Category Archives: Uncategorized

Proof That Science and Money Don’t Mix?

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This could easily be listed as ‘Chapter 653 of Science and Money Don’t Mix’, but I thought I’d make special note of this situation as it is possibly the most despicable abuse of power, influence and science that I’ve seen.

Ever.

To the point:  this story disgusts me.

Opioids have become a severe crisis across North America and pharmaceutical companies are FUELING the crisis.

John Kapoor, owner of Insys Incorporated, was arrested on Thursday on racketeering and fraud charges for an alleged nationwide scheme to push an extremely potent opioid drug containing fentanyl onto patients

[Kapoor] used bribes, kickbacks, and other fraudulent practices to get doctors to overprescribe the fentanyl drug, called Subsys. Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. As such, Subsys is only intended to treat severe pain in cancer patients. But according to the DOJ, many patients receiving Subsys didn’t have cancer.

The DOJ alleges that Kapoor, along with six former executives at Insys, paid doctors and pain clinics in various states to write “large numbers of prescriptions.” The department also alleges that Insys used fraudulent means to get health insurance providers to cover the harmful prescriptions.

Money wins every time when it comes to most companies, but when pharmaceutical companies and our most trusted intermediaries – doctors – become tainted by money, it becomes nearly impossible to trust medical advice.

This kind of corruption exposes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the foul relationship between the medical community, private corporations earning money for shareholders and our governments.

We need a solution.

Let’s start with Kapoor.  If he’s proven guilty, maybe we should follow the advice of people commenting on the story and consider capital punishment over a year by gradual injection of opioids.

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Toronto MPP Proposes a Tax on Walking

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I get it … a pedestrian that didn’t look every which way didn’t happen to see you when you tried to make your last-minute turn to the right and now you’re pissed off at all pedestrians.

Maybe that was the scenario, maybe not.  Maybe you’re interested in the safety of everyone, including pedestrians, right?

Sure … I get it.

So you introduce a law that essentially imposes a tax on walking.

This is absurd.

Yes, there are pedestrians that are frequently belligerent when it comes to the use of the roads.  Maybe they’re looking down at their phone.  Maybe they’re zoned into some killer tunes.

Truth be told, I don’t care.

Here’s my issue with this:  blind people can’t see where they’re going, do they?  Disabled people in wheel chairs may not be able to do the full rotation of double checks over and over again, can they?

Are you going to tax them for not noticing when you make an aggressive turn or fail to look for pedestrians cyclists as you’re looking for an uninterrupted drive down Mt Pleasant to Queen’s Park?

As car drivers, you have an OBLIGATION to watch out for pedestrians and other hazards, regardless of what they’re doing.

Honk your horn.

Pause.

Maybe even swear at them.

But know this:  pedestrians have a RIGHT to walk at intersections and should not be threatened with spiteful pieces of legislature that might discourage walking.

This would be an outright abuse of power and a ridiculous win for the province’s car culture.

If this passes, I will push my MPP to put forward legislation that says any driver that kills a pedestrian should be tried for murder.

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Questioning the Direction of Public Spending

We should do it all the time: ask WTF? when it comes to public spending.

All levels should have a better focus on the basic needs of life and comfort of our lives.

A couple of examples:

Since 2002, we’ve spent more than $260 billion on roads and transportation infrastructure.

Since 1988, Canada has spent an eye-popping, staggering $430 billion on defense.

Add to this that people lose their freakin’ minds when they see a puppy in a car on a hot day AND WE STILL CAN’T SEEM TO JUSTIFY EXPENSES ON THE BASICS THAT SAVE LIVES OR KEEP OUR KIDS COMFORTABLE.

Our kids are suffering in classes when temperatures rise above 25C, let alone the record-breaking 35-40C that we’re currently experiencing.

All we hear about is how expensive new AC units would be.

We installed a ductless air conditioner for $2500.  Given the potential clout that the Ontario government would have over suppliers, I’m sure they could get that number down a little.

Our priorities are messed up.

Just try it.  Just try to show some compassion for our kids for a change.

You might actually feel good about it.

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Sports = Tribalism = Politics

There are many deniers out there that want to believe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sports and that people who want to make them ‘political’ should just go away.

Example:

Let’s make sure we’re informed about this.  This is 100% about race, despite what Donald Trump says:

A quick search yields many articles which document the background on the issue. I picked this one from the New Yorker magazine.

Last year, before the election, a solitary Colin Kaepernick took to one knee during the national anthem when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, in protest of police brutality against black Americans. The quietness of his action invited loud disapproval. For the past year, the N.F.L. and many of its players have rigorously distanced themselves from Kaepernick, who has been seen as unpatriotic.

This is 100% about black versus white and the actions helped spawn the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement that has swept North American, where citizens of colour are demanding respect from police forces everywhere.

In many cases, it’s also becoming about owners versus players.

Of course now, the kneel is becoming a show of opposition against Trump.

The angry opposition that has emerged as a result of the silent protest is ridiculous.  Here are just a couple of memes making the rounds to emphasize this:

Sports-1

And this …

sports-2

When you distill what modern sports are all about, they represent tribalism at its very best.  Sports pit ‘us’ against ‘them’. Therefore, sports events that feature rivals from different countries or regions are by definition political.

How many times have you seen fights erupt in a different city other than Boston when someone is wearing a Red Sox hat or outside Toronto when someone’s wearing a Maple Leafs jersey?

We encourage it, we profit from it, we televise it endlessly and it consistently does one thing:  distract us.

Yes, sports are a distraction from the real events that chip away at our freedom and mobility every day.

This has been true since the late days of the Roman Empire, when rulers and the Senate wanted to distract us from the crumbling state of affairs.

Trump pissing back and forth with North Korea is just another example of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ stupidity that has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with tribalism, a line in the sand and an arbitrary ‘team logo’.

Stop complaining about people that are asking us to look at this seriously and start thinking about why we’re so easily whipped into an absurd frenzy when politics and sports are mentioned.

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When Science Isn’t Science, The Wiarton Willie Edition

I’m in a ‘blame the CBC’ mood today because I’ve heard a string of absurd stories on the radio this morning that I simply can’t ignore.

This time, it’s all about the death of Wiarton Willie.

Science, 1; Abiding by myths associated with furry rodents, 0.

In other words, the CBC is perpetuating the stupidity the underlies adherence to ‘traditions’ and ‘superstition’ as opposed to chatting with a meteorologist (who, it can be argued, abide by their own version of ’50/50 chance of anything’).

I know … these are ‘human interest stories’ that knit together the fabric that is our loving and fun society. But really, they’re not.

C’mon CBC. Read your own ‘damning’ statistics about Canadians not trusting ‘science’ and run some real stories.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they go out and interview someone that wants to blame the earthquakes in Mexico on its celebration of sodomy and homosexual rights.

Oh wait … I think they just did.

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