Study: More Than Half Quit Using Prescription Drugs After Using Cannabis And CBD Products

A survey on cannabidiol (CBD) usage found that women are more likely than men to use CBD; and once they start using it they quit traditional forms of big pharma painkillers like Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Vicodin, Forbes reported.

Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research organization, and HelloMD, an online community that brings together doctors and cannabis patients, studied 2,400 of HelloMD’s community of 150,000 members by monitoring their usage of CBD products and their overall effectiveness.

CBD oil is derived as a powerful ingredient reaped from the hemp plant. Many may find it shocking to learn that CBD is similar to a compound that our bodies produce naturally, and from birth, called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids aren’t just found in the cannabis plant, they’re also naturally occurring in other plants in nature, they are just found at a higher potency in cannabis or hemp.

CBD has shown promise as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety in early research. Although more research is needed into CBD oil and its effects, much of the studies have been positive.

The survey taken in 2017 found that an overwhelming amount of CBD users were women 55%, while men preferred tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-dominant products such as oils derived from marijuana known as “dabs.”

The participants in the study used micro-doses or less than 10 mg of their preferred CBD product for the test. It was stated that vaping was the preferred means of administering their medication, with edibles second.

“We are seeing an exponential rise in the interest of CBD products from our patient community-particularly among women. While we still have much to learn about CBD, we cannot ignore this one fact; the majority of those using CBD product today receive great benefit. This has the potential for far-reaching consequences,” HelloMD Chief Medical Officer Dr. Perry Solomon said.

The most common reasons somebody used CBD were to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety, and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. A shocking 42% of the CBD users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had instead switched to using CBD — whether they used marijuana-derived CBD or hemp-derived CBD.

To break down that data even more: 43% of participants who used CBD-dominant and hemp-derived CBD now use cannabis instead of other medications to treat their conditions. Meanwhile, 40% of marijuana-derived CBD-only users now use cannabis instead of other medications to treat their conditions.

While a massive 66% of CBD users indicated that CBD products are either “more effective”or “much more effective” in relieving their medical conditions than over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

More specifically, statistics showed that among marijuana-derived CBD-only & CBD-dominant users the results were 67%, while among hemp-derived CBD users 69% found that CBD helped them more then traditional medicines.

This means that rounding this out, approximately 52% indicated that their CBD products are either “more effective” or “much more effective” in relieving medical conditions than prescription medications.

Further, a massive 80% of those who used both products stated that they found the results to be “very or extremely effective,” while only 3% or less found CBD products to be either ineffectual or only slightly effective.

WHEN ASKED ABOUT MEDICAL RELIEF, MORE THAN FOUR OUT OF FIVE CBD USERS FOUND CANNABIS TO WORK EITHER EXTREMELY EFFECTIVELY OR VERY EFFECTIVELY AGAINST THEIR VARIOUS CONDITIONS. EACH OF THE INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES UNDER THE CBD UMBRELLA FARED WELL, WITH THE VAST MAJORITY (82-83%) OF USERS EXPERIENCING EFFECTIVE RELIEF WITH THE USE OF HEMP-DERIVED CBD, CBD-DOMINANT AND MARIJUANA-DERIVED CBD-ONLY PRODUCTS TO HELP TREAT THEIR CONDITIONS.

A whopping 90% reported they were likely to buy plant-derived CBD products again in the future, while many reported using a variety of CBD products rather than just one.

There are an exceeding number of at least 850 brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150 hemp-derived solutions according to the study. It’s worth noting for the reader that marijuana and hemp are the two variations of the cannabis plant. While this can get confusing, hemp CBD oil is mostly legal thanks to a bill signed recently by President Donald Trump and marijuana CBD-derived oils are still illegal.

Meanwhile, states and the FDA are both getting involved in policing the new industry, with many calling CBD oil from hemp illegal despite the lack of psychoactive effects.

To reiterate, one makes you feel good without the psychoactive effects while retaining medical properties (the hemp) and the other gets you high, (marijuana-derived CBD.)

“40 percent of hemp-derived CBD users with a medical condition find their cannabis products to be extremely effective at relieving their symptoms—compared to 37 percent of marijuana-derived CBD-only users and 41 percent of whole plant CBD users,” the Brightfield Group states.

In another study, researchers determined that there is “anti-relapse” potential of transdermal CBD. In the investigation, the researchers administered transdermal CBD to animal subjects that had a history of self-administering cocaine or alcohol and exhibited characteristics of an addict such as dependency, and anxiety.

After administering CBD once every 24 hours for just seven days, the scientists made a startling discovery.

Based on the final test results, they concluded that only 7 days of CBD treatment not only prevented the development of previously displayed “addict” characteristics, it also deterred the subject’s from relapsing for 5 whole months — despite that the CBD was cleared from the system in 3 days.

Although the study by Brightfield Group and HelloMD may be seen as biased since its aimed at cannabis enthusiasts who are part of a community, numerous studies have so far found a stunning 50 different use cases for CBD that help to treat various health conditions.

These studies show that Big Pharma has a run for its money when it comes to a natural plant — hemp — and as Salon wrote, medical marijuana could cost the prescription drug industry to lose billions of dollars.

Perhaps the results of these studies will lessen skepticism over the effectiveness of hemp-derived CBD when it comes to the benefits on one’s own health.

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YouTube Begins Shutting Down Revenue For Anti-Vaccine Videos

As I recently reported, Facebook announced that it would begin exploring ways to fight anti-vaccine messaging after receiving a letter from Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Schiff and others of his ilk are doing their best to blame the measles outbreak in the U.S. on social media systems that offer anti-vaccine messaging in their “recommended reading and groups” areas.

In the above report about the letter that Schiff sent off to the heads of Facebook and Google, YouTube (owned by Google) was specifically mentioned as being illustrative of “the problem.”

From Bloomberg:

The first result under a search for “vaccines” on YouTube is a video showing a “middle ground” debate between supporters of vaccines and those who think they’re dangerous. The fourth result is first episode of a popular anti-vaccine documentary series called “The Truth About Vaccines.” It has almost 1.2 million views.

This type of level playing field of people actually seeing the information that concerns them enough to spur debate simply can’t stand.

BuzzFeed is reporting that YouTube will take a two-pronged approach to reducing the exposure of this type of messaging – first demonitizing the videos, plus adding a stern warning from the World Health Organization on the videos:

YouTube on Friday said it would prevent channels that promote anti-vax content from running advertising, saying explicitly that such videos fall under its policy prohibiting the monetization of videos with “dangerous and harmful” content. The move comes after advertisers on YouTube pulled their ads from these videos, following inquiries from BuzzFeed News.

[…]

In addition to demonetizing anti-vax content, YouTube also introduced a new information panel pertaining to vaccines. Previously, information panels appeared on anti-vax videos that explicitly mentioned the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, and only described what the MMR vaccine is for and linked to its Wikipedia page. Now, a considerably larger number of anti-vax videos have an information panel that links to the Wikipedia page for “vaccine hesitancy”, where it is described as “one of the top ten global health threats of 2019” according the World Health Organization.

This decision comes on the heels of YouTube being exposed for continuing to carry videos that show child exploitation.  While the anti-vaccine videos haven’t been completely removed — keeping them just short of child exploitation in the level of seriousness we can assume — this is a disturbing trend.

As we will continue to say, YouTube/Google is technically a private company, so they are entitled to create the policies that they feel are best for their business. However, as many have argued, the connections between these “private” companies and the government are more than tangential — it’s often a direct pipeline. Even ignoring that, here is what Google alone is in control of across the tech/media landscape:

It’s a tad comprehensive, and “Technology Incubator for geopolitical challenges” does nothing to alleviate concerns about government collusion.  Also of note is something that specifically pertains to this website: Google AdSense.  Can websites like ours that have AdSense expect to have anything that challenges the official vaccine narrative demonitized? This is one of the backdoor ways that censorship can expand — they will say that aren’t censoring the information, because it’s still there (although our partner site Activist Post did have their channel shut down completely for no reason). But the ability to deliver the information is severely restricted by the algorithm, as well as any financial reward for providing the service of information delivery.

This should be a stark reminder that we are entering an age of direct support for what we want to read, see, and hear. Please get on the mailing list of any site that you feel is worth your time and intellectual pursuits, and click on their articles directly as well as send them financial support if you feel they deserve it.

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The independent media just saved America from a bloody race war (that the mainstream media was trying to start)

In reviewing the Jussie Smollett fiasco, it’s important to note that Smollett staged his hate crime hoax in a location where he believed it would be caught and recorded on a surveillance camera. The purpose of this was to have video footage that the media would play up nationwide, fomenting an outbreak of racially-charged violence that would ultimately lead to a full-blown race war across America (which the media, of course, would blame on Trump).

This is the goal of the left-wing media, which now functions as a cabal of enemy combatants in a civil war they started. And I have no doubt that Barack Obama and his “community organizers” are behind the whole thing. Smollett is well known to be a cohort of Obama, and this is exactly the kind of thing Obama continues to direct from his “bunker” command center near the White House. (See photo, below, of Smollett and the Obamas together.)

The independent media blow the hoax wide open (and the Chicago police did a damn fine job, too)

Yet the hoax was revealed thanks to the efforts of the independent media and old school police work by the Chicago PD, not the “mainstream” media news cartels (which pushed endless lies and propaganda to prop up the hoax for as long as possible).

It was indy media that asked the first questions about the flimsy story that Smollett pushed on the world. Too many things didn’t add up, and while the left-wing media swallowed the hoax without asking a single critical question, the independent media pointed out the many holes in Smollett’s story, such as the fact that he refused to hand over his full phone records to the police… or his claim that he was attacked by two men but somehow managed to hold on to his Subway sandwich the entire time, even walking home with it. Other facts highlighted by the independent media also blew holes in the Smollett story, such as the observation that Smollett was spotted on camera walking home with the fake noose still around his neck. Why would a victim of an attempted lynching continue to wear the noose? And why would he wait 40 minutes to call the police? Why didn’t he desperately shout to the doorman of his apartment to call the police, explaining he had just been attacked?

None of it added up. But the left-wing media didn’t care. The fake hate crime hoax fit their narrative of America as a racist nation filled with homophobic Trump supporters, and the delicious ingredients in that recipe made such an enticing narrative that the media couldn’t resist. So they risked a race war breaking out across America to try to once again demonize Trump supporters and “keep the hate alive” (which is a key job of the left-wing media these days).

America was just saved by the same independent media that the tech giants are trying to wipe out

All this underscores the importance of speech diversity in a free society. Dissenting voices are sometimes the most important voices of all, since they question the official narrative of lies and deception. This is exactly why systematic censorship of the independent media by the dishonest, fascist tech giants is so dangerous to Democracy.

In this case, it was the dissenting voices — the independent media — that exposed the hoax and very likely stopped the outbreak of racial violence from taking place. In other words, while the mainstream media was actively pushing for a race war in America, the independent media threw water on the embers before it become a firestorm. In response, numerous “journalists” in the media are publicly admitting they are disappointed and saddened that the hate crime wasn’t real. They actually wish for hate crime violence in America, and they don’t even try to hide their dark desires anymore.

Yes, we’ve actually reached the point of insanity in America where “mainstream” media journalists actively wish for hate crimes and race wars. And they are willing to lie and deceive the public to try to make that happen.

If anyone should be censored and de-platformed today it’s CNN, the NYT and the Washington Post. Those are the organizations spreading dangerous lies in a deliberate effort to spark a nationwide race war. They are complicit in the plot to destroy America, and they are acting with extreme malice in trying to carry out their intended agendas to see America rip itself apart.

So why do the tech giants selectively censor the independent media while granting the lying left-wing media near-total control over the public narrative? Because the tech giants want to destroy America, too. They’re all in on it. It’s a plot to bring down this nation, blame white people, depose Trump, silence all dissent and sweep in an authoritarian regime run by deranged, fraudulent Leftists.

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Why the Feds Will Eventually Force Physicians Into Government-Run Health Care

Democrats have a unique problem on their hands with Medicare for All.  It’s not just taxes and economic reality—it comes down to property.

How are the Democrats going to treat the private property of patients and physicians?

Democrats want to create one fair system of health care for all Americans. Others have debated the merits of forcibly removing private insurance policies from 180 million Americans. More interestingly, what about physicians? Do physicians have a right to exercise their private property in this expedition or are they to become agents of the state forced to participate in the new health care plan in the name of equity?

Government control of the payment of physicians through Medicare and Medicaid places a tremendous  administrative burden on physicians and tends to drive reimbursement downward. As such, certain physicians refuse to accept Medicare or, more commonly, Medicaid insurance plans.

Is the government going to have to force them to participate?

Medicare, the government’s insurance plan mostly for the elderly, reimburses generally about 20 percent less than private insurance for the same procedure. Medicaid, the government’s insurance plan for those with limited income and resources, reimburses about 70 percent of what Medicare does.

It doesn’t take too much logic to realize that physicians do not want to be paid less for the same amount of work. And it’s generally top doctors or private institutions that are able to be more selective about who they see or how they charge patients.

Most physicians do take Medicare, but in 2017, New York City physicians had only a 76 percent acceptance rate for Medicare patients. A 2016 survey found that 35 percent of Texas Medical Association members said they would not take on new Medicare patients. One-third of doctors simply do not see Medicaid patients.

If the government does not force physicians to participate in the new massive government insurance scheme, this will certainly create an inequity of access that will be unsettling to the new socialist order.

Bernie Sanders bluntly calls for the complete elimination of private insurance. Kamala Harris embarrassed herself nationally at a CNN Townhall when she essentially called for that same elimination only to backtrack the next day.  Elizabeth Warren played high school student council-level politics when she avoided the question on Bloomberg Television. These are not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whoops moments, this is becoming a true policy platform.

Economics aside, the Left wants to promise what it can only deliver only with force: complete equity.  It sounds joyfully reminiscent of the blunder, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Part of that statement also mentioned that “if you like your doctor…you can keep your doctor.” At some point, the national government will have to force individual physicians, real people, to participate in something against their free will.

It begs the question, what else could a government of that power force physicians to do against their will? I certainly don’t want to find out.

There are some realistic considerations to this. Physicians often times learn and benefit from government-funded academic research institutions. Physicians also take the Hippocratic Oath to serve patients. There is absolutely a societal aspect to care, but a single government entity is not the only way to help people.

An actual debate is merited for a two-tier system rooted not in the make-believe world of equity but in the intellectually relevant conversation of Sufficientariansim. How do we give people enough? It’s worth mentioning and never forgetting, like in all socialist agendas, that government bureaucrats, like all the major Democratic presidential candidates, will always have more than enough; they will always be in the upper tier. They will not be equal.

Ted Kennedy, champion of universal healthcare, famously said: “Every American should be able to get the same treatment that US senators are entitled to.” That sounds wonderful, and I’m sure he meant it. However, in reality, Ted Kennedy exercised his private property rights (net worth between $45 million and $150 million) to bypass several local and regional healthcare centers to have brain tumor surgery at Duke University with a world-renowned specialist. Surely, I would imagine, our current Democratic presidential hopefuls believe equity would prohibit such a grand gesture.

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It is the right and duty of all Americans to REFUSE to comply with unconstitutional gun laws

The far-left Colorado enclave of Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, recently enacted a “law” that targets gun owners by criminalizing them for not jumping through a bunch of arbitrary bureaucratic hoops aimed at deconstructing the Second Amendment. But setting an example for all of us are patriots and gun-owners like local Boulder resident Jon Caldara, who’s gone public to say that he will never comply with his city’s unconstitutional demands, no matter the cost to his own life and livelihood.

President of the Independence Institute in Denver and a weekly column-writer at The Denver Post, Caldara, who also hosts a talk radio program and current events show on Colorado Public Television, is sounding the alarm about this Leftist affront to the Second Amendment rights of Boulder residents like himself. He’s also raising funds to defend himself against the inevitable persecution he’s bound to suffer at the hands of the gun-hating Leftists who run the city of Boulder.

“I understand why people are nervous and scared about so-called ‘assault weapons.’ Why? Because I used to be that person,” Caldara states in a short video explaining where he’s coming from, and why he’s standing his ground against the tyrants who seek to deprive him, and others like him, of their right to bear arms.

“I used to give money to anti-gun organizations. ‘There’s an epidemic and something needed to be done.’ Common sense regulations made, well, common sense. But it took years for me to get past the emotionalism to understand the truth behind guns. Now my Second Amendment rights are core to who I am, it’s in the fiber of who I am.”

Be sure to check out Caldara’s Freedomfy fundraising page for more.

Leftists are hypocritically intolerant of things they’re scared of and don’t understand, including guns

As a former Leftist himself, Caldara understands the mindset that other Leftists have against guns – which he says is completely hypocritical.

“I believe the individual is sovereign, and therefore he has a right to self-defense,” Caldara maintains. “You know, I get this issue of tolerance. And it’s easy to be tolerant of things you understand or support. But tolerance means tolerating things you don’t understand, or you find dangerous.”

As for the new law, Caldara says that it specifically targets existing gun-owners who live in Boulder, requiring them to bring themselves to the police for investigation. Gun-owners in Boulder are also required to bring in their guns for inspection, pay for another background check, and pay yet again for “permission slips” to keep the guns they already own.

“It’s not about gun control; it’s about separating people from the community,” Caldara says, comparing this latest Leftist affront against the Second Amendment to the AIDS epidemic of old, which attempted to enforce similar discriminatory policies against those who were diagnosed with the deadly illness.

“It’s about saying, ‘you are different.’ It’s about making it harder to be who you are, to always look over your shoulder at the gun range, to be unwelcome in a town that talks about tolerance and diversity constantly.”

In Caldara’s view, what Boulder Leftists are doing in the name of “protecting children” is exactly the thing they constantly preach against – mainly intolerance, mistreatment of those who are different, and fear of the “other.”

“Progressives wield intolerance like the weapon it is,” Coldara contends. “But are they kidding us or themselves when they smugly assert their tolerance? Do they believe their ‘Celebrate Diversity’ bumper stickers, blind to the hypocrisy?”

Be sure to check out Caldara’s Freedomfy page which, as of this writing, has already received 158 percent of its projected fundraising goal – with 83 days left for people to contribute.

For more related news, be sure to check out GunControl.Fetch.news.

Sources for this article include:

CompleteColorado.com

Freedomfy.com

YouTu.be

NaturalNews.com

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The State of the Union: These Are Dangerous Times, and the Government Is To Blame

“As I look at America today, I am not afraid to say that I am afraid.”—Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America

These are dangerous times.

Mind you, when I say that these are dangerous times, it is not because of violent crime, which remains at an all-time low, or because of terrorism, which is statistically rare, or because our borders are being invaded by armies, which data reports from the Department of Homeland Security refute.

No, the real danger that we face comes from none other than the U.S. government and the powers it has granted to its standing army to steal, cheat, harass, detain, brutalize, terrorize, torture and kill.

The danger “we the people” face comes from masked invaders on the government payroll who crash through our doors in the dark of night, shoot our dogs, and terrorize our families.

This danger comes from militarized henchmen on the government payroll who demand absolute obedience, instill abject fear, and shoot first and ask questions later.

This danger comes from power-hungry bureaucrats on the government payroll who have little to no understanding of their constitutional limits.

This danger comes from greedy politicians and corporations for whom profit trumps principle.

You want to know about the state of our union? It’s downright scary.

Consider for yourself.

Americans have no protection against police abuse. It is no longer unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, such as the 16-year-old teenager who skipped school only to be shot by police after they mistook him for a fleeing burglar. Then there was the unarmed black man in Texas “who was pursued and shot in the back of the neck by Austin Police… after failing to properly identify himself and leaving the scene of an unrelated incident.” And who could forget the 19-year-old Seattle woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by police after she refused to show her hands? What is increasingly common, however, is the news that the officers involved in these incidents get off with little more than a slap on the hands.

Americans are little more than pocketbooks to fund the police state. If there is any absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off. This is true, whether you’re talking about taxpayers being forced to fund high-priced weaponry that will be used against us, endless wars that do little for our safety or our freedoms, or bloated government agencies such as the National Security Agency with its secret budgets, covert agendas and clandestine activities. Rubbing salt in the wound, even monetary awards in lawsuits against government officials who are found guilty of wrongdoing are paid by the taxpayer.

Americans are no longer innocent until proven guilty. We once operated under the assumption that you were innocent until proven guilty. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Likewise, by subjecting Americans to full-body scans and license-plate readers without their knowledge or compliance and then storing the scans for later use, the government—in cahoots with the corporate state—has erected the ultimate suspect society. In such an environment, we are all potentially guilty of some wrongdoing or other.

Americans no longer have a right to self-defense. In the wake of various shootings in recent years, “gun control” has become a resounding theme. Those advocating gun reform see the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms as applying only to government officials. As a result, even Americans who legally own firearms are being treated with suspicion and, in some cases, undue violence. In one case, a Texas man had his home subjected to a no-knock raid and was shot in his bed after police, attempting to deliver a routine search warrant, learned that he was in legal possession of a firearm. In another incident, a Florida man who was licensed to carry a concealed firearm found himself detained for two hours during a routine traffic stop in Maryland while the arresting officer searched his vehicle in vain for the man’s gun, which he had left at home. Incidentally, the Trump Administration has done more to crack down on Second Amendment rights than anything the Obama Administration ever managed.

Americans no longer have a right to private property. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property.

Americans no longer have a say about what their children are exposed to in school. Incredibly, the government continues to insist that parents essentially forfeit their rights when they send their children to a public school. This growing tension over whether young people, especially those in the public schools, are essentially wards of the state, to do with as government officials deem appropriate, in defiance of the children’s constitutional rights and those of their parents, is reflected in the debate over sex education programs that expose young people to all manner of sexual practices and terminology, zero tolerance policies that strip students of any due process rights, let alone parental involvement in school discipline, and Common Core programs that teach students to be test-takers rather than critical thinkers.

Americans are powerless in the face of militarized police. In early America, citizens were considered equals with law enforcement officials. Authorities were rarely permitted to enter one’s home without permission or in a deceitful manner. And it was not uncommon for police officers to be held personally liable for trespass when they wrongfully invaded a citizen’s home. Unlike today, early Americans could resist arrest when a police officer tried to restrain them without proper justification or a warrant—which the police had to allow citizens to read before arresting them. (Daring to dispute a warrant with a police official today who is armed with high-tech military weapons and tasers would be nothing short of suicidal.) As police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware in droves, Americans are finding their once-peaceful communities transformed into military outposts, complete with tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield.

Americans no longer have a right to bodily integrity. Court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, strip search us, and probe us intimately. Accounts are on the rise of individuals—men and women—being subjected to what is essentially government-sanctioned rape by police in the course of “routine” traffic stops. Remember the New Mexico man who was subjected to a 12-hour ordeal of anal probes, X-rays, enemas, and finally a colonoscopy—all because he allegedly rolled through a stop sign?

Americans no longer have a right to the expectation of privacy. Despite the staggering number of revelations about government spying on Americans’ phone calls, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google searches, emails, bookstore and grocery purchases, bank statements, commuter toll records, etc., Congress, the president and the courts have done little to nothing to counteract these abuses. Instead, they seem determined to accustom us to life in this electronic concentration camp.

Americans no longer have a representative government. We have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age, let’s call it the age of authoritarianism. History may show that from this point forward, we will have left behind any semblance of constitutional government and entered into a militaristic state where all citizens are suspects and security trumps freedom. Even with its constantly shifting terrain, this topsy-turvy travesty of law and government has become America’s new normal. It is not overstating matters to say that Congress, which has done its best to keep their unhappy constituents at a distance, may well be the most self-serving, semi-corrupt institution in America.

Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice. The U.S. Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet through their deference to police power, preference for security over freedom, and evisceration of our most basic rights for the sake of order and expediency, the justices of the Supreme Court have become the architects of the American police state in which we now live, while the lower courts have appointed themselves courts of order, concerned primarily with advancing the government’s agenda, no matter how unjust or illegal.

I haven’t even touched on the corporate state, the military industrial complex, SWAT team raids, invasive surveillance technology, zero tolerance policies in the schools, overcriminalization, or privatized prisons, to name just a few, but what I have touched on should be enough to show that the landscape of our freedoms has already changed dramatically from what it once was and will no doubt continue to deteriorate unless Americans can find a way to wrest back control of their government and reclaim their freedoms.

There can be no denying that the world is indeed a dangerous place, but what you won’t hear in any State of the Union address—what the president and his cohorts fail to acknowledge—is that it’s the government that poses the gravest threat to our freedoms and way of life, and no amount of politicking, parsing or pandering will change that.

So what do we do about this dangerous state of our union?

How do we go about reclaiming our freedoms and reining in our runaway government?

Essentially, there are four camps of thought among the citizenry when it comes to holding the government accountable. Which camp you fall into says a lot about your view of government—or, at least, your view of whichever administration happens to be in power at the time.

In the first camp are those who trust the government to do the right thing, despite the government’s repeated failures in this department.

In the second camp are those who not only don’t trust the government but think the government is out to get them.

In the third camp are those who see government neither as an angel nor a devil, but merely as an entity that needs to be controlled, or as Thomas Jefferson phrased it, bound “down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.”

Then there’s the fourth camp, comprised of individuals who pay little to no attention to the workings of government. Easily entertained, easily distracted, easily led, these are the ones who make the government’s job far easier than it should be.

It is easy to be diverted, distracted and amused by the antics of politicians, the pomp and circumstance of awards shows, athletic events, and entertainment news, and the feel-good evangelism that passes for religion today.

What is far more difficult to face up to is the reality of life in America, where unemployment, poverty, inequality, injustice and violence by government agents are increasingly norms.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the powers-that-be want us to remain divided, alienated from each other based on our politics, our bank accounts, our religion, our race and our value systems. Yet as George Orwell observed, “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

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Contributed by John W. Whitehead of www.activistpost.com.

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Ocasio-Cortez Sells ‘Green New Deal’ To Democrats As WWII-Scale Effort. Here Are The Details

Details have emerged about Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislation slated for release as early as next week, according to reports.

“In it, we call for a national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a letter to Democratic colleagues obtained by Bloomberg.

Ocasio-Cortez wrote that a “Green New Deal” included moving the U.S. to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years “through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers,” create “good, high-wage jobs,” pour money into infrastructure and “promote justice and equity by preventing current and repairing historic oppression to frontline and vulnerable communities.”

Those goals are still vague and ill-defined, based on what’s been reported of the letter, but Politico reported the “Green New Deal” didn’t explicitly call for a ban on fossil fuels — a key demand of environmental activists.

“The language I read was clean, renewable, zero emissions — which is that ‘keep the door open’ approach,” Julian NoiseCat, policy director at 350.org, told Politico.

350.org was among more than 600 environmental groups that came out in support of the “Green New Deal.” In an open letter to Congress, environmentalists demanded fossil fuels and nuclear power not be part of the plan.

Leaving the door open to nuclear and “clean coal” technology is likely a way to get labor union backing. Power plants, mines and other worksites that would be the target of “Green New Deal” legislation may support the plan if it includes programs to “decarbonize” their industries.

Not including an explicit fossil fuel ban is likely form over substance. The “Green New Deal” would most likely be structured in a way to prioritize renewables, like wind and solar, over traditional energy sources.

However, some observers see the lack of a fossil fuel ban as a tacit admission that coal, natural gas and oil are integral parts of the economy.

“It’s easy to declare the end of fossil fuels, but actually crafting a plan to destroy the economy is both bad policy and bad politics,” Texans for Natural Gas spokesman Steve Everley said in an emailed statement. “We eagerly await the next walkback from supporters of the Green New Deal.”

Nine House Democrats are listed as co-sponsors of the “Green New Deal” resolution, according to Ocasio-Cortez’s letter. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey will introduce a “Green New Deal” bill in the Senate.

Support for the “Green New Deal” is growing among Democratic 2020 hopefuls, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

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Global Inequality Explodes: 26 Ultra-Wealthy Billionaires Now Have As Much Money As The Poorest 3.8 Billion People

If you add together all of the money owned by the poorest 3.8 billion people living on this planet, it would roughly equal the wealth controlled by the 26 wealthiest men in the world.  Oxfam has just issued a brand new report on global inequality, and what they have discovered is making headlines all over the globe.  The rich just keep getting richer, and meanwhile the slice of the pie owned by the poor just keeps getting smaller.  Today, almost half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day, and approximately 795 million people “do not have enough food”.  And even in a “wealthy country” like the United States, the gap between the rich and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s, and more than half a million Americans are homeless right now.  This growing inequality is a ticking time bomb, and at some point it is going to explode.

According to Oxfam’s new report, global billionaires got 12 percent richer during 2018.

That is the good news.

The bad news is that the poorest half of the world’s population got 11 percent poorer.  The following comes from the Guardian

Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900bn in 2018 – or $2.5bn a day. The 12% increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11% in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population.

As a result, the report concluded, the number of billionaires owning as much wealth as half the world’s population fell from 43 in 2017 to 26 last year. In 2016 the number was 61.

We are clearly going in the wrong direction.

Every year global wealth just keeps becoming more and more concentrated, and it makes you wonder how all of this will eventually end.

You can only push people down for so long before they finally explode.

What we need is a system that empowers everyone.  All over the world we need more entrepreneurs, more small business owners and more risk-takers.  But instead, what we have is a system that centralizes wealth in the hands of a few and that keeps everyone else down.  Here are some more numbers from Oxfam’s new report

  • In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled.
  • Between 2017 and 2018 a new billionaire was created every two days.
  • The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $112bn. Just 1% of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people.
  • The poorest 10% of Britons are paying a higher effective tax rate than the richest 10% (49% compared with 34%) once taxes on consumption such as VAT are taken into account.

Today, the global financial system is literally a wealth extraction machine.  It has been designed to systematically funnel as much wealth to the top of the pyramid as possible.  In a recent article, I discussed the fact that the world is now 244 trillion dollars in debt…

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and one of the primary ways that the elite keep the rest of us subjugated is through the $244,000,000,000,000 mountain of global debt that has been accumulated. Every single day, the benefits of our labor are going to enrich somebody else. A portion of the taxes that are deducted from your paycheck is used to pay interest on government debt. A portion of the profits that your company makes probably goes to servicing some form of business debt. And most Americans are continuously making payments on their mortgages, their auto loans, their credit card balances and their student loan debts. But most people never stop to think about who is becoming exceedingly wealthy on the other end of these transactions. Needless to say, it isn’t the 46 percent of the global population that is living on less than $5.50 a day.

The global elite have always understood the magic of compound interest, and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Of course the left keeps insisting that the way to end all of this inequality is to hit the wealthy really hard with more taxes.  But the truth is that the wealthy have become absolute masters at legal tax evasion.  The U.S. tax code is millions of words long for a reason, and it is absolutely full of loopholes.  Whenever taxes get raised it is hard working people like you and me that get slammed, and meanwhile the elite just deep finding more ways to slither out of paying their share.

And most people don’t want government handouts anyway.  What people want is to be able to work hard and take care of themselves and their families.  Unfortunately, the game is rigged against the small guy today.  In the U.S., small business creation and the percentage of Americans that are working for themselves are both near record lows.

Instead, more wealth and more power become concentrated in the hands of corporations with each passing year.  Our country is now completely and utterly dominated by big business, big government and big finance, and such a system greatly benefits those at the very top.

If we want a more equitable system, we will need to rediscover the values of our forefathers.  Our founders were greatly suspicious of large concentrations of power, and so they sought to establish a very limited federal government, and they greatly restricted the size, scope and power of corporations.

Unfortunately, we have been going in the exact opposite direction for decades, and it won’t be easy to turn the boat around now.

But if we don’t, wealth and power will continue to become more concentrated in the hands of the elite, and that is a recipe for disaster.

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Contributed by Michael Snyder of The American Dream.

Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream , The Truth and Economic Collapse Blog.

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Anti-Second Amendment Chicago Alderman Ed Burke Charged With Extortion: Surprise – Had 23 Guns In Office

From outlawing cell phone cases shaped like guns to bans on concealed weapons in places that serve alcohol and broadening the gun offender registry in Chicago, Alderman Ed Burke’s record has defined him as an aggressive pusher of gun control. But a bombshell 37-page criminal complaint charging Burke with extortion has exposed him to be yet another phony, hypocritical Anti-Second Amendment legislator.

Federal prosecutors now report that nearly two dozen firearms were discovered in Alderman Ed Burke’s offices during their raids in November. What a surprise! This longtime gun-control opponent was armed to the teeth, while denying the suffering and helpless residents of Chicago a chance to defend their family and property.

Some background from The Sun Times:

When two Burger King executives sought his support for a remodeling job of a fast-food location in his ward in 2017, Chicago’s most powerful alderman took them out for a swanky lunch at the Beverly Country Club — telling them all about his private law firm’s tax work.

Then, when they didn’t steer business to Klafter & Burke, a ward employee offered to play “hardball.” And Burke allegedly gave the green light.

Burke, 75, now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison following an investigation that involved recorded calls on Burke’s cellphone and apparent federal surveillance of the alderman.

The chairman of Chicago’s finance committee, who’s been in office for 50 years after succeeding his father, used his power to tie up the business licensing process for a southwest Chicago Burger King restaurant to force the owners to steer their legal business to his firm.

More from The Sun Times:

After the company struggled to have its permits approved, it agreed to steer business to Burke’s firm, according to the complaint. When (city employee Meaghan) Synowiecki asked whether he wanted business from all of its Illinois locations or just those in Cook County, Burke allegedly replied, “Umm, all Illinois locations.”

That was Dec. 19, 2017. An application for a driveway permit from the company was approved the same day, according to the complaint.

Let me know if you’ve seen this movie before: Liberal Democrat Alderman Burke, who had campaigned for decades on gun control and Second Amendment restrictions, was found to have 23 firearms in his office. Have we checked his home or garage? Signs posted outside his office prohibit anyone – even legal concealed carry – from bringing a gun into the government building.

I guess the alderman felt privileged?

Listen to this sickness – less than a month ago, Burke made this comment at a gun buyback event with police: “Any of those guns that are sitting in your closet that your relative may have brought back from the First World War, Second World War, Korea, bring them in get your 100 bucks get those guns off the street.”

So they can be safely stored in his office I guess..

Burke is not alone: 3 other sitting aldermen are facing criminal charges. Ald. Willie Cochran faces trial in June for allegedly shaking down businessmen to support projects in his 20th Ward. And Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) faces a charge of domestic battery involving his wife.

Meanhile, they don’t trust you with a gun and I suppose we all know why.

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Contributed by Raymond Draper of Joe For America.

Joe for AmericaJoe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher crashed on the scene in 2008 when a chance run-in with then candidate Barack Obama allowed Joe to confront the soon-to-be president on his tax-and-spend Socialist philosophy. It was then, in a moment of clarity, Barack Obama let slip his real agenda; “I just want to spread some of that wealth around…” In an effort to inform the public Joe created the Joe for America web site, where you can find commentary, videos and ideas covering a wide array of topics from leading thinkers. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

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‘Impeach The Motherf*cker’: Democratic Lawmaker Goes After Trump On Her First Day In Office

Just hours after being sworn into Congress on Thursday, Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib promised to go after President Donald Trump, telling a group of left-wing supporters she would help Democrats “impeach the motherf****r.”

Tlaib, who was one of two Muslim women sworn into Congress, made the remarks at a rally held by MoveOn near Capitol Hill, according to reporters at the event.

WATCH:

Tlaib’s remarks show just how eager some Democrats are to remove Trump from office. Earlier on Thursday, just after Democrats officially took over the House, Democratic California Rep. Brad Sherman reintroduced articles of impeachment against Trump.

Democratic leaders shied away from impeachment talk leading up to Thursday’s handover. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not committed to impeachment, saying it would be divisive for the country. In an interview that aired Thursday morning, Pelosi said she will withhold a decision until special counsel Robert Mueller issues his report in the Russia investigation.

“Well we have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report. We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason. We just have to see how it comes,” Pelosi said.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, made news earlier in the day when she took her oath of office using Thomas Jefferson’s Quran.

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