Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi is telling all when it comes to placing blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. He says drug distributors pumped opioids into communities in the United States knowing that people were dying and that the US government is helping. Joe Rannazzisi is a tough and blunt former DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) deputy assistant administrator with a law degree, a pharmacy degree, and a growing rage at the unrelenting death toll from opioids. Congress has often been complicit in atrocities, especially when a politician profits off of the removal of the rights of others. So it should not come as a surprise that Rannazzisi is blaming Congress and the drug industry for the opioid epidemic gripping the nation. Rannazzisi ran the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. Now in a joint investigation by 60 Minutesand The Washington Post, Rannazzisi tells the inside story of how, he says, the opioid crisis was allowed to spread. Its quick spread was also aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.
Fresh off its humiliating six-year-long debacle in Syria, and with very few viable wars within its grasp, the Pentagon, along with the Israeli Lobby-led US Congress and Senate – are now trying to tighten to noose on Iran. For the last 3 weeks, hawkish Republican Senators have been pressuring President Donald Trump to ‘decertify’ the Iran nuclear deal in October, and to reimpose harsh sanctions – despite the fact that Iran is in full compliance with the international P5+1 brokered nuclear containment agreement. According to the terms of the deal as recognized by Congress, the President must re-certify the deal every 90 days.
On April 30, 1934, under pressure from Italian-American lobby groups, the United States Congress passed a law enshrining Columbus Day as a national holiday. President Franklin Roosevelt quickly signed the bill into law, and the very first Columbus Day was celebrated in October of that year. Undoubtedly people had a different view of the world back then… and a different set of values. Few cared about the plight of the indigenous who were wiped out as a result of European conquest. Even just a few decades ago when I was a kid in elementary school, I remember learning that ‘Columbus discovered America’. There was no discussion of genocide. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore at West Point that I picked up Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States (and then Columbus’s own diaries) and started reading about the mass-extermination of entire tribes.
These are a few observations leading to a hypothesis. First, there is a video, taken at ground level, of a man going from victim to victim lying on the ground at the concert. He is checking their pulses, asking if they’re all right, calling for medical help. Notice the color of the blood on the ground and on the victims. It is a quite bright red. Would real bloodstains on the ground be that color, or would they be darker? Next, there is the matter of how Stephen Paddock, the accused shooter, brought 23 weapons and ammo into the Mandalay Hotel and up to his suite. He was a well-known high-stakes gambler. Hotel personnel surely knew him. They knew he lived in the Vegas area. Yet there he is with a number of suitcases – or over the course of a few days, he appears in the lobby with another suitcase or two each time. These hotels are security-conscious to the max. No suspicion was aroused? And Paddock risked exposure to take weapons he would never use up to his suite? Did Paddock bring in the weapons through another hotel entrance with the help of staff? Was this part of the operation an inside job? Did he actually bring in all these weapons? Or was his hotel suite staged as a prop by others? Was it set up as a showcase for gun-control advocates who, after the fact, would push for new restrictive laws?
Jimmy Kimmel is once again trying to be the moral voice of our country in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. Two weeks ago, Kimmel dedicated his late-night show to stopping GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. Now, he is using his platform to call for immediate action on guns. In a monologue frequently interrupted by the comedy host being on the brink of tears, Kimmel condemned Republican lawmakers for letting the ‘gun lobby’ take over America. He dismissed their offerings of prayers for the Las Vegas victims and suggested, ‘they should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.’ All of this made for good viral material to influence the current gun debate. Liberals and Democrats are all behind Kimmel’s desire to act immediately on guns – yet, there is no real legislation that would have done a damn thing to stop the deadliest mass shooting in American history. (RELATED: Democrats Immediately Call For Gun Control After Las Vegas Shooting) The current focus is stopping a bill that would remove restrictions on gun suppressors, an item the Las Vegas shooter did not use. Noted firearm expert Hillary Clinton has offered the theory that a silencer would have allowed the shooter to kill dozens with no one hearing him, apparently believing that a suppressor makes one of those dreaded assault rifles completely inaudible.
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story? Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is ‘now religious dogma’ – a requirement – to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that ‘an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.’ In other words, the United States no longer has a media. It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.
Via The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board, Congress needs to learn how the FBI meddled in the 2016 campaign. When Donald Trump claimed in March that he’d had his ‘wires tapped’ prior to the election, the press and Obama officials dismissed the accusation as a fantasy. We were among the skeptics, but with former director James Comey’s politicized FBIthe story is getting more complicated. CNN reported Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant last year to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from May to August in 2016. The story claims the FBI first wiretapped Mr. Manafort in 2014 while investigating his work as a lobbyist for Ukraine’s ruling party. That warrant lapsed, but the FBI convinced the court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a second order as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the election.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.
When it comes to the U. S. economy, the ‘con’ part offers the best description of the current relationship between business, government and the preyed upon consumer. The way things work in early 21st century America is large businesses bribe politicians in a variety of ways at both the local and federal level, and the end result is laws that are designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of the wellbeing and freedom of the American public. Politicians end up with financial war chests to run their next campaign, while bureaucrats see a lucrative opportunity to swing through the ever spinning revolving door should they play ball with lobbyists and their patrons. Yes, there’s always some degree of corruption within any society of humans, but there are peaks and valleys in such cycles. I’d argue we are somewhere in the peak corruption phase. Today’s article focuses on one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, electric utilities. It’s one of the most boring businesses in America. I know this because it fell under the umbrella of my responsibilities during my last Wall Street job, and I could barely read a utilities research report without immediately falling asleep. Nevertheless, as you’ll see in today’s piece, the industry still finds a way to generate large profits while simultaneously harming the people its supposed to service. When I think about solar panels, its not just the use of a renewable resource I find appealing, but also the potential to take energy generation into your own hands; something that can prove quite useful in a major global crisis, or even something more minor like Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida. The latter could’ve be a lifesaver for some Florida residents recently, but a local electric utility has done everything in its power to deny its customers such freedom.
Authored by Andrew Korybko via OrinetalReview.org, The US government is blatantly violating the most basic tenets of its purportedly ‘sacred’ ideology of ‘human rights’ and ‘free speech’ by egregiously overstepping the bounds of FARA to engage in the same type of state-sponsored intimidation that it regularly accuses its geopolitical opponents of for far less. Yahoo broke the story earlier on Monday that the FBI questioned former Sputnik employee Andrew Feinburg following his public complaints to the media about how the company is supposedly being run, and this reportedly came after another former employee, Joseph John Fionda, allegedly contacted the FBI on his own initiative to share ‘a big packet’ of information accusing Sputnik of breaking the law. The legislation at the center of this scandal is the ‘Foreign Agents Registration Act’ (FARA), a 1938 law originally passed to expose Nazi influence operations inside of the US. It’s since been used for registering anyone who works as a ‘foreign agent’, which stereotypically refers to Congressional lobbyists hired by foreign governments but is nowadays being proposed by some US voices to apply to Sputnik and RT as well. The basis for this move is that both companies are publicly funded by the Russian government, and that this therefore supposedly makes them ‘propaganda’ because it’s assumed by the American authorities that all of their employees lack ‘editorial independence’ from the Kremlin. As could have been expected, the same forces pushing for Sputnik and RT to register as ‘foreign agents’ under FARA aren’t interested in equally applying these expanded ‘standards’ to other publicly financed international media outlets such as Al Jazeera and the BBC.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.
The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us. The latest spin on ‘Russia stole the election’ is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it. We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so? Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election? What is the difference between influencing the election and influencing the government? Washington is full of lobbyists of all descriptions, including lobbyists for foreign governments, working round the clock to influence the US government. It is safe to say that the least represented in the government are the citizens themselves who don’t have any lobbyists working for them. The orchestrated hysteria over ‘Russian influence’ is even more absurd considering the reason Russia allegedly interfered in the election. Russia favored Trump because he was the peace candidate who promised to reduce the high tensions with Russia created by the Obama regime and its neocon nazis – Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power. What’s wrong with Russia preferring a peace candidate over a war candidate? The American people themselves preferred the peace candidate. So Russia agreed with the electorate.
About 10 years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: ‘To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.’ Wu was right. And now, Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power. It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent. When Google was founded in 1998, it famously committed itself to the motto: ‘Don’t be evil.’ It appears that Google may have lost sight of what being evil means, in the way that most monarchs do: Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent. As Lord Acton famously said, ‘Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.’ Those with too much power cannot help but be evil. Google, the company dedicated to free expression, has chosen to silence opposition, apparently without any sense of irony. In recent years, Google has become greedy about owning not just search capacities, video and maps, but also the shape of public discourse. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, Google has recruited and cultivated law professors who support its views. And as the New York Times recently reported, it has become invested in building curriculum for our public schools, and has created political strategy to get schools to adopt its products.
On August 21st many Americans witnessed the moon cast a historic but short-lived shadow across the United States. One day later, President Trump reversed his previously stated position on the 16 year old Afghan War, thereby eclipsing the possibility that the United States would finally come to its senses and rethink a failed strategy that is likely to fail for years, perhaps decades, to come. The abrupt change, in what had been a central plank in candidate Trump’s appeal to voters thirsting for change in American foreign policy, came hard after the departure of Steve Bannon from the White House. As a self-avowed nationalist, Bannon had represented a true break in interventionist Republican thinking that had entangled the United States in intractable conflicts around the globe. To put an exclamation point, Sebastian Gorka, the last remaining proponent of the Bannon perspective, was forced out of the White House. The counter-revolution appears to be complete. In his widely-followed speech regarding Afghan policy, Trump now appears to favor a widening of the military effort to insure that the United States continues to exert an influence on a remote central Asian region, where it is often said that empires go to die. A big part of Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ appeal, lay in his promise to change the politics of Washington. To many voters, such a shift would include a break from America’s ‘Neo-Con’ agenda of foreign intervention, which has deeply enmeshed the country in foreign politics and has enriched the defense industry and its lobbyists. However, given the Administration’s failure to break the Congressional inertia with respect to healthcare and now its reversal on Afghanistan, it appears as if the swamp refuses to be drained.
This post was published at Euro Pac on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
With a Republican in the White House, the anti-gun-control lobby smells a bit of blood in the water. Now is the time, they suggest, to pass national gun-licensing reciprocity laws forcing gun-restrictive states to recognize permits issued by gun-permissive states. Writing in The Hill, Tim Schmidt sums it up: It is time for there to be national reciprocity for concealed carry permits, instead of the patchwork of laws governing reciprocity that vary by state. Virginia, where the [recent shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise] happened, has reciprocity for some states’ concealed carry permits, but if members would have brought their guns back and forth from D. C., they would have been breaking the law. It should never be a crime to be responsibly prepared to defend yourself in any possible situation. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N. C.) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would allow legal gun owners and concealed carry permit holders nationwide to responsibly arm themselves no matter where they are.
City of London Police investigating after a man died falling from upper floor in London Stock Exchange – incident treated as non-suspicious — Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) August 15, 2017
An unidentified man fell to his death from the seventh floor of the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Reuters and British news outlets reported. *** ‘We were called to the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square on Tuesday, 15 August at 9.58am to a report of a man who had fallen from an upper floor in the building to the ground’ City of London police said. “The man was pronounced dead,” police said, adding that they were treating the incident as non-suspicious. According to The Independent, the man is believed to fallen from the building at around 9.45am, landing in the front lobby. Police were called at 9.58am and the man was pronounced dead at 10.10am today.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.
The latest U.S. sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response have resulted in a torrent of speculations in the official media and the blogosphere – everybody is trying to make sense of a situation which appears to make no sense at all. Why in the world would the U.S. Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single U.S. Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?! This is even more baffling when you consider that the single biggest effect of these sanctions will be to trigger a rift, and possibly even counter-sanctions, between the U.S. and the E.U. What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don’t think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies. And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this. Does that make any sense to you? Let’s try to figure out what is going on here. First, a simple reminder: like all U.S. politicians, from the county level to the U.S. Congress, Senators have only one consideration when then vote – ‘what’s in it for me?’. The very last thing which any U.S. Senator really cares about are the real life consequences of his/her vote. This means that to achieve the kind of quasi unanimity (98%) for a totally stupid vote there was some kind of very influential lobby which used some very forceful ‘arguments’ to achieve such a vote. Keep in mind that the Republicans in the Senate knew that they were voting against the wishes of their President. And yet every single one except for Rand Paul voted for these sanctions, that should tell you something about the power of the lobby which pushed for them. So who would have such power?
Kamala Harris’ coming out party as the person chosen to be manufactured as a puppet for the rich and powerful going into 2020 became obvious last month with the publication of an article in The New York Post titled, Dems’ Rising Star Meets With Clinton Inner Circle in Hamptons. Here are a few excerpts: The Democrats’ ‘Great Freshman Hope,’ Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to the Hamptons to meet with Hillary Clinton’s biggest backers. The California senator is being fted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top ‘bundlers’ for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million. Guests there to greet Harris are expected to include Margo Alexander, a member of Clinton’s inner circle; Dennis Mehiel, a Democratic donor who is the chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, even though he lives between a sprawling Westchester estate and an Upper East Side pad; designer Steven Gambrel and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman. Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins is also hosting a separate Hamptons lunch for Harris. Despite being less than seven months into her new job as senator, Harris is already said to be the Democrats’ top fund-raiser and is being talked about as a 2020 presidential hopeful. Harris has denied having ‘national aspirations,’ but this Hamptons trip proves it isn’t far from her mind. A Democratic insider said, ‘Kamala is the big Democratic star right now, at a time when they badly need a star. She’s coming to the Hamptons to meet key people as she takes a national stage, and expands her influence and ambitions.’
Earlier this week, 21WIRE reported on President Trump’s recent ban on transgender persons in the US Military. Predictably, the White House announcement triggered an uproar from Hollywood’s progressive alliance and LGBT lobby. US Army whistlerblower Bradley Manning, who later changed his name to Chelsea Manning and is in the process of trying to change his sex to female, tweeted this:
After a quiet few hours contemplating the National Scout Jamboree, President Trump just unleashed ‘hell’ once again at Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post, and Amazon.com. *** President Trump took his first shot at what appears to be referencing an article about his decision to end a CIA program that backed Syrian rebels. The Post reported last week that Trump shuttered a CIA program to support Syrian rebels in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a major victory for Russia. Russian officials had reportedly seen the program as an attack on the country’s interests…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 24, 2017.