DEA to Look At “Rescheduling” Marijuana over next Few Months (Source naturalblaze.com
It is one of the most tragically comedic aspects of the War on Drugs that marijuana is classed in the same category as heroin and LSD by the U.S. Federal Government. Such a ridiculous classification would truly be worth laughing at if it did not bring along with it mass incarcerations, militaristic policing, untold millions of wasted money and a general police state. The utterly useless Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, a list reserved for “the most dangerous drugs” that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” If one did not suspect that the U.S. Government’s War on Drugs was actually a cover for enslaving its citizenry, then he would be justified in wondering where the DEA has intellectually been since it was created. Just to clarify – according to the DEA, marijuana is significantly more dangerous than cocaine. That classification, however, HYPERLINK “http://fortune.com/2016/04/06/dea-decision-marijuana-reschedule/” might potentially change over the next few months. That is because the DEA has announced plans to decide “in the first half of 2016” whether or not the agency will reschedule marijuana. If the DEA should indeed reclassify the plant down to either Schedule 2 or Schedule 3, the decision would most likely open the door much wider when it comes to greater research regarding marijuana’s medicinal value. The legal marijuana industry also stands to gain from any reclassification. But before anyone gets too excited, the DEA and the Federal Government are not suggesting that marijuana become legal at the federal level – it is only suggesting the reclassification of the plant. In other words, the U.S. Government is itself attempting to reclassify its policy on marijuana from incurable insanity to crippling and severe mental health issues.
Pope to church: Be more accepting of divorced Catholics, gays and lesbians (Source cnn.com) Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice while not changing any official doctrines. He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations. “A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives,” Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters. He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules. “By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” he writes. He emphasizes that “unjust discrimination” against gays and lesbians is unacceptable, downplays the idea of “living in sin” and suggests that priests should use their own discretion on whether divorced Catholics in new marriages can take Communion.
“Playing with fire”? Russia defends close fly-bys of U.S. warship (Source cbsnews.com) The Pentagon released dramatic video of the jets flying extremely close to the ship more than 30 times over two days. The Obama administration calls the “simulated attack” passes unsafe. The U.S. will file a diplomatic protest, but Russia will have made its point; it resents the U.S. operating so close to Russian territory and intends to push back, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin. The Russian planes raced by the U.S. Navy destroyer low and fast, over and over. Pictures taken from onboard the ship show just how dangerously close they came during some of their passes. They were flying what the commander of the USS Donald Cook described as a “simulated attack profile,” although they carried no weapons under the wings — a total of 31 runs over two days. On Monday, the Cook was preparing to conduct helicopter flight operations in the Baltic Sea, in international water 70 miles off the coast of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday the Su-24 fighter jet pilots saw the ship and then turned back “while using all measures of precaution.” Konashenkov claimed that the ministry was baffled by what he described as the “distressed reaction of our American counterparts.” “The principle of freedom of navigation for the U.S. destroyer, which is staying in close proximity to a Russian naval base in the Baltic Sea, does at all not cancel the principle of freedom of flight for Russian aircraft,” Konashenkov said.
Sierras Are Way Overdue for Major, Costly Earthquake (Source newser.com) The West is long overdue for a major earthquake that could cause billions of dollars in damage to parts of Nevada and California, the HYPERLINK “http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/Sierra-Nevada-Fault-Earthquake-California-376214641.html” \t “_blank” AP reports. Scientists expect a magnitude-7 quake along the eastern front of the Sierra fault system every 30 years or so; there hasn’t been one in more than 60. Similarly, a magnitude-6 or greater quake is expected every 10 years on average; it’s been 22 years since the last one. In fact, there were seven magnitude-6.5 or stronger earthquakes between 1915 and 1954; but the fault that stretches from north of Reno and Lake Tahoe to south of Yosemite National Park has been quiet since. FEMA estimates a magnitude-6 quake could cause up to $1.9 billion in damage to the Reno and Sparks areas of Nevada and another $590 million in damage to South Lake Tahoe in California. The Nevada Seismology Laboratory’s Graham Kent tells the AP the unusually quiet fault system has lulled residents into a false sense of security when it comes to major earthquakes. Instead, he says governments should be using this time to put together plans for both disaster response and economic recovery in the event of a major quake. Earthquake experts are gathering in Reno this week for the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.
New ‘Praetorian Guard’ Seals Putin’s Hold on Power (Source thetrumpet.com) During a televised appearance last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a putin-gets-his-own-army” \t surprise announcement. He was overhauling Russian law-enforcement operations to create a domestic army that would answer to him personally. This paramilitary force will be called the National Guard and will be led by former KGB agent Victor Zolotov, a judo-sparring partner of Putin’s who once served as the president’s bodyguard. There are also indications that Putin is growing increasingly concerned that Washington may try and stage a new Russian revolution against him. The new National Guard is being equipped with its own intelligence service and investigative powers. This intelligence service would report directly to Putin, via Zolotov, and not to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. “Of course the president is concerned, he can see that the United States wants to overthrow him, like they did to Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi, or look what they have done in Ukraine—they dream of seeing Russia fall apart, so Putin takes measures to prevent a Ukrainian-style coup,” one member of the Russian Duma’s Public Chamber told the Daily Beast. At a time when economic stagnation is making civil unrest more likely, there are legitimate concerns that Putin’s new National Guard will be even more authoritarian than the old Internal Troops. The number of National Guard personnel will exceed 15 percent of the Russian military. This paramilitary police force has also been granted the rights to make arrests without introducing themselves and to fire without warning “in special cases.” In comments made last January, Putin said he sincerely believed in the Communist ideology when he was serving in the KGB. He mentioned that he didn’t throw away his putin-denounces-lenin-says-stalin-got-it-right KGB membership card like many of his colleagues did. Rather, he still keeps it at home. As president, Putin is combining Stalin’s idea of a unitary state model with imperial policies from Russia’s czarist era. Like the Byzantine emperors and Russian czars, Putin is using the Russian Orthodox Church as a de facto state religion to unify his empire. If this Orthodox-dominated unitary state isn’t enough to secure his power base, Putin now has a 400,000-strong Praetorian Guard to do his bidding!
Polish Minister Says Russia Preparing Aggression Against NATO (Source newsmax.com)
Poland’s defense minister has said Russia continued to pose a serious threat to NATO and that Moscow was systematically preparing for aggression against the alliance. Poland, a former Soviet satellite state, fears Russia is seeking to extend its influence beyond its borders after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and continues to support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Earlier this month, two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer which had just left the Polish port of Gdynia. A U.S. official said this was one of the most aggressive interactions between the two sides in recent memory.
“So far, all Russian behaviour attests to systematic preparation for aggressive action,” Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the Rzeczpospolita daily in an interview published on Tuesday. “And it’s time to talk about it openly.” Warsaw will host a NATO heads of state summit in July, where it will push for an increased military presence on the alliance’s eastern flank. In 2014, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over its role the conflict in Ukraine. Russia says deployment of significant NATO forces close to its borders would violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.
The Collapse of the Western Fiat Monetary System may have Begun. China, Russia and the Reemergence of Gold-Backed Currencies (Source globalresearch.ca) On 19 April 2016, China was rolling out its new gold-backed yuan. Russia’s ruble has been fully supported by gold for the last couple of years. Nobody in the western media talks about it. Why would they? – A western reader may start wondering why he is constantly stressed by a US dollar based fiat monetary systems that is manipulated at will by a small elite of financial oligarchs for their benefit and to the detriment of the common people. In a recent Russia Insider article, Sergey Glaziev, one of Russia’s top economists and advisor to President Putin said about Russia’s currency, “The ruble Is the most gold-backed currency in the world”. He went on explaining that the amount of rubles circulating is covered by about twice the amount of gold in Russia’s Treasury. In addition to a financial alliance, Russia and China also have developed in the past couple of years their own money transfer system, the China International Payment System, or the CIPS network which replaces the western transfer system, SWIFT, for Russian-Chinese internal trading. SWIFT, stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a network operating in 215 countries and territories and used by over 10,000 financial institutions. Up until recently almost every international monetary transaction had to use SWIFT, a private institution, based in Belgium. ‘Private’ like in the US Federal Reserve Bank (FED), Wall Street banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); all are involved in international monetary transfers and heavily influenced by the Rothschild family. No wonder that the ‘independent’ SWIFT plays along with Washington’s sanctions, for example, cutting off Iran from the international transfer system. Similarly, Washington used its arm-twisting with SWIFT to help Paul Singer’s New York Vulture Fund to extort more than 4 billion dollars from Argentina, by withholding Argentina’s regular debt payments as was agreed with 93% of all creditors. Eventually Argentina found other ways of making its payments, not to fall into disrepute and insolvency. All of this changed for Argentina, when Mauricio Macri, the new neoliberal President put in place by Washington, appeared on the scene last December. He reopened the negotiations and is ready to pay a sizable junk of this illegal debt, despite a UN decision that a country that reaches a settlement agreement with the majority of the creditors is not to be pressured by non-conforming creditors. In the case of Argentina, the vulture lord bought the country’s default debt for a pittance and now that the nation’s economy had recovered he wants to make a fortune on the back of the population. This is how our western fraudulent monetary system functions.
DEA Plans To Decide Whether To Reschedule Marijuana By Mid-Year (Source huffingtonpost.com)
The DEA plans to decide whether marijuana should reclassified under federal law in “the first half of 2016,” the agency said “big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/dearesponse.pdf” in a letter to senators. DEA, responding to elizabeth-warren-marijuana-research a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urging the federal government to facilitate research into marijuana’s medical benefits, doesn’t indicate whether it will reclassify marijuana as less dangerous. The U.S. has five categories, or schedules, classifying illegal drugs or chemicals that can be used to make them. Schedule I is reserved for drugs the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuse and no “current accepted medical use.” Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, along with heroin and LSD. Rescheduling marijuana wouldn’t make it legal, but may ease restrictions on research and reduce penalties for marijuana offenses. “DEA understands the widespread interest in the prompt resolution to these petitions and hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016,” DEA said the 25-page letter, obtained by The Huffington Post. The letter, signed by Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, explains in great detail the marijuana supply available at the University of Mississippi, the federal government’s only sanctioned marijuana garden.
China switches on lighthouse on artificial island in South China Sea (Source yahoo.com)
China has begun operating a lighthouse on one of its artificial islands in the South China Sea near where a U.S. warship sailed last year to challenge China’s territorial claims. China claims most of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. But neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. China’s transport ministry held a “completion ceremony”, marking the start of operations of the 55-metre (180-ft) high lighthouse on Subi Reef, where construction began in October, state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday. The U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef in October, drawing an angry rebuke from China, which called it “extremely irresponsible”.
Subi Reef is an artificial island built up by China on dredged up sand over the past year or so.
Before China turned it into an island, Subi was submerged at high tide. Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, 12-nautical-mile limits cannot be set around man-made islands built on previously submerged reefs. China says much of its construction in the South China Sea is designed to fulfill its international obligations in terms of maritime safety, search and rescue and scientific research.
Asked about the lighthouse, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was dedicated to providing public services in the South China Sea to ensure safety and freedom of navigation, which would be helpful for commercial users of the waters.
‘Russia poses threat to US designs for global domination’ (Source RT) Russian moves on the global stage are interrupting the whole discourse about American superpower presence in the world. That would not be tolerated, says Gerry Sussman, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland University. Barack Obama has warned the world to prepare for the threat of nuclear terrorism, but his Defense Secretary Ash Carter has placed other alleged threats even higher on the list. Carter said reforms were necessary to make the US military more “agile” and able to address the five strategic challenges it faces, which he identified as ‘Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism.’ Gerry Sussman: The US has actually lost quite a bit of power over the years in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and I think it’s just a way of creating an old bogeyman in the person of President [Vladimir] Putin and in Russia itself. And I think it is also because various US agencies involved in foreign policymaking – the State Department, the CIA, the military – are all in disarray with regard to working closely together and having one voice. I think it is also a reflection of this weakness of this particular (US) president who is in power. He refers to other agencies rather than showing political leadership in giving some direction to US foreign policy. American foreign policy decision making: Anything that constitutes… a balance of power approach, which I think is generally what Russia is pursuing, this constitutes a threat to a hegemonic power that seeks global domination wherever and whenever it has interests and its interest are military, oil, political interest in general, the interest of the transnational community, and the defense of the Israeli state. There are multiple interests and anything that stands in the way of disrupting US hegemony in the pursuit of these interests constitutes a threat.