For as long as there has been an American “war on drugs” the nation of Columbia has been a target. Sitting at the top of South America, Columbia has been a major supplier of illegal marijuana and cocaine for decades. Arguably, no one knows more about growing pot and coke than Columbia.
Well, according to National Public Radio Columbia is putting all this experience into legal business opportunities, supplying the world’s needs for medical marijuana. NPR says:
“Colombia is on track to become a medical marijuana powerhouse. The South American country now has more than two dozen legal cannabis companies that have invested more than $600 million in building new facilities. The government legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and the country now exports products to Canada and the U.K.”
Medicare for all is a hot topic with progressive Democrats pushing for it and conservative Republicans falsely referring to it as communism and claiming it will bankrupt the nation.
Well, back in the fight over Obamacare days I did some checking and read a book or two about comparative health care systems. While I don’t remember much of the details I do remember the general knowledge I acquired. Lesson learned number one is that lots of countries have far better systems than America. Number two is that withing America the most efficient systems are the VA and Medicare. Both of which, by the way, are socialists systems and extremely popular.
Remember the movie, My Left Foot? Well, I’ve got a story to tell about my front tooth and it goes all the way back to growing up in an era before toothpaste and drinking water contained fluoride and kids with rotting teeth was the norm.
I came from one of those families that didn’t empathize dental hygiene and about every adult I knew had a full set of dentures. One of my best friends in high school had a set of fake chops before his junior year. By the time I’d gotten out of the Navy and lived a couple of years in California I had changed my ways but I still had a front tooth that showed the black signs of decay.
Since Dayton and El Paso, there’s been lots of talk about placing pressure on the CEOs and shareholders of big box stores, like Walmart, Cabellas, Bass Pro and others to change their gun policies. So far there doesn’t seem to be any mad rush to comply and just this morning it was reported that the CEO of Walmart said that they would not be changing their current procedures. The same newspaper article reported this:
Reality check: Smaller gun shops and gun shows make up a much larger piece of the vendor pie than big retailers do, and a lot of transactions take place in cash.
I recently posted on Facebook some photos of the area around our home. We live in thick woods surrounded by most plants and animals common to our area. That includes an abundance of poison ivy and other things that may make your skin itch.
One of the photos was of our wooden walk from the drive to the screened-in porch at the back of our home. Along the walk is a large tree with English Ivy growing up the trunk. Mixed in with the good stuff is a smattering of poison ivy and a plant named Virginia creeper. Some visitors to the posting seemed to not be able to identify the good from the nasty vegetation so I decided to do a little educating.
The Washington Post recently forced the Drug Enforcement Agency to open up its databases regarding the sale and distribution of prescription pain killers in America. The information can be broken down into states and individual counties and includes the drug manufacturers, distribution companies, and leading pharmacies.
In the State of Ohio during the period 2006 to 2012, there were 3,397,979,780 (billions) prescription pain pills supplied to Ohio’s pharmacies. Here’s a more detailed break down for Highland County and its neighbors. NOTE: Information from 2013 to 2019 is yet to be made public. Also, you may notice the name McKesson as being a major distributor. McKesson is the company who has a distribution center outside Washington Court House.
Highland: From 2006 to 2012 there were 7,388,100 prescription pain pills, enough for 57 pills per personper year, supplied to Highland County, Ohio.
Fayette: From 2006 to 2012 there were 10,553,020 prescription pain pills, enough for 52 pills per person per year, supplied to Fayette County, Ohio.
Clinton: From 2006 to 2012 there were 17,287,730 prescription pain pills, enough for58 pills per person per year, supplied to Clinton County, Ohio.
Ross: From 2006 to 2012 there were 35,275,018 prescription pain pills, enough for 65 pills per person per year, supplied to Ross County, Ohio.
Adams: From 2006 to 2012 there were 12,172,090 prescription pain pills, enough for61 pills per person per year, supplied to Adams County, Ohio
One aspect of American history that is pretty simple to understand is the history of government-sponsored health care. The short and long answers are the same, there hasn’t been much. There was an early program for seaman, another for impoverished former slaves, a little attention given to some mentally ill people, and that’s about it until Medicare and Medicaid were passed in 1965. There were earlier attempts and while progressive health care programs became realities elsewhere in the world the doctors of America, and their American Medical Association were vehemently opposed to what they saw as insidious socialism.
I could easily begin this piece with a list of all the things Trump promised his supporters in 2016 but has failed to deliver on. If I did at the top of the list would have to be that thing about Mexico building a wall and paying for it.
But the wall pales in contrast to the promises he made to provide Americans with a world-class health care system. Early on he promised:
“To repeal Obamacare ‘immediately’ and replace it with ‘something terrific.”
Well, from taking office in 2017 until the Democrats regained the House in 2018, strongly on the issue of health care, Trump and his totally GOP government have miserably failed to do so. It took Obama and the support of every Democrat a full two years to create the less than perfect ACA and despite dozens of GOP bills and court cases, it has been weakened but not erased. And in spite of its weaknesses, millions of Americans do have some level of health care they didn’t have before the ACA.
It’s warming up and getting closer to Earth Day. Like every spring there’s a winter’s worth of trash in our yards, streets, and highway ditches, much of it comes from drive-thru restaurants and beverage barns.
No need to do the research or to manufacturer some story, because I personally witnessed it. Several years ago my wife and I volunteered to pick up litter on Foraker Street between SR 138 and the 7th Street Bridge. From just one side of that very short street, we filled our pick up truck with trash that was, as stated, carry out wrappers from fast food, and tossed beverage containers, especially beer cans. Not a single resident offered to help and within a couple of months, it was as littered as ever.
Yesterday evening a woman told me she just couldn’t understand why Democrats believed in abortion. She thought it was just, “wrong.” It was late and I was too tired to think about it but today is a new day and my brain is rested. So, here’s what I think.
First of all, I’m a Democrat and I basically do not believe abortion is a good thing. To some degree or another, I’ve been bothered by anyone being sexually irresponsible and then using abortion as a means of birth control. After all, forms of condoms and birth control have existed since Roman times and earlier. That said, I don’t think it is my place to tell a woman what is correct for them.
The mass shooting at Florida’s Parkland High School took place just a year ago today. In the following year, much has taken place but even more, has not taken place.
A huge anti-gun violence movement, led by students, has evolved and prompted several major successes at the state level. At the federal level its been pretty much status quo with the gun lobby still owning the majority of the GOP and some Democratic votes.
People talk about the evils of big business, big tobacco, big pharma, big hospitals and all the other “big” that seem to be monopolizing our lives. After watching my son I have to now add “big latex” to the list.
When I was a kid the only rubber gloves I remember people having in their homes were a pair of thicker yellow gloves with fuzzy liners that some women used to ward off “dishpan hands.” I don’t recall my mother using those or anything other than her bare hands to wash dishes, kill a chicken, mop the bathroom floor, or scrub the tub and toilet.
Recently my wife and I were watching a TV segment about a child with extreme emotional problems and was a genuine threat to his siblings. It was part of a piece about the shortage of psychiatric hospital beds for children in America. When the piece was over we put the TV on pause and began talking about our youth in the 1950s.
Neither of us could recall any examples of such children in our small hometown. Our local hospital was nothing more than a large two-story house and our doctors carried most of what they needed in leather bags and regularly made house calls. Few people knew what a pediatrician or psychiatrist was.
Late last summer the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was struck by two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Along with the US Virgin Islands these American territories were devastated. The physical infrastructure and economies of these islands remain far from recovery. NPR recently reported:
“Puerto Rico still has areas contending with terrible living conditions following Hurricane Maria and the lackluster response to the storm from the mainland United States. Even the deadly effects of the storm are far from over: With many still living without power or their lives otherwise disrupted, particularly elderly populations, the overall suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 27 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 levels.”
These people are American citizens yet, in many ways our government has turned its back on them. Somehow America’s president appears to think that flying into the scene and tossing a few rolls of paper towels is all that’s needed. It gave him his photo opportunity.