Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 31st, 2013

The FBI seems to routinely break the law—now we can add murder?

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Oh, wait: Melvin Purvis had that covered right from the git-go. Greg Mitchell notes in The Nation:

The incident raised questions from the start, but now it is approaching absurdity—maybe parody. Next thing we know the weapon will IDed as Peggy Olson’s makeshift spear.

We refer, of course, to last week’s killing of Ibragim Todashev, an old friend of deceased Boston marathon bomber Tamalan Tsarnaev, in Orlando, Florida.  He was being interrogated by an FBI agent and other detectives about what he knew, if anything, about the bombing and also about his possible role in a triple murder, tied to drugs, in Waltham, Massachusetts. Allegedly he had just confessed that he and Tsarnaev committed the murders when he freaked, grabbed a knife and lunged at the agent, who naturally shot him dead.

The story sort of smelled from the start, given that there was one crazed guy and several law enforcement enforcers, not to mention that they were questioning him about a mass bombing and a triple murder and somehow let him get at a weapon. It was a “knife,” although there was mention of a “samurai sword” maybe in the room. But few in the media raised questions.

So now it turns out—as we suspected all along—that he was unarmed when shot and killed by the FBI agent in that infamous incident. Well, that was the report two days ago. Seems that he’d been shot six or seven times. This sparked family members to charge that he was simply “executed” and it also encouraged the Boston bombing conspiracy nuts to get nuttier. Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlanticwith a major take yesterday questioned not just shooting an unarmed man but the FBI unable to get its story straight.

And then, late last night: another official version: The bad guy suddenly had a “pole” that he hit an agent with—and also hit him with a table. Oh, wait, the pole might have been “a broomstick.” And he had to be shot seven times. I guess the other cops in the room were playing Angry Birds.

Read the details of that version and you almost have to laugh. One of the cops texted the FBI agent to tell him the suspect was getting agitated? And it was when the FBI guy was reading the text that all the action started? And the “samurai sword” that became a “pole” that became a “broomstick” had now become the metal part of a broom, perhaps to make it sound more like the original “knife.”

John Miller of CBS, the longtime reporter who later became an FBI hack, recounts the latest here, as usual bending over backwards to accept the official story. You’ll see that like many others he makes no mention of how the agency could claim this was a knife attack for a week before the broomstick appeared. That’s some kind of tough reporting. And here’s Friedersdorf’s update today.Interested in the FBI’s malpractice? Read George Zornick on the impending nomination of James Comey.

Do others sense, as I do, that law enforcement agencies in the US are now out of control? Look at NYPD. Look at Texas. Look at California. Look at the hassling of pilots of small aircraft who have done nothing wrong. And the perpetrators in law enforcement generally go unpunished, protected by the blue wall of silence: exactly the psychology of a group that no longer feels a part of the community, but views the public as “them”, with “us” being law enforcement. That’s common enough, but law enforcement people are authorized by the state to use force, even deadly force.

On a separate forum a guy chastized me for saying, as though it were a known fact, that the FBI routinely breaks the law. Here’s one example (Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001 – 2008), and if you Google “FBI breaking the law” you find many, many more. I do not see the FBI as not having any great respect for the law, but being quite concerned about their individual careers.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2013 at 3:18 pm

Obama Administration continues to ignore science regarding marijuana

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Obama makes promises much too easily—probably why he breaks them so readily. Paul Armentano writes at Alternet:

Despite issuing a highly publicized memorandum [3] in 2009 stating, “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration,” it remains clear that federal lawmakers and the White House continue to willfully ignore science in regards to the cannabis plant and the federal policies which condemn it to the same prohibitive legal status as heroin. In fact, in 2011 the Obama administration went so far as to reject an administrative petition that called for hearings to reevaluate [4] pot’s safety and efficacy, pronouncing in the Federal Register, “Marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” (The Administration’s flat-Earth position was upheld [5] in January by a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.)

Nevertheless, scientific evaluations of cannabis and the health of its consumers have never been more prevalent. Studies are now published almost daily rebuking the federal government’s allegations that the marijuana plant is a highly dangerous substance lacking any therapeutic utility. Yet, virtually all of these studies – and, more importantly, their implications for public policy – continue to be ignored by lawmakers. Here are just a few examples of the latest cannabis science that your federal government doesn’t want you to know about.

Frequent cannabis smokers possess no greater lung cancer risk than do either occasional pot smokers or non-smokers

Subjects who regularly inhale cannabis smoke do not [6] possess an increased risk of lung cancer compared to those who either consume it occasionally or not at all, according to data presented in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy for Cancer Research.

Investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed data from six case-control studies, conducted between 1999 and 2012, involving over 5,000 subjects (2,159 cases and 2,985 controls) from around the world.

They reported, [7] “Our pooled results showed no significant association between the intensity, duration, or cumulative consumption of cannabis smoke and the risk of lung cancer overall or in never smokers.”

Previous case-control studies have also failed to find an association [8] between cannabis smoking and head and neck cancers or cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract [9].
Nevertheless, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration continues to maintain [10], “Marijuana smokers increase their risk of cancer of the head, neck, lungs and respiratory track.”

Consistent use of cannabis associated is associated with reduced risk factors for Type 2 diabetes

Will the pot plant one day play a role in staving the ongoing epidemic of Type 2 diabetes? Emerging science indicates that it just might.

According to trial data [10] published this month in the American Journal of Medicine, subjects who regularly consume cannabis possess favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to occasional consumers or non-consumers.

Investigators at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, assessed [11] self-report data from some 5,000 adult onset diabetics patients regarding whether they smoked or had ever smoked marijuana. Researchers reported that those who were current, regular marijuana smokers possessed 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels and reduced insulin resistance compared to those who had never used pot. By contrast, non-users possessed larger waistlines and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’) cholesterol – both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Similar benefits were reported in occasional cannabis consumers, though these changes were less pronounced, “suggesting that the impact of marijuana use on insulin and insulin resistance exists during periods of recent use,” researchers reported.

The recent findings are supportive of the findings of 2012 study by a team of UCLA researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, which reported [12] that adults with a history of marijuana use had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possess a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption, even after researchers adjusted for social variables (ethnicity, level of physical activity, etc.) Concluded the study [13], “[This] analysis of adults aged 20-59 years … showed that participants who used marijuana had a lower prevalence of DM (Diabetes Mellitus) and lower odds of DM relative to non-marijuana users.”

Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

Inhaling cannabis dramatically mitigates symptoms of Crohn’sdisease

Smoking cannabis twice daily significantly reduces [14] symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disorder that is estimated to impact about half a million Americans. So say the results of the first-ever placebo-controlled trial [15] assessing the use of cannabis for Crohn’s – published online this month in the scientific journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers at the Meir Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Israel assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis versus placebo in 21 subjects with Crohn’s disease who were nonresponsive to conventional treatment regimens. Eleven participants smoked standardized cannabis cigarettes containing 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent cannabidiol [16] – a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid known to possess anti-inflammatory properties — twice daily over a period of eight weeks. The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.

Investigators reported, “Our data show that 8-weeks treatment with THC-rich cannabis, but not placebo, was associated with a significant decrease of 100 points in CDAI (Crohn’s Disease and activity index) scores.”  Five of the eleven patients in the study group reported achieving disease remission (defined as a reduction in patient’s CDAI score by more than 150 points). Participants who smoked marijuana reported decreased pain, improved appetite, and better sleep compared to control subjects. Researchers reported that “no significant side effects” were associated with cannabis inhalation.

The clinical results substantiate decades of anecdotal reports from Crohn’s patients, some one-half of which acknowledge [17] having used cannabis to mitigate symptoms of the disease.

Marijuana-like substances halt HIV infection in white blood cells . . .

Continue reading. I simply do not understand how the Obama Administration can support:

“Marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”

That statement is simply false. To stand behind it while rejecting a proposal to reevaluate marijuana shows incredibly bad faith and resistance to evidence and reasoned argument.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2013 at 1:06 pm

Ein Deutsch rasieren

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SOTD 31 May 2013

All German today: the Mühle silvertip badger brush did a fine job making a truly terrific lather from Tabula Rasa Patchouli shaving cream—and I do like the fragrance.

The Mühle 2013 R41, unlike the 2011 R41, is not bad for me at all. The 2011 model was so harsh that I simply could not use it. Those who like it use a very shallow angle. While this new one, a 2013 model, is not so harsh and provided a smooth shave with no nicks or burn, I still would not call it a comfortable razor, but those who want an open-comb razor that rewards skill with efficiency will probably like it. The razor head is slightly wider so that very little of the blade’s ends are exposed, a nice touch.

The blade today was a Trig, and in 3 passes I had a BBS shave. A good splash of Alt-Innsbruck and the week draws to a close.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2013 at 10:18 am

Posted in Shaving

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