Ben Carson Says Drug Addiction Is A Symptom Of ‘Political Correctness’ – BY CASEY QUINLAN NOV 8, 2015 3:20PM


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group's scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group’s scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group’s scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

As voters in numerous states express increasing concern over the rise in drug abuse, current Republican presidential front-runner, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, said the problem can be traced back to an over-emphasis on “political correctness.”

John Dickerson asked Carson about the “human side” of addiction on Face the Nation Sunday after mentioning that 25 percent of New Hampshire voters said drug abuse was the most serious problem in New Hampshire, according to a WMUR poll.

Carson answered that a lack of values and principles were responsible for serious drug abuse:

There are all kinds of addictions and addictions occur in people who are vulnerable who are lacking something in their lives, so we really have to start asking ourselves what have we taken outside of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the pinnacle of the world and the highest pinnacle anyone else had ever reached, and why are we throwing away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness?

Watch the response here:

Carson continued by saying the proliferation of heroin use specifically is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by not giving up on the War on Drugs.

Carson’s comments come shortly after two Princeton economists released findings that the rising death rates for middle-aged white people, especially those were less educated, may stem from substance abuse problems. In comparison, the death rates for middle-aged black and Hispanic people are going down. Although there was a sharp rise in the suicide rate for middle-aged white people, drug abuse was most responsible for pushing up the death rate, the New York Times reported.

The alarming rise in heroin-related overdose and deaths across the U.S. has become an issue of national importance. Last month, President Obama traveled to West Virginia, a state hit particularly hard by the crisis, to unveil a series of public and private sector initiatives designed to combat addiction to heroin and other opioids.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/11/08/3720420/ben-carson-addiction-political-correctness/

7 times John Oliver perfectly captured what’s wrong with America — and triggered real reform – ADAM JOHNSON, ALTERNET SATURDAY, NOV 7, 2015 04:00 AM PST


The HBO host has accomplished what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert never could. Here are a few of his best segments

7 times John Oliver perfectly captured what's wrong with America -- and triggered real reform
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNetJohn Oliver’s “This Week Tonight” is far and away the most refreshing thing on late-night TV. While other shows center around round-table chats and celebrity interviews, Oliver uses his massive platform to highlight overlooked but important political issues. Recently, he told CBS that his focus was “absurd public policies.”

By highlighting the absurdities of American institutions, he milks the injustice for a laugh while drawing the attention of millions of viewers to the issue. It’s a brilliant combination that, when it fires on all cylinders, makes for great comedy and sometimes even triggers reforms.

Here are his seven best segments.

1. Net Neutrality 

Arguably Oliver’s breakout hit, this segment masterfully dissected the knotty issue of net neutrality and its effect on free speech. Oliver explained why creating a two-tiered Internet was unfair, and even recruited the Internet’s “vile commenters” to spam the FCC’s website, which was taking public comment at the time. As a result, the website crashed and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler had to hilariously insist to the public that he “wasn’t a dingo.”

2. Abusive Animal Agriculture Practices

Possibly the least sexy topic his show has ever covered, Oliver took on huge poultry processing corporations that exploit small farmers and work to gut legislation that regulates the industry and protects animal welfare. In one of the more clear-cut political wins, the segment actually resulted in a pro-industry rider being left out of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill this summer for the first time in years. Several members of Congress cited Oliver’s segment for providing the political will to remedy the problem.

3. Bail System Exploits the Poor

America’s bail system is a two-tiered system where those who can afford to pay their bail go free and those who can’t are often forced to plead guilty or waste away in lockup before trial. Like many of the topics Oliver covers, it’s an injustice that exists largely due to inertia, despite being widely condemned as being unfair. One month after Oliver’s segment aired, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announcedthe city was reforming its bail system to lessen the burden on low-level offenders, allowing a judge to release up to 3,000 defendants awaiting trial. While there were certainly other factors at play, many pundits insisted Oliver’s segment helped bring the topic to the forefront of public debate.

Article continues:

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/11/07/7_times_john_oliver_perfectly_captured_whats_wrong_with_america_and_triggered_reform_partner/

Meet flakka, the drug police say is making people run around nude and have sex with trees – Updated by German Lopez on November 6, 2015, 3:30 p.m. ET


In Florida, law enforcement officials said the drug led a man to run naked through a neighborhood, try to have sex with a tree, and claim to be the mythical god Thor. In New York State, a local agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration called the drug “rat poison.” That drug is flakka, the synthetic drug reportedly linked to deranged behavior in several states around the country — and at the center of the latest drug hysteria.

“It actually starts to rewire the brain chemistry. They have no control over their thoughts. They can’t control their actions,” Don Maines, a drug treatment counselor with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, told the Associated Press. “It seems to be universal that they think someone is chasing them. It’s just a dangerous, dangerous drug.”

But these assertions are unfounded to the people who study new psychoactive drugs, which have been increasingly synthesized by chemists in secretive labs over the past few years. Bryce Pardo, a drug policy expert at the University of Maryland (UMD), said, “I scratch my head at these [claims]. … How do you figure? Because no one has actually established the harms.”

Peter Reuter, another UMD drug policy expert who’s co-writing a paper on synthetic drugs with Pardo, said the media often exaggerates the risks of new drugs. “It is well-known that every new drug is the most dangerous drug that ever came along,” he joked. “This is a fear of the unknown. I’m sure a lot of these are nasty drugs, but nastier than methamphetamine? That’s a high standard.” He added, “These tend to be niche drugs that fade away pretty quickly.”

Warranted or not, the public concern is very real. It seems like six months no longer go by without the media highlighting new fears about an exotic drug that could make us all crazy. Just a couple of years ago, the media drummed up concerns about new psychoactive substances when a man, who turned out to not be on synthetic drugs, allegedly tried to eat someone’s face while on bath salts. And synthetic marijuana — also known as “spice” — has reportedly contributed to a rise in emergency room visits and poisonings, according to the New York Times’s Alan Schwarz.

Part of that is rooted in the fact that different synthetic drugs are coming out more often as chemists use new techniques and sophisticated computer models to craft substances. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which tracks these drugs, has found a steady rise in new psychoactive substances over the past decade:

 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

Dozens of new substances are introduced into the market every year. Most of them come and go without any media attention. But when a drug like flakka, which is apparently cheap and easily attainable, allegedly leads to some erratic behavior in a state like Florida or New York, the media quickly jumps on it.

Article continues:

http://www.vox.com/2015/5/18/8613673/synthetic-drugs-flakka

Is The War On Drugs Working? – The People Speak – Vice News Published on Oct 30, 2015


VICE News traveled around the world speaking to people about what they think about the war on drugs.

Find out what people from Washington, DC to Bangkok, Thailand had to say about about the global approach to narcotics.

Watch the People Speak on immigration – http://bit.ly/1OdnuwP

Thabo Sefolosha Opens Up About The Night The NYPD Broke His Leg – Greg Howard Filed to: THABO SEFOLOSHA 10/29/15 2:50pm


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Atlanta Hawks wingman Thabo Sefolosha made news on April 18 when he was arrested along with his teammate Pero Antic at 1 Oak, a nightclub in New York, and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of governmental administration.

From afar, it’s a wild story: Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Copeland was there separately that night, and got stabbed shortly as the club let out around 4:00 a.m. It sparked a series events that ended with Sefolosha getting arrested, breaking his leg, and missing the playoffs altogether. The first-seed Atlanta Hawks, without Sefolosha, went on to get swept in the Eastern Conference finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On Oct. 9, Sefolosha was exonerated of all three charges by a jury in New York. A week ago, he sued the NYPD for $50 million. We didn’t know a whole lot else about the incident until today, when our friends over at GQ dropped a piece in which Sefolosha explains in his own words what transpired over the last six months.

Article continues:

http://deadspin.com/thabo-sefolosha-opens-up-about-the-night-the-nypd-broke-1739448179

Chris Christie says Black Lives Matter is calling for the ‘murder of police’ – Guardian staff and agencies Sunday 25 October 2015 14.16 EDT


New Jersey governor and Republican candidate says movement is creating an environment that puts officers at risk

Chris Christie presents himself as a tough voice on law and order issues.

The Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Sunday the Black Lives Matter protest movement was creating an environment that could put police officers at risk.

Speaking on CBS, he said: “I don’t believe that movement should be justified when they are calling for the murder of police officers.”

He also accused President Obama of supporting the movement and encouraging “lawlessness” while not backing up law enforcement.

Protests under the Black Lives Matter banner have coalesced around a number of deaths of African American people, most often unarmed, at the hands of police officers.

The movement first organized after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader who was later acquitted of charges regarding Martin’s death.

Other high-profile deaths have included those of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, in New York City. No officer was charged over the deaths of Brown and Garner, leading to protests and – in Ferguson – extensive civil unrest.

In September, Black Lives Matter said in a statement that conservatives were trying to turn the movement into a danger to officers.

“We’re targeting the brutal system of policing, not individual police,” the movement said on its Facebook page. “The Black Lives Matter Network seeks to end the system of policing that allows for unchecked violence against black people.”

Christie, the governor of New Jersey and a former US attorney, presents himself as a tough voice on law and order issues. He is nonetheless well down in polls regarding the 15-strong Republican presidential field.

On Sunday he said Black Lives Matter was “creating” an environment, as, he said, some of its supporters had chanted for the death of police.

Obama last week defended Black Lives Matter, urging the nation to take police treatment of black Americans seriously.

“We, as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously,” Obama said.

 

Article continues:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/25/chris-christie-police-risk-black-lives-matter