Brad Miller

The War on Chronic Pain Patients

In Freedom, Medicinal Freedom, natural rights, True nature of the State on March 28, 2018 at 5:39 am

“The Law”

The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it. Frederic Bastiat French Economist 1850

One hundred and sixth eight years since this was written about the French government we are seeing the exact same thing occur here in America. The opioid hysteria has created a barbaric, evil, and insidious regulation and severe restriction of pain medication while at the same time enriching a few who use the force of law to profit from the misery and pain of others.

I’ve been in chronic pain for over thirty years now. It all started with a severe case of Ulcerative Colitis that required a major surgery to save my life. It didn’t go well. That began my horrible and terrifying relationship with physical pain.

My main relationship in my life since I can remember has been pain. It is always with me, demands my attention, and requires me to attend to it day and night. It is persistent and unrelenting.

In the past I’ve been fortunate to have doctors who’ve in the past believed that I shouldn’t suffer needlessly and provided me with pain medicine. This helped me to eke out, somewhat of a life, in between the hospital stays and surgeries. Even with pain meds I still hurt but as long as I know I can take one or two at night to rest and sleep I can endure the pain throughout the day.

That has all changed since the hysteria machine around opioids has been unleashed upon us. My GP was providing chronic pain management with opioids for the last three years. He stopped this year in large part, I believe, because of the fear of attracting unwanted attention from regulators.

What makes this so insidious is that he isn’t even in trouble for anything yet, and he chose to stop for fear of something that may or may not happen in the future. My pain is a certainty. It’s easier for doctors to say no then it is for them to take a risk. You’ll here some say they are afraid of losing their licenses but that to me is an excuse for not wanting to stand up for their patients and their supposed principles.

When good people don’t stand up, tyranny and injustice multiplies. I’m experiencing that myself with my recent attempts to obtain pain medicine. My GP referred me to a pain clinic. I called them and after a week of back and forth phone calls they finally decided they didn’t accept my “limited benefit plan”, didn’t accept new self-pay patients and didn’t treat GI patients.

I did ask them if they knew of any pain clinics that did treat people with GI related pain and they said no. So long story short I called all the doctors I’ve known for about thirty years and they were no help, I called about ten pain clinics and none accepted my insurance, and almost none treated GI related pain and they didn’t have anyone they could recommend me to. One did wish me the best of luck though.

I did find a couple on my own that would consider treating me but they couldn’t guarantee that the doctor would deem me worthy of a prescription for pain killers until he saw me. I’d have to come in for an initial assessment. In order to see the holy doctor I’ll have to shill out $375 – $600 for the first visit depending on which pain clinic I decide to go to. This is insanity.

On top of the initial charge for the “assessment” if they are so “merciful” to grant me one of their precious prescriptions for pain killers, I’ll have to come back for monthly visits like I’m some kind of goddamn parolee. And each monthly visit will run around $200.

I’ve seen this process of demonizing people in pain slowly developing over the course of my thirty plus year odyssey of pain. I remember when doctors were told they could no longer call in pain pill prescriptions, I remember the first time I heard a doctor express concern about the DEA when I asked for pain medicine, and I remember when I was forced to sign a pain contracts and get urine tested every 90 days like I was a convicted criminal. All of these incremental policies did nothing to ease my pain or make me “safer” from myself. Instead they are what has led us to where we are today.

The Law has been perverted to reap profits for the pharmaceutical industries, the doctors and the addiction industry. Their profits are paid for by the misery and pain of millions of Americans who have no lobbyists and have been abandoned by the medical community.

Besides the profits that those who benefit from this type of hysteria are raking in, I belief there is a dark undercurrent at work as well. We are rapidly approaching more and more regimented healthcare.

Chronically ill folks like me are a drain on the system in the eyes of central planners. I do firmly believe there are those who believe in the tenets of centralized medicine who would prefer I was not around soaking up “healthcare resources”.

Pain pills are extremely cheap though. Last year including doctors visits for chronic pain management plus the cost of my pain medicine added up to around $600. Now I’m stuck with a tab, if I’m able to obtain a prescription, of around $3800. That is insane. But my surgeries and hospital stays have cost insurance companies millions. If I stick around I’ll more than likely need more surgeries and hospital stays.

When did it become okay to bully people in pain? When did it become okay to treat people in physical pain like criminals? When did it become okay to rape them with insane costs for doctor visits? When did it become okay to make people in pain ashamed or afraid to ask their doctor for pain medicine? When did it become okay for doctors to refuse to treat people in pain? When did it become okay to deny one of the only truly effective treatments medical doctors have at their disposal?

The options for people in pain today are worse then they’ve been since before the discovery of the effectiveness of the poppy plant to alleviate physical suffering thousands of years ago. Those who are in pain and denied or restricted pain medication are effectively being forced to live in the Stone Age.

I believe that those in chronic pain are being pushed into making some extremely difficult decisions. The choices are to find alternatives on the black market, try to continue in agony or end their life. All three are a death sentence handed down by the uncaring, ignorant and greedy individuals in the government and the medical industry.

Living in pain is like being in hell. The one description of hell I liken it to is not the fire and pitchfork type but the cold and desolate hell, where God is totally absent. If you believe that God represents all that is good in the world then living in physical pain is the absence of all of that.

Being in pain makes life unbearable. The equation that everyone makes each day is, “is the pain of life worth the results of your actions?” For me the answer is many times no.

A few years ago Sarah Palin (I’m not a fan) was lambasted for daring to suggest that Obamacare had provisions for a death panel in order to ration healthcare. Today we are seeing this concept put into action. Chronic pain patients are being denied the very treatment that would save their lives. The new opioid regulations are effectively a form of a “Death Panel” but it’s so diffused throughout the system no one takes responsibility for denying people in pain the relief they need to continue living.

I believe that a part of the medical community, some in the insurance industry and many in the government are all too happy to get rid of the chronic pain patient because they are easy targets, they soak up resources and remind them and others of the failures of modern medicine. Most chronic pain patients have had multiple surgeries or have an intractable disease that modern medicine can’t treat effectively. This is another driver of the propaganda pushing the opioid crisis narrative.

The opioid hysteria is focusing on the wrong target. Pain patients aren’t the problem. Only about 1% or less become addicted. The opioid overdoses we hear so much about are really caused black market drugs laced with illicit fentanyl. Many pain patients are being pushed into this market by the increasing cost, time demands and humiliation required to obtain life saving pain medication.

The very law meant to save lives is killing people while others make a tidy profit.

(I’m not against profit. I’m against individuals and industries using the force of government to obtain it.)

I’m not an addict. I’m just in pain. My abdomen hurts all the time. From adhesions pulling and stretching my insides to a pancreas/gall bladder/bile duct issue that hasn’t been properly diagnosed or treated, I suffer everyday of my life from the time I get up to the time I finally fall asleep.

I wish I was stronger but the pain wins everyday. If I keep busy enough I can keep its shouting down to tolerable levels. But once I stop moving it returns like a bullhorn from hell. Pain medicine simply helps dial down the volume.

The Law is meant to protect individual rights. It has been perverted today, as Bastiat wrote, to enrich a small group of people who use the force of the government to satisfy their greed while violating the rights of individuals.

They are using the Law to violate my natural right to consume what I choose and to bear the responsibility of my choices.

Pain medicine isn’t an evil that should be locked away behind armed government agents and doctors who are either scared or greedy, but should be available at the low cost the market puts on them for those who choose to take them.

Physical pain creates a living hell for millions of Americans. It destroys hope, severs relationships, and poisons the mind. Pain medicine can help ease their physical and emotional suffering.

I do have an appointment to see a pain doctor on April 4th. It will be at his discretion if he prescribes pain pills or not. That’s after I fork over $400 for the initial assessment. Where else do you give someone $400 for a service and don’t have a right or ability to know if the service you are seeking will be provided or not? It is insane how far this opioid hysteria has gone.

On the surface the purpose of all these punitive and restrictive laws are to protect people from themselves.They are said to save lives but all they are doing is ruining the lives of millions of peaceful, productive and suffering fellow Americans whose bodies have already betrayed them.

This further betrayal by the government and the medical system has too many pain patients making the awful but understandable decision to end their suffering the only way they know how. They are being forced into taking their own lives due to the barbaric and unfeeling bureaucratic machine that cut them off from the one thing that allowed them to stay alive on this planet.

Death can seem like the only way out for those suffering from intractable pain if they are denied pain medicine. I’ve contemplated it in the past myself and have struggled with those type of thoughts during this stressful stretch of time while trying to find a doctor who will help me. I won’t go to the black market. I don’t trust it. So I can either suffer another ten days or so and hope that the doctor will find my suffering worthy or I can end my time here on planet Earth.

I’ve tried alternative therapies like Kratom and Cannabis, both of which for me help with withdrawal symptoms, but not so much with the pain. I’m miserable tonight. I know I’ll wake up in pain and I’ll go to bed in pain tomorrow. It’s 4:00am and I have to get up at 6:30am to get ready for work.

I’m so tired of hurting. I know if I kill myself those closest to me will be devastated. They, like me for some reason even though I feel worthless, unreliable and unsociable most of the time. I known if I do end my life the little ones in my life would be most hurt. I read one time that if you have children in your life who love you and you commit suicide, it’s like hitting them in the head with a hammer. I won’t do that tonight.

That’s why I’ll get up in a couple hours. That’s why I’ll continue on another day.

Brad

Ten Pillars of Civilization

In Bitcoin, chaos, Civilization, Cryptocurrency, Freedom, Liberty, natural rights, order on March 5, 2018 at 7:53 am

Today most people have two ways of thinking about “civilization”, either it’s the Roman conquering the barbarians or its the destructive corporations raping the countryside model. Either way civilization is seen as a terrible force that imposes order on the “uncivilized” world through fraud, theft and violence.

I don’t see it in those terms. I believe that the best ideas of humanity are what create true civilization. In my opinion true civilization is brining order to chaos without the need for external authority in the pursuit of eliminating human suffering.

Civilization for me, like all things, begins with the individual. That’s why this list doesn’t include any mention of government and that’s on purpose.

The state is not the progenitor of civilization and in fact throughout history it has been antithetical to its advancement. Governments only legitimate purpose is to protect life, liberty and justly acquired property. Thus it is an outgrowth of the ten pillars of civilization.

Civilization gets a bad rap but it’s the only reason why you and I are here. Below are a list of the ten ideas and concepts that underpin civilization and make it possible.

1. Self ownership – From this we get freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of consumption, the right to privacy, the right to self-defense, and the burden of self-responsibility.

2. Private property – All justly acquired property is obtained by voluntary peaceful exchange, charity or through homesteading. Disposal of one’s property is at the discretion of the owner which includes one’s body.

3. Cleanliness – It is next to godliness, which we don’t hear this saying much any more but it’s as true as it ever was. Sanitation and the physical order of things are the foundation of a civilized life.

“Make your bed and put your house in perfect order before criticizing the world”. Jordan Peterson

4. Manners – They are a form of social cleanliness. A Simple “thank-you” or “please” go a long way in reducing social friction. Being courteous without being a pushover demonstrates respect for yourself and for others.

5. Peaceful Voluntary exchange – It is the opposite of war. When two people exchange voluntarily what the other wants both parties win. There is no need to rob my neighbor of his lawn mower that I would like to have if I can peacefully trade with him for it.

6. The Acknowledgment of suffering – Life is hard for everyone. We all suffer. Work is about the elimination of as much suffering in our own life and in the lives of those we interact with as possible.

7. Rational progress – True progress is based upon reason, wisdom, and knowledge in order to develop

new tools, processes and technologies to increase profit, quality, and beauty.

8. Charity – Charity truly begins at home. All charity requires profit from peaceful exchange and it’s always voluntary or it’s not charity. The fact is that everyone needs help at some point in their life.

9. Awe and Curiosity about the natural world – Having an understanding that we only know a tiny fraction of the universe’s secrets is vital to keep perspective and to encourage constant searching for new knowledge and wisdom about ourselves and the wider world.

10. Whole system analysis – Its easy to get lost in details and miss the bigger picture. That’s why it’s important to investigate and understand cause and effect in the widest scope possible. Listening to specialists who have specific knowledge about a specific subject is smart but considering the entire context of the situation is demonstrating wisdom.

This last pillar below is new to the history of humanity and it is what I believe will help spread true civilization to all corners of the world.

11. Peer to peer trustless networks – These cryptographically secured global person to person networks facilitate communication, value exchange and organization without the need for hierarchical institutions like banks, corporations and nation states.

This technology, based upon the concept of blockchain, which is what the Bitcoin protocol runs on, is beginning to show how it can outcompete and eventually supplant the entrenched governmental, banking and corporate interests that currently benefit from the war, fiat currency and subjugation through taxation system.

When people can be their own bank, trade with anyone around the world without regard to artificial boundaries, and vote directly on issues affecting them, the current power asymmetry in society will begin to shift away from the political rats and their cronies, back to the individual where all power originates and should reside.

Unlike what most people fear, freedom of action doesn’t endanger civilization. In fact when people are more free they are more limited, not less inhibited, because they are directly responsible for the consequences of their actions. This is a natural discipline that no government can ever hope to match in quality, severity or efficiency.

Chaos reigns when there is no peace within oneself. Chaos reigns when there is no peace between man and nature. Chaos reigns when there is no peace between man and his neighbor. The pillars of civilization help to create more peace in the world which fosters an environment in which the best qualities of humanity can flourish.

These are what I believe are the best ideas that create a more civilized world. Anyone who wants to go live in nature without any tools will quickly find that the pillars of civilization have been built for a reason. Mother Nature gives nothing for free. Work is the only answer to suffering. Peaceful exchange is superior to war.

Brad Miller

Advocate of Civilized Living

Doctors are pushing back against draconian opioid prescribing restrictions – but is it enough?

In Cryptocurrency, Liberty, Medicinal Freedom, True nature of the State on January 5, 2018 at 11:07 am

In Nevada on 01/04/18 a meeting that was supposed to be about the state’s new restrictions on prescribing opioids but it quickly turned into one of the largest doctor led revolts against these new draconian prescribing rules the country has seen yet.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/doctors-say-nevadas-new-opioid-law-is-causing-them-pain/

The doctors that attended the meeting weren’t told to be there by the Nevada State Medical Association, which is all on board with the state’s new prescribing edicts, they came as individuals who were sick and tired of the government interfering with their business and with their customers.

This is a great sign and hopefully will encourage other doctors to push back against the all too common laws that force doctors to restrict pain medicine to those who suffer chronic pain.

During the meeting the doctors expressed concerns about the vagueness of the rules that they believed were written to threaten the livelihood of doctors who simply help chronically ill patients improve their quality of life.

Around the once known land of the free, laws and rules are being written that greatly restrict the ability of individuals to reduce their physical suffering. I myself have been in chronic pain since the age of eleven. For thirty years my body has been the source of constant pain, making my very existence torture. Without pain medication I know I would have zero quality of life.

I believe that every individual owns themselves and has an innate right to choose what they consume. All restrictions on this freedom are tyrannical and cause more suffering.

The idea that our rights come from our humanity and not the government was a radical idea back in 1774 and it’s still a radical idea today. All politicians, bureaucrats and regulators believe they are the ones that grant our rights. America was founded because the British Crown kept imposing more and more regulations and taxes, interfering with how individuals made their living and how they interacted with each other.

Finally enough people became fed up and launched the revolution that changed the world. Not every colonist was for this revolution. Only about a third were for it, a third were loyalists and a third didn’t care.

Today doctors are like the loyalists during colonial times, content to live under the protection of the crown because their chains lie lightly upon them. But as the regulations and burdens on them grow the chains of government control will grow ever heavier and they will be more and more on the side of freedom.

When I speak of revolution I of course mean creating change through peaceful actions. The way the doctors in Nevada handled their complaints is a road map for other doctors and individuals who employ their services to effect change as well. If the politicians, regulators and bureaucrats don’t listen then other peaceful options should be considered.

Civil Disobedience on a mass scale drove out the British from India. No violence was necessary. Gandhi was actually inspired by Henry David Thoreau and his classic essay “Civil Disobedience” originally titled “Resistance to Civil Government”. This is a proven roadmap for peaceful change on a massive scale, which is what is needed in modern medicine today.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/civil-disobedience/

Doctors should be on the side of freedom and reject the need for the state medical boards, the DEA, the FDA and the CDC interfering in how they deliver medical services to the sick and suffering. Patients are individuals, customers and taxpayers. Every politician’s and government employee’s salary is paid in taxes extracted from the income of individuals. They are suppose to work for us.

Doctors complain that the State is now getting in between them and their patients but it’s actually been going on since the War on Drugs began and customers were required by law to get prescriptions to buy state approved drugs.

The major issue currently facing doctors is the double edged sword of the prescription pad. It grants them a medical monopoly but it also makes them the government’s puppet.

If they were to reject this deleterious privilege and support true Medical Freedom – meaning an end to the War on Drugs and the decriminilaztion of all state approved drugs – the doctor patient relationship could go back to one based on mutual respect and understanding.

Right now the prescription pad corrupts everything about medicine. It denies the individual the ability to purchase what medicines they choose to without the need to go and pay for a doctors visit, it emboldens a huge corrupt Federal Bureaucracy in the FDA, and it increasingly is used as an excuse by state governments to spy on the medical records of peaceful individuals.

The prescription pad also drives up pharmaceutical drug costs. If all drugs were available in a truly free market their costs would plummet. That’s because they would have to compete without the protection of the corrupt FDA. Their products would be subject to the forced of consumer choice as well as increased litigation if their products aren’t safe and effective. Currently the system is set up for them to reap enormous profits on dangerous drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies once they lose the protection of the FDA and DEA will have to compete in an environment in which people will grow some of their own medicines at home. Even if just a small percentage of the 117 million who grow some of their own food home began growing Cannabis, poppy flowers and medicinal mushrooms that would change the drug market in a huge way. Drug companies would be forced to offer safer drugs to compete with the natural ones that customers could grow extremely cheaply in backyard medicinal gardens.

The price of doctors visits would be lowered as well. The tremendous compliance costs and fees are driving up the cost of medicine. And without the government empowered prescription pad doctors could practice medicine without living in fear of losing their license to the DEA. They would also be able to save that $550 dollar licensing fee that every doctor has to pay the DEA to have the privilege of writing prescriptions.

Innovations in medicine will explode without the stifling bureaucracy imposed on doctors and patients by the privilege of the prescription pad. Doctors could help millions through the internet, they could sell the drugs they recommend from their offices, and without the state imposed monopoly they’ll have opportunities to help the sick and suffering in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s the power of freedom. It creates an environment in which innovations which are unthinkable now become commonplace and ubiquitous ten years from now.

And maybe house calls would become a reality once again.

Eliminating the power of the prescription pad is the one solution that would greatly reduce the spying powers of the government and eliminate a huge portion of the Federal and state bureaucracies that interfere with the transaction between the doctor and the one’s employing his or her services.

The doctors have gone along with all the regulations and the spying and the fees because they make an exceptional living due to the increased cost of their services due to the medical monopoly they currently enjoy.

But like all industries that are granted monopolies they soon find themselves basically run by politicians, bureaucrats and regulators. Medicine like banking has become stagnant, inefficient, hugely expensive and arrogant.

Banks are a perfect example of what happens to an industry built upon a government enforced monopoly. All banks are pretty much the same. They are a franchise of the Federal Reserve System. This privilege comes at a tremendous cost though. Bank employees and even the directors are basically government agents who spy on their customers. They agree to do this because the cost of compliance is currently not enough to outweigh the profits they reap.

When you can print money out of thin air your profits are theoretically infinite. Only when customers get fed up with being spied upon, truly understand inflation, get sick of being charged exorbitant fees and being denied access to their funds will banks choose to change. In the past they had no real way to avoid the Monetary Monopoly granted by the government to the banks. This allowed them to force their services on the public.

People now have a choice. Technology in the form of cryptocurrencies are giving the first alternative to the traditional banking system that indicuals have ever had. When enough individuals become aware of the corruption of the current financial system and that they now have a better option, people are going to flock to cryptocurrencies. Costing banks billions in profits.

Do you think they’ll just stand by for this? Of course not. Bankers’ first reaction is to turn to the government to stamp out the new crypto-competitors. Thankfully that is impossible with cryptocurrencies because of their inherent decentralized properties. Banks will have now have to compete with currencies that allow each individual to be their own bank and send money around the world in seconds for mere pennies.

Most doctors are intelligent, freedom minded compassionate people who want to make a good living while helping people feel better. The hysteria over the so-called opioid epidemic shows that they don’t need the government telling them how to practice medicine. They don’t need a government enforced medical monopoly to help people.

The current deaths from opioids are mainly from fentanyl laced heroin. Afghanistan produces about 90% of the worlds heroin and your tax dollars help protect ad grow that industry. After the US Defense Dept invaded Afghanistan it became the number one producer of heroin in the world.

Doctors who want to practice medicine and make a good living should be pushing for the end of the War on Drugs, the end to the prescription restriction pad era of medicine and the total decriminalization of all medicines, whether grown in the backyard or cooked up by a chemist.

The 40 or so doctors in Nevada are the vanguard of the coming peaceful medical revolution. More and more doctors will realize that their deal with the devil has cost them their soul. To get it back they’ll have to brave the free market alone without the Medical Monopoly they currently enjoy today.

Brad Miller

Advocate of Liberty