Amazon Plays With Hand Recognition 

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Pay Using Just Your Hand

Cristal M Clark 

We should have seen this one coming after voice recognition, facial recognition, being able to unlock a device with a finger, now Amazon is playing about with hand recognition in the hope that eventually we’ll be able to leave home without anything and just pay using our hands. 

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According to reports, palm vein recognition may be more secure and more reliable than actual fingerprints but, hand scanners are understandably more difficult and not to mention fairly impossible to install on mobile devices and computers, iPads and the plethora of other devices available to users. 

Amazon has an answer for that however. Although it’s still in the test phase the rumor is that the technology would require users set up and link their cards with their hands on scanners. All data, from the palm vein print to when and where transactions were made, would be stored on Amazon’s Cloud.

The move would give Amazon a huge advantage over other players in both tech and financial industries and it would more or less piss of financial institutions. 

Amazon plan isn’t limited to Whole Foods by the way. Amazon is in fact planning to make a pitch to coffee shops, fast-food, and other places where speed and convenience of payment are important. 

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And while this sounds fantastic, it also comes with huge risks and concerns over privacy for instance who can gain access to your palm print? No, not law enforcement Amazon much like the rest of the tech and social media giants except Facebook, do everything they can in an effort to protect users from the peeping eyes of big brother. I am leaning towards something along the lines of a hackers wet dream. Once Amazon is breached and it will eventually get breached, just another piece of you or I will be available to the hackers to play about with and sooner or later the havoc caused because hackers know more about us than we do and have access to more of our stuff than we do, the glass ceiling will come crashing down. 

Cristal M Clark

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Your Images Stolen to Create Facial Recognition Database Unbeknownst to You

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Law Enforcement Using Startup’s Facial Recognition Database 

Cristal M Clark 

That selfie you took for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like is not as private as you might you think. A startup company, Clearview AI is a collaboration between Hoan Ton-That, an Australian native who moved to the US in 2007, and Richard Schwartz, a former aide to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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It’s a  facial-recognition startup that is being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US to solve crimes, but little is known about the software, not even law enforcement agencies know much about it. 

When law enforcement uploads a photo to the application, which by the way has been used by more than 600 law-enforcement agencies, Clearview AI scans for matches across its catalog of billions of photos it scraped from social media websites, typically in violation of those sites’ terms of service. It then shows the results to whomever made the search, typically law enforcement however since so little is known about the software and who all is using it you can pretty much guess that law enforcement is not the only ones using the software.

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Clearview did not share which law-enforcement agencies have used its tool, they did indicate that hundreds of law-enforcement agencies have in fact utilized the software. 

The app’s founders reportedly began marketing the service to law-enforcement agencies for as little as $2,000 and interestingly, the founders reportedly relied on former and current Republican officials to approach law-enforcement agencies about using the low-priced service, or in some cases, a free trial of the software.

Alarmingly in a careful look at the software it was discovered that an underlying code in the application also revealed the software had been designed to work with augmented reality technology, meaning someone wearing special goggles or glasses could potentially use Clearview AI to instantly determine details, including a person’s identity and address.

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And these details, well that’s pissed Facebook off according to a spokesperson: “Scraping Facebook information or adding it to a directory are prohibited by our policies, so we are reviewing the claims about this company and will take appropriate action if we find they are violating our rules.”

Clearview however goes beyond just letting law enforcement use it’s software, it tracks whomever law enforcement is searching for and it sees everything law enforcement is searching for. 

Facial recognition technology has been centered around privacy issues and claims of racial bias in the technology. A study released in December by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found facial recognition technology had a racial-bias, typically having a a more difficult time identifying non-white people and women.

That being said, it’s just yet another intrusion or is it? I’ve long said that whatever you share on social media regardless of whether or not you make it private will in fact, eventually be fair game to some money hungry organization. 

Cristal M Clark

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Apple vs The FBI

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The FBI and Apple Are at it Again

Cristal M Clark 

These tiffs between the FBI and Law Enforcement are getting a bit old. On the one hand, Apple refusing to unlock iPhones is understandable on the other hand it makes perfect sense that they would help. Donald Trump’s tweet over it actually makes sense to an extent. I’ll ask this question twice in this article, what is the our government asking Apple to do exactly? 

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We value our privacy but you know when you break the law with acts of terrorism, mass shootings, rape, child molestation, murder, being a drug lord and so on, why the fuck should anyone want to protect that individual? They harm others, in brutal ways, fuck them and whatever so called rights they feel entitled to, their victims had rights before the criminal took those rights away. 

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The FBI recently asked for Apple’s help by Apple unlocking a pair of iPhones belonging to Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man accused of killing three people at a Navy base this past December.

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In response to the FBI’s request, Apple said that it handed over gigabytes of information, including but not limited to iCloud backups and various other transaction type of information. Apple also said that it gave the FBI “all of the data in our possession” and that it was open to assisting the FBI in other ways going forward.

So Apple is willing to help to a certain extent. 

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Attorney General William Barr recently called Apple out for not going the extra mile. The AG had this to say: “We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter’s iPhones. So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance. This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause. We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.”

Wait, what is the AG asking for exactly? If you don’t understand the question, read the AG’s statement again. Are they asking for Apple and others to help prevent future attacks by unlocking user devices before the user commits a crime? That is what court orders and warrants are for right? If memory serves, they asked after the fact and Apple turned over everything that they could. 

If you have an Apple device everything is backed up to iCloud, when a user doesn’t want something backed up to the cloud for instance, the users, pictures, video, notes, reminders, social media accounts, any app really,  they will select that manually and in the case of Mohammed my guess is that Apple gave the FBI everything backed up, these mass shooter/terrorist types don’t usually save things locally, they aren’t stupid. They’ll delete everything they don’t want law enforcement to see before they commit the actual crime and that would include deleting it from the cloud. Therefore, personally I do not believe unlocking the phone would provide any more intel than Apple already turned over. 

The AG is asking for a backdoor just for law enforcement and to that request Apple responded:

“We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”

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Apple is correct, as history shows, backdoors are exploitable. In fact, Tim Cook already responded to this issue back in 2016: “The only way we [can do what the FBI wants] would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer, we think it’s bad news to write, we would never write it, we have never written it. And that is what is at stake here.”

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Apple is not going to waiver in its stance on the issue the AG and law enforcement as a whole need to better understand how technology works as well as certain criminals think and work. If they understood it better maybe they would better understand why Apple gave them everything they could give to them and they are unlikely going to find anything further on the criminals device. 

Cristal M Clark

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Oregon Drug Smugglers -Record Kidnapping?

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Portland, Oregon 

Cristal M Clark 

Just when you think you’ve heard it all something new and pretty entertaining comes along, for instance over in Portland Oregon, two members of a Portland-based drug ring came up with a rather devious plot to kidnap a storage facility manager. 

But these two brilliant individuals actually took the time to rehearse a kidnapping and actually recorded themselves on a cell phone practicing the kidnapping the manager. You know they wanted to get it right. But don’t be shocked by just that, they saved the recording, yes saved it, then they subsequently filmed the actual crime. 

That’s like an investigators wet dream, these two guys would have solved the crime for them but, the feds were already watching them and actually caught this going down. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon is prosecuting six men who happened to be involved in an operation that primarily focused on transporting marijuana grown in Oregon to Texas. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, agents have seized “11,000 marijuana plants, 546 pounds of processed marijuana, more than $2.8 million in cash, 51 firearms, 26 vehicles, trailers, pieces of heavy equipment, a yacht, and three houses used as marijuana grow sites” in conjunction with this case since September 2017. The group would transport drugs to Texas by truck, with money returning to Oregon through U.S. mail and passenger luggage on commercial flights.

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The kidnapping just so happened to be part of the operation that federal authorities were watching back on December 2. 

On 12/2 Federal Authorities witnessed Jody Wafer and his accomplice, Trent Knight enter the Public Storage facility in southern Portland to confront manager Shawn Riley about nearly 500 pounds of marijuana that somehow went MIA from their rental space. 

The two would be kidnappers approached manager Shawn Riley whilst he was in his office, held a pistol to his head, backed him into an empty storage unit and tied his wrists and ankles with duct tape. Shawn Riley said that he did not know who took the marijuana and told Jody and Trent that his boss instructed him to tell anyone asking that the cops took it.

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Joke was on Jody and Trent, Shawn had nothing to do with the MIA weed, it was the DEA who took it and poor Shawn was an innocent pawn in all of this. Turns out District Judge Robert E. Jones was not all that thrilled that the DEA used Shawn in the set up and for putting the guys life at risk.

They should have asked the poor guy for help or sent in one of their own. That was a dick move DEA. At any rate During the trial, agents admitted that they had staged the burglary in an attempt to find additional suspects in the case. Judge Jones told the defendant “They knew you had a weapon and were going to go in there and find your drugs gone, taken. They should have anticipated the conduct that could have cost Mr. Riley his life.”

Agreed, total dick move. 

To everyone’s surprise though during a police review of Jody’s cell phone after his arrest, authorities discovered video of him and Trent in a hotel room from December 1. Interestingly in the clip, the two men brandish pistols and rehearse how they would confront the storage facility manager during said kidnapping. To make matters worse for these two would be kidnappers, investigators also found a recording of the kidnapping.

Trent has pleaded guilty on related charges. His sentencing date is January 22. Four other members of the group will be sentenced later this year. Jody was sentenced earlier this month to seven years in prison for his role in the case.

Cristal M Clark

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Police Officers Lie Contributes to Man’s Suicide 

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Seattle Man Kills Himself Over a Lie 

Cristal M Clark 

It’s long been known that often times in an effort to flush the suspect out, law enforcement will tell a small lie in the hopes of someone stepping forward. To any victim or a victim’s family, that small lie is completely justified, while to anyone else it seems less justified and rather vindictive, if not borderline illegal. In either case, it is a practice that is commonly used. 

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The Seattle Police Department’s Office of Police Accountability seems to agree with the latter part of the above after its investigations into allegations of police misconduct over the white lie.

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According to the official report, an unidentified man got into a minor fender-bender in May 2018 and fled the scene. Two officers with the Seattle Police Department investigating the crash were sent to an address connected with the man to get a statement. 

The report also states that both officers knew that the hit-and-run was a minor crash and that in fact, no one was injured. Yet when they arrived at the home one of the officers told a woman who answered the door that they were looking for the driver because he was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman in critical condition. The conversation according to body camera footage, the conversation left the woman visibly shaken and upset. 

According to friends of the driver, the woman called him and told him what had transpired. 

One friend said the man told him that the fender-bender happened when his car rolled backward, striking the other vehicle. The man said he had left the scene, but did not remember anyone being injured in the crash.

The report goes on stating that the driver had been a drug addict for 20 years and had prior legal trouble. That would make sense as to why he ran, fear of getting into trouble again, even for something minor. The friend told investigators that the man said he was not high at the time of the crash.

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The man’s roommate told investigators that the day before his death, he “became increasingly worried” and started talking about suicide. The roommate found the man dead on June 3, 2018, less than a week after the crash.

The watchdog completed its investigation in November. The officer said the ruse was needed to get information and he did not think he was responsible for the man’s suicide. But the truth is, that officer is responsible for the mans suicide. 

The problem with this is that it involves a minor accident, a fender bender. If it had involved a major drug ring, a gang, a rapist, a murderer, someone who has child porn or a pedophile I could understand it, hell I would even support it, but a fender bender?

And the officer cannot take accountability for his own actions? Is that not what they preach to us should we break the law? You have to justify the means and this officer just cannot do that yet is also unwilling to take credit for the contribution to the mans suicide. Everyone knows anyone who has struggled with substance abuse also struggles with depression and with that comes thoughts of suicide when the user is not using. 

Investigators said that the officer’s lie “shocked the conscience” and had been inconsistent with the police department’s policy.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said in a statement that she agrees with the watchdog’s findings and suspended the officer for six days without pay, according to a police statement Thursday.

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“The officer’s actions did not meet SPD’s standards of acceptable use of discretion and were not consistent with the standards of professionalism or training.” That is not the entire statement as it rambles on to brag a bit about how great the department is and about how great training is for the use of using a ruse to flush a suspect out. Yes, we see that training is rather impressive. 

The identities of the involved officers and the man who died were not revealed, but one of the officers was suspended.

How comforting that must feel to the man’s family and friends, over a minor fender bender, not a justifiable major crime. 

Cristal M Clark

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#WWIII – Invasion of the Meme Culture 

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World War III  Meme’s Go Viral 

Cristal M Clark 

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While speaking with a good friend of mine yesterday who hails from Edinburgh, we stumbled across the subject of a potential world war and the meme culture that appears to be following it. I asked my friend if he had heard from anyone from back home with regards to the memes that continue to blow up across social media. 

 

Sadly, the world is watching America make ourselves look like complete idiots who take very little seriously. My friend told me he saw a news story where an individual attempted to explain his meme off as him trying to cope with the fear of being drafted for war. So if a new war starts, civilians, innocent civilians, will die and this guy might be the one pulling the trigger so he is posting meme’s as a way to cope with some sort of fear? 

 

Worse off is that the general consensus with regards to American’s and a potential war is that we are a nation of sissies who refuse to take the threat of war seriously, we fail to see the seriousness of a US led airstrike that took out Iran’s top General – hence we find that funny and think it to be a joking matter. A nation full of hipsters who care more about material objects, craft beer, avocado toast and what the Kardashian’s are up to than the devastation war can cause. Americans are making a joke out of something that will kill millions in the Middle East. Lives are in danger. People in the Middle East, Innocent People are worried about their future and over here in America, we think it is a joking matter? That is completely disgusting.

 

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Maybe it is because war has never truly touched American’s, we don’t live in constant fear of our cities, towns, municipalities and states being raided and bombed every single day. We do not truly live under oppressive rulers, we don’t have General’s in our military who order and condone the military raping and pillaging. We are not being raided by terrorists, we do not really have to live in fear of them every single day like those in other countries. We are virtually untouched by the threats that other nations face so it does make sense that we as a society feel less touched by the seriousness of the potential blow back as a result of last week’s US led airstrike. 

But to make matters even worse, the whole world seeing these meme’s wonders if we really did go to war what our potential drafted soldiers will be like, which has left some in war torn nations to hope that we do in fact go to war, given the meme’s that they are seeing, seemingly indicating that the US could be easily beaten and Trump’s warning to Iran? To many it’s empty given the meme’s they are seeing, we have a nation full of individuals joking around about this, so really is Trump serious or is this a joke to him as well?

You would think or hope rather that those behind many of the meme’s would take the time to show some tact and dignity, maybe even a little class and stop joking about the potential for war here. It is not a question of if, but more a matter of when and how Iran extracts it’s revenge and when that happens it will affect all of us as a nation. 

Cristal M Clark

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Iran Leaders Vow Revenge for Death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani

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Trump Starts World War 3?

Cristal M Clark 

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If you missed what went down yesterday here is a recap;  Yesterday President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. drone strike that killed Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, who the United States regarded as a war criminal responsible for hundreds of American deaths. 

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Both Republicans and Democrats agree that Soleimani is an enemy of the US, however the move left congress deeply divided as well as the vast majority of US citizens. 

And as for Iran well, the leaders have vowed revenge leaving  cybersecurity and defense experts bracing for an Iranian cyber-offensive that could target online infrastructure across the US military and the private sector, Iran has a vast and dangerous cyber army that it’s been building for years. 

Sam Curry, the chief security officer at Cybereason: “Iran is an intelligent cyber opponent with an army of people testing our systems every minute of every day. It is the ultimate game of cat and mouse.”

Although the US has also built up it’s cybersecurity and defenses, it is not where near what other countries have done by a long shot, meaning that Iran will most likely target our infrastructure which has left industry experts and insiders extremely worried because the US has only recently learned about how the Iranian cyber groups truly operate and that has left the US Government in a bit of a panic because as of this very moment, in terms of cyberwarfare Iran has the upper hand.   

Air Force Gen. William Shelton predicted in 2013; “They are going to be a force to be reckoned with, with the potential capabilities that they will develop over the years and the potential threat that will represent to the United States.”

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Republicans celebrated what they described as Trump’s decisive action, Democrats criticized the president’s order to act unilaterally while expressing grave concern that this action would move the United States closer to an in­trac­table war with Iran.

Sen. Chris Murphy D-Conn had this to say; “No matter how good it may feel that Qasem Soleimani is no longer alive, he likely will end up being more dangerous to the United States, our troops, and our allies, as a martyr than as a living, breathing military adversary.” And living on as a martyr is the magic word. 

Sen. Murphy didn’t stop at that, he also included; “There will be reprisals, and Iran will likely target American troops and even our own political and military leaders. This is why the United States does not assassinate leaders of foreign nations, in the end such action risks getting more, not less, Americans killed in the long run.” He couldn’t be more spot on. 

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez; 

“The question that has to be answered is what brought us to this moment. what’s the intelligence behind that? And what comes now?”

He went on to say;

”I fear that this administration used tactics but has no strategy in the long term … what we can’t accept is a march to an unauthorized war.”

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All of that speculation aside, no one is quite sure what, how, or when Iran intends on striking back, the one thing we all know is that they will in fact attempt to extract revenge, the bigger question however is will that truly bring us closer to another war? Was it not Trump and his followers who once accused President Obama of attempting to start a war so that he would be able to remain in office?

Cristal M Clark

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Denver’s Urban Camping Ban Overturned 

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Denver, Colorado vs. The Eighth Amendment

Cristal M Clark 

Citing the eighth amendment, last Friday a Denver County Court judge ruled that Denver’s urban camping ban is unconstitutional, the ban was put into effect in 2012. Judge Johnny C. Barajas ruled that the ban violated the eighth amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment because it criminalizes homeless individuals for trying to survive on the streets when they have nowhere else to go.

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Which is in fact, true. Because of the ruling the Denver police are now prohibited from arresting or harassing homeless people if they are not doing anything of criminal nature. 

That’s right folks, the Denver Police were allowed to harass homeless people before the ban was overturned. You or I can get arrested for harassing someone, but the police can do it and it’s okay? WTF?

Also it’s important to note that back in May, Denver residents voted to reject Initiative 300, which would have overturned the camping ban because when someone is living in his/her brand new million dollar studio they don’t want to see a homeless encampment outside on the sidewalk and it’s way, way, way to inconvenient to have to walk around or step over the homeless who might be passed out on the sidewalk, not to mention sometimes when the mood strikes the homeless might just hop on the goodfoot right out on a public walkway. 

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“The Eighth Amendment, or Amendment VIII of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that states that that punishments must be fair, cannot be cruel, and that fines that are extraordinarily large cannot be set.”

The ban being overturned has been celebrated by advocates for the homeless and has also left others quite upset and beating down the doors of local media to bitch, whine and complain. Case in point, Bishop Jerry Demmer has been leading Absolute Word Church at the corner of 24th and California for the past six years. He says there have always been homeless campers in the park across the street, but now the entire area has been overrun with homeless campers and he’s concerned that it’s going to chase away potential god fearing parishioners. That is according to what he told the local news outlets a day or so ago. “One of the hardest things in this homeless epidemic is that people decide I can urinate wherever and I can defecate wherever, man on the front of the church just dropped his pants and defecated.”

“When I came up this morning they were all the way down the street and sidewalk was taken over with bikes and everything on it, I could not park here this morning.” He actually had to park down the street and walk into the church rather than park right out front, can you imagine how grueling that must have been? 

“I have a great church. But a lot of people would never come to my church if they rode by and seen the situation on the side and sometimes in the front. They would never come to the church because it’s like, well I can’t even get into your church”

“I’ve been involved with feeding the homeless and clothing the homeless,” that’s been one of our ministries, so I have an appreciation for the homeless.” He was also careful to mention how he fears this attracting more homeless people now that you know the ban has been overturned. How brazenly hypocritical of the Bishop to say, he cares so long as he doesn’t have to fucking look at it, step over it or go around it. 

Let’s not leave out the Denver Rescue mission here, according to President and CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission Brad Meuli according to him this could make it more difficult for them to serve individuals experiencing homelessness.

“This ruling is a great concern to us, we don’t think people should stay on the streets. We think they should come into facilities like Denver Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America where they can get the help that they need. I don’t think anyone should stay outside, I wouldn’t want to stay outside. I think folks should come in where it’s warm, where it’s safe, where you can go to the bathroom or you can take a shower.”

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Welp Brad, looks like you’re going to have to climb on down off of that high horse of yours and actually walk the pavement and see what you can do that way rather than force the homeless to some of the shelters you mentioned above, some of which the homeless tell me are full of bugs, theft, violence, and sex assault. It is no wonder many choose to sleep in tents along the sidewalk when some of the facilities offer absolutely no safety and are rife with criminal activity. 

Local businesses are not happy about the ruling but fear speaking to the local media will affect business as advocates of the homeless who never supported the ban are known to cause issues for businesses who get vocal in support of the ban. Actual residents in Denver, well walk around and converse with them and see how they feel, all I hear from them is a lot of whining about all the money they paid to live downtown like somehow that money should be utilized to remove the hideous homeless eyesores right? The mentality is more like just get rid of it so we don’t have to look at it. 

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Here’s the thing, the Judge is right, the ban is an absolute violation of the eight amendment, and those of you that support the ban should be ashamed of yourselves, you care more about illegal immigrant rights than the rights of those who were born here. You want to force them out of living off the streets yet you lack the wherewithal to actually understand or comprehend why some of these individuals are homeless and when you don’t get it, you are never going to be able to help resolve the issue. Maybe stop looking down your noses at these human beings and try to help address why they are on the street in the first place and that includes forking over your hard earned money to support ways off of the streets rather than demand the city just somehow magically write a law on the books punishing people for being homeless. 

Cristal M Clark

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Car Plant Closures Causing Fatal Opioid Overdoses?

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U.S. Opioid Addiction – The Blame Game Rages On

Cristal M Clark

According to researchers, since US car plants started closing up shop it has caused a rise in opioid overdoses. The researchers collected data between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2016 on 112 industrial counties mainly in the South and Midwest, using those figures from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, the team looked at how many adults aged between 18 to 65 years old died of opioid overdoses during this period.

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Then blamed the closure of car manufacturing plants for the overdoses. So, am I to believe that these individuals are self-medicating through depression due to job losses? Doctors are prescribing opioids for depression now?

To be fair, manufacturing in the US has been hit pretty significantly over the past couple of decades which can cause a bout of depression in an otherwise healthy adult.  The study looked at 29 counties that had been affected by a plant closure. The data revealed plant closures were followed by a statistically significant increase in deaths due to opioids overdoses. After 5 years, mortality rates increased by 8.6 deaths per 100,000 in affected counties. White men aged between 18 to 34-years-old saw the biggest increases in opioid overdose deaths, followed by those of the same ethnicity in the 35 to 65 age group.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 70,200 people who died of a drug overdose in 2017, around 68 percent had taken an opioid. That included prescription and illegal drugs like heroin and its stronger synthetic counterpart fentanyl.

For me, I am not sure the numbers quite add up. The Midwest and the south have a longer history than this research would indicate in terms of drug abuse issues and to be even more honest, I feel personally that the research is a bit misleading. It’s trying to say that in part in some regions a big reason the epidemic grew to the point that it did is because individuals lost jobs due to manufacturing plant closures.

So, car manufacturers are to blame?

I simply do not buy that. My mom was an addict, I know firsthand the many excuses and reasons people shoved down my throat for why that was and as it turned out, it was because of her and only her. If you dig deeper into these research numbers you see a more clear picture, for some that have been and were affected, they were in fact addicts long before the closure of plant and they were functioning much like that of someone who reaches for a drink upon waking, for others sure it could have been depression but then why would a doctor prescribe and opioid for depression?  That raises even bigger questions such as, how were the affected individuals able to afford the drugs, has anyone else seen the cost of prescription drugs skyrocket the past decade? So, were the users obtaining the drugs on the street, friends, family? No, these people found a way to self-medicate a bout of depression and became addicts.

Mental health seems to be the more underlying issue at hand along with a push by big pharma to take advantage of that and get these drugs into the hands of anyone they could have created an addict out of. That is in fact the plain and simple of it and if anyone wants to argue that point and try to tell me that I don’t understand, you are more than welcome to do that, trust me I had my own demons with addiction once, it’s an argument you’ll not likely win. You can blame, gangs, sex trafficking, guns, and drugs on the street on economic issues, you cannot blame addiction on economic issues, depression and addiction are both a mental illness if you will, economic issues are simply not the same, the end result of economic issues prey on the mentally ill/weak.

Cristal M Clark

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