Tag: drugs

Dispatch from Seattle, Homelessness and Crime Edition

 

Recently, the Seattle City Council voted to override the mayor’s veto of a budget that drastically cut funds for the Seattle Police Department, and stopped funding the city’s “Navigation Team,” which did outreach to the increasing number of unsheltered people in the city. The Navigation Team’s effectiveness was hampered by its requirement that the homeless who were offered shelter could accept, or reject that shelter. Most rejected.

Today, we see some of the results of the city council’s actions, even before the budget is effective: Seattle’s Denny Park is riddled with crime, drugs, and homelessness.

Join Jim and Greg for an upbeat Friday edition! Today, after assessing Joe Biden’s latest live television mess, they welcome the three-phase plan to bring the U.S. economy back to life. They also marvel at the medicinal and practical ways our hospitals are treating COVID-19. And they break down the curious arguments of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, both of whom became household names courtesy of Oprah.

Jim and Greg shudder as 3.28 million Americans lost their jobs last week. They also recoil at an alleged plot to bomb a hospital full of COVID-19 patients. But they cheer the U.S. lowering the boom on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro.

As Jim says, this week has been a very long year. But it is Friday, and while so much is closed, the Three Martini Lunch is open! Join Jim and Greg as they praise the innovation in the private sector (and at universities) to produce new coronavirus tests that are accurate, can be produced in mass quantities, and can deliver results much more quickly. They also love the entrepreneurial instinct in a British teenager who sold his classmates squirts of hand sanitizer. They also unload on communist China for brazen lies like the U.S. military launched the coronavirus in China and for threatening to cut off supplies of much needed medications to the U.S. at our time of need. And they hammer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for trying to cram a billion dollars for taxpayer-funded abortions into the coronavirus relief legislation.

Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss drug addiction and homelessness in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Skid Row, the subject of Rufo’s story from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal, “The Moral Crisis of Skid Row.”

“They call Los Angeles the City of Angels,” writes Rufo, “but it seems that even here, within the five-by-ten-block area of Skid Row, the city contains an entire cosmology—angels and demons, sinners and saints, plagues and treatments.” To address the growing public-health crisis, progressive activists and political leaders have relied on two major policies: “harm reduction” and “housing first.” But despite nearly $1 billion in new spending, more people are on the streets than ever—and the crime and addiction are getting worse.

Prepare for another busy political week by starting with Monday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Pete Buttigieg flail for an answer after ABC’s Linsey Davis calls him out for black people being four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites while Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend. They also hammer the Chinese government after the Justice Department indicts four Chinese military figures for the 2017 Equifax hack that compromised the information of more than 145 million people. And they react to more bizarre statements from Joe Biden over this past weekend and wonder whether his campaign is just stumbling right now or whether it’s on the brink of imploding.

In a special crossover episode, Jack turns the last episode of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg on which he appears in sidekick capacity into an episode of Young Americans. He spends it quizzing Jonah about things he has been meaning to ask him for a long time. Drugs, alcohol, punching people and getting punched by people are all discussed.

Member Post

 

One of our Resistance Library readers reached out to us recently and shared a BBC article that they found interesting. They said it reminded them of our piece Prescription For Violence: The Corresponding Rise of Antidepressants, SSRIs & Mass Shootings and thought it supported some of the connections made there.   They’ve been linked to road rage, pathological gambling, and […]

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Michael Malice, author of The New Right, returns for a wild discussion covering everything from Americans’ naive ideas about people in power, why he blocks his fans on Twitter, his vision of the future, and the etymology of the term “c*m gutters”. He and Bridget debate whether Trump radiates BDE or suffers from a SDE inferiority complex, marvel at how many people have jumped on the “burn it all down” train, share their addiction to watching people get outraged, and muse about whether they are insufferable or endearing. You decide, in this episode that covers everything from Albert Camus’ Absurdist philosophy, to Bridget’s life philosophy that she’s just another soon-to-be-dead Bridget, how trying to position someone as “beyond criticism” is a domination tactic, and why the sanctity of life is a relatively new idea.

Full transcript available here: WiW61-MichaelMalice-Transcript

Save the Jews, the Christians – Civilization?

 

I caught the tail end of two Wall Street Journal journalists talking about the recent attacks on Jews in New York, and since WSJ is behind a paywall, I cannot find the segment. But what I heard burned into my memory. One said that this is a “mirror of what is going on in European cities, and has been for some time.” They stated the Jews are the canary in the coal mine, a cliche that has been echoed over and over to deaf ears. This has religious implications, but they said the “resurgence of antisemitism is a symptom that society as a whole is breaking down,” and concluded with “when that happens on a large scale, people choose camps, and a peaceful, cohesive society erodes and falls apart and all you are left with are warring camps.”

Is that what we are witnessing, in New York and elsewhere, when moral boundaries are removed? I’m not just speaking of the decline in church attendance, in Jews becoming more secular, but in the overall protections and safety nets that we once relied on. When we had boundaries, we relied on law enforcement, respect for property, differences of opinion, lifestyles, and it went both ways, instead of hurling hate speech and condemning one idea over another. We respected boundaries, which also included protecting children from overly sexual content. Law enforcement is now spat upon, doused with water, and shouted at with vulgarity. Wearing a MAGA hat in public can get you tossed out of a restaurant or pummeled, because of political differences. We now have something called gender fluidity.

Petty crimes such as theft, drug possession, and home invasions, are now considered low priority with no consequences. More states are following lockstep, the predicted outcome of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Drugged up, more brazen attacks – we’re witnessing an erosion of civilization, not like a drip, drip that eventually carves out a solid rock over decades, but a powerful wave that erodes swiftly and mercilessly.

It’s finally Friday! Yes, we are fully aware of the impeachment votes in the House Judiciary Committee but Jim sums up his analysis in roughly two seconds as we begin today’s podcast. After that Jim and Greg celebrate the big win for the Conservative Party in the UK and are thrilled to report the political demise of Jeremy Corbyn. They are also hoping that the substance matches the excitement as Congress prepares to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to replace NAFTA and President Trump announces agreement on “phase one” of trade negotiations with China. And Jim details why Joe Biden’s campaign could face serious turbulence after reports that Hunter Biden had a 1988 drug arrest expunged at the same time Sen. Biden was advocating for very tough drug crime sentencing.

Book Review: ‘5 Star’ by Michael Henry

 

In a good mystery, whatever the medium, the audience should not be able to tell very early on what really happened. It should be a journey of discovery for the audience as it is for the characters of the mystery. I was recently at a play which was a form of Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction wherein at the end, it turns out that Doctor John Watson is the real hero, but prefers to keep a low profile behind Holmes. It was hardly the first time I have encountered such a twist in Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction, but it was fairly well done. In this case, the writer was a little too cute in winking at the audience as he puts dialog into Holmes’ mouth about how writers can never be trusted.

I had been summoned to report for jury duty for yesterday. For those who have never been through the process, bringing a good book is always in order. Usually there is quite a bit of waiting time before selection. What is more appropriate than a mystery/legal thriller to read while awaiting empaneling or dismissal? I brought along Michael Henry’s latest Willie Mitchell Banks novel, 5 Star. To quote from a description of the book from the author’s Website:

El Ray, a 5-star Ole Miss quarterback recruit, is murdered on an unauthorized weekend visit, triggering a vindictive NCAA investigation eager to pin the blame on the university, and sending former D.A. Willie Mitchell Banks into a deadly drugs-for-sex underworld in rural Mississippi…

Is the Opioid Crisis Mainly a Story of ‘Late Capitalism’ or Something More Complicated?

 

For capitalism’s critics, the opioid crisis is a powerful witness for the prosecution. They charge that inequality, stagnant wages, immobility, job loss — the four horsemen of the neoliberalism endgame — have generated a massive surge in “deaths of despair,” especially from overdoses of opioid drugs. Case closed.

But a new NBER working paper “Origins of the Opioid Crisis and Its Enduring Impacts” suggests a different theory of the case, one that focuses on a supply rather than demand explanation.

From the paper (bold by me):

Drug Pricing Made Easy

 

President Trump was both lucky and smart this week in his approach to the thorny issue prescription drug pricing. Lucky, because a district court threw out on First Amendment grounds his executive order that drug companies supply list prices for all the drugs that they produce. Smart, because at the eleventh hour he decided against issuing an executive order that would have required pharmaceutical companies to offer a system of “most-favored-nation” pricing, which would cap the prices that drug companies could charge in the United States to the lowest price charged for that drug in any country outside the United States. Eliminating poor price signals is a modest benefit. But the implementation of the executive order would have slashed revenues, putting pharmaceutical companies at serious financial risk and perhaps ruin.

The basic flaw behind both proposals is that they assume that there is a unique “price” at which pharmaceutical drugs sell. That assumption often works in competitive markets in which the costs of development are low relative to the marginal (i.e. additional) cost of production for each unit. But so-called marginal cost pricing does not work for new pharmaceutical drugs whose development costs are already high and getting ever higher. Companies are constantly researching and trying to develop new drugs with strong therapeutic properties and tolerable side effects. They also face huge costs in shepherding promising drugs through three stages of clinical trials, each one more complicated than the last. Many promising new drugs wash out in these clinical trials, which means that a pharmaceutical company can remain solvent only if its blockbuster drugs yield enough revenue to offset the costs of its duds. And finally, companies incur huge financing costs as they bring drugs to market. Development and clinical trials take years to complete, and drug companies have to find ways to finance expenditures made in year one with revenues that will only start, typically, some eight to 10 years later.

So how are these costs best recovered over the relatively short period during which the drugs receive patent protection, which today works out to around 11 years, give or take, for a major blockbuster drug? The common suggestion is that each purchaser should only be required to pay for the marginal cost of producing the drug that he or she consumes. This was the idea behind Trump’s aborted executive order. In a market that is characterized by high fixed costs of development, that strategy offers favorable prospects for all customers but one—the first. So if a drug takes one billion dollars to research and develop, but only $10 to produce each unit, the marginal cost formula says that the first consumer has to pay the billion dollars so that the other consumers can get the favorable deal. That formula guarantees that no drug will ever make it to market.

Member Post

 

So I’m in this long-term, low-grade struggle to understand why/when conservatives began to view libertarianism with such suspicion and disdain, and I just came across the below from Ricochet’s favorite libertarian interloper. It sounds very conservative (to me), but it also sounds very libertarian. He’s arguing against throwing money (private money, in this case, but could […]

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This Is My Mind on Drugs

 

I’ve debated writing this post for a long time—not because I’m ashamed of being on an anxiety medication, but because I was concerned that it might change people’s perception of me. But for reasons I won’t go into now, I’ve decided to tell the story. Some of you may say it’s “too much information”; others of you will say I’m weak for taking the drug. Since it changed my entire life and my relationships, I think it’s been worth it.

I’m not talking about the statin I’m taking — high-cholesterol runs in the family — but the generic Lexapro. Here is a description of the drug and how it helps with general anxiety disorder and depression:

Member Post

 

Donald J. Trump has been president for two years. He’s at the border and is asking for a wall, oh wait, no – now a steel fence, and compromise and dialogue with the Democratic Party. He was asking for a little over five billion to shore up the Southern border. He said “I’ll take less […]

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