Monday, June 25, 2018

My Reaction to the CBS Opioid Crisis Article

I am writing this in reaction to the CBS opioid crisis article/video that is available at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-ex-dea-agent-opioid-crisis-fueled-by-drug-industry-and-congress/ ) I am reacting to this as it shows both sides but having been a chronic pain sufferer since a couple bad motorcycle accidents, I have personal experience with this subject. The article states correctly that in 2011, more than 17000 people died from Opioids. What the article tries very hard not explain is, that MOST OF those overdoses were from heroin, Fentanyl, or illegal morphine addicts (people who could still get blue Endos and Dilaudid priced at forty to eighty dollars a pill). There are more than ten types of pain meds so the people taking oxycodone (not to be confused with "Hillbilly Heroin", Oxycontin) and hydrocodone are losing their needed pain medications because of the people who graduated on to worse, stronger medications, including heroin and methadone, which anyone in the drug addiction field knows has the worst withdrawals from.
The industry itself sucks. After World War One, morphine addiction was an epidemic the industry's solution was heroin. Then forty years later, they came up with methadone to get rid of heroin addiction:
1) Morphine will cause you to have 3-5 days of withdrawal symptoms;
2) Heroin will cause you to have 5-10 days of withdrawal symptoms; and
3) Methadone will cause you to have at least 14 days of bone wrenching agony type withdrawals.
We used to joke in 12 step meetings that the scary thought, in 1989, was that this same industry was thinking of something else. By the year 2000, they actually had, and it was called Fentanyl. Fentanyl was developed in 1959 but wasn't so immediately used commonly for pain until after 2011, when the pain patch was invented.
The main overdose problem is not so much that people overdose (death from too high a dosage) accidently, on pain medications. The biggest problem is that pain medications eventually stop having the desired effectiveness and so the patient wants to increase their dosage.
Pain medications also cause depression and some people just decide that life in pain, on medication for pain, is just not worth it so, they take an intentional overdose and kill themselves, but A) the families of these people don't want to believe this and B) the people who OD themselves, don't want to admit in a sucide note that they were selfish and weak enough to kill themselves intentionally. Having been to enough funerals of members of the 12 step program myself, I can tell you at the memorial service there is usually always some family member and even fellow recovery members, that express how selfish the person was who died (having been given the gift of sobriety and thrown it back in God's face), not taking into account the misery and depression of a relapsed addict. I have seen at least one real antagonist of this type eventually relapse and die themselves and I can tell you, no one gave that person any sympathy when they were suffering.
The worst problem with overdose is the drug Fentanyl, which I found to interesting paragraphs of an article about the drug which will prove my point.
A) "...Fentanyl is an incredibly potent opioid analgesic. It’s similar to morphine, yet anywhere from 50 to 100 times stronger, and it’s classified as a schedule II prescription drug, meaning there is the potential for abuse, but it does also have therapeutic pain-relieving benefits in some cases.It’s available in several prescription brand name versions including Actiq, Sublimaze, and Duragesic.In a clinical or hospital setting, someone might be given fentanyl to relieve severe pain, such as following surgery or to manage pain from cancer. It is sometimes used in the treatment of chronic pain if a person has proven resistant to other, less strong opioids.The street names for fentanyl, or heroin that is mixed with fentanyl, include China Girl, China White, and Goodfella, among others.When fentanyl is used medically, it’s often done in a format where it’s delivered for constant pain relief, and the Duragesic Transdermal Patch is the most common way that’s done. It is something that’s applied to the skin that releases a set amount of the drug every hour.While in a medical setting fentanyl can be effective and safe for the treatment of severe pain, when it’s used illegally it can be incredibly dangerous. There are more than 12 illicit types of fentanyl that are known currently, and one of the reasons it’s so dangerous is because the effects last for a much shorter time than heroin. The shorter the effects of a powerful drug, generally the more addictive it is and the more potential for abuse and overdose exists."
And...
B)"...The company Janssen Pharmaceutica first developed it in 1959, and it was primarily used as an anesthetic and pain reliever for medical purposes when it was first introduced.During the 1960s it started to be used as an intravenous anesthetic, and it was called Sublimaze. It wasn’t until the middle of the 1990s when the fentanyl patch was introduced and could be used in the treatment of chronic pain, such as pain from cancer.After the patch, other ways of delivering fentanyl were introduced including the Actiq lollipop and other oral options.So regarding illicit use, where does fentanyl come from? Most fentanyl in the U.S. comes from China." (The article is at: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/fentanyl-addiction/where-does-fentanyl-come-from/#gref )

Knowing all this, Fentanyl is used quite frequently in hospitals for chronic pain and most often by doctors treating cancer patients who have built a resistance up to other drugs.
I hope this information explains to you the frustration of people who have chronic pain and have lost their prescriptions recently, that they have never abused, but were on medications for years. Their medications, that took the edge off the pain and made life liveable, because reckless pharmacies and prescription drug addicts in some small redneck communities, were using ten times the prescribed dosage of regular chronic pain patients, or were using illegal Fentanyl, that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine sulphate, when made in it's clinical pharmaceutical form,  were taken away so the people who used it properly suffer because of those who use it dangerously.
Previous to that, patients on any prescription pain medication were forced to buy a Narcan kit, that is used for heroin overdoses by paramedics and hospitals.
Doctors in a hurry to provide solutions scare me, although only half as bad as congressmen who demonize anything they don't understand, reminiscent of witch burners during (get this) 1692 to 1918. (Bet you didn't know it went on that long, did you?)
Just like the doctors in a hurry that, when faced with the Bubonic Plague, decided that dogs and cats must be spreading the plague, killed all the dogs and cats in the parts of Europe that was dying. They killed the very animals that could have gone into the sewers and killed the rats that actually did spread the disease. In other words, doctors in a hurry are STUPID. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Cradle of the Confederacy

The history revisionists that want you to believe that racism went away with the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 don't want you to know who these people are/were.
I will mention the man on the left with a beer smiling while sitting next to his mentors/co-conspirators, is 1) Bill Clinton as a young man.
The man in the middle is 2) George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush's father, who was, at the time, the director of the C.I.A. The man on the far right is 3) George Wallace, the governor of the state of Alabama. For those of you who are too young to remember, George Wallace made two really significant speeches, that most of the Southerners/Supposed Christian Conservatives, would like you to forget ever happened.
My memory was refreshed as I watched the movie "Selma" today, again, and I remember that he, George Wallace, was the racist that tried to keep the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that shouldn't have been necessary if it weren't for racists, from being passed.
Right after this meeting happened, A) these speeches occurred and B) immediately, that night, Medgar Evers was murdered, Eventually John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King were murdered. Please read these speeches to understand the tone of Southern America at that point in history.
"Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny...and I say...segregation now...segregation tomorrow...segregation forever." George Wallace, January 14, 1963
"...On June 11, 1963 Nicholas Katzenbach Deputy Attorney General made his way through a parted crowd to confront the Alabama state governor, George C. Wallace. Wallace stood in the doorway of Foster auditorium awaiting his opportunity to make a statement that would represent the “very heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland.” The moment, to be named, “The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”, would become one of the most notorious demonstrations of opposition to school integration and a wake-up call to the nation.
The he nation turned its eye to Alabama. In the notorious moment, that would be forever bound to the narrative of Alabama state history, four-time governor George C. Wallace took his stand and the entire nation was watching. That afternoon the nation also looked to the benevolent Kennedy Administration, who now declared civil rights to be a moral issue. Later that night civil rights activist Medgar Evers was shot dead, illustrating how maintaining the status quo ruled over human dignity.
Though Wallace’s act was a departure from the violence that erupted at The University of Mississippi a year earlier, Wallace’s demonstration represented the opposition to the federal government by states, an issue that had not been faced since the civil war. This tension is not only representative of the failures of the Jim Crow south, but a reiteration of racist ideology and white supremacy that cast its shadow over the “cradle of the confederacy”
With outside agitators questioning the southern morals of governor Wallace and the President of The University of Alabama, Frank A. Rose; Wallace became determined to fulfill his duty and maintain his promise of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” In the statement, Wallace gave in the doorway of Foster auditorium he made sure to address the growing discontent between the federal government and state government. The staged demonstration of defiance highlights the threats of intervention and the detrimental effects it has on not only the state of Alabama, but also the American people. While Wallace believed that he was exercising his constitutional rights, he was infringing upon the rights that were denied of the two African- American students, Vivian A. Malone and James Hood who wished to enroll that day."
For those of you who don't remember (Who are to young.) or understand that time period, and there are many, I want you to remember when you hear the phrases, "States Rights" and "Family Values", they are code words (dog whistle political language) for people who want the right of some states to continue to discriminate against people of color and 'White Anglo-saxon Protestant Values Voters'.
You will notice the flag that frames Wallace's picture that stood for the racist mentality that swept the South as long as those people are allowed to believe that they are "The Cradle of The Confederacy" instead of realizing that was a violent political coups that failed and that they lost the war so it's time to get over it.

I Stand With Wallace video:

"Segregation Forever" Speech

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I still don't understand Republican Voters.

Today, Steve Lucas and I ate breakfast together, as we do most Sundays. We talk about American politics as compared to our Buddhist views on things. (E.G. gun violence, the take over of the Republican Party by Libertarian extremists, Trump's latest ignorant remark or action, political morons in the news, etc.) and we aren't real quiet about our feelings. (We don't speak in hushed tones to make people more comfortable.) Today I was wearing my Science Fiction t-shirt, like the graphic below.
About halfway through breakfast, some older (than us, even, I know!) guy came over to our table as he was leaving, and said, "I want you to know, I'm a Republican and I am not rich." It occurred to me that he said this as if it was a genetic thing he couldn't alter, and didn't seem to realize that the fact that his party didn't care about him, was making our point.

It reminded me of my mother. Her father was a Republican and so she was a Republican, the same way that one day, in our car, she said, "We are Methodists." as if it were a genetic thing we had no choice in.
I hear the same thing from other people and as I argue with myself about things like whether or not to register as an Independent rather than a Democrat, I know the choice I make is because of the real issues, not the made up ones like Abortion that always comes up at election time but you would think by now the Republican voters, like Democratic voters are about equality now have resigned ourselves to understand that the DNC has been taken over by that party's corporate stooges, that call themselves "establishment" Democrats (which is basically undercover Republicans) are never going to try to confront the issues that really matter, like equality for all, male and female, every race and religion or education instead of military spending for the sake of profit to the military contractors, or even racial equality when the Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964 when everything should have changed but instead started prison overpopulation and the banks screwing us again with no penalties, and just, as the Kennedys all have said, equal opportunity in the way of environmental issues and opportunity for all.

Republican Politicians always run on issues like Abortion, knowing they aren't going to change the public's mind about the issue since 75 percent of the country is FOR Roe v Wade and safe abortions, but people still vote for that.
They run on, "These liberal motherf**kers are coming to get your guns" when there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE OF THAT.
They also run on religion based dog whistle politics that Rupert Murdoch's father invented like "Family Values" which stands for "Christian White People". All of that is part of the Southern Strategy that any progressive people and all conservatives, also, should have read by now on Wikipedia.
To these people, being a Republican is like a religion and they all worship at the feet of whoever they think is their next savior, (reminding me slightly of the followers of Jim Jones in Guyana) only to be disappointed time and again as history points out that the latest king failed them, usually about the time that the Freedom Of Information Act causes the real truth to be known by all of the general public.
It reminds me of the people who still think they are hypoglycemic after the doctors that invented that test, were compelled to come on television 20 plus years ago and admit they made the whole thing up, the tests were bogus, if you took the 12 hour test you were kind of hypoglycemic but if you took the 24 hour test, you were really hypoglycemic (they did this by having you fast so your blood sugar was low, not rocket science). Sorry if you just found this out here.
The thing that occurred to me is that these people say they are for the same things I believe in, but then vote for the people who legislate just the opposite way. Like the toothless redneck in the movie, "Welfare Queen", who stands in the doorway of his shambles of a shack and when asked,"Republican Policies have never worked for you, why do you keep voting for them?" His answer was so simple and stupid at the same time. "Well, they might, SOMEDAY!"
What it really comes down to is this, they just don't want to admit that maybe they were wrong about some things.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Posting again about Facebook

Here is the situation. Facebook let's people get offended by a picture of a man's bulge in his pants which ISN'T NUDITY but then some racist can call someone a black piece of shit and that is not against policy.  WTF?  I am blocked from Facebook for three days AND I DON'T CARE.  Facebook has become a rightwing diatribe that only allows people who call themselves conservative, which translates to idiots who have no critical thinking skills. I can point to profiles on there where there are people who say racially offensive posts and go on and on lying about "liberals and Democrats" as if we can't read. They live in a world of crap and information vacuum and Mark Zuckerberg evidently thinks that is okay. Screw him and screw everyone on there who is offended by something humorous instead of racial hatred.
So, if this offends you,

and racist content doesn't then please stay away from me because you and I are living in a different reality and yours isn't touching it's feet all the way on the ground. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Las Vegas Shooter Stories (plural)

The right wing blogosphere spin machine keeps trying to quickly blame someone who they feel is a threat to their ideology and finances. So, this post details all the idiocy we have been listening to on the Las Vegas Shooter. Yesterday, some blogger pretending to be a news source made it obvious to me that I would have to wait a couple days to see all this ironed out successfully. He actually spelled the name of the location Los Vegas, like Los Angeles. (SMH)
So, here I go:
Do you remember the notes that supposedly were left behind in the Las Vegas shooter's room?  Last night that was a big story according to some people. He was supposedly a Christian zealot who wrote "Jesus Saves.  Everyone needs to repent."
Today we get this from the following REAL news story: "...Police have not released a motive for the attack and did not immediately call the shooting a terrorism incident. Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Stephen Paddock did not leave behind any notes or indications as to why he attacked the concertgoers."
Also, after having read that he was 'radicalized by ISIS', we today find, "...We have to establish what his motivation is first," Lombardo said when responding to a question about why the shooting hasn't been labeled a terrorism incident. "There are motivating factors associated with terrorism other than a distraught person just intending to cause mass casualty. Before we label with that, it will be a matter of process." That came from the actual police investigating the shooting, not a blogger.
Also, I heard he had as many as 7 rifles in his room. Today, we find, "...Lombardo said Paddock had 10 rifles and had been staying in his room since Thursday."
This one I find troubling, from the same Newsweek story, "...
Paddock was using the ID of Marilou Danley, his roommate, whom police at first were calling a person of interest in the investigation. But Lombardo said that police had located Danley outside the United States and that she was not thought to have been involved in the attack."
So, someone in the police department, only after seeing the woman outside of the U.S., realized she wasn't the man in the shooter's room? Some real detective work there. How does that work?
Summation: What I realized long ago is that people unfortunately try to be the first one to report something. Some people intentionally try to spin everything to fit their political agenda, but so many are inaccurately just saying ANYTHING, only for the purpose of being the first to report something, so they hear a rumor that was based on conjecture, not fact, don't check sources or any real evidence with any real investigators and that is why we had so many stupidly inaccurate stories about this mass shooting yesterday.
Someone from CNN actually got themselves fired for speculating that since he he shot country and western fans, who were mostly Republican voters who elect people that vote against anti gun violence and sensible background checks, and have voted to allow the mentally ill to own firearms, then, she didn't feel any sympathy for them.
And so MY TAKE IS: "Loose lips need to be ignored because they usually come from loose sources like loose brains."  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rag's Real Chicken & Waffles In Youngtown, AZ

I am doing something different for me tonight. I am reviewing a restaurant owned by someone who I just met. I want to first say that I have no ill feelings towards anyone I am mentioning here. As far as my qualifications go, to judge chicken, I grew up in the same area as the Harmon family whose restaurants Harmon's Kentucky Fried Chicken (Mr. Harmon was Colonel Sanders' partner.) I have eaten at "Pan's Diner" in Los Angeles and visited the "chicken wings with anything" restaurants in East L.A. near Compton and Hawthorne.
I like Chicken and Waffles, that mixture of salty and sweet together is always welcome on my pallet.
I have eaten at "Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe", on E Jefferson St. in Phoenix. I have met Larry White (Whose nickname is LoLo.), and he is Mrs. White's grandson, at LOLO'S Chicken and Waffles, and have eaten at both the 1220 S Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ location and the LOLO'S Chicken and Waffles, 3133 N Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ.  
I am not here to throw dispersions on anyone, simply to inform the public of a less famous place, which I ate at tonight, that I think most chicken connoisseurs will immediately love, if they try it. It isn't so far off the beaten path so as to be unattainable, but it isn't located where most Phoenicians don't drive past daily or even weekly, but I think you will start, if you try their food. 
First, the location is named "Rag's Real Chicken and Waffles" (all you can eat buffet). It is located at 12242 N. 111th Avenue, in Youngtown, AZ. 
There is live music. Tonight there was an excellent quality keyboard player, named Billy Frederick. The sign brags of Blues music, live, on Friday nights. The owner comes out to the tables and greets everyone personally, making sure all are satisfied. He is proud of providing excellent quality food at a reasonable price with live music and a relaxed family atmosphere. Tonight, 9/14/2017, I ate chicken and waffles, with a side of mac & cheese (which I must add was the most tender noodles and flavorful cheese that I have EVER tried, ever, in that simple dish) and a side of baked beans (I could taste little pieces of bacon in them), both excellent.
The Price? picture all that for two people (myself and a female friend) including large drinks, came out to less than $40 with tax. I almost felt like I was eating at Ken's (Rags') home, there is that much personal service.
I was really satisfied, because I can eat a bit and I couldn't finish my chicken breast that came with my waffle. The waffles are excellent and the syrup is, also.
The Rags House Platter - 4 pieces of chicken (1 leg, 1 thigh, 1 breast, and 1 wing), 4 chicken strips, 8 rib bones, 4 whole fillets of fish, 12 pieces of shrimp, choice of 2 sides, loaf of bread, and 2 liters of soda - is $50 and all of the other nine plates are between 7 and 13 dollars. There are senior discounts and an all you can eat buffet for $10. Free coffee and tea for seniors (55 and up).
I would and AM recommending this for my friends.
I told him I was going to write a review of the place, I was immediately inspired to, as the food is that good. The breading on the chicken is excellent, equal to the quality of the fish batter at "Brad's Fish and Chips" at 23rd Ave. and W. Bethany Home Road. Not the same thing but what I mean to say is that it had the non-greasy, crispy goodness and golden brown texture and taste because of what that excellent breading qualifies for and NO overpowering spices, just nicely thin breading over non-greasy chicken that went down fast. I suggest that you let it set a bit when it gets to the table because my friend and I both noticed it was served hot, right from the deep frier. 
But, as to the QUANTITY (size) of the chicken breasts, my friend and I both had to take half of our chicken breasts home. I can put away some food (I weigh around 200 lbs. and I like to eat.) and that was too much for me for one sitting. Those of you who can appreciate a good sized meal will like this place. One more thing, they even deliver!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ACTUAL Global Responsibility

Recently, I went to a small seminar on the "Runaway Income Inequality" that has been rampant in the United States for so long, that was sponsored by the CWA. (The Communications Workers of America union represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.) 
These are some other considerations that I want you to look at, in conjunction with that, thanks.
I have a concept for you to consider. This is real and not a hypothetical situation.
Think about this. We have an opioid problem in the United States.
Opium poppies are a thriving business in the country of Afghanistan. When we invaded, we decided to continue to let them grow them, as growing other crops (cotton or wheat) would interfere (compete) with United States interests,
The only idea congress (The same people who deny science and facts, in most cases.) had for controlling the problem is to make the people who do the drugs responsibly (like the doctor prescribed) suffer for everyone who takes them illegally. Changing their dosage amounts, prescription count (number of pills per prescription), and limiting how they can buy them legally from the pharmacy.
Mass punishment doesn't work because the main people who overdosed were taking them illegally, to begin with. I had an old friend who is no longer with us, whose case I will use without using his name.
Example: Someone who is depressed buys a semi illegal shoebox full of Oxycontin (causing great guilt and more depression) over the internet (If they are sued, the company in the islands can use the excuse that what they did was legal where they live.) and one day decides that it isn't enough and since his life sucks, he needs more and more, and eventually he falls asleep for good. His breathing gets too shallow, chest muscles won't let him inhale enough, heart muscles stop pumping, and he is found dead from (the official cause of death in the paper) heart failure.
I contend that "business considerations first" is an attitude that we, who in America, must stop worrying about, because, WE, since the 1980s, have been told that we are now living in a global economy.
(Remember all those speeches from George Bush and Dick Cheney about "living in a post 9/11 economy" that were excuses for prices going up while money and jobs kept going away?)
SO:
That is total bullshit in the United States
BECAUSE:
In order for that to work, everything must be equal all over the world. That will only happen with these considerations.
A) Prices will have to come down and become equal world wide, B) wages will have to go up to be commensurate with the cost of living, and C) certain people will no longer get to keep most of the money.
ACTUAL EQUALITY MEANS EVERYONE.
That, my friends, is part of global responsibility that the Dalai Llama speaks of.
That IS global, NOT exclusivist, elitist economics, as our government propaganda forces, including the pro-business, regressive news organisations, tell us. (We all know who they are.)
The rest of it entails two other major factors.
1) Peace around the world (no room for racism and xenophobia) and 2) (the last but most important, because without this, nothing else will matter) the global climate change initiative must be joined and adhered to. Being at peace without poverty will mean we also have to have some considerations like clean water to drink and fresh clean air to breathe. We can't eat or breathe some rich guy's money in the end. Neither can he.
Thanks, and have a nice day.