New York City has its first Ebola case

Dr. Craig Spencer, who has been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, was rushed to the hospital by emergency services workers in protective gear after developing a high fever. City health officials confirmed that he tested positive for Ebola, and are trying to track down anyone who might have had contact with him—a tough task given that he took the subway to a bowling alley on Wednesday night.

One of Stevens’ neighbors was unperturbed when interviewed by theNew York Daily News, even though emergency services have sealed off the apartment unit he reportedly shared with his fiancee.

“I’m not concerned,” said Brooke Christensen, who lives in Stevens’ building on W. 147th St. in Manhattan. “I’ve had no fluid exchanges with my neighbors.”

Found at Quartz.

i do not always fuck up

Does Legal Weed Violate International Drug Treaties?

The United States government has been in violation of international drug treaties for the past few years, ever since allowing the fine people of Colorado and Washington to buy and sell recreational reefer without fear of prosecution. However, a recent report from the Brookings Institution finds that while this metaphorical pissing on the United Nations has not brought down the savage hand of international authorities, that could all change next month when voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia head to the polls to decide on joining the statewide cannabis circus.
Wells Bennett, a fellow in National Security Law, who works with the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program, claims that while the U.S. government has stood beside several international treaties, including the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which holds Uncle Sam responsible for punishing criminals dealing in recreational weed, that allegiance was compromised in 2012, with the passing of Colorado’s Amendment 64.
Yet, the Obama Administration maintains that it is in compliance of these treaties because the marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington “leave room for flexibility and prosecutorial discretion.” This means that although the Justice Department stated earlier this year that it would not interfere with the cannabis markets in those states, the word of Attorney General Eric Holder is subject to change as soon as he feels it has become necessary to bring the hammer down.
Despite this, Bennett believes this “wait-and-see” concept is only plausible on a short-term level, and insists it will create a myriad of issues with international law if states continue down the progressive path to legal weed.
“A wait-and-see strategy, under these circumstances, will look really good if marijuana legalization goes really badly. But if legalization proceeds in a smart and rigorous way — if 10, 15, 20 states enact and operate responsible regimes for the regulation of marijuana — we will be enforcing the Controlled Substances Act less and less in jurisdictions that have regulated, legal marijuana markets,” he said.
“That will create more and more tension with our international commitments to suppress marijuana. At that point, it will be extraordinarily difficult for the [United States] to maintain that it complies with its obligations.”
Considering this supposed violation to international drug treaties, how is it that the United States has escaped penalties for going rogue with reefer? It essentially boils down to drug treaties being difficult to enforce. In fact, after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, Raymond Yans, head of the International Narcotics Control Board, released a statement proclaiming his disdain for the United States’ deflection from the global agreement, but he never perused the issue.
In a press release, Yans said, “Legalization of cannabis within these states would send wrong and confusing signals to youth and society in general, giving the false impression that drug abuse might be considered normal and even, most disturbingly, safe.”
Interestingly, the Brookings report claims that if the U.S. government continues to advance in its will to allow individual states to legalize marijuana, there is a distinct possibility that world leaders will be forced to remove the herb from its Schedule I classification. Yet, this will not be an easy task, as posting any reform to an international drug treaty would take overwhelming support from over 100 countries that have agreed to the rules.
Removing marijuana from its dangerous drug classification could be a topic of focus, however, when the UN’s General Assembly Special Session on drugs gathers in 2016 to discuss a number of issues pertaining to controlled substances, including legalization. There is speculation that a recent report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, advising world leaders to experiment with the decriminalization of all illegal substance, will be discussed in detail.
From HERE.

Hope in the Way of Research for Cancers and Other Disorders

Despite the fact that marijuana’s psychoactive properties have led to legal regulations that shackles the hands of scientists that could easily unveil a plethora of medicinal uses, research into both natural and synthetic cannabinoids has continued.

And luckily for those suffering with potentially deadly diseases such as breast cancer, studies are now being conducted concerning the prospective effectiveness of cannabinoids, both natural and synthetic, as anticancer agents.

Initial studies involving marijuana focused on the cannabinoid that causes all the legal debate, delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which was first isolated back in the ’60s, man.

Although several other active compounds were able to be isolated as time moved on, notably delta-8-THC, Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabidiol (CBD), and Cannabicyclol (CBL), it wasn’t until 1988 that scientists would stumble upon what would go on to be identified as the first cannabinoid receptor.

That groundbreaking discovery was pursued in 1993 with the discovery of a second form of the cannabinoid receptor, which shares 44 percent amino acid characteristics and a diverse however comparable binding profile for cannabinoid compounds.

This scientific progress led to the current terminology that researchers use today known as the CB1, for the original receptor form, and CB2, obviously for the second form.

Cannabinoid receptors are pretty much scattered throughout our bodies, with CB1 receptors located all through the brain, spleen, eye, testis, and uterus, where CB2 receptors are related with the cells and organs of the body’s immune system as well as tumor cells.

The unfortunate news is that scientists have known for over 30 years now that the use of cannabinoids are an effective treatment of the progression of tumors.

Even our beloved federal government knows that cannabinoids possess numerous medicinal properties, going as far as to secure a copyright (Patent # 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants) of all things!

That’s irreverence at its finest being displayed right there! But I digress.

Just think, if it weren’t for the pioneering few that cleverly used isolated forms of synthetic cannabinoids in order to conduct research that would help prove marijuana’s medicinal worth, the only evidence we would have to go on would be that of anecdotal.

The science concerning marijuana is on the move, regardless of the government’s antiquated policy in respect to its use.

Get involved and “be the change”.

From HERE.

hurt your feelings stupid

Europe sets a major emissions target.

The EU signed a pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. Green groups said key aspects of the deal were left vague or voluntary.

Cannabinoids: The Future of Breast Cancer Therapy?

Thanks to the technical discovery of the first cannabinoid-specific membrane receptor (CB1), which wascharacterized back in 1988 and then cloned in 1990, we now have scientific evidence suggesting that cannabinoid-based medicines may be valuable for the treatment of most breast tumor subtypes.

Sadly so, breast cancer is a widespread disease that affects roughly 1 in 10 women at some point throughout their life, raising great need for new strategies to combat the potentially deadly malady.

Although some drug developers have seen significant success with their medicines, certain breast tumors are opposed to the usual therapies offered by Western medicine, resulting in relapse for a sizeable amount of breast cancer patients.

So what’s the answer? Is it marijuana?

Well, it’s quite plausible, especially when you take into consideration the number of scientific studies that has recently been conducted regarding the medicinal usefulness of cannabinoids as an anticancer agent.

In addition, we have an ample amount of experimental evidence that’s been collected over the last decade or so supporting that cannabinoids, the active compounds of the marijuana plant and their derivatives, do indeed possess anticancer action.

Cannabinoids are a family of exceptional compounds manufactured by the marijuana plant that have yet to be found in any other plant genus known to science.

Owed to its great quantity in the marijuana plant and its strong biological action, the main representative in the list of beneficial cannabinoids is delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

But as of late, more studies are being conducted involving the isolation of certain cannabinoids in order to study their individual activity on specific cancers and other ailments.

Research involving laboratory mice purposely inflicted with cancer and particular man-made cannabinoids have shown great promise in regards to Cannabidiol (CBD) possessing antitumorigenic activity.

Which in turn has led to further scientific discoveries relating to the use of cannabinoids as an alternative therapy for those suffering with breast cancer that have exhausted all traditional treatments to no avail.

However, our federal government’s current policy concerning the use of marijuana for any dedication restrains the progress of U.S. companies that may have an interest in developing marijuana-based medicines that could easily be offered right alongside other breast cancer treatment drugs like Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine.

Try repeating that three times rapidly!

At least the word cannabinoid can be easily pronounced. And they’re in all likelihood more effective.

Cannabis is the future of medicine. We just need to stop the lies, legalize and save some lives!

Get involved.

From HERE.

bacon street going

Where Is the Investigation Into Financial Corruption at the NSA?

Suspicious business dealings by several high-ranking officials easily warrant an inquiry. Does anyone in Congress care enough to make it happen?

Earlier this year, when Keith Alexander resigned as head of the National Security Agency, he began trying to cash in on expertise he’d gained while in government, pitching himself as a security consultant who could protect Wall Street banks and other large corporations from cyber-attacks by hackers or foreign governments. Early reports focused on the eye-popping price tag for his services: He reportedly asked for $1 million a month, later decreasing his rate to $600,000.

“I question how Mr. Alexander can provide any of the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods,” Representative Alan Grayson wrote in a letter to banking trade groups that retained him. “Without the classified information that he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.”

What, exactly, was he selling?

The explanation Alexander offered in an interview with Foreign Policy only raised more questions. In his telling, the value of his consulting services was explained by “a patented and ‘unique’ approach to detecting malicious hackers and cyber-intruders that the retired Army general said he has invented, along with his business partners at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., the company he co-founded after leaving the government and retiring from military service in March.” He revealed his company’s plans to file at least nine patents “for a system to detect so-called advanced persistent threats, or hackers who clandestinely burrow into a computer network in order to steal secrets or damage the network.”

In government, Alexander had publicized and inveighed against just these sorts of threats, claiming that they were already responsible for the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. He oversaw a workforce that studied cyber-attacks and cyber-defenses, often drawing on highly classified or privileged information. So it struck many observers as suspicious that, immediately upon retiring, he suddenly had a dramatically better solution to a pressing national-security problem, one he never introduced while in government but planned to patent and sell. Had he withheld a valuable security solution to profit from it later? Were the novel approaches he intended to patent developed on the public dime? Alexander claimed that his part of the relevant work was done in his spare time, while other cyber-defense solutions were developed by his partner outside government.

No one could prove that those explanations were lies.

But they smelled fishy, especially because even as Alexander created the appearance of multiple improprieties as he entered the private sector, the NSA refused to release the statements of financial conflicts of interest that he’d filed as a federal employee. Indeed, the NSA refused to release the financial-conflict forms of any of its employees, despite the fact that they were required by public-records laws to do so. Their legal position was partly that releasing these records would harm national security. Investigative journalist Jason Leopold sued to challenge those claims. His victory—the NSA backed down before the case even went to court—showed both the legal indefensibility of withholding those public records and the blatant dishonesty of the claim that their release would harm national security: As you can see for yourself, contra the NSA’s assurances, nothing in the documents that the NSA has now turned over plausibly threatens national security.

What the documents do reveal, beyond the fact that NSA administrators are willing to mislead the public and the press, is that Alexander had even more potential conflicts of interest than were known publicly (though NSA lawyers declared them kosher). As Leopold reports:

Alexander’s interest in surveillance was not limited to his tenure as NSA director. He also invested in firms that are on the cutting edge of surveillance technology. For example, Alexander invested as much as $15,000 in: Pericom Semiconductor, a company that has designed technology for the closed-circuit television and video surveillance markets; RF Micro Devices designs, which manufactures high-performance radio frequency technology that is also used for surveillance; and as much as $50,000 in Synchronoss Technologies, a cloud storage firm that provides acloud platform to mobile phone carriers (the NSA has been accused of hacking into cloud storage providers).

Alexander also held shares in Datascension, Inc., a data gathering and research company. The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading in Datascension last August “due to a lack of current and accurate information” about the company. (Datascension was linked to telemarketing calls that apparently prompted one person in a complaint forum to remark the company is “trying to gain personal information.”)

Again, there is no hard evidence of misdeeds. But is it too much to ask that the head of the NSA refrain from investing in surveillance and data-gathering companies? Can someone in that position make unproblematic investments in that sector of the economy? Is there any defense for hiding those investments from the public for years?

The suspicious behavior noted thus far is sufficient, all by itself, to warrant an investigation by Congress in its capacity as the national-security state’s overseer. But the appearance of impropriety hardly ends there. Observers of Washington, D.C., have long lamented the “revolving door” between government and industry. Lately, the NSA has dispensed with the pretense of any door at all.

Consider the flagrantly problematic arrangement that was being used by the agency and its former boss until this week. “Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials, NSA’s Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd, is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, the private firm led by Alexander, a retired Army general and his former boss,” Reuters reported. “The arrangement was approved by top NSA managers, current and former officials said. It does not appear to break any laws and it could not be determined whether Dowd has actually begun working for Alexander.”

Read it all HERE.

at my age I have