Thursday, September 28, 2017

So this is where the 7 day pain pill business is coming from

(Via the Drudge Report)

It seems our own government is going back to a failed idea from yesteryear--we're going to restrict pain meds that work for people who actually need them because other people abuse them. This, ladies and gentlemen is a crock of horse shit. It smack of what we gunnies rail about after every mass shooting when they want to restrict the gun rights of law abiding citizens because a criminal committed crimes with a gun.

Oh, but Mr. Freeholder, they're going to come up with new and non addictive pain meds. It says so right there in the article! Yeah, and that's what  Oxycontin was supposed to be, Sparky. Here's the down low on pain meds that help people who have the serious, intractable type of pain: They're all addictive. Based on the little pharmacological knowledge I picked up many years ago, I seriously doubt you can come up with an effective pain med for that level of pain that won't be addictive.

There are other, non-pharmacological methods than can give folks relief, but they don't work for everyone. The drugs work for almost everyone, but if you keep someone on them long enough, they become addicted to them.

You know what? I don't have a problem with that. If the choice is a lifetime of debilitating pain or relief but being hooked on the drug that gives me the relief, hand over the pills. I've seen people who have committed suicide because they couldn't stand the pain any longer and they couldn't get relief any way other than a bullet through their head. Three times I've seen this, and it was unnecessary, because the drugs were there to help them. But OMG, we might make them an addict!

I'm pretty damn sure one of my best friends' wife would like to have her brother and her sister back. I'm also pretty damn sure one of my old girlfriends' would like to have her brother back. Three lives lost because they were denied effective relief from constant pain.

Prepare to return to the good old days of endless suffering because the effective pain meds are going to be off limits. Prepare to see people self-medicating. Prepare to see people resorting to the black market, otherwise known as street drugs. Prepare for the suicides. Prepare to see all the unintended but totally predictable consequences we saw the last time we went down this lunatic lane.

Donald Trump, I voted for you, but there are times you're as stupid a fucking idiot as has ever sat in the White House. This is one of them. You need to un-ass yourself. Otherwise, the blood will be on your hands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The de-Googlefication continues

Slowly, step by sometimes painful step, I continue to extract Google from my life.

Today it was about the browser. I've been using Microsoft's Edge browser on my mian laptop, a Window's 10 machine. It works OK, but there are a lot of extensions I used with Chrome that simply don't exist for Edge, which meant Chrome kept hanging around. An old friend of this blog, Jed from Freedomsight, had suggested Opera, Seamonkey or Firefox. Well, for reasons stated in an earlier post, Firefox is out.

I tried Opera last night on a different machine, and it seemed to work quite well, and it also had a lot of the browser extensions I was looking for (or at least similar extensions). However, when I tired it on my main laptop today, it exhibited all sorts of weirdness. The other machine is Windows 7, so that may be the issue. In any event, I need something that runs on both versions of Windows.

So off to Bing. Still getting used to it's quirks, and I don't care for the way they serve their ads, but it isn't Google. TechRepublic has an article on "Five free alternative web browsers for Windows", which sounded worth a look. Number 3 was SRWare Iron.

Iron is a Chromium-based browser, which means it is based on Google code. However, it is based on the open source part of the code, and SRWare has eliminated much of the code Google added in to tie the browser to Google services. Some parts do remain, such as the ability to log into Google for personalizations, but it seems much of the under the hood stuff is gone. From my standpoint, all the extensions I was used to having have been downloaded and work. I can substitute XMarks for Google's bookmarks sync (and more if I want to pay for it, which I well may), but I'll have to sync extensions myself. That is a minor annoyance.

I'm still exploring the differences of this browser. It does seem a bit slower, but since that comes and goes it may be from another cause. It hasn't crashed so far, and I've pretty much abused it. It unfortunately doesn't come in an iOS version, which sucks. SRWare provides a specialized search engine interface which is supposed to neuter your favorite search engine's privacy-offensive features. Still using Bing at the moment, but I'll play around with Google and see who it works.

So if you find yourself in the market for a new browser for whatever reason, give Iron a shot. So far I'm glad I did.

Monday, September 25, 2017

See-through suppressors

(Via Michael Z. Williamson on Facebook)

These are simply too cool. Suppressors with the normal outer shell replaced cast acrylic and filmed with a high-speed camera.

This one comes with bonus footage of the CMP Talladega Range facility. That looks road trip worthy in and of itself.

Who and what do you trust?

For months now we've heard the term "fake news" hurled about. We've also heard that "facts are fungible".

There is a certain amount of truth in both. There is now and has always been fake news, news that is heavily slanted in order to push a certain agenda. There is even the famous story of William Randolph Hearst who replied to a January 1897 cable from correspondent Fredrick Remington which read "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return." with "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." History shows were we went from there.

Facts are also often in the eye of the beholder. "The winners write the history books." How many history books are being re-written as we discover that events were mis-reported, not reported or outright covered up?

Let's cast all this in terms of the now seemingly discredited "global warming", which has lately been rebranded as "climate change" because the fetishists who were pushing it got tired of memes like this one.

In a number of threads on the late Dr. Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor site a number of very smart folks poked huge holes in the data being used to "prove" global warming. These holes usually revolved around the inaccuracy of the data, which often dated back 100+ years, and was gathered under questionable circumstances using instruments that left more than a little to be desired in the accuracy department.

It also didn't help their case when it was found that current instruments were apparently being sited in such a way as to...let's say skew the numbers. It got worse for them when they were caught outright fudging the numbers.

At any rate, eventually the fetishists decided to rebrand their cause as "climate change," because the covers all the bases. If the climate is getting warmer, "Ermagehrd, it's Climate Change!" If it's getting cooler, "Ermagehrd, it's Climate Change!"

Even though I don't agree with the hysteria this crowd is trying to gin up (Hey, you gotta justify your funding somehow), I do agree that climate changes. Eventually. I'll never see it, and I doubt my great-great-great-great grandkids will, but it will change over time. Sea levels will go up, sea levels will go down. Average temp will go up, average temp will go down. So on and so forth. But I don't think that it's something we need to lose our minds about.

That's why this ticks me off.

Hurricane Irma was no doubt a stone bitch. People died and a lot of damage was done. You don't have to exaggerate in order for people to get it. Watch the freaking news. Look at Barbuda for an example. But if what this data shows is correct, then we are outright being lied to about the seriousness of the storm in the context of what happened in the US. By the time it hit Naples, the data and the evidence on the ground says it was a much less dangerous storm than it had been, perhaps as low as a Category 1 hurricane. As you can see in the short video below, there is a fair of difference between a Category 1 hurricane and a Category 3.

If you watch the videos from Naples, you'll see a lot of flooding, but you won't see the level of damage that you should see with a Category 3 hurricane. Don't trust me, go look on YouTube. I have. Even in the Keys, the damage appears to be mostly from flooding. Wind-related damage isn't nearly as bad as a Category 4 hit, which they are said to have sustained, would indicate. Well-built structures fail completely in Category 4 hurricanes. How many mobile homes are still standing in some of those pictures?

So, are we being lied to by our government (yet again)? If so, why? Or is it the weather and news industries, desperate to have the storm live up to the hype? If we were lied to, someone should be held responsible. The fact that the storm died down before it hit the US is something we should be rejoicing in, not hiding because if failed to meet the needs of someone's agenda.

Yes, I am getting very conspiratorially minded these days.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Our judgement is better than your doctor's

I'm not a big fan of The War On (Some) Drugs. The crimes committed in its name are legion. But something that is often overlooked are the non-crimes, the things that are done by those who are attempting to avoid being caught up in one of the multitudinous snares of the law or, worse yet, the acts of the virtue signalers.

That last one peeves the crap out of me. The latest and so far most egregious case I've seen is this crap from the CVS drug store chain, whose CVS Health CEO is the mouthpiece for their corporate decision that they know better than your doctor just how much pain meds you need.

“As America’s front door to health care with a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we see firsthand the impact of the alarming and rapidly growing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. “Today we are announcing an expansion of our enterprise initiatives to fight the opioid abuse epidemic that leverages CVS Pharmacy’s national presence with the capabilities of CVS Caremark, which manages medications for nearly 90 million plan members.”

To support this goal, CVS Caremark will roll out an enhanced opioid utilization management approach for all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients as of February 1, 2018 unless the client chooses to opt out. This program will include limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions for patients who are new to therapy; limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid; and requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed.

The big problem with this isn't for CVS customers, who can presumably got to another drug store. It's for those whose healthcare insurance has farmed out the prescription plan portion of the insurance to CVS Caremark. Caremark will simply refuse coverage for prescriptions that runs for too long, or where the dosage is too high or where an extended-release drug is prescribed. Caremark, in effect, has decided that they are smarter than your doctor and that they know better than your doc, who has actually seen you in person and evaluated your situation, how your pain should be treated.

Yes, Virginia, there is an opioid drug crisis in America. I just returned from West Virginia, which can be said to be ground zero for it. I've seen the damage it does. I've also seen the unintended consequences of the crackdown on prescription opioid abuse, which is a switchover to heroin and a spike in HIV infections. So far, no one seems to care much about that. I guess because those people are now criminals and are no longer sympathetic, like the poor are. No, I don't know what the solution is. Yeah, treatment and such. Maybe a government that doesn't try to destroy your livelihood would be a good thing. Hope that you and your kids actually have a future in the place you love wouldn't hurt.

If there is any justice in the world the jackasses like CVS Caremark and their virtue signaling CEO and presumably board of directors will find themselves in serious, intractable physical pain someday, and denied the effective meds to deal with it.

Because denying people with a legitimate need is always the best way to deal with the illegal use of a legal product.