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Opioids? Opiates? A Pandemic? October 16, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues, Medical issues.
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We have an “Opioid Pandemic”; so says the media – all the media of the English speaking world ( English,simply because I do not read too many languages as well as I’d like).  It is out of control!  It has created fear and loathing and lots of talk.  Oh so much talk.  Unlike the Spanish Flu – a pandemic of 1918 that took out ‘ 20 to 50 MILLION, this new epidemic is one essentially created by Big Pharma.  Sorry – but they do make the stuff and they do send “detail men” – often blondies in very chic, dark suits a size too small, to cold call doctors; they buy them lunches and give out samples.  This too may have changed since our “War on Drugs” began (and persists).  In the 60’s doctors got the samples through the mail slot. I had no idea but I did discover Darvon as a result.  The samples and the detail men are part of how Big Pharma sells medications.  Medications that are beneficial, but not limited to beneficial.  Psychotropic drugs – another form of mind alteration, sleeping medication, another potential addiction and oodles of others.

Ever wonder why those Pharma ads on TV and in magazine are so wordy.  Federal law.  And my favorite of every single one is “and may cause death”.  So I reckon we have a public relations, ad-promoted prescription epidemic that includes opioids.  I recall an old response in narcotics talk in the days of yore in the Haight- Ashbury “take two – they’re small”.

Those of us who are not medical professionals (and hint:  Web MD is not an online personal doctor) have taken the Rx with a grain of salt for eons.  Second guessing is not a valid second opinion, but when in doubt – take two – it will be twice as good.

JAMA has it’s own online page (s) on how to fight this not so new “war” and as I read a bulletin of theirs today, I was prompted to make a note of it and offer my suggestions. So this is it.

“First I would lose the words Opioid Epidemic.  It is not a call to arms – people simply don’t see it as a threat if they are not opioid users.  People in serious pain fear the words.

Rein in Big Pharma.  Rein it in.  Research by Big Pharma may lead to better treatments, but in the larger picture Big Pharma is a cash cow for politicos and insurance companies and  government and every damn body I have left out. It is a revenue stream. Funding for Big Pharma should not be tied to politics.  Sounds drastic but if it is indeed an epidemic – then drastic measures need be used.

And why must this country find a solution when other countries have already done it?  Look at what other countries are doing and learn.  Poach their solutions or ask nicely.

Redefine and revamp rehab.  Rehab is another excuse -creating revenue stream.  Thirty days is not enough rehab and neither is prison.  If it is a medical problem – deal with it medically.  With real medical experts.

Decriminalize marijuana  across the board*.   I am sure that the GOP and the conservative (paranoids) of all stripes can figure out a way to make lots of money fast from the many aspect of this plant.  It is a very viable win-win.  Reflect on the Opioid Epidemics of previous centuries and see what started them and what stopped them.  Demonizing anything we don’t like in this country is the go-to first.  We must stop this.  We must also face that as well as killing pain, opiates make us happy.  We like to demonize that too, unless it  is from a federally taxed bottle of booze.

And not last – but as an important note – these are the times that try our selves.  We seek relief from these trying times.  It has been noted by  researchers in the field of intoxication and addiction that during the heavy shelling of the Vietnam War – water buffaloes slept in poppy fields.  I am certain that the state of the world has contributed to our need for more relief, more often.  We may need to stop the rhetoric and get real.  And we must stop the terms – drug Lord and drug Czar.  Not only do they sound very stupid – they send out a confusing message.  Don’t they?

*Fact:  Marijuana use and posession and sale is a Federal Crime.  As a result military veterans cannot use it period.  No matter how much it may work for their conditions or injuries. No matter how much the federal government could save money and benefit from faster cures.  Random drug tests insult our vets and if weed shows up in the test – you lose the whole enchilada and could face arrest.  Hardly what I would characterize as a benefit.  But true.  Think about it.

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Harvey Weinstein and The Quid Pro Quo October 11, 2017

Posted by voolavex in sex, sexist, sins, Social Issues.
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Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), a provocative comedy about a ruthless business mogul and his TV-producer mistress (Ali MacGraw).

Sidney Lumet cast Alan King as the Harvey Weinstein type in this movie in 1980 with Ali McGraw. It was and should have been for Harv, a cautionary tale. Jay Allen Presson wrote the book (which I read) and as soon as Harv hit the headlines – this is what I remembered about King’s character saying, “Okay, what’s the quid pro quo?” Harv had one that he didn’t even have to mention.

I sat a Friar’s Club table at some event years ago, with Jesse White, Maytag washer man – an aging Borscht Belt comedian who sat next to another of the same ilk. Jesse (who coughed and cracked wise and told filthy jokes about tits, ass, dick, )had a “personal assistant “with him – maybe 23 or 24.  T&A, Big Hair.I wondered then what the quid pro quo was for her – Friar’s Club events with old Borscht Belt comedians. I was called “Doll” by the lot and I was very amused – not funny amused – but amused at the leers, and eye rolls coming from these nasty, old men. My date was not amused and we left. I was suppressing laughter the more I thought about them.

I realize that Harv has thrown the world of fantasy and the silver screen into a tizzy with the reveal of his sexual aggression to many women. But look at this man. Was he ever going to get the girl on his own? When you don’t have a prayer, power becomes your tool. And he’s a fool with a tool. And look at him. Think about how he acquired the beauties he used as arm candy. The self-loathing and neediness he carried inside. Look at this slob. He could well be in a grimy undershirt, his gut hanging over the top of grubby shorts wearing flip-flops with a can in his hand. Can you imagine this creature coming on to you, naked out the shower? I wonder what he saw when he looked in a mirror? I wonder if he called his prey “Doll” ? Honey? And I wonder how much power he DID have for NO ONE to say a word about it. And then someone did and powerful, rich  Harv got The Long Drop.

I do not doubt a word of accusations flying in formation.   I cannot wait for my New Yorker to hit my mailbox.  And I  do not expect to shocked or even disgusted by the story. It is not limited to Hollywood or Harv.  it is happening in a high-rise office, near you, right now and possibly (but not for sure), even The White House.

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