Karl Marx called religion “the opium of the people.” Wrong. Opium is the opiate.
In all the publicity surrounding the big drug bust at Jones-West Ford, one minor aside got lost. The feds ordered their local operatives to delay the big event. Why?
Alas, public interest often takes a back seat to public relations.
Websearch “opioid epidemic 2015” and Mother Google returns 601,000 results. Change the year to 2016, you get 824,000. That meat-ax comparison reflects reality. All of sudden, the opioid epidemic is getting all the buzz of shark attacks.
I’m a media guy always interested in the demonstrable results of orchestrated PR, propaganda, public relations.
An isolated instance in little Reno generates scant attention. Google it yourself. But if Oxycontin drug busts pop up all over the country in a compressed time frame, you score shark-attack sensationalism. Which provides a plausible reason for the announced delay.
I’m not saying there’s no problem. I am saying that PR was apparently a major consideration, almost as if the attorney general sent a memo to local and regional agencies to save their biggest hits for the second quarter of the year.
Even if there was no concerted effort, it worked just that way.
UNINTENTIONAL INTENTIONAL CONSEQUENCES.
A sign at a local medical practice last week reinforced the tragic tales now so familiar: No new patients needing opioid medication will be accepted. People in serious pain now have nowhere to turn.
It’s quite similar to the attitude of big banks after they were fingered for crashing the world economy, much of it through fraudulent loan practices. They had plenty of money to help kick-start a dead economy but wouldn’t lend a dime.
First, they got funds at zero interest from the feds and made major money loaning it back to the government at guaranteed interest from the taxpayers. Second, they were so scared of being accused of lender abuse that they didn’t lend at all.
Just like doctors refusing patients in need.
LET THERE BE PAIN.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” according to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
That’s so American. We react rather than act. Let the bridges, roads and schools collapse, then we’ll do something. Nevada voters imposed a sales tax in 1955 after government failed to plan for the post-war Baby Boom. The Washoe County School District now wants to raise sales taxes to pay for the Tesla Boom.
Medicaid patients in Sparks-Reno are losing their health care thanks to the mutual greed of St. Mary’s hospital and insurers. Government appears intentionally powerless.
Where does one go for health care now that Jones-West Ford is out of the biz?
THE LAST UNION MEETING.
George Battling” Nelson (1932-2016) requested that his memorial celebration be conducted like a union meeting. The Big Adiós will be held at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, 9 July 2016, in the Plumbers and Pipefitters Training Center, 1150 Greg Street in Sparks. Nelson held many gatherings there as president of the United Auto Workers retiree organization. For updates, watch NevadaLabor.com (where you will also find photos and the story of the original Battling Nelson). Send me remembrances for permanent posting.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.