Paul Watson is a controversial right-wing Infowars contributor, but he does make some good points. If you eliminate the hypocrisy this is what you get. He does use foul language.
Paul Watson is a controversial right-wing Infowars contributor, but he does make some good points. If you eliminate the hypocrisy this is what you get. He does use foul language.
Claire Bernish, Guest
“It is important to emphasise that we do not legalise cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalise,” Storting Health Committee Deputy Chairman Sveinung Stensland told national publication, VG.
“The change will take some time, but that means a changed vision: those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment.”
The Independent reports the parties backing the measure included the Conservatives (Hoyre), Liberals (Venstre), the Labor Party (Ap), and the Socialist Left (SV) — with those voting in favor of full decriminalization directing the Norwegian government to reform its drug policies accordingly.
It wasn’t just the relative success in Portugal that motivated Norwegian politicians to act in addicts’ better interests, but Norway’s own timid experimentations with decriminalization.
Newsweek reports of the historic vote, “It’s a big next step for the Scandinavian country, which has been dancing around the possibility of decriminalization for several years. In 2006, it started to test a program that would sentence drug users to treatment programs, rather than jail, in the cities Bergen and Oslo. In early 2016, the country gave Norwegian courts the option to do this on a national level.”
“The goal is that more addicts will rid themselves of their drug dependency and fewer will return to crime,” Justice Minister Anders Anundsen, quoted by Newsweek, asserted at the time. “But if the terms of the programme are violated, the convicts must serve an ordinary prison term.”
In the broadest strokes, this mimicked what Portuguese officials initiated on July 1, 2001, with its groundbreaking — indeed, all but unheard of at the time — decision to offer compassion and effective patient care for addicts wanting treatment, while saying no to the U.S.-led and utterly failed planetary war on drugs.
Mic elaborated on Portugal’s policies in February 2015, “If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply of anything from marijuana to heroin, he or she is sent to a three-person Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, typically made up of a lawyer, a doctor and a social worker. The commission recommends treatment or a minor fine; otherwise, the person is sent off without any penalty. A vast majority of the time, there is no penalty.”
With nonviolent drug offenders cramped into overcrowded prisons, decriminalization frees space for violent criminals and others most traditionally given lengthy prison terms, while clearing overstuffed court dockets and freeing resources needed in other areas of law enforcement.
Portugal had experienced the worst of opioid crises and the highest proportion of drug-related AIDS deaths in the European Union prior to mass decriminalization, notes the Independent — which notes the nation now ranks second lowest in the same for all drug-related deaths.
Further, as journalist Glenn Greenwald, who authored an oft-cited Cato Institute white paper, Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies, published in April 2009, reiterated for Newsweek two years ago, “none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents — from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for ‘drug tourists’ — has occurred.”
Nonetheless, decriminalization hasn’t garnered unanimous support among parliament — detractors cite both legitimate and propagandically false information in argument — and concerns linger over the ostensive message sent to criminals, addicts, and users, when punitive measures are considerably loosened.
Although a smattering of articles in the international press reporting on decriminalization in Norway included ‘several U.S. states’ among those having loosened drug laws, it must be noted the legalization and decriminalization measures in various states — and, almost exclusively pertaining to cannabis, only — come weighted with governmental red tape and sticky fingers in the form of questionable taxation codes, restrictions, and more. And the United States remains gripped in the dark vortex of a spiraling opioid crisis — a situation mirroring that of Portugal years ago.
In September, economist and professor, Jeffrey Miron, of Harvard University and the Cato Institute, opined for Fortune the probable benefits should America choose to examine the crisis sans the goggles of decades of anti-drug propaganda, asking, “Could Legalizing All Drugs Solve America’s Opioid Crisis?”
Miron concludes, appropriately, “Around the world, liberal drug policies have had great success in reducing the harms from drug addiction, such as HIV and overdoses. Faced with a raging opioid crisis, the U.S. would be wise to model its own drug policy after countries that have undergone similar experiences.”
Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
In the wake of the presidential election, an era of change is expected to blanket the United States. While it is currently uncertain how far President-elect Donald Trump will go with many of his controversial policies, we have a relatively clear idea of how some of the country’s systems may be altered.
The prison system, for example, is expected to continue on the path to privatization. As we have mentioned in the past, privatization solely benefits the corporations that dominate the industry. In the United States, private correctional facilities were a $4.8 billion industry in 2014, with profits of $629 million, according to market research firm IBISWorld.
US prison statistics often appear skewed as the nation’s systems of confinement are so fragmented and controlled by various entities. However, using the data available, it is estimated that as many as 2.3 million people are housed in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.
Many of the people serving time in these facilities, particularly federal and juvenile correctional facilities, have been charge with non-violent offences such as drug offenses. As of 2015, the United States had a prison population rate of roughly 700 per 100,000 – the second-highest of 222 countries.
While many support the country’s criminal justice system, other nations have decided to take a slightly different approach. In Norway, the criminal justice system is starkly different and is proven to be very effective at rehabilitating its prisoners. In 2014, Norway’s incarceration rate was just 75 per 100,000 people.
In addition to fewer prisons, the Scandinavian nation also has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world at 20%. In comparison, 76.6% of US prisoners are re-arrested within five years – one of the highest recidivism rates in the world.
Norway’s impressive crime and incarceration statistics are attributed to a concept called “restorative justice,” which focuses on rehabilitating prisoners instead of punishing them. As part of this concept, the maximum sentence that can be passed by a court judge is 21-years, whatever the crime. However, if it is believed that a prisoner has not been rehabilitated, the initial sentence can be extended by up to 5 years.
The prisons of Norway became a topic of debate after a number of new sources featured photographs of the ‘luxury’ facilities at Halden Prison. Unlike their US counterparts, the prison does not have bars on the windows; it encourages prisoners to make friendships with guards and have kitchens that are fully equipped with sharp objects. In addition, the 75-acre facility also offers vocational programs including woodworking, assembly workshops, and even a recording studio.
Arne Wilson, prisoner governor at Bastoy prison and clinical psychologist, explained to The Guardian:
“In closed prisons we keep them locked up for some years and then let them back out, not having had any real responsibility for working or cooking. In the law, being sent to prison is nothing to do with putting you in a terrible prison to make you suffer. The punishment is that you lose your freedom. If we treat people like animals when they are in prison they are likely to behave like animals. Here we pay attention to you as human beings.”
For Americans, and many other nations, Norway’s criminal justice system appears to be inadequate. In the majority of nations, prison is, to simply put it, a form of revenge. For this reason, the idea that prisoners are treated with respect and offered opportunity often doesn’t sit right with many Americans. However, the success of Norway’s criminal justice system is plain to see.
“[Revenge]. That word doesn’t get used. Even a right-wing politician will rarely come out and say ‘Our prisons exist for us to get revenge.’ We have to be honest with ourselves, as American, we have a few things we need to fix,” Michael Moore, who’s film ‘Where to Invade Next’ searches the world for answers to some of America’s biggest problems, explains in an interview.
Authorities in “Operation Darkroom” arrest 51 in pedophile child-sex ring, arresting lawmakers and teachers.
As the old expression goes “there’s a special place in hell” for pedophiles. But hell for some infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers might be a little country called Norway. That’s because the country just seized the largest amount of child pornography in the country’s history! A whopping 150 terabytes were confiscated, the equivalent of over 35,000 child-porn DVDs!
The search began when one 22-year-old man was being investigated for having sex with a 14-year-old. The investigation led to the man’s cell phone, where authorities quickly realized he had been in contact with other suspected child rapists. The network of rapists led the Norwegian authorities to create a team of 25 officers, from various departments, to work together on the ever-expanding case called “Operation Darkroom.”
According to The Nordic Page, “The material has led to charges of sexual intercourse and rape of children from infancy to 15 years, serious trafficking and production, storage and sharing of material depicting sexual abuse of children, and luring of children to show off or sending nude photos or masturbate over the internet. Police also found examples of offenders who have planned atrocities against their own children with other men.”
The investigation quickly led to arrests of, “51 people, all men, are so far involved in the case. 24 of them come from Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. 26 come from other areas of Norway, from Southeast to Finnmark in the north. Among the accused offenders, there is also one Swedish national. Two politicians, one Labor politician from Oslo and a former national Progress Party (FrP) politician from Eastern Norway are involved in the case.” One is also a kindergarten teacher, and four of the 51 arrested were perpetrators in the video evidence collected.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said of the arrests, “I think this is incredibly painful. It is painful to hear and see stories about abuse against young babies, and the fantasies of abuse against young children. You do not need to be a mother to think that this is painful to hear, all people with empathy and contact with young children know that this type of abuse leaves marks for life, says Solberg.”
While it doesn’t appear that the Norwegian media has been in any way dismissive of the operation and the charges involving high-level government officials, the same cannot be said of the American mainstream media. Throughout the first and second weeks of December, since the mainstream media first reported that Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., fired a shot inside the Comet Ping Pong Pizzaria in Washington, DC, the mainstream media has been declaring the so-called child-sex “Pizzagate” child-sex ring, a false conspiracy theory based on lies.
Welch was reportedly searching for child-sex slaves inside Comet Ping Pong based on stories he’d read online involving pedophilia and the Washington elite. Ironically, and without any real investigative, Chris Hanson style journalism being conducted, the mainstream media and its pundits have declared all the claims found in the conspiracy theory to be false, lies constructed by “fake news”. In fact, The Washington Post simply declared, “None of them were true.” That may, indeed, be the case. But if it can happen in Norway, with Norwegian lawmakers, it can certainly happen in the United States, and all such claims must be investigated thoroughly by properly trained police officers with the tools necessary to uncover such deviant sex crimes involving children. We applaud the Norwegian authorities for being unafraid, vigilant, and thorough in their investigations of child-sex rings. May justice be swift.
With permission from
Thirty-one people are also currently under investigation, Deputy Police Chief Gunnar Fløystad said.
“It is not one case, but several serious cases that we have been investigating for a long time. We can talk of several networks,”he said, as cited by Aftonbladet newspaper.
According to Fløystad, many suspects are highly -educated and have good IT skills.
Verdens Gang tabloid reported that among those under investigation was a police officer. Police raided his house but didn’t arrest him, the tabloid added. Fløystad declined to comment on the matter.
The list of those investigated on pedophile charges include two former or current politicians, Tidens Krav newspaper reported.
Police seized some 150 terabytes of material revealing many forms of child abuse. The offenders met on the web and used encryption to protect their anonymity.
“The materials show abuse of children of all ages, also infants,” said Hilde Reikrås, head of police operations on the case, said as cited by Tidens Krav. She added that the materials depicted “abuse of toddlers, children being tied, children who have sex with animals and children who have sex with other children.”
The cases include rape, trafficking and production of photos and videos of child abuse. Local media reported that some suspects allegedly abused their own children and one suspect even planned to let others moles his unborn child.
Leading prosecutor in the case Janne Ringset Helme added that all the perpetrators were men.
The investigation to reveal the pedophile network in Norway, dubbed ‘Dark Room’, began back in 2015. It was launched after reports emerged that a 22-year-old man had sexual intercourse with girl aged 14 in the city of Bergen. The man was taken into custody and police seized a large amount of abuse material on his computer.
Gylve Nagell, better known as Fenriz of Norwegian rock group Darkthrone, recently won an election for a local council, despite asking people not to vote for him
Gylve Nagell, a member of a Norwegian rock band, only agreed to run for local councilor in his hometown of Kolbotn only as a backup, thinking it would help boost voter turnout. He never wanted to win, and to make sure he didn’t, Nagell’s campaign posters showed him holding his pet cat, with the caption “Please Don’t Vote for Me”. It didn’t work the way he had planned.
Gylve, better known as Fenriz, half of Norwegian heavy metal band Darkthrone, will be required to attend important council meetings and listen to his constituents’ complaints, after winning a seat on the Kolbotn local council. The news came as a huge surprise to the young musician, as he claims he only agreed to run after officials in Kolbotn asked him to do it in an effort to boost voter numbers. “Basically, they called and asked if I wanted to be on the list [of backup representatives]. I said yeah, thinking I would be like 18th on the list and I wouldn’t really have to do anything,” he told music site Clrvynt.
He never made any effort to win, but as the actual election approached, Fenriz says he started to get a feeling that he might actually end up a councilor against his will. So he tried to very openly sabotage his own campaign by using a photo of himself holding his pet cat with the caption “Please Don’t Vote for Me” as a poster. But his hometown was apparently so impressed by his lack of interest for the official position that they voted for him overwhelmingly. “People just went nuts,” as he puts it.
Photo: Metal Sucks
“After the election, the boss called me and told me I was a representative. I wasn’t too pleased, and I’m not too pleased about it. It’s boring. There’s not a lot of money in that, either, I can tell you,” the Darkthrone member said. “Basically, I have to step in when the usual people who go to the big meetings are sick or something. Then I have to go sit there and feel stupid among the straight people.”
You’re probably thinking “why didn’t he just decline the position?” That’s because he can’t. Nagell says that according to Norwegian law, “if you get voted in, you have to stay in that position for four years. And then you can pull out.”
Photo: Marte Evenrud
Kolbotn is a suburb of Oslo with around 9,000 inhabitants.