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Conservatives and the Opioid Epidemic


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#161 baw1064

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:00 PM

View PostBact PhD, on 19 November 2019 - 02:41 PM, said:


"Florida. The Rules Are Different Here."


How about "There's a little Florida Man in all of us."?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#162 LFC

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:31 PM

View Postbaw1064, on 19 November 2019 - 05:00 PM, said:

How about "There's a little Florida Man in all of us."?

Is that true? I suddenly feel the need for a massive dose of laxatives.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#163 LFC

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 01:19 PM

The Atlantic looks at the causes of the opioid crisis. Poverty and poor job prospects are certainly a part of it but it also zeroes in on how Big Pharma pushed their marketing much harder in states with weak laws governing the prescribing of opiates.

Quote

More compelling, to Humphreys, is a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper that did examine a potential policy solution. For the paper, researchers studied the handful of states that used so-called triplicate programs for their prescriptions of opioids. Triplicates were a rudimentary type of prescription-drug-monitoring program, in which doctors were required to use a special type of pad to prescribe controlled substances, and provide a copy of the prescription to a state monitoring agency. Physicians found these forms a hassle to use, and they were therefore reluctant to prescribe the drugs that required the use of triplicates.

Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, in turn marketed its opioid painkiller less aggressively in states that used triplicates, the paper found. And as a result, fewer people died of opioid overdoses in those states. The paper found that non-triplicate states would have had an average of 44 percent fewer opioid-overdose deaths from 1996 to 2017 if they had been triplicate states. Perhaps most damning, the relationship between being a triplicate state and experiencing fewer opioid-overdose deaths held even when the authors controlled for the state’s economic conditions. In other words, despairing or not, patients who were prescribed opioids took them.

The triplicate paper, in essence, makes it look like the opioid epidemic was mostly the fault of Big Pharma’s marketing, not the result of an economic shock. But David Powell, a senior economist at Rand and an author of the triplicate paper, thinks both could be true. To get the worst drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history, he says, “you need a huge rise in opioid access, in a way that misuse is easy, but you also need demand to misuse the product.”

The next step will be for researchers to see how the marketing of opioids interacted with economic conditions to increase the likelihood that a given place would succumb to addiction. In the meantime, researchers working on the ground say opioid addiction looks like the result of a perfect storm of poverty, trauma, availability, and pain.

When Silva, the Bucknell sociologist, asked her subjects about their painkiller addictions, they would often link their problems back to the decline of coal. When the coal jobs went away, they said, families fell apart. Some people started drinking heavily and abusing their children—who then went on to be traumatized themselves and sought the relief of OxyContin. Some grew bored and aimless without a job, and they started abusing drugs to fill the time or to ease their sense of purposelessness. Some had to switch to other manual jobs, and days of heavy lifting eventually took their painful toll. OxyContin was just a short doctor’s visit away—in one case, a doctor would simply refill opioid prescriptions by phone. “The men and women in this book suffer from physical pain—muscles torn and backs worn out by heavy lifting and repetitive tasks,” Silva writes. But they also “turn to food and Percocet, heroin and cigarettes, to manage the feelings of anxiety, disappointment, and trauma from their pasts.”

Her interviewees had easy access to opioids, yes, but they also felt betrayed by the world. When Silva presented her work recently, an economist told her, “This is, like, an everything problem.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#164 LFC

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 11:43 AM

Multiple federal prosecutors said they had the executive staff of Walmart lined up for criminal prosecution for ignoring the warnings from multiple pharmacists working for the company of opioid pill mill doctors. Not just ignoring but actively waving them off. Then the case was brought to Trump's DOJ (pre-Barr). That's where it died. This is a sickening story proving once again that everything associated with Trump is corrupt, crooked, and downright evil.

I suggest reading it all but here's the ugliest part snipped from the middle of the article. We can only hope that President Biden's rejuvenated DOJ picks the case back up and prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law.

Quote

On a Tuesday just before Halloween in 2018, a group of federal prosecutors and agents from Texas arrived in Washington. For almost two years, they’d been investigating the opioid dispensing practices of Walmart, the largest company in the world. They had amassed what they viewed as highly damning evidence only to face a major obstacle: top Trump appointees at the Department of Justice.

The prosecution team had come to Washington to try to save its case. Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, led the group, which included Heather Rattan, an over-20-year veteran of the office who had spent much of her career prosecuting members of drug cartels.

They first went to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters to meet the acting administrator, Uttam Dhillon. There Rattan laid out the evidence. Opioids dispensed by Walmart pharmacies in Texas had killed customers who had overdosed. The pharmacists who dispensed those opioids had told the company they didn’t want to fill the prescriptions because they were coming from doctors who were running pill mills. They pleaded for help and guidance from Walmart’s corporate office.

Investigators had obtained records of similar cries for help from Walmart pharmacists all over the country: from Maine, North Carolina, Kansas and Washington, and other states. They reported hundreds of thousands of suspicious or inappropriate opioid prescriptions. One Walmart employee warned about a Florida doctor who had a “list of patients from Kentucky that have been visiting pharmacies in all of central Wisconsin recently.” That doctor had sent patients to Walmarts in more than 30 other states.

In response to these alarms, Walmart compliance officials did not take corporate-wide action to halt the flow of opioids. Instead, they repeatedly admonished pharmacists that they could not cut off any doctor entirely. They could only evaluate each prescription on an individual basis. And they went further. An opioid compliance manager told an executive in an email, gathered during the inquiry and viewed by ProPublica, that Walmart’s focus should be on “driving sales.”

After they finished their presentation, Dhillon sat back in his chair and exclaimed, “Jesus Christ,” according to five people familiar with the investigation. “Why aren’t we talking about this as a criminal case?”

That’s precisely what had occurred seven months earlier: Rattan had informed Walmart that she was preparing to indict the corporation for violating the Controlled Substances Act. Indictments of Fortune 500 companies are unheard of, let alone of one with $500 billion in annual revenue and over 2 million employees. But Rattan, with support from her boss Brown, believed the evidence justified such an unprecedented step.

Before the Texas prosecutors could file their case, however, Walmart escalated concerns to high-ranking officials at the DOJ, who then intervened. Brown was ordered to stand down. On Aug. 31, 2018, Trump officials officially informed Walmart that the DOJ would decline to prosecute the company, according to a letter from Walmart’s lawyer that lays out the chronology of the case.

But the Texas prosecutors hadn’t given up. Now, two months later, they still thought they had a chance to bring the then-deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and other top officials around. After the first presentation at the DEA offices that day, the Texas group — now accompanied by the DEA’s Dhillon — caravanned over to the DOJ.

They filed into a big, bright conference room, where they were received by Rosenstein and a collection of political appointees and career staff. Rattan and her team were given a half-hour to make their presentation. She explained that dispensing opioids without a legitimate medical purpose is legally akin to dealing heroin. Criminal law says if a person or entity is willfully blind or deliberately ignorant, they are as liable as if they had acted intentionally. Once Walmart’s headquarters knew its pharmacists were raising alarms about suspicious prescriptions, but the compliance department continued to allow — even push — them to fill them, well, that made the company guilty, the Texas prosecutors contended.

This was not a question of a few rogue employees, Rattan explained. Walmart had a national problem. Worse, the prosecutors contended, the company was a repeat offender. Walmart had agreed to a settlement with the DEA seven years earlier in which it had promised to improve its controls over the abuse of opioid prescriptions. Still the problems persisted. That’s why the prosecutors believed they needed to pursue the extraordinary path of a criminal prosecution. As they concluded, Brown was emphatic, telling Rosenstein: “We have to act.”

A fine would not be a sufficient deterrent, the DEA’s Dhillon added, since Walmart “has more money than it knows what to do with.”

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” Rosenstein responded, according to five people familiar with the investigation. “We are all capitalists here.”

Rosenstein’s quip brought the prosecutorial team up short. They weren’t pursuing Walmart because it was profitable but because, in their view, the company had put its customers at deadly risk.

Not long after, Rosenstein’s assistant entered the room to say he had a call. He left. The prosecutors’ push to persuade Rosenstein to revive the criminal case had failed.

Still, there were multiple avenues left to pursue: After the meeting, the Texas prosecutors focused on bringing criminal charges against individual employees, as Rosenstein and other Trump DOJ officials directed them to do. But later, when the prosecutors sought to indict a mid-level Walmart manager, the Trump officials blocked that, too.

That left potential civil claims. After the meeting with Rosenstein, Brian Benczkowski, the head of the criminal division, had told Brown, “You have a whopper of a civil case,” according to four people familiar with the investigation.

But the civil case, too, was stymied by Trump appointees in the DOJ who continued to side with Walmart.

In its dealings with the DOJ, Walmart pursued a classic strategy. It relied on Jones Day, an influential law firm that has salted officials throughout the Trump administration. Walmart conceded mistakes and opened the door for a civil settlement. But the company consistently denied that any of its employees committed crimes.

In the view of many prosecutors and agents, Walmart never fully cooperated. (From the beginning of the investigation, Walmart said it was cooperating and taking action to fix its opioid dispensing practices. Still, the company acknowledged that it halted its cooperation in mid-2018 after it became convinced prosecutors were not acting in good faith.)

And Walmart and Jones Day added a Trumpian tactic: At a moment when the president had established a habit of attacking the investigators in his own government, the company followed a similarly aggressive approach. Walmart lawyers complained to Washington about the Texas prosecutors, accusing them of seeking to “embarrass” the company while using the threat of criminal charges to extort a larger civil fine. Criminal and civil investigations can run in parallel, but it’s an ethical violation for prosecutors to use the threat of criminal penalties to generate a higher civil settlement.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#165 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 04:19 PM

Your country is not going to recover. Not from any of its vast troubles. You're just watching the last line of defence fail: the American Constitution itself and the legal remedies enshrined in it.
Reality is a hallucination caused by alcohol deprivation.

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#166 George Rowell

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 04:54 PM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 25 March 2020 - 04:19 PM, said:

Your country is not going to recover. Not from any of its vast troubles. You're just watching the last line of defence fail: the American Constitution itself and the legal remedies enshrined in it.
I hope the confluence of disasters facing America cause a sea change in peoples political thinking. Politicians play upon peoples emotions and prejudices like puppet masters while the real issues at hand, that they do not want you to think about, come a distant second. Distract, bait and switch.

In today's environment and if I were a politician I would have to resort to the same seedy tactics to be able to get to serve the people - real politic. It is up to the American people to see through the smoke and mirrors. That is easier said than done. In England too, people rarely vote on the real issues, they are led by the nose, so why should the US be any different? But there is hope. This time around the choices are so stark, literally good and evil. If they fail then American democracy will truly of been hijacked by the unseemly rich and their servants, Facebook, Google and Murdoch's slimy empire.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#167 baw1064

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 05:04 PM

In about 4 days, when we have the largest number of coronavirus cases on the planet and the medical system is starting to melt down, I think people will start to pay attention.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#168 George Rowell

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 05:11 PM

Yes, I hope it shakes them to the core. Maybe this time they will not be blinded when they choose their next leaders.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#169 HockeyDon

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:09 AM

Good luck with that.
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

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#170 Bact PhD

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:30 AM

 HockeyDon, on 26 March 2020 - 09:09 AM, said:

Good luck with that.
No lie. I don’t know if even this situation will shake the FYIGM mentality.
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

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#171 LFC

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:32 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 25 March 2020 - 05:11 PM, said:

Yes, I hope it shakes them to the core. Maybe this time they will not be blinded when they choose their next leaders.

Abortion. Religious freedom. Jeebus. This nation was built by white people. Need I say more?
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#172 andydp

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:52 AM

View PostLFC, on 26 March 2020 - 09:32 AM, said:

Abortion. Religious freedom. Jeebus. This nation was built by white people. Need I say more?

You left out "no ichy gay sex".
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

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Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
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If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.

DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” Margaret Thatcher


(Select any name you want that gets blind loyalty from follower/voters) is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. (Manchurian candidate)


#173 LFC

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:09 AM

View Postandydp, on 26 March 2020 - 09:52 AM, said:

You left out "no ichy gay sex".

I think of institutionalized gay bashing as being part of "religious freedom" anymore. Face it, it's what they want it for the most. Of course if they get to bash gays at will then they'll just find another group they can practice their religion on.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#174 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:31 AM

View Postbaw1064, on 25 March 2020 - 05:04 PM, said:

In about 4 days, when we have the largest number of coronavirus cases on the planet and the medical system is starting to melt down, I think people will start to pay attention.

Yup. Blame Jina, blame the Jews, blame the N* -- and pray for God and Trump to restore American Greatness!
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#175 LFC

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:38 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 26 March 2020 - 10:31 AM, said:

Yup. Blame Jina, blame the Jews, blame the N* -- and pray for God and Trump to restore American Greatness!

What happened to the good ole days when Mooslims were the main targets?
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#176 andydp

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 11:40 AM

View PostLFC, on 26 March 2020 - 10:38 AM, said:

What happened to the good ole days when Mooslims were the main targets?

With this coronathing we got them Urientuls to blame now...
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
.
Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.

DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” Margaret Thatcher


(Select any name you want that gets blind loyalty from follower/voters) is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. (Manchurian candidate)


#177 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:03 PM

View PostLFC, on 26 March 2020 - 10:38 AM, said:

What happened to the good ole days when Mooslims were the main targets?

Tradition.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#178 George Rowell

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:53 PM

This is might not the right thread but remember how disgusted we were when Iran put a price on Salman Rushdie's head, well Trump just put a reward on Maduro's capture. This swiftly follows Suleimani's assassination on neutral territory. Trump got it right with China, and AFT but on everything else he is a disaster a damn schoolboy with the power of God.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#179 baw1064

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:36 PM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 26 March 2020 - 09:53 PM, said:

This is might not the right thread but remember how disgusted we were when Iran put a price on Salman Rushdie's head, well Trump just put a reward on Maduro's capture. This swiftly follows Suleimani's assassination on neutral territory. Trump got it right with China, and AFT but on everything else he is a disaster a damn schoolboy with the power of God.

As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#180 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:41 AM

And Trump is running the trains from that clock.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO





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