Friday, July 17, 2009

L.A. security guard gets physical with photographer

By Carlos Miller
The Michael Jackson hysteria in Los Angleles sparked a confrontation between an ignorant security guard and an assertive photographer earlier this week.

The security guard works for Andrews International and is named Vasquez (#782). He was standing on Hollywood Blvd ordering some other guy to get off the sidewalk, who apparently was heckling reporters but claims he was protesting something or another.

The photographer, wearing a video camera around his neck, was standing a few feet from the two and snapped a photo with a still camera.

This, of course, prompted Vasquez to turn his attention on the photographer, telling him to “stop taking pictures.”

The photographer asserted his rights which led to the security guard to order him off the sidewalk - which he has no authority to do.

Photographer: “I’m going to stay here and take as many photos as I want.”
Security guard: “You’re not going to with me.”
Photographer: “Yes, I will. If you’re in public, I will.”
Security guard: “No, you will not.”
Photographer: “I know the law, you can bark all you want …”
Security guard: “It doesn’t matter, don’t take another photo of me.”
Photographer: “What’s going to happen?”
Security guard: “You’ll see.”

Vasquez then grabs the camera and pushes it into the photographer’s face.

They continue arguing with Vasquez claiming that “you can’t take a picture of me.”

Vasquez calls his supervisor and the photographer calls the cops.

Vasquez, if you’re reading this, not only can he take a photo of you. He can videotape you as well.

Vasquez should be fired and Andrews International should be sued.

Click on the photographer’s website for a list of email addresses to local politicians and Andrews International bigwigs to file a complaint.

Source: Photography is not a Crime

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Amateur UK photographer arrested for “prevention of terrorism”

Photo by Alex Turner
Photo by Alex Turner

By Carlos Miller
Another photographer was arrested under the United Kingdom’s new anti-terrorism law that has turned the simple act of photography into a lethal form of terrorism. At least that is what they’ll have you think.

This time it was Alex Turner, an amateur photographer who drew the attention of authorities after snapping the fish and chip shop in the above photograph.

The men who confronted him said they were from the Medway Council, which is apparently some type of government agency in Kent County. They were not in uniform but they wore badges on their belts that had the logo of Kent Police, according to Turner’s blog post of the incident.

But I guess they were not police either because they ended up flagging down police when he refused to provide his identity.

So as the cops asked the same old dumb questions as to why he was taking pictures, he snapped a photo of them. And that was when he was arrested.

Photo by Alex Turner
Photo by Alex Turner

Or something like that. The blog post, while very detailed, is a little confusing and cumbersome. Maybe it’s that English vernacular

So he was placed in a police van for 20 minutes until a couple of plainclothes cops spoke to him about the dangers of terrorism and the perils of refusing to identify oneself.

But then he also writes that “at no time did I refuse to give an account for myself and my activities in the High Street” - so it is not clear whether he did or did not identify himself.

To make a long story short, he told them that his identification was in the inside pocket of his jacket, which they retrieved while he was handcuffed.

Then he was further patted down and even made to take off his sneakers, which embarrassed him considering he had become a spectacle to the gathering pedestrians.

Then after all was said and done, they released him and even offered their hands, but not before handing him a citation that confirmed he was searched on the grounds of “prevention of terrorism.”

So now he is pissed off and has fired a lengthy letter to the Professional Standards Department recounting his experience.

But he is also careful not to name any of the cops who harassed him because from what I understand, that would also be considered a savage act of terrorism. Notice how he also blurred their faces in the photo.

This is what he wants:

With regards to redress I seek a written apology in relation to any shortfalls identified with regards to the involved officer’s conduct and consideration of compensation to be made to me for the upset, embarrassment and psychological trauma caused. I would also like Kent and Medway Police to liaise with Medway Council in order to identify the two unidentified men that initially stopped and questioned me. I seek for their conduct to also be fully investigated, the process and outcomes of which I request to be shared with me.

The way things are going in the UK, those demands will probably be considered a barbaric act of terrorism as well.

Source: Photography is not a Crime

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New Mexico police chief Tasers girl, leaves gaping wound on her head

By Carlos Miller
A New Mexico police chief said he was only trying to protect a 14-year-old girl when he used his Taser gun on her last week, leaving a huge gash on her head that required 18 staples and six stitches.

One of the Taser’s prongs penetrated her skull, sending 50,000 volts of electric current into her brain.

The girl, who has epilepsy, now has trouble walking up stairs and keeping her balance.

Tucumcari Police Chief Roger Hatcher said he had no choice because the girl was about to run into traffic.

But that was before the dash cam video was released which shows there was no traffic when he chased her into the street. And he didn’t even pull the trigger until they were on the other side of the street.

Now he is saying that he had to Tase her because he “didn’t know where she was going to go.”

Thanks to his valiant efforts, Kailee Martinez now might have permanent brain damage.

The incident started when Kailee and her mother were having an argument over explicit messages and photos the girl was sending to older men through her cell phone.

Police say Kailee assaulted her mother. Her mother then took Kailee to the police department in an attempt to control the girl or talk some sense into her or maybe just to scare her.

Big mistake.

Kailee took off running like the stubborn teen that she is. Chief Hatcher chased her into a local park.

She continued to walk away. He pulled out his Taser and threatened to shoot her. She started running. He shot her.

I guess that will teach her not to send explicit messages and photos to older men. Or maybe that will just teach her not to trust police.

On the bright side, the incident smoothed things over between Kailee and her mother. Now mom is more upset at the chief than at her daughter.

Hatcher is currently on paid administrative leave.

The incident makes you wonder whether or not police need more training in dealing with teens. We’ve all seen the video of the King County Sheriff’s deputy savagely attacking a 15-year-old for flipping a sneaker at him.

It makes you wonder how they treat their own kids.

Well here’s an indicator. In Florida, more than 40 children were zapped with stun guns while visiting prisons on “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”

I guess I should be shocked, but I’m not.

Source: Photography is not a Crime

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Fla. cop caught on video kicking handcuffed man, then stepping on him

By Carlos Miller
So I’m reading the latest article on another cop abusing another citizen on another surveillance video. This one is in Florida, as if that’s a surprise.

A Sarasota cop has arrested a 21-year-old man for drunkness. He has him handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car. He has already pulled into the enclosed sally port area of the jail, which pretty much means the suspect is going nowhere.

The handcuffed suspect then squeezes out the back window and falls flat on his face.

The suspect then manages to get up, but the cop then kicks him twice where he falls down again.

The cop then walks up to him and plants his foot on the man for five minutes. As if he is some type of Herculean warrior.

A couple of other cops stroll over to see what the commotion is, then casually move on with their business. They’ve probably seen it before.

After all, Officer Christopher Childers has had five excessive force complaints against him since joining the force in 2000. None of them stuck but what do you expect when cops investigate cops?

The most recent complaint came in 2006 from a man who said Childers slammed him face down on the floor and kicked him. Ernest Wilson told police in an e-mail that “Childers is a loose cannon just waiting to go off.”

So it’s pretty much the same old, same old as I’m reading this article.

Except for the fact the Sarasota Herald-Tribune decided to interview an “expert on policing issues” for this story. As if they couldn’t make up their own mind what they saw in the video.

And this is what that “expert” told them:

The video did not capture sound, so it is difficult to say whether the officer felt threatened by Perez, or whether Perez was attempting to escape, said Maria “Maki” Haberfeld, a professor at John Jay.

You have to be kidding me.

First of all, who the hell calls themselves “Maki”? Second of all, if Officer Childers felt threatened by a handcuffed man who was unable to stand up, much less fight, then that cop has no business being on the force.

And attempting to escape?

Since when do cops leave the back windows of their squad cars open when they are transporting prisoners? And he was already in the enclosed sally port. If he was that much of an escape threat, then why did the other two cops walk away?

The suspect, Juan Perez, was pretty much trashed that night. He had a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit.

But he was not violent.

Perez, a native of Guatemala who does not speak English, was arrested that night on charges of disorderly intoxication and obstructing an officer without violence.

In an affidavit on the incident, Childers wrote that he arrived at Second Street and Links Avenue to find Perez waving both arms over his head and “blurting out in Spanish.”

Paramedics had left the area and a security officer was trying to calm down Perez, who was bleeding from the mouth and ears and appeared to be intoxicated, according to Childers’ report.

Childers said he handcuffed Perez when he refused to stop moving, and Perez moved away, so Childers “redirected the defendant to the grass.”


Perez admits his memory of that afternoon is hazy, but he says he did not resist. He says the officer started yelling at him, squirted him with pepper spray and took him to the ground.

Perez said Childers stepped on the back of his head, and then its side, causing his nose and lips to bleed and scraping the side of his face. He said he had bruises on both sides of his torso, as well as on several spots on his thighs. The scrapes on his face can be seen in his jail photo.

Source: Photography is not a Crime

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John Yoo cancels class when “student” protests torture

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Norman Finkelstein the scholar has turned into Norman Finkelstein the activist – and a good one. They threw him out of Israel last year but he went to Gaza with CodePink and is now organizing something big. Dershowitz will regret the day he got him fired and freed up all his time and energy. Some dark clouds do have a silver lining.

(Ben Heine © Cartoons)

Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos by Bud Korotzer
Earlier this week 200 people crowded into a very warm room to hear eyewitness accounts and analysis from members of delegations who went to Gaza as part of the international campaign to break the Israeli blockade.The event was hosted by the Brecht Forum. The speakers were Sammer Aboelela, organizer of the N.Y. Community of Muslim Progressives, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, Norman Finkelstein, author, political scientist specializing in Mideast studies, Felice Gelman, leader of the N.Y. delegation to Gaza and member of WESPAC and Phil Weiss, journalist and author of the Mondoweiss Blog.
Some speakers described the terribly difficult living conditions in Gaza and others spoke of the remarkable spirit of the people there despite the daily hardships. We were told that there is no cease-fire in Gaza. Israelis are still shooting at farmers and fishermen who risk death just by going to work. They are shooting at fishermen who are only 300 yards off shore, clearly where they are entitled to be. In these acts of piracy they are kidnapped, taken to prison, and their boats are confiscated. If and when they are returned they are returned damaged. Tunnels are used to bring essentials in from Egypt. They are not hidden, they are on main walkways and are privately owned and operated. When Israel pressures Egypt about the tunnels the Egyptians pump methane gas into them.
The ongoing persecution from Israel is having an extremely detrimental psychological affect on the children. Some try to act like tough guys, as they see Israelis to be. Some look to their fathers for protection but the fathers, unemployed and powerless against Israeli abuse, can do nothing. We saw slides of the children’s art showing their view of the military attack against them.

Norman Finkelstein spoke of the current perception most of the world has of Israel. He said that Israel is seen as a satanic state. Many organizations, the Red Cross, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented Israeli human rights abuses. Amnesty International issued two reports on the subject. In effect, they agreed that Israel was guilty of crimes against humanity, another way of saying ‘war crimes’.

Medea Benjamin described walks through the halls of congress that she and other CodePink members made trying to talk to representatives and senators about what Israel is doing. With very few exceptions their words fell on deaf ears.

Norman Finkelstein and Medea Benjamin proposed a very big, and long walk to Gaza. In order for it to work there would have to be many participants. People would gather in Egypt near the Rafah crossing, walk through into Gaza, walk through part of Gaza to the Erez crossing, cross into Israel where they would be met by a contingent of Israeli peace activists. The logistics would have to be worked out. There was great enthusiasm for the plan and many people in the room volunteered to participate. For those who could not go there would be a series of marches in the U.S. at the same time. One person in the audience suggested that the event should start in Washington with many people visiting their congress members to talk to them about cutting the billions of dollars given to Israel each year.

Andy Pollack spoke after the panelists did. He reported that the Viva Palestina-US delegation had reached an agreement with Egypt and that all the medical aid would be delivered to the people in Gaza very shortly. There were some conditions; convoy participants could only stay for 24 hours, and the ambulances could be donated but the trucks could not. The audience reacted to the news with joy.

There was a question and answer period and one young Palestinian woman spoke about the 11,700 Palestinians, serving indeterminate sentences, that are now undergoing daily torture in Israeli prisons.
Other questions and comments dealt with the importance of working together despite differences of opinion on some issues. One area of work was the divestment, boycott and sanctions campaign. Several people spoke on activities in that area with Motorola (see for further information) and with Ahava cosmetics which are produced in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank (for more information on this campaign go to

When the meeting ended there was a general sense that there was a lot of work ahead but there was also optimism because important changes were occurring. Minds and perceptions were changing in a positive direction both inside and outside the Jewish community.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer


Source: Desert Peace

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Do You Really Want Freedom, Or Are You Just Kidding Yourself?

“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” ~ Plato “Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.” ~ Disraeli A recurring theme among some of the libertarians with whom I interact is: How can we bring freedom and liberty to pass more quickly? How can we mobilize our efforts to topple the coercive state, starting now? One might also ask why these pleas always have an inherent collectivist bent. Why must “we” do anything? I’ve written about this quest before, although contrary to popular belief, I am under no illusion that a fully-anarchic, i.e., stateless, society would be a utopia. That’s not even the point! In fact, I don’t even care one way or the other. (I am not an advocate of freedom for utilitarian reasons.) The unspoken belief seems to be that freedom and liberty arise from strategic planning. (After pretty much every essay I get published, I receive a note from some well-meaning soul who has the next can’t-miss new strategy that will topple the State by the end of the week.) While one could argue that much of the prose on Internet sites such as this one is similarly intended, I would disagree. What I attempt to do here, and what I see others doing here, is exploring the fullness of the libertarian paradigm. That paradigm is based upon individual choices made without aggression upon others. It is only when one’s choices infringe directly upon others that anyone should have a genuine concern. Generally speaking then, the focus is within, not without. Education is a primary goal. Philosophy is the primary focus. Borrowing from Stephen Covey, many people seem overly concerned with changing and/or fixing the world, despite the fact that their bedroom closet might more urgently need attention. As an aside, I won’t venture into the fallacy of the commons (or even the tragedy of the commons) right now, because this essay won’t be long enough. Suffice it to say that the bleeding-heart tendency to impose one’s beliefs on everyone else in the name of a third party—the children, the poor, the homeless, the environment, etc.—got old for me years ago. (The subject does deserve some analysis, though. Maybe I’ll attempt to address it in a subsequent essay.) During a recent long run, I got to thinking about this issue: Getting to “real freedom” and all that. Amidst my own pondering, something I’d heard my market anarchist friend and colleague Stefan Molyneux say over and over rang in my thoughts: Freedom begins at home, with you, with that over which you ultimately have the most control. If you are tied to positive obligations that were thrust upon you coercively, from friends, or from family, or dating back to poor childhood lessons, then worrying about the State is a huge waste of time. The vital point: The lessons one uses in direct interaction with those closest to him are reflected back by the society he inhabits, often by the authority paradigm of that society. Stop, in the Name of the Law! While I’m relatively certain that most people were appalled when they read, quite some time ago now, about the 8th grader who was strip-searched for Ibuprofen in California, I fear that if we were to share parenting tactics, our uneasiness with such behavior as that of the vice principal in the story would be more a matter of degree than of morality. More pointedly: Have you ever humiliated one of your children or a supposedly close friend to make a point? Do you remember ever being humiliated by your parents as they strove to establish dominance and authority over you? Have you ever seen an adult humiliated by another adult? Agents of the State act in exactly this way, almost universally. The actions of that police officer in Dallas are but the latest example in long line of repeated scenes form the same shitty movie. Visit almost any airport and you too can “enjoy” similar treatment. There is a reason why people like Manadel al-Jamadi are treated like sub-humans. The belief system that informs people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (and all the thugs who have replaced them) also convinces them that they can take any step, no matter how heinous, to maintain the authority they think they’ve been given—morals and ethics be damned. The same could be said of Officer Robert Powell, the Dallas cop noted in the story linked above. According to Business Daily’s Mark Weisenmiller, quoting from Jane Mayer’s “Dark Side,” Jamidi’s last few minutes on Earth were not pleasant: Jamadi was driven first to an Army base for debriefing, where the US Navy SEALs punched, kicked, and struck him with their rifle muzzles for some 20 minutes. Weisenmiller goes on to say: Jamadi was later interrogated by CIA operatives at Abu Ghraib prison, where he was hung up by his wrists, and subsequently killed. This is an extreme example, but it points to what I believe is a general trend. How can one protect freedom by taking it away from someone else, without regard for basic morality? Here’s a video of a sheriff’s deputy “laying the wood” to a suspect in an undercover drug bust. While most freedom advocates would label such behavior as both heinous and dastardly, I would be willing to bet that there are people reading this column who feel, conversely, that punishment such as spanking, slapping, or other physical infringements are sometimes appropriate. (A relative of mine told me that Plaxico Burress deserves whatever he gets, for the heinous infraction of carrying a gun without the state-mandated paperwork.) My question: How does one decide? Here’s the thing: If you can punish a slave to your heart’s content when he’s “yours,” why wouldn’t he take the same approach when he gets the chance, if and when the tables are turned? It is this psychological phenomenon that made “straw bosses” so effective during the times of chattel slavery in the U.S. Similarly, it is this psychological phenomenon that supports putting the child who is the biggest behavior problem in charge while the teacher is out of the room. Further, and maybe more worrisome is this: At what point does the type of heinous behavior and treatment of prisoners at places like Abu Ghraib become commonplace in detention centers in the U.S. ? (Hell, for all I know, it’s already happening.) At what point will the punishment for previously-minor offenses migrate up towards the death penalty, like some episode of Star Trek gone terribly off-track? We already have people in the U.S. serving prison time for the offense of lying. When an agent of the State believes that his orders justify the most basic mistreatment of his fellow man, it’s only a hop, skip, and jump to enemy combatants on home soil —and I’m not talking about only people who look like Muslims—being treated the same way. If the Milgram Experiments and the Stanford Prison Experiments taught us anything, it’s that people will follow orders—naked authority—to almost any end, despite data and indications (and even signals from conscience) to the contrary. It is this seminal truth that guarantees that the State, any state, no matter how constructed, no matter who is “elected” to run it, no matter what documents supposedly justify its creation and protect those under its control, will, in time, become a bubbling cesspool of rights infringement and totalitarian conduct. He That Treats Others as a Child Will Himself Be Treated Like a Child? Do lessons learned early in one’s life, both in the home and at school, drastically negatively affect the ability of a society to embrace liberty and freedom? Examining childhood lessons, some would say we over-protect our children. I tend to agree. Says one pundit: Fears regarding safety and litigation have resulted in playgrounds that are unchallenging and unappealing to young people. Parents are obsessively concerned with protecting their children and this is leading to their offspring not developing the resilience and physical skills that they need. While one might argue about how much actual resilience is developed on the playground, and I don’t care to do so, few would argue (I hope) with the negative effect of the creeping sheep-like treatment the State gives its citizenry. The State systematically over-protects its citizens, to very negative effect. The State is composed of people with beliefs. How much of this penchant toward over-protection stems from ideas developed during childhood only later to be implemented? One could certainly blame public education for much of this problem, but that might also be a convenient scapegoat. One could also suggest that such behavior—protectionism versus freedom—is endemic in humans. No matter how one learns such lessons, one thing is undeniable: the State treats each of us as children because too many of us believe that such behavior is appropriate. More troubling, we ourselves practice this behavior. For example, focusing on one specific area, and returning again to children and family, almost everyone has heard the phrase: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” I’ve heard it more times than I care to remember. (In full disclosure, I also believed it, or so I thought, for far longer than I’d care to admit.) I don’t intend to debate the morality of corporal punishment. Instead, I wish to place it in the same moral context as similar punishments meted out by agents of the State. Ironically, while getting my periodic dose of The Blog of Tim Ferriss, of “The 4-Hour Work Week” fame, I came across a fascinating post from a woman who “escaped” from her Amish sect. In the comments of response to her story one can find, among several interesting musings, a discussion of this supposedly Biblically-derived phrase which is generally used to justify physical punishment of children. The fascinating tidbit was this: The Bible doesn’t actually contain that phrase. The sentiment is apparently a paraphrase of Proverbs 13:24, which says: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. While I’m certainly no Biblical scholar, it seems to me a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy to use that single verse as a justification for physical abuse. Back on Ferriss’s blog, a poster simply shown as “Betsy” offered what I believe is the most humane (and libertarian) translation of that verse: “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is actually analogous to the rod of the shepherd. It’s really a beautiful, sentimental teaching that has been totally perverted by some. The poster went on: A good shepherd never beats the sheep, but uses the rod to guide them with a gentle touch. That this homily should justify child abuse is the exact opposite of its intended meaning, which is “by failing to guide your child with love and instilling discipline (not punishment) in a consistent and gentle way, you ruin the child’s chances of successfully functioning in relationships and society as a whole.” Indeed! This sentiment seems to resonate with the non-aggression axiom. How can the thugs with whom so many of us deal claim to be protecting anyone from anything? (They certainly aren’t gently guiding anyone, either.) Here’s the real irony: The people who take actions such as those police officers or that vice principal, on behalf of the State, very likely learned those lessons at home or at school, as children themselves. Each time one teaches those closest to him from this playbook, he deepens the chasm between freedom and the routine acceptance of the State’s naked authority. He also lengthens the time it will take to fill that chasm. Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, is credited with saying: If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual. There is an important corollary to this insight. If you think of others as helpless and ineffectual, you will erect systems—often despotic systems—designed, so you think, to help those people overcome their helplessness. As a result, you will only enslave them. In the effort, you will eventually enslave yourself as well. Please note that this is true no matter the supposedly objective evidence one uses to justify the treatment, be it age, race, gender, culture or something else. Conclusion One of the most interesting theories I have ever heard regarding freedom came from Molyneux during one of many discussions. He asserted that much of the damage to the fabric of voluntary interaction in society stemmed from violent, coercive behavior in the family unit. I admit that this hypothesis initially took me aback. (With apologies to Dune, I guess my imperial conditioning was strong.) Honestly though, the assertion that family violence is all too common is not worthy of much debate. If one can’t see the similarity among how a TSA screener treats an airline passenger; how a teacher or principal treats a student; and how far too many parents treat their children—well, freedom and liberty are much further away than I could ever hope. (Of course, the parent who really wants to prepare his children for well-practiced performance during airport screening can obtain a Playmobil Security Check Point toy. Start them young!) C.S. Lewis was prescient when he said: Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. While it’s neither my place nor my goal to advise anyone about how to raise their children, several observations seem reasonable. These observations seem particularly germane to the statist authority paradigm and from where it seems to emanate. Whether it’s letting a child out of the house without prior written permission and accompanying signed documents, selecting the foods your son or daughter can eat, without discussion or education, or (my personal favorite) slapping your child in the mouth for being sassy, the similarities remain clear. Anyone who thinks such practices make sense probably shouldn’t be too aghast if the State seeks to forcibly protect them from transfats. Neither should they be surprised when somebody gets tased for not kowtowing to some random person wearing a uniform. These examples occupy different social contexts but exemplify strikingly similar moral content. Krishnamurti pointed out the truth when he said: Your parents are frightened, your educators are frightened, the governments and religions are frightened of your becoming a total individual, because they all want you to remain safely within the prison of environmental and cultural influences. I’d say it’s about time we each break out of that prison. Sure, the State is a huge problem, but the State is just people. The treatment we practice, the treatment we allow, and the treatments we will receive are inexorably linked. Maybe liberty is a learned behavior and maybe we all need to change the lessons we allow and practice? And now, if you'll excuse me, my bedroom closet needs attention.Source: Strike the Root
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It's your business what you do, so long as you don't hurt anybody else

Civil liberties are the focus of this column, and we all agree that civil liberties are good things, right? But we don't all agree about specific liberties and their defenders. Some people snipe at sexual rights and the ACLU, others at self-defense rights and the NRA ... We may believe in liberty, but we don't seem to agree on what it is. So, what is liberty? The answer, is that it's anything peaceful, or, put another way, anything done among consenting adults.

Some people will answer: But, you have no right to smoke grass, own guns, have gay sex, travel without showing ID, or open a business without a license if the government says otherwise! The law tells us what our civil liberties are, and the government, elected by a majority of the people, makes the law.

To put it bluntly: Screw the government, screw the law and screw the majority.

If you want to marry somebody of the same sex, toast the festivities with marijuana bought at an unlicensed bar, and celebrate with a machinegun shoot (well ... I suggest you reverse the order of the shoot and the toast), it ain't nobody's business if you do.

In fact, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do is the title of a wonderful book written by Peter McWilliams and published in 1996. In the book, the full text of which is now available online, McWilliams wrote, "You should be allowed to do whatever you want with your own person and property, as long as you don't physically harm the person or property of a nonconsenting other."

McWilliams didn't invent this idea. It's an old one, perhaps most closely associated with the philosopher John Stuart Mill, who wrote:

[T]he only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

In the modern context, McWilliams elaborated:

Laws against consensual activities create a society of fear, hatred, bigotry, oppression, and conformity; a culture opposed to personal expression, diversity, freedom, choice, and growth. The prosecution of consensual crimes "trickles down" into ostracizing, humiliating, and scorning people who do things that are not quite against the law but probably should be. "They're different; therefore, they're bad" seems to be the motto for a large segment of our society. We are addicted to normalcy; even if it means we must lop off significant portions of ourselves, we must conform.

There's no need to accept the validity of all these arguments; the validity of any one is sufficient reason to wipe away all the laws against consensual activities.

"A culture opposed to personal expression, diversity, freedom, choice and growth"? Isn't that a bit strong?

Not really. You see, McWilliams died in 2000. A cancer and AIDS patient himself, he was arrested while helping another writer conduct research for a book on growing marijuana for medical purposes. His mother's house was held as collateral for the bond that secured his freedom while awaiting sentencing, and the chief prosecutor in the case threatened to seize the home if McWilliams was found with even a trace of the marijuana he used to control the severe nausea caused by his medication.

Unable to control his nausea, McWilliams choked to death on his own vomit.

Some people would make excuses for the prosecutor in the case. He was just doing his job according to the law, after all.

But a law that would deny a man medicine and cause him to choke to death is evil, and so are those who voluntarily help to enforce such laws.

We make a big deal about the democratic nature of our political system, but there's nothing about 50% plus one that could sanctify laws and actions like those that led to the death of Peter McWilliams. If we recognize that you have the right to do peaceful things -- that is to engage in trade, or to love, or to consume -- by yourself and with other consenting adults, then it doesn't matter if the people intruding into your life are lone wolves or a majority of the population. They're wrong to intrude and they're doing evil by sticking their noses where those noses aren't welcome.

Because it ain't nobody's business if you do.

Unfortunately, governments and our neighbors have grown accustomed to interfering in what isn't their business. Occasionally, they give a hat tip to the philosophical tradition represented by Mill and company by arguing that, if you're allowed to smoke grass or own a gun or operate a storefront without a license, others really are harmed by your subsequent (alleged) lower productivity at work, or the possibility that you'll go postal, or the vague potential for you defraud customers in a way that could allegedly be prevented by an official piece of paper.

This stretches the idea of "harm to others" so far out of shape as to be unrecognizable -- except as a dishonest intellectual dodge. Accepting the argument that what you might do, or what could reduce your utility to society, is any business of the government, leaves absolutely nothing beyond the reach of nosey busybodies with official titles.

It also, incidentally, reduces you to a cog in the machine.

Laws that interfere in your right "to do whatever you want with your own person and property, as long as you don't physically harm the person or property of a nonconsenting other" go too far. They should be defied and sabotaged. Governments that insist on passing such laws are illegitimate and should be dumped. And majorities that put such governments in power? Well, they're just wrong, and should be told to take a hike.

Defending liberty isn't about playing by the rules. It's about judging whether the rules, and the people who enforce them, are worth respecting.

Source: The Examiner

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The Mothers Act Disease Mongering Campaign

The Mothers Act represents the ultimate example of disease mongering at its worst because the eight-year attempt to pass this federal legislation has evolved into profiteering never before exhibited so conspicuously.

Disease mongering "is the selling of sickness that widens the boundaries of illness and grows the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments," according to Ray Moyniahan and David Henry in the April 11, 2006 paper in PLoS Med, titled, "The Fight against Disease Mongering."

"It is exemplified most explicitly by many pharmaceutical industry -- funded disease-awareness campaigns -- more often designed to sell drugs than to illuminate or to inform or educate about the prevention of illness or the maintenance of health," the authors explain.

"Drug companies are by no means the only players in this drama," they point out. "Through the work of investigative journalists, we have learned how informal alliances of pharmaceutical corporations, public relations companies, doctors' groups, and patient advocates promote these ideas to the public and policymakers -- often using mass media to push a certain view of a particular health problem."

The Mothers Act campaign has operated under the guise of helping women suffering from postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis to develop a new industry, complete with specialties like, "reproductive psychiatry," or "reproductive mental health," with a plan to "screen" and "treat" women of childbearing years for a long list of "perinatal" mental disorders, to financially benefit psychiatric drug makers, as well as the treatment providers and "experts" in the new self-created field.

"Drug companies have been trying for years to get a better deal with pregnant women by saying they were under a lot more stress than people realize," according to UK pharmacology expert, Dr David Healy, author the new book, "Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder."

This is now the easiest marketing for the drug makers, he says. In fact, "almost too easy because lots of people are cooperative."

The Mothers Act has already passed in the House and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is the main sponsor of the bill in the Senate. In 2006, his home state of New Jersey became the first state in the nation to enact a law forcing all new mothers to submit to mandatory screening.

Lobbyists paid big bucks to push drugs in Washington

A June 24, 2009 report by the public interest advocacy group, "Common Cause," lists Menedez as one of the top 20 recipients of healthcare industry campaign contributions in the Senate between 2000 and 2008. Since the year 2000, Menendez has received a total of $2,252,169, including $723,550 from Big Pharma.

On June 8, 2009, a headline on New, read: "E-mail: Drug lobbyist targeted Menendez to help with importation bill," and reported that the subject line of the email said: "URGENT"

The strategy to pursue Menendez became known when the email from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry trade group, ended up with Senator John McCain, a drug importation advocate. "And McCain read it on the Senate floor -- twice," the article notes.

The email called for New Jersey drug companies to ask Menendez to be their champion on an amendment that would effectively kill any attempt to allow cheaper drugs to be imported from other countries, according to the report.

"We need to locate a Democratic lead cosponsor for the second degree amendment," the e-mail said. "Can … [Johnson & Johnson], Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and the other New Jersey companies coordinate and contact Senator Menendez's office and ask him to take the lead?"

"Menendez's office said that while he supports the drug companies' position, he did not act as their champion," according to New

Officially known as the "Melanie Blocker-Stokes Post Partum Depression Research and Care Act," the bill is "named after Melanie Stokes, a woman who suffered emotional difficulties after giving birth and was subsequently prescribed a cocktail of intensely controversial psychiatric drugs including anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant drugs before being subjected to electroshock treatment," according to a letter made available on the AbleChild, website for persons to sign and send to Senators, via the internet, encouraging them to vote against the Act.

"Melanie Stokes was in the mental health system, was prescribed drugs, was hospitalized, was subjected to the still barbaric practice of electroshock and only after receiving mental health "treatment" did she commit suicide," it further explains.

"That is what the mental health industry did for a new mother named Melanie," the letter points out.

The Mothers Act "quite simply is a feeder line for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry and will result in more mothers and infants being put at risk for being prescribed antidepressant and other dangerous psychiatric drugs," the AbleChild letter warns.

Suicide Prevention Hoax

The disease mongering campaigns for the new generation of psychiatric drugs over the last 20 years were accomplished under the ruse of suicide prevention. However, in 1987, the year Prozac was approved, and kicked off the bogus epidemic of mental illness in this country, the number of suicides was 30,796, and in the latest year reported on the website of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the number of suicides was 33,292 in 2006.

The suicide related adverse event reports submitted to the FDA's MedWatch system are summarized on the "Adverse Psychiatric Drug Reaction" website. For a two-year period between January 2004 and December 2006, the top 20 list of most commonly reported adverse events for Prozac, included 187 suicides and 68 attempts. Zoloft had 154 suicides and 162 suicide attempts. Paxil's top 20 list included 841 suicides, Celexa had 232 suicide reports, and Lexapro had 189 suicides, and 87 suicide attempts, reported to MedWatch. Only between one and ten percent of adverse events ever get reported to the FDA's system.

In May 2009, journalist, Philip Dawdy, reported on the popular Furious Seasons website, that Wyeth's new Effexor me-too drug, Pristiq, approved in early 2008, had already generated 1,272 adverse event reports in MedWatch by the end of 2008.

"It's discouraging that 17 of those reports involve completed suicides through the end of 2008," Dawdy said. "There are also 48 reports of suicidal ideation."

Symptoms Equal Side Effects

Purely for profit, patients are told to stay on antidepressants indefinitely to prevent a relapse of depression or anxiety disorders. It's doubtful that patients realize that their sex lives could be ruined by taking the drugs or that the use of common pain relievers, vitamins and alcohol is dangerous or that their driving ability might be altered, for years on end.

The website lists depression symptoms as: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day; lack of interest or pleasure in your usual activities and a lack of motivation; changes in appetite; sleep problems; anxiety or restlessness; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and insecurity; difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly; fatigue or lack of energy; and thoughts of suicide.

Compare those "symptoms" to the severity and number of adverse events listed and described on the "Safety Information" page for Prozac, which includes the following statement:

"Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for worsening depression symptoms, unusual changes in behavior and thoughts of suicide, as well as for anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, restlessness, or extreme hyperactivity."

Under the heading, "What are possible side effects of PROZAC?" the website states:

"Some people experience side effects like nausea, difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, anxiety, nervousness, weakness, loss of appetite, tremors, dry mouth, sweating, decreased sex drive, impotence, or yawning."

"PROZAC can cause changes in sexual desire or satisfaction," it warns.

Sexual dysfunction, including lack of libido, orgasmic dysfunction and delayed ejaculation, are common side effects of using SSRIs, according to the May 2005 report, "The Marketing of Depression: The Prescribing of SSRI Antidepressants to Women," by Dr Janet Currie.

"Since SSRIs are prescribed more often for women, women are more frequently affected by SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction," she explains.

"Because SSRIs can also lead to a worsening of depression, paradoxical effects, emotional blunting or detachment, reduced emotional activity, memory loss and confusion, these effects, in conjunction with sexual dysfunction, can negatively affect intimate relationships," she warns.

"There are concerns that not all sexual dysfunction may fully resolve after termination of treatment," Currie also reports.

"Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking PROZAC and are taking or plan to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin since combined use of these drug products have been associated with an increased risk of bleeding," the Prozac website advises.

"Also, tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any vitamins, herbal supplements or alcohol," the warning says.

An October 2007 study by researchers led by Dr Sonal Singh, published online in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, reported that SSRIs may double the risk of bleeding in the upper digestive gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach or upper intestine.

The researchers also noted that when SSRIs are taken with aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as prescription Celebrex or over-the-counter Aleve, the risk of bleeding was 6 times higher than in persons not on the drugs.

"Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know what effects PROZAC may have on you," the Prozac website instructs.

A December 2006 study in the, "Journal of Clinical Psychiatry," reported that about seven out of every ten people who take antidepressants have impaired driving ability and that 16% of the people on the drugs have severe motor impairments.

A new May 2009 study, in the "American Journal of Psychiatry," reports that long term use of antidepressants raises the risk of diabetes, especially in moderate to high doses. SSRIs increased the risk by 106% and tricyclic antidepressants increased the risk by 77%.

The precaution section on the labeling for Prozac states: "Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment."

"Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls," it explains.

"More severe and/or acute cases have been associated with hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death," the label warns.

Antidepressants lose patent profitability

Since the new generation of antidepressants lost their patent profitability, the treatment for all the "mood" and "anxiety" disorders women will be diagnosed with as a result of the Mothers Act disease mongering campaign, now includes not only antidepressants, but drugs used as "mood stabilizers," such as the antipsychotics Zyprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Invega, Geodon and Abilify, and antiseizure medications including Lamictal, Depakote, Topamax, Trileptal, Neurontin, Gabitril and Lyrica, along with benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Klonopin, and sleeping pills such as Ambien or Lunesta.

In 2008, psychiatric drug makers had overall US sales of $14.6 billion from antipsychotics, $9.6 billion off antidepressants, $11.3 billion from antiseizure drugs, and $4.8 billion in sales of ADHD drugs, for a grand total of $40.3 billion.

"In 2008, 85 million prescriptions were filled for the top 20 benzodiazepines, an increase of 10 million over 2004, according to IMS Health, a health-care information company," the Wall Street Journal reported on June 30, 2009.

"Worldwide revenue for Xanax rose to $350 million last year, up nearly 50 percent from 2003, according to pharmaceutical company Pfizer's financial reports," the Journal reported. Xanax sold for $203 for 100 middle dose tablets, and Ativan cost $230 per hundred at on July 13, 2009.

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to manage anxiety, panic and sleep disorders, the Journal noted. "Health professionals and consumers are increasingly recognizing that taking the drugs for more than a few weeks can lead to physical dependence, often ending with a grueling withdrawal," the article said.

Psychiatric drugs are now doled out in multiple drug cocktails to treat "co-occurring" mental illnesses such as "anxiety disorders" and "treatment resistant" depression, or the latest rage, "Adult ADHD."

In an April 2008 report, the market research firm, Datamonitor, announced: "ADHD - Immature adult market continues to offer greatest commercial potential."

"Estimated to be twice the size of the pediatric ADHD population," the reports states, "the highly prevalent, yet largely untapped, adult ADHD population continues to represent an attractive niche to target."

"The rising awareness of ADHD brought about by marketing campaigns for Adderall XR and Strattera has paved the way for the entry of additional adult ADHD drugs," it notes.

"The US dominates the ADHD market with a 94% market share," Datamonitor points out, demonstrating that the rest of the world has apparently not lost the ability to concentrate without the use of "legal speed."

Last year, Adderall and Vyvanse maker, Shire, issued a press release on May 12, 2008, to announce a "Nationwide Adult ADHD Mobile Awareness Tour," and launched a "13-city mobile screening initiative" for adults with ADHD.

"The screening initiative, known as the "RoADHD Trip," is housed, transported and anchored by the RoADHD Trip Tractor Trailer which expands into a tented area housing eight self-screening stations," Shire explained in the press release.

Shire claims that ADHD "affects approximately 4.4 percent of the U.S. adult population aged 18-44 according to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey."

Dr David Stein, author of, "Unraveling the ADD/ADHD Fiasco," warns that stimulant drugs are "near the top of the heap of potentially addictive drugs."

There is no way of pinpointing which people are at risk of becoming addicted, he says, and "psychiatry has an extremely poor track record for treating addiction problems."

Profitable Victims Spur Disease Mongering

When drugs are peddled through mental illness disease mongering campaigns, stories in the media seldom mention medication prices, much less the number of drugs commonly prescribed together to treat the various disorders; leaving the public unaware of the enormous profit motive behind the mass drugging of the victims.

A women diagnosed with ADHD and treatment resistant depression might end up taking Strattera, Cymbalta and Zyprexa, all sold by Eli Lilly. The recent prices of these drugs at a middle dose on were $427 for 100 capsules of Strattera, $391 for 90 capsules of Cymbalta, and Zyprexa was $1,195 per ninety pills. A year of these three drugs would bring in roughly $24,156, per patient, for Lilly and the pharmacy alone, not counting the prescribing doctors' fees and the cost of any therapy sessions deemed necessary.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's Abilify is now approved as an "Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder," at a price of $1,230 for ninety capsules at The "Information for Patients," section on the labeling states in part:

"Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down."

"A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs," the Abilify labeling warns.

On April 29, 2009, Philip Dawdy's headline on Furious Seasons, read: "10 Percent Of Depressed Patients Now Take Antipsychotics," based on statements made during a conference call by executives of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

"Forget about Prozac Nation, this is Atypical Nation," he said. "Antipsychotics are now the top revenue producing class of drugs, topping even statins.

Zyprexa and Prozac are combined in Lilly's Symbyax, recently approved for "treatment resistant" depression and the Abilify warnings are also on the labeling of this drug. The price of Symbyax was $1,564 for ninety 12-25mg capsules on in May 2009, meaning each patient could bring in $18,768 per year for Lilly and the pharmacy alone.

A 2007 study titled, "Serious Adverse Drug Events Reported to the Food and Drug Administration," between 1998-2005, by Thomas Moore, Michael Cohen, and Curt Furberg, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the number of fatal adverse event reports to the FDA had increased nearly 300%, from 1998 to 2005. The top 15 drugs with the most fatalities included the antipsychotics, Clozaril with 3,277 deaths, Risperdal with 1,093, and Zyprexa with 1,005. Paxil also made the top 15 list with 850 death reports.

In 2008, the FDA warned that anticonvulsants double the risk of suicidal behavior or ideation, with epilepsy treatment having the highest risk, ruling out psychiatric disorders, such as depression, as the underlying culprit. The prices for anticonvulsants at a middle dose ran as high as $1,029 for 180 tablets of GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal, and $1,286 for 180 tablets of Johnson & Johnson's Topamax, in May 2009.

Unconscionable Disease Mongers Target the Nursery

"The rights of the unborn to a safe and healthy birth are being taken away by this legislation," says Mothers Act opponent Larry Bone.

"One third of pregnant women in the US already take psychiatric drugs at some point during their pregnancies and most are never warned of the known risks for themselves, their unborn and nursing babies, depriving them of their right to informed consent," according to Dr Fred Baughman, author of the "ADHD Fraud," and former director of the March of Dimes, Birth Defects Clinic of Western Michigan.

"Should the Act pass," he warns, "it will guarantee that more mothers-to-be, their unborn still-developing babies, and more nursing mothers and their nursing infants, will join the ranks of the psychiatrically drugged."

A young Texas mother, Amy Philo, is the leader of "Unite for Life," a coalition of 53 groups fighting against the Mothers Act, which includes the Alliance for Human Research Protection, AbleChild, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology; International Coalition For Drug Awareness; Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Mindfreedom International, and the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy.

The coalition points out that there is no language in the bill that will ensure mothers are granted the most fundamental right of "informed consent," meaning they will be told about all the risks of the proposed treatments and all the alternatives.

"If this bill was really for moms with PPD," Amy says, "it would ensure express written informed consent and ensure that all medical testing and non-drug options are explored."

"When the sponsors in the Senate refuse to add informed consent language and an examination of existing data on risks of existing treatments, then you know something is wrong," she says. "Seriously wrong."

The lack of an informed consent provision also concerns other experts in the field. "In every case in which a doctor writes a prescription, the person receiving the drug must be fully and understandably provided a statement of the risks associated with treatment," says Harrisburg, Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr Stefan Kruszewski, who serves as an expert in litigation on the harms of psychiatric drugs.

"This is never more serious than when two lives are potentially at risk, such as the pregnant or nursing mother and her infant," he advises.

"The risks for a pregnant mom on antidepressants may include withdrawal, akathisia or rapid mood swings," he warns. "For the fetus, the overwhelming worry is a withdrawal syndrome and congenital malformations, resulting in complications for both mother and child."

Drugged Victims

In 2004, Amy was prescribed Zoloft, to "prevent" PPD, because she became extremely anxious and concerned after she witnessed her newborn son's life-threatening choking incident, based on a recommendation of a home visiting nurse.

Without any explanation of alternative treatments, or warnings about side effects, the doctor told Amy that Zoloft would make her and her nursing infant happy, in a consultation lasting about two minutes.

Zoloft caused Amy to become homicidal and suicidal and she ended up locked in a mental ward away from her baby for two days. Rather than recognize the side effects of Zoloft, the "professionals" upped the dose and also tried to feed Amy Zyprexa, Celexa, Ambien, and Klonopin, which she refused to take because she was nursing.

Amy's obsessive homicidal and suicidal thoughts persisted for five months, until she weaned herself off Zoloft against medical advice, and they disappeared and never returned. Her recently obtained medical records show she was labeled with obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression. These stigmatizing labels will stay in her records forever with no explanation that Zoloft was the cause of any alleged mental disorder.

The family's insurance was billed about $8,000 for the 2-day stay in the mental ward, and Amy and her husband were stuck with an $800 co-payment. Ninety 100mg tablets of Zoloft cost $318, at on July 13, 2009. Of the drugs Amy refused to take, Celexa sold for $355 for 100 20mg tablets, Klonopin was $209 for 100 2mg tablets, and Ambien cost $173 for 30 10mg pills. As mentioned above, Zyprexa recently sold for $1,195 per ninety tablets.

Andrea Yates is another example of a women drugged into madness. On June 20, 2001, the Texas housewife and former nurse, filled a bathtub with water 3 inches from the top and methodically drowned her five children one by one. After she was done she called 911. When the policemen arrived she led them to the bodies.

"Contrary to the mantra that it is untreated mental illness that causes these tragic events, more often than not, we see these events occurring in individuals who are receiving mental health "treatment," almost always in the form of psychotropic drugs," warns attorney, Karen Barth Menzies, who has worked on cases involving drug-induced homicide and suicide, as well as SSRI birth defect litigation.

"From everything I have read about the Yates case," she says, "it is a tragic consequence of an incompetent, failing and corrupt mental health system."

"Ms Yates was on a chemical soup of various medications and, therefore, it is difficult to point the finger at any one drug," she explains.

"But it seems clear that the drugs she was taking did nothing but exacerbate her condition," she adds.

"I think the drug manufacturers who grossly oversell the benefits of their drugs and the doctors who pile on drug after drug, bear responsibility for the death of these children and deserve to be criminally charged as well," Menzies states.

"What we have observed, particularly in criminal cases," she says, "is that people taking these drugs will commit crimes they normally would never have committed due to a combination of side effects."

"For over a decade, antidepressant manufacturers have monitored the criminal courts for suspects who became violent while taking an antidepressant -- and they secretly help prosecutors fight against an SSRI-antidepressant defense," Menzies reports.

"The last thing drug companies want is for juries (and the public) to learn the truth - that these drugs can cause people to become violent and homicidal," she advises.

"Of course, the drug companies do not give the prosecutors the whole story," she says. "To protect the reputation of their money-making drug, the companies hide the internal evidence of people in clinical trials who become violent and homicidal on their drug, but then fully-recovered once they were off."

"These adverse reactions normally include an agitated state as well as a condition called "depersonalization" where the individual becomes disconnected from the reality of their actions, where everything seems unreal, as if they are watching a movie," Menzies explains.

"Often times," she notes, "there is a state of disinhibition, where normal inhibitions are no longer present, such as when people become intoxicated or are on street drugs."

"Unfortunately," she says, "the cost to bring a drug-induced violence (involuntary intoxication) defense is extraordinary, especially because the state is backed by drug company resources to fight this defense."

"Not exactly a level playing field," she says, "And the drug companies, as we've seen, will spare nothing when it comes to protecting the profits they make on these drugs!"

An April 20, 2009 press release by Senator Menendez claimed the Mothers Act legislation would increase federal efforts to combat postpartum depression by:

"Creating a grant program to public or nonprofit private entities to deliver or enhance outpatient, inpatient and home-based health and support services, including case management and comprehensive treatment services for individuals with or at risk for postpartum conditions.

"Activities may also include providing education about postpartum conditions to new mothers and their families, including symptoms, methods of coping with the illness, and treatment resources, in order to promote earlier diagnosis and treatment."

As will be shown in the next parts of this series, the "public or nonprofit private entities" are already in place and the profiteers are waiting with their hands out for the tax dollars to start rolling into their bank accounts.

Source: Natural News

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Israeli art students show up at interesting times

The way the corporate media would have it believed is that Israeli “art students” who aggressively sell cheap art door-to-door, usually at federal office buildings and the houses of government employees, are merely traveling abroad after their military service in Israel to “see the world.” In fact, these “art students” are classic intelligence operatives who have appeared before and after major terrorist events and covert operations conducted by the Mossad.

WMR has learned that an Israeli art student cased the offices of an investigator of the suspicious February 26, 2004, death of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski. Trajkovski’s Beechcraft King Air 200 crashed near Stolac, Croatia, in southern Bosnia while en route to an investors’ conference in Mostar.

After the crash, U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Lawrence Butler quickly met with Nikolai Gruevski, the minister of finance in the VMRO-DPMNE government. Gruevski was an ardent supporter of denationalization, a globalist, and supporter of NATO membership for Macedonia. Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, although a Social Democrat, was also seen as close to the globalists.

Although Trajkovski, a Methodist minister, was also a member of the VMRO-DPMNE party he was viewed as less accommodating to international demands for privatization of state enterprises in Macedonia.

After Trajkovski and his party were killed in the plane crash, Macedonian and Bosnian authorities complained that NATO’s investigation of the plane crash was secretive and the two countries’ aviation authorities were kept in the dark. Many Macedonian officials were opposed to allowing the United States to investigate the crash and there was confusion about who had access to the two “black boxes” on Trajkovski’s plane. NATO troops stationed in Bosnia were the first to arrive at the crash scene.

In April 2004, Crvenkovski, the pro-American, won the Macedonian presidential election. VMRO-DPMNE officials charged that there was massive ballot box stuffing in th election and refused to accept the results. The pro-U.S. Gruevski is now the prime minister of Macedonia.

Although the crash of the King Air 200 was blamed on dense fog, on Febriary 27, 2004, the Xinhua news agency reported another scenario, one that suggests terrorism: “A suspected blast occurred on board shortly before the crashed Macedonian presidential plane went lost from radar, a local Bulgarian radio reported Thursday. The report quoted Sasho Yordanovski, editor-in-chief of the Macedonian magazine Forum, as saying that there have been two versions of the cause of the tragic incident, which claimed the lives of the Macedonian president and other eight people. One version attributed the accident to bad weather conditions in the area early Thursday and the other suggested a technical failure of the 25-year-old aircraft . . . Besides the president, the victims include his councilors Dimka Ilkova-Boshkovic, Risto Blazhevski and Anita Lozanovska, foreign affairs official Mile Krastevski, two bodyguards Atse Bozhinovski and Borsi Velinov, and two pilots Marko Markovski and Branko Ivanovski.”

WMR has learned that an independent firm hired to investigate the crash was not able to conduct its investigation because its private investigator received death threats if he went to the Balkans to conduct his probe. In addition, a young Israeli male “art student” showed up selling art sketches at the U.S. offices of the investigation firm. The Israeli arrogantly entered three office rooms in the facility without invitation. When asked by office workers what he was doing, he abruptly left. No other offices in the vicinity received a visit from the art student. It was later discovered that the office’s surveillance camera had been disabled by an intruder.

The reported involvement of Israeli security advisers in the coup d’état in Honduras also puts into another perspective the following report from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the espionage activities involving Israeli art students in the months prior to 9/11:

Tegucigalpa Country Office

“On February 28, 2001, a couple attempted to sell at the residence of the Tegucigalpa Country Attaché. His neighbors advised the Country Attaché that a man and a woman in a red car were trying to open the CA’s gate. The neighbors asked the couple what they wanted and advised them that no one was home. The couple left the area. No identification information was revealed.”

Some FBI counter-intelligence agents are painfully aware that Israelis traveling on tourist visas in the United States and who mask their true intelligence functions as art students, movers, and mall kiosk vendors pose a significant hostile intelligence threat to U.S. national security. However, the FBI agents are also aware that any push to pursue Israeli agents will result in career-ending personnel actions taken as a result of pressure from the all-too-powerful Israel Lobby in the United States.

Source: Online Journal

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Gideon Levy on the “inhumane and illegal siege”

By Gideon Levy

For the past several weeks it has been very hard to get coffee in Gaza. Gas is dirt cheap (NIS 2.40 per liter), and diesel is even cheaper (NIS 1.70); it’s all flowing through the tunnels from Egypt. But there is no coffee. Only after inquiring at a number of grocery stores might you find a bag of coffee, but the grocer will sell you only 250 grams for NIS 18 shekels - an exorbitant price in Gaza. Coffee, as you know, is not a “humanitarian” item; you can live without it. And indeed, Gaza has gone over to tea. Spoil them rotten - that’s Israel’s Gaza policy.

Every few weeks there’s a shortage of another item. Water is in sufficient supply for the time being, but electricity is intermittent. They are repairing the power station but there aren’t any spare parts. You try living in the Gaza heat and poverty without electricity. On Tuesday, for example, the electricity supply to Beit Lahia was cut off for hours. They have begun to clear away the rubble from Operation Cast Lead, but they haven’t started to rebuild, not even a room, except for mud houses, because there is no cement and gravel.

The $2 billion promised with much ceremony at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit about six months ago - of it $900 million from the new America under President Barack Obama - is lying in vaults at the international banks. A senior American diplomat explained a few days ago that his country is not transferring the money “because Israel is objecting,” and an American law prohibits trading with Hamas. He said this in utter seriousness, as if there were no American commitment to transfer the money, and as if the great America were dependent on Israel. However, the burden of Gaza’s suffering is also weighing on Obama’s shoulders: Without its rehabilitation, his great promise is hollow.

The Hamas government has been in existence for two years and the siege on Gaza continues at full strength and cruelty. Washington is busy with the fate of the Migron settlement, Israel is busy with the Dudu Topaz case, and the world has lost interest. When there are no terror attacks, there are no Arabs: When Gaza isn’t shooting, it is abandoned to its fate. That is the message Israel is sending its imprisoned neighbors: Launch Qassams and we’ll take an interest in you, don’t launch Qassams and we won’t take an interest. Only abducted soldier Gilad Shalit is still reminding us of Gaza’s existence: The activists for his release demonstrated again last week. But instead of demonstrating for the release of Palestinian prisoners, they demonstrated for tightening the siege and collective punishment. Only Gilad was born to be free.

The mass experiment on human beings has failed miserably; two years is enough time to determine this. Not one of the siege’s aims have been achieved and the damage is only piling up, perhaps for all eternity. Folly and malevolence, a fairly common combination, have melded into one of Israel’s most fateful mistakes. Even if we leave aside the moral aspect of the inhumane and illegal siege, it is no longer possible to ignore its stupidity as a policy. Shalit has not been released - no siege is going to free him. Hamas has not fallen - the group is only more firmly establishing its regime. And above all, a new reality is developing before our eyes that is worse for Israel than all its predecessors.

The siege has splintered the Palestinian people even more. This is not the first time Israel has split up the Palestinians: Since 1948 it has been systematically separating Palestinians from Palestinians, dividing and ruling. The diaspora abroad, the refugees in the Arab countries, the inhabitants of the territories, the Arabs of East Jerusalem and the Arabs of Israel - sometimes members of a single family - are developing into separate splinter peoples.

Now the next splintering has come along, the most stupid of all: the split between Gaza and the West Bank. While Israel is preventing Gaza from having any connection with the West Bank, it complains that there is no Palestinian partner. While we are strengthening the Hamas regime, thanks to the siege’s hardships and the wrongs of Operation Cast Lead, we are lamenting “the Hamastan in Gaza.” And what would happen if Israel were to lift the siege, enable the reconstruction and bring Gaza and the West Bank closer together? A huge disaster; a chance for moderation.

Leave aside, then, the moral aspect - it doesn’t have any takers in Israel. But what about good sense? What is Israel getting out of the siege, apart from the enjoyment of the other side’s suffering and another stage in its disintegration? Yasser Arafat was too strong, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is too weak and now there is a new ray of hope for all the spoilers: The Palestinians are split and there’s no one to talk to.

Source: Haaretz News Jerusalem

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