The Darker Side of the News

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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commodorejohn
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:42 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:A computer that's been taught to do it properly can do it very well indeed, but the only people who ever let the computer control the trains are model railway enthusiasts. Their warehouse-sized models of Britain with every rail line and station that ever existed faithfully replicated and trains running on all of them work flawlessly.

Good thing that the real world is no more complex or unpredictable than a model train set, eh?
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:14 pm UTC

Yep. In particular, isn't it wonderful that, now that we have "free at point of use" mass transit, there aren't any cars on level crossings* any more?

* warning: splat.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:51 am UTC

The pipeline will do harm long after the Rich Bastards are dead.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcYNM9o6go
More Democracy Now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuurtEX5Za4

People calling, writing and speaking may make a difference.
You Posters from across the water Can help, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_eKxtO6CUU

This is Not what Democracy looks like!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4AzezTWwd4

This drone recording has not been banned nor blocked.
Because it shows nothing except Miserable living conditions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT4hs6AP_UY

In my opinion, the pipeline is a big waste of money.
The heat in the summer and the bitter cold in the winter will tear it down.

Maybe, if it were perfectly built it might work for a few years.
Errors made by humans working under those conditions will cause THE catastrophic failure.

One guy with cold hands will take a short cut to get in out of the cold. Can't blame him.
Some other guys, miserable in the heat, will 'skip' building a joint to contract in the cold.

Until we Think our way to using renewable energy,
We should run trucks and trains. Not a long pipe.

This is a fun little clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RrKn-mZhcM
Our indigenous music might seem, kind'a, boring to European ears.

The dancing does not take years of training. It's easy and fun.
Even, I can do it. It is fun. We can talk and dance walk, too.

Do you see the oxbows in the riverbed?
Those oxbow are evidence of natural deep flooding.
Spoiler:
meanders/oxbows
"It's all the same to the clam." by Shel Silverstein.
Oxbows do Not mix well with rigid man made structures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meander
The result is a snaking pattern as the stream meanders back and forth across its down-valley axis. When a meander gets cut off from the main stream, an oxbow lake forms. Over time meanders migrate downstream, sometimes in such a short time as to create civil engineering problems for local municipalities attempting to maintain stable roads and bridges.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvial_ ... _migration
Just a little bit of reading will tell a reasonable person,
rigid structures built there will outlive Don Jon, not his children.

Russell Brand?
A comedian?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh-PlpPCzn8
He, kind of, makes the Black History Month and American Indian Month seem hollow.

What does the present President say?
Not much....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5j7TNk0UzI

(Ech) I watched and watched clip after clip.
Nothing! Obama's saying Nothing!

The poison from that pipeline will poison White, Black and Red people!
Birds, Fish, Deer, Elk the list goes on and on.

One more clip for you not to watch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCF21FH3StU

I think this is Dark, Dark News.
Maybe, Don Jon will step in and do a good thing.
Miracles happen.

Europeans! Do you understand how BIG that thing is?
When it spills, You might taste it.

Anonymous seems to support The People of Dakota against the pipeline.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GAnTx3OHVU

I'm tired of it.
I can go to sleep.
I'm warm and dry.

Facts from U-Tube MoJo.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mykIJlooJhY

People around the world, say a prayer.
Atheists; You guys just sit and think. ok?

It's cold up in the Dakotas.
Those people are Not comfy.

One more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBvjiQQyZk0

Do I get a prize for the longest and most boring post?

EDIT:
This is still bothering me.
It gets Darker everyday.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is a relaxed and confident Rich Bastard.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/tru ... -pipeline/
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby PeteP » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:16 pm UTC


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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:01 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/busin ... l-war.html
reversing the trend toward greater concentrations of income, in the United States and across the world, might be, in fact, nearly impossible.
That’s the bleak argument of Walter Scheidel, a professor of history at Stanford, whose new book, “The Great Leveler” (Princeton University Press), is due out next month. He goes so far as to state that “only all-out thermonuclear war might fundamentally reset the existing distribution of resources.” If history is anything to go by, he writes, “peaceful policy reform may well prove unequal to the growing challenges ahead.”
Professor Scheidel does not offer a grand unified theory of inequality. But scouring through the historical record, he detects a pattern: From the Stone Age to the present, ever since humankind produced a surplus to hoard, economic development has almost always led to greater inequality. There is one big thing with the power to stop this dynamic, but it’s not pretty: violence.
The big equalizing moments in history may not have always have the same cause, he writes, “but they shared one common root: massive and violent disruptions of the established order.”
The collapse of the Roman Empire in the second half of the fifth century, reinforced by a bubonic plague pandemic, brought about Western Europe’s first great leveling. Productivity collapsed and the aristocracy’s far-flung assets were expropriated, while Rome’s trade networks and fiscal structures were destroyed.
Inequality bounced back, of course. By 1300 the richest 5 percent of people had amassed nearly half the wealth in the cities of Italy’s Piedmont. But another bubonic plague known in history as the Black Death changed all that, killing a quarter of Europe’s population in the 14th century and cutting the share of wealth of Piedmont’s rich to under 35 percent.
Mr. Scheidel’s depressing view is bound to upset liberal politicians and social scientists, who quite naturally might prefer to live in a world in which events might move political and social systems to figure out a more equitable way to distribute the fruits of growth without the plague, the guillotine or state collapse.

Historians suggest best way to make society equitable is massive violence and chaos...repeatedly. Well that's real comforting to know that the solution to income inequality was inside us all along.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:30 pm UTC

Shorter answer: people who have power don't like to relinquish it. It's solvable, but you need government and economic structures that are resistant to individuals gaining wealth, power and influence (the three are very strongly linked).
Honesty replaced by greed, they gave us the reason to fight and bleed
They try to torch our faith and hope, spit at our presence and detest our goals

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:44 pm UTC

Are you opposed to fracking? Then you might just be a terrorist

Over the last year, a mass of shocking evidence has emerged on the close ties between Western government spy agencies and giant energy companies, and their mutual interests in criminalising anti-fracking activists.
Activists tarred with the same brush

In late 2013, official documents obtained under freedom of information showed that Canada's domestic spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), had ramped up its surveillance of activists opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline project on 'national security' grounds. The CSIS also routinely passed information about such groups to the project's corporate architect, Calgary-based energy company, Enbridge.

Investigative journalist Steve Horn reports that TransCanada has also worked closely with American law-enforcement and intelligence agencies in attempting to criminalise US citizens opposed to the pipeline. Files obtained under freedom of information last summer showed that in training documents for the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), TransCanada suggested that non-violent Keystone XL protestors could be deterred using criminal and anti-terror statutes.

Just last December, other activists in Oklahoma faced terror charges for draping an anti-fracking banner in the lobby of the offices housing US oil and gas company, Devon Energy. The two protestors were charged with carrying out a "terrorism hoax" for using gold glitter on their banner, some of which happened to scatter to the floor of the building - depicted by a police spokesman as a potentially "dangerous or toxic" substance in the form of a "black powder," causing a panic.

In the UK, Scotland Yard's National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (which started life as the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit and later became the National Domestic Extremism Unit), has had a long record of equating the spectre of "domestic extremism" with "single-issue protests, such as animal rights, anti-war, anti-globalisation and anti-GM crops." Apart from animal rights, these movements have been "overwhelmingly peaceful" points out George Monbiot.

Back in 1975, the Trilateral Commission - a network of some 300 American, European and Japanese elites drawn from business, banking, government, academia and media founded by Chase Manhattan Bank chairman David Rockerfeller - published an influential study called The Crisis of Democracy.

The report concluded that the problems of governance "stem from an excess of democracy" which makes government "less powerful and more active" due to being "overloaded with participants and demands." This democratic excess at the time consisted of:

"... a marked upswing in other forms of citizen participation, in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and 'cause' organizations... [including] markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students, and women... [and] a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private... People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents."


The solution, therefore, is "to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions," including "hegemonic power" in the world. This requires the government to somehow "reinforce tendencies towards political passivity" and to instill "a greater degree of moderation in democracy." This is because:

"... the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups... In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively."


Today, such official sentiments live on in the form of covert psychological operations targeted against Western publics by the CIA, Pentagon and MI6, invariably designed to exaggerate threats to manipulate public opinion in favour of government policy.


Privacy watchdog ‘stonewalling’ over attempts to reveal number of anti-fracking protestors caught in ‘deradicalisation’ programme

The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), who claim there is no evidence to link the protestors to terrorism, requested information from five police forces in the North West of England for details of referrals made in the prior ten months to a scheme set up following the 7/7 attacks in 2005 as part of the government’s counter terrorism Prevent strategy. The ‘Channel’ programme is principally aimed at 15 to 24 year-olds reckoned to be vulnerable to being drawn into Islamist extremism. Netpol asked for the number of referrals made since January last year through Channel for individuals allegedly involved in anti-fracking campaigns.

Campaigners had contacted Netpol claiming to have been referred to the programme by the authorities at their own universities or colleges. The forces – Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside – replied that they would ‘neither confirm nor deny’ such information.

All forces issued almost identical responses saying confirmation or denial would reveal ‘operationally sensitive information about the scope of Prevent activities, resource allocation and prioritisation with regard to monitoring anti-fracking campaigns’. They went on to say that revealing such information would be ‘prejudicial to the maintenance of national security’ and providing the number of referrals would ‘disclose operational information far beyond that’. ‘If the information were held, confirming this would disclose that Prevent officers were targeting anti fracking events for extremist activities, and that maintaining a police presence at anti-fracking events was a Prevent priority,’ they said.


... dude.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:41 pm UTC

This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Historians suggest best way to make society equitable is massive violence and chaos...repeatedly. Well that's real comforting to know that the solution to income inequality was inside us all along.


Oh, sure, the easy path to equality is definitely to have everyone equally impoverished and ruined.

This is one reason why many people fear it.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Diadem » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:56 am UTC

Liri wrote:This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.

An article saying economic inequality tends to increase makes you consider a dystopian novel describing a society where all wealth and power are held by a very small elite to be less plausible? I don't follow that one.

Assuming humanity doesn't manage to extinct itself, I think the most likely dystopian scenario is one where technology allows a small group to establish a permanent dictatorship that can't be overthrown. If the police and soldiers are robots, with no morality and absolute obedience to the regime, then a revolution might become impossible. Even such a regime will eventually collapse from within, but that could take a long time.

A related dystopian scenario is one where robotics makes large parts of the population economically obsolete. If AI gets smarter than us, but still under our control, life could become fabulously luxurious very quickly for the rich and powerful. And they wouldn't need the rest of us then, not even as a source of cheap labor. So why wouldnt they exterminate 99.9% of the population so the rest can live like gods until the end of time?
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:58 am UTC

Diadem wrote:An article saying economic inequality tends to increase makes you consider a dystopian novel describing a society where all wealth and power are held by a very small elite to be less plausible?

Yet another entry for my "everybody reads into 1984 whatever point they wish it was actually making" file...
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:47 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
Liri wrote:This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.

An article saying economic inequality tends to increase makes you consider a dystopian novel describing a society where all wealth and power are held by a very small elite to be less plausible? I don't follow that one.

Assuming humanity doesn't manage to extinct itself, I think the most likely dystopian scenario is one where technology allows a small group to establish a permanent dictatorship that can't be overthrown. If the police and soldiers are robots, with no morality and absolute obedience to the regime, then a revolution might become impossible. Even such a regime will eventually collapse from within, but that could take a long time.

A related dystopian scenario is one where robotics makes large parts of the population economically obsolete. If AI gets smarter than us, but still under our control, life could become fabulously luxurious very quickly for the rich and powerful. And they wouldn't need the rest of us then, not even as a source of cheap labor. So why wouldnt they exterminate 99.9% of the population so the rest can live like gods until the end of time?

I didn't mean to imply it made 1984 *less* plausible, just Oryx & Crake *more* plausible. In 1984, the elite are the government. In O & C, the elite are corporations, and the article seemed more about the power held by corporations/the people that run them.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:49 am UTC

Liri wrote:
Diadem wrote:
Liri wrote:This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.

An article saying economic inequality tends to increase makes you consider a dystopian novel describing a society where all wealth and power are held by a very small elite to be less plausible? I don't follow that one.

Assuming humanity doesn't manage to extinct itself, I think the most likely dystopian scenario is one where technology allows a small group to establish a permanent dictatorship that can't be overthrown. If the police and soldiers are robots, with no morality and absolute obedience to the regime, then a revolution might become impossible. Even such a regime will eventually collapse from within, but that could take a long time.

A related dystopian scenario is one where robotics makes large parts of the population economically obsolete. If AI gets smarter than us, but still under our control, life could become fabulously luxurious very quickly for the rich and powerful. And they wouldn't need the rest of us then, not even as a source of cheap labor. So why wouldnt they exterminate 99.9% of the population so the rest can live like gods until the end of time?

I didn't mean to imply it made 1984 *less* plausible, just Oryx & Crake *more* plausible. In 1984, the elite are the government. In O & C, the elite are corporations, and the article seemed more about the power held by corporations/the people that run them.

What's the difference between elite corporations(who severely influence the government), run by the rich vs elites who run the government((who are often wealthy elites who run corporations)?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:57 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Liri wrote:
Diadem wrote:
Liri wrote:This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.

An article saying economic inequality tends to increase makes you consider a dystopian novel describing a society where all wealth and power are held by a very small elite to be less plausible? I don't follow that one.

Assuming humanity doesn't manage to extinct itself, I think the most likely dystopian scenario is one where technology allows a small group to establish a permanent dictatorship that can't be overthrown. If the police and soldiers are robots, with no morality and absolute obedience to the regime, then a revolution might become impossible. Even such a regime will eventually collapse from within, but that could take a long time.

A related dystopian scenario is one where robotics makes large parts of the population economically obsolete. If AI gets smarter than us, but still under our control, life could become fabulously luxurious very quickly for the rich and powerful. And they wouldn't need the rest of us then, not even as a source of cheap labor. So why wouldnt they exterminate 99.9% of the population so the rest can live like gods until the end of time?

I didn't mean to imply it made 1984 *less* plausible, just Oryx & Crake *more* plausible. In 1984, the elite are the government. In O & C, the elite are corporations, and the article seemed more about the power held by corporations/the people that run them.

What's the difference between elite corporations(who severely influence the government), run by the rich vs elites who run the government((who are often wealthy elites who run corporations)?

In Oryx & Crake, there is no government. There are no nation-states, period, which is antithetical to the world observed in 1984.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:34 am UTC

sardia wrote:Historians suggest best way to make society equitable is massive violence and chaos...repeatedly.
It's kind of a trivial observation if you give it some thought. His observation about thermonuclear war is the clearest example. Obviously if you fight that war then by definition you have destroyed the economy. Everybody is poor. Preppers plan for it.
Liri wrote:This is why Margaret Atwood (Oryx & Crake) is way scarier and more plausible than Orwell.
What Orwell missed was that it works better if the slaves don't believe they are slaves. In Orwells days the idea of a TV that could listen back was a leap. You can buy one on Amazon now, it's called a smart phone. The technology didn't exist then to listen to millions of streams of communication all the time. And pick out words and phrases. NSA? Anyone. Yeah, I'm gonna call 1984 slightly more plausible. I bet Orwell was and Atwood is, a real party killer.

As a added side note consider that while Orwell was writing the advertising and popular media were laying the footings for a society where all data is suspect and where everybody lies.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:28 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What's the difference between elite corporations(who severely influence the government), run by the rich vs elites who run the government((who are often wealthy elites who run corporations)?


Whatever you call it, there are people, and there are power structures. Calling something a government or a corporation makes surprisingly little difference in the end.

If a corporation is as large as a government, it wields a similar amount of power.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:57 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/healt ... .html?_r=0
It's crack babies all over again, except they're white, so that must mean it's important.

In all seriousness, it's gonna be a long time before the country gets serious about prosecuting pill mill doctors, and stops letting patients chomp pills as the answer to everything.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:42 am UTC

Are you sure it's the doctors that are the pill-mills? My money is on the chiropractors being at fault. Just biased in favor of doctors and against chiros, is all.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:56 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure it's the doctors that are the pill-mills? My money is on the chiropractors being at fault. Just biased in favor of doctors and against chiros, is all.


Are there a lot of chiropractors in the rural US? And can chiropractors even prescribe drugs?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:16 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure it's the doctors that are the pill-mills? My money is on the chiropractors being at fault. Just biased in favor of doctors and against chiros, is all.


Are there a lot of chiropractors in the rural US? And can chiropractors even prescribe drugs?

The vast majority of chiropractors are not MDs and cannot prescribe medication.

Also, part of the whole idea behind chiropractic treatment is that it's drug-free.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:07 pm UTC

Actually, chiros CAN prescribe drugs. They had to sue the AMA to do that.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Actually, chiros CAN prescribe drugs. They had to sue the AMA to do that.

The most recent info I could find stated that NM allows them to prescribe certain drugs, while others permit them to prescribe OTC drugs, which isn't really what we're tallying about. Couldn't find anything about them suing the AMA, which sounds silly.

The point remains though that chiropractic treatment is intended to be drug-free, so I don't get why you were trying to blame them for over-prescribing medication. I'm not trying to insult your family here, but getting an MD does not make someone a better person, nor do only good-hearted people seek to obtain one.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:04 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure it's the doctors that are the pill-mills? My money is on the chiropractors being at fault. Just biased in favor of doctors and against chiros, is all.

https://news.aetna.com/2016/08/opioid-s ... escribers/
Image
No, you can see here that different doctors over-prescribe opioids. The average doctor prescribes 0.3 pills, but the superprescriber gives out 4.5 refills.
The doctors are not necessarily those that write the most initial, short-term prescriptions for opioids. Rather, they are the ones who are most likely to write refills for their patients, often over and over, for drugs that should usually only be filled once before turning to other means of pain control for longer-term relief.

The mean refill rate for all physicians was 0.3 refills for every initial opioid prescription, Paz said. For the super-prescribers, it was 4.5 refills – or 15 times more often.

To be fair, there's multiple opiate epidemics.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... e-in-2015/
There's natural opioid, Heroin, and synthetic opioid.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:24 pm UTC


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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/health/rise-in-infant-drug-dependence-in-us-is-felt-most-in-rural-areas.html?_r=0
It's crack babies all over again, except they're white, so that must mean it's important.

In all seriousness, it's gonna be a long time before the country gets serious about prosecuting pill mill doctors, and stops letting patients chomp pills as the answer to everything.


Actually, this is much ado about nothing. That $1.5 billion is 0.11% of the $1.32 trillion healthcare expenditure. The four-year increase of 19.6% (versus 5.8% healthcare inflation) is so close this could well be due to reporting changes due to CARA (see article for reference).

Hardly an epidemic...but I suspect the FBI and DEA are behind this piece and would like it to be an "epidemic for which we must arrest people."
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:22 pm UTC

UN warns of ‘atrocities against large number of civilians’ in Aleppo
Civilians 'massacred' as Assad forces take back Aleppo
Pro-government forces slaughter at least 82 civilians in Aleppo
We spoke to the last activists in Aleppo. They're waiting to die
Toddler weeps for dead father in harrowing footage from Aleppo
'Barbaric cruelty' in Aleppo shows Assad must go, says UK Government
Russia says it's tired of the US 'whining' about Aleppo
Boris Johnson rules out British aid drops over Aleppo
We said 'never again': the tragedy of Aleppo could have been avoided
Handful of Government MPs turn up for 'urgent' debate on Aleppo
Syrian army resumes bombing of Aleppo as fragile ceasefire crumbles
Assad may have used sarin gas on civilians near Palmyra
'I need peace': seven-year-old Bana tweets her life in besieged Aleppo

Bana.png


“The buildings and houses can no longer accommodate all the residents here. Now there are many families living in shops and streets, wherever they can. The weather is very cold now and rain is falling in addition to the shellfire which is almost constant over our heads

You can hear the noise of the fighting as I speak. The wounded can’t get appropriate treatment due to all the hospitals being bombed. Only one medical point where only first aid is available is operational. The seriously injured have nowhere to go, and these victims could join the fatalities list at any moment”.

“To be honest with you and, without any exaggeration, women are afraid of the possible entry of the army and militias, they are afraid of gang rape, which has happened in some neighborhoods. Senior citizens fears being killed and younger men also fear arrest or execution”.


So what's on the radio today?

A time for living, a time for believing
A time for trusting, not deceiving,
Love and laughter and joy ever after,
Ours for the taking, just follow the master.

A time for giving, a time for getting,
A time for forgiving and for forgetting.
Christmas is love, Christmas is peace,
A time for hating and fighting to cease.

Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine
Children singing Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see

The word is out
About the town
To lift a glass
Ahhh don't look down

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time
Simply having a wonderful Christmas time

Are you waiting for the family to arrive
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody's having fun
Look to the future now
It's only just begun.

And so this is Christmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now


Are they taking the piss?

Seriously, they're playing a recording of a choir of children's voices singing "war is over if you want it" while that's going on. Are they taking the piss?

No.

They're not.

They're not taking the piss.

It's just that, well ...
... nobody around here gives a fuck.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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CorruptUser
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:29 pm UTC

What the fuck do you want everyone to do? Invade Syria, costing hundreds of billions of dollars and god knows how many lives? Bomb the crap out of someone, killing hundreds of innocents in the process? Issue trade sanctions? Or just whine about it online so that we can feel morally superior without actually doing anything?
Last edited by CorruptUser on Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:33 pm UTC

Follow this yes no flow chart. Tell me what you get to yes.

Do you want world war 3?
What about the US killing Russians?
What about the US removing sanctions from Russia?
Would you give up welfare in the US?
Abortions in the US?
Less taxes on the rich?

You can't just blindly complain how nobody gives a fuck. What do you think we should do about it? Not just tell them to stop, say what you think should be done when they defy us.

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CorruptUser
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:38 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Follow this yes no flow chart. Tell me what you get to yes.

Do you want world war 3?
What about the US killing Russians?
What about the US removing sanctions from Russia?
Would you give up welfare in the US?
Abortions in the US?
Less taxes on the rich?

You can't just blindly complain how nobody gives a fuck. What do you think we should do about it? Not just tell them to stop, say what you think should be done when they defy us.


So far, I'm a "no" on all but the last one, and that's only a "yes" if you somehow also have "solve the national debt AND reduce income inequality" WITHOUT relying on Laffer Curve sophistry.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:23 am UTC

This makes me more than a little angry. For whatever reason there seems to be an idea that the US entry into the Syrian Civil War would have somehow magically stopped the killing. There is a direct example of the price that you pay for going into another country to do good. You have to kill people. Lots of people. We've ended up with the largest Military in the world doing so. The US has killed enough. The only thing that will stop the killing will be a winner. If that is the Syrian regime, so be it.

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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:56 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:This makes me more than a little angry. For whatever reason there seems to be an idea that the US entry into the Syrian Civil War would have somehow magically stopped the killing. There is a direct example of the price that you pay for going into another country to do good. You have to kill people. Lots of people. We've ended up with the largest Military in the world doing so. The US has killed enough. The only thing that will stop the killing will be a winner. If that is the Syrian regime, so be it.

Don't be so narrowed minded.
1. Since when has the US killed enough? That's never going to happen, even under the sunniest of liberal administrations. For one thing, there isn't enough to go around, hence killing will happen.
2. You can also go into a country to make a buck.
3. You could always kill everyone there, a la Chechnya.

morriswalters
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:08 am UTC

I can't make them stop. But I don't have to support it.
sardia wrote:Don't be so narrowed minded.
I like being narrow minded. There is some irony to be had here. During Vietnam when the draft was on, nobody was worried about saving the Vietnamese. They worried about being drafted. My cousins husband spent two years in a Federal Penitentiary when his Religious deferment was denied, before my cousin married him.(Jehova's Witnesses are funny like that)

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Vahir
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Vahir » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:12 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:The only thing that will stop the killing will be a winner. If that is the Syrian regime, so be it.


This argument is fallacious because it implies Assad offers peace and stability. Let me put aside moral concerns over supporting a murderous and tyrannical regime for more utilitarian arguments:

1. Assad was dictator before the civil war, and yet here we are. How are we to believe that he can establish peace when he caused the butchery to begin with? When he continues to engage in butchery against his own people?

2. Say the government wins out in the end. I highly doubt the rebels would be wiped out; in all likelihood, we'd be facing decades of insurgency. Assad and his regime are damaged goods: to keep his throne, he splintered his forces into paramilitaries and sold out to Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. He's never going to be as secure in power as he was before this.

3. A regime at war with its own people will inevitably engender civil war. Brutality guarantees temporary stability, but eventually the people's tolerance will snap and another war will break out. Even if Assad emerges from this triumphant and all-mighty, it's just setting the stage for another explosion of violence in forty or fifty years.

I can't claim to know how to untie this knot, but I view a government victory as being as bad as a rebel or ISIS one.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:33 am UTC

I view Assad victory as less bad than ISIS victory. ISIS is, for lack of a better term, thorough, and if they win they will make sure that if anyone is left to oppose them it's only themselves. Rebel victory? Which rebels; the "moderates", or Al Qaeda? With a Kurdish victory, well, that's the best case scenario for the West, but let's not sugarcoat it and claim the Kurds would never ethnically cleanse the area.

morriswalters
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:38 am UTC

Vahir wrote:This argument is fallacious because it implies Assad offers peace and stability.
But us being involved doesn't imply it either. Does it?

elasto
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:26 pm UTC

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

Maybe if we had sent in a massive intervention force after the first revolt*, when most rebels were still moderate, there might have been a chance of a decent, stable government - rather like the first couple of years after Iraq.

But, even in that best case scenario, just as in Iraq, I have no expectation that opportunistic religious groups wouldn't have successfully used destabilizing guerilla violence.

Once extremist groups piled in on the rebel side, it got much murkier. In any power vacuum, the most ruthless groups tend to prevail, so chances are high that at least some parts of Syria would have ended up in the hands of people much worse than Assad.

The whole thing is just lose-lose.


*And us sending in a massive force that early would have been criticised as highly Imperialistic both in the ME and across the wider world... Every dictatorship in the ME would suddenly be on edge that the US was on a hair-trigger to invade them...

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Liri
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:55 pm UTC

Our state legislature makes me sick.

Republicans gave the outgoing Republican governor increased powers, and now that he's lost, they've called a special legislative session (the 4th this year) to take them all away and then some, along with making the now-Democratic majority state supreme court lose its ability to hear constitutional cases without them first being heard by the GOP-majority state superior court (one step down), along with a huge slew of other bills they're going to try to rush through before the new Democratic governor takes office January 1st.
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:51 pm UTC

Liri wrote:Our state legislature makes me sick.

Republicans gave the outgoing Republican governor increased powers, and now that he's lost, they've called a special legislative session (the 4th this year) to take them all away and then some, along with making the now-Democratic majority state supreme court lose its ability to hear constitutional cases without them first being heard by the GOP-majority state superior court (one step down), along with a huge slew of other bills they're going to try to rush through before the new Democratic governor takes office January 1st.

Don't be so naive, Democrats did the same thing when Ted Kennedy died. It went something like "Only the governor could appoint the Senate, unless the governor turned GOP. Then only a special election would do." It went back and forth like 3 times, and the Democrats still lost in 2010.

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Liri
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:02 pm UTC

I get that this isn't unique, but it's still depressing.
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:24 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Sableagle wrote:UN warns of ‘atrocities against large number of civilians’ in Aleppo
Civilians 'massacred' as Assad forces take back Aleppo
Pro-government forces slaughter at least 82 civilians in Aleppo
We spoke to the last activists in Aleppo. They're waiting to die
Toddler weeps for dead father in harrowing footage from Aleppo
'Barbaric cruelty' in Aleppo shows Assad must go, says UK Government
Russia says it's tired of the US 'whining' about Aleppo
Boris Johnson rules out British aid drops over Aleppo
We said 'never again': the tragedy of Aleppo could have been avoided
Handful of Government MPs turn up for 'urgent' debate on Aleppo
Syrian army resumes bombing of Aleppo as fragile ceasefire crumbles
Assad may have used sarin gas on civilians near Palmyra
'I need peace': seven-year-old Bana tweets her life in besieged Aleppo

Bana.png

“The buildings and houses can no longer accommodate all the residents here. Now there are many families living in shops and streets, wherever they can. The weather is very cold now and rain is falling in addition to the shellfire which is almost constant over our heads

You can hear the noise of the fighting as I speak. The wounded can’t get appropriate treatment due to all the hospitals being bombed. Only one medical point where only first aid is available is operational. The seriously injured have nowhere to go, and these victims could join the fatalities list at any moment”.

“To be honest with you and, without any exaggeration, women are afraid of the possible entry of the army and militias, they are afraid of gang rape, which has happened in some neighborhoods. Senior citizens fears being killed and younger men also fear arrest or execution”.


So what's on the radio today?

A time for living, a time for believing
A time for trusting, not deceiving,
Love and laughter and joy ever after,
Ours for the taking, just follow the master.

A time for giving, a time for getting,
A time for forgiving and for forgetting.
Christmas is love, Christmas is peace,
A time for hating and fighting to cease.

Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine
Children singing Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see

The word is out
About the town
To lift a glass
Ahhh don't look down

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time
Simply having a wonderful Christmas time

Are you waiting for the family to arrive
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody's having fun
Look to the future now
It's only just begun.

And so this is Christmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now


Are they taking the piss?

Seriously, they're playing a recording of a choir of children's voices singing "war is over if you want it" while that's going on. Are they taking the piss?

No.

They're not.

They're not taking the piss.

It's just that, well ...
... nobody around here gives a fuck.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... takes-hold
There, a ceasefire occurred and the civilians are being evacuated. Hope it lasts long enough before Assad kills the ones who remain. That is what you wanted right? Just a way to reduce the killing right?


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