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The Strategy: Fixing the Opioid Crisis

I began to research this topic, obviously from my own professional perspective. The more scientific research I read, the more I realized that people don’t care how opioids affect the same receptors in the brain as reward and addiction. People don’t care that these receptors are affected by dopamine levels, which in turn affects states of depression. What people care about is.. How do we fix this?

Some would argue that the solution is getting rid of opioids all together. That’s a lofty goal, and frankly, it is a goal to be explored in the future. With this goal, there must be medical accountability. Doctors are to blame for the crisis It really is that simple. Western medicine often refuses to explore other means of healing, for fear of being labeled quackery. So, doctors create consumers in the hamster wheel of western medicine, that eventually will crush the very consumer they created.

Having said all this.. what does society do with those with chronic pain? The Sickle Cell patients, the patients with pain from horrible accidents, and those with degenerative conditions? Those patients literally need narcotics to simply function. The act of getting out of bed is agonizing for these people. Cutting off their supply of narcotics would be paramount to their suicide, which is precisely what is happening all over the US. The creation of tighter controls on narcotics has simply made it more difficult for people with legitimate pain to procure their medication. So, what’s the solution?

First, the change must start with how we, in “medical” community, view pain. If a person is saying they are having 10/10 chest pain, but asks for a ham sandwich, they are NOT having 10/10 chest pain. Yes, you are going to make people angry. Yes, you are going to have lower “patient satisfaction” scores. But someone has to be the adult professional, and you have the degree, so man up. Physicians need to absolutely stop doling out pain medicine prescriptions like candy. Physicians need to open their minds to alternative forms of therapy. This must simply occur.

Second, there must be alternatives for those already caught up in the western medicine consumerist hamster wheel. That’s where programs like Project Lazarus comes in. This program was started in 2007, and is located in Wilkes County, NC. They have reduced overdose deaths by thirty-eight percent.

Third, the stigma attached to addiction must be addressed. There are people who simply cannot to “relate” to addicts. They do not understand how a substance can literally take over a person’s existence. These people think that addiction can simply be overcome by willpower alone. And, in some cases, this is absolutely true, not always, however. Having said this, there must also be a point to where an addict must accept personal responsibility. An addict has to “want” and “accept” help. Otherwise, they will continue being an addict.

This will not be solved overnight, because it was not created overnight. But, at least there is hope on the horizon.


# PALESTINE /// Infrastructural and Militarized Cartography of Gaza

# PALESTINE /// Infrastructural and Militarized Cartography of Gaza

The Funambulist

Map created by Léopold Lambert for The Funambulist (July 10, 2014) /
Download a high-quality version of the map here (5MB)
(license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 4.0)

As the military siege on Gaza (the fourth since the 2005 evacuation of the Israeli settlers) continue to kill every day (81 Palestinian killed in bombings so far), I go back, once again to the idea that we should as much focus on the exceptional violence that affects many of us emotionally, as on the normal violence that unfolds itself on a daily basis upon what has been legitimately named “the largest prison on earth (1.65 millions inhabitants). Let it be clear, making maps won’t save any life, and the production of knowledge during urgent situation is always problematic. Moreover, maps tend to be disincarnated and therefore carry the risk of a desensitization on the contrary of photographs and/or videos that allow…

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The Story…….

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not a happy story; nor will the ending set your mind at ease. There were three white teenage boys, loved by their parents, went missing one day. Parents of the three searched high and low; along with neighbors and friends. A plea went out on social media and local news channels. But it was if the three had simply vanished; no traces left behind of their whereabouts. Local police were at a loss; but they received a tip that perhaps some black kids from the bad part of town might have had something to do with it. It was all rumor of course; as the police know that chances of 16 year olds being abducted by family or someone they know are as good, or better than being abducted by strangers. But these police were feeling pressure. Pressure from the local community, and nationwide thanks to social media. “Bring back our boys!” the social media keyboard warriors cried. In fact, the cries were so loud even the Governor of the state became involved. “This is bad PR” thought the Governor, “this reflects poorly on our local police department. But wait.. Haven’t we been wanting to root out those unsavory characters across town? We’ve been shaking them down for years; arresting the scum, bulldozing their homes, and they still remain. This might be the catalyst we need!”
So, the governor phones the local police chief, “Say, chief. It seems your investigation with no evidence is going way too slow. But I hear some rumblings it could be some kids from the hood across town involved.” The police chief replied, “That’s right Governor. We have no hard evidence of this, but lots of circumstantial stuff. And TONS of rumors. But you know those kids in the hood are always stirring up trouble.” “Well I tell you what”, the Governor replied, “I’ll not only send some staties in there to help investigate, I’m going to send in the National Guard across town to find out what the hell happened to those three!” The police chief agreed to these terms and anxiously awaited the arrival of “more assistance”. The National Guard arrived with a clear set of orders to start breaking down doors in the hood with extreme prejudice. “Make sure there are NO media in there when you do this”, declared the Governor. “Pictures after the fact on social media won’t matter. It’s just the poor black hood anyway.”
The National Guard enter the hood, total destruction in their wake. Not only destroying homes, but looting families savings they had found in mattresses, freezers and cookie jars. The young males were not about to sit idle during this complete invasion, so they began to resist. Arrest after arrest of the young men, some weren’t even men; some were as young as 8 years old. “This kid was mouthing off at me!”, shouted one National Guardsman. “I’ll show him to respect my authority!” So, the 8 year old, with now a black eye and missing teeth, was being carted away with the rest to some jail somewhere. It was in the midst of this destruction, and with not a shred of evidence linking anyone in the hood to the abductions; that the bodies of the three white teens were found near the boundary line of the hood.
The Governor went on TV and social media and shouted, “We will have vengeance! I have evidence of who did this and they will pay!” The Governor was a widely respected man, thought to be even the smartest in the state, so no one questioned what he said. Well, almost no one. A few of those social media keyboard warriors began to ask, “What is this evidence?” and “Why are the National Guard involved in a crime investigation?” and even more pertinent, “Why is the entire hood being collectively punished?”
But these questions were drowned out by the holy rollers across town that wanted an eye for an eye. Logic had been replaced by the emotional outbursts of the lynch mob. So, the hood was thoroughly terrorized by the National Guard; but not only them. The staties had gotten in on the act, as well as those neighbors literally living across the street! Those neighbors didn’t like those hood kids anyway! They were always walking on their grass and telling them how their great-grandparents used to live on that land before it was bulldozed by the state. “To hell with those hood kids”, thought the neighbors. “Our homes will be safer if they are removed anyway”. A group of neighbors rallied together and found a boy, about the same age as those found murdered, and decided on a little vigilante justice. “No one will care about this black kid. He’s a hood rat, worth nothing compared to those three, sweet boys just found murdered. We’ll make him PAY!” And they did. The boy was beaten, sexually molested, and then burned to death. The mother and father of this boy receive the news that their son “paid” for the deaths of those three innocent white boys. These grieving parents were told by the Governor’s office that they would not receive the body of their son unless they signed a sworn statement that the boy was involved in a family dispute; and that the neighbors had nothing to do with his death. The grieving parents knew what had happened to their son; his friends saw what the neighbors did to him. They even took pictures of his burned body after the neighbors dumped him. “But what to do?”, they cried. “We just want to bury our son and live in peace! He was a good boy. He was never in trouble and he always did what we asked. Why him?”
There were other grieving parents in the hood that night; those that had their children arrested and taken away. “When will this end?”, they cried. “Our grandparents went through this, many of our own friends in childhood were arrested or killed, and now it is our children who are suffering. Why does no one care? Why are we worth less than those across town and even those across the street?”
These were questions with no real answers. As much as those in the hood tried to console one another, there was a seething anger. Anger at those that continue to view them as less; easily thrown away and discarded. There are those that hear their cries, and want to help. There are those that cry with them, and are just as angry. There are those that want this to end.
Will those that really murdered the three white boys ever be found? Impossible to predict. Will the terror in the hood continue? Almost certainly.

“I have always found that mercy bear richer fruits than strict justice”, Abraham Lincoln.

‘Psy-War’: Iran won’t bite American bullet in Iraq

Another great piece by the Syrian Free Press

the real Syrian Free Press


~ Post’s pubblication suggested by “GUEST” ~

Iran won’t bite American bullet in Iraq

By M. K. Bhadrakumar – Rediff Blog

When it comes to Iran, there is a very long history, as old as the Islamic revolution of 1979, of the Western propaganda against Tehran laying it out thick and in rich fantasies. No matter the ‘feel-good’ P5+1 and Iran talks, this malicious propaganda continues. Iran shrugs its shoulders and calls it ‘psywar’, but the gullible world opinion in all innocence often laps it up.

The first big story this past week was that Iran has landed troops in Iraq to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] fighters. The Wall Street Journal spearheaded the disinformation drive, probably with the intent to queer the pitch for the US president Barack Obama to ‘do something’.

The US of course has the intelligence sources, electronic and human, to…

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The Cunning Demons of Russian Propaganda, or what the BBC forgot to warn us about

A Brilliant piece!

Maleficent: Not All In The World Is Black And White


Disney’s new version of Sleeping Beauty, written for the screen by Linda Woolverton, is told from the view of the protagonist, Maleficent. Maleficent is a winged, woodland fairy that lives in an enchanted forest not spoiled by humans.


The movie begins with the orphan Maleficent flying through her enchanted realm, talking to all the creatures that inhabit the land. Humans are considered beasts that spoiled the land, as evidenced by the kingdom adjacent; that is ruled by a selfish king. Those fairy folks are anarchists and don’t believe in being “ruled over”. Maleficent is a ‘protector’ of the Moors, not a ruler.


The word ‘maleficent’ literally means “working or productive of harm or evil”: Disney writers were clever in 1959. In neither tale, La Belle au bois dormant or Little Briar Rose, from which both Disney productions are based, was there ever an evil fairy named Maleficent.


As Linda Woolverton weaves the story of how sweet, fairy Maleficent transforms into her namesake; the movie-goer is dazzled with imagery. Least of which, it seems to me as a pagan, is the eerie similarity between Maleficent and the goddess Hecate. Hecate is often portrayed as a horned goddess of the wood with wings.


Child Maleficent makes friends with another orphan, a human child thief named Stefan. Their friendship blossoms into young love, and they experience ‘true love’s first kiss’. Eventually, Stefan’s ambition gets the better of him and this takes him away from Maleficent. While Stefan is away persuing these ambitions; the greedy king decides to invade the Moors. The anarchist fairies are having none of that; and the humans are defeated utterly.


On his death bed, the greedy king asks for any in the kingdom that can kill Maleficent; they will rule after his death. Also, the king throws his daughter’s hand in marriage as added incentive. Stefan, the ambitious git, heads off to the Moors to kill his childhood love. Maleficent forgives Stefan for being away for so long; and she thinks their friendship is renewed. Little does she know, Stefan has drugged her in hopes of killing her: For he knows the secret to hurting fairies. IRON. However, at the moment he wishes to strike the killing blow; he finds he cannot. So, he ‘de-wings’ her instead. Not only are her wings a powerful trophy, they were the one thing that Maleficent treasured above all. Stefan presents the king with his trophy; and his succession to the throne is assured.

Angelina Jolie Films "Maleficent"

Maleficent suffers the loss of the two things she held most dear; Stefan and her wings. Through her grief, and Stefan’s betrayal; she becomes her name sake. She declares herself Queen of the Moors; and those anarchist fairies don’t know what to think. Shortly after, she hears the news that King Stefan is about to be blessed with a child. Maleficent arrives from the Moors to King Stefan’s castle; and the curse is set.


This is the point in the story that also deviates not only from the original tales; but from the 1959 Sleeping Beauty as well. Maleficent becomes ‘enchanted’ with baby Aurora, and becomes her fairy godmother. No one could have seen that coming. She becomes such a mother figure to Aurora, she tries to remove her own curse; to no avail. In the curse, she placed two very stringent stipulations. The first, that no power on earth could remove the curse; that would include her own power. The second, that only true love’s kiss could break the spell.


Enter the dashing and handsome Prince Phillip! However, neither Stefan nor Maleficent believe in true love; but it is Maleficent who is willing to risk all to get the Prince to Aurora after her unfortunate finger-pricking incident; in the basement on a spinning wheel.


Prince Phillip, feeling uneasy about kissing an unconscious Aurora, is goaded by the bumbling trio of fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. He kisses her, and NOTHING HAPPENS. Again, another deviation from the original tale and the 1959 classic. Phillip and the trio of fairies leave the room; while Maleficent and her trusty henchman, Diaval, stay to grieve. It is through her grief for Aurora that Maleficent’s heart is mended; and it is her kiss that frees Aurora from the curse.


It’s not over yet! The battle between Stefan and Maleficent now begins. Ambitious Stefan has had the iron workers slaving over their smiths for days and nights to create all kinds of weapons in which to kill Maleficent. At this point, a person cannot help but to cheer on Maleficent; as its just her and Diaval battling a battalion of men. She changes Diaval into a dragon and the battle begins.


Since Aurora is free from the curse, she finds Maleficent’s wings hidden in the castle. She frees them, and they ‘magically re-attach’. Then, Maleficent tries to not kill Stefan, and show him mercy. At this point, he’s gone fully insane and its a kindness she puts him out of his misery.


Maleficent realizes it is Aurora that is to heal not only the human kingdom, but her land of the Moors as well. So, she is crowned queen of the two kingdoms. A villain can, indeed, sometimes be the hero; or in this case heroine. Not all in life is simply black and white; not all in life is simple, period. But by the end of the movie, everyone lives happily ever after!


Except for the rabid, foaming at the mouth feminists who say this movie promotes rape. Those beasties, if I may quote Maleficent, embody the old adage “Misery loves company”. Feminists HATE when a victim refuses to identify with said victimhood and regains their power. Which is precisely what Maleficient does. OH DEAR!

Addresses worth visiting:

And for those masochists, blogs that you’ll need brain bleach after reading. So, enjoy!

Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’: And Why Christians Need To Relax


The story of Noah, as known by Christians, is told in the book of Genesis chapters six through nine. In the movie, Noah, there is absolutely no mention at all of the ‘Watchers’ (a term from the Book of Enoch that is not in the traditional King James Bible) taking the daughters of men as wives. There is also no mention at all of their progeny, which were called “giants in the Earth” or the Nephilim. In fact, according to the King James Bible, God was so angry because of the mating of the Sons of God and human women (not to mention the sins they were committing) ; and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the Earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; it repenteth me that I have made them.


This movie clearly draws upon Jewish tradition, versus Christian tradition. The story of Noah is only told in four chapters of the book of Genesis. Neither Noah’s wife, nor his three sons’ wives were named in the Bible. In the apocryphal text, namely the Book of Jubilees, these women are named. These women are also not named in the Koran. In fact, the flood story is slightly different in the Koran. In Noah’s story, one of his sons drowns in the flood; and Noah’s wife is compared to the wife of Lot due to her unrighteousness, and is condemned to hell. The particular offense of unrighteousness is not named. The Koran is slightly confusing, as to the point of whether Noah had four sons or just three, before the flood.


According to Jewish tradition, Noah’s wife was named Naamah. She was supposedly a daughter of Enoch, coming through the line of Seth. However, she is also said to have been the sister of Tubal-Cain. This cannot be possible as Tubal-Cain came through the line of Cain. So either she was from the cursed line of Cain, or she was a cousin to Noah. According to the Book of Jubilees, her name was Emzara; who was a daughter of Methuselah. If this is true, she would have been Noah’s aunt. So, this presents a conundrum. If Noah’s wife was indeed from the line of Cain, that could have been the source of her “unrighteousness”part of the Koran; as stated previously, the line of Cain is cursed. If she was from the line of Seth, that makes her and Noah’s relationship incestuous. This of course was never brought into the movie.


The three sons of Noah were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. According to Jewish tradition, and the Book of Jubilees, these three men all had wives aboard the ark. There is no mention of wives for Ham and Japheth in Noah. In fact, the twin daughters born to Shem and Ila (who has no historical context anywhere), as suggested by Noah’s wife, would become the wives of Ham and Japheth. Incest represents no moral issue for these characters. In the King James Bible there is no mention of this, at least the event of the birth of twins. There is also no evidence to be found of this birth in the Zohar, or the Koran. This is an instance of artistic liberties taken by the director. As is Noah’s homicidal tendencies. Not in any major religious Abrahamic work is it mentioned that Noah tried to murder his grandchildren.


During the movie, we see the evilness of man. They are lecherous, lustful, greedy, murderous and dishonest. There seems to be no good in them at all. This brings up an interesting quandary. What about the children? What about the babies? What about the innocent? Surely among all those people, there were more innocent people than Noah and his family. This God of Noah doesn’t seem to be very discerning or merciful.


In Noah, he receives a vision to find his grandfather Methuselah before receiving the vision to build the ark. Noah and his family begin the journey to the mountain where Methuselah lives. Along the way, they see the devastation of man. There are no forests, the land is barren, and there are empty villages with the dead everywhere.


They find in one village a girl seriously injured, and Noah’s wife, Naamah, takes pity on the girl and applies the polstice to her wound. As she is treating the girl, marauders top of the hillside. Noah and his family are forced to flee, but they take the girl with them. The girl says her name is Ila. Is this girl also not a daughter of Cain?


Her lineage is not explored in the movie. While fleeing the marauders, the family receives help from the Watchers. The Watchers are not portrayed as evil in this movie. The Watchers lead the family to the mountain Of Methuselah. Once they reach the destination; Noah and Shem go to speak to their ancestor. While there, Noah is given a tea that produces visions. While on his vision quest, Noah sees that he must build an ark. When Noah and Shem return to the family and the waiting Watchers, he tells them of his vision of the ark.


The Watchers agree to help Noah build the ark. The only Watcher to really converse with Noah was Samyaza. According to the Book of the Enoch, he was the head of the Grigori or the ‘Watchers’. Also, it is told that Samayaza wanted to go alone to earth as he had lusted after human women, but 199 other angels entered into a pact with him hence the first fall. It says in the Book of Enoch, that he, Enoch, was asked to intercede on behalf of the Watchers to God for forgiveness. Enoch did as he was asked, but God had no mercy on the fallen. So, they were condemned for eternity. In Noah, it seems that the Watchers helped Noah to try to redeem themselves. And in the movie, they were released from their earthly prison and returned to the Creator. Also, it is of note, that Noah never refers to God as God or one of the various names mentioned in Christian or Judaic tradition. He is also not referred to as Allah in the Islamic tradition. Noah simply refers to the deity as “The Creator”, which does seem fitting.


Of course when the rains start, there is an attack on the ark by the sons of Cain. The Watchers do their best to protect the ark, Noah and his family. They succeed and sacrifice themselves. However, the ark receives a stowaway; that stowaway is Tubal- Cain. If the ark is only for the righteous, how was a murderous, evil thug like this allowed on board? This brings up an interesting question, one that I brought up before: “Were there not innocents besides Noah and his family?” In fact, in Noah, Ham finds a girl in a open mass grave and befriends her. When the rain starts, Ham tells her they must flee to the ark. As they are running, she gets caught in a trap; Ham is unable to free her. At this time, Noah is trying to find his son and luckily finds them before the Sons of Cain. However, Noah chooses to not free the girl, and she is trampled in a stampede of those heading to the arc. So, in essence, Noah commits murder. So is he really righteous? This is the existential problem that Noah faces. Men can be good and men can be evil; so he decides that he and his family should be the last humans on earth and not to procreate.


Meanwhile, it is thought that Ila is barren because of her wound as a child. She receives a blessing from Methusulah before the flood and becomes pregnant. Naamah, along with Shem and Ila, tell Noah the great news; which is received with anger and dismay. Noah decides that if the child is a boy, he may live to be the last man. However, if the child is a girl, Noah intends to kill the infant immediately after it is born. He does this because the girl can be a mother. Again, none of this textually supported, and is mere fantasy development by the screenwriters and director.


Later, Tubal-Cain is being nursed back to health with the help of Ham and some of the smaller creatures on the ark; as these creatures are his food. This seems to be another major theme of the movie. Carnivores are clearly evil and vegans preferred. During the time Tubal-Cain is mending from a nasty blast from “killing” a Watcher, Ila is growing in size and the family grows in tension. At the time of the twins’ birth, and the dove returns with the olive branch. Before Noah can murder his granddaughters, Ham lures his father to where Tubal-Cain is hiding. A struggle ensues, while Shem shows up to also hurt his father. Noah fends off his son, but looks to be defeated by the evil Tubal-Cain. It is at this point where the ark runs aground, and Noah is saved. Ham actually strikes the fatal blow to Tubal-Cain where he is rewarded with the sacred snake skin handed down from Seth.


This is of incredible esoteric significance as Seth, in Egyptian mythos, is the god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence and foreigners. All that seems to tie in the flood story rather well; a story full of storms disorder and violence. The snakeskin represents the cycle of death and rebirth. In the movie, it represents the passage of God’s promise and blessing from one generation to another; rebirthing the promise to each generation.


Noah does not murder his granddaughters at the last minute, he chooses mercy. Which is quite another interesting dilemma that man chooses mercy while God did not. The movie does incorporate Noah being drunk and naked; his sons finding him and clothing him. At the end, Noah passes the blessing onto the granddaughters, and recites the famous passage, “Be fruitful and multiply”. According to Jewish and Islamic tradition, this “commandment” of fruitfulness and multiplication by God is passed to only males; not females. Yet another conundrum.


The flood story is old, and predates any Abrahamic religion. It was told in Sumer, and
India; so, this seems to be yet another borrowed story. There is archaeological evidence to suggest major flooding did take place in old cities such as Sippar and other areas. So, for Christians to really be upset over this movie is quite laughable, once one has done the research. My advice is to go see the movie, research, and make up your own mind. Consider the existential debates the movie creates.