clearly calculated and explained that there will be no more incidents or adventures in the world.”
              DARPA cares about vets. uh huh. sure.

              where does this desire come from to say that, in some complex sense, the brain IS a computer (as in past ages certain people said humans are just complicated machines)? partly from a desire to control others, but why does a person give up their own (yes, limited) freedom, dignity, etc., to assert, “my psychic life is just a complicated Microsoft PowerPoint program running” or the like? and where does a human being get the vantage point to stand outside of their own human condition to observe the brain as an overly elaborate (sic) CPU and nothing more? so eager to assert the puniness of human faculties over & against the creations of those faculties. life turns you into a bug but our contemp neuroscientists want to tell us the only bad dreams we have are the delusions that we were ever anything other than bugs. kafka died too young.

              • ah, please do a j: you do have the philosophical bent and mind power of a dostoyevski; i bend a knee. i gave up reading pt I, section 7, but isn’t it akin to positing that: there’s no such thing as free will, the brain is everything, forget heart, soul and spirit, and…learning experiences that will affect all those others on ‘the way’ of our paths, accidental of purposeful?

                is ‘pre-crime’ a subset of that? i wonder if now with the advent of fMRIs if it won’t get more weirding in that direction, or are they a part of these experiments trying to discover what parts of the (yes) cpu activates, lights up, when the subject is shown cards denoting x, y, or z?.

                your questioning prose is far beyond any answer i might give. one or two things: the author was wrong, as ECT is still in use, though comes w/ some warnings now (low amperage or whatever electro-charges. lsd has gained some traction in studies for many depressives, those w/ ptsd, and more…psychological problems. iirc, lsd, and possibly other psychotropics, actually change the *nature* of the chemical packets that are sent between the nerve synapse dendrites, if i’m remembering the anatomical terms correctly. that always knocked me out, anyway, even if i’m off a bit.

                but what was john lily’s research about (beyond whales, of course)? ah well, w/o spending more than a minute on his wiki:

                “In 1934, Lilly read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Reading about the pharmacological control methods of Huxley’s dystopia and the links between physical chemical processes of the brain and subjective experiences of the mind helped inspire Lilly to give up his study of physics and pursue biology, eventually focusing on neurophysiology.”

                so… i dunno. but i am so glad you challenge me/us, please do a j, even though i so frequently find myself…floundering. sleep well, and let this act as a goodnight song. one of my eternal faves.

                • mind if i do a j?

                  thanks ;) I ain’t a expert, I just play one on the innertoobs, but I know ECT is still used & the couple of people I met who (involuntarily, natch) underwent ECT, the “mild” form, were miserable, pathetic basket cases who were thoroughly traumatized by the experience.

                  yes, pre-crime. easy to see how the principal objective of this type of stuff is controlling people. I don’t know about all, but so much of our technological “advances” is driven by militaristic/authoritarian/imperialist impulses, how could this be otherwise w/brain implants? (as the hominid figgers out at the end of the opening scene of “2001”, tools are great for smashing stuff. “And potter is ill-disposed to potter, and carpenter to carpenter, and the beggar is envious of the beggar, the singer of the singer.” from Hesiod’s Works & Days. it is rivalry & competition, “Strife,” Eris, that produces “advance” and “progress.” nice protestant proto-capitalist work ethic horse pucky from ancient Greece.)

                  Never heard of Lilly, but again, where does a machine/computer develop the curiosity to study (and even try to communicate with) whales? and, correct me if i’m wrong, didn’t Huxley start singing a different tune later in life about his Brave New World? ie, it’s not a nightmare after all? in fact, it’s pretty damn appealing? ugh. the guy was brilliant but maybe taking LSD wasn’t the best thing?

                  anyway, I know I’ve mentioned this guy before, but I think he offers some guidance for our techno-utopia/hellscape:

                  • well, you play it well and truly, and as i said, i can’t really reach that far, especially w/ my current brain leaks. but what’s life for a 7 a.m. but trying to grok kierkegaard, and mainly failing, eh? if the wiki’s take i right, i think it’s tantamount to hilarious to say that christians aren’t afraid to die cuz…weigh station and all. but the three sorts of despair was interesting, although concepts like “relation’s relating itself to itself in the relation” just cause my mind to do sommersaults with no apparently even semi-landing, sorry.

                    the three types of despair, though: my abiding sense is that few humans (at least in this ‘culture’ really do acknowledge that they have inner lives at all, but if some demons creep into their dreams in the middle of the night, in the daytime they cover them up even further w/ whatever self-aggrandizing beliefs they can, or whatever addictions get them thru the day.

                    and of course i clicked into more and more links on that book, esp. to sartre, and got stuck in the ‘consciousness’ entry. whooosh x 2, of course. but in the end i was so tickled by ‘anti-climacus’, i went a searchin’ and finally found this trippy stuff:

                    ““The print of a foot along a path is obviously a consequence of the fact that some creature has gone that way. I may now go on to suppose erroneously that it was, for example, a bird, but on closer inspection, pursuing the track farther, I convince myself that it must have been another sort of animal. Very well. But here we are far from having an infinite qualitative alteration. But can I, by closer inspection of such a track, or by following it farther, reach at one point or another the conclusion: ergo it was a spirit that passed this way? A spirit which leaves no trace behind it! Just so it is with this thing of concluding from the consequences of an (assumed) human existence that ergo it was God.”

                    ~Source: Practice in Christianity (1850)
                    Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Anti-Climacus

                    but as it seems despair is mooted by love (even if one doesn’t believe in ‘god’ per se), i can see that as an antidote just fine. that’s been the core message of most all of the planet’s prophets, even some…that folks create religions around, often weakening that message.

                    as for your questions about lilly and huxley, i dunno. but i’m glad you’re here to keep us musing philosophically. truth is, most of the philosophy i read must have been when i was in my teens and 20s (long, long ago, let’s say), and i’m sure i had scant understanding of it, sarte, especially. i’d read a lot of andré gide around 16; he must have appealed to some budding dramatic sense in me.

  10. “the president doesn’t have the authority to order US citizens to be spied on.” just assassinated, I guess. privacy is sacred, but not the right to life? talk about straining at a gnat to swallow a camel. and of course president superjesus would never order spying on anyone, would he?

    OT, I know. drugs are bad so just say no.

    it’s sometimes hard to figure out what’s going on from inside the national Skinner box. but I bet big Phrma has something or other for both trump’s & my paranoia. happy pills that even Nixon would have loved.

    • well you’ll recall: ‘Going Away Gift: Obama Just Expanded Surveillance Powers For Donald Trump, activist post, jan 13, 2017

      “The Obama administration just handed even more power to the incoming Trump administration to invade the privacy of American citizens. The recent approval of new procedures for an existing executive order will allow the NSA to share the private data it collects with all 16 agencies of the United States intelligence community. The 23-page outline of the new procedures lifts previous limits placed on the way information was filtered before being disseminated to individual agencies.”

      “Many of the requirements [of 12333] listed in the document for targeting American citizens have been redacted.
      And if all else fails, any U.S. Intelligence Agency can legally obtain personal information on any citizen with no warrant under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. However, with these new procedures in place, that may not be necessary anymore.
      If Barack Obama is so concerned about a Trump presidency, why is he giving the future president such a terrifying amount of power?”

      thought it was Veep superjesus, but…who’s counting? wasn’t mda the anti-paranoid concoction? what did it show up as later in BigPharma-speak?

      on edit: mebbe as the cure for “restless leg syndrome”? lol.

  11. no more nested space above, mind if i do a j. thank you; how odd they published it after (?) pulling it. and here’s the one that stymied me earlier. although never mind who the ‘good guys an bad guys’ are, when i’d read it, i thought the author had turned the nobles and serfs by doubling back on his premise. and maybe i was just in sorry shape when i’d read it.

    ‘Our Nietzschean Struggle’ by Ken Levy

    • …if you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man…” from Notes from Underground. It is the word “retort” that grabs me:
      the idea of people, moderns, being bred in (al)chemical test tubes…it’s a metaphor here for the complete artificiality & sterility of life (in late 19th c. St. Petersburg!), but suggestive. life bred in laboratories.
      I had a “vision” of a young, foul-mouthed Mozart filling in the bubbles on one of the interminable series of standardized tests kids take today.

      except he’s doing it wrong. using the bubbles to make musical notation down the page.

      mama Mozart asks, “Wolfie, where did you get this melody from?”
      Mozart: do you like it? I pulled it out of my ass. (laughs his silly laugh).

      can’t follow instructions, more afflicted w/coprolalia than any Tourette’s victim, tendency to idiot savantism in his interest in music, thinks these tests are boring and stupid…well, guess what! we have drugs for each of those symptoms. we’ll have no more mozarts. one was too many.

      • i’m so sorry to say that you’ve lost me again, jason. whooooo, by the way…is ‘jason’? but i loved the mozart quips (falsetto giggle) and the sublime and so gentle…piano concerto.

        i reckon you’ll be able to understand this w/o googling ever twenty seconds the way i’d need to. it might be a hella lotta fun from the looks of it. ‘Total Screen: How Baudrillard Anticipated Trump’, pepe escobar

        • I just pulled that one quote out of any kind of context for its reference to “test tube men.”

          I should have saved the link but did not, but I remember reading a blog from a Columbia (?) historian of the US, pretty sure it was in the NYRB, quoting some national patriarch around or shortly after 1776 stating the country can have slavery but there is an alternative: consumerism (the word used by the historian, not the “founding father,’ but it’s what the a-hole meant: getting the populace on a cycle of over-production & over-consumption of mass goods.)

          slavery vs. consumerism. nice escobar (except the Iraq highway of death “didn’t exist” b/c it didn’t appear on US televisions. Baudrillard knowing or not knowing about that horror would not have changed his analysis, I don’t think. a quibble, I know.)

          • oh, dear. i’d thought you might have been responding to the ‘Our Nietzschean Struggle’ link. as far as i could tell, pepe was being sarcastic about the highway of death, but i may not have interpreted it correctly.

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