Just about everyone I’ve come in contact with during the last few months has had pneumonia, or pnuemonia-like symptoms. Some became symptomatic with a new fever and cough after they had been treated with antibiotics and the initial fever was cured.

I also was diagnosed with pneumonia secondary to sepsis and would have died had I not sought treatment as quickly as I did. About four months later it, or something resembling it, reappeared prompting another course of antibiotic treatment, this time with an antibiotic of last resort, levofloxacin – the drug used to treat anthrax exposure and the plague, which is reportedly being discontinued in the USA in 2020 due to severe side effects and multiple reported deaths associated with the drug.

  • The makers of a popular antibiotic have halted production on the drug amid safety concerns. Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson discontinued production of Levaquin in December 2017, including the oral and IV versions. However, Levaquin may still be available in pharmacies until 2020. Jul 17, 2018
  • In addition, our investigation obtained an FDA database of adverse effects and found 3,000 deaths and 200,000 complaints of serious effects associated with Levaquin and similar drugs.

If people can be tested for coronavirus, then it is imperative that anyone presenting with pneumonia-type symptoms be tested for that virus, if we are truly concerned about limiting it’s spread and not just paying lip-service to the reality on the ground by simply watching the devastation absent a plan to curb it.

There needs to be a more aggressive reporting and testing of anyone presenting with symptoms, no matter the age, gender, socio-economic status or location.

I do not believe the numbers being reported are accurate. They never are accurate. The government always waits too long to prevent panic. The public needs to know the truth so they can take their own measures.

People who have the virus need to be appropriately quarantined.

Can people be a carrier of the virus and not be symptomatic?

How long can a symptomatic person spread the contagion to others?

How long after initiation of treatment do they stay contagious?

Can humans spread the virus to other animals, dogs, cats etc. to whom they come in close contact?

Regarding restaurant workers who prepare and serve food and beverage: Can the virus in a contaminated person be passed onto the food and/or utensils?

Given that Asian restaurants use Asian vendors as their food suppliers, what is the government doing to protect the consumer, besides declaring the risk non-existent or minimal, when it isn’t actually known?

I, for one, will not be eating or drinking outside the home, since each time I became infected with whatever it was I initially contracted, it happened after eating and drinking at local restaurants.

What is the government telling restaurant workers and their bosses about requiring infected workers to come to work?

What do these workers do if time off leads to insufficient funds for paying bills. Any grace periods being offered, and short term no-interest loans?

The government and news outlets need to exercise extreme caution when dismissing the impact of the existing threat. Pandemonium can occur, if and when the masses believe the government is feeding them lies for the purpose of protecting individual small and large business interests. 

My own primary care person doubted whether I even had pneumonia. Even though I was treated in the hospital for four days, nobody told me I had sepsis. I had to learn that on my own by requesting my medical records that showed it.

A cable network station needs to be set up presenting facts and news about the coronavirus 24/7 from around the world in real time – not a month later.

Inform, inform, inform. At every level.




What has Ukraine done for the USA? Nothing, but promise us Crimea during the Olympics, which we lost, because we had no global right to it.

The country is bankrupt. No one really thinks all that money promised Ukraine is going to go into a missile defense shield operated by the USA, do they? This is Karsai and Afghanistan all over again. I say, let the Americans vote on who gets what and when and how much.

It’s the taxpayers who pay. All the middle people. Our money could be better spent on providing our own citizens a better quality of life.

Seniors took a big hit when the cost of medicare increased and absorbed the increase in social security standard of living benefits. I ended up with 2 dollars a month. Our rent increases every year – by a lot more than 2 dollars.

The healthcare system works only for the very poor and the rich and upper middle classes. Seniors are not a protected class in reality – and they come from all sectors.

I’d like to know how many IOUs to social security funds are still outstanding, that were used for other than seniors. Senior residences are being converted into HUD operated entities used as dumping grounds for all ages and special demographics, leaving the seniors to have to look for other places to live.

We need to stop bailing out other countries who abuse their own funds, at the taxpayer’s expense. The current strategy of paying countries to like us needs to stop. They squander the funds and always come back for more.

Ukraine isn’t keeping Americans safe.

President Trump took the correct actions by demanding Ukraine get their financial house in order before dumping billions of dollars on them, which will end up in the bank accounts of the rich and powerful Ukrainians, absent any oversight. Stop throwing our money away.


Sepsis Deaths May Be Twice Previous Estimates : Shots – Health News : NPR


Stealth Disease Likely To Blame For 20% Of Worldwide Deaths

January 16, 2020 12:14 PM ET

Sepsis arises when the body overreacts to an infection, and blood vessels throughout the body become leaky. Researchers now estimate that about 11 million people worldwide died with sepsis in 2017 alone — that’s about 20% of all deaths.

A medical condition that often escapes public notice may be involved in 20% of deaths worldwide, according to a new study.

The disease is sepsis — sometimes called blood poisoning. It arises when the body overreacts to an infection. Blood vessels throughout the body become leaky, triggering multiple-organ failure.

It is surprisingly common in the United States: One prominent study estimates 1.7 million cases a year and 270,000 deaths. Sepsis in the U.S. can strike otherwise healthy people who get an infection that runs amok. Many other cases arise in the hospital. That occurs frequently in people who are already in poor health.

“Often the underlying cause is something like lung cancer,” says Dr. Kristina Rudd, the lead author of a study published Thursday in the Lancet. Those people may develop pneumonia, which in turn leads to a deadly case of sepsis. With this domino effect, “It can be really hard to sort that out,” she says. And treatment options are limited.

Regulations That Mandate Sepsis Care Appear To Have Worked In New York

It’s an even bigger problem in the developing world, where childbearing women are at the greatest risk. “These are women who develop an infection after they give birth or have a C-section,” Rudd says. These women may develop an infection that triggers deadly sepsis, “because often they don’t have access to appropriate obstetric care.

“Previous studies have suggested that sepsis is at least partly responsible for 1 in 10 deaths globally. Rudd — an assistant professor of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh — along with more than a dozen collaborators, including some at the University of Washington, decided to look more closely at sepsis globally.

They analyzed more than 100 million death certificates, dated between 1990 and 2007. They found that sepsis is twice as common as health officials have long believed, if not as a direct cause of death, then at least as a contributing factor.

Vitamin Treatment For Sepsis Is Put To The Test

They estimate that about 11 million people worldwide died with sepsis in 2017 alone — out of 56 million total deaths. That’s about 20% of all deaths. “It’s a massive number,” Rudd says.

There’s also good news in this study: It documents major reductions in sepsis since 1990. According to the paper, which was presented at a meeting today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the death rate from sepsis has dropped by about half since 1990.

That’s a surprising finding, says Dr. Chanu Rhee, who studies sepsis and infectious disease at Harvard Medical School. “It’s really interesting that in their study, they actually found the incidence of sepsis declined over the study period,” he says, “where other studies have actually suggested the opposite.”

Sepsis is not easy to study, in part because doctors may not think to include it as a cause of death or as a contributing factor on a death certificate.”

The accuracy of death certificates tends to be fairly poor,” Rhee says. So while he considers the new study an important contribution, he isn’t taking the results literally.

Rhee has studied sepsis occurrences and deaths in the United States. His own findings here actually paint a gloomier picture than the new study does when it looks solely at U.S. death certificates. So sepsis might actually contribute to more than 20% of deaths globally, he says.

For Rudd, the decline she and her colleagues have reported since 1990 seems consistent with a worldwide effort to improve public health, including “provision of clean drinking water and sanitation infrastructure and development of vaccines and effective antibiotics,” she says.

Still, there’s a lot of room for improvement in those efforts — as well as a need to have more effective treatments. Better therapy may be of only short-term help to someone who is dying of lung cancer, but for millions of people around the world who get an infection during childbirth, from a hospital infection or in a vehicle accident, effective treatment of sepsis would be a true lifesaver.

You can contact NPR science correspondent Richard Harris at

Source: Sepsis Deaths May Be Twice Previous Estimates : Shots – Health News : NPR



Vegans enter a Protected Class status in the United Kingdom.

HWH ClipBoard: It’s a good day for animals worldwide. Vegans enter a Protected Class status in the United Kingdom. Let it spread worldwide. There exists today more discrimination and hatred toward vegans than ever before, and it’s only going to get worse if the world doesn’t act now to block that hatred from becoming systemic and endemic. Congratulations to Britain! You are the Best!! Tel Aviv didn’t do this for the animals, did they?

Big win for ‘ethical vegans’ in UK work tribunal

January 3, 2020

Jordi Casamitjana leaves an Employment Tribunal after it ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief and is therefore protected by law, outside the court in Norwich, England, Friday Jan. 3, 2020.

Casamitjana claims he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports after raising concerns that its pension fund was being invested into companies involved in animal testing. (Nick Ansell/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British workers who practice “ethical veganism” to protect animals secured a big win in an employment tribunal when a judge ruled Friday that they are entitled to legal protection from job discrimination.

The judge said that because ethical veganism is a philosophical belief, its adherents are covered by the U.K.’s anti-discrimination law, the 2010 Equality Act.

The ruling came in a claim brought by a man who said he was fired after raising questions about pension fund investments in companies that test products on animals.

Jordi Casamitjana, 55, alleged his dismissal from the League Against Cruel Sports, a British charity that works against animals being abused or killed for sport, resulted from his strong beliefs. The charity did not contest at the hearing whether ethical vegans deserved workplace protections.

Ethical vegans go beyond eating a plant-based diet to try to exclude any form of what they believe is animal exploitation, including not wearing wool or leather clothes.

Tribunal Judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism met the legal criteria for being considered a protected belief under the same section of the Equality Act that prohibits religious discrimination.

Postle found the beliefs held by ethical vegans to be worthy of respect, compatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the rights of others.

“I am satisfied overwhelmingly that ethical veganism does constitute a philosophical belief,” he said.

Casamitjana said he hoped his case sets a precedent for other countries.

“This is a very important ruling for vegans everywhere in the world that will inspire other vegans in other countries that don’t have that protection to develop cases that will lead to that protection,” he said.

Casamitjana’s lawyer said that as a result of the ruling, sanctioning workers for ethical veganism will be prohibited in the same way it is illegal to discriminate against workers based on their race, gender, age or sexual orientation.

Source: Big win for ‘ethical vegans’ in UK work tribunal



Submarines Are the Key To Israel’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

HWH ClipBoard:

Ever wonder why the USA can tell if Iran is enriching uranium or launching a missile and when North Korea is moving their missiles from one site to another, and when Syria moves any of their biological weapons, but the USA can’t confirm if Israel has a nuclear weaponry program?

It appears to have been revealed. One of the Israeli people revealing it said it was “childish” to keep hiding it. Yet, they don’t call Iran childish for hiding theirs, given that Israeli government forces are correct in claiming Iran is hiding their nuclear weapons program as well.

Maybe since one is doing the hiding for real, it is assumed that the other is doing the same. You know, how a thief always accuses somebody else of stealing, even when they’re not? But to wage war by the use of crippling economic sanctions against a country you claim is doing exactly what you’re doing, is dangerous and wholly discriminatory.

So why should the world trust Israel on anything, when on the most important things they operate so recklessly by lying about them, then calling the lies nothing more than “childish”?

Israel has a long history of violence and aggression toward their neighbors. A long history of assassinations, while setting up others to take the blame. I don’t doubt for a minute that Israeli interests used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens years ago, that they blamed on Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria. They claimed then not to have such weapons. Once you tell a lie like that, nobody can trust you.

There are things you don’t lie about: having nuclear weapons and chemical weapons are two of them. Now the world has lost its edge on controlling nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East. Israel is the cause and fault of that.

The hypocrisy is glaring and the result dangerous.

Submarines Are the Key To Israel’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

by Kyle Mizokami

They’re here to stay.

Key Point: Originally purchased from Germany, the submarines are now the cornerstone of Israeli defense.

Israel’s submarine corps is a tiny force with a big open secret: in all likelihood, it is armed with nuclear weapons. The five Dolphin-class submarines represent an ace in the hole for Israel, the ultimate guarantor of the country’s security, ensuring that if attacked with nukes, the tiny nation can strike back in kind.

Israel’s first nuclear weapons were completed by the early 1970s, and deployed among both free-fall aircraft bombs and Jericho ballistic missiles. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, which saw Iraqi Scuds and Al Hussein ballistic missiles raining down on Israeli cities, led Tel Aviv to conclude that the country needed a true nuclear triad of air-, land- and sea-based nukes to give the country’s nuclear deterrent maximum flexibility—and survivability.

The most survivable arm of the nuclear triad is typically the sea-based one, consisting of nuclear-armed submarines. Submarines can disappear for weeks or even months, taking up a highly classified patrol route while waiting for orders to launch their missiles. This so-called “second-strike capability” is built on the principle of nuclear deterrence and ensures potential enemies will think twice before attacking, knowing Israel’s submarines will be available to carry out revenge attacks.

The first three submarines were authorized before the Gulf War, in 1988, though it is not clear they were built with nuclear weapons in mind. After years of delays construction began in Germany instead of the United States as originally planned, with German combat systems instead of American ones. Most importantly, the project went ahead with German financing; Berlin reportedly felt obliged to finance two of the submarines, and split the third as lax German nonproliferation enforcement had partly enabled Iraq’s nuclear and chemical weapons program.

The first three submarines, DolphinLeviathan and Tekuma, were laid down in the early 1990s, but only entered service between 1999 and 2000. The submarines are 187 feet long, displace 1,720 tons submerged and have an operating depth of 1,148 feet. Sensors include the STN Atlas Elektronik CSU-90-1 sonar suite with the DBSQS-21D active and AN 5039A1 passive sonar systems. The Dolphin class also has PRS-3-15 passive ranging sonar and FAS-3-1 passive flank arrays.

Each has ten torpedo tubes in the bow, six standard 533-millimeter standard diameter tubes and four larger 650-millimeter torpedoes. The larger torpedo tubes are more than two feet wide, and reportedly double as ingress/egress chambers for divers. Armament is a mixture of German, American and Israeli weapons, including Seahake heavyweight wire-guided torpedoes and Harpoon antiship missiles. The authoritative Combat Fleets of the World claims the Dolphin subs may have the Triton fiber-optic guided-weapon system. With a range of more than nine miles, Triton allows submarines the ability to attack helicopters, surface ships and coastal targets.

The four large torpedo tubes are the key to Israel’s sea-based deterrent, and without them it’s unlikely the country would have nukes on submarines. The large tubes are used not only for laying mines and sending and receiving divers, but also to launch nuclear cruise missiles. In 2000, the U.S. Navy observed a missile launch from off the coast of Sri Lanka that traveled an estimated 932 miles. Exactly what this missile was is a matter of speculation, but the leading candidate is some advanced form of the Popeye missile.

Popeye was originally an air-launched ground-attack missile. Developed in the late 1980s, Popeye originally used a television camera or infrared seeker to deliver a 750-pound warhead to ranges of up to forty-five miles. The United States Air Force bought 154 Popeye missiles to arm B-52 bombers for conventional attacks, renaming them the AGM-142 Raptor. Israel’s nuclear deterrent is thought to be based on cruise missile version of Popeye, Popeye Turbo, which has a turbofan engine for long-distance flight.

There is also the possibility the nuclear armament is based on the Gabriel antiship missile, and there are also reports that Harpoon missiles were modified to carry nuclear weapons. Nobody appears to know for sure what missile is operational, only that it was observed and that arming them with nuclear weapons is a logical conclusion. The yield of the nuclear warhead on these missiles is unknown, but estimates float around the two-hundred-kiloton mark, which would make them roughly fourteen times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Whatever the missile, a 932-mile range gives it the ability—just barely—to strike the Iranian capital of Tehran, as well as the holy city of Qom and the northern city of Tabriz, from a position off the coast of Syria. (Iran’s pursuit of nuclear arms is likely the main and enduring driver of Israel’s second strike capability.) That isn’t an ideal firing position, and it’s been seventeen years since the missile’s first flight, so it’s also reasonable to assume that the weapon’s range has been extended to the point where it can launch against Tehran and even more Iranian cities from a relatively safe location.

Having three submarines in operation generally means at least one is at sea at any particular time, a necessity for a sea-based nuclear deterrent. The Dolphin class reportedly carries up to sixteen torpedoes and missiles; if the submarines’ primary task is nuclear deterrence, half of its weapons space might be allocated for carrying nukes. The result is that at any given time Tehran is likely in the nuclear crosshairs of an Israeli submarine.

The second set of Dolphin submarines, Dolphin II, was ordered in the mid-2000s. These subs are virtually identical to the previous class except for the addition of a thirty-six-foot-long plug in the hull to accommodate an air independent propulsion (AIP) system, allowing the submarine to operate submerged for much longer periods than diesel electric subs without it. According to Der Spiegel, the Dolphin II subs can stay underwater for up to eighteen days. In addition to a stretch configuration and AIP, Dolphin IIs weigh approximately 20 percent more and have dedicated diver-lockout chambers.

The German government has just recently given the go-ahead for yet another set of three more Dolphins. These new submarines should be ready just as the three first-generation boats are aging out, ensuring that Israel has a fleet of six submarines available for the foreseeable future. Israel’s sea-based nuclear deterrent is here to stay.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami. This piece was originally featured in October 2019 and is being republished due to reader’s interest. 

Media: Reuters

Read the original article.


Kevin Bacon murder: Insanity defense planned for suspect Mark Latunski

HWH ClipBoard: 

The guy’s name who Mark David Latunski murdered and ate is Kevin Bacon. Whoa, he must have thought he was a pig. Not much difference between a human and a pig. I can see this escalating or evolving into a human animal problem. An epidemic even. Human flesh, human blood, human milk, human skin, human bones, human organs, human hair – all for sale on the human underground market.

Detroit? That’s too close to Cleveland for my comfort. In fairness, if fairness applies here, why call a person insane who eats a human, yet eat any other animal and it is not only okay, but encouraged? In fact, if you don’t eat other animals, you’re ostracized by society. That’s the real insanity operating in the world today.

Michigan man to plead insanity in gruesome case of murder and cannibalism

Bisma Parvez

Detroit Free Press


DETROIT – A Michigan man accused of killing s 25-year-old man and eating part of his body will seek an insanity defense, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Mark David Latunski, 50, appeared at court Wednesday via video for a probable cause hearing in the gruesome murder case.

He is charged with open murder and mutilation of a body in the death of Kevin Bacon, who was reported missing on Christmas Day.

Authorities said Bacon went to meet Latunski after connecting with him on Grindr, a dating app.

Bacon was found murdered and mutilated in Latunski’s home on Dec. 28 and his naked body was hanging from the rafters by his ankles. Latunski told police he’d slit his throat with a knife. Latunski also allegedly admitted to eating part of Bacon’s body.

Latunski’s attorney, public defender Doug Corwin, is seeking an insanity defense for his client.

“He believes he’s named someone else, he believes he’s from a royal family out of Wales, from the Thomas clan, and just the nature of the crime itself … what he did and how he did it has come out, just by that nature as an attorney, I have to send him for an evaluation,” Corwin said.

Judge Ward L. Clarkson ordered a competency test.

Latunski will be sent to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry to determine if he is competent to stand trial. If he is found competent, they will go a step further to conduct a criminal responsibility test, which will test if he was competent at the time of the crime.

“We are alleging that maybe at the time of the offense, he was criminally insane,” Corwin stated after the hearing.

Latunski will likely be sent for this evaluation after 60 to 90 days.

“The forensics center is pretty backed up right now so there’s a delay in getting people down there to get evaluated,” Corwin explained.

Latunski will be held at the Shiawassee County Jail until his evaluation.

Once his evaluation is scheduled, the county jail will transport Latunski, who will be tested and interviewed. The forensics center will also look into his background and prior hospitalizations.

Corwin said that it can take 30 days to get the report, but sometimes it can take longer if multiple hospitals have to be consulted.

If Latunski is found not competent, he will be hospitalized in a lockdown facility and be treated until he is deemed competent, according to Corwin.

“He’s been very cooperative with our department, very polite,” Corwin said when asked about Latunski’s demeanor. He also said that Latunski really seems to believe the grandiose stories he’s been telling his attorney.

At his arraignment hearing on Dec. 30, Latunski said that his name is Edgar Thomas Hill and Mark Latusnki is his nephew.

According to public records, Latunski has been committed to hospitals four times for his mental health.

Follow Bisma Parvez on Twitter @bismapar

Source: Kevin Bacon murder: Insanity defense planned for suspect Mark Latunski




Illinois governor clears thousands of marijuana convictions


This can’t happen fast enough.

While they’re at it, release from prison all non-violent offenders. Revenge needs to stop and rehabilitation begin for those who need it, who are currently serving sentences for non-violent crimes.

The article refers to Black aka Africans as benefiting the most from this new law. It’s unfortunate that laws are designed for specific groups rather than everyone. The article fails to mention how many Euro-Americans, Asian- Americans, Indian-Americans et al will also benefit, which slants the entire system in prejudicial ways. Whether for or against the minority or majority, prejudicial legislation and intent never lead to a fair place.

December 31, 20197

Illinois’ governor granted more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions on Tuesday, describing the step as a first wave of thousands of such expungements anticipated under the state’s new marijuana legalization law.

The expungement process is a key part of the law, which takes effect Wednesday and made Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for people 21 or older. When they crafted the policy, Illinois lawmakers said they wanted to repair some of the damage caused by law enforcement’s efforts to combat sale and use of the drug, particularly in minority communities.

Democratic Governor JB Pritzker announced the pardons at a church on Chicago’s South Side. He said clearing the misdemeanor offenses from individuals’ records will make it easier for them to get jobs, housing and financial aid for college.

State officials estimate that 116,000 convictions involving 30 grams or less of marijuana, including for possession of the drug, are eligible for pardons under the new law. Illinois State Police are responsible for identifying those convictions and sending the records to the state’s Prisoner Review Board, which then forwarded eligible cases to the governor’s office for pardons.

Pritzker’s pardons allow the state’s attorney general to ask courts to formally clear or seal the records.”We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core.

“Other states that have begun permitting marijuana’s sale and use created procedures for people to expunge minor drug offenses, but Illinois officials wanted the process to be almost automatic for people with non-violent marijuana arrests or convictions on their records.

“We know that Black Illinois residents are far more likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana possession than whites,” said Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “This is a good step forward as we begin the legal sales of recreational marijuana.”

Pritzker’s office said 92 of the state’s 102 counties are represented among the pardons announced Tuesday.

“The 11,017 pardons that Gov. Pritzker is granting today are thousands of lives forever changed — and hundreds of thousands more will be changed in the coming months,” said Toi Hutchinson, a former state senator who now is an adviser to Pritzker on marijuana policy. “Those who were unfairly targeted by discriminatory drug laws can finally get ahead and build a new future for themselves and their families.

“Some people still will have to act independently to have marijuana convictions expunged. People who have been convicted of offenses involving between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana in Illinois can file court petitions to clear those records. Local prosecutors and legal aid organizations also can take that step independently.

State officials estimate that 34,000 records are eligible for that process.

Law enforcement agencies have a five-year period to expunge records of minor marijuana arrests that did not result in a conviction, starting with the most recent cases.

Officials estimate that 572,000 arrest records fall into that category. Marijuana arrests accompanied by violent offenses aren’t eligible for expungement.

Illinois regulators said more than 40 dispensaries have been issued licenses to sell recreational marijuana starting Wednesday, but not all of them plan to participate immediately. Industry leaders have warned consumers to expect long lines and potential shortages of products.

“This is Day One of the end of prohibition. This is not a finished product on Day One,” said Representative Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation in the House.

She noted that the Illinois law ensures that the needs of patients who depend on marijuana for medical use will be met. She says advocates have acknowledged since the beginning that supply will be an issue at first. “There will always be hiccups,” she said…

Source: Illinois governor clears thousands of marijuana convictions


A Himalayan Indian village has negotiated peace with leopards — Quartz India

HWH ClipBoard: Take a look and read on…what everybody should know about wildlife living with humans and vice versa. Yes, it’s possible…

…When ecologists study animals, Dhee pointed out that the animals are viewed as passive beings that are purely instinctual behaving exactly as their biology dictates. “One of the main things that came through in the study for us is how people (Hamirpur’s residents) think of not just humans, but also other animals as thinking beings, capable of reacting to specific situations rather than (being) instinct-driven,” she explained.

FINISH UP: A Himalayan Indian village has negotiated peace with leopards — Quartz India


Feds: Over 60 Latin Kings members arrested along East Coast

Feds: Over 60 Latin Kings members arrested along East Coast

December 5, 2019127

BOSTON (AP) — More than 60 members of the Latin Kings have been arrested on federal racketeering, drug and firearms charges, including the leaders of the street gang’s East Coast operations, authorities announced Thursday.

Among those arrested is Michael Cecchetelli, a 40-year-old Springfield, Massachusetts, resident with ties to the Genovese crime family who oversaw the gang’s operations from Massachusetts down to Florida, according to Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the FBI’s Boston office.

Cecchetelli and other leaders ran the gang with a Mafia-style hierarchy, including a council of leaders and as many as 11 chapters across Massachusetts alone, authorities said. The leadership approach has become a model for other Latin Kings regions in the country, they said.

The Latin Kings have also grown to become the largest gang in Massachusetts prisons, with an estimated 400 members, including leaders who face charges for continuing to coordinate criminal activity outside the prison, authorities said.

“It’s a big hit precisely because we are able to take out all of the leadership,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of the five-year investigation by the FBI and the state Department of Correction dubbed “Operation Throne Down.”

“It will be extremely difficult for the gang to regroup in the region.”

A lawyer who represented Cecchetelli in a prior federal case declined to comment.

The majority of Thursday morning’s arrests took place across Massachusetts, but some gang members and associates were also arrested in Rhode Island and Connecticut, Bonavolonta said. The gang’s operations also stretched into New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

There were 54 people apprehended Thursday, of which nine were already in custody and eight others are still being sought in an predawn raid that included more than 500 law enforcement officers, he said.

Most face federal racketeering charges for allegedly trafficking drugs, laundering money and committing assaults, robberies and other violent crimes and conspiring to commit more than 10 murders. Others face gun possession charges.

Authorities also seized dozens of firearms, thousands of dollars worth of cash, drugs and vehicles, and three properties in the crackdown.

The gang distributed drugs and shot music videos boasting about their exploits from the New Bedford, Massachusetts, properties while the owner helped launder money and conceal their operations, Bonavolonta said.

The multi-year investigation involved an informant who infiltrated the gang’s high level meetings, Bonavolonta said.

Thursday’s indictment also includes a former Boston high school dean already serving a prison sentence for shooting a student he had recruited to deal drugs in the school, Bonavolonta said.Shaun Harrison was a full-fledged Latin Kings member who continued his gang activity behind bars, helping the gang try to identify police informants, authorities said. His lawyer from his prior criminal case didn’t respond to a call seeking comment Thursday.

The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation is considered the oldest and largest predominantly Latino street gang in the country, tracing its roots to the 1960s in Chicago, where, authorities say, it is still headquartered.

___This story has been updated to correct the number of arrests to more than 60, instead of more than 90.

Source: Feds: Over 60 Latin Kings members arrested along East Coast



“Jews need to stop acting oppressed when they’re not. American Africans need to stop acting like slaves when they’re not. Both dim the cries of other oppressed groups, and enslave a nation and world by screaming about their own past that is over. ” HWH

“Neither the NAACP nor the Anti-Defamation League engage in any meaningful long term efforts to facilitate the freedom of other groups or individuals. There’s no time like now to start.” HWH



“If three hundred million Americans are ready to sacrifice their lives for the tenuous state of Israel formed from a holocaust against the Palestinian people, then Israel already has a state and everybody in it calls themselves Americans.” HWH



“Senator John McCain negated his own torture bill by inserting ‘reserving the right’ to do just that. Once again, the tortured became the torturer.” HWH

“Maybe the one who has experienced torture isn’t the best one to be fighting against it. Why should they keep reliving the nightmare? Let others who haven’t been tortured do that.” HWH

“Romanticizing torture, making it a badge of honor, is not unlike the suicide bombers who become martyrs.” HWH



“Contribution cannot, nor should it, be measured or rated. A paralyzed person confined to a bed continues to make a contribution to all of the lives who encounter that person.” HWH

“A brain dead person makes a contribution to all life by forcing us to demonstrate the compassion we feel, by compassionately being their bridge to a new life in the beyond.” HWH



“Discipline is the key to all success, and corruption is the flaw that ultimately undermines that success, if not checked.”HWH



“Strong individuals produce strong groups. However, the responsibility does not lie solely with the individual. It is the responsibility of the group dynamic to respect each individual’s right to develop at their own pace, using their unique talents and gifts to advance their own selves and the group in positive, forward moving ways. No one can be left out.” HWH

“Strong groups do not make strong individuals. Strong individuals make strong groups.” HWH



“Dangling carrots you’ll never get, while beating you with sticks? No thank you Hillary. I don’t like to be beaten with carrots or sticks. The line of difference always blurs.” HWH



“If you can’t figure out what a sign means, and given that you think it’s a sign, don’t worry about it; God will find another way to sign to you. God does know all things, but not all things all at once. God makes mistakes, just as we do. HWH

I get a kick out of people who say the Pope is infallible. If God isn’t infallible, then neither is the Pope.” HWH



“I don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen down the road, if I concern myself with what I’m doing right now.” HWH



“You don’t have to admit to having a disease, disorder or disability; none of them are crimes.” HWH



“What seems prejudicial to one may not seem prejudicial to another.” HWH



“If you think everybody should like you because you’re gay, or black, or Jew etc., then when somebody doesn’t like you, you’ll blame your sexual orientation, color or religion, instead of looking to your own behavior as a possible or probable cause.” HWH



“The Constitution of the USA doesn’t require capital punishment. In fact, the Declaration of Independence  describes unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–for all.” HWH


Brown University committee votes to divest from companies ‘facilitating human rights violations in Palestine’ – Uprise RI

The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies voted 6-2-1 in favor of divestment.

On December 2nd, 2019, the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) voted in favor of divestment from companies “facilitating human rights violations in Palestine”. The committee voted six in favor, with two alumni voting no, and one abstaining from the vote.

The vote comes after eight months of deliberation, starting in April 2019, when 69 percent of voters in a Brown undergraduate referendum voted in favor of the same motion. In response to Brown University President Christina Paxson’s dismissal of student concerns the day following the vote, over 100 faculty members authored a letter in favor of the student referendum.

Since then, members of Brown Divest have presented to ACCRIP on multiple occasions, as have Brown Students for Israel.

On December 2nd, nine members of ACCRIP met at Brown University, and heard presentations from faculty opposed to divestment, as well as those in favor. After the presentations, a motion was put forth to vote on whether the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories constitutes social harm. Seven members voted yes, while two alumni abstained. At the end of the meeting, members of the committee motioned to vote on the following language:

“We recommend that the Brown Corporation exclude from Brown’s direct investments, and require Brown’s separate account investment managers to exclude from their direct investments, companies identified as facilitating human rights violations in Palestine. In addition, the Investment Office will share with all investment managers the University’s desire to adhere to this investment philosophy. We recommend that the Corporation and Brown’s separate account investment managers maintain the withdrawal of investments from said companies until they cease to engage in social harm…”

After the motion to vote was made, two alumni voiced concerns about the ‘lack of time’ to deliberate. Sarah Cunningham ‘06 was appointed by President Paxson only weeks before this meeting, and David Mueller ‘81 has been on the committee for six years, and was part of the deliberations when Palestinian human rights violations were discussed in 2013-2014 and in 2017. Eventually, the motion to vote was accepted, and the resolution passed. We are elated that the University committee responsible for divestment has finally joined the calls for divestment from human rights violations in Palestine.

Today, ACCRIP made Brown the first Ivy League University to officially call for divestment from companies that are facilitating the Occupation and its human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza. We look forward to other universities joining the movement for dignity and human rights for Palestinians.

Going forward, the Brown community expects the Brown Corporation to divest from companies facilitating human rights violations in Palestine, as demanded by Brown students, who voted for the University to divest, as has ACCRIP, the committee responsible for recommending University divestment. Companies that have been identified for divestment based on their involvement in social harm in Palestine include Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, Oaktree Capital Management, AB Volvo, Motorola, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies, and G4S.

[From a press release]

Source: Brown University committee votes to divest from companies “facilitating human rights violations in Palestine” – Uprise RI



What the C.I.A.’s Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured – The New York Times

An image drawn by Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, shows how the C.I.A. applied an approved torture technique called “cramped confinement.”
Credit…Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux
This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — One shows the prisoner nude and strapped to a crude gurney, his entire body clenched as he is waterboarded by an unseen interrogator. Another shows him with his wrists cuffed to bars so high above his head he is forced on to his tiptoes, with a long wound stitched on his left leg and a howl emerging from his open mouth. Yet another depicts a captor smacking his head against a wall.
They are sketches drawn in captivity by the Guantánamo Bay prisoner known as Abu Zubaydah, self-portraits of the torture he was subjected to during the four years he was held in secret prisons by the C.I.A.
Published here for the first time, they are gritty and highly personal depictions that put flesh, bones and emotion on what until now had sometimes been portrayed in popular culture in sanitized or inaccurate ways: the so-called enhanced interrogations techniques used by the United States in secret overseas prisons during a feverish pursuit of Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
In each illustration, Mr. Zubaydah — the first person to be subject to the interrogation program approved by President George W. Bush’s administration — portrays the particular techniques as he says they were used on him at a C.I.A. black site in Thailand in August 2002
They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written.
Mr. Zubaydah, 48, drew them this year at Guantánamo for inclusion in a 61-page report, “How America Tortures,” by his lawyer, Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, and some of Mr. Denbeaux’s students.
The report uses firsthand accounts, internal Bush administration memos, prisoners’ memories and the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report to analyze the interrogation program. The program was initially set up for Mr. Zubaydah, who was mistakenly believed to be a top Qaeda lieutenant.
He was captured in a gun battle in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in March 2002, gravely injured, including a bad wound to his left thigh, and was sent to the C.I.A.’s overseas prison network.
After an internal debate over whether Mr. Zubaydah was forthcoming to F.BI. interrogators, the agency hired two C.I.A. contract psychologists to create the now-outlawed program that would use violence, isolation and sleep deprivation on more than 100 men in secret sites, some described as dungeons, staffed by secret guards and medical officers.
Descriptions of the methods began leaking out more than a decade ago, occasionally in wrenching detail but sometimes with little more than stick-figure depictions of what prisoners went through.
But these newly released drawings depict specific C.I.A. techniques that were approved, described and categorized in memos prepared in 2002 by the Bush administration, and capture the perspective of the person being tortured, Mr. Zubaydah, a Palestinian whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn.
He was the first person known to be waterboarded by the C.I.A. — he endured it 83 times — and was the first person known to be crammed into a small confinement box as part of what the Seton Hall study called “a constantly rotating barrage” of methods meant to break what interrogators believed was his resistance.
Subsequent intelligence analysis showed that while Mr. Zubaydah was a jihadist, he had no advance knowledge about the 9/11 attacks, nor was he a member of Al Qaeda.
He has never been charged with a crime, and documents released through the courts show that military prosecutors have no plans to do so.
He is held at the base’s most secretive prison, Camp 7, where he drew these sketches not as artwork, whose release from Guantánamo is now forbidden, but as legal material that was reviewed and cleared — with one redaction — for inclusion in the study. Other drawings he has done of himself during his imprisonment were published last year by ProPublica.


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

In this drawing, the prisoner portrays himself as nude on the waterboard, immobilized as water pours down on his hooded head, his right foot contorted in pain. The image contrasts with some others seen in popular culture; an exhibit at the Spy Museum in Washington, for example, shows a guard pouring water onto the face of a prisoner who is neatly clad in what looks like a prison jumpsuit.


Mr. Zubaydah’s self-portrait also shows a design detail not present in most depictions — a drop-down hinge to tilt the prisoner’s head. Restraints hold down his wounded thigh.


The Senate Intelligence Committee study of the C.I.A. program concluded that waterboarding and other techniques were “brutal and far worse than the C.I.A. represented.” Its use induced convulsions, vomiting and left Mr. Zubaydah “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”


In a now declassified account he provided his lawyer in 2008, Mr. Zubaydah described the first of what would be 83 waterboarding sessions this way: “They kept pouring water and concentrating on my nose and my mouth until I really felt I was drowning and my chest was just about to explode from the lack of oxygen.”


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

Accounts by detainees in different black sites have differed on how this method was used. In his illustration, Mr. Zubaydah shows himself nude and shackled at the wrists to a bar above his head, forced to stand on tiptoe.


In his account, as reported by his lawyers, he was still recovering from what the C.I.A. had described as a large wound in his thigh, and he tried to balance his weight on the other leg.


“Long hours went by while I was standing in that position,” he told his lawyers. “My hands were tight to the upper bars.”


Some guards, he said, “noticed the color of my hands,” moved him to a chair “and the interrogation vertigo resumed — the cold, the hunger, the little sleep and the intense vomiting, which I didn’t know whether it was caused by the cold, the ‘Ensure’ or the noise.” (The C.I.A. put its prisoners on liquid diets in its program of so-called learned helplessness.)


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

Mr. Zubaydah, who is not known to have formal art training, drew himself in a hood, shackled in the fetal position and tethered by a chain to a cell bar to constrict his movement. In granting the C.I.A. approval to use a technique similar to this, Jay S. Bybee, a former assistant attorney general, noted in an 18-page memo dated Aug. 1, 2002, that “through observing Zubaydah in captivity, you have noted that he appears to be quite flexible despite his wound.”


He also noted in the authorization, addressed to the C.I.A.’s acting general counsel at the time, John A. Rizzo, that the agency asserted that “these positions are not designed to produce the pain associated with contortions or twisting of the body.”


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

This image emerged from Guantánamo with a black redaction box over Mr. Zubaydah’s depiction of the face of his interrogator.


It shows the prisoner’s captor tightly winding a towel around his neck as he smashes the back of his head against what Mr. Zubaydah recalled was a wooden wall covering a cement wall.


“He kept banging me against the wall,” he said of the experience, which he described as leaving him blind “for a few instants.” With each bang, he said, he would fall to the floor, be dragged by the plastic-tape-wrapped towel “which caused bleeding in my neck,” and then receive a slap on his face.


In a 2017 deposition as part of a lawsuit that was eventually settled, James E. Mitchell, a former C.I.A. contract psychologist who devised the techniques with a colleague, John Bruce Jessen, said walling was “discombobulating” and meant to stir up a prisoner’s inner ears. “If it’s painful, you’re doing it wrong,” he said.


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

In this drawing, Mr. Zubaydah is shaved, nude, shackled in such a way he cannot stand up and, by his account, is sitting on a bucket meant to serve as a toilet.


“I found myself in total darkness,” he said. “The only spot I could sit in was on top of the bucket, for the place was very tight.”


In his account, Mr. Zubaydah describes being confined in “a large wooden box that looked like a wooden casket.” The first time he saw it, guards were turning it vertical and a man in black clothes and a military jacket announced, “From now on, this is going to be your home.”


Mr. Zubaydah portrays himself in the drawings with both eyes. A photograph of him early during his time at Guantánamo shows him wearing an eye patch after the removal of an injured eye.


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

The small box is similar to the one on display at the Spy Museum where, during a visit, children could be seen crawling inside.


In his account, included in the Seton Hall report, Mr. Zubaydah describes his time in what he called “the dog box” as “so painful.” He adds: “As soon as they locked me up inside the box, I tried my best to sit up, but in vain, for the box was too short. I tried to take a curled position but to no vain, for it was too tight.” He was immobilized and shackled in the fetal position, as he described it, for “countless hours,” experiencing muscle contractions.


“The very strong pain,” he said, “made me scream unconsciously.”


Abu Zubaydah, Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux

Mr. Zubaydah recalled that agents used a method of “horizontal sleep deprivation” that involved shackling him flat on the ground in such a painful position that it made it impossible to sleep.


The C.I.A. justified sleep deprivation by saying it “focuses the detainee’s attention on his current situation rather than ideological goals.” In approving this and other techniques in August 2002, Mr. Bybee said the C.I.A. had said it would not deprive Mr. Zubaydah of sleep for “more than 11 days at a time.”


In the Seton Hall study, Mr. Zubaydah recounted being deprived of sleep for “maybe two or three weeks or even more.”


“It felt like an eternity,” he added, “to the point that I found myself falling asleep despite the water being thrown at me by the guard.”


In this drawing, the prisoner portrays himself as lightly clothed.



Thousands of animals sacrificed in Nepal Hindu ritual amid outcry

HWH ClipBoard:

* Killing can be halted immediately. What to do with the animals after that takes some planning. How do they get all those animals in one place?

* If we are all God’s creatures, why would anyone think to savagely murder defenseless creatures on behalf of the one who supposedly created them? To bring them good luck? 

* This is HUMAN SUPREMACY at work.

* Only an evil God would praise such an evil gift.

* Good luck does not come from an evil act.

By Gopal Sharma, Reuters

Thousands of animals sacrificed in Nepal Hindu ritual amid outcry

“We’ve issued public appeals and consulted with stakeholders in the temple area,” he said. “It is related with tradition and cannot be halted immediately.”

Devotees believe the sacrifice, meant to appease Gadhimai – an avatar of the Hindu goddess of power, Kali – brings them luck and prosperity.

Authorities deployed 1,100 police to prevent clashes between activists and devotees at the site 10 km (6 miles) from the Indian border.

“We can only try and convince devotees not to sacrifice the animals, but cannot force them to stop,” said Bikash Khanal, the head of district police in Bara…

FINISH UP: Thousands of animals sacrificed in Nepal Hindu ritual amid outcry