Sunday, January 27, 2019

Home Depot Co-Founder: Socialism ‘Comes Right Out Of The Universities’

Jan 26, 2019

Socialism begins at the high school level.

Via Campus Reform:

Home Depot billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus said Friday that the growing appeal to socialism in America comes out of the universities.

Marcus, during an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, discussed the deterioration of socialist Venezuela and Cuba, comparing the situations in those countries today with the realities there decades ago, pre-socialist rule. Marcus called the economic downturns in each of those countries, Cuba, in particular, a “perfect example of socialism gone wrong.”

“They [Cuba] took a great country. They put it right down the drain in every way possible. People are starving to death. Medical is not available for them. And we have a group of people in Washington today, new representatives especially, that look at socialism as the way to go and if you don’t think that’s dangerous, I do,” Marcus said.

Marcus further addressed where he believes the growing socialist sentiment among Americans is coming from.

“It comes right out of the universities. You see students graduating today and a very high percentage…almost 50 percent of students coming out of universities today believe that socialism is the answer,” Marcus said. “That’s frightening to me because the things that made this country great, that created the wealth of this country, and I mean the wealth of every single person right down the line, the best medical care in the world, the best housing in the world, that’s why people want to come here, is because of the system, and that’s the free enterprise system.”

A recent Campus Reform analysis backs up Marcus’ views. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist from the Bronx, recently unveiled her “Green New Deal,” which contains a proposed 70 percent top tax rate among America’s highest earners- those making $10 million per year or more. As it turns out, the overwhelming majority of faculty and administrators at Ocasio-Cortez’s alma mater, Boston University, financially supported Democrats and Democrat causes from 2017-2018.

Keep reading…

Thank You Mr. Marcus and WZ.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

US To Achieve Energy Independence By 2020, According To Energy Information Administration

Jan 24, 2019 

Wait, I’m confused. I thought Trump was a Russian stooge? How did he revitalize the US energy industry, contrary to what Russia would have wanted? 

Via Daily Caller:
The U.S. will become “energy independent” by 2020, according to a new Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast released Thursday.
EIA projects American crude oil production will “set annual records through the mid-2020s and remains greater than 14.0 million barrels per day (b/d) through 2040” and the country will be a net exporter of petroleum liquids by 2020.
The U.S. briefly achieved net petroleum exports in November, but that was temporary. However, EIA now predicts that to become a net petroleum exporter — crude oil, refined products and other liquids — by 2019.
Keep reading…
 Thank You President Trump, the DC, Nick, and WZ.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Study: Pharma Dollars Led to Overdose Deaths

Free Beacon
BY: Charles Fain Lehman
January 21, 2019 11:20 am

New research links payments to docs with prescription opioid ODs

Pharmaceutical firms' direct marketing to doctors continues to cause prescription opioid deaths, a new study argues.

The study, released Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, uses publicly available data from Medicare, Medicaid, and the Centers for Disease Control to match prescribing rates with prescription opioid overdose rates. Deaths from "Natural or semisynthetic opioids"—the CDC code which generally refers to deaths from prescription opioids like Vicodin or Dilaudid—totaled just under 15,000 in 2017.

The study's authors note that while prescription pills are not the primary cause of opioid-involved overdose deaths—that distinction belongs to fentanyl, as well as heroin—they are usually the first opioids encountered by subsequent users of heroin/fentanyl. There were still almost 200 million opioid prescriptions issued in 2017, which the authors claim results in a rate three times higher than 1999.

Further, they note, "Direct-to-physician marketing by pharmaceutical companies is widespread in the United States and is associated with increased prescribing of the marketed products." One in 12 doctors received opioid-related marketing between 2013 and 2015; that figure rises to one in five among family physicians.

Direct-to-physician marketing was a key component of pharmaceutical firms' strategy to push pills to patients in the lead up to the current opioid crisis. The practice involves sales representatives approaching physicians, all-expenses paid trips to pharma-sponsored seminars on the benefits of prescription opioids, and even lucrative speaking gigs for those doctors who do the best job pushing a given drug.

Purdue Pharma, the creator of OxyContin, reportedly compiled comprehensive profiles of physicians to better target them and offered enormous bonuses, up to a quarter of a million dollars, for sales representatives who sold directly to major prescribers. A Senate report released last year found that five opioid manufacturers in five years alone spent $9 million in support of "patient advocate" groups responsible for downplaying the dangers of opioids to physicians.

As such, the new JAMA study's authors wanted to test the link between marketing, prescription rates, and prescription opioid overdose deaths. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act mandates disclosure of payments—usually in the form of meals, travel costs, speaking fees, and consulting fees—from pharmaceutical firms to doctors, including information about the drug being marketed. The authors combined this data with prescribing and death data to get a county-by-county picture of the nation from 2013 to 2016.

They then built a model, controlling for a number of confounding socio-demographic variables and looking at the connection between marketing in one year and overdose deaths in the subsequent year. Three different measures of marketing—value in dollars, number of payments per doctor, and number of doctors being paid—were strongly associated with an increase in both prescription rates and subsequent prescription overdose deaths. The study's authors also performed a "mediation analysis," concluding that increases in prescribing rates significantly mediated the association between marketing and deaths.

What the study means practically is that the millions of dollars pharmaceutical firms spend annually on marketing directly to doctors are causally linked to increased prescription rates, which are in turn linked to addiction and eventual overdose death.

This finding is likely good news for the massive, multi-jurisdiction civil suits now pending against opioid-producing pharmaceutical firms. And it is almost certainly more bad news for the pharmaceutical firms themselves, as well as the individuals who own and operate them. A Massachusetts lawsuit, for example, has individually charged members of the wealthy and notoriously reclusive Sackler family with complicity in family-company Purdue Pharma's responsibility for the opioid crisis. (Purdue has denied these allegations.)

At the same time, it is not clear that reductions in opioid prescribing rates will actually curb the crisis. The study focuses on deaths from prescription opioids, but past research indicates that the modification of prescription opioids to make them abuse-resistant simply resulted in an en masse switch to heroin among people who use. In other words, if the supply of prescription opioids fall, people who use will likely simply choose to abuse more dangerous opioids—including pills and heroin likely adulterated with fentanyl.

"Reducing the number of opioids prescribed is only one facet of a much-needed, multipronged public health effort to reduce opioid-related harm," the study's conclusion emphasizes, "and is unlikely to reduce the current high mortality from overdoses that are attributable to heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl."

This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Opioids. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Mr Lehman and Free Beacon.

Top DOJ Official Reportedly Helped Keep Opioid Executives From Prison. She’s Since Defended Pharma Against The Government

Daily Caller
Ethan Barton | Senior Editor 1/20/2019

The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division during the George W. Bush administration reportedly opposed pursuing felony charges against pharmaceutical company executives for downplaying OxyContin’s dangers.
Top DOJ officials similarly rejected a prosecutor’s recommendation to file felony charges after they met with executives from Purdue Pharma and their defense team, according to The New York Times.
Members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, sought to mislead the public about abuse surrounding OxyContin, a lawsuit alleges, citing company emails and other documents.

The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division under President George W. Bush reportedly opposed levying felony charges against executives of a pharmaceutical company that’s widely blamed for helping start the opioid epidemic.

She has since joined a private law firm and has successfully defended pharmaceutical companies against government investigations.

A federal prosecutor recommended the felony indictments, which could have resulted in jail time if convictions were secured, but the DOJ officials rejected the notion after meeting with the Purdue Pharma executives and their defense team, according to The New York Times. It’s unclear if the criminal division chief attended that meeting.

Over 12 years later, it’s still unknown which senior officials attended that meeting, who rejected the indictment recommendations, and why they were rejected. Local and state governments have since mounted hundred of lawsuits against Purdue alleging the company downplayed the dangers of its blockbuster opioid, OxyContin.

The DOJ declined to comment on this story.

Purdue representatives lobbied top DOJ officials on multiple occasions during the Bush administration, according to news reports and congressional testimony. Future FBI Director James Comey was involved in one instance, and Rudy Giuliani, who now serves as President Donald Trump’s attorney, was tied to another.

The prosecutor who recommended felony indictments against Purdue executives found he was recommended for termination after a third instance that occurred hours before Purdue accepted a plea deal that was offered in lieu of felony charges.

As part of the plea deal, Purdue and three executives conceded they downplayed OxyContin’s addictiveness and collectively paid a historic $635 million in fines in 2007. No one saw jail time.

Meanwhile, more than 200,000 people have died from overdoses involving prescription opioids since OxyContin was launched in 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Purdue is privately owned by the Sackler family, whose wealth skyrocketed after OxyContin sales raked in $35 billion over a 20-year period, giving the family a $13 billion net worth and making them the 19th richest in the U.S. in 2016, according to Forbes. (RELATED: ‘Joy’ And ‘Fury’: Artist And Activist Nan Goldin Reacts To The Met’s Statement About Taking Opioid Money)

Massachusetts was one of the states to file a lawsuit against Purdue in 2018, but it uniquely named eight members of the Sackler family. A recent complaint cites documents indicating the Sacklers headed a campaign to deceive doctors about the dangers of OxyContin and passed blame of negative press onto addicts.

“The launch of OxyContin tablets will be followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition,” Richard Sackler, the son of a Purdue founder and the company’s president from 1999 to 2003, said while celebrating the drug’s entrance to the market, according to a document cited in the complaint. “The prescription blizzard will be so deep, dense, and white.”

Bush’s Justice Department Rejected Felony Charges After A Four-Year Investigation

Then-U.S. Attorney John Brownlee concluded a four-year investigation and recommended indicting the three Purdue executives on felony charges, including conspiracy to defraud the government, in September 2006, the Times reported in May 2018.

But top DOJ officials didn’t support his recommendation after meeting with Purdue executives and their defense team, according to Times reporter Barry Meier.

One defense lawyer for Purdue was Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, and an adviser to the company’s legal team was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was also once a U.S. attorney.

The head of DOJ’s criminal division at the time, Alice Fisher, was one of the officials who didn’t support Brownlee’s recommendation, according to the Times. She’s now a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins.

Her bio page says she recently represented “[g]lobal pharmaceutical companies in [Securities and Exchange Commission] and DOJ [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] investigations resulting in settlement resolutions and declinations of prosecutions.”

It also says she represented “Several global manufacturing companies about maintaining FCPA compliance and obtaining two declinations of prosecution.”

Fisher did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Brownlee publicly supported the decision not to prosecute the Purdue executives, but, according to Meier, he was privately upset. Brownlee did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, and he’s previously declined to comment to other publications.

Top DOJ Officials Questioned Purdue Probes After Hearing From Company Representatives

There were additional occasions when top DOJ officials scrutinized Brownlee’s investigation after Purdue representatives contacted them.

After speaking with the company’s defense attorneys in 2005, then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey asked Brownlee why he was pursing Purdue, Brownlee said during a 2007 congressional hearing. Brownlee, who was the federal prosecutor for the western district of Virginia, drove to Washington to explain the situation to Comey, who ultimately gave Brownlee the go-ahead to continue.

Additionally, Brownlee’s name appeared on a list of U.S. prosecutors recommended for termination soon after he ignored a top DOJ aide’s request to delay the plea deal.

Hours before the plea deal was set to expire in October 2006, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty’s chief of staff, Michael Elston, called Brownlee and asked him to extend Purdue’s deadline, the U.S. attorney testified.

“He told me he received a phone call from the defense lawyers about the case and that that the counsel had once again said that we were moving too quickly, that we had needed more time,” Brownlee said.

“Through his questions of me, I sensed that he was inquiring almost on their behalf,” he continued, noting Elston said he wasn’t calling at McNulty’s request.

Elston’s lawyer later said McNulty, who had replaced Comey, had asked Elston to call Brownlee, according to The Washington Post.

Elston told TheDCNF on Friday he called Brownlee on behalf of McNulty after the deputy attorney general noticed the deadline for the plea agreement was unusually tight. Elston said he was asking the prosecutor for information and not to tell Brownlee to give Purdue more time.

McNulty did not respond to a request for comment.

Regardless, Brownlee stuck with the original deadline and Purdue agreed to it hours later, Brownlee testified.

Eight days later, Brownlee’s name was included on a list Elston compiled of prosecutors recommended for termination, though he ultimately was not fired, the Post reported in 2007.

Elston told TheDCNF he did not recall any connection between Brownlee being included on the list and the Purdue case.

Also during the course of the government’s investigation into Purdue, Giuliani met with Asa Hutchinson in 2005, who was then the Drug Enforcement Administration’s chief, Vanity Fair reported in 2007. The meeting came after the DEA found OxyContin could be responsible for 464 deaths over a two-year period.

Following his meeting with Giuliani, Hutchinson began asking DEA officials why they were still looking into Purdue.

Hutchinson is now the governor of Arkansas. He did not return a request for comment.

Legal Battles Against Purdue And The Sacklers Intensify

Deaths related to opioids have skyrocketed since the 2007 plea agreement, and the Sackler family, Purdue’s owners, largely kept its name separate from the epidemic, until recently.

TheDCNF began its “American Cartel” series in 2017, which tied the Sackler name to Purdue and investigated the family’s charitable givings. The Sacklers, until then, were known for their philanthropy, with famous institutions like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art naming entire sections after the family.

Meanwhile, lawsuits against Purdue from across the country have racked up. Evidence has trickled out showing the Sacklers knew about OxyContin’s dangers earlier than they said and showing they kept that information from the public. (RELATED: Purdue Pharma Looks To ‘Turnaround Kid’ As Opioid Lawsuits Pile Up)

Federal prosecutors discovered that Purdue Pharma knew OxyContin was being abused soon after the drug’s 1996 launch, a confidential DOJ report shows, the Times reported in May 2018. The report also found members of the Sackler family were aware that OxyContin and its morphine-based predecessor were being abused.

And a Tuesday court filing alleged that the Sacklers knew that Purdue knew OxyContin was being illegally dealt and abused, but failed to report it to authorities.

“This is not too bad,” Richard Sackler said in 2001 while serving as Purdue’s president and after a federal prosecutor reported that there were 59 deaths involving OxyContin in just one state, according to a document cited in the complaint. “It could have been far worse.”

Purdue, at the direction of the Sacklers, pushed for doctors to prescribe higher doses of OxyContin and for longer periods, resulting in massive profits for the company and the family, the lawsuit claims.

The Massachusetts complaint “irresponsibly and counterproductively casts every prescription of OxyContin as dangerous and illegitimate,” Purdue spokesman Bob Josephson said in a statement, calling the allegations “sensational” and “misleading.”

He accused the state of trying to “vilify” the company.

Josephson did not comment on Purdue’s communications with the DOJ.

He also said the Food and Drug Administration has ruled OxyContin continues to be “safe and effective for their intended use” and that the government determined in 2013 Purdue had fulfilled its obligations related to the marketing of its medications.

“The complaint is littered with biased and inaccurate characterizations,” Josephson said.

The only known instance where a Sackler was deposed was sealed as part of a $24 million settlement with Kentucky in December 2015.

Purdue recently lost an appeal to keep Richard Sackler’s deposition secret, but the company is continuing to contest the ruling. The testimony remains sealed while legal battles persist.

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Tags : department of justice oxycontin purdue pharma sackler family


Thank You DC and Mr Barton.

Trump’s Border Wall Deal Rebuffed by Dems

Matthew Vadum, Jan 21, 2019

Nothing is good enough for leftists who treasure an insecure border.

President Donald J. Trump extended an olive branch to Democrats on the weekend, conceding much of their immigration policy agenda in a bold longshot bid to move forward with building a southern border wall and ending the nearly month-long partial government shutdown but left-wing lawmakers rejected his overture even before he addressed the nation on TV on Saturday.

Trump’s address came after a particularly frosty week in Washington.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) informed the president he would be unable to deliver a State of the Union Address in Congress because the money wasn’t there to provide security. Trump countered by canceling a decadent junket Pelosi and other fat cat lawmakers had been planning overseas. At the eleventh-hour, while lawmakers and their guests were en route to a military airport to fly away, the president deprived them of the use of U.S. military aircraft.

Anticipating Democrat criticism, Trump said on TV, “walls are not immoral,” adding that a wall “will save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into our country.”

“This is not a concrete structure from sea to sea,” he said. “These are steel barriers in high-priority locations.”

During his speech the president focused on the perils presented by an open border, saying it provided a “very wide and open gateway for criminals and gang members to enter the United States.”

But if Congress were to accept his proposals, more immigration reforms could follow, Trump suggested.

“If we are successful in this effort, we will have the best chance in a long time at real, bipartisan immigration reform, and it won’t stop here, it will keep going until we do it all.”

Although Democrat lawmakers have previously voted to build a wall on the nation’s porous multistate border with Mexico, they hate Trump with unbridled animosity and refuse to give him any kind of political victory, especially when it comes to immigration. Democrats benefit from a regular flow of illegal aliens into the country and view the lawbreaking foreigners as an important political constituency to be courted and cultivated.

Their arguments against building the wall have become increasingly irrational and bizarre in recent days. It is now common to hear overwrought left-wingers describe the proposed wall, which would keep illegal aliens out of the country, as “racist” and “white-nationalist.”

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted 217 to 185 on Dec. 20 for a spending bill with $5.7 billion for the wall. The measure floundered in the Senate and the partial shutdown got underway Dec. 22. The Senate remains in Republican hands but the House is now controlled by Democrats.

The president’s negotiations with Democrats over the approximately $5 billion needed to begin construction of the border wall have gone nowhere –Democrats childishly refuse to show up for meetings with Trump at the White House— and the federal government continues to be partially shut down for lack of appropriated funds. Although pressure on Trump has been growing, the president has vowed to keep the shutdown going as long as it takes to secure funding for the wall.

But on the weekend Trump backed away somewhat from his hardline no-wall-in-exchange-for-amnesty stance and agreed to policies some of his conservative critics like author Ann Coulter and political base view as betrayals.

Trump said in exchange for $5.7 billion in wall construction funds he would back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 individuals who came to the U.S. unlawfully as children and were shielded from removal under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under any conventional reading of the U.S. Constitution DACA is plainly unconstitutional –it was created by Obama’s presidential fiat— but courts have ordered the Trump administration to keep it in operation.

As part of the package, Trump would also support extending the protection period for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. TPS prevents the deportation of individuals in the U.S. from designated countries deemed unsafe to return to.

Under the deal, another $800 million would be allocated for drug detection technology to secure ports of entry, according to a Fox News summary. Moreover, 2,750 new border agents and law enforcement professionals would be hired, along with 75 new immigration judges to cut through a large backlog of asylum requests.

Trump’s proposals, which could be included in legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate this week, were praised by prominent Republicans.

Trump’s plan for DACA recipients and individuals covered under the TPS program are similar to what has previously been proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Graham hailed the plan as “fantastic” on Twitter Saturday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lauded Trump for what he termed a “bold solution” to re-open the partially shuttered U.S. government.

“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every time,” McConnell said. “The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle.”

Trump nemesis Mitt Romney, now the newly sworn-in junior GOP senator from Utah, praised the proposal.

“@POTUS has put forth a reasonable, good faith proposal that will reopen the government and help secure the border[,]” Romney wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to voting for it and will work to encourage my Republican and Democratic colleagues to do the same.”

Conservative talk radio host and Landmark Legal Foundation founder Mark R. Levin was enthusiastic about Trump’s new plan.

“I strongly support President Trump’s immigration proposal today[,]” he wrote on Twitter on the weekend. “[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi & [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer rejected it even before the president spoke to the nation & made his proposal. They’re radical know-nothings.”

Pelosi rejected the Trump plan before the president took to the airwaves.

The package is a “compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good-faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.”

“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” she said. “For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”

Schumer accused Trump of continuing to put “forward one-sided and ineffective remedies.” He said Trump should re-open the government first and worry about his political agenda later.

“It was the president who singlehandedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place," Schumer said. “Offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise, but more hostage taking.”

Democrats are fine with allowing the border crisis to fester. Instead of offering the $5.7 billion Trump says he needs, they have offered a measly $1.3 billion for border security in general.

The stalemate over border wall funding continues and the federal government continues to be partially closed. 

Thank You FPM and Mr Vadum.

Gillette: The Worst a Man Can Get

Mark Tapson, Jan 19, 2019

Has the Marxist assault on masculinity pushed men too far?
So far, 2019 seems to be establishing itself as a year in which the cultural Marxists are intensifying their war on traditional masculinity. But it may turn out to be the year in which the misandrist tide begins to turn.

In just the last week, the American Psychological Association (APA) caused a stir by declaring traditional masculinity – “marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression” – to be a “harmful” mental disorder. Then People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sharing online a grotesquely suggestive video declaring that “Traditional masculinity is dead,” suggested that we “cure toxic masculinity by going vegan.” In another example, the New York Times posted a piece last Friday praising “The New Angry Young Men: Rockers Who Rail Against ‘Toxic Masculinity’” with songs that “protest old notions of manhood.” The article concludes with one singer declaring, “Toxic masculinity is real.”

It is not real. Toxicity is not an inherent feature of masculinity, just as “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression” are not inherently bad – far from it, in fact. Without those propulsive masculine qualities, which the APA deems harmful, humankind would never have elevated itself from cave to civilization. Unfortunately, the term “toxic masculinity” has become deeply embedded in our cultural consciousness now and is being conflated intentionally with traditional masculinity. That’s because the endgame of the totalitarians pushing this concept is to emasculate Western civilization in order to erect a collectivist utopia in its stead.

But the most controversial assault on masculinity in the last week was razor company Gillette’s release of a two-minute promotional video called “We Believe: the Best Men Can Be.” It immediately went viral with well over 19 million views (as of this writing) and spurred a massive backlash. Down-votes on YouTube were originally running at a 10-to-1 ratio over up-votes (that gap narrowed quickly and suspiciously to a 2-to-1 ratio). “Bullying… the Me Too movement against sexual harassment… masculinity,” the voiceover begins, clearly linking all three and depicting various examples of ugly behavior on the part of (almost exclusively Caucasian) boys and men. “We believe in the best in men,” the voiceover intones unconvincingly, after shaming men collectively for the worst in men. “To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

Encouraging men to aspire to their best character is actually an admirable message. Men should strive to be the best husbands, fathers, sons, the best men they can be. Bullying and sexual harassment (neither of which is exclusive to men, by the way) are unacceptable. But consider the context in which this ad appeared: the aforementioned APA report labeling traditional masculinity harmful; the ongoing demonization of men via the out-of-control #MeToo movement; the relentless messaging that masculinity is an outmoded cliché, something that must be discarded for us to evolve; and behind all this, literally decades of vicious browbeating from feminists whose goal is not equality but the eradication of masculinity. Then along comes this virtue-signaling Gillette ad stating that only “some” men are decent and the rest are pigs.

For many, that may have been the last straw. Social media swarmed with men (and supportive women) swearing off Gillette products. Op-eds defending masculinity, and denouncing the ad as ill-advised at best, abounded.

A PR expert quoted at The Guardian (a publication which devotes a significant amount of space to bashing norms of masculinity) praised the ad and said, “It is no longer enough for brands to simply sell a product. Customers are demanding that they have a purpose – that they stand for something. Masculinity is a huge part of Gillette’s brand, and there is a recognition in this ad that the new generation is reworking that concept of masculinity, and it is no longer the cliché it once was.”

Some have put forth the argument that Gillette, whose tagline used to be “The Best a Man Can Get,” was making not a political statement but simply a calculated marketing move for publicity, much like Nike did last year by making the cop-hating Communist Colin Kaepernick the face of a highly controversial “Just Do It” campaign. That argument falls apart in light of the fact that the creator of the Gillette video is “philosophically unpleasant” feminist Kim Gehrig, of the UK-based production agency Somesuch. Gehrig was behind an ad campaign for Sport England called “This Girl Can” and “Viva La Vulva,” an ad for a Swedish feminine hygiene brand “which boldly challenged the stigmas around women’s periods,” according to AdWeek. The ragingly misandrist Jezebel website reported that Gehrig sent an email to CNBC which read, “At the end of the day, sparking conversation is what matters. This gets people to pay attention to the topic and encourages them to consider taking action to make a difference.”

So presumably the motive for the Gillette ad was more activism than profit, although of course the company hoped to score the same net boost in customers that Nike’s Kaepernick ad did. As The Intelligencer points out, however, the difference between that ad and Gillette’s is that the former “is uplifting rather than accusatory.” By contrast, the Gillette ad is a “downer.” (For a more uplifting, sympathetic take on masculinity, check out this video response to the Gillette ad from Egard Watches.)

Of course, the Left embraced the ad (imagine their apoplectic outrage if an ad campaign dared to address “toxic femininity”). One male Twitter user remarked that “if your masculinity is THAT threatened by an ad that says we should be nicer then you're doing masculinity wrong.” This is way off the mark. Men weren’t threatened by the ad; they were insulted by it. It sparked widespread anger because men are fed up with being demonized. They are fed up with having masculinity equated with bullying and sexual harassment. They are fed up with being told that their very nature is poisonous and that redefining masculinity means acting like stereotypical women. Countless good men who are quietly leading lives as protectors and providers and role models and unacknowledged heroes are fed up with the cultural insistence that masculinity is a dire problem instead of a dynamic life force.

The pushback against the Gillette ad and the APA report are evidence that the Marxist assault on Western masculinity is finally beginning to be met with resistance. Men and the women who love traditional masculinity (i.e., the majority of them) are getting mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

Thank You FPM and Mr Tapson.

China's 2018 growth slows to 28-year low, more stimulus seen

Where did all those Never Trump geniuses go who predicted a Disaster when President Trump went after a level Trade playing field with China?

Jan 20, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Medical Malpractice Death 500 Times Gun Accident Fatalities

Bearing Arms
Posted at 6:00 pm on September 24, 2018 by Tom Knighton

Accidents with firearms are a problem. No one debates that. Even one is far too many, and the fact that a number of these accidents prove fatal only increases the importance of finding ways to stop these accidents.

However, anti-gunners would have you believe that accidents with firearms are common. Why else would some demand gun safety training before being able to purchase a gun?

The thing is, there’s something that kills people at a rate of around 500 to one that the anti-gunners never seem to consider.

A Johns Hopkins University study covering eight years of data found there are at least 250,000 malpractice deaths in the U.S. annually. CNBC reports the Johns Hopkins University study presents malpractice deaths on the low end, since other studies show malpractice deaths exceeding 400,000 a year.

On the other hand, accidental gun deaths hover around 500 a year.

For example, the Los Angeles Times reports there were 489 accidental gun deaths in 2015, making medical malpractice deaths over 500 times higher than deaths resulting from accidental firearm discharges.

The number of overall gun deaths in 2015—accidental, homicides, and suicides—was approximately 36,000, two-thirds of which were suicides. So 250,000 malpractice deaths is nearly seven times higher than gun deaths, even when counting intentional gun deaths.


Now, there are some important differences worth noting.

First, there are remarkably few “accidents” with guns. Most so-called accidental shootings are instances of negligence. Someone didn’t follow the basic rules of safety, and someone died as a result.

On the other hand, medical malpractice deaths may be accidents. A slip with a scalpel, for example, can happen with even the most skilled physician only to see the patient just as dead. To be sure, quite a few of those deaths are due to incompetent physicians as well–based on my conversations with my doctor and med school friends, I’m more shocked that it doesn’t happen more often–but it’s impossible to tell from here how many are true accidents and how many are the result of the doctor being a functional moron.

For the families of the deceased, it doesn’t matter, though. I get that too.

However, the important takeaway is, firearm accidents are exceedingly rare events in the grand scheme of things, and medical malpractice deaths–something we know is far more common–are generally ignored by the public at large. With that in mind, why are we acting like firearm accidents are this great public health crisis?

They’re not.

Now, that’s not to say they shouldn’t be addressed. They should. Even one is too many.

It’s not an epidemic that we need new legislation to try and stem the tide, either. Of course, it was never really about gun safety. It’s about creating a world where roadblocks to purchasing firearms are accepted. Once people accept some, it’s easier to push through others. We all know this to be true.

But if they want to curb deaths, maybe some of these people should look into how they can help curb medical malpractice deaths. You know, just to shake things up.