DEA surveillance has tripled during last decade

Federal drug cops in the United States are conducting electronic eavesdropping three times as often as they were nearly a decade ago, new records reveal. US Drug Enforcement Agency data obtained by USA Today show that the number of annual requests filed for wiretaps and other sort of electronic eavesdropping went from 3,394 in 2005 to 11,681 during the last fiscal year.
According to the newspaper, which first reported the revelations on Wednesday after obtaining statistics through Freedom of Information Act requests, that surge in surveillance occurred largely without oversight. Most of the requests were “never reviewed by federal judges or Justice Department lawyers,” USA Today reported. Instead, DEA agents are bypassing the DoJ and taking their requests to local prosecutors and judges across the country around 60 percent of the time…

Federal law requires top DoJ officials to sign off on any potential wiretaps, but a loophole allows for federal agents to file those same requests with state courts – where those restrictions don’t exist…

Indeed, other reports in recent months suggest that drug cops have embraced an array of state-of-the-art surveillance tools to give the DEA the ability to cast a digital fishing net unmatched by most other government agencies: Earlier this year it was revealed that the DEA has spent over $2 million on sophisticated surveillance equipment. Those digital tools were purchased through a front company secretly acting on behalf of “Hacking Team,” an Italian vendor of spy tools. Weeks earlier, USA Today reported that the DEA began running a telephone surveillance program in the early 1990s that was not unlike the National Security Agency operation instituted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and reined in only this week…

Reined in?  Please.  While the media reports that NSA surveillance programs have been curtailed, the truth is that so many loopholes exist, nothing has really changed.  And the NSA isn’t the only agency watching us — the DEA and FBI probably perform more surveillance than the NSA.

Interventional Pain Physicians

The Interventional Pain Physicians group has grown out of control in their political influence and their ability to use the system for their own gain in my opinion. Working to obtain higher reimbursements for their procedures and adding new codes for reimbursement of procedures.

But you don’t need to look very far to find them. Many are regular visitors to our nation’s Capitol where you will most likely be able to find these doctors at breakfasts, lunches, dinners and fundraisers meeting with our politicians in Washington DC, where they hold their annual meeting each year so that all of their members can meet with their legislators as well. Making more than 500 legislative visits, meeting with congressional members each year during Capitol Hill visits to discuss healthcare issues of concern to interventional pain physicians.

Obtaining almost 40 letters of congressional support on various issues. Multiple meetings with, and presentations to, CMS officials. Having sent over 18,000 letters to legislators and to the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) on a variety of issues. Several meetings between their group’s leadership and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. They proudly proclaim it online on their website as part of their list of accomplishments along with their own PAC – Political Action Committee…

Click to access 2014;17;E1-E10.pdf

As we say goodbye to 2013, 2014 brings in the global epidemic of opioid use, inappropriate use, and abuse with related fatalities, which along with the global epidemic of chronic pain with its related disability continue to be major issues for the public, officials, and physician community. After much controversy with pendulums swinging in different directions over the last 3 decades, it appears that we have reached the boiling point, with disagreements and colliding opinions finally resulting in definitive action with the publication of a policy position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP) in December 2013 which in our opinion further validates as it is largely in keeping with the philosophy and policies that the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) initiated in 2000 (6,10). Starting in 2014, the Medicare participating provider program…

Under References (Page 8):

46. Von Korff M, Kolodny A, Deyo RA, Chou R. Long-term opioid therapy reconsidered. Ann Intern Med 2011; 155:325-328.

What Is Your Subconscious Obsessed With?

Your subconscious is obsessed with nature!

The pictures you have chosen paint the picture (get it?) that you are obsessed with nature. From a very early age you’ve felt a strong connection with animals and nature. You’ve always loved camping, traveling, hiking and just exploring the beautiful world that surrounds us. For you, nature is this beautiful, magical place where everything makes sense. There are simple rules and adventure is always waiting for you just around the river-bend.

I love nature, but I don’t like camping because I don’t like bugs. 🙂

Test your social intelligence!

Test how well you can read emotions of others just by looking at their eyes.

The average score is 26, and I scored a 29 (out of 36).  So, my social intelligence is pretty much average.  I wish the results would have showed which ones I got wrong — without that, how can I improve?  Oh well, at least I got an A+ on the spelling test, and those results told me my spelling knowledge would save the world!