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On Sunday, July 28, 2019, the best ever Tour de France culminated in Paris.

What made this Tour the best ever?

First, there were surprises every day, one of them being the big name riders abandoning throughout the Tour from the early stages to the closing ones.

Secondly, the Tour organisers arranged very difficult stages, very different to previous tours. Commentators said these were designed to propel France’s Romain Bardet into yellow. Oh, well. At least he finished as King of the Mountains.

Thirdly, a severe weather event pushed France’s Julian Alaphilippe out of the yellow jersey (maillot jaune) after 14 days in succession. His chances of winning the Tour were very good, until Stage 19 on Friday, July 26:

That day, ITV4’s Gary Imlach, commentating, outlined the route and said something about the stage expecting to be completed, barring an ‘act of God’.

This is what the finish line looked like in the Alpine town of Tignes that day:

The Col d’Iseran was scheduled to be the penultimate climb that day. It was exciting stuff.

Team INEOS are the former Team Sky, by the way. Chris Froome was not among their number this year because of injury. Here we see last year’s Tour winner Geraint Thomas go on the attack on the climb to the Col d’Iseran:

The top riders began their descent:

Then, disaster struck around the finish line. Gary Imlach’s aforementioned ‘act of God’ actually happened! Imlach apologised the next day!

We watched this unfold on ITV4. It was just incredible.

Tour officials took the decision to make the Col d’Iseran result their final one for that stage:

That clearly put Egan Bernal in the yellow jersey:

We were amazed. Egan Bernal wore the white jersey as best young rider. He’s only 22. This was his very first Tour de France, which is gruelling, to say the least, for the most experienced riders.

He received the yellow jersey later that day:

Team mate and four-time Tour winner Chris Froome had this to say about the young Colombian:

Saturday’s Stage 20 ending in Val Thorens was shortened — and made more difficult (mostly climbs) — because of the severe weather conditions:

The ‘Devil’ didn’t miss it. He has been on all the Tour stages since 1993!

Vincenzo Nibali won the stage, but Egan Bernal held on to the yellow jersey. Geraint Thomas was in second overall, with Julian Alaphilippe in third:

And that is how history was made. Egan Bernal, the Tour’s first Colombian winner — and one of the youngest winners overall:

These were the overall winners:

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won the overall Combativity Award:

Sunday’s closing stage in Paris was as iconic as ever:

Colombians were out in force in Rambouillet, the starting point:

This was Team INEOS’s champagne moment. Peter Sagan (Team Bora-Hansgrohe) had a bit of fun with them:

Personally, I thought the stage started too late in the day. Whilst the riders had sunglasses, the sunset must have been a distraction, even if it looks good for the City of Paris with regard to tourism:

Colombians, including Egan Bernal’s family, waited at the finish line:

We were delighted that Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan won the stage. To win that stage in Paris is what every Tour rider dreams of — and this was his first ever Tour:

Then, it was time for the podium presentations.

First, Bernal greeted his family:

This must have been the happiest moment of his life thus far:

Steven Kruijswijk came in third overall:

Here’s Romain Bardet (Team AG2R La Mondiale) getting his King of the Mountains jersey:

Can’t wait for next year, especially since the Tour will start in Nice:

Until then, I am delighted for Egan Bernal — and for Team INEOS.

Warning: some readers might find the second half of this post disturbing.

A lot of confusion surrounds the Florida school shooting that took place on Valentine’s Day 2018.

One thing is certain: gun control is once again the current topic.

A case in point is Philip Mudd:

a deputy director for the FBI’s national security branch and an ex-CIA agent, Philip Mudd has interviewed terrorists and is considered a counterterrorism expert.

Mudd also loathes President Donald Trump, which is useful information in reading what he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. From USA Today:

“I have 10 nieces and nephews who are talking about bump stocks,” he said. “We’re talking about legislation. A child of God is dead. Cannot we acknowledge in this country that we can’t — we cannot accept this.”

He continued before breaking down in tears: “I can’t do it, Wolf, I’m sorr… — We can’t do it.”

Mudd’s emotional response came after Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. At least 17 people were killed.

On February 16, a contributor to the CBTS_Stream board on Reddit, a Q discussion site, posted part of a page from the 1990 book, Behold A Pale Horse, written by William Cooper, a distinguished US Navy intelligence veteran. More about him in a moment.

For now, note the following from page 225 of the book (image courtesy of CBTS_Stream):

Mudd’s crying on television is designed to hype up the call for gun control. His mention of God is a particularly cynical move.

Reports say that the suspect in the shooting is a white supremacist. Seems strange for someone whose surname is Cruz.

Once again, the media has hauled out the white supremacist tag as they so often do when a light-skinned person commits a mass shooting.

Psychotropics

What we should be asking is if this young man was taking prescription SSRIs — psychotropics — for a mental health disorder.

On October 9, 2017 — eight days after the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas — the mental health watchdog, CCHR International, published an excellent article on psychotropics and mass shootings. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

This is the introduction to the article:

Twenty-seven drug regulatory agency warnings cite psychiatric drug side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation; 1,531 cases of psychiatric drug induced homicide/homicidal ideation have been reported to the US FDA; 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, yet there has never been a federal investigation into the link between seemingly senseless acts of violence and the use of mind-altering psychotropic drugs.

The first part of the article discusses Stephen Paddock’s prescribed Valium use.

The FDA does not receive many reports of homicide/homicidal ideation links to psychotropic drugs (bold emphasis in the original here, purple highlight mine):

… according to the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system for drug side effects, over a 10-year period, the FDA received 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide attributed to psychiatric drugs, 40% of which were reported by medical professionals. The FDA admits that only 1-10% of drug side effects are ever reported to MedWatch, so taking a medium range of 5%, the number could easily be 30,620 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide attributed to psychiatric drugs.

Regarding the concept that psychiatric drugs could not have been a contributing factor in a case where the perpetrator was involved in extensive planning or preparations, we look to the definition of “homicidal,” which includes homicidal ideation, a similar concept to the  “suicidal ideation” black box warning on antidepressant drugs:

Homicidal … may encompass a broad variety of ideation and behaviors. They may range from globally aggressive thoughts… to a specific lethal plan with available means to carry it out.”

Emergency Psychiatry journal

The article acknowledges that these drugs can help many people, however, some patients will go off the rails.

The FDA gets so few reports of drug-linked homicide (ideation) because law enforcement is not required to test for the presence of these drugs:

There have been 65 high profile acts of senseless violence, including mass school shootings, mass stabbings, and even the intentional crashing of a commercial airplane, committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 357 dead and 336 wounded. Drug proponents argue that there are thousands of shootings and acts of violence that have not been correlated to psychiatric drugs, and that is exactly the point. They have neither been confirmed nor refuted to have been connected to psychiatric drugs, as law enforcement is not required to investigate or report on prescribed drugs linked to violence, and media rarely pose the question.

This is what happened in New York State, where the state Senate attempted to require such testing :

The New York State Senate recognized the lack of reporting correlating mind-altering psychiatric drugs to both suicide and violence as far back as 2000, when the senate introduced a bill which would “require police to report to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), certain crimes and suicides committed by persons using psychotropic drugs,citing “a large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs.”

It never passed:

Unfortunately that bill stalled out in the finance committee, yet if that bill had passed, a reporting system would be in place to determine the extent to which violence is committed by those under the influence of mind-altering prescribed drugs.

These mass shootings are Russian Roulette on the American population:

With millions of Americans being prescribed psychiatric drugs, it’s apparent not everyone will experience violent reactions to the drugs, besides which, violence is only one of many documented side effects of psychiatric drugs.   But what the drug regulatory agency warnings confirm, is that a percentage of the population will. And no one knows who will be next.

Scopolamine

There are also natural, non-prescription drugs that present a universal danger. One such drug is scopolamine, known as ‘devil’s breath’, which comes from a beautiful flowering tree in Colombia.

A light dusting of it removes a person’s free will. The victim agrees to do the perpetrator’s bidding. Afterwards, the victim might not remember a thing.

In 2012, the Daily Mail had an excellent, if horrifying, article on the power of this drug, based on research from a Vice.com reporter who travelled to Bogota to find out more:

The Mail‘s article says, in part:

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug – also known as hyoscine – causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.

In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master’s grave, where they were buried alive.

In modern times, the CIA used the drug as part of Cold War interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum.

However, because of the drug’s chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.

The tree [is] common around Colombia, and is called the ‘borrachero’ tree – loosely translated as the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.

It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.

Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country’s torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.

Scary.

Conclusion

The question with mass shootings is NOT gun control or even bump stock control.

The real question, which nearly everyone is ignoring, has to do with psychotropic drugs.

Footnote on William Cooper

Cooper’s Behold A Pale Horse is 500 pages long, but nearly half of that is supplementary documentation. One of those documents is something no one should ever read, yet millions do.

The premise of the book is that, since 1917, there has been a plan to bring about the New World Order by getting the population to believe there is extra-terrestrial life then instilling fear in people about it to the extent that they will willingly do the state’s bidding. That’s a real stretch.

However, it makes one wonder if this is why a lot of Democrats are so interested in ETs, including Hillary Clinton and her campaign supremo John Podesta.

Anyone who thinks there are UFOs will enjoy Cooper’s book. Disclosure: that excludes me.

However, what is of interest is Cooper’s interspersing of historical elements about the American government and intelligence agencies, such as the page highlighted here.

What Cooper wrote must have been true, because his life was often in danger. In his autobiography at the beginning of the book (p. 33), he describes being forced off the road by a black limo in the hills of Oakland, California. The same limo ran into him again a month later, causing Cooper to lose a leg. That happened in the 1970s.

People who read the book commented on the CBTS_Stream thread cited at the top of this post.

Someone wrote:

They trailed him and harassed him for years. When Clinton was president they sicced the IRS on him on some “tax evasion” crap. He denied any of it was legit. They sent armed officers to his house one day to take him in. He probably knew he’d never get out once they had him, and a gunfight broke out (supposedly). Apache County sheriffs deputy killed him. I don’t remember if his wife and daughter were home. Daughter was about +/-4yrs old when they killed him. I don’t know what ever happened to them.

Another added:

In July 2001, Cooper predicted a large scale terrorist attack would occur in a large metropolitan city (for purposes of garnering worldwide attention) and he specifically said it would be blamed on Osama Bin Laden, not that he was psychic but because he knew the dark side (deep state) of government. The Apache Co. Sheriffs Dept. came for him on the fifth of November in 2001. He died the next day from his wounds suffered in the previous evening’s gun battle.

Wikipedia tells us about his death in Arizona:

As Cooper moved away from the UFOlogy community and toward the militia and anti-government subculture in the late 1990s, he became convinced that he was being personally targeted by President Bill Clinton and the Internal Revenue Service. In July 1998 he was charged with tax evasion; an arrest warrant was issued, but Cooper eluded repeated attempts to serve it. In 2000, he was named a “major fugitive” by the United States Marshals Service.[6]

On November 5, 2001, Apache County sheriff’s deputies attempted to arrest Cooper at his Eagar, Arizona home on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment stemming from disputes with local residents. After an exchange of gunfire during which Cooper shot one of the deputies in the head, Cooper was fatally shot. Federal authorities reported that Cooper had spent years evading execution of the 1998 arrest warrant, and according to a spokesman for the Marshals Service, he vowed that “he would not be taken alive”.[1]

I feel sorry for William Cooper. It must have been awful to have been so caught up in the Deep State. It does things to the mind.

Have you ever had one of those days where you read three different things in quick succession which are so startling and disparate?

This is what I read last Thursday, just casually surfing.  Emphases in main text mine throughout.

Item 1 – ‘8 Most Terrifying Cases of ‘Food Rage’ (Yahoo! Lifestyle UK)

This shocked me to the core, especially the video that accompanies No. 6 below.  What is wrong with people?  Is it psychotropic medication, food additives or just plain lack of control that causes the following incidents?

1) Cupcake rage in Cardiff

Police are examining CCTV footage to trace a woman who physically assaulted a shop owner after they ran out of her favourite cupcake. According to reports, the owner of Sugarswirlz in Cardiff told the woman the Sweet Tooth cake, costing £2.20 each, had sold out. Owner Sally Dodd then said the woman went “ballistic”, throwing herself on the floor, smashing glass cabinets and pulling the shop owner’s hair. She left the shop, causing around £400 worth of damage. Sally explained “she didn’t even wait for us to tell her that if she waited we could bake some fresh cupcakes for her”

4) Customer tasers restaurant staff over mustard and mayonnaise

In 2010, staff at a Wendy’s restaurant in Florida got a shock of a different kind when they encountered an angry customer, who reportedly objected to the amount of mustard and mayonnaise she received with her order. Twenty-year-old Melanese (?!!) Reid allegedly chased staff around the kitchen with a taser gun and fled with her companion when staff threatened to call police. The women were later pulled over by police, who found a pink taser in their possession. According to reports, Melanese claimed she had acted in self-defence

6) Woman at US McDonald’s trashes restaurant because of an “inferior burger” – complaining AFTER she ate it


CCTV footage from a McDonald’s restaurant in Kansas City shows a woman who reacted badly when she complained about an “inferior” burger – after she had eaten it. Video footage shows the woman throwing a bucket of water at staff, along with a “wet floor” sign and various other items. Even the cash registers weren’t spared.

7) UK businesswoman attacks fellow customer over “who was more hungry” in Exeter

In 2011 Linda Aggett admitted getting aggressive in a McDonald’s restaurant in Exeter. Eyewitnesses said a dispute arose with another customer and “words were exchanged about who was more hungry”. Aggett then attacked the other customer, reportedly grabbing her face and scratching her. The incident was captured on CCTV. Aggett, a successful local businesswoman, later revealed that she had been to a funeral the day before, accounting for her emotional state

This reminds me of a saying I occasionally run across: ‘The world would be a much better place if more people stayed at home’.

If these folks had read the Bible when they were youngsters, they wouldn’t be in this state.  Learning how to cook their own meals would also help!

Item 2 – ‘A Working Life’ (Children of the Andes (COTA) charity)

Clarisa’s situation is a complete contrast to the fast-food rage above.  Now a young woman, she started work as a small child to help put food and money on the table.  Here is part of her moving life story:

Clarisa can’t remember when she started working, she was so young. Every day she would get up at 5am to start the long walk to the market place, and spend the day carrying heavy boxes of fruit. It didn’t seem strange to her that she didn’t have any friends of her own age, she’d never known any different.

Then, at the age of 11, Clarisa joined a street school set up by COTA partner ACJ [part of the YMCA in Cali] in the corner of the market place. Thanks to ACJ’s support, she has now completed primary and secondary education and is looking forward to a career in tourism

There are an estimated 2.5 million Colombian children like Clarisa who work. These children often work long hours in dangerous conditions, denied their right to play or to go to school. Deprived of a childhood and an education, they face an adult life of unskilled work and poverty.

Page 2 has more on Clarisa and her mother, initially uneasy with her daughter’s schooling:

After a while, one of the teachers asked if I would like to go along to the ACJ Children’s Centre. At first my mum wasn’t happy, she said I needed to work, but somehow the teacher convinced her and now my mum is glad I went

Eventually I went on to secondary school and graduated with honours! … Now I’m 21 and studying for a Diploma in Tourism, which I’ve almost finished. Soon I’ll be starting work experience at a hotel.

Through all of this, I’ve realised that there are opportunities in life and that it’s up to you to seize them. Sometimes things are tough, but you just have to keep going. Without the teachers from ACJ – who challenged, pushed and inspired me – I’d probably still be back in the market-place.

Wow — what a pleasant change to read about a young person who really wanted to study and improve herself.  In the West, she would have been made to feel a victim of society.  She might even have gone on to trash a fast-food restaurant.  It just goes to show the importance of a decent education, dedicated teachers — and self-discipline!

Item 3: The World’s Billionaires (Forbes.com and Journal du Net)

This piece is a world away from child labourers and fast-food rage.  I read these three articles in order within the space of an hour and when I finished reading this, my head was well and truly spinning.  I guess everything is relative.  There seems to be more in common between Clarisa and these billionaires than the fast-food ragers, even though they are in a similar social class.

I did find it easier navigating the Journal du Net pages.  In case you didn’t know, Bill Gates has been knocked out of first place for the second year running.  Highlights from a truly global grouping of 1,210 billionaires:

1/ Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico) – $74bn.  Slim’s Telmex has 90% of the Mexican telephone market.

2/ Bill Gates (US) – $56bn.

3/ Warren Buffett (US) – $50 bn.

4/ Bernard Arnault (France) – $41bn. Although an industrialist from the start of his career, he formed LVMH (Louis Vuitton – Moët-Hennessy) in 1987 and the rest is history.

6/ Lakshmi Mittal (India) -$31.1 bn. Heads Mittal Steel Company, which acquired the European company Arcelor in 2006. The entity is called ArcelorMittal and is the number one steel producer in the world.

7/ Amancio Ortega (Spain) – $31bn.  Owns the Zara ready-to-wear chain, well-known throughout Europe.

8/ Eike Batista (Brazil) – $30 bn. Fortune in mining and utilities companies.

11/ Li Ka-Shing (Hong Kong) – $26bn. Heads two conglomerates, Cheung Kong et Hutchison Whampoa, which encompass diverse sectors from maritime freight to perfumes.

12/ Karl Albrecht (Germany) – $25.5bn. Founder of Aldi (Albrecht Discount) grocery chain.

13/ Stefan Persson (Sweden) – $24.5.  Heir to and head of his father’s ready-to-wear chain Hennes (‘for her’ in Swedish).

14/ Vladimir Lissine (Russia) – $24bn. Owns 85% of Novolipetsk, the main steel company in Russia.

17/ David Thomson (Canada) – $23bn. Head of ThomsonReuters; his grandfather founded  media giant Thomson Corp.

20/ Jim Walton (US) – $21.3bn.  His fortune comes from the family’s Wal-Mart stores; he is also president of Arvest Bank.

Highs and lows — what the world is about, it seems.  Education and hard work are the keys to success.  We can do our children a big favour by starting them off with the Book of Proverbs, which lists life’s truths in an easily understandable way.

The fear of the Lord [is] the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

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