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Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat, Part Three

Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat, Part Three, by Peter Burrows 11/5/19 – elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’ – ‘The question is,’ said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ – ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master, that’s all.”  (From ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ by Lewis Carroll.)

In part Two, I wrote about the Humpy Dumpty world of gender identity, a surreal world of so many genders that an old guy like myself is reminded of tennis great John McEnroe, who would look at the line judge and scream, “You can not be serious!”   

Five years ago, Facebook identified 58 different genders and somebody recently upped the number to 72.  Gee, 70 more than I thought there were. Shows how “unwoke” I am.  Furthermore, this nonsense is becoming a problem in the real world.    

I had no idea how big a problem until I read an article from the Connecticut Mirror: “Transgender sports polarizes women’s advocates,” by Kathleen Megan, 7/22/19. It was about the controversy surrounding the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy that allows high school boys to compete in girls’ athletic events.    

All the boys have to do is declare they are girls and they become transgenders, eligible to compete against real girls. (Tsk, tsk. How un-PC of me. KMA.) Adding to the surreal drama, one of the real girls, a high school junior who filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, thinks it is unfair that the athletic conference allows transgender girls who haven’t had hormone treatments to compete in girls’ sports.   

Pardon me, young lady, but there is no scientific proof that hormone treatments eliminate the physical advantage post-pubescent boys have over girls.  Reduce, maybe, but not eliminate.  The hormone argument is really quite silly. Do you think, for example, that women who want to be men, “transgender men,” could undergo hormone treatments and then be able to dominate in men’s shotput, weightlifting, or pole vault events, to name just a few? Of course not.   

Yet the NCAA and Olympic Committee try to pretend such domination won’t exist for men by requiring transgender women to receive hormone treatments for at least a year, and then be tested for testosterone levels, before they can compete at the college or international level against the ladies. Puts everybody on a level playing field, right?  Right.  

No matter, in Connecticut the boys can compete against the girls, sans hormones, with predictable results.  A transgender girl has been “smashing state records” and won the Hartford Courant’s girls’ indoor track and field “athlete of the year” award in 2019.  ‘She’, along with another transgender girl, also won the state’s sportswriters’ “courage award.”   

“Courage award?” Courage for what?  There should be a “Cowards’ Award” for all the fathers who stood by as their daughters were defeated by the make-believe girls.   As long as I’m passing out awards, the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut sportswriters can share the 2019 “Stupidest PC” award. They should be proud of that one. LOTS of competition.    

For example, in second place is the group of 16 Connecticut women’s rights/gender justice groups who signed a statement supporting “the full inclusion of transgender people in athletics.” That should incense every father with daughters, especially if their daughters are involved in sports. Have you ever seen a young lady cry because she came in second? I have, and my heart went out to her.  If she had come in second to a young man, my reaction would not have been sympathy, but OUTRAGE!        

The statement also said, “Transgender girls are girls and transgender women are women. They are not and should not be referred to as boys or men, biological or otherwise. We speak from experience when we say that nondiscrimination protections for transgender people, including women and girls who are transgender, advance women’s equality and well-being.”    

That utterly absurd Humpty Dumpty statement should outrage everybody, especially feminists.  Really ladies, how in Hell does getting your asses kicked in athletics by transgenders advance women’s equality?   

Having said that, I have no objection to transgenders competing against OTHER TRANSGENDERS, including separate competitions for those with hormone treatment and those without. That’s only fair.   

What isn’t fair is when special interest groups demand privileges that take away the rights of others. That’s the case with transgender girls in athletics, who take home the trophies that rightfully belong to the biological girls. This transgender PC bullshit will destroy women’s sports. I think the majority of feminists would agree with me, as well as the majority of transgender adults.  I know damn well you men with daughters agree.   

Finally, proof that Humpty was a Democrat came last June when the House of Representatives voted 243 to 183 to allow transgenders to serve openly in the military.  Only nine Republicans voted with the majority, and only one Democrat with the minority. (Colin Peterson, MN. Unsurprisingly, a 75 –year-old army vet.) Since 2016 the military has spent $8 million treating 1,100 service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria, including 161 sex change operations.  That’s with our money, folks.   

Even though I would have voted with the minority, I’m OK with transgenders serving at the invitation of the military, e.g. where special skills are needed.  For transgenders to serve at their discretion? Absolutely not. Military service is an obligation, not a right.  I would make the same argument for homosexuals.    

It’s time to stop this madness.  It’s time to tell Humpty who is ‘master’ and push him off the wall.  

 

Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat Part Two

Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat, Part Two, by Peter Burrows 11/3/19 – elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’  From ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass,’ by Lewis Carroll  

If a boy wants to be a girl and then declares he is a girl, does that make him a girl? Conversely, if a girl says she is henceforth a boy, does that make her a boy? 

Some of you are thinking, “Stupid questions! Burro is off his meds again.”   

If only. Those are questions being answered in the affirmative all too often today, and it’s time for the adults to put a stop to this Humpty Dumpty nonsense.  For those of you who are not yet “woke” to what I’m referring to, it’s the push to grant transgenders privileges that deny cisgenders their rights.  

O.K., what is a transgender and what is a cisgender?   

A transgender is a person who identifies with the opposite sex and wants to be the opposite sex.  This is not the same as being attracted to people of the same sex, which the dictionary defines as homosexuality. Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to, regardless of your sex.  

Cisgender is the antonym to transgender. A cisgender identifies with the gender they were born with. Both cisgenders and transgenders can be homosexuals.  Are you confused?  Me, too, and it gets worse. For example, a transgender man can get pregnant. You’re thinking, “A MAN can get pregnant?” Yup. You see, a “transgender man” is physically a woman and a “transgender woman” is physically a man.  

Political correctness requires that we address transgenders with the pronoun appropriate to whichever sex they are identifying with. Bruce Jenner, for example, now calls HERSELF Caitlyn Jenner.  I’m OK with that because it’s a harmless social courtesy, but prior to Jenner’s sex-change surgery, if Caitlyn had wanted to go to the ladies’ room with my daughter, HE would have been asked to wait outside.     

Ol’ Humpty is must be really yuking it up these days, and rather scornfully, too.  After all, those who worship at the altar of Political Correctness make such damn fools of themselves.  Why doesn’t society tell Humpty, “NO. A word does NOT mean what you choose it to mean. A boy is not a girl simply because he says he is. Truth is not subjective.” 

The whole thing reminds me of a story about Abraham Lincoln, probably apocryphal, but wonderfully appropriate.  Reputedly, someone asked Lincoln how many legs a dog would have if you called the tail a leg. He answered, “Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” 

Today, Abe would be called a “transphobe,” which is the word the Left uses to intimidate anyone who opposes any part of the transgender agenda.  It goes on the same list as “homophobe” and “Islamophobe.”  

In part Three, we’ll look at what the transgender crowd is doing to athletics. Till then, you might enjoy Lucy and Linus, especially Linus:  

https://images.app.goo.gl/1kjqFpty6vsxpByC8 

Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat

Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat by Peter Burrows – 10/29/19 – elburropete@msn.com – silvercityburro.com

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, Alice and Humpty Dumpty have the following exchange:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

I always think of good old Humpty whenever I hear a Democrat talk about taking “assault rifles” off the street. Beto O’Rourke, for example, was bursting with self-righteous fervor when he recently said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

Well, AR-15s and AK 47s are indeed assault rifles, which are defined as weapons that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire.  In the automatic mode, such guns are essentially machine guns, which have been illegal to own since the Tommy Gun was outlawed in the 1930s.

Consequently, there are no AR 15s or AK 47s for Beto to take.  The rifles he would like to confiscate are semiautomatic rifles that LOOK LIKE AR 15s and AK 47s.  Functionally, such rifles are no different from any semiautomatic rifle, many of which are used for hunting.

No matter. An “assault rifle” is what Beto and the Humpty Dumpty Democrats choose it to mean.  And since there is apparently no Republican with the knowledge, or perhaps the courage, to condemn the Democrats’ ignorance with the same fervor that Beto displays that ignorance, I guess the Democrats have also determined who is master.

The real tragedy of this “assault weapon” side-show is that it detracts from discussing some things that would actually reduce mass shootings. For example, laws that designate certain properties, such as schools, to be gun-free zones have proven to be counterproductive, as anybody with common sense would have guessed.  More importantly, schools where teachers are armed have had NO shootings, mass or otherwise.

I’ll bet a burrito that Beto favors gun-free zones and opposes arming teachers. That would be in keeping with someone who wants to confiscate assault rifles that don’t exist. I’m sure he doesn’t care. “Assault” is a useful Humpty Dumpty word for the gun control crusade,  as is “crisis” for the climate change crusade.

In part Two, we’ll  look at what I think is the most outrageous perversion of language and truth now in vogue, more outrageous than “Islam is peace.” Hint: It has to do with gender identity

 

Modern Delusions and Crowd Madness

Modern Delusions and Crowd Madness by Peter Burrows, 10/21/19 elburropete@gmail.com –  

“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” published way back in 1841, is a classic book on crowd psychology, still in print today.  Here is a blurb from a review found on Amazon.com:   

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one…” Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is the original guide to behavioural psychology – and how manias, follies and superstitions begin, spread and (eventually) pass. —the book is as insightful and memorable today as when it was first published almost 180 years ago. 

Some of the popular follies of the day were trivial, such as fortune telling, some tragic, such as believing in witches and then burning them at the stake. You’re probably thinking that we aren’t nearly so gullible today. Not only are we more educated, we have access to the Internet for in-depth information on virtually any topic.  

True, but if my experience is any indication, people use the Internet and associated sources such as You Tube to reinforce what they already “know.”  This is called confirmation bias, and it’s the rare person who isn’t prone to it. 

Plus, we must recognize that when our emotions are involved, sometimes FACTS DON’T MATTER. For example, my wife is allergic to cats, yet we have five cats. Sometimes, people simply refuse to believe facts that refute their cherished beliefs, e.g., carbon dating that shows The Shroud of Turin does not date to Christ’s time is simply not believed by many Christians.  

Politically, the delusion that socialism is a superior economic system endures in spite of overwhelming real-world evidence to the contrary. For example, East vs. West Germany and North vs. South Korea are virtual laboratory experiments, side-by-side comparisons that prove state-run economies are total failures vs. free economies.   

No one can dispute this, yet I once casually asked a “progressive” acquaintance if there had ever been a case where people had tried to break INTO a socialist nation. The question, which was strictly rhetorical, upset him so much that he emailed me that he didn’t want to socialize with me because his therapist had told him not to engage with people who used “power” arguments.  I guess a “power” argument is one based on facts.  

(I’m not creative enough to have made that up. If anybody wants the name of that individual, I will email it to you.) 

The socialist delusion has been around a long time. A more recent delusion is that wind and solar electricity are cheaper than coal or nuclear electricity, in spite of the fact that real-world evidence shows just the opposite.  

Those facts don’t matter, you see, because reducing carbon dioxide emissions has become a holy crusade and a modern “madness” almost as dangerous as socialism.  Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of atmospheric physics at MIT, once said: 

It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.”  

Well, “deadly poison” is a bit hyperbolic, but no more so than some of the predictions made in the last 30 years about climate change, none of which have yet to be realized. The one prediction that I’ve closely followed is that climate change will cause sea levels to rise. I recently wrote that the worldwide market for oceanfront properties doesn’t support that claim, at least not yet. (See ‘Zillow’s White House Crony,’ 7/28/19 at silvercityburro.com or grantcountybeat.com, Libertarian Leanings column) 

Some of you may think that the continued rise in oceanfront property prices is itself an example of a modern delusion, one that will be soon be shattered by the reality of salt water lapping at the doorstep of beachfront properties. Maybe, but that was supposed to have happened by now and it hasn’t. 

If you think otherwise, please explain why Fort Denison, located on an island in Australia’s Sydney harbor, has escaped the predicted sea level rise for over a hundred years. In fact, measurements there could be interpreted to show a decline of 6 millimeters in ocean levels since 1914.  Watch this six-minute interview of somebody from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mjOmsqIibk  If the link doesn’t work, go to You Tube and search for “Fort Denison.”  

Here’s another video questioning sea level rise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CffMifh73ZE 

If the link doesn’t work, go to You Tube and search for: Tony Heller, “Lies, Damned Lies and NASA Sea Level Graphs.” It’s dated Sept. 6, 2019 and is 18 minutes long. 

Tony Heller has a number of videos challenging climate change “facts.”  Will any of you who “believe” in catastrophic climate change watch any of those videos? Of course not! Heller is one of those “power argument” people. Mustn’t have any contact with people like him! Wouldn’t be good for your delusions.  

  

Who you gonna believe, Al Gore or your lying thermometer?

Who you gonna believe, Al Gore or your lying thermometer? by Peter Burrows 9/14/19 – elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Recently, CNN hosted a marathon seven-hour Town Hall discussion of climate change featuring ten Democrats running for president.  All of them are true believers in catastrophic climate change, and all of them propose draconian solutions to solve problems that are, so far, simply nonexistent.  (For one example, see “Zillow’s White House Croney,” 7/28/19, silvercityburro.com) 

The timing of this spectacle was propitious.  Less than a week before, on August 31, Michael Moore premiered his latest documentary, Planet of the Humans, which – surprisingly — dramatizes the futility and destructiveness of wind, solar and biomass as sources of energy. (See “Michael Moore gets unstuck on stupid,” 9/2/19, silvercityburro.com) 

Also, in the month before the CNN Town Hall, temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, showed there had been no warming in the continental U.S. since at least 2005.   Not surprisingly, this was not reported by CNN, or any network that I could find, and it certainly wasn’t mentioned by any of the Democrats in the CNN Town Hall. More troubling, this inconvenient data was deliberately ignored by the NOAA.    

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2019/08/23/climate_alarmists_foiled_no_us_warming_since_2005.html 

https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=hidden+noaa 

The NOAA, which was established in 1970 to be the nation’s “weatherman,” is now a bureaucracy of over 11,000 employees.  The NOAA monitors and keeps records of weather and climate data and it has expanded its job to encompass the entire world. At some point in its history, it took on the additional ask of predicting future climate.  These bureaucrats are go-getters.  

We’ve all seen stories proclaiming: “Hottest day (week-month-year) ever recorded.” Those stories originate with NOAA data. Skeptics note that “ever recorded” represents only the last 100 years or so and that the new temperature highs are usually measured in hundredths of degrees, but a far more serious objection is that these “records” are all from land-based thermometers.   

The problem with land-based thermometers is that their readings are subject to human influences that have nothing to do with climate. People create heat as a by-product of just about everything they do. More cars, more pavement, more buildings, more air conditioning, more factories, etc., all add heat to the local surroundings.  This creates an upward bias to temperature readings over time. Problems with land-based thermometers have been well known for many years.   

In response to those criticisms, in 2005 the NOAA set up a carefully positioned network of 114 thermometers spaced uniformly across the lower 48 states.  The intent was to have recorded temperatures that were not affected by urban development, etc.    

The problem is that the NOAA ignores the data from this new network, called the U.S. Climate Reference Network, USCRN, in favor of data from one of its old temperature networks, the Cooperative Observer Network, COOP.  (How they got COOP as an acronym, I don’t know. CON would have been more apt. Maybe they knew this?)   

Back in 2011, the GAO investigated a 1200 thermometer subset of the COOP and found so many siting problems that the NOAA discontinued using data from those thermometers in 2012. However, they continue to use readings from the remaining 7500 COOP thermometers, many of which suffer the same problems the GAO found in the smaller network.   

Why, you may ask, would the old problem-plagued network still be used when there is a new state-of-the-art network, the aforementioned USCRN?  A Federal bureaucrat would be shocked at the question. They must continue to use the old network because what are the 11,000 NOAA employees supposed to do if you start taking away their thermometers? (Sarcasm, libs, sarcasm.) 

A climate skeptic would not be shocked at the question. The NOAA continues to use the old COOP network because it shows temperatures are rising while the new network DOESN’T SHOW ANY TEMPERATURE RISE.  In fact, the new data show that the average U.S. temperature is actually cooler now than in 2005.    

This is more proof that all those “record high” stories we’ve seen in at least the last 14 years represent “fake news,” otherwise known as BS.  Ditto for stories about droughts, floods, tornadoes, etc., in the U.S. being made more frequent or more intense because of rising temperatures.  

This is no surprise to anyone who has closely followed the issue.  The NOAA press releases are never qualified by noting lower readings from the new network, nor do the press releases mention if the reported temperatures are supported by satellite temperature measurements, which they are not. (Surprise!)   

On the other hand, satellite instruments do show that the average global temperature has risen since 2005, but only by .15 degrees Celsius, which equates to +1.07C/1.9F per century, well below what the global warming models predict. Whether this temperature increase is due to humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere is another question, as is the question as to why the continental U.S. is not showing any warming vs. the global warming shown by satellites. 

Regardless, the bottom line is that the facts do not justify the climate change hysteria so in vogue amongst the Democrats. To coin a phrase inspired by Al Gore, catastrophic climate change is a convenient untruth, an untruth convenient for those who are trying to panic us into voting for them.   

(Note to some of my younger readers: The title of this article is a play on an old gag-line usually attributed to the comedian Groucho Marx, who was popular 50-60 years ago. One version has his wife finding him in bed with another woman.  He denies everything and says to her, “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”) 

Michael Moore gets unstuck on stupid

Michael Moore gets unstuck on stupid by Peter Burrows 9/2/19 – elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com –

Michael Moore’s new documentary, Planet of the Humans, is getting rave reviews. One headline hailed it as, “Possibly Most Bracing Environmental Documentary Ever Made.”  The review goes on to say that all other recent environmental documentaries, including Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, “pale in importance to Planet of the Humans.”

Another review said the film “is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still ‘addicted’ to fossil fuels.”  The review quotes the director of the film saying, “It was kind of crushing to discover the things I believed in weren’t real, and then to discover not only are solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us, it dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

The director, a long-time Moore collaborator and big-time lib, concluded this about green energy: “It’s not going to save us. It’s actually going to kill us faster.”

KILL US FASTER!!

This is the sort of emotional hyperbole the left uses to criticize climate “deniers.” To see an iconic lib throw that same emotional BS at the renewable energy lemmings is very encouraging.  You see, the push for renewable energy is based on emotions, not facts. Moore’s documentary could get people to oppose renewable energy based on emotions AND facts.

As the director, Jeff Gibbs, said, “It’s up to people who actually share the same values to sometimes call each other out and bring out the uncomfortable truths. This is not a film by climate deniers, this is a film by people who really care about the environment.”

And therein lies its power.  The film has experts testifying on the realities of renewable energy, experts who would not have any credibility if the film were produced by the Koch brothers.  The film shows the destruction of the environment renewables cause, notes the few jobs they create, and, importantly, cites their “tiny effect on CO2.”

None of the reviews mentioned if the film cited the increased costs of renewable energy. None of the reviews mentioned if the film criticized the government for giving subsidies to promote renewables, although the film apparently criticizes the Koch brothers for taking the subsidies.

From the three reviews I read, there is nothing in the film that hasn’t been known for years.  The conclusion it reaches about wind and solar is identical to that reached by Michael Shellenberger, a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment,” who ends a recent speech saying, “Now that we know renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yALPEpV4w&t=113s

Shellenberger, and many others, are promoting nuclear power as the only viable “solution” to increased levels of CO2. I doubt very much if nuclear power is advocated in Planet of the Humans, which I’m looking forward to seeing.  Moore is still stuck on stupid on most issues, but he seems to have it right on renewables, so I’ll add a buck or two to his millions.

Besides, the reviews say his film accuses Al Gore of taking contributions from evildirtybastard corporations, making Gore a “paid consultant” to those who would destroy our planet.  Any film exposing Mr. Inconvenient Untruth is worth the price of admission, don’t cha think?

Add the words ‘narcan’ and ‘fentanyl’ to your vocabulary

Add the words ‘narcan’ and ‘fentanyl’ to your vocabulary – by Peter Burrows 8/20/19 elburropete@gmail.com   Blog: silvercityburro.com 

Synthetic heroin is becoming the equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. Efforts to stop its spread have been pathetic. War on drugs? More like a pillow-fight on drugs.  

While drug overdose deaths recently dropped below an annual rate of 70,000 for the first time in two years, that doesn’t mean the war on drugs is starting to be won.  It just means the frontline casualties have gone down a bit. After all, OD deaths were “only” 36,000 in 2010.   

Still, the recent drop in deaths is a rare bit of good news in the war on drugs. Two years ago, the federal government began an aggressive program to treat overdoses with the drug naloxone, and it’s starting to pay off. Naloxone is easy to administer, works quickly and is standard carry for police and EMTs. In April of 2018, the Surgeon General issued an advisory that recommended even the general population carry naloxone.  

Naloxone is now available without a prescription in at least 45 states.  Walmart, for example, carries it at over 8,000 outlets, and you can watch brief You Tube videos on how to use it. It’s commonly called narcan, although Narcan is the brand name of just the nasal-spray treatment.  

It works against opioids such as heroin, oxycontin and, importantly, the synthetic opioid fentanyl. It does not work against cocaine or meth. Since 70 percent of overdose deaths are from opioids, Narcan is an indispensable life saver. It is a sad fact that being “narcanned” is a becoming a common experience for drug users, and that overdose remedies are now over-the counter products.  

Unfortunately, narcan will be needed more and more as use of the synthetic heroin fentanyl grows.  Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. For the cost of a stamp, a few dozen doses can be mailed to your neighborhood drug dealer, which makes interdiction nearly impossible.  

Fentanyl is so potent that TOUCHING it can lead to a fatal overdose.  I read about an officer who threw a bag of powder into an evidence container and then passed out on his way to the station and had to be narcanned on the side of the road.  The powder was fentanyl.  

In fact, the war on drugs is becoming less a war on cocaine and heroin, which are organic drugs derived from plants, and more of a war on fentanyl and methamphetamines, which are synthetic drugs that are produced in labs, primarily in Mexico and China. Both are cheap and getting cheaper, proof that we aren’t hindering the supply very much.   

Fentanyl is the bigger problem. It has legitimate medical uses, e.g. it is frequently prescribed to treat chronic pain, but absent proper dosage control, it’s a killer.  An amount covering Lincoln’s beard on a penny will get you high, two beards will get you dead.  In fact, “drop dead” is one street name for fentanyl.   

It killed 48,000 people in 2017, up from 3,000 in 2010, a 16-fold increase in only seven years.  Without narcan, the death toll would have been greater, but that is small comfort in a drug war we are obviously losing. And it will get worse before it gets better.    

Drug dealers, not being stupid, now add inexpensive fentanyl to their heroin, meth and cocaine to increase the number of hits per kilo, in the process making those drugs even more dangerous. It is also the main ingredient in many counterfeit pills that look like prescription drugs, e.g. Oxycontin or Percocet.   

More and more, the unsuspecting street buyer, regardless of the drug, is staking his life on the fentanyl dosage skills of his dealer’s supplier. That is not a good idea.    

Both drug dealers and users know this, and some of them keep narcan kits handy.  Thus, to a certain extent, narcan encourages more drug use and MORE overdoses.  I read that addicts now have overdose parties where somebody with narcan is at the ready, sort of a “designated driver.”  

What a mess.   

We can expect, even hope, that over the next few years the drug suppliers will get much better at quality control.  If they can reduce accidental overdoses, they will do so. Dead customers are not good customers. This means that if the drug cartels act more like drug companies, deaths will be reduced.  

What does that tell us? It tells me that maybe we should figure out a way for addicts to get this poison from real drug companies. That would mean fewer accidental overdoses, but would still leave us with a drug mess, just less of a mess.   

The bad news is that fentanyl is a precursor of more troubles to come.  Chemists are creating fentanyl analogues that are breathtakingly potent —and dangerous.  For example, Carfentanil is a drug used to sedate elephants. It is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and only one grain, the size of a grain of salt, will kill you.   

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize the harm this could do if vaporized into the air ducts of an auditorium, sprinkled over a buffet table, etc.  It is so potent that probably even terrorists will be afraid to handle it, at least for now. That won’t last.  

There is no “civilized” way to combat synthetic drugs. A mandatory death penalty for being involved in the sale of meth or synthetic heroin would work, but it would face many legal obstacles.  As a start, I would suggest that selling these drugs be considered legally equivalent to assault with a deadly weapon. The next step would be to institute the death penalty as an optional penalty for assault with a deadly weapon.  

The final step is the steepest one: such a death penalty must be more than just a threat. It must be a near certainty for drug dealers, much less so for the armed robber. Drug dealers are killing us, and the only thing that will stop them is if we kill them in return.