Leaks reveal how the "Pitbull of PR" helped Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers ignite the opioid crisis

Propublica has obtained a tranche of leaked internal communications between the Sackler family's Purdue Pharma, makers of the lethal opioid Oxycontin, and Dezenhall Resources, known as "The Pitbull of Public Relations," whose previous client roster includes Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, Exxon and other "beleaguered corporations," who masterminded a "blame the victim" strategy that apportioned responsibility for Oxycontin's mounting death toll on the people who became addicted to it — not the Sacklers and Purdue, who falsified science, bribed doctors, and made billions from an epidemic that has now claimed more American lives than the Vietnam War.

Forget drugs in candy — Halloween is a day of ritual sacrifice for the cult of the automobile

Have you heard that the National Drug Dealers Consortium is planning on spiking your children's Halloween candy bowl with rainbow-colored fentanyl this year? To hear the local news tell, these evil, mustache-twirling criminals are planning to give away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illicit painkillers in hopes that a few 8-year-olds might get so hooked on the (genuinely addictive) pills that they start stealing money from their unknowing parents' purses and turn into regular customers for the hustlers. — Read the rest

Opioid-pushing Sackler family pays to get off the hook and gets to keep billions

Nearly 500,000 Americans died from opioids between 1999 and 2019 while the Sackler drug-dealing family enriched itself by illegally pushing addictive Oxycontin on patients.

New York Magazine reports that 15 state attorneys general have agreed to settle lawsuits against Purdue Pharma for its illegal sales practices that caused millions of people to become addicted to OxyContin. — Read the rest

Massachusetts says Purdue's profits from a single opioid addict were $200,000

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is not the first state to sue Purdue Pharma, members of the Sackler family (who own the company), and other board members for their role in deliberately seeking to addict people to their powerful opioid Oxycontin, but unlike other states, Massachusetts is conducting the suit in the public eye, targeting a court judgment rather than a quiet settlement with an accompanying gag-order.

Triple Chaser: a short documentary that uses machine learning to document tear gas use against civilians, calling out "philanthropist" Warren Kanders for his company's war-crimes

Laura Poitras (previously) is the Academy Award-winning director of Citizenfour; she teamed up with the activist group Forensic Archicture (previously), whose incredible combination of data-visualization and documentary filmmaking have made them a potent force for holding war criminals and authoritarians to account: together, they created Triple Chaser, a short documentary that uses novel machine-learning techniques to document the ways in which tear gas and bullets made by companies belonging to "philanthropist" Warren Kanders have been used against civilians to suppress anti-authoritarian movements, and even to murder innocents, including children.

Having burnished their reputations with extravagant promises, the billionaires who pledged €600m. to rebuild Notre Dame are missing in action

Philanthropy is theoretically an expression of generosity and fellow-feeling, but in an increasingly unequal world, charitable giving is a form of reputation laundering for super-rich oligarchs who build their massive fortunes on savage programs of exploitation and immiseration. The idea is that you can paper over the fact that deliberately starting the opioid crisis made you richer than the Rockefellers by having your name plastered all over the world's leading art galleries and museums.