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Opioid Crisis & the Law / Strange Tales of the West

Date Monday - September 9, 2019
Host George Noory
Guests Jonathan EmordJohn Olsen

In the first half, constitutional lawyer specializing in food and drug law, Jonathan Emord discussed the opioid crisis in America. He commended the recent judgment against Johnson & Johnson-- in August, an Oklahoma District Court fined the company $572 million, declaring that as an opioid manufacturer, distributor and seller, they had misrepresented the dangers of the drug and oversold its benefits. In recent years, the crisis has grown worse after some patients were cut off from their prescriptions and turned to heroin or synthetic fentanyl variants manufactured in China. "Even in the midst of this crisis, the FDA approved another opioid," Emord lamented, a drug more powerful than fentanyl called Dsuvia, which was pushed through even over the objections of some senators.

Emord believes that the drug approval process should be taken away from the FDA and turned over to private universities with lab facilities which can impartially test products with double-blind studies. There's so much corruption between government actors and Big Pharma, he continued, in which they create their own monopolies, and shield themselves from competition during approvals. "It's a classic example of what the administrative state has done to destroy individual liberties in this country," he added. Emord also related this to recent crackdowns in states such as California over vaccine exemptions. As far as solutions to the opioid epidemic, he suggested keeping initial prescription doses low, and weening patients over to other options, though this requires conscientious and willing physicians to implement.

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Inspired by his own experiences with the unknown, John Olsen has spent 30 years documenting stories of those who have witnessed the strange and unusual in the western US. In the latter half, he shared accounts of hauntings, glitches in the matrix, strange creatures, Sasquatch, and UFOs. He described glitches in the matrix as akin to the Mandela Effect (odd mismatches of memory), but occurring on an individual rather than collective level. For instance, there was a case of a man he interviewed who had a beloved book, Small Gods, signed by author Terry Pratchett, which he'd won in an eBay auction. A year later, when he pulled out the book, the signature was missing, and instead was on a page in a different book by Pratchett.

Olsen detailed curious sightings of Shadow People in the wilderness. Somewhat different than descriptions of their indoor brethren, these outside apparitions had a stretched-out quality, reaching 9-10 ft. in height. In his research, he found a connection between these sightings and Native American folklore of creatures in the mountains known as "soul-eaters," said to feed on sadness and mourning. A couple camping near Sparks, Nevada heard a strange, rasping sound at night. When they investigated, they discovered an emaciated ghoul-like humanoid at their camp, which Olsen compared to the dark spirit of the Wendigo, another lore of indigenous peoples. Several hikers have also told him about walking into strange hushed areas in the mountains, where there is an intense feeling that they are not wanted there, and need to leave immediately.

News segment guests: Mish Shedlock, Steve Kates

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