October 29, 2016

How West Virginias Drug Addiction Culture Began!

We know too well the extent of the opioid crisis in West Virginia.  Users started with prescription drugs and when law enforcement and the medical community clamped down on that, addicts moved on to heroin and fentanyl.

West Virginia now has the highest overdose rate per capita in the country, as law enforcement and health officials struggle to keep up.

But where did it all begin and why does the problem seem worse here than many other states?
STAT News, a digital news division of the Boston Globe that covers health and medicine, did a lengthy investigation in West Virginia. Reporter David Armstrong traced the origins of the opioid epidemic to 20 years ago when Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin.

Armstrong reports that Purdue Pharma took the unusual step of aggressively marketing the drug as an effective pain reliever, but downplayed the risk of addiction. The drug maker made payments to pharmacy benefit managers to keep copays low and make the drug available without prior authorization from insurance companies.

As OxyContin flooded into West Virginia, the state’s Public Employee Insurance Agency began to detect a problem. “In early 2001, the pharmacy director for the state employee health plan noticed coroners listing oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin) as the cause of death for some plan members,” STAT reports.

However, Tom Susman, who was the head of PEIA at the time, said their concerns were ignored. “No one outside the agency wanted to listen,” Susman said. “We felt like we were talking to a wall when we brought the matter up to legislators and other government leaders at the time.”

STAT uncovered documents showing Purdue Pharma worked diligently to overcome any objections to their strategy. “In a memo listing the 2001 goals of Purdue’s West Virginia sales team, the first listed item under Medicaid is ‘Stop any preauthorization efforts for OxyContin’.”

Darrell McGraw, West Virginia’s Attorney General at the time, did pick up on the disturbing trend and sued the drug maker over its hard-driving marketing tactics. In 2004, Eric Holder, who would later become U.S. Attorney General, helped negotiate a settlement with the state on behalf of Purdue Pharma, where West Virginia was paid $10 million dollars (nearly a third of which went to attorneys’ fees).

That may have seemed like a lot of money at the time, but in hindsight it is a drop in the bucket considering the long-term costs associated with fighting the drug problem in West Virginia. One of the main issues in this year’s race for Governor has been how to confront the drug crisis and where to find the money for more treatment.

Eventually, Purdue Pharma paid a bigger price. In 2007 the company and three former executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading the medical community and the public about the drug, agreeing to $600 million in fines and other payments.  West Virginia was not part of that settlement.

Could the opioid crisis in West Virginia have been prevented if Purdue Pharma had marketed OxyContin responsibly or if state officials would have listened to warnings from PEIA? That’s impossible to say, but the evidence suggests we are now battling a worse drug problem because of what happened.

Susman finds the situation disheartening. “Looking back, it’s one of the most depressing things to come out of my government service that we saw what was happening and no one wanted to listen.”

September 18, 2016

West Virginia 7th most poverty stricken state in nation; earned income tax credits may help!

CLARKSBURG — West Virginia is the seventh-most poverty-stricken state in the nation, with a poverty rate of 17.9 percent, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
The Clarksburg area is only a little below that, with a poverty rate of around 15 percent.
This is statistically unchanged since the recession in 2008, according to Sean O’Leary, senior policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
“Poverty numbers went up during the recession and stayed at that level,” O’Leary said, pointing to income stagnation as one of the contributing factors.
West Virginia’s median household income was an estimated $42,019 in 2015, the third lowest of all 50 states. The median household income in Clarksburg was $46,903.
One solution to the poverty problem could be the introduction of a refundable state earned income tax credit, or EITC, according to Seth DiStefano, a campaign coordinator for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
“An earned income tax credit makes perfect sense for West Virginia,” DiStefano said. “We need to get serious about helping working families in our state, because right now we are not making any progress.”
According to DiStefano, an EITC would affect around 141,000 households in West Virginia, and could help significantly in terms of the state’s poverty level.
House Bill 4645, which would give state EITC’s to working families, was introduced to the state Legislature earlier this year.
“The bill has broad bipartisan support,” DiStefano said. In fact, there is a coalition of 39 different organizations who have endorsed the bill, ranging from the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families and The W.Va. Council of Churches to The West Virginia Bankers Alliance and the Coalfield Development Corporation.

July 16, 2016

Don't Mess With White West Virginians!

West Virginia GOP lawmaker calls for Hillary Clinton to be ‘hung on the Mall in Washington, DC’.
Friday evening a Republican lawmaker from West Virginia called for former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to be publicly hung in Washington DC.
According to WOAY, Michael Folk, who serves in the West Virginia House of Delegates when he is not flying airplanes for United Airlines, posted a tweet stating: “@HillaryClinton You should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution… then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC”
After receiving criticism, Folk posting a second tweet reading, “Sorry, I don’t mince words… read this story & watch this video & maybe you’ll understand” with a link to an article about the failed investigation into Clinton’s email server.
Note* There is no state that Hillary is more hated than in West Virginia for her uncaring remarks about coal mines and coal miners. She got slammed in the primary and most likely will get slammed in the general election as well.

June 16, 2016

West Virginia Senate Supports Convention Of States!

The state Senate has passed and sent to the House of Delegates a resolution supporting a Convention of States to rein in the federal government. The Senate approved SCR 10 18-14 following a lengthy debate Tuesday.

The resolution supports a national movement to exercise Article V of the U.S. Constitution to call a convention of states to restrict the power and jurisdiction of Washington.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charlie Trump (R-Morgan) said a constitutional convention is a legitimate exercise established by the Founders “as the final recourse when Congress will not act.”
Backers of the Convention of States are specifically concerned about the size of government and the growing debt. However, Senate Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) said such a convention would be risky.
“This method has never been tried and for good reason because we don’t know where it will go because there are no constraints.”

If approved, West Virginia would become the sixth state to support a Convention of States. Article V provides when legislatures of two-thirds of the states approve a convention can be called and amendments to the Constitution proposed. Those proposed amendments would then have to be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

April 16, 2016

West Virginia Board Of Education Tightens Up Grade Standards!

The West Virginia Board of Education has put a policy out for comment that would move forward with giving A through F grades to entire schools and counties, but would base ratings on more than just standardized tests and graduation rates.

State Department of Education Chief Accountability Officer Michele Blatt tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/1Wu164U) that the policy, proposed

Wednesday, would add "multiple measures" to the state's A-F school and county grading system.

If the policy passes, Blatt says A-F grading would also consider attendance, students at risk of dropping out, third graders reading below grade level, eighth graders performing math below grade level and career and college-readiness indicators.

Education officials say they plan to release A-F grades by late fall.


March 20, 2016

White People Becoming Mad At Government in West Virginia.

A jury quickly convicted a man accused of attempting to overthrow the West Virginia state government, Metro New reported on March 18, 2016.

Thomas David Deegan, 39, was found guilty on one count of making a terrorist threat on Friday, after the 12-member jury deliberated for only an hour. He faces 1 to 3 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $25,000 when he is sentenced, in April.
Deegan, who represented himself in court, was accused of the plot, which he spoke about in a conference call that was recorded in September.

“The conversation was the actual crime itself,” prosecutor Jason Wharton told MetroNews. “The jury was able to hear the entirety of the conference call as well as some recordings from the regional jail and some other testimony.”

He told participants on the call to shoot anyone who resists them.

He said on the call that he wanted to bring a large number of people to the West Virginia capitol building in Charleston and overtake the building. Deegan denied the charges.
“It was one of 12 calls and was taken out of context,” he said. “I have studied laws and I see where they are going wrong. I just find errors. I never called myself a sovereign citizen.”

He also discussed sending armed militants to local police departments.

“We are at war,” Deegan said during one of the conference calls, according to the criminal complaint. “The more that come to Charleston, the less [likelihood] for bloodshed.”
He also said, “If you see the police coming and pulling up in a vehicle, I suggest you shoot them.”

MY OPINION: The American Nazi Party doesn't advocate this type of action despite White people becoming angrier at their inactive government everyday. 

February 06, 2016

Report finds West Virginia wastes over $330 million. Wasting White taxpayers money!

“The West Virginia state government does not have a revenue problem — it has a spending addiction,” according to a new report released on January 24, 2016.

The state is currently battling a $353 million budget hole, but officials with the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance said the shortfall could have been avoided.

The two organizations conducted the report called “Wild & Wasteful West Virginia.” It outlines more than $330 million in wasteful spending spread across nearly 60 different state programs.

A couple of those programs include fairs and festivals. The report says taxpayers pay about $53,000 for the Mountain State Forest Festival, $43,000 for the West Virginia State Fair, $25,000 for the Italian Heritage Festival, $25,000 for the West Virginia Strawberry Festival and more.

“We can’t afford to spend money on festivals,” said Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute, on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline”. “Have them pay another nickel, another quarter, another dollar to attend the State Fair. It’s an easy fix. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for it. There’s 1.8 million people in this state and only 210,000 go to the Fair — why should the other 1.6 million pay for other people’s fun?”

The festivals are included in the “Arts & Culture” section of the report. Ballengee said although the arts are important to the state, it’s not a core government function.

“A core government function is making sure that the public is safe,” he said. “When a family has a shortfall in their budget, they get rid of all that unnecessary spending. The state needs to do the same thing. Art, unfortunately, is not a core service and it should be supported by the private sector, not by taxpayers.”

The report also touches on government operations, including one of two airplanes that “is flown 72 hours a a year and could be sold to help fill gaps in the state budget.”

“Selling a plane that barely gets used for upwards of $1.5 million could go a long way to funding education and roads and things like that,” said David Williams, president of TPA. He was also a guest on “Talkline.”

“One of the things is $48,000 for a water pump for a nursery that supplies Christmas trees all over the state. I love Christmas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people that celebrate Hanukkah should be subsidizing my celebration,” he said of another wasteful spending issue.

Other parts of the report include regulations, corporate welfare, recreation, education and child and elderly services.

Six recommendations were provided to state leaders at the end of the booklet that read:

1. The state should establish a West Virginia version of the Grace Commission, which was President Ronald Reagan’s committee that analyzed government spending and provided cost savings recommendations to Congress that saved taxpayers more than $1 trillion.

2. State legislators should agree to a one-time statewide external audit conducted by a large accounting firm.

3. The state should establish an independent state inspector general’s office tasked with coordinating investigations into corruption, waste and fraud across state agencies.

4. The West Virginia Constitution must be amended to give the state Attorney General the authority to prosecute examples of fraud and abuse of power.

5. The state Legislature should create either an Office of the Repealer with the responsibility of making recommendations to the Legislature in areas of government waste that should be repealed from the state law.

6. State leaders should take steps to ensure West Virginia’s spending can’t grow faster than the taxpayer’s ability to pay for it.

Before the legislature comes and asks White taxpayers for another nickel, they need to take a scabble to the budget.

January 01, 2016

System Says 600 Miners To Lose Jobs!

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Union officials said Thursday (December 31, 2015) that nearly 600 coal miners could lose their jobs at Murray Energy Corp. mines in West Virginia and Ohio, dealing another blow to the beaten-down industry and Appalachian region.

According to the United Mine Workers of America, 532 of the planned layoffs would occur at five Murray mines in northern West Virginia. About 82 to 125 miners would lose jobs at each mine.