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Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

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Psychedelics Don't Cause Mental Health Problems—And They Might Keep You Sane

Psychedelics Don't Cause Mental Health Problems—And They Might Keep You Sane
New study concludes psychedelics do not increase the risk for mental health problems—and links their long-term use to decreased psychological problems.
Alternet * by April M. Short * August 21, 2013

A recent scientific study concluded that the use of psychedelic substances like LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline (peyote and other cacti)—all classified as dangerous drugs with no medicinal value, or Schedule I substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—does not increase the risk for mental health problems—and the long-term use of some of those drugs was linked to decreased psychological problems.

PLoS One, in a study titled Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study on Tuesday. The authors analyzed data of more than 130,000 people and found 'no link' between the use of psychedelics and mental health issues.

Previous studies have proven that psychedelic substances do not cause brain damage are non-addictive, and can in some cases effectively treat addiction.

Raw Story reported that clinical psychologist Pal-Orjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said psychedelic use is overall “considered to pose a very low risk.”

“Psychedelics can elicit temporary feelings of anxiety and confusion, but accidents leading to serious injury are extremely rare,” he said.

MORE: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/psychedelics-dont-cause-mental-health-problems-and-they-might-keep-you-sane



NSA? What's that?

Norman Solomon: What the Assault on Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria

What the Assault on Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria
by Norman Solomon * Wednesday, August 28, 2013 * Common Dreams

Without whistleblowers, the mainline media outlets are more transfixed than ever with telling the official story. And at a time like this, the official story is all about spinning for war on Syria.

Every president who wants to launch another war can’t abide whistleblowers. They might interfere with the careful omissions, distortions and outright lies of war propaganda, which requires that truth be held in a kind of preventative detention.

By mid-week, media adrenalin was at fever pitch as news reports cited high-level sources explaining when the U.S. missile attacks on Syria were likely to begin, how long they might last, what their goals would be. But what about other (potential) sources who have documents and other information that contradict the official story?

It’s never easy for whistleblowers to take the risk of exposing secret realities. At times like these, it’s especially difficult—and especially vital—for whistleblowers to take the chance.

When independent journalist I.F. Stone said “All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed,” he was warning against the automatic acceptance of any government claim. That warning becomes most crucial when a launch of war is imminent. That’s when, more than ever, we need whistleblowers who can leak information that refutes the official line.


FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly fired for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes

FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly Terminated for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes
By Kevin Gosztola * The Dissenter/FireDogLake * Tuesday August 27, 2013

An FBI whistleblower alleges he was retaliated against and fired because he reported two pilots serving in the FBI had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct in addition to a “clear pattern of fraud, waste and abuse over a period of years,” which “cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars” while also “damaging the reputation of the FBI and Justice Department.”

LtCol. John C. Parkinson, who served as a special agent in the FBI as part of a Special Operations Group ground team until he was terminated in October 2010, contends an undercover facility for FBI operations was compromised in 2006 because pilots, Special Agents Steven Broce and Andrew Marshall, allegedly engaged in sexual acts with women, who were brought back to the facility. They also allegedly participated in activities costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over a period of years. However, supervisors in the FBI apparently looked the other way and did nothing to punish the two pilots.

Parkinson and other colleagues sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Justice Department on September 27, 2008. They asked the OIG to investigate Broce and Marshall, who were assigned to the FBI’s Sacramento Division at the time. They informed the OIG that Broce would regularly use “the symbols of his position as an FBI agent, specifically, his gun, badge and official identification” to solicit sex from prostitutes. Broce even, “on at least two occasions,” allegedly left these items behind in brothels.

Since Broce had unrestricted access to an FBI hangar, plane and aviation fuel, Broce used a plane to fly to Reno, Nevada, one night for “the sole purpose of engaging prostitutes in acts of illicit sex.” According to Parkinson, he spent “thousands of tax dollars to fund his prurient interests in prostitution.” Broce also apparently violated FBI and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations by flying alone from California to Nevada, especially because he had “failed multiple check rides and has vision and hearing impairments.”


Obama doubles-down w/NYTs James Risen: rat on your sources or 'Go straight to jail. Do not pass go'

The Obama administration is trying to dissuade federal judges from giving the New York Times reporter James Risen one last chance to avoid having to disclose his source in a criminal trial over the alleged leaking of US state secrets.

The Department of Justice has filed a legal argument with the US appeals court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, in which it strongly opposes any further consideration of Risen's petition. Risen's lawyers have asked the court to convene a full session of the 15-member court to decide whether the journalist should be granted First Amendment protection that would spare him from having to reveal the identity of his source to whom he promised confidentiality.

A three-member panel of the same court last month issued a 2-1 majority ruling in which they found that reporters had no privilege that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in a criminal trial. The judgement leaves Risen, a prominent investigative reporter specialising in national security issues, facing the prospect of having to break his promise to his source or go to jail.

The legal crunch emerged from Risen's 2006 book, State of War, in which the author reveals details of the CIA's attempts to foil Iran's nuclear programme. James Sterling, a former CIA employee, is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for the criminal disclosure of the information – one of seven officials to face the severe charges under the Obama administration including Chelsea Manning who has been sentenced to 35 years in military jail as the WikiLeaks source.


Swiss (publicly funded) "Sex Box" drive-in seeks to make prostitution safer.

Zurich opens drive-in 'sex boxes'
Swiss city aims to increase safety of sex workers and contain trade with doorless, alarmed buildings in a former industrial area
Associated Press in Zurich * The Guardian * Monday 26 August 2013

Switzerland has launched a novel experiment to make prostitution safer: publicly funded drive-in "sex boxes".

The teak-coloured wooden garages will be open for business from Monday for drive-in customers in a country where prostitution has been legal since 1942. The several dozen sex workers who are expected to use them will stand along a short road in a small, circular park where they can negotiate with clients. The park was built in a former industrial area nestled between a rail yard and the fence along a major highway.

The publicly funded facilities – away from the city centre and open all night – include bathrooms, lockers, small cafe tables and a laundry and shower. Men won't have to worry about video surveillance cameras, but the sex workers – who will need a permit and pay a small tax – will have a panic button and on-site social workers trained to look after them.

As far as Daniel Hartmann, a Zurich lawyer, is concerned, it's a win-win situation.

"Safety for the prostitutes. At least, it's a certain kind of a shelter for them. They can do their business, and I respect them," he said. "They do a great job, and they have better working conditions here … They're not exposed to the bosses, to the pimps, in here."


Ellsberg: Journalists Who Attack Glenn Greenwald Are "Tools"

Not to mention people who are not journalists.

Daniel Ellsberg: Journalists Who Attack Glenn Greenwald Are 'Tools' Who Do 'the Work of the Government'
America’s most famous whistleblower slammed the journalists attacking Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
August 26, 3013 * AlterNet * By Alex Kane

America’s most famous whistleblower criticized the journalists attacking Glenn Greenwald in an interview with the New York Times. Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969, slammed journalists Jeffrey Toobin and Michael Grunwald during a conversation with the Times’ media columnist David Carr.

“With Snowden in particular, you have a split between truly independent journalists and those who are tools — and I mean that in every sense of the term — of the government. Toobin and Grunwald are doing the work of the government to maintain relationships and access,” Ellsberg said.

Ellsberg was reacting to recent comments made by both CNN’s Toobin and TIME magazine’s Grunwald about Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. Toobin recently said that Snowden belongs in prison and that David Miranda, Greenwald’s husband, was the equivalent of a “drug mule” for transporting documents between Berlin and Greenwald. Miranda was arrested by British authorities in Heathrow airport and held for nine hours.

Grunwald recently said on Twitter that he couldn’t “wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”

Carr also interviewed Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who likewise criticized journalists taking on Greenwald. “I think the people in our business who are suspicious of Glenn Greenwald and critical of David Miranda are not really thinking this through,” said Rusbridger. “The governments are conflating journalism with terrorism and using national security to engage in mass surveillance. The implications just in terms of how journalism is practiced are enormous.”


Apparently, some in Germany suspect USA of spying on financial markets ...

... presumably so that the US/UK Corporate Elite can more easily rig the int'l financial marketplaces.

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

Germans seek transparency from government on US spying

Germans are seeking transparency after their government has offered a limited response to reports that the United States systematically and actively spied on the country, Press TV, reports.

The demands for answers from Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have come after reports show that Germany was the most spied country in Europe by the US National Security Agency (NSA) where NSA recorded 60 million calls and internet transactions on peak days.

“Half of the people in Germany is very unhappy with the situation that our friends spy at us and they ask our government, why do you allow such things? Should you not ask the United States to stop this? But our government tells us that there is no problem,” said Stefan Liebich from the Left Party.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that the large-scale surveillance by the NSA was not only for the purpose of security but that the agency also had a financial strategy, as it monitored markets in order to make financial decisions.

A report published last month showed that the NSA explored German market demands as it spied on Germans’ medical records to see which medicines they consumed.

[There is also a news report VIDEO at this link]

Yo, DU. I think we all need to take a deep breath, just for a moment, to remember

Remember that it is precisely this kind of divisive, reciprocally disrespectful, culture warfare
that our Corporate Oligarchs LOVE to see on progressive websites. I love DU as forum to work
through sticky issues
like sexual-orientation, while hopefully not getting stuck at any point.

I've served on several juries recently where the Chelsea Manning topic was being fiercely debated,
to the point where people are feeling "hurt & deeply offended" by their DU counterparts in the debate.

Please remember to consider the need for cohesion and civility, and to not take things so damn personally,
while at the same time passionately standing for your personal truth on DU.

That is all. Peace out.

The New "Criminal" Menace: Peaceful creative Burning Man gatherings in middle of nowhere

Sadly, this makes me glad I didn't shell out $200-300 for a ticket this year, only to get harassed by
up-tight piggish cops. Hell I can stay home and get that any day of the week.

~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~

Police cracking down on Burning Man this year
By jennifer-wadsworth * San Francisco Gate * Friday Aug 23, 2013

Heads up, party people, the cops seem ready to mete out a heavy dose of law and order at the annual Burning Man festival next week.

Startup founder Aaron Muzslaski trekked to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert a little early. He forecasts heavy rains with chance of the heavy reign of law enforcement at the annual pop up art and culture festival-slash-outdoor rave, according to Boing Boing.

“The pigs are here,” Muzslaski wrote. “And uncommonly badge heavy.”

They nabbed a Burner for a car registration violation, he says. Another got a $275 ticket and threat of getting registered as a sex offender for peeing in public.

“In 18 years on the playa, I’ve never seen a more aggressive police presence that what’s been going down today. Deeply upsetting, outrageous stuff.”

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