‘Hillbilly Heroin’ On ‘Law & Order’
Posted on 02.04.17 by Danny Glover @ 1:28 pm

I often start my Saturdays by watching a few episodes of “Law & Order,” and right now I’m watching one from 2002 that I must not have seen before. I would have remembered it if only for the “hillbilly” slam against West Virginia.

The episode, titled “Oxymoron,” is about a murder related to a drug dealer who specializes in the highly addictive narcotic oxycodone. About 15 minutes into the show, the main police characters in the show — Lennie Briscoe, Ed Green and Lt. Anita Van Buren — have a conversation about the drug in question. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

Van Buren: Oxycodone?
Green: Yup, they call it “Hillbilly Heroin.” Some genius in West Virginia figured it was easier to get than moonshine.
Briscoe: Yeah. Yuppies and housewives who don’t want to see themselves as users get it from their doctors.
Van Buren: And the insurance companies foot the bill?
Green: Mm-hmm. Until they stop paying. Then they got to go to the guy on the corner.
Briscoe: Pills go for about a dollar a milligram on the street. Eighty-milligram pills, 100 pills to a bottle– that’s 8,000 bucks a bottle.
Van Buren: That’s not a bad profit margin.

I get that opioids are a huge problem in West Virginia, even more now than when “Oxymoron” aired 15 years ago. The epidemic of abuse is so well-known that it appears to have motivated drug manufacturers to flood the state with hundreds of millions of pills, amounting to 433 pain pills for every state resident, regardless of age.

“Hillbilly heroin” also is an actual slang term for describing this scourge in rural America, where people looking to get high can’t afford the drugs of choice for the rich and famous like cocaine. So I have no problem with the writers of “Law & Order” incorporating it into the script.

But the wisecrack suggest that West Virginia is the home of rednecks who either drink moonshine or get their fix from oxycodon was a predictable typecast straight out of Hollywood. Odds are good that whoever wrote that line has never been to the great Mountain State.

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Health and News & Politics and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

The Best Snake Oil Salesmen In The World
Posted on 09.10.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:14 pm

If you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, you may be better off if it happens in Mexico. A vial of antivenin there will cost you $100-$200 versus $14,000 in the United States of Price-gouging Insurers. Money-grubbing lawyers have a hand in this racket, too:

The cost of actually making the antivenom — of R&D, animal care, plasma harvesting, bottling, and the like — added up to roughly one tenth of one percent of the total cost. Clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of the antivenom accounted for another 2 percent. Other miscellaneous costs, including licensing fees, wholesaler fees, regulatory, legal and office costs, and profit to medical providers, added up to 28 percent.

Finally, over 70 percent of the cost — responsible for most of the “sticker shock” you see in so many stories about envenomation care — comes from hospital markups that are used as instruments in negotiation with insurance providers. Depending on the hospital and the insurer, some percentage of this amount later gets discounted during the final payment process.

Filed under: Health and Human Interest and Wildlife
Comments: 1 Comment

A Speeding Bullet Can’t Even Pierce Obamacare
Posted on 03.26.14 by Danny Glover @ 10:04 pm

Joe Manchin may regret shooting a piece of legislation with a high-powered rifle in his 2011 West Virginia Senate campaign, but his “Dead Aim” ad has spawned another enlightened redneck imitator this year.

In his race for an Alabama House seat, Will Brooke takes a few shots, literally, at President Obama’s healthcare law — and makes a statement in defense of gun rights at the same time:

The moral of this video story: Not even a speeding bullet fired from the barrel of a high-powered rifle or pistol can penetrate the mountain of bureaucratic language that now governs American health care.

Filed under: Government and Health and Hunting & Guns and News & Politics and People and Video and West Virginia
Comments: None

Wild, Miserable West Virginia?
Posted on 02.21.14 by Danny Glover @ 11:49 pm

Ask any West Virginian what he or she thinks of the Mountain State and you’re likely to hear how wild and wonderful it is. The phrase “wild and wonderful” — or sometimes just “wonderful” — has defined the state for decades.

But when city slickers dig a little deeper with probing questions about life, work, physical and emotional health, behaviors, and basic access, West Virginians appear to be a pretty miserable lot.

The evidence is in Gallup-Healthway’s annual “State of American Well-Being” index. The latest report for 2013 was just released, and my home state is dead last — for the fifth year in a row. The only time West Virginia didn’t rank No. 50 was in 2008, the first year of the index, and we were 49th that year.

Cue the negative media coverage of those rednecks in the hills:

Filed under: Business and Culture and Health and News & Politics and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

The Congressional Redneck Caucus
Posted on 04.23.12 by Danny Glover @ 8:12 pm

There’s a new and rare breed of creature occupying pockets of the U.S. House of Representatives these days — the rednecks were were baby doctors before they were elected.

The four lawmakers are Republicans Michael Burgess, Phil Gingrey and Phil Roe, all of Georgia, and Ron Paul of Texas, who is running for president.

Notice how they refer to themselves, according to this Roe quote in Politico: “We’re all Southern, conservative and pro-life. … Loudmouthed and red-necked is also a good way to describe us.”

With street cred like that — or should I say “dirt-road cred” — it’s a shame there aren’t more of them in Congress. This country would have not only better health care but better direction all around if the enlightened rednecks were in charge.

Filed under: Government and Health and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
Comments: None

Why We Home-School, Lesson #37
Posted on 02.15.12 by Danny Glover @ 11:25 am

We don’t want the government food police inspecting our children’s lunches and demanding that they eat something we didn’t give them. The story:

A North Carolina elementary school forced a preschool student to eat cafeteria chicken nuggets for lunch on Jan. 30 after officials reportedly determined that her homemade meal wasn’t up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for healthfulness. … The four-year-old girl brought a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice in her packed lunch from home.

So according to government standards, a turkey and cheese sandwich is healthier than this?


That alone is ridiculous. It’s even more outrageous that bureaucrats think they have the right to micromanage the diets of individual schoolchildren.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: Food and Government and Health and News & Politics and Parenting and Why We Home-School
Comments: 1 Comment

My, What A Big Horn You Have
Posted on 01.11.11 by Danny Glover @ 12:26 pm

Any time I start feeling sorry for myself because I don’t like some aspect of my body, I’ll try to remind myself to look at the photos of two elderly Chinese people who are inexplicably growing horns in their heads.

The best part is that at least the woman seems relatively comfortable in her horned skin. “Zhang embraced her new look and told reporters that she was eager for the second horn to match the first in size,” AOL News reported.

Filed under: Health and Human Interest and People and Photography
Comments: None

Dr. Seuss’ Message To Uncle Sam
Posted on 03.26.10 by Danny Glover @ 11:01 pm

This is going viral on Facebook. I don’t know who wrote it, but it captures the spirit of a solid majority of the country not only this week but for more than a year:

I do not like it Uncle Sam, I do not like it Sam I Am. I do not like these dirty crooks, I do not like how they cook books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals. I do not like this Speaker Nan, I do not like this ‘YES WE CAN’. I do not like this kind of hope, I do not like it Nope! Nope! Nope!

I have to say that as a writer, I would hate it if I wrote something that clever and it traveled all over the Internet without my name on it. This is what reminded me of the “The Bill Of No Rights” more than a decade after I unraveled that Internet copyright mystery.

Filed under: Entertainment and Government and Health and News & Politics and Technology
Comments: 5 Comments

An Internet Legend: ‘The Bill Of No Rights’
Posted on 03.26.10 by Danny Glover @ 10:54 pm

Back when President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, tried to force government-run health care on Americans as a right, libertarian Lewis Napper wrote an inspired piece of work he dubbed “The Bill Of No Rights.” It spread like wildfire on the Internet after a Georgia state lawmaker sent it to friends.

Napper’s name was lost in the electronic shuffle, and the lawmaker, Mitchell Kaye, ended up getting the credit for the masterpiece. I uncovered the mystery of authorship five years later while working at the online magazine IntellectualCapital.com.

This week, when President Obama signed a national health-care system into law, is a fitting time to revisit “The Bill Of No Rights” and the story behind it. Here’s what I wrote for IC:

Lewis Napper, a self-described “amateur philosopher and professional geek,” found his libertarian muse one day in 1993 while driving home for lunch from his job as a computer programmer near Jackson, Miss. The inspiration surfaced as he listened to a radio news report about President Clinton’s proposed national health-care plan.

As the chatter about “this right and that right” in the health-care arena increased, so did Napper’s frustration. What makes Americans think they have the right to any government-backed health care, he thought to himself. Or for that matter, what makes them think they have the right to any of the goodies distributed by a government that has become far too intrusive.

And then it hit him. All those misguided defenders of big government had perverted the intent of one of the founding documents of American democracy, the Bill of Rights. Within 15 minutes upon arriving home, Napper had composed his own addendum to the Bill of Rights just for those folks. He dubbed his satire “The Bill of No Rights” and forwarded it to a few friends.

Filed under: Government and Health and Media and News & Politics and People and Technology
Comments: 4 Comments

Health-Care Bloopers
Posted on 03.26.10 by Danny Glover @ 8:30 am

They wanted to pass the bill so they could read. They wanted to control the people. They made up the rules as they went along. Now that they’ve managed to rewrite health-care law in America, listen to the Democrats in their own words and relive the memories:

That helps explain why so many people think Congress is dysfunctional and corrupt, eh? You have to laugh to keep from crying.

Filed under: Government and Health and Just For Laughs and News & Politics and Video
Comments: None

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