Thanksgiving

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OxyContin Lawsuits and Personal Responsibility

by Jack

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials announced Wednesday. 

As part of the resolution, Purdue will admit that it impeded the Drug Enforcement Administration by falsely representing that it had maintained an effective program to avoid drug diversion and by reporting misleading information to the agency to boost the company’s manufacturing quotas, the officials said.

Purdue will also admit to violating federal anti-kickback laws by paying doctors, through a speaking program, to induce them to write more prescriptions for the company’s opioids and for using electronic health records software to influence the prescription of pain medication, according to the officials.”

This is obviously bad conduct by the drug manufacturer and they should be held accountable.  It is also another failure of a “board of directors” to do their job as watchdogs to protect the investors which is their primary duty.   The doctors that overprescribed should be punished too.  They knew they should take kickbacks or prescribe a medication that is not essential to the patients.   I just needed to get this out of the way before I launch into the meat of the subject.

However bad as those issues above may be, that still doesn’t let the users/abusers of OxyContin off the hook.   When this drug is taken as directed for the appropriate pathology, there is very little evidence to suggest it was any more dangerous than similar drugs still on the market.  This is the truth and it’s difficult to hear because now we are looking at personal responsibility.  Lawyers will never go there because there is no money to be made, it’s always about suing the deep pockets!

Excluding patients who through no fault of their own got hooked by their doctor on pain killers, the vast numbers of persons that really caused an opioid epidemic were people who irresponsibly self-medicated.   Americans have a long history of being drawn to the recreational use of drugs and when a drug like OxyContin came around it was a magnet for those with poor life management skills or addictive personality types.

This is why I believe that ultimately the majority of fault for the opioid epidemic lies with the consumer, not the manufacturer.   In case after case, persons addicted to using opioids obtained the drug illegally or did not follow doctors orders or lied about their pathology to obtain prescriptions – that is a failure of the human condition and it can’t be cured by suing drug companies.

 

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21 GOP Senators Who Never Liked Trump

Posted by Jack

President Trump, as I’ve said before, was probably the most maligned, undermined, and misunderstood president in our history.  Here is another example of what he faced while serving. When you see this list of notables it’s a wonder he was able to accomplish as much as he did.

Carl Bernstein said, he was “not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentially” when he named 21 GOP Senators that have regularly expressed contempt for President Trump.  His information, he said, came from “colleagues, staff members, lobbyists [and] White House aides”.  Then he named names.

They were: Rob Portman (Ohio), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John Cornyn (Texas), John Thune (South Dakota), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Braun and Todd Young (Indiana), Tim Scott (South Carolina), Rick Scott and Marco Rubio (Florida), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Martha McSally (Arizona), Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts (Kansas) and Richard Shelby (Alabama).

 

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Election Fraud Video – Sidney Powell

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Still No Smoking Gun Evidence for Election Fraud

by Jack

Presidential Election Fraud

There is no question that some cases of election fraud has occurred and maybe it happened even more than in past elections.  However, I’m not seeing the kind of fraud that I would have expected if it was a national conspiracy.

I’m hopeful such evidence will surface soon, but time is running short.  That smoking gun evidence needs to find its way into a court of law where it has real meaning.   Anybody can make claims before the media and we’ve seen plenty of that when the Dems cooked up a scheme to reverse Trump’s election.   But, a court-room is where it’s needed and right now.

We’ve got a lot of Republican leaders starting to question if we have a conspiracy to commit fraud or not?  Chris Christy is a Trump supporter and pretty credible.  He had this to say about the election investigation:

“If you have got the evidence of fraud, present it,” Christie said on ABC Sunday morning.

“Quite frankly, the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment,” he said, referring to Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s accusations against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican.

“This is outrageous conduct by any lawyer,” Christie said.

“They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud,” he said.

“I have been a supporter of the president’s,” Christie said. “I voted for him twice, but elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen.”

“If you are unwilling to come forward and present the evidence, it must mean the evidence doesn’t exist,” he added. “The country is what has to matter the most. As much as I’m a strong Republican and I love my party, it’s the country that has to come first.”

I’m still waiting to see what turns up and like I said if there is proof of wrongdoing bring on.    Meanwhile, I would like to see some charges brought on those individual fraud cases that we have evidence to support.

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When the Quarantine is Worse than the Disease – You Fight Back

by Jack

PROTEST SCHEDULED FOR TONIGHT – CITY OF CHICO

Thanks to the tyrannical behavior of the governor of this state, a protest will be held at the Chico City Council Chambers tonight at exactly 10:01 pm.   This is one minute past the governor’s mandatory curfew time of 10 pm when all persons, young and old, are ordered to be off the street and at home or be subject to arrest.

This is not a protest about reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is about pushing back against a petty tyrant who says do as I say, (not as I do.)

The Sheriff of Butte County took the lead on this and said his deputies will not be enforcing this new emergency order.  This action was soon followed by the Chico Chief of Police who has also stated he will defy the governor’s order.

I have no way of knowing at this time if other law enforcement agencies will stand up against this unfair and unconstitutional order, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more did.

As intelligent adults, who have been educated with the reports from medical experts for months, I expect that we know just as much about the COVID-19 threat as Governor Newsom.  That why we oppose his draconian orders.

We have weighed the facts and we can see no justification for tightening down on the closure of businesses and implementing this new curfew.   The quarantine itself is killing us and in more ways than COVID-19 ever could.

FAST FACTS:  The mortality rate for COVID-19 has continued to fall as doctors discover how to treat the disease.  The current mortality rate is less than .02% with the overwhelming majority of the deaths coming from those with underlying health conditions and over the age of 65.  Whether they died from COVIDs or with COVIDs has never been made clear in any statistical study.

It is expected that annually 2, 839, 000 Americans will die from natural causes. Covid deaths are currently 258,114 and the mortality rate is falling dramatically.   A 95% effective vaccine with extremely low side effects is ready and is soon to be distributed with widespread availability expected by February of 2021.

This is why citizens reject the extreme lockdown and we’re not going to take whatever the governor throws at us anymore.  We say YES to reasonable precautions that are in proportion to the threat.  We say NO to draconian measures sure to cause more harm than the virus.   It’s time to restore common sense.   Life comes with an element of risk, we can deal with it.

If a lockdown worked the first time why are we doing it a second time?  If it didn’t work the first time – why are we doing it a second time?

 

 

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An Old Issue, But It’s More True Today than Ever Before

by Jack

For the last 20 years or more, I have written extensively about the need for campaign finance reform.    During that same period, California has sunk deeper into the swamp and the GOP, who saw no need for such reform, has become irrelevant.

Far be it for me to say I told ya so, but I told ya so.

A campaign contribution from a lobbyist is akin to legal bribery, but it sure doesn’t make it right.   Behind every piece of shady legislation, there is a money trail.  I’m talking about thousands of bills every year.  If you follow the money, you will find a crooked legislator and the entity that bought said legislation.  It’s one of these[ open secret] kind of things and brother is California full of them!

We haven’t had meaningful campaign finance reform in California since the days of Jesse Unruh and that’s reaching back into CA politics to the 1970s.   Unruh was a democrat and Speaker of the Assembly from 1961-68, but unlike his modern counterparts, he was fairly well reasoned.  Back in the 70’s, he called the State’s budget surplus obscene and argued for property cuts which sparked Prop 13.

Why is this subject near and dear to me?  Because the political machine runs on money, lots of it.  If you want something done you need big money to do it – translated that means you need big money to buy campaign contributions and that in turn buys access to key legislators who will gladly help you for the right amount.  But, no money, equals no help.

This is a direct affront to your freedom of speech because your speech carries virtually no weight compared to the special interests and their big money.   You and your vote are minimized from taking part in our democracy and that’s about as wrong as it gets.   Meanwhile, labor unions, pacts, corporations, and lobbyists have maximum representation.

This is why California is the most corrupt state in the nation.   It’s no joke when I say, everything corrupt can eventually be traced back to money, especially in politics where there is virtually a straight line between money and corruption.  It’s right in front of us and yet we’ve become so acclimated to the corruption we just shrug our shoulders and yawn.   This is the end product produced by over 50 years of neglect and it’s guaranteed to only get worse until it’s reformed by the people because the legislators sure won’t!  As Unruh once said, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

 

 

 

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Mandatory Rules for Thanksgiving 2020 by Order of the State of California

by Jack

  1.  Do not exceed more than 6 guests.
  2. Request guests bring their own utensils.
  3.  Use paper plates.
  4.  For indoor gatherings, keep your Covid’s mask on at all times.
  5.  Masks may be briefly removed for eating or drinking, but only for 10 seconds at a time.
  6.  Disinfect guests on arrival using a using 1 oz. of mild dishwashing soap per 1 gallon of water, mix in a manual garden sprayer or a power paint sprayer for application.
  7.  Immediately after disinfecting cover the subject in a large garbage bag for 30 minutes. Tip, make small eye holes in the bag first.
  8.  Use number 20 size brown paper bags over guest’s shoes to prevent the virus from contacting carpet or flooring.
  9.   Do not sing, yell, or talk loudly.
  10.   Limit your visitor time to 45 minutes.
  11.  Disinfect door handles as guests exit.
  12.   Shampoo carpet or flooring with hot water, over 120 degrees F.
  13.   If guests use your bathroom, turn on the shower and use a hot setting until the bathroom is steaming hot and dripping hot water for at least 15 minutes.
  14.  Curfew time for Thanksgiving is 1300 hours until 1445 hours, plan your trip accordingly.
  15.  Report any rules breach to the Office of Covid Rule Enforcement, 1-800-Ima idiot.
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SCAM ALERT – Your Amazon Account

by Jack

The caller ID said. “Connective Therm, 609-572-7239,”  I suspected it was a robocall and I was right, but with a twist, it was a fraud call.

The recorded voice said in perfect English, “Your Amazon account has a suspicious purchase of an iPhone for $1009.87, to dispute this charge press 1 now.”

So, I pressed 1 and the recording repeated and so I tried it again.  This time I was switched to a male (probably in Pakistan) with a thick accent and a lot of background noise that sounded like numerous other operators taking calls.  This was obviously a phishing (scam) call where the “Amazon guy needs to verify your account information.”  If you are an idiot you will give it to him.

It is the season for scams and it will only get worse until Christmas.  So never provide any identification or account information to anyone who calls you!  DON’T DO IT.  If you must, look up the Amazon (any company) number yourself and call them.

 

 

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It’s Good to be the King

Posted by Jack

It’s happy hour at the Fairmont Kea Lani.

Just past four on Sunday afternoon, former state Sen. Rod Wright settles in at the lobby bar for the mai tai that he insists should kick off any trip to Maui.

Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, wanders in and they share a laugh over dinners past at Ella in Sacramento, where Wright’s favorite vodka was always stocked. Frazier raves that Wright must try the Molokai Mule cocktail.

“I’m not reportable,” Wright joked, referring to financial disclosure forms that legislators are required to fill out, “so I can eat and drink as much as I want.”

The California Independent Voter Project’s annual conference has once again arrived at this $360-a-night hotel on Maui’s southwest shore, bringing together 21 lawmakers and dozens of corporate sponsors for five days of policy discussions and schmoozing.

Ditching suits and ties for shorts and polos, attendees rotate through morning panels covering subjects such as drug buyback programs and the digital divide in poor households. Hawaiian shirts are in disappointingly short supply. During open afternoons, they are free to relax and explore the island, often with spouses and children who have tagged along for the week.

This type of travel is nothing new for California legislators, who have been venturing overseas for decades on the dime of business groups, labor unions, foreign governments and their campaign donors. Just this year, the state Senate led study trips to Japan, Mexico, and Australia, while more junkets went unannounced.

Yet the Independent Voter Project conference, with its luxurious Hawaiian setting, has become something of a lightning rod for criticisms about the cozy relationship between lawmakers and special interests.

“Nobody thinks you’re going to Maui to learn things,” said Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. “If the purpose of the trip were to educate lawmakers about the problems of California, they would go to Fresno.”

Read the whole story here

 

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