Turkey is the most dangerous place for journalists

Turkey, as ranked by Reporters Without Borders, is the leading country in imprisoned journalists. [1] In an effort to suppress dissent, journalists that go against the status quo are routinely detained in Turkey. And since the attempted coup in 2016, even more stringent measures have been enforced to ensure that opposing views are not expressed. Living in a modern and ‘civilized’ world, it’s shocking to see the self proclaimed ‘World’s Police’ not only stand idly by in the destruction of the freedom of speech but also help those in the ruling class of Turkey.

Serena Shim was an American journalist who was reporting on Turkey IN Turkey and was subsequently killed after exposing the Turkish government for allowing foreign terrorists to enter into Syria. [2]

Serena’s sister, Fatmeh, stated in 2015 that Serena caught Turkey using refugee camps as a cover to smuggle terrorists into Syria. She also caught trucks from the World Food Organization smuggle arms into the hands of the terrorists.

She predicted her death when she stated in an interview that she was worried about her safety after Turkey accused her of being a spy.

This is what she told Press TV, two days before she was assassinated. “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”

Two days later she (and her cousin who was the driver) was killed in a ‘car accident’ when a heavy vehicle collided with her vehicle. Initially, Turkish officials said they could not locate the car or the driver. They also stated that Serena died at the scene and both Serena and her cousin were sent to separate hospitals.

As Fatmeh stated in an interview, those same officials reported days later that they found the vehicle and the driver and that Serena had died in a hospital due to heart failure.

“There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”

These contradictory stories only add to the ‘conspiracies’ and what is equally as appalling is the complete lack of accountability that the US has asked for.

The United States are not only not doing anything to investigate into Serena’s obviously suspicious death but mainstream media in the US has done absolutely nothing to report on this. Furthermore, the US government hasn’t even so much as offered their condolences to the Shim family.

It is downright disgusting that the United States, claiming to be the ‘World’s Policeman’ can just let one of their own citizens be killed while they are doing their job in reporting truthful, honest and necessary news.

Even though she suspected her life to be in danger from the Turkish intelligence, and stated it on national TV, the American embassy as well as the government did absolutely NOTHING to investigate her murder.

The fact that the US did nothing to help Serena or her family is incriminating in itself. Was it because the US were arming these terrorists? Or did they fear the repercussions that would inevitably come if an US ally was blatantly caught helping and arming ISIS militants?

While journalists like James Foley [3] were described as martyrs and heroes, Serena was left to die without so much as an inquest into her death.

Serena was 28 at her time of death with two children. Her motto was ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.’

A martyr to journalism and an example to all.

[1] https://rsf.org/en/news/turkey-world-leader-imprisoned-journalists

[2] http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946

[3] http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/08/james-foley-an-american-hero/

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The story of a 20th century child laborer

Iqbal Masih was 13 years old when he was assassinated in his home country of Pakistan. Born in 1983 in Muridke, Pakistan, Iqbal was forced into child labor when his mother ‘loaned’ his name to a local businessman for Iqbal’s older brother’s wedding. When 2 years went by and the debt still unpaid, Iqbal’s mother was forced to give him up for child labor.

Bonded labor is essentially selling your services in an attempt to pay off a debt. It is the promise of physical labor in return for a loan. [1]

He worked in the businessman’s carpet factory for 14 hours a day and 6 days a week. Not only was the pay minimal (didn’t support basic needs or even come close to buying his freedom back) he was also beaten and whipped when his work suffered or when he wasn’t moving as fast. [2]

Although bonded, slave and child labor are all outlawed in Pakistan, rampant corruption within the government and the police force allow children to be taken advantage of.

At 10 years old, Iqbal was able to flee with some fellow youths who also worked at the carpet factory.When they ran to a police station to report the heinous crime, the officers were more inclined to collect on the ‘finder’s fee’ than to protect the young boys.

He was forced back to Arshad, Iqbal’s ‘owner’ and under the direction of the police, was chained to his carpet machine. He was forced to continue to work through a combination of beating and starvation.

His determination and relentlessness allowed him to attend a freedom day celebration of the Brick Layers’ Union 2 years later where he learned of his rights as a laborer and also the unlawful nature of child slaves.

He volunteered to speak in regards to his story that day and union leaders decided to help him and fight for his freedom. After numerous inquests into the legality of the carpet factory (which employs many child slaves), Arshad decided to free Iqbal.

There Iqbal went on to become an advocate, leader and literal poster child for the fight against child slavery. His small stature due to numerous beatings and malnutrition made him appear to be 6 or 7 years old when he was already 12. He used his size to sneak into factories and talk to the children to see if they were forced labor.

He eventually joined the Bonded Labor Liberation Front School, a school for child slaves or escaped child slaves, where he finished his schooling in 2 years as opposed to 4. He wanted to become a lawyer so that he could continue his fight against child slavery.

After flights, speeches and conferences around the world advocating for the freeing of all child laborers, he returned home on April 16, 1995. He was assassinated in broad daylight as he was shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun.

Police documents claim the killing was an accidental firing caused by a local, Ashraf Hero, whilst many around the world believe that this is a blatant coverup for big manufacturers who wanted Iqbal dead.

The Human Rights Commission looked into this case and agreed with the police’s findings although controversies and rumours are still floating about more than 20 years later.

At only 13 years old he not only helped free hundreds (if not thousands of slaves) but he also stood up for what he believed in. He was and is REAL and TRUE to what he is. He died for his cause. He is a martyr.

We can only hope that there are more people who are willing to fight for a just cause. Or simply stand up and say ‘That’s wrong.’

Actors or celebrities with a big platform and a large following need to use that as a megaphone to pine for justice. People such as Ashton Kutcher [4] , Akon [5] and Zach Galifianakis [6] are doing the right things with their popularity.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage

[2] http://moralheroes.org/iqbal-masih

[3] http://thefreethoughtproject.com/tag/pakistan-iqbal-masih/

[4] https://www.infowars.com/ashton-kutcher-in-war-against-pedophiles-and-sex-trafficking/

[5] https://globalgrind.com/4081754/akon-launches-solar-academy-provide-electricity-africans/

[6] https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/13jhsx/til_that_zach_galifianakis_was_approached_by_nike/

 

Operation Northwoods

Operation Northwoods is a declassified US document that undoubtedly showcases ‘false flag’ attacks. (Pictures of the actual document can be seen at [1])

A false flag attack is essentially that of a set-up. The attacker creates a situation in which innocent people are attacked or killed in order to frame another person/entity. In this case, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff attempted to create a scenario that would implicate Cuba in an attempt to justify an invasion and a subsequent war against Castro.

This document is not only available to the public at the National Security Archive but there is also a critical and in-depth published examination of the NSA and Operation Northwoods written by James Bamford. In his book, he states that the intent is to showcase the extent in which US officials tried to justify the use of military intervention in Cuba. [2]

Under the guise of ‘anti-communism’, officials attempted to fake assassinations of Cubans living inside the US, sink a ship filled with Cuban refugees, bomb a ship in Cuban waters and also shoot down a passenger airline while over Cuban airspace. All of these proposed scenarios, which can be found in the Operation Northwoods document, were the attempt to justify the invasion of Cuba.

By illustrating terrorist acts ‘performed by Cuba’ the U.S. can justify attacking Castro and invading Cuba with the backing of not only the American citizens but also the global public.

When President Kennedy decided to end this program (as well as break up the CIA, and end the private bank known as the Federal Reserve) he was subsequently assassinated by a ‘lone gunman.’

Now this blog post is not an in-depth look at Operation Northwoods. By no means do I even attempt at being more intricate and forthright than the actual documents shown at the National Security Archive. There are in fact a multitude of much more legitimate and experienced sources than I that can prove that this operation is real. [3]

What I am trying to showcase is that if false flag attacks have been around since AT LEAST 1962 (when the invasion of Cuba was first proposed) then how many other false flag attacks have there been since then?

If high level government officials can attempt to deceive not only their citizens but also the world, what other covert operations have they attempted since then?

Is it so far-fetched to believe that 9/11 wasn’t a false flag attack to justify the invasion of Iraq? And is it really that hard to believe that the Sandy Hook shooting wasn’t a false flag to justify disarming the American public?

What else do we not know about? How many more years do we have to wait until such revealing documents become ‘declassified’? How does hiding information and documents, such as Operation Northwoods, protect American citizens or infringe on national security?

History has shown us that taxpayers are lied to and those who try to do right (President Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, just to name a few) do not live that long. When do we, the people who keep this system upright and running, decide that enough is enough?

As the author of Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, James Bamford said: ‘Operation Northwoods may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government.’

 

[1] http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/northwoods.html

[2] https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/Northwoods.html

[3] http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20010430/

They need us more than we need them

Time and time again we hear of CEO’s and upper management taking home nearly 50 to 100 times more than those on the lower rungs of the ‘corporate ladder.’ According to Canadian Business Insider, the top 100 CEO’s of Canada brought home an annual salary of approximately 9.5 million dollars, which is a whopping 193 times more than the average annual wage of a Canadian! [1]

Now a common rebuttal to this statement is that CEO’s who have better degrees and subsequently a higher education, deserve a higher wage. Which MAY be true in SOME cases, but it is factual that not ALL CEO’s work 193 times harder than your average Canadian.

In our capitalist society, wages and promotions are not given due to merit or hard work. It is NOT the case that those who work hardest and produce the most results get the highest pay.

From working recreation to retail to construction, myself and others in Generation Y, have seen that it is not what you know these days but more so who you know. [2] So, is it the case that these CEO’s enter into their position of power due to merit and hard work, or is it due to them knowing the right people, and kissing the right babies?

Now let’s suppose in this Utopia we live in that these high level executives have reached their place of superiority due to merit. When they enter into this executive role, do they continue to work just as hard? Do they honestly deserve such a high wage when some Canadian families are struggling to make ends meet? Do they consistently work 193 times harder than an average Canadian? And is it even remotely possible for others along the corporate ladder to achieve such a high status?

More often than not the answer is no. Very rarely do we see CEO’s, principals [3] or managers give up their wage to ensure that those ‘beneath’ them are making their fair share.

So what can we do?

We are the oil and grease that allows the giant wheels of the system to turn. We are the key players in this one-sided game. We are the ones helping the CEO’s make millions of dollars. And as a result, we are the same people who are limiting our own resources.

Instead of fighting each other, we need to band together to focus on the real enemy. It is not each other that we should be worried about, rather we should be concerned about those hoarding money, resources and necessities from us.

There are way more employees than CEO’s. There are way more staff than managers. So what is it that we can do to ensure that we get our fair share?

Unions. The IDEA of unions.

If we all decided to stop working right now, what can the upper echelon do? Shut down the whole system to hire and train new staff? Hope that one or two of us changes our minds? Beg for our return with the offer of same if not slightly better wages? It’s simply too cumbersome for them, and not worth it for us.

Now suppose they do such things, how effective is it going to be? How quickly can upper management train these new employees and get the ship upright once more? How long until we realize that the 50 cent increase in our hourly wages isn’t enough? And how much longer will we stand to see managers and executives roll into work in Mercedes and Bentleys whilst the majority of others is stuck taking buses and trains.

Now suppose once again that they do right this ship. How will it look when a majority of their employees are striking outside of where they work? How will it look when media shines a light on corporations whose employees are LITERALLY outside railing against them?

Strikes and unions DO work; whether it’s teaching assistants [4] , nurses, or garbage collectors; when the little fishes band together and fight for what they deserve, results will appear and even sharks and killer whales can get eaten alive.

It is time to get rewarded for the hard work you put in.

If you truly believe that a wage should be judged based on merit, and not the suit you wear or the piece of paper you hold, then stand up, band together and defend yourselves.

If we all decided to stop working, the system stops running. Banks shut down. Grocery stores stop working. Gas stations stop becoming effective.

They need us more than we need them.

[1] http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/richest-people/canada-100-highest-paid-ceos/

[2] https://newsgathererblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/its-not-what-you-know-its-who-you-know/

[3] http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/08/05/kentucky-state-university-president-gives-90000-his-own-salary-so-low-paid/

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/oct/10/teaching-assistants-derby-durham-striking-new-contracts-pay-cuts

Hindsight is always 20/20

When you look back in time, you realize all the things you SHOULD have done, what COULD you have done. Whether you’re the greatest mind or merely the most average mind, you can always look back at your experiences and think ‘Hey! What if I did this? Had I done THIS, then things would be different or even better.’

Indeed, hindsight is always 20/20

The saying goes: “Do whatever makes you uncomfortable because that will make you grow.”

But what if EVERYTHING makes you uncomfortable? What if everything makes you work outside of your comfort zone? What if everything you do creates a little bit of anxiety and nervousness within you? What do you do then?

Is it uncomfortable simply because it’s foreign to you? Or is it uncomfortable because you’re scared of being bad at something? Or is it uncomfortable simply because it requires work?

If it’s any of the first two then I can almost assure you that you will grow in terms of self-actualization. But if it’s the latter, then it will only cause minimal growth.

I was faced with two options: continue looking for a full-time job to support myself, or go away to Hong Kong and obtain some sort of euphoric travel experience. Both situations were uncomfortable to me: the former being that I have to stick with something unknown and that I am horrible at. And the latter being that I am going to a country where I haven’t been in nearly 10 years.

Looking for a full-time job is uncomfortable to me not only because it’s foreign but it is also because I am downright horrible at it. And when I do inevitably find a job, I am going to be bad at that too (in terms of starting at the bottom of the corporate ladder and climbing my way UP.)

But going away to Hong Kong was simply uncomfortable because it takes work. It takes work to pack clothes, think about what to bring for 3 weeks, meal prep, and mentally prepare to meet relatives I haven’t seen in a decade.

And then it became clear, I need to get better at being absolutely shit at something. If I only do the things I am good at, I will never grow or be better. If I continue doing things that I suck at, then the only way for me to go is up.

And then I realize, there are two types of comfort zones, and subsequently, two types of growth. One is simply because I am lazy and that comfort zone is physically manifested as my couch. And the other is a mental comfort zone.

One will incite growth in terms of self-actualization. The growth in actualizing your potential. The other will incite hard-work: to not give into temptations or that lackadaisical feeling.

So then I think to myself; in what situation can I force myself to incite growth? Growth in me as a person and not just getting off my ass? What will help me become an adult, grow up, and attain my goals? Now clearly, I need to know what my goals are in order to set a path towards them. But what can I do to shorten that path between my current situation and that of my awaited situation?

And then I know: I need a clear vision of what I want.

I need to know who I want to be and envision myself in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years. Where do I want to be? Where do I want to live? Who are my 7 closest friends? What do I wake up to every morning? How do I look?

And then work backwards from there. If it’s a penthouse I want, what’s the quickest way to acquire the down payment for that penthouse? If it’s surrounding myself with smart successful people, where can I find these potential mentors? At a bar,at a business conference,a Facebook group, or an online forum?

The vision I have in my head will ultimately determine where my body will go. Thoughts become things as Kai Greene once said.

So if hindsight is 20/20, what if we project ourselves into the future and then think and work backwards?

 

 

 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission came into existence to examine the atrocious human rights abuses that occurred during the times of Apartheid in South Africa. The TRC was split into three distinct committees; one for the examination of human rights violations, another for reparations and rehabilitation, and the final, and possibly most controversial one; amnesty. [1]

Any and all people were subject to the investigation of the TRC, including citizens, police and most importantly, members of the ruling class at the time, the African National Congress.

The TRC focused on the years between 1960 and 1994; where apartheid was legal. Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, who later won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, was the Chairperson of the TRC. Tutu is a South African social rights advocate and a staunch opponent of apartheid policies in the 80’s. [2]

It is important to note that during the TRC’s investigation, members of the National Intelligence Agency destroyed large quantities of reports whilst defying government orders to cease and desist. [3] The TRC asserts that although the destruction of material complicated their investigative efforts, it did not hamper the clear evidence of apartheid and its inherent human rights violations.

An in-depth look into what types of human rights abuses occurred in South Africa can be found on the full TRC report at: http://www.gov.za/sites/www.gov.za/files/trc_0.pdf [4]

Now the most controversial part of this commission was the committee that handled amnesty. The amnesty program only provided immunity for those who conducted a violation of humans rights, those violations had to have occurred between 1960 and 1994, it had to originate from a political perspective, had to admit fault (even in the case of self-defense) and had to provide full disclosure (all relevant information.)

In order for it to be considered political, the individual asking for amnesty must be a member of one of the political parties at the time, and the committee also had to determine whether or not it was committed on behalf of the political party. The act had to be ‘proportional’ to its political objective.

If these criterion were met then the individual asking for amnesty would be granted a pardon. Any legal proceedings pertaining to that individual would be terminated, and they would be released if they were previously incarcerated. Furthermore, any criminal record would be erased and any criminal or civic liability would be removed. But, any civil judgements that had already been granted would not be reversed (money would not have to be given back.) [3]

Given that apartheid was and still is a sensitive topic, it is clear why some individuals would find amnesty for those perpetrators as an atrocious act of injustice.

Over 7,000 people applied for amnesty and 849 individuals were granted immunity. Although the report recommended prosecution for those not granted immunity, no such act was performed after the publication of the report.

A Truth Commission would truly be necessary in every country. It is in my opinion, too late to set up a Truth Commission after atrocities and mass murders have occurred. It is safe to say that there are human rights violations all over the world, whether it be in a Third World country or a developed western nation.

The Truth Commission is simply a committee that holds powerful people and organizations accountable for their actions. No one group was larger than the TRC in South Africa, and a committee like the TRC should be implemented in every country so that it’s people are protected.

It is too often and evident that our country and regions are run by people who do not have our best interests at heart. And when such things are exposed, those individuals or corporations should be held accountable. It is not acceptable for rules to apply to some people and not others. The world is not a game where rules are altered for those in a ‘higher’ place. Everyone should be held to the same standard; if rules are broken, and basic human rights are violated, they should ALL be punished equally.

[1] http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/truth-and-reconciliation-commission-trc

[2] http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-south-africa

[3] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/south_african_truth_commission

[4] http://www.gov.za/sites/www.gov.za/files/trc_0.pdf

Iran to drop the use of US dollar

On a January 29 television interview, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor, Valiollah Seif, announced that in the coming fiscal year, March 21st, Iran would no longer use the US dollar in its official financial and foreign exchange reports. [1]

In a report by the Financial Tribune (the first Iranian-English economic daily), Seif, who is also the head of the Money and Credit council, declared that Iran would convert to a currency that is more suitable for their trade deals.

Iran conducts the majority of its trades with China, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates. [2] The CBI hinted that Iran would either use the Euro, or a ‘basket of currencies in all official financial and foreign exchange reports.’

The move to switch to another currency has been in the works since 2016, but some speculate that Trump’s ban on seven Muslim-majority countries for at least 90 days (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) sped up this process. [3]

In response to Trump’s ban, Iran has announced that it will stop issuing Visas to US citizens. [4]

In a hidden retaliation, Congress passed a bill that authorized the US Armed Forces to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. [5] Thereby, justifying the use of force and invasion into Iran so long as Congress assumes Iran is stockpiling nuclear weapons. This is an eerily similar statement to when George W. Bush invaded Iraq looking for ‘weapons of mass destruction.’

A look back into history will reveal that anytime a country’s leader has attempted to shift away from the US dollar, their countries have been invaded and ransacked. From Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to Saddam Hussein of Iraq, all these countries have been demolished and outright bombed since their stray from the United States’ currency.

Only time will tell if this match-up between Iran and the US will be any different.

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2017/01/30/iran-to-ditch-dollar/#3f88974a676d

[3] http://thefreethoughtproject.com/iran-dollar-trump-war/

[4] http://wearechange.org/iran-drop-us-dollar-response-trumps-travel-ban/

[5] https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/10

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

“There are times when they bite their tongues or keep their mouths shut because to reveal it would lose a relationship, or a job, or a career. Then you said, but there comes a time when the level of wrongness or inhumanity is so great that you have to cross over that line.” – Daniel Ellsberg

The first Edward Snowden was Daniel Ellsberg.

Daniel Ellsberg was a former RAND (California Think Tank) and Pentagon employee. After volunteering for the US Marine Corps and then becoming a platoon leader, he finished his graduate studies at Harvard and earned his Ph.D. [1]

Ellsberg’s involvement in the Pentagon and subsequently the Vietnam war was more than just nominal. In 1950, he visited South Vietnam with a group of researchers to look at alternative, non-nuclear assault options. In August of 1964, he began working for the Defense Department as an assistant to John McNaughton. [2]

His expertise in crisis decision-making and of nuclear weapons gave him access to secure, top-secret documents.

One of these classified documents was the Pentagon Papers, formerly known as the History of US decision making in Vietnam. This document spanned over 7000 pages and was contained in 47 volumes. [1]

After reading the Pentagon Papers, he decided to leak it to the American public in order to bring about an end to  US involvement in Vietnam.

Ellsberg realized that American involvement in Saigon was not justified, and that the deaths of thousands of Vietnamese  and Americans were a result of mass murders. He wanted to expose President Nixon’s lies and reveal to the American public that they were endlessly dumping money, resources and lives into an ‘unwinnable war.’ [1]

In a time when Wikileaks was not yet present, and social/digital media still yet to be born, his dissemination of classified information was fraught with difficulty. Ellsberg along with his anti-war friend, Anthony Russo, had to manually photocopy the 7,000 page document.

After leaking the document to the New York Times, he was forced into hiding where he later turned himself in to the FBI on espionage charges.

These charges were later dropped citing ‘a gross misconduct by the government’ [1] after a Supreme Court Judge, William Byrne, revealed that three Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veterans had broken into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in order to obtain files that would smear his name and denounce his credibility.

His truly genuine patriotic act was rewarded by the subsequent end of US involvement in Vietnam and the resignation of President Nixon.

Most recently, in 2014, Ellsberg has gone on to compliment the work of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. [3]

[1] http://law2.umkc.edu/Faculty/projects/ftrials/ellsberg/ellsbergaccount.html

[2] http://www.pbs.org/pov/mostdangerousman/timeline/

[3] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/daniel-ellsberg-snowden-honored-his-oath-better-than-anyone-in-the-nsa/375031/

[4] http://www.pbs.org/pov/mostdangerousman/the-penagon-papers-and-wikileaks/

Addiction in Canada

Addiction and the war on drugs has long been a problem in countries all over the world, regardless of status: third world, developed, developing, etc. But aside from the fact that the term ‘addiction’ is general and vague, what can we, as society, do to help those who are ‘addicted’ and how do we combat that?

Google defines “addicted” as ‘physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.’ Firstly, anyone can practically be addicted to anything. An avid basketball player can be addicted to playing basketball to the extent where his knees or ankles can be hurting, thus creating an ‘adverse effect.’ An obese man can be addicted to cheeseburgers thus leading to the adverse effect of being morbidly obese. A businesswoman can be addicted to caffeine simply because she relies on 3 cups of black coffee a day to function. So why is it that an addiction to food, sports, television or coffee is okay but another arbitrary substance defined by the government is not?

Let’s disregard the definition of addiction and deal with how we HANDLE addiction. Well, addiction is simply a dependence on something that causes negative effects. So how can we deal with these adverse effects whilst helping the individual wean off that substance?

It’s clear that mass incarceration doesn’t work since drug users (or ‘abusers’) have not shown a significant decline in Canada since Health Canada conducted a study in 2004. [1] Health Canada surveyed Canadians on cannabis, cocaine/crack, heroin, methamphetamine, hallucinogens, and ecstasy in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The study illustrates that since the war on drugs, there has not been a significant drop in drug users. In fact, the number of drug users has basically stayed the same!

Furthermore, according to the Government of Canada website, 11 per cent of Canadians reported using 1 out of the 6 elicit drugs (cannabis, cocaine or crack, speed, ecstasy, hallucinogens or heroin) in 2012 within that year. The same study was conducted in 2013 and once again, 11 per cent of Canadians (or 2.9 million Canadians) reported using 1 out of the 6 elicit drugs. [2]

So what does work?

Montreal has begun implementing safe injection sites where drug users can visit the site to use their drugs in a safe manner. In 2016, Montreal has pledged to invest 12 million dollars to fund these open injection sites. [3]

Open injection sites or supervised injection sites are areas where drug addicts can go to ‘shoot up’ in a safe manner. They are guaranteed clean needles and a place free from judgement and prosecution. They are given doses that are safe thus preventing overdoses, and they can be sure that they are truly getting what they ask for (ie. fentanyl instead of heroin [4])

If in the unfortunate event that an overdose does occur, staff and other medical personnel are present in order to prevent deaths.

Moreover, in countries such as Portugal where all drugs have been legalized (ala libertarianism) for at least 14 years and open injection sites are implemented, there has been a SIGNIFICANT decrease in drug users of all drugs. [5] Moreover, the amount of cases involving HIV and AIDS has severely declined due to open injection sites offering clean needles and users not having to share needles.

14 Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here's What Portugal Looks Like

Now I am not condoning the legalization of ALL drugs (although it has shown to be effective in some countries) but I am an advocate of open injection sites. Instead of shunning those who need our help and throwing them into jail cells, we should provide them with the necessary tools to get through their addiction. Quitting anything cold turkey is hard enough (whether it be smoking, drinking, or even eating healthier foods) and it becomes that much more difficult when society chooses to simply abandon you.

[1] http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/drugs-drogues/stat/_2011/summary-sommaire-eng.php

[2] https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey/2013-summary.html

[3] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-to-invest-12m-in-safe-injection-sites-1.3783424

[4] http://www.cpha.ca/en/about/digest/40-2/5.aspx

[5] https://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening#.9iCFWIDHg

Right under our noses

On December 8, 1999, a unanimous decision was reached between 12 jurors (6 black and 6 white) that the United States government was complicit in the assassination of Martin Luther King.

It was the only trial performed on Dr.King’s death and to this day no one and no organizations/corporations have been held accountable for these actions. According to author and journalist, James Douglass: “I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, ‘Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?’ ”

The case was between King’s family and longtime friend and lawyer, William F. Pepper, vs Jowers and other unknown co-conspirators. After a mere ONE hour of deliberation (when some cases require days as opposed to hours to reach a verdict), the jurors of the Memphis, Tennessee court concluded that Dr. King was assassinated by a conspiracy that involved agencies of the US government.

Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

Now this is not a post on conspiracy theories inv0lving the martyrdom of Dr.King. This is  an objective look on the death of Martin Luther King and what conspired after his murder.

It is clear that Dr.King fought for equality and justice and at the time of his death (April 4, 1968) he had already made enemies in high places who didn’t agree with his philosophies and as a result, wanted him gone.

The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure.” [1]

Moreover, it is factual that Dr.King was usually guarded by police and security guards who were not present an hour before his death. [1] It is also factual that Dr.King’s room was moved from a more secure first floor room to a balcony room. [1] And even more importantly, the bullet that killed Dr.King did not match that of the rifle that was shown in court.[1]

Now, all these facts can be argued away by a staunch opposer who can simply say it is a ‘mere coincidence.’ But the fact of the matter is that the King family did NOT sue the suspected killer, rather they filed a lawsuit against Loyd Jowers and other unknown entities.

Jowers was the former owner of a Memphis bar and grill. This bar and grill opened out onto the bushes facing the Lorraine motel where Dr.King was shot. Since then, the shrubs and bushes have been removed to erase the possibility of potentially hiding a sniper. [1]

Furthermore, James Early Ray, the suspected killer of Dr.King was never tried in court. He plead guilty in order to avoid a death penalty but his only act was bringing the rifle to the Memphis bar and grill owned by Jowers. When he later found out that he was the sole suspect charged with the murder of Dr.King, he recanted his guilty plea and asked for a trial, but to no avail. [4]

Jowers and the US government were eventually found guilty of conspiring to kill Dr.King but due to the ‘sovereign immunity’ that the US government obtains it makes it impossible to hold US intelligence agencies accountable in a criminal court. To hold such agencies accountable would require the help of the federal courts who wanted no part in indicting themselves.

Therefore, in the civil court, Jowers as well as the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee and the United States of America were complicit in the conspiracy to murder Dr.King.

[1] http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/01/martin-luther-king-assassinated-us-govt-king-family-civil-trial-verdict.html

[2] https://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/Unspeakable/MLKconExp.html

[3] http://www.thekingcenter.org/civil-case-king-family-versus-jowers

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2EE64XHcnI