Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Vindication is like Maple Syrup

Yes, that sweet taste, the taste that is not equally the taste of ‘I told you so’, but more the fact that ‘You were wrong and I was right’, a taste that is sweeter, thicker and overly disturbingly addictive. Vindication is the stuff that makes it all worth it.

The situation that followed my article: ‘Corona? I never touch the stuff’ 4 months ago, the umbers never added up and there were all the sources stating the ’bla bla bla’ on age, on complicated health issues and so on, but today (6 hours ago) Al Jazeera (via Laura Winter) gives us ‘Data fog: Why some countries’ coronavirus numbers do not add up’, it is a first in the scene where I am proven correct, all whilst some data miners had the stage of making me wrong, I wish them good luck in countering it all and finding a new job soon enough, their “I know what I am walking about, I have been doing this for the government for 15 years” is now likely to change into carefully phrased version of denial with the added “My case was different, here is the data”, yes yes, blow it into a direction where they care.

Even as Al Jazeera gives us “Allegations of deliberate data tampering carry profound public health implications” is a side I never even skated on as I would never have been able to prove the deliberate part. They go deeper with a setting of the Meyer-Resende’s theory versus the International Corruption Perceptions index. It is one way to go, but it is skating on thin ice. It tends to follow the GIGO law of 1991 (Garbage In Garbage Out), yet there is no denying that the differences of what the Corona cases are through reporting on several nations, the difference is indeed striking. In the article example we see Denmark against the rest, They apparently had triple the cases the world had, I saw the larger stage within Europe (Germany versus France) and a few other settings, in my view the mortality rate should be close to equal and I noticed differences on 4% versus 15% even when minimum numbers were surpassed, mortality rate tends to be almost equal, yes there is some impact in age, but the numbers I saw were nowhere near the acceptable level, not in nations with almost equal level of health care. 

The article has more stuff, more excellent stuff, but they already inflicted the first victim, my ego, I was right all along and it is at present annoyingly present, like a silent person screaming in my ear (on the inside) that I was right. I already knew that this was the case, but it is nice that the media is picking up on it and so far it is just them, but that will change in the next week making my ego even less enjoyable (even for me). So whilst governments are in denial on what to do, as 6 US states are spiking whilst reopening shops, the acceleration will only rely on cheaper housing (more dead people), and those who reject my view of it, I say talk to your elected official and whilst they state that it is a complicated situation in this economy, consider that his target keyword is economie, so who did they serve? News is reaching me that the state of Oklahoma has a 68% rise, is the president not going there? Well, we might see two issues resolved if he does, time will tell. Even if I sound a little repetitive (I stated this before) “There is no use hailing an economy when all the consumers are dead, there is no one left to buy your product ever again”, that small realisation should go a long way. On the other hand, real estate will drop in price, so the others will get cheaper housing, it works out for everyone.

And in this setting it is Business News (Reuters) who stated 22 minutes ago ‘New US pandemic watchdog says data, tech issues challenge oversight work’, the premise does not sound wrong, yet the quote “Federal agencies already lacked some data necessary to track government funds and ensure they are spent as Congress intended, a problem compounded by the speed with which the government has shoveled money to businesses, individuals and local governments, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) said on Wednesday.” shows a much larger failing, I get the fact that things needed doing, but the US is throwing trillions (money they do not have) at something hoping it will stick, all whilst for 4 months the data was clearly incorrect. So when we consider the quote “Congress created the committee, which comprises independent watchdogs from 21 government offices, as part of a sweeping March aid package. Its job is to make sure the funds were used to help save jobs and keep Americans off breadlines and were not siphoned by fraudsters or otherwise abused or wasted” (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-fraud/new-u-s-pandemic-watchdog-says-data-tech-issues-challenge-oversight-work-idUSKBN23O2D2) a setting to prevent harm whilst the data they are reacting to is flawed, a stage where 21 offices are involved, which would take weeks if not months to align and we see from more than one source “data, tech issues challenge oversight work”, In all this we also see “Critics say few safeguards have already allowed companies to mop up cash with few strings attached”, not only are hard times ahead, I reckon that when the investigation goes on into the dimes where the American people ask for justification on where it all went, those ‘few strings’ will not go well, more importantly, as the US goes from 3G to 6G (it will take 6 generations to end that debt), they will demand their pound of flesh, I reckon that some people will not be given a nice christmas hamper. It is not a stage I predict, I reckon there will be no escaping that stage in the US soon enough, I wonder who will be found with their hands in the $3,000,000,000,000 cookie jar.

 

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Legally dopey dealings

We all know people who are out and about, some are out for dope, others are merely dopey. As such we have all kinds of checks and balances in place (or so one would think). It was there for a little surprising to see: ‘Johnson & Johnson responsible for fuelling opioid crisis in Oklahoma, judge rules‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/26/johnson-and-johnson-opioid-crisis-ruling-responsibility-oklahoma-latest). I was of the mind that this would not happen. Not because I like the firm, not because I like the product Pledge (for my furniture), and optionally I use other materials by Jay & Jay, I merely am unaware of it.

I am also not debating the events, or the guilt of Johnson and Johnson, I merely have a lot of other questions, questions that as far as I can tell are not answered. To get there, we need to see the accusation: “the giant drug maker helped fuel the deadly opioid epidemic in the state“, first of all, there is a larger failing. When we focus on the ‘deadly opioid epidemic‘, we need to see that this does not go over the counter. So when we look at the words of AG Mike Hunter “a “cunning, cynical and deceitful scheme” to ramp up narcotic painkiller sales alongside other opioid manufacturers by using their huge resources to influence medical policy and doctor prescribing“, I wonder who these prescribing doctors were. Did they not study medicine? The fact that thousands of doctors prescribed opioids is a larger issue, it does not make J&J less guilty, it makes others a lot less innocent. J&J should not be standing there alone. The claim “selling as many narcotic painkillers as possible” calls for an inclusions of the doctors giving out the recipe and the pharmacy accepting that doctors kept on prescribing the drug. We also need to look at the FDA who approved the drug in the first place. Here we are looking at three guilty parties, with two groups consisting of thousands of people involved. Yet the article shows merely a J&J in the dock, having to shell out $572,000,000. This leads to questions that do not add up.

In addition we see: “Oklahoma resolved claims against Purdue Pharma in March for a settlement of $270m and against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in May for $85m“, it calls for additional questions and they are not given, it seems that the essential questions are not even asked in the article. Even the CDC has questions to answer. This part is given with: “Opioids were involved in almost 400,000 overdose deaths from 1999 to 2017, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention“, there is already a clear case on how these opioids were prescribed, yet we see nothing of that. And as the article continues with: “Since 2000, some 6,000 Oklahomans have died from opioid overdoses“, this implies 300 deaths a year and we see nothing demanded from doctors and more important on how dosage had this effect. All elements that might be attributed to J&J, but it took a doctor to decide on the medication, is that not the case?

The truth of that is seen at the very end of the article by John Sparks, Oklahoma counsel for Johnson & Johnson. “Not once did the state identify a single Oklahoma doctor who was misled by a single Janssen statement, nor did it prove that Janssen misleadingly marketed opioids or caused any harm in Oklahoma“, I would phrase it: “Not once were doctors and their pharmacies called to explain these numbers, the total numbers who got prescribed these opioids and not once do we see any alerts to the CDC on any of this“. The evidence in this is that the 22,500 overdoses a year should have rattled the CDC no later than 2003, so where are the actions shown that there was an issue? The American pharmacy system failed on several levels and even as no one denies that Johnson and Johnson had a role to play, the FDA and the CDC should have clearly intervened no later than 2005 that is seemingly not the case, because the cadavers kept on stacking for at least another decade.

It took me less than 600 seconds to see this truth; as such Mike Hunter is actually dealing with a massive systemic failure that goes all the way to his own office.

And as we read: “cunning, cynical and deceitful scheme“, it seems more apt to accuse the office of the Attorney General for inaction, complacency on a matter that endangered the lives of hundreds of his state constituents every year and his office has remained inactive for well over a decade, it seems to me that his office should equally be investigated for reckless endangerment of people. In all this the pharmacies and doctors need to be heard on how and why these patients were prescribed. My view was supported in July 2019 when we were told (by the Guardian) “The company has previously acknowledged delivering 5.7m opioid pills between 2005 and 2011 to the small town of Kermit, West Virginia, with a population of just 380 people“, this shows the larger extent of pharmacies and their distributors. More important, who was prescribing these opioids?

We can argue that Johnson and Johnson is guilty or innocent, yet the truth is that this reckless abuse system is a lot larger than the pharmacy creating the opioid containing medicine, it is a much larger greed driven setting and I believe that Oklahoma and specifically Mike Hunter failed the American people. He might feel all happy and joy joy that he won the case, yet I believe that it is merely part in covering up a much larger crime that goes all the way to the top of the CDC, as well as a national pharmacy failure. The article does not give us that, does it?

It gets to be even a little wilder when we consider a 1978 episode of Lou Grant (season 2 Episode 1 – pills). In that episode we get a similar setting, more important, in the dialogue at the end we hear: “246 kids went to the same three places. Druggists are obliged to report any doctors who are prescribing abnormal amounts of dangerous drugs, the state pharmacy board had not received a report from any of the three“, now I accept that this is the text from a TV series, a drama series. Yet the premise remains, is there a legal premise in the US (still) in place that this reporting needs to happen? If there isn’t why was this never done? The danger of substance use disorder has been around for decades, this failing cannot be held over the head of a pharmaceutical company. There is a clear indication of violations on local, state and federal level, it is a systemic failure and we might large applause that a large pharmaceutical gets the bill, but the failing is much larger and because of that there is an injustice in all this.

I believe that Johnson and Johnson has a much larger role to play and they are not innocent, yet the failing is systemic, as such there is every chance that their appeal will have large consequences on a national level in America.

I wonder if Ed Asner, Robert Walden and Mason Adams ever considered that they would be part of a stage where they pointed out a much larger American failing 4 decades before it went to court. I remember the series as I was almost 18 (just two years short of that) and It was my dream to become a wartime photo journalist (a younger Daryl Anderson). It was not meant to be, but I never lost my passion for photography.

This case is more than we see and I reckon that jurisprudence papers will soon enough fill up on the systemic failings that Mike Hunter is eager to avoid in the court room.

Even now, we see another article from the Guardian that is almost an hour old. There we see: “It was also revealed that Johnson & Johnson hired the consultants McKinsey, which recommended the company’s sales force should focus on doctors already prescribing large amounts of Purdue’s OxyContin”, there is a level of validity of looking into that practice, yet the part linked to all this, the doctors prescribing the medication in the first place, they had a duty of care towards their patients. A marketing strategy might be debatable, it might also be immoral, yet in the end the doctor is the one acting, so is the pharmacy handing it out again and again, where are they in all this?

It is in that article where we see a two sided issue (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/26/johnson-and-johnson-opioid-crisis-ruling-responsibility-oklahoma-latest), with: “Sabrina Strong, one of the trial lawyers for Johnson & Johnson, said the ruling was flawed. The company argued that the drugs it sold were approved by federal regulators and that they could not be tied directly to any deaths in Oklahoma”, we see that Sabrina Strong is opening two doors, one bad one. Yes, we can agree that they were approved; the error was ‘they could not be tied directly to any deaths’. Were all hundreds each year all vetted? That is the flaw, because that data could also reveal which physicians prescribed them and which pharmacies filled the prescription. That evidence was not covered by the media, and as this goes over almost two decades, how did the CDC cover this? 300 deaths a year in one state is too large to ignore, especially when it is part of a larger failing. That is the part that Johnson and Johnson have seemingly not covered. I feel certain that the appeal will cover it and it will make life for Mike Hunter a much larger problem than he realises.

 

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Round two

Yesterday was a day when I thought it was essential to speak out against the language used in the NY Times. It was part of a larger whole that will be shown to all over time (as I am missing three pieces of evidence). Yet the oil issue was in the centre of it all and so it remains. Now, I had done my homework (for the most), yet there was one element I overlooked and it is an important one. Reuters was awake and gave us (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec-saudi-trump/can-saudi-arabia-pump-much-more-oil-idUSKBN1JR1HI) the part I forgot about. “the kingdom, OPEC’s biggest member, can barely raise output by 1 million bpd to 11 million bpd and even that would be difficult, according to industry analysts who forecast a further oil price rally due to a lack of new supply“, yes we forgot about the engine that drives it all. It has been increasing production again and again, yet at some point; the system that drives the production of crude reaches its maximum and that is where the teller of barrels is now hitting a little issue. I like (yet optionally disagree) with Gary Ross, head of global oil analytics at S&P Global. With “While Saudi Arabia has the capacity in theory, it takes time and money to bring these barrels online, possibly up to 1 year“, we see a ‘stabilising’ comment, but based on what, knowledge of the parts that are driving the crude oil machine forward? Perhaps that is true, yet if that is the case the one year setting is off. Other elements require adjustment, but the one year (yes he did add ‘up to’) implies that engines and perhaps pipes require adjustment, meaning that the system is set to increase beyond the 100% marker might be more dangerous. Pressure can be a bitching issue and the mere fact that even in suburbia water mains still go out (mine went kablooie yesterday evening) implies that there is a setting where pressures do not align. Now with water it is a nuisance, so my evening of pasta went straight out of the window. With crude oil it is another matter entirely. There the blown gasket can optionally make a mess to the environment and more important, it could optionally force Saudi Arabia to turn the dial down to 60%-80% until that mess is fixed. When that happens they go into a freefall where one plugging evokes another part to burst emotionally, that is where the problem starts and that is an important side in all this.

It is not the only part; CNBC gave us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/30/oil-deal-may-stir-the-pot-in-the-middle-east-and-test-saudi-capacity.html) a few other parts. Even as we might be able to ignore “Iran and Venezuela are both reeling economically, with Tehran feeling the bite of new sanctions“, especially as Iran has a set clientele. Yet the given part of “President Donald Trump surprised the world on Saturday by announcing a new side agreement with the Saudis to compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers“. I found the setting of ‘compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers‘. It is interesting for two reasons. The first is that the US had no application for Iranian oil in the first place and the second is that Venezuela had all kinds of issues; I personally believe that the low price of oil is reasons for some of it. Yet when we take a step back we get three pieces. The first in 2017 when we saw the Business Insider treat us to “Falling output at refineries means that Venezuela needs to import more gasoline, squeezing the national budget even further. Refineries are currently working at less than 30 percent of average 2016 levels. State-run oil company PDVSA is importing between 100 and 150 thousand barrels per day of gasoline”, so why are the refineries down to 30%? In addition, that is the refinery issue, the setting is not the petrochemical part it is merely the availability of crude oil that was the issue. The second was March 2018 where Reuters gave us “Indian imports of oil from Venezuela have fallen to their lowest levels in over half a decade, shipping and industry data showed, as a severe economic and political crisis hits crude output in the South American OPEC member“, so that is a production need, which beckons why India has decided to import less, are there suddenly 275 million cars less? No there are not, just try to blindly cross Saket Metro Station in New Delhi and you will get hit by two dozen cars within a minute, so that part is not happening. Forbes had its own version of the issue in 2017 and even as it sounds acceptable, I belief that there is a larger issue in play. You see We might look at the Financial Times and see ‘A Venezuelan oil embargo would wipe out Maduro & Co‘, yet the setting is larger than that. Consider Chili, Brazil and Argentine, all needing petrochemical products, the fact that refineries have issues is one thing, the fact that there is a shortage of crude oil and that cannot be met is equally an issue, so why is that?

I have no answers, mere speculations, yet whenever I searched for the Venezuelan reserves and beyond the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri advocating of ‘there would be ‘broad support’ across the region for a full oil embargo‘, I see no evidence of shortage (out in the open). All these actions on Venezuela, forcing them into even more hardship, how has that ever led to anything positive?

Yet the story is the crude, would an arm-twisting scenario to send 30% of the crude oil price into a fund that is only to be used for humanitarian and local support. Would that not work? It seems better than an embargo kicking things over. The additional news that China is importing less from that source is making things worse and no resolution will be coming forward making things better. The other party Iran is a given, yet they still export to a few nations.

Oil price dot come is giving numbers that clearly imply that over a year oil production has fallen by close to 50%, with the implied forecast that the International Energy Agency (IEA) states regarding the Venezuelan oil production which could drop to just 800,000 bpd or even lower next year. it seems that most actions against Venezuela is a little too harsh, now nobody is implying that they are saints, yet we can all agree that they are not Iran. In 2017 it was all about censorship (or anti hatred laws as the Venezuelan government puts it). Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/04/venezuela-happening-170412114045595.html) gave us a more in depth part. So when I see some of the issues, with items like ‘Health assistance’, ‘Food shortages’ as well as ‘Hyperinflation’, where a deal could be made that 30% of the sale goes into 10% sprockets addressing these three settings, it could be an optional solution to negotiate. It seems to me that an embargo is often the least of all working solutions, even as it enables the US to get basement prices on a million barrels a day, apart from the setting that they have more immediate problems and removing Venezuela form the equation pushes the other pressures more. Even if it means that the Maduro administration would have to swallow its pride, there might be a path to a long term solution that they were part of, at present they have nothing to look forward to but an angry mob of people left with nothing. It should not allow the US to discuss the price of eggs, yet the Maduro government will realise that the price of fish came at a premium and it is not derived from merely sweat and tears.

This setting is important, because when we look back at the Saudi situation with its 10 million barrels a day, when the pressure goes wrong and the US suddenly loses access to two to four million barrels a day. when that happens and that danger is not unrealistic, do you really think that the American economy is ready for a 25% price hike? Do you think that there will be mere frowns? That danger is not merely a speculation. the danger was shown last week when we saw reports on “The shutdown of Syncrude’s oilsands facility last week could lead to a shortage of oil in North America, investment bank Goldman Sachs has warned“, the source was the Huffington Post (at https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/06/26/syncrude-outage-oil-shortage-north-america_a_23468490/), in addition we got “Syncrude’s facility has a capacity of 350,000 barrels of oil per day, but it shut down production on Friday after a transformer blew, the Globe and Mail reported. The company says production could be offline for all of July“, so there was the given part I left for last, merely a ‘transformer’ and without Optimus Oil rolling out the juice, no crude for a month. So do you really want to play a game of Russian Turbines with the Saudi oil setting and pushing the need from them to deep into the red zone of engineering safety? With that given, what are the dangers when the push goes south in a very realistic way when the downfall will be 90-150 days? Do you still think that finding some dialogue with Venezuela is not an optional much better solution? I would tell you the story of the silly politician and that person relying one basket for all his eggs (and his demoted belief that they were golden ones), your parents might have told you the story when you were young. So when Goldman Sachs gives us: “shrink stockpiles at the main U.S. storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, putting upward pressure on oil prices“, they are telling you no fibs, what they neglect to mention is that the danger is a lot more realistic then most predict and the impact could end up being an increase in price that is not pennies, but several dollars. to emphasize that, you merely need to consider May 2008 when the crude price went to $148 a barrel, twice the price it is now. You still ready to play that game of chicken with oil producing hardware, because in the end you will always lose that game. These devices adhere to the cold calculations of pressures and power and in the end the Wall Street motto of ‘120% of norm is merely our version of a Monday morning wakeup call‘ will backfire to all those who relied on affordable fuel.

 

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