[Ur Writes Disclaimer: The posting of this image gallery is in no way a show of wholehearted support for all military action, British or otherwise.]



    Rise of the Warrior Cop

    EXCERPT: Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.



    [6:23] We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them, and I think we should be doing the exact opposite. We shouldn’t be putting them to sleep—we should be waking them up to what they have inside of themselves.

    [7:48] I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. “Divergent thinking” isn’t a synonym, but it’s an essential capacity for creativity…We all have this capacity and it mostly deteriorates.

    [10:44] Most great learning happens in groups; collaboration is the stuff of growth.

    [Animation by RSA Animate]




    [2:00] It’s education that’s meant to take us into this future we can’t grasp. If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue—despite all the expertise that’s been on parade for the past four days—what the world will look like in five years’ time. And yet we’re meant to be educating them for it. So the unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary.

    [2:52] My contention is, all kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.

    [5:36] If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

    [6:00] We’re educating people out of their creative capacities.

    [12:54] We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence. We know three things about intelligence. One, it’s diverse. We think about the world in all the ways that we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement. Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity — which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value — more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things…. And the third thing about intelligence is, it’s distinct.

    [17:49] I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children. There was a wonderful quote by Jonas Salk, who said, “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” And he’s right.

    What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely and that we avert some of the scenarios that we’ve talked about. And the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future. By the way — we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it. Thank you very much.




    [4:30] Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it’s not enough. Reform is no use anymore, because that’s simply improving a broken model. What we need—and the word’s been used many times during the course of the past few days—is not evolution, but a revolution in education. This has to be transformed into something else.

    [10:48] Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability.

    [13:00] We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.

    [14:25] The reason so many people are opting out of education is because it doesn’t feed their spirit, it doesn’t feed their energy or their passion.

    So I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.

    So when we look at reforming education and transforming it, it isn’t like cloning a system. There are great ones, like KIPP’s; it’s a great system. There are many great models. It’s about customizing to your circumstances and personalizing education to the people you’re actually teaching. And doing that, I think, is the answer to the future because it’s not about scaling a new solution; it’s about creating a movement in education in which people develop their own solutions, but with external support based on a personalized curriculum.


    Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will


    "Hacking your Education" is about taking the concept of home schooling, or unschooling, to the University level. Although Stephens does not say so, his book is most appropriate for people in the upper ranges of the ability distribution, the people who lose the most when their abilities and interests are stifled by the educational bureaucracy. Though it is not his thesis, I add that these are the instances in which society damages itself the most by forcing bright kids into the straitjacket of conventional systems.


    At 20, Dale Stephens founded UnCollege because we’re paying too much for college and learning too little. It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops 1 trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a better way to “make it” in today’s marketplace.

    Stephens is a sought-after education expert appearing on major news networks including CNN, ABC, NPR, CBS, Fox, and TechCrunch. His work has been covered by the New York Times and New York Magazine to Fast Company and Forbes.

    Stephens’ interest in education comes from his background in unschooling, the self-directed form of homeschooling with which he was raised. He left school at age eleven and self-educated instead of going to middle and high school.

    He has spoken around the world at high-profile events, from debating Vivek Wadhwa onstage at TED 2012 to lecturing at the New York Times to speaking to C-level executives at NBC Universal. He works frequently with universities who realize their model of education must change to survive in the 21st century.

    In May 2011 Stephens was selected out of hundreds of individuals around the world as a Thiel Fellow, a program recognizing the top twenty-four entrepreneurs around the world under the age of twenty. In addition to leading UnCollege, Stephens advises education and technology companies. [Amazon.com]



  3. Deadly Medicine


    Some medical researchers question whether the results of clinical trials conducted in certain other countries are relevant to Americans in the first place. They point out that people in impoverished parts of the world, for a variety of reasons, may metabolize drugs differently from the way Americans do. They note that the prevailing diseases in other countries, such as malaria and tuberculosis, can skew the outcome of clinical trials. […]

    One big factor in the shift of clinical trials to foreign countries is a loophole in F.D.A. regulations: if studies in the United States suggest that a drug has no benefit, trials from abroad can often be used in their stead to secure F.D.A. approval. There’s even a term for countries that have shown themselves to be especially amenable when drug companies need positive data fast: they’re called “rescue countries.” […]

    To have an effective regulatory system you need a clear chain of command—you need to know who is responsible to whom, all the way up and down the line. There is no effective chain of command in modern American drug testing. Around the time that drugmakers began shifting clinical trials abroad, in the 1990s, they also began to contract out all phases of development and testing, putting them in the hands of for-profit companies. It used to be that clinical trials were done mostly by academic researchers in universities and teaching hospitals, a system that, however imperfect, generally entailed certain minimum standards. The free market has changed all that. Today it is mainly independent contractors who recruit potential patients both in the U.S. and—increasingly—overseas. They devise the rules for the clinical trials, conduct the trials themselves, prepare reports on the results, ghostwrite technical articles for medical journals, and create promotional campaigns. The people doing the work on the front lines are not independent scientists. They are wage-earning technicians who are paid to gather a certain number of human beings; sometimes sequester and feed them; administer certain chemical inputs; and collect samples of urine and blood at regular intervals. The work looks like agribusiness, not research. […]

    The F.D.A., the federal agency charged with oversight of the food and drugs that Americans consume, is rife with conflicts of interest. Doctors who insist the drug you take is perfectly safe may be collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company selling the drug. (ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news organization that is compiling an ongoing catalogue of pharmaceutical-company payments to physicians, has identified 17,000 doctors who have collected speaking and consulting fees, including nearly 400 who have received $100,000 or more since 2009.) Quite often, the F.D.A. never bothers to check for interlocking financial interests. […]

    If the globalization of clinical trials for adult medications has drawn little attention, foreign trials for children’s drugs have attracted even less. The Argentinean province of Santiago del Estero, with a population of nearly a million, is one of the country’s poorest. In 2008 seven babies participating in drug testing in the province suffered what the U.S. clinical-trials community refers to as “an adverse event”: they died. The deaths occurred as the children took part in a medical trial to test the safety of a new vaccine, Synflorix, to prevent pneumonia, ear infections, and other pneumococcal diseases. Developed by GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical company in terms of global prescription-drug sales, the new vaccine was intended to compete against an existing vaccine. In all, at least 14 infants enrolled in clinical trials for the drug died during the testing. Their parents, some illiterate, had their children signed up without understanding that they were taking part in an experiment. Local doctors who persuaded parents to enroll their babies in the trial reportedly received $350 per child. The two lead investigators contracted by Glaxo were fined by the Argentinean government. So was Glaxo, though the company maintained that the mortality rate of the children “did not exceed the rate in the regions and countries participating in the study.” No independent group conducted an investigation or performed autopsies. As it happens, the brother of the lead investigator in Santiago del Estero was the Argentinean provincial health minister. […]

    In the mid-90s, Glaxo conducted clinical trials on the antidepressant Paxil in the United States, Europe, and South America. Paxil is a member of a class of drugs called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. The class includes Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. In the United Kingdom, Paxil is sold as Seroxat. The clinical trials showed that the drug had no beneficial effect on adolescents; some of the trials indicated that the placebo was more effective than the drug itself. But Glaxo neglected to share this information with consumers; annual sales of the drug had reached $5 billion in 2003. In an internal document obtained by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the company emphasized how important it was to “effectively manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimize any potential negative commercial impact.” The memo went on to warn that “it would be commercially unacceptable to include a statement that efficacy had not been demonstrated.” After the document was released a Glaxo spokesperson said that the “memo draws an inappropriate conclusion and is not consistent with the facts.” […]

    In theory, pharmaceutical companies are barred from selling a drug for any purpose other than the one that the F.D.A. has approved on the basis of clinical testing. But the reality is different. The minute a drug receives the green light from the F.D.A. for a specific treatment, the sponsoring company and its allies begin campaigns to make it available for other purposes or for other types of patients. The antidepressant Paxil was tested on adults but sold off-label to treat children. Seroquel, an anti-psychotic, was marketed as a treatment for depression. Physicians, often on retainer from pharmaceutical companies, are free to prescribe a drug for any reason if they entertain a belief that it will work. This practice turns the population at large into unwitting guinea pigs whose adverse reactions may go unreported or even unrecognized. […]

    In 2009 the Government Accountability Office conducted a sting operation, winning approval for a clinical trial involving human subjects; the institutional review board failed to discover (if it even tried) that it was dealing with “a bogus company with falsified credentials” and a fake medical device. This was in Los Angeles. If that is oversight in the U.S., imagine what it’s like in Kazakhstan or Uganda. […]

    In 2009, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, 19,551 people died in the United States as a direct result of the prescription drugs they took. That’s just the reported number. It’s decidedly low, because it is estimated that only about 10 percent of such deaths are reported. Conservatively, then, the annual American death toll from prescription drugs considered “safe” can be put at around 200,000. That is three times the number of people who die every year from diabetes, four times the number who die from kidney disease. Overall, deaths from F.D.A.-approved prescription drugs dwarf the number of people who die from street drugs such as cocaine and heroin. They dwarf the number who die every year in automobile accidents. So far, these deaths have triggered no medical crusades, no tough new regulations. After a dozen or so deaths linked to runaway Toyotas, Japanese executives were summoned to appear before lawmakers in Washington and were subjected to an onslaught of humiliating publicity. When the pharmaceutical industry meets with lawmakers, it is mainly to provide campaign contributions.

    And with more and more of its activities moving overseas, the industry’s behavior will become more impenetrable, and more dangerous, than ever.


    Donald L. Barlett (b. 1936) is an American investigative journalist and author who often collaborates with James B. Steele (b. 1943). According to The Washington Journalism Review (Magazine) they were a better investigative reporting team than even Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Together they have won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine Awards and six George Polk Awards. In addition, they have been recognized by their peers with awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors on five separate occasions. They are known for their reporting technique of delving deep into documents and then, after what could be a long investigative period, interviewing the necessary sources. The duo has been working together for over 40 years and is frequently referred to as Barlett and Steele.

  5. Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death [vid]


    •(1:00) The latest studies in the leading causes of death in the US.

    •(1:05) #1: HEART DISEASE

    •(8:05) Endotoxinemia: “The bloodstream becomes awash with bacterial toxins that are present in animal products.” These toxins aren’t destroyed by stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes or cooking (the meat). “Saturated fat boosts the absorption of these toxins into our bloodstream.”

    •(10:18) #2: CANCER

    •(12:43) “The blood of those on a vegan diet was dramatically less hospitable to cancer.”

    •(16:55) “5,000 hours in the gym was no match for a plant-based diet.”

    •(18:41) IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1): a cancer-promoting growth hormone. Levels decrease when on a plant-based diet.

    •(21:05) How plant-based do our diets have to get? “Only vegans had significantly lower levels (of IGF-1).”

    •(23:25) #3: Chronic lower respiratory diseases (EMPHYSEMA)

    •(25:40) #4: STROKES. “Preventing strokes is all about eating potassium-rich foods.” Top five sources of potassium: Tomatoes, concentrated orange juice, beet greens, white beans and dates.

    •(27:24) #6: ALZHEIMER’S disease. It’s been known for twenty years that those who eat meat (including poultry and fish) are 2-3 times more likely to become demented than vegetarians.

    •(28:06) #7: DIABETES. It can be prevented and treated with a plant-based diet.

    •(28:40) Obesity. Good bacteria in our gut break down fibre and produce propionate, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Propionate inhibits cholesterol synthesis; helps to make us feel fuller longer; has an anti-obesity effect. Can boost population of good bacteria by feeding them more fibre (ie. eating more plants).

    •(30:57) Meat and weight gain. Out of two people eating the same amount of calories, the one consuming meat gained more weight. Chicken found to be the greatest contributor to weight gain.

    •(33:55) #8: KIDNEY FAILURE. It can be prevented and treated with a plant-based diet because the kidneys are highly vascular organs that filter our entire bloodstream. Three significant risk factors for declining kidney function: animal protein, animal fat and cholesterol.

    •(35:12) #9: Respiratory infections (INFLUENZA and PNEUMONIA). Kale has immunostimulatory effects.

    •(36:37) There’s serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters in plants. High plant sources of serotonin: kiwis, plums, tomatoes, pineapple, plantains and bananas.

    •(37:54) #11: SEPTICEMIA (blood infection). “Women eating meat are getting urinary tract infections (UTIs) from eating meat contaminated with fecal bacteria (E. coli) that crawl up into their bladder. And chickens are the most likely reservoir.”

    •(42:12) #12: LIVER DISEASE and cirrhosis. “It’s been known for 35 years that a vegetable protein diet can be used to treat liver failure, significantly reducing the toxins that otherwise would build up eating meat with a less than functional liver.”

    •(43:10) #13: Essential HYPERTENSION (high blood pressure). Risk decreases as you eliminate animal products from your diet. It only takes 12 days of eating a vegan diet to reduce blood pressure.

    •(44:50) #14: PARKINSON’S disease. There’s a correlation between dairy products and increased risk of getting the disease. “Dairy products in the US are contaminated with neurotoxic chemicals…The concern is that these toxins may accumulate in the brain over long periods of consumption.”

    •(46:05) #15: Aspiration PNEUMONIA. It is due to swallowing problems caused by Parkinson’s, having a stroke etc.

    •(47:10) “Precription drugs kill more than 100,000 Americans every year.” These are just the deaths from adverse side effects, which means that the 6th leading cause of death is doctors.

    •(50:17) Finland’s success in reducing saturated fat intake and heart disease rates. “A berry project was launched to help dairy farmers switch to berry farming.” There was an 80% drop in heart disease mortality rates among males aged 35-64 years, from 1969 to 2006.


    RELATED: PCRM Sues Federal Agencies Over Dietary Guidlines

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Washington-based non-profit dedicated to preventive medicine and a vegan diet, sued the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services today, claiming the agencies have too many conflicts of interest to issue clear and science-based dietary guidelines.

    PCRM Wins USDA Lawsuit


    Illicit Drug Activity by Country (selective list):

    • Afghanistan: world’s largest producer of opium
    • Brazil: second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian, Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; significant illicit financial activity in the Tri-Border Area (2008)
    • Cayman Islands: major offshore financial center
    • China: major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry (2008)
    • Columbia: the world’s largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; important supplier of heroin to the US market
    • Germany: source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; major financial center
    • Guatemala: major transit country for cocaine and heroin; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem
    • Hong Kong: modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering
    • India: world’s largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries and throughout Southwest Asia; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system; licit ketamine and precursor production
    • Iran: despite substantial interdiction efforts and considerable control measures along the border with Afghanistan, Iran remains one of the primary transshipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; suffers one of the highest opiate addiction rates in the world, and has an increasing problem with synthetic drugs; lacks anti-money laundering laws
    • Italy: important gateway for and consumer of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin entering the European market; money laundering by organized crime and from smuggling
    • North Korea: for years, from the 1970s into the 2000s, citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea (DPRK), many of them diplomatic employees of the government, were apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics, including two in Turkey in December 2004; police investigations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine, including an attempt by the North Korean merchant ship Pong Su to deliver 150 kg of heroin to Australia in April 2003
    • Mexico: major drug-producing and transit nation; world’s second largest opium poppy cultivator; opium poppy cultivation in 2009 rose 31% over 2008 to 19,500 hectares yielding a potential production of 50 metric tons of pure heroin, or 125 metric tons of “black tar” heroin, the dominant form of Mexican heroin in the western United States; marijuana cultivation increased 45% to 17,500 hectares in 2009; government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America, with an estimated 95% of annual cocaine movements toward the US stopping in Mexico; major drug syndicates control the majority of drug trafficking throughout the country; producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the US market (2007)
    • Netherlands: major European producer of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, and cannabis cultivator; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering; significant consumer of ecstasy
    • Nicaragua: transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
    • Nigeria: a transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets; consumer of amphetamines; safe haven for Nigerian narcotraffickers operating worldwide; major money-laundering center; massive corruption and criminal activity
    • Pakistan: significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia
    • Russia: major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; major consumer of opiates
    • Spain: despite rigorous law enforcement efforts, North African, Latin American, Galician, and other European traffickers take advantage of Spain’s long coastline to land large shipments of cocaine and hashish for distribution to the European market
    • Switzerland: a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries
    • United Kingdom: major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and synthetic drugs; money-laundering center
    • United States: world’s largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
  7. What do police officers think about legalizing drugs?

    Justin Freeman (former patrol officer): Pot arrests are a monumental waste. Of everything. First you find it. Then you secure it as evidence. Then you handcuff. Then you search. Load. Radio. Transport. Drive time. Disembark. Secure duty weapon. Buzz into the jail. Paperwork. Property log. Ticket. Metal detect.

    Then, while the jail is re-searching, fingerprinting, processing, photographing and securing, I’m leaving, going to HQ, into the property room, dime bag into heat seal bag, property form, evidence tape, submission. Then comes the report, with its person tab, property tab, narrative. Then a sergeant reads, sends back, rereads, edits, approves.

    The ticket goes to records to be stamped, separated, forwarded. The marijuana goes to the chronically (pun acknowledged) backlogged forensics lab, which must verify the “green, leafy substance whose smell, based on my training and observation, matched that of marijuana” is, indeed, marijuana. They generate a report which is forwarded to me in the event of a trial. The prosecutor has long since gotten my ticket, and set a court date for the accused. A subpoena is mailed; they bounce back as often as they’re delivered.

    Suspect shows, pleads not guilty. Trial date is set. I get subpoenaed. There’s a high probability suspect doesn’t show. Prosecutor asks for and gets issuance of an arrest warrant. I leave after ninety seconds, but get paid the minimum for a court appearance: two and one-half hours’ pay. Six months later I pull a car over; our toker is a passenger, whom I must now arrest because of the arrest warrant.

    And the cycle repeats.

    Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer?

    Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it’s better to play it safe. There are reasons in addition to lung cancer risk (and the fact that it is illegal) to avoid marijuana. Marijuana likely increases the risk of testicular cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, a type of brain tumor, and the risk of leukemia in the offspring of women who use it during pregnancy.

    How Marijuana Impairs Memory

    A major downside of the medical use of marijuana is the drug’s ill effects on working memory, the ability to transiently hold and process information for reasoning, comprehension and learning…Marijuana’s major psychoactive ingredient (THC) impairs memory independently of its direct effects on neurons.

  8. The Things that Hate Us, Atmosphere


  9. Liar, Cheater, Fraud

    [Pic via GQ.com]

    Lance Armstrong Gives Up Fight, Raising Questions About His Innocence

    Lance Armstrong Stripped of Tour de France Titles by USADA | COMMENT: Don’t forget that Marion Jones passed all her blood tests too. The head of Balco (company in steroid scandal) recently said that only fools fail drug tests. The former head of the World Anti Doping Agency recently said that if you fail a drug test, you also fail an IQ test. Drug testing is still far behind drug concealment methods, and many dirty athletes ‘pass’ drug tests.

    Besides, Lance Armstrong was found with a banned corticosteroid in his system in the 1999 Tour de France, and synthetic EPO in his urine samples from the 2000(?) Tour de France when those frozen samples were tested with improved methods in 2004. According to a former teammate, he also tested positive for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse. A big part of this investigation was about bribing authorities and the organized cover-up involving the head of the international cycling union.

    The guy was a great bike racer, but he is also a cheat.