the balance with life

For the first time this year, American deaths by drug overdose will overtake deaths by car accident.   If you loosely add in the suicides per year that can directly be traced to drug use as the primary causation, you enter an era where over 50K people a year are dying this way.  No other cause of death not related to old age or cancer (fuck cancer) even comes close.

In one of the mid-sized counties just north of mine, they have a sign on the way to the airport that logs death’s per year specifically from opioids / heroin.  It’s over 60 lives already this year.  That county is not that big, folks.

When it’s not playing psychotic referee to the sewer that is Washington politics, The Washington Post can actually output some high quality journalism.  They’ve run a multi-part series examining this issue in detail.  You should read each part, alongside a shorter but similar piece by BBC Magazine.

In many ways, I’m a freedom based lunatic.  And so for years I’ve been of the impression that the way to end the drug war is to legalize all drugs.  Let folks get high, whatever, tax it, and offer treatment.  However, I’m beginning to wonder if the growing drug lethality upends the game on this issue.

Science, reckless doctors, and pill companies have created drugs that are exponentially more powerful than what was available even 15 years ago.  Where it was once extremely difficult to get clean once you were hooked, it might now be nearly impossible to recover once you’d trained your brain to accept modern opioids.  When you add in the ultra vicious horror story drugs like fentanyl (which apparently is so lethal it can get into your blood if you even touch it), and whatever other death dealing nightmare synthetic drugs science will soon create, it seems we’re at a bit of a crossroads with all of this.

You can probably do a few lines of coke in your day, or smoke hundreds of joints, and come out mostly okay.  With this shit, you can literally die on the first hit, or after just a few months find yourself hooked for life without a way out.

When you add this to the already everpresent overmedication of anti-depressants, and whatever other societal ills you can think of, it becomes quite the balance with death.  It’s moments like this why I barely care about the presidential election.  Nobody has answers for these types of problems that are literally killing tens-of-thousands of Americans a year.  Neither political party is interested in proposing deep core type solutions to tackle these problems.  Instead, they’re chasing that sound byte.  Idiots.

I find more solace in those identified within these articles who are on the street, helping every day.  The elderly councilor aiding dozens in addiction classes, the local mayor putting his ass on the line to identify and fight the problem, a young man who lost his friend and now battles to save others.  When our national leadership is garbage, and the topic is as dark as this, it’s hopeful to know that folks are still fighting to save others with ferocity and compassion.

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Behold the potential cause of America’s downfall.

math, demographics, and destiny

This seems like a relatively uncontroversial topic to wade into. Nobody’s got strong feelings on this one at all. But we’ll put our own belligerent spin on it; for that’s what we do.

 

Let’s start with some numbers:

– There are 81 million humans in Germany today

– Give or take a few million, there are approximately 50 million global refugees currently displaced due to armed conflict

– Give or take a few hundred-million, there are about 1 billion folks who live on about $1 a day

– A ballpark estimate says in 2050, Germany will have about 72 million people over half of which will be old folks

 

So a few belligerent observations:

– Even if Germany was populated by angels, they don’t have the bandwidth to house even a fraction of the world’s war refugees, let alone everybody’s economic migrants.

– But nobody in Germany (or in much of the rest of the developed world) has yet to crack the code on how they plan to pay for all that government spending / debt in 2050 when almost one-third of their populations are retired old folks.

– So whether anybody admits it or not, in order to stay solvent, Germany has to either let more refugees in, cut government spending by astronomical levels, or start having more German babies.

– I’m an idiot, but I’m pretty sure the German state (and all the other countries too) isn’t going to be cutting government spending or forcing women to get pregnant. So guess what option they have to take?

 

Any finally:

Germany and the rest of the modern world need to do more to tackle these problems at the source. For instance, if millions of Syrian refugees want into Germany, then we need only ask the question: Why is Bashar Assad still alive?

Europe has let Syria fester for four years. Did they think there wouldn’t ultimately be consequences given how close Syria is? How long do you think it’ll take before half of Libya tries to get in on this as well? Or what about all those folks in Cameroon living on $1.37 a day?

Solving Syria and conquering poverty are probably two of the hardest things you could ever try to do. But there are consequences to doing almost nothing in Syria and doing far, far too little to tackle global poverty. And in today’s case, those consequences are literally showing up at the West’s door.

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choosing destiny for the planet

I don’t get it

No seriously, I don’t get it. If you get this ice bucket thing, like you actually can wrap your brain around it? Please contact us and describe what’s wrong with you.

So as best as I understand this nonsense [face palm] so like [furrows brow], you get challenged by somebody, and then you can give money to charity or dump ice on your head. I guess?

So the idea is to raise awareness? And to raise money for charity? But if you dump the ice, you don’t have to give any real money? So all you’re doing is increasing awareness?

But awareness can be a substitute for inaction, so what are you actually accomplishing? But what if you do both the ice thing and still give money? Are you like some super internet master, and, so, uh, …

This isn’t a freak phenomenon promoted by wacky cult members. Reasonable human beings are doing this. Folks with jobs, dreams, fears, kids, stalkers, boats, etc. And then they’re challenging their friends to do it.

Because nothing says you care about your friend more than challenging them to conduct a creepy bizarre ritual based upon a nonsense concept invented on social media by people with far, far too much time on their hands.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that my guests are entirely correct when they drunkenly boast:

“We created social media to distract and degenerate humanity’s already shit intellect so that one day we can liquidate and/or enslave you with minimal resistance, pig!” [throws chair]

Hey anybody ever volunteer at a soup kitchen? This simplest and quickest of charitable acts doesn’t cost you a dime. It’s usually over in three hours leaving plenty of time to go get wasted at the bar with your friends (not social media) afterwards.

Plus you’ll get shocked when you look across the table and realize you’re serving your human equivalent who is clearly high, hasn’t slept indoors in days, and given bad choices, a broken home, or just plain dumb luck: You could be them.

It’s a very rough thing to accept. But it propels you to action. Kind of like how dumping ice on your head does not.

Which brings us to the real point of this post. TAP is pleased to announce the Bone Marrow Challenge. Our goal is to end slanted pictures. Folks, we don’t want to alarm you, but scientists say 40% of America’s pictures are hanging crooked. This problem isn’t going to fix itself. We’re going to fix it. You can help us.

When you’re approached with the Bone Marrow Challenge you must either donate money to TAP’s Frame Nudging Charity or you have to shove your non-dominant hand into a pot of flaming coals and hold it there until your flesh is seared off and you have nothing left but bone marrow.

We challenge you! And we promise, our way guarantees you’ll actually donate money.

icebucketbree

A dumber and more bizarre human act than spending an intimate night with a plague infested talking rat named Steve