Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Debt Up $13,546,533,671,676.31 Since Pelosi Became Democratic Leader


By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 30, 2016 | 10:11 AM EST

( - The federal debt has increased by $13,546,533,671,676.73 since Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California first became the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2003.

Since then, as the top Democrat in the House, Pelosi has served as either House Minority Leader or House Speaker. She first served as minority leader from Jan. 3, 2003 until Jan. 4, 2007, when she became speaker of the House. After the Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 elections, she returned to her role as minority leader on Jan. 3, 2011. She has remained in that position since then.

At the close of business on Jan. 3, 2003, when Pelosi first became House minority leader, the federal debt was $6,382,650,489,675.40, according to the U.S. Treasury.

As of the close of business on Monday, Nov. 28, that latest day for which the data is available, the federal debt was $19,929,184,161,352.13.

Thus the federal debt has increased $13,546,533,671,676.73—or 212 percent--since Pelosi first became the House Democratic leader equals a 212 percent jump from what t

The $13,546,533,671,676.73 increase in the debt during Pelosi’s time as Democratic leader equals $113,811.55 for each of the 119,026,000 households the Census Bureau says were in the United States as of this September.

Since Pelosi first became Democratic leader on Jan. 3, 2003, approximately 13.9 years have passed. Thus, during her time as leader, the debt has increased at an annual pace of approximately $974,570,767,747—or nearly $1 trillion.

Federal Debt Tops $19,900,000,000,000 - On Black Friday
Thank You Mr Jeffrey and CNS.

House Democrats Re Elect Pelosi As Leader

They blew off the message the American people just sent them.

This is how principled, and public service minded the Government which Funds Psychiatry is.


By ERICA WERNER | November 30, 2016 | 1:30 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats re-elected Nancy Pelosi as their leader Wednesday, ratifying the status quo in a changing Washington despite widespread frustration over the party's direction.

That disenchantment manifested itself in 63 lawmakers supporting Pelosi's opponent, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, in the secret-ballot vote. That was by far the largest defection Pelosi has suffered since she began leading House Democrats in 2002.

Still, the California lawmaker had declared ahead of time that more than two-thirds of the caucus was supporting her, and she won almost exactly two-thirds with 134 votes. It was a testament to her vote-counting skills and to her ability to hang onto power even in dark days for Democrats, as they confront a capital that will be fully controlled by the GOP next year.

Supporters said the 76-year-old Pelosi was their best bet to confront a President Donald Trump from a defensive crouch in the minority after Democrats' picked up only a half-dozen seats in the House, far fewer than anticipated. Republicans are on track to hold at least 240 seats in the House next year, while Democrats will have 194.

Pelosi herself, appearing elated after her victory, pledged that Democrats have won elections before and would do so again, even though they've been in the minority in the House since 2010.

"I have a special spring in my step today because this opportunity is a special one, to lead the House Democrats, bring everyone together as we go forward," Pelosi said.

Of Trump, she said: "Where we can engage, we will. Where we need to oppose, we will."

And Pelosi disputed the suggestion that she might be concerned about the defections she suffered. "They weren't defections, I had two-thirds of the vote," Pelosi said, repeating "two-thirds, two-thirds" to a group of assembled reporters.

For their part, Ryan and his backers insisted after the vote that they had won a victory in sending a message to Pelosi about the significant desire for change among House Democrats.

"Somebody had to do something," said Ryan, a seven-term lawmaker who before now had been largely a back-bencher. "Our prospects have improved just because of this conversation."

Yet Democrats' marginalized status was evident as Ryan struggled to answer a question about who would lead the party forward, before concluding: "We're all going to participate in leading the party."

Leadership elections were originally scheduled to be held before Thanksgiving but were delayed to give Democrats more time to discuss and process the election results and consider a path forward.

Pelosi's victory came only after she promised some changes to assuage concerns in her caucus, including adding a member of the freshmen class to her leadership team and creating a handful of other titled positions. But her proposals do little to ensure new blood at the very top or change the seniority system that has key committees led by lawmakers in their 80s at a moment when the party needs to be defending President Barack Obama's health care law and other initiatives.

Pelosi's top two lieutenants who've served by her side for years were also re-elected Wednesday, both by acclimation. Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, 77, will continue to serve as Democratic whip, and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, 76, will continue in the No. 3 spot as assistant leader.

"We need someone who is battle-tested," Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., told fellow Democrats in nominating Pelosi. "We need our leader to be seasoned, tough."

But some House Democrats did not hide their disappointment at the outcome.

"I am deeply disappointed today as the House Democratic Caucus has decided to double down on its failed strategy of recent years," said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. "It is obvious the current strategy doesn't work; millions of Americans don't feel that our party represents them anymore and they've said so, loudly, in multiple elections.

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

Thank You CNS and AP

How do you repackage the party message after a loss like this?

How do you spin 95 Million people out of work into a positive?

How do you expect America to swallow the Same policies directly responsible for Imploding an entire nation?

How do you get those idiot voters to understand that it's Their fault for not understanding how freaking Brilliant your policies actually are, because they're too stupid - as ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber put it - to see the light? 

WARNING: A Psychiatric tsuNAMI is Upon Us.


By Lauren Tenney, PhD, MPhil, MPA, Psychiatric Survivor November 29, 2016

Well, our government is at it again.

It is not clear if this is the last stop, or where in the process we even are, but as best I can tell: happening any moment, Congressman Tim Murphy (R, Pennsylvania) will be making another speech at another hearing about the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) which is now part of a new bill, H.R. 34.

H.R. 2646 was the controversial legislative package that did everything from increasing and sanctioning state-sponsored forced and court-ordered psychiatry to the re-organization of SAMHSA. There was not a group that went unscathed: babies, pregnant and lactating women, children, teens, adults, and veterans. The mixing of drug experimentation, programming, payments, delivery, tracking systems, prison systems, psychiatric systems, medical systems, educational systems—everything accounted for in 996 pages.

This new bill, introduced on the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016 is part of a pattern of the government trying to slip controversial psychiatric policy through when no one is thought to be watching. We recently saw this with the FDA's shock treatment regulation for comment being released days before the new year and due the day after a celebrated holiday.

This bill, H.R. 34, the Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act of 2015 [21st Century Cures Act] is the subject of a hearing at the Capitol, in H-313, tonight on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 5:00 PM. Among the most problematic issues this bill presents are multiple provisions for forced psychiatry not limited to IOC/AOT, ACT Teams, and Prison Psychiatry.

H.R. 34 also includes: SAMHSA reorganization, condoning of HIPPAA violations, electronic health records, a study of peer support specialists for future controls of the field, multiple attacks on young people and veterans, and a host of other potential human rights violations. Psychiatry is a fraud and this bill perpetuates it.

Tell your legislators to VOTE NO on H.R. 34!

Demand that your legislators stop sneaking controversial, damaging bills into other bills at the last minute. What is being called a “simple parliamentary procedure” seems rather shady to me. The legislature has not been able to pass some version of Murphy’s bill for years, and now they are going to try to sneak it in merged with the 21st Century Cures Act under the title Education, Research and Tsunami Warning Act of 2015. These actions further problematize our legislative processes.

It is urgent that people realize that no child will grow up without psychiatric evaluation. All people will become, in a generation or two, acclimated to being psychiatrized; psychiatry and its arms of drugs and institutions will become even more standard in our society.

At the very moment that people are becoming more vocal about the need for equality, eliminating racism and racist practices and systems, calling out sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other forms of structural oppression, and addressing the outright fraud and other structural problems of psychiatry and its subdivisions, the government will solidify psychiatric practice in our society. This includes a great expansion of psychiatric reach into the prison industry and court systems.

Do not be fooled, this is a one way path that will allow the new administration the type of reach they want to keep us contained as they break down the existing structure, creating greater disparities, and further subjecting us, as a people who are already often oppressed, into further social control and subjugation to psychiatry.

Follow up with your legislators, and all legislators you can. Inform them about the dangers of psychiatry. Inform them about the dangers of this bill. Tell them that a bill that has been combined with multiple other bills totaling 996 pages (and involving who knows how many billions of dollars in taxpayer resources)—a bill that was introduced 3 business days prior to its hearing and 4 days prior to its assumed vote, under the name of a bill that has already passed, but has been deleted and replaced by this mess that has not been able to pass on its own for years—is not acceptable.

I am sure analyses of what the bill entails need to be made and many are working on making them. For now, take action. Call your elected officials today, tonight, tomorrow, and continue to do so to make your voice heard. The pro-psychiatry, pro-forced psychiatric treatment advocates are launching campaigns against us. We need to speak out, once again, for ourselves. No one else will. Make your calls now.

Find your Representatives in Congress

Find your Senators

H.R. 34 Bill Text

H.R. 34 Hearing Information

Those who want to take a closer look at this bill, please read on:

Even a cursory glance at the Table of Contents and the twenty-five titles it encompasses makes one have to take a deep breath to get the scope of how this bill can fundamentally transform our society—and not for the better.

Division A – 21st Century Cures starts off with Title I, NIH Innovation Projects and State Responses to Opioid Abuse. Title II includes Innovation Projects and includes privacy protections for human research subjects—a section called “High Risk, High Reward Research” is included here, as is the development of a “Taskforce specific to pregnant and lactating women.” These need to be read carefully.

Title III is Development and includes provisions such as patient-focused drug development, advancing new drug therapies, and a host of other sections designed for research on physical health.

Title V addresses Savings and this looks at issues of Medicare and Medicaid, and affects the Affordable Care Act.

Section VI looks at Leadership and Accountability and this is where the re-organization of SAMHSA is laid out and the provisions for the establishment of the “Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee” can be found.

Title VII is designed for “Ensuring mental and substance use disorders prevention, treatment, and recovery programs keep pace with science and technology” and has both regional and national goals.

Title VIII is for “Supporting state prevention activities and responses to mental health and substance use disorder needs” that work on block grants.

Title IX is for “Promoting access to mental health and substance use disorder care” and these include grants for “treatment and recovery for homeless individuals”; “jail diversion programs”; “promoting integration of primary and behavioral health care”; “National Suicide Prevention Line” and other types of programs that track and turn in people to the system, acting as a pipeline to psychiatry. Section 9014 is “Assisted outpatient treatment” and Section 9015 is the Assertive Community Treatment grant program. It is important for people to specifically speak out against Sections 9014 and 9015 as inherently problematic for protecting human rights.

Subtitle B of Title IX is focused on “Strengthening the Health Care Workforce” and this includes education and training programs. Subtitle C targets college campuses.

Title X is for “Strengthening mental and substance use disorder care for children and adolescents” and increases pediatric access, programming, treatment, and interventions for young people, “screening and treatment for maternal depression” and Section 10006 is particularly worrisome, “Infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment.”

Title XI is the loss of privacy rights under HIPAA (you may recall issues around Matsui’s bill that was basically incorporated into the structure).

Title XII further strengthens “Mental Health Parity” which works on the premise that psychiatry is as legitimate a science as physical health medicine, and perpetuates the fraud of the pharmaceutical and psychiatric industries, ensuring also that training, education, information and awareness of eating disorders are covered under these processes.

Title XIII is for “Mental Health and Safe Communities” Subtitle A includes the expansion and over reach of Law Enforcement and Psychiatry working hand in hand through Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (torture) “Assisted Outpatient Commitment” (as a second section in this same bill, here Section 14002. Title XIII also includes “Federal drug and mental health courts”; “mental health in the judicial system”; “Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Initiatives”; “mental health training for Federal uniformed services”; “school mental health intervention teams”; “Active-shooter training for law enforcement”; “Improving Department of Justice data collection on mental illness involved in crime”; and “Reports on the number of mentally ill offenders in prison”, further attempting to discriminate against people with psychiatric histories. In this section, the limited patients’ rights for the Department of Veterans Affairs are noted, and this of course is and continues to be a concern; for example, we know veterans and their fetuses are being subjected to shock treatment.

Subtitle B focuses on “Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health” in prisons and jails, local and federal law enforcement training, and GAO reporting and needs to be looked at very carefully in the future.

Title XV addresses Medicare Part A and reimbursements. Title XVI, Medicare Part B and treatment/payments/ and Continuing Access to Hospitals Act of 2016; all of which need thorough review.

Title XVII includes other Medicare provisions and XVIII still other provisions around employer health reimbursement.

Division D is “Child and Family Services and Support” and includes Title XIX, “Investing in Prevention and Family Services”, restructuring prevention services, programs, and payments as they relate to foster care, and perhaps one of the few sensible things, Section 19032, “Development of a statewide plan to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities.”

Title XXI looks also and securing support for foster families and children and Title XXII addresses “reauthorizing adoption and legal guardianship incentive programs.”

Title XXIII is for “Technical Corrections” for data and programming and “Technical corrections to State requirement to address the developmental needs of young children.”

Title XXIV is for “Ensuring states reinvest savings resulting from increase in adoption assistance” and like “Title XXV, Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results” and the extension of the TANF program and other types of social supports, this needs to be read and understood.

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Lauren Tenney, PhD, MPhil, MPA, Psychiatric Survivor

Lauren Tenney, PhD, is a psychiatric survivor and activist first involuntarily committed at age 15. Her work aims to expose the institutional corruption which is a source of profit for organized psychiatry, and to abolish state sponsored human rights violations, such as murder, torture and slavery.

Thank You Dr Tenny and MIA. 

"to abolish state sponsored human rights violations, such as murder, torture and slavery"

Thank You again Dr Tenny. 

wiki: Indentured Servitude.

wiki: 13th Amendment To The United States Constitution.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]

We know Christmas is coming and you're busy.

So is Tyranny.

Pick up the phone and tell your legislators, respectfully but without equivocating, to vote NO.

Write them a real letter: Stamp and Envelope. They get so much email that most it gets flushed unread.

Dr Paula Caplan: Psychiatric Survivors Speak Up

Risperdal Awards Add Up For Plaintiffs


. By
Philadelphia, PAPlaintiffs following recent Risperdal litigation news might be forgiven for thinking the latest awards and settlements are good news. After all, a Risperdal lawsuit that went to trial in the summer resulted in a $70 million jury award. Other awards to plaintiffs alleging they suffered Risperdal side effects also hit the million-dollar mark. And Janssen Pharmaceuticals reportedly settled a lawsuit for a confidential amount in recent months.

The $70 million award was handed by a jury to the family of Andrew Yount, who alleged he grew female breasts after being diagnosed Risperdal as an adolescent to treat psychiatric problems. According to the lawsuit, although Risperdal's warning label indicated gynecomastia was a rare side effect, scientists were allegedly aware that Risperdal was linked to an increase in prolactin, a hormone that can cause gynecomastia (abnormal breast tissue growth).

In addition to the $70 million, a judge awarded Yount $6.7 million in delay damages. Yount's lawsuit was filed in 2013 but not heard in court until 2016. Janssen has said it will appeal the jury's award.

When Yount took Risperdal in 2003 it was approved only to treat schizophrenia in adult patients. It is not illegal for doctors to prescribe medications off-label but it is illegal for companies to market drugs for unapproved uses. The maker of Risperdal paid more than $2 billion in 2013 to resolve charges that it illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses.

In October, Johnson & Johnson (parent company to Janssen Pharmaceuticals) agreed to settle a different lawsuit that was scheduled to begin in court. The terms of the settlement are confidential and the identity of the boy involved in the lawsuit has been kept private. The lawsuit alleges a boy who was six years old was prescribed Risperdal to treat symptoms of Asperger's syndrome and developed gynecomastia.

So far, six lawsuits have been concluded. Four with awards to the plaintiffs—including the $70 million award—one with a settlement and one that was dismissed by a judge who found the plaintiff failed to show his injuries were caused by Risperdal. Lawyers in that suit indicated they intend to appeal the dismissal.

Janssen has said it stands by the safety of Risperdal and its drug helps millions of patients.

Lawsuits filed against Janssen allege the company purposely misled patients and medical professionals about the risk of gynecomastia. According to an SEC filing from J&J, as of October 2, 2016, the company faced 15,400 lawsuits concerning Risperdal.

The Yount lawsuit is Andrew Yount v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., case number 1304002094, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The settled case is N.F. et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 13500998, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Thank You Ms Turner and lawyersandsettlements.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Texas Governor To BAN Sanctuary Cities

There goes that damn Rule of Law thing again that's given the Democrats so much trouble.


Posted: Nov 28, 2016 9:15 AM

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter Sunday night to announce his plan to ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State. He also revealed his administration has issued an executive order cutting off funding to such cities.

The Republican governor was responding to a Twitter user’s question asking him if he could do anything about the city of Austin, Texas pledging to remain a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

One of the major battles between the GOP and Democrats heading into 2017 will be the issue of illegal immigration. During his first television interview since becoming the president-elect, Trump promised on 60 Minutes to deport any illegal immigrant who was a member of a gang or had a criminal record. Trump estimated the number of people to fit this bill to be around 2 to 3 million. Democratic mayors and governors across the country have in return pledged to ignore federal law and will continue to harbor illegal immigrants. NYC mayor Bill De Blasio and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel issues statements pledging to keep their cities as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.

Similar to Gov. Abbott promising to block money to sanctuary cities in Texas, president-elect Trump has pledged to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities across the country.

Thank You Townhall, Mr Hopkins and especially Gov Abbott

MSNBC: Cuban-Americans Humiliated By Obama's Fawning Weasel Comments On Castro's Death

The guy was an Iron Fisted Butcher.


The left’s fond remembrance of Castro is a stench to those who fled and survived Castro’s reign of terror.

Via Washington Free Beacon:

Many Cuban-Americans residing in Florida are ashamed of the statements that some world leaders like President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made after the death of Fidel Castro by refusing to condemn the former communist dictator, MSNBC’s Mariana Atencio reported Monday morning.

Atencio, an MSNBC correspondent, discussed the reactions of Cuban-Americans to the news over the weekend of Castro’s death.

“Many Cuban-Americans here in the political epicenter of this community in Miami telling me this morning they cannot believe some of the world reaction from figures like Justin Trudeau and Jill Stein about Fidel Castro,” Atencio said on Morning Joe.

Obama, who pursued a closer U.S.-Cuba relationship throughout his presidency, did not condemn the former dictator after news of his death, instead saying, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Trudeau praised the late Cuban dictator, calling him “larger than life” while adding his “father was very proud to call him a friend.”
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein praised Castro in a tweet, saying, “Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!”

Atencio said Cuban-Americans were “especially hurt and ashamed” of Stein and Tredeau’s comments.

“One even used the word humiliated by President Obama’s statement regarding Fidel Castro,” she added.

Castro died Friday night at the age of 90.

 Thank You Free Beacon and Huck Funn

Jazz Break: Brand X: X-Communication (For Those Who've Been Excommunicated By The Oxymoron Called Mental Health)

Inside Fidel Castro's Life of Luxury and Women While The Country Starved


Freedom fighter for equality…

Via NY Post:

With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people.

At times, he claimed he made just 900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a “fisherman’s hut” somewhere on the beach.

But Castro’s public image was a carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact.

“While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort — keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret,” wrote Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, Castro’s longtime bodyguard.

Sanchez’s book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Maximo,” describes his former boss’ hidden life of political ruthlessness, mistresses and greed.

Castro, who died Friday night at 90, made a personal fortune offering safe haven to drug traffickers, bedded a bevy of women over the decades, and once threatened his own brother, Raul, with execution when the brother lapsed into alcoholism in the ’90s, Sanchez’s book reveals.

Keep reading…

Thank You Nick and NY Post. 

Black Lawmaker Accuses Pelosi Of "Targeting" Minority Members Of Congress With Caucus Changes

After how much howling that the Dems got clobbered by White Rage which was upset at Obama because he's Black? And took it out on the entire Democratic Party nationwide? Now Pelosi has changes to make which have Black Democrats in Congress racially upset?

Nancy is looking for a new minority group to do her bidding. 

Ed; Their full court LGBT splinter pandering didn't get them the win, so now Nan's California is courting the ????? ???????? vote. 

Ca. Governor Brown Signs Law Decriminalizing Child Prostitution.

Via The Hill:

A member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is sounding the alarm over the new changes floated by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), warning that the minority leader’s proposals could erode the power of African-American lawmakers even as they attempt to spread influence to younger members.

In a note to fellow members of the CBC, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) praised Pelosi “for listening to the concerns” of Democrats seeking a new path forward after a disastrous election cycle that will put Republicans in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress next year.

But he’s also worried that some of the proposals “may have severe unintended consequences that could diminish our power as a caucus” by preventing many longstanding CBC members from rising through the ranks.

Richmond said he’s particularly troubled that Pelosi’s proposals “seem to target the portfolio” of the third-ranking leadership post, currently held by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), a 12-term CBC member, by making that position an elected seat reserved for lawmakers who have served three terms or less.

“I understand responsibilities will have to be reallocated in order to make room at the leadership table for others, but we must make sure that we do not send the message that, of the top three leaders, the Assistant Leader bears the blame for our losses,” Richmond wrote.

“As a general note, the proposal creates a number of positions that can only be filled by Members who have served fewer than three or four terms,” he added. “However, we have a number of Members who have been in Congress five or more terms, but have not been able to serve in leadership roles because of stagnation at the top of our leadership structure.”

Several sources on and off of Capitol Hill said Clyburn is also unhappy with the proposed changes. His office did not respond to a request for comment.

Keep reading…

 Thank You Dapandico and The Hill.

Awesome: Trump Threatens To 'Terminate' Obama's Love Fest With Cuba

Go to South Florida and ask anyone who escaped Fidel's 'Workers Paradise'. Get it from someone who's Been There, Done That.


Love it.
Via Politico:
President-elect Donald Trump on Monday threatened to unravel President Barack Obama’s progress with Cuba unless the communist nation accedes to his terms.
“If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday warned that Trump was “absolutely” willing to reverse the progress of the Obama administration’s diplomatic reset with Cuba.

“Repression, open markets, freedom of religion, political prisoners — these things need to change in order to have open and free relationships,” Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s going to have to be some movement from Cuba in order to have a relationship with the United States.”

Thank You Zip, Politico and Donald Trump.

There Are NO RULES About Psychiatric Diagnosis: Dr Paula Caplan

NARPA Speech 9/4/14

2 years ago, hence the DSM V being fairly new in this one. 

Thank You Dr Caplan.

Dr Caplan discusses financial COI pervading the DSM here.

So, don't miss these two.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Envisioning a Different Kind of Government: The Icelandic Free State 930-1264AD

We've written a Viking Trilogy. It's top right under Support This Site.

What's the deal?

The Govt of The Viking Age Free State Icelandic Commonwealth, or to be precise, it's near Total Lack of Govt.

This is reposted from our author blog. 

After you've chewed it over, ask yourself What in the world we need with all the Government we have today? It's kinder and gentler? It's more 'Fair'? It makes people free by taking half or more of what they earn to redistribute it?

If there was ever the antithesis of Big Government personified, this was it. 

And if it was such a great idea, what killed it?

3, . . 2, . . 1, . . . Central Control. Anti Competitive Taxing Policies.


If you didn't like the services your Chieftain charged you a nominal fee to provide, you could contract with another Chieftain on the other side of the island to do a better job for you, without having to move there.

Imagine how much better service we'd get today from government if we could simply tell government at every level, each and everyone of us on an individual basis, we can and will do something about you.

You're Fired.


Privatization, Viking Style: Model or Misfortune?

By Roderick T. Long

June 6, 2002

Can the experience of Icelandic Vikings eight centuries ago teach us a lesson about the dangers of privatization? Jared Diamond thinks so. In his article "Living on the Moon," published in the May 23, 2002, issue of the New York Review of Books, Diamond portrays the history of Iceland in the Viking period as a nightmarish vision of privatization run amuck.

Libertarian scholars and free-market enthusiasts have often pointed to the Icelandic Free State (930-1262) as a positive example of a society that functioned successfully with little orno government control. Writing in the Journal of Legal Studies, economist David Friedman observes that the Free State "might almost have been invented by a mad economist to test the lengths to which market systems could supplant government in its most fundamental functions." As Diamond himself notes:

"Medieval Iceland had no bureaucrats, no taxes, no police, and no army. … Of the normal functions of governments elsewhere, some did not exist in Iceland, and others were privatized, including fire-fighting, criminal prosecutions and executions, and care of the poor."

But unlike those who see who see the Icelandic system as a model to emulate, Diamond charges that the Free State's excessively privatized character made it radically unstable, ultimately leading to the system's violent collapse in 1262; his essay has already been cited byThe American Prospect as a crucial resource for those "making the case against privatization and shrinking government." So who's right? Does medieval Iceland illustrate privatization'sbenefits, or its hazards?

Lying in the North Atlantic between Norway and Greenland, its northern shores brushing the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a stark and desolate landscape of basalt and frozen lava, punctuatedby volcanoes, geysers, and glaciers — eerily beautiful for tourists, though a wearying challenge for farmers. Such a harsh natural environment might have attracted few immigrants, were it not for a still harsher political climate back on the mainland. Iceland's first settlers — Norse and Celto-Norse refugees from King Harald Fairhair's attempt in the late ninth century to impose centralized control and property taxes on all of Norway — established what historians call the Icelandic Free State, or Icelandic Commonwealth, around the year 930. In Diamond'swords, "they privatized government beyond Ronald Reagan’s wildest dreams" (since Reagan dramatically increased the size and expense of government over the course of his administration, this is quite an understatement), "and thereby collapsed in a civil war thatcost them their independence."

This "thereby" is somewhat misleading, however, since civil strife did not become a serious problem in Iceland until around 1220, nearly three centuries after the system was established — and the system's final collapse did not come until 42 years after that. As I have writtenelsewhere: "We should be cautious in labeling as a failure a political experiment that flourished longer than the United States has even existed." Indeed, given Diamond's criterion of instability, the United States cannot be called stable until it survives the year 2108. (Though one could argue that it has already failed the test: the United States had to wait only 85 years from its founding before plunging into a catastrophic civil war, by contrast with Iceland's 290 years.)

How did the Icelandic Free State work? The 11th-century historian Adam von Bremen described Iceland as having "no king but the law." The legal system's administration, insofar as it had one, lay in the hands of a parliament of about 40 officers whom historians call, however inadequately, "chieftains." This parliament had no budget and no employees; it met only two weeks per year. In addition to their parliamentary role, chieftains were empowered in their own local districts to appoint judges and to keep the peace; this latter job was handled on an essentially fee-for-service basis. The enforcement of judicial decisions waslargely a matter of self-help (hence Iceland's reputation as a land of constant private feuding), but those who lacked the might to enforce their rights could sell their court-decreed claims for compensation to someone more powerful, usually a chieftain; hence even the poorand friendless could not be victimized with impunity.

The basis of a chieftain's power within the political order was the power he already possessed outside it, in civil society. The office of chieftaincy was private property, and could be bought or sold; hence chieftaincies tended to track private wealth. But wealth alone was not enough. As economic historian Birgir Solvason notes in his masterful study of the period, "just buying the chieftainship was no guarantee of power"; the mere office by itself was "almost worthless" unless the chieftain could "convince some free-farmers to follow him." Chieftains did not hold authority over territorially-defined districts, but competed for clients with other chieftains from the same geographical area.

A chieftain was politician, lawyer, and policeman rolled into one: he represented his clients in parliament, served as their advocate in arbitration, and offered them armed assistance in dispute resolution. If his customers were dissatisfied with the quality or price of these services, they could switch to a different chieftain without having to change their physical location; therelation between chieftain and client could be freely terminated by either party, so that signing up with a chieftain was rather like signing up for insurance or long-distance phone service today; legal jurisdictions were, in effect, "virtual" rather than physical.

The fact that the provision of "governmental" services was a competitive rather than a monopolistic enterprise was arguably one of the Free State's greatest strengths; just as in any other market, the competitive discipline imposed by the fear of losing clients to rival service providers served as a check on inefficiency and abuse of power. Icelandic law owed its resilience and flexibility to this decoupling of authority from geography.

Diamond finds this competitive legal system unprecedented and bizarre: "Everywhere else in the world that I know of, competing chiefs ruled over mutually exclusive territories, within which everyone else had to be that chief’s follower." He seems unaware that non-territorial jurisdiction has been a fairly common phenomenon throughout history; indeed, the prevalence of non-territorial jurisdiction in medieval Europe is often credited with explaining the "rise of the West." It is certainly true, however, that the Free State pressed the principle of non-territorial jurisdiction farther than most.

While non-territorial jurisdiction has its admirers, Diamond is certainly not one of them. On the contrary, he condemns this "weird territorial system" as a "recipe for chaos":

"Freedmen other than chiefs could choose their chief and switch alliances, regardless of which chief happened to reside nearby. A chief's farm became surrounded by a mosaic of smaller farms, some of them occupied by his own followers, others by other chiefs' followers. The resulting feuds fill The Sagas of Icelanders."

Yet in Jesse Byock's Viking Age Iceland, one of the books on which Diamond claims to be basing his analysis, we find precisely the opposite information: the "lack of geographically defined chieftaincies" meant that no group could claim "exclusive or long-time control overany one area"; as a result, there were "few territorial u2018refuge areas'" where "feuding parties lived protected … by a cluster of kin and friends." This "made sustained feuding difficult," creating increased incentives for compromise. In other words, the non-territorial nature of Iceland's legal order served to decrease, not to increase, the violence of feud. (Diamond also asserts that Iceland's lack of a strong central government left it "defenseless against attacks," a charge he substantiates by recounting an incident from 1627 — at which time Iceland was under the "protection" of the Danish crown, and the Free State system Diamond is criticizing had been defunct for nearly four centuries!)

Reading the Icelandic Sagas initially gives the impression of unremitting violence — until one notices that most of the feuds they describe consist of low-casualty skirmishes at long intervals. Though often referred to as "Vikings," Icelanders made their living for the most part through farming and trade, and violence was sporadic; thanks to the economic incentivesprovided by Iceland's legal system, conflicts were settled in court more often than in combat. Like any good storyteller, the authors of the Sagas simply skipped over the long boring periods when nobody was killing anybody.

To keep Icelandic feud in perspective, one may contrast it with continental Europe, whose princes, blessed with "mutually exclusive territories," launched massive wars. As Solvason points out, Icelandic society was "more peaceful and cooperative than its contemporaries"; in England and Norway, by contrast, "the period from about 800 to 1200 is a period of continuous struggle; high in both violence and killings." Byock contrasts the prolonged and violent civil strife which attended Christianization in Norway with its relatively swift and peaceful Icelandic analogue. Icelanders treated the conflict between pagans and Christians as a feud, to be resolved like any other feud — by arbitration. The arbitrator decided in favor of Christianity, and that was that. (So imbued were the Icelanders with the norms of conflict resolution through arbitration that they dealt with haunted houses in the same way — trying the ghosts for trespassing, in the confident expectation that, if found guilty, a good Icelandic ghost would respect the verdict of the court and peacefully depart!) Even at the Free State's worst, during the system's catastrophic breakdown into intestine warfare in the 1200s, the body count was fairly low; as Friedman writes:

"During more than fifty years of what the Icelanders themselves perceived as intolerably violent civil war, leading to the collapse of the traditional system, the average number of people killed or executed each year appears, on a per capita basis, to be roughly equal to the current rate of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter in the United States."

Obviously the level of violence during the three centuries before the civil war must have been even lower.

Diamond is best known for his 1997 book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which argues that history is determined primarily by geographical rather thancultural factors; he applies a similar analysis here, maintaining that the Icelanders' radically decentralized political system was forced on them by Iceland's scanty supply of natural resources, leaving them "too poor even to afford a government." (Oh, for such poverty!) In short, the law of Iceland was not the product of its inhabitants' own ideas and values, but was in effect selected for them by the nature of their physical environment.

But didn't the Icelanders choose that environment because they were hostile to centralized power back home? And doesn't the structure of their legal system reflect that very hostility?Diamond can hardly ignore these facts, but he minimizes their importance:

"Having emigrated to Iceland in order to be independent of the growing power of the Norwegian king, Icelanders wanted minimal government anyway, and that attitude let them make a virtue of the necessity imposed by their poverty."

In other words, Icelandic cultural attitudes were causally irrelevant to the outcome; although the system the Icelanders ended up with was to their liking, they would have ended up withmuch the same system whether they liked it or not.

Diamond's portrait of medieval Icelandic society as crippled by extreme poverty is not borne out by the evidence. In their supposedly hapless and half-starved condition, Icelanderscreated a rich literary tradition of Eddas and Sagas, developed a sophisticated legal code, and mounted voyages of exploration to North America — activities that would seem to indicate a higher degree of prosperity and leisure than Diamond suggests. Arguing that Icelanders were in fact relatively affluent, Solvason points to the steady improvement of economic conditions and increased production of export goods over the course of the Free State period.

Ship ownership was far rarer in Iceland than one might expect in an island community, particularly a "Viking" one; Diamond surmises that this is because Iceland was poor in timber(or quickly became so as settlers unsustainably exploited Iceland's natural resources), so that "the original ships of the settlers could not be replaced by new ships." He infers that Iceland,being "almost entirely without ocean-going ships of its own," was left at the mercy of foreign navigators who "controlled and exploited Iceland's trade." But as Solvason points out, timber was regularly imported to Iceland for a variety of purposes, and could have been used for shipbuilding if ships had been wanted; Solvason concludes that Icelanders voluntarily chose to exploit their comparative advantage in ranching (among Iceland's chief exports were meat and wool) and leave shipbuilding to others, presumably because they found this decision more profitable.

Diamond's geography-is-destiny approach to history deserves our skepticism in any case. The world is full of bleak, inhospitable, resource-poor regions whose inhabitants scratch out a meager living; but how many such regions have left us a cultural legacy comparable to medieval Iceland's? Diamond would do well to heed philosopher R. G. Collingwood's dictum that history is ultimately determined not by nature, but by what human beings make of nature. By all evidence, Icelanders maintained their privatized political system, not because they were driven by poverty and necessity to do so (though Diamond apparently finds their system so uncongenial that he can conceive no other reason), but quite simply because it worked.

But if the Icelandic Free State was so successful, why did it eventually collapse? Clearly, the explanation lies in the growing centralization of wealth and power. As Diamond writes:

"Originally, soon after settlement, Iceland had about 4,500 independent farms, but by the thirteenth century 80 percent of Iceland's farmland was owned by five families, and all the other formerly independent farmers had become tenants."

These five families also managed to buy up most of the chieftaincies, enabling them to dominate the courts and parliament. The concentration of chieftaincies in fewer hands also meant an end to the existence of competing chieftains within the same territory; Iceland began to be fractured into regions, each operating as a local monopoly or mini-state. During the years 1220-1262, the resulting struggle for hegemony among these mini-states broke out into open conflict, a crisis that was finally resolved only when the Icelanders, exhausted by civil war, invited King Haakon of Norway to govern them, thus bringing the Free State period to a close.

To Diamond, this final decision illustrates the utter bankruptcy of the Icelandic system: "I cannot think of another historical case of an independent country that became so desperate that it turned itself over to another country." Perhaps he should have tried harder; he might have remembered England in 1688, offering the crown to William of Orange after deposing the Stuarts — or, harking farther back, the many small states who responded to civil strife by calling in a Roman garrison, thus submitting de facto to Roman authority. Moreover, the very desperation of the move indicates how unaccustomed the Icelanders were to levels of violence that had long been commonplace on the mainland. In any case, the Icelanders presumably saw the Covenant of 1262-64, not as a surrender of national independence, but simply as yet another case of signing up with a new chieftain because their previous chieftains had proven unsatisfactory. This new chieftain, the Norwegian king, was farther away, and so perhaps less dangerous; certainly he was wealthier than any Icelandic chieftain, and so (they imagined) less tax-hungry. What they failed to recognize was the incentive implications of switching from a competitive system to a monopolistic one — though admittedly, their own system had lost much of its competitive character already. (War is not a form of competition; it is what arises when competition breaks down.)

The process of competitive chieftaincies turning into monopolistic mini-states is obviously a move toward less privatization, not more; and it was precisely when Iceland had become less privatized and more like mainland Europe — a collection of principalities vying for supremacy — that it collapsed into the kind of large-scale warfare that had raged across the rest of Europe for centuries. It seems rather unfair, then, to blame this catastrophe on privatization. Still, why didn't Iceland's privatized system of law prevent the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the first place? Was this failure symptomatic of an inherent flaw in the Icelandic system?

Typically, Diamond offers an environmental explanation for the increasing concentration of wealth: Iceland's harsh climate. "In cold years the poorer farms culled or lost their livestock in the winter because of insufficient hay," and so were "forced to become debtors who were dependent on others for survival." The cogency of this explanation is doubtful. Wealthier farmers had more hay, but they presumably also had more livestock; hence they most likely did not have more hay per head of livestock. Since wealth was held predominantly in land and livestock, not in currency, it's unclear why hard winters should be expected to have a less severe impact on wealthy farmers than on poor ones.

A more plausible explanation for the Free State's decline points to the introduction of the tithe in 1096. Made possible by Iceland's conversion to Christianity a century earlier, the tithe— to pay church officials and maintain church buildings — was Iceland's first real tax. (Previous "taxes" generally turn out on closer inspection to be voluntary exchanges of fees for services.) Assessed at 1% of the payer's property, it was also Iceland's first graduated tax (earlier fees were one-size-fits-all), and so took in much more revenue. Most importantly, the tithe lacked a competitive element. Recall the non-territorial character of a chieftain's jurisdiction: a chieftain's temptations to self-aggrandizement were kept in check by the knowledge that if he acquired delusions of grandeur or charged too high a price for his services, his clients could abandon him for a rival. But the tithe was territorial; all those who lived in the vicinity of a particular church building had to pay for its upkeep, and were not at liberty to transfer their support elsewhere. The catch is that the portion of tithe revenue allocated to maintaining church buildings went not to the official church hierarchy but to the wealthy private owners (usually chieftains) of stadhir, "churchsteads," i.e., plots of land on which churches had been built. The tithe was a property tax; but chieftaincies, though marketable commodities, were exempt — as were the churchsteads themselves, predominantly owned by chieftains. (The parliament that enacted the tithe law was of course composed entirely of chieftains.)

The tithe thus did more than just increase the income of the chieftains; it decoupled that income from accountability. Economic inequalities per se are not a serious threat to liberty so long as they operate in a genuine market context, where the way to gain and maintain wealth is to please one's customers; before the introduction of the tithe, a chieftain who proved toopower-hungry would alienate his customers and so suffer financial discipline. But chieftains who owned churchsteads now had a captive market, and so were freed from all competitive restraints on their accumulation of wealth and power. Through buying off or intimidatingless wealthy chieftains, the top families were able to gain control of multiple chieftaincies. This gave them a lock on the parliament, enabling them to pass still further taxes; it also decreased competition among chieftains, allowing them to charge monopoly prices and drivetheir clients into a serf-like state of debt and dependence.

The Icelandic system did fall through an inherent flaw, then, but not the one Diamond imagines; the Free State failed, not through having too much privatization, but through having too little. The tithe, and particularly the portion allotted to churchstead maintenance, represented a monopolistic, non-competitive element in the system. The introduction of the tithe was in turn made possible by yet another non-competitive element: the establishment of an official state church which everyone was legally bound to support. Finally, buying up chieftaincies would have availed little if there had been free entry into the chieftaincy profession; instead, the number of chieftains was set by law, and the creation of new chieftaincies could be approved only by parliament — i.e., by the existing chieftains, who were naturally less than eager to encourage competitors. It is precisely those respects in which the Free State was least privatized and decentralized that led to its downfall — while its more privatized aspects delayed that downfall for three centuries.

Diamond pities the medieval Icelanders. We might do better to emulate them.

Further Reading

Bruce Benson. The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State. Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco, 1990.

Tom W. Bell. "Polycentric Law." Humane Studies Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1991/92.

Jesse L. Byock. Feud in the Icelandic Saga. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1982.

—–. Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1988.

—–. Viking Age Iceland. Penguin, London, 2001.

David Friedman. "Private Creation and Enforcement of Law: A Historical Case." Journal of Legal Studies 8, 1979.

—–. The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism. Second Edition. Open Court, La Salle, 1989. Chapter 44.

—–. "Viking Iceland: Anarchy that Worked," Liberty 2, no. 6 (July 1989), pp. 37-40.

Albert Loan. "Institutional Bases of the Spontaneous Order: Surety and Assurance." Humane Studies Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1992.

Roderick T. Long. "The Decline and Fall of Private Law in Iceland." Formulations 1, no. 3 (Spring 1994).

William I. Miller. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland.University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1990.

Birgir T. Runolfsson Solvason. Ordered Anarchy, State, and Rent-Seeking: The Icelandic Commonwealth, 930-1264. Ph.D. Dissertation in Economics, George Mason University, 1991.

—–. "Ordered Anarchy: Evolution of the Decentralized Legal Order in the IcelandicCommonwealth," Icelandic Economic Papers 17 (1992).

—–. 1993. "Institutional Evolution in the Icelandic Commonwealth." Constitutional Political Economy 4, no. 1, pp. 97-125.

June 6, 2002

Roderick T. Long [send him mail] is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, President of the Alabama Philosophical Society, Editor of the Libertarian Nation Foundation periodical Formulations, and an Adjunct Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The Best of Roderick T. Long

The Hilarious 'Hamilton' Hubbub

townhall Brent Bozell Posted: Nov 25, 2016 12:01 AM

Editor's Note: This piece was coauthored by Tim Graham.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in New York during the transition, and he took his family to Broadway to see "Hamilton," the hot hip-hop Founding Fathers musical that people are overpaying to see. What resulted wasn't exactly surprising -- rude and obnoxious, but not surprising.

Pence entered the Richard Rodgers Theatre to both cheers and boos, which is unsurprising for national politicians at public events, especially sporting events. But during the curtain call, Pence was singled out from the stage.

Actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Vice President Aaron Burr, lectured the vice president-elect, saying: "We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us -- our planet, our children, our parents -- or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us."

Can anyone imagine Broadway actors singling out a Democrat after a show to proclaim their alarm and anxiety over an election result? That's why you dismiss the absurdity that this "diverse America" of hard-left theatre people represents anyone outside of the ZIP code in which they perform.

Then it came out that Dixon and other "Hamilton" stars haven't voted in years. So much for the alarm and anxiety they've been feeling about the country. It's yet another reason to reject the pleadings of the elites who cannot conduct even the most basic exercise in the democratic process -- voting -- and yet demand their voices be respected.

Pence knew going in that "Hamilton" has become some kind of a "Rocky Horror Picture Show" crowd-participation event for Trump-hating liberals who cheer wildly at the musical's lyrics that boast about how much immigrants can do. Pence knew going in that the "Hamilton" folks hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in July -- touted by "news" media as a "boost of Tony-winning star power" -- with ticket prices ranging from $2,700 to $100,000.

So who was reflecting a tolerance of diverse views, and who was ranting inside a bubble?

The controversy took off when Donald Trump tweeted that Pence was "harassed" in the lecture and deserves an apology. "Hamilton" fans insisted the lecture was polite. It wasn't.

Then The New York Times lectured from a half-mile away that this protest speech represented "American principles like free speech, respect and the ability to challenge authority in the Trump era." Now that is just hilarious. Lecture or heckle Pence, and you represent free speech. Lecture or heckle President Barack Obama, and the Times insists you represent white people's rancid failure to accept a black president.

It's going to be a long four (or eight) years of the usual arrogant liberal mockery from the entertainment elite. On the American Music Awards, 21-year-old supermodel Gigi Hadid was hailed by liberal media elites for a bad Melania Trump impression in which she repeating the tired Michelle Obama-plagiarism joke.

Liberals couldn't imagine that a large chunk of red-state America is tired of multimillionaire supermodels and Broadway starts telling them that they represent the common people. Earth to the elites: You don't represent the common people. The election was not just a dismissal of your candidate but a rejection of your condescension.

Thank You Mr Bozell and Townhall.


"There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism."

The real Alexander Hamilton.

Doctor Indicted In Drug Death of 3 Doors Down Guitarist

By JAY REEVES | November 23, 2016 | 12:30 PM EST 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama doctor is accused of illegally prescribing drugs that contributed to the overdose death of longtime 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts earlier this year, court documents show.

Newly unsealed records show Dr. Richard Snellgrove of Fairhope, Alabama, is charged with illegally prescribing Fentanyl, an opioid pain medication, and another drug to Roberts days before he was found dead of a overdose in August in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Records show Snellgrove, 59, was named in a six-count federal indictment in October. The charges were not made public until a judge unsealed them last week.

An attorney representing Snellgrove, Dennis Knizley, said Wednesday that the physician did nothing wrong.

"If medication played a role in Mr. Roberts' death it was because of improper use, not anything that was attributed to anything Dr. Snellgrove did," he said.

Roberts lived in Spanish Fort, Alabama, near Mobile, at the time of his death; he was 38. A grand jury in Mobile returned the indictment.

Roberts' father, Darrell Roberts Sr., told a Drug Enforcement Administration agent that Snellgrove was a "celebrity junkie" who his son called "Snelly," according to a sworn statement by DEA agent Michael Burt. The two were "tight" and Matt Roberts sometimes had after-hours appointments with Snellgrove, whom he had seen as a patient since at least 2004, the statement said.

Roberts was found dead in the hall outside his hotel room while visiting Wisconsin for a charity performance. Roberts was wearing a Fentanyl patch like one prescribed by Snellgrove two days earlier, the statement said, and he also had pills matching ones the doctor prescribed.

Agents seized records from Snellgrove's two offices on the Alabama coast in September, the statement said. Burt wrote that there was evidence that Snellgrove illegally prescribed drugs including methadone and Fentanyl to Roberts six times dating to 2011.

The agent's statement said the Fentanyl and a narcotic pain medication, Norco, wrongly prescribed by Snellgrove were contributing factors in the musician's death. Fentanyl also was blamed in the death of rock musician Prince earlier this year.

Snellgrove remains in private practice but is not prescribing controlled substances, his attorney said.

"Dr. Snellgrove is a well-respected physician with an impeccable reputation. This case centers around one patient. Dr. Snellgrove treated Mr. Roberts ethically and professionally," said Knizley.

Roberts was a founding member of the Mississippi-based rock band but quit in 2012 citing health reasons. He is credited with co-writing the band's hit "Kryptonite."

Court documents say Roberts had fought substance abuse problems.

Thank You Mr Reeves and CNS.

Soft Drinks Number 1 Purchase by Food Stamp Recipients

Isn't the purpose of Food Stamps to keep people healthy?

Which nutritional essential do soft drinks supply on OPM?

Replenishing their energy after a hard day of protesting.

Via CNS News:

Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.

That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.

By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”

That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.[…]

“The top two commodities were the same for SNAP and non-SNAP households, namely soft drinks and fluid milk products, although the order was reversed with soft drinks ranked first for SNAP households compared to fluid milk products for non-SNAP households,” said the report.

The approximately $357,700,000 that households on food stamps spent in 2011 at this single retail chain equaled 5.44 percent of their total expenditures there.

By contrast, the $1,263,300,000 that non-food stamp households spent on soft drinks equaled only 4.01 percent of their purchases.

Food stamp households put 3.85 percent of their expenditures into milk, while non-food stamp households put 4.03 percent into milk.

Ground beef ranked as the third product bought by people on food stamps. They spent approximately $201,000,000 on that product at the retailer—or $156,700,00 less (43.8 percent) than they spent on soft drinks.

Other commodities that ranked in the Top 25 that food stamp recipients purchased included “bag snacks” (No. 4 with $199,300,000 in purchases); “frozen handhelds and snacks (No 9 with $101,500,000 in purchases); “candy-packaged” (No. 11 with $96,200,000 in purchases); “frozen pizza” (No 13 with $90,200,000 in purchases); “ice cream, ice milks, sherbets (No. 15 with $86,000,000 in purchases); “cookies” (No. 17 with $78,200,000 in purchases); and “cakes” (No 22 with $68,200,000 in purchases).

Keep reading…

Thank You CNS and Dapandico