Sunday, December 17, 2017

CBS 60 Minutes Segment Too Dumb to Believe

I haven’t watched “60 Minutes” in a year or more but a segment they did on McKesson Corporation caught my eye.  McKesson’s largest profile is as a distributor of medical technology. It also supplies pharmaceuticals to medical facilities and pharmacies around the nation. 

The segment I watched was called “Too Big to Prosecute” and the broadcast depended entirely on the presentation by David Schiller, a retired 30 year DEA special agent.  I know and you know all DEA agents are not alike.  The agents who work dangerous smuggling and interdiction cases risk their lives and stress their families. 

It isn’t news that the U.S. has a huge illegal narcotics problems.  It also has a huge legal narcotics problem.  But CBS 60 Minutes and similar entities are part of the problem for the simple reason that  they wish to pretend that big business is    always to blame while the individuals consuming drugs are not.

 Therefore they listen to   jackass David Schiller tryin to tell them McKesson was responsible for  America’s opiate addiction. 

The DEA’s own lawyers refuse to prosecute McKesson in criminal court because they have no case and would be sure to lose.  60 Minutes presents this as a dark conspiracy in which the motives of big business and DEA lawyers are aligned. 60 Minutes did not interview a single DEA lawyer to explain why they chose not to prosecute McKesson for, if they did, the silliness of this segment would have been exposed.

   McKesson   distributes pills to pharmacies and hospitals, some small part of which are disreputable, unethical, if not outright corrupt.  But is McKesson responsible for every facility, pharmacy, or legitimate small business that requests a delivery or fills a prescription?  Is McKesson responsible for overprescribing doctors?  Are they responsible for drug store robberies, illegal labs in the U.S and other countries which make counterfeit versions of legitimate drugs?   Is McKesson responsible for the the fool who crushes oxycodone into a liquid and shoots it into his/her arm?

The only reason the DEA put the squeeze on McKesson is because of political pressure from people like Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is not alone in its opioid addiction problem but the difference is that Hassan sees political opportunity in it. 

‘Opioid addiction’ is the current  popular buzzword politicians can rely on to convince Americans they are actually doing something.  ‘Opioid addiction’ is real but bludgeoning a population with buzzwords is only a way to hide deeper problems.  Chicago is on track to beat its former record of 716 homicides, many of these due to gang wars over   drug selling turf.  Common sense tells you that ghetto drug wars are not fought over pharmaceutical opioids, although these pills would certainly be in the mix.  Cocaine, heroin, MDMA,  meth, an entire pharmacopoeia of drugs are smuggled into the U.S. daily.  The focus on “opioid addiction,” parroted most recently by New York governor Andrew Cuomo is meant to hide their ineffectiveness in dealing with the problem.  It is political suicide these days to tell people to ‘say no to drugs.’  It is to one’s political advantage ot say that the user is not responsible.  “You are a victim.  You would not be an addict if not for the predations of wealthy American businesses.”

The DEA has not been effective in stopping the drug trade. The best they can come up with is a strategy of squeezing businesses with deep pockets. The  intimidation of McKesson has led to  a $150 million dollar settlement because it’s cheaper to pay the invoice than to be dragged through years of litigation by DEA bureaucrats.    Such settlements serve publicity objectives and also makes a good bit of change. But such tactics are cowardly. 

The only thing this 60 Minutes segment got right was that McKesson is the 5th largest corporation in the country with about  75,000 employees. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

CBS Report Calls Assault on Rand Paul a "Fight"

Just watched a CBS report on the assault of Rand Paul by his neighbor, Rene Boucher.  The police are still investigating but discovered enough evidence to charge Mr. Boucher with 4th degree misdemeanor assault. That carries a possible prison sentence of up to one year. Crimes that result in a prison sentence of more than one year are classed a felonies.  According to a Kentucky state police officer interviewed about the case, the charges could be elevated to a felony if, after the investigation is complete, the crime warrants it.

Rene Boucher is out of jail on a low $7500 bail.  That's reasonable; the wealthy neighbor of Mr. Paul is not a flight risk.  Mr. Boucher, under U.S. law. is innocent until proven guilty.

 Rand Paul is far from my favorite congressman but I think he deserves to be treated as well as Boucher, the alleged perpetrator of a crime.  Being treated fairly means not having the media behaving like the defense attorney for Mr. Boucher  who, as a wealthy physician, has hired the very best.  The unfair treatment I speak of is, in their TV broadcast, calling the attack on Mr. Paul "a fight."

It may appear a small distinction but it's not. A fight assumes that Mr. Paul was an active participant before the facts of his injury.  We don't know that.  Nowhere is that reported except in the broadcast by CBS.  CBS cites their sources of a "fight" as being the neighbors.  It may be appropriate to report the opinions of neighbors in a news piece but not as an absolute fact. This is what CBS has done.  It has not said "alleged fight." It has absolutely stated there was a fight.

Being attacked from behind while sitting on a lawnmower (the police version of an action resulting in a charge of 4th Degree Assault) is not a fight.  If you or any other person is attacked from behind at a subway station or anywhere else, would CBS call that a fight too.  Let me answer that for you. They wouldn't.

To be quite honest, Rand Paul pisses me off with what I view has his obstructionist tactics.  But unless it's proven there was " a fight," he should be fairly treated, especially by a major news organization which leans to one side, and may be gratified by neighborhood gossip about a dispute over lawn care.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Virginia Company Gives Employee the Finger

The Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, is up in arms about a Virginia woman fired from her job with a marketing/communications company doing business with the federal government.    Juli Briskman was riding her bicycle when Donald Trump’s presidential motorcade passed her by.  Unwilling to forgo a missed opportunity to express her political views, Ms. Briskman gave the president her middle finger.  A photographer with the presidential motorcade saw her little act of protest, took a picture and posted it on the internet.   Freedom of expression all around!   This is good right? 1st Amendment! 

 But when Akima LLC, the government contractor company she works for exercised its own right of free speech  and gave her the finger, The Guardian seems to think it’s an outrage.  No,  the 1st Amendment applies to everyone equally.   Screw you Juli Briskman and your sense of privilege and entitlement.   You know how it works, don’t you?

You live in an area where few Americans can afford to live and work.  You are well paid by a company which does contract work with our government.  Your company needs those contracts in order to pay you.  When they seek such contracts they ensure your employer (the taxpayer) that the company will represent the hiring party in the best way possible. The best way possible does not include a rump-heavy employee   lumbering along on her bicycle beside a presidential motorcade   giving an American president the finger.   

If the government were looking to hire a plumber, would they hire the plumber who gets their attention with an obscene gesture?  At least a plumber being fired for making an obscene gesture at an American president would understand why he/she was fired. Ms. Briskman seems to think that she can defecate where she eats and be applauded for it.

What is it about you that thinks your company should continue to pay you for hurting their business?  And do  you think the Office of Management and Budget will want to hire an entire phalanx of people like you to represent them? Do you think   using the viral picture as your icon on social media is a badge of honor?   And how did you manage now to block that image from social media?  You did it. You should own it.

But now you’re fired!  The taxpayers have given you the finger. That’s their right of free speech.  They are okay with the fact you don’t like the president or his policies. Just don’t make them pay public money for your elitist sense of entitlement. Where is your integrity?  Did Akima not ask you to further their business objectives?  Why did you take money from a governmental administration you are so vehemently opposed to anyway?

Perhaps when you find that job you say you’re looking for with Planned Parenthood or PETA, you will be sensible enough not to march outside with signs or obscene gestures protesting the organization’s mission.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dark Underbelly of Fusion GPS in 2016 National Elections

One of my dark secrets is that I have a psycho-crush on Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel.  Making it clear, she had nothing to do with this writing.  You really need to read her column today in the WSJ to get the full picture, but I’m breaking it down here for the street.
If today you hear of Rep. Adam Schiff tearing his hair out and throwing a tantrum on the House floor, it’s because Strassel has shined a spotlight on his misdeeds as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. That committee is a misnomer (intelligence) where Schiff is concerned.  He’s an infiltrator, representing some arcane and unknown parties, and he’s been tasked with obstructing probes into the Democrats’ collusion with the shady FUSION GPS during the 2016 elections. 
Fusion GPS is above the law, you understand. That’s according to its many lawyers who are sliming a congressional investigation into its activities.  Now why would Fusion GPS and Adam Schiff be smearing Rep. Nunez who heads the Intelligence Committee?  Why do they fear a probe into their relationship with a former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele?
Steele, you remember, is the guy who colluded with some unsavory (or unnamed) supposedly Russian FSB-KGB types to create a fake dossier sabotaging Trump (I voted for Bush, incidentally) during the presidential campaign.  Real steamy stuff in the dossier too – the kind of behavior you expect from top Democrats like Harvey Weinstein.   
These guys at Fusion GPS are above the law. They don’t have to respond to congressional subpoenas like the rest of us plebes. They told the committee to go screw – refusing to answer a single question.  This happens  at the same time Democrats are making a big deal of  supposed   Russian ‘interference’ in the election.  That’s another joke – the idea that Democrats are worried about anyone but Hillary Clinton who lost the election. The idea that Russian hackers could have caused Hillary’s election loss is absurd.  How many Hillary supporters do you know who changed their vote because of some agit-prop in the media?  Show me one.
 The GPS lawyers and their lobbyist Schiff (really, he should register as a lobbyist)    argue Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination. The laughs keep coming.
 Most Americans know courts are not supposed to interpret 5th Amendment (taken in response to every question by the Congressional investigators) rights as admission of guilt but my little blog here is not a court of law.  We can rightly wonder and think about anything we please.  It is very important to know  what Fusion GPS  and Adam Schiff, their sleazy imposter on the House Intelligence Committee,   are hiding. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Americans Season 6 on FX in 2018: The Real Cold War

So here I am in the end-of-summer doldrums and waiting for the sixth and final series of “The Americans,” a spy drama that takes place when Reagan was president.  It will be a frustrating wait until the final season airs in 2018 because events happening now seem tangled up in events that happened then. 

Back then there was the Cold War.  The word “war” in that phrase was no exaggeration.  Nasty things were done to Russians and Europeans and Americans in the wake of Soviet style communism.  There is very little left of Soviet style communism which basically began to collapse in 1989 when Mikhail Gorbachev was Reagan’s opposite number.

The collapse became widespread in the 1990s and there was  a mad grab for money, power, and position.  Elbows were thrown. People were hurt.  A country doesn’t become a full fledged democracy in three seconds flat any more than American did after the American Revolution.

When the Soviet Union collapsed,  there was every reason to celebrate the demise of soul crushing communism.  But  then it was abandoned, forgotten, left along it until it was needed again by American political elites who wish to seize a political moment to gain and keep power and, with that in mind, to revive the Cold War.     

Every day someone gets up in Congress or goes on TV to talk about the ‘Russians’ as if a straight line runs from every event in that vast country to a former KGB Colonel become President named Vladimir Putin. Contrary to the average American’s real interests ( which include terrorists, the economy, high cost of health insurance premiums, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) both major political parties are trying to upstage each other with fake patriotism.   

Don’t believe it.  Don’t cooperate. It’s na├»ve, it’s stupid, it’s phony.   It’s never a good thing when you have nearly 99 percent of the members of Congress marching in lockstep, all trying to outdo each other by raising their voices the loudest and shouting meaningless cant about ‘Russia.’ 

And these same people think that ‘Russians’ changed all the people who were going to vote for Hillary Clinton into Donald Trump voters.  And that it was Vladimir Putin’s fingers on the keyboard used to hack into the Democratic National Committee election plans to reveal John Podesta’s sideways manipulations of Democrat Party dirty tricks.   Is all this blame-shifting and propagandizing against Russia not embarrassing?

We are not in the 1980s any more.

In the  First Episode of Season Five of "The Americans,"  there was a new character named Tuan.’ Tuan  is a young Vietnamese KGB trainee posted with Soviet spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings as their adopted son. He’s hard-core, a blind believer in the Soviet system, gung-ho to the point that even Elizabeth can hardly stand his psychotic utterings at the dinner table.  One astonished gaping look from Elizabeth  says it all. The kid is too whacked even by   KGB standards.

It’s not as if American espionage agents were playing softball.   The CIA has hired a dissident Russian working for the  U.S. to develop a strain of fungus that will destroy the Soviet Union’s wheat crop.   That’s a bit of overkill. The failure of the Soviet socialist-communist system is evident in filmed food lines, bare supermarket shelves, rotting food, tractors mired in mud up to the hubcaps.

There is a KGB joke which shows the cynicism that pervaded all aspects of Soviet Communism:  “ A guy goes into a food market and asks: “Don’t you have any meat?” Market owner replies: “We don’t have any fish. The market that doesn’t have any meat is across the street.”    Starving and chaotic Venezuela is a paradise by comparison.

The dissident scientist Alexei in  “The Americans”   has a great deal of enthusiasm for America, its freedom and plenty.   He criticizes  his home country while unwitting talking to Soviet spy Philip, who is disguised as an airline pilot.“Good thing you don’t work for Aeroflot. Their planes crash all the time. They’re dirty. You want food you have to stand in line for hours.  In Russia, you must share toilets, pay bribes. Awful country.”   

The Americans is never without humor, though it’s often of the droll, mordant kind. Stan Beeman is a Steven Martin style ‘lonely guy’ FBI agent when he pops in on the Jennings with a sixpack of beer.  Neighborly chit-chat.

Stan’s been isolated too long and divorced not long enough. He bores a wry Phillip (Matthew Rhys,  great actor, and real life husband of Keri Russell)  with a non-eventful tale about a woman he’s seen at the gym. “I met a woman,” he tells Phillip. To ordinary mortals, this would mean he has possibilities. To nerdish Stan however, it means the woman on the treadmill next to him smiled at him while walking away.  

But the primary concern of the Soviet spies  is to get a sample of a biological warfare agent developed at an FBI lab in Virginia.  The Lassa virus had accidentally killed one of the embedded Soviet agents and it’s up to Elizabeth and Philip to dig up his body to get another sample.    It’s not going to be easy.  The CIA secretly buried  the toxic foreign agent in a sealed plastic overcoat inside a metal box buried fifteen feet deep in Fort Dietrich’s   back yard.

A team of agents, under the guidance of Philip and Elizabeth, sap the perimeter of the American compound and beginning digging. And digging. And still more digging. It’s pretty hard to explain how about 20 minutes of film digging can make for exciting TV but it does. 

You smell the dirt in more ways than one. The KGB team digs up the stinking body of their dead agent, cuts a chunk of his flesh out for transport back to Moscow.  One of the KGB team members slips off the ladder and cuts his wrist during the process. This exposes him to the Lassa virus. He panics,knows he’s going to die.   Elizabeth calmly reassures him that everything’s going to be all right, don’t worry, be calm.  When the man calmsdown, Elizabeth pulls a pistol and  shoots him in the head. Dead fall into the hole.

The ends justify the means. It’s brutal. This is a depiction of the real Cold War. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Things I Don’t Understand and Maybe Neither Do You

Media is abuzz with the story of Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised to give him the down-low-and-dirty on Hillary Clinton.  Trump Jr. admits the meeting, says it came to nothing, and released details and emails pertaining to that meeting in the interest of transparency.

Okay, Trump Jr. stumbled over himself in his enthusiasm to help his father.  But that’s not the real story. The real story is that there is no real story.  The battle lines in the Trump v. Hillary campaigns were already drawn sharply.   Hillary voters wouldn’t be deterred from voting for her if it was proven she had murdered someone. 

What I don’t understand is how  congressional  frauds like Tim Kaine and Adam Schiff and   ideological conservatives like Charles Krauthammer can tell people that things like this are even capable of influencing an American election.  If Americans are so vulnerable to such innuendo, they better put their hands in the air and wave the white flag because such people haven’t learned how to think for themselves.

And therefore, they are more dangerous to democracy than ‘the Russians’ or Vlad or anyone. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

News Flash: Portland is Not Portlandia

The TV series called "Portlandia" showcases the capital city of Oregon as a paradise of coffee and left-wing progressivism.  Until now the national media has been too busy in its navel-gazing exploits in Washington, D.C. to disabuse us of the notion. 
But finally CNN has found something to fill its Saturday programming that was really quite interesting.  It was in a segment of "CNN Newsroom with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul" (though I don't much care for CNN's biased coverage of late, I like both of them) that a professor named Randy Blazak appeared, not expressly to debunk the popular myths  about Portland (though he did that perhaps inadvertently) but to call for peace between dueling political factions scheduled to show up for competing political demonstrations tomorrow (Sunday). 
“We have this bubble we sort of live in –that it’s this sort of Portlandia liberal paradise but in fact there’s this racial tension been underneath all along.”
Blazak imparted a bit of interesting Oregon history, previously unknown to me.  (It's that state tucked up into the corner there so. . .)  During the Civil War era, Oregon had a bitter discussion regarding whether to be a slave state or to outlaw slavery in the state.  The anti-slavery group won the debate but with the provision that it be an "all-white" state. 
In other words, no blacks allowed?  Never heard of such a thing?  But this is a de-facto collective sociological  disorder among liberal states of the Northeast -- thinking of Vermont and New Hampshire particularly as I write this.
Professor Blazak advised that one or both groups should cancel in order to prevent violence.  He was particularly concerned that professional disruptors were coming from outside Portland with the intent of violent confrontation.   He described the left-wing organizers coming from out of town as feeling "there is a need to violently address the other side.”
I'm of largely conservative leanings, and as such very vehement in my concern for civil rights,  and I agree with Professor Blazak. Even if the progressive left threatens violence and mayhem in protest of the train stabbings that occurred during the past week, I think the conservative free-speech demonstrators planning a meetup in a park separated from the other by just one street should re-schedule theirs for another day.
Of course, they couldn't and shouldn't reschedule twice.  But it would be an informative exercise for the public.  It would clearly show who is really for 1st Amendment rights, and who really is operating in the interests of the country and its people. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

American Crime S3E4 Beating Them Down on the Farm

In the previous episode  of “American Crime,”  Coy Henson witnesses the rape of a young female field worker by Diego, one of the migrant labor bosses. As one of the few Anglo outsiders in a community of undocumented Latino farm laborers, Coy’s observance of the rape puts him in serious danger.

   Isaac is also on the spot as a go-between.  Jeanette Hesby is deeply disturbed about the fire that killed a group of farm workers but feels helpless to do anything about it.  Meanwhile, pregnant teenager Shae is sharing her own trauma in a group therapy session with  other teens at the shelter.

  Luis Salazar gets hot on the trail of his son Teo when a young Aztec woman tells Luis that one of the farm bosses gave Teo a beatdown when he tried to defend her from being raped.

Check out my review of the latest episode of American Crime on TVEskimo -- it's free. No signup or other b.s. required. Click HERE.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Voter Fraud Deniers in Alt.Left Media

I read two articles this morning about President Trump’s call for an investigation into voter fraud during presidential election years.  One was from the Associated Press and called up weak assertions that past assertions of voter fraud were insignificant overall. These voter fraud deniers were largely the statements of state officials entrusted with managing elections.  Why wouldn’t they reject assertions that they weren’t doing the job?  To admit voter fraud would mean they’d have to do something about it, and that would upset the mostly Democratic Party apple cart.

I saw the second article pushed  on me by my cell phone push system was from the New York Times. I thought ‘Hey, the NYT has become a liberal pamphlet but they still hire some decent reporters.”  Far worse! Their article, by reporters Jonathan Weisman and Steve Eder,  begins with the a priori conclusion that Trump is lying! Read it yourself but if you don’t have time, here is how it begins:I

Standing by his false allegations of extensive voter fraud, President Trump promises a “major investigation.”

False allegations? How do they come up with “false allegations?”  How the New York Times can use such a self-condemning and Orwellian phrase like “false allegations” astounds me.  An allegation is an allegation.  What is a “false allegation?” I’ll tell you what a ‘false allegation’ is – a false allegation is a reporter who believes he/she can dictate the news rather than find facts and then report those facts.
Everyone knows there is voter fraud. The issue is more to determine how much voter fraud there is and how much can political parties get away with before they’re prosecuted? 

I’ll tell you where I’m coming from.  I was a Republican election monitor at two national elections, both of them resulting in the election of George W. Bush.  My ‘spot’ was sort of out in the boonies of Pennyslvania where I was virtually assaulted by a team of Democrats who barged in from somewhere shouting and intimidating anyone and asking loudly how anyone could vote for idiot Bush.  The guy leading them was about six foot six, maybe 250 (I’m good at guessing weight b/c I was a boxing trainer for a good number of years) and he had some followers who were far less intimidating but who, I assumed, were going to be duplicate voters. 

What I’m saying is not factual proof of voter fraud but it bears investigation.  Also bearing investigation is another voter, a Bulgarian immigrant ( a legal immigrant possessing a valid green card), who told me he voted Republican (that was a surprise) in the same election.  He was not a citizen yet. I know this because I personally drove him to Philadelphia for his citizenship swearing in ceremony. It was during our ride to the Philadelphia INS swearing-in ceremony that he told me he had voted in two elections, and so did many  of his Bulgarian (not yet citizens)  acquaintances.

Both of these anecdotes provide opportunities for plausible denial, which seems to be the mainstay of people running national elections.  But I know what I know and you should know it too.

It is hard to believe that there has been no serious or extensive federal investigation of the entire process which is so important to our democracy. This is in a country that has done extensive investigations into such vital topics as cow farts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


This is a composite of a news story, an editorial, and a rant:

Two prime candidates for the death penalty were arrested in Pennyslvania yesterday in a shocking fantasy/rape/murder of a fourteen year old disabled child name Grace Parker.  Forty-four year old Jacob Sullivan was arrested after telling hospital staff that  he murdered and raped the child adopted by his girlfriend Grace Packer.  Sullivan was in the hospital after a suicide attempt which he survived when a second girlfriend found him unconscious at his home in Horsham Twp. PA.  Sullivan had taken an overdose of sleeping pills and left a suicide note calling authorities ‘pigs’ and expressing love for his ‘babies’ and ranting about how he was being falsely accused. 

His lover and the victim’s adoptive mother, who worked for seven years with Northampton County’s Children and Youth Services, also tried to commit suicide.  They were apparently capable of the most heinous crime imaginable, torturing the victim who had been awarded to them by the state’s child adoptive services.  Sara Packer, the adoptive mother of mentally challenged fourteen year old Grace Parker, also attempted suicide by overdose. 

According to an Abington Police Department public information release, Jacob Sullivan and Sara Packer had been planning to the murder-rape fantasy for a year or more and then decided to act upon it July 8.  They took Sara to another house that they had purchased, largely through moneys paid by the state and federal government for adoptions (the victim has a male sibling, also adopted by ‘mom’ Sara Parker).  Jacob Sullivan then beat and raped the 14 year old child, attempting then to kill her with an overdose of drugs. Sara Parker was 'aroused' by watching the torture, Sullivan told police.  Sullivan had taken Viagra to augment his manliness. Both alleged murder/rapists left the house and came back at 3:00 a.m. the next morning to find Sara still alive, whereupon Jacob Sullivan strangled her to death.

Packing the body into a container with moth balls and cat litter to stanch the odor of decay and death, the alleged murderers did not return until October when police announced they were going to enter the victim’s name into a national missing persons database.  This prompted Sara Parker to go to a Tractor Supply store to purchase a bow saw and two extra blades with which the two accused murderers dismembered Sara Parker’s body and scattered her remains in a far away remote Pennsylvania woody location in Wyoming County. The torso was  discovered by hunters; the other body parts found by police during the investigation. 

It is natural to wonder how such things happen and, once again, it seems that the system failed victim Grace Parker. After killing Grace, Sara continued to collect the child’s $700 plus Social Security disability check (likely SSI).  It is likely that other federal and state monies were paid to the evil couple – either foster care payments or federal disability checks. How do people manage to own two houses with no jobs or other visible means of support?  This is not to say that adoption payments, foster care payments, SSI, and other disability support aren’t warranted.  But it is to say that these programs and the systems dispensing such funds are unmonitored, and  out of control.

According to some news reports, Sara Parker was fired from her former position with Northampton County Children and Youth Services.  Can we assume it was ‘for cause?’  If it was ‘for cause,’ then why were the adopted children allowed to be near these monsters? And why should the state and the taxpayers pay for such hideous criminals? Alleged, of course, always alleged.