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Opioids? Opiates? A Pandemic? October 16, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Medical issues, Social 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.

I must add a suggestion.

The October 30, 2017 New Yorker has a remarkable and thoroughly researched article on the subject of opioids that is a MUST read.  The author has done more than due diligence to his subjects and it is the iceberg below the tip I wrote of above.  It was written by Patrick Radden Keefe and is entitled “Empire of Pain”.  Reading it, in my opinion, is almost required for a deep, informative and scathing portrait of how this opioid addiction scheme was crafted in pills and in promotion.  It is an indictment of Big Pharma and the lack of boundaries, numerous conflicts of interest and the dope dealing they treasure and promote.  El Chapo seems mild.  It speaks of unconscionable greed and utter lack of responsibility initiated by one family and their heirs. By their names you will know them – on buildings such as the Met, university chairs, charity functions, endowments and dozens of others.  Where their name is not is on any funds that could reduce addiction and the drug that started it all.  They do not care.  They are greedy and their name is Sackler.   Read Mr. Keefe’s article.  Please. It should be nominated for a Pulitzer.

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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.

Strushie the Cat – Why It Matters July 31, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, freedom, Pets, Social Issues.
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On April 26, 2017 –  Strushie the cat – a fixture at the Franklin Hotel in South Beach, Miami, Florida was killed intentionally by an employee.  There is not term for this crime. I suspect the reason is because under various circumstance animals can be killed for reasons  for which we arrest humans who kill humans.   It is however a felony. I would say generally if an annoying animal makes their home on your property and you object – calling animal control would seem the best choice.   Strushie and his several alleycat mates had been living in the Florida sunshine and being fed on the premises for years.  Strushie often sat in the lobby and was welcomed by staff and tourists alike.He was well liked and gentle.

The Franklin – touted as one of Miami’s South Beach landmarks of the Art Deco period was recently sold.  The cats went along in the deal.  The people still fed them and smiled at them and liked them.  Just an added perk to this small, boutique hotel with security ; cameras and lights and location in a sweet South Beach spot. I wonder how business is under the new ownership?

I wonder more though, why Strushie was singled out; and he was.  An aggressive employee decided – perhaps on his own – or perhaps at the behest of the new owners that Strushie was annoying.  I have heard conflicting reports.  But on or about April 26, 2017 Strushie was stalked by determined  man armed with small crossbow, who cornered him and shot two arrows through his head. The injuries did not kill Strushie who ran away and was discovered, rushed to vet and died despite valiant efforts to save his life. He was shot with malice aforethought with a very lethal weapon at close-range then hidden in a room  the killer appeared to occupy in the Franklin.  Did I mention his name?  Georgios Lollias –  one of the Franklin’s valued staff.

The crime was covered up with denials from the Franklin’s owner and excuses that the cameras were down that day and no one saw anything.   Strushie, ironically,  got the Kitty Genovese treatment.  But animal lovers are a very devoted lot.  Very devoted.  And one such person started a Care2.org  petition to get justice for Strushie online And she did.  Pressure from the public, animal groups, outraged citizens and foreigners made such a hue and cry (and in these days of social media – hueing and crying has become a daily devotion) that investigators from local law enforcement and the City of Miami  began to seek the monster who committed this crime.  And the U.S.Secret Service entered the fray because it wanted to retrieve the data from the cameras not working that day.  The crime had been captured in full color and in graphic detail.  An arrest followed.  A hearing date is being set in August.  Two months from the killing Strushie the Cat Day in Miami was officially declared in Miami on July 26, 2017.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Because we are learning and observing the basest side of the Mr. or Mrs. Average American citizen – what they can do  and even better, it becomes  a guide to  show how them they can do it.  I suspect Strushies occur every single day in this country alone.  And with the Internet, the Fount of all Knowledge (and free to all) you have all the secrets  Including animal cruelty.  Or how to build a bomb or sarin gas and of course how to make cute stuff with bleach bottles. Google it.  Strushie was not hit by a car or disease ridden.  He was part of a community that valued him enough to let him live his life unfettered.  Why does this matter?  Because we are all entitled to live without fear of monsters and hit men and danger and the chance to enrich our own communities.  Yet if the killing of a defenseless and harmless cat is done so easily and then covered up – the next kill or injustice or atrocity just becomes easier and  more justifiable.  This is a lesson.   This is why we should not have to fight to enjoy or cringe for any reason, color, faith, age or fur.  It creates a domino effect.  We are seeing now.  

 We are all Strushies. We matter.  I think this is something we all MUST remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sarah Palin Chronicles _ The Nature of Her Game September 10, 2008

Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
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Fifty days from now we will go to the polls to cast our vote. So much rides on this election after the last eight years of despair that I wonder what John McCain is thinking.  The time being taken by the media and the pundits to parse Sarah Palin has essentially diverted the real issues of these crucial days from the issues at hand.  We are now have to worry about this woman and what she might do if she makes it to the White House.  We think about little else.  Who has mentioned the economy, the war, the national debt, health care reform or anything that we have assumed was the point of these candidate’s platforms.  It has been my assumption that vetting a candidate was the job of the party considering the nomination.  Not the public, not the media.  And yet our valuable time and emotional energy has been hijacked by her antics of this woman and strange behavior, apparent since long before she was named VP candidate.  Why does the GOP think the media should do the GOP’s job?  What happened to the issues that were the talking points of this election?
 
I am angry and you should be too.  All the stones have not been unturned nor have her bona fides been examined.  Her religion, to which she is entitled, does not seem to be in step with reality.  This is fine for a private citizen but not for one who will speak for the nation.  Trying to ban books and punish librarians is not going to fly at the Library of Congress.  Claiming that God and his son Jesus are directing the war effort has no place in our political system.  GI’s may pray for an end to the fighting but I hardly think they believe Jesus wanted them there in the first place.  I suspect they hope Jesus wants them home.  And while we are discussing Jesus – why is a Christian Republic any more desirable than an Islamic or Jewish one?  Or Hindu or Buddhist.  Very little separates Sarah Palin from Mahmūd Ahmadinejād; they were both mayors and governors but he has a Ph.D.  Scary huh? Aren’t religious oppressors and zealots the very people we are trying to keep from attacking our country.  Isn’t that why we have Homeland Security, redition and waterboarding?  Well, as Pogo said so aptly “we have met the enemy and she is us”.  While the ice melts in Canada and the polar bear tries to live on land she maintains that global warming is a non-starter.  That the Gay can be “cured” by prayer and that woman have no choice in reproductive rights.  Is she good for the Jews?  I don’t think she envisions Jews as the righteous beings lifted heavenward during the Rapture – they do not believe in the Messiah she believes in.  Yet Orthodox Jews seem to love her – do they love her relationship with David Brickner?  Did they even know about it?  I wonder if lamebrain John McCain even knew the Pandora’s box he was opening when he let this holy rolling virago loose on the public.  There is still time for the spin doctors to lay her off for some reason or another and let the RNC put a real person on the ticket so we can get back to the election.  If not we can only hope that something is dug up that makes such a decision unnecessary.  Something that makes it mandatory.  And they had better dig fast.

The Sarah Palin Chronicles – Judgement Day? September 3, 2008

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Without bringing little Trig into this debate – as he is worthy of his own;  let’s take a peek at what Gov. Sarah Palin has done to her family and in particular her eldest daughter Bristol in the last week by her bad decisions that include, lying, covering up and bad judgement.  Factor in the fact that the Far Right Christian show runners are lapping it up like lemonade at a church picnic and you have a troublesome situation that focuses not on family and politics but Sarah’s ability to make thought-out, appropriate decisions. 
 
Now, I suspect Sarah Palin was indeed embarrassed, ashamed and probably very upset when she first learned her daughter was knocked up at 17.  Long before McCain came a-calling. But she also knew what she had was a small local dilemma that wouldn’t make too much of deal in Alaska – a couple of lines of omigods  in the news and then Bristol and John could get hitched and sink back into Wasilla in relative anonymity.  Trig’s birth in April hardly merited a mention even in the Alaskan news.  Sarah didn’t really have to concoct too many lies and smokescreens – things happen, not enough church, not much to do for teenagers in Alaska…blah..blah..blah.  End of problem.  And then came John.
 
Yes, here comes the GOP presidential candidate and drops the run of a lifetime in your lap and you say, Yes indeedy and then you:
A. Ask yourself What would Jesus Do? and do it
B. Make full and verifiable disclosures
C  You bite the bullet, swallow your shame and fess’ up 
D.  Make up a big fat lie and grab a baby blanket
 
Rather than spill the whole story about the baby, the next baby, the trooper, the earmarks, the line vetoes, the wholesale firing of government employees and her desire to secede from the Union, she started spinning stories forgetting that she also needed plausible deniability.  Big, pregnant bumps are undeniable.
 
This is not a beauty pageant Miss Congeniality.  I don’t think McCain knew Bristol was pregnant. 
 
Let’s take a short peek, here at an aspect of The Religious Right. I think most religious families who flaunt their values and superiority flip out when it backfires on them.  Due to the hypocrisy involved in many fundamentalist sects of organized religions – the folks do not usually practice what they preach and what they shove down the throat of others.  We should expect daughters and sons of those families to save it for marriage and then do it like rabbits.  Unwed motherhood is a huge sin in most fundamentalist faiths (except the FLDS). Even in 2008.
 
I don’t imagine Sarah is a very warm and fuzzy mother.  Her behavior with Trig is very telling.  But it seems to me trotting your family out on a national stage and in front of the world with a pregnant teenager hiding her bump with some baby in her arms must have been excruciating for Bristol.   How could a mother do that to her child?  Asking a pregnant girl to hide herself is just plain cruel and wrong.  I don’t know what Jesus would have done – but I would have smote her on the spot.  I presume Bristol was wrapped in a burqua until someone told Sarah she’s better come clean because it wouldn’t be a secret much longer.  Most of what she has gotten in the media is what she created by being duplicitous, a liar and an opportunist with very questionable political values.  Shame on you Sarah.  I’ll bet John McCain would like to throw up.
 
Yet so many right wing women suddenly sympathize.  Sarah’s family situation should have nothing to do with being Vice President and everyone knows it.  But consider this and this is important.   When you get “Jesus” you have to turn a blind eye to anythingyou thought and disremember everything you  did before you were saved.  I know this from experience.  Born again women have no problem tearing their kid’s “bastards” out their arms and giving them away.  I have seen it happen.  First the riot act is read chapter and verse when the news of the pregnancy is found out. Then the hot baths and the triple pee on a stick tests.  Abortion comes to mind but a condition of being saved is you must be willing to save everyone and everything no matter what.  Did Bristol choose to stay knocked up.  I doubt it.  But knocked up she is and married in the cross hairs she will be – I don’t think it was in the plans however.  So Sarah Palin is not well-acquainted with being politic.  It appears she is in NO  way being a heartbeat away.  Didn’t anyone learn anything from Speak of the Devil Cheney?   Okay, Dumb As Dirt Dan Quayle? Guess not.
 
Thanks John.
 
 

 

 



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