Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Horrible Photo Shopped Mugshot.

In Scotland's new world of electronic child surveillance, debased language conceals what is going on

Scotland and Re-engineering Children for The Planned Society

In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a 'party line'. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestos, White Papers, and the speeches of Under-Secretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, home-made turn of speech.
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language,1946

For confirmation that Orwell's low opinion of political language still holds true 64 years later, you need look no further back than the windy rhetoric of the party political conferences in England, including the fatuous patriotism of yesterday's speech by the prime minister.
But there is a new class of political bad writing, unforeseen by Orwell, which is to be found in the reports of what are loosely known as the caring professions. The document on which the mass observation of children in Scotland has been based is the worst imaginable example of bad writing, yet it is the bible of our new electronic surveillance society. There may be some connection – it may be that most sinister ideas can only be communicated in debased language.

The child is someone who is 'on a journey', who needs to be helped to 'understand the past, and the here and now of the journey'.

At the end of a week in which we have attempted to explain what is going on in the lives of Scottish children, unknown to most of their parents, it is worth taking a closer look at this document, 'Getting it right for every child: Electronic Information Sharing Model and Process' (August, 2008), published by the 'Transformational Technologies Division, Standards Branch, Scottish Government' which has been signed off by a named civil servant, presumably a fairly senior one. It is worth taking this closer look because the document offers a disturbing insight into the closed world of official thinking about children.
It is a world of practice models, resilience matrixes, triads and triangles, a world of increasing interoperability and inter-agency involvements, of pathfinder developments and universal systems, a world in which the child becomes 'the service user' and the person reporting on the child becomes 'the practitioner'. The child is someone who is 'on a journey', who needs to be helped to 'understand the past, and the here and now of the journey'.
In this pretentious, sub-mystical, almost impenetrable world, there is very little precision. Do the authors of such prose know what they are trying to say, but are prevented from doing so by sentences as choked as the gutters of a country cottage in autumn? Or is the vagueness, the absence of what Orwell called 'outcrops of simplicity', simply a convenient way of concealing what is happening? It is probably a bit of both.
There is an almost evangelical certainty about the introduction:
This document is not just about Systems change but brings the 'Getting it right for every child' triad of change mechanisms, Systems, Practice and Culture (in the context of information sharing and the eCare framework) together in one place. The three change mechanisms are interdependent on each other and therefore this document is just as much about practice and culture as it is about systems. Systems cannot live in a business vacuum and the models and processes described here reflect these shifts in a 'Getting it right for every child' world.
That paragraph, for all its banality and ugliness, just about hangs together: with a bit of effort we can discern its meaning. But as the process of mass observation starts to be explained, the language more or less disintegrates. Orwell argued that the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. What foolish thoughts are these, shaping the lives of our children?
Under the heading 'Plan', we read that 'the circular process within the model ensures that help is specifically targeted on a child's ever changing circumstances and becomes a dynamic interaction'.
Helpfully, the document provides an illustration of 'dynamic interaction'. It is the one concrete example, so we should treasure it:
A child is about to place their [sic] hand in an open fireplace.
Concern – Safety.
Assessment Question – Will the child be at risk?
Plan – Remove hand from fire.
Action – Remove hand now.

As the late Eric Morecambe used to say: there's no answer to that.

Within weeks of the coalition government coming to power, Contact Point was scrapped on two grounds – its intrusion into private lives and its escalating cost.

A Scottish Review reader has emailed to ask whether 'this wretched project' is being 'rolled out' in England and Wales or whether it is entirely a Scottish initiative 'to make the population utterly dependent on the public services and then get public service employees to inform on the population'. The 'wretched project' in England and Wales was called Contact Point: its purposes and methods were broadly similar to GIRFEC in Scotland. Within weeks of the coalition government coming to power, Contact Point was scrapped on two grounds – its intrusion into private lives and its escalating cost.
It remains to be seen whether the administration at Holyrood will follow this admirable precedent or whether the mass observation of children being piloted by five Scottish local authorities will be allowed to continue at a cost to the public purse, and the greater cause of civil liberties, which is yet to be counted.

Women 'should be able' to take abortion drugs at home

Women 'should be able' to take abortion drugs at home

Women could be given the right to have abortions at home after campaigners mounted a legal challenge against 40-year-old laws.

Abortion provider, BPAS, is demanding that women be allowed to take the second of two drugs for an early medical abortion in the comfort of their own homes rather than in clinics.

The organisation, previously known as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the Abortion Act does not take into account modern advances that mean terminations before nine weeks can be induced with drugs without having to resort to surgery.

Currently women have to attend the abortion clinic to be provided with the first drug, which stops the pregnancy progressing, and then she has to return 24 for 48-hours later for the second, which causes the miscarriage.

Doctors have said it is unnecessary for women to return to the clinic for the second drug and experience in other countries shows it is safe and acceptable to give them the medicine to take at home.

Women having early medical abortions have warned they are worried about miscarrying on the journey home after being forced to attend the clinic for the second drug. They are legally able to leave the clinic once they have taken the second drug and can miscarry between one and six hours later.

Technology News: Tech Law: Feds Launch Show-and-Tell Site for Online Trusted ID

Technology News: Tech Law: Feds Launch Show-and-Tell Site for Online Trusted ID

A new website has been launched to shed more light on the U.S. federal government's plans surrounding the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. The program aims to protect computer users' online identities when making sensitive transactions, but critics have raised questions about the proposed plan's effectiveness and security.

Israel calls for attack on Iran

Israel calls for attack on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for “a credible military option against Iran” to force Tehran to end its nuclear energy program.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that military action should be taken by the international community and headed by the United States.

"You have to ratchet up the pressure and… I don't think that this pressure will be sufficient to have this regime change course without a credible military option that is put before them by the international community led by the United States," he stated.

He went on to say that sanctions are not enough to stop Iran's nuclear energy program, and they should be backed by some military action.

He has made similar bellicose remarks in the past, but they were always rejected by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Netanyahu made the comments a week after Tehran announced Iran's nuclear sites were being opened to envoys representing "geographical and political groups" in the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The invitation came ahead of the multifaceted talks between Iran and the P5+1 group — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany — that are scheduled to be held in Turkey from January 21 to 22.

Iran and the P5+1 group wrapped up two days of comprehensive talks in Geneva on December 7, during which the two sides agreed to hold the next round of negotiations in Turkey.

Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili represented Iran at the talks and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton represented the P5+1 group.

The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran last year.

But Tehran says sanctions have failed to hamper its efforts to master peaceful nuclear technology.

And the IAEA continues to conduct regular inspections and camera surveillance of Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iranian officials say the talks provide an opportunity to display Iran's policy of nuclear transparency to the international community.


Upcoming Events | Why We Protest | Activism Forum

Upcoming Events | Why We Protest | Activism Forum

Geithner Says U.S. Insolvent

Geithner Says U.S. Insolvent

Haley Approves Huge Salary Increases :: FITSNews

Haley Approves Huge Salary Increases

So much for limited government …

With her state facing an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley handed out huge salary increases to top gubernatorial staffers on her first full day in office.

Paying attention, Tea Partiers?

Haley started things off by giving her new chief of staff, Tim Pearson, a 27.5 percent pay raise. Pearson will make $125,000 a year – or $27,000 more than Scott English made while serving as chief of staff to former Gov. Mark Sanford.

Pearson will also have a full-time assistant who makes $60,000 a year.

Haley’s deputy chief of staff for communications and legislative affairs – Trey Walker – will be paid $122,775 a year. That’s a 42.3 percent increase over the second-highest paid staffer in the Sanford administration.

Haley’s top lawyer, Swati Patel, will be paid $102,000 a year – which is a 36 percent increase over the $75,000 a year that Sanford paid his top lawyer.

Haley’s other two deputy chiefs of staff, former Rep. Ted Pitts (policy and cabinet affairs) and Katherine Haltiwanger (operations) will be paid $90,000 and $80,000 a year, respectively.

Sanford’s office had just one employee with a six figure salary – the governor ($106,078). That salary is set by law and will not change – meaning Haley will also be paid $106,078 a year.

The Haley staff salaries – which were obtained by the Associated Press – showed increases of varying size up and down the executive staff roster.

Haley’s spokesman, Rob Godfrey, will be paid $65,000 – which is a 4.8 percent increase over the $62,000 that Sanford’s spokesman was paid.

Haley’s budget director, Jamie Shuster, will also make $65,000 – which is the same amount paid to Sanford’s budget director. Yet to be seen, however, is whether Haley will actually submit an operational executive budget as Sanford has done for the last eight years, or merely provide lawmakers with a handful of spending “suggestions.”

Haley will also pay $65,000 a year to legislative liaison Katherine Veldran, while cabinet liaison Taylor Hall will make $70,000 a year. Another policy advisor, Josh Baker, will make $60,000 a year.

'US media-numbed, bankers pocket $144 billion bonus'

Police turn to drones for domestic surveillance

Police turn to drones for domestic surveillance

Police agencies around the USA soon could have a new tool in their crime-fighting arsenal: unmanned aerial vehicles inspired by the success of such drones on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Local governments have been pressing the Federal Aviation Administration for wider use of unmanned aircraft — a demand driven largely by returning veterans who observed the crafts' effectiveness in war, according to experts at New Mexico State University and Auburn University.Police could use the smaller planes to find lost children, hunt illegal marijuana crops and ease traffic jams in evacuations of cities before hurricanes or other natural disasters.

The FAA is expected this year to propose new rules for smaller unmanned aircraft, a process that will include input from the public, says FAA spokesman Les Dorr. The agency also is talking with the Justice Department and national law enforcement groups "about possibly trying to streamline the process of applying for certificates of authorization" to operate such planes, he says.

Drones have flown in the USA for several years but have been limited to restricted airspace and to portions of the borders with Canada and Mexico.

The FAA authorized the Physical Science Laboratory at New Mexico State University to research the issues involved. "We're extremely interested in being able to pave the way to integrate unmanned aircraft into the civil air space," says Doug Davis, deputy director of the Technical Analysis and Applications Center at NMSU.

Davis says UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, range in size from 15 ounces to 34,000 pounds and a wing span bigger than a Boeing 737.

Oil off on US data but OPEC eyed as $100 in sight

Oil off on US data but OPEC eyed as $100 in sight

An employee walks past a pump jack at a PetroChina plant on the outskirts of Shenyang, Liaoning province January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) - Oil slipped on Thursday as markets weighed disappointing U.S. jobless claims data and the prospect OPEC would raise output should prices break above $100 a barrel for an extended period.

5 Year Old NC Girl Killed By Dogs

Child Home For Snow Day Killed By Dogs

A 5-year-old North Carolina girl was killed by two pit bulls on a day when she was off from school because of icy roads, police said.
Police said Makayla Woodard died after she was attacked late Wednesday morning in Waxhaw, just southeast of Charlotte.
The girl's grandmother, 67-year-old Nancy Presson, was bitten on the arm when she tried to save the girl.
A Waxhaw police officer who pulled the dogs off Makayla shot one of the dogs when it tried to attack again. The second dog ran away and was shot and killed by officers about two hours later, police said.
Makayla’s counsin, Amy Plyer said, "She was probably one of the smartest five year olds I ever met. Loved to play dress up, loved the snow."
Police said that in December they had warned the owner to keep the dogs penned.
Plyer said, "The fact that they've had previous complaints about it. I don't understand why their dogs would be out in the first place."
No charges have been filed but Waxhaw Police Chief Michael Eiss said the investigation is continuing.
The chief said he didn't know if the dogs were loose or had broken their chains.

$100 oil in sight - (01/13/2011)

Family charged 'death tax' for baby who lived one hour

Family charged 'death tax' for baby who lived one hour


Bio | Email

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 11 at 11:09 AM

SEATTLE -- Olivia Clark lived for only one hour. Doctors didn't even expect her to survive birth. Now her family has a hard time understanding why the King County Medical Examiner has to review her death and charge $50.

"With Olivia, there was so much love in that room and we knew it was going to be such a short time," says her grandmother, Diana Clark. "That was probably the most joyous hour that I've experienced."

Her grandparents say Olivia was polycystic and, as a result, her lungs never developed. So, her short life was a miracle.

"We were thrilled that she lived long enough that we could meet her alive and talk about her and see her while she was still alive," says Larry Clark, her grandfather.

Although her parents were from Yakima, they came to the University of Washington Medical Center for her delivery. As a result, Olivia died in King county. Her family soon learned the impact that would have when they received the funeral bill.

"There was a little line on there near the bottom of the bill that said 'King county death tax: $50.' And we looked at that, and looked at that and looked at each other and said 'what is that?' Couldn't believe that a little girl that lived for an hour has to pay a $50 tax," said Larry.

King County now requires a review of every death. The medical examiner instituted the $50 fee for cremations three years ago. This year, it included the fee for burials as well.

"The reason we do that is to make sure no one goes to the crematorium or to their grave without society and the family knowing exactly how their loved one died," says Gareth Johnson, King County Prevention Division Manager.

About 13,000 people die in King County every year. Over the last three years, the medical examiner's office discovered the cause of death in 347 cases were wrong and required further investigation, including two homicides. In half of those deaths, treatment was a contributing factor.

The Clarks understand some deaths need to be investigated. But in their opinion, not Olivia's.

"Every time I turn around the county appears to be nickel and diming us, putting a tax on this and a tax on that. Where does it end?" said Larry.

King County is the only county in the state that requires a review of every death. But a spokesperson for King County Public Health says other counties and jurisdictions are shifting toward this process.

Arizona Shooting Deaths Being Used To Push Theme T-shirts?

By Travinyle

In a disgusting display, it appears that T-shirts displaying the message "Together We Thrive" were printed and laid out before President Obama spoke at the memorial service. There is  little to zero amount of decency left as every possible tragedy is used to sell empty, meaningless T-shirts with slogans.
Shirts sit on the back of chairs before a memorial ...

Shirts sit on the back of chairs before a memorial service for the victims of Saturday's shootings at McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.
 (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Cancer - Through The Prism Of History

Cancer - Through The Prism Of History

By Dr. Lawrence Broxmeyer

Hodgkin's cancer under attack

When Virginia Livingston was a student at Bellevue Medical College her pathology teacher mentioned, rather disparagingly, that there was a woman pathologist at Cornell who thought Hodgkin's disease (a form of glandular cancer) was caused by avian tuberculosis.[1] This lady had published, but no one had confirmed her findings. Afterwards, Livingston compared slides of both. In Hodgkin's, the large multinucleated giant cells were called Reed­Sternberg cells. They were similar to the giant cells of tuberculosis, which formed to engulf the tubercle bacilli. Livingston stored away in her memory that this lady pathologist was probably right but she would have a difficult time in gaining acceptance.
By 1931, Pathologist Elsie L'Esperance was seeing 'acid fast' tuberculosis-like bacteria riddling her Hodgkin's cancer tissue samples. And that germ, once injected into guinea pigs, caused them to come down with Hodgkin's too, fulfilling Koch's postulates. L'Esperance brought her stained slides to former teacher and prominent Cornell cancer pathologist James Ewing. Ewing initially confirmed that her tissue slides were indeed Hodgkin's. But when he found out that her slides came through guinea pig inoculation of the avian (fowl) tuberculosis she had found in humans with Hodgkin's, Ewing, visibly upset, said that the slides then could not be cancer.
It betrayed his checkered history of high-placed medical politician. In 1907, you could have approached Dr. James Ewing about a cancer germ, and he would have embraced you over it. At that time, both for he and the rest of the nations medical authorities, it was not a question of whether cancer was caused by a germ, but which one. Was not it Ewing, at one time, who had proclaimed that tuberculosis followed Hodgkin's cancer "like a shadow"?
But shortly after, James Ewing, "the Father of Oncology", sent a sword thru the heart of an infectious cause of cancer with "Neoplastic Diseases" [2], becoming an ambitious zealot for radiation therapy with the directorship of what would one day be called Sloan­Kettering squarely on his mind. His entry lay in prominent philanthropist James Douglas. A vote for Ewing, Douglas knew, was a vote for continued radiation and James Douglas began sizeable uranium extraction operations from Colorado mines thru his company, Phelps Dodge, Inc.[34].
Soon Sloan became known as a radium hospital and went from an institution with a census of less than 15% cancer patients, separated by partition, lest their disease spread to others, to a veritable cancer center. But the very history of radiation revealed its flaws, and by the early 1900s nearly 100 cases of leukemia were documented in radium recipients and not long thereafter it was determined that approximately 100 radiologists had contracted that cancer in the same way.[3]
Still, Ewing, by now an Honorary Member of the American Radium Society, persisted.
Elise L'Esperance was anything but alone in linking Hodgkin's to a germ called Avium or fowl tuberculosis. Historically Sternberg himself, discoverer of Hodgkin's trade-mark Reed­Sternberg cell, believed Hodgkin's was caused by tuberculosis. Both Fraenkel and Much [35] held, as L'Esperance, that it was caused by a peculiar form of tuberculosis, such as Avium or Fowl tuberculosis, and of all the cancers, debate over the infectious cause of Hodgkin's waxed the hottest.
Into this arena L'Esperance stepped in 1931, with few listening. She would publish Studies in Hodgkin's Diseases [4] in an issue of Annals of Surgery. It proved to be the one legacy that no one, not even Ewing, who would soon die from a self-diagnosed cancer, could take away.

Dr. Virginia Livingston
"Our (cancer) cultures were scrutinized over and over again. Strains were sent to many laboratoriesfor identification. None could really classify them. They were something unknown. They had many forms but they always grew up again to be the same thing no matter how they were cultured. They resembled the mycobacteria more than anything else. The tubercle bacillus is a mycobacterium or fungoid bacillus."­Virginia Livingston, 1972
Virginia Wuerthele-Caspe Livingston was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania and went on to obtain impeccable credentials. Graduating from Vassar, she received her M.D. from N.Y.U. The first female medical resident ever in New York City, with time Livingston became a Newark school physician where one day a staff nurse asked medical assistance.
Already diagnosed with Reynaud's syndrome, the tips of this nurses fingers were ulcerated and bled intermittently. Livingston diagnosed Scleroderma. But upon further examination there was a hole in the nasal septa, something that Livingston had previous seen in the mycobacterial diseases TB and Leprosy.
So Livingston approached dermatologist Eva Brodkin and a pathologist for confirmation, all the while convinced that mycobacterial infection was causing the Scleroderma. She then preformed cultures from a sterile nasal swab ­ mycobacteria appeared, everywhere.[1] Injected into experimental chicks and guinea pigs, all but a couple died. Upon autopsy, the guinea pigs had indeed developed the hardened skin patches of Scleroderma. . . some of which were cancerous.

Momentum builds
Livingston, now possessed, solicited fresh sterile specimens of cancer from any operating room that would give them to her. All cancer tissues yielded the same acid-fast mycobacteria. New Jersey Pathologist Roy Allen confirmed her findings. Livingston and Allen then found that they could actually differentiate malignant from benign tissue by their mycobacterial content.[5] But still the explanation for why the cancer germ showed so many different forms was elusive.
Try as she might, part of Virginia Livingston's problems in an American validation of her multi-shaped cancer germ lay firmly entrenched in the history of medicine, especially in the constantly changing field of microbiology.
Louis Pasteur could handle being quickly rushed off a Paris Academy of Sciences podium to escape harsh reaction to his suggestion that children's milk be boiled first, but he could not tolerate his rival Pierre Bechamp's statement that a single bacteria could assume many, many forms. On his deathbed, Pasteur was said to have changed his mind when he said: "The terrain is everything", meaning the culture or milieu that bacteria grew on or in could change their shape or characteristics. But it was too late and even today, most conventional microbiologists deny the existence of such form changing (or pleomorphic) germs.
Robert Koch, Father of Bacteriology and discoverer of tuberculosis, could have helped. When he first worked with the bacteria anthrax, he noticed that anthrax's classical rod shape became thread-like inside the blood of laboratory mice. And then, after multiplying, they changed again, into the same assumed spore-like forms he later documented in tuberculosis as well.
Aware of what she faced, yet undismayed Livingston methodically went about proving cancers true cause. First in her line of attack were the long suspected and well-publicized tumor agents of Rous, Bittner and Shope. By photomicrographs, Livingston and her group demonstrated acid-fast mycobacterial forms in each of these so-called "viral" cancers. This included the famed Rous chicken sarcoma.
Early on, Virginia Livingston had decided that she needed help in validating her cancer germ and nobody knew the shapes and staining capacities of mycobacterial-related germs better than Dr. Eleanor Alexander-Jackson of Cornell. As far back as 1928, Eleanor Alexander-Jackson, bacteriologist, had discovered unusual and to that point unrecognized forms of the TB bacillus, including its filterable forms. By 1951, Alexander-Jackson was considered the expert TB microbiologist at Cornell.
In the same year, another American, H.C. Sweany proposed that both the granular and other forms of tuberculosis that passed thru a filter caused Hodgkin's cancer.[6] This was subsequently supported by studies by Mellon, Beinhauser and Fisher.[7,8] Mellon prophetically warned that tuberculosis could assume both its characteristic red acid-fast forms as well as blue nonacid-fast forms indistinguishable from common germs such as Staphylococci, fungi and the Corynebacteria and that this would surely perplex modern microbiologists.
When organized medicine choose to ignore these studies, Jackson warned that a so-called cure for TB could be as short-lived as it took classical TB rods, for the moment gone underground as a nonacid-fast form, to resurface one day and spring back towards destruction. Although American medicine had no serious time for Alexander-Jackson or her discoveries, it would not disturb her for as long as she focused on tuberculosis and its cousin, leprosy. But when her focus shifted towards Livingston's cancer germ, it would move to destroy her. She simply posed too great a threat.

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New jobless claims post biggest jump in 6 months

New jobless claims post biggest jump in 6 months

Despite promises of a recovery the reality is that jobless claims continue to jump. The idea of a recovery is beyond absurd.

Job seekers attend a career fair at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - U.S. jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week to their highest level since October, suggesting the labor market is still in a rut despite signs of improvement in the economy.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose to 445,000 from an upwardly revised reading of 410,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the biggest one-week jump in about six months, confounding analyst forecasts for a small drop to 405,000.

A Labor Department official noted the rebound occurred following the holidays, which may have hindered reporting of new claims and created a backlog.

Riots rage in Chile as gas price hike fuels flames of anger

Father slapped with daily truancy fines while searching for missing daughter

Father slapped with daily truancy fines while searching for missing daughter

Shannon Wolfson
January 12, 2011

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A father from Hutto is searching for his missing daughter, 17, and facing hundreds of dollars a day in fines from the court because she is missing school.

Father facing fines for teen’s truancy:

Michael Moreno said he has not seen his daughter since Dec. 3, when school officials at Hutto High School told him she left school during her seventh-period class. She has not been back home or back to school since that day.

Arizona Shooter Was On Powerful Hallucinogens

Arizona Shooter Was On Powerful Hallucinogens

Friend says “He would admit to seeing the sky as orange and the grass as blue”

Steve Watson
Wednesday, Jan 12th, 2011

Arizona Shooter Was On Powerful Hallucinogens 090111top

As with practically every other high profile shooting case in recent memory, it appears that the suspect was using psychotropic drugs, substances that significantly alter areas of the brain associated with perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior.

While some mainstream media reports have covered the fact that Jared Loughner was, according to people that knew him, obsessed with dreams and alternate realities, to the point where he was keeping dream logs and may begun to literally believe his dreams to be a form of reality, such reports have yet to make a connection with psychotropics.

George Osler, father of Loughner’s friend, Zach Osler has stated on record that Loughner was experimenting with a particular psychotropic drug.

“The whole thing about the dreaming and the alternate reality, I can see where he can kinda get so absorbed into that, that he’s not actually living in reality,” Osler said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

“I know that he was experimenting with the drug or herb or whatever it is – Salvia Divinorum – and from what I hear he used it quite frequently.” Osler stated.

According to several other readily available reports, several students in Loughner ‘s classes said that he would regularly spontaneously laugh out loud without warning. This is commonly associated with Salvia Divinorum use as the video below highlights:

Arizona Shooter Was On Powerful Hallucinogens 5months 340x169

The drug, otherwise known as Seer’s Sage, is a dissociative, meaning that it can reduce or block signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain. Therefore it is capable of producing hallucinations, sensory deprivation, dissociation, dream-like states and trances.

Following the high profile case of Brett Chidester, a salvia user who committed suicide, the drug was made a Class B misdemeanor in Delaware, however, it is legal in most states in the US, as it is not considered to be addictive.

The drug is derived from a plant native to Mexico and has long been used by shamans to induce visions and alter consciousness.

Opinions are divided on the long term affects of the drug and how dangerous it can be, however, it has been banned by various branches of the US military and some military bases.

This revelation puts into some context Loughner’s apparent obsession with mind control and deep interest in the spiritual occult.

In a report in the New York Times today, another of Loughner’s friends, Zane Gutierrez, describes the shooter as being mesmerized with the possible meanings of dreams and their importance.

“Jared felt nothing existed but his subconscious,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “The dream world was what was real to Jared, not the day-to-day of our lives.”

Gutierrez added that Loughner had “used the word hollow to describe how fake the real world was to him.”

“He would ask me constantly, ‘Do you see that blue tree over there?’ He would admit to seeing the sky as orange and the grass as blue… Normal people don’t talk about that stuff.”

“He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos, and that is probably why he did the shooting, along with the fact he was sick in the head,” Gutierrez added.

Panel: GM stock sale may trim taxpayer recovery

Panel: GM stock sale may trim taxpayer recovery

WASHINGTON – By selling a block of its shares in General Motors Co. for $33 each — a price far below the "break-even" point — the government sharply reduced the chances of taxpayers fully recovering their $50 billion investment in the auto giant, a new report from a congressional watchdog says.

The Treasury Department did gain a "major recovery" of taxpayer aid, $13.5 billion, by selling a chunk of its GM stock in November, the Congressional Oversight Panel said in a report issued Thursday. And the $85 billion bailout of GM, Chrysler and auto lender GMAC — now known as Ally Financial — seems to have put them "on the path to financial stability," the report said.

But the companies still face uncertain futures, taxpayers remain at risk and there are concerns about the government's openness in the unprecedented rescue program, the report said.

Without the rescue from the Bush and Obama administrations starting in December 2008, GM, Chrysler and GMAC would have faced the financial abyss, the report said. Their failure would have been crushing blow on the economy.

The Obama administration has said the rescue was needed to prevent the loss of at least a million jobs and economic devastation in the industrial Midwest. Administration officials have said they never expected to recoup the full investment.