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Music and sobriety

9/13/12 5:21pm

Hip Hop Artist Spits Recovery Rap

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Santa Monica Sam hopes to guide listeners
"into the light."

In honor of National Recovery Month, independent singer-songwriter Santa Monica Sam has released a new song, “This Thing Called Addiction,” which can be found on his new album Universal Flow. The candid, uplifting song reflects Sam’s own experiences battling addiction, offering a message of hope based in his own recovery. “The song takes the listener on a journey from darkness to light,” Sam tells The Fix. The first verse discusses the dark nature of addiction, the second verse takes on the consequences and repercussions, and the third verse speaks of the hope and inspiration found in recovery. While there are many songs about addiction out there, Sam says “This Thing Called Addiction” is unique because it focuses on hope, rather than glamorizing or highlighting the negative aspects of being an addict. The video will be screened at the Reel Recovery Film Festival, and the song is available for download on most digital music stores. “This is just one means of carrying the message,” Sam says. “Hopefully it can reach an audience that will benefit from the content in the song.” Check out the song here:

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By Chrisanne Grise

Cooking up a storm

9/13/12 4:23pm

Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Was Meth Cook

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Maybe he should have stuck to cooking
meth. Photo via

If you watched clips of Innocence of Muslims—the low-budget anti-Muslim flop that sparked the attack on the US Embassy in Libya—and asked yourself what kind of drugs would compel a man to make such a thing, the answer is meth. Nakoula Bassleley Nakoula, who hid behind the alias "Sam Bacile" throughout the film's production, pleaded guilty to a charge of intent to manufacture methamphetamine in 1997. Nakoula, who calls Islam a “penis-driven religion” and a “cancer,” raised $5 million from Jewish donors to make the movie that depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, pedophile and a homosexual. He claims to feel bad for the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, but doesn't feel it was his fault: “I feel the security system [at the embassies] is no good,” he says. “America should do something to change it.” Actors in the film claim they were led to believe they were making a movie called “Desert Warriors” and that the anti-Muslim lines were dubbed in later.

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By Bryan Le

stereotypes

9/13/12 3:31pm

Zimbabwe Leader: Jamaicans Are "Always Drunk"

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Mugabe says all Jamaican men want to do is
sing reggae. Photo via

Many Jamaicans are livid over a series of remarks made by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe during a recent speech in which he claimed the nation's men are “always drunk,” avoid higher education and smoke marijuana all the time. Mugabe, who has once before remarked that Jamaican Rastafarians have “mud and moths” in their dreadlocks, made these most recent digs while addressing a crowd at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. "The men want to sing and do not go to colleges, some are dreadlocked. Let us not go there,” he said. Jamaican reggae singer Cocoa Tea has refuted these statements, saying: "Jamaicans are way better than that and we are leaders, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion." Though many people may buy in to stereotypes of the island nation as a tropical paradise where laid-back people smoke ganja in the sun all day, marijuana use is actually illegal and many Jamaicans are conservative churchgoers.

While most people are incensed by the comments, a few individuals see a bit of merit in in his criticisms—mainly regarding a perceived gender divide. Northern Caribbean University administrator Vincent Peterkin argues that men are more culpable than women when it comes to using alcohol and drugs, arguing: "[Mugabe's] observation that our 'universities are full of women' while our 'men want to sing and do not go to colleges' is a truism, which none can deny.” A.J. Nicholson, who leads the country's foreign affairs ministry, says they are still waiting to confirm that Mugabe did in fact make the comments, but he stresses that: "Jamaican men and women from all walks of life have made valuable contributions to national development and have made their mark on the world stage."

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By Bryan Le

celebrity rehab

9/13/12 2:44pm

LiLo Balks at Role Mocking Her Druggy Past

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Too scary, too soon? Photo via

It looks like Lindsay Lohan isn't yet ready to make light of her troubled past (or present, depending on who you believe). She's set to do a cameo role alongside Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 5, but apparently had a change of heart after she read the script and realized it poked fun at her well-publicized addiction and legal issues. She also may have been put off by a kissing scene with the Warlock himself. Sources claim that LiLo has bailed out of all the pre-rehearsals and missed her flight to the set, only to show up at the threat of a lawsuit by a Hollywood legal team. "Lindsay missed every meeting she had for the film, including script reads and wardrobe meetings,” said a Hollywood insider. “Then she missed her flight to Atlanta on Sunday to shoot the movie. The producers had been getting signs Friday that she was a mess, and would not be fit to work.” Lohan tried one final attempt to get out of the film by claiming she had walking pneumonia and entering a hospital last weekend to get her lungs checked, but was not able to prove she had the illness in order to satisfy producers. She has reportedly been locked up in her hotel room and sources claim she is in "a tailspin" at having to shoot the scenes. A rep for Lohan is denying the allegations and said that, “These stories are untrue, and she is willingly fulfilling all of her obligations.”

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By McCarton Ackerman

liquor ring

9/13/12 1:58pm

100,000 Mini Bottles of Booze Go AWOL

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They thought no one would notice. Photo via

In an investigation aptly dubbed “Operation Last Call,” investigators have nabbed 18 employees at the JFK airport for stealing 100,000 mini liquor bottles over the course of five months. They also stole "duty-free items—such as larger bottles of liquor, perfume, and cartons of cigarettes—with an overall estimated retail value of more than $750,000," according to Queens DA Richard Brown. The mini liquor ring involved 15 current and former truck drivers for LSG Sky Chefs (who are responsible for American Airlines' food) and three security guards. Drivers are supposed to bring all the unsold bottles and merchandise from American Airlines flights back to storage, but the drivers would skim a few off the top each time—ultimately amounting to a significant haul. A police raid on the homes of a retired driver recovered "500 to 600 garbage bags filled with mini liquor bottles. Each bag contained approximately 100 bottles worth between $385,000 and $420,000, as well as $34,000 in cash,” says the DA. Undercover agents also made 57 purchases of 57,000 mini liquor bottles from the conspirators. “Perhaps more troubling is that airport security personnel entrusted with guarding against theft and maintaining security at the airport were allegedly involved in the scheme,” says Brown. “If a terrorist wanted to breach airport security, the alleged actions of these defendants gave them a back-door opportunity to do so.” The defendants face a range of charges including bribe receiving, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

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By Bryan Le

Prison Drug Smuggling

9/13/12 12:45pm

Do Prison Drug-Detection Wands Work Too Well?

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Are prison scanning devices less than magic?
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To deter visitors from smuggling drugs to prisoners during visits, Bureau of Prisons staff routinely employ a drug detection "wand." They randomly conduct scans which produce field results in less than two minutes, and are capable of detecting drugs like cocaine, cannabis, opiates and meth on a person—even in tiny quantities. "My girl smoked a joint in her car before she came in to visit me, and then they wanded her and the sensor went off," one prisoner tells The Fix. "So they turned her around and wouldn't let her visit." What correctional officers call "a sophisticated lab on a stick", roughly the size the size of a pen, quickly picks up invisible residues after a single wand-like motion. But it's not an exact science. "My 70-year-old grandmother, who has never touched a drug in her life, got swiped one time with the drug sensor and was refused to visit because they said she tested positive for cocaine," another prisoner tells us. "That was some pure bullshit." And similar occurrences are reported in other prisons—creating new innocent victims of the War on Drugs, as prisoners and their families and loved ones unfairly miss out on longed-for visits. "When my girl comes now she wipes her hands down with a hand-wipe disinfectant to make sure there is no type of residue on her hands that the drug wand can detect," the first prisoner says. "Because it doesn't matter if she smoked marijuana or not; the drug wand is some garbage and I'm not trying to miss my visit over some defective-ass equipment."

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By Seth Ferranti

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