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Last Thursday night in Miami the Knicks played a complete game from start to finish, without star and 27.5 PPG contributor Carmelo Anthony, and blew out defending Champion Miami Heat at United Airlines Arena 112-92, in what may have been their best regular season performance in the new millennium.  Since then, the Knickerbockers went toe to toe with the Bulls in Chicago and lost, and posted wins over Denver and NJ…um, “Brooklyn” that is, 2 games that have been labeled by some as a Carmelo revival tour of sorts.  Tuesday’s victory over New Jersey, as must a win as there can be in mid December, was made possible by Anthony’s 45 pts, and was delivered by a 3 pointer by new team leader Jason Kidd (shown above) in the final minute which was also the game’s final tally.

Prior to the South Beach business trip, the Knicks played a mostly lackluster game in Charlotte, looking ahead to the Heat, in all likelihood.  While Anthony put up 20 in the 1st half, he had zero field goals in the 2nd.  But his low output did not hinder his effort.  With only a few minutes to play, Anthony followed a loose ball into the Knicks’ bench, lacerating his finger, and causing him to miss the next two games.

Without Anthony on the floor for the final minutes in Charlotte, the Knicks capped the impressive comeback (8 down with 6 minutes to play) win with a 5 man unit consisting of Chandler, Novak, Smith, Felton, and Kidd.  Felton and Smith teamed for a huge steal in the final minute and swarming team D led to a 5 second violation for another key turnover, in part aided by a mental error by city product and NCAA champ Kemba Walker.  The pride of UConn failed to present himself on the inbounds pass, as he was the likely option on the throw in.  Felton scored with approximately a minute to go on a sweet drive, which gave the Knicks a 98-98 tie, and then JR Smith, after failing to go hard to the rim for a layup that would’ve won the ball game, instead called a TO and then promptly won it with a fall away from behind the elbow as time expired.

The Knicks performance last week, marked by strong defense and execution, have been hallmarks of the team this year–especially 2nd half defense–traits notably absent during Mike D’Antoni’s failed tenure, but traits once again associated with the Knicks under Mike Woodson, now 35-12 as HC of the NYK.  Another refreshing quality the Knicks now have in spades, which was noticeably absent during the D’Antoni era is effort, which, to a man, has improved under coach Woodson.

It couldn’t have hurt to have added so many serious veterans with winning predigees, like Rasheed Wallace and “rookie” Pablo Prigioni, who, in 13 minutes against the Heat, recorded 7 pts and 6 boards.  Prigioni has a serious nose for the ball via the steal and the long rebound, a perfect reserve on a club that shoots so many 3s (last night the Knicks made 14-28 3PFGAS).  Kidd has also shown a knack for loose balls and long rebounds, but to be honest, what hasn’t he shown a knack for since coming to NY’s real team?

Walt “Clyde” Frazier, who truly puts the color in color commentary, recently discussed Kidd’s impact on the Knicks this year.  In doing so, Clyde recalled Kidd led NJ teams that went to the finals, along with players like Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin, who ‘have been practically nothing without him.’  It’s easy to understand why Kidd’s departure so enraged Dallas owner Mark Cuban.  In fact, we were even apoplectic that Kidd was out for the 1st game the Knicks played against the Nets in Brooklyn.  Something tells us the Knicks finish that business off with Kidd on the floor to steady and martial the troops.  We’re pretty certain that Knicks point guard Ray Felton would be the first guy to cite Kidd’s impact, as Felton is enjoying a career season with Kidd as his 2.

In that game against Miami, Felton made 6 3s, led the team with 27 points, and turned it over only 3 times, and only once through 3 quarters.  Felton’s play against Miami prompted one local beat man (props to Steve Popper) to Tweet, “Feltonsanity.”  Too bad Jeremy Lin didn’t stick around, as he would have greatly benefitted from Kidd’s tutelage, as opposed to Houston, where he shares the ball handling duties with, wait for it…Toney Douglass.  Oh, the hand of fate!

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/jeremy-lin-duplicitous-twerp-scumbag-liar/

Even if Kidd is not showing up on the score sheet, his contributions are great. In Miami, Kidd was a staggering +31 in his minutes.  Kidd has taken charge of most huddles and is perfectly suited to, for what player on the Knicks or in the league anywhere, for that matter, would not defer to Kidd’s wisdom in a crunch situation?  When JR Smith failed to go in for that layup to beat the Bobcats, Kidd was visibly irate with Smith, but then appeared to instruct Smith to shake off the play.  So Smith went out and made the buzzer beater, all net, no rim, splash.

Having 2 point guards on the floor, one being Kidd, has manifested itself in another winning attribute: TO ratio.  This year the Knicks have a +5.5 TO margin, which, at the moment is not only tops in the league but is also on pace for an NBA team record.

Back to the +/- stat for a moment, a stat which is also distinguishing the Knicks as an elite regular season team.  The Knicks 5 man unit of Chandler, Novak, Smith, Felton, and Kidd is the top +/- group in the NBA. The 4 man unit of Chandler, Felton, Novak, Kidd is the top foursome in the league, and the 3 man unit of Novak, Felton, and Kidd is the top 3 man unit, at a staggering +19 avg.

Novak has been worth every penny of his 20+M/4 yr deal so far.  Even last night, when he recorded zero points, he was a +12 in his minutes, which indicates that he plays sound ball regardless of his stroke and scoring numbers.

As presently constituted, the Knicks sit atop the Atlantic at 16-5.  They should be wired on Thursday when they play the Lakers, a struggling team, now coached by Knicks’ castoff Mike D’Antoni, a questionable hire, especially considering that Phil Jackson was set to return to LA when D’Antoni agreed to take his woe is me act to SoCal.  Only time will tell as to D’Antoni’s success in LA, though not only aren’t we counting on it, but we’re actively rooting against it.  The Knicks would be wise to jump all over LA at MSG, where Kobe usually puts up immense numbers.

The Knicks should be further buoyed by the imminent return of Amar’e Stoudemire, who looks to be in great shape right now, and who is expected back around Christmas.  And when Iman Shumpert returns, hopefully in January, the Knicks will have the defensive presence to throw at quick guards like Rondo and Deron Williams, which should further boost the play of Raymond Felton, an absolute bargain at 3M per, and taken with Kidd’s approximate 3M salary, the winning pair come in at the same approximate salary as former Knicks’ savior Jeremy Lin.

KNICKERBOCKERS!!!!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Mike “The Wizard” Dunlap (above), who has coached St. John’s to two wins this year in place of Steve Lavin, most recently on Tuesday evening.

Tough week for the Johnnies on the court with back to back losses to Arizona and Texas A & M, two ranked teams, at MSG.  At least the Johnnies were in both games, especially the A & M game, which they lost 58-57.  In truth, we expected a loss to Sean Miller’s Arizona squad, one of the premiere outfits in the land.  We thought St. John’s played pretty well against AZ, despite the loss.  We’d have love love loved a win on Sunday though, but we understand the young lads will take their lumps early, with all the freshmen and two important sophomores just coming together, an ongoing process.

The team you see now is not the team you will see in January.  So we are not worried at all about losses to good teams, not even at MSG.  But we are worried about coach.  Very disturbing that Steve Lavin didn’t coach the team in Tuesday night’s win over St. Francis at Carneseccsa.  Three hours before game time, Lavin informed the school and the team that he would not be able to coach, ceding the bench to Mike Dunlap in the 63-48 win.  We aren’t concerned about anything–not Jakarr Sampson, not the Big East falling apart, not Ricardo Gathers de-commit–except for Lavin’s health.  Lavin could recruit eskimos in Hawaii, without health concerns.  Predictably, St. John’s was murky when side stepping the issue of Lavin’s availability to the press, after the victory.  So is the coach tired from a 2 day recruiting trip, or did he embark on one right after the game?  ESPN and the NYDN issued conflicting reports, but in truth, The News’ version sounds more likely, that Lavin had been recruiting all day Monday and Tuesday, namely, re-recruiting lights out prospect Jakarr Sampson, and will likely spend the holiday hunkered down with family.

St. Francis was a nice win, with another big game from Maurice Harkless, and from D’Angelo Harrison, who had 21 points and shot 4 out of 5 from deep, decidedly not looking like the kid who can’t shoot straight, against albeit lesser competition.  We’ll take another built in win on Sunday, or what should be, home against Northeastern, before next Thursday’s tilt in Lexington, which is likely a loss.  An interesting matchup at Detroit follows that one, before the hotly awaited Fordham rematch, this year at the Garden, on December 17th.

Frankly, we don’t care too much about how these games shake out, except that one.  Beating Fordham is an absolute must.  And getting Coach Lavin back in a full capacity.  No one could’ve liked that Gathers, when de-committing, mentioned the uncertainty concerning Lavin’s health, which obviously exists.  Lavin will no doubt recruit an army to St. John’s, Sampson and Gathers not withstanding, but this will happen only if Lavin is perceived to be healthy.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

 
Support Maps
MAPS’ mission is to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief, such as PTSD & anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, by developing psychedelics & marijuana into prescription medicines.
Federal Agencies Say Yes to Psychedelic Studies,
No to Medical Marijuana: MAPS E-Mail Newsletter
October 24, 2011

Dear [xxxx],
Welcome to the October 2011 edition of the MAPS E-mail Newsletter.I have a lot to share with you this month, from original studies and research results to upcoming events and some fascinating new documentaries about psychedelic science and medicine. Read on to learn what’s new in the MAPS Storeand discover how MAPS supporters are making the psychedelic renaissance possible.

Donate Make a Contribution

There’s good news and bad news, but even the bad news these days is opening up doors rather than closing them.

In August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration upheld the federal monopoly on marijuana for research by denying University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor Lyle Craker, Ph.D., a license to start his own medical marijuana facility.

On September 16, we saw why the federal monopoly needs to end when the Department of Health and Human Services rejected our planned, FDA-reviewed study of marijuana for 50 veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and refused to sell us the marijuana we require for the study.

In response, we’re taking the DEA to federal court and doing everything we can to remind the public what can happen when science is silenced by politics: studies don’t get started, medicines don’t get made, and patients don’t get treated.

Public support is building fast for psychedelic and medical marijuana research. The Washington Post, The Guardian, Salon, The Huffington Post, and other major media have reported on our international MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program and the government’s medical marijuana research blockade.

In just six weeks, you’ll have a chance to join the leaders in psychedelic and medical marijuana research, therapy, and activism at Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th anniversary conference and celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area. There has never before been a better chance to connect with the multidisciplinary psychedelic research community and to discover what’s in store for the next 25 years.

Opportunities are everywhere. Please join me in doing everything we can to make our shared dreams a reality: donate today.

 
In gratitude,

Brad Burge, M.A.
MAPS Director of Communications

MDMA Research News:

  1. US Veterans MDMA/PTSD Study Continues Treating Subjects
  2. New MDMA/PTSD Training Videos Under Development
  3. Mithoefers to Lead MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Workshop at 25th Anniversary Conference
  4. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol
  5. Israeli MDMA/PTSD Study Initiated
  6. Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study Final Report Submitted to SwissMedic
  7. Health Canada Schedules Follow-Up Pharmacy Inspection for MDMA/PTSD Study

More Research News:

  1. NIDA Rejects Marijuana Protocol, Blocking FDA-Approved Research for Vets with PTSD
  2. Last Two-Month Follow-Up Completed in Swiss Study of LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for End-of-Life Anxiety
  3. Canadian Study Explores Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Addiction and Dependence
  4. MAPS Hungary Publishes Report on European Ayahuasca Research Symposium
  5. Observational Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction Enrolls Final Subject
  6. Clinical Team Prepares Protocol for New Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction in New Zealand
  7. Autism Protocol Development: MAPS Releases Request for Proposals (RFP)

Events:

  1. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA
  2. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA
  3. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA

Media:

  1. Washington Post Makes Federal Marijuana Research Blockade National News
  2. Public Support Builds for MAPS’ International Psychedelic Research
  3. Mind Body Health & Politics Radio Show Hosts Psychedelic Medicine Series
  4. DMT: The Spirit Molecule Now Available on Video
  5. Dirty Pictures Documentary Looks at the Genesis of MDMA
  6. Yarindin Documentary Explores Trauma, Combat, and Psychedelic Healing

Fundraising News:

  1. MAPS Celebrates Recent Fundraising Successes

New in the MAPS Store:

  1. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios: 45 Years with Shamans, Ayahuasqueros, and Ethnobotanists
  2. The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning

More News:

  1. Donate an Item to MAPS’ 25th Anniversary Adventure Auction
  2. International Ayahuasca Researchers to Meet at Cartographie Psychedelica
  3. A Deck of Medicine: Stormrider Calling Cards by Requa Greer Tolbert
  4. MAPS Welcomes New Staff to the Office

MDMA Research News1. US Veterans MDMA/PTSD Study Continues Treating SubjectsAs of October 21, 2011, our ongoing Phase 2 study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD has enrolled five out of 16 subjects. Three subjects have started the long-term follow-up portion of the study, and two are still in treatment. Two additional veterans have passed in-person screening, involving thorough assessments of PTSD severity and medical eligibility, with their treatment sessions soon to be scheduled. One subject has chosen to discontinue treatment after just one experimental MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session, reporting being cured and needing no further sessions.

2. New MDMA/PTSD Training Videos Under Development

Two essential parts of conducting methodologically rigorous and state-of-the-art MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research are standardizing the method of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy itself and the method by which data is collected about subjects’ PTSD symptoms. We have standardized our treatment in our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment manual and related adherence criteria. Having a consistent, reliable way to measure PTSD symptoms at baseline and over time during and after treatment is also essential.

MAPS has recently completed the development of a training manual for independent raters who conduct the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) interviews in our international series of Phase 2 MDMA/PTSD pilot studies. The CAPS is the primary measure used by clinicians and therapists worldwide for evaluating the severity of PTSD symptoms, and is the principle measure we use to assess the effectiveness of our treatment method.

The CAPS training manual will be supplemented by video tutorials of CAPS interviews, drawn from actual recordings of interviews with subjects enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in veterans of war. By building on the training materials provided by the U.S. Veterans Administration, creating Hebrew and Arabic versions of the CAPS through rigorous double back translation methods, and providing a uniform set of training tools for independent raters, we will be able to standardize how the CAPS is administered across study sites. This is a necessary step before moving on to the larger Phase 3 studies required for federal approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legal treatment for PTSD.

3. Mithoefers to Lead MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Workshop at 25th Anniversary Conference

Lead study investigators and co-therapists Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., will conduct an all-day pre-conference workshop on Friday, December 9, as part of our 25th anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica conference and celebration. “The Principles of Psychedelic Therapy: Lessons from Clinical MDMA Research” will examine past and current research into psychedelic therapy, specifically focusing on recent findings from our ongoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program.

4. DEA Approves US MDMA/PTSD Relapse Study Protocol

In early November, the official study initiation will take place for our new “relapse study” of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Previously, on September 14, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notified MAPS that it had approved the Schedule 1 licenses required to transport, store, and administer the MDMA for the study. The FDA cleared the protocol on May 24 and an Institutional Review Board on June 9. With all necessary clearances, we will begin enrolling subjects in November.

This study, which will take place in Charleston, SC, is limited to up to three subjects whose PTSD symptoms returned years after participating in our flagship Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. It will attempt to determine whether a single additional open-label MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session along with several non-drug psychotherapy sessions can be effective for once again enabling these subjects to be free of a diagnosis of PTSD.

5. Israeli MDMA/PTSD Study Initiated

On October 12, 2011, the new Independent Rater in MAPS’ Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD began working on the training videos that we have created to standardize how the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale is administered across all of our treatment sites. This CAPS training is the last major element to complete before we can start enrolling and treating subjects. The official study initiation took place on July 24, when representatives from Antaea Medical Services, Ltd., the clinical research organization assisting MAPS with managing our Middle East studies, visited the site to finalize documents and provide training to the study staff. The study has all necessary clearances from Israeli regulatory bodies, including the Israeli Ministry of Health and an independent Ethics Committee. We have also submitted the protocol to the U.S. FDA, which is required because we are conducting the study under a U.S. Investigational New Drug application. The Israeli Defense Forces are already prepared to begin referring Israelis with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD once we are ready to enroll subjects, probably before 2012.

6. Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study Final Report Submitted to SwissMedic

On October 14, 2011, MAPS’ clinical research team submitted the final clinical study report for our recently completed Phase 2 Swiss study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD to SwissMedic, the Swiss equivalent of the U.S. FDA. SwissMedic confirmed that the report had been received on October 18. The report, authored by MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., and MAPS Research and Information Specialist Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., is required under International Council on Harmonization/Good Clinical Practice (ICH/GCP) and FDA regulations. The report contains information about the study protocol, information about the conduct of the study, and all study data in both raw and analyzed formats. The study team is now preparing the results for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

A statistical analysis of the results reveals clinically significant decreases in scores on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), with an average reduction of 15.6 points. Due to the small number of subjects in this small pilot study, however, these decreases did not reach statistical significance. We did, however, observe trends toward statistical significance in both the CAPS and the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), the two measures used to evaluate symptom severity in study subjects.

7. Health Canada Schedules Follow-Up Pharmacy Inspection for MDMA/PTSD Study

On October 18, 2011, Health Canada conducted a follow-up inspection of the pharmacy for our planned Phase 2 Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. We expect that Health Canada will report on the results of this inspection within four to six weeks. Frustratingly, even though we followed Health Canada’s exact written requirements, the requirements have now changed and additional security measures may be needed. This will delay the start of the study for several additional months. The pharmacy inspection is required under Canadian regulations to ensure that the facility used to store and label the MDMA to be used in the study is adequately secure, and that the proper accountability procedures are in place. Once we obtain clearance from Health Canada we will be able to import the MDMA for the study into Canada from Switzerland.

The lead investigator for this study, Ingrid Pacey, M.D., will speak on the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research Panel at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

More Research News

8. NIDA Rejects Marijuana Protocol, Blocking FDA-Approved Research for Vets with PTSD

On September 16, 2011, after a delay of four and a half months, the US Department of Health and Human Services informed MAPS that the five reviewers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse/Public Health Service had unanimously rejected our planned study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD as currently designed. According to MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., the reviewers offered contradictory critiques, misunderstood key protocol design elements, requested expensive and tangential additions to the protocol, and made unfounded assumptions about the study design, revealing their focus on basic science research and lack of familiarity with drug development research. The reviewers also treated the submission as if MAPS were requesting a government grant for the study rather than using private funds. Even if NIDA does eventually agree to sell MAPS the marijuana, getting to that point will take extensive, time-consuming, and costly negotiations—while veterans continue to suffer.

For a concise summary of the HHS review, see the September 16 HHS cover letter. For MAPS’ detailed, point-by-point response to the HHS review, see the annotated reviewer comments.

Download MAPS’ official press release announcing the HHS rejection.

9. Last Two-Month Follow-Up Completed in Swiss Study of LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for End-of-Life Anxiety

By October 21, 2011, five out of 12 subjects have completed the long-term follow-up portion of our Swiss study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness. These long-term follow-ups take place at least 10 months following subjects’ final treatment sessions. The last two-month follow-up visit was completed on July 26, 2011. This concludes the data collection portion of the first clinical LSD study in over 35 years. The results from the treatment period of the study are now being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The clinical team is now collecting long-term follow-up data in the form of additional interviews and psychiatric measures from subjects who have completed treatment, 10 or more months after their final treatment session. Five out of 12 subjects have now completed the long-term follow-up portion of the study. Once this data has been collected, the clinical team will prepare the final report for submission to SwissMedic and the U.S. FDA, and will submit the results for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Principal Investigator Peter Gasser, M.D., will be giving a lecture and answering questions about LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

10. Canadian Study Explores Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Addiction and Dependence

On September 23, 2011, the final treatment session (consisting of a five-day therapeutic retreat) took place in MAPS Canada’s observational study of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for individuals suffering from addiction and dependence. The research team has now recruited and is following up with 15 study subjects that have been treated. This study is taking place in British Columbia, and is overseen by MAPS Canada Board Member Philippe Lucas, M.A., with Principal Investigator Gerald Thomas, Ph.D., Rielle Capler, M.H.A., and Kenneth Tupper, Ph.D. Combining Western psychotherapeutic techniques with South American shamanic (Vegetalista) healing practices, this study is gathering preliminary evidence about the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted therapy. Treatment consists of participation in a five-day retreat (facilitated by Gabor Maté, M.D.) including ayahuasca-assisted therapy, which may help reduce problematic substance use as well as addictions, compulsive behavior, and self-harming thought patterns. The study is being conducted in cooperation with a British Columbia First Nations band.

Philippe Lucas, M.A., will speak on ayahuasca research for addiction, and Lucas and Kenneth Tupper, Ph.D., will help lead the all-day “Ayahuasca Healing: Medical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations” workshop at our 25th anniversary conference this December.

11. MAPS Hungary Publishes Report on European Ayahuasca Research Symposium

On October 15, 2011, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Hungary (MAPS Hungary) completed a report on the European Ayahuasca Research Symposium (EARS), a half-day seminar co-sponsored by Stichting OPEN and MAPS which took place in April 2011 at the University of Amsterdam. Over 300 people were in attendance. The Symposium brought together researchers from across Europe who over the last few years have been studying ayahuasca and DMT within the disciplines of anthropology, neuroscience, psychology, and religious studies. The next morning, other European ayahuasca scholars joined presenters from the seminar for a closed-door researcher workgroup intended to stimulate future ayahuasca research and possible collaborations in Europe. The workgroup succeeded in building a shared knowledge base of ongoing and planned ayahuasca research, in facilitating discussions on methodology and obtaining institutional approvals for research, and in developing personal and professional contacts among the few ayahuasca researchers currently based in Europe. The short report shares some of the highlights of the workgroup.

12. Observational Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction Enrolls Final Subject

The 30th and final subject was enrolled in our ongoing observational study of ibogaine treatment for addiction on August 29, 2011. This final subject has completed treatment at an independent ibogaine clinic in Mexico and will be evaluated for addiction and quality of life for 12 months. As of October 20, 2011, 28 subjects have completed their three-month follow-up interviews, and 20 have completed the six-month follow-up interviews. Given the increasing numbers of people around the world seeking ibogaine treatment for drug addiction, this study aims to gather evidence about the safety and effectiveness of the treatment and to compare different approaches to that treatment.

Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., the lead investigator for the study, will be speaking about the goals and progress of MAPS’ ibogaine research program on Saturday, December 10 at Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th anniversary conference in Oakland, CA.

13. Clinical Team Prepares Protocol for New Study of Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction in New Zealand

On October 17, 2011, the lead investigators for MAPS’ ibogaine research program held a conference call to discuss the next steps for our new observational study of ibogaine treatment for addiction in New Zealand. Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., who leads our U.S.-based study of independent ibogaine clinics in Mexico, and Geoff Noller, Ph.D., who will lead the new study, shared perspectives and lessons from ibogaine therapy research in order to guide the development of the new study protocol. The new study will take place at an independent ibogaine clinic in New Zealand, and will examine the safety and long-term effectiveness of ibogaine treatment for addiction severity and quality of life in 20 to 30 patients. The clinical team will submit the protocol and other documents to the Ethics Committee by the end of October.

Since this will be an observational study (as opposed to clinical) the protocol does not need to pass through an additional review process, meaning that we can begin enrolling subjects as soon as the study clears the Ethics Committee. Data from this study and our ongoing study of Mexican ibogaine treatment centers may be used to make a case for a possible future clinical study (see our original ibogaine Request for Proposals).

14. Autism Protocol Development: MAPS Releases Request for Proposals (RFP)

MAPS is offering a grant of $10,000 for protocol development expenses for a pilot study of MDMA for the treatment of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. We have prepared a Request for Proposals (RFP) for U.S.-based researchers. One of the factors that we’ll look for in selecting a research team is whether they would also have a chance of obtaining funds for research from other grant agencies (autism research is currently a well-funded field). At present, we do not have the funds for the study itself but we do have funds for protocol development. Once we have a completed protocol, we can develop a budget and a fundraising plan. MAPS itself would be in a much better position to raise funds for a study with a completed protocol from a qualified research team.

To facilitate the protocol development process, MAPS has collected numerous anecdotal reports from individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have used MDMA or Ecstasy. Many of these accounts are from people who considered MDMA to be helpful. If you or someone you know has heard of MDMA having either positive or negative effects on symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders or Asperger’s syndrome, please contact MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., at berra@maps.org.

Events

15. Cartographie Psychedelica: December 8-12, Oakland, CA

16. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 2-5, Los Angeles, CA

17. Spirituality & Psychology Conference: February 17-19, 2012, Atherton, CA

Media

18. Washington Post Makes Federal Marijuana Research Blockade National News

On October 1, 2011, the Washington Post continued the trend of positive media coverage with an exposé about the federal government’s refusal to sell us marijuana for the planned study (“Marijuana study of traumatized vets stuck in regulatory limbo”, October 1, 2011). See MAPS’ official press release for more about the federal obstruction of medical marijuana research, and learn why MAPS is taking the DEA to federal court.

The exposé was followed two weeks later by a persuasive Washington Post op-ed condemning the federal government’s ongoing refusal to allow legitimate, necessary medical marijuana research from moving forward (“Marijuana may help PTSD. Why won’t the government find out for sure?” October 14, 2011).

Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project writes: “It is time for government officials to take this nation’s veterans off the medical marijuana battlefield. NIDA should grant the researchers’ request to purchase marijuana and allow the FDA-approved study of veterans to move forward. These brave men and women don’t have decades to wait for relief.”

19. Public Support Builds for MAPS’ International Psychedelic Research

On September 30, 2011, The Guardian reported on a possible new MAPS-sponsored study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to take place in the UK (“Ecstasy trial planned to test benefits for trauma victims”, September 30, 2011). MAPS, together with psychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa, are considering submitting a grant proposal to a major UK foundation for the study. If it receives funding and regulatory approval, the study would be the first of its kind in the UK. The article concludes with Dr. Nutt’s observation that more cautious UK media such as The Daily Mail would not welcome the news, a recent positive article in that same publication clearly shows that times are changing. As The Guardian article points out, MAPS’ research on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD “has caused some in the scientific community to think what was until recently unthinkable.”

Additional coverage of MAPS’ possible UK study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD also appeared in The Herald Sun, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Hindustan Times, and The Times of India.

A long and in-depth article on Salon.com also shed light on the wide-open field of medical psychedelic research, focusing primarily on recent and ongoing studies at NYU and Johns Hopkins. You may also remember that last year, the influential medical journal The Lancet Oncology noted that the growing support for psychedelic and (in public opinion if not government policy) medical cannabis research is part of a larger pattern involving “the increased willingness of researchers and regulatory bodies to look beyond stigma, and take a more rational approach to the controlled medical use of compounds that are more often linked with the war on drugs.”

For more snapshots of how MAPS is helping change how the world sees psychedelics and medical marijuana, visit MAPS in the Media.

20. Mind Body Health & Politics Radio Show Hosts Psychedelic Medicine Series

“Mind Body Health & Politics” with Dr. Richard Miller is hosting a series on Psychedelic Medicine, featuring personal interviews with scientists and thinkers in psychedelic and medical marijuana research. “Mind Body Health & Politics” airs the first and third Tuesday of the month at 9 AM on National Public Radio affiliate KZYX FM (Mendocino County Public Radio). You can also listen live online at mindbodyhealthpolitics.org.

Past Shows:

  • Psychedelic Medicine I: Ethnobotany with Dennis McKenna
    Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., has conducted research in ethnopharmacology for over 30 years. He currently teaches at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. Listen to Dr. Miller and Dr. McKenna discuss enthnobotany and pharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he. Broadcasted September 20, 2011 (mp3).
  • Psychedelic Medicine II: The Historic MDMA study
    Dr. Miller and MAPS researchers Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Ann Mithoefer, B.S.N., discuss their FDA-approved clinical trials of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a therapeutic tool to assist psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preliminary studies have shown that MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy can help people overcome PTSD, and possibly other disorders as well. MDMA has “empathogenic” effects, meaning that it increases feelings of trust and compassion towards others. Broadcasted October 4, 2011 (mp3).
  • Psychedelic Medicine III: The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
    Jim Fadiman, Ph.D. discusses his new book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys (available in the MAPS Store). Dr. Fadiman is one of the foremost pioneers of scientific research of the potential of psychedelic substances for therapy, self-discovery, spiritual quests and creative problem solving, has written an invaluable guide for safe and productive sessions. Broadcasted October 18th, 2011 (mp3).

Upcoming Shows:

  • November 1: Mark Blumenthal , Ph.D., founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council.
  • November 15: Dave Nichols, Ph.D., pharmacologist, medicinal chemist, founding president of the Heffter Research Institute, and one of the world’s leading experts on psychedelics.
  • November 29: Charles Grob, M.D., psychiatrist, psilocybin researcher, and conductor of the first government-approved study of MDMA in humans.

The mission of “Mind Body Health and Politics” is to enhance health, provoke thought, expand consciousness, and encourage mental health.21. DMT: The Spirit Molecule Now Available on Video

The highly anticipated documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule was released on October 1, 2011 through Warner Bros. and Gravitas Ventures. The film explores psychedelic ecology, the cultural history of psychedelics, shamanism and ayahuasca, psychedelic research, the effects of psychedelics, spirituality, consciousness, and much more. By remixing current research, thoughts, and theories about psychedelic tools the film helps create a new paradigm for consciousness.

To support the release, the filmmakers created the DMTrmx Project, which utilizes the entire media library (over 100 hours of interviews, 30 hours of footage from the Peruvian Amazon, one hour of VFX, original music, and sound files). Their goal is to enhance the cultural dialogue about psychedelic research by offering the content via a non-commercial Creative Commons license, and making it available for viewing and/or downloading from YouTube and a soon-to-be-launched standalone site (www.DMTrmx.com).

Check out this amazing film, and share it with friends, colleagues, and family members. Both the documentary and the DMTrmx Project aim to have a positive influence on the psychedelic narrative. The film can be seen on iTunes, and a variety of other platforms.

22. Dirty Pictures Documentary Looks at the Genesis of MDMA

A festival hit since its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival, Dirty Pictures is a look inside the creation of psychedelics and the mind that made it all possible. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds—including MDMA. Considered to be one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century, Dr. Shulgin’s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research, making him a subject of fascination and controversy among fellow scientists and a folk hero to recreational users of psychedelics.

Dirty Pictures uncovers the lifework of Dr. Shulgin and takes viewers inside his Northern California home where he lives with his wife of 40 years and continues to carry out experiments in a makeshift laboratory. Director Étienne Sauret likewise delves into the broader world of psychedelic research—where the fields of chemistry, neuroscience and philosophy intersect—and investigates whether or not this particular field could aid in solving the deepest mysteries of the human mind. For more information on Dirty Pictures, including screeners, final DVDs or interviews with the director and cast, please contact Justin@bgpics.com. Use promotion code “dirty” for a special discount on the DVD.

23.Yarindin Documentary Explores Trauma, Combat, and Psychedelic Healing

Yarindin is a feature-length documentary of combat, love, and the healing journey. It will capture the drama of a band of brothers and sisters who fought together on the fields of battle and now fight to heal together in the fields of the soul, blessed by the beauty of nature and the healing magic of indigenous medicine. Yarindin is the story of a group of veterans ravaged by war who journey to South America for initiation into the indigenous plant medicine of the Amazon. To manifest his vision, ayahuasquero and sound healer Dr. Richard Grossman teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Mark Schwartz. They are currently raising funds for recruiting six to eight traumatized veterans, bringing them to the jungle of Peru for three weeks of ceremonies in late spring of 2012, and documenting the process before, during, and after their journey. The hope is to tell a story so compelling it will touch hearts and minds on a wide scale. Watch the video demo and discover more about this film.

Fundraising News

24. MAPS Celebrates Recent Fundraising Successes

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies would like to publicly thank all of those who continue to support us in our ongoing work. As psychedelic research expands and more opportunities emerge for medical marijuana, acquiring the financial resources to conduct our work becomes more important than ever. Whether you’ve purchased a book from the store, signed up for a monthly membership, attended a MAPS event, or made a one-time contribution, we—and the countless people who could benefit from these medicines—sincerely thank you.

We especially want to highlight the courage and commitment of the following individuals and foundations:

  • Joseph Kolb for personally contributing $1,000, of which $500 was matched by his employer Xinet for a combined total of $1500.
  • Gerald Gaines and the Compassion First Caregiver Circle of Phoenix, AZ, for a $10,000 grant for our continued work on the protocol review and approval process for our planned study of marijuana for 50 veterans with PTSD.
  • Matt and Kristi Bowden of Stargate International for a $25,000 donation for our upcoming “intern study” of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
  • Riverstyx Foundation for $50,000 of unrestricted funds for MAPS’ research and educational projects.
  • The Mental Insight Foundation for $60,000 to be used for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in U.S. veterans.
  • Adam Wiggins for $100,000 of unrestricted funds for MAPS’ research and educational projects.

If you would like to help MAPS develop safe and legal contexts for the therapeutic use of psychedelics and marijuana, please make a donation. Visit our Funding Prioritiespage to learn more about our specific projects and how your gift will be used.New in the MAPS Store

25. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios: 45 Years with Shamans, Ayahuasqueros, and Ethnobotanists

This book is a look inside almost half a century of pioneering research in the Amazon and Peru by a noted anthropologist of ayahuasca and other psychedelics. Marlene Dobkin de Rios reveals how ayahuasca can be used to successfully treat psychological and emotional disorders through a cross-cultural examination of adolescent drug use and a discussion of the harmful effects of drug tourism in the Amazon. Although late Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes was credited in the early 1950s as being the first to document the use of ayahuasca, other researchers, including Dobkin de Rios, were responsible for furthering his findings and uncovering the curative capabilities of this fascinating compound. The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios presents the accumulated experience of the author’s 45 years of pioneering field studies in the area of psychedelics in Peru and the Amazon. All proceeds help fund MAPS’ psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

26. The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning

In The Psilocybin Solution, Simon G. Powell traces the history of the psilocybin mushroom and discusses the shamanic visionary effects it can induce. Detailing how psilocybin acts as a profound enhancer of consciousness and reviewing the research performed by MAPS, Johns Hopkins University, and the Heffter Research Institute on psilocybin’s beneficial effects on anxiety in the terminally ill and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Powell examines the neurochemistry, psychology, and spirituality underlying the psilocybin experience, revealing the interface where physical brain and conscious mind meet. All proceeds help fund MAPS’ psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

More News

27. Donate an Item to MAPS’ 25th Anniversary Adventure Auction

The Kaleidoscope Vault will take place on December 9 as part of Cartographie Psychedelica [[LINK http://www.maps.org/conferences/25/%5D%5D, our 25th anniversary benefit conference and celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are making an official call for in-kind donations of vacation and timeshare rentals, rare psychedelic memorabilia and collector’s items, gift certificates for local services, and anything else our networks can offer in support. We’re especially seeking experiences, such as travel and adventure activities, that can be auctioned off—especially those related to MAPS’ mission and vision (legal, of course). If you have something that you’d like to offer MAPS to auction off to our supporters, please fill out the auction item donation form. If you have questions, please contact MAPS Store Manager Brian Brown at brown@maps.org.

28. International Ayahuasca Researchers to Meet at Cartographie Psychedelica

Philippe Lucas, M.A., Research Affiliate at the Center for Addictions Research of British Colombia and member of the MAPS Canada board of directors; Brian Anderson, M.D. Candidate at the Stanford University School of Medicine; and Bia Labate, Ph.D., Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University, are privileged to organize a meeting and dialogue of international ayahuasca researchers as a adjunct to the upcoming MAPS conference in Oakland. The meeting will take place at the conference site (Oakland Marriott City Center) on Sunday, December 11, from 2:30 – 4:30 PM, and is free but will be exclusive to ayahuasca academics. Participants will be invited to share current projects, successes, and challenges, and to discuss the present and the future of the international ayahuasca research. To sign up for the Ayahuasca Researcher Dialogue, please e-mail Philippe Lucas at philippe.lucas1969@gmail.com to express your interest. Learn more about the full-day ayahuasca research workshop (“Ayahuasca Healing: Medical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations”) taking place on December 12 as part of Cartographie Psychedelica.

29. A Deck of Medicine: Stormrider Calling Cards by Requa Greer Tolbert

Medicine artist Requa Greer Tolbert, with the support of the Women’s Visionary Council, has had her deck of medicine cards reproduced and made available for purchase. The deck was first assembled in 1995 for a Day of the Dead shrine, after years of pioneering research with husband George Greer, M.D., on the therapeutic and spiritual uses of MDMA and ketamine. Having suffered from poor health for a year, the production of the cards have had a profound influence on Mrs. Tolbert’s healing process, as she used the images and poetry they contain to come to a deeper understanding the healing power of these ancient substances, used for millennia in shamanic contexts. Each set of cards includes a book of essays that further address the lore, natural history, and imagery of each card is also available online.

30. MAPS Welcomes New Staff to the Office

We are proud to have Virginia Wright join MAPS as our new Director of Marketing & Development. We also welcome Tess Goodwin as our new Membership & Sales Assistant, as well as our new Receptionist Shannon Clare. Shannon values curiosity, communication, and creating community. After majoring in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, this life-long student is now training in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). Her favorite activities include backpacking, tango, re-evaluation counseling, and gardening. In addition to her role as Receptionist, Shannon assists the Deputy Director and helps manage the office environment.

Rafael Nadal (above), who will be sunning and swimming rather than participating in Davis Cup today.

Months back when we mused about the tie that begins today in Austin, Texas between USA and Spain, we predicted that Nadal would ask out, or that he’d be tired from a long season, and either way, would bolster the chances of Courier’s kids in their second tie under the 4 time major champion and 2 time Davis Cup champion.  We also predicted that the match would be played on a very fast track, which would also enhance the USA’s chances.  Everything about the scheduling, it would seem, has come to benefit the stars and stripes, at least in the pre-tie workups.  The selection of Austin as site by the American team was extremely fortuitous, especially if Andy Roddick was on the fence about playing.  Austin is Roddick’s primary home base and is where the Roddick developmental school is located.  A stand-up guy like Roddick would be hard pressed to skip an event like this in his own backyard, so the venue was extremely well selected by Courier.  Roddick is the greatest singles player in the history of the American Davis Cup team.  Wimbledon quarter-finalist Mardy Fish will be playing second singles in the tie, and 2 time and defending Wimbledon doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan will play doubles for Team USA.

The Spaniards will be trotting out world #6 David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco in the singles, as was reported this morning by ESPN, contrary to reports that Feliciano Lopez, fresh off an impressive Wimbledon run, would play in the second singles spot.  Lopez defeated Andy Roddick in a 3rd round upset at SW-19, but it would be hard to imagine the Spanish lefty besting Roddick in successive matches in the same month in best of 5 set tennis on courts that favor Roddick.  As for Spain’s other lefty, Nadal had the following to say about the tie and the ITF:

“The problem is the ITF, my opinion,” said Nadal, on June 27th. “They don’t want to change nothing. They are never able to change nothing on the calendar, nothing in the format of the Davis Cup competition. And some thing they are doing bad, because the best player of the world, a lot of times we are not able to play.

“For me is hard not go to United States and play for my country,” he added. “For somebody can think, ‘Well, he only is think about himself. He is playing his own things. Doesn’t matter about the Davis Cup.’ It’s not my case. … I cannot be in every place. I cannot be competitive every week of the year. My body needs to rest.”

http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/blog/_/name/espntennis/id/6747099/rafael-nadal-opts-rest-davis-cup

Nadal seems particularly sensitive to criticism regarding Davis Cup, which has more or less organized their schedule the same way since the dawn of time.  Nadal frequently skips this round as it comes so close to Wimbledon, but his rationale about top players not playing would not seem to apply to the top player, Novak Djokovic.  Nadal seems to be talking about Roger Federer, who has hardly played at all in the last 5 years regardless of where and when.

We don’t think Nadal needs to be defensive about his commitment to Davis Cup.  Nor do we think any player who has helped his nation win in Davis Cup needs to explain their rationale for skipping a tie.

By the way, The Tennis Channel just reported that Feliciano Lopez will be playing second singles today at approximately 6 pm against Mardy Fish.  We haven’t looked at the head to head matchups, but we think it’s a bit of a flavor of the month type of decision on the part of the Spanish squad.  Verdasco practices on American hards most of the year, and is the more able player.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, http://www.crackbillionair.com)

Captain Jim Courier, John Isner, Andy Roddick, and the Bryans (above, from left to right).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/patrick-mcenroe-resigns-davis-cup-captaincy-courier-declares-interest/

This weekend Andy Roddick finished what he started in impressive fashion, thumping the 2004 double Olympic gold medalist Nicholas Massu on Friday, and then clinched the tie early Sunday with a come from behind four set win against world #165 Paul Capdeville on a very impressive slow red clay court in Santiago, Chile.  Roddick, widely panned for his clay court prowess, was broken exactly once in each match.  That’s not to say he played dominant first strike tennis.  Roddick, who has grown tremendously as a player on clay and as a guy who thinks a match out–2 of his lesser abilities historically–showed off both skills on Sunday.  After dropping the 1st set to Capdeville on grotesque and horribly slow red clay that groundskeepers watered on changeovers, Justin Gimelstob, who The Tennis Channel was too cheap to send to Santiago, said from an LA studio (so low grade!) that Roddick had let his opponent grow too comfortable and would have to change his tactics.  Such a pronouncement 3 or 4 years ago would not have sat too well with the close Roddick observer.

First time captain Jim Courier did not bat an eyelash.  In fact, the proven winner and distinguished major champion, showed nothing but calm the entire weekend, even when Roddick’s opponent Capdeville, in his match Friday versus Isner, seemed to at worst cheat and at best display questionable sportsmanship at a critical stage of the fifth set on a break point which he lost.  Isner hit a winner from the back of the court which Capdeville did not play, claiming he heard an out call.  Right.  We were extremely annoyed.  It was a classless move on the part of the Chilean, an obvious ploy that we’ve seen tried on occasion by the desperate, but which we can’t really recall a big league chair buying.  Enter Friday’s clown show.  The chair called the ball a let, and Isner who couldn’t buy a break point all match, literally, until that point, didn’t get another.  Gimelstob once again provided the dead on commentary, reading our minds by taking the poor returning Isner to task.  G-Stob called Isner’s return game a glaring weakness, noting that the big man could not cry about calls when he generated so few opportunities for himself.  About 1 game letter, Isner began to cramp, and once his legs had tightened up, he was basically done, but he did manage 4 holds in the decisive 5th set, and with the stolen break, would’ve won the match.  In fairness to Isner, the kid shows tremendous promise, has steadily improved since taking the tour by storm out of the NCAA’s, and is the American who most deserves the Davis Cup Singles B role.  Unlike Sam Querrey, Isner shows excellent killer instinct, a volleyer’s touch, and doesn’t shrink from big moments.  Isner has had several breakthrough wins while Samurai Sam has yet to notch any of note, especially at the majors.  America’s only other option, world #15 Mardy Fish, is also someone we aren’t comfortable seeing in James Blake’s B role.  Fish is a very bad big match player.  If he was ever going to beat a Chilean in the big spot, it would have been at the 2004 Olympics where Massu bested a then chubby Mardy for the gold.  We don’t put a lot of stock in Olympic tennis for the sake of its actual tennis importance, but as an American sports fan, we don’t give Fish the option to lose to a Nicholas Massu with gold on the line.

Back to Roddick, who stayed level throughout a tense second set that really was a must win for both guys.  Roddick blew a late break chance, shook that off, went into the breaker and then blitzed Capdeville, getting out to a 5-0 lead which carried him to the set win.  It was all down hill from there.  Roddick dominated the last two sets in uncharacteristic fashion.  He had managed only one ace through 3 sets.  Roddick, who tends to play a passive style too much these days, was on the ‘perfect’ surface for it.  He gave up the net and counter punched to perfection, hitting more winners off of his usually defective backhand wing in one match than we can otherwise recollect.

Roddick has long been due a re-appraisal by the stubborn Andy-can’t-play-on-clay faction.  He’s come through plenty of times for America on the dirt, and more times than any other American in the storied history of Davis Cup, now having clinched 12 ties (5 on the road).  And Roddick has played several fine matches at Roland Garros in the last 2 years, making the round of 16 in ’09, which is something many doubted he’d ever do.  In our opinion, Roddick might be the best player of all time who has only won 1 major, and had a guy named Roger Federer never came around, Andy would probably have several major titles.  Losing 4 major finals to Roger Federer is nothing to be embarrassed about.  Roddick is one of few guys to ever have been #1, to have won a major, a Davis Cup title, and to have been in the top 5 for 5 consecutive years.  And unlike Roger, Roddick always seems to turn out for country. 

You all know of our devotion to Federer, but you should also know we try to tell it as we see it.  It doesn’t sit well with us that Federer abandoned his country’s Davis Cup squad.  We know his arguments, and we understand them.  He needs to pick and choose, he can’t risk too much exposure in a non major setting…we get it.  But Nadal can?  A frequently hobbled Nadal usually doesn’t duck Davis Cup, and to his credit, he has a championship to show for it, as does Roddick.  Federer doesn’t take Davis Cup calls from Severin Luthi, one of his own coaches, and while the rest of the men’s tennis world is sliding around on disgusting mud courts, Federer is hob nobbing with Pete Sampras and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles (below). 

Again, we get it.  Federer is the all time mens singles major champion with the Swiss flag behind him, so what does it matter that he doesn’t have a DC title?  A tennis purist would say it does matter some.  There is no definitive greatest player of all time, and everyone from Borg to McEnroe, Sampras, and Nadal have won the DC, and in most cases, had at least one title they were the impetus behind.  The only greats we can think of that have not won the Davis Cup are the ultra selfish and loutish Jimmy Connors, and Federer.

Perhaps Federer, like Connors did, will feel the hole in his immortal resume, and come back to Davis Cup in his twilight years.  And unlike Connors, Federer is great enough to pull off such a thing and win a late DC title, maybe even into his early 30’s.  Maybe Federer has lost a bit of his ‘major edge’ because he isn’t as tested in Davis Cup lately and in the best of 5 set format as the last 3 guys who have beaten him at majors, Soderling, Berdych, and Djokovic.  As for the other Jimbo, our new skip, Jim Courier, we are ecstatic to have him (especially over the hack that is Todd Martin), and he must be ecstatic that Roddick takes his calls.   Let’s face it.  Courier is a winner.  He’s been there and done that.  Chile in a mud storm in front of the worst tennis fans this side of France while getting potentially tie deciding bad calls does not phase him in the least.  Not only does Courier play the same style, more or less, as the top American singles players, but he was a better player than all of these guys, and has greater insights about top tier tennis than the former DC coach, Patrick McEnroe, who had less talent than Courier, less desire, a lesser work ethic, less athletic ability, and we think, a lesser mind for the game in general.  We think it’s not a coincidence that the national junior program is foundering with PMac at the helm.

Next up for the US squad will be Spain in the quarters, about one week after Wimbledon concludes.  Before anyone gets around to anointing Spain, let’s all keep squarely in mind that home countries have an enormous advantage in Davis Cup.  In Courier’s first home tie as captain, he will decide the venue and the surface which as yet, is unannounced.  The surface is sure to be a fast hardcourt, and though there might be attendance concerns, in a play from the British play book, we think it would be very wise to consider Flushing Meadows for the tie, the way that Britain tries to play their ties on Wimbledon’s centre court.  America always chooses hards, and for a few years now, have only had the pick off-season, choosing slick indoor surfaces in Baltimore, Birmingham, and Austin.  You can’t really play this thing indoors in July.  Should the Americans opt for a more intimate setting, we think Cincinnati would be perfect.  The Cincinnati Masters Series has long been considered the fastest outdoor tournament in the world.  We can think of no recent Spaniard who’s had any success there. 

Also, we love the dynamic created by forcing the Spaniards to play on fast hards in the shadow of Wimbledon, especially if Nadal goes deep at SW-19.  In fact, we can hear Nadal crying about the turn around and surface switch from here.  Don’t be surprised if he asks out.  If he doesn’t, we look forward to seeing him finally clash with Roddick on a fast hardcourt, and we like our other guys as well versus the Spaniards on the hards with stars and stripes flying.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

M and M Pokeballs (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/white-elephant-pokeballs-hit-cali/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/blue-dragonfly-pokeballs-hit-vegas-as-man-trips-on-them-and-fake-weed/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/yellow-lightbulb-pokeballs-from-san-diego-have-back-side-bevel/

Glad to see our old friend chemlover  is still on top of things, and that for a change we have a nice hit story to report.  We have a case of fake Blue M&M Pokeballs–fake Pokeballs that is–but real Ecstasy, with the test results to prove it.

We’ve missed chemlover.  And we’re thrilled to bring you his report, so take a look:

M&M Pokeball  
 
Date Submitted: January 8, 2011, 9:48 pm GMT
Last Updated: January 8, 2011, 10:42 pm GMT
Submitted By: chemlover
Name: M&M Pokeball
State/Province: TX – DFW
Logo: M&M
Colour: Blue
Shape: Round
Height: 4 mm
Width: 9 mm
Texture: Hard, smooth, clean press with pokeball on back
Edges: Smooth, no bevel
Report Quality Rating: (5 stars, 2 votes)
Description: Mecke Reagent – Green to black in 2 seconds.Simon’s Reagent – Cobalt blue in under 3 seconds.Marquis Reagent – Started changing colors immediately and was black within several seconds.These are not genuine Pokeballs, but a very good copy. They are slightly wider and shorter than the original M&M Pokeballs. These tested well and they look almost identical to some other fauxkeballs that I have tested before which were well liked and enjoyed by several friends.
Suspected Contents: MDMA

I’m wondering if these bombs might even be better than the real M&M Pokeballs, since those were likely adulterated with caffeine.  Ironic indeed, if kids are upset about a faux Pokeball that’s better than a real one.  Very interesting.  Thanks, chemlover.  We love you.  Glad you’re back in the saddle.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/blue-original-batman-pokeballs-have-cali-soaring/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/pokeball-concentration-ratios-change-yellow-elephant-green-g-lady-pokes-increase-in-mdma-concentration-according-to-edata-labs/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/new-pokeball-sighting-yellow-elephant-pokeballs-in-vegas/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/green-g-spot-pokeballs-hit-cali-hard/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/new-pokeball-sighting-in-seattle/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/blue-star-pokeballs-adulterated-with-caffeine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/purple-dragonfly-pokeballs-adulterated-with-caffeine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/blue-angry-bomb-pokeballs-and-purple-internet-explorer-pokeballs-adulterated-with-caffeine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/mays-test-results-from-dancesafe-and-our-analysis/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/crackbillionair-teams-with-dancesafe-for-the-good-of-the-scene/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/junes-ecstasydata-lab-results-and-our-analysis/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/ecstasydata-orgs-latest-lab-results-indicate-bad-season-for-ecstasy-world-wide/

Be Smart,

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Yanks GM Brian Cashman (above) as he hangs off the side of a Connecticut building.

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/Brian_Cashman_to_rappel_from_building_dressed_as_an_elf_Seriously.html

A few weeks back, much was made of a charity event or a Christmas event in Stamford, Conn. at which a Spiderman like Brian Cashma–yes, that Brian Cashman–rappeled down the side of a skyskraper, albeit a Connecticut one.  On the matter Cashman would say he saw it done last year, and thought, “Why I can’t I do that?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Z5Eu2-xOI

We thought, well, you can’t do that because you are the GM of the New York Yankees, one of the most important jobs in sport.  Frankly, we also thought, “What the fuck is this guy thinking?”  As evidenced by the folly he made of the free agent pursuit of Cliff Lee, and the no plan B plan, we conclude if he does any thinking at all, it’s not much.  In analyzing Cliff Lee’s FA priorities, did no one in the Yankee front office unearth that Lee owned a home in South Jersey near Philadelphia and that Philadelphia had the nation’s best medical facility for his son with special needs?  Or more simply, that Lee also played for the Philies, enjoyed playing there, and went to the World Series for them as well?

Or what about the most basic principle when it comes to New York teams making free agent offers, any sport?  That agents use the NY offer to drive up the price on the team they really want to go to.  Could Cashman, at this for a while now, have perhaps realized that Lee was shopping the Yanks’ offer? 

He should have.  He should have also understood that negotiations are complex and their nature is always subject to change, at any moment.  Carl Crawford was an Angel after all, and then all of a sudden, a Red Sock.  But Cashman wasn’t surprised that Crawford went to Boston.  He is expecting us to believe a lot of tales this winter, and the dull NY media keeps allowing him to spin them without calling him on them.  Cashman was wining and dining Crawford the very evening he signed with Boston, but we are supposed to think that was just a nice, healthy meal between consenting adults–a dinner date between Spiderman and a player the Yankees had no interest in.

When Cashman presented his 7 year offer to Lee, the press here exalted the Yankees and declared the matter settled.  Lee was on his way.  Mike Francesa, Yankees “expert”, declared that no one passes on this type of deal.  It was the second time, by the way, that Francesa has been dead wrong–dreadfully wrong–on a major Yankees’ issue this winter.  Mike had declared since before the 2009 World Series that the Jeter negotiations would never become contentious, that the Yankees would never embarrass Jeter would definitely show the captain love.  Mike also said that ‘no plan B indicates that plan A will work’ with regard to the Lee situation.

The 7 year offer, the Yankee braintrust presented to Lee, the Yankees declared was final.  No way on Earth were the Yankees budging off of an already ‘outrageous’ 7 year guarantee.  Well, they didn’t budge the offer, literally, leaving it on the table for Lee’s very smart team to have their way with, and to use as the framework to extract a better deal from both Texas and Philadelphia, for over two weeks.  Like Jeter had an unofficial deadline by which to come to terms so the Yankees could conduct other business, Lee should have had a deadline.  At the time the offer was made, it was the most substantial offer.  By the time Lee had a fortknight with it, Texas and Phily had made substantially better offers.  So Jeter, the Yankees’ own, gets treated badly, and Lee, who the Yankees wanted very badly, obviously, they didn’t know how to treat.  And don’t kid yourselves like they didn’t want him badly.  When you decide to give a guy $ 153 M, you want him badly.  That is elementary.

Then the New York media begins to spin this yarn that Lee is the 1 guy to spurn the Yanks dollars.  Larger than life Cliff Lee, the big time pitcher who just follwed his heart.  Then ESPN super scoops the New York media with news that Philadelphia’s offer trounced the Yankees’ in terms of average salary and included an easily vesting 6th year option if the player pitches 200 innings in year 5 or 400 combined innings in years 4 and 5 at $ 27.5 M.  So Lee is basically grabbing $ 147.5 M for 6 in Philadelphia–a better deal.  Then Cashman goes into hiding for a few days, slinks out of his hole, spins us one about the Yanks not needing Lee, and how plan B is patience, i.e. inaction.  A team imposed deadline on a Lee deal may not have gotten the ace in pinstripes, but it gives his people less time to get a dream contract from Philadelphia and allows the Yankees to move on the few other ooportunities thay were out there.

Russell Martin, knee jerk signing anyone?  Cashman would have us believe that Martin was part of a master plan.  A month ago, Cash was telling us young stud Jesus Montero was going to be the catcher.  Now we’re looking at pedestrian Russell Martin, who has no upside whatsoever.  Why?  Because Montero will be trade in whatever the next knee jerk move the Yankees make–the finest hitting prospect at catcher in baseball–in a trade no doubt to qualify as rape and pillage.  People are actually looking forward to seeing Montero come along, the way they were with say, Robinson Cano. 

Now Cashman got around last week to telling us that losing the Lee sweepstakes really does hurt.  Oh great wise one, speaker of truths!  In our opinion, the GM of the Yankees needs to be on the ball, not sliding down the side of a wall.  Cashman is telling us how fine we are with AJ Burnett, who we spent $ 82.5 M on, and who we absolutely not could give away.  Cashman, with the luxury of the Yankees deep pockets at his disposal, is the only GM in sport who can make 82.5 $ M mistakes.  Who can trade Jose Contreras for Esteban Loiza, watch Contreras go forth and conquer, and wipe it all away with a stroke of the Yankees’ money pen. 

There is a legion of examples as to Cashman’s bungled trades and signings, as evidenced by their inability to pursue the only other available FA pitcher of note, Carl Pavano, who stole $ 57 M from Cashman previously.  Instead of scaling buildings and writing wild checks, how could he ever manage an $80-$100 M payroll?  Frankly, we wouldn’t care if this guy, as well as all the Yankees beat writers and media mouthpieces, strapped themselves to a building in Connecticut and then took an unexpected plunge.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/quote-of-the-week-tom-coughlin/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/rex-ryans-wife-in-foot-fetish-videos/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/michelle-ryan-a-k-a-ihaveprettyfeets-swinger-profile/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/nhl-owners-fehr-and-loathing/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/stoudemire-head-knick-in-charge/

Like Tom Coughlin, they should all sit in a dark room and stare into space in solemn contemplation.  And they can take their time about coming out.  Because if the best idea I could come up with was to dress up like an elf and shimmy down the side of a 22 story building, and I ran the New York Yankees, I would hope that someone would have the decency for me or the Yankees to get me the fuck out of here on a rail.  Did you see this fucking video?  Why have only 246 people watched it?

Happy New Year.

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

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