AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1471517 times)

Offline knarf

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Sanders: Israel run by a right wing — dare I say — racist government
« Reply #12510 on: April 23, 2019, 04:51:43 AM »
Democratic presidential hopeful insists he is ‘100 percent pro-Israel’ at town hall event; says if elected he would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders excoriated the Netanyahu government as “racist” Monday night as he participated in a CNN town hall event with Democratic voters.

Without discussing specific details, the 2020 presidential hopeful called for a change in America’s policy toward Israel, describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach toward the Palestinians as “oppressive,” and said that his administration, should he be elected, would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns.

“What I believe is not radical,” Sanders said. “I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis. In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government.”

Sanders has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu. In the run-up to Israel’s election earlier this month, he castigated the Israeli premier for supporting a deal to allow the extremist Otzma Yehudit party to join his coalition and for his promises to annex West Bank settlements.

He told NBC News: “I’m not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election.”

The self-declared democratic socialist has also in the past criticized Netanyahu’s 2015 election-eve warning that Arabs were “voting in droves.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a celebratory Likud event in Jerusalem, April 16, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Asked on Monday night how he would navigate the US-Israel relationship given his history of sharp criticism against Netanyahu, Sanders said that his views on the prime minister did not reflect his feelings toward the Jewish state.

“I spent a number of months in Israel. I worked on a kibbutz for a while. I have family in Israel. I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders said. “But the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

That line was met with loud applause by the audience of mostly college students at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event was a rare five-hour town hall with back-to-back hourlong segments with five Democratic presidential candidates: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sanders.

The 77-year-old lawmaker insisted that he was “pro-Israel” but that as president he would take a vastly different approach to the intractable conflict than the current administration.

US President Donald Trump is known for his close relationship with Netanyahu, and for giving Israel several diplomatic gifts: moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israel. Since the US announced the embassy relocation and the aid cuts, Palestinian Authority officials have written off the administration and have refused to engage with Washington.

“I am 100 percent pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “Israel has every right to exist, and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal with not just Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-israel-now-run-by-netanyahus-racist-government/

   
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Sanders: Israel run by a right wing — dare I say — racist government
« Reply #12511 on: April 23, 2019, 05:17:37 AM »
Democratic presidential hopeful insists he is ‘100 percent pro-Israel’ at town hall event; says if elected he would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders excoriated the Netanyahu government as “racist” Monday night as he participated in a CNN town hall event with Democratic voters.

Without discussing specific details, the 2020 presidential hopeful called for a change in America’s policy toward Israel, describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach toward the Palestinians as “oppressive,” and said that his administration, should he be elected, would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns.

“What I believe is not radical,” Sanders said. “I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis. In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government.”

Sanders has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu. In the run-up to Israel’s election earlier this month, he castigated the Israeli premier for supporting a deal to allow the extremist Otzma Yehudit party to join his coalition and for his promises to annex West Bank settlements.

He told NBC News: “I’m not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election.”

The self-declared democratic socialist has also in the past criticized Netanyahu’s 2015 election-eve warning that Arabs were “voting in droves.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a celebratory Likud event in Jerusalem, April 16, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Asked on Monday night how he would navigate the US-Israel relationship given his history of sharp criticism against Netanyahu, Sanders said that his views on the prime minister did not reflect his feelings toward the Jewish state.

“I spent a number of months in Israel. I worked on a kibbutz for a while. I have family in Israel. I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders said. “But the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

That line was met with loud applause by the audience of mostly college students at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event was a rare five-hour town hall with back-to-back hourlong segments with five Democratic presidential candidates: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sanders.

The 77-year-old lawmaker insisted that he was “pro-Israel” but that as president he would take a vastly different approach to the intractable conflict than the current administration.

US President Donald Trump is known for his close relationship with Netanyahu, and for giving Israel several diplomatic gifts: moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israel. Since the US announced the embassy relocation and the aid cuts, Palestinian Authority officials have written off the administration and have refused to engage with Washington.

“I am 100 percent pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “Israel has every right to exist, and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal with not just Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-israel-now-run-by-netanyahus-racist-government/

   

So, we're at this juncture in history, that is so fucking weird, that only a Jew can criticize Israel and get away with it. The question is, "Is Bernie Jewish enough to have the cred to do it and not get flamed?"

I doubt it. Not because he's wrong...but because he's right, but the US con-gress is bought and paid for by Israel, and if you thought Russia meddled in elections, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. And the average American loves Israel, because Jesus.
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Re: Exticntion Rebellion : Day 6 & 7 – A New Phase Begins
« Reply #12512 on: April 23, 2019, 06:20:08 AM »
In case you didn't notice, I made a special thred here on your forum for Extinction Rebellion articles.

RE
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Offline knarf

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Re: Exticntion Rebellion : Day 6 & 7 – A New Phase Begins
« Reply #12513 on: April 23, 2019, 07:59:15 AM »
In case you didn't notice, I made a special thred here on your forum for Extinction Rebellion articles.

RE

OK, I found it. ER articles go there from now on.
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Re: Who Do Americans Believe Is the Most Objective News Source?
« Reply #12514 on: April 23, 2019, 08:00:59 AM »
I don't get my news from any of these places.  (local news excepted)  Does that mean I'm a dumfuck?  :cwmddd:

So what ARE your 5 Top Sources of Newz?  ???  :icon_scratch:

RE

I start by 'googling'. (duck duck go)  Then I look for the more stuff to google in what comes back.  I always try to avoid mainstream sources.  It seems like a lot of work and is but reading the same sources mainstream uses without their spin is a very satisfying feeling.   This Eskimo finds his own ice.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 08:02:46 AM by K-Dog »
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Re: Who Do Americans Believe Is the Most Objective News Source?
« Reply #12515 on: April 23, 2019, 08:09:08 AM »
I don't get my news from any of these places.  (local news excepted)  Does that mean I'm a dumfuck?  :cwmddd:

So what ARE your 5 Top Sources of Newz?  ???  :icon_scratch:

RE

I start by 'googling'. (duck duck go)  Then I look for the more stuff to google in what comes back.  I always try to avoid mainstream sources.  It seems like a lot of work and is but reading the same sources mainstream uses without their spin is a very satisfying feeling.   This Eskimo finds his own ice.

I generally start with Google also in drilling down stories.  Say what you will about Google as a mass entity taking over our lives, they DO have the best search engine out there.

However, I also have more "primary" sources I regularly go to with their own storiez.  I am going to make up a survey for this question today if I can find the time.  I have some Shrimp on the Barbie to grill up today.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Who Do Americans Believe Is the Most Objective News Source?
« Reply #12516 on: April 23, 2019, 08:25:24 AM »
I don't get my news from any of these places.  (local news excepted)  Does that mean I'm a dumfuck?  :cwmddd:

So what ARE your 5 Top Sources of Newz?  ???  :icon_scratch:

RE

I start by 'googling'. (duck duck go)  Then I look for the more stuff to google in what comes back.  I always try to avoid mainstream sources.  It seems like a lot of work and is but reading the same sources mainstream uses without their spin is a very satisfying feeling.   This Eskimo finds his own ice.

I generally start with Google also in drilling down stories.  Say what you will about Google as a mass entity taking over our lives, they DO have the best search engine out there.

However, I also have more "primary" sources I regularly go to with their own storiez.  I am going to make up a survey for this question today if I can find the time.  I have some Shrimp on the Barbie to grill up today.  :icon_sunny:

RE

So I just did it and it paid off, here is why.

I won't honor the source by saying where I got this because I don''t consider it news.

Quote
Sen. Kamala Harris late Monday said she would support Congress starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump

Who what where when why.  *when is compromised.  The statement, giving out only who and what, and distorting the rest, is not news.  Who and what by itself is propaganda waiting to be jammed into a persons consciousness at the moment of a manipulators choosing.

So I wind up here: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-2020-democratic-candidates-new-hampshire-town-hall-20190422-story.html

Quote
Harris staked the position at a CNN town hall in Manchester, N.H., where an hour earlier, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took a different stance. Sanders, one of Trump’s most vocal critics among the Democratic presidential candidates, said he worried that pursuing impeachment would undercut Democrats’ chances of beating him at the ballot box.

The comments were made at a Democratic Party butt-sniffing gathering.  Knowing that, the Harris remarks finally rise to a level I'll call news.  Factoids in isolation are not news.  The relationship to facts to circumstances where they are found make news.  Alone facts are only noise.  American media does not do the who, what, where, when, why anymore.  You have to do it yourself.  Local LA news knew their readership; Harris voters, would not be satisfied with only a distorted outline of detail.

Trust no one!

* 'Late Monday' stinks to high heaven and should be a clue.  Nobody says 'Late Monday' unless being more definitive reveals more detail than a manipulator wants you to know.  When one of the five 'W's is being filled by garbage the rule is throw it away.  The distortion here covers the fact that the 'where and the why' 'W' were being suppressed.

The more detail to news, the harder it is to fake it is your silver lining to this cloud.  Pay attention to the five 'W's!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 08:59:04 AM by K-Dog »
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Who Do Americans Believe Is the Most Objective News Source?
« Reply #12517 on: April 23, 2019, 08:58:25 AM »
Trump's rule is to always make sure you leave out a 'W'.  Making up a stinker for one of the ones you leave out, even better.
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Reverend, You Say the Virgin Birth Is ‘a Bizarre Claim’?
« Reply #12518 on: April 23, 2019, 12:36:49 PM »
The president of Union Theological Seminary also discusses crucifixion, hell and a new reformation.

This is the latest in my occasional series of conversations about Christianity. Here’s my interview, edited for space, with Serene Jones, a Protestant minister, president of Union Theological Seminary and author of a new memoir, “Call It Grace.”

KRISTOF Happy Easter, Reverend Jones! To start, do you think of Easter as a literal flesh-and-blood resurrection? I have problems with that.

JONES When you look in the Gospels, the stories are all over the place. There’s no resurrection story in Mark, just an empty tomb. Those who claim to know whether or not it happened are kidding themselves. But that empty tomb symbolizes that the ultimate love in our lives cannot be crucified and killed.

For me it’s impossible to tell the story of Easter without also telling the story of the cross. The crucifixion is a first-century lynching. It couldn’t be more pertinent to our world today.

But without a physical resurrection, isn’t there a risk that we are left with just the crucifixion?

Crucifixion is not something that God is orchestrating from upstairs. The pervasive idea of an abusive God-father who sends his own kid to the cross so God could forgive people is nuts. For me, the cross is an enactment of our human hatred. But what happens on Easter is the triumph of love in the midst of suffering. Isn’t that reason for hope?

You alluded to child abuse. So how do we reconcile an omnipotent, omniscient God with evil and suffering?

At the heart of faith is mystery. God is beyond our knowing, not a being or an essence or an object. But I don’t worship an all-powerful, all-controlling omnipotent, omniscient being. That is a fabrication of Roman juridical theory and Greek mythology. That’s not the God of Easter. The God of Easter is vulnerable and is connected to the world in profound ways that don’t involve manipulating the world but constantly inviting us into love, justice, mercy.

Isn’t a Christianity without a physical resurrection less powerful and awesome? When the message is about love, that’s less religion, more philosophy.

For me, the message of Easter is that love is stronger than life or death. That’s a much more awesome claim than that they put Jesus in the tomb and three days later he wasn’t there. For Christians for whom the physical resurrection becomes a sort of obsession, that seems to me to be a pretty wobbly faith. What if tomorrow someone found the body of Jesus still in the tomb? Would that then mean that Christianity was a lie? No, faith is stronger than that.
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What about other miracles of the New Testament? Say, the virgin birth?

I find the virgin birth a bizarre claim. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ message. The virgin birth only becomes important if you have a theology in which sexuality is considered sinful. It also promotes this notion that the pure, untouched female body is the best body, and that idea has led to centuries of oppressing women.

Prayer is efficacious in the sense of making us feel better, but do you believe it is efficacious in curing cancer?

I don’t believe in a God who, because of prayer, would decide to cure your mother’s cancer but not cure the mother of your nonpraying neighbor. We can’t manipulate God like that.

What happens when we die?

I don’t know! There may be something, there may be nothing. My faith is not tied to some divine promise about the afterlife. People who behave well in this life only to achieve an afterlife, that’s a faith driven by a selfish motive: “I’m going to be good so God would reward me with a stick of candy called heaven?” For me, living a life of love is driven by the simple fact that love is true. And I’m absolutely certain that when we die, there is not a group of designated bad people sent to burn in hell. That does not exist. But hell has a symbolic reality: When we reject love, we create hell, and hell is what we see around us in this world today in so many forms.

I’ve asked this of other interviewees in this religion series: For someone like myself who is drawn to Jesus’ teaching but doesn’t believe in the virgin birth or the physical resurrection, what am I? Am I a Christian?

Well, you sound an awful lot like me, and I’m a Christian minister.

I often feel like we are in the middle of another reformation in a 500-year cycle. John Calvin and Martin Luther had no idea they were in the middle of a reformation, but they knew that church structures were breaking down, new forms of communication were emerging, new scientific discoveries were being made, new kinds of authorities and states and economic systems arising — all like this moment in time. This creates a spiritual crisis and a spiritual flexibility.

Christianity is at something of a turning point, but I think that this questioning and this reaching is even bigger than Christianity. It reaches into many religious traditions. This wrestling with climate change, and wrestling with the levels of violence in our world, wrestling with authoritarianism and the intractable character of gender oppression — it’s forcing communities within all religions to say, “Something is horribly wrong here.” It’s a spiritual crisis. Many nonreligious people feel it, too. We need a new way entirely to think about what it means to be a human being and what the purpose of our lives is. For me, this moment feels apocalyptic, as if something new is struggling to be born.
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Like 2,000 years ago?

Yes. Something was struggling to be born on that first Easter. It burst forth in ways that changed the world forever. Today I feel that spiritual ground around us shaking again. The structures of religion as we know it have come up bankrupt and are collapsing. What will emerge? That is for our children and our children’s children to envision and build.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/20/opinion/sunday/christian-easter-serene-jones.html
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Kim Jong Un arrives in Russian port city for summit with Vladimir Putin
« Reply #12519 on: April 24, 2019, 04:39:44 AM »


Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, arrived via train in Russia on Wednesday, a day ahead of his summit with President Vladimir Putin.

Russian state media showed Kim's armored train arriving at Vladivostok, a port city on the Pacific coast. North Korean attendants polished the outside of Kim's train car as it pulled into the station. The door to Kim's carriage was intended to line up with a red carpet. The train overshot its mark by a few feet. Everyone waited as the train backed up. Kim finally exited.

 The North Korean leader, smiling and wearing a black hat, was greeted by Vladivostok's regional governor. The two walked toward the street and briefly watched a small military parade before Kim was spirited away in his limousine, surrounded by a jogging phalanx of bodyguards.  The North Korean leader, smiling and wearing a black hat, was greeted by Vladivostok's regional governor. The two walked toward the street and briefly watched a small military parade before Kim was spirited away in his limousine, surrounded by a jogging phalanx of bodyguards.

This is Kim's first trip to Russia and first meeting with Putin.



This is Kim's first trip to Russia and first meeting with Putin.

 Kim, who began ruling North Korea in 2011, is expected to stay there days, but the trip has been shrouded in secrecy.

Thursday's summit will be on the campus of Far East Federal University on Russky Island, which is linked to Vladivostok by bridge.

After the summit, Kim reportedly plans to tour cultural sites, possibly including, as reported by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the Mariinsky Theater and the Russian Pacific Fleet's museum.
(MORE: North Korea's weapon-test claim attempt to get U.S. back to table: Analysts)

Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, reportedly landed in Vladivostok on Monday, while Kim's chief of protocol, Kim Chang Son, has been in the city since last week supervising preparations, according to Russian and South Korean media reports.

Kim avoids flying. After his 420-mile trip from Pyongyang by armored train, he was greeted by women in traditional folks dresses who offered him bread and salt -- as is tradition.

The meeting between Kim and Putin comes as North Korea and the United States still can't agree on much of anything. A second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump abruptly ended in February with nothing resolved.

 The North Koreans have since claimed to have tested a new weapon and asked that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo no longer be involved in negotiations between the two nations.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Putin and Kim will discuss questions surrounding North Korea's nuclear ambitions as well as bilateral issues. Kim told a Russian state TV reporter he hoped to advance concrete efforts for ending the Korean Peninsula conflict.

 Russia portrays itself as friendly toward North Korea and often criticizes the U.S. for refusing to make concessions. Russia supports North Korea's economy, even when sanctioning it, as tens of thousands of North Koreans work in Russia -- mostly as laborers -- in defiance of a U.N. ban.

South Korea's foreign ministry said last week it hoped the Kim-Putin summit proves "an opportunity that contributes to positive progress" toward denuclearization, but most experts aren't expecting much -- they believe Russia is holding the meeting now to demonstrate strength and that Kim made the trip to show he had other geopolitical options after he and Trump failed to cut a deal in Vietnam.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/kim-jong-arrives-russian-port-city-summit-vladimir/story?id=62593516
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 04:41:41 AM by knarf »
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Abused workers go on rampage in Qatar
« Reply #12520 on: April 24, 2019, 04:47:11 AM »
Angry labourers protest overdue wages and poor working conditions





Cairo: Migrant workers, angry over rights abuses, staged violent protests in Qatar, online reports have said.

The protesters took to the streets, decrying oppressive government policies, overdue wages and inhuman working conditions, they said.

Online images showed cars reportedly destroyed by angry demonstrators, who work on building stadiums that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.



There was no official or media comment in Doha.

The hashtag “Riot Acts in Qatar” has become a popular Arab trending over the past hours in a show of solidarity with the protesting workers.

Tweeters also mocked the Qatari news television Al Jazeera for ignoring the protests.

“Al Jazeera: Vehicles are taking a nap! News of protests is incorrect!” said a commentator, named Abdul Latif, in a sarcastic post.

Another tweeter, called Ahmad Al Sarem, challenged Al Jazeera to shed light on labour conditions in Qatar.

“Will Al Jazeera dare to report about the ordeal of these workers, who are deprived of their basic rights?” he said.



Al Jazeera is often critical of governments in other Arab countries and is accused of biased coverage.

Human rights advocates have repeatedly accused Qatar of labour abuses as the energy-rich country is struggling to host the 2022 World Cup.

Earlier this month, several rights watchdogs have cited the death of more than 1,200 migrant workers while building sports facilities in Qatar and charged a government rights commission of covering up the deaths.

Qatar is increasingly becoming a pariah after the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transportation links with it for its support to extremist group.

https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/qatar/reports-abused-workers-go-on-rampage-in-qatar-1.63502473
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The charges against the wholesaler, Rochester Drug Cooperative, and two of its former executives marked a new tactic for prosecutors in tackling the epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Law enforcement officials have long tried to stem the opioid crisis in America with criminal charges for street dealers and cartel kingpins who traffic in drugs like fentanyl and oxycodone.

Now, for the first time, federal authorities are bringing the same kind of felony drug-trafficking charges against a major pharmaceutical distributor and two of its former executives for their role in fanning the crisis.

Prosecutors said the former executives at the company, Rochester Drug Cooperative, ignored red flags and shipped tens of millions of oxycodone pills and fentanyl products to pharmacies they knew were distributing drugs illegally. Their sales soared, as did the compensation of the chief executive.

“Why did they do it?” asked Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, who announced the charges at a news conference. “Greed.”

Mr. Berman said the case was the first of its kind and vowed his office would “do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms.”

The government’s novel tactic was expected to reverberate through the pharmaceutical industry, where large corporations and senior executives have long escaped criminal culpability for the epidemic of overdoses from prescription painkillers, like oxycodone.

On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Rochester Drug Cooperative, or RDC, as a corporate entity with conspiring to distribute drugs, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failing to file suspicious order reports.

But the corporation entered into an agreement under which the government will hold off on prosecuting the company on the charges as long as it pays a $20 million fine, complies with the controlled substances law and submits to five years of supervision by an independent monitor.

As part of the agreement, however, the company, the nation’s sixth-largest distributor, admitted in court papers that it intentionally violated federal narcotics laws by shipping dangerous, highly addictive opioids to pharmacies, knowing that the prescription medicines were being sold and used illicitly.

“We made mistakes,” Jeff Eller, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement. “And RDC understands that these mistakes, directed by former management, have serious consequences.”

The two former company officials, Laurence F. Doud III and William Pietruszewski, were also charged with conspiring to distribute drugs and defrauding the government.

Mr. Pietruszewski, 53, of Oak Ridge, N.J., who was the chief compliance officer, was also charged with failing to file reports to the authorities about suspicious orders for controlled substances. He pleaded guilty last week and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Mr. Doud, 75, the former chief executive officer, pleaded not guilty late Tuesday in United States District Court in Manhattan and was released on a $500,000 bond. If convicted, Mr. Doud faces a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence and a maximum of life in prison.

The charging documents portray a company largely animated by Mr. Doud’s greed. As chief executive, he drove up the sales of oxycodone pills up ninefold over four years, from 4.7 million in 2012 to 42.2 million in 2016.

Fentanyl sales shot up even more over the same period, to 1.3 million doses from 63,000 doses, the documents said. And Mr. Doud’s compensation, tied to the sales, more than doubled, climbing to over $1.5 million.

Mr. Doud’s lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, said other executives at the company were scapegoating his client for their misdeeds. “Mr. Doud is being framed by others to cover up their wrongdoing,” Mr. Gottlieb said in a statement. “The government has it all wrong. He will fight these charges to his last breath and he will be vindicated.”
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Overdoses on prescription opioids have taken more than 200,000 lives in the last two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The charges stem from a two-year Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that began after the company violated the terms of a civil settlement. The company had admitted in the civil case that it had for years failed to report thousands of suspicious opioid orders from pharmacies, many of which flouted order limits and catered to doctors who ran pill mills.

Recent civil lawsuits brought by state attorneys general in New York, Vermont and Washington State have accused Rochester and the nation’s three largest distributors — Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen — of brazenly devising systems to evade regulators.

At a news conference, Mr. Berman would not address whether other distributors were under investigation.

But Ray Donovan, who leads the New York office of the D.E.A., said the criminal charges against RDC should remind other distributors “of their role as gatekeepers of prescription medication.”

“The distribution of lifesaving medication is paramount to public health,” he said. “Similarly, so is identifying rogue members of the pharmaceutical and medical fields whose diversion contributes to the record-breaking drug overdoses in America.”

John Kinney, the acting chief executive of RDC, which is based in Rochester, N.Y., operates in 10 states and employs close to 200 people, appeared on behalf of the company on Tuesday morning before Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of United States District Court in Manhattan.

Mr. Kinney signed the deferred prosecution agreement, in which the company effectively admitted committing the crimes. The agreement and a civil settlement, or consent decree, were approved by Judge Reice Buchwald.

Together, the agreement and the decree will allow the company to continue operating and set standards and oversight of its conduct, according to a court document.

State and federal authorities have struggled to hold pharmaceutical distributors accountable, and the lawsuits brought by state attorneys general say that despite signing consent decrees and paying fines, the companies have continued to ship thousands of doses of opioids to troubled pharmacies.

Mr. Doud last year sued RDC, claiming in court papers that the company had wrongfully fired him and that other executives were conspiring to blame him for the conduct that was the subject of the criminal investigation. The lawsuit and the criminal investigation were previously reported by The Democrat and Chronicle of the city of Rochester.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/nyregion/opioid-crisis-drug-trafficking-rochester.html
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Offline knarf

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Now that the political debate has shifted, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio is the latest in a bank of billionaires to talk about the gap between rich and poor


Ray Dalio. ‘The last time the 1% felt so under pressure was probably back in the 1930s as the US came to terms with the Great Depression.’

Two years ago on a chilly Saturday in March, some of the least well-off people in Connecticut went on a tour of the homes of the wealthiest. The outing was a protest organized by community groups worried by growing income inequality in a state that is home to some of the world’s richest people. While they never got further than the gates, it seems like someone was listening.

Chanting “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” (“The people united will never be defeated”), the protesters, sympathetically shepherded by local police, left giant “tax bills” totaling close to $3bn for their billionaire neighbours, including Ray Dalio, Connecticut’s richest man.

This month Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund, an investor in low-wage employers including Walmart and KFC, and a man worth about $18bn according to Forbes, became the latest in a bank of billionaires to go public about his fears of widening income inequality.

The yawning gap between rich and poor is a “national emergency”, Dalio wrote in an 8,000-plus-word blogpost on LinkedIn (where else?) that poses an “existential risk for the US”.

“I believe that all good things taken to an extreme can be self-destructive and that everything must evolve or die. This is now true for capitalism,” he wrote.

Dalio joins the JP Morgan boss, Jamie Dimon, investment guru Warren Buffett and even the Blackstone chairman, Stephen Schwarzman, “private equity’s designated villain” ( copyright the New Yorker) and usually an unapologetic 0.01%er, in publicly worrying that income inequality has stretched the US body politic to breaking point.

So dire has the situation become that Schwarzman called for a Marshall plan – referencing the US initiative that aided the rebuilding of western Europe after the second world war – to help rebuild the middle class. Admittedly he couldn’t quite use the word “inequality” (that might suggest something was unfair), preferring to argue the real problem was that those not in his wealth bracket were suffering from “income insufficiency”.

Never before have so many of the kings of capitalism showed so much concern about the system that created them, said Charles Geisst, author of Wall Street: A History and professor of economics and finance at Manhattan College.

The last time the 1% felt so under pressure was probably back in the 1930s as the US came to terms with the Great Depression, said Geisst. But back then the super rich did not criticize capitalism. “If you called someone a communist or a socialist at that time, that was fighting words because of the atmosphere with the Soviets,” he said.

Even after the crash, “capitalism” didn’t need defending.

Now the political debate has shifted, said Geisst. “I think they realize that Bernie Sanders has a lot more support than a lot of people think,” he said. Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren “could give them a really bad time” with their plans for higher taxes and greater regulation, he said. “These people are famous for hedging their bets, and this is another way of doing it.”

Steve Glickman, a senior economic adviser in the Obama administration and now founder of Develop, a company seeking to attract investment to low-income areas called “opportunity zones”, said the very wealthy understand there has been a societal change that challenges the way they have done business.

“An increasing chunk of the country has been left behind and that can’t be ignored any more,” he said. “The rise of populism, not just in the US but also in many other markets like Europe, is dramatically affecting the business model they have taken for granted. We are turning the table on what was close to 90 years of agreed upon bipartisan policy goals around trade and immigration.”

How sincere the 1% are about helping the 99% rather than themselves may be up for debate but it is pretty clear that the billionaires do believe there is a crisis.

Dalio, in particular, offers a startling deconstruction of the state we are in even if it is somewhat spoiled by his “solutions” – more leadership, bipartisan cooperation, accountability, private-public partnerships, yadda, yadda, yadda – sound like the sort of non-policy policies trotted that helped get us into this mess.

Dimon too has, unsurprisingly, rejected any radical reordering of a system he agrees is broken, calling socialism a “disaster” that leads to “stagnation, corruption and often worse”.

Dalio’s analysis of the issue is, however, clinical and frightening. The son of a jazz musician from Queens, New York, Dalio started investing at the age of 12 using money from his newspaper round and a job as a caddy and is now a self-made billionaire who clearly has a genius for making money.

Now, he worries generations of children are being left behind. “Today, the wealth of the top 1% of the population is more than that of the bottom 90% of the population combined, which is the same sort of wealth gap that existed during the 1935-40 period (a period that brought in an era of great internal and external conflicts for most countries),” he wrote before going on to dissect how this gap hits poor people’s health, education and opportunities.

As Dalio points out:

    Forty per cent of all Americans would struggle to raise $400 in the event of an emergency.

    The childhood poverty rate in the US is now 17.5% and has not meaningfully improved for decades.

    The US scores lower than virtually all developed countries other than Italy and Greece on educational attainment.

    The US incarceration rate is nearly five times the average of other developed countries and three times that of emerging countries.

    For those in the bottom 60%, premature deaths are up by about 20% since 2000.

“The last time that this configuration of influences existed was in the late 1930s when there were great conflicts and economic and political systems were overturned,” wrote Dalio. You know things are bad when billionaires reach for Hitler analogies.

Next month the super rich will convene in Las Vegas for the annual Salt conference, an investment summit that attracts some of the biggest names in finance and politics. This year’s speakers include billionaire investor Mark Cuban; Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Facebook and Twitter backer Andreessen Horowitz; David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group; and Gen John Kelly, the ex-White House chief of staff who will be interviewed by Salt’s founder, Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House director of communications (who Kelly fired).

The Mooch knows how to draw a crowd. He also knows what that crowd is talking about. In a recent interview, Scaramucci warned that massive inequality has “crippled” societies in Latin America. “You don’t wanna be the guy living in your McMansion in your barbed-wired security compound while your neighbours are struggling,” he said.

For all their apparent concern, Geisst is unconvinced. “I don’t think they are worried about it at all,” he said. Their ultimate message is “yes the system is crooked, but please don’t take my money away”, he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/24/ray-dalio-jamie-dimon-kings-of-capitalism-concerned
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On Tuesday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to talk about President Donald Trump’s reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

He noted that Americans should be concerned about the findings in the report.

“It’s a vast pattern. It’s not some event,” Krugman said.

“You write that it’s very much up in the air whether America as we know it will survive,” Cooper said.

“Institutions depend upon the willingness of people to obey norms, and occasionally to say, okay, ‘this is not how we do things in our country,'” Krugman said. “This didn’t start with Trump there’s been a steady erosion of those norms. This has been building for a long time, and we’re very close to the edge right now.”

“When you say close to the edge, what does that mean to you?” Cooper asked.

“You know, on paper, we’ll stay a democracy, but I worry very much about a sort of Hungary type situation where you have on paper the institutions of democracy. You even hold votes, but the system is rigged, and in fact, it’s become effectively you have a one-party rule,” he said.

“We’re very close. If Trump is re-elected if the Republicans retake control of the House, what are the odds that we will really have a functioning democracy after that?”Krugman said.

“I mean, that’s a pretty terrifying idea,” Cooper said.

“If you’re not terrified, you’re not paying attention,” Krugman said.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/if-youre-not-terrified-youre-not-paying-attention-paul-krugman/
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My Journey Through the World of Rich-People Meditation Products
« Reply #12524 on: April 24, 2019, 08:51:04 AM »
Is it possible to buy your way to enlightenment? I tried to find out.


The author in a DharmaCrafts meditation cape, sniffing a Remedylink nasal spray

Meditation is undeniably one of self-care’s all-time greats. Few other millennia-old practices have stood the test of both time and scientific scrutiny. Additionally, it’s a simple process, you can do it pretty much anywhere at any time, it doesn’t require any equipment, and, best of all, it costs you nothing.

But that hasn't stopped people trying to make a buck off it.

As the meditation/mindfulness movement has picked up steam these past few years, we’ve seen a variety of products and services pop up to aid those looking to de-stress, relax, or otherwise find inner peace. These run the spectrum from GOOP-y opulence to sci-fi wearables. The best of these, like the app Headspace, marry ancient methods with modern technology at an affordable price. Others, like this $3,500 meditation stool, feel, to me, more focused on helping customers find their credit card than enlightenment.

Living in LA, I frequently come across these seemingly unnecessary meditation accessories with ludicrous price tags. My gut reaction has always been a mix of disdain and respect for the grift. But I recently wondered if I’m perhaps being too cynical. What if you actually can spend or compute your way to a higher plane of thinking? To find out for myself, I embarked on a mission to try out the most high-end and high-tech meditation products I could find.

Cloak
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I'd always assumed it was fine to meditate in street or gym clothes, but as my research soon revealed, you apparently need something special to wear when you’re opening up that third eye. A company called DharmaCrafts has an entire webpage of “meditation clothing” available for purchase. I got them to send me a red fleece meditation cloak that retails for $179 to wear while I did my mental work. I picked the red color option because I thought I would make me look like a cool druid, but when it arrived and I tried it on, the vibes were closer to a Snuggie from The Handmaid’s Tale.

For those who don’t know, Los Angeles is warm year-round, so when I sat down in my fleecey vestments and got to meditating, it didn't take long for me to start sweating to a distracting degree. I decided I‘d have to go cloakless for the rest of my tests, but I’m keeping the cloak on hand in case I ever I need to seek wisdom from someone while sitting on a mountaintop.
Breath Monitor

Spire Stone, a Fitbit-like device that retails for $129.99, clips onto your waistband and tracks your breathing as you go about your day, vibrating and sending a phone alert when it thinks you’re too stressed and need to stop for some deep breaths. Because when has telling someone to calm down ever produced anything but the desired results? I wore one for about a week.

It did a pretty good job of getting me to do way more impromptu meditation sessions than I normally would have. And, on more than one occasion, its sedentary sensors shamed me out of bed when I’d languished too long after my alarm went off. It did, however, have a hard time making sense of when I’d purposefully put myself in tense situations. No, Spire Stone, I’m not hyperventilating. I’m trying to beat this Sekiro boss for the 50th time.

Brainwave-Reading Headband

For a less discreet meditation wearable experience, I tried out a $249 headband by Muse that uses Electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to monitor brain activity.

During the multiple 3-10 minute app-based courses I tried over the course of a week, my headband monitored my brainwaves, breathing, posture, and heartbeat, pumping corresponding ambient sounds into my ears via earbuds as my focus dialed in or wavered. And when I was really in the zone, I’d hear the sound of birds chirping.
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On the one hand, I felt as if this audio feedback really did help me free my mind and reach my most meditative state yet. On the other, by tracking all those metrics, it had gamified the experience and made it so I was just trying to rack up those bird chirps for a new personal best every time I sat down for a session.
Nasal Spray
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Determined to enlist as many of my senses as possible into my quest for mindfulness, I was immediately intrigued by the nasal spray I found on homeopathic medicine site Remedylink that promised to activate my thymus and pineal glands. According to the copy next to the product, the pineal is a “kind of antenna to the spiritual realms,” but “vaccines and fluoridation damage these vital glands and are in a sense a ‘spiritual castration.’” As a lover of both vaccines and tap water, things weren’t sounding great for my glands. Fortunately, the $89 tincture of liquid I was eyeballing claimed to be a “subtle aid to accessing the spiritual realm,” so maybe my glands could hold on to their testicles for a bit longer.

After explaining my project to the site’s owner, Spencer Feldman, he agreed to send me a Satori sample as long as I promised to use it in nature and temper my expectations. A man of my word, I took the bottle he sent to a park and gave both nostrils a spritz before sitting down on the grass for a meditation session. Now, I’m no stranger to putting stuff up my nose for work, but I was not ready for the sting that followed. A quick check of the ingredient list on the bottle informed me it was likely caused by the salt in the mixture. Once the pain subsided to a point where I wouldn’t be distracted by it, I sat in the grass for a 10-minute meditation sesh. I can’t say that it felt any different from the rest of them, but I was happy that Spencer’s caveat had afforded me a change of scenery.
Brain Massage Class

Meditation need not be a solitary endeavor, so I decided to cap off my journey by joining a guided class at Unplug, one of LA’s many luxe meditation studios where individual classes are $24 and private sessions can run into the hundreds. Though there were many tantalizing class titles like “Amplified Chill” and “Full Moon Dancing Hands Group Healing,” I ultimately chose one called “Brain Massage” as it incorporated wireless headphones that would blast me with binaural beats throughout the session.

When I arrived and sat down on my cushion with the 30-odd other attendees, I was relieved to hear the instructor, Peter Oppermann, citing research and talking about brain lobes as he explained how the next 45 minutes would go. I laid back and let his soothing German voice ASMR me into a tranquil state. The time flew by. It was probably the most serene meditation experience I’d had, even with someone’s phone alert going off in the middle of it.

I spoke with Oppermann a few days after class to get his expert take on the meditation’s high-tech present and future. He helped me reckon with the initial weirdness I’d felt about involving tech with meditation by likening it to a trojan horse that is introducing the practice to a new generation of people who might not have found it without assistance from some added bells and whistles.

“The Buddha spoke of using ‘skillful means’ I see technology as a skillful mean,” said Oppermann. “It's whatever the practitioner needs to improve the audience’s experience and get them curious about trying something new.”

When I asked him about the ethics of charging high prices for an ultimately free product, Oppermann gave a refreshingly honest answer and validated the concerns I’d been harboring throughout my entire quest.

“There’s absolutely real danger in turning meditation into a commodity,” he said. “If you can breathe you can meditate. To turn this inherent process into something where people think that by buying a gadget, it will get them somewhere… Just use your own judgement. We all have our own inner guidance. Just ask that voice, do I really need this, or do I just need to take a deep breath and close my eyes?”

https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/bj9xn3/my-journey-through-the-world-of-rich-people-meditation-products
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