Everyone Agrees it's a Problem and Something Must Be Done
“If you’re so smart, how come you’re not rich?” Somehow the opposite formulation comes to mind when Mike Bloomberg makes the news.
Pej has already dealt with the mayor’s command to reduce the number of painkillers hospitals hand out, but I can’t resist the opportunity to point out the ROOM TO LET sign hanging in the window of Hizzoner’s upper floors. I am not objective on the matter. Just consumed a Vicodin smoothie to quiet the shrieks of some aggravated nerve-endings. If I was in favor of the Bloomberg approach to pill control, I would be a Voice that Needs to be Heard, but since I’m opposed, I’m anecdotal chaff. Well, decide for yourself, to use a phrase that makes the Mayor roll his eyes.
Here’s the quote from a story about his response to those idiots who didn’t roll over and present their belly when he decided that prescription bottles are now the “large capacity magazines” of the war on drugs.
“The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then maybe there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor,’” the mayor said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling.
He’s making it sound like a supply problem, as though hospitals will be unable to provide painkillers, not unwilling. No one believes that, because it doesn’t make sense. “Sorry, ever since we stopped giving so many, we ran out earlier.” Uh huh. The argument he’s attempting to rephrase is “the poor won’t be given as many pills if you tell the doctors they shouldn’t be given as many pills.” That’s what will happen, because they are wards of the state and hence can be treated like property.
Bloomberg bats those objectives away like gnats fluttering over his cold cream jar:
“Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit.”
Stop right there. Picture Mayor Bloomberg enduring “suffering” for a “a little bit” when remedial measures were right at hand, and denying himself surcease on behalf of a greater social good.
Wipe away the bitter tears of laughter, friend, and continue:
“The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect …”
Actually, my lord, I’m not expecting perfectibility in the human condition, what with our manifold fallibilities inherent in the post-lapsarian state, but “people are dying” is both obvious and irrelevant. Yes, people get hooked on prescription drugs, but - and this is crucial, sire, so pay heed - the process of denying me the pill to quiet my shrieking tooth will not unhook anyone. If you believe that unused medicine in my possession will somehow escape my control and hook someone who will then die, make the assertion - but to quote one of the solons you admire most, “number one, there’s no evidence of that.”
The quote concludes:
“There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.”
I swear, if he accompanied Dorothy and crew to Oz, the Wizard would look him and say “Fresh out of brains and hearts, son, try later.”
What does this mean? “There’s nothing you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer.” Rubbish on the face of it, but also cold: he compares the suffering of someone who has a legitimate need for the pill with someone who suffers because he’s addicted. In his mind they’re equal - not because he’s thought the issue through at all, but because he has unconsciously adapted the mealy pieties of the opioid apologists.
“It’s always the same group claiming ‘Everybody is heartless.”
Incoherent and sloppy: everybody? Who’s this “same group?” I suspect they come under the heading of “People who do not snap to attention when Mayor Bloomberg blows his whistle, the little silver one he got as a young boy and used to make the servants miserable because he told on them if they didn’t come right away and they got docked in their pay and ha ha that showed them all right.” That group.
“Come on, this is a very big problem.” Defining it as such trumps arguments to the contrary, apparently.
He also said this, which sums up his ability to find peril in the recesses of your medicine cabinet as well as your fridge:
“If you get 20 days worth of pills and you only need them three days, there’s 17 days sitting there. Invariably some of the kids are going to find them, or you’re going to take them and get you addicted.”
Invariably. These are the only two possible outcomes. As it happens, I had a bottle with 17 days or so of Vicodin sitting in my drawer for a year. Some of The Kids did not find them. I never took them and did not get addicted. Doesn't matter: invariably.
So there. Hand over your pills.