Report: Donald Trump as Stimulant Abuser

‘Back in December [2015], Donald Trump’s personal doctor declared to the world that Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” While that particular claim is unfalsifiable (although almost certainly incorrect), according to a source with knowledge of Trump’s current prescriptions, that letter isn’t telling the whole story. Most notably: Donald Trump is allegedly still taking speed-like diet pills.

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.

In 1993, Harry Hurt’s unauthorized biography on Trump, Lost Tycoon, corroborated the rumors and went one step further:

The diet drugs, which [Trump] took in pill form, not only curbed his appetite but gave him a feeling of euphoria and unlimited energy. The medical literature warned that some potentially dangerous side effects could result from long-term usage; they included anxiety, insomnia, and delusions of grandeur. According to several Trump Organization insiders, Donald exhibited all these ominous symptoms of diet drug usage, and then some.

The supposed drug Trump took back then was Tenuate Dospan, a drug with speed-like effects that’s not unlike dexedrine.

These rumors say Trump stopped seeing Dr. Greenberg decades ago. But according to our source, the Donald Trump of today is on a diet drug called phentermine—and has been since at least April of 2014…

C. Richard Allen, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, called phentermine “cheap speed” to The New York Times. Side effects of phentermine include:

  • Trouble with thinking, speaking, or walking
  • Decreased ability to exercise
  • False or unusual sense of well-being
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Confusion …’

Via Gawker

Report: Your Mean Tweets Upset Donald Trump on His Special Day

baby-trump‘Donald Trump reportedly spent [Inauguration Day] getting “increasingly angry”—all because of some not-so-nice messages on Twitter. According to The New York Times, a series of tweets pointing out that Trump’s inauguration was not as well attended as Obama’s in 2009 caused the President to become increasingly upset, a mood that only lifted with Friday night’s festivities. But the pain, it seems, was back Saturday morning, and Trump was “filled anew with a sense of injury,” according to several Times sources close the President. Even outside of Trump’s inner circle, some of that anger was visible this weekend. On Sunday, for instance, the President used Twitter to complain about demonstrations against him (instead of celebrating his new job), writing, “Why didn’t these people vote?” …’

Source: Gizmodo

Donald Trump Is Already Making a Mess of the Middle East Peace Process

‘On Sunday, the White House said it was in the “beginning stages” of talks to relocate the American embassy to Israel from its current home in Tel Aviv to the much more hotly contested Jerusalem. The announcement came just a few hours before Trump was scheduled to hold his first official conversation with embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (above).

To be clear, the embassy move isn’t some small diplomatic snafu by the fresh-faced Trump staffers at the State Department. As Reuters noted Sunday, the international community regards Jerusalem’s diplomatic status as “a matter for peace negotiations,” with Palestinian leaders vowing that “an embassy move would kill any prospect for peace.” …’

Source: Pacific Standard

The Women’s Marches may have been the largest demonstration in US history

‘Crowd estimates from Women’s Marches on Saturday are still trickling in, but political scientists say they think we may have just witnessed the largest day of demonstrations in American history. According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 500 US cities were attended by at least 3.7 million people…’

Source: Vox

Maggie Roche, 1951-2017

Ms. Roche (left) developed a pop-folk songwriting style that could be droll or diaristic, full of unexpected melodic turns and often inseparable from the way the sisters’ voices harmonized and diverged. On albums from the early 1970s into the 2000s, Maggie Roche’s songs chronicled a woman’s life from early stirrings of independence (“The Hammond Song”) and amorous entanglements (“The Married Men”) to thoughts on longtime connection (“Can We Go Home Now”). They often mixed heartfelt revelations and flinty punch lines.

With the Roches, and in duos with each of her sisters, she released more than a dozen albums. The Roches never had a major hit, but the group maintained a devoted following. They shrugged off disappointments in “Big Nuthin’,” a song the trio wrote together. “We’d like to make a million dollars and be set for life,” Maggie Roche told The Los Angeles Times in 1995. “We’ve been lucky, though. We have a career, and that is a gift. I guess I want things to be easy, but that’s not the way it is.”

Source: NY TImes obituary.

Unique harmonies, clear as a bell, and an infectious sometimes whimsical uplift; I never stopped listening to the Roches. Rest in peace, Maggie.

An inaugural poem from Robert Pinsky

‘Exile and Lightning’

You choose your ancestors our
Ancestor Ralph Ellison wrote.
Now, fellow-descendants, we endure a
Moment of charismatic indecency
And sanctimonious greed. Falsehood
Beyond shame. Our Polish Grandfather
Milosz and African American Grandmother Brooks
Endured worse than this.
Fight first, then fiddle she wrote.
Our great-grandmother Emma Lazarus
Wrote that the flame of the lamp of the
Mother of Exiles is “Imprisoned lightning.”
 My fellow children of exile
And lightning, the indecency
Constructs its own statuary.
But our uncle Ernesto Cardenal
Says, sabemos que el pueblo
la derribará un día. The people
Will tear it down. Milosz says,
Beautiful and very young
, meaning recent,
Are poetry and philo-sophia, meaning science,
Her ally in the service of the good . …

Their enemies, he wrote, have delivered
Themselves to destruction.
“Un dia,” and “very young” — that long
Ancestral view of time:
Inheritors, el pueblo, fellow-exiles:
All the quicker our need to
Fight and make music. As Gwendolyn
Brooks wrote, To civilize a space.

Source: CNN

This beautiful, forgotten essay from 1968 has terrific advice for today’s protesters

‘[Peter S.] Beagle’s achingly tender, sorrowful account of the [Poor People’s Campaign] is a reminder of the enormous political power that disenfranchised people can have when they are unified en masse — and of how wastefully that power can be squandered by an incompetent leadership. It’s a powerful prescriptive for how today’s protest campaigns can plan their work. It’s also an enormously beautiful essay.’

Source:  Vox

Trump’s epic inaugural failure

‘…Trump likes to think that he is perpetually breaking boundaries and setting records, and he surely did with his inauguration speech. It was the worst in generations, and perhaps the worst of all time.

It wasn’t just mediocre. It was stunningly, disconcertingly, dumbfoundingly bad. And bad in a deeply worrying way.

There was little that was unifying about it; little that was inspirational; little that spoke to the better angels of America, to transcendent American values or freedoms, or higher causes. Nor was there much by way of concrete causes, beyond a call for investments in American infrastructure.

Instead, Trump outlined an all-out nationalist, protectionist, and populist approach that, frankly, is incompatible with a nation that leads the free world….’

Source: Scott Lehigh, Boston Globe

Oh, schadenfreude, you’re killing me.

Totally Epic Soundscape That Trump Won’t Be Hearing at His Inauguration

‘…[I]n typical Trump fashion, the president-elect shot off a tweet in early January saying the inauguration is going to be a great show. What would it have sounded like if all had went according to plan? Below, check out our playlist comprised of all the artists who rejected a bid to participate in the merriment — and imagine what could have been…’

Source: Pacific Standard

Once More: What Was Marine Le Pen Doing Getting Coffee at Trump Tower?

Genesis of the New Axis?

‘Last week, Le Pen, one of France’s far-right presidential hopefuls, made an unusual appearance at New York’s Trump Tower. Reports say she didn’t meet with Donald Trump.

What’s verifiable is that Le Pen is now taking trans-Atlantic strides to garner outside support for what at least one member of her own party (and family) has called a world “axis” of emerging populist politicians.

Also certain (at a time of few answers to Pacific Standard’s requests for comment from world politicians) is that Le Pen is making greater overtures to international supporters at a time when her party has been strapped for cash and has had difficulty obtaining loans from French banks…’

Source: Pacific Standard

20 Lessons from the 20th Century

 

How to Defend Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian Timothy Snyder

‘After the November election, Snyder wrote a profile of Hitler, a short piece that made no direct comparisons to any contemporary figure. But reading the facts of the historical case alarmed most readers. A few days later, the historian appeared on a Slate podcast to discuss the article, saying that after he submitted it, “I realized there was more…. there are an awful lot of echoes.” Snyder admits that history doesn’t actually repeat itself. But we’re far too quick, he says, to dismiss that idea as a cliché “and not think about history at all. History shows a range of possibilities.” Similar events occur across time under similar kinds of conditions. And it is, of course, possible to learn from the past…’

Source: Open Culture

Will the Women’s March Resurrect the Democratic Party?

‘The Women’s March on Washington, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of participants to the capital on Saturday, was intended to demonstrate opposition among progressive women to the policies of President-elect Donald J. Trump.But the loudest criticism of the march has come not from Trump supporters; rather, it has come from participants who argue that women of color have hijacked the event by focusing it on themselves, instead of women more broadly.

March organizers told me they received a surge of complaints after women of color called for more representation on the march’s leadership team.In essence, black and brown women are being labeled divisive for wanting to finally see themselves reflected in the modern feminist agenda.

This criticism echoes one of the most persistent attacks against Democrats, from the left and the right, after the presidential election: that a focus on so-called identity politics was in part to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss. Proponents of this view argue that Democrats have been sidetracked by trying to accommodate the various needs of a diverse America and thus have failed to promote a unifying narrative.

Critics miss the point. It’s not selfish — nor need it be divisive — for women of color to push to be included, just as it wasn’t inappropriate for minority groups to expect to be courted by Democrats during the campaign. The problem is not that “identity groups” have some undue obsession with their own agendas. It’s that the groups with the most power often fail to have a sense of solidarity across race and class that would allow for a vision of multicultural liberalism that could reinvigorate the Democratic Party…’

Icelandic Study: We Are Getting Dumber

‘Certainly, to many of us, it feels like the world is getting dumber. Just-published research from deCODE, a genetics firm in Reykjavik, Iceland, suggests that Idiocracy might have had it about right. Thankfully, though, the dumbening won’t be happening so precipitously, with a drop in the average IQ of only about 0.04 points per decade. The concern is about what this could mean over time…’

Source: Big Think

Certainly, this study should come as no surprise when considered with regard to the US electorate.

David Byrne wants to put you in a science experiment

‘The new immersive art installation here in the heart of Silicon Valley was dreamed up by David Byrne, the front man of the Talking Heads, and loosely modeled after the work of neuroscience and psychology labs at top institutions like Caltech and Harvard.

So when I showed up at a warehouse on a rainy Sunday morning earlier this month, I wasn’t sure what to expect.What I experienced was light on science but heavy on amusing novelty. I trekked with a group of nine fellow visitors through four rooms, each the site of a quasi-scientific experiment. After an hour, I’d navigated moral dilemmas, got tricked into believing a moving object was standing still, predicted (with limited success) the winners of an election, and found myself experiencing life as though I’d been turned into a doll.

The vibe could hardly get more surreal…’

Source: StatNews

I’m with Paul Auster

‘In the wake of Trump’s victory, he says, “I feel utterly astonished that we could have come to this. I find his election the most appalling thing I’ve seen in politics in my life.” The Russians hacking the Democratic party is “almost like a declaration of war, without bullets”. “I’ve been struggling ever since Trump won to work out how to live my life in the years ahead,” he says. And he has decided to act: “I have come to the conclusion to accept something that has been offered to me again and again over the years – to become president of PEN America. I have been vice-president, and secretary, but I’ve never wanted to take on the full burden. I’ll start early in 2018. I’m going to speak out as often as I can, otherwise I don’t think I can live with myself.” …’

Source: 3quarksdaily

Something Silent But Deadly Is Killing Galaxies

‘Across the universe, unsuspecting galaxies are literally getting the life sucked out of them. Though the culprit is still at large, a team of researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia is working tirelessly to crack the case—and to restore law and order.After examining 11,000 galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey, the team concluded that a process called ram-pressure stripping—which forces gas out of galaxies—is more common than previously imagined. It’s a quick

After examining 11,000 galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey, the team concluded that a process called ram-pressure stripping—which forces gas out of galaxies—is more common than previously imagined. It’s a quick death, because without gas, galaxies are unable to produce more stars. The group’s findings were published on January 17th in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.So, who’s the prime suspect in this crime? It’s none other than dark matter: the mysterious, invisible material thought to make up 27 percent of the universe.

So, who’s the prime suspect in this crime? It’s none other than dark matter: the mysterious, invisible material thought to make up 27 percent of the universe…’

Source: Gizmodo

How to organize a volunteer-based, radical new form of American politics

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything is a book by Bernie Sanders advisor Becky Bond and netroots pioneer Zack Exley.

In an excerpt on Alternet, the authors lay out their plan for using a volunteer army to elect allegedly unelectable radical candidates like Sanders, building on the lessons learned from the 2016 election. …’

Source: Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger listen to Hells Angel Sony Barger defend Altamont murder

‘In 1969 The Rolling Stones hired the Hells Angels to help out at a free concert at the Altamont Speedway near Oakland, California. The Stones paid the Angels by giving the $500 worth of beer. One of the Hells Angels ended up killing an 18-year-old man. …’

Source: Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

‘Bikers for Trump’ will form ‘wall of meat’ to protect inauguration from protestors

‘One of president-elect Donald Trump’s biggest supporters is taking it upon himself and his group of bikers to make sure the inauguration event goes smoothly, promising to form a “wall of meat” to guard against any protestors.

Chris Cox is founder of the pro-Trump organization “Bikers for Trump,” and is expecting more than 5,000 bikers from his group to be in attendance at the inauguration. …’

Source: SFGate

Scottish TV Guide’s Description Of Trump’s Inauguration Is Painfully Hilarious

‘With President-elect Trump’s January 20 inauguration fast approaching, you’re probably well aware of what other Americans think about him.

But thanks to a hilariously satirical TV guide entry in the Scottish Sunday Herald, we get a little window into how Trump is viewed around the world. It’s both wonderful and horrible at the same time. …’

Source: Billy Bragg via Digg

Running over protesters on roadways could soon be legal in North Dakota

‘Protesters may want to think twice about blocking roads in North Dakota.

Republican lawmakers in the state introduced a bill last week in the legislature that would not hold motorists liable for negligently running over someone obstructing a roadway. The bill was introduced in response to a year of protests over a proposed pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

“A driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages,” the bill reads. “A driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense.” …’

Source: Justin Boggs, wptv.com

A hellscape awaits journalists covering Trump

‘So, we can expect President Trump to lie to the media, manipulate reality and go after those who upset the notion that adulation is his birthright.

After last week’s news conference, Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev wrote “A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media .” He warned: “This man owns you. He understands perfectly well that he is the news. You can’t ignore him. You’re always playing by his rules — which he can change at any time without any notice.” …

Journalists are in for the fight of their lives. And they are going to have to be better than ever before, just to do their jobs…’

Source: Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

Why Spicy Food Makes You Feel High

‘Helix, a magazine and blog at Northwestern University explains that spiciness is actually not a taste but a sensation caused by capsaicinoids. In really simple terms, these compounds send a message to your brain that make it think it’s in pain. As a response, your brain releases endorphins and dopamine…’

Source: Lifehacker

A New Type Of Food Pantry Is Sprouting In Yards Across America

‘There’s a small-scale charity movement starting to take hold in neighborhoods across the country. Think of those “little free library” boxes, but with a twist: These are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need.

They’re found near churches, outside businesses and in front of homes. Maggie Ballard, who lives in Wichita, Kan., calls hers a “blessing box.” …’

Source: Deborah Shaar, NPR

John Carpenter clashes with Internet Nazis over ‘They Live’ 

‘On Wednesday, Hollywood legend John Carpenter hit back at neo-Nazis and white supremacists online who had been idolizing his 1988 cult classic, They Live, as an allegory for fighting against Jewish supremacy.

…Carpenter, rather than counting his millions and resting on his legacy, decided to strike back against the trolls and racists by taking to Twitter to call the myth “slander and a lie.”

They Live is probably one of the most enduring and iconic films to emerge from the Reagan era. It’s a sharp sci-fi satire loaded with ridiculous Double Dragon-style 80’s sheen. The film features the instantly recognizable scene of protagonist John Nada putting on a pair of huge-ass sunglasses and realizing the world has been colonized by aliens, who have already enslaved humans into a system of unchecked capitalism and consumption—but no one noticed.

In the surrealist shit show that life post-2016 has become, however, Carpenter had to step in almost 30 years later to clarify that the film is not, in fact, an allegory for Jewish supremacy…’

Source: Gizmodo

Are the Marx Brothers Still Funny?

‘A recent Blu-Ray package of the legendary comic troupe’s first five films contains some answers…’

Source: The Daily Beast

Still funny?? To my way of thinking, they have never been surpassed! I hadn’t been aware of this eye-popping restoration job on these five cherished favorites, but I’ll be looking for it as soon as I post this.

This desolate English path has killed more than 100 people

‘If you consult a large-scale map of the Essex coastline between the River Crouch and the River Thames, you will see a footpath – its route marked with a stitch-line of crosses and dashes – leaving the land at a place called Wakering Stairs and then heading due east, straight out to sea. Several hundred yards offshore, it curls northeast and runs in this direction for around three miles, still offshore, before cutting back to make landfall at Fisherman’s Head, the uppermost tip of a large, low-lying and little-known marshy island called Foulness.

This is the Broomway, allegedly “the deadliest” path in Britain, and certainly the unearthliest path I have ever walked. The Broomway is thought to have killed more than 100 people over the centuries; it seems likely that there were other victims whose fates went unrecorded. Sixty-six of its dead are buried in the little Foulness churchyard; the other bodies were not recovered…

…The Broomway traverses vast sand flats and mud flats that stretch almost unsloped for miles. When the tide goes out at Foulness, it goes out a great distance, revealing shires of sand packed hard enough to support the weight of a walker. When the tide comes back in, though, it comes fast – galloping over the sands quicker than a human can run.

Disorientation is a danger as well as inundation: in mist, rain or fog, it is easy to lose direction in such self-similar terrain, with shining sand extending in all directions. Nor are all of the surfaces that you encounter reliable: there is mud that can trap you and quicksand that can swallow you…

The Broomway takes its name from the 400 or so brooms that were formerly placed at intervals of between 30 and 60 yards on either side of the track, thereby indicating the safe passage on the hard sand that lay between them. Until 1932, the Broomway was the only means of getting to and from Foulness save by boat, for the island was isolated from the mainland by uncrossable creeks and stretches of mud known as the Black Grounds. The island is currently controlled by the Ministry of Defence, which purchased it during the First World War for “research purposes” and continues to conduct artillery-firing tests out over the sands…’

Source: BBC

Micro-dosing: The Drug Habit Your Boss Is Gonna Love


‘What started as a body-tinkering, mind-hacking, supplement-taking productivity craze in Silicon Valley is now spreading to more respectable workplaces, maybe even to your office, where the guy down the hall might already be popping a new breed of brain-boosting pills or micro-dosing LSD—all in the name of self-improvement. Can you afford not to keep up? …’

Source: GQ

Beyond wild allegations, what’s clearly true about Trump and Russia is disturbing

‘Allegations now floating around range from the salacious (Russia has Trump sex tapes made at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow) to the serious (using intermediaries, Trump and Russia agreed to an explicit quid pro quo in which Russia would give him electoral help and in exchange he would shift US foreign policy). None of this is proven, and much of it is unprovable (if the FSB has a secret sex tape, how are we going to find it?) but the truth is that these kind of allegations, though difficult to resist, simply shouldn’t matter much compared to what’s in the public record…’

Source: Vox

SEAL Team Six War Crimes Inspired by Admiration for Fictional Nazi: Report

‘Yesterday, The Intercept published the results of a two-year investigation on alleged war crimes and war profiteering of SEAL Team Six in its rapid expansion of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among the most disturbing details was that SEAL operatives reportedly started taking inspiration from a book lionizing a fictional Nazi…’

Source: Jalopnik

Would You Enter the Perfect Matrix? 

Why One Philosopher Says You Wouldn’t.

‘The idea of the experience machine makes us ask ourselves what we value. If we only value pleasure, then we should agree to go in. If don’t want to get in, then we must value something else. Even the most devoted hedonists might pause to wonder if they value their pleasure being “real” before entering the machine. Those who suppose there are other valuable parts of a good life other then pleasure would have less trouble deciding…’

Source: Big Think

Intelligence Analysts: Trump Report Merits Caution

‘IN THE HOURS since a private firm’s intelligence document leaked to the web, alleging 35 pages of President-elect Donald Trump’s dirty laundry—complete with corrupt ties to Russian officials, blackmail, and bodily fluids—Twitter, Facebook, and cable news have become a feeding frenzy. Taken on its face, the report contains potentially devastating revelations. But former intelligence agents see it differently: To borrow the phrase often applied to Trump himself, they’re taking it seriously, not literally.

On Tuesday evening, Buzzfeed News published what it described as a dossier on Trump compiled by a former British intelligence official. The document includes reports from unnamed sources claiming that the Kremlin has cultivated Trump as a Putin-friendly politician for the last half decade, recorded him in blackmail-worthy “perverted sexual acts,” and made secret deals with his campaign to exchange information. Other news organizations chimed in to say they had also obtained the file, but decided not to publish it because they could not confirm its claims. While Buzzfeed acknowledges that the document is unverified, it says it decided to publish it so that “Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.” …’

Source: Andy Greenberg, WIRED

The Bumble Bee is now officially an endangered species

‘A once common bee that inhabited 28 states, the rusty-patched bumble has become the first bee from the continental United States to be added to the endangered species list. Its population has declined 90% since the early 1990s—some can still be found in 13 states and Ontario—due to a mix of factors including climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss, a federal official told the New York Times…’

Source: Gizmodo

Is Mass Murder Now Part of the Repertoire of Contention?

‘If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds, no matter how angry they are. The shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport is just the latest example. Mass shootings are on the rise and I’m fearful that what we are seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the rise of a new habit, a behavior that is widely recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are…’

Source: Pacific Standard

Bombshell Trump “Golden Shower” report

‘According to an anonymously-sourced dossier, Donald Trump paid to watch hookers piss on a Russian hotel bed where he knew President Obama and his wife had once slept. The report (read it!) was supposedly compiled by a former British intelligence official who researched the candidate for his Republican rivals and, later, Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It alleges that Russia has compromising information on Trump. The report is unverified, and was in the hands of D.C. insiders, the FBI and CIA leadership and some journalists long before election day…’

Source: Boing Boing

#notmypresident

A Drug Meant for Alzheimer’s Treatment Regrows Human Teeth

‘Researchers at King’s College released a study today stating they’ve discovered a medicine that can prompt teeth to regrow over cavities or injuries. The study was published this week in Scientific Reports.

Researchers realized that an experimental Alzheimer’s drug called Tideglusib had the side effect of encouraging dentin growth, which is the bony part of the tooth made of calcified tissue. It makes up most of the tooth, just above the pulp but under the hard enamel…’

Source: Motherboard