Heroin, Mexico Becomes The Largest Exporter To United States Drug Addicts

Mexico has a new distinction in the world of illicit drugs as Heroin has seen a six-fold increase in production from 2007-2011 making it the largest Opium producer in the World to second place Afghanistan. Previously 87% of the World’s production of Opium originated in Afghanistan in the 2004 period which contributed roughly $4 billion dollars per year to the country with a 4,500 metric tons output noted in 1999.

The farming of Opium in Mexico goes back to the early period of the 1900s when its cultivation and use were then attributed to Chinese immigrants using the substance. Following the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 by the U.S. congress the price for opium soared. Mexico which was already involved in a revolutionary war was directing its resources to that end. So Mexican drug farmers and smugglers jumped onto the supply train supplying the American need for opium based products which was now a profitable business venture.

Up until 1926 poppy cultivation was perfectly legal in the Mexican territories and as in the U.S. opium was illegal this new road to another profitable enterprise was wide open. And the young drug cartels took notice of this by supplying the U.S. with growing quantities of this drug. There was even a bigger opium boom period after the end of World War II which only ingrained and strengthened this illicit contraband crop. As Mexico itself did not experience or see any effects of widespread drug abuse by its citizens the government even tolerated what little illicit drug production that was perceived to be occurring on Mexican soil.

Prior to and during the World War II period numerous military bases were constructed on the U.S. Mexican border which only contributed to the development and refinement of heroin distribution networks and increased ease of using new smuggling routes.

As the Mexican drug smuggling culture had grown while becoming more specialized with a captive audience just across the border the financial incentives only further fueled our unholy alliance. During the 1960’s period Mexico became a Major exporter of Marijuana and Heroin to the U.S. population. Efforts that were taken on our European counterparts smuggling operations only strengthened Mexico’s hand as in the early 1970 period they became the number 1 drug exporter. It was noted that in 1974 at least 75% of the U.S. Heroin Market was of Mexican origin.

It was not as if the United States government had not taken notice of this problem as in 1969 Mexico grabbed the dubious distinction as being the primary distributor of illicit drugs to our country.

Oil was a driving effort in this change of mind by both governments as the discovery of this black gold was discovered in southeastern Mexico. The Mexican government which could realize a profit from this cash crop in concert with the U.S. government then attempted wholesale eradication of the illicit drugs farm crops. The defoliant paraquat was used in ever-increasing amounts in trying to destroy the farmers crops of poppies and Marijuana. Yet little success was ever realized even after their crops were sprayed they just immediately harvested them for export to their northern customers, U.S. citizens. As the drug eradication program now had the unintentional effect of introducing contaminated crop byproducts into our country it was prematurely interrupted.

The Mexican farmers nevertheless took matters into their own hands moving crops to other regions where their detection would prove to be more difficult for anyone to find and destroy them.

Also these Mexican drug manufacturers only became more sophisticated, powerful and dangerous to anyone foolish enough to cross them. At least 70% of all South American cocaine passes directly through Mexico which is also the largest supplier of marijuana to the U.S. and Heroin cultivation and smuggling is growing at alarming rates.

The prices for legitimate crops of coffee and corn products has fallen with the Mexican government offering no or limited help to the effected farmers. This has only driven once legitimate farming operations to more lucrative cash crops such as Opium. Where coffee sells for 15 cents per pound Opium gum sells for $700-1200 U.S. dollars per pound which is a determining factor as to which types of crops farmers would plant.

In the year 2003 the DEA estimates Mexico generates between 3600-5000 hectares or 95,220,000 pounds on the 5000 hectares figure. The eradication efforts of the 1970s were purely for economic or more simply put dollars, yet Opium production is now larger than any oil revenue that can be found operating in Mexico.

Mexico averaged around 7.2 Metric tons or 15,873.282 lb this was in the early half of the latest decade in the 2000s. At this time this was 30% of U.S. Heroin consumption nationwide while 98% of the Heroin consumed west of the Mississippi came from Mexico.

In the latter part of the decade along with being the United States largest supplier of Marijuana, Mexico has also become the largest supplier of Heroin. As of 2009 the worldwide value of the Heroin market was placed at $55 billion dollars with some reporting it to be closer to $65 billion annually. The United States consumes somewhere around the $8 billion dollar a year mark in regards to Heroin usage.

As of 2008 America is estimated to have consumed 6% or 22 metric tons (or 48,501.697 lbs) of the Heroin produced worldwide however now Mexico is the largest exporter of this drug to our country as was reported by the American government in 2008 when they supplied data for reporting purposes.

Also in the 2008 year period Mexico saw an explosive growth in Heroin farming operations a reported 120% increase to this illicit, illegal and deadly drug trade. The resultant output was estimated to be 325 metric tons (716,502.352 lb) of raw Opium which could produce 40 metric tons (88,184.904 lbs) of Heroin.

If seizures are figured into the equation for calendar year 2008 there were 430 metric tons (947,987.727 lbs) almost 1 Trillion metric tons were produced worldwide and the industry continues to thrive even though 91 metric tons were confiscated or seized. Quite simply put this trade in an illicit drug shows no signs of slowing down along with a profit margin any CEO would proudly share with their shareholders.

In 2006 Mexico produced 130 metric tons by 2008 this had increased to 340 metric tons and who knows how much this illicit trade has increased since then as there is no data yet to be evaluated. In the U.S. about 2.1 metric tons of Heroin and Morphine were seized or 9% of the estimated annual flow or importation of these drugs. The supply of this drug is never ever going to drop unless demand for it is somehow stopped and there are no signs that this is ever going to occur.

Appearing on the horizon is a profoundly disturbing scenario for this country and its citizens. The Prescription drug epidemic is being attacked on multiple fronts with little success. However pharmaceutical manufacturers’ are coming close to perfecting tamper proof Oxycontin pill formulations. Once these new tamper-proof pills make it to the U.S. market where will Opiate addicts turn to fill their addictions? As of 2006 85% worldwide production of these drugs were consumed in the United States.

Frighteningly Heroin with its ease of availability, purity and reduced price will be a logical choice for these abusers; they are already showing this trend in various U.S. regions. Mexico will happily oblige by increasing the supply of Heroin for these new users. This could easily become a second renaissance for Heroin with an exponential increase in Heroin addicts not seen in decades.

As Heroin users primarily inject their drug explosions could be seen in AIDS and Hepatitis C among a long list of health effects.

This ongoing and possible future trend seem to pale in comparison in our worries about illegal immigration to this country. And the costs to society from drug abuse or hard drugs such as Heroin and other Opiates dwarfs any cost associated with illegal immigration.

Yet while Mexico is now our largest exporter of Heroin a deadly drug which has devastating consequences for our country and its people we are fixated on illegal immigration instead, an issue with far less of an economic impact on this nation.

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Marijuana Legalization It’s the Only Smart Move

With the FBI reporting 829,627 arrests for marijuana in the calendar year 2006 and local government’s spending $10.7 billion a year policing, arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning our citizens it might be time to review America’s priorities.

Citizens in the U.S. are using 31,000,000 (31 Million) pounds of marijuana a year which supports a $113 billion dollar a year industry with no end in sight what are we thinking. There is also the loss of $31 Billion dollars per year in lost tax revenue add that to the cost of enforcement the figure goes to almost $42 Billion dollars a year.

There is also the recent phenomenon of nationwide law enforcement agencies not investigating more serious crimes, one to cut their overall crime statistics and two it means they qualify for more government funding for the war on drugs. This is used in concert with drug forfeiture laws which with or without a conviction deprive countless Innocent U.S. citizens of their property, it’s just a win win for law enforcement agencies across the USA and they are cashing in on it.

However this equates to a substandard enforcement of our laws as criminals who commit serious crimes are quite often overlooked. It’s easier to take down a street level marijuana dealer, take their house, car and possessions and sell them at an auction at a profit then to investigate more serious crimes.

 

If legalization were properly implemented tax revenues would increase. Law enforcement could direct their priorities to fighting real crime and their wasted time could be recaptured. The control of the drug trade by powerful Mexican drug cartels could be greatly extinguished and our government could control the importation and added tax revenue that legalized marijuana would bring to our country.

Just as the U.S. enforces pedophile laws and other offenses against children legislation could be written that would in Fact deter citizens from selling marijuana to those not able to legally have it.

By taking control of the marijuana trade with regulation, import quotas and sales mechanisms our country and its citizens would be better served. This would also in essence put almost $42 billion dollars a year into our nations bank account or $420 billion or almost half a Trillion dollars in a decade.

 

Prison overcrowding with its associated costs is a problem that states across the nation are grappling with every year. California may have to release 20% of its prison inmates to comply with judicial rulings which address the overcrowding issue.  In 2009 the FBI reported 858,408 prosecutions for marijuana or 97.5 arrests per hour. In 1992 the figure was 33 per hour and in 1965 it was 2 per hour but that was before forfeiture laws became such a cash cow.

80% of the property confiscated using this law is from persons never charged with a crime no wonder police departments have changed their priorities. Rather than investigate serious crimes why not go on a shopping spree on the street where you don’t have to pay for anything and even if the property owner gets a lawyer their chance is nil of getting back their property. Even reports of serious crimes are not even being written or never entered into official records to keep crime statistics artificially low, while citizens are being arrested at alarming rates for a spoonful of marijuana, some departments even have marijuana arrest quotas.

When will American citizens see the light and legalize tax and introduce legislation to decriminalize this drug. Yes $7 billion dollars have been generated since 1985 using forfeiture laws but that does not offset all the associated annual costs we are incurring now.

By legalizing marijuana our DEA agents and local law enforcement agencies could redirect their resources to investigating more serious crimes including our Prescription Drug Abuse epidemic. This epidemic is entirely centered in the U.S. as they are legal drugs that are being diverted for illegal sale and destroying lives in the aftermath including many children and teenagers.

I for one would rather have my tax dollars not wasted enforcing marijuana laws and imprisoning those who use it. In my lifetime I have seen that alcohol is a much more destructive drug with devastating consequences attached to its use.

Reading publications across this country there are numerous stories every day on death, assaults and robberies along with other crimes tied to alcohol abuse. In my over than fifty years living in this country I just cannot remember a marijuana user committing these or any other types of crimes because of its use.

Already across the country local governmental agencies are decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana as a cost cutting measures as well as then allowing the local police department to concentrate on more serious crimes. In California along with 15 other states marijuana use is being allowed for certain medical conditions where this use is being taxed and law enforcement time is not being wasted on these marijuana users.

Especially in our current economic state the USA could put our tax dollars to better use. Not spending over $10 billion dollars a year on prosecuting these people would make good economic sense. Realizing $31 billion dollars in tax revenue per year while at the same time taking control over the importation of this drug from Mexican drug cartels, this would also be an excellent road to travel for our country.

Let’s consider readjusting our priorities by legalizing marijuana along with controlling importation and realizing an economic benefit from the tax revenue it would produce. Incorporated into the legalization I cannot imagine anyone who could argue against harsh laws with accompanying imprisonment of anyone who would attempt to sell marijuana to those not of legal age.

Our youth can be protected by strict comprehensive laws while our law enforcement agencies could go back to investigating and prosecuting serious crimes. The national deficit which is at an all time high thanks to the Bush administration could breathe a little easier. American citizens who were really never big time criminals could be released from incarceration which would reduce prison overcrowding. Then those existing prisons could house serious criminals and our courts would also get relief not having to take the time to prosecute those who use marijuana.

Allowing police to investigate serious crime, not imprisoning non-criminals, reducing the federal deficit and giving overall economic relief to all the states in this country, now that is a smart policy move that Americans could get behind.

Sounds like legalizing marijuana is the smartest move the United States could take and all of us would better served both economically, legally and we could also protect our children.

Sports Stadiums a Net Loss for Cities, Subsidizing Wealthy Sports Franchises is a Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

Throughout the period of the 20th century to present day cities and the citizens within them have been asked by their local governments to subsidize sports stadiums usually at a net loss. The arguments brought forth on job creation increased revenues and the overall benefit to the local populace are extremely dubious yet still these behemoths are built.

However they are built at the taxpayer’s expense who never fully realize any true economic benefit only the athletes and the sports owners see a benefit.

Typically a sports stadium does give a cut of certain sales related to the franchise to the host city. Yet with all the host city provides in the way of a multitude of services along with lost tax revenue literally millions of dollars per year flow out of each and every cities coffers rather than in as taxpayers were told they would in the beginning.

Job creation is minimal at best as the funding provided by the city could easily be put to better use for the development of business and entertainment districts along with services that would in fact provide real and greater employment for the population along with increased tax revenue where the city would actually receive an economic benefit.

During the period of the 1990’s Major League Baseball has opened 22 new stadiums. The National Football league has opened has opened 20 new stadiums with others receiving major renovations. Followed by the National Basketball Association with 30 teams total has built two-thirds of their stadiums since 1990 a very phenomenol growth spurt costing local citizens hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Imagine opening your own multi-million dollar business with almost all of the costs paid for by taxpayers, well that’s how American sports franchises operate.

The local & state bonds brought forth to assist in design, development and construction are exempt from federal income taxes too, a net loss for the federal government as well as the citizens of America. Well that’s how the cookie crumbles stadiums need to be built no one has that much money so bonds are floated to pay the costs. The cities are left holding the bag full of debt and the stadium gets built, free of charge to the sports team.

One stadium which opened in 2004 with a capacity of 65,535, each seat cost almost $3000 or almost $2 million dollars almost all financed by the public. It has clearly been shown across the U.S. that these stadiums would never have been built by any private entity because they clearly could not produce enough profit to offset the cost. Between the period of 2000-2006 the taxpayers were on the hook for anywhere from $249 to $280 million dollars plus interest compounded yearly.

When cities are studied from the period before until after a sports franchise is built on the economic benefit to the local citizens an extremely high percentage if not all studies report that cities do not see enough of an economic benefit to offset all the associated costs. And these costs continue and increase for the entire life of the stadium which is subsidized by the local taxpayer. Also stadiums have been shown to create an actual net loss of income and employment in studies done in the 1990 period.

The revenue generated by the stadiums only takes away from other businesse’s income and those they employ. As sports enthusiasts redirect their game expenses away from other local entertainment and restaurant businesses in order to fund their expenses at taxpayer funded stadiums other businesses are cut out of the profit pie.

Monies generated are normally paid to wealthy players and team owners who generally do not live in the teams home city and even if they do their spending is small in comparison to the local populace. So with few if any of these taxpayer subsidized dollars flowing back into the local economy another net loss is realized.

While local taxes rise and other services are cut who gains, yes some hotels do see some income. However large organizers of events and conventions will often choose a comparable city that does not add additional taxes so as to fund a sports franchise which for them is a wise financial decision. Again a net loss for the city and it’s citizens along with those hopeful of finding employment in the service industry. Also the reduced revenue that would be generated by these local entertainment, hotel and restaurants (Real-Taxpayers) is forever lost as long as the sports franchise exists. When all the studies done on economic impacts are put together (rather than those cherry picked by local newspapers, politicians or franchise owners) and are  studied no real gain is realized from all of the cumulative data available.

So why do already wealthy sports franchises and the players in the respected leagues receive Corporate Welfare at the citizen’s expense. There just really is not any empirical data that shows a positive economic impact rather a Negative impact is felt by the local hosting city. Development, employment and businesses would in the end be better served without the taxpayers bailing out national sports teams. Low and middle income employees would see an actual rise in their income if the local stadium was never built.

99% of American businesses build and fund their operations some are given financial incentives to relocate to a geographic area. However those Real-Businesses unlike sports teams create year round jobs with much better incomes for their employees than sports franchises. They also contribute to the local economy year round via tangible taxes that they pay and contribute to development of local economies.

Sports franchises on the other hand come to town with an empty wallet paint rosy pictures and demand taxpayer funded stadiums, why should they pay for it. Then they sign multi-year ironclad contracts that they claim they will comply with to the local city. Yet few if any do with 10 or 20 years left on their contracts they then begin to make their threats known. Either build us another Taxpayer Funded stadium or they will go elsewhere to them the contract was nothing more than a napkin to be thrown in the garbage can.

If national sports franchises want to operate let them, only they need to pay for it and I mean all of it and not ask Americans to give Corporate Welfare to wealthy athletes and sports teams.

Prison for Immigrants is BIG BUSINESS$$$

As local governments and states attempt to address budget shortfalls a new phenomenon is becoming more prevalent as it already has in certain pockets across the nation.

Prisons once only used to house those found guilty of committing crimes against society have been found to be a financial windfall for governments and the for profit private corporations that run them.

These facilities which were originally constructed to house and punish our nations law breakers yet they have found a new use although one they were not designed for and new private prisons again not designed to temporarily house detainees are being built everyday across this nation.

Rather than being detained to await quick deportation these unfortunate individuals are being housed in prisons which are designed for punishment even though these immigrants have been convicted of No crime. Also with language barriers and no access to any legal counsel some will be housed like convicts for quite a bit of time even years are not out of the question and are becoming increasingly normal for those exposed to this new realm of hell on Earth.

Guilt or innocence is no longer part of the equation, only a lack of a Green-Card will guarantee a spot in this ever growing industry. No longer just a place for those who commit murder, rape or bank robberies etc the only needed criteria is the lack of a U.S. Green-Card. The maxim, “Liberty & Justice for All” is of no consequence here punishment is guaranteed even if it is not warranted.

Now in Southwest Ranches, Florida the local government is cashing in thanks to the U.S. government by beginning to build what will ultimately be the Largest immigration detention center in America. The payoff will be a 4% cut of the profits from the For-Profit private agency hired to house these unfortunate human beings.

There is Big Money to be made here as other sites are also being contemplated in San Antonio, Texas, Essex County, New Jersey and Orange County, California.

The latest and greatest will of course be run by Corrections Corporation of America this nations largest private prison corporation. Immigration detention and housing are big business as they provide 12% or almost $200 million yearly to CCA’s corporate bottom line.

This new 1500 bed facility is expected to generate $1.5 million per year to CCA and local officials are now speaking of the commission they will receive for every filled bed.

No matter that this affluent communities residents do not want to have CCA as a neighbor dollar signs are blurring, distorting and blocking lines of communication. One official wrote, “I have been fully advised by our DC contacts that we should remain fully quiet on this one and to let our DC Leaders help without sparking a fire that will make it more difficult for them to assist”. The official who wrote the above referenced text is also a partner in one of Florida’s largest lobbying firms.

While the status of the illegal immigration issue has been garnering numerous news reports and even government legislation little if anything has actually been accomplished. Former President George W. Bush even signed legislation to build fences along our southern border with Mexico while also increasing the number of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents.

However even legislation that has passed and been signed by the president is of little use when after signing the legislation President Bush never properly funded the program. The gesture while quelling public sentiment in the end did little to address the issue as no profit margins could be realized by the ever growing private for profit business sector or their lobbyists.

The Department of Homeland Security came to the conclusion that the mass detention of these individuals was the answer to the problem. It is of little surprise that this thought process will only enrich the for profit prison industry along with their lobbyists and the campaign coffers of the legislator’s involved.

Somewhere along the lines of 50% of immigrants detained in the U.S. are held in for profit facilities and these companies are trying more everyday to corner the market and increase profit margins as they grab up higher and higher shares of their needed customers or should I say prisoners.

It has become a self fulfilling prophecy as these facilities are built that they need to keep these prisoners coming to continue to grow the profits of their corporations.

The immigration detention figures speak for themselves in 1994 daily inmate counts stood at 6,785. In 2001 the figure had risen to 20,249 and by 2010 the count had risen to 31,200, this final figure was a 450% increase from 1994. Of course this only added to the financial profits of these for profit prison corporations while literally doing nothing to address illegal immigration into the United States.

However it did enrich a few particular segments of society; the private prisons, lobbyists and the campaign funds of various legislators. There was even a journalistic segment done by NPR (National Public Radio) that covered how the private prison industry had quietly behind the scenes helped to draft self-serving legislation in Arizona (Arizona Senate Bill 1070). There was also an Out and Out Lie that a Government official used quite often to justify the passing of the legislation and even though the proof that the statement was in fact a lie the official never changed their tune. No illegal had murdered a rancher a legal U.S. citizen had, oh well so much for facts.

The new state statute was extreme in it’s scope and polarizing across the nation. The new law requires police in Arizona to ask people for their immigration papers during traffic stops using an Undefined-Reasonable-Suspicion procedure that the person may be in this country of 300 million+ illegally.

Legislation was also passed in Alabama which is still feeling it’s effects with dwindling school populations and less funding dollars for those still in need of an education. Farm crops rotted in the field as Americans would not or could not do the work all to the dismay of farmers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With 7 million immigrants in the U.S. workforce and American workers are not the least bit interested in the jobs they hold or held to whom will America turn for this labor?

Over 15% of our national population is of Hispanic or Latino decent nationwide. However in the western regions of this country of which Arizona clearly falls into 42% of the citizens are either Hispanic or Latino. And Arizona is not the only state that wants to jump on this cash cow to enrich the states coffers several other states are following their lead hoping to cash in on this new captive audience to fill their bank accounts.

Again Immigration-Reform has taken a back seat to creating an enormously profitable enterprise for both the states and the private corporations. Rather then proposing, legislating, enacting and addressing immigration reform, states and the federal government are attempting and succeeding in cashing in on this issue.

The Director of ICE John Morton stated, “This isn’t a question of whether or not we will detain people. We will detain people, and we will detain them on a grand scale”. It is of little consequence that the vast majority of detainees present no danger to the public or are expected to flee the country. A cottage prison industry has been built and by God prisoners are needed to fill the beds within, there is money to be made and no one is going to stand in the way.

Even though $2 billion dollars a year is being spent housing people who should not be in jail in the first place is inhumane, wasteful and fails to address immigration reform in anyway the American taxpayer is on the hook for funding this charade.

NOTE THE LACK OF CORRELATION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND VIOLENT CRIMES BELOW;

This subcontracting of America is continuing unabated from national security, foreign mercenaries, private prisons and the list goes on all the while our countries standing in the World community is suffering yet no one seems to care. Neither would you if you were a Bought-&-Paid for legislator or a corporation receiving untold funds thanks to your successful lobbying efforts.

Presently each immigrant inmate costs $166 dollars per day as the United States rapidly approaches 2.5 million of it’s citizens incarcerated for real-crimes and we are known across the globe as The-World’s-Jailer do we want to add to this horrific distinction?

Our prisons today are inhumane warehouse facilities with at least 20% of the population suffering from mental illness do we want to compound the problem. Over $70 billion dollars a year are spent housing our Real criminals a 660% increase from 1982-2006. Do we want to see the same exponential increase in our housing of illegal immigrants under even harsher confinement conditions?

In 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported it cost $62.01 per day to house an inmate. In 2009 the state of California reported it’s cost at $129.04 per day.

With private prisons charging $166 dollars per day this would be a profit margin any CEO would be proud of and would be continually trying to refill or increase the numbers of captive clients. Lobbyists would be beating down the doors of our elected officials in their attempts to further privatize the incarceration industry. Politicians as in the past will be happy to take the campaign contributions realized after successful legislation to this end, the full privatization of a once federal and state controlled job.

Why will our Washington legislators never effectively address illegal immigration in this country. It all comes down to money as is usually the case representing the United States citizen as they swore an oath to do has become nothing more than meaningless words. Corporations and Lobbyists control the USA, it’s government and it’s citizens to think otherwise is a fools paradise.

Americans can go to sleep every night in their comfortable beds after a nice dinner that was more than likely brought to them from slave waged illegal immigrants.

Drug addicts can continue to buy their illegal drug of choice. While our government does not condone it they do nothing to stop the illegal drug trade between the United States and Mexico, we even supply them with the needed ingredients, corporations need to make profits. However if we Truly wished as a nation to slow the tide of illegal drugs the U.S. could stop American corporations from selling Mexico the precursors for drug manufacture.

No one needs to worry about the countless innocent immigrants suffering often for years housed in prisons which were not created to Detain them, why even bother to think about it?

Only trying to find a better life cost this illegal his life.

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U.S. Obesity and the Destruction of the Family Unit or a Different Ending

Recent data from the CDC 1985-2010 on obesity is a cause for concern by all Americans. As of 2010 there were approximately 33.8% adults classified as obese and 17% or 12.5 million of our youth ages 2-19 that fell into this classification. In showing that this is a national issue no state in the union had an obesity rate below 20% and 36 states had obesity rates higher than 25% also 12 states had a rate of 30% or more.

In 1990 the statistics were quite different when 10 states who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reported obesity prevalence at <10%. Also no state reported a rate higher than or equal to 15%.

Jump to the year 2000 where no state had an obesity prevalence lower than 10%. While 23 states reported 20-24% and no state reported a rate over 25%.

By 2010 there were no states who reported an obesity prevalence below 20%. Thirty-six states were now reporting rates of 25% (equal to or greater).

The statistics were only reporting what society was already witnessing in their everyday lives. As these statistics grow so does our concern for our children, society and the economic impacts being found in hospitals and clinics nationwide.

In the U.S. Obesity is now estimated to cost $147 bill per year. Approximately 9% medical spending can be tied to this phenomenon. It is also estimated that the obese American spends $1500 more than the average or 41% more than what is considered the average medical cost of everyday U.S. citizens (Note approximately 2009 data).

Future Dire Consequences for the Human Race

In a study done by the Endocrine Society published March 23, 2011 it was found that the hormone Ghrelin is found to be low in obese females. The study while done on mice found that lower levels of this hormone reduced the fertility of the test subjects. While Ghrelin’s specifically cannot be tied to fertility of humans it does fall into the family of hormones involved in regulating reproductive functions in humans and animals.

The lead author of the report Hugh Taylor MD. of the Yale University School of Medicine stated, “While our study involved mice we believe our findings have significant implications for women. Our results suggest that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the uterus in the female children of obese women. These women may then be less fertile as adults”.

A recent study performed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) recommends that young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 30 to 60 minutes each day. It is estimated that 300,000 Americans die annually as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. This is more deaths than that from the result from infectious disease, firearms, motor vehicles, and illicit drug use combined

In some regions school age children receive gym classes only once every two weeks or once a month, when a holiday or a school assembly interferes. Prior to cost cutting measures being instituted only around 33% of students were considered obese this has now climbed to over 50% as standardized educational testing has taken on as the program of more importance versus physical education.

While the lack of physical activity is now being classified as a Major Health Risk little if anything is being done to address the issue. Yes bills are being brought forth across the country however they are gaining no traction and never reach fruition.

Sedentary lifestyles are predisposing Americans for diseases such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, various cancers, diabetes, depression, obesity, and much more.

American males watch on average 2 hours of television per day versus 2.4 hours for females. On top of this there is an average of 2 hours per day using computers, gaming and other social media.

Children and teenagers report on average spends 2.2 hr each day watching television, 1.9 hr each day reading or doing homework, 1.4 hr daily on the computer/Internet, 1.2 hr playing video games, and 1.1 hr daily talking on the telephone.

However the above stated data is self-reported and as with other studies of this type the figures are extremely questionable and have a higher propensity for underreporting by the study participants.

For instance another study reported found that time spent watching television, videos, DVDs, and movies averaged slightly over three hours per day among children 8 to 18 years old.

As our recent history shows we are an overly materialistic nation with to much emphasis being placed upon social status and conspicuous consumption. With two working parent households and also a 50% divorce rate all of this must be factored into the matter, however it does not point to a strong and engaged family household. Each and every day this is placing more and more responsibility on America’s children to raise themselves.

Our government via subsides and the like, reduces the overall costs for what are unhealthy foods while fruits and vegetables see none of these government incentives. We as a people want instant gratification and fast food with super-size proportions having their establishments on every street corner are not helping matters.

Can parents be expected to become more engaged in their children’s lives including proper diet and exercise, it doesn’t look promising.

How can parents restrict or control their child’s dietary intake, television viewing habits, computer, video games etc, when they are almost never around the children. Can they become involved in their children’s PTA or other school activities when their jobs will not allow for such involvement as they consume more and more of their time?

Is there any way to improve our lives and those of our children

Maybe American society can consider modifying their lifestyles from todays present mindset. If our children are one of the most important facets in parents lives as is so often spoken of possibly if this is in fact true there may be a sliver of hope.

Is it possible a more expensive or larger home, car, electronic gadget, clothing and high paying or all-time consuming jobs could be of less importance in our lives in the future. Could the family unit again become just that, where parents are actually engaged in all facets of their child’s life. If a little less income where brought into the family household could the parents then lead by example on diet and exercise among many activities, as they might then have the time.

Americans are given one shot on this planet will wealth and materialism be their legacy. Or maybe the legacy could be that of an engaged human being living life to the fullest even though one’s bank account or house might not be as large or they drive a cheaper car? Could two or even (Gasp) only 1 child that could receive more of a parent’s time and love than 2 or more be a consideration?

One can only hope and I only hope the best for all Americans and God bless all of the parents ( of which I am one) on this planet your job is more difficult than any CEO. Sometimes ideas may be unrealistic however in this case can we afford not to take some chances?

Nursing’s Great Peril Which the U.S. will now face with Disastrous Effects for All!

The United States is now reaching a breaking point in regards to the practice of Nursing in medicine.

At a time when the baby boom generation -an estimated 78 million- is entering retirement who will care for them in their so-called golden years.

Hospitals driven by profit margins and not quality care have cut nursing staff and reduced Nurse to Patient ratios to Dangerously low levels. By 2005, roughly half a million U.S. registered nurses (about one fifth of the national total) had chosen not to work in nursing. It is projected that if current trends continue by 2010 that the U.S. will need to train 1.1 million new nurses by the year 2012, which is estimated to be half of our current nursing level.

So who will care for the onslaught of this countries aging population of 78 million coupled with the fact that the U.S. population overall has risen above the 300 million mark.

Hospitals have addressed the pressing needs of their Shareholders by pushing the equation down the line to the nursing staff. Or even further by passing down tasks formerly performed by professionally educated and clinically trained nurses to less educated staff members.

They are now Giving nurses Dangerously high patient counts to care for it is not their concern that the patient receives quality care.

Nurses without the needed resources, horrid working conditions coupled with the nurses well founded fear they cannot adequately care for their patients are all leading to a profoundly troubling conclusion. This should be disturbing for us all as countless nurses have come to realize they can no longer adequately perform their duties and leave the profession altogether.

When patient ratios rise nurses cannot properly monitor their patients they just don’t have the time. Drugs along with their importance of timely delivery which are extremely important if not imperative to treatment are quite often given at a later time all to the patients detriment and this is just one aspect.

There was a time when nurses could properly monitor their patients not only checking their vitals but also observing the overall organism which is the patient. The fingernails, skin color the presentation of the eyes changes in respiration and more. Patients on ventilators require even more time to be clinically observed for signs of distress or deterioration.

Case in point fifty year old patient whom staff denotes is agitated and has to be restrained. Shift after shift given their precious few moments to see the patient all verbally note this as does a respiratory specialist and a speech pathologist. This occurs over a 3 day period when finally a more well rounded RN checks on the patient at the beginning of her shift. Within 5-10 minutes a syringe with a semi-neon substance is brought in the unit and is injected into the patient. The agitation ceases the restraints are no longer needed the patient is still semi-lucid as they were before only now more relaxed.

This nurse for whatever reason read the patients chart and took the time to observe and even though she fell a little behind in her duties, she treated the patient. Here this poor man unable to communicate as he had a trach tube, was in rather excruciating pain. Luckily for him a skilled, caring and comprehensive nurse who had not yet suffered burn-out was handed his chart for the day along with many others. If it were not for this lucky occurrence of events who knows how long this man would have suffered needlessly.

Doctors see patients however Nurses carry out and truly care for the patient in a day to day setting.

As long as hospitals only address the issues of their Shareholders (stock holders) and keep inventing methods to improve Profits without a care in the world to Patient care we will all suffer. Until nursing staffing levels and working conditions are addressed this extremely troubling trend will continue in medicine as hospitals further deteriorate.

For the 78 million baby boomer’s who will require extensive, complicated and more demanding procedures and care the outlook is Bleak.

Needed now more than ever and in Greater Numbers with better working conditions. If this issue is not addressed many will Suffer and Die Needlessly.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

U.S. Income Inequality is Destroying the USA for the rich & Poor

During the 1970 period 15% of American’s lived in either poor or affluent developments. When we look at the data for 2007 a full 35% lived in one of the two neighborhood types. Between the 2000 and 2007 period there was a surge of Income Segregation for black and Hispanic family units while this was not as rapid as the 1970 to present era it was dramatic. This recent phenomenon Income Segregation has been only increasing in the last four decades crossing all racial boundaries without regard or concern it is just a merciless drum. There are those With alongside those Without and in the end we will all suffer for it as it will only greatly contribute to the decline of the United States of America.

While for some, those not having to share their affluent schools and social systems with others this may look promising to them. However it does not look promising for our or other countries poorer citizens or for the USA as a whole in the long run.

Also funding attitudes may change as further segregation continues with the affluent less likely wanting to fund programs that were funded in more segregated communities of times past.

The Brookings institution found that those American’s living in Extreme poverty rose by 1/3 from 2000 to the latter half of the decade. Those in the suburbs did not fare well either as there was a 53% increase in those living in poverty from 2000-2010.

Even those of the affluent classes are showing growing concern for this phenomenon as it will continue to be detrimental to the United States as a whole until it is addressed, yet this is mostly seen in Economists who really have a grasp of the big-picture. In a September 2011 study done by the International Monetary Fund it found that greater income equality positively correlates with a nation’s economic growth.

We are constantly told by our elected officials in Washington that the U.S. must reduce environmental regulation and reduce taxes. This in a country where the effective corporate/business tax rate is 17% not 35% as the thirty-five percent figure does not take into account all of the tax loopholes used by those corporations that do pay taxes. Many corporations pay little if any taxes via the use of offshore tax-havens, the figures estimated to be in the trillion dollar range. The top 1% has seen their income increase by 270% versus 19% for the bottom tier of Americans from 1979-2007.

CBO 2007 data

In the CBO report it was also found that between 2005-2007 that the after tax income of the top 20% of the U.S. population exceeded the remaining after-tax income for the rest of the nation. It was also found that the top 1%’s share of total market income increased from 50-60% while all other income ranges saw a decline.

Two factors were cited as the reason for this inequality one being an increase of each individual source of income; labor, business income, capital gains, capital income etc. The report noted that these sources of income were less evenly distributed in 2007 than in the 1979 period. For instance labor income has been more evenly distributed versus capital and business income with even more of a disparity in regards to capital gains. For the period 1979-2007 the share of income derived from capital gains and business income showed increases while labor income decreased furthering the economic divide which contributed to the greater distribution of wealth inequality in America.

Again our Washington government officials tell us that entitlement programs which benefit the under-classes must be cut while the taxes and regulations which favor the rich must be eliminated or reduced to tackle our $14 trillion dollar deficit.

This chart to the left shows a different picture where the Bush-Era tax cuts which primarily benefited the wealthy are in fact the driving force.

While the current Washington Republican stance that reducing taxes, environmental regulations and reducing or returning banking/investment regulations to per-recession levels totally contradicts the opinions of the World’s leading economists.

The International Monetary Funds 2007 report finds that Income Equality Positively correlates to Stronger economic growth. It was found that a mere 10% decrease in inequality increased the expected duration of economic growth by a full 50%. The comprehensive study using data collected between 1950-2006 found countries with more income equality stayed in or fell into deeper recessions. It was also found that countries with a more equal distribution of wealth, that their economic growth lasted much longer.

It was also found that income equality was of more importance  and corresponded more strongly to sustained economic growth than other economic factors. Restoring or attempting to address income inequality was further shown to be of a much greater importance than the lowering of debt levels.

The study authors stated, “Sustainable economic reform, is possible only when its benefits are widely shared.” The breadth of income inequality in the United States now more closely resembles the economies of Iran and Russia versus other developed countries.

Economists have attempted to explain that stagnant(not rising) wages for the last four decades as a part of the widening income inequality while the upper class have been those who have seen benefits increase over the more the forty year period.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated, “An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year — an economy like America’s — is not likely to do well over the long haul,” in an article he wrote for Vanity Fair.

So as the hard numbers from the most recent data point out along with a Worldwide consensus of economists.

Our Republican Washington legislators and followers of Grover Norquist have all gotten it Very Wrong.

Or is the reality that our politicians are really just bought and paid for by the top 1% who are only interested in one thing Money$$$ and the rest of the United States of America can go straight to hell.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Substance abuse a Lifestyle choice or an Unwanted Addiction

Back in the last century up until the latter 1990 period illicit drug use could quite often be classified as a lifestyle choice. Many factors could have lead a person down the road from peer pressure, depression, tragic life changing events and the list would go on and on.

Note: Approx 70% related to drugs

Then in the USA we became a society and a people of the pill popping nation. For whatever ailed us a quick doctor’s appointment 10 minutes of our precious time and we were out the door with a prescription for our drug of choice to make all of our worries go away.

This also was a time when the practice of medicine was undergoing a profound change. Physicians were being taught to more aggressively treat their patients pain (this is thought to have started in regards to aggressive handling of a patients pain during various stages of cancer). So the physicians began to follow what they had been taught prescribe, treat acute and chronic pain, prescribe. Also during this time the pharmaceutical industry began to make drugs that were a godsend to those suffering from legitimate chronic pain issues. Autoimmune disorders became more prevalent and stronger drug treatment protocols were sorely needed for these.

Another issue prevalent today in medicine is that doctors believe they went to medical school to practice medicine. Monitoring patients prior to treatment, verifying that drugs were properly being taken and post treatment testing all fell to the wayside. Even though there are urine & blood tests which will give the medical practitioner a valuable insight into their patients use of a medication along with any illicit drug use these tests are rarely if ever performed.

To physicians this felt to them as though they were being asked to perform law enforcement duties which they still feel to this day. This is another component that has lead to a proliferation in prescription abuse within various drug classes. Newly created addicts, long-term addicts being able to continually get medications with ease has all lead and complimented the exponential growth and scope of this present day issue with alarming affects and growing post-mortems.

Having trouble sleeping there’s a pill, sore back here is another one and if your back still hurts here are some more pills, maybe take something stronger that might help.

Above some of the issues and thought processes of doctors are discussed, however there are also financial incentives as well. If the doctor fails to provide the drugs the patient will just go to another doctor who will, by doing the right thing the physician who refuses, tests or offers alternative therapies loses a paying patient, damned if they do damned if they don’t.

You go see the doctor for a few months during treatment they feel you are doing better and their prescription pad goes back inside their lab coat. However you still crave or feel you have a need for the drug so possibly you turn to other avenues to get what you feel you need or deserve. However your need keeps growing and now you need either stronger pills or more of them or both (rationality has left the equation by this time).

Then your home & professional life start to suffer as you spend more time and money seeking out your drug of choice and less time with your family, lies and dwindling bank accounts don’t help this situation they only make it worse. Friends begin to notice your erratic behavior and how you have become more unreliable as time passed, that is if you have already not cut-off communications already.

Possibly you sought help from a rehabilitation center only to have them give you another drug to help you, yet you only become addicted to that drug as well, rather then helping it was only stringing you along, quite often for years.

Rehabilitation centers do have their place and if you need help seek them out. Just do your research for your first attempt unless you are an IV (intravenous user, Injecting) ask about less addictive therapies. If you are only Orally (by mouth) abusing drugs there are other drugs besides Methadone or Suboxone. Ask about all the available drug therapies and their average duration, just don’t go blindly into a program and take whatever They decide not You. For many a less addictive alternative is Clonidine while it will not take away all of your withdrawal symptoms it will make them tolerable, the suggested treatment protocols are shorter and the addictive qualities Greatly reduced.

Picture this, you are a young professional with a family, children, house, great friends, nice car and all the trappings of a successful life. Then when driving home one day you are involved in a car accident and sustain a back injury. Seeing your personal physician the next day you were prescribed an Opioid drug for Acute pain, say Oxycontin.

Note: Oxycontin was only introduced in the United States during mid-1995 as of 2006 over 85% of the worldwide consumption of the drug occurred within this country, during 2006 sales totaled $2.5 billion dollars.

After seeing your doctor you began taking the pills to deal with your acute pain related to your accident. However during your doctor’s appointment the physician Never told you of the addictive qualities of this drug. You also did not notice the chemical changes that were occurring inside your brain, liver or circulatory system among others. Your heart/cardiac arrhythmias were unusual however they were infrequent so you were not that concerned with them at the time, maybe you become a little more irritable.

Because you were not made aware of the dangers of these drugs you felt no need to be overly concerned with your children gaining access to the drug they had always been trustworthy before and had always been exceptional children and now young teenagers. So into the medicine cabinet they went along with the aspirin and other over the counter medications found in every household.

As your life was getting somewhat back to normal things were looking up, soon you would be able to stop taking the medication as your symptoms of discomfort were apparently getting better. After around 4 months of being treated via a prescription medication, your family practitioner felt as though the medication was no longer needed and you felt better knowing that now you could get your life fully back on track. There had been a few bouts of diarrhea, your heart had maybe raced a few times and maybe you had on occasion been a little irritable with some sporadic insomnia.

During your entire treatment regimen with your physician no lab work was requested or taken for drugs. These could have been important diagnostic tools yet even certified pain management physicians often neglect to comprehensively treat their patients. The 10 minute doctor visits of today do not provide patients with good quality care, however this is how most medical practices operate.

Then the day after your last doctor appointment some problems began to come to the surface after you stopped taking the drug. For some reason your heart was racing a little more than you had previously experienced. You were feeling more agitated and a restless anxious feeling was coming over you. Something was telling you that you needed the drug again even though your back had healed up just fine. However as your doctor had not felt the need to educate you before prescribing the Powerful Opiate based drug Oxycontin you had no idea what was coming.

The withdrawal period for most people is around 3-5 days the problem is the overwhelming compounding symptoms make this feel as though it is much longer coupled with the psychological issues/cravings. After the initial withdrawals the psychological need can stay present for weeks or months.

The human brain is a wonderful organ and is still quite a mystery to mankind. Prior to your accident your brain had been producing and self-regulating the release of Endorphins within your body along with all it’s other duties. Endorphins have many automatic actions or jobs to do within the body and when in balance they are regulated by the brain which releases the needed quantities to the self regulating organism (you). However drugs can interfere with these processes in this case we are talking about Opioids or Opiates. They cause an excessive release of the pleasure hormone Dopamine in simplistic terms the drug takes over for the brain in this regard. One of your bodies important regulating systems has now been thrown out of whack or become imbalanced via addiction and you never saw it coming, nor were you warned. The drug has taken over this process or need your brain has one less duty to perform and you never saw it coming.

You now became more restless, your heart arrhythmias/racing became more frequent. As you try to sleep along with the insomnia being ever-present your legs have become restless, your mind is anxious and your having irrational thoughts coupled with possibly abnormal troubling dreams. Somehow your life has taken on a disturbing trend of some sort, adding to your growing list of problems is the nagging depression that is creeping into your psyche.

Not quite knowing what is going on your not feeling well, you didn’t take all of the medication the doctor gave you for your previous pain prescription. So you take one figuring what the hell it might help. While all of the feelings don’t go away they are substantially better now.

Perhaps you return to your doctor and tell them what has been going on upon hearing your plight they might recommend a Methadone treatment program to get you off of the drug in a rehabilitation setting, unless of course they are Certified in this medical specialty. At this point you may be extremely confused your doctor is telling you to take a drug to get off of another drug? Or maybe you might be told to Tuff-it-out the symptoms of withdrawal will only last a few days. These are our doctors we trust them wholeheartedly even though sometimes this is a misplaced trust.

Then you might be thinking Withdrawals, Nobody said anything about all this before they gave me this drug? You just feel the need to get things back to normal all of these undesirable symptoms are causing problems at home and work and you just wanted it to stop.

So the doctor may say tuff it out, oh and let me give you a tranquilizer to get you through the rough spots. Maybe a nice Benzodiazapine ( Clonzepam, Xanax, Valium) of course they may fail to tell you of the addictive & additive qualities of these drugs. This as well the issues that can occur with concomitant (multi-drug use) which can prove to be hazardous or even deadly.

Opioid & Benzodiazapine drugs are CNS depressants (Central Nervous System) as with opioids; tranquillizers, sleep-aids, anti-anxiety medications can slow down your respiratory system (breathing) for one thing. Put the two together and they may be more of a problem such as going to sleep after taking both medicines, your body stops breathing for you and you die. Note; this would most likely only occur with an Abusive patient who was abusing/over-taking the needed medications and possibly supplementing with alcohol or illicit drug medications, not a very good mixture.

It is Very Important to Note; that when drugs prescribed by a doctor are taken properly following the doctor’s direction you should not have any Issues. This piece deals with addiction, abuse problems & misuse, not those under a doctors care for short or long-term pain management.

So you tuff it out take your Xanax however you feel worse, your at work, nauseous, agitated, restless and you feel your heart racing inside your body. So living in the society we do with Instant Gratification ever-present in our minds you take another one of the left over pills you have with you, at work no less. Again your symptoms subside somewhat and you at least feel as though you can cope with the rest of the day.

However day turns to night you are at home and the feeling of withdrawals are coming on again. You didn’t feel like eating, your favorite television program is on and you do not even want to watch it, although you used to just love watching each and every episode.

So again you take some of your leftover prescription and your night becomes tolerable. Still the leftover pills that you have are becoming less and less you start to count them figuring how much longer will they last.

You remember a friend of yours who was prescribed the medication however they didn’t take it because they didn’t like the way it made them feel. Maybe tomorrow you will go visit them even if you had never done so before, they have what you want and until you get it they will become your best friend. Or even worse depending on the length of the addiction you might turn to the street and find yourself a drug dealer to fulfill your growing need.

Well you have now crossed the threshold from a patient needing a drug for pain into an addict needing the pain medication just to function. How could this have happened to you, your educated had never previously abused alcohol, drugs or anything else for that matter during your entire life. Just a few months ago everything was so great, now you were plotting how to get more of a drug for which you no longer had a medical need, only a psychological dependence.

Here you are 40 years of age with two teenage children and a loving spouse, both of you have excellent jobs, your children are fantastic, what else could someone ask for in life. How could this have gone so badly, you did everything you thought was right. You went to your trusted doctor they said you would heal up just fine and then gave you a prescription, how could this have gone so dreadfully wrong.

Monday comes along as you awake in the morning you feel horrible there is no way you could go to work feeling this way, so you called in sick.

However you weren’t so sick you couldn’t go visit your friend (instead of your doctor) who you knew had the drug you thought you needed. The two of you had never been close, there was the age difference and you really had never spent much time together.

Yet still you visited and made as much small talk as you possibly could that morning. You knew that if you asked her outright for drugs she would have refused and seen right through your plan. So after 20 minutes you asked to use the restroom where the medicine cabinet was located. Sure enough on the back of the middle shelf was a full bottle of the drug you were after. She wouldn’t miss it, so you took the entire bottle that should last you 3 weeks or so you though giving you enough time to slowly withdraw from the drug. So this is what you attempted to rationalize in your mind for your actions that fateful day.

After a little more small talk and a promise to get together more often you made your excuses to leave and were on your way out the door. After getting in the car you carefully removed your friends name from the prescription bottle and took two pills (previously you had only ever taken one at a time). Before making the ten minute drive home you would have to stop to pick up your daughter from school.

As you were driving home you didn’t even feel impaired, yet at an intersection an elderly gentleman for some reason felt the need to pull his car directly in front of your car. There was little you could do barely having time to hit the brakes before the collision. The accident while jarring could have been much worse you just received a few small cuts and some bruises, luckily your daughter secured in the back seat received no injuries whatsoever.

The ambulances arrived along with the police as the paramedics looked you over the officer looked around as well and noticed the pill bottle without the required identification attached. The police officer asked if the pills were yours to which you replied they were not and that you didn’t even know how they got there. As you needed stitches to close some wounds you had sustained the officer also asked the hospital to test you for the presence of drugs, he had in fact found drugs in your car so this was a reasonable request.

After waiting in the emergency room and finally getting treated while upset, things were looking better. The accident had not been your fault and you were trying to look on the bright side of this whole ordeal.

A few days later while you were still trying to figure out how to tackle your recently acquired addiction issue someone was knocking on your door.

As you opened the door there stood the police officer from a few days before. The blood test that was requested at the hospital had come back and you had tested positive for the presence of drugs. Also as the pill bottle had been found in your possession you were presumed to be in possession of a controlled substance (illegal narcotics).

The police officer also notified you that the elderly gentleman involved in the accident had died just that morning from injuries sustained in the accident. This had now grown from just an unpleasant experience into a nightmare with no escape.

The officer began to read you your Miranda rights as you were now being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI, Felony Possession of illegal Narcotics as well as Child Endangerment. Then you were placed in handcuffs as you began your entry into the judicial system. The charges were Very Serious and the reality of a lengthy prison sentence had become a real possibility.

While the story of our young mother is fictional it is not beyond belief that this could occur, it does. A woman in her early forties living the American dream, great husband, children, a fantastic job and a nice home in suburbia. Yet it could all be swept away, first drugs were prescribed for acute back pain as they probably should have, then addiction set-in and for brevity I sped up the time line. Does this happen in real life, many of the addicts of this country will tell you, yes it really does happen. Was she totally at fault, was she just a defective human being, NO. Opioids can and do Adversely Affect Brain Chemistry taking an innocent (never abused drugs in their life) person and for all intents and purposes take over their lives.

I have heard so many people say that drug addicts are just defective people, they brought their addiction upon themselves and they alone should suffer the consequences.

If it were this cut and dry it would be simple I believe that we should pay for our lifestyle choices, just like a convicted bank robber should pay for theirs.

However when the medical community fails the patient by not adequately monitoring their patients and doctors fail to educate their patients as well this becomes a very murky convoluted road indeed and simplistic snap-judgments just do not fall evenly into place. Also after the physician becomes aware of an addicted patient rapid concrete steps need to be taken to assist the patient in the withdrawal process. However this is quite often not the case and the patient spirals down the addiction rabbit-hole unsure of how they will land. This occurs with or without the all needed medical insurance coverage.

In the mind of a teenager Prescription medications are much safer than Illicit Street Drugs.

For teenagers these drugs of abuse are usually readily available in either their parents or a friends parents medicine cabinet. Some of these drugs are designed to be long acting, so a prescription drug when taken properly has a longer duration of action. However street-lore educates the young drug abuser rapidly they learn to crush and snort or inject the drug for a more potent effect. Unbelievable but true the manufacturers of these drugs even stated this on packaging materials (in regards to the crushing), so let the experimenting begin.

However again these drugs are CNS depressants and can slow respiration (breathing) along with other affects. A teenager abusing this type of drug with little or no tolerance can crush, then snort these drugs go to sleep and never awaken again. The brain normally would be able to successfully address this issue, noting that the oxygen concentration was getting low the brain would then fire the needed synapse (trigger) and the body would respond by increasing breathing activity or the body would begin to take deeper breaths. However the drug has the Nasty little affect of shutting down this autonomic (automatic) response and the patient can expire.

It is Imperative that parents keep these types of drugs or all drugs locked away or secured to keep their children or their visiting friends from finding them and possibly using them.

A teenager who experiments with prescription drugs has an exponentially higher probability of becoming an addict versus someone 21yrs of age or older does after they are prescribed one of these medications.

Some people have abusive tendencies built into their genetic make-up for self-medicating (drug or alcohol abuse). Teenagers are especially in danger because of the fact that their brains are not fully developed until around the age of 25 years when the area of the brain specifically the Pre-frontal Cortex has reached maturity. This area of the brain controls impulse-control, judgment, decision-making, planning, organization and is also involved in other functions like emotion yet until approximately 25 years of age the Pre-frontal Cortex is not fully developed/matured.

In our present age of single parent households teenagers have quite a bit of unsupervised time on their hands (latch-key-kids). They are known to be inquisitive some are rather adventurous and the teenage-invincibility argument is sometimes put forth. Their lives are going through profound changes during these early years and experimentation is around every corner. Street lore or somewhat knowledgeable yet dangerous friends can take a well balanced teenager and turn them down the wrong path which may lead to drug or alcohol abuse.

Parents, Grandparents, older Nieces, Nephews, Aunts & Uncles unguarded medicine cabinets can turn into drug wonderland.

Even the best and brightest of our children can become friends with troubled teens. Even as we trust our children (in regards to drugs this should not be the case) their troubled friend may ask to use the restroom with their only intent being finding the drugs that can be found within. Also after these troubled teens abuse the family medical cabinet they can then try to get your child to experiment with the very same drugs they did.

So this is a Cautionary tale not some wild fiction from a novel. Be open and honest with your physician if you are prescribed a medication take it properly and Destroy what you do not use (not by flushing it down the toilet). Keep your medications hidden or locked away so that only you or your caretaker knows where they are stored.

Remember Teenagers View Prescription Drugs as being Safer than Illicit Street Drugs

If after taking a prescription medication you fall into the Addiction Pool first ask the doctor who prescribed you the drugs for help. If that fails then Do Not Hesitate to get help from a doctor who will treat you. Drug addiction is nothing new to the medical profession and you should not have any trouble finding a doctor willing to treat you who will give you caring comprehensive medical treatment to return you to your pre-addiction status.

Even though your child is an angel what would be the harm in having a drug screen done on them with their yearly physical. It’s also a consideration to only give your child or teenager 24hrs notice if that much, of their impending physical so they cannot attempt to take counter-measures to produce negative results when they are in fact self-medicating.

From 6 to 60 drug addiction is a real possibility, getting a drug prescription under false pretenses and then selling (redirecting) the drugs might bring you some cash. However it might also get you placed in one of America’s prisons. Teenagers your young lives are difficult enough as is, adolescence comes with it’s own sets of problems. Try not to add drug abuse to your list of challenges.

For adults think about following or at least considering some of the ideas I’ve written about and to also consider being more compassionate to those who are suffering, remember not all of these people just woke up one day and said, “hey today I’m going to become an addict and throw my life away”.

Also remember that should you confront or a friend confides in you their problem.  You are way in over your head, get them some help from a medical professional. That is If and Only If they admit they have a problem and that they alone have decided they want to stop. No amount of money or well intentioned acts will work unless the patient decides they need Help.

Drugs prone to abuse; Cocaine, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percoset, Percodan, Roxycotin, Soma, Benzodiazapines; Klonopin, Xanax, Valium,Tricyclic & MAO anti-depressants and the list goes on and on

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) American Patriots Of Our Time!

The nascent U.S. movement collectively known as OWS does not have a written constitution or a codified plethora of documents laying out in detail any specific agenda. So they are scoffed upon by the political elites and corporations across America.

The United States Congress has written and promulgated tens of thousands of documents, chock full of executive summaries, reams of studies and a specific set of rules, procedures and decorum laid out in a dizzying fashion. Most bought and paid for by Lobbying firms and their never-ending supply of cash fed by large corporations with their corporate backers. Even current & former members of congress are not well versed in all of these and other facets of congressional life and it’s implications. On to many occasions for it to be some type of anomaly congressional members have stated they do not even read the bills they pass in the U.S. House & Senate.

What Occupy Wall Street does have is a great number of ordinary U.S. citizens all under the umbrella of being sick and tired of our current system. They rail against banks & investment houses who almost brought our country to it’s collapse along with the top 1% who assisted in almost destroying this country. To me this appears to be a comprehensive cohesive structure even if reams of paper are not present speaking volumes yet saying nothing, like in corporate or government settings.Their words still resonate and this movement grows everyday.

Little if any accountability was exerted or accepted during the U.S. current recession and even though these institutions behind our near collapse have mission statements, comprehensive studies, etc. All of these are written on paper that is as worthless as all the rules and studies. For these bastions of a free market society believe they are accountable to no one other than the shareholders of the corporations and quite often even the shareholders are left under-the-bus, lifeless and no longer needed. Or the shareholder who is now financially destroyed can no longer buy a ticket to have a hand worth playing.

The citizens of this country have quietly raged at the excesses of corporate America, wall-street, banks and our current Worthless Do-Nothing Congress. However these have been fleeting moments then it’s on to watching the so-called leader in news propaganda machine. There under the cloak of being fair and honest the populace is indoctrinated, reeducated and shown the errors of their ways. On these programs that hours, so-called journalist makes fun and sport of these people who are in essence fighting for America before what little is left is swallowed whole by the elitist 1%ers.

Yet under duress by the thugs who represent law enforcement as they are beaten, pepper sprayed, hit with rubber bullets, unjustly incarcerated and then released without charge. These American Patriots stand for those to fearful or lazy to stand up for themselves or their rights as Americans.

Our founding fathers fought against tyranny and oppression and are now hundreds of years later are regarded as Heroes as they were in their day and age.

When our country was attacked from within and there were those who wished to tear our country apart all for their love of money coupled with their oppression of those they felt were inferior and deserved to be abused and tortured. Our countrymen fought and died for this country to make it a better place for All Americans. The man who lead us in this battle for our souls was then assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Again Abraham Lincoln and his complementaries along with George Washington was regarded then as now as Patriots. They offered the best America had to offer, they fought for All Americans and what was Right, Honorable and Just.

The British at the time of the Colonial War looked down upon George Washington as an inferior 1%er that could be crushed out of hand. How wrong they were just as many people of this country looked down upon Abraham Lincoln. How did this many of simple means reunite this country and help enormously in the early stages of our national history, he only did what he thought was Right and Just.

Well these are just a few of the many Patriots who were underestimated by the elitists of the various times. Yet they flourished as did our country and today these nascent patriots known simply as Occupy Wall Street or OWS are being called upon to be the Patriots of this age.

They are unlikely heroes as were those before them yet their profound importance again cannot be diminished or simply be pushed aside. Even though our current 24hr news cycles may move on to other subject matter the voices of OWS and the 99% of whom they represent, will not just go away.

So while they fight this war for the American soul and what is right and just in this country they should Never be underestimated.

They are American Patriots who are being oppressed and attempts to marginalize their movement will ultimately fail.

Is our United Stated Congress fighting for the 99% of it’s citizens, NO.

Are the Patriots of OWS being oppressed, abused mistreated while they present themselves in peaceful protests to attempt to correctly realign America’s moral compass, YES.

May God or the heavens, Buddha and other forms of spirituality give them strength. Let us all the 99% think of them daily and keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Let us all hope that America the nation can again find it’s moral compass. Or better yet become involved in your area or even travel to the areas across this nation where the movement is strongest, for we all are one people with common goals.

Maybe again we can become the land of the free and the brave a melting pot of peoples where everyone has the same opportunities to live happy and prosperous lives without tyranny or oppression by the few against the many.

For the sake of our country, or children and our souls we must find a place of common ground of fairness in life and liberty in our lifetimes. Now we are the 300 million+ being led by the 1% elitists who are not concerned or the least bit interested in anyone’s future but there own.

OWS is simply fighting for the rights of all Americans, they are the Patriots of our time!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

NEW Stimulus Spending Is A Very Viable & Needed Program NOW!

While our do nothing House Republicans (John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan etc.) along with their like minded Senate counterparts are mired in trying to destroy the EPA, eliminating financial reform and redistributing more wealth to the top 1% as they also attempt to destroy the rights of the American worker this listing is some of their objectives. As to what are their goals for America in the end who knows or one can only guess, yet average Americans are no where on their radar. In the Senate Republican Senator Mitch Mcconnell is in lock-step with them, he will jump right on their obstructionist train to nowhere at any given moment in time. It’s as if they are on some type of crusade to set back the clock to before the Gilded Age. The hard fought battles for American workers along with our historical albeit mediocre attempts to control pollution of our water, air, land and sea and other environmental efforts are just more cannon fodder for them to try to tear down.

It’s as though they only have a few months of life left on this Earth. And during this time they want to accomplish as much death and destruction as possible by setting back Environmental and hard fought Labor rights and safety all for the sake of pandering to their dark overlords. Who of course will give freely to their re-election campaigns and donate to their pet projects in their respective districts.

As for debt take a look at this chart;

Gutting a women’s right to choose, eliminating health-care for low income families. Other than blocking any useful legislative options and basically doing nothing until after the elections the American public waits and suffers as brinkmanship is the order of the day for the republican party. It doesn’t have to be right for the American public only the Lobbyists, Banks/Investment houses and 99% of the top 1% that’s all the republicans care about $$$.

Stimulus/deficit spending would benefit this country enormously and numerous economists believe in this methodology. Which would benefit our present and future generations if properly directed. It could also be argued that it would be cheaper in the long run to address our transportation issues in today’s dollars versus kicking the can down the road (pun intended).

Our interstate highway system was begun in 1956 under Dwight Eisenhower who championed its construction. Now in 2011 with the U.S. population in the 300mil+ range little has been done in maintaining this invaluable resource.

All across the country bridges and highways are crumbling our electrical infrastructure is outdated and our plumbing, sewage and water pipes are bursting with regularity.

Emergency medical first responders in Ohio are told to stagger their vehicles when responding to accidents and fires. This is occurring here and across the country for fear that if the fire trucks were not appropriately staggered that their combined weight could quite possibly lead to a bridge collapse.

In major metropolitan areas a bicyclist can make better time as cars sit engines running as they slowly inch their way to work. Even in areas with mass transportation the sheer mass of the populace requiring transportation is reaching a breaking point.

Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s drinking-water systems a grade of D-minus. Roughly 10 billion gallons of sewage seep into these crumbling pipes each year, think about that as you turn on the facet for a drink or fill the tub to bathe your child. Ancient sewage and water systems along with decrepit water treatment facilities to name a few place hundreds of millions of people at risk. The EPA places the cost of fixing our Civil War Era water system at $335 billion.

Our railway systems which move over 42% of U.S, freight annually from oranges to nuclear devices etc and this does not include passenger traffic, are left to their own devices. Businesses which must be connected to each other to facilitate the moving of goods for countrywide & then worldwide distribution to name a few of the reasons for properly maintaining this method of transportation, yet it is taking a backseat. With almost $37bil dollars in revenue (2002 data) not including the billions paid in taxes, wages along with the 175 thousand+ employees (2002 data). There is also the ever important Coal which is transported via rail as over half of the electricity for our country is created with coal.

The electrical grid with its attached power plants and electrical distribution centers which are our lifeline are facing daunting challenges with little inclination towards a proactive versus reactive mindset. This places the average American in a precarious situation let alone the risks for companies large and small. Allowing our electrical system to continue to degenerate places all of us at risk as some of our recent large electrical outages have shown.

Congested skies outdated aircraft, radar systems, airports and telecommunications used by our airport systems are all in desperate need of repair or replacement. Our aging fleet of aircraft and the disastrous consequences of not properly addressing just this issue. Deregulation which promised more competition and safer skies has of course been proven dreadfully wrong.

Cost cutting, less comprehensive maintenance, if and when performed and using outdated aircraft coupled with an ancient infrastructure to support it have all proved to be extremely dangerous for the public in the skies across our country and the world.

The World Economic Forum rated the USA at #1 during the 2005 period however as of 2011 we are now ranked at 15th. There are the economic impacts said to be $129bil per year, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that this adds $97bil a year to the cost of motor vehicle operational costs. Then there are the economic consequences of flight and travel delays which add another $32bil to the equation.

It is suspected that if issues with the U.S. infrastructure is not dealt with immediately the consequences and associated costs will rise exponentially. For example, “Within 10 years, U.S. businesses would pay an added $430 billion in transportation costs, household incomes would fall by more than $7,000, and U.S. exports will fall by $28 billion.” as expressed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

A study by one group of over 80 experts affiliated with the Urban Land Institute that $262bil dollars a year must be spent on our ancient crumbling infrastructure. This as we lose more economic ground to Brazil, China and India who are apparently doing a much better job at addressing these and other issues.

The recent squabbling by our congressional leaders in just dealing with the FAA funding issue shows that they are incapable of addressing anything other than their own personal agendas, governance is just a fleeting moment not often seized upon by our current Do-Nothing congressional leaders.

In regards to the report by ASCE congressional Representative Nick J. Rahall II stated, “Today’s report provides the cold hard truth that America’s economic recovery and long-term competitiveness will suffer if we continue to under-invest in our future, Slashing investments by one-third, as Republicans have proposed to do, will make the economic impact on America’s middle class even worse than the grim predictions by the economists in this report”.

Furthermore included in the report by the American Society of Civil Engineers there are other significant issues for Americans at large. The report states that 870,000 jobs will be lost and an economic impact of $3.1 trillion by 2020. To reverse or eliminate these last figures will require an investment of $1.7 trillion by the year 2020, pretty simple math if you ask me. The investment required versus what is actually being spent today differs by $94 billion a year according to the estimates.

The president of ASCE Kathy J. Caldwell said, “The link between a nation’s infrastructure and its economic competitiveness has always been understood. But today, for the first time, we have data showing how much failing to invest in our surface transportation system can negatively impact job growth and family budgets.”

Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas J. Donohue said,

“Without more robust economic growth, the U.S. will not create the 20 million jobs needed in the next decade to replace those lost during the recession and to keep up with a growing workforce”. He also said the necessary spending was “not just transportation for transportation’s sake.”

Also the Economic Development Research Group spokesperson Steven Landau talked about the U.S. infrastructure dilemma. “Business will have to divert increasing portions of earned income to pay for transportation delays and vehicle repairs, draining money that would otherwise be invested in innovation and expansion”.

Yes we will be adding to the deficit however Revenue sources will offset some of these affects. Those with jobs have money, need newer cars, fuel to drive, new clothes to buy, groceries to feed their families and possibly a new house thanks to the salary of their new job. Economists speak of a lack of demand by our present economy by spending money on needed infrastructure projects part of that demand will be addressed.

Also multi-national corporations need reliable modes of transportation for their goods. Poor infrastructure leads to No capital improvements, corporations do not want to relocate to an area where reliable transportation of goods & services are questionable.

So instead of Gutting the EPA or trusting the Banks & Investment houses to act responsibly. Rather than giving tax cuts to large corporations & individuals and trying to Gut family planning clinics. As well as cutting whatever slim safety net we have in this country for the less fortunate the republicans in power are only interested in future elections and undermining the other guy, oh and screwing the less fortunate.

Rather than being obstructionist at every turn our congressional legislators could do something positive for this country. Rather then John Boehner backing the destruction of our educational system from kindergarten to college we could work to strengthen what we already have in this country. Rather then the calls to destroy our current education system and rebuild it with for profit collages possibly a more sane thought process can be found.

What we now need is more honest people like Warren Buffett and Russell Simmons even Bill Gates is open to Real Tax Reform. Not the ridiculous talk of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan just to name a few of those more interested in following the money instead of serving the people of the United States of America.

If we can get some honest republican legislators who are interested in this country as a whole. And who treat this countries real problems instead of being in the back-pocket of cash-flush Lobbyists real change could actually occur.

President Barack Obama is trying everything he can to right the wrongs of previous administrations. President Obama is also trying to put America and the people who reside within it back to work.

Yet at every turn the Obstructionist House Republicans are there to screw up every positive opportunity to get this country back on the right track. Their Wealthy Overlords will not allow them to do the right thing they only want to make Millions More$$$, Screw everyone else in this country Only the Top 1% Matter.

Stand up America we need to fix this country and instead of electing bought and paid for politicians we need men & women of Honor & Integrity, not the politicians of today obviously, but a new breed of politicians that will do what is right for this country.

Barack Obama is a man of Honor & Integrity handed a broken country by George W. Bush. Trying to fix all the wrongs while being thwarted at every turn by legislators more interested in the next election cycle then doing what is right for the American public the President is fighting an uphill battle at every turn.

This while propaganda machines ostensibly acting as news organizations misrepresent, mis-quote, use spliced together video clips (it is of no consequence to them they are almost always taken out of context and misrepresent the truth) and attempt to indoctrinate ordinary U.S. citizens into talking parrots regurgitating republican talking points.

I voted for Barack Obama the last election and I will again without and regrets.

Our infrastructure is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt and maintained now, not next year or never if the fat-cat republicans have their way.

So stand up and be counted write, call, donate and do whatever you can this is our country all 100% of us not just the super wealthy 1%. If we don’t stand up now what world are we leaving for our children, Please do the right thing.

Let’s start fixing this country by putting the shovels and heavy equipment in the hands of the American workers who built this country and know what to do. Tell Congress were sick and tired of their Lies and Pandering, either put-up, shut-up or get out of town.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Texas the Death Penalty Machine!

The Electric Chair

Soon another Texas death-row inmate will be put to death, Hank Skinner is one week from death. Despite Extremely Significant evidence that has Never been tested during his trial or sentencing in 1995. This coupled with the fact that Skinner’s legal team has been trying to have this DNA evidence tested for over a decade and they will pay All of the Costs for said testing.

The evidence in question that has never been tested includes a rape kit taken from the mother-Twila Busby-who was murdered on December 31, 1993 in Pampa, Texas along with her two adult sons, Randy Busby and Elwin Caler. Other items never tested, Blood from the murder weapon, scrapings from Twila’s fingernails, blood from a jacket found in the home. As well as hairs, found clutched in Twila’s hand that likely came from her killer.

Even though the inmate’s legal team have been trying to just get the evidence, pay for the testing at No-Cost to Texas. The Texas 31st District Attorney’s office has Refused their request for over ten years.

The attorneys for Mr. Skinner are only trying to test evidence that the state of Texas should have tested themselves, however they did not.

Also Toxicology experts have stated that upon the night of the murder Mr. Skinner had to high a concentration of drugs in his system to have been able to commit the murders for which he will soon be Executed.

Northwestern University Medill Innocence Project students (They are ANGELS on Earth) became involved with his case in 1999. Skinner’s former neighbor and ex-girlfriend told the students that the police had coerced her into giving false statements. She further stated that she no longer would stand by her previous statements.

There was further evidence as well during this period, before her death Mrs. Twila Busby’s said she was being stalked by an uncle. Mrs. Busby had also confided to friends before her death that the uncle had raped her all of this around the period before her life was taken.

Furthermore it had been established that the Uncle had met and talked with Mrs. Busby at a party the night of her death. There were also reports that neighbors had witnessed him cleaning and repairing his trucks in the days following the murders. The Uncle had also been seen wearing a wind-breaker that was similar to one found at the crime scene. Unfortunately the uncle died in an accident in 1997, he was never questioned by the state, why?

While one witness recanting of testimony could be quite possibly be dismissed and disregarded the cumulative evidence could not be by a justice system interested in truth and justice.

There was also a popular national television show, during an appearance during which a Medill Professor asked for and the current (at that time) District Attorney agreed to test the hairs found clutched in Twila’s hand the deceased mother. However when the evidence was preliminarily tested and the results were showing that the hairs probably did not belong to Mr. Skinner the testing was stopped nor was any of the other evidence which had the possibility of seeing the light of day yet the testing would Never be performed.

The additional witness testimony was Never reviewed numerous pieces of evidence were never tested. The thought process is that the District Attorney only zeroed in on Mr. Skinner gathered the evidence they thought they needed and won their conviction.

While the laws of Texas do have the right for the defendant to request DNA testing that might prove their innocence. The state has maintained that Mr. Skinner could have asked for the testing during his trial and because he did not during his trial they have fought for 10 years to deny him testing that might prove his innocence or his guilt.

There is also another problem Mr. Skinner in Fact had Requested the testing at his trial. However his court appointed representative decided against this even though his client the defendant had requested the testing.

The Court Appointed defense attorney was a former prosecutor who had lost his job after being caught stealing money during a drug seizure case. The trial judge was reported to be a friend of the former disgraced prosecutor and assigned the case to him. He also stipulated that the now Court Appointed defense lawyer be paid around the same amount the attorney owed the state of Texas for his previous prosecutorial misconduct.

The Supreme Court of the USA granted a stay last year as to whether federal civil rights laws would allow Mr. Skinner to contest Texas’s interpretation of their own state law. In March of last year the Supreme Court did rule in Mr. Skinner’s favor, however the testing was not ordered. Rather the Supreme Court only ruled that Mr. Skinner had the right to press for testing via the misinterpretation

However the legislature for the state of Texas negated any action as they passed a revision to the existing DNA law in regards to testing. The Senate and House of the Texas legislature passed the revision with few if any dissenting votes. The new revision allows for a defendant to request testing even if their court appointed attorney requested it or not. Mr. Skinner was even referenced during the legislative process it finally looked as though Hank Skinner was going to get his day in court.

Now Mr. Skinner having been imprisoned since 1995 would either have his guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt or he would be exonerated and released. At the very least all of the appropriate evidence Expected to be tested during a capital murder trial would finally see the light of day. Lady Liberty would hold the scales of Justice and Hank Skinner would finally receive a fair and impartial finding of guilt or innocence.

The revised law was enacted on September 1, 2011 and Mr. Skinner’s Attorneys promptly filed for testing. However the State Attorney instead of granting the testing instead asked for an execution date and it was approved. Instead of the testing that had been requested for over ten years and the fact that the state of Texas would not have to pay for it, Mr. Skinner was scheduled for execution November 9th, 2011.

Now with little time to spare Mr. Skinner’s fate rests with the Texas state court which has his petition under review. There is also a federal court involved which is still holding Mr. Skinner’s testing claim open in the event the state court rules against him or takes no action at all. Yet with a state and federal court involved Mr. Skinner could still face Death come November 9th 2011.

Should Mr. Skinner be executed his guilt or innocence would never be proven as the State Attorney would more than likely destroy the DNA evidence upon his execution.

Even as dire a situation as this is there are still other outcomes that could occur. The Texas Governor Rick Perry could issue a 30 day stay to allow for testing or the trial judge could delay the execution. Also the Federal or State court could issue a stay.

However the judicial system moves at a snail’s pace and Mr. Skinner could still be executed by lethal injection on November 9th, 2011.

Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976 Texas has executed more inmates than any other state. It’s worth noting that the states of Florida and California both have higher death row inmate populations. However no other state in the union can touch the execution record of the great state of Texas.

Just looking at the rate of Complete Exoneration of death row inmates in Illinois thanks to the efforts of the Professors and Students at the Northwestern University School of Law is a cause for concern.

On June 29th 1972 the Supreme Court voided all state death penalty laws, saying they were racially discriminatory and haphazard, yet the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Currently as of March 2011 the following states no longer have the death penalty; Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin as well as The District of Columbia and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Cases all across the USA have been dismissed, inmates exonerated and released after extended periods of time with many receiving significant payment from various states.

The reasons for exoneration are numerous and profoundly disturbing not only for the innocent defendants wrongly jailed. It is horrid experience for the wrongly jailed as well as the families of the deceased who are given a false sense of closure.

Prosecutorial misconduct, Law enforcement witness intimidation, misstatements (or outright lies), Forensic labs working with the prosecution to match the courts case versus objective testing. Tampering with or withholding evidence, failure to test pertinent evidence, obstruction and collusion.

Since 1992 Fifteen inmates have been released thanks to DNA testing which is only available to a fraction of death row inmates. The Death Penalty Information Center list 8 inmates executed but possibly innocent. Another figure says that 39 inmates have been executed wrongfully in the USA.

In these United States of America, Ray Krone has the distinction of being the 100th former death row inmate sentenced to death however later exonerated (note later statistical data). Then there is Kirk Bloodsworth who was the first to be released from death row thanks to the use of DNA testing. There are currently over 3000 inmates on death row being housed.

During 1994 80% of the U.S population favored the death penalty as of 2011 a Gallup poll showed this had declined to 61% with 35% opposing it. However when the options of Life Imprisonment without possibility of parole versus the death penalty the figures change considerably with 49% favoring death and 46% favoring life this from a 2010 Gallup poll.

So one question should be do we as a nation prefer to execute even 1 Innocent U.S. Citizen so that we can have a death penalty. The USA already imprisons more of its citizens then any other industrialized nation. 1 in 100 of our population are currently in prison and the ratio only gets worse, however current economic conditions are changing the models for some states such as California. Approximately 2 Million U.S. citizens are now housed in some form be it Federal, State, County, City etc. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics as of 2009 over 7.2 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.1% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 32 adults.

How many times have we gotten it wrong for other crimes, how many of these human beings have been found guilty and are currently in jail.

Unfortunately jails will always be needed for crimes against children, elderly or women are particularly disturbing. As for the death penalty there are to many chances for justice to wrongly judge if only 1 inmate who is innocent is executed it’s too much.

What was done to Twila Busby and her son’s Randy Busby and Elwin Caler was despicable. Nothing can bring these souls back nor the scores of others who have been murdered in our country.

Hopefully Hank Skinner for better or worse will at least be given the opportunity to Finally have the evidence in his case tested before he is executed.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

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