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ADHD diagnoses became prevalent in the 1990s — from my recall, anyway.

They involved Ritalin prescriptions for children.

Now those adults are having children. Are they still on SSRIs — psychotropes — of some sort?

What chances their offspring will be diagnosed with ADHD, too?

There once was a time when children could play outdoors. They built forts or played in treehouses. They played as cowboys in the US or knights in the UK imagining appropriately shaped sticks as guns (‘Pew pew!’) or swords. They played baseball or football in someone’s back garden. They ran around. They rode bikes. Their mothers called them home for dinner.

In the 1980s, the milk carton children began appearing in the US. Those were missing youngsters whose photos were on the sides of milk cartons with a phone number to ring should they be sighted.

Understandably, parents — particularly mothers — panicked. Even I, as an adult, found the idea of so many missing children disturbing. What started out as one photo on a milk carton extended to several by the end of that decade.

Consequently, boys and girls spent more time indoors. Television became more popular with them. Family-oriented video games entered the market.

More women worked outside the home, whether married or divorced.

This led to the latch key child phenomenon in the US, which involved children letting themselves in the house after school and staying there until their mothers came home. Although the children were safer indoors, they had few outlets to let off steam and their natural energy.

All of that has led to more prescription drugs for youngsters to control their behaviour. And if their parents were on childhood medication, then, they are less likely to see their own children’s prescriptions as worrisome.

It’s time everyone stopped becoming so dependent on SSRIs. Whether we realise it or not, multiple generations of Westerners swallowing these tablets is unhealthy:

I agree wholeheartedly. Yet, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to do battle with schools. Sometimes, parents are obliged to put energetic children on medication in order for them to get an education.

Not having a husband makes parenting particularly difficult, too. Daycare isn’t really an answer. The solution has to come from the home.

Note that with so many mothers working, there are more kids who have gone haywire. The easy answer — put forward by our governments, pharmaceutical companies and health experts — involves prescription drugs. The harder — yet, better — solution is to create a structured home life from the start.

I also accept that, even in the suburbs, it isn’t safe for children to play outdoors.

Bottom line: all of this is having a detrimental effect on society.

Addiction to prescription pain relievers is another huge problem.

Some prescription pain relievers can be obtained through criminals operating through pharmacies and clinics:

The DOJ issued the following press release on Wednesday, August 28, 2019:

Charges Filed Against Dozens in Trafficking Network Responsible for Diverting Over 23 Million Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Carisoprodol Pills

DEA Also Takes Administrative Action and Immediately Suspends Seven Pharmacies and Two Providers; DOJ Announces Expansion of Health Care Fraud Strike Force into Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio

Emphases mine below:

A total of 41 individuals have been charged in nine indictments for their alleged involvement in a network of “pill mill” clinics and pharmacies. Those charged include medical providers, clinic owners and managers, pharmacists, pharmacy owners and managers as well as drug dealers and traffickers. Their actions allegedly resulted in the diversion of approximately 23 million oxycodone, hydrocodone and carisoprodol pills.

In addition, federal law enforcement agents executed 36 search warrants including 15 pharmacies and six “pill mill” clinics, as well as other offices and residences, aimed at disrupting networks of opioid diversion.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also served immediate suspension orders on seven pharmacies and two providers involved in dispensing controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose.

The Health Care Fraud Unit of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section (HCF Unit) led the enforcement actions in conjunction with U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs) for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas and District of Massachusetts as well as the DEA and task force officers from greater Houston police departments and the FBI.

The charges allege participating doctors, medical professionals and pharmacies knew the prescriptions had no legitimate medical purpose and were outside the usual course of professional practice.  In some cases, “crew leaders” and “runners” allegedly filled or had the individuals who posed as patients fill the illegal prescriptions at Houston-area pharmacies.  The owner and pharmacist in charge at one pill mill pharmacy allegedly dispensed the second highest amount of oxycodone 30mg pills of all pharmacies in the entire State of Texas in 2019, and the ninth highest amount in the nation.  One hundred percent of the oxycodone dispensed by this pharmacy – every single oxycodone pill that left the premises – was in the highest available dosage strength of that drug.

On certain occasions the indictments allege that drug dealers and traffickers then allegedly diverted and distributed the controlled substances to the streets, with some pills trafficked from Houston to Boston.

The press release goes on to state the names, professions and places of employment of those charged. Here are just a few of them:

Bobby Hobbs, M.D., James John Jackson, Jr., MD, Tameka Moore, Kondre Graves, owner of Chasen Clinic of Houston, Texas, and Tara Graves, for their alleged participation in a scheme to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose through Chasen. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Drew Pennebaker of the Fraud Section.

Brandy LaDawn Fears, 44 of Houston, Texas, owner of Meds R Us Pharmacy of Missouri City, Texas, and Ricky Moten, 44 of Houston, Texas, alleged crew leader, for their alleged participation in a scheme to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Drew Pennebaker.

Arthur Billings, 55 of Missouri City, Texas, owner of Healthfit Pharmacy of Houston, Texas; Jeremy Branch, 32 of Houston, Texas, pharmacist-in-charge; Deanna Michelle Winfield-Gates, 50 of Houston, Texas, pharmacist; Frank Cooper, 49 of Houston, Texas, pharmacist; and Donna Hooper, 56 of Houston, Texas, pharmacy technician, for their alleged participation in a scheme to distribute and dispense controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Drew Pennebaker.

It’s shocking.

I had a friend who fell into pain reliever addiction several years ago. I only found out about it from him after he was clean. As we didn’t live near each other anymore, I wasn’t seeing him very often. He said it was a very difficult time for him. It took a couple of years for him under medical supervision to recover.

We should be taking stock of our dependence on prescription drugs. My guess is that our notional betters — the great and the good — shy away from them. So should we.

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I spotted this last week:

I hope this is satire, but, these days, who knows?

GenZ Conservative appears to claim this came from the Left, but gives us no source. Nonetheless, his/her text gives pause for thought:

… according to this poster it turns out that behaving in ways that were traditionally expected of American citizens is now extremist behavior. Avoiding drugs, promiscuity, and spending time outdoors used to be virtues that Americans would strive for. If the Social Justice Warriors that made this “info sheet” rule us, then I guess we will turn away from them. That won’t end well. In fact, it will end disastrously.

And that could make the left label you a far right extremist, or a deplorable! How crazy is that? Being a responsible, patriotic, or normal citizen will now get you blacklisted. I think that is ridiculous and will end poorly for the Western world.

There is a germ of truth in this, because CNN is promoting the idea that Republicans are ‘the greatest terrorist threat’:

The Left will make the 2020 presidential campaign tense — and tedious.

When Donald Trump discussed human trafficking during his 2016 campaign, I wondered how serious a problem it was.

Surely, no one else talked about it.

Yes, we knew about Jeffrey Epstein, but he seemed to be an outlier.

Since then, we’ve had the NXIVM trial which, thankfully, resulted in prison sentences.

Donald Trump, who lived in New York City for most of his life knew what he was talking about — once again.

Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious death made the headlines over the weekend. I wrote about it here and here.

At long last, people are beginning to wake up to the horrors of human, especially child, trafficking.

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, is one of them. He has pledged to start linking the dots surrounding this horrifying issue:

He wrote that thread before Epstein died:

The following day:

More power to his elbow in getting the job done!

Corey Lynn – Corey’s Digs has been investigating these issues for quite a while. She has more specifics on Epstein and his associates:

On Sunday, August 11, 2019, the day after Epstein’s death, Fox’s Life, Liberty & Levin featured South African film director and producer Jaco Booyens (pron. ‘Yaco Boyens’), whose recent film, 8 Days, is all about child trafficking. Mark Levin conducted a 32-minute interview with him. The original full length video link which I posted has been truncated to one second. I am grateful to one of my readers for letting me know. I found another video, but not of the full interview. A shorter — 9:50 — segment follows:

A second reader found the nub of the child sex trafficking stats in another interview clip here.

I urge everyone to take the time to watch that same video clip, which is not on YouTube, then read the summary of the full interview below.

It is very important in understanding the gravity of child trafficking.

Jaco Booyens, who now lives in the United States, also has a website about combatting human trafficking: SHAREtogether.org.

A summary of the interview follows.

Booyens made 8 Days because his sister Ilanka was trafficked when both were children in South Africa in 1994 or 1995. At the age of 13, Ilanka had just won a national song competition and was subsequently trafficked to a record company! She was trafficked for six years.

He said that the person who leaves or is abducted to be trafficked is never the same one who returns home. Fortunately, Ilanka now lives in Nashville.

Booyens has used aspects of his sister’s plight in the film.

Levin showed the trailer for 8 Days, which begins with a nice teenage girl who is enthralled because a classmate asks her out on a date. Her parents let her go. Unbeknownst to them, the boy, who is driving the two of them into town for the evening, pulls into a car park and stops the vehicle. Another vehicle pulls up, and a couple of people get out, abduct the girl and drive off. The next eight days are a living hell for the girl — and for her parents, who have no idea what has happened to their daughter.

Booyens said that statistics he has seen show that trafficked children normally die after seven years from drug abuse. Also, one imagines, the horrors they have been subjected to are another factor in premature death.

He came out with more statistics about child trafficking in the United States:

  • Currently, most victims are girls (average age 12), although the number of boys — especially those who are prepubescent — is rising;
  • The situation is now much worse than it was five years ago;
  • A pimp can earn $250k tax free per year off from trafficking one child;
  • 300k children are trafficked every day in the US; 76,000 are trafficked per day in Texas alone, despite Governor Abbott’s best efforts;
  • There is ‘rampant abuse’ in the ‘foster care system’;
  • The US has ‘more slaves today than ever in history’ and he lived through South Africa’s apartheid;
  • All classes are involved at some level: the pimp makes most of his money from executives earning $100k per annum, but ‘a janitor’ can purchase a child’s services from time to time, too;
  • Online recruitment is the norm. Procurers get to know a child and ask all the right questions;
  • It is not unusual for trafficked children to live with their parents and attend school daily;
  • Pimps advertise the children online: ‘You can order children the way you order pizza’.

Booyens says that the porn culture is to blame for child trafficking. Pornography is dehumanising and it objectifies not only women, but children, too.

He said that he has approached left-wing media networks for time to explain this dangerous trend, but they declined. He said that they apparently prefer to complain about Donald Trump, who, he said, has done the most of any US president to actively combat child trafficking. He said that could be a reason why the Left rails against him so much and goes on instead about his breaking up families at the border. On that subject, he said that as many as 30% of ‘families’ at the border aren’t family units at all — but traffickers and their victims. He gave credit to ICE and other law enforcement agencies, whom he said are ‘there to keep us safe’.

So far, only Fox News has agreed to have him on to explain the horrors of trafficking.

Child trafficking is a huge issue, and the Trump administration is doing everything it can to slow it down, then stop it.

All I ask is that people be aware of how destructive trafficking really is.

Booyens said that 8 Days (not to be confused with the sci-fi series) is available on Netflix and on DVD.

I will be returning to lighter subjects in my next post.

Tomorrow, I will post a powerful video on child sex trafficking in the United States, which I highly recommend.

First, let’s see what is happening with the Jeffrey Epstein case after his death on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

The day before, 2,024 pages of court documents were released to the public.

Suspicions

As I write on Monday morning (BST), it is no wonder that people suspect there is a two-tiered justice system.

The story is being covered here in Britain as well as France.

If you missed my post yesterday, London’s Paul Joseph Watson summarises the Epstein death on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and the questions that have arisen as a result. This video is around four minutes long:

People are questioning the orange prison uniform shown in a photo circulating in various media outlets, because in many US prisons, inmates wear brown:

Others also question whether he could have committed suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan:

A former MCC inmate spoke to two reporters from the New York Post and said that suicide would be impossible:

An excerpt follows from the article. He, too, refers to brown uniforms (emphases mine below):

Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.

You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.

When you’re on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves.

The clothing they give you is a jump-in uniform. Everything is a dark brown color.

Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There’s a steel frame, but you can’t move it. There’s no light fixture. There’s no bars.

They don’t give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death. You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper.

Nothing hard or made of metal.

There’s up to 80 people there. They could put two in cell. It’s one or two, but I’ll never believe this guy had a cellmate. He was too blown up.

An autopsy has been performed, but results are being withheld ‘pending further information’:

Here is the preliminary statement in full (click on blue text to read it in full):

The ZeroHedge article linked to in Dr Janda’s tweet says:

On a side note, the private pathologist, demanded by Epstein’s attorneys, Dr. Michael Baden, was the city’s chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases including by the defense at O.J. Simpson’s 1994 murder trial.

Of course, this unusual delay will merely spur further uncertainty and the all around ‘conspiracy theory’ feel to this whole debacle.

What are the odds that Epstein’s body gets misplaced? Or accidentally cremated?

On Sunday, August 11, the New York Post (NYP) reported:

Sources tell The Post that a determination will likely come by early next week.

“Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein,” said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson in a statement Sunday night …

Attempts to reach Dr. Baden, the city’s former chief medical examiner and a deputy chief medical examiner for Suffolk County, were not successful Sunday night. It was not immediately clear who he was working for at the time of the autopsy.

Another NYP article, ‘Epstein’s guards were working “extreme” OT at short-staffed lockup’, states:

The two Manhattan jail guards who allegedly failed to monitor Jeffrey Epstein before he died had been working “extreme” overtime shifts amid a severe staffing shortage at the facility, reports said Sunday.

The unidentified jailers at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center violated procedure by failing to check on Epstein every 30 minutes before he apparently committed suicide in his cell, sources told Reuters.

One guard was working his fifth straight day of overtime and the other was toiling under mandatory overtime, a person familiar with operations at the lower-Manhattan lockup told The Associated Press.

The guards also violated procedure by leaving the convicted pedophile without a cellmate, the New York Times reported.

There’s no surveillance video of Epstein’s death, which apparently occurred when the 66-year-old pervert appeared to hang himself Saturday morning, law-enforcement officials told The Post.

Although there are cameras in the 9 South wing at the MCC, they are trained on areas outside the cells and not inside, according to officials familiar with the setup.

According to Reuters, Epstein’s victims are allegedly preparing to sue his estate this week:

Two of Epstein’s lawyers are allegedly lawyering up themselves:

Trump tweets

On Saturday, President Trump retweeted this …

… and this:

He followed those retweets with one of his own:

Media

President Trump was correct in tweeting about the media.

Google ‘trends’ showed this:

And while a sensible editorial from Bernard Kerik, the first deputy and commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, 1995-2000, appeared on The Hill: ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide makes no sense’

The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief. 

His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.

But the most basic question, in my mind, is why Epstein was in solitary confinement in the first place — something so totally inappropriate for a prisoner already at risk of suicide

… the rest of the media denounced ‘conspiracy theories’ surrounding the high profile prisoner’s death, as Sohrab Amari reported for the NYP:

Within hours of the story breaking, writers at mainstream outlets went patrolling the Internet for “conspiracy theories” to debunk, usually with that tone of superiority and self-satisfaction that so endears the blue-check Twitterati to the American public.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death in US jails,” scolded The Daily Beast’s Justin Miller. “ ‘Suicide watch’ is just that, ‘watch,’ or observation, usually periodic. Stop speculating Epstein was murdered.” The headline on a story by Miller’s colleague Kelly Weill read: “Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death.” (Talk about begging the question.)

“It would be easy to treat this frenzied reaction to Epstein’s death as a sad case study in how conspiratorial thinking has bled into mainstream discourse,” lectured The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins. “But finger-wagging feels inadequate at this moment.”

Among other examples of this lamentable rise in paranoia, Coppins cited one of my tweets. In it, I had recounted how a Manhattan restaurateur I know predicted that “they’ll never let Epstein live” — “they” being our shady ruling class. “Regular people,” I added, “are wiser than us pundits.”

If Coppins had bothered to contact me for comment before writing critically of my remarks — as is standard journalistic practice — I would have told him that, of course, I don’t necessarily believe the restaurateur was right. But at the time I heard him say it, I was inclined to dismiss the restaurateur’s cynicism about our system. “What does he know?” I thought. “Of course, Epstein will live to testify.” …

Speaking of which, shouldn’t the reporters who are busy lamenting our nation’s conspiratorial cast of mind wait for the facts to come out? After all, at least three local and federal probes have just gotten underway. The Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons have been careful to append the adjective “apparent” to the noun “suicide” in their statements on the matter. As Will Chamberlain of Human Events noted, the no-conspiracy journalists are “ahead of the facts.”

It’s all especially rich, given the fact that many of these same journalists have spent the past two years feverishly promoting the “collusion” theory. Here’s Coppins writing in 2017: “As evidence piles up pointing to the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Republican lawmakers have largely ignored Democrats’ calls for urgent action.”

Trump and Epstein

The Left are hard at it promoting the idea that Donald Trump, well before running for president, was a close friend of Epstein’s. There is no convincing them of the contrary.

That, too, is conspiracy theory, isn’t it?

On Monday, July 9, two days after Epstein’s arrest, ZeroHedge posted an article stating the contrary: ‘Trump Was “Only One” To Help Prosecutor In 2009 Epstein Case’.

That year, Epstein began serving 13 months in prison for sex with a 14-year old girl. He was released in 2010. Florida attorney Bradley Edwards was the man who was serving subpoenas which resulted in Epstein’s conviction. Edwards says that Donald Trump never had to be subpoenaed. He spoke freely to Edwards. From the ZeroHedge article (emphases in the original):

Following a 2018 financial settlement between Florida attorney Bradley Edwards – who represented one of Epstein’s accusers, only to be later sued by Epstein, Edwards claimed that Donald Trump was the ‘only person’ who provided assistance when Edwards served subpoenas and notices to high-profile individuals connected to Epstein.

Edwards: The only thing that I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who, in 2009 when I served a lot of subpoenas on a lot of people, or at least gave notice to some pretty connected people, that I want to talk to them, is the only person who picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk.  I’ll give you as much time as you want.  I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful, in the information that he gave, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information. That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.

However, the Left was — and is still — sure that Trump had a nefarious connection to Epstein. Contrast that with Bill Clinton’s known 26 flights on Epstein’s plane.

As much as they wanted to find incriminating evidence, Fusion GPS, Vice.com and Radar came up with nothing Trump-related:

While trying to tie Trump to Epstein in an attempt to push the narrative to at least two reporters, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS – the firm behind the unsubstantiated “Trump-Russia” dossier, found that the Trump-Epstein link appears purely social, according to the Washington Timeswhich writes “Journalist sources told The Washington Times that Simpson pushed the idea of a close relationship between Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein,” adding “Ken Silverstein, the reporter who ultimately wrote an Epstein-Trump report, confirmed to The Times that Fusion had sourced the story.”

Mr. Silverstein, who wrote the Vice.Com story, was asked by The Washington Times if Fusion pushed the Epstein-Trump story.

Since you asked, yes, they helped me with that, Mr. Silverstein said. But as you can see, I could not make a strong case for Trump being super close to Epstein, so they could hardly have been thrilled with that story. [In my humble opinion], that was the best story written about Trumps ties to Epstein, but I failed to nail him. Trump’s ties were mild compared to Bill Clinton’s. –Washington Times

In January 2016, Vice.com ran Silverstein’s story on Trump’s ties to Epstein, which framed them as more social – including dinner parties, two plane trips, and Epstein hanging out at Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. As Radar reported last April, “According to an investigation by Radar, Trump was among dozens of renowned New Yorkers who knew Epstein socially but ostracized him after Palm Beach police uncovered the financiers sleazy double life,” adding that Trump “once barred child molester Jeffrey Epstein from his famed Mar-a-lago club after the presidential candidate caught him hitting on a young girl.”

Epstein’s is not a ‘So what?’ story

Some do not care whether Epstein died.

However, Epstein had no co-defendant named in his latest case. Effectively, his case is dead, although victims can still sue his estate.

Epstein received a short sentence ten years ago as Trump’s former Secretary for Labor, Alex Acosta, explained during his confirmation hearing before he got the job. On July 9, Vicky Ward, a journalist who followed Epstein’s activities for years, wrote an article for the Daily Beast, ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out For Years In Plain Sight’. In it, she discusses Acosta (emphases mine):

Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.) …

After the one meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, where presumably “intelligence” was mentioned, the indictment was shelved and, instead, Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of procurement of minors for prostitution, which earned him a cushy 13 months in county jail, from where he was allowed to leave to work at his office and go for walks

The deal granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators.” Most significantly, federal prosecutors agreed to keep the deal secret from Epstein’s victims, which meant they would not know to challenge it in court. As it turned out, this actually broke the law, because victims have a right to know of such developments, under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

The Miami Herald — and independent journalist Mike Cernovich — were successful in getting the case reopened this year. Vicky Ward explains the Miami Herald‘s role:

So kudos, then, to the Miami Herald journalist Julie K. Brown, who many years after the fact went back and interviewed some of Epstein’s alleged victims in her brilliant three-part series “Perversion of Justice.” It was Brown who told the stories of teenagers in trailer parks outside Palm Beach who needed money for shoes or just to live, who went to give Epstein massages and so much more. Brown and her editors actually took the women seriously.

It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried.

Given the political sentiment, it’s unsurprising that the FBI should feel newly emboldened to investigate Epstein—basing some of their work on Brown’s excellent reporting.

The story in the indictment that was unsealed earlier Monday was eerily familiar to all of us who have been paying attention to Epstein’s sick story. What is different, finally, after 16 years, is the reaction, which is, at last, appropriate. 

One of the young women who spoke to me 16 years ago emailed Monday evening. “Shocked and elated,” she said. “Fingers crossed they all finally go down.” Amen to that.

Yet, going back to Epstein’s release in 2010, celebrities and journalists attended a dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, as Alexandra Wolfe wrote for Real Clear Politics on April 2, 2011, in ‘Celebs Close Ranks Around a Pedophile’:

Alexandra Wolfe is a former contributing editor to Conde Nast Portfolio. She has written for publications including the New York Times, New York magazine, the New York Observer, and the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote design and lifestyle features for the Weekend Journal section. Before that, she was a reporter at the New York Observer. She is currently working on a book called American Coddle, about America’s culture of entitlement.

Despite the pedophile mogul’s conviction for soliciting underage prostitution, his circle—a who’s who of the rich and powerful, from Bill Clinton to Katie Couric—is standing by their man. Renowned scientists whose research Epstein funded also back the billionaire, writes Alexandra Wolfe.

On the evening of December 2nd, 2010, a handful of America’s media and entertainment elite—including TV anchors Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos, comedienne Chelsea Handler, and director Woody Allen—convened around the dinner table of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It wasn’t just any dining room, but part of a sprawling nine-story townhouse that once housed an entire preparatory school. And it wasn’t just any sex offender, but an enigmatic billionaire who had flown the likes of former President Bill Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak around the world on his own Boeing 727. Last spring, Epstein completed a 13-month sentence for soliciting prostitution from a minor in Palm Beach. Now he was hosting a party for his close friend, Britain’s Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne

Sure enough, that December night no one mentioned that their handsome host, a gray-haired 58-year-old financier with tanned skin and a joker smile, had just doled out millions of dollars in civil settlements to 17 [Published reports say 7…LS] girls who allege that he paid them to perform erotic massages and demeaning sexual acts when they were underage. They are among the 40 victims turned up by an FBI investigation. But at the time, this particular swath of Epstein’s elite Rolodex had no idea that the feted royal would soon renounce Epstein as a friend, nor that the royal’s ex-wife, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, would hysterically apologize for letting Epstein pay off some of her debts.

Oh, my.

Let’s look at Epstein’s destinations, which extended to cities in Europe:

Does anyone now not think that this is part of the reason these same people oppose Donald Trump, who made the issue of human trafficking, especially for sex, one of his campaign issues on which he has been acting during his presidency?

Three years ago, I wondered, ‘Is human trafficking really a thing?’ Trump, ever sober, knew then that it is a very serious thing, indeed.

More on child sex trafficking tomorrow.

This is the final instalment of my Cannes notebook for 2019 (see parts 1 and 2).

Tomorrow, posts delve into the city’s restaurants.

Before then, here is a bit more about Cannes past and present.

The Anglo-French relationship

In 2017, I wrote a brief history of Cannes, from its earliest days to the present.

For centuries, the Church — via the local monastery on St Honorat Island — played a huge part in the lives of the townspeople.

After the Revolution, things changed dramatically. By then, the English were making their grand tours of France and Italy.

In 1834, Lord Brougham and his daughter Eleonora toured the Côte d’Azur in the hope of finding a place where she could recuperate from her bronchial ailment. By chance, they stopped in Cannes — then, like neighbouring Nice, a poor fishing village — where she recovered. The Cannois extended exceptional hospitality towards the two, and it was not long before Lord Brougham built a villa there for his daughter.

He and his family enjoyed their stays in Cannes. He told his English friends that they, too, should consider spending their holidays there.

With that, the numbers of foreigners grew and grew. By the time Lord Brougham died in 1868, dignitaries and royalty from not only Britain but also the Continent had built holiday villas in Cannes.

Today, everyone visiting Cannes can see a grand statue of Lord Brougham in the city centre (next to McDonald’s!) overlooking a large fountain facing the Bay of Cannes.

As one can see from this Provençal festival poster below, the English were still involved in the city’s activities in the 1920s:

The Lord Brougham referenced there would have been a direct descendant.

The Entente Cordiale between Britain and France began in 1904. This short British Pathé newsreel shows the 25th anniversary commemoration of this important alliance, which exists to this day. In 1929, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, was the honoured guest in Cannes, along with many other British and French dignitaries:

The cityscape looks much different these days! For a start, the old casino in the film was razed a long time ago.

New developments

Mayor David Lisnard has been making many changes which he hopes will further improve the city.

I am less sure, but then I always liked the little quirks that made Cannes such a unique place. They are quickly disappearing.

Rue Felix Faure

This street runs parallel to La Croisette and has the city’s most popular restaurants.

Lisnard is pedestrianising the street so that it forms a new esplanade running from the north side of the Croisette near the bandshell all the way to the restaurants’ frontage.

I already miss the traffic that used to go down there. I used to look at the registration numbers to see where the various cars were from. There were no bin men doing their early evening collections, either. Oh well.

I can understand Lisnard’s objective, but yet another quirky aspect of Cannes daily life has disappeared.

Plage Zamehnof

Zamenhof Beach is at the eastern end of La Croisette.

It has recently been enlarged and improved:

Largely, it’s a great move, especially as this is a public beach.

But …

Look at the rocks to the left of the photo. When we first started going to Cannes regularly in the late 1990s, they used to be a haven for locals who sunbathed nude. They did not bother anyone because the place was deserted. The sunbathers did not seek each other out. They placed themselves as far apart as possible.

Some years later, the nearby marina was expanded, making that area more exposed. Fewer lone sunbathers went there for privacy and quiet.

Now, as you can see, the rocks are deserted.

Another quirk gone forever.

Le Carré d’Or

The Golden Square is just off the Croisette.

It had the city’s nightclubs, particularly the late, glitzy Sparkling (6-8 Rue des Frères Pradignac), which was no stranger to the local news in 2013.

This area, comprising the small streets of Rue Macé, Rue des Frères Pradignac, Rue Gérard Monod and Rue du Commandant André, is undergoing renovation:

I can vouch for the fact that, since 2014, a number of traditional French restaurants in that area have closed. I accept that a) people retire and b) restaurants fail.

However, their replacements in Le Carré d’Or are highly-priced, characterless, blingy restaurants and bars designed for those on expense accounts, i.e. conference goers.

I liked the old places better. It was in this Golden Square that we had our first serious dining experiences in Cannes.

Another bit of ‘old’ (my term) Cannes that is no more.

Rue des Serbes

Arrgh! This is where the Nice Airport bus used to stop on its return journeys. It was so easy for travellers staying in the vicinity.

Note the palm trees in the before and after photos:

Okay, it’s now streamlined, and no doubt delivery lorries find it much easier now, but it’s too darned tidy!

I also lament the absence of the palm trees just to make a new bus lane.

This part of Rue des Serbes coming off La Croisette was actually quite pretty in the ‘old’ days. No longer.

Le Suquet

On top of Le Suquet, the old quarter, is a fortress which was turned into a modern art museum many years ago.

Added since our last visit is a large gold CANNES sign, similar to the HOLLYWOOD one in California, only more discreet.

You cannot see the sign in the photos below, but when you are in the centre of town a few storeys up you can see it and the clock clearly, even if the clock looks tiny here:

I haven’t been up there so I cannot comment, but I have been along the streets below the fortress, and they had some character to them. I will have to return next time to see if everything there has been cleaned up, too.

Conclusion

We saw a lot fewer cars in the centre of Cannes.

It seems that is one of the objectives of this exercise.

With that, however, the city is also beginning to lose some of its innate charm.

Cannes needs a bit of its old chaos. However, that’s all by the wayside now.

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage

I attended Mass in this 19th century church in May 1978, in the days when I was still Catholic.

It is absolutely beautiful and, if I am not mistaken, Grace Kelly attended Sunday Mass when she was in town for the Cannes Film Festival one year in the 1950s.

This is another restoration project the city is undertaking:

There is a stone plaque on the side of the church along Rue Notre-Dame commemorating Napoleon’s march along that route.

It is one of Cannes’s oldest churches and why it is important to Mayor Lisnard and to the city. Both the exterior and interior will undergo renovation:

The importance of classical music in Cannes

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage is known for its organ music. Often, between 6 and 7 p.m. you can hear the organist rehearse for Mass.

On June 24, the local Conservatoire de Musique et Théâtre gave an end of term concert at the church:

Here are some excellent photographs of that event — and of the church interior:

Education

As I mentioned yesterday, education has long been a priority for Cannes.

A new initiative has been launched for every child born in Cannes who is still living in the city on his or her sixth birthday — a set of six books to enjoy during their formative years:

These books will cover traditional subjects such as fairy tales, mythology, history, animals and nature:

Lisnard’s EAC — Education Artistique et Culturelle — has been achieved and appears to be going nationwide:

Parents attend special art workshops with their children. This one was held on a Saturday in June:

The mayor also actively promotes civic education in schools:

In order to receive the ‘passport’, each child has to undertake eight activities, involving personal behaviour, citizenship, computing and the environment:

This was a voluntary school project but will become mandatory in all Cannes schools for the next academic year:

Mayor Lisnard distributed the passports personally:

Thus ends my summary of Cannes for another year — with nary a celebrity or film star in sight!

On May 23, 2019, LBC’s award-winning journalist Rachel Venables broadcast a revealing investigation about Purple Drank’s arrival in the UK:

She received many negative comments to her Twitter thread on the subject, but, let’s keep in mind that the kiddos already know about it. She’s no doubt trying to inform parents and guardians:

Her article for LBC radio has more. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Teenagers are turning lemonade, boiled sweets and liquid codeine into a potentially lethal drug.

The liquid Codeine is shipped in from Africa and France and can be easily bought on Instagram.

It has risen in popularity after rap stars in the US starting singing about it and taking it in their videos.

The drug takes around 20 minutes to kick in and lasts around three hours. It is popular amongst teenagers and students and one user told LBC it is “the drug to be seen with at parties”

The drug advice website Frank states that codeine is especially dangerous to mix with alcohol and drugs like Valium and other opioid[s]. They state: “Taking more codeine than prescribed to you by a doctor, or taking illegal codeine (such as from a friend, a dealer or website), increases the risk of overdose and other side effects.”

The UK Addiction Treatment Centres website adds: “Regular users of codeine often develop both a physical and psychological dependence on the drug, which causes various symptoms whenever they try to quit.

To avoid these withdrawal symptoms, many people will continue to use codeine, even if doing so causes negative consequences for themselves and others. It is this cycle of abuse that more often than not leads to a crippling addiction.”

It is so addictive, doctors advise not taking it for more than three days.

One young man, Noel, now 18, started drinking it a year ago. Since then, he has increased his usage and takes it every weekend. He describes the ordering process on Instagram (!?!) for Purple Drank, also known as Purple Lean:

People have their own lean pages to sell. Then there’s a PayPal or Depop page they send you once you order it.

There’s a normal delivery time of 3-5 days and it will be with you. It will be classed as child’s clothing, because they don’t get checked as hard. It protects the shape of the bottles as well.

It’s so easy for kids to order it to their house and tell their mum it’s some shoes.

Mitch, a dealer in the Midlands, says he’s been making a lot of money by selling ‘lean’. He says that police are unaware of ‘drank”s popularity:

Everyone was asking for it, couldn’t get it and we realised you could charge what you wanted and people pay it. If you get a good weekend, you can make a few thousand pounds.

I haven’t heard of anyone being done and prosecuted for selling bottles of lean yet. I don’t think they’ve caught on yet to how big of a issue it is really.

The government’s ‘Talk to Frank’ service is for those who want to talk about drug addiction. Call Frank free on 0300 123 6600.

A commenter had this helpful information:

Purple Drank is an illegal recreational drink popular in the Southern United States rap community, whose main ingredients originally consisted of prescription strength cough syrup, containing codeine and promethazine, and either a carbonated soft drink (generally Sprite) or fruit juice. The purple-ish hue of Purple Drank comes from the dyes in the cough syrup. Recently, the term has expanded to cover mixtures including over-the-counter cough syrup and vodka in place of prescription cough syrup. Other terms for Purple Drank include Barre, Oil, Purple Tonic, Lean (or Southern Lean,) Drank, and Syrup (which is sometimes slangly pronounced as Sizzurp.)

After all this time, I thought we would escape the scourge of Purple Drank. Apparently not, sadly.

France began reporting on it in 2016. French pharmacists first noticed it in 2015. L’Internaute, a daily online news service, explained (translation mine):

The ingredients in this marvellous, dangerous mixture are all legal. Purple Drank is a mixture of cough syrup containing codeine, which is an opiate, and promethezine, an antihistamine neuroleptic, [combined with] alcohol and energy drinks. On the other side of the Atlantic, this beverage has created a very real health problem.

The consequences can be serious. Drowsiness, agitation, delirium and even convulsions: it’s not a pretty sight. And victims are mostly young people: adolescents from 12 years old up to young adults. Both boys and girls are affected …

Pharmacists were the first to notice this phenomenon. In 2015, the National Order of Pharmacists raised the alarm.

Since then, pharmacists, general practitioners, ER doctors and addiction specialists have been urged to report anything that ‘seems suspect, in particular, coming from young adults or adolescents’.

Parents, guardians: summer’s coming. Please be alert.

When I was a nipper, I was very grateful when plastic straws first appeared on the market and in restaurants.

That was in the mid- to late 1960s.

Finally, I could suck as hard as I wanted to on my soft drink.

Paper straws are upsetting for children. They are unaware how quickly paper straws become soggy.

Kids love to see how hard they can suck on a straw whilst drinking a beverage. They also like blowing into a straw and watch their milk bubble up.

Children need plastic straws.

I am proud to say that, as an adult, I have a surfeit of plastic straws: three or four boxes purchased over the past few decades, totalling 900+.

It is just as well, because, following the example of America’s loony-tune West Coast (apologies to the sensible souls there), England will ban plastic straws — as well as stirrers — from April 2020.

What is wrong with our once great nation?

On May 22, The Guardian reported:

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the government has confirmed.

The move, which has been in the offing for more than a year, is hoped to vastly reduce the litter and other environmental impacts of the nearly 5bn plastic straws currently used each year in the UK, along with more than 300m plastic stirrers and close to 2bn cotton buds with plastic stems.

Huge numbers of these items, particularly cotton buds, are flushed down toilets or otherwise end up in litter – surveys have recently found waterways across the UK teeming with plastic, putting wildlife at risk.

I have seen a lot of rubbish in my time, but I have rarely seen a plastic straw discarded as litter.

Only the disabled or someone with a medical need will be allowed a plastic straw. The government must add children to that list!

Think of the children!

This is especially irritating. It is shameful for Theresa May’s office to be putting out a tweet like this when she should have given us Brexit on March 29, 2019. Ironically, the day this tweet came out was a very difficult one for her regarding Brexit. Never mind plastic straws. She could be out of office shortly for not delivering as pledged:

It doesn’t matter how many plastic straws are used. What matters is how they are disposed of.

Furthermore, we are not talking about a UK-wide ban — only one in what used to be Merrie Olde England!

I have not finished writing about the humble and useful plastic straw. At least another post will appear on that great invention at some point.

In closing, as if that were not enough, eco-warriors also want to ban balloons:

… the items expected to be banned were only part of the plastic problem, said Emma Priestland, campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “These three items are just a fraction of the single-use nasties that are used for a tiny amount of time before polluting the environment for centuries to come,” she said.

“Ultimately, we need producers to take responsibility for the plastic pollution caused by all their products, whether it’s bags, balloons, packets, containers or otherwise. That’s why we’re campaigning for legislation to cut back on pointless plastic across the board.”

These people are joyless. That includes our Scottish-born environment secretary Michael Gove.

The pro-choice tweeters commenting on the following photos accuse Paul Joseph Watson of lying about the survival of a prematurely born baby.

I am delighted that the child’s mother contributed to the conversation. Her daughter, pictured below, is now 15 years old:

This is something upon which to reflect as we see a push in Democrat-dominated states for murdering children at birth.

Comments temporarily off.

There are people who do not believe there is a crisis at the southern border of the United States, despite repeated statistics such as these:

I would call everyone’s attention to the third statistic.

On February 5, 2019, an article appeared in CNS News about a group of Guatemalans posing as ‘families’, when, in reality, they were human traffickers with trafficked humans (emphases mine below):

Associate Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Intel Carl McClafferty said Friday that human traffickers are using children to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border as a family unit and recycling the children back across the border to be used again.

This phenomenon began in the latter months of Bush II’s presidency:

October 2008 was the first time the Border Patrol ever had more family units than single adults apprehended, McClafferty said during a White House meeting on combating human smuggling on the southern border.

What follows is how Border Patrol linked up with HSI — Homeland Security Investigations — to apprehend a Guatemalan ring of human traffickers and their victims:

In Yuma, Arizona, we were catching groups of Guatemalans — family units — turning themselves into Border Patrol, crossing around where the fence ends. And I just started looking into it and found that some of the sponsors, after they were released, were the same person, with the same address and same phone number,” he said.

So they reached out to HSI, to Charleston, South Carolina, where these people were going. HSI looked into it. There’s something going on here. ‘Why don’t you come out, and we’ll do this case together?’ We went up to Charleston, followed a group that actually got released. They were picked up by the sponsor,” McClafferty said.

“Immediately after that, the smuggler pulled over and put a bag of trash in a dumpster. Agents recovered that. Inside was their ankle bracelet, their illegal documents, already discarded by these sponsors who tend to be in the smuggling organization. They investigated this case. We were able to tie this back to a larger group that was smuggling Guatemalans into South Carolina and other places,” he said.

The investigation resulted in eight indictments, a warrant being served and 24 illegal aliens taken into custody.

This is what was happening to the child victims involved. A woman was being paid to ‘recycle’ them, as it were:

“And one of the indictments was a woman who was being paid $1,500 a child to take the children back to Guatemala who are not part of the actual family unit. So, she claimed to be doing this 13 times, and so we found out they were recycling these children. They would bring them up, smuggling them as part of a family group, recycle them back to Guatemala, put them in another family group, and come back up. So this was, you know, obviously an exploitation of these children,” he said.

Churchgoers, in particular, need to be very careful about accepting the ‘family’ label so quickly and so universally.

Sometimes, all is not as it seems on the surface.

Who knows what was happening to these children? That is the bigger question.

Here is what is happening to some of these children. On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) discussed ‘family’ migration with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Crenshaw said that one little girl ended up in New York, where she was raped repeatedly every day for five years. On a visit with Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, he also saw groups of illegals presenting themselves as family units. Upon investigation, they turned out to be human traffickers. Nielsen told him that much more border personnel are needed in order to combat the epidemic of human trafficking along the southern border:

I would urge everyone to pray for human trafficking to end and to pray especially for the children involved.

Warning: this post contains references to suicide as per reports listed below.

An American mother, Dr Free N. Hess (aka PediMom), has a warning for parents whose children watch YouTube Kids videos. Some of them have to do with suicide and contain other content inappropriate for younger viewers.

On February 23, CBS News reported:

Video promoting self-harm tips — spliced between clips of a popular video game — has surfaced at least twice on YouTube and YouTube Kids since July, according to a pediatrician and mom who discovered the video.

The suicide instructions are sandwiched between clips from the popular Nintendo game Splatoon and delivered by a man speaking in front of what appears to be a green screen — an apparent effort to have him blend in with the rest of the animated video …

The man featured is YouTuber Filthy Frank, who has over 6.2 million subscribers and calls himself “the embodiment of everything a person should not be,” although there is no evidence that Frank, whose real name is George Miller, was involved in creating the doctored video. He did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. 

When Free Hess found the video on YouTube last week, she posted it on her blog — warning other parents to take control over what their kids may be watching. 

“Looking at the comments, it had been up for a while, and people had even reported it eight months prior,” Hess told CBS News on Friday.

Shortly after she published her blog post, YouTube took the video down, saying it violated the site’s community guidelines, according to Hess.

This is not Dr Hess’s first foray into YouTube videos for children. She and a group of parents were able to successfully campaign for another video’s removal in July 2018.

CBS reports that Hess became concerned about what children were viewing based on her own experiences as a paediatrician (emphases mine):

Hess said after seeing higher rates of suicide in children in her own emergency room over the last few years, she made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content being consumed by children on social media. She said she’s reported hundreds of unsettling videos to YouTube, with some success. On Friday, she found and reported seven more disturbing videos on YouTube Kids, and said they were just the tip of the iceberg.

“I had to stop, but I could have kept going,” Hess said. “Once you start looking into it, things get darker and weirder. I don’t understand how it’s not getting caught.”

YouTube Kids is not for pre-teens. In fact, quite the opposite. The videos are intended for children under the age of eight.

Hess described what she saw:

She said she logs onto the app posing as a child, rather than an adult, so that she can see exactly what kids around the world are seeing. The videos Hess has found contain mentions or visuals of self-harm, suicide, sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse and gun violence, including a simulated school shooting. She said many of the kids she treats in the ER list videos on YouTube as a method used to learn destructive behaviors and self-harm techniques.

Good grief.

It’s interesting that YouTube has no problem removing content from and accounts of conservative video posters, yet they allow this depravity aimed at small children, which was first reported in 2017.

CBS provides the apologies from YouTube, but:

This week, new cases of inappropriate content prompted high-profile responses, including from Disney and Nestle, which pulled advertising from YouTube after a blogger described “a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring” on the site.

To be fair, YouTube has taken action, but compared to what they do to conservatives — actively seeking out accounts to ban — theirs is a reactive stance when it comes to perverse videos, especially where children are concerned:

Hess has more information about these videos on her website, including this:

Exposure to videos, photos, and other self-harm and suicidal promoting content is a huge problem that our children are facing today. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and the numbers of children exhibiting some form of self-harm is growing rapidly. In a nationwide survey of high school students in the US 16% of students stated they had seriously considered suicide, 13% admitted to creating a plan, and 8% admitted to attempting suicide at some point in the 12 months prior to the survey. Every year 157,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 present to Emergency Departments for self-inflicted injuries and/or suicide attempts.

Many experts believe that access to self-harm and suicide promoting content is making the situation worse. There have been several recent reports of teens committing suicide after viewing self-harm and suicide material online and on social media platforms. More and more researchers are starting to look into how access to this type of material is linked to self-harm and suicide in adolescents. One such study has just been commissioned and will hopefully give us some good insight into this issue.

But we have to start doing something NOW and we should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is dangerous for our children. We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or dangerous material when reported. 

We need to all work together to #ProtectOurKids and let them know that #ParentsDemandAction!

Who knew children’s videos were so injurious to kids’ mental health?

I also think that there could be peer pressure associated with these videos. Some children think these videos are ‘cool’ and that, if their peers do not watch them, they are wimps. Parents will have to know how to combat that, too.

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