A case against the drug war

first_imgWhy would medical research on a relatively new psychoactive substance cease? Why would experimentation with a drug that had promising results be stopped?Speaking at Harvard Law School about her new memoir, “A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference In My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life,” Ayelet Waldman, J.D. ’91, focused on the social aspects of such decisions. Although “Day” chronicles her own experiences microdosing with one such substance — LSD — the author focused her hour-long talk at Wasserstein Hall on Friday on the social and racial dimensions of the war on drugs, rather than on the more personal side of the book.“I’d been thinking about the war on drugs from a criminal justice perspective,” said the Berkeley, Calif.-based author. “I certainly never imagined I’d be taking psychedelic drugs.”Waldman began with a history of psychoactive drugs, discussing ergot and other naturally occurring hallucinogens. In the 1930s, the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Sandos began researching both the psychoactive elements of ergot and its potential therapeutic uses. What we now know as lysergic acid diethylamide was synthesized in the Sandos labs in 1938 by chemist Albert Hofmann, who tested the substance on himself. For the next 30 years, before LSD was criminalized, thousands of tests were done and many possible medical uses explored.In the 1960s, that experimentation was expanded on by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert at Harvard. And that is when the trouble started, Waldman says. Citing the confluence of the Leary’s proselytizing for LSD and the rise of a counterculture critical of the Vietnam War, Waldman noted how the drug came to be seen as part of a movement to turn middle-class college students against the government. Catchphrases like “Tune in, turn on, drop out” and “Question authority,” both popularized by Leary, were threatening to the powers that be.“Fight the war. Fight the man. Leave your parents,” she said, recalling the mottos of the time to an audience mostly way too young to remember the ’60s. “The government and lots of middle-class parents start to freak out.”The anti-establishment rhetoric was seen by many as particularly threatening because of the era’s Civil Rights activism and the rise of radical groups such as the Black Panthers. Suddenly, Waldman said, these white college students were “aligning themselves with black people.”In 1968, possession of LSD was made illegal in the United States.Waldman, who has served as a federal public defender, made the case that U.S. drug policy is responsible for mass incarceration, and that the country’s first-in-the-world prison population is the direct result of a desire to control certain communities, notably people of color.Shifting to the personal, Waldman recounted how her own mood disorder — a previously misdiagnosed premenstrual dysphoric disorder — became unmanageable as she entered perimenopause in her 40s. She cast about for relief and found, in a book, a reference to LSD as a treatment. The idea was that a very small dose — 10 micrograms — would not produce the kind of hallucinations or the euphoria of a more typical 100-microgram “trip.”Her research led her to a YouTube lecture by psychologist and former psychedelic researcher James Fadiman, who described the microdose’s “sub-perceptual effect.”Waldman recalled Fadiman saying that subjects on microdoses, “Don’t hallucinate. They don’t have trips, but they look back and say, ‘Huh, that was a really good day.’“A good day is all I wanted,” said the author. “I wanted, at the end of the day, not to feel like killing myself.”As a lawyer and a parent of four, Waldman was careful. She described the precautions she took with the illegal substance once it arrived in the mail. And she briefly discussed her experience with the drug, which she says alleviated the symptoms of her disorder. But in light of the setting, she brought her talk to a close with discussion of the legal ramifications of current drug policy.Before the November election, Waldman said, the country was “beginning to have an understanding that the war on drugs was causing more problems than it was alleviating.” Now, she said, the national focus has changed. The new administration may not be as concerned with rethinking drug laws — or incarceration. But citizens also have a voice, as Waldman made clear.“We have a purpose,” she said, calling on her audience to get involved. “It is the lawyers who will save us.”last_img read more

Kyle Beltran & More Tapped for Gloria Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Gloria The production will feature scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costumes by Ilona Somogyi, lighting design by Matt Frey and sound design by Matt Tierney. Beltran made his Broadway debut in In the Heights and recently starred off-Broadway in The Fortress of Solitude. Serralles’ previous credits include Maple and Vine and Stunning on stage and Inside Llewyn Davis and Across the Universe on screen. Kim can be seen on Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle. Combs’ previous stage credits include Smokefall and The Edge of Our Bodies. Spahn appeared in He’s Way More Famous Than You, which he also co-wrote. Crane’s stage credits include Winter’s Tale and Manhattan Melody. Show Closed This production ended its run on July 18, 2015center_img The new play follows an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a famed Manhattan magazine—each hoping for a book deal before they turn 30. When an unexpected event shatters life as they’ve known it, the stakes for who will get to tell their story becomes higher than ever. Casting and dates are now set for the previously announced world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria. The off-Broadway production will feature Kyle Beltran, Jeanine Serralles, Jennifer Kim, Catherine Combs, Mike Crane and Ryan Spahn. Performances will begin at the Vineyard Theatre on May 28, with opening night set for June 15. Evan Cabnet will direct. View Commentslast_img read more

Watch Sweet Charity’s Sutton Foster Revamp Cats

first_imgSutton Foster Before Sutton Foster returns to the New York stage in off-Broadway’s already twice-extended Sweet Charity, this brass band has got some furry shoes to fill. The two-time Tony winner stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on September 27 to sit down with the late night host and give Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-touting classic Cats a very, erm, realistic spin. “Look how much I threw up while you were at work!” Foster proudly belts, decked out in full feline fashion. Watch the hilarity ensue below and catch Foster in Sweet Charity beginning on November 2! View Commentslast_img

Does NY’s cybersecurity regulation apply to your credit union?

first_img continue reading » With the recent ransomware attack demonstrating how vulnerable the world is to cyberattacks, I spent part of my weekend looking back over NY’s regulations and to whom they apply to. These regulations took effect in March, but there is a six month transition period, with some requirements being phased in over the next year.What follows is one man’s opinion and not a substitute for consultation with your own counsel and compliance team.NY’s regulations apply to “any person operating under or required to operate under a license, registration, charter, certificate, permit, accreditation or similar authorization under the Banking Law, the Insurance Law or the Financial Services Law.” This definition clearly applies to state chartered credit unions and CUSO incorporated or licensed in New York State, such as a mortgage banking or title insurance business.What if you have a federally chartered credit union that makes mortgage loans? Here is where people part ways with my analysis. Even though originators working for banks and credit unions are exempt from state licensing requirements under Section 12C of the banking law, they still must be registered with NYS as loan originators. (N.Y. Banking Law § 599-c(3)(a) (McKinney). On its face the regulation is broad enough to be triggered by this requirement. 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Looking for loans? There’s opportunity in every generation.

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bryn C. Conway Bryn C. Conway, offers more than 15 years of experience as a former credit union executive with extensive background in strategic planning, brand development, member experience, retail delivery and public … Web: https://www.bccstrategies.com Details When credit unions began, we were the original financial disruptors. Members would come to us to borrow money to finance cars and homes when traditional financial institution would not lend to them.Today, we often hear that credit unions aren’t relevant to younger generations and the struggle now, is to find ways to keep from becoming a savings club where growth is stagnant. To grow your loan portfolio, you need to lend successfully across the generations. The needs of each generation—Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964), Gen X (1965 – 1980), Millennials (1981 – 1996) and Gen Z (1997 and after) — are different and evolving. The key to success is to be relevant to each generation. Here are three things to consider when lending and marketing across the generations:Understand the behaviors and perceptions of each generation. The average age of credit union members across the United States is 48. It’s quite likely that the majority of your members consist of Baby Boomers, Gen X and some older Millennials. Look to your existing members and seek a deeper understanding of everything from cohort behaviors and perceptions, to what challenges each generation faced while coming of age and is facing today. This will help inform what lending products they want and need. A recent Wall Street Journal article, Playing Catch Up in the Game of Life, Millennials Approach Middle Age in Crisis, reports more than half the 72 million (the biggest of all generations) American Millennials are now in their 30s, with the oldest turning 39 this year. They are approaching middle age in worse financial shape than every other living generation. Millennials came of age in the Great Recession and borrowed heavily to get their education. Because of this, their financial perceptions, challenges and needs are quite different.  Looking at the next generation, what socio-economic factors are shaping the financial lives of Gen Z and how can your credit union influence their financial and lending perceptions as they come of age? Think about what challenges are facing your members who are Baby Boomers and Gen X and how can you provide loans that help.Not everyone wants to buy a car, but there is one generation that absolutely loves them! Gen Z has grown up with access to ride-sharing services, and are not interested in getting their driver’s license, let alone buying new cars. A J.D. Power report found that those who do buy a car, opt for a used one much more than prior generations. Conversely, Boomers came of age when owning a set of wheels meant freedom, independence and just plain coolness, forging a lifelong love affair with the car. The Baby Boomers’ affinity for the car is still going strong and will likely continue long into their retirements. Baby Boomers spend close to $90 billion a year on automobiles, 28% more than the younger generations combined. And the best news is that they are willing to borrow to drive those cars.Don’t assume that because they are older that Baby Boomers and Gen X have less lending demand than Millennials and Gen Z. Autos are just one example.  Boomers are sitting on an average $200,000 in home equity and Gen X buys the most expense homes of any generation. In addition, Gen X is entering the prime earning years of their careers and their median annual income is north of $100,000.  Both generations, Baby Boomers and Gen X alike, offer great potential for lending growth for years to come. Plus, they are the parents and grandparents of the younger generations and can likely be your ally in positioning your credit union as a viable lender.Deliver relevant messaging or get tuned out. Once you have a solid understanding of your membership, their behaviors and challenges, you can work on creating the right marketing message to appeal to each generation. We’ve all been in a conversation with someone from a different generation when we make a reference to something and it falls flat. Just the other day I was in a meeting and a manager made a reference to Green Acres, the TV show. A member of a younger generation asked, “Is that the new subdivision being built?” Funny, but you get the point. Your auto loan, credit card, mortgages and HELOCs all have their standard features and benefits. However, how you position that to each generation determines whether or not your message will be heard and understood. Baby Boomers are all about the experience. They have a desire to put their own stamp on the world and experience life to the fullest. Baby Boomers are buying the car for the adventures they can have while driving it, not the low rate of the loan. Whereas, Gen X is concerned with transparency. They don’t believe traditional promotional messages. Position a mortgage using the monthly payment or talk about options to put more money in their pocket. Millennials are very comfortable interacting with companies online and are also more likely to view companies using social media as trustworthy, rather than those using traditional means. For Millennials, get your products reviewed and encourage recommendations across all channels. And finally, for Gen Z, the generation that has never known a world without blazing fast internet, deliver your message, content and applications quickly. If you don’t, they will think something is wrong and move on.There is opportunity to grow your lending portfolio in every generation. As credit unions, let’s do what we do best—help members borrow in ways that are as unique and dynamic as the many generations we serve.last_img read more

CUNA launches coronavirus resource, information page

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA has launched a resource page for information and other materials on the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease as they become available. CUNA is closely following all developments and will update the page as necessary with business continuity recommendations and information about CUNA/CUNA Council conferences and events.At this time, CUNA has not cancelled or altered live conferences or events. CUNA is constantly monitoring and following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).As more updates and information become available, CUNA will communicate directly with registered attendees and membership at large. In the meantime, CUNA continues to work with venue partners to take every precaution, like adding extra hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer and additional signage as reminders of how best to prevent the spread of viruses.last_img read more

New-home sales rise slightly amid the coronavirus pandemic

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » New-home sales were up 0.6 percent from March’s revised rate of 619,000 annualized units to 623,000 units in April. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long noted that although uncertainty remains, “the housing market looks like it will hold up better than any other area of the economy this year.”“New home sales saw a surprising uptick in the middle of an economy battered by COVID-19, providing yet more evidence that if there is to be a strong recovery, it will be housing that leads the way,” Long noted in a  NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. “The Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s purchase loan index has already achieved year-ago levels, and Redfin is reporting robust search activity.”Sales were 6.2 percent lower compared to April 2019.The median new-home price, non-seasonally adjusted, decreased from $326,900 in March to $309,900 in April. Of note, April’s prices were down 8.6 percent from a year ago.last_img read more

Swiss had a pandemic stockpile of alcohol. They got rid of it in 2018

first_imgDaily Tages-Anzeiger reported that the stockpile of 8,000 tons to 10,000 tons of ethanol to make disinfectant in case of a pandemic was gotten rid of two years ago amid efforts to privatize the nation’s alcohol market.The decision has contributed to shortages of disinfectant products including hand sanitizers. As in many nations, the products vanished from Swiss store shelves weeks ago.Now private industry from distilleries to Swiss perfume producer Givaudan are cranking out the alcohol-based gels to try and meet consumer needs.“It cannot be the case that such an important raw material as alcohol is suddenly missing in a pandemic situation,” Swiss federal politician and Christian Democratic Party member, Alois Gmuer told Tages-Anzeiger. Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland’s penchant for preparing for emergencies has won it praise.During the Cold War, the Swiss government required family homes to have a bunker and instructed citizens to stockpile food. Even today, residents are counseled on what supplies they should have on hand to ride out a crisis at home.Yet as demand for alcohol used to make hand sanitizer has soared amid the crisis, Switzerland is facing a possible shortage after abandoning its ethanol reserves in 2018. “But unfortunately it fits into the picture: The federal government has obviously neglected crisis preparedness,” he said.The Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply, which is in charge of the stockpiles, didn’t immediately provide a comment to Bloomberg.A government spokeswoman told Tages-Anzeiger that after liberalizing the alcohol market in 2018, the government wanted to give industry participants time before discussing plans to renew stockpiles. Those discussions were supposed to take place this year but now the coronavirus has intervened.In the name of emergency preparedness, Switzerland has previously stockpiled essential products including tobacco and metal screws.Swiss caffeine addicts bristled when the government declared coffee stockpiles not compulsory in 2019.The government also holds supplies of antibiotics, vaccines, rice, insulin and heating oil.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia reports higher COVID-19 death rate among children than United States

first_img“That means that 145 of 16,007 infected children of the age group have died,” Ainun told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Read also: COVID-19 infections among children overshadow plans to reopen schoolsIn comparison, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Thursday that 0.02 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death, or 82 children had died from a total of 355,123 COVID-19 cases in children aged 0-17 years in the US.According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the US is still the world’s coronavirus epicenter with more than 6.1 million cases and 185,000 deaths, while Indonesia recorded more than 184,000 cases and 7,700 deaths.  In a separate statement issued on Monday, the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) noted that the country’s rate was higher than the rates in China and Italy, each of which stood below 0.1 percent, as well as Europe, where the rate was 0.3 percent.The percentage of child deaths per total COVID-19 deaths is also high in Indonesia. Children accounted for 1.9 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in which victims’ age were provided, which exceeded 7,000 on Thursday, official data show.Child deaths in the US, meanwhile, only accounted for 0.06 percent of 136,683 COVID-19 deaths, the CDC reported.IDAI chairman Aman Bhakti Pulungan said most of the child deaths in the country occurred because of late treatment and comorbidity factors.Aman said that, because COVID-19 symptoms may resemble those of other illnesses common among children, like diarrhea and pneumonia, and because of a lack of awareness, among other factors, such cases ended up being treated like other diseases.Read also: Grim picture as Indonesia enters sixth month of COVID-19 outbreakGiven the high share of children among COVID-19 fatalities in the country, concerns have been raised over the government’s plan to allow more schools in low-risk areas to reopen.“[The situation] is not yet safe for children to go back to school. Many schools are not ready with the health protocol, not to mention that many people are still not complying with the health protocol,” said Ainun.According to a Federation of Indonesian Teachers Associations (FSGI) survey published in June, around 53.4 percent of schools in 34 provinces across the country say they are not ready to resume face-to-face teaching due to a lack of infrastructure and funds.For the reopening, the Education and Culture Ministry requires that schools have clean toilets, handwashing facilities, disinfectant, infrared thermometers and access to health facilities.Schools are furthermore required to limit the number of students per classroom to 18, or roughly 50 percent of the normal capacity. Meanwhile, students have to adhere to physical distancing measures and wear masks.Topics : Indonesia is reportedly among the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rate among children, surpassing the United States, the world’s worst-hit country by the pandemic.  KawalCOVID-19, a volunteer group that independently records virus case numbers and deaths in Indonesia, recorded a case fatality rate (CFR) among children, or people aged 17 years and younger, was currently at 0.9 percent, or 45 times higher than in the United States, which was at 0.02 percent.The CFR is defined as the proportion of infections resulting in death. KawalCOVID-19 co-founder Ainun Najib said that, according to national COVID-19 task force data, the CFR among Indonesian children aged 0-17 years was 0.9 percent.last_img read more

Denmark’s ATP to continue as Nets shareholder following IPO

first_imgThe IPO is expected to consist of an issue of new shares to raise around DKK5.5bn, and a partial sale of existing shares by its current shareholders.ATP has a 5% stake, and private equity houses Advent International and Bain Capital have around 43.5% apiece.The rest of the equity is held by other co-investors and members of Nets management and staff.The IPO will form part of a debt restructuring, with the proceeds pooled with new bank borrowing and used to repay existing debt, the company said.Nets said it would announce the total offer size when it publishes a prospectus.ATP invested DKK3.6bn in Nets back in March 2014, as part of a joint venture with Advent International and Bain Capital to purchase Nets for DKK17bn.ATP’s investment consisted of DKK300m in equity and a loan of DKK3.3bn in the form of a high-yielding PIK (payment-in-kind) note — a type of mezzanine financing.A Danish newspaper has reported the yield on this loan to be 14%, but a spokesman for ATP said he could not confirm this.Nets was previously owned by more than 180 separate banks.Advent International also said it was pleased – “delighted” – with the progress Nets had made over the past two years.“When we made our initial investment, we envisioned a future listing when Nets was ready,” said James Brocklebank, a managing partner at the private equity firm and member of the Nets board of directors.“The company has exceeded its ambitious performance targets and done so faster than expected, so we are now executing on our plan,” he said.The Nets investment makes up nearly 4% of ATP’s DKK97bn return-seeking investment portfolio.ATP reported big profits from another of its large private equity investments last week, with its investment in DONG Energy boosting half-year returns on its investment portfolio to the tune of DKK2.9bn in the six-month period alone. Denmark’s statutory pension fund ATP intends to remain a shareholder in the Danish payments firm Nets following the IPO the firm has just announced, with the fund saying its investment in the company had made very good returns.  Carsten Stendevad, outgoing chief executive of the DKK800bn (€107bn) pension fund, said: “The transformation of Nets has exceeded our expectations by far and has been a very lucrative investment for our pensioners.“We look forward to supporting Nets in the next phase and we will continue as shareholders,” he said.Nets, which provides digital payment services and related technology in the Nordic region, announced yesterday it would launch an IPO (Initial Public Offering) of its shares and list on Nasdaq Copenhagen.last_img read more