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2018-09-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 112 references
[Comments enabled]  

Yes, I mean it -- heroin.

Here's why.

The newest tool in the fight against opioid overdoses is an inexpensive test strip that can help heroin users detect a potentially deadly contaminant in their drugs.

Sales of fentanyl test strips have exploded as a growing number of overdose-prevention programs hand them out to people who use illicit drugs.

Though they weren't designed for it, the test strips can signal the presence of fentanyl in illicit drugs. Some health officials question their accuracy, but they have proven to be so popular that some programs can't get enough to satisfy demand.

This is a product that was designed to prove that patients were actually using the drugs prescribed for them - that is, they weren't diverting them to others "out the back door."  You peed on it and the metabolites and drug itself, if present, would be indicated.  As it turns out it's also quite effective in detecting fentanyl, which is much stronger than heroin, in a sample before being used -- in other words it's a specific test not for opioids generally but for fentanyl specifically, so if you have a sample that has all heroin in it you will not get an indication on it.

It's not perfect -- it misses some samples, and I assume it also probably misses carfentanyl, since that's a different drug -- but close relative, and even more-deadly (and, so far, more-rare too.)

But the answer to junkies ODing on fentanyl that they don't know is in their drugs isn't to make test strips available to them so they can check first.  It's to sell the stuff in pharmacies to anyone with ID for 21 who wants it in known purity and concentration, thereby both destroying the underground market (and all of the violence that comes with it) and stopping the accidental ODs -- essentially all of them.

You cannot stop drugs from being produced and used by arresting people.  All you can do, in the end, is create a violent subculture and illegal marketplace, powered by people shooting one another because they can't sue over their disputes.

I've known plenty of people with addiction issues, including in my own family.  Some of those issues are more-serious than others and in one recent instance in my family has taken a life, but all are nasty.  Drug addiction is drug addiction when you get down to it, and although that sounds cliche, it's not; most junkies have their specific drug of choice but if they can't get it for some reason they will use something else.  Some "graduate" to multiple drugs, but most addicts have their specific favorites and that's what they use.

Making drugs illegal -- even the nastiest ones -- doesn't stop people from using them.  What it does is destroy any ability of the user to know what they're buying in every case.  Cocaine, meth and heroin on the street are increasingly being laced with fentanyl because it's cheap and easily-available with most of the precursors for the illegal trade coming from China and routed through Mexico.  Since we refuse to not only stop the flow of illegal invaders and insist on so-called "free trade" there is literally no way to shut this completely down, as these synthetic opioids are very small in mass and volume compared to their intoxicating capacity.

The solution is to legalize and regulate all of it, from weed onward.  For weed and its derivatives this means a liquor-store like system, much as some states have now.  For hard drugs it means selling them in pharmacies over the counter to anyone who can prove they're 21, properly labeled and regulated as to purity and strength -- and to have medical outreach on the streets and available to provide support and intervention for those who want treatment.

No, you won't decrease the number of junkies doing this, and you might even increase them -- a bit.  Those who do not want to be a junkie or who want to stop won't be given an incentive to become one if the stuff can be bought through legal channels, but those who currently wind up ODing by accident will cease doing so immediately, especially those who have no reason to believe there is any fentanyl in their drugs at all.

Street interceptions are now showing that a large percentage of street drugs -- not just heroin but meth and cocaine as well, along with some others -- are laced with fentanyl.  Traffickers and dealers are doing this because fentanyl is cheap, especially compared with drugs like cocaine.

Opioid ODs are killing 70,000 people in the US a year at present -- and rising.  Declaring "war" on drugs hasn't worked -- not now and not ever.  Portugal faced an HIV epidemic due to injectable drugs, took them off the criminalization list entirely, and stopped that in its tracks. Instead of prison being caught there means referral to psychological and treatment resources, including for opioid users methadone handouts, but not prosecution.  The results are dramatic -- the nation has an OD rate one fiftieth that of the United States and one tenth of other European nations that have our (arrest and prosecute) model.  Their HIV infection rate from IV drugs dropped 90%.

It's easy to be skeptical of the idea of a van rolling around with a psychologist and medical workers in it, providing needles but insisting they be used on-the-spot and returned (so as to prevent what you have in San Francisco), along with handing out methadone on a daily basis to those who want to try to get and stay clean and -- in the meantime -- remain productive in society.  But what do we have now?  Tens of thousands of people dying, streets littered with used (and dangerous) needles and junkies defecating on the street, never mind dealers shooting one another over territorial and payment disputes.

Treating addiction as a medical problem and making safe supplies available to those who fall into the trap is a better option.  You can't do it under the present model, and as a result I'm forced to conclude that even for hard drugs there is no path forward with prohibition and incarceration that works.  Where there is demand there will be supply, and with illicit, untested and unknown purity of supply you get disease and death.  We don't tolerate that anywhere else in society so why do we put up with it here?

Getting off our high horse and facing reality is a better option and the only way we're going to stop this epidemic.

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2018-09-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 202 references
[Comments enabled]  

I have said this before recently -- I want a divorce.

I mean it.

The current insanity with the US Senate's display is outrageous -- and directly caused by the situation under the 17th Amendment.  No state legislature would permit this crap to go on were we to not have same.

The people have their representation in the US House.  The Senate was designed to be the more sane and deliberative body; not a body that intentionally sandbags an allegation of assault with sexual overtones that bears on the nomination of a Supreme Court justice.

But The Senate did exactly that.

Then, much worse, the Senate leadership, which is Republican, refused to call bull**** on the tactics and take the vote anyway.  Yeah, I get it -- Collins and Murkowski might have voted no.  Let them die on that hill if they want to and die they will if they had done that, derailing the nominee.

Flake probably doesn't care (just as McCain didn't) but everyone else does.  Further, reality on this is that in the election that is just around the corner Democrats have more Senators up for re-election than Republicans and they are extremely vulnerable on this point.  Kill a nominee as a result of a directly and intentionally unfair smear campaign -- and that's what it is when you wait until the last second to raise it despite actual knowledge two months prior and they can die on that hill too.

But no!  Senate leadership has no fear of recall by the legislatures because they no longer are subject to same.

They used to be -- but no more.

Never mind McCain himself, who would have never survived in the Senate under a pre-17th system, nor would have Flake, Murkowski or Collins.

I repeat -- we must insist on a divorce and if we cannot get rid of the 17th by consent, and you know damn well we cannot since the Senate would have to vote itself out of a job then the chips fall where they may.

This nation is going down the toilet because we are no longer willing to stand up and call bull**** on this sort of thing, displaying righteous rage when it occurs.  Yet it must -- now -- or the hair-thin cooperation and social fabric that remains will fracture, and when it does you won't be able to put it back together again.

I've had a pretty good 55 years but my daughter -- and the other young lady in my family who is of roughly the same age deserve better than to live in a third-world, Rwanda/Bosnia-style hellhole, which is exactly where this nation is headed if this crap is not stopped now.

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2018-09-19 07:45 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 237 references
[Comments enabled]  

Where did Righteous Rage, otherwise known as anger, disappear to?

  • Your son is raped by a priest.  The law does nothing.  The church reassigns the priest, covers it up and hides the offense.

  • Your daughter is raped by an illegal invader.  Both political parties and businesses want these people here who have no interest in assimilating and in fact commit a crime as their first act in the nation.

  • Your daughter is murdered by said illegal invader.  A business up the road employed him intentionally not checking his legal status for four years prior.

  • Someone in your family dies of severe, multi-decade alcohol and drug abuse.  Their closest personal relation -- boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, has been bringing them booze on a mass scale despite knowing that if they keep drinking (and/or doing drugs) they were going to kill themselves, as they know for a fact said person was told this by multiple physicians.  Yet they go procure and hand said drug to the person on a literal daily basis for years while claiming to "love" said individual.

  • A nutjob shoots up a school and kills your son.  It comes out that said nutjob had the Sheriff at his house over two dozen times in the previous years, including multiple felony allegations, and did nothing -- not even arrest him.  It would have been very hard for said nutjob to shoot up anything had he been in prison.

  • The above incident happens and the cop who is stationed at the school for the express purpose of providing security cowers outside during the event despite being armed and able to offer meaningful resistance -- then is allowed to retire with his full pension a few days later, and a dozen officers guard his house.  The number of officers who gave a damn while your son was being shot?  Zero.

  • The above incident happens and the Sheriff lies repeatedly, attempting to wave your dead son around as a political cudgel.

  • You order a car from a company.  The firm tells you the car is at a specific delivery location and to wire the funds to purchase it.  You do so, show up at the appointed time and place and the car is not there.  Two weeks go by and not only do you not have your car you have no idea where it actually is -- but the company has over $50,000 of your money and you're paying interest on a loan for a vehicle you don't have.

  • A sitting US Senator has a Chinese Spy on her payroll for 20 years, listing him as an "office director" at her home office.  Said person, once identified as a spy is not arrested and charged but rather is allowed to retire - probably with a government pension and full benefits!

  • You get in a car accident in Michigan and require an MRI.  The charge is three, four, five or even ten times what it would be had the same injury occurred while walking your dog.  As a consequence your car insurance is two to five times what it costs in other similar parts of the country.  This sort of behavior has been illegal for over 100 years (15 USC) yet not one indictment is issued over a period of decades.

  • The Catholic Church has become a nation-state that coddles and even promotes people who it knows are sexual predators.  We now have hard evidence that three successive Popes have done exactly that, including the present one.  Since the Vatican is a sovereign state and the Pope a legal monarch this leaves nuking the Vatican from orbit -- or something similar and more-personal -- as the only means that outside people have of forcing him to cut that crap out.

Decades ago this sort of crap was checked by two things -- the law, which would come down on you like a ton of bricks, and fear that the people would rise up in righteous rage and, if they could not find justice in the law they'd take care of it themselves.

People who pulled this sort of crap would slither out in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard from again.  They knew damn well that the law would come after them and if by some chance it didn't the posse would if they didn't get out and stay out.  While the people were very tolerant in general that tolerance had limits.

Battle of Athens, Tennessee anyone?

But today?  Oh hell no.  None of those people have any fear of anything.  Not of the law and certainly not of the people.

Why should the law actually care as long as the stock market goes up if you don't care and refuse to act on your own?  If you never show anger, that is righteous rage, why should law enforcement do anything?  They aren't going to lose their jobs over it and they have no fear that if they don't enforce the law you will.  Why should not the priest bugger the boy, why shouldn't the doctor screw you for 500% as much because you had a car wreck and why shouldn't the sheriff deputy cower outside while your son is turned into hamburger by a nutjob?  Why shouldn't the "intimate" of a family member bring a bottle of booze a day to someone they know is killing themselves; what sort of "love" is that?  And why shouldn't the business employ illegals and the car company take your wire transfer and deliver nothing for weeks?

There's no reason for any of these people to behave reasonably.  There's no price being exacted for such behavior by anyone - not the law, and not society.  Said people are free to walk down the street and have their wealth, living in their nice little safe space as out of the millions of people who get screwed by such actions not even five can be found somewhere near said executives' homes who will stand on a public street outside their house with a picket sign, say much less take any sort of actual forceful action to put a stop to this ****.

Righteous Rage, otherwise known as anger?

We've forgotten what it is and why it's important.

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2018-09-17 06:25 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1319 references
[Comments enabled]  

Ah, so now we have it...

Ford, a 51-year-old registered Democrat who has published in academic journals and has trained students in clinical psychology, described the alleged incident in The Washington Post on Sunday, saying it occurred during a summer day in the 1980s at a Maryland house where teens had gathered. Ford claimed she headed upstairs to a bathroom when she was suddenly pushed onto a bed, as rock-and-roll music blared.

However, Ford told The Post she did not recall exactly who owned the house, how she came to be at the house, or how the gathering was arranged. She remembered only that the house was in Montgomery County, near a country club, and that parents were not present.

So she doesn't know who's house it was, why she was there, what the "gathering" was about (gee, I wonder.)

Now let's deal with FeinSwine first.  If, and I stress if, this accusation is truthful Feinswine should be drawn and quartered for sitting on it for two months.  In fact such is misprision of a felony, a crime itself, and for that the prime bitch employing alleged Chinese spies should go to prison -- right now.

But back to the claimed accusation.

There are several possibilities:

1. She was assaulted, and by Kavanaugh.  In other words, her account is accurate.

2. She was not assaulted; the "playing around" was sexual, was consensual at some point, she stopped consenting and so did the sexual escapades while her clothes were still on.  But now, being a hard-left "professor", an avowed activist who has attempted to conceal that fact by sanitizing her social media (gee, why, if it's not material?) she suddenly changes her mind about kissing a boy and playing "grinder" with him 35 years later.

3. She was assaulted but it was not Kavanaugh and 35 years later he's convenient to attack because she hates him and his political stance; 35 years prior he was perhaps somewhere within 10 or 20 miles at the time and he can't prove otherwise.

4. There was a party, she was (perhaps) drinking, others were (probably) drinking, everyone had fun and went home, but she was bent about words exchanged or being jilted and turned it into "assaulted" over the space of 35 years.  Think that doesn't happen?  Yes it does, and it sometimes doesn't take 35 years either; who remembers the Duke LaCrosse team accused by a stripper of gang-rape that, by all evidence, never happened at all?  Or shall we discuss Tawana Brawley?

Note that none of those means you fail a polygraph, by the way -- especially if you have months to study for it and practice -- and are trained in psychological responses.  Nor do we have the questions and the raw data.  So the value of said "event" (the polygraph) is zero.  The best polygraphs are not infallible -- and when taken by the interested party with a hand-picked examiner and questions are in fact worthless.

The other person accused of being there denies that anything of that sort ever happened at all.  In other words, not 1 or 2.  Either 3, 4, or it was made up entirely.

Now add into the mix this: The alleged "victim" has more animus and thus reason to lie as a consequence of her political orientation and advocacy than did the Duke LaCrosse stripper.  That may have simply been a matter of not getting a "respectful enough" tip for her dancing gig.

Finally, it appears she told nobody at the time -- not even her best (female) friend.  How many women tell nobody about an incomplete assault like this -- or any other incident when they have a bad time at a party?  None.  Ever.  Unless they have no friends.  But I'll assume she did, and like every other young woman of that time and the current time, told her bestie(s) everything.  Especially something like this.  If it happened, that is.

If you need more, there is more -- while she apparently spoke of being attacked in her "late teen years" twice in therapy, once in 2012 in marriage counseling and again (to apparently someone different and in individual therapy) in 2013 in neither of these cases did she name Kavanaugh.  In general clinical psychologists keep pretty good notes -- that's part of their job.  And then there are the internal inconsistencies; 15 is not "late teens", for example.

And for the final bit of eyebrow-raising, in what has to be the most-amazing and bizarre coincidence ever, there are reports that Kavanaugh's mother, who is also a Judge, was the judge who heard a foreclosure case on the accuser's parents. What are the odds that this is mere coincidence and not part of animus this woman has toward Kavanaugh personally to motivate a slanderous smear?  Ed: I've read the filing -- it doesn't support the claim.  Kept here for those who want to continue to make this a part of the debate.

Sexual assault is serious whether incomplete and attempted or completed sexual assault.  But there's no evidence to back up this claim, there's no pattern of behavior, there are dozens of women who have known Kavanaugh since High School and have said nothing of that sort was ever perpetrated by him to their knowledge or with or against them and the accuser lacks any ability to provide any sort of evidence at all nor can she even tell anyone why she was at the alleged location, how it was organized, it's purpose or what she was doing before and during the event in question despite wearing a one-piece bathing suit under street clothes -- and she claims he allegedly tried to remove the suit first (what?)

Oh, and both the accuser and Feinswine are known to want to derail Kavanaugh by any means possible -- Feinswine has specifically so-stated, yet she sat on the very thing that could have done so for two months.  This implies that she knows the claim is false because otherwise she would have been best served in her interests, which she has publicly stated, by immediately both releasing it and forcing an investigation -- in July.

I call bull**** and believe Feinswine sat on this allegation for two months because she did investigate it, knows it's a lie and also knows that if she played the card in July she would have gotten caught and not only would Kavanaugh be confirmed the consequences would be potentially fatal to the Demoncrat party.

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2018-09-14 08:04 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 218 references
[Comments enabled]  

And here we go again...

“When it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters,” the editorial board wrote.

Meh.

Jeff Bezos goes on to blame Trump for his "complicity" because, as they claim, Florence is "more serious" and "more intense" due to Trump's environmental policies.

Yeah, ok.

First, the allegedly-gonna-wipe-you-off-the-map Cat 5 (briefly) storm has now landfalled as..... a Cat 1 hurricane.

Don't get me wrong -- a Cat 1 hurricane is plenty bad to ruin your day.  But the catttttasssstrooopppheeeee from wind is simply absent.  I had a suspicion this was going to be the case; maintaining Cat 4 or 5 strength is a matter of everything turning out just right for the storm, and it just takes a bit of vertical shear to screw it up.

Second, and WaPo knew this if they bothered to look (they didn't) sea surface temperatures over the path the storm took were in fact almost-exactly normal for this time of year.  There was no "warming", in other words, that made this storm particularly intense or out of the ordinary.

Third, if anything "more intense" atmospherics would tend to weaken said storms and make them move faster, both of which make for less damaging outcomes, not more-so.  Shear weakens hurricanes (as it did in this case) and the worst impacts are not always from the winds and surge, but rather from inland flooding that is produced as a result of a stalled storm that rains on you for days -- as occurred in Houston and appears to be on tap here.  The more "intense" the weather pattern the less-likely you get a collapse of said pattern and upper lever winds and weather (e.g. troughs, a ridge that blocks movement, etc) that result in a stalled storm -- and thus catastrophic rains.

This is what CNBS just put up on their screen for the "catastrophic" storm making landfall right now.

 

I doubt they looked at the video they were displaying before they did; that doesn't even look like a moderately nasty sea state.  Hell, we get far worse out of a Tropical Storm around here say much less any sort of hurricane -- and I've ridden out several.

When does the "fake news" lies stop and when do we, as people in this country, simply dismiss or even more-importantly destroy through lawful economic action those so-called "media outlets" who intentionally lie about serious, even life-threatening events like hurricanes?

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