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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

I didn’t vote for you. You see, I was born with a brain injury. Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Boston told my parents I would never be able to walk normally.

Young children are mean. As a young boy, insults, and laughs became a daily ritual. When I walked into a classroom, a restaurant, or down a street, people didn’t look into my eyes. They always looked down as I limped awkwardly along.

But I overcame and became a varsity athlete at a prep school outside of Boston. As a teenager, I grew strong, and anybody that made fun of my limp or my awkward gate became irrelevant.

Frankly, Mr. President, the day you mocked a disabled reporter should have been the end of your presidential candidacy.

That said, I for one am all for giving you a chance to “Make America Great Again.” Mr. President, I implore you to focus more of your efforts on the heroin epidemic that is crushing the American dream in every state in the Union.

I understand that the stigma and moral issues of heroin addiction run deep. Today’s heroin epidemic parallels the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. The old school philosophy back then was, “Men having sex with men. It’s not natural. That’s God’s punishment.”

Although the diction has changed, the sentiment remains constant today. “I didn’t force them to stick a needle of heroin into their arm. Why should I be forced to pay for their rehabilitation?”

But you see, we are not just junkies, Mr. President. I am three decades clean, have won the prestigious du-Pont-Columbia as a journalist, written a bestseller, became a WGA screenwriter and worked on The Fighter, a feature film that won two Academy Awards.

I have spoken to organizations and recovery centers all across America. And what amazed me the most were the rooms were filled with middle-class kids whose fathers were chief’s of police, firefighters, teachers, lawyers, and doctors.

Heroin addiction is insidious: in several states across this country, young women are selling themselves as sex-slaves to maintain their daily heroin habit.

Just recently, NPR did a radio program about heroin addicts who are purposely committing crimes, so they’ll be arrested and locked up to get the treatment they need.

Treatment is just not available on the streets because there aren’t any beds available in recovery centers. The medical community could never have prepared for the onslaught of heroin in their neighborhoods.

Mr. President, this epidemic was given birth by Purdue Pharma and their owners, the Sackler family. In fact, the Sacklers became known as the Godfathers of OxyContin and rang in at number 19 on last year’s Forbes annual list of America’s richest families.

Through Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family acquired a fortune with the blood of young Americans. Although a judge convicted Purdue Pharma’s top executives in Federal Court of knowingly and willfully misleading consumers, unfortunately, your old friend Rudy Giuliani’s law firm got them off with a sweetheart deal.

As President of the United States, you have an opportunity to save countless lives. Please consider creating a “sin tax” similar to the cigarette and alcohol tax levied by several states. If big Pharma wants to do business on the backs of the American consumers suffering from chronic pain, force them to pay a “recovery tax.”

Please consider creating a work program for heroin addicts that want help. A simple, we’ll pay for your thirty-day recovery hospital and continued care, and you’ll work cleaning up roads or run down areas of your community to pay for it.

Finally, why not designate a line on the IRS tax forms for people to donate a dollar or more to help put an end to the suffering brought on by the countless deaths of promising young men and woman.

Mr. President, you have a daunting task in front of you. But you can’t “Make America Great Again” by sitting back and watching 4,380 Americans die every month from an accidental overdose of heroin. That’s right, 144 people a day die from an accidental overdose of opioids.

I have an 11-year-old son who is on the brink of growing up in a society that will be the most dangerous environment in America’s history. You see, Mr. Trump, not since your predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, has the youth of America been more in jeopardy.

Think about it; not since the Vietnam War has a generation been at greater risk to die between the ages of 18 to 25. Please help them. An entire generation is on the verge of being wiped out.

Follow Ritchie Farrell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ritchiefarrell1

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

 

Ritchie Farrell is the author of I AM A HEROIN ADDICT.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
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  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
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