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2018-06-15 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 165 references
[Comments enabled]  

Never expect NPR to leave politically-charged and irrelevant issues out of an honest debate.

Ever.

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

....

The report also cites the need to reduce "access to lethal means" but without explicitly discussing firearms or controversial issues such as gun control legislation. Asked whether that was a deliberate omission, because of the political climate surrounding gun control, Stone said that suicide rates have been increasing across all methods.

"So it's not just about firearms, it's also about other methods of suicide such as hanging, suffocation, poisoning and the like," she said. "We are concerned with all aspects of suicide prevention, including access to lethal means, and so we do include that in a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention."

Uh huh.

There is nothing you can do about "access to lethal means."

I can poison myself with my car exhaust.  There is no means to prevent that as an intentional act (I can remove my CO detector's batteries, or unplug it, to prevent the alarm from going off -- as an example.)

I can poison myself with dozens of commonly-available pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs (fentanyl anyone?)  While you can "bust" more people and make access there harder, you can't really stop me from obtaining access (e.g. booze.)

I can hang myself.  You can't stop that either; what are we going to do, put a 10 day waiting period on rope sales?

Hanging is quiet, clean and shockingly effective, nearly 100% so. Done "correctly" it also has a near-zero pain factor associated with it.  Guns also have a near-zero pain quotient (when used in the mouth, for example) but are loud and messy.  Car exhaust can poison unintended victims; whether a suicidal person cares is an open question.

A lot of people who try to kill themselves don't really mean it.  We know this; it's a "cry for help", basically.  But those who really do mean it usually choose a means that is nearly 100% effective and (as they believe anyway) painless.  Some care about what they leave behind (e.g. the mess quotient) others do not.

The real question is why are the rates of suicide going up so much?

There are a number of answers.

Take a society that destroys middle-class earning potential, meaning you're either at the top or you're making under $20 an hour, and you've got a problem.  Essentially all, statistically speaking, of the jobs created since 2008 pay under $20 an hour.  That's a statistical fact and when you take someone who made $80k, lost their job, and now the best they can do is half that that might be a big factor.  Thank you China, India, offshoring of labor, destroying of what formerly were good jobs, etc.  Tell me again about the "booming" economy when these are, in fact, the real numbers behind that alleged "boom."

Now take non-large-corporate employee who finds himself with a near 90% effective tax rate on the money earned between $25,000 and $50,000.  Yes, that's Obamacare and it's subsidy/penalty system.  The penalties go away next year but the rest does not, and if you have any sort of health issue the 90% extraction for that second $25k is still there.  Incidentally that nice little slot problem happens to occur right at the transition point to middle-class living, so we take a whole bunch of people who were formerly middle-class, can be today except that the rape-room financial games in the medical system toss them into the lower economic class where they have to double their income before starting to climb out of that hole.  Will some, especially those with a health condition, choose to blow their own brains out instead when faced with that?  Yep.  Who gets that check?  Obama, Trump and Congress, all whom have ignored and in fact cheered on the medical monopolists instead of imprisoning all of them.

Then you have opiates.  An industry sells over 400 pills per person per year into one small town and manages to evade any sort of prosecution for it.  Do you really think it's possible that there was any sort of legitimate need for that volume of drug in one small town when the drug in question is highly-addictive -- and profitable?  Of course not.  That's the very definition of the crack-dealer model of business: Only the first hit is free; the rest take all your money first, then your life.  You don't think some people would decide to check out on their own terms instead of some pharma company's terms, do you?

There's more but this is a good start -- but no, we can't have that discussion.

Instead it has to be about guns -- inanimate objects instead of deliberate, malevolent, profit-driven decisions made by both big business and our government that have willfully and intentionally ignored rampant felony violations of the law for decades while literally screwing the people of this nation blind.

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2018-06-13 11:30 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 219 references
[Comments enabled]  

C'mon folks, this is outrageous.

UPDATE — Congress wants the killing of kittens at a Maryland lab run by the USDA and funded thru your tax dollars to stop. 7 On Your Side broke this story wide open earlier this month with help from the tax payer watch dog group White Coat Waste Project.

The Senate Appropriations Committee just passed a spending bill that asks the USDA to find alternative testing methods and develop a kitten adoption program. I-Team Investigative Reporter Scott Taylor discovered the Maryland lab has killed more than 200 kittens in the past five years.

The USDA has for decades run studies on toxoplasmosis.  It's a serious problem caused by a parasitic infection, and while it usually doesn't cause humans much trouble pregnant women are different matter entirely.  There is very real risk -- to human babies -- involved there.

So research, in general, is good.

What's not good is how they're doing it.

They're using kitten, and feeding them infected meat so they get infected.  Then running their experiments on the feces, which is where the risk is.

The problem is that they then kill the cats.

Now if the cats were inherently and irrevocably compromised then I guess I'd understand it.  Better a cat than a human, right, especially if ultimately it leads to a solution.

But that's not the case.  One of the reasons this particular condition is such a problem is that most of the time cats carry this parasite yet are only lightly sickened if they are clinically ill at all from having the infection.  That's part of the reason this is such a problem for human women; they have no idea their cat has the infection because kitty appears to be just fine, and mostly is.

Second, the infection is easily and cheaply treated.

So why not treat the kittens, cure them, then adopt them out?

The answer is that its easier to just kill them.

Yeah, well, **** you USDA.

Maybe we ought to run some experiments on some of those alleged "scientists", and then instead of curing them.....

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2018-06-12 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 165 references
[Comments enabled]  

This never ceases to surprise me, but the lessons have been known at least back to Pompeii.

Today we can "classify" volcanoes as being dormant, active or extinct.  Sort of.  The ring of fire region of the planet is one where there will be no extinction because the volcanoes there are a result of the movement of the tectonic plates that form the Earth's crust.  Hawaii exists because of this.

As it turns out the Big Island is where most of the activity is, at least in what we consider to be "human times."  People like the climate and the (relatively speaking) more-reasonable price of living near such a natural phenomena.

However, you don't really own land where there is an active volcano within 50 miles or so.  At best you're leasing it from Madame Pele', and throwing a human sacrifice into it probably won't stop it from erupting either.

If you want to live there, go right ahead.  But the rest of us should not subsidize the cost of your insurance, just as we should not in a place prone to earthquakes or hurricanes.  Insuring such property is and should be quite a bit more expensive because when the mass-event happens lots of destruction occurs, including 100% losses not only of the structure (as is the case for hurricanes) but also the entire economic value of the land is frequently destroyed as well.

Old lava flows aren't a terrible place to live -- 100 years or more later.  One or two years later on the other hand they're completely unsuitable for anything human-related.  So when your house gets overrun by such a flow the property is destroyed, not just the structure.

Oh well.

Yet once again we are talking about "disaster relief" funds for the people who built knowing the risk.  Now they wish to fob it off on the rest of us.

Should we test the theory of human sacrifices stopping volcanic eruptions?

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2018-06-08 11:08 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 611 references
[Comments enabled]  

Austria has finally taken the bull by the horns and cut the smiley

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s right-wing government plans to shut seven mosques and could expel dozens of imams in what it said was “just the beginning” of a push against radical Islam and foreign funding of religious groups that Turkey condemned as racist.

Racist?

I'll tell you what's racist: Believing that you have the right to cloak a political ideology of submission, class-separation by birth and faith into master and slave through labeling it a "religion" and that should you not get your way you will rape or murder those who disagree.

How and to whom you pray, or if you pray at all, is a matter of religion and in America at least is absolutely protected under the First Amendment.

However when the truth is that your alleged "religion" comes with not just professed but expressed belief and act that separates people into classes based upon whether they agree with you or, even worse, whether they are of one sex or the other then you've crossed the line from religion into political ideological activity that the civilized world ruled unacceptable a long time ago.

Slavery by any means is still slavery.  "Dhimmitude" is by definition illegal to the extent it is practiced in any form with the force of law.  If such is part of some alleged religion's "holy text" and remains and is practiced that is not a religion at all; it is a violent political ideology and representing otherwise is a lie.

You cannot make me sit in a pew or pray on a mat next to you; I have the right to refuse.  Further, I can consent today and refuse tomorrow; a choice of religion which I am free to adopt or leave as I wish.  To lay sanction of any form, particularly but not exclusively in the form of extortion or violence, as a result of my election is a gross violation of fundamental human rights that precede government and thus cannot be subsumed or violated by same.

That's the First Amendment in the US and the reason for it or, in the context of the EU, The Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 10).

If you turn around and say that if I do not do as you direct in that regard you will find political or economic punishment for me, including laying taxes, attacking me if I'm a woman and refuse to wear clothing you approve of and pray your way, or murdering me outright then you are the racist and you are the one who must be destroyed because you have declared that fundamental human rights that predate all government are subservient to your alleged "faith."

If you preach this you're not a religion, you're a seditious political group with a self-declared intent to overthrow the sitting government by force.

That is illegal in every civilized nation of the world and those nations who do not respect same are barbarians who have intentionally, by their own hand, forfeited their claim to humanity.

If any said group is funded by foreigners, no matter who they are, that is a declaration of war by an external entity upon a sitting, functional and legitimately elected government.

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2018-06-08 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 146 references
[Comments enabled]  

No jail for big pharma.... even when caught knowing their drugs are being used on the street.

Purdue Pharma, the company that planted the seeds of the opioid epidemic through its aggressive marketing of OxyContin, has long claimed it was unaware of the powerful opioid painkiller’s growing abuse until years after it went on the market.

But a copy of a confidential Justice Department report shows that federal prosecutors investigating the company found that Purdue Pharma knew about “significant” abuse of OxyContin in the first years after the drug’s introduction in 1996 and concealed that information.

Bush didn't want to go after them.  Remember that guy?  You know, the President who was very "war-on-drugs" ish?

Yeah, that guy.  He didn't want to jail those guys, and so the DOJ didn't.  They instead took a fine and called it a day, despite career prosecutors being sure they had a case -- and a good one too.

Of course now?

Well, 1 in 5 young people die of opioid-related causes.  One in five.

Now granted, you're not very likely to die at that age to start with, so there's not a big pool all things considered.  Accidents (car accidents in the main) are one of the big killers.  Booze of course coupled with vehicles is a big part of that.  But right up there is opioids.

At the same time we have people telling us how awful weed is.  The latest is the Faux Snooz nonsense coming out of Colorado, where they're all bent out of shape by people running grow houses and then shipping the (very illegal, as it is not regulated or taxed) product to other states (because you can't sell it in Colorado and make any money, you see.)

Of course there's two problems nobody wants to discuss.  Jack Daniels would be very profitable to bootleg if it was double the price in one state over another.  It doesn't happen because it isn't.

Second, however, and far worse, is where the crime and grows are being run from in Colorado.  Listen carefully and you might pick it up -- illegal Mexicans, illegal Guatemalans, illegal gang members, etc.

They're all ex-US gangs in some form or fashion -- so why are they in the United States, and is this really about drugs?

No.

So there's two issues here.  One is that we have a substance that is very deadly and addictive as hell, yet the companies that make the crap and push it -- literally push it, in that one small town had over 400 pills per person shipped there recently, get away with doing it because they're all "legitimate businesses."

On the other hand we have illegal invader gangs from various nations, including Mexico, who we refuse to arrest, prosecute and then deport them.  How do these guys buy and rent property, move money, etc?  How's it happen without someone intentionally allowing it knowing good and damn well they're not here in the country legally?

Getting all those illegal invaders out of here might actually solve that problem; it seems that we don't have many US citizens all that interested in running drugs -- after all, if you want to get stoned just go to one of the places where it's legal! Why take the risk of going to prison for a couple of decades?

When you're an illegal invading gang-banger it's a different proposition because all your crimes are probably free.  You see, these people likely already murdered someone -- and once you do that then all the lesser crimes, and indeed all the following murders have no deterrent effect in the law because you can only give a man or woman one life sentence (or hang 'em once.)  That's a nasty little fact that none of the so-called "law and order" folks want to talk about, but that they refuse to have the conversation doesn't make it any less true.

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