Category Archives: Politics

The Rachel Maddow Show Interviews Jon Stewart

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Jon shows us, yet again why he is an amazing person… and we are lucky to have him in the discourse of our country.  For laughs and for his humanity which is lost with so many television personalities… He is raw, real and not hype and loud.

Listen to this discourse, it is almost as if we were in England.  A debate, a civil back and fourth with no yelling and no name calling… most of all: NO CUTTING ANYONE OFF.  Listening, to each other is long lost in this country.  We are a dumb, sound-bite loving, 15 min. of fame seeking country.

We could learn from this… this is a “teachable moment”.  We need to cut the cord of the news culture and fix our problems, that means WE not US or THEM. Welcome to the civility of cultured speech.  Thanks Jon, and thanks Rachel!

Opioid Analgesics for Chronic Pain

By Mary Lou Bossio, NP

Chronic pain can be one of the more challenging conditions to manage, especially when it has been refractory to multiple modalities. An appreciation of chronic pain and its prevalence, along with thorough understanding of provider responsibilities, patient rights and the appropriateness of opioid analgesics for this population, are needed. Such knowledge provides a foundation for evaluating chronic pain and developing an individualized management plan. When opioids are used, prepare for both expected and unexpected results.

Chronic pain is pain without apparent biologic value that has persisted beyond the time in which normal healing should have occurred, usually 3 months.1 In 2004, chronic pain was internationally recognized as a major health care problem and a disease in its own right.2 Today, countless medical experts and health agencies contend that chronic pain should be treated with the same priority as the disease that caused it.3

History of Standards

The creation and endorsement of formal guidelines for the use of opioid analgesics in chronic pain management is relatively new. The American Pain Society (APS) and the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) issued a statement in 1996 to define when and how opioids should be prescribed for patients with chronic pain.4

Despite this formal position, pain continued to be undertreated due to fears of legal and criminal liability for prescribing controlled substances.5,6 This prompted the development and 1998 adoption of the Model Guidelines for the Use of Controlled Substances by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States.7 This document, which became policy in 2004, defines when opioids are appropriate for acute and chronic pain and details patient monitoring to deter drug diversion.8,9

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has issued standards on pain assessment and management. The standards, which took effect in 2001, state that all patients have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain; that all patients should be assessed for pain and receive individualized care; that response to treatment should be monitored; and that treatment plans should be modified when necessary.10

Although the JCAHO standards provided a formal framework for pain management, they did not stipulate how appropriate management would be achieved, and a number of guidelines were subsequently issued.9-12The prevalence of guidelines and JCAHO standards today means that failing to prescribe appropriate medications constitutes undertreatment of pain and a departure from acceptable standards of practice.8

Opioid Need

An analysis of international s
tudies shows that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 3 older adults experience moderate to severe pain lasting more than 3 to 6 months.1,13 A study of more than 3,500 primary care patients in the United Kingdom found that about half reported pain lasting more than 3 months.
14

And an international study that included the United States revealed that about 20% of more than 5,000 primary care patients experienced pain for more than 6 months.15 Put in everyday terms, as little as 1 in 10 and as many as 1 in 2 patients who present to a health care provider may have chronic pain.

Trends in Prescribing

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders are the most frequently mentioned chronic health conditions significant enough to result in activity limitations among U.S. adults ages 18 to 64.16

An analysis of office visits and opioids prescribed for patients with musculoskeletal disorders in 1980 and 2000 revealed that office visits did not increase for these conditions. This analysis, which was based on data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care survey, also revealed that prescriptions for opioid analgesics for chronic pain doubled (8% to 16%), and the use of stronger opioid analgesics quadrupled (2% to 9%).17

The increase in opioid analgesic prescriptions is a sign that progress has been made in pain management.18-21 However, this trend has not allayed concerns that increased use of opioids would lead to more opioid abuse and addiction. As a result, studies were conducted to identify any abuse of opioid analgesics.

Continue reading Opioid Analgesics for Chronic Pain

Pain-Topics.org News/Research UPDATES: Pain Management Fails Due to Rx-Drug Abuse Fears

In reality, this is a tragedy that has plagued or country since Nixon’s ‘Reign of terror’; i.e. his two-term presidency… the same which caused the continued death toll in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The terrorism at home was to become an international war, destroying the innermost soul of our police, military and our families in the inner-city, to the suburbs.  The war on drugs became a war on the poor later under Regan/Bush with CRACK.

Fast-Forward to today: M.D.’s  and patients are the newest target of the ‘New Prohibition’.  Doctors are afraid of the “Drug Enforcement Agency” which has become a paramilitary organization fighting against the rights of you and I. They are correct in harboring fears, medical offices must close due to dispensing lifesaving medical treatment to sick people.  All in the name of ‘public safety’ and jaded “morality”.

Opium based treatment options are systematically being eliminated. The Sumerians, Egyptians and the West have safely used opium and newer ‘opiates’ to kill pain and extend the quality of millions of people with minimal division and almost zero risk, but are now “the newest devil” in this costly and dangerous war.

This war has no end; unless saner, cooler heads end what was started almost forty years ago. Shouldn’t we trust our doctors, Government, and Police to have our collective safety – not our systematic demise in mind? Free doctors from this insanity… until this slight is overturned, we cannot truly be free.

Pain-Topics.org News/Research UPDATES: Pain Management Fails Due to Rx-Drug Abuse Fears

Mainstream picks up on poppy legitimization scheme

Back in February I posted about a viable alternative to eradication in the Afghan opium war — embracing the opium poppy as a legitimate resource. Parisian security and policy think-tank Senlis Council issued a report on this issue last month that strongly supports this position.

Well, it looks like the idea is finally gaining a bit of momentum in the mainstream press, with articles and commentary appearing in the Toronto Star and on the AFP Wire.

What is most fascinating about this plan is not only the benefits for Afghanistan’s impoverished farmers, but also the ability to fill the 550  (metric) tonne shortfall worldwide in the demand for legitimate opiate-based pain medication. Poppies are already grown in places like Australia, India and Turkey for legitimate uses, and the market is both well-regulated and profitable for the regions involved.

This clearly has a valid impact on security and stability in the region too, as pointed out by U of T professor Benedikt Fischer, who did research for Senlis and is quoted in the Star story:

"Instead of believing in the crazy idea of us being able to eradicate it, why not use the resource for legitimate and worthwhile purposes"

The eradication policy assumes farmers will switch to other crops. But no alternatives pay enough, so it turns them against the struggling government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Canadian and other foreign troops trying to eliminate Taliban insurgents.

Sounds good to me.

Mainstream picks up on poppy legitimization scheme — Poppies.org

Excerpt from “An Anarchist Manifesto” – On Freedom and Violence

From pages (32-36)

…Obviously, whoever possesses greater mental or physical capabilities than others has also more "freedom" of action and more possessions resulting from his greater accomplishments. Those too have more freedom of action that has fewer self-imposed limits in their thinking and less faith in dogmas. But all this need never happen at the expense of others. It does not hinder others, nor does it take anything from them. So it does not touch on anything meant by the equal freedom of all.

Whoever, for instance, wants to equalize natural mental and physical differences, talents and abilities, differences of income and wealth — by various institutions or programs — wants to raise an ideological principle of equality (i.e. his concept of equality) to domination. It is different with differences in income and property based on privileges or monopolies; for these — like any privilege that is claimed against the will of those concerned — infringe on the state of equal freedom for all.

This state of equal freedom for all means, primarily, mutual freedom from aggressive coercive measures which — against the will of those concerned — enlarge the sphere of freedom of some at the expense of others, in such a way that, due to this compulsion, a state of unequal freedom arises.

Forceful measures which are not aggressive but purely defensive, by merely repelling aggression against the equal freedom of all, stay, therefore, within the framework of equal freedom for all. A purely protective organization on a voluntary basis and for the establishment and maintenance of this condition is a self-evident requirement.

When someone voluntarily restricts his own freedom in favor of the leadership or rule of another, be it for religious, ideological or practical purposes, then this voluntary unequal freedom also stays within the limits of what is to be understood by the state of equal freedom for all. This state includes the liberty of wanting to be a slave.

In this it is self-evident that someone can, of course, only limit his own freedom, not that of another against his will.

Equal freedom for all excludes any act or omission which enforces upon the persons concerned behavior that is against their will and claims more freedom for one side at the expense of the freedom of the other side. It does not matter whether this is done in the personal interest of an individual or in the interest of a group or in the alleged "superior" interest of anything "higher," be it a religion, an ideology or anything alleged to be "obviously reasonable" or "evidently necessary."

What counts is the boundary between (aggressive) force and (defensive) freedom from this aggressive force, the limit consisting in the equal freedom of all. On this one may again quote John Henry Mackay (Der Freiheitsucher The Freedomseeker, Berlin, 1920):

"There were cases where no doubt was possible: the robber or murderer who assaults me in order to take my property and my life is, undoubtedly, aggressive. If I get rid of him — and be it by force — I act in self-defense, protectively, and thus I am not aggressive. But there were cases which were not so blatant and evident. It was advisable to try to achieve the greatest possible clarity about these two concepts, seeing that they are hopelessly confused in the public mind, hardly ever discussed and nowhere clearly recognized.

"Some more examples, and again obvious ones: It was not aggressive to carry weapons, but it was aggressive to use them for purposes other than defense. Thus the prohibition against the bearing and possession of arms was aggressive, or rather the enforcement of this prohibition was.

"It was not aggressive to take land into one’s personal possession and make use of it — if it was not already possessed and used by another. It was, however, aggressive to claim taxes for the use of this land and also of its natural resources, regardless of the form and purpose of such taxes. It was not aggressive to issue money and to pay with it those who wanted to accept it under the conditions offered and at their own risk. But it was aggressive to prohibit the issue and circulation of money and to enforce compliance while declaring one standard of value and one currency to be exclusively valid — under the pretence of possessing exclusive authority for the issue and circulation of money. "It was not aggressive not to work if one did not feel like it or had other well-founded or implausible reasons for not wanting to work. But it was aggressive to keep others from the work they wanted to do.

"It was not aggressive to refuse taxes imposed by force, to refuse military service, to refuse inoculation and baptism, to sell one’s body, to live in free love, to whore, and to drink; but it was aggressive to impose taxes upon others and to compel their payment, to force people to train with weapons and to use them, to inoculate and baptize them against their own or their parents’ will, to ‘regulate’ prostitution and submit it to law, to persecute those living in free love: Every forceful suppression of vice was aggressive.

"It was not aggressive to practice medicine or any other profession. Everyone had to be free to attempt healing diseases if he believed he could do so; or free to choose the doctor in whom he had the greatest confidence. But it was aggressive to allow only ‘certified’ doctors to practice and to punish those exercising the profession without such approval. One may call aggressive cases of serious fraud, confidence tricks, and coercive seduction. But the extent to which they were really aggressive could only be decided in particular cases and only on the basis of the relevant facts.

"For, as was said before, there were certainly cases in which the borderline between aggressiveness and passivity was drawn so fine that it could be found only upon close examination, and even this only with the aid of prolonged and rich experience, an experience which is still far off nowadays, since the most naive ignorance still prevails even towards the most obvious infringements of this limit."

The equal freedom of all is largely identical with the absence of privileges — unless someone has expressly granted another person, or group, a privilege over himself. The voluntary restriction of one’s own freedom, as mentioned before, does not offend the principle of equal freedom for all.

Any legal or actual monopoly or oligopoly is also an aggressive infringement of the equal freedom of all, whenever it is not based on the voluntary consent or agreement of those concerned.

The most important application of this statement is with respect to land and natural resources. Mackay’s example referred to a period more than fifty years ago when the world population was, approximately, only one third of today’s. Then there was still some land — however little — available that was not yet used by others. Nowadays, it is no longer possible for someone to use land freely, for even the land not actually used has its "owners," too.

In the following we shall deal rather extensively with the hitherto overlooked consequences of this "ownership," which is of a quite special kind. Anarchism approves of property in the form of the products of one’s own work and also in the form of the products of other people’s work that have been freely exchanged. But with "property
" in land and natural resources we have a case of privilege with regard to something that was given, in its essence, by nature and whose utilization can therefore be equally claimed by every man. "Property" in land and natural resources is as absurd as would be a claim of property rights in the earth’s air that we breathe, since land and natural resources are, in several respects, of no less importance for the existence of every man than the air we breathe. Equal exploitation rights to land and natural resources for everyone can now, without exception, be settled in such an appropriate form that actual landowners lose only an unfounded privilege but not the value of their property.

This example also demonstrates how far-reaching conclusions are to be drawn from the principle of equal freedom for all.

This principle declares murder, manslaughter, assault, rape, robbery, theft, extortion to be aggressive acts, like any claim of the "I may do what you may not do!" kind.

The principle of equal freedom for all (freedom from aggressive force) is a principle of strict mutuality and consistent equality of rights for all.

Above all, it is not based on an ideological claim or value judgment, but follows — as will be demonstrated in detail — as the only alternative to aggressive force, as the logically compelling conclusion from incontestable facts.

Since the principle acts like a set of scales, its non-observances can be determined accurately and at first sight in 99 per cent of all cases. It is evident that the murderer, killer, rapist, robber, thief and extortionist claims more freedom of action for himself, at the expense of his victims against their will. It is equally obvious — even if this point of view is unusual — that no one can claim the least privilege over what nature offers as a gift. (This, however, must be distinguished from what the user of land obtains from it through cultivation).

One has merely to become accustomed to considering aggression not exclusively an act of force in which the aggressor takes the initiative. It may also consist, as mentioned earlier, in maintaining, by force and at the expense and against the will of those concerned, a situation which resulted from the non-observance of the freedom of all. Then the attempt to end previous interference in the equal freedom of all is falsified into aggression against the real aggressor or whoever profited from the aggression.

The equal freedom of all is a state of equilibrium which arises from the natural variety among individuals’ talents, abilities, interests and desires. In this state, no attempt at all is made to equalize differences brought about by talents, abilities, interests and desires. For otherwise one would move out of the world of facts — of what is — into the ideological world of fantasy, of what allegedly should be, for which there is no criterion and on which, generally, one cannot agree at all.

Instead, we try to achieve the greatest possible privacy for each individual in his uniqueness by conceiving of a free-play-area around each individual, as concentric circles, as it were. These touch each other and find their limits where any further expansion is possible only at the expense of another man’s sphere of freedom. This would mean the deprivation of other spheres for the enrichment of one’s own. Against the will of the persons concerned, this can happen only by means of aggressive force.

Our aim, therefore, is not equality itself but equality in liberty, in freedom from outside interference in equilibrium-borderlines arising from naturally given inequalities.

However, this does not at all exclude the possibility that free agreements between individuals concerned may establish conditions between them which aim at equality in economic relations and at equalization of natural differences in talents and abilities, as well as of interests and desires. "Volenti non fit injuria" (Ulpianus). The voluntary limitation of one’s own sphere of freedom in favor of the increased freedom of other individuals or groups is thus not contrary to the principle of the equal freedom of all, but presupposes it. If no individual or group subdues the will of another individual or group by aggressive force, then no enforced privilege, no exploitation and no oppression remain.

The equal freedom of all is identical with non-domination!

This is the opposite of arbitrariness, as it forbids not only the arbitrariness of others but also one’s own, in one’s own, well-understood self-interest.

The Pain Relief Network | Blog | Why is This News Not Fit to Print?

The New York Times… Americana, the “story”.  No spin just good old fash….. oh never mind I neglected to mention that; though factual the “story” might just go away without seeing the ink of the press, or even the ~$.000001 worth of HTML on the NYT.com site. All the news that the ___________________ wants you to know about and all the ____________________ that the government / corporation that has the full page ad that week doesn’t feel too squeamish about seeing in the paper.

What good is freedom of the press; when it’s used as freedom from the press?

CASE IN POINT:

Dec 18, 2004
By: Siobhan Reynolds
Painreliefnetwork.org

Letter to the New York Times

Dear Mr. Okrent,

I have written your office on several other occasions and have not received a reply. Following the Times’ failure to cover the criminal trial of Dr. William Hurwitz and the pain movement that is being crushed by the United States government, I felt that I had to voice my complaint again and request a meeting with you.

I supplied Adam Liptak with a letter from 6 former presidents of the American Pain Society denouncing the testimony of the government’s key expert witness against Dr. Hurwitz. The language could not have been stronger, an astonishing political development-that has again, gone unreported.

I have spoken to several reporters at the Times who made it clear that the paper was aware of the trial and of the other cases that PRN is supporting, we were yet again on the front page of the Washington Post when Dr. Hurwitz was convicted, the DEA withdrew its FAQ document and has since openly intimidated the medical community with a new statement of the law-the intimidation acknowledged by the AMA! and still nothing from the New York Times.

Celebrex and Vioxx have been shown to be tremendously dangerous and have been withdrawn from the market while opioids are nontoxic to major organ systems but their availability is actively suppressed by the US Department of Justice-we have a CSA that judges drugs according to law enforcement notions rather than scientific ones, and still the New York Times cannot find the story.

Patients and doctors are intimidated. Families are being ruined. Physicians are being required to act as policemen in the doctor patient relationship-the DEA says that doctors acting in good faith have nothing to fear and the SAME DAY that Tandy announces this “reassuring” position in USA Today, the US Attorney prosecuting Hurwitz asks the judge to leave the good faith instruction out of his charges to the jury which this unapologetically biased judge did.

Still nothing.

Dr. Hurwitz had his 2 million dollar bond revoked and was thrown in jail immediately-someone who could not again commit the crime he had been convicted of-and still nothing.

What, Mr. Okrent, does it take to persuade the New York Times to cover this story?

I live in New York City and will be available to meet at your convenience. Given the fact that your paper looked at the ethical problems surrounding Barry Meier’s reporting and gave yourselves a clean bill of health, I would have thought you would be eager to avoid any more misunderstandings regarding your coverage of the pain issue. I must say that I am shocked by your paper’s failure to cover this story.

Thank You for Your Prompt Attention to This Matter,

Siobhan Reynolds
President
Pain Relief Network

Where is this story… next to the East Timor ones most likely.  I’m not picking on the Times…. Journalism is now Marketing / Propaganda with a smile and a catchy story too. I just see snakes and deceit.  Next time you want “NEWS” just f***g GOOGLE it or BING it. The NYT is fresh out of the truth.

The Pain Relief Network | Blog | Why is This News Not Fit to Print?

Police Chief says "Legalize It" to HEROIN

Legalise heroin and sell it
on street, says police chief

By Nigel Bunyan
North Wales police chief Richard Brunstrom

Richard Brunstrom: 'legalise heroin and sell it on the street'

Richard Brunstrom, who is in charge of North Wales police, said he believed that the drug laws were doing “more harm than good.” They left vulnerable people in danger, while enabling criminals to make massive profits. Continue reading Police Chief says "Legalize It" to HEROIN

U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Is Creating Drug-Terrorism Unit – NYTimes.com

 January 18, 2010

United States Attorney Plans Drug-Terrorism Unit

By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

The United States attorney in Manhattan is merging the two units in his office that prosecute terrorism and international narcotics cases, saying that he wants to focus more on extremist Islamic groups whose members he believes are increasingly turning to the drug trade to finance their activities.

Some Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies have long pointed to what they say are the symbiotic relationships that sometimes exist between terrorist groups and narcotics traffickers, from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Hezbollah in the Middle East to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Continue reading U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Is Creating Drug-Terrorism Unit – NYTimes.com