This Day in History. "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." - George Santayana

Friday, August 28, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! #4: Michael Jackson's Death Ruled a Homicide

[It's been a short while since I've posted, so here's another one in the "You've Got To Be Kidding Me!" series]

I was reading in the news today, amidst speculation that Jacko's death was a homicide, that it was officially ruled as such by the coroner. You've got to be kidding me!

I can definitely say it was not a suicide by any means, and part of me really thinks this is a case of wrongful death, but homicide or even manslaughter? I just cannot agree that enough of the fault lies on the doctor to rule against him. Certainly the doctor prescribed Propofol, which according to the article can only be administered by anaesthesiologists, violating medical guidelines; I hear that many of the "Doctors to the Stars" will prescribe a variety of drugs to sedate their clients. But at what point do we put the onus on those who have been prescribed the drugs rather than those doctors who have prescribed the drugs?

My fear is, based upon the outpouring of ridiculous coverage of Michael Jackson after his death, that people are simply searching to find a scapegoat for Michael's often weird and outlandish behavior. If Michael was taking the reported 60+ prescriptions, at what point did he not say to himself: "These are a lot of fucking pills!" For that matter, I cannot imagine that Michael was so non-techno-savvy that he could not look up "Propofol" on the internet (WebMD, Wikipedia, etc.). We may never know how many pills MJ was advised to take, but if it is as powerful as it's said to be, I highly doubt the doctor was like "Dr. Spaceman (pronounced Spa-chi-min)" from 30 Rock and said "Take as many as you'd like."

MJ was an amazing pop-star. He reached out and touched the world and I have many fond memories in the early-to-mid-80's of listening to his music. But at some point, we all need to admit that he snapped and become an incredibly odd and (excuse me) fucked up individual. Is there no reasonable doubt here that perhaps Michael took too many of these pills on his own accord?

It's not about who we WANT to hold accountable, it is about who we CAN hold accountable and I sincerely doubt there is enough evidence to conclude that MJ's death was the doctor's fault. Sorry, but I'm just not so infatuated with Michael Jackson that I think he was not capable of doing wrong. Quite honestly, this is a waste of time and money. Furthermore, I'm not a lawyer, but I have to consider whatever legal precedent this may set if there is none on record.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peter Tosh Said It Best.

I just recently finished reading an opinion piece on CNN that reminded me of our ass-backwardness in this country. Regarding pills, we are growing increasingly dependent on prescription pain killers (read: Rush Limbaugh and his Oxycontin bout) which can sometimes lead to heroin abuse - if the drug is opiate based.

The sad part is that my tax dollars (through Medicare and Medicaid) and health care premiums pay for many of these peoples' "legal" drug addictions while it is still illegal to own the smallest amount of marijuana. I see, when a big pharma company makes a drug, everything is OK about it, but use a drug recreationally (in the SAME WAY in which alcohol is consumed) or even sometimes to self-medicate persistent pain and suddenly it's a terrible thing. We can truly be a backwards country sometimes still lost in its puritanical hypocrisy.

Want to find a way to fund healthcare? I do. Regardless of the proposals on the right and left to fix healthcare, it will undoubtedly cost some amount beyond what we can already afford. Legalize marijuana, regulate it, and tax it. Immediately it will serve as a means of tax revenue, but over the long term it will help to discourage small time drug dealers, make the cross-border Mexican drug trade multitudes less lucrative, and will clear our prisons for the violent and malevolent offenders. The economic benefits will be astoundingly one-directional in our favor.

I have recently said to a few friends that the drug trade is - in my opinion - the last TRUE free market out there. Prices are set by supply and demand. There are no bailouts. You have to build your business from the ground up and cannot make more lucrative money unless you start out small-time. Can you imagine what good it would do if we prevent the "gateway" drug from being one of the cheaper ones that dealers can start selling? Ask any dealer and I would BET they started by selling marijuana in high school or sometime close to then.