HMO Hitmen and the Profits of Heroin Addiction

Posted: March 23, 2017 in addiction, Heroin, Human Rights, inequality, injustice, Opiod epidemic, stigma
Tags: , , , , ,


“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

By Irwin Ozborne

“Susie is dead.”

I still remember the text message on that fateful morning.

Susie is a 24-years-old, hard-working, good-looking girl without an enemy in the world. She is the type of person who naturally connects to everyone and genuinely cares about others. How could she be dead?

“She died from a heroin overdose.”

I heard these words and it literally floored me. We hear the figurative expression of being brought to your knees – well this is where it comes from. It literally occurs when you cannot physically stand and the pain and anguish is so unbearable that you involuntarily sink closer to the earth.

Who does heroin? That was my instinctive reaction.

It must have been engrained in our culture and generation that if you touch the stuff, you instantly die. But, in a way, that is not too far from the truth. Heroin is back and stronger and cheaper than ever previously known. And what comes with that is a desensitized public attention and understanding of our nation’s most recent drug epidemic – Heroin 3.0.

Beginning of the Epidemic:

In 2013, an average of 23 people in America died from a Heroin overdose each day.

Heroin is a drug on the other side of the gateway, with preceding drug abuse swinging the gate open. According to a 2013 SAMSHA study, nearly 80-percent of new heroin users had previously abused opiates.

The United States is home to just five percent of the world’s population, yet we consume 80-percent of the world’s prescription drugs – primarily opioid pain killers.

And this is where our epidemic begins.

Eighty-five percent of households in America have prescription medication in their house. Most of this medication is not locked up, typically found in the bathroom medicine cabinet. The ease of obtaining prescription drugs legally is a joke, but perhaps more disturbing is that fact that it is easier to get them illegally.

This is called supply. When supply is up, prices are cheap. When prices are cheap, new customers are found. With new customers, it increases demand. If this sounds like I am describing how to operate a for-profit business, I am. This is the for-profit business of legal drug dealing.

In the 1990’s there was a shift in the way pain was treated in hospitals. They used to only use morphine-based substances for major surgeries. But the hospitals were in agreement that they had been doing a terrible job treating pain and the consensus was that pain needs to be addressed with each client and monitored as a vital sign. Then this trickled down into primary clinics and it became our God-given right to have our pain needs met immediately.

Side Effects May Include…

We know the names of these drugs – Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin – because we have been bombarded with advertisements for the past 20 years. It started with the 1997 FDA Modernization Act, allowing drug companies to advertise directly to consumers.

The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow this ridiculousness. The laws previously stated that all side effects must be included, but that is not possible with the number of side effects of drugs toppling the thousands. Instead, they are only required to list a few of the side-effects “that may include…”

This led to pharmaceutical marketing blitz of the late 90’s. Patients flooded clinics demanding new drugs and doctors felt pressured to take out the prescription pad. Because, if doctors were to “just say no” to the patient, they lose business. The inmates were running the asylum.

In 2012, more than 41,000 Americans died from a drug overdose – including 16,000 from an opioid analgesic (300-percent increase since 1999). Meanwhile, sales on painkillers alone have topped $1.3 billion in 2013 – preventing any desire for the legal drug cartels to pull back the reins on this gravy train that is destroying a generation.

With an astonishing number of overdose deaths reported each year over the past 20 years, eventually congress had to act on this self-induced epidemic. Programs were put into place to discover who was overprescribing medications – known as “pill mills.” While well-intended to put an end to the unexpected surge in overdose deaths, this system also became available to the legal cartels. Pharmaceutical companies used this information to help increase sales by finding patterns in physician’s prescribing tendencies and knew which doctors to target. Top salespeople were sent to clinics utilizing the finest tricks in the book – free gifts, vacations, sporting events, and free samples.

Laws were finally put into place to reduce prescription practices to risky clients, along with mandating education programs to health providers on how many prescriptions they were signing.

Slowly, the supply in the general public is shrinking but the problem is we already created record-high demands for these drugs. And, when the demand is strong enough in any industry – people will find an alternate supply.

Enter Heroin.

It is more potent than any pain killer on the market. In many cases it is easier to obtain and oftentimes cheaper. Basically, we created a demand for a product and then increased supply to fill that demand. Then the new laws took the away the supply, leaving a huge unmet demand for a product.

History of Heroin

Around 10,000 years ago in ancient China, the indigenous poppy plant was sliced open and they discovered a white-milky substance. When ingested, this substance gave intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

Primarily used as a spiritual ritual and then as medicine for pain in ancient Greece, opium eventually made its way into the public realm and was used recreationally. This led to early preaching against the drug and efforts to encourage recreational use in moderation as early as 160 AD.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus brought tobacco back to Europe which introduced a new method of administration. In smoking any substance, it is in direct contact with your lungs and then rapidly enters the bloodstream, bypassing the liver and gives a much more intense high at a quicker rate.

This helped fuel the opium epidemic in China in the 1800s. The British Empire grew opium in India and sold to their Chinese neighbors to the east. China had an alarmingly high rate of opium addiction at this time and the emperor attempted to ban the substance on multiple occasions.

But state-sponsored drug dealing is lucrative business. Drugs are ridiculously cheap to make and the mark-up is astronomically high. Some estimates report as high as 17,000-percent profit margins! And when we are talking that kind of money, fines and legal expenditures can never alter the way these products are pushed to the public. Two wars were fought between Britain and China over the opium trade, but with an advanced military the Brits won both wars and were allowed to continue to sell opium to a nation that saw over one-third of its total population addicted.

Technology continued to evolve the drug in Germany as scientists discovered the curing molecule of Opium – Morphine. This became the world’s new “magic drug.” It became a popular medication in the United States during the Civil War for the ailing soldiers in the battle field. However, even the strongest pain killer in the world was not acting fast enough to ease the pain and shock of wounded soldiers.  Leading to another technology shift – the hypodermic needle; the newest method of administration to quickly get the drug into the bloodstream.

This led to the “Army Disease,” referring to civil war veterans that came home addicted to Morphine and a drug epidemic was rampant throughout the country. It turns out, not only is morphine addictive, but is the most addictive drug known to man.

Then the Bayer Company in Germany synthesized morphine further – developing the world’s newest “magic drug.” Heroin was introduced in 1898, and made available to the public while being deemed non-addictive, a cure for morphine addiction, and no side effects.

In less than a decade the negative effects of heroin were glaringly obvious. In1914, the Harrison Tax Act placed major restrictions and by 1925 heroin was forever banned – just 27 years after celebrating the title of “magic drug.”

The demand for heroin slowly faded along with the supply. Mandatory sentencing laws also turned the public off to the drug and it stayed that way for about 50 years. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the next wave of heroin use arrived in America.

The War on Drugs

It was an interesting time in America. The country was divided by the war in Vietnam, kids were being drafted to serve in the military and fight a war they knew nothing about. People stopped believing the government, and with good reason, as we were fighting secret wars in Laos, Burma, and Thailand – an area known as the “Golden Triangle.”

The Golden Triangle produced 90-percent of the world’s opium during the time of American occupation from 1954-1974. A secret war, with a secret army, needed a secret airline. Air America is the name of the CIA’s owned and operated airline in which its fleet supplied arms and ammunition to the rebels and insurgents of the Golden Triangle to help fight the war in Vietnam. In exchange, Air America transported opium grew by the Hmong farmers to the area and made its way to South Vietnam and sold to American Soldiers.

In 1971, Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs.” The war is still active today, making it the longest war in the history of America. While much is to be said about this complete failure, its beginnings stemmed from the soldier’s addiction to heroin in Vietnam.

The Nixon campaign launched “Operation Golden Flow” before ending the war in Vietnam. This was an effort to get the soldiers clean before coming home. Just like the civil war, this was a generation of soldiers addicted to a derivative from opium.

This newfound control of the world’s opium production gave Americans a peak in supply, and as history repeats itself, a demand would surely follow back home with Heroin Epidemic 2.0 coinciding with the Vietnam War and military occupation in the Golden Triangle.

American withdrawal from the Golden Triangle subsequently slowed the heroin epidemic of the 70s. And the “War on Drugs” found a new target in South America, in which the CIA empowered dictators that favored American corporations. Drug trafficking, and the huge profit-margins, ran under the cover of “War on Drugs,” led to an increased supply in cocaine and crack during the 1980s.

At the same time, there was also a new switch in the world’s leader in opium production – the “Golden Crescent.” This is an area is Central, South, and Western Asia defined by three countries – Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan – with Afghanistan being the world-leader in opium production since 1991. During the 80s, the CIA funded a group of rebels – involved in the opium trade – to fight off Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. One of those rebel groups funded by the CIA is known as “The Taliban.”

Dr. David Musto, a member of the Carter administration’s drug advisory board, issued a prescient warning that the United States was moving “into Afghanistan to support the opium growers in their rebellion against the Soviets. Shouldn’t we try,” Dr. Musto asked, “to avoid what we had done in Laos?”

In 1979, the DEA agreed with Musto and already anticipated huge shipments from Afghanistan to reach eastern shore of the United States. To give perspective on how supply/demand work in the drug industry along with profit margins, during the Soviet-Afghan War, annual heroin sales in Pakistan peaked at $8-$10 billion – about one-fourth of the country’s total GDP. At the same time, the rates of addiction increased by 26,000-percent! Just 5,000 reported cases of opium addiction in 1980 up to 1.3 million in 1988.

The CIA’s control of the Golden Crescent put America in control of the world’s opium production again. The formula stays the same – increased supply precedes an increase in demand. But this time, corporations found their way into the world’s most profitable business. Remember this is only years before the healthcare industry decided that pain management is needed at every level of care, new laws allowed for direct- consumer advertising, and customers were literally demanding opium (pain medication).

Opium is grown in four places in the world today; Southwestern Asia (Golden Crescent), Southeastern Asia (Golden Triangle), Columbia, and Mexico. The majority of illegal heroin in the United States comes from the Western Hemisphere, but prices remain at an all-time low because the world’s supply has created competition. Lower prices will encourage more people to use and with the astronomically high profit-margins, the loss is minimal to the cartels – both legal and illegal.

The Business Plan

The 1997 North American Free Trade Act passed by the Clinton Administration also had substantial indirect consequences to the current epidemic. This act allowed free trade between Canada, U.S.A., and Mexico, which flooded the borders with traffic and customs agents were unable to stop the increased flow of illegal drugs.

While well-intended, this law led to an increase in black tar heroin in America and put the control of the supply in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. And while the Cold War ended in 1990, Afghanistan became the largest producer of opium, and Americans no longer had a reason to occupy the Golden Crescent – Until September 11, 2011, and the “War on Terror” was created.

The Taliban had controlled 90-percent of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, but was quickly eliminated following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.  Since the fall of the Taliban, opium production has actually risen each year since American occupation.

The terrorist attacks also changed things back home. President Bush created the NSA and Homeland Security which put tighter restrictions on the Mexican border. This meant we cut off the largest supplier of illegal drugs in America (Mexico), but we already have established a new demand. With such large demand and our hands in the world’s new largest supplier of opium, a need surely will be met to feed addictions.

President Bush had the answer with the Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003. This act was a handout from the United States taxpayers to the Drug and Health Care Corporations of $800 billion. This bill gave pharmaceutical companies freedom to charge whatever they wish, healthcare as the middleman, and the consumer as a life-long customer (also called a drug-addict).

Now we have a need for drugs (literally addicted), the supply in Afghanistan, and cut off supply from the biggest competitors from Mexico, and free reign to the corporations (the same corporations that lobbied billions of dollars to congress to pass this bill).

The industry known as “health care,” does absolutely nothing to care about our health. The for-profit system is a business, just like any other major corporation, with intents on minimizing costs and increasing revenue.

And Now Comes the Sick Part…

Corporations are making huge profits by getting people addicted to drugs (pharmaceutical industry), by creating diseases to justify drugging them (psychiatry industry), and then denying them the help they need for this addiction we created (health insurance industry).

In sharing Susie’s story, it is clear that the sick ones are not those addicted to heroin, but those in offices deciding the fate of those in need.

Susie had completed residential treatment months earlier and had a chance to clear her mind and work on skills to avoid further harm. While working on building support, Susie had a relapse by injecting heroin over the weekend.

Heroin relapse is often fatal because after abstaining from using for a period of time, your tolerance significantly drops and your body can no longer handle the effects. Furthermore, heroin is at an all-time high as far as lethality. Back in the 1970s it was about 10-15 percent purity and now the numbers are closer to 70 percent pure heroin. Dealers have typically mixed alternative products in heroin to maintain greater quantities of their product, but with supplies and competition escalating, dealers need to provide higher quality for repeat business.

Susie survived the relapse but was in need of further treatment.

But her fate is handed off to a “clinical specialist” at the insurance company that lacks education, experience, or licensure. Instead, it is just a young kid in their mid 20’s that has been trained to “JUST SAY NO!”

Literally, they are told to deny claims. In the medical industry, a claim is referred to as a “medical loss.” Think about it; if you deny care, it saves the company money. If you save the company money, they have more profits.

How did such a corrupt system begin? President Nixon passed the HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Act of 1973, which eventually gained many federal subsidies and virtually eliminated affordable individual health care plans.

In a meeting at the White House between President Nixon and John Erlichman (speaking for Edgar Kaiser) in promoting HMOs, Ehrlichman quotes Kaiser stating, “All the incentives are toward less medical care, because—the less care they give them, the more money they make.”Mr. Ehrlichman quoting Edgar Kaiser to President Nixon on February 17, 1971

The Story of Susie…

Susie’s insurance company offered to cover four days of treatment following her relapse. The “specialist” performs a role of reverse-salesman in justifying reasons for denying coverage. They ask questions such as “Wasn’t she just in treatment?” “Where is she getting these drugs?”

After four days, the insurance provider comes back and says that since Susie is doing well she no longer needs residential services.  They view the client as a number and a bottom line and have become desensitized to the word ‘heroin’ because the epidemic has normalized its use.

“This is too serious and I am terrified that if we do not authorize services, that we both might be attending a funeral,” said Susie’s counselor, “Actually, only one of us will, because papers and numbers don’t have funerals. But I’m dealing with a human life, unlike you.”

Two weeks later, Susie died from a heroin overdose.

United Health Group CEO Stephen Hemsley is paid a salary of 3.2 million dollars (with a total compensation package of $34 million) and owns a $10 million home in Wayzata, Minnesota. Every day in 2009 he earned $819, 363.10.

The best treatment center in Hemsley’s home state is Hazelden-Betty Ford Center. A 28-day residential treatment program at the world’s finest facility costs $30,000.

Hemsley’s hourly wage was around $102,741.68 in 2009. At this rate, if Mr. Hemsley were to not pay himself for 17 minutes of one day in 2009, he could have paid for full services at the world’s best treatment center for this kid for 28-days.

But let’s not single him out, the top ten health insurance companies CEO averaged a salary of $13 million per year, with their average worker making $35,000.

With all that money, imagine all the services and care people could receive, instead of increasing the wealth of one person? We could create an entire industry and call it “health care.”

Taking the Mask Off” is the new book by Cortland Pfeffer and Irwin Ozborne. Ebook is only 3.99. Cortland Pfeffer spent years as a patient in psychiatric hospitals, treatment centers, and jails before becoming a registered nurse and working in the same facilities. Based on his experience, this story is told from both sides of the desk. It offers a unique and valuable perspective into mental health and addiction, revealing the problems with the psychiatric industry while also providing the solution – one that brings together science, spirituality, philosophy, and personal experience.

“Taking the Mask Off: Destroying the Stigmatic Barriers of Mental Health and Addiction Using a Spiritual Solution” is available on Amazon, and Balboa Press

  1. Very well written and researched article. It’s so sad that the very system meant to protect us and offer “care,” is endangering and perpetuating the cycle of addiction and sickness. Recently it has been reported that Fetanyl (a pharmaceutical derivative of opium) is causing fatal overdoses in those who use heroin and cocaine. It is said to be 40 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thx for sharing this information and for raising important questions. It was a great read.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. irwinozborne says:

    Thanks for mentioning Fentanyl. I did not even touch on that, but yes, more powerful than the other opiates which has increasing detrimental effects. I saw a number that 25% of overdose deaths in Maryland are related to Fentanyl, compared to just four percent a few years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so tragic! We live in a world that has become a trap. Wealth and power have corrupted our societies, our consciousness. Lost, we entertain ourselves with passing pleasures, mistaking them for happiness. It’s not the poor, the weak or the illiterate who are a problem, it is the wealthy, the powerful, the educated who have failed us. We live in a world of phoney heroes.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Reblogged this on Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick and commented:
    “The United States is home to just five percent of the world’s population, yet we consume 80-percent of the world’s prescription drugs – primarily opioid pain killers.
    And this is where our epidemic begins.
    Eighty-five percent of households in America have prescription medication in their house. Most of this medication is not locked up, typically found in the bathroom medicine cabinet. The ease of obtaining prescription drugs legally is a joke, but perhaps more disturbing is that fact that it is easier to get them illegally.
    This is called supply. When supply is up, prices are cheap. When prices are cheap, new customers are found. With new customers, it increases demand. If this sounds like I am describing how to operate a for-profit business, I am. This is the for-profit business of legal drug dealing.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. […] HMO Hitmen and the Profits of Heroin Addiction. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on thoughtslikecages and commented:
    Very insightful

    Liked by 2 people

  8. neighsayer says:

    wow, an alternative history of the world, where something other than oil is driving things . . . I guess we love our cars for the feelings – American rugged independence, freedom – but with opiates, we go straight to the feelings, directly, wow. I have morphine sensitivity, I almost died after my first surgery, half a day of breathing once a minute. I had no interest in trying to wake up, trying to stay alive, that’s why opiates are so dangerous: dying feels wonderful. That is unbelievably dangerous.

    Damn, I can’t find the bit to quote it fast enough for me, but Nixon and those evil bastards actually pushed that bill SPECIFICALLY TO DE-INCENTIVIZE CARE? Really? Will that crews’ assholiness never reach its end?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. bnzoot says:

    I have long thought it a mistake for pharmaceutical companies to use direct-marketing campaigns. I recall an anti-anxiety ad a few years ago featuring a sad little rain cloud, and a list of things one might experience that the drug could theoretically help with. However, all the symptoms listed were normal things (like being nervous meeting new people) normal people might experience from time to time. I am only guessing whatever it was was for social anxiety disorder or something like, because it never really came out and stated, just reeled off those symptoms and encouraged one and all to ask their doctors for the drug. It is time for us to take a much more holistic approach to our medical care, use drugs where helpful, yes, but explore other options as well whenever possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    • irwinozborne says:

      Exactly! And we were bombarded with these.

      In a Chris Rock skit he talks about these commercials saying, “do sometimes you wake up in the morning? And then go to bed at night? That’s me! I got that! Im sick! I need those drugs!”

      Obviously an exaggeration, but not too far fetched as you mention in your comment….these are everyday occurrences that we go through and we have been told to believe there is a pill for all of life’s inconveniences.

      Thanks for adding this!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Afghanistan produces 70% of the world’s opium. Since the US has been there heroin is cheaper on the streets than it has ever been. Is there something wrong with this picture.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. fromawaysite says:

    Reblogged this on Today,s Thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. E-L says:

    Exceptional post. It provides much to think about as to implications of action, in theory and personal introspection. Thank you for sharing the information. The break down of earnings to show the 17 minutes spared as enough for a month of residential treatment for a “patient” of the disease his industry is invested in creating was especially powerful.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. That right there… is superbly written; the flow, the detail, the connectivity between what’s personal and the bigger picture. It certainly leaves the reader with a fresh understanding of the drugs industry.
    Thank you for sharing and keep up the good writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Joseph says:

    This article offers a scary glimpse into the pharmaceutical industry and the world of legal drug pushers who only want to keep people sick and addicted. Yet it’s far more sinister than that.

    I’m glad you touched on contemporary Afghanistan and the huge spike in opium/heroin production since the US “got rid of” the Taliban. I’d probably take this a step further and identify the US Government as a major beneficiary of this increase in the opiate drug market.

    There are several writers who point to the CIA as being complicit in illegal drug trafficking. What of the Iran/Contra affair? The CIA also trained mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and gave them weaponry to combat the Russians in the 80’s. The CIA kept a database containing the names of militants they had trained. Robin Cook, a former British Foreign Secretary, said that “al-Qaeda” is translated as “the database”. The War on Terror’s main target has been global operations of “al-Qaeda”. Could the War on Terror be a cover for this trafficking?

    The War on Terror will soon be the second longest American war in history. The war in Afghanistan, more specifically, is the longest involvement of conventional US forces’ in our country’s history. While 9/11 provided the “knee-jerk” impetus to rally American’s behind a large scale war on terror, the funding was not as palatable on such a long-standing basis – especially after the recession of 2008.

    With the ever-growing defense budget, the government had to look to new ways to generate massive amounts of cash, which can’t simply be taxed from the American people. The illegal drug trade is a HUGE billion dollar industry, and I suspect the US southern border has been left unsecured precisely to facilitate illegal trade. The internet is rife with stories about the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking to/from Mexico.

    We’re witnessing global destruction of lives because of all of this …

    Liked by 4 people

    • flufferpuppy says:

      That was another thing that shocked me; the fact that the American government is complicit in this. Whether the war on terror is a cover up for drug trafficking is a whole other issue.

      Liked by 3 people

    • irwinozborne says:

      This is quite fascinating, albeit frightening as well! Thanks for adding this essential information in which I was not fully aware.

      I often think about “what will we find out in ten or twenty years.”

      I look at MK Ultra and how it took 15 years for us to realize this took place. It’s taken 400 years and we still don’t share the full truth of the American Indian genocide and boarding school systems that operated up until 30 years ago. It seems we are lied to about everything and nothing surprises me.

      A lot of the stuff you mention has become public knowledge such as the Iran/Contra scandal. But it’s more scary that we know it and nothing is done.

      I greatly appreciate your added information!

      Liked by 3 people

    • close. But terrorism is real, and so is the mob. What if the money people just take the opportunity presented, and get away with it because it does not seem essential? Look for organized crime in the prescription drug industry. Again, it is like the way dolphins do fishing. And our people in government are so slavish, they allow the intimidation of their superiors by organized crime, then just do whatever they say. Try to be a whistleblower in the CIA.! And Congress will not exercise oversight, demand accountability and provide meaningful recourse when the now trans-constitutional powers are abused. We have selected these people for their very slavishness for some time now. And Congress is just brownnosing. Well brownnose this: The voters have had it. And let the mobsters answer us for Suzie. Mouse with middle finger to the eagle. “Everybody swim down” says Nemo. They don’t have enough money and time to hire hitmen for us all, and who would be left to buy their shit!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Greg says:

    Great post friend. Thanks for taking the time, and the mask orf. Greg.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Greg says:

    Vale Susie.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. flufferpuppy says:

    Reblogged this on What's Wrong with Humans and commented:
    So glad I live in Canada. The thought of healthcare as an industry disturbs me.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Nurse Kelly says:

    Talk about making a case! This is an incredible article. Your really nailed it under the “And Now Comes The Sick Part” header! Love how you connected a real person with the big picture. Thank you for shedding light on the scope of this growing problem. It really is alarming.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. A great read. Frightening, sad, tragic. The “health care” problem is a Gordian knot.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Laura says:

    This is a great article and well written, but of course, very heartbreaking. It’s sick what our country does to people.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Jenn Prime says:

    As always, a thoughtful and thought-provoking read.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. oh my goodness … if no people were involved I’d say this “health care” was nothing but a bad joke. It’s sad and terrifying … money shouldn’t be so powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Very informative (and depressing); makes me glad I’m in the Canadian system; not perfect but it’s starting to sound that way after reading your article.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. An extremely sober reminder to those of in the UK why a publicly funded and underwritten healthcare service must be fought for and protected. Because first comes privatisation followed by de-regulation and the social harm it would cause. Sadly, the UK government seem intent on following a similar path. One silver lining is that the Welsh government has autonomy on its health service and so can adopt different policies and ideologies. My fear is that intra-national borders are no impediment to neoliberal market forces. Dal dy dir

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Reblogged this on independenttropicalwales and commented:
    The link to community development is tenuous but seldom has a blog about social issues had such a sobering, then angering impact. It’s written from an American perspective but nonetheless is an extremely sober reminder why Britain’s publicly funded and underwritten healthcare service must be fought for and protected. Because first comes privatisation followed by de-regulation and the social harm it would cause. At least the Welsh government has autonomy over its health service and so can adopt different policies and ideologies to those of the UK government. My fear is that intra-national borders are no impediment to neoliberal market forces.

    Dal dy dir

    Liked by 1 person

  26. mitchteemley says:

    Truly disturbing background. Last week, while taking a break from work on my screenplay about a heroin addict, I drove to a local farm market–and was in a car accident caused by a heroin addict.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on mmcdonald77 and commented:
    Mr. Oz-Born here has a fine essay on the history of Oxy and Heroine, coming just short of the suggestion in my own blog on the same topic. The Taking the Mask Off website understands our assertion that our ignorance of causes in psychology and psychiatry leaves a large opening for drug marketing. Lets get marketing out of medicine!! America, just say no to moneymaking as the embodiment of “success” and the American dream, by thinking of the more important things we whore to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. wwwpalfitness says:

    Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Alyson says:

    Hey! I’m seeking for Manga & Anime bloggers and found your blog. I could not find your email address, could you kindly send me an email: alysonburston[at] — It’s regarding writing about Anime and Manga type of offer. This is not spam by the way. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. twa2r says:

    As always, totally enlightening! Kudos to your strength of purpose and caring! This world needs more people like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Steve D says:

    Really interesting article. Just want to point out that President Bush did not “create” the NSA, although the infamous Patriot Act did impact how NSA and other intelligence agencies operated, including the newly formed Dept. of Homeland Security.

    Liked by 1 person

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