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Tuesday, Jul 22nd

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Pre-Emptive Strikes Against Protest at RNC

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a recruiting story called "Moles Wanted." Law enforcement sought to pre-empt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.

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Those who are tasked to police this democracy are blinded by confetti

The real problem with the Bush years is not so much what he did but that America's political class enabled him to do it

Under George Bush the US has tortured, disenfranchised, lied, spied and, on more than one occasion, flouted its own constitution. Those who would not go along were fired or demoted. Those rulings it could not garner support for it simply classified or hid. Those inquiries it could not prevent it thwarted. When Major General Antonio Taguba tried to pursue his investigation of Abu Ghraib up the chain of command he was stopped. "I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority," he told the New Yorker.

Its violation of international law is ultimately a matter for the international community. But its violation of American laws is a matter for the American public. However, it is now clear that the political consequences of these transgressions will range from negligible to non-existent. The Bush administration should be led away in handcuffs - either indicted or impeached. Instead it is about to leave the scene of the crime in broad daylight while those tasked to police this democracy - notably politicians and the press - blind themselves with confetti. 

Such are the lasting consequences of Bush's crooked tenure. Casting him as inept and unethical is not difficult. He is the most unpopular president for six decades. Some have been loathed more - but none by so many for so long. But understanding how he managed to do it demands a wider lens.

For he could not do it alone. The US is not an elected dictatorship. The president is supposed to stand at the helm of a system of checks and balances. The reason there was no balance was because there were no checks. The real problem with the Bush years is not so much that he did what he did, but that he managed to gain the consent of America's political class in enabling him to do it. His political estrangement is not because he tried, only because he failed. 

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Prescription Drugs More Deadly Than Cocaine, Heroin, Amphetamines

The bottom line: the rate of deaths in Florida caused by prescription drugs is over three times as high as the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.

The study shows 2,328 Floridians died of opiate, or painkiller, overdoses while another 743 lost their lives from over-consuming benzodiazepines, which include the drugs Valium and Xanax. On the other hand, about a third less number of people, 989, died of overdoses from illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine ("speed").

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Bitter Melon Nutrients Fight Type 2 Diabetes Better than Prescription Drugs

In addition to relieving the symptoms of diabetes, bitter melon is used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote digestion, brighten the eyes and cool the body.

"Not just diabetes, [but] for people keep slim, weight loss - even for ... cholesterol," said Benny Fan of the Australian Chinese Medicine Association. Fan says he has been promoting bitter melon as a natural remedy for 25 years.

TVNL Comment: And during those 25 years the American establishment media never told you about it!

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'Sarah Palin is a Christian, and Christians support Israel'

An online video interview with Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin that is currently making the rounds appears to put to rest liberal rumors that she is no friend of Israel.

In the interview with Alaska HDTV, an Israeli flag is clearly seen hanging near the window of Palin's office, and the governor even appears to be wearing an Israeli flag lapel pin.

Israel National News blogger Tamar Yonah points out that these appearances by the Israeli flag are made more significant by the fact that the video "was not made by a Jewish organization, nor is [Palin] speaking before a Jewish audience or catering to any Jewish vote."

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Pakistani indicted in NY for attack on U.S. soldiers

A Pakistani woman suspected of links to al Qaeda was indicted on Tuesday on federal charges of attempted murder and assault of U.S. soldiers during a confrontation in Afghanistan in July.

Aafia Siddiqui, 36, a U.S.-trained neuroscientist, resurfaced in August after being declared missing for five years by human rights groups. She was flown by the United States to New York from Afghanistan.

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For Widely Used Drug, Question of Usefulness Is Still Lingering

The lack of evidence has not stopped doctors from heavily prescribing that drug, whether in a stand-alone form sold as Zetia or as a combination medicine called Vytorin. Aided by extensive consumer advertising, sales of the medicines reached $5.2 billion last year, making them among the best-selling drugs in the world. More than three million people worldwide take either drug every day.

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Watch out for drug names that look, sound alike

Take the generic drug clonidine for high blood pressure? Double-check that you didn't leave the drugstore with Klonopin for seizures, or the gout medicine colchicine.
Mixing up drug names because they look or sound alike - like this trio - is among the most common types of medical mistakes, and it can be deadly. Now new efforts are aiming to stem the confusion, and make patients more aware of the risk.

Nearly 1,500 commonly used drugs have names so similar to at least one other medication that they've already caused mix-ups, says a major study by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, which helps set drug standards and promote patient safety.

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Moving to the Center of Elite Consensus

"Moving to the Center" is not a move to where the center of public opinion is, but it is a move to the center of where elite consensus is. Once the boundaries of that elite consensus are understood, then we can comprehend the limits of our public choices and more importantly what will be allowed within the confines of our electoral system.

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