Archive for May 2nd, 2012

Well, somebody hates somebody

- May 2nd, 2012

So there they are, splashed on the front page of at least one newspaper: Public sector workers stomping about yelling with “Stephen Harper Hates Me” shirts, buttons, signs and for all I know coffee mugs, mouse pads and souvenir snow globes. I can’t speak for the Prime Minister but after looking at that picture he could be forgiven for saying, as Rick does to Ugarte in Casablanca, that if he gave them any thought he probably would. What earthly use is this snarling low blow to a reasonable discussion of employment and compensation in the public sector in hard fiscal times?
Mayday protest against Stephen Harper by PSAC members with silly slogan
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Physicians, feds should do more to tackle prescription pill crisis: toxicologist

- May 2nd, 2012

Physicians and the federal government fail to treat Canada’s prescription drug crisis and it has harmful and even deadly consequences, according to a Toronto toxicologist.

“This is something that takes the lives of hundreds of Canadians every single year and yet the government isn’t doing anything as far as I can tell…nothing tangible,” said Dr. David Juurlink, a researcher at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Juurlink said he believes the Public Health Agency and Health Canada haven’t done enough to tackle a growing prescription drug dependency fueled by doctors who prescribe drugs.

“This is something that is absolutely within Health Canada’s jurisdiction,” he said. “The government could take more of an active hand in educating physicians, could take more of an active hand in actually monitoring where these drugs are going.”

Medical experts have been urging the government to compile national statistics on prescription pills to help identify hotspots and mortality statistics.

Health Canada regulates opioid pain medications under the federal Food and Drugs Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq agrees prescription pill abuse is a “serious issue” but she insists the government is acting.

“To support provinces and territories, which deliver healthcare across the country, we regularly survey on rates of prescription drug use and abuse, and share this information,” Aglukkaq said in a statement following requests for an interview.

Juurlink says the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey is a “convenience sample” with no assurance the responses are valid.

He also wonders what the government is doing with the data in addition to collecting it.

Health researchers say doctors commonly prescribe potent medications to help treat extreme pain but Juurlink says doctors “pull their prescription pads out too quickly.”

“Pain is not as common as some people suggest it is,” he said.

A British Columbia woman in a drug rehab said she wouldn’t have taken OxyContin – commonly known as hillbilly heroine – to cure post-surgery pain if her doctor would have stressed how addictive the drug is.

“I know some people who were hooked (on the feeling) off their first pill,” said the woman, who requested her name not be used.

OxyContin is no longer available on the Canadian market its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, has rolled out another painkiller called OxyNEO.

Menzoid blog roll, May 2

- May 2nd, 2012

Now that’s a political ad…

- May 2nd, 2012


It may not convince people (those who are liable to get this ad were already not huge fans of this president), but you can bet it will motivate a great many to go out and vote… And isn’t it well done, or what?

Appreciating serious politics

- May 2nd, 2012

Mitt Romney

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe American voters are ready to take a break from late-night comedy skits on the campaign trail. It’s time for grown-up politics… And stop trying to pander to everyone all the time!

Mr. Romney had better spell out clear positions on that, and on our national security. Even now the ideologically deranged sector of the tea party—tormented believers whose every living hour is devoted to the discovery of newer and more terrible violations of the Constitution—is pushing a serious legal war on the government’s right to detain terrorists.

We should hear from Mr. Romney on a matter of this kind. And in full and bold detail, what the voice of America will be in a Romney presidency—what it will stand for in regard to Syria, Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. It won’t be enough to assert in passing that we intend to stand by America’s allies, or that there will be no more apologizing for the United States, splendid vows though they are.