Letters (July 6, 2016)
by AVA News Service, July 6, 2016
WHO'S IN CHARGE OF THIS HENHOUSE?
Just finished reading Sonya Nesch’s pertinent letter in this week’s edition, asking Camille Schrader to answer some questions regarding how things will be handled when Redwood Community Services takes over the County Adult Mental Health Services. I hope Ms. Schrader will be forthcoming with her answers and enlighten us all as to how her directorship will be different and hopefully better than Ortner’s seemingly sanctioned looting of the County coffers.
As I watched Ortner’s rolling circus of mismanagement and thievery unravel, there was always a nagging question that came up over and over. Where was Carmel Angelo’s voice crying foul!? She is the top of the food chain and official gatekeeper of Mendocino County. How is it that she is not being blamed for allowing Ortner to basically take millions of dollars and provide next to nothing in services for the mentally ill in our communities?
Come on folks, in any other arena, mismanagement of $46 mil would take a bit of ‘splainin’. This county spends a lot of money on Adult Mental Services, and I think Ms. Nesch, and a lot of us, want to know if the County is taking the money from the old fox guarding the henhouse and handing it to the new fox?
FAMILIARITY BREEDS TRIVIALITY
I Hope I’m Wrong!
As I watched the mob in Cloverdale welcoming Bernie Sanders, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him trying to talk over all these idiots screaming “Bernie Bernie Bernie” to the embarrassing point that he couldn’t even talk.
Since when is a contender for the highest office in the land, addressed by his or god help us, her first name? As far as I can tell, there’s no way a candidate who’s campaign is so taken over by the cutesy slogan morons, could ever make it to a place of relevance and lasting influence. Hope I’m wrong.
It’s just all too much like a twisted Disney production. The biggest impediment to the Sanders run is not all the usual monsters from the blatant greed party. It’s the very folks who rightly see his sanity but are too young and warped by their hand held devices to know revolution if it landed on their dash screens!
This current version of the popular culture is so dumb that they don’t even see the phony momentum generated by the supposed advantage of their “electronic democracy.” Can’t even notice how the medium is controlling them. The hand held prison! The bright dimwittedness! Hope I’m wrong!
You don’t run a campaign on a first name basis. Anymore than you run a ball team on tattoed long haired over paid drug addict narcissist assholes. When society itself becomes an unreal “reality" TV show, who will turn it off, where’s the off switch? Dog have mercy!
All goodness to Bernie Sanders. He’s obviously too real to be in the payola sickened arena that he’s gallantly trying to invade. A voice crying in the wilderness, the waste land really. I cringe every time I see a “Bernie” sign. It’s all wrong. Even though he’s right by a biblical mile!
In this fucked up society, as soon as something or someone is all the rage, oblivion every time. The masses ruin everything they touch with their grubby mitts. It’s the law of herd mentality.
The more popular, the less real or relevant. The revolution will not be televised!
THE ONE PARTY SYSTEM
The power elites own the two political parties in the United States. To control the outcome of an election, at the voter level, they deploy two main strategies to motivate the voters. The Republicans promote hatred, the Democrats promote fear. The electoral contest develops as a spectacle, very much like the World Wrestling Federation. Republicans and Democrats display a sort of kabuki theater exploiting the tendencies described above. Trump is a perfect example of this strategy. In his case, it is not only a party that is dangerous, but the individual himself, making the fear more tangible. But underlying this farce is the incredible evidence that both parties are part and parcel of the same exploitative system, where the contenders vie for the opportunity to do the job for their corporate masters.
The allegiance of the true believer, either a Republican or a Democrat, is very similar to that of a fan of a sports team. You are either a Giants fan or a Dodgers fan. You are supposed to pledge allegiance to your team. No matter the record of malfeasance accumulated by the party of your fervor, if you are a true believer, you become blind to the facts and look for the convenient narrative carefully selected for your consumption by corporate media. And if you are a liberal democrat, you tend to feel very smart spouting your media-acquired wisdom, full of factoids, manufactured to make you feel intelligent. You read The New York Times, you watch PBS. Your mind becomes sealed, impermeable to an alternative narrative that puts into question the motives and hidden agendas of your “team” in power.
Obama is a case in point. His true believers see no fault in him, not one, notwithstanding his abysmal record in everything he has touched, from health care to Wall Street, to the most egregious of all his crimes, that of being a tool for the neoconservative agenda of U.S. world domination by military might.
And now it’s Hillary Clinton’s turn to run for the presidency. She is the chosen leader of the team and true believers must support her, if only because her ascendancy will become an historical accomplishment, that of becoming the first woman president of the United States of America — the latest liberal wet dream. No matter her abysmal record as a corporate fiend and a proven warmonger; she is the prefect fit for a neoconservative, neoliberal agenda. With Obama the fiasco was perpetrated under the color of race; with Clinton it is perpetrated under the color of gender. And who cares if all hell breaks lose? One of the most unpopular politicians in recent American history is poised to become the commander in chief of the quintessence of organized crime: the United States of America. That’s where Trump comes in handy. He is the enemy to defeat. He is even more evil than the Republican Party itself, which he has so cleverly dismantled. And you have to be afraid, very afraid of the bogey man. Thus, the inevitability of your vote for Clinton. Isn’t that right? To be reduced to the level of a child, accepting to be manipulated by your handlers, in the exercise of your electoral duty? Doesn’t that make you feel great?
Roberto O. Lozano
PRESCRIPTION FOR ADDICTION
The “Opium Wars” were fought by the British Government to legalize their control of the opium trade to China in the mid 17th Century. Reports estimated that 25% of the Chinese people were addicted to opium by 1905. That same year in the US, heroin addiction had risen to alarming rates, and the US Congress passed a ban on opium. Another American heroin epidemic began again in 1967 in Chicago and New York, and then spread widely through the early 1980’s. The son of the US Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, died of a heroin overdose in New York City on April 24, 1984. Physicians in medical school were taught that opioids were dangerously addicting substances that should be used only for short term severe pain and terminal cancer. Despite this teaching and the raging Heroin epidemic in America, a letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7350425). The author reported that of the patients in their hospital who were treated with narcotics, less than one percent became addicted. In 1986 the Journal Pain
reported on a study of only 38 patients who were treated with narcotics for several years. The authors concluded that there was little risk of addiction. There were no other significant addiction studies reported. Shortly after the study in Pain, one of the co-authors went on to head the American Pain Society. This organization was one of several similar nonprofit groups funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry like Purdue Pharma the producers of the narcotic Oxycontin. These opioid producers also funded medical education programs and advocacy groups. Within a short time the pharmaceutical companies began an aggressive nationwide campaign to market opioids for long term non cancer pains such as back and neck pain. During the 1990’s the incidence of opioid misuse rose markedly, fueled by the number of opioid prescriptions written by many physicians and nurses. Where were the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) when they were presented with blatant disregard for the truth about opioid addiction? What evidence did they demand before they abandoned 150 years of knowledge about the dangers of opioids? Where were the evidence based studies needed to refute what was known around the world about the risks of opioids? As of February 2009, Dr Zee, writing in the Journal of Public Health, revealed that “we lack any large...rigorous prospective study addressing the issue of …addiction, during long term opioid use for chronic non cancer pain.”
The medical schools and physician training programs did not publicly denounce this unscientific pharmaceutical propaganda. Why? The F.D.A., the organization responsible for ensuring that prescription drug promotion is truthful, continued to authorize more and more forms of opioids over the years. Why? To this day, the F.D.A. and the A.M.A., have refused to demand mandatory education for opioid prescribers. Why? Furthermore, The Federation of State Medical Boards accepted money from pharmaceutical firms to produce prescribing guidelines (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/PainManagement/31256) . Why did physicians not sound the alarm to expose the fact that the pharmaceutical industry was establishing treatment guidelines for the medical profession?
Dr David A Kessler, the past commissioner of the F.D.A., from 1990-1997, the very years the epidemic was accelerating, stated in an article in the New York Times on May 7, 2016: “It has proved to be one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine”. Doctors, regulators and drug makers “missed one fundamental: The more opioids prescribed, the more opioid abuse there will be.” We beg to differ. This was no mistake. The reality is that physicians in the leadership of the F.D.A., A.M.A., and The Federation of State Medical Boards, willfully abandoned their scientific integrity and over 150 years of wisdom regarding the dangers of opioids. This was simply a catastrophic violation of their duty to “do no harm”. In their complicity with the Pharmaceutical Companies, many physicians and nurses abandoned their responsibility to their patients by writing prescriptions for addiction. The consequences are now staring us in the face. Well over a hundred thousand people have overdosed and died, and there are now 3 million addicts as the epidemic continues to devastate families across the nation.
Let’s set the record straight.
Nayvin Gordon, M.D.
Board Certified for over 30 years in Family Medicine