I have experienced all 4 seasons in a single week for two weeks in a row. We have had snow each week (winter). There were days around 80 both weeks (summer). The roses outside bloomed because of the weird warm weather (spring), and the leaves are unmistakably fall. This is life in Iowa.
Davenport is right about my speed at this point. Half Illinois, Half Iowa – which is pretty much me. I am not sure how long I will be here, but so far so good.
Busy times. I voted, so my election is over – but the ads go on forever. The news does too. A quick run through below. Lots else to get caught up on with you all…all in due time. For now – on with the sadism!
I am surprised to Dr. Birx gittin’ dinged like she has been. I thought she was one of the good ones when it started. Haven’t seen her in public as much, and who knows what is happening there, but we really need an honest dialogue about what numbers we intend to use and how we intend to use them.
The people who made the decisions which we now revile will not suffer much personal consequence for what they did because our version of capitalism socializes liabilities and privatizes profits. We have a broken system.
Isolation is good for none of us. The kids of 2020 have some things easier for sure, but in many ways, they are carrying burdens no one should envy. We need to do better.
I haven’t seen the race angle covered in the opiate crisis in a way which reflects how significant it really is. This is a good start if you want to get your understanding leveled-up, which I hope you do.
This is a sign of how nasty a society we have become. We take people out of society – often for good reason – and make them dependent upon us totally. Then we abandon them to things we could never sentence them to. It’s wrong. It creates a karma bill that is gonna hurt for us to make right. Stupid. Un-necessary.
We will lose our status as a world class economy if we are not competitive with flights. Deep down we all know this. We also have all had bad flight experiences. We need to get real. We can’t allow our cities to die. We can’t allow our airlines to die. We can’t allow our people to dangle above the abyss while politicians jockey. Let’s try to get something consumer friendly if we can, but let’s not let the airlines die. They fuel an an incredible amount of this economy. We can make flying more sane, human, and planet friendly, but the idea of just letting Darwin run wild is not cool.
I am a post-modernist to the degree Richard Rorty was. That brought me to Cornel West before he was as public an intellectual as he is now. He really lays it out here and it should be heard. He needs a higher profile – no matter his politics.
NPR is one of the biggest cheerleaders for opiate prohibition, and they go out of their way to conflate illegal drug use and legal, medical use. That is the underpinning of most of their narrative! The way the news is starting to play out, it is going to be harder to pull that off. Deaths go up as access to prescriptions go down. More and more. There simply is no way to explain the opioid deaths anymore with the old tropes about wisdom tooth extractions leading to junkie death. The deaths keep going up as legal access goes down. Even when they die from a prescription, they really aren’t dying from prescriptions written for them. Illegal opiate use kills – and kills more and more by the day. Legal and medically supervised opiate use is not materially different than it ever has been, nor different than what goes on elsewhere in the world where there isn’t a “crisis” like ours. This story is about keeping the stigma going, not saving anyone’s life. NPR is incapable of shame.
You don’t have to believe drug users are great people – you just have to believe they are people. Don’t assign motives to them which are of a kind you think normal people wouldn’t have. Much like nicotine, getting kids hooked when they are young is how the black market for drugs works. Holding kids responsible for decisions they make as addicts is really just sadism.
More FUD. More implying that pain patients are dying from their own scripts. Just lazy and stigmatizing – the hallmark of for-profit media and media from Listeners Like You.
We are getting settled back into Iowa life. Some days, the place feels like a last little pocket of the old laconic America in which you just do your work (like yr ‘sposed to) and say “ope” as you pass in the aisles of the Hy-Vee and talk to cashiers forever even when there is a long line behind you and you drive slow in the left lane completely oblivious and all of that emotionally constipated stuff which gives this place a certain rustic charm. On the other hand, seeing them bring the harvest this fall – with literally perfect weather (I am in shorts and sandals in mid-October!) – has been great. Even with the chaos of the world these days, that core natural cycle in which the seeds are planted, the earth gives forth, and those who planted reap in their reward. It is an old process. It is an organic process. It is where all life comes from, and on these gentle days in the warm sun, seeing them bring it in, row after row after row, does refresh the spirit somewhat. It is – after all – life as God gave it to us on this planet. Then there are all the other things you have to deal with. A sort of social dullness which makes one pause and wonder how oblivious one can become in their routine here. It is my current home, and is so by my choice – a choice I am good with. I have seen enough of what else is on offer to see that, in total, every place presents a different balance of the same sorts of things. Iowa’s balance is unique and there is a part of me that is this way too – in spite of my best efforts as a young man to do otherwise. I have seen enough of the coasts and the cities at this point to sort of know what awaits me there should I return.
I have always wonder if we’d find out why the growth in autism has been so significant during my lifetime. Not sure, but if this is the direction it is going, we may find out some very interesting things.
Speaking only for myself, my less healthy thinking during the time of my fentanyl medication was really a matter of despairing over the hopelessness of my physical condition. The answers given by the good capitalists at BCBS don’t cut it. More stigmatizing. More deliberate conflation of the effects of the black market and the effects of the medication. Just more of the usual FUD from an organization with clear financial incentives to continue demonizing the use of opiates. Capitalism knows no shame. It is time to repeal the HMO Act of 1973 once and for all.
I fear our nation will not go back after COVID and fix all the excesses we have witnessed. I am picking the MI Gov as an example, but no one in this country has done a good job. I think blanket amnesty first, then truth and reconciliation next. These crisis don’t come with an instruction manual, and most excesses were naive, and so punishment and censure isn’t needed. Forgiveness and correction are.
So we are going to start a charity to raise awareness of the third leading cause of death in America for too long – doctor error. Only heart disease and cancer kill more people than doctor’s mistakes. Naturally we don’t have much awareness of this, and I am not deluding myself that I can single-handedly change things. The aim is not to denigrate doctors, but rather to re-establish the parity of the patient’s voice in their own treatment. In matters of pain especially, the words of the patients are generally discounted unless they can be used to punish the patient for “drug seeking”. Whether for pain or withdrawal, “drug seeking” is really just “relief seeking” rephrased in the most denigrating and stigmatizing language possible. Overwhelmingly, designating someone as drug seeking is done by the white coats, and they need even less evidence to apply that diagnosis than they do with all the other bad diagnosing they are doing (remember – more people die from doctor fail than opiate overdoses!) Our charity may get a new name, but for now, we are gonna call it The Taper Foundation, and we will have scrub-green ribbons! Can’t wait. Details to follow. For now, here is the latest from the charnel house that is pain management in the United States:
I tapered off of fentanyl successfully because it was my choice to do so and because I no longer needed that much medication after having a successful surgery. For everyone else, the tapers just don’t work. The drugs, on the other hand, work like they have for 1000s of years – well enough to save my life.
The War On Opioids just keeps getting more and more clumsy & desperate. Now Covid makes it worse! Just keep in mind, this “crisis” exists only here in the US even though Covid and Opiates are everywhere on this planet.
More horseshit conflating illegal drugs and legal ones. They will never tire of this – it is all they have at this point.
Those programs haven’t done anything anywhere but ruin lives, but it allows politicians to look like they are doing something even though the deaths from street drugs keep going up, the prices go down, and supply goes up. We have received nothing but pain, debt, and death from drug prohibition.
I wouldn’t have Trump do it by any means, but pretending the CDC is above scrutiny at this point is a laffer.
I find Biden repulsive, but less so than Trump. Biden is a drug warrior, and so karmically has no complaints about the havoc drugs have created in his family, but I have compassion for all who find themselves with that havoc. Biden has the power to change the havoc, and yet he keeps it because it benefits him politically. That said,
Letting our cities fall into disrepair and despair isn’t a reasonable option. Scapegoating those already behind the 8 ball isn’t necessary either.
We don’t sentence people to disease for their transgressions. Not even Trump. I hope all people with Covid recover fully and that we put it all behind us as soon as possible.
I have never believed in the idea that Canada is “America Done Right” in general, but I didn’t realize they too now were milking the bullshit idea that pain patients caused any opiate crisis. They are.
I think it would harder to find laws not promoted by racist bigots than not at this point, but it does seem ponderous at how clear the management of vice and racist laws seem to find their way to each other about 100% of the time. Without a doubt, enjoying vice in peace is one of the most cherished privileges of the pilgrims here in the US.
Wait til they see what happens to 401Ks as soon as everyone stops driving!