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Friday, July 27, 2018

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING, EXCEPT FOR POLITICIANS



A regular reader that called me last night told me I wasn't posting enough. So maybe I  am trying to make up for lost time, but I am finding a new found love for my computer keyboard today. It is not that the City of Hartford and its politics don't give me enough content, but it takes time.

Speaking of those politics, I am always aggravated by people that will blindly support political candidates for unknown reasons. Most of those reasons have nothing to do with how they will serve if they eventually do get elected or even their qualifications for the job. I think it all too often has to do with the candidates hair style or some other bizarre qualifier .

I am amused by the political advertisements that we are bombarded with as well. I like the Ned Lamont ads with Ned as the common man sitting at the counter in the neighborhood Diner. I have never met Ned Lamont, but something tells me he is probably not the type to be sitting on a diner stool, sipping his coffee with the commoners in the morning.  I find the "Ned Drive" in his economy car even more interesting.

Great marketing by who ever came up with the idea, but is it really believable. Ned's comment that he won't take a State vehicle makes me think Lamont doesn't understand the nature of the Governor's job. I don't think any of our Governor's in recent history have taken the job to save on gas money I don't purport to be an expert on the Governor or his duties. I don't even think the size of the State Police Security detail is a necessity.

I do know though that much of the Governor's time is spent on the road, crisscrossing the State at all hours of the day and night, and a large amount of the Governor's time is spent conducting business and returning calls from the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a State Trooper. Is Lamont saying he won't travel in the course of running the State or is he going to be able to focus on the states business without being a "distracted driver" operating his own economy car?

Little things, and maybe I pay too much attention to details, but we need to pay attention to what they promise us.

Besides, I was flattered one night when a member of the Governor's staff informed me that the Governor and Mrs. Malloy had been reading "We the People" blog in the back seat of the Governor's SUV on the way back to Hartford from an event at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

Another campaign ad that is aggravating me is from Nancy Glassman. Now I know President Trump  is fair game and every Democrat is going to make President Trump a campaign issue, but please be factual.  Glassman states in one of her ads, and I am paraphrasing, that her mother raised her while living on Social Security. and Glassman states that she will never allow President Trump to cut Social Security.

News flash Ms. Glassman, you are or would be only one member of Congress, and a very junior member at that, with very little clout. You can do nothing on your own and to promise that you will is less than truthful. Maybe it would be a little more truthful to have said "if I were lucky enough to get your vote and get elected to Congress, I would do everything I can to protect Seniors and their Social Security benefits"

And this next one is almost a "ditto" of the previous.  William Tong, a candidate for Connecticut Attorney General is also a shark that can smell Trump blood in the sea of Democrats we call Connecticut. Tong is already promising to tie up our Court systems with the lawsuits he is prepared to file challenging every Trump activity he can mention in a sixty second commercial to strike fear into voters.

I would have more respect for Attorney Tong if maybe he would have mentioned that he would file suits to force decent or appropriate health coverage and benefits for Veteran's who have served our Country. Or to force proper healthcare and housing for Seniors who have been lived here all their lives and are now being left by the roadside, many of them unable to even obtain necessary medications to live. But I guess it might be difficult to weave that and the name Trump into a sixty second sound bite.

As we fall for these political ads, keep in mind "Caveat emptor". let the buyer beware.

FOLLOW UP TO MY OPIOID CRISIS POSTING

I wasn't planning on posting my follow up to my earlier posting today about the opioid crisis this soon. That is until the following comment was posted anonymously on the Blog;
 "Let’s be honest here Kevin they’re all junkies, famous or not. They made the choice risking their life by injecting some street level poison into their system. No different than playing Russian roulette. The majority of people really just do not care. "

I think that is probably the common train of thought, "they did it to themselves"

That is very true, and I have been lucky and never faced an addiction (except to maybe McDonald's and their fries, and that probably doesn't count) Over the last couple years, especially after my health issues, I think many of my thoughts have softened, maybe the correct term is "matured" over time. Through volunteer work with others, I have been faced with addiction issues, many times it was difficult for me to comprehend how or why, but they are definitely out there.

Why would that stroke survivor I would speak to refuse to consider giving up smoking, knowing that it could lead to increased chances for another stroke? That's the nature of addiction, common sense just doesn't make sense.

Many times I would walk away shaking my head and just trying to think "but for the grace of God, that could be me or someone I love or care about"

I was thrown into the problem recently head first. I am not going into great detail here because privacy is important  and no one would be served by being embarrassed..My mother had called me asking for advice with a situation involving a friend of hers whose son was going through addiction issues, both drugs and alcohol. Numerous attempts at Rehab weren't working and the costs were not cheap. I was with my mother recently and unexpectedly met the person having the issues and I was impressed with him. He was talking about his new job and how much he enjoyed it and how hard he was working to get back a normal life

He carried on a conversation, appeared very lucid and  appeared to me to be the last person facing addiction struggles. Less than a week later, Mom sadly called me to inform me he was relapsing and his family was trying to figure out where to turn. Now it is no surprise to anyone these days , that a heroin addiction can prove fatal at any time, and time is of the essence.

Sometimes there is a thing called Karma or fate or whatever you want to call it, but things happen for a reason.

A couple weeks earlier I was talking to a good friend of mine and he was talking about his kids and what they were up to now. During the conversation he mentioned that one of his kids was involved in opioid addiction rehab programs and was becoming well recognized as a lecturer, and I'll use the word "expert" in the Rehab and recovery field.

Again, the fate thing. I called my friend and asked if I could try to get some advice from his daughter. I explained what the problem was and he replied that I was lucky since it was her birthday and she was in town for the weekend. Within minutes, I had an addiction "expert" texting me articles and giving us expert advice into uncharted territory for most of us that have never had to face these modern day problems.

And let me say it again, yes, as the anonymous commenter said, they know the poison they are putting into their systems. Unless you have faced an addiction, I don't think any of us can understand the decision making process to stick that needle in your vein, knowing it can be deadly. I can try to present my limited view, and I still don't understand it, but here goes.

Recently I was undergoing a medical procedure. I was on the table, hooked up to an IV. Something was injected into my IV and I'm not sure what  term to use , other than euphoric. I asked the Doctor what they just gave me and he replied Fentanyl. Always the wise ass, even drugged, I asked him "Isn't that what is killing people on the streets?" The Doctor replied "yes, but we tend to administer it a little differently here"

I think under the influence of the Fentanyl, they could have told me they were ripping my heart out and I probably would have smiled and said "OK".

I am just saying that to hopefully help explain the thought process that goes with using powerful drugs such as Fentanyl or heroin or morphine.. I can only imagine the thought process that goes through the mind of a heroin or opioid addict looking for that better or more intense high to get by. Combine that with, in many cases, psychiatric issues such as manic depressive or bi polar and the normal thought processes get even more blurred

So unless you have never faced  addiction issues, it is probably very hard to understand why an addict would do what they do, but is a very real issue that is costing the lives of family members and loved ones everyday in our neighborhoods, and no one is exempt. No one plans on becoming an addict, but it might be as simple as a car accident,a sports injury or a chronic pain issue that starts one down that path with an opioid addiction and it grows from there.


MOVIES IN THE PARK























Free carousel rides and a fun night in the City

WHAT OPIOID CRISIS?

I have to wonder if we really have an opioid  crisis in Hartford. I am serious, if it  really is at crisis stage, wouldn't we be paying real attention to the problem and not just catch phrases at press conferences with talking points for the media?

For those unaware, here in Hartford we have dozens of opioid drug users overdosing every week  on our streets, in abandoned buildings and yes, even in fine homes. Those incidents often don't amount to much  more than a dispatch number on an EMS screen as Police , Fire and EMS are sent out to administer another dose of Narcan.

Sometimes the Narcan works, other times it is too late and the ME responds to recover the deceased body, only to await toxicology results to be added to  the list of the ever increasing number of statewide opioid deaths.

Not surprisingly, many of these victims are quickly forgotten and soon become a statistic in the Medical Examiners files.

Compare that to a Hollywood celebrity who overdoes and is found in time, and it suddenly becomes national news and well wishes and concerns and prayers flood in from around the world. Is Demi Lovato any more of a victim to the opioid crisis because of her celebrity, than say the guy left to die alone after injecting his "hot shot" in an abandoned building on Grand Street.

Life isn't fair I guess.

I probably shouldn't be surprised though. HIV treatment never really seemed to be a huge priority when it just affected Gay men. Once people realized it was quickly crossing over into "straight" society, things changed. Now HIV is very rarely a death sentence and drugs such as Truvada, also known as PREP ( pre-exposure prophylaxis) are readily available as another weapon in a health war.

Maybe Demi Lovato's opioid overdose is a good thing, and I say  that in all seriousness. Maybe the powers to be might realize that no one is safe, and it is not just that dead drug user found cold and lifeless with a needle in his arm in the abandoned building on Grand Street, but it could also be that loved one in your home that sleeps in the bedroom next to them.

More on this soon, and the struggle to find assistance when needed.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

PROBATIONARY HARTFORD FIREFIGHTER ARRESTED IN ROAD RAGE INCIDENT

A probationary Hartford Firefighter was arrested yesterday after waving a gun during an alleged road rage incident in Wethersfield.

Kyle Cataldo,21, of Newington, a recent graduate of the Hartford Fire Academy was charged by Connecticut State Police in connection with the incident. A synopsis of the incident and related charges are below.

No comment from HFD on any pending or anticipated discipline in relation to the incident.

Since taking over as Chief of Department , Chief Freeman has set a strong tone of accountability for all members of the Department in both their personal and professional behavior.