Philip Seymour Hoffman was Found Dead Today from an Apparent Drug Overdose

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead today from an apparent drug overdose.  Sad.  Such a great talent.  The characters he brought to life helped us escape from our troubles for a couple of hours.  He could be a bit of a curmudgeon in real life, though.  But a warmth shone through the characters he played.  He worked hard to polish his craft.  And he was a natural.  Likeable.  Even if you didn’t like the movie he was in you enjoyed seeing him in it.  It is so sad that drugs have taken yet another great talent from us (see Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead at 46 by Jenny Depper posted 2/2/2014 on Yahoo! Movies).

Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday. He was 46.

The New York City Police Department  confirmed to “The Insider With Yahoo” that the actor was found dead at 12 p.m. ET in his fourth floor apartment in the Greenwich Village of New York City.

While the official cause of death is still unknown at this point, police speculate that he may have died of a drug overdose. The actor was found with a needle in his arm and apparent heroin was found at the scene…

Hoffman had struggled with addiction in the past, but was reportedly clean for 23 years before falling off the wagon in 2012. He most recently checked into rehab in May 2013.

In a 2006 interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Hoffman discussed his earlier drug use dating back to the time after his graduation from New York University’s drama school.

“It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah, it was anything I could get my hands on… I liked it all,” Hoffman said. Eventually, he chose to seek treatment. “I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old. You get panicked… and I got panicked for my life. It really was just that.”

He also revealed that his drug habit was life-threatening. “I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they’re beautiful and famous and rich. I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I’d be dead.’ You know what I mean? I’d be 19, beautiful, famous and rich. That would be it. I think back at that time. I think if I had the money, that kind of money and stuff. So, yeah [I would have died].”

Every time there is another death caused by a firearm the left screams for new gun control legislation.  But when a great talent dies from a drug overdose you hear no cry from the left for new drug control legislation.  No.  Instead they celebrate Colorado and Washington for decriminalizing recreational marijuana.  Because, as the left says, marijuana is safer than alcohol.

But making marijuana more readily available will only make more kids start using it.  Just as it made out-of-state college applications explode in those two states.  Because these kids want to get high.  And will get high.  For the more readily available marijuana is the more they will get high.  Developing new drug habits.  And then, perhaps, moving on to something stronger.  Like heroin.  Which Hoffman didn’t start with.  But he ended with.  And no doubt more will.  Because while the left calls for new gun control legislation whenever anyone dies by a firearm they have no problem with people developing drug habits.  They even encourage it with pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use.  The drug pretty much everyone who ever died from a drug overdose started with.

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Governments turn People into Addicts to generate Tax Revenue

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 4th, 2014

Week in Review

During the days of the British Empire Great Britain had a problem.  They loved Chinese tea.  But the British had nothing the Chinese wanted in trade.  Except for one thing.  Silver.  Hard money.  Which was a problem for Britain.  They were running out of hard money.  So they came up with an ingenious way to solve that problem.  By getting as many Chinese hooked on opium as possible.  So they could trade Indian grown opium for Chinese tea.  It worked out great for the British.  But the Chinese didn’t like it.  And fought two opium wars with the British.  Which did not end well for them.

North Korea has a hard money problem, too.  And they, too, turned to drugs.  Crystal meth.  Which North Korea manufactured in state-run labs.  Destined for China.  Where they tried to get as many people addicted to crystal meth as possible.  So they can sell it in exchange for Chinese currency.  Which they could use to buy Chinese food.  To help ward off famine in North Korea.  This worked pretty well for North Korea.  But only gave China another addiction problem.

In the United States the government found other ways to raise revenue.  The first two big sources of addiction-revenue were cigarette and alcohol taxes.  But it soon proved not enough.  They then got people addicted to playing the lottery.  When that revenue proved to be insufficient they then got people addicted to casino gambling.  But government spending had grown so great that this revenue was still not enough.  So the government is looking at other things to get people addicted to (see Why Legalizing Marijuana Is a Smart Fiscal Move by Bruce Bartlett, The Fiscal Times, posted 1/3/2014 on Yahoo! News).

Perhaps the dominant factor driving marijuana legalization is the desperate search for new revenue by cash-strapped state governments. The opportunity to tax marijuana is potentially a significant source of new revenue, as well as a way of cutting spending on prisons and law enforcement. The California Secretary of State’s office, for example, estimates savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars from both factors. The following summary is from a proposed state ballot initiative in California (No. 1617)…

It is not surprising that revenue considerations should be critical in the marijuana legalization movement. That was previously the reason why cigarettes were not banned until the 1920s despite a strong nationwide movement to do so. In the wake of Prohibition, governments simply needed cigarette tax revenue too badly. And when Prohibition ended, the need for new revenue after the Great Depression decimated government budgets was a driving force.

Indeed, according to author Daniel Okrent, expectations of the revenue from taxing legal liquor were so great in 1932 that some people thought it might permit the repeal of income taxes. It’s worth remembering that in 1900, taxes on alcohol and cigarettes constituted half of all federal revenues. Indeed, the only reason Prohibition was possible in the first place was that the income tax established in 1913, which was greatly expanded by World War I, would replace the revenue lost from the liquor tax after Prohibition.

There have been no great cuts to revenue like that following Prohibition.  Government spending has just grown so great that it far exceeds the nation’s ability to pay for it with current taxes and borrowing.  So they are looking to make people addicted to marijuana to help pay for their large public sectors.  As well as their vote-buying welfare state.  And when this proves insufficient they can turn to other sources of revenue.  Such as decriminalizing and taxing heroin.  Cocaine.  Crack.  Crystal meth.  Opium.  Even prostitution.  People are already doing these things.  So they can’t be any worse than marijuana.  As long as only responsible adults indulge in these activities.  Just as only responsible adults will smoke marijuana in Colorado.  For think of the tax revenue heroin, cocaine, crack, crystal meth and opium could generate.  For those drugs are really addictive.  And just think how much old rich men would enjoy 18 year old prostitutes.  Prostitution would be a booming business to tax.  These young women could generate great tax revenue for the government by just doing what consenting adults want to do.

We could do these things to find new sources of revenue.  Or we could NOT make people addicts.  Or NOT sell women into prostitution.  Instead we could cut the size of the public sector and the welfare state.  So we can cut spending.  Which would eliminate the need to produce new tax revenue in the first place.  Allowing people to keep their hard-earned money instead of handing it over to the government.  To pay for generous pensions and retiree health care for others.

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Cory Monteith is another Victim in the Democrat’s War on the Young

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 5th, 2013

Week in Review

Cory Monteith’s death is a warning.  Kids should listen to their parents more.  And to the Democrats less (see ‘Glee’ actor Corey Monteith died of heroin, alcohol mix by JEREMY HAINSWORTH, Associated Press, posted 10/2/2013 on The Kansas City Star).

The British Columbia Coroners Service said Wednesday investigators found a spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle in the hotel room where “Glee” actor Cory Monteith was found dead in July.

The coroner’s final report issued Wednesday, confirmed initial findings that Monteith died from using intravenous heroin combined with alcohol…

The investigation said Monteith had a history of illicit drug use with intermittent periods of rehabilitation and of abstinence from drugs…

His death recalled the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s.

Monteith had talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was “lucky to be alive.”

In that interview, he said he was using marijuana and drinking by age 13, and his drug use was “out of control” by the time he was 16. “Anything and everything, as much as possible,” he said. “I had a serious problem.”

People always like to make a comparison between marijuana and alcohol.  That marijuana is no worse than alcohol.  But there is only one drunk.  While there are many highs.  With the next high always promising to be better than the last high.  Something we call chasing the dragon.  That often ends in overdoses.  And death.  Like in Monteith’s case.

Notice the drug Monteith started with.  Marijuana.  Which is why marijuana isn’t like alcohol.  Because there aren’t new ways of getting drunk when an old way of getting drunk bores you.  Not so with drugs.  Where amateurs and novices start off with marijuana.  Until it bores them.  Then they start looking for new highs.  Better highs.  Until one day they start injecting drugs of dubious origin into their veins.

People don’t start by injecting drugs of dubious origin into their veins.  That’s an experienced drug user.  Who worked their way up to heroin.  After starting with marijuana.  The very drug states are now starting to decriminalize.  While the federal government looks the other way.  If marijuana is no longer illegal more people are likely to try it.  Get bored with it.  And move on to other drugs.  Just like Monteith, Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix did.  And countless children whose deaths didn’t make it into the news.  With countless others soon to follow.

The young like the Democrats.  Because they are not their parents.  Instead of saying ‘no’ to sex and drugs the Democrats give out free birth control.  Resulting in an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases.  Especially among young girls.  Who will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.  Even when trying to find someone to marry and start a family with.  Which an STD doesn’t make easy.  While other girls become mothers before they leave high school.  Setting back any career plans they may have had as they can’t raise their children and go off to college.  While others get abortions.  Which some regret as they grow older.  Not all.  But those who do can’t stop thinking about the life that didn’t happen because of what they did.  When they made a decision as a child their grownup self regrets.  So the Democrats really mess up young people’s lives.  And if that damage wasn’t enough they are now making it easier to become a drug addict.  By making the number one gateway drug no longer illegal.

Democrats will do anything to secure the youth vote.  Even if they destroy their lives in the process.  Which they often do.  In fact, they’re destroying their entire generation with the debt they’re going to leave them.  While at the same time impoverishing them with Obamacare.  Where the young and healthy will pay for the health care of the old and sick.  Leaving them with little now.  And even less to save for their own retirement.  Making the Democrats young people’s worst enemy.  Yet the Democrats have fooled them into believing that they are their best friend.  Just goes to show you what you can do if you have no conscious.  Which is easier to do when you get rid of God everywhere.  For if there is no God what do you have to worry about in this life when you believe there is no afterlife?  Talk about your freedoms.  Freedom from empathy.  Something that comes in handy for a ruling class interested only in power.

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North Korea Manufactures and Sells Meth to Chinese addicts to bring Hard Currency into the Country

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2013

Week in Review

Keynesian economists, and those on the left, think there is nothing wrong with printing money.  Because they don’t understand money.  What it truly is.  So what is money?  It’s a temporary storage of wealth.  It is not wealth.  Doctors make a lot of money because they have learned great skills.  Skills few people have.  And doctors are willing to exchange these skills for money.  The wealth is a doctor’s skills.  The money temporarily holds this wealth until the doctor finds something to trade that money for.  From someone else that has wealth.  Who created something of value the doctor is willing to trade for.

All money did was make this trading of valuable things easier.  So we could trade with anyone even if they don’t want anything we can make or do.  A doctor doesn’t have to find someone who wants their gallbladder removed who has a television set if the doctor wants a television set.  The doctor can just go to a store and buy one.  Because of money.  Making the exchange of goods and services far easier than in a barter system.

Those who think money is wealth and that we should just print it and hand it out to the people are missing one very important point.  If you did this no one would have to work.  Those on the left would applaud that.  But if no one worked there would be no valuable things to trade.  And if there are no valuable things to trade then your money is worthless.  For if there is nothing to buy what good is having money?

North Korea has a lot of money.  But their money is worthless.  Because they just print it.  While their economy contains no valuable things to trade.  Not a big problem in a closed economy.  And you make your people slaves.  But it’s a problem if you want to trade with the outside world for the luxury items the lucky few in the ruling elite enjoy.  For if you have no valuable things in your economy then you must trade for valuable things with hard currency.  Money that isn’t worthless paper.  So North Korea came up with a way to get hard currency (see How North Korea got itself hooked on meth by Max Fisher published 8/21/2013 on The Washington Post).

A new study published in the journal North Korea Review says that parts of North Korea are experiencing a crystal meth “epidemic,” with an “upsurge” of recreational meth use and accompanying addiction in the country’s northern provinces…

So how do people in North Korea, a country where markets are so tightly regulated that even video CDs can be considered dangerous contraband and where social controls are often beyond Orwellian, manage to get hold of meth..?

The problem actually goes back to the 1990s, when North Korea experienced a famine so devastating that virtually the entire world believed the country would collapse at any moment. But it didn’t, in part because Pyongyang finally decided to open up the world’s most closed economy just a small crack, by allowing a degree of black market trade across North Korea’s border with China. The idea was that the black market would bring in food, which it did, preventing North Korea’s implosion.

The black market trade into China has remained that little bit open ever since, either because Pyongyang authorities can’t close it now or because they see some trade as beneficial, probably both. Some provinces along the border have seen their economies liberalize a tiny, tiny bit — most notably North Hamgyung, which is named in the North Korea Review report as particularly blighted by meth addiction.

In the years after the border with China opened that little crack, two other things have happened that led to the current meth crisis. First, medicine ran out and the once-not-terrible health system collapsed — more on this later. Second, North Korea started manufacturing meth in big state-run labs. The country badly needs hard currency and has almost no legitimate international trade. But it was able to exploit the black market trade across the Chinese border by sending state-made meth into China and bringing back the money of Chinese addicts.

This is where things started to spin out of control for North Korea. The state-run meth factories and the cross-border black market trade started to mingle. And some of that meth ended up migrating back across the border and into North Korea, through the black market trade that brings in Chinese rice and DVDs and the like.

This is where the collapse of the North Korean health system becomes relevant. As Isaac Stone Fish reported in a great 2011 Newsweek story, many regular North Koreans started using meth to treat health problems. Real medicine is extremely scarce in the country. But meth is much more common, which means that the prices of medical drugs are artificially inflated, while the price of meth is artificially low. In a culture without much health education and lots of emphasis on traditional remedies, people were ready to believe that meth would do the trick for their medical problems, and many got addicted.

Poor Chinese.  First the British got them addicted to opium.  Then North Korea got them addicted to meth.  It appears the Chinese people are nothing but pawns in the game of international trade.

Back in the days of mercantile Britain trade was all about who collected the most hard currency.  Basically gold and silver in those days.  The British loved Chinese tea.  And were filling ships full of the stuff to bring it back to Britain.  The problem was that the Chinese didn’t want anything the British were selling.  So Chinese goods were flowing to Britain.  But no British goods were flowing to China.  And without having exports to offset imports Britain was forced to trade the only thing they had that China wanted.  Their hard currency.  Their silver.  So Chinese goods flowed out of china.  And Britain’s hard currency flowed out of Britain.  So China was accumulating piles of hard currency while Britain saw their piles diminish.  Which was the exact opposite mercantile Britain wanted.  So they did something about it.  Thanks to India.

India was part of the British Empire.  And she grew opium poppies.  Something some Chinese did want.  So the British used this opium demand to stop the flow of hard currency out of the empire.  And traded Indian opium for Chinese tea.  This solved the trade deficit problem.  But it created a lot of addicts in China.  The addiction problem got so bad that it spawned two wars.  The Opium Wars.  Which did not end well for China.  And things did not get better in the century or so that followed.  And now here is North Korea.  Turning Chinese into addicts to get hard currency out of China (and into North Korea).  Just like the British did.  Of course, North Korea is nothing like the mighty British Empire.  So one would believe that China is allowing this addiction problem to happen.  As it is probably a smaller price to pay than the refugee problem should North Korea collapse.  And they may like that North Korean buffer between them and South Korea.  Japan.  And the United States.

North Korea is everything the left would like to have in the United States.  Tightly regulated markets.  National health care.  No rich people accumulating private property.  Where they frown on profits.  The even put people before profits.  Just like liberals want to do.  There’s no talk radio.  No Rush Limbaugh.  No Fox News.  No free trade.  No low-cost imports to undermine union manufacturing.  No obesity.  Because there is no junk food.  And no 32 ounce sugary beverages.  And a government that can do what is right for the people without having to worry about a Tea Party challenger in the next primary election.  North Korea is liberal nirvana.  Yet life there is horrible and wretched.  Because it’s everything liberals want.  But nothing the people want.

Liberals want to keep expanding government.  To have more government intervention into the free market.  But where does it end?  How far do they want to take things towards North Korea before they say they have enough?  And why anyone should worry about this is because as horrible and wretched life is in North Korea, those in the ruling elite have it pretty darn good.  Because the people in charge of these regimes never suffer like the people outside of the ruling elite.  So the farther they move towards North Korea the less they have to worry about an election taking away their comfy life.  This is why we should worry about a government growing larger.  For throughout world history life like that in North Korea has been the norm.  While life like that in the United States has been the exception.  And the United States has only been around for 225 years (counting from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution).  A crazy new fad the entitled ruling elite (i.e., liberals) would like to do away with.  So they can rule like they did in the good old days.  Much like they do today in North Korea.  Where the supreme ruler, Kim Jong-un, has an obesity problem.  One of the few in North Korea that isn’t gripped with a gnawing hunger every minute of every day.  This is life in a country where the ruling elite hates capitalism.  And puts people before profits.  This liberal nirvana.  Those in power live well.  While everyone else suffers.

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Laws banning Alcohol and Drugs didn’t stop Alcohol Violence or Drug Violence

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 31st, 2013

Politics 101

Prohibition Violence spilled onto the Streets where Gangsters shot up each other with Thompson Submachine Guns

Men have always drunk in this country.  A lot.  After the working day was over they went to their corner saloon.  And drank away their pay.  Getting inebriated.  And making a lot of bad decisions.  Such as drinking away their pay.  Getting into fights.  Engaging the services of prostitutes hanging out at the saloons.  Catching a venereal disease or two.  Taking them home to the wife.  Worse, some of these drunken men were beating their wives.

Alcohol violence was taking a toll on the American family.  In particular on the women in those American families.  This alcohol violence was creating a war on women.  These drunken men were beating their wives.  And inflicting them with venereal diseases.  Causing great harm to their wives.  And destroying their families.  They needed to do something.  And that something led to the temperance movement.  Which ended in Prohibition.  An outright ban on alcoholic beverages.

And it worked.  Alcohol violence on women committed by their husbands decreased.  As did the rate of venereal disease infections on married women.  As Prohibition shut down the local saloons.  And all the problems they caused.  But it didn’t stop everyone from drinking.  There was such a large demand despite Prohibition that others stepped in to meet that demand.  Organized crime.  Prohibition violence spilled onto the streets where gangsters shot up each other, and innocent bystanders, with Thompson submachine guns.  As the profitability of the illicit alcohol trade erupted in violent gang wars.  Allowing crime bosses like Al Capone to take over cities.  And corrupting their police forces.  Causing even more trouble than the original alcohol violence on married women.  So they repealed Prohibition.  And the people could drink once again.  As they always wanted to.

The Illicit Drug Trade picked up where Prohibition left off in terms of Gun Violence

The British were addicted to Chinese tea.  They couldn’t get enough of it.  Or other Chinese luxuries like silk and porcelain.  The only problem was that the Chinese didn’t want anything from Britain.  So as the Chinese goods flowed to Britain silver flowed from Britain to China to pay for their goods.  Causing a huge trade imbalance.  Which the British corrected with the opium grown in India.  And being that opium was addictive more and more Chinese were using opium.  Which reversed the net silver flow.  Allowing the British to enjoy their tea, silk and porcelain.  Which they traded Indian opium for.  Causing an addiction problem in China.  And a destruction of Chinese society.  That the Chinese responded to with the Opium Wars.

Drug addiction has destroyed many families.  And societies.  Throughout the world.  Which is why hard drugs like heroin and cocaine are illegal in most countries.  For they are very addictive.  Drug addicts lose their jobs.  Their wives.  Girlfriends.  And families.  As they sink into addiction without a job they often turn to crime to pay for their habit.  Become thieves.  Or prostitutes.  Where they often suffer abuse.  End up in jail.  Or catch AIDS from sharing needles with other intravenous drug users.  Cocaine use spread in more affluent circles.  While crack cocaine devastated poorer circles.  Which is why most of the world has criminalized these drugs.  Despite this demand remains high.  Cocaine use has fallen in the West.  But only because some users have switched to methamphetamine.  Which is cheaper.  More powerful.  And longer lasting.

Like with alcohol someone stepped in to meet this demand.  Organized crime.  And boy did they unleash drug violence onto the world.  From the street gangs shooting each other (and innocent bystanders) to control turf.  To the cartels higher up the distribution channels.  The illicit drug trade is big money.  Very big money.  Picking up where prohibition left off.  For it is the criminal element that truly benefits from banning anything.  The drug trade is so lucrative that it is now even funding al Qaeda.  Even though Islam strictly forbids the use of drugs.  But they have no problem taking a percent of the drug trade that flows from South America through Africa on its way to Europe.  Where it can destroy European societies.  Something al Qaeda has no problem with.

People already Breaking the Law will not be Stopped by another New Law

There is an epidemic of gun violence in the U.S.  Committed not by people who support and defend their Second Amendment right to own a gun.  For wanting to do that is not helped by shooting lots of innocent people.  In fact if one is prone to conspiracy theories one could say that the rise in gun violence is oddly coincidental to the Obama administration’s pursuit of gun control regulation.  Especially following Fast and Furious.  A program used by the Obama administration to try and stir up anti-gun sentiment.  Like that the current epidemic of gun violence is stirring up.  Which the conspiracy theorist could find a little too coincidental.   But I digress.

The people committing these acts of gun violence are some pretty disturbed people.  They have mental health issues.  Or are extremely angry about something.  Perhaps because they can’t get a job in the worst economic recovery in U.S. history.  Thanks to President Obama’s economic policies designed more for politics and social justice than actual job creation.  Who knows?  The only thing for certain is that this rise in gun violence corresponds with President Obama’s time in office.  For he didn’t campaign on the need for new gun control legislation.  But like his position on gay marriage he evolved to this position.  After witnessing a rise in gun violence during his time in office.

Whatever the cause is will new gun control legislation change anything?  Well, if we can learn anything from Prohibition and the War on Drugs, yes.  It will change things.  It will give organized crime another lucrative illicit trade.  But unlike alcohol and drugs their customers will not be people just trying to get a drink or a high.  It will be hardened criminals.  Who are shooting each other on the streets to defend their turf.  And at all levels of the illicit drug trade going right up to the cartels at the top.  So the criminals will have their guns.  And there will be new gang wars as criminal elements fight each other to control the gun trade.  Which may even increase the gun violence in places like Chicago.  Which is already one of the deadliest U.S. cities.  Despite having some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation.

So why do they have more gun deaths in Chicago than most cities?  Because there is a high demand for guns by the criminal element in Chicago.  Will a federal ban change that?  Will it put an end to gun violence?  Did it stop alcohol violence during Prohibition?  Does it stop drug violence now?  No.  A gun ban will not change what’s happening in Chicago.  For guns aren’t causing the gun deaths in Chicago.  It’s the people using the guns.  And people already breaking the law will not be stopped by another new law.

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Ontario trying to Ban a Generic Drug that will Benefit Big Pharma as well as the People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2012

Week in Review

What is Ontario doing now?  Ontario, like the rest of Canada, puts people before profits.  At least that’s the reason they give for their single-payer health care system.  But now Ontario is doing something that may actually put profits before people (see Ontario urges other provinces, territories to push for generic oxycodone ban by MARIA BABBAGE posted 11/23/2012 on The Globe and Mail).

Ontario is rallying other provinces and territories to put pressure on Ottawa to reconsider its decision not to ban generic forms of OxyContin, a highly addictive and much-abused painkiller.

What?  Trying to ban a cheaper generic drug?  What, are they in bed with Big Pharma?  Choosing profits over people?  And this from a nation that has a single-payer health care system because they do put people before profits?  This makes no sense at all.  Helping to keep cheaper generic drugs off of the market.  What gives, Ontario?

Provincial Health Minister Deb Matthews said she plans to bring in regulations that would limit access to the drug in Ontario unless it’s tamper-resistant.

Under the proposed regulations, long-acting oxycodone products won’t be considered for public funding or be substituted for the brand-name drug by pharmacists unless they meet certain criteria…

OxyContin was meant to manage pain with a formula that released one dose of oxycodone over many hours. However, abusers could circumvent the timed-release feature by crushing the pills…

Since Ms. Aglukkaq’s announcement, doctors, pharmacists, first-nation leaders and police chiefs have expressed deep concerns about the decision, Ms. Matthews wrote in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to Ms. Aglukkaq.

“I am seeking your support in asking that Health Canada reconsider their decision, as this remains the single most effective way to prevent the devastating impact that this drug can have on our respective jurisdictions,” she wrote.

Ontario has the highest rate of prescription narcotic abuse in the country — two to four times higher than any other province, according to Ms. Matthews.

It has devastated many first nations communities, including one small northern reserve where 85 per cent of residents are addicted to opioids.

Oh, it’s not about profits.  It’s about the horrible costs of addiction.  Both monetary.  And societal.  Which makes a strong argument against the decriminalization of drugs.  Even marijuana.  Because people abuse narcotics.  And will abuse them more if they are not illegal.  As prescription narcotic abuse proves.  Especially opioids.  This is why the Chinese fought the British in the Opium Wars.  To keep opium out of China.  As it was destroying a generation of Chinese.  As it is destroying a generation of first nation communities in Canada.

The War on Drugs has been one of the most costly wars in American history.  And we are no closer to winning than when we started.  Some would even say we are worse off because of it.  But when you look at the alternative the cost may even be higher.  Higher addiction rates.  More futures destroyed before kids even get a chance to start their lives.  And more families destroyed.

When it comes to drugs you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  There is no easy answer.  And there may be no answer.  But those who have to deal with the consequences of addiction will surely applaud Ontario for standing strong against addiction.  As they are putting people first.  Even though it may help someone’s profits.

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Study finds Link between Smoking Marijuana and Testicular Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 15th, 2012

Week in Review

Pot smoking can cause permanent brain damage.  It can lead to harder and more dangerous drug use.  But now there is something even more horrible it can do to you (see Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer by Jon Bardin posted 9/10/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

A new study, published Monday on the website of the medical journal Cancer, reports that men who have testicular cancer are twice as likely to have smoked marijuana before they were diagnosed than control subjects. The association existed only for nonseminomas, the more dangerous form of testicular cancer that is harder to treat.

In the study, carried out in Los Angeles, a team of researchers enrolled 163 men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1986 and 1991. They also recruited a larger group of control subjects who were matched to the patients on such characteristics as age, ethnicity, and what L.A. neighborhood the subjects lived in at the time they were diagnosed—a localized approach to controlling for socioeconomic status.

The researchers, led by Victoria Cortessis of the USC, quizzed the participants on a range of medical and lifestyle factors, including drug use. They found that marijuana use before they were diagnosed was linked to a two-fold increase in testicular cancer risk. Even with this increased risk, the likelihood of developing testicular cancer remains relatively low: According to the American Cancer Society, a normal man’s likelihood of developing the disease is about one in 270. The risk of dying from the disease is even lower, at one in 5,000.

One in 270?  The average graduating class size in a U.S. public school is about 125.  So if you go to high school in a big city chances are that at least one in your graduating class will have testicular cancer.  And the odds are that it will be one of the stoners in your grade.  And if you’re one of the stoners it could be you.  Sure, the odds are low.  But considering what’s at risk some may reconsider enjoying that ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Because it could cost a guy his two best friends.

So to wrap up marijuana may cause permanent brain damage, it may be a gateway drug to a more harmful drug/addiction or it may cause you to lose your testicles.  As sad as the first two are to consider it is probably the losing of your testicles that gets the attention of a young pot smoker most.  Even though the first two are far more likely to happen and destroy your life than the less likely losing of your testicles to marijuana-inflicted cancer.  Because a young man has priorities in his life.  And saving brain cells or avoiding drug addiction is clearly not one of them.

So don’t do drugs, high school kid.  Because it could kill you.  Or worse.  It could hurt your future sex life.  Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase if you don’t use them you will lose them.  To testicular cancer.

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FT88: “Liberals say live and let live when it comes to sex and drugs but don’t you dare eat at McDonald’s or light a cigarette in front of them.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 21st, 2011

Fundamental Truth

Liberals want us to Treat Kids as Adults when it comes to Sex and Drugs

Liberals want to hand out condoms in school.  And they want to teach school kids how to use them.   They want to give them access to birth control.  And abortions.  Because kids are going to have sex.  No matter what we say.  So live and let live they say.  Let these kids have their fun.  And we’ll deal with the consequences later.  Such as an unwanted pregnancy.  A venereal disease.  Or rape.  Should a young girl get scared and change her mind.  Should a boy not understand that ‘no’ really means ‘no’.  Or believes consent is nonrefundable.  Especially after getting all riled up in school learning about sex.  In an academic setting.  Where it seems like just good clean fun.  Rather than learning it the old fashioned way.  From a parent.  Who tells you to wait until you’re a responsible adult.  Because it’s not just good clean fun.  It’s serious.  And can have some serious consequences.

Liberals would like to decriminalize drugs.  At least marijuana.  Because kids are going to experiment.  No matter what we say.  Marijuana is harmless, they say.  And they poo poo the naysayers who say it can be a gateway drug.  Marijuana won’t make people tire of it.  And look for a higher high.  Because heroin, coke and meth addictions just happen.  Spontaneously.  Just like alcohol addiction.  Some people have a predisposition for addiction.  And the drugs themselves are in no way to blame.  It’s a person’s DNA.  So live and let live they say.  Because drugs don’t addict people.  People do.  Those with a predisposition to addiction.  But it’s not their fault.  They’re just hardwired that way.  So we shouldn’t blame them.  Or drugs.  It just happens.

You see, people are adults.  Even kids.  That’s why we need to treat them as adults.  And if we do they’ll make adult decisions.  Partake in sex and drugs responsibly.  Like adults.  And there will be no consequences we can’t manage after the fact.  Like adults.

Liberals aren’t all that Concerned about Unwanted Pregnancies, Venereal Disease or Drug Addiction

So kids may be adults.  But their parents aren’t.  Liberals don’t want them making ‘adult’ decisions.  Such as what to eat, drink or smoke.  Like kids can about sex and drugs.  No.  Liberals want to use the power of government to make these decisions for adults.  Because they can’t be trusted to make the right decisions.

They want to tax fast food.  And soda pop.  Like they tax cigarettes.  To make them very expensive.  So they can make people choose correctly.  To choose what liberals want them to choose.  And not what these adults want.

You see, liberals aren’t all that concerned about unwanted pregnancies, venereal disease or drug addiction.  But they are very concerned about trans-fat and sugar.  They don’t want you enjoying the occasional McDonald’s meal.  A bag of chips.  A Mountain Dew.  Or a cigarette.  And if they catch you lighting up a cigarette after a meal in a McDonald’s, look out.  You will get a look of contempt and pure hate like you’ve never seen before.  Because you’ve dared to expose children to second-hand smoke.  For kids smoking pot first-hand is one thing.  But breathing second-hand smoke is just unhealthy.  Wrong.  And could scar them for life.  Unlike an unwanted pregnancy, a venereal disease or a drug addiction.

Liberals want Kids to Think Sex, Drugs and Vote Democrat

Why do they want to help kids have sex and do drugs?  Because they want kids to like them.  And they will if they make high school and college as much fun as possible.  They want these kids to think sex, drugs and vote Democrat.  Because liberal Democrats need the youth vote.  For they can’t win elections without it.  And they don’t care if these kids get scarred for life from an unwanted pregnancy, a venereal disease or a drug addiction.

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LESSONS LEARNED #84: “The bigger and more complex government gets the more unintended the consequences.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 22nd, 2011

Prohibition had Popular Support from Wives, Progressives and Organized Crime

The Progressive movement began changing our lives in the beginning of the 20th century.  Thanks in large part to the American Civil War.  After a generation of American fathers were killed by the ravishes of war a lot of sons grew up without a manly role model in their lives.  They had no father to learn manly chores from.  To go hunting with.  To beat the crap out of them when they misbehaved.  To toughen them up for the real world.  Instead all they got was the loving and nurturing stuff from their mothers.  And when they grew up they wanted to be mothers, too.  And nurture the American people.  For mother knows best.

When these children grew up they changed government.  Instead of it being the limited government of their fathers they wanted an activist one.  To make our lives better.  More fair.  And safer.  Which is why they supported the temperance movement.  And took it to Prohibition.  To save the American family.  To stop drunken husbands from beating their wives.  To prevent poverty by keeping the money in the family.  And out of the saloons.   To stop the epidemic of venereal disease.  Spread by prostitutes who frequented saloons.  Trying to get some of that family paycheck.  Before the saloon owner got it all.  So Prohibition had popular support.  From wives.  Progressives.  And organized crime.

This was an unintended consequence of Prohibition.  For the law prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation” of booze.  But not the drinking of it.  And when there’s a will there’s a way.  There were people who still wanted to drink.  And could without facing any consequences for it if caught by the law.  So they kept drinking.  And there was a booming demand.  And a willing albeit illegal supply network to meet that demand.  So life was good.  For those who liked to indulge in inebriating beverages.  And for those who provided those inebriating beverages.  Especially the providers.  Because when you make anything illegal that is in high demand means only one thing.  High profits.

There’s a Profit Incentive for Criminals because Illegal Stuff Costs More than Legal Stuff

At first everyone laughed as they flaunted the law.  It was, after all, a victimless crime.  People wanted to buy.  And the underworld wanted to sell.  No harm.  No foul.  For awhile.  Until the gang violence spilled over into the public streets.  When innocents saw this violence up close and personal.  Some even dying in the crossfire.  Like in Chicago.  Owned for a time by Al Capone.  King of the bootleggers.  Who killed off the competition.  The Valentine’s Day Massacre being the tipping point.  When the cops started fighting back.

The FBI eventually got Capone.  On tax evasion.  But it didn’t end the violence.  You know what did?  The repeal of the 18th Amendment.  And letting the people drink again.  Which they really needed during the depressing New Deal programs of FDR.

By decriminalizing alcohol they removed the profit incentive for criminals.  Because illegal stuff costs more than legal stuff.  So there’s no market for bootlegged liquor anymore.  So the gangs turned to another illegal substance.  Drugs.  Whose criminalization has far worse unintended consequences than Prohibition ever had.  We can trace most violent crime in the U.S. to drugs.  From theft to support a drug habit.  To Capone style gang warfare to protect turf.  To the unspeakable horrors on and south of the US-Mexican border.

The Decriminalization of Drugs:  Damned if We Do.  And Damned if We Don’t.

So what is one to do?  Decriminalize drugs?  Not quite the same thing as ending prohibition.  Drugs are a little more potent than alcohol.  Especially methamphetamine.  Crystal meth addiction destroys lives.  Which is why it’s such a lucrative drug.  You can manufacture it anywhere from chemicals.  And it’s addictive.  Addiction provides a steady demand.  And its chemistry provides a readily available supply.  That you can hide.  Unlike Coca fieldsPoppy fields.  Or marijuana fields.

Meth has a strong foothold in the drug-taking community.  Despite it being illegal.  One shudders what would happen if we decriminalized drugs.  Like meth.  It’s potent.  Addictive.  And popular with the kids.  It takes a fake ID to buy alcohol when underage.  Because there are few pushers selling cases of beer and wine coolers on the street.  But if an adult can buy it legally it could be hard for a drug dealer to pass up the underage market.  I mean, there are no empty bottles or cans to trace back to a store.  And if you’re caught carrying, hey, it isn’t illegal.

So we’re damned if we do.  And damned if we don’t.  The war on drugs has a devastating cost on society.  But the drugs are so harmful.  And helping users break their addiction also costs society.  Broken families.  Lost jobs and careers.  Children addicts can no longer provide for.  Infectious disease.  Overdose.  Violence.  Criminal activity.  And decriminalizing drugs won’t make any of that better.

The Poorer You are and the More Children You Have the More Money You Get on Your EBT

America has been fighting another war.  A war on poverty.  Which probably has been more destructive than the war on drugs.  Economist Thomas Sowell blames the welfare state for the destruction of the black family.  By subsidizing failure.  Providing incentives not to succeed.  A disincentive to be responsible.  The very programs to help the poor have destroyed the poor.  With unintended consequences that have destroyed generations.

This video was from 1980.  Fast forward to today and you can see this put in another way.  Perhaps a little less elegantly.  But it reinforces Dr. Sowell’s argument.  There’s a video on YouTube that praises the EBT card in California.  A program to help poor single people with children.  Depending on the number of children and your circumstances, the government loads a dollar amount on the EBT card.  You then use it like a debit card.  At any store that accepts EBT.  The government then reimburses the store owners.

So the poorer you are and the more children you have the more money you get on your EBT card.  As Dr. Sowell pointed out, this may be a disincentive to be responsible.  And the YouTube video shows this.  We should note, though, that the rapper who made this video said that “it was meant to be satirical and poke fun at a real issue.”  Some have called it inappropriate.  You can judge for yourself after you watch the video.  (NOTE:  If you’re at work or are in a public place you probably should wait until you get home to watch this video.  It contains very graphic language (as in the ‘f’ word).  And may be racially insensitive.  Please exercise due discretion when viewing It’s Free, Swipe Yo EBT.)

Government may have Meant Well but the Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Prohibition made it harder to manufacture and distribute alcohol.  But people still drank.  Because it wasn’t illegal to drink.  At first it was just a game.  Imbibing at the speakeasy.  Then buildings exploded.  And bodies littered the street.  Much like they are in Mexico today.  And along the US-Mexican border.  Because well organized enterprises are trying to meet a lucrative demand north of the border.  That our drug policies made lucrative.  Just like Prohibition made bootlegging a lucrative business.

Unintended consequences are a bitch.  And whenever government tries to fix something we often get something worse.  Prohibition and our war on drugs have given us organized crime to deal with.  And our war on poverty has destroyed poor families.  By incentivizing irresponsible behavior.   And making generations dependent on government.

At every time, though, government meant well.  They always say that they had nothing but good intentions.  But we should remember what they say about good intentions.  That the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #37: “The Decriminalization of Drugs. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 26th, 2010

Like Father like Daughter – Even after You’ve Quit Drugs and Gone Conservative

It was about the 7th grade when kids I knew were getting into drugs.  I can remember being at a McDonald’s once after a high school football game (I went to that game with my brother and his friends).  Some of my 7th grade classmates were there.  When one saw me he pulled a joint out of his jacket and waved it in front of me, saying, “Do you want a doobie?”  He was an old friend.  He became a burn out.  I didn’t.  So he made fun of me in front of his new stoner friends.  Incidentally, a couple of these stoner friends are now dead.

One of those guys was a pretty good friend of mine.  I turned him on to Monty Python.  He could do all the voices.  And the skits.  Had them all memorized.  Funny guy.  He became a stoner in high school.  He tried to get high off whatever he could.  He came to school with a busted lip once.  His father punched him.  When he caught him sniffing gasoline in the garage.  His father tried to help him.  Knock some sense into him.  Maybe he did.  For when he died in a car crash (he was doing something like 80 on a 35 mph street and tried to pass someone.  Clipped the guy’s rear bumper and flipped his car over and over again), he wasn’t driving stoned.  He was driving drunk.

I once worked with a guy who was a reformed burn out.  He was a hardcore stoner in middle school.  Skipped a lot of school to get high.  Then he had a kid when he was in the 11th grade.  He then quit school, quit drugs and pumped gas.  Changed his life.  He became super dad.  He was a conservative and father of 5 when I met him.  Sometimes when he was talking to you he’d stop in mid-sentence, lost.  He’d then laugh and say something about all those lost brain cells he’d like to have back.  He had dreams of sending his daughter (an honor student) to that conservative college in Michigan.  Hillsdale College.  He wasn’t happy that she wanted to go to a party school instead.  But, at least, she was going to college.  And she did.  Until she got pregnant.  And dropped out.  Like father like daughter.  Well, sort of.

Sex, Drugs and Hip Hop – ‘Cool’ Equity for the Responsible Drug User

Once upon a time it was sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Now it’s probably a little more hip hop than rock and roll.  But it’s still the same.  Young kids engage in risky behavior.  They don’t practice prudence in their choices.  For them, it’s all about the id.  The pursuit of pleasure.  And the avoidance of things unpleasant.  In other words, childlike behavior.  Even though we should know better.  Pleasure now.  Pain never.  We’re only here for a short time.  And it would be a shame that if you died young you didn’t have a lot of pleasure first.

A lot of kids get pleasure from getting high.  Drugs are a part of sex, drugs and hip hop, remember.  Not only is it fun, but it says cool all over it.  Rebellious.  You get some ‘cool’ equity with the ‘in crown’.  Until someone dies.  But after a suitable period of mourning, life goes on.  I mean, the kid who dies, why, they were just stupid.  Those who say that will say it can’t happen to them.  Because they get high responsibly. 

But there are addictions.  And there are fatal overdoses.  There’s AIDS passed via shared needles.  Heart attacks from cocaine rushes.  Neglected children as a parent gets high in the next room.  Violent crime by someone whacked out on PCP who can feel no pain.  Organ failure (we exclude drug addicts from transplant lists because their drug use will only kill their new transplants, too).  Broken marriages.  Lost families.  Dead children.  Ruined careers.  Stroke.  Diminished motor functions.  Etc.  Of course, these people all wanted these things to happen.  Because all drug users who haven’t yet had these things happen to them say these things never will for they are responsible drug users.  And as my daughter often says, “Yeah, whatever.”  The carnage of drug abuse begs to differ with the responsible users.  There is a social cost to drug use.  And it’s a pretty hefty price at that.

Sex and Drugs Make Happy Pimps

Not yet mentioned are the costs we incur because of the illegality of drugs.  Victim crimes.  And, of course, victimless crimes.  When something is illegal, it becomes expensive.  Very, very expensive.  And one of the downsides of being an addict compounds the problem of trying to pay for these expensive drugs.  Drug addicts have erratic lives.  They live from high to high.  Which doesn’t mesh well with an 8-hour work day.  Some can.  For awhile.  But eventually the addiction takes control and they lose their jobs.  So, to support their habits, some become thieves.  Do a little breaking and entering.  A little pock picking.  A little car jacking.  Eventually ending up in jail for the same reasons they can’t get regular work.  The addiction takes control.  And they make dumb mistakes.  And get caught.

And then there are those who are not stealing but selling.  Sexual favors.  Desperate for their next fix, they walk the streets looking for a john.  The pain of withdrawal will make them take great risks.  Some johns may beat them up.  Rob them (for what little they may have).  Kill them.  They may receive a sexually transmitted disease.  Or pass one on.  They may get pimped out buy someone who pays them in their drug fixes.  Until they’re no longer marketable.   In which case their pimp may throw them back onto the street.  Or worse.  And if she dies?  So what.  There are always more where she came from.  Sex and drugs.  What pimp could ask for anything more?

Addiction is a powerful thing.  People will do things they never thought they would for their next fix.  Combine that with the illegality of drugs and it’s a very profitable enterprise.  Not for the uses.  But for the dealers.  Who get a very high price for their product.  And an addicted customer that must keep buying. 

John Lennon and Nancy Reagan May Have Agreed to ‘Just Say No’

America’s southern border is bleeding.  The U.S. demand for illegal drugs is a coveted market.  And drug gangs are very protective of their territory.  Drug violence is appalling.  Much like it was in the days of Al Capone during Prohibition.  Even worse.  In Capone’s day, they may have sent a message to a cop by shooting him.  Today they behead a cop and send the severed head back to police headquarters to get their message across.  And the violence is spilling over into civilian life near the border.  Kidnapping.  Ransoms.  Murders.  It’s so bad that the federal government has posted signs on American soil advising Americans that they are not safe on that American soil.

So there are two sides of the decriminalization of drugs coin.  The one is the social costs of drug use.  They’re illegal now and the social costs are staggering.  Decriminalizing drugs is not likely to reduce addiction and all that comes with it.  On the other hand, illegal drugs are expensive which makes addiction that much more costly.  Which makes some users resort to crime to support their habits.  And it empowers drug gangs.  It would appear neither choice is very appealing.

Of course, there is one option that would get rid of both problems.  Like Nancy Reagan said.  Just say ‘no’.  And if people just said ‘no’, that lucrative U.S. market would disappear.  No addiction.  No drug wars.  Imagine that.  A world in which there were no drugs to kill or die for.  Even John Lennon, a recovered heroin addict and peacenik, could appreciate that.

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