Category Archives: Original

TTC Claims To Be Testing For Drug Impairment, Even When It’s Impossible

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AlternativeFreePress.com

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently implemented a new random drug testing policy, and a TTC driver has apparently tested positive for being impaired while on duty.

According to the Toronto Star, The TTC claims the tests detect whether someone is impaired at the time, not whether they use drug or alcohol while off-duty. Of course, that’s impossible when it comes to Cannabis. The TTC will not disclose what substance the driver tested positive for, but does say that the test detects several common intoxicants including marijuana.

There are several problems with testing for Cannabis impairment…

1. Medical use. A medical user may actually need Cannabis to function properly and could be impaired by not using their medication.

2. Tolerance. Habitual users typically do not become impaired from regular use due to their high tolerance. While a new user may become impaired from a small dose, a habitual user could feel practically no effect from the same amount. Cannabis smoking history plays a major role in cannabinoid detection.

3. Measuring impairment is impossible. Studies have shown that measuring THC can’t determine impairment. Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law. A daily user could have consumed the night before and test positive the following morning while completely sober after a full night sleep.

4. Dozens of studies have shown that Cannabis users are safe drivers & states that have legalized Cannabis have seen a drop in traffic fatalities.

So, when the TTC claims they are testing only for impairment on the job, that’s not actually true.

What they are doing, is applying obstinate opinions, prejudices, and intolerance to those whose chemical profile appears one way versus those whose chemical profile appears another way.

Written by Alternative Free Press
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TTC Claims To Be Testing For Drug Impairment, Even When It’s Impossible by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Trump bombs Syria… Despite the facts.

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Despite the fact that there is no logical reason that Bashar al Assad would use chemical weapons a week after the US Secretary of State said that Assad’s future would be decided by the people of Syria.

Despite the fact that the Syrian rebels benefit from a chemical weapons attack in Syria more than anyone.

Despite the fact that Syrian rebels are often Islamic State.

Despite the fact that Trump repeatedly claimed non-interventionist positions during his campaign.

Despite the fact that Russia & Syria deny using chemical weapons.

Despite the fact that attacking Syria without asking congress violates the constitution….

Trump “ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched”, claiming “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States” and that “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons”.

Despite the fact that there is plenty of dispute.

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Rand is the man

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AlternativeFreePress.com

It seems one of the only sane people in Washington DC is Senator Rand Paul. In the past few days, Rand has…

1. Blocked a treaty allowing Montenegro to join NATO.

Here is how he defends his position:

“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan). In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.” … “there has to be the thought whether or not it’s in our national interest to pledge to get involved with a war if Montenegro has an altercation with anyone.”…”There’s also another argument, is that when you ask the people of Montenegro, only about 40 percent or slightly less are actually in favor of this. They are close to Russia, they’re close to being sort of, like Ukraine, in the transition from Europe to Asia. Perhaps it would be good to be like Switzerland and be more neutral and trade with both.”

2. Introduced ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Act’ To The Senate.

“One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us. This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.”

3. Come out swinging against Trumpcare.

The current Ryan Plan — “Obamacare Lite” — is not about patients. It isn’t about better health care. It isn’t about lowering costs.

It is, plain and simple, about getting more money to the insurance companies and running more of your life from Washington.

I am a career physician. I spent years training and learning to be a doctor. I did it for patients. I don’t give a flip about guaranteeing the profits of insurance companies. And as a Senator, I shouldn’t, either.

But in Washington, somehow, the whole debate seems to be about getting people insurance instead of getting people health care.

Insurance doesn’t equate to health care. Just ask all the Obamacare recipients with $6,000 deductibles.

I’m sick of the insurance companies putting me on hold and telling me to talk to their representative in a foreign country. Screw that.

I’m sick of the government telling me I have to buy their crappy product, and I’m sick of watching us go into more and more debt to do it.

We need a new way, and Obamacare Lite isn’t it.

I want the consumer (aka patient) to be king. I want to empower the patient to get the health care they want at the price they want.

I want to let every American be able to join a co-op to buy their health care. When that happens, the buying power returns to the patients.

Instead of patients having to kiss the boots of insurance company executives, my plan would have insurance executives come on bended knee to the patient.

Sources:
Rand Paul Responds to John McCain: Senator From Arizona Is “Unhinged” and “Past His Prime”

Rand Paul Introduces ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Act’ To The Senate

Let’s ‘Smash’ Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite ‘to Smithereens’

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US Treasury Shows How To Fix Vancouver & Toronto Housing Markets

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Canada has a money laundering problem, and it has been causing real estate prices in Toronto & Vancouver to soar to ridiculous levels. More than half of B.C.’s most expensive homes are owned by secret shell companies. Of course, this is not a problem exclusive to Canada.

In February 2016, the United States Treasury’s FinCEN enacted “GEOGRAPHIC, ANTI-MONEY-LAUNDERING, TARGETING ORDERS of 2016″, and as a result found that half the real estate being purchased was with illicit funds. John Tobon, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Deputy Special Agent in Charge for South Florida, told the Miami Herald in January. “We come across real estate being purchased with illicit funds once every other case.”

Within U.S. markets where the anti-money laundering efforts have targeted, prices have started to drop significantly:

Manhattan Apartment Prices Continue To Slide

Manhattan Luxury Housing In Freefall: J.Crew CEO Slashes Tribeca Loft Price By Over 40%

Miami luxury condo prices take a plunge

SF home prices see big drop in January

The US crack down seems to be working, hopefully The Government of Canada acts soon.

Source:
Feds: “We Come Across Real Estate Being Purchased With Illicit Funds Once Every Other Case”

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2017 Toronto Mumps Outbreak : Nearly half of infected population was fully vaccinated

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Toronto is experiencing a Mumps outbreak. All of the currently confirmed cases have been in adults between 18 and 35. CBC reports that “About 60 per cent” of them had not received the two recommended doses of the MMR vaccine. Lab results have confirmed that 14 people have become infected with the virus, so “about 60 per cent” is most likely 57% or 8 out of 14 people. That means that 6 of the 14 people or 43% were completely vaccinated.

The MMR vaccine is ineffective. This recent outbreak in Toronto is far from the first time that vaccinated people have fallen ill . In 2014 we wrote about outbreaks in Massachusetts, Ohio and New York which were infecting vaccinated populations.

15 out of 15 students infected with whooping cough last month at Falmouth High School in Massachusetts had been vaccinated.

At Fordham University in New York City all students are required to be vaccinated including the vaccination for mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR), but as of February 21st, 13 cases of the mumps had been reported with 100% of those infected having already been vaccinated.

In Ohio, as of March 24th there were 63 reported cases & 97% of those infected had been vaccinated.

Dr Tetyana Obukhanych is an Immunologist who earned her PhD in Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. and Stanford University in California. In an interview with Catherine Frompovich, Dr Obukhanych explains why these outbreaks are occurring among the vaccinated population:

I think this is happening because vaccination does not engage the genuine mechanism of immunity. Vaccination typically engages the immune response—that is, everything that immunologists would theoretically “want” to see being engaged in the immune system. But apparently this is not enough to confer robust protection that matches natural immunity. Our knowledge of the immune system is far from being complete.

Dr Obukhanych describes natural immunity as: “in a way, a tautological expression because immunity can only be acquired naturally at this point, only through the exposure to an infected individual, although occasionally such exposure would go asymptomatic while still establishing immunity. Nevertheless, because there is a common misconception that vaccines also confer immunity, it is sometimes necessary to use a qualifier “natural,” when referring to immunity, to distinguish it from vaccine-based protection.

In the following video Dr Obukhanych explains how protective serum titers drop very quickly after the second MMR dose, meaning some vaccinated people do not receive any lasting protection from the MMR vaccine.

Here is a screenshot of the chart in the video highlighting the data which shows the MMR booster is not very effective & provides at best, leaky immunity.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, author and lecturer who attended the LSU School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina explains how herd immunity is only truly obtainable through natural immunity:

In the original description of herd immunity, the protection to the population at large occurred only if people contracted the infections naturally. The reason for this is that naturally-acquired immunity lasts for a lifetime. The vaccine proponents quickly latched onto this concept and applied it to vaccine-induced immunity. But, there was one major problem – vaccine-induced immunity lasted for only a relatively short period, from 2 to 10 years at most, and then this applies only to humoral immunity. This is why they began, silently, to suggest boosters for most vaccines, even the common childhood infections such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Then they discovered an even greater problem, the boosters were lasting for only 2 years or less. This is why we are now seeing mandates that youth entering colleges have multiple vaccines, even those which they insisted gave lifelong immunity, such as the MMR. The same is being suggested for full-grown adults. Ironically, no one in the media or medical field is asking what is going on. They just accept that it must be done.

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Government of Canada Ramps Up Failed Prohibitionist Tactics In Futile Effort To Stop Fentanyl

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AlternativeFreePress.com

The Government of Canada continues to double down on failed prohibitionist policies in it’s fight against opioid overdoses, despite overwhelming evidence that such tactics are ineffective.

Within the past couple of weeks we have been told that Health Canada has published regulations controlling six chemicals used in the production of fentanyl, and that the RCMP and China’s public security ministry have agreed to increase their efforts to interrupt the flow of fentanyl and other opioids. However, these are just more of the same prohibitionist policies which created this problem.

If the government actually wants to help stop this crisis, they do have the means. It is only a question of will. Last month a Justice Department research paper was publicized which states that decriminalizing drugs could result in lower rates of use, addiction, and overdoses. The study says that “It is becoming more challenging to justify the criminalization of drug users,”

Earlier this year, prescription heroin became available to addicts in Canada. That is a step in the right direction, and that access should be promoted and encouraged. Most addicts will not buy street drugs if they can get their fix legally and more affordably from a pharmacist or doctor. Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin, so unfortunately the act of legalizing heroin may have occurred too late as most of the street heroin is apparently cut with fentanyl. Some fentanyl addicts may be able to switch to prescription heroin, but also providing access to legal fentanyl would certainly help reduce the black market demand further.

Increasing law enforcement efforts and tightening regulations has never succeeded at stopping illegal drugs, and in fact has only made the drugs more dangerous. The increased use of illicit synthetic opioids is a direct result of prohibitionist policies. Even if law enforcement did somehow manage to stop the flow of fentanyl, it would just be replaced by more carfentanyl or W-18, which are a hundred times more potent. Prohibition doesn’t work.

Sources:
RCMP to work with China to fight flow of fentanyl to Canada
Health Canada Regulates Chemicals Used to Make Fentanyl “Report”
Drug decriminalization would lead to fewer overdoses, addiction: federal study

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Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election

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AlternativeFreePress.com declares Donald Trump the winner of the 2016 US Presidential Election.

While much of the mainstream media seem reluctant to call a Trump victory, it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point. While we are sure that if Clinton had a 244 to 215 lead in electoral votes, the press would be calling it for Clinton…. it’s likely going to take the mainstream media a little more time to admit that their darling candidate has failed to secure enough votes.

America has spoken, and believes the lesser of two evils to be Donald Trump. It’s a roll of the dice as opposed to the corrupt status quo…. and a reminder to never believe the mainstream media or their nonsense polling.

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Belgium’s Walloons Are Right; All Canadians & Europeans Should Also Reject CETA

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AlternativeFreePress.com

3.5-million French-speaking Walloons of Belgium are standing up for all the people of Europe & Canada. The Wallonia region has an effective veto over CETA because Belgium’s constitution gives them that power….and we should all be thanking them for using it.

The Huffington Post reports the apparent 5 reasons that the Walloons are blocking CETA, and they are pretty fucking good reasons:

1. Too much corporate power

While the Walloons are worried their agriculture sector will suffer under the deal, they are increasingly concerned about the investor-state dispute settlement system as well. The region’s socialist government has adopted many of the concerns of the civil society groups that oppose the free trade deal: they say it gives multinational corporations too much power to sue governments if they make regulations that affect their ability to turn a profit.

2. Trade tribunals

The Walloons want changes to the ISDS provisions of the treaty, specifically the tribunals that would settle disputes. They want them to be more transparent to eliminate the possibility of bias or conflict of interests by the people appointed to adjudicate disputes.

3. Loophole for U.S. corporations

The Walloons want to see loopholes closed that they say would allow U.S. multinationals with offices in Canada to use the treaty to sue governments in Europe, says Osgoode Hall law professor Gus Van Harten.

4. National courts vs. tribunals

Van Harten also says the Walloons want stronger language in the treaty that would preserve the jurisdiction of domestic courts in individual countries to hear disputes, instead of turning them over to the new tribunal system envisioned by the treaty.

5. We don’t know what we’re getting

In a parliamentary debate last week, Wallonian President Paul Magnette used an interesting metaphor to describe what he says is the opaque nature of the tribunals. He said it was like buying “a cat in a bag.”

As we have mentioned previously, investor-state dispute settlement provisions provide corporations with the ability to loot the public purse when they make poor business decisions and hinders governments ability to protect citizens and the environment. We should all be very grateful to the Walloons and let the world know that if the rest of us had the choice, we would VETO CETA as well.

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Canadian Medical Association likes gangs selling pot to kids

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AlternativeFreePress.com
September 8, 2016

Canada’s doctors are calling for strict limits on legalized pot smoking, saying the minimum age should be 21, while home growing and smoking non-medical marijuana in public places should be prohibited, the Toronto Star reports. They also want the amounts and potency of products sold to those under 25 to be tightly controlled.

Of course, if the federal government listens to these suggestions, it will simply encourage the continuation of the black market, particularly among youth.

Prohibition doesn’t work, that’s a big part of why Cannabis is about to be legalized in Canada. The Canadian Medical Association is encouraging policy which will maintain the black market for Cannabis in schools and continue to criminalize kids for doing what kids do.

Not only would such asinine policy continue to subject our kids to unnecessary police harassment, but the cost of enforcing these policies would negate much of the economic benefit of legalization. How many taxpayers want to pay for police officers to hunt down pot smokers to verify their age and test potency? How many taxpayers want teens arrested for enjoying a joint instead of alcohol?

Cannabis is a plant, with lower toxicity than a tomato plant. Children can become ill and in extreme cases die if they consume too much tomato plant leaves. Children can also die from consuming energy drinks, in fact an international research team, led by Dr. Fabian Sanchis-Gomar of Madrid, Spain, has concluded that energy drinks are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths in young, healthy individuals. Cannabis has never killed anyone, it is safer than alcohol, it is safer than energy drinks, it is safer than tomato plants.

The Liberal government has promised repeatedly to “regulate and control” cannabis, so I have no doubt that they will adopt most of these asinine prohibitionist policies.

Sources:
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/09/07/doctors-say-pot-smoking-should-be-banned-for-canadians-under-21.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-900-tomato.aspx?activeingredientid=900&activeingredientname=tomato#vit_sideeffects
http://www.onlinecjc.ca/article/S0828-282X(14)01667-5/fulltext

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Canada’s internal free-trade deal is a gift to corporations, paid for with your tax dollars

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AlternativeFreePress.com

They are calling it an “internal free-trade deal” between provinces, supposedly it’s purpose is to apparently remove protectionist barriers which inhibit competition….. of course they could just actually remove protectionist barriers which inhibit competition, but instead they are creating more regulations. Governments rarely repeal laws, instead they write new ones. Repealing laws would mean the government ceding power, while creating new laws provides them with more power.

This new Agreement on Internal Trade will likely have some positive results, but at what cost? It’s clear that the biggest change will be “a strengthened dispute settlement mechanism with increased monetary penalties”… meaning corporations will have increased ability to sue provincial governments for things like an environmental assessment that concludes a project is likely to cause significant and adverse environmental effects.

Investor-state dispute settlement provisions provide corporations with the ability to loot the public purse when they make poor business decisions and hinders governments ability to protect citizens and the environment.

Sources:
1. Provinces negotiating final details of free-trade deal Globe & Mail

2. The Trouble With the TPP, Day 42: The Risks of Investor-State Dispute Settlement michaelgeist.ca

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Democratic Party Names Scapegoat in New York Primary Voter Suppression

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AlternativeFreePress.com

The purge of over 100,000 Brooklyn voters from the rolls is being pinned on Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Election’s chief clerk. The establishment is calling the incident “an epic screw-up”, but this is clearly targeted voter suppression driven by malicious intent.

Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016, according to state stats. That appears to be a deliberate and successful attempt to purge Bernie Sanders supporters.

Now that the Democratic establishment has named it’s scapegoat, they expect us just to forget about calling it voter suppression. Apparently, we should accept this was just one person’s “epic screw up” and blindly accept Clinton as the Democrat nominee, regardless of whether the process was fair or rigged.

Sources:
NY daily news

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RCMP ignorant of reality, wasting tax dollars researching useless roadside pot tests

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Police across Canada will be testing three roadside devices on suspected drug-impaired drivers, despite the fact that none of the three devices can measure impairment.

It seems the RCMP are either ignorant of, or ignoring reality. Proving that someone has consumed cannabis does not determine if someone is driving while impaired. A recreational user may have a strong enough tolerance to not be impaired, and a medical marijuana user may actually need their medication to drive safely.

Courts in other jurisdictions have already found that testing for Cannabis consumption does not prove impairment. Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party claims to support science, but if that claim is in any way true, they will drop this silly notion that measuring THC levels can determine a driver’s ability.

In 1983 a study by the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tested drivers on simulators, and concluded that the only statistically significant effect associated with marijuana use was slower driving.

A NHTSA study in 1992 found that marijuana is rarely involved in driving accidents, except when combined with alcohol, concluding, “the THC-only drivers had an [accident] responsibility rate below that of the drug free drivers. While the difference was not statistically significant, there was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”

A separate NHTSA study from1993 tested Dutch drivers high on THC on real Dutch roads, concluding, “THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”

In 1998 a study by the University of Adelaide and Transport South Australia analyzed blood samples from 2,500 accidents, and found that drivers with cannabis in their system were less likely to cause accidents than those without.

A University of Toronto study from 1999 found that cannabis users typically refrained from passing cars and drove at a more consistent speed than sober drivers.

A 2014 study concluded “Cannabis smoking history plays a major role in cannabinoid detection. These differences may impact clinical and impaired driving drug detection.”

In 2015 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study concluding that driving after smoking marijuana does not make you more likely to get into a car crash — especially when compared to driving after alcohol consumption.

Source links for all of these studies can be found within our previous articles:

Study Shows THC Blood Tests Can’t Test Impairment

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Cannabis Drug Test Does Not Prove Impairment

Marijuana Doesn’t Make You More Likely To Crash Your Car

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Prohibition kills 5 people at music festival in Argentina

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AlternativeFreePress.com

At least five people have died and five others are in critically condition caused by drug use at a music festival in Buenos Aires say Argentine health officials.

At the Time Warp festival two people died on Friday, followed by three more deaths in an ambulance or at a hospital.

Repealing prohibition so that people can legally access drugs of verified purity, would likely prevent these types of death. Without a legal market, consumers will continue to be killed by lethal adulterants.

Sources:
The Associated Press

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Trudeau nearly triples Harper’s climate corporate welfare commitment

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AlternativeFreePress.com

A couple weeks ago Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an additional five-year $2.65-billion contribution to help multinational corporations develop countries under the guise of fighting climate change. The $2.65-billion is in addition to the $1.5 billion of corporate welfare contributed by the previous Conservative government.

While Trudeau campaigned on a slogan of “real change”, so far it’s billions in handouts to corporations, as usual.

The climate change fund is a scam, positioned as channeling money “to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change”, it may sound nice, but typically this money is loaned to poor countries with significant strings…

In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins describes how he would convince the government leaders of underdeveloped countries to accept huge loans they could never pay off. He explains how those countries were then pressured politically so much that they were effectively neutralized and their economies crippled. Perkins describes the role of an Economic Hit Man as “a highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

These international agreements seek to destroy nations sovereignty, they attempt to override laws of local, regional and national governments.

While we do need to take our impact on the planet seriously, we can’t allow ourselves to be manipulated… In 1990 The Club of Rome published The First Global Revolution, where they outlined how they would create or exaggerate environmental threats with the intention of manipulating the public into giving up their sovereignty to one world government:

The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.

This climate agreement is being presented under the guise of rich countries helping countries in need, but really it is countries already in debt, getting into more debt, in order to get other countries into debt.

The “rich” countries are not really rich when you consider their debt, every dollar of aid given is borrowed with interest owing and compounding. Increasing debt and devaluing the dollar.

The “developing” countries can certainly use help, but the strings attached to this type of help will leave them with more debt than they can handle. This will leave them vulnerable to exploitation and allow corporations to pillage resources.

This article borrowed heavily from our previous article:
Harper commits Canada to contribute corporate welfare

Written by Alternative Free Press
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Trudeau nearly triples Harper’s climate corporate welfare commitment by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Declassified Documents Show US Government Misled Public About Severity Of Fukushima Radiation

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Within a week of the Fukushima accident in 2011, U.S. authorities knew that parts of Fukushima had melted down completely, and instead of telling the public, they insisted radiation levels were safe and changed the “acceptable radiation levels”. (source)

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote a report on March 18, 2011 (only one week after the tsunami hit Fukushima) which has now been declassified. (source) The report says:

The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.

Unit 4 released more cesium than if 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground. (source)

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Declassified Documents Show US Government Misled Public About Severity Of Fukushima Radiation by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

MORE ON FUKUSHIMA HERE

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Alberta’s Carbon Tax Is Just More Corporate Welfare

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AlternativeFreePress.com

Yesterday oil executives, First Nations, academics, and environmentalists stood with the provincial government to announce a carbon tax for Alberta… but where will the money go?

Trevor Tombe, an economist with the University of Calgary, is estimating a $2.8-billion subsidy to the largest emitters. That is almost half of the estimated $6 billion revenue.

According to the CBC and Michal Moore, an economist with the University of Calgary’s school of public policy, the plan for industry is a hybrid of a straightforward carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system that allows the buying and selling of carbon credits enabling large corporations to make money trading permits.

In other words…. Alberta’s carbon tax is just more corporate welfare.

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Alberta’s Carbon Tax Is Just More Corporate Welfare by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sources: Alberta’s climate-change plan: Breaking down the numbers

RELATED:
Harper commits Canada to contribute corporate welfare

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Canada’s Corporate Cannabis Takeover Continues As Pharmacies Look Poised To Distribute

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AlternativeFreePress.com

The future of legalized Cannabis in Canada is bleak if the Liberals continue the Harper regime’s push to corporatize Cannabis. Based on the vague rhetoric promised by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party platform, that is exactly what we should expect.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is preparing for further corporatization by “reviewing its existing policies to ensure its policy position regarding pharmacist dispensing of medical marijuana reflects patient safety in this evolving area”.

The CPhA has no business distributing Cannabis. If Cannabis is removed from the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act (CDSA), there is no legal justification to restricting distribution to pharmacies. Cannabis is a benign plant with many uses, which gardeners and farmers should be allowed to grow and sell at farmer’s markets freely. Of course, it seems unlikely that Cannabis will be removed from the CDSA, the Liberal version of legalization sounds a lot like prohibition with increased penalties for unlicensed distribution.

Cannabis is medicine, it can be very expensive medicine, so calls for insurance coverage are understandable… but Cannabis is only expensive because of prohibition. Cannabis can be grown for less than $1/gram, but invested MMPR interests want to keep the cost high to cash in on the corporate welfare windfall of health insurance covering medical marijuana.

If Trudeau and the Liberals are serious about “real change” and evidence-based policy then they need to regulate Cannabis based on the potential harm caused by the plant. Cannabis is safer than coffee and energy drinks. Teens have died consuming energy drinks, but they are sold in convenience stores without age restrictions. Nobody has ever died from consuming Cannabis.

Dana Larsen details 7 key things needed before we can consider Cannabis prohibition to be truly over. (here is a brief summary:)

#7. Don’t increase penalties

In some of their campaign literature, the Liberals were promising to create “new, stronger laws, to punish more severely” people who sell cannabis to minors, or to anyone operating outside of their undefined new system.

Considering we already have Harper’s strict mandatory minimums for cannabis offences, we do not need to be punishing anyone “more severely” for anything related to cannabis.

#6. Allow personal growing

Any model of legalization must include the right to grow some cannabis for personal use. People with a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis should be allowed to grow whatever quantity they need for medical purposes. The Conservatives tried to shut down the current home-garden program for patients, but were stopped by a court injunction. That injunction needs to remain, and be expanded to make it easier for patients to grow their own when needed.

If home cultivation is not allowed, then cannabis is not truly legalized in Canada. Canadians must have at least as much right to grow their own cannabis as they do to brew their own beer and wine.

#5. Allow dispensaries

The Liberals need to recognize the important role that community-based dispensaries are playing, and to incorporate them into any legal access system.

Any system of legalization that tries to shut down the existing network of cannabis dispensaries will face strong opposition from Canada’s cannabis community.

#4. License more producers

Whatever the details of the system, it is important that there is equal access to the cannabis market, and that anyone who meets the quality standards can legally grow and sell cannabis.

Ultimately, the federal government should get out of licensing large-scale production and leave that to the provinces. But whoever the regulating and licensing authority is, the system needs to be fair and equal. Any attempt to limit production to a few major companies or create some kind of monopoly or cartel will be met with resistance, and will ultimately fail.

#3. Ditch the medical program

Cannabis is a wonderful medicine with a wide range of therapeutic benefits, but we don’t need a specialized medical cannabis system in Canada. Cannabis extracts should be available as non-prescription drugs for all Canadians to access.

When cannabis or a cannabis extracts is prescribed by a doctor then it should be exempt from GST, like other prescription drugs. But we don’t need the current complex system of restricted access for medical patients once all Canadians have access to legal cannabis.

Doctors should become more knowledgable about cannabis medicines, and legalization should mean that all sorts of new cannabis extracts are readily available for research and medicine. But since cannabis is generally safer than products like aspirin, most cannabis medicines should be sold over the counter, without a need for a prescription.

#2. Amnesty for past convictions

Legalization of cannabis must also include an amnesty for past cannabis convictions, so that those criminal records are erased from the system.

#1. Don’t overtax it

Legal cannabis needs to be cheaper and better than what is currently available, or else no-one is going to buy it. The only way to extinguish the black market is to substantially reduce the price of cannabis.

Any plan for legalization must not include extremely high or punitive taxes, as the result will be a thriving black market and no real change to the status quo.

If Trudeau’s Liberals stick to these 7 principles then legalization will be a success.

But if they try to legalize cannabis in the form of a highly taxed product grown only by big corporations, while banning home gardens and increasing penalties for underground dealers, then legalization will not succeed, and we will still have to keep fighting for a better system.

Jonathan Page is the co-founder of Anandia Labs and an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia. He co-led the Canadian team that reported the first sequence of the cannabis genome and his work has helped elucidate the biochemical pathway leading to the major cannabinoids. Mr Page wrote an article at Lift, here is a very brief summary of a few of his points:

Like Liberal governments before him, Justin Trudeau practiced Big Tent politics to obtain a majority. Similarly, legalization has to offer a Big Tent so that the disparate parts of the existing industry – Licensed Producers (LPs), dispensaries and MMAR growers – are included. Health Canada and the 25+ LPs can be justifiably proud they have created a system to grow and distribute pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. But the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) are viewed as a failure by many for their inability to create a system that both serves patients and creates a viable industry. The Allard injunction, the proliferation of Vancouver dispensaries, the logjam of LP applicants and the slow patient growth for LPs are indicators of systemic problems.
It is possible to safely grow cannabis at many scales from small outdoor gardens to massive indoor factories.The 2013 Liberal Party draft marijuana policy paper (PDF) suggested that production encompass “very small farms to medium size and large-scale operations”. Jamie Shaw of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) wrote a blog post proposing that the cannabis production could resemble Canada’s brewing industry where industrial behemoths like Molson Coors co-exist with craft breweries.

It is difficult to contemplate a system that allows purchase of cannabis but not personal growing. I favour six plants (in flowering stage) with a cap on total plants in a household. The judge’s decision on the Allard case, which revolves around the right of patients to grow their own medical cannabis, now has added importance as legalization is contemplated.

In my opinion cannabis sits somewhere between a controlled substance and an NHP in the regulatory landscape but I don’t think it is productive to treat cannabis as either. Nor is it useful for it to be lumped with alcohol or tobacco. It is simply and uniquely cannabis. Amending laws created for prohibition is not likely to work as they were created to demonize cannabis. Let’s give cannabis its own laws and regulations that allow it to exist simultaneously as a medicine and a social (recreational) drug. Is the solution a pragmatic federal Cannabis Act or even a Psychoactive Substances Act for a new, post-prohibition era?

Written by Alternative Free Press
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Canada’s Corporate Cannabis Takeover Continues As Pharmacies Look Poised To Distribute by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Fukushima Fallout? Whales are dying in Pacific Ocean

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Alternative Free Press

Mainstream media continues to ignore the possibility that radiation from Fukushima building up in the Pacific Ocean for four years could be what is killing whales in unprecedented numbers.

“Alaskan researchers report that at least nine fin whales have been found dead in the water in recent weeks. It’s rare for more than one such death to be discovered every year or so, they say, and they’re exhaustively searching for a possible cause. It’s possible that warming ocean temperatures could be partially to blame.” Washington Post (June 2015)

“In only one week, the corpses of four humpback whales have been found along Canada’s west coast, fueling questions of whether their deaths are connected to a recent uptick of whale and other marine animal deaths in Alaskan waters. So far scientists don’t know what’s causing the deaths, but some believe they could be connected to warmer than average ocean temperatures that have caused unusual and potentially poisonous algae blooms.” Vice (August 2015)

Most mainstream media has ignored Fukushima for years, downplaying the severity and failing to report on the ongoing problems, such as:

Radioactive isotope Strontium-90 spikes at Fukushima; highest reading ever(July 2015)

Japan delays nuclear fuel removal schedule for Fukushima plant(June 2015)

Fukushima: Record Levels of Radioactivity Detected in Seawater — Spiked “More than 200 Times” at Sampling Location(June 2015)

Fukushima’s “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily(May 2015)

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels(May 2015)

Fresh leak at Fukushima nuclear plant sees 70-fold radiation spike(February 2015)

These recent whale deaths are continuing a trend. Back in April we reported: Fukushima Fallout? Emergency closure of fishery along entire West Coast – “Catastrophic crash… Population decimated”

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Fukushima Fallout? Whales are dying in Pacific Ocean by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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More Fukushima Radiation Leaking Into Pacific Ocean

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Alternative Free Press

An new leak has been found at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactive water has overflowed from a drainage channel, spilling into the ocean. Apparently, the authorities are blaming heavy rain.

The new leak was reported by NHK World on July 16, 2015. It is unclear when the new leak was discovered and there have been no reports of it being stopped.

A screenshot from the original NHK World report says TEPCO “cannot stop the spill anytime soon”.

It appears the original report included more details that have since been scrubbed from the NKH World english website. Both ENEnews & WND quote NHK World as saying “samples taken from the channel about 2 hours later contained 830 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium” but this information is not currently included on the NHK World website.

Sources:
NHK World
ENENews
WND

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More Fukushima Radiation Leaking Into Pacific Ocean by AlternativeFreePress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

RELATED:

Japan delays nuclear fuel removal schedule for Fukushima plant(June 2015)

Fukushima: Record Levels of Radioactivity Detected in Seawater — Spiked “More than 200 Times” at Sampling Location(June 2015)

Risk of hydrogen explosion from leaking containers at Fukushima plant(May 2015)

Fukushima’s “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily(May 2015)

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels(May 2015)

Fresh leak at Fukushima nuclear plant sees 70-fold radiation spike(February 2015)

Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer 3 Meltdowns … It Also Suffered Melt-THROUGHS and Melt-OUTS(April 2014)

Fukushima boss admits radioactive water out of control(April 2014)

Fukushima Storage Crisis: Full Of Radioactive Water(March 2014)

Canadian Soil Tests Positive for Fukushima Radiation(March 2014)

Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast(February 2014)

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