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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

14 Mass Shootings Resulting in Injury or Death, Over The Memorial Day Weekend - and the "Sandy Hook Promise" ...

(*Edited - content and PS added)


In addition to the shots fired by a white man, in our middle/upper-middle-class,  predominantly-white neighborhood  (see posts below,  though luckily no one was injured), there were apparently 14 mass shootings in America, over the weekend, that did result in injury or death (NBC News).


Also, several of the parents of "Sandy Hook Promise"  have reached out to the Uvalde parents to say "We're here, when you're ready" - to let them know they're not alone.





Do you think these parents even care what race, religion, sexual orientation, or political party the shooter belonged to?


Because they don't. 


All they know what happened to their children and what they personally experienced -  and that it should never happen again - but it did.


Do you also you imagine these children weren't the sons and daughters of BOTH Republicans and Democrats, or that they weren't all races and faiths?


Because they were.


Also, for those of you spewing conspiracy theories, as mentioned below, Alex Jones - propagator of both the Sandy Hook political conspiracy theory and the Pizzagate conspiracy theory - was sued by some of these Sandy Hook parents for defamation - AND LOST. 


Do you understand how difficult and how extremely rare it is to win a defamation case in America?


You first have prove the accusations false, if you can - which is difficult, because innocence has no  tangible evidence. 

Next, in an actual defamation trial, the judge and jury don't care that your social and professional reputation were ruined, they don't care if you were bullied or received harassment - they don't even care if you received death threats.

What the judge and jury in a defamation trial care about is the legal definition of defamation - you MUST also prove that the defamation either directly resulted in actual violence towards you - OR - you were financially affected by the defamation, that you literally lost employment/income as a direct result of the defamation  - or both.

The Sandy Hook parents were able to do this - successfully.


Thus, please think carefully and provide indisputable evidence, before creating or repeating political conspiracy theories about these incidents?

Just step back and think, "What if I'm wrong?"


Well, nothing happens to you -  but for the parents, in addition to never getting over the loss of their children, you've falsely accused them of being complicit, by helping to "stage"  the incident with "paid actors"  or that they helped "set up" these incidents, by employing a shooter to do it -   stripping these grieving families of any community support they could have and should have received.


But maybe you don't care about that/them?


Maybe you're ...


1)  Irresponsibly spewing gossip you've heard to be the center of attention, without regard to the effects on the lives of others.

 

2)  Selfishly spewing whatever crazy thing pops into your head, to promote to your political platform and win elections, whether you truly believe it or not.


If either of those two reasons are the impetus for you spreading this (dys)information without proof -  especially in the cases of  Sandy Hook or Uvalde -  then yes -  you ARE a monster.


Why?

Well, because most people don't jump over the moral hurdle of empathy and concern for what might happen to those grieving families of murdered children if they're wrong, at least so easily and without even a moment's hesitation - especially if they consciously know that they're false rumors/ accusations.


Now, if there WAS hesitation, but it was because you feared what your friends and family might think about you, rather than empathy for the children and their families? 

Sorry - that is NOT morality - even sociopaths and some psychopaths  are capable of that.

All that means is that you have no internal moral compass and thus need external guidance, societal laws and limits to stop you - because without them, you'd amorally run amuck.

Such a person is considered a "monster" - a sociopath or psychopath - because most humans DO have an internal moral compass, which stops them from doing wrong or harming others, simply because they know it's morally wrong  - not JUST because of societal opinion, limits, or laws which prevent them from doing wrong or harming others (it's a range and to varying degrees, but yes).


Birds of a sociopathic feather will often flock together - especially finding each other on the internet, as any law enforcement agency will tell you -  so don't assume because there's a group of them flocking together that mob rule makes the mob morally right ;)

In addition to publicly displaying sociopathic tendencies, by jumping such a moral hurdle so easily, they've also proven to you that they actually don't give a fig about the safety of children, or even the truth - all they care about is being the center of attention in a gossip circle, appearing to be the most informed/right, and/or that their political party wins.

No, you didn't pull the trigger on the children, but you might as well have, on their grieving families - or at the very least, you've accused, blamed, and convicted them as criminals, as well as sentenced them to solitary confinement for life -  without an ounce of actual proof - just your "belief."  :(


At the very least - just in case you're wrong -  please show at least some some basic human decency, before irresponsibly and selfishly espousing your political-conspiracy beliefs? 



____________________________


PS 


I am soooo tired of the argument, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."


Yes, that's true - but we don't need to make it so easy for them by providing unrestricted access to guns, now, do we? 


Because let's face it, a gun is the quickest, most efficient way to kill somebody, if you're so inclined.

Unless you, yourself, are using a gun to defend yourself from gun violence - using a gun to kill someone is also the most cowardly way to kill someone besides using a bomb from a distance.

Because you don't have to look someone in the eye and kill them with a gun -  you can be several yards away.

Plus, you can escape the scene more quickly, without DNA attached unless the weapon is found.


I say let's not make it easy for  "people to kill people" by allowing just anyone to own a gun and and have access to the quick, efficient, easy way, from a distance -  let's put as many barriers as we can to prevent it.

That way, if they're going to do kill someone, they will at least have to get right up in their  victims faces and look them in the eyes first ;) 





Sunday, May 29, 2022

Letter From Our Property Manager About The Shots Fired By Our Neighbor ...


( *Corrected typo in my reply) 





My reply ...



Hey Jessica - I'm so sorry this happened, here.  We were telling our new neighbors, XX and XY, that nothing like this has ever happened here in the five years we lived here, we've felt very safe.  Thank you for this letter, we were getting different stories.  That's the only thing I wish had been done differently buy police - they were letting people gather around outside  - including a child- instead of asking them to stay back, telling them nothing.  It would've been helpful to ask them to go back inside, if there was potential danger by an unstable person, rather than let people's imaginations run wild.  

As for me personally, I have PTSD due to former domestic violence (NOT Mark lol) -  so my central nervous system is slightly pricked about feeling safe, but it will pass - and we'll definitely hang in here with you, hopefully for years to come - because , there's nothing you all could've done, you're great :)   

You can't screen for something like that.  If they have no priors on background checks and a stable job, there's not much more you can do.  This is just the state of America today, nowhere is safe, unfortunately.

I know you have to be careful legally, but If there's any updates you can pass along, at least about this person's status as a resident, please let us know.   My concern is if  they make bail and come right back here.  I was told at one point, the police were crouching behind their cruisers.  If that's true, this person has some serious issues to point a gun at police and I'm sure there will be consequences about living here afterwards.  If this person returns, even briefly, please let us know? 

There is one exception - if this was domestic violence, rather than some drunk idiot popping shots offi in the air, please consider NOT kicking them BOTH out - just the abuser/terrorizer?  Often the reason the abused partner doesn't leave is because they have nowhere to go. 

Thank you for all you do,




* Typo - that was meant to be "NOT kicking them both out"  (in the case it turns out to be domestic violence), which has been corrected in the copy of my email, as well as a PS email to the manager as well.

I wrote that because it is common in these situations to kick out both the abuser and the victim, due to fears of the return of the abuser - but in these cases, the victim often has nowhere to go.

If it is domestic violence - which we're not sure yet, but appeared more like some idiot firing off in the air - the best place for the victim would be a shelter at an undisclosed location, but an eviction on the victim's record would prevent renting in the future, as well as cause uncomfortable personal explanations for the victim. 












UPDATE: So Despite One TV News Outlet Being Here, It's Not In the Local News - At Least Not Yet ...

 

But like I said, the news car seemed to leave fairly early and there were no ambulances -  leading me to believe my neighbor was wrong, it wasn't an active shooter - it was likely either domestic violence or some guy just popping off his firearm outside in the air.

It was definitely outside, because we heard it clearly - so I'm going to guess some dude got drunk and was just popping off in the air?

Incredibly unsafe and stupid thing to do after Uvalde and is unlawful discharge of a firearm,  but it would explain the 6 cop cars showing up, local police just being safe after Uvalde.

Clearly, at one point, he had it aimed at cops because they were crouching behind their cruisers.

Either way, no one was hurt, thank goodness, and dude went away in handcuffs - but the police told us nothing.

Nobody in the complex knew the guy at all, which is kind of weird because we all know everybody, or at least have seen everyone.

This is a very safe neighborhood, nothing bad ever happens here and we're all pretty friendly with each other -  but I feel weird now, unsafe, and my nightmares came back (I have PTSD).

When I initially heard the shots, I thought it was on TV, then I considered fireworks for a half second, being Memorial Day Weekend - but there's kind of a "snap" to a gunshot that really makes it unmistakable.

We didn't call the cops because we couldn't tell exactly where the shots were coming from, but apparently someone else did.

Just goes to show you, this can now happen anywhere -  this is where we are in America, folks, with unrestricted gun ownership.


_________________________


PS

Yes, I knew there would be something, said "elsewhere" LOL!!!

I realize I'm being baited, at a site I just checked, after I wrote this, solely because I knew there would be ;)


Aw, must be lonely and in need of female attention again.  Of course I won't dare comment there, haven't in literally years, but here's a reaction for you ... 

Oh, Hey, Asshole - long time, no see ...
But I see you - and your psychopath female friend that you call like a dog to sicc on people that you consider your political opponents (stalking/harassing them both online and in their real lives, if they ever even once politely questioned you)  - are still talking to yourselves with several IDs and still consciously peddling false accusations and dysinformation, calling it "freedom of speech."  
Sigh, some things never change, I guess.   We can always count on you for nonsensical conspiracy theory, libel, defamation, and dysinformation, and thus a good laugh -  not just about liberal politicians, but anyone on social media/blogging who ever made the unfortunate mistake of making it clear they're a liberal or so much as scratched their head over what you're saying and questioned you.
And it's funny -  from the looks of it, you haven't mentioned Uvalde until now, it looks like you've still been obsessing on the vaccines being a New World Order mind-control device or some shit lol. 
So either you've been trying to find a way to spin it into a conspiracy all week, and came up with nothing until now -  or you read my post about what happened here, last night  - or both lol. 
First of all, the Sandy Hook parents sued the far-right evangelical Alex Jones of Infowars for defamation over his conspiracy about Sandy Hook - AND WON.  
(Recall that Alex was both the creator and spreader of both the Sandy Hook and Pizzagate conspiracy theories, among others.)    
Alex lost the case because he provided no evidence whatsoever for his accusations, which resulted in death threats and harassments to the grieving families - and most importantly for a legal defamation case - loss of employment and income. 
So not only were these families grieving over the loss of their murdered children, but on top of that, Alex Jones falsely accused them with political conspiracy, which resulted in making them community pariahs and loss of employment and income :( 
Thus, all that is being decided in court now is payments to the families, which has been delayed because his outlet, Infowars, filed for bankruptcy (to avoid paying them)?. 

 

Secondly, seriously - you don't even know what the eff you're talking about - you don't even live in this country! lol
You don't know our culture, you don't know our laws, state OR federal  -  you're trusting people on Twitter for information, whom you don't even know personally or if they even actually exist lol.
There's plenty of stuff going on in your own country to talk about, but then I guess it's harder for you, because people there can disprove you more easily and know when you're lying?  ;)

 

But then we all know you'll sicc your aforementioned little "bitch" on them, if they even try -  then say you had nothing to do with it, it had nothing to do with politics - your  excuse being that she "claims" to be liberal feminist and therefore you don't condone her behavior when she "acts up."  
Well,  her main ID claims to be liberal, so I guess that 's been working for you as excuse - with idiots. 
Because people with actual brains would know that true liberals would never regularly allow, and interact with, a known white-male racist blogger from Alabama to comment on their site with his second ID - called "Little Nigglet" - using a picture of an unfortunate-looking black man in impersonation!!!

 

Now, you would think your readers would find this "friendship" with a liberal feminist incongruent  anyway -  because you admittedly don't have any liberal friends because you don't trust liberals, especially feminists,   calling them all "evil muvvers" and "Demrats" - but I guess the three or four commenters you have left - that aren't actually still you or her, using other IDs -  clearly aren't exactly mental heavyweights, anyway lol.
 
Thirdly, some white dude fired off six shots in my normally very safe, very middle-class apartment complex, last night, and six cop cars and the news showed up. 
Why don't you come here, to Kentucky, to my neighborhood, and see how many members of "Elite Illuminati" live here or even in my entire state?  LOL! 

(Well, I take that back - the only person on either political side powerful enough to ever be even loosely construed as "illuminati" would be Mitch McConnell, but he definitely is not a liberal lol) 

   
You know you are certifiably insane, if you really believe that, right? lol 
And that conspiracy theory about Uvalde doesn't even make any sense. 

 

Why would "elitist" liberals choose a poor Latino kid, living with his grandparents, to shoot poor Latino children, hmm? 
Wouldn't they choose a rich white-male kid from a Christian family to do it to make them look bad, hmm? 
Damn, if you're going to peddle conspiracy theories, at least make some sense and you perhaps might want to consider not contradicting known liberal political platforms? lol.  
Because we liberals are the  ones that don't like guns and love Latinos, legal or not. remember?!?  

 

So do you, like, EVER ask yourself these questions and critically think through the information, before you regurgitate it? 
Or you're just assuming your readers are THAT stupid and won't?  ;)

Actually, it's not funny, it's beyond socially irresponsible and quickly approaching pure evil - because I know that at least sometimes, you KNOW you're lying/peddling bullshit, and especially I know you read my post, last night, and are trying to bait me after saying my PTSD alarms went off. 
But do carry on - it amuses sane people and also gave me a much-needed laugh, this morning. 
Plus, eventually your false accusations and lies will catch up to you - you'd think you would've learned that lesson by now, but perhaps not enough - no worries, the current favoring of dysinformation and false accusations under "freedom of speech" will not last forever and someday, you're going to overplay that hand  :) 
Love and kisses! 

_______________________

Now he's pulled in a meme from somebody who rarely comments there anymore, whom he knows I like - which is a meme parodying a new headline that says "Local Carpenter Continues to Spread Dysinformation," showing Jesus.

HAHAHAHA!

Again, written only here on my blog only ...

Okay, so ... first of all ...  did you seriously just use that meme that A sent you to compare yourself -  and the aforementioned; dysinformation, lies, and false accusations you spew, consciously knowing they are, for political gain -   to Jesus and his message?!?
Secondly, based past experience, I am 99.9% sure the person that sent that meme was just sending it generally, having no idea of what game you're trying to play, right now - NOT to appear to take your side versus mine on this issue. 
With all of your dishonesty, deceit, and manipulation - which must be exhausting, by the way - you actually have the audacity to compare yourself to Christ or vainly imagine Jesus would ever approve of and condone most of what you say? 

 

You do realize that comparing yourself to Christ only further proves you a whack-a-doodle, right? 
Jesus' s message was one of love, compassion, forgiveness, and social justice and equality - NOT fear, hatred, and haves and have nots - and he didn't need to resort to lies, deceit, and manipulation to win people over to his message, like you do. 

 

In fact, YOUR message is the furthest away from Christ's message that I have likely ever heard, from someone claiming to be a fellow Christian - which leads me to suspect that Christ doesn't truly live anywhere in, or even in the near vicinity of, your heart.  
In fact, if Jesus ever said or did anything even remotely like you, I never would've become a Christian.

 

But again, do carry on ...  with your delusions of grandeur and Christian persecution complex, Armchair-Warrior Recluse ... from your underground bunker ...   in your tin foil hat ... talking to yourself online using various IDs to make it appear you have more support for this nonsense than you actually do :) 
Now that it's finally sunny again and the drama from last night has passed, we're off to spend the afternoon with our horse for a paddock picnic! :)






















Saturday, May 28, 2022

So ... There Is Apparently An Active Shooter (?) in My Apartment Complex, Right Now? 6 Gunshots Heard, Then 6 Cop Cars and WLEX-TV18 News Are Here ...


First of all, please understand that we literally NEVER have any trouble in this neighborhood.





So I'm sitting here watching Stranger Things with my husband, and I heard 3 gunshots.


I turned to my husband and said, "Was that on TV? It sounded like gunshots"


 It wasn't on TV. 


Then 3 more.


I said, "Mark, I have a bad feeling something's wrong.  Can you see what's going on?  Especially after Uvalde."


10 minutes later, six cop cars who up, one has left, and WLEX-18  TV news shows up.


All of the sudden, my neighbor runs up the stairs and goes, "Get back in your apartment, get back inside!  It's an active shooter.  The lady in the last building is just randomly shooting at people, including the cops. "

I don't know if that's right, there are no ambulances here?

But we're in our house, right now, away from windows just to be safe,  praying ....


God help us, help this country ...


___________________________


PS


I don't know if you can see because it's dark now, but the cops are now crouching behind their cruisers (on the right) - so obviously negotiating is still going on and person is not in custody.





Again, this is MY apartment complex, just two buildings down, can you believe it?


There's still no ambulance, though, so I'm guessing she missed and no one was hurt thus far?


We can only hope ... 


No one is allowed to enter or leave, cops telling everyone to stay put and inside (but I snapped that pic, real quick, when I went on my balcony to see if still going on).

Also, the news crew - the white car in the 1st photo, top right, is gone.

Did they move somewhere safer or leave?  

Is that because it turned out to be domestic violence and no story or-?

I wish I knew something - all I know is that no one is allowed to leave or enter the complex, right now ...

Happy Freakin' Memorial Day to us, right? 

Sorry, I sometimes make jokes when nervous - and believe me, I am, right now  ... 


UPDATE:  9:47


Neighbor was wrong about one thing, not a lady, a man -  a white man, btw - they just put him in handcuffs in the back of the cruiser ...

So says Mark, and a different neighbor, although I don't know how clearly they could see since it's dark out now.

Is it over?

That was ... some scary shit.

Like I said, THIS is becoming a pandemic, at least here in the U.S. - God have mercy on us :(

_____________________


UPDATE 10:10

2 cruisers still here, but yes it's over.

I'm a little perturbed that six cruisers were here and not a damn one of them would tell us what was going on so we could know how best to be safe. 

The cops never once told the crowd forming to go back in their apartments - it was my neighbor that shouted that to us.

In fact, there will people standing around- including a child -  very close, right up  until the cops themselves started crouching behind cars - then they ran in their houses.

They won't even tell us now, even whether they got the guy or not, my husband and another neighbor told me that because they saw him put in the car, plus only two cruisers here now.

No, sorry, this isn't going to work ... you need to tell us something - we didn't need to find out from your crouching behind cruisers and our neighbor that there was an active shooter!


Come on, law enforcement - I appreciate how hard your job is, but you can do better than this, as far as communicating with us - bring back the old community/beat cops, maybe? 










PS - Update to the Insulin-Cost Post, Plus Memorial Day ... Stuff :)

 

I added an important PS to my post on why the price of insulin hasn't changed, despite new, more affordable insulin entrants.

(Short answer - because the PBMs - pharmacy-benefit management companies - that large national health-insurance plans contract with aren't under the same state and/or federal regulations as insurance companies themselves are, and thus aren't legally required to be as transparent with their profit margins - but we do know they depend on large rebates for their income, which vary according to contract, and therein lies the problem - high cost means bigger rebates and thus profit for PBMs, which they don't legally have to disclose  ;) 

Essentially, the update is, in addition to the Semglee dual option (discussed in that post), the more competitors in a market to bring the price down, the better -  -  so on May 24th, Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that they had partnered with Civica Pharmaceuticals to produce and distribute a more affordable insulin.

The idea is to bypass the middle-man rebate game played by their contracted PBMs and contract directly with the pharmaceutical company to produce and distribute a more affordable form of insulin themselves.

They will still keep their contract on other drugs because the sheer volume of pharmaceuticals is too much for an insurance company to handle alone, thus why they contract it out to a third party - but with insulin, they're taking the control back.

This is theoretical and a pilot-program experiment - we shall see if it works and the implications for the rest of the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to the cost of not only insulin, but other pharmaceuticals, the cost of which has reached maximum capacity for ability to pay, not only by their members, but for the insurance companies themselves.



Otherwise - it's been a weird week - and not just with the Uvalde shooting, an event which has hung on me all week.

In addition, I was hit with double-whammy fun of a UTI and tonsillitis at the exact same time (during which I continued to work, albeit a bit more slowly).

Just an FYI for anyone suffering from chronic UTIs, D-Mannose at 2,000 mg works as far as prevention, IF your recurrent infections are caused by E. coli - it worked for 9 months.

The problem came in mostly because I started tinkering around with the formulation and dosages.

So ... I can't take large capsules and pills, they will get stuck and sometimes induce vomiting - so I was opening up the capsule and pouring it in water, which I suspect began to give a bit of esophagitis, so I stopped it for three days to check.  

The esophagitis did, in fact, improve, so I ordered the powder form of D-Mannose, thinking an actual formulated powder would be softer - the problem with that was not only was three days too long to go without D-mannose, but the powder made me vomit - forcefully and profusely.  (In fact, I initially thought the sore throat was irritation from this, but nope.)


If you suffer from recurrent UTIs - *if caused from E. coli* - over-the-counter D-mannose, 2,000 mg a day, never missing a dose, should do the trick for prevention (although the humidity may also be playing a part in the return, after a nine-month "hiatus.")


I've since found a chewable, expected to arrive today, so we shall see ;)


Regardless, I was put on a heavy-duty antibiotic to hit both infections - and I'm on the mend.

I also received my first COVID test, which thankfully was negative - thank you, Pfizer!

(I'm fully vaccinated, including two boosters, from which I received no side effects at all besides energy level and initial heavier bleeding, though in menopause, but that didn't happen again with boosters).

Also, COVID tests aren't rough, like people say, at least for me - a flu test is worse, it stings!



Also, our horse was visited by several vets, who initially thought the jaw abscess might be cancer instead of a tooth abscess.  

In fact, bone cancer was the favored potential diagnosis by the team of vets, at first, still waiting test results -  until an ultrasound vet found an overlooked foreign object in the jaw yesterday, and disagreed that it was cancer, which was a huge relief to us.  

And still, tests must be done to ensure that is the case. 



Thus, needless to say, after all that, we're ready for a relaxing weekend to recuperate and picnic in the paddock with our horse, to make the most time with him, either way (and watch "Stranger Things 4, Volume 1" on Netflix and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" on DisneyPlus, and the first episode of much-anticipated return of the Canadian sketch-comedy troupe known as "The Kids in The Hall," of course, on Amazon :)

The latter, I was lucky enough to watch the first season of with my own hallmates, during my one semester living in the dorms at UK my sophomore year, in 1989. ;)

After which, we "crushed" everyone's head with our fingers until we annoyed the crap out of everyone and each other and couldn't take it anymore - most people not having watched the show not even getting the joke - if you don't get it, watch it lol.

If you're not familiar with KITH, it's like an  SNL-meets-Portlandia combo - this one produced by SNL's Lorne Michaels.

And of course, if I'm feeling fully better, we may even go see "Top Gun: Maverick" at the actual theater (still wearing masks, of course) - the first movie we will have seen at an actual theater since 2019 :)

One good thing this pandemic has done is bring back the Memorial-Day-Weekend Blockbuster Summer Movie Premiere, which historically marked the kickoff of summer, a tradition which had virtually disappeared, prior to COVID, due to streaming services.

Being a movie buff, I, for one, am glad to the return of this particular cultural tradition and appreciation of this former event :) 


Speaking of the return of cultural traditions, cultural "closet-cleaning" of what really should be abolished versus those we should keep - Memorial Day.

It's kind of weird that we celebrate a day meant to remember our fallen soldiers with partying and celebration now, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty as anyone else, it's also the kick-off for summer - but perhaps we should at least take a moment to remember the fallen?

So I'd just like to add a big "Thank You!" to our military for your service - both living and fallen - you're not forgotten, at least  by us :)

I'd also like to say the same to loved ones in general who have passed on, today. 

Otherwise, I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!




Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Could Be Done? Several Things ...


I don't know about Texas, but here in Lexington, any visitors during the school day have to buzz in to the front desk, who approves your entrance, and this is for all K-12 - did they not have them there or has Texas defunded their public schools that much?

Also, there are metal detectors in all schools, and infrared ones in high schools. 

We don't have to take away all guns - but here's some things we can do:  


1)  Ban on AR-15s and/or any rapid-firing semi-automatic or automatic assault weapons for civilians - there is just no good reason for civilians to own those. 

 

2)  Age requirement of at least 21 considering most of these shootings in recent years have been males under age 21.

 

3) 14-to-30-day waiting period to buy guns  - giving the potential shooter time to cool off and rethink decisions and consequences and/or mood change if disturbed.

 

4) Mandatory training classes before purchase/during waiting period - not only will people know the correct way to use a firearm, but the certified instructor can alert law enforcement and/or the mental health community if there are red flags.


That's just off the top of my head, there many other things we could do, but do SOMETHING, Congress, ya bunch of political cowards ...


________________________________







Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Texas Elementary School Shooting: Enough is Enough ...

 

We don't have to take guns away, but DO SOMETHING, Congress!

Enough political bullshit!


Stop blaming race, faith, or citizenship, because it's clear that all races, faith, and citizenship status have been become shooters now!

Stop dancing with the NRA lobbyists and their multimillion-dollar donations!

THIS is becoming a pandemic (or at least an epidemic, in America)!


It's time we put the safety of this country and our children before ourselves and political donations from lobbyists to this politician or that, to have them in their pockets!

It's time we do SOME form of gun-control legislation.

18 young children and a teacher, my God, they were just babies - what is it going to take, America? 

So, so sad, I can't even imagine ...





Why The Entrance of Cheaper Biosimilar Insulins to the Market Didn't Lower the Price ...

(*Important PS/Update added)   





 



As I've mentioned, for a living, I transcribe the independent marketing-research interviews between Big Pharma and payers (insurance companies) both public and private, as well as also between Big Pharma and clinicians and pharmacists who are considered field experts (KOLs, or key-opinion leaders.)  

Thus, I know a little bit about what has happened in the market with insulin over the past few years - probably enough to be dangerous, but here goes  ;)


So, as we know, the way a normal market economy is supposed to work is that you have the originator product, and then similar-product competitors come along and they compete for the best price, bringing the price down.

HOWEVER - that is not (necessarily) the way it works with pharmaceuticals in America.


As we know, the price of basal insulin began to skyrocket about 5 to 7 years ago, to the point that some states have mandated state legislation that no person on Medicare will pay more than $50 out of pocket for their insulin, meaning the health-insurance companies, their PBM (pharmacy-benefit management companies) that contract  with the manufacturers for them (if they use them) or the manufacturers themselves will have to eat the difference in cost .

That is because there was basically only company who made insulin, which in fact is a large molecule and more difficult to make than you might think - but not $1,000 a month difficult. 

That company was Sanofi with the brand name "Lantus," who also fairly recently came out with another formulation with stronger potency, called Toujeo.

Now - before I explain what has happened so far, you need to understand two terms.


The WAC price -  or wholesale acquisition cost -  which despite the "wholesale" part of the term is actually like the sticker shock on a car - nobody actually pays that due to contract negotiation. 

The net price - the final price after negotiation of discounts, rebates, etc.


Now, since the national news began reporting on the skyrocketing cost of basal insulin, over the past five years,  other companies have created biosimilars for insulin.

Those include:  


1) Basaglar - a biosimilar that did not apply for or receive interchangeabillity status with Lantus from the FDA.


2) Semglee - a biosimilar that did later receive interchangeability status with Lantus from the FDA.



Basaglar came first, but did not drop the price - they just offered contract discounts and rebates for their products, which some companies took and other didn't, depending on how much steeper Sanofi was willing to go on Lantus with that particular company (essentially, how many Sanofi products that insurance company contracted for or were willing to now contract for ;)


Then came Semglee - which came out at at nearly half the WAC cost of Lantus - around $450.


Interestingly, virtually no one has taken them up on this half-price basal insulin except certain Medicaid plans in certain states.


Now, you would think "Why, when Semglee is half the price cost of Lantus?"


Well, that has to do with contracting.

Sanofi, of course, is a multinational corporation and thus has a lot of tools in their toolbox to make sure they keep the market share and can afford deeper discounts, being that they also make hundreds of products.

These tools include steeper rebates, discounts for portfolio contracts (discounts if other products are contracted on), creating a cheaper, authorized generic of their branded product themselves, etc.


Now, many commercial health insurance companies would prefer a low WAC/low rebate - but there are some that would prefer a high WAC/high rebate, so they can (supposedly) pass these rebates on to their clients and (supposedly) keep premiums low.


Others will say, "We don't care how you do it, the net price just has to be X amount, or else we'll make you step through one, two, or three other products first."


But the biggest problem is, despite what commercial and private health insurance companies may prefer, most of them use a third-party company called a PBM - a pharmacy-benefit manager-  to manage their pharmaceutical plans.


These are large pharmacies that  initially did mail-order bulk, but now manage the pharmacy plans for health insurance companies as a third party - including ESI, Optum (for United Healthcare), Accredo (for Cigna, now owned by Cigna), CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Express Scripts, and others.


At present, PBMs depend on high WAC/high rebate for their income - in other words, big rebates is how they make their money, their entire profit margin is designed so that it depends almost entirely on these rebates.


Also at present, PBMs are not under the same legislative requirements as commercial insurance companies, so they can legally extract a high profit margin  - and there is virtually no transparency about what that profit margin is or where it goes.

Public and private insurance companies that have contracted with  PBMs to manage their pharmaceutical plans only know what "leftover" rebates they will receive after the PBMs take their first cut of rebates - but no one except the PBMs know how much that is because unlike insurance companies, they are not required legislatively to report this to Congress or anyone else, except on their taxes (and we all know how THAT goes for corporations ;)

Additionally, the distribution companies they use must have a certain amount of cash flow on hand to manage supply chain to ensure there are no shortages, which requires part of that rebate (which no one knows what that is).

Thus, PBMs are in no big hurry to change this structure ;)


(However, some Medicaid and Medicare plans in certain states have chosen to boot their PBM and create a GPO or an IDN network, which I'll talk about in a minute - and this is just beginning to have an effect.)

Thus, this is why Semglee didn't fly - they came in at a low WAC with a small rebate - so PBMs didn't want it because they depend on those rebates for income.

So Semglee got smart - they came out with their own authorized generic formulation of their product, and also applied for - and received - an interchangeability designation with Lantus.


Meaning now, health plans and PBMs now have a choice: 


If you want a high WAC/high rebate, you get their originator plus a steep rebate.

If you want a low WAC/low discount, you take their authorized  generic at a low WAC/low rebate.

Both will net at about $250, it all depends on how your plan is structured to receive profit margin.


(Yes, it's really the same product, just a separate NDC number, brand, an authorization process through the FDA).


Thus far, two companies have been takers, but it has yet to catch on - we shall see - but this is considered a super smart "test" of the market and whether this strategy will change it and indeed lower the price of insulin, and pharmaceuticals in general.

Now, I mentioned above that some private and public health insurance companies are booting their PBM because of lack of transparency on profit.

So what are the alternatives?

Well, you can:


1)  If you're a large national health plan and can afford it, you can /acquire a PBM and control the PBM yourself (as Cigna has done with Accredo; thus, Accredo as a PBM is not subject to the same regulations as the insurance company itself and Cigna can see these rebates and control them and has a direct say on contract negotiations with pharmaceutical manufacturers.) 

 

2)  Your large-scale health network of hospitals and clinics can become an IDN - an integrated-delivery network - that contracts and buys and bills with the manufacturer directly for their own pharmaceuticals, including having their own specialty pharmacy for higher-price specialty drugs, and often distributes them, including bulk mail order.  They often also offer a health insurance plan as well, though sometimes just for their own employees.  They still offer varying health-insurance options and pharmaceutical plans, but as far as what they stock on hand, they go with their own, and a separate private health insurance company can choose which is cheaper for that patient.  
The prefer low WAC/low rebates, but will accept a combination of high WAC/high rebates and low WAC/low rebates.    They will also accept portfolio-contract discounts.

 

3)  Join a GPO - a group-purchasing organization - similar to an IDN, but initially for smaller groups,  just a league of independent physician groups and smaller clinics that banded together to contract directly with manufacturers.  
They prefer low WAC/low rebates - in fact, they just want the lowest overall net price upfront and to heck with  the rebate game.
(They are still open to "portfolio" contracting discounts, however.)


This last option is growing in popularity, such that even large-scale IDNs are forming GPOs in addition to their current IDN contracts, and a few states that broke their contracts with PBMs and booted  them out of public insurance in their state have since opted for GPOs for public insurance.

In fact, I heard just recently that a very large PBM now is offering a GPO plan themselves trying to compete with GPOs and it's affecting their previous rebate structure which was dependent on rebates, so this should be an an interesting ... experiment lol.


In a nutshell, that is why the normal market rules do not apply for pharmaceuticals in America, which does not exist - at least to this extent - in Europe and other countries. in which these same drugs don't cost even close to what they cost in America. 

Since our country is so terrified of price regulation in any form as "socialism," the only way to change the game is to do things like Semglee is trying, as well as GPOs instead of PBMs (or legislative requirements for PBMs to offer more transparency on their rebates).


Clear as mud?  lol

Well, I hope I explained that right/well enough, and that it makes things a little bit clearer, anyway :)

 

___________________


PS - You might want to remember this explanation next year, when Abbvie loses is it's exclusivity patent for Humira (adalimumab), on about 14 of its 20 indications (including RA and psoriasis) - because there's about 7 to 10 biosimilars coming out, some that are interchangeable with Humira and some that aren't.

It's going to be all over the board, varying from insurance company to insurance company, and perhaps a big fat mess ... and a fight to the death to get on formularies - a fight which Humira already started in suing several of these companies because they hadn't lost their patent yet, despite the fact that they weren't planned for release until the year they did. 

The variation will likely make the national or even international news, so keep on the lookout for that, which will reveal even further that variation in rebate problem we have in America and cost of drugs versus other countries. 


________________________


PS 

On May 24th Blue Cross Blue Shield (Commercial/Private insurance company) announced that they would be partnering with Civica Pharmaceuticals to introduce an affordable insulin.

In this way, the insurance company can bypass the PBM to contract directly with a pharmaceutical company to produce and distribute for affordable insulin at a low net cost without playing the rebate game - theoretically, that is ;)


Saturday, May 21, 2022

My Husband's Integrity :)

 

I realized that in the two posts below, I made my husband sound like he's an angry person or something, when I promise you, he's not lol.

(Well, the first one was a dream anyway, which was actually hilarious :)

He's actually well beloved at work and reasonable - it's just he has zero tolerance for Trumper bullshit - and certain other triggers, as we all do.

However, the biggest reason I fell in love with him is his integrity - he will still do the right thing regardless, in the end :)

We both value integrity above nearly everything else, we have that in common.

So without giving too much private information away, how can I tell this story?


Actually, it's public knowledge and they've publicly admitted it, the school board knows, everybody - but I don't want to beat a dead horse out of empathy for those involved, those who effed up, because they know they did and are already paying for it.


So my husband changed departments where he worked two years ago, essentially because his prior boss just sort of ... checked out mentally, started partying more, etc ... and unofficially left all the management stuff to, well, a total A-hole.

Both men are Trumpers - BUT - his former boss was extremely kind and accommodating during Mark's stroke and I will never forget that, I will always be grateful for that - but he was really pissing us off, at the same time lol


Unfortunately, it came out that he got himself into trouble with a female coworker, whom he has since married, after divorcing his previous wife.

Additionally, the new woman was given - erm - special perks at work that others in the department didn't receive - which is what caused the trouble.

My husband was pissed about all of it - a pay raise and special perks for his love interest, essentially abandoning his job and leaving it to a raving lunatic, and especially for abandoning his wife - my husband cannot stand people that cheat on their spouses, it's one of his triggers, both because he's Catholic and because his ex-wife frequently did.

I'm not a fan of cheating either, of course, and I've never cheated on anyone in my life.  I'm a bit more relaxed about it because most of the time, there's already something wrong in the marriage before the cheating happens and one never knows what's going on in their marriage already.

IMO, in that case, then just be honest with the person that you don't want to be married anymore - don't lie and go behind their back - it's the lying and the public humiliation that hurt the most - but not everyone handles things that way.


Regardless, IMO, extramarital affairs are nobody else's business - unless - it affects work or the person receives perks the others don't get.  This situation did - and the part that bothered me, personally, the most. 


Now again - I haven't said anything that isn't common knowledge and that this person hasn't publicly admitted himself - and again, he's now married to her - and both have acknowledged their mistakes. 


HOWEVER, the institution pink-slipped just her -  despite the fact that she is now his wife. 

Mark's former boss received no consequences at all - just a slap on the wrist, despite the fact that he authorized the special perks for her.


They moved her temporarily to Mark's department until the year ends, but after that, her only options were to reapply, but only to food service or a bus driver, though she was formerly senior level in her field :(

We learned that she also was very ill with a medical issue she nearly died from this past winter.

So a new position came up in Mark's department - and Mark told his boss that she would be the perfect candidate for it :)

Thus, she interviewed for it, Mark and Mark's current boss put in a good word for her,  and  then they decided to approve it :)

In other words, even though Marks hates cheaters and Trumpers, was super pissed, he knows she is qualified and felt they had done her wrong, by penalizing just her, for the situation, but not touching the man in power.


So you see?

That's the kind of man my husband is - he will do the right thing regardless of his personal feelings, in the end :)

Both this man and his wife have thanked him profusely.


Former Boss: "Man, I know how you feel about this situation, so I was surprised you still did that for her ... for us.  You disapproved of all it, were really pissed at me, and yet you did it anyway to help us, in the end. So anything you need, just ask."

 

Mark:  "Yeah, I gotta be honest, I didn't care for you leaving your wife for her, but mostly, how that ended up affecting the workplace - but I feel like they penalized just her for something the both of you did and that's not right - just being honest.  

"Yeah, I was SO pissed off at you for basically leaving everything in his hands.  You just sort of checked out completely, I didn't recognize you anymore.  He's a lunatic, you know, I tried to tell you, but at the time, you wouldn't listen.  But I can't help but still like you, you know that.  We both saw some shit in combat and I get some of your stuff, but you went off the deep end, man." 

"Plus my wife constantly reminded me how good you were to us during my stroke and asked for a while to just give you more time to sort yourself out. Because very few people were around or asked us what we needed, even my own family -  but you did.  You asked what you could do for us and did it, during my lowest point in life, when few others did, even some in my own family. We've never forgotten that and never will - even when you piss us off lol" 

"And you and she both are super smart, when you're on your games, there's no better, man.  She didn't deserve to take all the blame and she's an educated and talented tech.  I mean, food service or bus driver? Come on, man, that was wrong of them."  

 

Former Boss:  "Yeah, I know.  And you're right, he's an asshole.  You tried to tell me, but he's really good at being duplicitous.  And I know I effed up. we're still paying for it.  And I trusted the wrong people to have my back, but they were all secretly using it to their advantage.  But I do love her, you know?" 

"We've always been able to be direct and frank with each other rather than bullshit.  It used to piss me off, but in the end, that's how I know this isn't another back-scratching game, you're for real, thanks, man.   Like I said, if you ever need a favor, I'm your man."

 

Mark:  "No need, just keep your head on straight, from now on, man, don't eff up again, because I can't help you then " 



Fences successfully mended :)

That's called integrity, folks - watch and learn from my husband :)


My motto used to be, "Exemplify the behavior you want Trumpers to emulate" and I still believe that, even though it has no effect - just because it's the right thing to do :)



Friday, May 20, 2022

Getting Serious for a Minute - About Major Changes in Kentucky ...

 

Mind you, not helping the incident below is that it happened on the heels of the Lexington Herald Leader reporting yesterday that Lexington's public libraries are being pressured by GOP politicians to ban books they subjectively deem as supporting either "CRT" (Critical Race Theory)  or LGBTQ - for adults as well as children 


In truth, some of the sex stuff I wouldn't want my children reading until a certain age, straight or LGBTQ - BUT -  I also understand that kids having worries about sexual feelings, especially gay feelings, might not feel comfortable talking to their parents about it and might want to feel less alone -  and hopefully, less suicidal, considering gay-male teens have the highest suicide rate.


Perhaps this issue could be best resolved by putting these books in a "sensitive subject" area instead of banning them altogether? 


Now, as for the anti-CRT book banning, there's just no good reason for wanting to ban books on race theory except trying control what people think.

For example, coming from the opposite angle on race theory, I would never read Hitler's Mein Kampf -  but I'd never call for it to be banned from everyone else, either. 


I've never read it because because I already know Hitler's thoughts on race and his need to scapegoat this group or that for all his problems and his country's problems, and I have no interest in delving deeper into the mind of a psychopath, so - no, thank you.  


My daughter never asked to read it, and I wouldn't have allowed her to read it until a certain age, and at that point, though I would've discouraged her because of what it stands for and what happened to 6 million Jews and other minority groups because of it, she could still read it, had she really wanted to, if of age, and we could discuss it afterwards.

That is because forbidding the fruit past a certain age only makes it that much sweeter - AND - makes it seem like you're trying to hide something, as well as control what they think yourself  ;)

But I would never support banning it or any book  -  I don't believe in banning any books or forms of art -  ever - especially books written for adults - and some of those titles ARE for adults.


Age-appropriate limitations and content warnings are fine, so are consequences for breaking private or public company rules prohibiting certain items, sure, and restricting their exhibition platforms to appropriate audiences is okay, too - but we should never completely ban books or art together.

Honestly, I think people that believe that reading, listening, or watching this or that will somehow subliminally take over your mind and control your behavior without your consent must struggle with gullibility issues themselves and are thus projecting - because it's not us with the inability to question and critically think through what we read, hear, or see before automatically believing it ;)


Now, this is on the heels of the Kentucky General Assembly overriding Governor Beshear's veto by two-thirds vote, thereby passing a law in April that gave county politicians control over the content at public libraries, which will take effect next year.  


As you can see by the listed complaints - many of the complainers were male-Karen GOP state politicians, who clearly hadn't even read the books, because the stuff they're saying is in there, is NOT in there. 


Now, onto today ...


So I ... or I should say my husband, Mark ... experienced something at a beloved local restaurant - which I won't say the name of - that I never thought I'd see.

I grew up with this restaurant, it's one of the main staples of Lexington.  The world could change, but X was always there, having been there for 70 years, always friendly.  

In fact, many times, when sh*t was going on with my family, I'd escape here, the people were always welcoming, always friendly, to everyone.

Not anymore :(


So we'd noticed it had become a hangout for MAGA-hat wearers and mask/vax refusers, which is fine, if that's what they want to believe. 

We never said a word, continued to smile and be friendly, tip big, but we just ordered takeout and wore a mask to pick it up, to protect ourselves from COVID and people that loudly exclaimed they'd refused vaccination.


Now - considering I eat a low-carb diet regularly, I rarely eat any carbs during the week, I save them for what we call "Fat Food Friday."  lol

Every Friday, we order a burger and fries here for lunch.  My husband picks it up for lunch, then goes back to work.

Every Friday, without fail, I look forward to it  after eating essentially rabbit food every other day :)


They stare at him a lot with the mask on, and sometimes the Marjorie-Taylor-Greene-looking manager makes loud comments about her love for Trump and hate for liberals, how mask-wearing is bullshit and only "sheeple" wear them -  but not directed at him, per se - which he ignores, still tips big, and that's the end of it.


So today, they uncharacteristically got the order wrong, which is no big deal - I  waited tables for years, so I get it, mistakes happen.

They forgot to put the burger in, just the fries, and Mark didn't realize it until he got home.  

Now, he gets really pissed over these things, and I told him to calm down, please, before he called them.

He had them on speaker, and Mark was very controlled-nice about it, for a change, I was super proud of him.  

They said they couldn't hear him and were very rude, very nearly hanging up on him, which didn't help.  


So I took the phone and told them we knew they rarely got anything wrong, they were usually right on it, and this was just a fluke - did they still have the sandwich and could we just come back and get it?


She insisted - very rudely - that we needed to bring back not only  the receipt, but ALL the food - as "proof" they got the order wrong, before they gave us the missing sandwich.

(Which of course makes no sense, we were only missing  a sandwich - what does bringing back the fries prove?)

They never once apologized or admitted their mistake - in fact, they seemed strangely overly suspicious of us.


Okay, I somewhat get the need for bringing back even the food they got right, to a certain extent, because for all she knows, we could be lying - but then again, if she suspected us of lying, that's actually giving us extra food - and a bit of an extreme reaction to people that come every Friday, always tip 25%, and have never had an issue before?


However, Mark is pissed that he has to bring all the food back, and that that they're so suspicious. 

Thus, he vows never to go there again, saying it's already turned into a MAGA rally anyway, making clear that mask-wearers and people of color aren't welcome anymore..  

He says if he normally isn't off on Fridays, he wouldn't have time to go back, so what would we do - bring moldy fries back a week later or what? LOL


He's so mad that I'm a little bit afraid of what he's going to say and do when he get there, afraid he'll make a scene.


So I call and say, "Hey, so ... he's pretty pissed.  Anything you can do to smooth this over would be helpful.  He's talking about never coming again and I don't want that, I love your food, I grew up with it.  And like I said, you normally do a great job."


Lady:  "Well, I don't know what else he wants?  Honey, we're remaking it, that should do it.  We're not singling you out, that's just policy."

 

Me:  "I know, we appreciate that, but I've worked in restaurants most of my life, and it's just ... bringing ALL the food back, when we're just missing a sandwich, is ... well, a little different?  Especially for regulars." 

"He normally has to go back to work, so what if he couldn't come until days later, would you accept the food returned days later, like all moldy? lol That's why we called right as it happened" 

 

Lady:  "Honey, we're open until 8, every day - yeah, you have to bring  the receipt and ALL the food back.  I don't know what else to say, that's our policy, regulars or not, we're not singling you out"

 

Me:  "I never thought you were singling us out, but you do keep saying that, so I'm starting to wonder lol.  But no, I get it, we could be lying for free food, you don't know - except for the fact we  are every-Friday regulars, have never had an issue before, and are big tippers, of course."

"If it's food theft and cost, you're worried about, we didn't ask or need more fries, just the missing sandwich.  Does it make sense to now make four orders of fries, though we didn't need them, if you suspect we're lying and food theft? " 

(Silence) 

"But  okay, if that's the best you can do, we'll just have to accept that, I guess.  Thank you!"

 

Lady:  "I don't know what else to tell you - Honey, you're not special because you're regulars."

 

Me:  " Excuse me?   I ... just meant by being regulars that I thought you'd know we were good for it, here every Friday and tipping well, that's all, that we don't make a habit of this. But okay, thank you."

 

*Click*


I call Mark and say, "Okay, they're being rude and overly suspicious, and I don't know why - but of course calling me "honey" to try to soften it -  you know, the passive-aggressive games Kentuckians play lol"

"I guess they're having a bad day, I don't know, so please just don't be rude back and make a scene, you know how Trumpers get, they'd make themselves the victim.  Go in there, get the food, and leave, okay?  Promise me you won't say anything back, just get the food and go, okay?


"I promise."


Mark gets there, and instead of the lady trying to smooth it over, she has enlisted all the staff - and the regular customers - to stand near her as she ridicules him for not checking the bag before he left, etc. 

That's true - he should've checked the bag before leaving - and yet that doesn't make it his fault.


It also shouldn't subject him to ridicule ... 


"Well, of course he's go gotta wear that mask LOL"

(Staff and customers laugh)

Then she looks at the receipt.


And especially THIS ...

 

So the food cost $15.15 and my husband had tipped them $4 even - over 25% of the total, right?


So she holds it up to the staff and says, "Hmm, actually is a good tip, I'm surprised.  You'd think SOME people would round it up to the next dollar, though."


??? 

So ... we tipped you nearly 26% in even dollar bills - but you want 15 more cents to jangle around in your apron, instead of an even number of dollar bills?


 My husband told me it was all he could do not to demand back that entire tip, at this point, for their rudeness, and tell them to go f*ck themselves with a MAGA hat lol.


Then he gets the food, opens the bag - and the sandwich is wrong.

REALLY proud of him, now, because he doesn't say a word - he just takes it and leaves, just like I asked him to do :)

That is because saying anything now, even with Kentucky sugar on top, would just enhance the "special snowflake" Karen perception, despite the fact that they are the Karens.

That is because I can interpret Kentucky-brand passive-aggressiveness better than my husband, my family being from here and having lived here myself for 32 years ...

Messaged received - we're not welcome, wearing masks, at a crowded diner full of people who have loudly proclaimed they refused vaccination.

Thus, best to still tip well, not make a scene, quietly leave, and never return .  Because they're not worth the trouble -  - plus that's what they want, so they can call you "Karens" and "special snowflake." ;).

But this incident is still bothering me,  and I know it's more than it should, I guess?


First of all, that's just bad business - if you're trying to recoup your losses after COVID, do you really think it's a good idea to ridicule your customers over wearing masks, act overly suspicious because they are, and give them such a hard time?


Now, I think the missing sandwich was an honest mistake, because like I say, they never get it wrong - but the ridiculing of him seemed almost politically motivated - because of his mask (and his Detroit accent?)  


Wouldn't be the first time.


You may recall a similar weird experience we several months ago, with a loud Trumper being overly suspicious because we were wearing masks at Kroger, basically accusing my husband of stealing chicken from Kroger after leaving it in the cart, calling as he was turning his car around, the manager okaying a new one, but the lady at the register refusing to have anyone check the carts, even after showing his receipt.  It wasn't until he asked to get the manager he spoke to and the three of them would watch the security video together that she relented and just told him to go get a new package.

That time, he asked if she voted for Trump.  Of course she did.  He said I thought so - and some other things I'm not super proud of lol.


This is my theory - they lie, cheat and steal to win- so they either assume we do, too, projecting this aspect of themselves onto us, whether they're aware they do or not - PLUS - their politicians, press, and pundits tell them you can't trust us, that we are trying to lie, steal and steal from them. 


Now, as I've said, I've always noticed the culture problems here, despite many others, even in my family, not noticing it - it's just gotten 20x worse since Trump.


And for the record, despite being double-booster vaccinated, my husband had a stroke 5 years ago, putting him in the immunocompromised status - so he will continue to wear a mask in crowded places indoors until we are clearly at a safer distance from COVID - especially places that have made it clear they are non-vaccinated, with the count rising again.

Thus, the more barriers he wants to put between him and COVID, the better, and he should be allowed to do that without public ridicule and automatic suspicion, thanks.


I have never fit in here, and I'm not alone - most transplants here have a hard time fitting in here.

In fact, if I've heard this once, I've heard it 1,000 times from people who didn't grow up here  - most recently from someone from Boston, someone else from Chicago, even someone from my neck of the woods, Cincinnati. 

I've heard the same thing, over and over, from transplants here, over the last 32 years, and my own experience was the same upon first moving here, despite my family being from here, and my husband from Detroit, who had tons of friends in Detroit has had the same issue after moving here.

I think the person from Chicago put it best: 


"If they didn't grow up with you, they're  not interested - it's like they have enough friends they grew up with and they don't really want more, so it will take them forever to invite you to anything or accept your invites, unless you're a college basketball player, famous country singer, or GOP politician."


And the liberals here, they just kind of roll over and go along with Trumpers, to fit in and stay out of trouble, not rock the boat.  People rarely protest anything, with the exception of a peaceful protest over George Floyd, and repeated protests at the Capitol over mask-wearing, which included a hung effigy of Governor Beshear :(


So instead of polarizing here, like other places, since Trump, the liberals here just rolled over and assimilated.

Thus, there are only a certain amount of constants here, a certain amount of refuges that that I've looked to, for the past 32 years, to make life tolerable.


This diner was one of those things - but even that has become politically cray cray.

Now, if somebody starts getting politically cray-cray at Shaker Village or Red River Gorge, I'm gonna lose my religion lol.


No, but the truth is, because I haven't been able to afford to get out of here for 32 years, I've found various ways of making life bearable.


"Find joy in the smallest thing, find your gratitude, give people the same benefit of the doubt you'd like them to give you, focus on the positive, find middle ground, find a refuge, a sanctuary" 


But that has become increasingly harder to do  - and it's become more obvious than ever how much I  - WE - don't fit in here.

I used to think this was a bad thing, that I didn't belong, that I was the one with the problem and weird.

However, I've now come to realize maybe it's not - and that I'm not alone in feeling this way - lots of blue people stuck in red states feel this way.


And after today, I'm done - done trying to find the positive, done giving them the same benefit of the doubt that I'd like for myself that they never give, done trying to find middle ground, done placating, done trying to keep the peace, done smiling and saying nothing - done.

And not fighting anyone either, because that would be a losing battle, talking to brick walls, believe me, I used to try  - so now it's just quietly floating further and further away from them.

There is really nothing left here that I would care to ever see again, if I'm honest, especially after Trump, who brought out the worst in people. 


Now, I love my direct neighbors - just not enough to keep me here lol.


And I'm not sure North Carolina would be any different, maybe worse - only just further away from being surrounded by Trumpers in the mountains lol.


Thus, becoming expats in Spain is looking better and better to me, when Mark retires? lol

We shall see, more research to be done.

Because to be honest, Spain was a religious-fascist regime until 1978, the exiled King, Juan Carlos, just returned, and the far-right fascist party, Vox, is gaining ground there, too.

And who would've thought in my lifetime we'd ever seen a centrist and a far-righter, whose father was a holocaust denier, be the main contenders for PM in France?!?

So I mean, where do we go - most importantly, that we can afford to go?


Regardless, it will not be here - I hope I never see this place again,  nor 98% of the people I met while here, when we go.

 I'm not kidding when I say I'm done - I've now seen and heard enough -  this was that proverbial small straw that broke the camel's back, enough is enough.


Sorry, Kentucky - but you've chosen to sacrifice the best in you for the worst - and for what - or for whom, I should say?  

Somebody who actually hasn't done a damn thing for you  or made your life better - in fact, the only thing he's done for you is make you more suspicious, afraid, and angry than ever before  

Trump has done nothing for you but turn you -  ordinarily mild-mannered people -   into paranoid, angry-all-the-time monsters, all for his own glory - can't you see that?   

If you want to hurt your own business further, after COVID, by ridiculing and making unwelcome mask wearers, that's your choice. 

Ridicule and  bully all you like, that appears to be your only form of humor, I'm used to it -  but I will never turn red, I will never kowtow to you. 

In fact, all you're accomplishing with this behavior is making me a deeper shade of blue :)  

But I won't fight you - I'll just quietly float further and further away from you and spend my money elsewhere  :)