The execution of the Rosenbergs and the political lynching of DA Chesa Boudin

Lee Heidhues 10.10.2021

It is not far fetched to find parallels in the attempted Recall of Progressive San Francisco District Chesa Boudin and the June 19, 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

In the midst of the 1950’s Red Scare paranoia the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage and executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. The evidence against both Julius and Ethel was sketchy, particularly Ethel’s. Their arrest, trial and conviction was one of the most shameful episodes in American political history.

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Tabloid journalism during The Red Scare

After the execution the French author Jean Paul Sartre penned the following in the magazine Liberation.

Now that we have been made your allies, the fate of the Rosenbergs could be a preview of our own future.  You, who claim to be masters of the world, had the opportunity to prove that you were first of all masters of yourselves.  But you gave into your criminal folly and this very folly might tomorrow throw us headlong into a war of extermination.

By killing the Rosenbergs you have quite simply tried to halt the progress of science by human sacrifices—we are here getting to the point—your country is sick with fear…you are afraid of the shadow of your own bomb.

Now we fast forward to 2021 and Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.  He was elected less than two years ago on a platform of “progressive” justice. The San Francisco Police Officers Association spent nearly $1,000,000 in a vicious campaign to defeat him.

From Day One DA Boudin has been besieged by his opponents in the mainstream media and the political establishment who have jumped on every alleged misstep to bring him down.

Two recall attempts have been launched. One by a disgruntled San Francisco Republican failed to gather the necessary number of signatures.  The second recall launched by so called moderate Democrats has been funded by wealthy right wing donors and Political Action Committees funded by law enforcement agencies.

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Chesa Boudin – Election Night November 5, 2019

This second attempt, which has spent over $1,000,000 will likely make the ballot and a Recall election will take place in the coming months

Make no mistake.  This recall is an insidious attempt to thwart the will of the voters. In its most blatant form this must be called an attempted political lynching of Chesa Boudin.

San Francisco cannot allow this Rosenberg type political justice to occur and have a present day Sartre write a similiar epitath about Chesa Boudin.

 

No justice in America. US will not charge cop who shot and paralyzed black man

Lee Heidhues

People of color cannot expect to get justice in America.

American cops continue to engage in their lawless behavior. Shooting and murdering at will with no ramifications. People thought that with the disgraced Donald Trump out of office the Justice Department under President Biden would change its policies.

Sadly, the Biden Administration is continuing the whitewash policy of its predecessor when it comes to equal justice under the law.

Deutsche Welle 10.8.2021

The Justice Department says it won’t pursue federal criminal charges against the Wisconsin officer over the shooting last year. Jacob Blake was left paralyzed after the incident that sparked days of protests.

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Kenosha cops gun down Jacob Blake – August 2020

The US Justice Department announced Friday that they will not follow up charges against the white police officer who shot Jacob Blake last year.

In August 2020, Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, a Black man, several times in the back during a domestic disturbance in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down following the incident, which was captured on a cellphone.

The Justice Department said in a statement it had declined to prosecute due to “insufficient evidence” to prove “beyond reasonable doubt the officer willfully” used excessive force.

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Jacob Blake and son

Several nights of protests were sparked by the shooting of Blake, during one of which an Illinois man shot three people, killing two of them.

State prosecutors elected not to press charges against Sheskey in January of this year after video footage showed that Blake had been armed with a knife.

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Protesters confront Kenosha cops – August 2020

Meanwhile, the Justice Department launched its own investigation days after the shooting.

The federal executive said Blake’s family had already been told of the decision to not prosecute.

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Jacob Blake protest

https://www.dw.com/en/us-will-not-charge-police-officer-who-shot-jacob-blake/a-59454864

 

Germany. Greens in driver’s seat: What are chances for a ‘traffic light’ coalition?

A smiling Green leader Annalena Baerbock knows she is in a good place. Her party finished third in the recent German elections, won 118 seats in the Bundestag and will be part of the governing coalition in Berlin. 

This is new territory for the Greens who started out as a fringe environmental party nearly 40 years ago. They’ve come a long way and now are reaping the reward for their political hard work.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 10.7.2021

In Germany, the political pendulum has swung toward a “traffic light coalition” — named for the colors of the parties involved: red for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), yellow for the FDP, and green for the environmentalist Greens.

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Lindner (left), the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock (center) and Olaf Scholz  consider ways to forge a three-way coalition

But there are fundamental differences in the parties’ platforms. The FDP is against the SPD and Greens’ plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest to deal with the pandemic and the resulting national debt. At first glance, the liberals appear also at odds with their climate policy, which envisions a stronger government hand. The FDP wants market-driven solutions to the climate crisis.

It’s on EU, foreign and security policy that the three parties seem to be most aligned.

The potential coalition members agree on maintaining a strong partnership with the United States and NATO, including when it comes to confronting China, Russia and Iran. Differences remain over certain points, such as the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Just how viable the three-way coalition could be is what the parties want to clarify from the start of their exploratory talks together.

FDP leader Christian Lindner has expressed the most skepticism and made it no secret that his party is more naturally aligned with the conservatives. However, he has said he is open to the possibility of a traffic light coalition. In pre-exploratory talks with the Greens, he seems to have made peace with his opponents, which he has long considered a “prohibition party.”

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Greens on German election night – 9.26.2021

Talks have moved from bilateral to trilateral, bringing the SPD — and chancellor hopeful Olaf Scholz — on board. All eyes, including abroad, are on the struggle to put together Germany’s first government without Merkel for the first time in nearly 16 years.

“From the perspective of European partners, Scholz presents a certain amount of continuity for the post-Merkel era and, with it, stability and reliability,” Antonios Souris, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, told DW.

Given the parties’ pro-EU bent, Souris said, any modernization program for Germany could have a ripple effect across Europe.

Exploratory talks are just the first step toward negotiations. But there is precedent for a traffic light coalition at the state level, something Lindner’s party colleague, Volker Wissing, knows well. Until May, he was the economy minister for the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The traffic light arrangement there has worked so well under the leadership of the SPD’s Malu Dreyer, that it was continued following state elections earlier this year. Wissing’s experience in a traffic light, and his involvement now in negotiations at the federal level, could give talks a boost of confidence, Souris said.

Dreyer sees herself as a moderator within a governing team, Souris said, which possibly sets a good example for the federal level. “Olaf Scholz will follow her style quite closely,” he said.

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Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and Green leader Annalena Baerbock

The history of the traffic light is not positive everywhere. The city-state of Bremen, in northern Germany, had the first-ever such coalition — in 1991. The alliance broke down over a disagreement between the FDP and Greens regarding conservation efforts vs industrial development.

So far, the conditions seem right for the three to find a way to work together. However, differences remain, which could lead to a “very thick coalition agreement with many details spelled out,” he added.

 

 

 

‘Dystopian world’: Singapore patrol robots stoke fears of surveillance state

Singapore is a world  leader in Orwellian surveillance.

If there is a Top Ten for State Instrusion in Private Behavior, Singapore would rank near the top of the list.

Excerpted from The Guardian 10.6.2021

“There are no privacy law constraints on what the government can or cannot do,” said Indulekshmi Rajeswari, a privacy lawyer from Singapore who is now based in Germany.

Singapore has trialled patrol robots that blast warnings at people engaging in “undesirable social behaviour”, adding to an arsenal of surveillance technology in the tightly controlled city-state that is fuelling privacy concerns.

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From vast numbers of CCTV cameras to trials of lampposts kitted out with facial recognition tech, Singapore is seeing an explosion of tools to track its inhabitants.

That includes a three-week trial in September, in which two robots were deployed to patrol a housing estate and a shopping centre.

Officials have long pushed a vision of a hyper-efficient, tech-driven “smart nation”, but activists say privacy is being sacrificed and people have little control over what happens to their data.

 

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Singapore is frequently criticised for curbing civil liberties and people are accustomed to tight controls, but there is still growing unease at intrusive tech.

The government’s latest surveillance devices are robots on wheels, with seven cameras, that issue warnings to the public and detect “undesirable social behaviour”.

This includes smoking in prohibited areas, improperly parking bicycles, and breaching coronavirus social-distancing rules.

“Please keep one-metre distancing, please keep to five persons per group,” a robotic voice blared out, as a camera on top of the machine trained its gaze on them.

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Frannie Teo, a 34-year-old research assistant, was walking through the mall during the recent robot patrol trial.

“It reminds me of Robocop,” she said.

It brings to mind a “dystopian world of robots … I’m just a bit hesitant about that kind of concept,” she added.

Digital rights activist Lee Yi Ting said the devices were the latest way Singaporeans were being watched.

“It all contributes to the sense people … need to watch what they say and what they do in Singapore to a far greater extent than they would in other countries,” she told Agence France-Presse.

But the government defended its use of robots, saying they were not being used to identify or take action against offenders during the tech’s trial, and were needed to address a labour crunch as the population ages.

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“The workforce is actually shrinking,” said Ong Ka Hing, from the government agency that developed the Xavier robots, adding they could help reduce the number of officers needed for foot patrols.

The island of about 5.5 million people has 90,000 police cameras, a number set to double by 2030, and facial recognition tech – which helps authorities pick out faces in a crowd – may be installed on lampposts across the city.

There was a rare public backlash this year when authorities admitted coronavirus contract-tracing data collected by an official system had been accessed by police. The government later passed legislation to limit its use.

But critics say the city-state’s laws generally put few limitations on government surveillance, and Singaporeans have little control over what happens to the data collected.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/06/dystopian-world-singapore-patrol-robots-stoke-fears-of-surveillance-state

Jewish musician wearing Star of David banned at Westin Hotel in Germany

Germany’s Nazi era crashed and burned over 80 years ago but the plague of antisemitism still rears its ugly face in the European nation.

Things have changed in at least one positive way. Jewish people and their supporters will react with solidarity when attacked.  That is the only way to fight these abhorrent philosophies. Rise up and strike back.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 10.5.2021

A hotel in the eastern German city of Leipzig was facing accusations of antisemitism on Tuesday after a musician said he was denied service for wearing a Star of David.

The incident  sparked swift condemnation from Germany’s Jewish communities.

“The antisemitic hostility against Gil Ofarim is appalling,” Josef Schuster, the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

He said he hoped the Westin would take action against those involved and hoped that Jewish people in Germany “will be met with solidarity in the future whenever we are attacked.”

In a video posted on social media, German musician Gil Ofarim said he attempted to check in to the Hotel Westin in Leipzig on Monday evening. Ofarim, who is Jewish, was wearing a necklace with a Star of David pendant.

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Protesters at Westin Hotel in Leipzig, Germany

Due to technical issues with the hotel’s computers, a long line had formed at the reception. Ofarim noticed that others in the line were waved forward, but he was not called up. “What’s going on? Why is everyone else being called up ahead of me?” Ofarim says he asked the worker behind the desk.

The hotel employee then told him they were trying to reduce the line, but did not acknowledge that Ofarim was also standing in line.

“Then someone called out from the corner: ‘Put your star away,'” the singer says.

Ofarim said that the hotel worker then repeated the call for Ofarim to remove or hide his Star of David, saying that “once you put it away, then you can check in.” A visibly upset Ofarim ends the video with the words: “Germany, 2021.”

 

Police ‘informed’ about incident

Leipzig police told DW they were alerted to Ofarim’s video and were currently processing it.

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How has the hotel responded?

A spokesperson for the Westin Leipzig told news agency dpa that the hotel was deeply concerned and was taking the case “extremely seriously.”

Ofarim did not name the hotel in his video, but at one point tilted the camera in such a way that it could be identified.

Protesters gather in Leipzig

The incident described in Ofarim’s video prompted a wave of shocked responses on social media. On Tuesday evening, hundreds of protesters in Leipzig gathered in front of the hotel to demonstrate against antisemitism.

At least 600 people were in attendance, according to local newspaper Leipziger Zeitung. Hotel employees also stood near the entrance, holding up a banner in what appeared to be a show of solidarity.

The 39-year-old is the son of Israeli star musician Abi Ofarim.

Himself a singer and songwriter, Ofarim has played in two rock bands and has released music in German and in English.

In 2017, he won “Let’s Dance,” the German version of the celebrity ballroom dancing show Dancing with the Stars or Strictly Come Dancing, and has also acted in several TV shows and done voiceover work for dubbed films.

https://www.dw.com/en/put-your-star-away-jewish-singer-refused-service-at-german-hotel/a-59415284

 

California “A hospitable (protected) place for gray wolves to roam again.”

California is a leader in many areas including the protection of endangered species. Despite the fact disgraced President Trump took the gray wolf off the Federal endangered species act, the gray wolf is protected in California.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.4.2021

“We always knew wolves would come back. This is historic wolf habitat,” said Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The track record of applying the right protections and management throughout the state has made it a hospitable place for wolves to roam again.”

In 2014, gray wolves were listed as endangered in California, which currently protects them from being hunted even after the Trump administration removed the species’ federal protected status last fall.

An Oregon-born lone gray wolf that made headlines after making his way through California, then disappearing in April when his transponder stopped working, has likely been spotted in Ventura County.

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Called OR-93, the male wolf was born in Oregon in 2019 and fitted with a transponder before he traveled into the state in February and then headed south through the Sierra Nevada and eventually made it to San Luis Obispo County.

Last month, the Department of Fish and Wildlife received three separate tips of wolf sightings in northern Ventura County, and then officials found wolf tracks nearby. There’s no definite forensic proof that it’s OR-93, but the recent reports match the wolf’s description, according a statement released by the department Friday.

“OR-93 is pretty identifiable,” said Amaroq Weiss, referring to the wolf’s bright purple radio collar that stands out against his light gray fur. A senior wolf advocate at the Oakland conservation organization Center for Biological Diversity, Weiss has worked in wolf protection for about 25 years. “He is frankly the first radio-collared wolf wearing a purple collar I know of.”

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OR-93 California protected gray wolf takes a rest

Gray wolves used to roam California freely before being hunted into extinction almost 100 years ago. They began reappearing in the state about 10 years ago, a long-term result of being awarded federal endangered species status in 1973. Previously there hadn’t been a wolf in the southern part of the state since 1922, when one was spotted in San Bernadino County, or in the Central Coast for even longer, said Weiss.

“We always knew wolves would come back. This is historic wolf habitat,” said Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The track record of applying the right protections and management throughout the state has made it a hospitable place for wolves to roam again.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/California-s-missing-and-adventurous-lone-gray-16509230.php

 

“Progressive”San Francisco. No way. Just a tool and sycophant to spoiled drivers.

Lee Heidhues 10.3.2021

The current over wrought political drama to designate less than three miles of roadway in San Francisco, The Great Walkway along the Pacific and JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, is causing a virtual civil war.  

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San Francisco has 1200 miles of roadway for automobile usage.

The fact that the long entitled, selfish and “we want it all” motorists are able to harass and browbeat City officials is a complete disgrace.  All the “progressive” talk about San Francisco being a leader in fighting climate change and global warming is just a lot of hot air.

No elected official from Mayor London Breed on down to  faux progressive Supervisor Connie Chan has enough political will and courage to tell the long self entitled motorists, it’s time for change. Instead these politicians make excuses and equivocate.

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Artwork – Liz Heidhues

San Francisco elected officials and bureaucrats, even those who think of themselves as “progressive” are engaged in self delusion. 

Once the car owners start to yell and scream Official San Francisco caves in.

The attached article, The Copenhagen Index breaks down the top 20 cities globally for their bicycle friendly policies.

There is not one American city in the Copenhagen Index.  Pathetic.

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Excerpted from The Copenhagen Index

THE 2019 COPENHAGENIZE INDEX OF BICYCLE-FRIENDLY CITIES

Welcome to the Copenhagenize Index – the most comprehensive and holistic ranking of bicycle-friendly cities on planet earth. As the fifth edition of the biennial Index since 2011, this year’s effort was made possible through months of intensive teamwork, research and outreach. Creating an inventory of urban cycling in all corners of the world is no small feat – and this year we are as excited as ever to share the most fascinating cycling stories from across the globe.

How to read the 2019 Copenhagenize Index

 

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With each iteration, the Copenhagenize Index evolves. This year, we have again expanded the total number of cities to examine well beyond the 80 we ranked in 2011. The data set continues to grow year-by-year and accounts for hundreds of cities representing every region of the world.

2019 offers up a number of surprises yet again. The three-horse race at the top is as close as ever, with Utrecht being nudged back down to #3 by Amsterdam taking the 2nd position with its bold steps taken in the past years. Meanwhile, Copenhagen continues impressive investments and innovations for cycling to hold onto the #1 spot, but for how long, no one knows. All three of these cities remain role-models for all of the friendly competition below.

The second pack sees a tightening gap between Antwerp, Strasbourg and Bordeaux, as these three cities all strive for greater and greater bicycle friendliness. And at the lead of the third pack is Oslo – the bicycle urbanism darling that shot up in ranking over the last 4 years to an impressive degree.

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This year also sees a number of new faces from all over the world on the Top 20 like Bogotà, Bremen, Taipei and Vancouver – newcomers that are showing other cities how possible it is to make our urban centres better for the bicycle. The margins between cities in the third pack of the Top 20 are tight, and those that are innovating, investing and pushing forward with political and citizen action every year, see results in the Copenhagenize Index. Just outside of the Top 20 sit a number of cities all on the cusp of breaking through, each one requiring that sustained investment and implementation of bicycle innovations to see better rankings in 2021.

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This year, we have also added a new section called “Success Stories” – sharing a number of inspirational bicycle stories from around the world, outside of the Top 20. These stories show us how bicycle friendliness can come in many shapes and forms, with each new step offering critical utility to the urban citizens that need it.

The 2019 Copenhagenize Index shows the world that it is no longer only the Danish and Dutch cities that are really taking the bicycle seriously. Through a combination of ambition, culture and better streetscapes, cities all around the world are starting to push the envelope for what it means to be bicycle-friendly.

Enjoy this year’s edition of the Copenhagenize Index.

https://copenhagenizeindex.eu/

 

Giants win NL West with record 107 wins

Breaking News 4.15.2019

The San Francisco Giants, who the experts predicted would finish at the back of the National League pack, have stunned the baseball world.

The Giants 107 wins is a team record and one of the best win totals in the history of major league baseball.

The Giants put the frosting on the 107 win cake crushing the San Diego Padres 11-4.

Next come the playoffs on Friday with the winner of the St. Louis Cardinals – LA Dodgers Wild card game coming to Oracle Park to begin a best of five game series.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.3.3021

There is no overstating how extraordinary the Giants’ season has been. Entering the year, many questioned if San Francisco would even break even. “We knew what the projections were and what the industry thought of us as a club,” manager Gabe Kapler said in a postgame address to the crowd, noting that the team’s intangibles weren’t taken into consideration “and the first intangible is toughness.”

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Giants National League champs – 

There would be no messing around and relying on the Dodgers to lose as far as Logan Webb was concerned. The 24-year-old from Rocklin did it all Sunday, lifting the Giants to the NL West title on the strength of his arm and his bat.

In an Ohtani-like day, Webb crushed his first major-league homer and he turned in magnificent work through his first seven innings of work to propel San Francusco to an 11-4 win and the team’s first division crown since 2012, sending players pouring out of the dugout to celebrate on their home field. Buster Posey drove in three runs, and his two hits on the final day of the season gave him 1,500 for his career.

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Buster Posey raps one of his hits in the Division clinching win

The Giants’ win was their 107th of the season, extending their franchise single-season record, and they are ensured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Dodgers – no slouches, with 105 wins going into Sunday – must play host to the Cardinals in the NL wild-card game Wednesday. The winner of that game will play the Giants in the Division Series starting Friday at Oracle Park.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/giants/article/Giants-win-NL-West-as-Logan-Webb-puts-on-16506431.php

“I get high with a little help from my friends.” Psychedelics are IN again

Lee Heidhues 10.2.2021

Leave it to the Germans to be a leader in changing people’s attitudes.

Psychedelics have long been part of the culture.  Sadly, psychedelics became part of the reactionary war on drugs which has seen thousands of people imprisoned for selling and consuming these drugs.

Now, decades later, the medical profession is taking a dispassionate and clinical look at psychedelics and their benefits to society.

Maybe the phrase from the Beatles song, “I get high with a little help from my friends” will become widely accepted in the world culture.

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Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 10.2.2021

Psychedelic substances have returned to where they once stood in the 1950s and ’60s — to the center of psychiatric, medical and psychological research.

Experts are already enthusiastic. “How ecstasy and psilocybin are shaking up psychiatry” a headline of the science magazine Nature gushed at the beginning of the year.

Millions of people in Germany have been diagnosed with depression. Researchers believe that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin can offer an effective treatment. They could also bring big profits.

On July 13, there was a rainy sky above the southern German city of Mannheim. But, despite the uninspiring weather, it was a day of hope for millions of people with depression — because the first patients of a research project run by the Central Institute of Mental Health were scheduled to have a psychedelic experience.

They wore a blindfolds and headphones that played music and were accompanied by two therapists. The hallucinogen used for the inner journey is called psilocybin.

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This active ingredient was isolated about 60 years ago. It gives the magic mushrooms their “magic” — i.e., their mind-altering effect. And it has been banned almost worldwide, including in Germany, for over half a century.

Even for the Mannheim researchers, “obtaining the substance has proven to be the highest hurdle.” That’s according to researcher and psychiatry professor Gerhard Gründer.

“There are not that many manufacturers in the world from whom you can obtain such a substance in the required quality. It was a long and laborious process,” he said.

But that laborious process is becoming more common. Hallucinogenic trips have long ceased to be solely the recreational pastime of hippies. A growing number of scientific studies point to the potential of psilocybin-assisted therapy for treating depressed patients — even those for whom other therapies have been exhausted. The Mannheim study, with a total of 144 patients, is now large enough that Gründer “expects statistically robust conclusions.”

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Depression is a widespread condition

According to estimates by the World Health Organization, about 300 million people worldwide live with depression. In Germany, that number is an estimated 5 million, and the Health Ministry has referred to it as a “widespread disease.”

A conservative estimate is that around one in five patients cannot be helped with conventional treatment methods. “There is a huge need,” Gründer said, adding that his institute is almost overrun with inquiries from patients.

In conventional therapies, patients are treated with daily doses of antidepressants. The new approach is fundamentally different.

This could be seen in mid-September in Berlin, when the Insight 2021 conference took place, organized by the Mind Foundation. According to its website, the foundation advocates the “evidence-based, safe and legal use of psychedelic experience in medicine and society.” The venue for the meeting of the center of international psychedelics research is the Berlin Charite, one of Germany’s most prestigious medical institutions.

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For four days, attendees discussed neurological processes, compared the effects of LSD, psilocybin and other drugs with diagrams, and presented the state of research in a wide variety of fields. Even an employee of the German drug approval authority, the federal authority for drugs and medical devices, was there.

“We managed to destigmatize the topic; a discourse has emerged,” Mind Foundation co-founder Andrea Jungaberle said in summary. “How this discourse will affect day-to-day medical business remains to be seen.”

https://www.dw.com/en/how-psychedelics-are-returning-to-the-world-of-medicine/a-59380189

 

 

 

Dems spike vicious GOP attack. Confirm Stone-Manning as BLM director.

Lee Heidhues 10.1.2021

The environmental movement  scored a major victory with the long overdue confirmation of Tracy Stone-Manning as director of the federal Bureau  of Land Management (BLM).

Republican senators waged a vicious and incendiary campaign to bring down the nominee for her alleged involvement in still disputed events which took place over 30  years ago.

To the credit of the Democrats in the Senate, they stood firm and were not intimidated by the slash and burn tactics of their Republican colleagues.

Excerpted from Washington Post 10.1.2021

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Tracy Stone-Manning to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management in a party-line vote, amid intense opposition from Republicans over her involvement three decades ago with environmental activists who sabotaged an Idaho timber sale.

She was confirmed by a 50-to-45 vote.

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After the confirmation vote, Collin O’Mara, the president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement that “at a time when our public lands are suffering from prolonged drought, devastating wildfires, and other climate-fueled disasters, Tracy will bring visionary leadership and a collaborative management style that will restore and revitalize our public lands and waters.”

 Stone-Manning is a prominent Montana-based environmentalist who works on conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation. Earlier in her career she led Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality, and worked as an aide for Sen. Jon Tester (D) and former governor Steve Bullock (D).

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he was “unable to find any credible evidence in the exhaustive trial record of the tree-spiking case that supports the allegations levied against Miss Stone-Manning.”

Instead, he said, he found “compelling evidence that Miss Stone-Manning has built a solid reputation over the past three decades as a dedicated public servant.”

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CONFIRMED. Bureau Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning

Stone-Manning’s former boss, Tester, described her as someone who “understands that the way you get things done is be collaborative, bring people together, talk issues out.”

But it was her time as a graduate student at the University of Montana that has attracted the most attention during the nomination process.

Republicans seized on her involvement in a 1989 tree-spiking incident intended to block logging of a patch of the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. At the time, Stone-Manning retyped and mailed an anonymous letter on behalf of an acquaintance warning the U.S. Forest Service that metal spikes had been hammered into the trees, a tactic dangerous to loggers if struck by chain saws.

Stone-Manning’s testimony during the subsequent trial helped send two people to prison, and she was granted immunity. She testified she sent the letter to warn authorities so people wouldn’t get hurt.

Republicans called her a radical who collaborated with eco-terrorists.

The Bureau of Land Management oversees about one-tenth of the nation’s land, predominantly in the West, and is central to President Biden’s climate goal of curbing fossil fuel extraction on public lands and transitioning to renewable energy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/30/tracy-stone-manning-confirmed/