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Thursday, October 31, 2013

FDA Approves the New, Most Powerful Hydrocodone -- $Zohydro$

Even though a panel of experts assembled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 11-2 against recommending approval of the painkiller Zohydro ER in December of 2012, the FDA went against the advice of their own monitors and approved the highly controversial drug Zohydro ER.
Zohydro contains the opioid hydrocodone.  Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opiate, with more than 139 million prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing products in 2010.

Zohydro is the first pure hydrocodone drug sold in America -- a stronger form of hydrocodone because unlike some hydrocodone products such as Vicodin, it does not contain acetaminophen. In fact, Zohydro contains up to 10 times the amount of hydrocodone as Vicodin.

The United States is fighting a prescription drug health epidemic. Already, there are 23.5 million people in the United States who use hydrocodone for nonmedical purposes, according to the data from National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009. The numbers will  most certainly rise when a pure form of hydrocodone is legally available. The release of this new painkiller assures Zohydro will be abused by people addicted to other opioids, including oxycodone.

One doctor agrees. Dr. Lewis Nelson, a professor in the department of emergency medicine in the division of medical toxicology at NYU School of Medicine, in New York City said,"This product was specifically turned down by the FDA Advisory Committee due to the risks of misuse, abuse, overdose and death, particularly given the limited data supporting the benefits of this medication for chronic pain."

Nelson said, "Other similar products already exist that come in safer formulations. The new [risk-limiting] requirements will have an undefined impact on the safety of this very dangerous medication. This is not necessarily an improvement in existing therapy and will likely result in increased use and increased cost to patients with chronic pain."

 ("FDA Approves New Hydrocodone Painkiller Zohydro ER." October 25, 2013) 

Follow the Blood and Money Trails

You ask, "Why would a responsible American governmental body do this?"

Well, in their "wisdom," FDA officials said they approved the powerful painkiller by imposing certain restrictions. The FDA claimed Zogenix, the San Diego based drug manufacturer that manufactures the product, had met narrow targets for safety and efficacy.

Zohydro ER is classed as a "Schedule II" medication subject to the same type of control for OxyContin, methadone, fentanyl, Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs are major substances of abuse, and facts prove they are continuing to addict people in overwhelming numbers.

Despite Zohydro's potential for abuse, the FDA approved it. Under the new approval, the drug maker will have to conduct ongoing studies of Zohydro ER to assess the known serious risks of misuse, abuse, increased sensitivity to pain, addiction, overdose and death associated with long-term use beyond 12 weeks. These studies will also be required for other extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) painkillers, the FDA said.

(Staff report. "FDA Panel Votes Against Recommending Zohydro for Approval.". December 10, 2012)

The FDA is is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services full of deceit and turmoil. The love of money -- BIG MONEY -- has permanent residence in its headquarters.

It’s not unheard of for the FDA to ignore a recommendation of an advisory committee. In July, 2012, the FDA approved a plan to address prescription drug abuse by unveiling a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) that calls for the voluntary education of doctors in opioid prescribing. An expert panel had recommended that pain education be mandatory. The FDA ignored the advice. Pain education is not mandatory for prescribers of deadly opioids. 

And, guess what? BIG MONEY and exclusive rights were at stake with approving Zohydro. Shares of Zogenix lost over half their value the week after the FDA panel voted against approval of Zohydro. However, Zogenix Inc. rose the most ever on increased investor expectations of U.S. regulatory approval. Zogenix climbed 40 percent to $1.69 in February, 2013, after jumping 55 percent for the largest intraday increase since the company first sold shares to the public in November 2010.

Zogenix, whose $38 million in 2011 revenue came from its migraine medicine Sumavel, has been counting on Zohydro to increase sales.

Zohydro uses Alkermes Plc (ALKS:US)’s drug delivery technology to provide extended release of the painkiller. Zogenix and Alkermes, based in Dublin, agreed November 2, 2012, that Alkermes would be the exclusive manufacturer and supplier to Zogenix of Zohydro.

February 27, 2013)
Yet, citizens should demand the FDA clear their eyes of dollar signs when the health of millions is at stake.
A recent CBS News report stated:

“Oxycodone is now the most-abused medicine in the U.S., with hydrocodone second, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The latest drug studies come as more pharmaceutical companies are getting into the $10 billion-a-year legal market for powerful yet highly addictive opioid narcotics.”

Americans love the white medicine. "It's like the wild West," said Peter Jackson, co-founder of Advocates for the Reform of Prescription Opioids. "The whole supply-side system is set up to perpetuate this massive unloading of opioid narcotics on the American public."

"You've got a person on your product for life, and a doctor's got a patient who's never going to miss an appointment, because if they did and they didn't get their prescription, they would feel very sick," said Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. "It's a terrific business model, and that's what these companies want to get in on."

The U.S. consumes 99 percent of the world's hydrocodone and 83 percent of its oxycodone, according to a 2008 study by the International Narcotics Control Board, CBS News added.

(Dave Masko. "Super Painkiller Zohydro Feared to be 2012's New Addiction."
med December 27, 2011)

Federal agencies that ignore recommendations from within; Big Pharma executives that have financial priorities; drug lobbyists that whisper into the ears of greedy politicians -- all of this presently exists in a nation that has sold its soul to pain relief, no matter the cost of human lives. 
The system is out of control causing a Brave New World of dependents who demand to be pain free. The FDA, Big Pharma, politicians "on the take," rogue doctors and pharmacists, and illegal drug dealers are more than happy to oblige. Welcome to Prescription Nation.
Due to Zohydro painkillers, I believe suffering will increase. Zohydro comes with its own painful realities.
Zohydro is here, and despite efforts to control it, I predict the following:
Hospitals will lose incredible amounts of money treating Zohydro overdose patients. 
* Abusers will rob pharmacies while injuring and killing their staffs to get the new prescription medication. 
* Thousands (millions?) of legitimate pain patients will become addicted to the powerful prescription painkiller Zohydro, in addition to the thousands (millions?) more who will abuse them illegally.
* Drug rehabilitation centers, already overcrowded, will be unable to treat increasing  numbers of individuals who become addicted to Zohydro painkillers.
* FDA officials will gain more and more confidence that "money talks" and become the "gods" that gladly grasp blood money and open the gates ever wider to the killing fields of prescription drug abuse.

* The societal gap between the perceived "throw-away's" of society and the "good people" will increase as more addiction ravages the poor and needy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kissing Death Masks and Loving Other False Faces

 Death mask of L'Inconnue de la Seine

Halloween is the season of the false face of amusement -- the mask. A false face may be defined as an object normally worn on the face for disguise, performance, or entertainment. Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial purposes. Some ceremonial or decorative masks were not designed to be worn.

Possibly the most bizarre mask that was designed not to be worm is a death mask, a wax or plaster cast made of a person's face following death. 

Death masks have served as mementos of the dead, or even as useful molds for the creation of portraits. In some cultures, death masks are clay artifacts placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. The best known of these are the masks used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamun's mask.

In the seventeenth century in some European countries, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of corpses for purposes of identification. The facial features of unidentified bodies were sometimes preserved by creating death masks so that relatives of the deceased could recognize them if they were seeking a missing person.This function was later replaced by photography.

Death masks were increasingly used by scientists from the late eighteenth century onwards to record variations in human physiognomy.  Anthropologists used such masks to study physiognomic features in famous persons and notorious criminals. Masks were also used to collect data on racial differences.

 Death mask of Abraham Lincoln

The most intriguing death mask in history, known as L'Inconnue de la Seine ("the unknown woman of the Seine"), recorded the face of an unidentified young woman who, according to one man's story, had been found drowned at the wharf of Quai du Louvre in the Seine River at Paris, France around the late 1880s.

The body was taken to the Paris Morgue, a famous institution during its time, that attracted thousands of visitors every day until it closed in 1907. Here "the allegedly serious business of identifying anonymous corpses [turned] into a spectacle […] – in the French double sense of theater and grand display." The administrators regarded the morgue as a Paris attraction.

(Vanessa R. Schwartz. Spectacular Realities. Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris. 1999)

Here is description of the morgue from fiction:

"The morgue is a sight within reach of everybody, and one to which passers-by, rich and poor alike, treat themselves. The door stands open, and all are free to enter. There are admirers of the scene who go out of their way so as not to miss one of these performances of death. If the slabs have nothing on them, visitors leave the building disappointed, feeling as if they had been cheated, and murmuring between their teeth; but when they are fairly well occupied, people crowd in front of them and treat themselves to cheap emotions; they express horror, they joke, they applaud or whistle, as at the theatre, and withdraw satisfied, declaring the Morgue a success on that particular day."

From Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola

Whether the unknown young woman was publicly exhibited at the morgue is not known. What is known is that the body showed no signs of violence. According to legend, she was a young country girl who committed suicide by throwing herself into the Seine in Paris perhaps because of unrequited love. It is said her true identity was never discovered.

A male pathologist at the Paris Morgue was reportedly so taken by her beauty that he and another molder worked for hours to make a plaster cast of her face. She was considered so beautiful that the worker said, "Her beauty was breathtaking, and showed few signs of distress at the time of passing. So bewitching that I knew beauty as such must be preserved." Some said the doctor was driven mad by love for her and later threw himself into the Seine to finally meet her in its watery embrace.

The moulder who took the cast of the face was believed to be based at the Lorenzi family model-making firm. Claire Forestier, a member of the Lorenzi family, believed that the model was not dead when the cast was taken. She worked in the family modelling workshop, and said that a dead body from a river would not have such clear features. Forestier estimated the age of the model at no more than 16, given the firmness of the skin.

Other skeptics of the time said the story was pure myth. They believed L'Inconnue de la Seine was made from the living face of a German mask maker's teenage daughter, and the father grew rich selling copies of the mask.

The key to the growing appeal of the death mask was not merely the beauty of the model, but the pleasant smile captured by the cast-maker that seemed so at odds with the reputed tragic circumstances of her death.

Philosopher and French Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus and others compared her enigmatic smile to that of the Mona Lisa, inviting numerous speculations as to what clues the eerily happy expression in her face could offer about her life, her death, and her place in society. 


In the following years, copies of the mask became a fashionable fixture in Parisian Bohemian society. L'Inconnue de la Seine soon decorated the walls of many artists' homes after 1900. The figure spread far and wide: In the United States, the mask also became known as "La Belle Italienne."

The popularity of the figure also became of interest to the history of artistic media, relating to its widespread reproduction. The original cast had been photographed, and new casts were created back from the film negatives. These new casts displayed details that are usually lost in bodies taken from the water, but the apparent preservation of these details in the visage of the cast seemed to only reinforce its authenticity.

The visage of L'Inconnue de la Seine became the inspiration for numerous literary works. From novelists who took the story to dramatic (and perhaps melodramatic) heights, to well-respected writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Vladimir Nabokov who made mention of l’Inconnue in their work, the popularity of the image and the story had an immense effect on French and German culture in the 1920s and ’30s.

Critic A. Alvarez wrote in his book on suicide, The Savage God: "I am told that a whole generation of German girls modeled their looks on her." According to Hans Hesse of the University of Sussex, Alvarez reports, "the Inconnue became the erotic ideal of the period, as Bardot was for the 1950s. He thinks that German actresses like Elisabeth Bergner modeled themselves on her. She was finally displaced as a paradigm by Greta Garbo."

(Al Alvarez. The Savage God. A Study of Suicide. 1971) 

A Fact: L'Inconnue de la Seine Is  
"The Most 'Kissed' Face of All Time"

So what does a death mask have to do with science? In the 1950s, pioneering medical researchers Peter Safar and James Elam got together to devise a method for teaching people cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They agreed that a training dummy was the best option, and they collaborated with the Norwegian toymaker Asmund Laerdal to develop the model.

Asmund Laerdal knew the story of the death mask of the unknown young woman whose body had been fished out of the Seine River at Quai du Louvre. He chose to make the face of the CPR dummy female, recognizing that men might be reluctant to kiss a male image, and he decided that the perfect visage for the new doll would be the face of L’Inconnue de la Seine. So, in 1958, her face was used as a model for the first CPR doll, dubbed Resusci Anne (Rescue Annie). 

Thus, the cold lips of the death mask of L’Inconnue de la Seine were reborn to offer a "kiss" of life, survival for anyone in extreme peril. This is one beautiful face that conquered untimely death and remains ready to instruct future generations. What a strange tale of an unidentified Sleeping Beauty.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Dollar Deals on Amazon: Yes, One Buck or Less


Everyone knows a dollar won't buy you anything these days. If you want to purchase something, you better take a five or a ten. That's the state of the economy and the way it is in the good old U.S.A.
Still, with a bargain in my mind and a dollar in my hand, I searched Amazon, my favorite Internet shopping site, and compiled a list of items you can purchase online for $1.00 or less. I decided to post this blog entry to see if anyone cared to spend a little hard-earned cash and possibly acquire a decent buy.
Let me set some parameters for my Dollar Deals.
First of all, I do not guarantee the quality of these items. Each item has a description; however, I will leave it up to you, the reader, to judge the descriptions and the purchasers' comments about the buys. I take no responsibility for guaranteed satisfaction if you order the merchandise. Whatever the price, you may wish to search for similar items that express more durability and better construction.
Also, I understand that some items are meant to be "add on's" because the shipping of such stock may cost three times or more the cost of each individual unit. So, to qualify for free shipping, you may wish to purchase your deal with other stock in an Amazon order.
Last, I researched the prices and quantity of available items during October 27- October 29, 2013. I hope the bargains are still available, yet everything is subject to change. I have included the interactive Amazon address for each entry. I hope you enjoy the read and the searches. May you, indeed, "get your money's worth" and "milk the dollar bill."



 1. Vidal Sassoon Wide Tooth Comb

List Price: $2.59


Wide Tooth Comb has wide teeth for easy detangling and smoothing both wet and dry hair! 
Easy grip, and the sturdy plastic teeth can stand up to the rigors of detangling 
Best for medium and long hair 
Color: tan brown 
Package includes 1 tan colored plastic comb

2. Angel Sales PosturePro Lumbar Support

List Price:$19.99
Price:$0.60 ($0.04 / oz)
$19.39 (97%) 


Perfect for use at home, work, and in the car
Ergonomic lumbar support system
Attaches to seat with elastic strap
Adjusts up or down for the perfect fit
Mesh fabric allows air to flow through 

3. Tree of Rock Buttons by Gdogs Cosmic Rock Poster

 List Price:$14.00
You Save:$13.01 (93%) 
Size: (19x13) Unframed
(19x13) Double-side Lamination
(19x13) Poster Hanger EZ-Hang Frame
(19x13) Unframed
  • Decorate your walls with this brand new poster
  • Ships quickly and safely in a sturdy protective tube
  • Measures 13.00 by 19.00 inches
  • High quality full color poster with white border


4.  HDE Solar Powered Emergency Backup 3x Bright LED Flashlight Keychain Green Energy

List Price:$12.99
You Save:$11.99 (92%)
  • Flashlight Keychain powered by solar energy: no batteries to replace!
  • 3 bright LED bulbs
  • Dimensions: L - 2in/5cm, W - 1.25in/3.17cm, H - .39in/1cm
  • Package Contents: 1 x solar keychain flashlight
  • HDE® is a registered trademark and is the only authorized seller of HDE branded products

5. 4pc Pocket Credit Card-Size Magnifier 2X - Flexible Vinyl


  • Handy magnification tool that fits in your wallet or purse!
  • Stiff vinyl is durable, scratch-resistant, virtually unbreakable; excellent quality
  • Fresnel lens magnifies 200% original size without bulk of regular lens
  • Includes protective pouch
  • Perfect for menus, phone numbers, maps, prescription labels
  • Four 3" x 2" cards so you'll always have one handy 

6. I SUPPORT THE CAUSE Large 2.25" Pinback Button ~ Breast Cancer Awareness Support

Price: $0.99

  • *NEW High Quality Magnet
  • *Magnet measures 2.25" in diameter

7. Grabber Hunting Supplies Products Hand Warmers

  • Perfect for hunters, fisherman, campers or anyone who works or plays in cold
  • Portable heat source operates at an average temperature of 135 degrees seven hours or more
  • Easily fits in gloves and pockets
  • Packaged two

The original Grabber Hand Warmers is perfect for hunters, fisherman, campers or anyone who works or plays in cold. Just open the outer package and remove the warmer. Within minutes you have a portable heat source that operates at an average temperature of 135 degrees for seven hours or more. Easily fits in gloves and pockets. Packaged Two.

8. Classic Wood Carpenter's Folding Ruler - 40" - SAE & Metric Markings

Price: $0.97


Classic measuring tool with 40"/100cm solid surface
Folds down to 6" for easy storage & carrying
One side marked in inches to 40" by 1/16" increments
Other side to 100cm by 1mm
Durable 1/8"-thick x 5/8" wood with steel hinges; yellow with black markings

9. HDE® Stylus Pen for Capacitive Touch Screen Kindle Fire and iPad (Silver)

List Price:$5.99
You Save:$5.04 (84%) 

  • Smooth, pen-like grip, touch and writing experience on your tablet device
  • Lightweight and fits in your pocket
  • Compatible with all capacitive touch screen devices
  • Package Contents: 1 x stylus pen
  • HDE® is a registered trademark and is the only authorized seller of HDE branded products

10. SE FL340 Finger Led Light, 4-Pack 

List Price:$5.24
You Save:$4.44 (85%)

  • 4 pc set in White, Blue, Green and Red
  • Super Bright, Long Life Hook and Loop Straps to fit Fingers, Pens, pencils, Tools, etc.
  • Uses 3 AG10 batteries (included).
  • Made In China

11. Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Beginner's Activity Book Series)

 Price:  $0.90

  • Age Range: 6 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 6
  • Series: Beginner's Activity Book Series
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (January 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
 This is a coloring/storybook for kids under 5 yrs old. There are several different varieties in this Dover Activity series of coloring books. This one happens to be the famous "Goldilocks and The Three Bears."

Each page features a large black-and-white illustration followed by anywhere from one sentence to a short paragraph explaining the story. The words are big and simple to understand for young readers.

At just a buck (Amazon's price), the cover feels solid and not flimsy. Also each page is of adequate quality and won't tear easily from heavy drawing. I also recommend checking out some of Dover's other illustrative coloring books which have more detailed drawings.

12.  Tide Travel Sink Packets, 3-Count

Price:   $0.90

  • Just enough Tide liquid detergent to wash a few items in the sink when traveling
  • Now take Tide with Acti-Lift with you
  • $1.00 off coupon enclosed, redeemable for any size Tide Detergent

13.  The Essential Guide to the Best FREE Books on Kindle. The Best Free Books for Kindle, updated daily [Kindle Edition]

Price:  $0.99 Month
  • Kindle Blogs are auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle and updated throughout the day so you can stay current.
  • It's risk free - this Kindle Blog subscription starts with a 14-day free trial. You can cancel at any time during the free trial period. If you enjoy your subscription, do nothing and it will automatically continue at the regular price.
This blog gives Kindle readers the chance to discover the best free books. We review at many as three new books every day. You can download the book directly from each post. Try our new blog with a free 14 day trial, and never miss another new or interesting free ebook again.

14. Big Guy Duct Tape Reusable Fabric Sticky Tie

Price:  $0.99
  • It's Actually Fabric!
  • Stickyties will no tear, can be wiped clean and are safe on any surface.
  • Good for at least 10 uses
  • Approx: 11 1/4" Long
  • Works best on clothing or surfaces that are free of loose fibers.

 15. Pasta Spoon Server , or Egg Lifter Tool with draining hole

Price:  $0.79

  • nylon head with stainless steel grip
  • for spooning pasta and spaghetti etc
  • dishwasher safe
  • tried and tested
  • traditional design

16. Rain Zone Plastic Rain Ponchos, 2-ct

Price:  $0.99

  • Keep these on hand just in case!
  • Lightweight and Disposable
  • Great for Travel and Outdoor Activities
  • One size fits most
Never get caught unprepared in a downpour again! Disposable rain ponchos are perfect for travel, outdoor activities and sporting events, roadside emergencies. Plus, one size fits most.

 17 (a.) Waterproof Matches, Box of 50, Emergency Zone Brand


  • Box of 50 waterproof matches, light even when soaked in water.
  • Great for emergency use.
  • Require striking on the box.
  • Perfect for camping, hiking, survival kit.

And, as a special part of the #17 listing, spend just a little more for greater protection in case of emergency. Add this slightly higher-priced item to your survival kit. For when the matches run out.

17. (b.) BestDealUSA New Black Steel Flint Magnesium Stone Fire Starter Safe and Durable Survival Kit

  • Brand new and high quality
  • Flint stone containing magnesium powder
  • Safe, convenient carrying and durable. Can be used more than 1000 times
  • Start fire easily and quickly with just some spark
  • Can be used in most weather or low temperature

18. Beer Styles Around the World Poster

List Price: $20.00
Price: $0.51
You Save: $19.49 (97%)
with bit of history

  • Decorate your walls with this brand new poster
  • Easy to frame and makes a great gift too
  • Ships quickly and safely in a sturdy protective tube
  • Measures 24.00 by 36.00 inches (60.96 by 91.44 cms)

19. Mother Earth's Soaps Unscented Baby Soap with Goat's Milk, Avocado Oil, and Cocoa Butter

Price:$1.00 ($0.50 / oz)


This natural, homemade soap is fragrance-free, gentle and safe for babies, toddlers, and family.
Hypoallergenic -Specially formulated with ingredients won't cause allergies in newborns and toddlers
Made with skin nourishing ingredients including
extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, and goat's milk.
No harmful chemicals. Free of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and related synthetic detergents. 
No artificial dyes, fragrances, or preservatives. Gluten-free.
This soap, while not vegan since it contains goat's milk, does not contain any other animal products and is not tested on animals. 
This soap is safe to use on babies, toddlers, and children.

20. Whoopee Cushion

Price: $0.85

Whoopee Cushions are funny! They make us laugh and bring out the immaturity in all of us. Who can resist the look of horror on the victim's face? Break the ice at your next team meeting. Set-up a co-worker by placing a Whoopee cushion on their chair... be sure to distract them as they sit down so they don't see the trick. After everyone has a good laugh, you'll be on your way to having a very upbeat and positive meeting.

21. SODIAL(R) Scalp Head Massager (Colors May Vary)

Price: $0.75


Relax stressed muscles
Provides deep relaxation and helps reduce stress
Relieve aches and pains
This Scalp Massager relieves tension as it softly massages acupressure points 
Stimulates sensitive nerves in your scalp.
Great for home, office or travel, this device is a great way to unwind after a long day.

Price: $0.99 


The flowers of Lunaria bloom in the late spring and early summer
Plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and have large coarsely toothed leaves
Proper name: Lunaria annual
Plants will grow in almost any soil that is well-drained
20+ Money Plant Seeds

How could you possibly go wrong here? Spend a buck and grow Money Plants that produce silver dollars. Everyone needs a Money Tree. 

23. Wholesale New Choice 8 Digits Solar Power Thin Mini Small Card Style Calculator by ANLO

Price: $0.99


Solar power
8 digits
With Memory plus, memory minus, memory recall, memory clear and percent plus-minus function
As large as name card
Light weight, small extension, easy to carry
Color: black
Dimension: 86*55*3mm
Net Weight: 13g
Unit Packing Gross Weight: 30g 


24. St. Patrick's Day Good Luck Clover Wrist Bands (Pair)

Price: $0.91

  • Brand new Fantastic quality Saint Patrick's Day Green & White Wrist Bands
  • Great accessory for any Adult Saint Patrick's Day Green & White costume
  • This posting includes: 1 White and 1 Green Shamrock Wrist Bands

25. A song of your choice from Amazon

Price: $0.99 
Some as low as $0.69

I saved the best and most diverse for last. Download a song and enjoy it forever.

Amazon offers more than 20 million songs and over 1 million albums from your favorite artists. Songs at Amazon MP3 start at just $0.99

You can shop from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone or tablet, or Kindle Fire, and MP3 songs and albums you purchase from Amazon – even those you purchased in the past – will be automatically saved to Cloud Player, which means you'll have a secure backup copy of the music you buy at Amazon, free of charge.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Undone Buttons: When We Ran

We Ran  

Lyric by John Hiatt

Could have been the kiss of my life
Could have been the death of me
Could have been that I was just too scared
To wait around and see

You could have been a guardian angel

I could have been the wicked one
Besides the buttons on our shirts, girl,
What else did we leave undone?
When we ran
Was it just the time slippin' through our hands?
Right through our hands

Maybe I was tryin' to tell ya
I'd never known a love so strong
Maybe in the shadows of the night
We just couldn't tell right from wrong
Maybe it's a real-life story
Livin' with the sad regrets
Maybe it was just a sweet dream baby
Somethin' that I can't forget
When we ran
Was it just the time slippin' through our hands?

You only had to say the word
I would have turned around and heard
But as it is we can't turn back
The mind's just a trash can, baby
And the memories, rolling dice
We had something one time, girl,
But we thought about it twice
When we ran
When we ran ...

The most haunting questions in our minds remain because "we ran" from past opportunities. With our own foible intuition, we distanced ourselves from certain situations and encounters. Then, at a conceived "safe distance" from the questionable opportunity, we tried to convince ourselves that these things were not to be. Even if we say God or fate "meant" whatever "became," we can never deny our own "running away."

Try as we might, we cannot evict the emotions of our own desertion from our memory. Perhaps that is because uncertainty never dies.

Important puzzles of our past remain unsolved in our brains -- moments, opportunities, could have's, maybe's -- the indelible memories of brief encounters left undone. Premature evasions litter our memories as refuse. They serve no purpose, so we should let them die and repress them, yet when "we ran" from uncertain outcomes, we assured their permanent addresses in the avenues of our lingering wonders and regrets. 

Even the briefest past encounter from which we ran can greatly disturb our minds. One hello, one kiss, one smile, one touch, one remark, or one action that we feel we left too rashly may be burned into our memories because we lacked the will to pursue it. And, even though our trusted conscience and reliable logic convinced us "running away" was the best possible choice, we continue to wonder what might have been if we had stayed the course.

Consideration and patience are admirable traits, but they are certainly not foolproof. Wonderful opportunities can elude us when our modus operandi is to flee in trepidation at the first sign of uncertainty. Then, we may become terrified of living in the moment because of all the possible unpleasant consequences. And yet we know taking calculated risks increase our chances of being happy. 

It is important to understand that when "we ran" from circumstance, we initiated the division. That caused the pain that remains in our memories. "We" did "it" to our ourselves, no matter the result of the lost opportunity. As much as we would love to blame our desertions on others, we know we have only ourselves to blame. Whether "a run" resulted in positive or negative consequences will remain unknown and haunt us because we neglected to fulfill our obligation to complete the task.

You see, rationality and running are usually at odds. We are often told by the wise that "running away" from problems and decisions is unacceptable behavior. In fact, most believe purposely avoiding outcomes shows cowardice. Yet, we all use flight to avoid unforeseen circumstances. In short, we all "run."

As the great artist John Hiatt writes, perhaps these flights of the past were just times that "slipped through our hands." And, God and Willie Nelson know well that "time slips away" from all of us. But, that's another lyric and another blog entry.

One thing I do know is that I would have done less "running" from opportunities that showed the slightest promise. I should have tried to optimize my gamble instead of avoiding variety and looking for the one "real thing" in life. Hell, I'm not sure now exactly what is real. And, besides, now I know it is impossible to read the cards until you play out the promising hand.

John Hiatt

Linda Ronstadt singing John Hiatt's "We Ran"

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Ignorant Parents Who Own Guns Are Responsible For School Shootings

Violence is endemic in America. No place is safe from brutes intent on hurting innocent people. Who can deny these terrifying realities? We like to believe schools are safe havens for our precious children, yet we know that even schools are not immune from attacks by gun-toting student psychopaths.

In institutions where bullying and fighting are commonplace, conditions are ripe for hot heads to take the "next step" and bring a weapon to class. As a nation, we must do more to stop children from bringing guns to American schoolhouses.

An NBC news report revealed in a survey that from January 2, 2013 to February 5, 2013, at least 48 incidents occurred in U.S. schools in which guns were discovered on students, in their bags or in their lockers.

That was a staggering 48 incidents in just 23 class days since some districts resumed school January 2 — not including January 21, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. (The survey excluded incidents in which pupils were caught with toy guns; all of the weapons were handguns, rifles, BB guns or air rifles.) And those are just the cases that were made public: Juveniles' police records are generally protected, so an untold number of other such incidents are likely to have occurred.

(M. Alex Johnson. "Pistol-packing Pupils Becoming an 
Everyday Occurrence." NBC News, February 5, 2013)

What Can Be Done?

There are over 280 million guns in civilian hands. And, of course, we like to think that all of the extremities that clutch these weapons belong to responsible adults who are well educated in gun safety. Of course, this is not so. Given the stupidity and violent tendencies of so many incautious adults, guns are openly available to smaller hands. Many of these easily attainable parents' firearms are used in school shootings.

The Children's Defense Fund reports that one-third of all households with children younger than 18 have a gun and more than 40% of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked. The statistics show that 22% of children with gun-owning parents have handled guns in their homes without their parents' knowledge, and more than half of the youth who committed suicide with a gun obtained the gun from their home, usually a parent's gun.

We must face the truth. 
Children in great numbers
 are allowed free access 
to firearms by their parents. 

A thirst for violence and revenge mixed with young, raging hormones make an unsecured gun an easy, attractive option as a weapon for a student who wants to "even the score" in our schools. A firearm has become the deadly tool of choice for the many violent young people.

According to the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) “Protect Children, Not Guns 2010” compilation of reliable national and state data on gun violence in America, one in five high school students reports carrying a weapon (not denoted how many "weapons" were firearms); one-third of those students brought the weapon to school. One in 18 high school students reported staying home from school because they felt unsafe at school or going to and from school.

 (Toni Wellen. "Gun Violence and Children." Santa Barbara 
Coalition Against Gun Violence. January 21, 2011)

What can be done to keep guns out of schools? Parents and legal guardians must be held directly accountable and must be prosecuted as those responsible for allowing their children access to weapons.

When authorities discover unsecured firearms in homes occupied by children, the law must take no pity upon the owner of these weapons. The adult's right to gun ownership should be revoked, and they should face serious criminal charges. Strict proactive measures must be enforced as a step toward deterrence. An uneducated adult gun owner living with children has no excuse in the eyes of the law.

Adult gun owners must be tried for all direct links that allow their children to access a gun and bring it to American campuses or to any public place. When his or her child maims and murders others, that parental gun owner must be held accountable for the offense. These guilty adults are accomplices to the heinous crimes, and they deserve to be considered criminals with no excuse for their misbehavior. And, remember, the law considers the age of majority when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions as 18 years of age.

If found guilty of negligence as it relates to gun possession or gun violence by their children, parents must be convicted and sentenced to stiff penalties. As harsh as it seems, stupid, uncaring adults, often absent from the scene of possession and the scene of the crime, must be held fully accountable. A parental gun owner is solely responsible for his or her firearm, especially when held in the hands of their child -- a child intent on squeezing the trigger at will.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Man With Handgun In New Boston, Ohio, KMart

Yesterday afternoon I had to make a return to the KMart store in New Boston. I arrived there, walked into the store and proceeded to the customer service counter, which faced the entry door. As I was waiting my turn in a short line of customers, I saw a nice-looking young couple with a small baby enter the store. At first, I thought nothing of their presence, but then I noticed something on the hip of the man. I looked closer. There, in a holster strapped to his side was a handgun.

I confess the couple did not look threatening or aggressive in any way; however, I was shocked to see someone feeling the need to strap on a gun and enter my local KMart. I watched them very carefully as they casually began to stroll the aisles. They walked out of sight, but I did inform the cashier that someone had just entered the store with a handgun and asked about their responsibility for the safety of customers.

The cashier told me that it was perfectly legal to carry the weapon and there was nothing the store was required to do about the situation. I asked, "How do you determine when someone enters your store with a gun to commit an armed robbery or worse?" She answered that security would take care of such an illegal entry. Security? My mind raced to Mayberry and Barney Fife armed with an unloaded firearm and a single bullet in his pocket.

I know a little about Ohio's concealed carry law. I am fully aware many people lawfully carry concealed weapons into public places. Yet, something about this couple with the baby and the open carry consumed my thoughts. I was awash with emotions of distrust, awe, and sadness. For God's sake, this man had the weapon in plain view for all to fear.

What the hell is the world coming to when people feel the need to sport a firearm in broad daylight when shopping at KMart? I am so glad I don't have that kind of fear for my life and the lives of my loved ones.

Yesterday, I began to feel ashamed that my community had to harbor mentalities of the old, wild West. I was very disturbed about publicly armed residents fearing for their safety and about a perception of rampant lawlessness that has evidently caused such a desperate need for self protection.

Unsure of Ohio open and concealed public carry laws and full of questions, I returned home to do some research. What I found was revealing and very interesting. And, please, correct me if my of my findings are inaccurate. I am no authority in such matters, and I do not want to spread any half-truths or misconceptions.

Ohio Concealed Carry

First, let me review my findings about Ohio restrictions on concealed carry.

Section 2923.126 of Ohio law sets forth several places where residents are not allowed to carry a handgun. People cannot carry a concealed handgun into the following places:

• Police stations
• Sheriffs’ offices
• Highway Patrol posts. Premises controlled by the Ohio Bureau • of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
• Correctional institutions or other detention facilities
• Airport terminals or commercial airplanes.
• Institutions for the care of mentally ill persons.
• Courthouses or buildings in which a courtroom is located.
• Universities, unless locked in a motor vehicle or in the process of being locked in a motor vehicle.
• Places of worship, unless the place of worship permits otherwise.
• Child day care centers.

• Government facilities that are not used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility for motor vehicles, or rest facility and is not a courthouse or a building or structure in which a courtroom is located.• School safety zones. A “school safety zone” includes a school, school building, school premises, school activity, and school bus. For purposes of this statute, a school includes everything up to the property boundary. The law generally forbids the carrying of a handgun in a school safety zone unless all of the following apply:

You do not enter a school building, premises or activity; and you have a concealed carry license or temporary emergency license; and you are not otherwise in one of the forbidden places listed above and detailed in R.C. 2923.126 (B); or

You are a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off a child, and you are not otherwise in violation of the laws governing the transportation of firearms in motor vehicle.

 Ohio Open Carry
Now, let me show you what I discovered about open carry. According to the Buckeye Firearms Association ...

"Nothing in Ohio’s concealed carry law requires a license holder to carry their firearm strictly concealed. Rather, Ohio’s concealed carry law is mostly a series of exceptions to the existing criminal statutes. 

"For instance, see Revised Code § 2923.12(C)(2). The main statute, § 2923.12(A)(2), prohibits carrying a concealed handgun, and section (C)(2) simply states that the main statute does not apply to someone with a Concealed Handgun License. 

"While some states do require strict concealment by their license holders, Ohio has not taken this approach. Further, there is nothing in Ohio’s concealed carry law that requires a license holder to forfeit their constitutional and statutory right to bear arms in order to obtain a Concealed Handgun License. Thus, a person who has been issued a Concealed Handgun License may still openly carry a firearm if they chose to do so, provided all other laws are observed."

Evidently, in Ohio, you have never needed a permit to carry a gun in public, and you still don't --- you just can't conceal it. As long as you haven't been convicted of a felony, if you want to wear a pistol on your belt or walk around town carrying a shotgun, Ohio has no law against it.

Open carry is a legal activity in Ohio provided the person is not under disability (prohibited from owning firearms, legally intoxicated, etc.), though is subject to applicable state and federal laws (certain premises are off limits). An important side note is that carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle without a concealed handgun license is not permitted in Ohio.

You can open carry a rifle if you are over the age of 18, but not a handgun. You cannot open carry a handgun unless you are 21 in Ohio, regardless of any other State's law pertaining to the legal age to carry, or ownership of a handgun.

Some "Open" Occurrences In Ohio

Here is a news story from Parma in 2009.

Bill Carlisle went to a Parma Taco Bell while openly carrying a firearm, and witnesses claimed they thought they "were about to witness a robbery." Jared Leon diligently called the police. He claimed Carlisle was "looking around all crazy."

The police responded and during the course of the stop, Carlisle repeatedly pleaded his case that open carry is legal and that simply carrying a gun was not cause to be detained. He told officers that he had been carrying openly for a long time and that his reason for doing so was that he did not have a concealed handgun license yet.

The police officers on the scene offered up numerous scenarios and explanations while waiting to hear back from a supervisor whether or not he had broken any laws. In the end Carlisle had not broken the law. It was determined that personal bias against armed citizens can't dictate a person's actions, only the law does.

"We as a city, as a police department don't agree with it, but we're stuck with it," said Captain Robert Desimone of the Parma Police Department. "That's the law, we have to uphold it." 

(Daniel White. "Fox News in Ohio Covers Open Carry of a Firearm. March 20, 2009)

Here is another case of open carry reported by The Columbus Dispatch reported in 2008.

"Philip Turner, then 30, was walking from his Hilliard apartment to his parked truck wearing a gun on his belt. At the time, Turner worked protecting banks' ATMs as they were serviced and delivering diamonds to jewelry stores.

"An undercover agent with the Ohio Investigative Unit -- the police agency that enforces the state's alcohol, tobacco and food-stamp laws -- saw the gun and quickly ordered him against his truck with his hands on his head.

"'He came up and treated me like a felon for absolutely no reason at all,' Turner said. 'There wasn't even a suspicious action on my part to warrant him taking this action against me. Had I been out waving a gun around the parking lot, (then) yeah.'

"After being detained for about 30 minutes, and after Hilliard police arrived at the agent's request, Turner was released without charges. An internal investigation that concluded this week found that neither Agent Timothy Gales, who had stopped Turner, nor his partner, Betty Ford, did anything wrong.

"However, it also revealed that Gales did not know it was legal for Turner to carry a gun openly, said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. As a result, more than 100 agents in the unit are to attend a mandatory refresher course on Ohio's gun laws over the next couple of months, she said.

"The investigation report said that, weeks before Turner was stopped, agents stopped a 13- or 14-year-old boy who was carrying a rifle in public. They called his mother, who retrieved the gun. Then they called a supervisor to figure out what charge to file against the boy.

"The answer: nothing. The supervisor advised them that 'it was their right to carry a gun openly and they were allowed to do this,' according to the report.

"Ohio law says you can't sell a gun to people younger than 18 or provide them with one, except for 'hunting, sporting or educational purposes,' said Lt. Shawn Davis of the State Highway Patrol. A child must take a gun-safety course before going hunting, Davis added.

"It's not illegal 'that we see' for a juvenile of any age to carry a gun in public, said Jennifer Brindisi, a spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office.

"Turner, who has a license to carry a concealed gun, said he was carrying his gun openly 'because it's my right. I choose to exercise my right to protect myself.' He doesn't know whether the two agents pulled their guns; he was instructed not to face them. The agents told investigators they didn't."

(Billl Bush. "Openly Carrying a Gun Not a Crime."  
The Columbus Dispatch. March 30, 2008)

Yet, it wouldn't be unreasonable for officers to draw their guns until they know what the situation is, said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Division.

"The first thing we need to address: This man has a gun," Weiner said. "We're going to pull our guns. As a police officer, we also have the right to protect ourselves and protect the public, so we do have the right to disarm him momentarily. Now everybody is a little bit more at ease. We don't have a potential weapon being used against an officer or anybody else."

According to Weiner, Ohio law says that if the open display of a firearm is causing panic, the gun owner could be charged with inducing panic. "If you carry it onto private property, you could be charged with trespassing," he said.

My Take

People are carrying handguns on open display in public shopping areas and restaurants filled with people -- babies, children, women, senior citizens. Many who tote these weapons have attitudes and believe they have something to prove about their gun rights. Many of them are evidently in great fear of others who might attack innocent people in a crowd. Many others feel their guns give them the edge in a society that is largely lawless. This volatile mix spells potential death and destruction to me.

Just who are the "bad guys" these days? And, how should we deal with them?

I completely understand the need for self protection. But, it's the combination of fear and bravado possessed by those who choose to open carry that concerns me. These are not new emotions by any means. Even the friendly handshake was born of distrust and a little danger. Supposedly, an ancient Roman man who approached another made it a habit to grab the person's forearm to be sure the man was not concealing a knife in his toga sleeve.

The thought of open weapons in public brings me to another silly idea. Why shouldn't those who fear for their lives openly carry swords in scabbards? Is anyone foolish enough to believe that scores of such "lawful" ninjas in KMart would be considered "normal" and "expedient" to insuring public safety?

But, in the case of an occasional "nut" with a sword bent on killing innocents, wouldn't you rather face him with his knife than with a handgun? Is it legal for Ohio residents to openly carry knives? Do they have to take a knife-training course to do so? Where can they carry? At what age can they carry?

Let me answer some questions about blades. Do you know it is legal to own any type of knife in Ohio? I can find no age restriction in the law. Also, Ohio law does not restrict the concealed carry of any specific knife except for what it calls a “dangerous ordnance” which includes ballistic knives.

"Ballistic" knives? That term sounds like a reference to a firearm, not a blade. It may surprise you what the law considers to be a "ballistic knife." In fact, Ohio law seems stricter on carrying blades than on carrying guns.

The concealed carry statute in Ohio simply makes it illegal to conceal carry any deadly weapon. The Ohio Supreme Court said in State v. Anderson, that to convict a defendant of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, the state must prove that the instrument is capable of inflicting death and that it is either designed or adapted for use as a weapon or that it is being carried as a weapon. Some knives that are very likely to be found to deadly weapons, and therefore illegal to conceal carry include:
  • Dirks, daggers, or other stabbing knives
  • Switchblades
  • Balisong, or butterfly knives
  • Gravity knives
  • Stilettos
  • Dirks, daggers, or other stabbing knives
  • Switchblades
  • Balisong, or butterfly knives
  • Gravity knives
  • Stilettos
Where is the parity of the law as it applies to open and concealed carry of guns and knives? I am pretty certain a person in a public place will be arrested for openly displaying a knife, especially a knife considered "deadly." And, honestly, aren't most knives "deadly" or "ballistic" depending upon your choice of semantics?

One last thought on the "safe," armed couple I saw at KMart. I couldn't help but wonder if the man loaded the handgun after parking his car since he isn't allowed to carry a loaded weapon in his vehicle. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) And, how about the safety of the baby? Was the child in the vehicle in the presence of a loaded gun? Shooting accidents can and do happen. What risks were taken? Who might have been in danger?

Here is my stand. I don't want to carry a handgun or a knife into KMart. I must be one of the "foolish" people who feels I don't need to do it. Those who do so shock me and make me extremely wary. Anyway, most of my shopping experiences do not lack for excitement.

It's enough of a deadly encounter to dodge KMartians and WalMartians trying to run over me in the parking lot trying to get that close open parking space. I don't need the added consumer suspense of dealing with Southern Ohio gunslingers and swashbucklers inside the stores. Does anyone have some Kevlar body armor for sale ... and cheap, please? After all, I'm looking for the blue light special. (I guess I just showed my age.)