October 5th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Ketamine, sweet ketamine, answer to our glutamatergic dreams.

Special K, Riddle, Horse, Spesh, Vitamin K (not to be confused with the true vitamin K

Report: Ketamine aids the chronically depressed

NIMH researchers gave low dosages of ketamine to 18 chronically depressed patients, and their condition improved within two hours. Snip from High Times The Washington Post article by Neely Tucker:
Ketamine, sweet ketamine, answer to our glutamatergic dreams. In the long November night of the soul, in the ever-dark downpour of depression, it turns out that there might be a better umbrella than Prozac and Zoloft and Paxil and their serotonin-loving ilk. Of course, when it comes to antidepressants, nobody really knows anything, anyway, so why not go with ketamine, a mild hallucinogen known to club freaks as Special K?
Link. This Wikipedia item includes links to previous studies on the drug's effectiveness as an antidepressant.

And, just so you know, the stuff also goes by the names "K, Ket, Special K, Riddle, Horse, Spesh, Vitamin K (not to be confused with the true vitamin K), Smack K, Kit-Kat, Keller, Barry Keddle, HOSS, The Hoos, Hossalar, kurdamin, kiddie, Wonk, Regreta and tranq."

posted by Xeni Jardin 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/25/AR2006092501387.html




Chris Keeley

a "mule" beauty contest in a Lima prison, in Peru

Mules, as I'm sure most everyone knows, are the women who swallow nugget-sized capsules of cocaine in order smuggle them to other countries. 

Beauty pageant for cocaine mules in Peru prison


BoingBoing reader Robert says,

I just stumbled across this while browsing the French quotidien that I used to read on the metro every morning when I lived in Paris. It's a photo essay about a "mule" beauty contest in a Lima prison, in Peru. Mules, as I'm sure most everyone knows, are the women who swallow nugget-sized capsules of cocaine in order smuggle them to other countries. The photos, to me, were uplifting in a way to see these women smiling, though you know they've had it hard, probably, all their life. I've done my best to translate the captions of the pictures:

(1) On October 3rd, the women's prison of Santa Monica in Lima, Peru, organized the finale of the beauty contest called "Miss Spring" of which all the participants are inmates.

(2) Nearly all of the participants in the contest are mules, women who swallow capsules of cocaine for trafficking abroad -- mostly, Europe or the US.

(3) Among the 11 finalists, many nationalities are represented, notably Bolivia, Thailand, Belgium, and Mexico. Enticed by the promise of easy money, women from "modest" origins come from all over the world to disperse drugs via the international airport in Lima.

(4) In 2005, the Peruvian police arrested about 125 mules of foreign origin at the airport, which makes 533 kilograms of cocaine confiscated.

(5) Of the 32,397 inmates incarcerated in Peru, more than 700 are foreigners, the majority of which have been implicated in some form of drug trafficking.

(6) According to the director of the prison, this contest doesn't just rate the women on their physique, though sex appeal is important. It also judges the women on their feminity and their value as a person.

(7) The winner last year, On Uma Chumsri from Thailand, is present at the contest. She has been in Santa Monica prison since 2004, still awaiting trial.

(8) The Dutch Dominica Cleopatra Cleoma poses for the photographers.

(9) His compatriot, Lisano Motina Nobels, danses with a local choreographer.

(10) This year the winner is the beautiful Koku Kasusura from Holland.

(11) Of the 927 inmates in Santa Monica prison, only 133 have been convicted. All the rest await trial.

Link

posted by Xeni Jardin

http://www.20minutes.fr/photo/diaporama/prisonnieres/pages/page_1.php?n=Concours%20de%20beaut%E9%20chez%20les%20mules

Chris Keeley

Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work

 A new report “Afghanistan, Inc.,” issued by the non-profit organization CorpWatch, details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.

Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work

A highway that begins crumbling before it is finished. A school with a collapsed roof. A clinic with faulty plumbing. A farmers’ cooperative that farmers can’t use. Afghan police and military that, after training, are incapable of providing the most basic security. And contractors walking away with millions of dollars in aid money for the work. The Bush Administration touts the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan as a success story. Perhaps, in comparison to the violence-plagued efforts in Iraq and the incompetence-riddled efforts on the American Gulf Coast, everything is relative. A new report “Afghanistan, Inc.,” issued by the non-profit organization CorpWatch, details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.

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Click here to download the complete report.


An HTML text version of the report is also available.

Chris Keeley

They were awarded another $1.4 billion contract with another company called Black & Veatch just this

The largest contractor in Afghanistan is the Louis Berger Group. It’s an engineering consulting company out of New Jersey, and they received initially $665 million for a period of four or five years. 

Afghanistan Inc.: New Report Says "Contractors Making Big Money for Bad Work"

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/05/1430204

As Afghanistan enters its fifth year under foreign occupation, we take a look at the state of the US-led reconstruction of the country. We speak with Afghan-American journalist Fariba Nawa, author of a new report from Corpwatch, "Afghanistan Inc." [includes rush transcript]

 


In Afghanistan, NATO has now taken command of most foreign troops across the country. The handover of power comes just days before the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan of 2001. The U.S. continues to have more troops than any other country in Afghanistan. The U.S. will also retain full control of Bagram Air Force base where the Bush administration is holding hundreds of prisoners.

 

  • Daan Everts, NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan.

     

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist admitted that the war against the Taliban might never be won. He said there are now too many Taliban fighters and that they have too much popular support. Frist said backers of the Taliban should be brought into the Afghan government.

In recent months the Taliban has seized control of entire regions of the country. The security situation has worsened as suicide bombings are up 600 percent this year. Opium and poppy cultivation are at record highs.

Our next guest has closely monitored the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. She is author of a study published by Corpwatch called Afghanistan, Inc. that examines the reconstruction efforts of companies like Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, DynCorp, Blackwater, The Louis Berger Group and The Rendon Group. Her name is Fariba Nawa. She is an Afghan-American journalist who has lived in Afghanistan for most of the past three years. She was born in Afghanistan and fled the country at the age of eight. At the time of the Sept. 11 attacks Fariba was living in New York, soon after she decided to return to her home country as a journalist. Fariba Nawa joins us from San Francisco.

 

  • Fariba Nawa, Afghan-American journalist who has lived for most of the past three years in Afghanistan. She was born in Afghanistan and fled at the age of nine.
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