Saturday, May 29, 2021

June 7th is the FDA Verdict for Aducanumab, The Alzheimer's Infusion Drug

(Edited for clarity, content added, and P.S. added)

On June 7th, after a three-month extension given by the FDA on a PDUFA date, Biogen's aducanumab will receive either a "yay" or a "nay" from FDA, after being prioritized/fast-tracked by the FDA, due to pressure from patient advocacy groups, frustrated by what they considered pharma's recent over-focus on expensive drugs for rare and orphan diseases, rather than the most pressing diseases affecting millions.

To be clear, those of you who know what I do for a living - no, I have NOT transcribed independent marketing interviews for this particularly drug directly.  

The only thing I have transcribed  related to this drug are interviews related to market readiness in regards to infusion centers and their preparedness for an influx of new patients. 

Therefore, this means that though I usually transcribe in-depth analyses of the clinical trials on the efficacy and safety from KOLs, as well as and cost/benefit and coverage analyses by payers for coverage, for new pharmaceuticals, I have not heard or transcribed them for this particular drug; thus, I have formed no opinion from a professional standpoint.

Thus, I know what you know, gained from public press releases - that all previous trials of infusion drugs for Alzheimer's failed but this one,  which made it to phase 3 by the skin of their teeth, after an initial drop of the clinical trial, and then a reopening of the trial, and granted an extension - meaning the drug did not meet the primary endpoint within the initial trial period, but reopened the trial later, after they claimed the patients showed later improvement, in that they had a small reduction in amyloid plaques. 

Additionally, apparently the FDA's independent advisory panel had concerns with the drug, citing data analyses problems, and therefore did not recommend it.

Additionally, many have concerns that the FDA appeared to almost be working in partnership with Biogen on approval for this drug (as I said above, due to pressure from patient-advocacy groups and the community).

As for the drug itself, it's a "mab" or monoclonal antibody, also known as a "biologic" or immunotherapy - simply put, cloned white cells, used to target and attack a specific area. 

The way all mabs work is by finding a target spot on the inflammation cascade chain of a certain disease to work.  

Thus far, we have had phenomenal success with mabs in things like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and moderate success in certain types of cancer, especially when combined with an oncologic treatment. 

However, trials in other disease states have had less success or even often failed - and the premise of the failing is currently attributed to not finding the exact target spot on the disease-state's inflammation cascade yet. 

This is possibly the case for aducanumab, which targets a very specific area along the amyloid cascade. 

So what do I think?

Well, again, I have NOT transcribed interviews on this one, so I haven't heard the in-depth KOL and payer analysis yet, so my opinion is only based on public press releases same as you.

So in my non-KOL, non-MD, non-PhD opinion, not having transcribed the analyses on this specific drug -  but also having transcribed countless hours of pharma marketing research interviews on new pharmaceuticals  - is that they may be on the right track, but my concern is perhaps that they haven't found the exact right target area on the amyloid cascade chain yet; thus, I'm wondering if future entries to the market might be able to do so more effectively?

However, I also think if I were a patient, or the patient's family, and we've tried everything else and have nothing else to lose - why not have it approved and at least be allowed to try it, and if it fails it fails?

UNLESS - some of that "iffy" data mentioned by the FDA's independent advisory board was regarding the safety profile and severe adverse events, but I've not seen the details on what their concerns were yet.

But if that's the case, the advisory board's concerns were along the lines of safety and adverse events, then I'd say "Nay - let's wait for the next drug which perhaps finds an even better link the cascade chain to target."

Now, having said that - one thing is for sure - it will be expensive.

Thus, considering its equivocal efficacy, but likely high price tag, U.S. insurance companies will try to mitigate the cost, understandably - because should we really be paying six or seven figures for something that is only minimally effective and takes over the usual trial period of a year to work, and which can only be used in a limited patient subpopulation (in that it likely will only be used during a certain phase of Alzheimer's)?

They mitigate the cost by likely requiring strict-to-label parameters such as very specific candidates for treatment that match the FDA's approval label, and possibly step-throughs of other drugs (like Namenda) before you can use it.

One thing is for certain  - no, you can't get it just because Alzheimer's runs in your family and you're aging.  You will likely have to have an MRI and PET CT scan both to prove you already have at least one amyloid plaque.

Now - I wish I could say that future entries will bring down the price, but unfortunately, that's not how our healthcare system works in the U.S.  

The reasons for this are multifactorial, but the two biggest reasons in the U.S. are:  

1) Insurance companies control the market share rather than direct consumers, often based on the best discount/rebates they can get on a certain drug, all drugs being of equal or similar efficacy and safety within a class.

2)  Patent expiration can be avoided by finding a new indication disease for the drug, which any new class entries or biosimilars that come out for the drug won't have - thus, the originator can justify continuing the high price of the drug by simply tacking on a new indication disease for the drug, after proving effectiveness for a new disease state.


There might be a small price drop with "me-too" drugs, biosimilars and new class entries, over time, but not much - i.e. look at Humira (adalimumab).  

Despite the multitude of "me toos" that exist in the class (no actual generics yet because it still has patent exclusivity, see below), it's still ungodly expensive, having dropped its price only minimally.

The economic theory on why this happened is not only due to market demand for an effective product, as well as discount rebates initially offered to insurance companies (considering other options already existed in the class upon entry), but also because Humira's patent has been reissued/extended several times due to now being indicated for several diseases other than it's original indication of RA.

Speaking of Humira, interestingly, it is likely one of the few drugs on the market today, other than cell and gene therapies,  that truly earned and justified a premium price the old-fashioned way -   though it's difficult in the pharma world, with insurance companies controlling the market share - Humira earned a premium through supply and demand, and having phenomenal efficacy.

Because Humira was not the first mab in it's class for RA, it entered the market later, and there have been class entries since  - but Humira was found in real-world evidence to be the most effective, and with less side effects.

However, though we agree that drugs like Humira have earned a premium price, I'm pretty sure over 100 grand to a million isn't the kind of premium anyone had in mind.

In fact, FYI, Humira costs 300% more in the U.S. than its price in the U.K and other parts of Europe and even Canada! :/

However, having said that, both pharma and insurance companies love "surprise" drugs that were initially placed behind others in class and thus offered a rebates at launch to compete, that end up performing better and take up more of a market share than anticipated - because they make both pharma and insurance companies millions - so they're not going to balk at price too much.  

Now - insurance companies will tell you the more they can save and make, due to rebates, the lower your premiums will be as a result of "trickle down" - but we, as the consumers, have yet to see that ever happen, our premiums just continue to go up.

Now, some of the premium increases can be attributed to the fact that though insurance companies are saving us in some ways, these gains are offset by the ungodly cost of new drugs and healthcare in general - and yet not all raised premiums can be justified in that way.

And speaking of "trickle-down theory," I challenge anyone to find even one example of when "trickle-down" ever actually worked at a corporate or national level, for anyone but C-level executives and their shareholders, and at most, their corporate headquarters' local community?  LOL

In general, corporations confuse success with greed, and people are too greedy for trickle-down to work :/

Regardless, I'm wondering if the same dynamic that happened with Humira will happen with Alzheimer drugs - that the first in class won't be the best, but the ones that follow might get it right? 

We shall see, it should be interesting  ... fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, it's going to get bumpy and crazy for a while ... and once we do find an effective one, there will be a stampede lol.


PS - I just wanted to add, here, that considering there is a suspected genetic component to Alzheimer's, as well as an environmental one, I wonder if our best bet wouldn't actually be cell or gene therapy eventually, rather than a mab - or even both in conjunction? 

Friday, May 28, 2021

GOP Senators Just Blocked the Formation of an Independent Investigation Committee into the Cause of the January 6th Capitol Riot.

Now, I ask you, what kind of people would want to block any investigation, of any sort, especially to something as damaging to our constitutional institutions as a break-in riot to our nation's capital building, hmm?

They should be welcoming investigation, unless they're hiding something/protecting someone - oh, as in say, Senator Kevin McCarthy's phone call to President Trump, asking him to call off the riot?

Proof positive these were Trump supporters (8 from Kentucky) that were the rioters?

What I CAN tell you, for a fact, is that the senator from my state of Kentucky,  Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, asked the other senators to block it as a "personal favor" to himself, in order to "move forward."

Please allow me to translate my fellow Kentuckian's good ole' boy words. This means ... 

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, nothing to see here, so no need for investigation - because we're afraid the truth will hurt our party, damage Trump's reputation further, and that anyone from our party will be charged for crimes or receive any consequences at all." 
"We LIKE people voting based on wild speculation without proof!  Because, I mean, the narrative we're trying to sell, here, is that only Democrats, people of color, Muslims, and poor people are corrupt and commit violent crime, not wealthy white Christian Republicans, and that riot doesn't fit the narrative." 
"Thus, let's not investigate and find out, we just need to sweep it under the rug and act like it didn't happen, like some kind of dysfunctional-family."


Republicans, now seriously ...

With all of your crazy-conspiracy theories/paranoia about "the government" that you believe without a shred of evidence, like a bunch of 12-year-old girls at a slumber party, scaring themselves to death with ghost stories they just made up themselves five minutes ago  ...

... have you really drunk that much brainwashing Trump Kool-Aid that you really cannot see the corruption within your own party, and that the only "government cover-up" going on is the one right in front of your faces -  or are you just "pretending" along for political power and control?

Senate Republicans will not even allow an independent investigation of a riot break-in into our nation's Capitol Building - and this doesn't even raise a red flag to you?

I mean, helllllooo - anybody home in the Republican party anymore? LOL

Because I really don't want to lump all Republicans in the crazy, corrupt, project-our-own-crimes-onto-everyone else basket, but you're pushing it, the past few years -  so don't MAKE me lump all Republicans into one box, like you do all Democrats lol. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

PS - Another Hawk Landing ...


As I said in the last post, that day, a broad-winged hawk (which I've been told is my totem) sat right on my balcony rail, despite Mark and I going out there, which is extremely rare for a broad-wing hawk to ever come that close to humans. 

This time, he didn't come as close; instead, he sat on the lowest branch of my birch tree, just in front of my balcony, just looking at me again lol.  In fact, he didn't fly away until we turned to go in and get the camera.

Now, two odd things about this second visit ...

The first odd thing is the timing  - because I just now had time to come back and fully reread and edit the post below for typos.  Just like before, the moment I finished, I went out to water my flowers  -  and there he was again. 

The second odd thing is that there was a small squirrel about two branches below him, waiting for me to put his nut breakfast out - but the hawk didn't even care - he completely ignored the skinny squirrel (that we've named "Skinny") just two branches away, which would've been easy prey.   

Instead, he just sat there looking at me again, calm and pretty as you please :) 

I stood still and said good morning to him -  but the moment I slowly turned to go get my camera, he flew away again.

Okay, so again, finding the most logical explanations first ...

My logical side notes that it is about the same time of the morning I saw him two days ago, so perhaps he has just set up residence nearby and this is simply the time of his morning hunt; thus, the timing only appears to be a second coincidence.

My intuitive/spiritual side recognizes that while all of that is likely true, it's also true that he didn't yesterday at this same time, then asks why this close to me again, despite all the trees and balconies in this community, completely ignoring the easy prey of a small squirrel just branches away, and especially right after I'd either finished that post or finished editing it, two days later?

But in fact, in this case, my logic and intuition/faith are not at odds, are they?

In this case, my logic and faith aren't mutually exclusive - both premises can be true.

It can be true that he's set up residence nearby/this is his morning hunt time AND his coming so close to me is more than coincidence.

And I'm too big for a meal and he shows no signs of aggression, particularly ignoring the squirrel two branches away :)

Now, it could be simply hawk curiosity - but I'm not the only person out there in the morning, it's usually pretty hustle-and-bustle time.

Miss C is usually out on her patio doing the same, at the same time, watering flowers, and she also has bird and squirrel feeders, plus a tulip tree in front of her patio, and a super tall magnolia tree to the right of her, between buildings.  Also, people are sitting out on their balcony with their morning coffee, taking morning walks,  or leaving for work.   And today, there's a a couple of moving guys moving furniture in, in the building next door.  

I'm pretty sure I'm not that interesting in comparison, so why my balcony and tree?  lol. 

Now - if proven fact and your belief (which is often fear-based) are at odds with each other - time to either throw out your belief as false or readjust your hypothesis - but in this case, they are not. 

And in fact, the basis of forming scientific theory actually begins with belief - hypothetical hunch, later proven as fact, disproven, or inconclusive, after testing with scientific method. 

HOWEVER - that does NOT mean we should ever fully trust our speculative-belief hypothesis without testing by following scientific method to prove it, no matter how logical/scientific we can dress up our reasoning with words to make it sound - testing and proof are still always required to pronounce something as fact rather than belief!

Because remember, if scientists disprove themselves by scientific method, they either have to throw out the experiment entirely, or adjust their hypothesis and retest, now including variables they did not consider before.

If it can't yet be proven or disproven via scientific method yet, because we aren't equipped, or because the results are inconclusive?

Well, then we have to allow for all possibilities until that testing is available - and not just the one we really, really want to be true ;)

We of course have the right believe what we want - but we really shouldn't state it as fact or condemn others for not believing like we do, if we can't prove it - especially if we ignore all other evidence to the contrary and/or variables that could've affected our hypothesis belief ;)

Like the Wuhan lab-leak theory.  As I blogged last year, though it's unlikely, because Wuhan is like the CDC of China - which means  they mostly test and aggregate studies performed by  academic institutions, rather than "create" or perform studies themselves - it's not impossible, either, especially in China.

However, until I see absolute proof one way or the other, I "believe" nothing - I leave open the possibility until we have proof either way.

But one thing I do know is that violence against Asians has increased 150% since COVID - and nobody should be beating up people just because they're Chinese or Asian - how will that help? 

Back to science versus faith, it should actually be science AND faith - because though political people try to push you to choose between them, there are certain situations where you don't have to choose, both can actually be true - science and belief are not necessarily mutually exclusive - sometimes it's just a matter of perspective - because perhaps belief/faith is just science that has not been tested or explained yet :)

Back to our hawk - in this case, my logic and faith aren't at odds,  both can be true - so I thus repeat the gratitude prayer in the PS in the post below x2, leaving open the possibility  ;)


PS - And no worries, no squirrels or other birds were harmed in this story lol - because as I said, the hawk apparently had no interest in him in the same tree - and the little squirrel came down for his morning breakfast of mixed nuts just moments later :)

As I said, I don't have a  picture of the hawk, because he flew away again, just when I turned to go get the camera, but here's the little squirrel that I mentioned was in the same tree as the hawk, just branches away, but the hawk ignored him.

He climbed down moments later for the nuts I set out for them :)

And just for reference, this is how close the birch tree is to my balcony.  The balcony railing itself in the photo, below the hanging flowers, was exactly where he was sitting the other day.


The hawk was sitting in that first lower branch :)

I love this birch tree, it's my favorite thing about living here, a constant source of nature entertainment.  There are others in the community, but none so close as this one.  The branches used to be a lot fuller, until community management cut off most the lower branches off last summer :( 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Reposts Regarding George Floyd From One Year Ago: Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum (Latin) and Genesis 50:19-20

PS added - you're not going to believe this, but Mark can verify this is 100% true because he saw it first (though gone by the time we grabbed the camera).

As I've mentioned, I was told twice (once by a Cherokee Native-American) that my totem is a broad-winged hawk - and one literally just landed on my balcony railing, just as I finished this post.  

More about that in the P.S. ... 


It's interesting to look back at events a year later and see what you wrote and said.  Last year, I wrote many posts on George Floyd, to include the peaceful protests we had here in Lexington (however, unlike other cities, our officers chose to take off their riot gear to show they weren't a threat and most kneeled and prayed with them). 

However, I think the two posts I'm fondest of are this one from May 27th, containing the following prayer: 

Heavenly Father, 
I don't know what to pray for or how, anymore - but at the moment, this is what comes to mind ... 
I pray that the people who are abusing privilege or power and/or harboring hatred will somehow be directly confronted by the Spirit of God and Christ's message of infinite mercy, in their path. 
I know that we have free will and the power of choice regardless - and I know you promised not to intervene. 
However, I pray that there will be, at some point, one of your famous overly-coincidental, direct spiritual-confrontation lessons - so square in their faces that they cannot easily shut the door, turn the channel, turn the page, or turn away. 
A message of mercy so directly in their path that they will have to make a conscious choice - either choose to step over it and continue in self-righteous, falsely-justified, hatred and fear, or choose instead to allow the power of God's mercy and love into their hardened hearts and be transformed by it. 
Mercy, God ...Mercy. We have gotten ourselves way out of balance again, the scales have once again been tipped too far, we've reached a tipping point - and we need your love now, more than ever. 
More mercy for the poor, the oppressed, the powerless, the grieving, the falsely accused/the innocent, the addicted, the the opportunity-less, just trying to survive, and the sick and the suffering. 
I pray for your comfort for them, Lord, comfort them. I pray for renewed hope for them. I pray that they may experience "the peace that passes all understanding," that Paul spoke about in Philippians 4:7, as they endure these trials in life. 
In the name of the father, his son, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. 

And this one from May 30th, containing Genesis 50:19-20, because it has since come to pass, reposted here in it's entirety ...

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum is Latin for: "Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall" (Latin) - or in other words, "Let justice prevail, despite the consequences."

Also, for some reason, I was reminded of Genesis 50:19-20, today - so I made this meme in honor of George Floyd - may he not have died in vain ...

Amen and Hayah (Hebrew for "Let it be so/happen").

And may equal justice continue, even if the heavens fall :)


PS - Okay, so you're not going to believe this, but it's 100% true, Mark can verify because he saw it first ...

I've mentioned many times that my totem is supposedly a broad-winged hawk - and just as I finished this post, a broad-winged hawk literally just landed on my balcony railing.  

That is extremely rare for a hawk to come that close to humans, especially in the suburbs.

(Not my photo - it flew away before I could snap a pic).

Now, as you know and I've said, I rule out the "paranormal" or spiritual by thinking of the most logical things first.

Okay, lots of squirrels and birds that come to our balcony, so of course a hawk would eventually be drawn there.

And yet still, that close, right at that moment, when I was reflecting on a prayer said last year and Genesis 50:19-20 about what was done for evil, God in turn will use for good, for the saving of many lives?

Sometimes, some things are so timely and overly coincidental and implausible that you have to wonder, yes?

So you look up at the sky for at least a second and go "Erm - was that you?" and then later go "Nahh.  Wait, was it?" lol .

The hawk can see both the finest details and the high-level big picture - so his appearance is supposed to remind us of how the finer details fit into the bigger overall picture :) 

Also, I've noticed that many of my prayers for myself go unanswered, but oftentimes for others, they don't.

So just in case that was something spiritual, I don't want to ignore it/dismiss it ..

Heavenly Father, 
Thank you for signs of heard prayers and blessings, which I believe come not in the form of money or provisions, but through nature itself, coming close.  Thank you for the beauty in this intelligently-designed universe.

Thank you also for continuing to turn what was done for evil into good for the saving of many lives, as Joseph said in Genesis 50:20    
Amen :)


Monday, May 24, 2021

The Transformative Power of Love :)

Not long ago, I wrote a post about my husband - who is a former Army ranger -  getting all excited because our neighbor, an Iraq/Afghanistan wounded vet, has a new girlfriend lol. 

In fact, Mark was so excited and loud about it I had to shush him, after hollering up at me on the balcony about it, within an earshot of them, so as not to scare her off lol.

He still hasn't formerly introduced us yet (likely due to making sure it's going to work out, plus he's friendly, but pretty private, plus  there's COVID) - so still giving them their privacy, may I just say how nice it is, when I'm outside watering my flowers, every morning, to see him smiling at her and singing - just singing away, while walking her out to her car, on their way to work :)

I don't think he even notices or cares that I'm there, or that anyone is around, he only has eyes for her and singing  :) 

She's a cute little blonde, and I also wonder if she's former military, too - because though feminine, she also looks like she could throw down, if she needed to lol.

Regardless, in almost four years of living here, chatting frequently and bringing him extra food and treats, I've never heard him sing!  He laughs easily, but was mostly sad, especially after his bull mastiff passed two years ago - who was trained as a support dog, and whom he used to have special permission to take Cincinnati Reds games with him, his favorite thing to do.  He said he couldn't bring himself to do it after his dog died, so as far as I know, he hadn't been to a Reds game since :(

HOWEVER, I can report that I spotted him recently, in his brand-new Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose jersey, singing on the way to his truck with her, apparently on their way to a Reds' game in Cincy! :)

In this world full so much darkness and hate and fear, it's really nice to see what the power of love can do - it can truly transform people.

(But if she breaks his heart, I'm coming for her -  JUST KIDDING lol!)

Friday, May 21, 2021

This is Prince William Angry, And Justifiably So ...

 (*edited, content added - updated with a P.S. on 5/24/2021)

Today, Oprah's "The Me You Can't See" premieres on AppleTV, which takes a candid look at the mental health struggles of people in the fishbowl, famous people/celebrities.  Included among the celebrities is Prince Harry, and promises a scathing look at the toxic press in general.

Just ahead of it, Prince William speaks on a similar issue, only limits his comments just to the BBC's poor handling of the infamous 1995 Diana interview with Martin Bashir, after Lord Dyson's investigation findings into what prompted Diana to do the interview in the first place.

Considering the BBC, Charles Spencer, and Martin Bashir himself have admitted these actions (detailed below), note there will be no "allegedly" or "IMO" to what I'm saying below, I will state them as fact and truth because they've been confirmed by the people involved. 

The findings were that Martin Bashir, an up-and-coming reporter at the time, showed Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, bank documents, leading him to believe the royal family was monitoring Diana.  Charles Spencer told Diana and showed her the documents, and she agreed to the interview.

Unfortunately, the documents were fake

Though the BBC received tips the documents were fake, they failed to investigate; thus, Diana died - trying to evade press, mind you - never knowing she'd been deceived into that interview :(

In response to William's speech, and to their credit, BBC has written an apology to the royal family and has published the video speech and every word, on the front page of the BBC, as well as conducted their own interview with Charles Spencer and others, confirming Lord Dyson's findings to be true.

Now - regarding what William said.

He clearly chose his words very carefully, and IMO, was limiting them just to this incident and the effects this deception had on his mother - and that he wasn't going to allow it to be blamed on just one "rogue" reporter, because the BBC did receive reports the documents Bashir used were fake, and failed to investigate.

It was NOT, however, as many are twisting, an attack on the  credibility of the BBC  overall -  as he makes clear that public television (BBC news is public television) and free press are more important than ever, in an era of fake news.  

I'm sure those so inclined will also twist that into him saying the BBC is "fake news," but again - that is NOT what William said nor likely meant! 

Because consider the alternative - he could've sued the BBC - but he didn't.

Therefore, I'm assuming he must have at least some faith in the BBC, or he would've sued rather than "welcome" their attempts to take responsibility for and rectify the situation, asking them to do better - that indicates at least a certain amount of good faith/level of trust, then, doesn't it? ;)

Regardless, I applaud William and support him whole-heartedly -  with just a few small items on my wish list?  

1.  William says the incident "contributed to her paranoia" - poor word choice, and likely not his own ;)  


Use of the word "paranoia" makes her fears sound completely unfounded, as if Diana existed in a vacuum, had no reason to be paranoid, and her fears were simply the result of some personal flaw of mental illness. 
Erm - even if she had an underlying mental illness, it doesn't mean there weren't very real triggers in her environment, even if she sometimes misinterpreted them.
I think she did misinterpret some things, but other times, we also know she was gaslighted - i.e. everyone telling her Charles' affair with Camilla was "all in her head."  


However, anyone who's ever been in a gaslighting environment can tell you that gaslighting breeds  misinterpretations often, because the victim never knows what's true and not, and the gaslighter wants you to become paranoid about what's true and what's not, so you look crazier, in order to discredit you :/ 


Either way, having a mental illness would then merely provide extra fuel to a very normal reaction to something in the environment that is toxic - either to just her or for everybody, depending on the environment.  


Regardless, though we know that Diana overreacted often, we also know that she did not exist in a vacuum - not everything was all in her head, and we know this because: 

A: The affair between Charles and Camilla (since day one) is now very public. 
B:  We know now for a fact that at least one person around her truly did literally fabricate documents in order to manipulate her into an interview, just to further his own career (and I'm quite sure he wasn't the only hanger-on to use her). 
C: Those documents easily convinced Diana's brother first, before Diana.  Neither of them must've considered them that far-fetched outside of the depths the business running the royal family were capable of stooping - and I'm wondering if there's a reason for that?  


I mean, it's not like she ran around doing these open-book interviews all the time.  
I'm hoping this is something the Oprah special will reveal,  the sort of people who are in  a celebrity environment, the hangers on and so forth, the distrustful environment that fame breeds, making it difficult to know who to trust  - the people around the famous are often so much crazier and attention-seeking than the celebrity ever thought of being,  but they're just able to fake it better lol. 


2.  William said the interview contributed to their divorce - total record scratch on that one. 
In fact, this is the part of his message that I most take issue with, because it goes too far in blaming the BBC for their divorce.  
It's also revealing of a dysfunctional-family and/or system mindset, in that this wording seems overly protective of his father and leaves his father totally responsibility-less. 
(Again, dysfunctional families like to scapegoat and blame just one person or entity as "the troublemaker," particularly an outsider or the newest person, rather than everyone taking responsibility for their active part or even passive participation in an dysfunctional group dynamic.) 
Come on - we know that marriage had issues long before this interview, which both parties made worse, and Charles had Camilla as a side piece from day one - long before that interview - and Diana wanted out for a very long time before that interview, so it's unfair and untrue to blame the BBC for their actual divorce.

3.  Remember that there is a difference between the royal family and the business that runs the royal family (and I'm quite sure William's speech was heavily edited by the business lol) - and can I just say it irritates me that the business side blames the press with one hand, but keeps unrestricted press contracts even with tabloids on the other, so they can use them when it suits them (which Diana learned to do, too)?!?
Harry himself has repeatedly expressed frustration with these unrestricted contracts with press, including tabloids, recognizing that you can't both chide and use the press at the same time.


Now - do I believe that the royal family killed her?

NO - I absolutely do NOT.

Do I believe the business that runs the royal family killed her?

NO - I absolutely do NOT.

Do I believe the interview would've not been done, or gone differently, had those fake documents not been presented to her?

Yes, I absolutely do. 

Now - what I do also believe is that the business that runs the royal family did monitor her in other ways, as they do all of the royal family -  or the fake bank documents wouldn't have so easily convinced Diana's brother first, then Diana, to do the interview. 

HOWEVER, I believe Diana's actual death was an accident - the result of a combination of a nearly-drunk limo driver and stalking paparazzi press who literally chased her into a tunnel.

Though an accident, I do partially blame especially tabloid press for her death - not as intentional murder, but manslaughter - because had they not been chasing her (and legally allowed to chase her), it wouldn't have happened at all. 

Also - and let me be clear - I indirectly blame the business of the royal family - not the royal family itself - for her death - not out of intent, but out of negligence.

Because, as I said, the business that runs the royal family continues to keep contracts with these publications - including tabloids - that give them unrestricted access, even using press to their benefit when it suits them - despite what happened to Diana - without restrictions out of concern for safety.

The business that runs the royal family has said and done absolutely nothing since, about limiting or restricting access to the royal family, if nothing else, for safety reasons, after what happened to Diana - not just the safety of the royal family, but members of the press - as unrestricted access puts both in danger.


PS - So I watched the first episode of "The Me You Can't See," and there was no "throwing the family under the bus - he barely mentioned them.  

He talked about himself, how he developed a fear of judgment, a fear that everyone could see his pain, his anxiety etc. (which is also known as social anxiety, which I have myself), and he turned to alcohol and drugs to numb himself from feeling, and how being in the military was the only time he felt "normal" because the press largely left him alone because the military wouldn't allow it - in the military, he was treated just like everyone else. 

In fact, the only thing he said about his family, at least in the first episode, was that he didn't feel free to talk about his mother's death, or any feelings. 

We have also since heard more from William about his "happy childhood" and how those contracts with the press "gave him space" and how they have "worked for him and other members of the family."

Sigh.  Yeah, except your mother?!? 

And though I'm sure you have happy memories of your childhood, your mother's well-publicized death and the media circus surrounding it was pretty traumatic?

Okay, I love William, but exactly what is HE on, trying to convince us all that his mother's death had no impact on him or and  that the aforementioned press contracts have worked for him and others?

Come on, William - I was mostly with your speech last week, but at this point, I'm not sure if you're so dysfunctional-family brainwashed that you actually believe this crap coming out of your mouth or you just feel that you must follow the institutional/palace narrative set forth for you, but no one is buying it - and it's hardly the way to set the tone for your future kingship.

Gone are the days of pretending, too much has happened - you don't have to get as real as Harry, no - but methinks thou dost protest the too much to the opposite, to the point that you'd have to have been a robot for your childhood not to be affected more adversely than that.   :(

You can find a way to be a real person instead of a robot and be king, I'm sure :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

YouTube TV's Weird Commercial Breaks ...


So for those of us that have cut the cord and use streaming services for TV, like YouTube TV, you've no doubt noticed more commercials, or the same commercial repeated 30 times, and sometimes no commercial at all, just a screen that says "Commercial Break - We'll Be Right Back" with a little song that's so annoying, it actually makes techno sound good.

If you're lucky, you might get a "We'll be right back, Enjoy the Zen"  with a nice nature scene, which is peaceful, but clearly  also because they couldn't find a buyer for that time slot lol. 

Anyway, all of that is ... fine, I guess ... but the most annoying thing is that TV shows have a planned spot for commercial breaks, but because streaming TV has so many commercials, they sometimes pop up seamlessly, right in the middle of a scene or character's sentence. 

Some commercials come in so subtly that you often think they're part of the show, until you go, "Wait, who are these people and what do they have to do with the show?" - and then  you realize it's an ad lol.

And the worst part is, when you return to the show, several minutes have passed, so you have no idea what was said or done in the meantime lol.

Thus, we've gone to including these commercial interruptions as the missing part of the story, for our own amusement lol

For instance, tonight we were watching the X-Files on Comet TV, because my earlier post reminded me that Comet TV had added the X-Files to their lineup a few weeks ago, now on at 10 p.m. 

So we're watching the "Unruhe" episode, in which a woman is photographed for a passport, then runs to the car to get her forgotten money, but is stabbed - and the photo turns out not with her smiling pose for her passport photo that was taken, but with her face in terror, with some weird mist around her.

Then, a local cop comes through the door and says to Mulder and Scully, "I'm sorry to drag you all the way here from Washington, but it's unnecessary now, because ..." 

... when THIS pops up seamlessly on the screen, interrupting him ...

Aha!  It's the little green man, the Geico talking gecko! LOL

By the time the show returned, we have no idea what the cop said (but of course Mulder and Scully weren't about to leave anyway.).

So we finished the sentence for the cop, and added the Geico Gecko to the missing piece of the story, which now went like this:

Local Cop:  " ... because we have an eyewitness.  I'm sure you're familiar with the little green talking gecko from the Geico commercials? He was trying to sell the victim car insurance just before this photo was taken.  He told us that her attacker was actually Flo, from Progressive Insurance, and I'm inclined to listen.  I never trusted that Flo, she's evil!" 


"Sure, she appears all friendly and perky and funny, and sometimes has good deals, but  have you seen her latest commercial? She's all like, 'if you build your own insurance, they will come,' in a corn field.  Creepy.  Witchy stuff, right?  You just know she and her Progressive pals in her coven are gonna stick it to you later.  Plus she doesn't save me 15% in 15 minutes on car insurance like Geico, it takes at least an hour. It was Flo, in the library, with a lead pipe, I'm sure of it" 

"So you see, it's all completely normal, nothing to worry about, not an X-files situation at all, we've got it all under control. So you may get back to DC and continue to hunt for more pressing strangeness, nothing to see here."


Mulder:  "Well,  yes, it seems run of the mill and a cut-and-dry case for local police, but what explains the creepy photo?  Not Flo in the cornfield, but the stabbed girl's passport photo that keep changing?  

"The only possible explanation for that is ... Flo from Progressive is actually an alien, using alien technology, from the corn field!!!"


Scully: (Eye roll. Sigh"Okay, Mulder.  Yeah, so  ... I'm gonna need you to dial back on the crazy for just a second.  Can we put irrational, conclusion-jumping Mulder back in the box?  Because I really need to talk to Oxford-Educated Mulder right now, thanks." 

"For starters, just because the talking gecko blamed his competitor for the murder doesn't mean it's true.  Secondly, Flo is recreating the famous "Field of Dreams" scene for laughs, which neither of you have obviously seen, or you would know that, and they keep her on those commercials because she's very likeable, not because she's some sort of powerful evil witch."  

"Thirdly, we don't know what caused the creepy photo yet, but I'm quite sure we'll have a logical explanation by the end of this show.  Or not. We may leave it unexplained for effect." 


"Now, having said that, I'll admit that there's some strange phenomena that we've witnessed during our time together, that I can't explain, and I am a spiritual person and Catholic - but if we don't stop  jumping to conclusions instead of ruling out logical explanations first, as well as assuming that everything that happens is 'the government' or 'aliens'  - them I'm going to stab MYSELF with an 'ectoplasmic' knife!!!"


"Somehow, this show has all become about aliens and 'the government,' for the last three seasons, even though originally, the plot of this show was different every episode and about investigating ALL strange phenomena, not just alien/government coverup crap."


"And may I remind you that we actually work for 'the government' as FBI agents - it's 'the government' who signs your paycheck? If you distrust the government THAT much, then why are you still working for them?" 

"Also, people accuse us FBI agents of some crazy conspiracy cover-up shit, too, and unless we really do have entire separate personalities, or we really are being mind-controlled with "handlers" - which I'm 100% certain we are not - then I'm pretty sure most of those people are just bat-shit crazy and paranoid, rather than right or demon-possessed or aliens." 

"Humans are the scariest things around, Mulder, and sometimes humans are just crazy.  You're about halfway there yourself, and if you weren't also so damn nerd-sexy, sometimes lucky and/or right, and hadn't saved my ass a few times (and vice versa), I'd have written on my report about you that you were, in fact, a total whack job, and left the X-Files a long time ago." 


60 Minutes on "UAPs" - What The BLEEP Did I Just Watch? Lol.

I don't know ... do you think the staff of 60 Minutes just said, "We've covered so much weird sh*t, the last few years, and it's grown quieter since Trump left, so ... why not produce a segment on this for ratings? lol

But I'll admit, these military officers and fighter pilots sound pretty credible, telling stories and showing footage of moving objects capable of going 13,000 mph, pulling 500 to 600 G's, evade even infrared radar, can drop 80,000 feet in a second, and display no identifiable propulsion system, but I'm still not sure what's going on - there are still other possibilities that aren't extraterrestrial, right?

Now, everyone knows I love the ghostie stuff, because energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transfer, and I want to know where it goes (particularly after my own experience years ago) - but I'm still a skeptic.

Which means, I attribute it to the most logical explanations first, and if I can even find one logical thing it could possibly be besides something paranormal, then I'm not convinced.  

I've also said that out of literally thousands of videos I've perused on ghosts, I've seen maybe four or five (usually made much earlier, before we had TikTok and cell phone videos, but does include one fairly recent police body-cam video) that left me saying, "Eh, maybe?" 

Otherwise, I don't believe or disbelieve, or even care, about UFOs -  they just don't interest me.  

By that, I mean that I've already accepted the possibility, even the likelihood, that we're not the only life in the universe, and if we were to find out these objects were terrestrial or extraterrestrial, I wouldn't be surprised or freaked out, either way.  

I'd just be like, "Huh ... well, that's cool.  Tell me more." lol.

But do I think they visit here without more people having witnessed them?  

Eh, I'm not sure.  I guess it's possible, if they're light years ahead of us with stealth (radar-evading/repelling) and cloaking  (light-refracting) technology? 

However, I think it's a bit too early to assume they're a "threat," like Senator Marco Rubio just did, on 60 Minutes (spoken like a true Trumper - "If it's not like us, then it's a dangerous threat that wants to steal from and dominate us - kill it!" projecting our own motivations all over everybody else lol).

I mean, considering they haven't done anything threatening, they appear to be curious and just observing?

It's also a bit too early to lock up the kids and start worrying about abductions lol.

If someone is observing us, terrestrial or not, then perhaps we just need to continue to observe them in return?

Because whether it's China or some wealthy private citizen or some lone, brilliant-but-dangerous unibomber type, who somehow got his hands on some plutonium and built it himself (lol), or extraterrestrial spacecraft, etc. ...

... do you think it's a good idea to fire upon moving objects that are capable of going 13,000 mph, pulling 500 to 600 G's, evade even infrared radar, can drop 80,000 feet in a second, and display no identifiable propulsion system? 

I don't think so, lol.  

I mean, we're good, but we're not that good yet - and if their aircraft technology is that advanced, what do you think their actual weapons could do? lol

We have got to get away from this American sense of invincibility, the "pre-emptive strike," and the need for world domination, as well as I said earlier, this medieval/Trumpist idea that "It's different than we are; therefore it's a dangerous threat that wants to steal from and dominate us - kill it!" mentality, projecting our own motivations onto anyone or anything new and different, if we're ever going to evolve as a species.

If it fires or we find out someone has obtained information about our military technology that could not have been gleaned from any other source but these aircrafts, well, then we can take action.

But until then, no - lest we continue to create our own headaches and enemies (then play the victim).

I mean, who knows, maybe they're following the evolved principle known as the "prime directive" in Star Trek -  the idea that you  should observe other cultures without influencing or interfering, unless they ask for your help, or unless you are fired upon or receive a direct threat - who can say?

(I fear that we humans on earth will never get there, if we continue to put humans like Trump and Rubio in charge,  who often project their own motivations of total domination onto everybody and everything else lol.) 

I'm not worried, and I think we should just observe until whatever it is, and whoever is behind it, reveals itself or proves itself an actual threat rather than observing, yes? 



Mark:  "They didn't mention NASA -  I wonder if it's possible that it's a classified NASA craft?"


Me:  "That's a possibility, I guess, but you would think if it there was even the remote possibility of these things being classified NASA craft experiments or even SpaceX, the military wouldn't declassify this and go public, without ruling out that possibility first, they wouldn't be all over 60 Minutes about it lol." 

"Because even if the military doesn't know all NASA's top secrets and vice versa, they'd be taking a huge national security risk by being this globally public about something that could be potentially be our own U.S. technology - so my guess is, they've already ruled that out before they went public with this?" 

"What I'M trying to figure out is what's the advantage to going public with this - what is the benefit from their doing so, who benefits?" 

"The only advantages I can think of would be making the U.S federal government at least seem more transparent, and/or perhaps they actually do suspect this actually being another country's technology, but don't have proof yet." 

"Then the advantage to going public with that would be a sort of warning: "Uh, we see you, you know - don't think we don't.  If we find out it's your country continuing to enter our restricted airspace unauthorized, you're going down - so why don't you tell us exactly what it is that you want, so that we can both avoid an incident that could perhaps start WWIII?" lol

Regardless, we agreed that the particular anomaly witnessed by the fighter pilots could've been light reflection in certain weather conditions, particularly considering it appeared to "mirror" their own movements, and then just suddenly "disappeared" at a certain altitude.

That "behavior" almost sounds like reflected/refracted light, rather than the result of external, conscious-willed, true "behavior?" 

Then again, we weren't there, and these are fighter pilots trained to trust their equipment when their senses fail them - and the reason they were sent to investigate in the first place is because the aircraft carrier picked up something on radar it couldn't identify, which "disappeared" off the carrier's radar at the same time their eyes perceived it as "disappearing" from the cockpits of their fighter jets.

No Belmont for Baffert: NYRA Suspends Baffert from Three New York Tracks

*Edited - content/paragraph added.

HA-ha, pttthbbbttt ... love IT!

In addition to Medina Spirit coming in third at The Preakness (which is historically where he usually placed in prior grade A-1 stakes races), no Belmont entry at all for Baffert or Baffert-trained horses at the third jewel in the Triple Crown, The Belmont, nor at Saratoga, nor at Aqueduct (though the suspension time has not yet been determined, so later-summer Saratoga A-1 stakes could still be on the table).

And yet still, New York's not playing ... they said enough is enough with Baffert's horse drugging and cheating.

And you can kiss our liberal-Democrat, blue-bleeding hearts in Kentucky, too, A-hole! (However few of us there may be, here, lol.)

And like I said, though I'm not a big fan of "cancel culture" entirely (more cultural closet cleaning), if "Cancel Culture" also means no illegal horse-drugging by a selfish, corrupt, greedy, overprivileged, falsely-entitled A-hole who bribes, then sign us up!

Plus, more important than us "bleeding-heart liberals," it seems Bob Baffert has pissed off many casinos, as well as both legal and illegal bookies and numbers runners, "forgetting" to include them in his good-ole-boy, kickback-network system, by neglecting to inform them that he drugged his horses. 

Hey, you think we liberals and cancel culture are bad, Baffert?

Forget about us - and it's a good thing you can't show your face in New York, right now,  for your own protection - because there are apparently some bookies there that would be more than happy to supply you with a nice pair of concrete shoes and help you "sleep wit' da fishes" in the East River lol.

Because as much as NYC organized crime loves Trump, they love their business and money even more - and I'm pretty sure you're not going to be able to count on their help, this time, no matter what Trump blurts lol

Because now 'ya done pissed off NYC organized crime syndicates - and anyone who's the sort of person into cheating/racketeering in horse racing already knows they have to include casinos and/or organized crime in racket and the cut.

Otherwise, it's like ... counting cards in Las Vegas casinos, for the last 10 years, asking them to turn the other way, without giving them a return on their allowance of that - bad things happen, if you do, and you'd be lucky to leave town with your life lol.

So in other words, not only did you get too big for your britches, but also  - you're an idiot.

Yes, I admit it, I'm enjoying this immensely, if you've read any of the few prior posts I've written on Baffert - particular note the one written on Derby Day, before the race ;)

Not just on behalf of the horses, jockeys, and other trainers we've gotten to know, but I admit, it gives me some satisfaction personally - because I was saying he was a snake since the day I met him (see that story in posts below), way back when he was made a hero and people (not in the business) were pooh-poohing me for saying it.

In fact, other than the outcome of the George Floyd trial, this is the second thing in 2021 that gives me hope that the truth can finally come out and justice can prevail, even if it's years later - all of the gaslighters of the world can't prevent truth and equal justice forever :)

You can read more about it HERE, from

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday at the Park With Mark :)


So just when we set out to hike, though the weather said no more rain and cloudy, it began to rain.   So we decided to pick up some flowers (last photo) and give it a chance to at least lighten up, then went to the park because it seemed the rain was going to be intermittent for the afternoon.

When we arrived, not only was Prince Harry the resident Heron there, posing next to the yellow Iris and presiding over the lake  (a few of the photos have a filter, because I didn't realize it was on until I'd already snapped a few) ...

... but we noticed two large white birds in the middle of the lake we thought at first were ducks, but as they moved closer, we realized it was a pair of migrating trumpeter swans that had stopped by on their way north :) 

It had been a while since I'd seen swans in central Kentucky, so I took a couple of photos, hoping their appearance was a good omen :)

As I was getting ready to post these photos, I went ahead and cleaned off some older ones from my digital camera in preparation for up upcoming vacay.  

These are just some daily visitors we have that I don't think I've posted recent photos of?

A robin in the holly tree, before the robins devoured all the berries from it before Christmas (in like two days) lol 

A downy woodpecker at our feeder ... 

And a pair of American Goldfinches ...

On a sad note, we lost our buddy, Gibbley the squirrel, last fall.

Mark came home and said there was a giant squirrel dead, in the road - and for some reason, though we have a plethora of squirrels about,  I just knew somehow that it was Gibbley, and it was :(

We have some other squirrels that stop by for nuts, but none of them as friendly as Gibbley, who you may recall, used to scratch at my French patio door to let me know she was here and eat nuts right out of my hand :)

Thus, these are the last photos we have of Miss Gibbs..  I still miss her sweet face and temperament, and her daily visits, keeping me company during COVID after Snuggy pug passed  :(

So as not to end on a sad note, here are the New Guinea Impatiens I picked up today :)

They look almost red in these photos, but they're actually a deep fuschia pink, in person - maybe it's because it was so cloudy today.

Here we go, when the sun finally came out just moments ago, you can see more of the pink than red :)


Hope everyone's having a great Sunday, too!