Guest: American Digest “Tiny Dot”.

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Posted in 2020, Blogbits, Deep State | Leave a comment

Now that’s a hockey stick!

You can believe it or not.   But right now, Premier Xi is bitterly regretting getting into a trade war with the first American President in this century that truly understands economics and trade.

Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet, their basic protein.  And pork is becoming priced out of the reach of most Chinese.  This has the potential to become more than an inconvenience, it could be the bellwether  of the next period of real hunger in China.  Meaning that it could become the tinder for the next Chinese revolution.

For us?  The price of an iPhone could increase by 25%.     I can survive that.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Xiao Tong, a vendor who has been selling pork for nearly 20 years in Beijing. “Every day the price rises more.” Prices are so high that not only retail customers, but businesses can no longer afford to buy pork: she said even her longtime clients, such as local restaurants and construction companies, are trimming purchases.

Making matters worse, another major spike in prices is coming once short-term inventories are depleted. Chenjun Pan, a senior analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong, said storage levels of frozen pork seem to have also fallen in recent months.

Meanwhile, China’s pork imports have jumped more than 60% in the second quarter, but foreign supplies have been constrained or are more expensive, especially with Chinese tariffs on US products. Beijing levied new tariffs totaling 50% on pork from the U.S. last year and in June suspended pork imports from Canada.

After posting this and taking another look (especially the chart ) , the thought occurred to me; “Now, THAT’S a hockey stick!”

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Economy, President Trump | Leave a comment

New York State runs out of gas.

New York is running out of fuel and power — just as Cuomo planned

By Post Editorial Board

The utility (National Grid) has stopped taking new gas customers in parts of Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens where it can’t handle the new demand — because Team Cuomo vetoed the proposed Williams pipeline to bring in supplies from New Jersey.

A few years ago I sat in on a public meeting in my town where the question of  natural gas pipeline expansion was being ‘discussed’.    It was a perfect example of the reason why the Founding Fathers were against this new nation being a “Democracy”, instead we have a Republic.  As long as we can keep it.

I remember a (assumed) town resident sitting in the front row, clad in a ugly sweater and holding a sign with the name “National Grid” with a red circle and slash around it.  Every so often she shrieked out the same words “Water not Gas through the pipes!”.  ( “Lady I think I know why your burner isn’t working”)   I’d love to know what she uses to heat her house and supply her hot water.

New Yorkers voted for Cuomo so in my humble opinion they deserve what they are getting and I hope they get it… good and hard!

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Global Warming Hoax, World's smallest violin | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day: ‘Hint’ Jeff Bezos owns it.

“Don’t do it…Every single minute you spend reading the Washington Post you’ll have to explain to God in the hereafter.”

@realDonaldTrump

The Amazon Washington Post did a story that I brought racist attacks against the “Squad.” No, they brought racist attacks against our Nation. All I do is call them out for the horrible things they have said. The Democrats have become the Party of the Squad!

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Media Bias, News and opinion, President Trump, Quote of the Day | Leave a comment

What the Russians were doing.

HOW IT WORKS: Nuclear Propulsion

We built working examples in the Fifties, abandoned the program in the Seventies.

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Guest: Opioid Shakedown

(Full article)

The Great Opioid Shakedown of 2019 Will Be a Pyrrhic ‘Victory’


Oklahoma’s August 26th verdict against Johnson & Johnson was never a question of “if,” only “how much.” Recently, it’s been all the rage to assign blame for today’s “opioid crisis,” justified or not. And once the blaming starts so do the lawsuits.

There could not be a better time. Doctors, dentists, distributors, drug companies, Donald Trump, and maybe even Donald Duck have all assumed the role of villain in the ongoing decade-long debacle, while the real villains are no doubt smirking all the way to the bank (1).

But it’s the drug companies that have all been squarely in the sights of lawyers and state officials; whether there was actual blame or not doesn’t really matter. As the notorious Willie Sutton once answered when asked why he robbed banks, “that’s where the money is.” It’s now the “perfect swarm” – lawyers, hatred for pharmaceutical companies, buckets of money, and a plausible but false narrative that overprescription of prescription pain meds led to opioid abuse and addiction.

On the surface, what just started happening to the pharmaceutical industry on Monday, thanks to Oklahoma’s $572 million oh-so-predictable victory against Johnson & Johnson for causing the “opioid crisis,” (2,3,4) may superficially resemble what happened to the tobacco industry in 1998, but that’s where the similarities end. The $246 billion that the tobacco industry agreed to pay in order to shield itself from state lawsuits, which began in 1994 when Mississippi attorney general sued Big Tobacco. Moore (rightfully) claimed that cigarette smoking caused diseases that the state had to pay to treat, so it wasn’t unreasonable that the industry should cough up (sorry) some serious money to atone for its business practices.

“The state is obligated to pay for those for our citizens that are not covered in other ways, and we feel like they’re caused by the tobacco products.”

Mike Moore, 1994 in an NPR  interview

Whether or not you agree with the verdict, the amount of the settlement or whether the settlement would be used for its stated purpose – smoking cessation programs (it didn’t) – it’s at least reasonable that tobacco companies, which by definition, sell deadly products should assume some of the cost for the harm they cause. In the end, maybe a bunch of Philip Morris shareholders got stung (they didn’t, see Figure 1) but even if the $246 billion didn’t provide much help to the general public, at least it didn’t hurt anyone, especially the shareholders.

Atria (formerly Philip Morris) stock price by year. Source: The Motley Fool

Not this time. There will be pain in the form of pain. Tobacco companies continued to sell cigarettes and did just fine. This is where the two examples diverge.

Once this mess is in the rearview mirror and Americans have moved on the next drug of choice (5) (and they always do) the results will be predictable:

  • A bunch of rich lawyers
  • States grabbing what they can and spending it on… who knows.
  • Good luck trying to find a company insane enough to manufacture opioids.
  • Good luck trying to find a doctor who is brave enough to write prescriptions for the opioids that won’t be available.
  • Wait until you see what the pills cost, assuming you can get them at all.

That’s the harm that will inevitably come out of this disgraceful chapter in American history. Not only will millions of people have suffered and died unnecessarily but whatever has transpired in the last decade could be like Shangri-La compared to what’s ahead.

Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide sales in 2018 totaled $81.6 billion. I cannot find what portion of that amount came from opioid sales, but it is very likely to be insignificant. This can be inferred from a statement of Brad Beckworth, the lead attorney for Oklahoma:

“[J&J] made billions of dollars from it over a 20-year period.”

Let’s guess that that number is $10 billion. Since 2005, J&J’s annual sales have averaged roughly $70 billion. Let’s call it $60 billion to be conservative. This comes out to $1.2 trillion over this 20-year period. If the company earned $10 billion during this time then its opioid sales comprise 0.8% of the company’s revenue during this period. Chump change. J&J would be out of its mind to continue to manufacture and sell opioids, given the 2,000 lawsuits it still faces, which will almost certainly add up to far more than whatever the company earned selling the drugs. Please believe that other companies that are facing this kind of exposure are thinking just this. So, who, if anyone, will bother to make these drugs? Maybe no one.

Or maybe these guys…

I wrote about Valeant (which doesn’t even exist anymore) (6) back in 2016 when the company raised the price of dirt-cheap calcium EDTA, an antidote to lead poisoning, and not by a little:

After resolving manufacturing problems that caused shortages, Valeant pursued the hallmark strategy that made it infamous — taking sky-high price hikes. Before Valeant took control, the list price for a package of [calcium EDTA] vials had been stable at $950. But in January 2014, Valeant boosted the price to $7,116. By December 2014, several more increases took the price to $26,927, according to Truven Health Analytics.

Ed Silverman, Pharmalot (STAT). October, 2016.

If I’ve got this right, then in 10 years, assuming that the opioid crusade doesn’t come crashing down, then your prescription pain meds, assuming you can get them at all, could easily run $1,000 for a few days worth of Vicodin, maybe more.

Then the US public (maybe even the clueless media) will see (and feel) the damage done by the CDC, PROP, predatory lawyers, and states that are so eager to join the scrum and scoop up every penny they can for money that will probably not even be used to do a damn thing to help current addicts –the few that will be alive, thanks to fentanyl, or prevent future addiction or death.

Then we’re all looking at a world of pain. Nice country.

NOTES:

(1) Self-proclaimed (but thoroughly unqualified) expert Andrew Kolodny has been consulting for Oklahoma for a mere $725 per hour and is estimated to have earned $500,000 so far. Nice gig. Does this have anything to do his actions over the past decade regarding opioids? You tell me.

(2) Regardless of the facts of the case, J&J is most certainly guilty of having deep pockets.

(3) Before you accuse me of being a shill for J&J 1) read Johnson & Johnson’s Shameless Exploitation Of The Opioid Crisis, 2) then shut up.

(4) J&J does not manufacture opioids, it just supplies the materials to other companies.

(5) This is already happening. Methamphetamine is roaring back onto the scene, once again thanks to government bumbling. See Why Sudafed Is Behind The Counter: A Meth Chemistry Lesson.

(6) Valeant changed its name to Bausch Health Companies in 2018. Tiger. Stripes.

Posted in 2019, Guest, Law-Fare, News and opinion | Leave a comment

John W. Campbell

Dell Magazines is Changing the Name of the John W. Campbell Award

“In his announcement, Analog Science Fact and Fiction editor Trevor Quachri said that “Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters often reflected positions that went beyond just the mores of his time and are today at odds with modern values, including those held by the award’s many nominees, winners, and supporters.” ”

The John W. Campbell Award For New Writers was bestowed, starting in 1973, alongside the Hugos when they were given out at the World Science Fiction Convention. His name’s been removed for the usual reason; the racisms. Unconscionable that a man born in 1910, whose social sensibilities that don’t track within a millimeter’s tolerance of early 21st century Millenials, would have his name on an award. All he did was singlehandedly, or nearly so, create science fiction’s Golden Age and deserve a large amount of credit for creating the the genre and the market. He did that by publishing new writers, many of the greats of the field.

 

Posted in All the News not fit to print. | Leave a comment

Maybe The President is starting to get a handle on the DOJ

FBI Raids United Automobile Workers Chief’s House, Finds ‘Wads’ Of Cash

GM and Auto Workers Union Hold Ceremonial Handshake Ahead Of Labor Talks

47-year-old neighbor J. Kevin Telepo watched the raid through the window using binoculars and saw FBI agents counting “wads” of money in Jones’ garage, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“FBI raiding neighbor’s house” Telepo texted his wife.

“What did he do?” his wife asked him.

“Not sure. FBI & IRS. Pile of cash in garage,” Telepo texted her back.

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Crime, Deep State | Leave a comment

I love Denmark

Danish city unveils Viking crossing signals

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Blogbits, Funny | Leave a comment

The numbers don’t lie.

Posted in 2020, President Trump | Leave a comment