June 22

June 22, 2017
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
Truth in history reveals Palestinians have been a pawn for years to encourage hatred against the State of Israel. Those who remember this history understand, but millions of young in the newer generations do not and have fallen into the trap of the anti-Israel retoric, believing the Palestinians are victims of Israel. They are victims, but not of the State of Israel. They are victims of their own brothers.
The Islamic Republic’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes remarks day before Iran marks then anti-Israel ‘Al Quds day.’
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has lashed out at Israel in a deluge of rhetoric against the Jewish state ahead of the Iranian-initiated ‘Al Quds day,’ which protests Israel’s existence.
“There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity [Israel],” read a post on his Twitter account Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting of academic and scientists in Tehran on Wednesday, the hardline Iranian leader stated that defending the Palestinians was tantamount to “defending the truth.”
“Today, fighting against the Zionist regime [of Israel] is fighting the hegemonic, arrogant system,” Khamenei said
Iran and anti-Israeli proponents around the world will mark Al Quds day on Friday. The event is held every year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has urged the global Muslim community to take part in the various international anti-Israel rallies on Friday.
In a communique on the matter, the regime in Tehran accused Israel of “tyranny, oppression and persecution” and blamed Israel for being “the main cause” behind the current crises in the Middle East.
Iran also charged Israel as being an “anti-human, child-killing and criminal Zionist regime, which, during the nearly 70 years of its disgraceful life has committed a large number of crimes against humanity.”
Iran’s own human rights record has been scrutinized by rights groups for issues including its treatment of women, homosexuals and minorities along with its policies on corporal punishment, political freedom and free speech.
In past years, Iranian demonstrators gas chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and torched flags of both nations as they commemorated Al Quds day.
On Sunday, several hundred people in London took part in the controversial Al Quds Day march held annually in the British capital.
A smaller counter-protest was held by Israeli supporters, mostly members of the local Jewish and Israeli community.
Pro-Israel advocates had called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel the rally due to concerns that the march allows for displays of support for antisemitism and terrorism. More than 15,000 people signed a petition to ban the march, however is was held as scheduled and police managed to keep the sides separated to prevent clashes.


Also, about the Ossoff loss (the #lOssoff?), Anna Galland writes:
“The lesson we’re taking: The campaign made a critical strategic mistake in trying too often to portray Ossoff as a centrist, focusing on cutting spending and coming out in opposition to Medicare for All. Of course there’s no silver bullet to winning elections — but we have to get this piece right as we look towards 2018. We can’t build a transformative electoral wave that blocks the runaway train of Trumpism and rewires politics for the common good unless candidates wholeheartedly embrace an inclusive progressive populist vision and agenda…[O]ur candidates must reflect the movements and communities they’re seeking to represent (e.g. more women and POC running for office and getting serious support).”
Listening to the Blabbemouth podcast, I heard Dan Savage make a related point. He said that people know what they’re getting when they vote Republican, and the Dems need similar branding. He also said the Dems need to stop acting like a minority party when we have the majority of the votes, and show the GOP that the Dems have “crazy in [our] eyes.” He says we need to bring a gun to a gunfight, and he’s right.
What Anna and Dan are both saying is that the left and the Dems–that don’t represent us, but represent some form of hope at fighting back against what I believe is true evil–need a clear message. That’s why Bernie was so popular, and so many people were almost violently loath to switch from their fervent support of him in the primaries to Hillary in the general. Because he represented something tangible to grab on to. He had an agenda with policies–really progressive, socialist, almost radical policies–that people could recognize.
It is always, historically, a HUGE mistake for the Dems to go closer to the center. Look at who the GOP just got elected. Is he a centrist?
What we just learned is not only that our country is full of crazy racists and misogynists. Women and POC have always known that. What we have also learned is that people respond to strong rhetoric, and a clear agenda–even if that agenda is totally fabricated.
Let’s put millions of dollars behind candidates with a strong progressive agenda–like single-payer health care–and see if that doesn’t get some attention.
Centrism is dead. Let’s stop emulating or negotiating with these domestic terrorists. The #notmyPresident of the United States himself would never practice the art of that deal.

This will reach at least 1 person today

This will reach at least 1 person today. You know who you are.
Today is your wake up call.
Quit being an Askhole to your friends and family.
Quit asking for advice yet NEVER using it.
Quit ear-fucking us to death with your dreams and desires for life yet never doing anything about it.
Our ears are worn the fuck out hearing you talk about doing something yet never doing it.
And don’t get us started on all the relationship advice you ask for yet never do anything about. I’ll save that for another post.

“If there is nothing after Death

“If there is nothing after Death, there is really no reason for life. This puts the Materilist at a great disadvantage. Materilism is never a solution to anything. We are reminded of the two scientists standing beside the casket of one of their illustrious Brothers, who is in line waiting for the final interment, one says to the other, “Well, he’s all dressed up, but he has no place to go.” And this has been the frustration of materialism. No matter how wealthy a person becomes, how much power he attains, how popular he is, how deep an impression he may leave upon Society, what does it all mean ? It ends in nothing for him. He will not even be able to remember if he was fortunate or unfortunate. This may be a relief for a few, but for the most it is a great disillusionment.
~Manly P. Hall : Before we are born (Audio Lecture)

Washington Post: “The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday asked a drug company to remove its opioid pain medication from the market

Washington Post: “The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday asked a drug company to remove its opioid pain medication from the market, the first time the agency has made such a request because of the public health consequences of abuse.
The agency concluded after an extensive review of Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Opana ER that the “benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks.” The company reformulated the drug in 2012 to make it more difficult to snort, but the FDA said that move actually led to more injections — and a major HIV outbreak.
FDA Commissioner Scott ­Gottlieb, who has pledged to take “more forceful” steps to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic, said the agency’s action reflects its increased focus on the risks posed by the illicit use of opioids. The FDA “is looking broadly at the whole policy framework” used for the painkillers, he said Thursday.
The medication was approved in 2006 for moderate to severe pain when a round-the-clock painkiller is needed.
During the drug’s reformulation, Endo introduced a coating designed to deter people from crushing and snorting the medication.
Play Video 5:27
Users of opioid painkillers often grapple with risking addiction or living with pain
Respondents who took part in The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey on long-term, opioid painkiller use share their experiences of living with pain. (Monica Akhtar, Erin Patrick O’Connor/The Washington Post)
But the FDA declined to give it an “abuse deterrent” label, saying the data didn’t support such a designation.
The FDA said Thursday that subsequent data showed a “significant shift” in the route of abuse “from nasal to injection” after the reformulation.
Increased needle-sharing of the drug has since been linked to serious blood disorder cases in Tennessee in 2012 and a 2015 outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C in Indiana, officials said.
[Health officials vow to develop drugs to curb the opioid crisis]
In March, an FDA advisory committee voted, in an 18-to-8 decision, that the benefits of the reformulated Opana ER no longer outweighed the risks it posed.
“The abuse and manipulation of reformulated Opana ER by injection has resulted in a serious disease outbreak,” Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Thursday. “When we determined that the product had dangerous unintended consequences, we made a decision to request its withdrawal from the market.”
If the company declines to remove the product, the FDA will take steps to formally require its removal by withdrawing agency approval.
Increased needle-sharing of opioid has been linked to serious blood disorder cases a outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C, officials said. (AP)
In a statement, the company said it was reviewing the FDA’s request but that it “remains confident in the body of evidence established through clinical research demonstrating that Opana ER has a favorable risk-benefit profile when used as intended in appropriate patients.”
Michael Botticelli, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy for nearly three years under President Barack Obama, said the FDA action is “a real encouraging step. It sounds as if the FDA is using expanded criteria in the way they look at opioids.”
[House panel probes drug distributors and DEA amid national opioid problem]
The agency has been criticized in the past for examining the safety and effectiveness of individual opioid painkillers without considering the wider effects each could have on the nation’s epidemic.
“This falls in line, I think, with their recently released guidance on how they were going to think of drugs and drug approval,” Botticelli said.
From 2000 to 2015, nearly 180,000 Americans died of overdoses of prescription opioids, and tens of thousands more have succumbed to heroin and fentanyl overdoses as the crisis has evolved.
Opana ER brought in $158 million in sales last year for Endo, a 10 percent drop from 2015 because of generic competition, according to FiercePharma, a trade site. The company, which is based in Dublin and has its U.S. headquarters in Malvern, Pa., recently announced two rounds of job cuts.”

Do not mistake admission rate for severity of opioid problems

Do not mistake admission rate for severity of opioid problems. Poorer states have the ER’s “treat and street” (I.e. never admit the patient). States with more comprehensive substance abuse programs as endpoints tend to be more likely to admit.
Washington Post: “The coast-to-coast opioid epidemic is swamping hospitals, with government data published Tuesday showing 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in a single year.
The 2014 numbers, the latest available for every state and the District of Columbia, reflect a 64 percent increase for inpatient care and a 99 percent jump for emergency room treatment compared to figures from 2005. Their trajectory likely will keep climbing if the epidemic continues unabated.
The report, released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), puts Maryland at the very top of the national list for inpatient care. The state, already struggling with overdoses from heroin and prescription opioids, has seen the spread of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which can be mixed with heroin or cocaine and is extraordinarily powerful. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) this year declared a state of emergency in response to the crisis.
A state report released this month showed that opioid-related deaths in Maryland had nearly quadrupled since 2010, and deaths from fentanyl had increased 38-fold in the past decade. Baltimore City saw 694 deaths from drug and alcohol-related overdoses in 2016 — nearly two a day, and a stunning spike from 2015, when 393 people died from overdoses.
“We see overdoses in all ethnic groups, in all Zip codes,” said Leana Wen, the city’s health commissioner.
Wen signed an order June 1 making naloxone, the overdose-reversal medication, available over the counter at pharmacies, and she urged residents to obtain it. She said the new numbers showing the surge in hospital visits was not surprising and noted that many people who show up seeking treatment for addiction cannot receive it immediately.
“We are not anywhere close to getting everyone treatment at the time that they are requesting for help,” Wen said.
Trailing Maryland for opioid-related hospitalizations is Massachusetts, followed by the District of Columbia. The AHRQ’s data-driven report does not speculate on why some states have such high rates of hospital admissions. It suggests that people in the most urban places are more likely to be treated in a hospital than those in rural areas — which would indicate that lack of access to medical care is a factor in the uptick in death rates seen in less-urban parts of the country in recent years.
“Our data tell us what is going on. They tell us what the facts are. But they don’t give us the underlying reasons for what we’re seeing here,” said report co-author Anne Elixhauser, a senior research scientist at AHRQ.
The sharpest increase in hospitalization and emergency room treatment for opioids was among people ages 25 to 44, echoing The Washington Post’s recent reporting that found death rates from all causes in that age bracket have gone up nationally since 2010.
The data also show that women are now as likely as men to be admitted to a hospital for inpatient treatment for opioid-related problems. In 2005, there was a significant gap between men and women, with men more likely to be admitted for such treatment. That gap closed entirely by 2014 even as the hospitalization rate rose for both sexes. Men are still more likely than women to be treated at, and released from, hospital emergency departments.
The report identifies big increases in hospitalizations among people older than 65, but Elixhauser said those cases predominantly result from reactions to prescription medication, rather than from overdoses or the use of heroin or other illegal drugs.
Play Video 5:27
Users of opioid painkillers often grapple with risking addiction or living with pain
Respondents who took part in The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey on long-term, opioid painkiller use share their experiences of living with pain. (Monica Akhtar, Erin Patrick O’Connor/The Washington Post)
The broad but uneven repercussions of the opioid epidemic emerge through the data. Texas, Nebraska and Iowa, for example, have remarkably low rates of hospital admissions. So do California and Florida. It’s unclear if, when and to what extent the epidemic will surge into places relatively quiet so far, at least compared to hard-hit states in New England and Appalachia.
The researchers used the typical income from a patient’s Zip code to estimate the income range of people affected. The results showed that rates of hospital admission or emergency room visits were higher in poorer neighborhoods but that the increases were uniform between 75 percent and 85 percent across all income ranges.
The top 10 states with the highest rate of opioid-related hospital admissions in 2014 were, in addition to Maryland and Massachusetts: Rhode Island, New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Illinois and Maine.
The 10 states with the lowest rate of inpatient stays that year were: Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, South Dakota, Arkansas, South Carolina and Hawaii.
The extremes were stark. Maryland recorded nearly 404 admissions because of opioids per 100,000 residents. In Iowa, the rate was just under 73.

Scientific American: “By Reuters Television & Darren Schuettler

Scientific American: “By Reuters Television & Darren Schuettler
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has congratulated a group of Australian students who reproduced the active ingredient for a life-saving, anti-parasitic drug at the center of a drug-price controversy involving his former company.
The students from Sydney Grammar School drew global media attention this week after they said they had produced the drug Daraprim for about $2 a dose, a fraction of the current list price of $750 per dose.
Shkreli is a former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, where he sparked outrage among patients and U.S. lawmakers for raising the price of Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.
“These Australian students are proof that the 21st century economy will solve problems of human suffering through science and technology,” Shkreli said in a video message posted on YouTube.
Martin Shkreli, left, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, leaves a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Rayburn Building on ‘methods and reasoning behind recent drug price increases,’ after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on February 4, 2016. Credit: Tom Williams Getty Images
By Reuters Television & Darren Schuettler
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has congratulated a group of Australian students who reproduced the active ingredient for a life-saving, anti-parasitic drug at the center of a drug-price controversy involving his former company.
The students from Sydney Grammar School drew global media attention this week after they said they had produced the drug Daraprim for about $2 a dose, a fraction of the current list price of $750 per dose.
Shkreli is a former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, where he sparked outrage among patients and U.S. lawmakers for raising the price of Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.
“These Australian students are proof that the 21st century economy will solve problems of human suffering through science and technology,” Shkreli said in a video message posted on YouTube.
Martin Shkreli, a former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, drew outrage for raising the price of malaria medication Daraprim by 5,000 percent. When Australian students said they had experimentally produced the drug for just $2 a dose, Shkreli initially derided their efforts in the above tweets—but he later that said the media had misrepresented his tweets, and released a YouTube video praising the students. Source: @MartinShkreli
“We should congratulate these students for their interest in chemistry and I’ll be excited about what is to come in this STEM-focused 21st century,” he said, referring to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Daraprim is used to fight parasitic infections in AIDS patients, pregnant women and others.
The six students and their science teacher worked under the guidance of the University of Sydney and members of the Open Source Malaria consortium, which allows scientists to share research on anti-malaria drugs.
“We had to repeat a lot of the reactions and try different reaction conditions in order to see which materials in which things would react to make the Daraprim,” student Brandon Lee told Reuters Television on Friday.
Turing made front-page headlines after it bought the rights to Daraprim in August 2015. With no rival manufacturers making the drug, Turing quickly raised the price for a tablet of Daraprim to $750 from $13.50.
Overnight, the tiny company was vilified as an example of pharmaceutical industry greed, drawing fire from politicians and medical groups. Turing later said it would cut the cost of the drug to hospitals.
Lee said the students wanted to show that “these compounds which you think are only accessible to these large, large-scale companies are actually able to be accessed and produced by ordinary citizens”.
Shkreli stepped down as Turing’s chief executive in December 2015 after being indicted on charges that he engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme at a hedge fund and Retrophin Inc, a company he once headed. He has pleaded not guilty.”

Washington Post: “The Supreme Court just made a major decision without actually issuing a decision

Washington Post: “The Supreme Court just made a major decision without actually issuing a decision. On Monday morning, the justices announced that they would take up a case out of Wisconsin that could result in a ruling on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.
Democrats should be cautiously very happy with this.
No, it doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will suddenly strike down the practice altogether, but it does mean that the court could deliver what would be basically an unprecedented rebuke of a practice that has, according to a recent study, prevented Democrats from controlling the U.S. House for potentially four of the past six years.
The Post’s Supreme Court guru Robert Barnes explains the significance here:
The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes.
But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states.
The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections.
In other words, the fact that the justices are even going to hear this case suggests that it could result in a ruling on the constitutionality question. And since the court has never struck down a map for partisan gerrymandering, that ruling could move the needle in a way we have never seen before.
Basically any movement in that needle would be in Democrats’ favor. In recent years, Republicans have enjoyed a very large edge when it comes to control of the redistricting process throughout the United States. The GOP won a huge wave election in the 2010 contests, which happened to come just before the once-per-decade census and before state legislatures in most states across the country redrew their congressional and state legislative maps.
Republicans used this edge to draw very GOP-friendly maps in big swing states and even some blue-leaning states like Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. And in large part because of those state legislative maps, they retain historic control through today, including complete control of state government in 25 out of 50 states, compared to just seven for Democrats. And that, in turn, would mean they get to draw many of these maps again. It’s a vicious cycle for Democrats.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Supreme Court does rule that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional. How much would Democrats stand to gain?
The Brennan Center tried to answer this question a few weeks back, as it happens. Using a number of methods, they estimated the number of seats Republicans and Democrats have gained in each state compared to what you might expect with a politically neutral map. (A “politically neutral map” is a very hypothetical concept that is open to interpretation, it should be noted.)
[Republican redistricting is taking a beating in the courts (again)]
Basically, it took the actual GOP share of seats in states that were big enough to allow for gerrymandering to shift seats, and compared it to various definitions of what you might expect under a neutral map. One method is the “efficiency gap,” which compares how many seats the GOP controls to the raw vote totals. In Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, this method suggests the GOP gained multiple seats via its redistricting advantage. Other methods showed similar gains in similar states. Democrats gained seats in Maryland and Massachusetts, where they were in control, but their overall gains were nowhere close to the GOP’s.
In the end, the Brennan analysis suggests the GOP won between 25 and 37 extra seats in the 2012 election because of its redistricting advantage. In 2014, the advantage was smaller — between four and 20 seats — and in 2016 it got bigger again, with a GOP gain of between 16 and 29 seats.
And here’s the key takeaway: Those shifts were good enough to hand Republicans the majority in 2012 and potentially in 2016, too. Given the GOP had a 234-201 majority after the 2012 election, shifting 25 seats would have given Democrats a 226-209 majority. And that’s Brennan’s most GOP-friendly estimate; if 37 seats flipped, Democrats would have held a 238-197 majority.
The GOP would have held on to its majorities in 2014 regardless, according to the estimates. But in 2016, that 16-to-29-seat gain for the GOP through redistricting may have accounted for its majority. If 23 or fewer seats shifted because of the GOP’s redistricting advantage, the GOP would have held its majority. If 24 or more shifted, Democrats would have taken control.
But that doesn’t mean the Supreme Court is about to hand the keys to the U.S. House back to Democrats. And all of this comes with a couple of big caveats.
The first is that we don’t know if the court will actually strike down partisan gerrymandering writ large or just rule narrowly on the Wisconsin case. Barnes notes a significant aspect of the court’s announcement Monday:
The justices gave themselves a bit of an out: They said they will further consider their jurisdiction over the case when it is heard on its merits.
The second is that even a pretty sweeping decision won’t suddenly result in those idealized, hypothetical neutral maps. It will certainly give Republicans some pause in drawing pretty nakedly politically advantageous maps and make it easier for courts to strike them down. But politicians are clever when it comes to self-preservation and partisanship, and the whoever is in charge will undoubtedly find other justifications for maps that appear to be partisan gerrymanders.
In other words, it’s unlikely that the court will do something that suddenly shifts 10, 20 or 30 or more seats toward Democrats — either in 2018 or after the next census and redistricting process. But basically any movement away from partisan gerrymandering will accrue to Democrats’ benefit.
And given that they’ve been in the minority since after the 2010 election and probably face another grim redistricting process in 2021 and 2022, that’s got to be encouraging.”


Okay, techies and poet friends – my laptop has had some issues pretty much since I took it out of the box. I am in the market for a new one, and would like to know what you have used as writers that has been pretty high-powered and reliable (no going on the fritz at random times)? My last two laptops have been an HP SPECTRE and an Apple MacBook Pro, both of which had copious technical issues and neither of which lasted even two years.
Ok, thanks in advance for recommendations!

Holy Fucking Shit

Holy Fucking Shit, I have to share this audio with you all because talk about AH-MAZE-ING!!!?!?!!
First of all, if you don’t already follow Natalya, what are you even doing? This girl has a MIGHTY motha’effin’ roar– a TOTAL lioness. Nooooottttt to mention, she’s about to take over the WORLD one paw at a time and tousle her mane ferociously in your face with a quake that’s undeniable.
It’s inevitable– you’re gonna follow her sooner or later, so you might as well do it NOW, BABY NOW!
Natalya, Thank you for being a perfect gleaming example of what it means to show up powerfully, authentically, gracefully, in flow, on purpose, like you FUCKING mean it!! You blow me away every day with your big juicy heart, your bold vivacity, and your oh-so-lovable charm. You are such a beaut & I am BEYOND blessed to be witnessing you unfolding. I fuckin’ love you. Like FOR REAL!