Broken Heart

There are two parts to this story, the first part is by way of an introduction of how this unethical company has affected me personally, the second part is how it has affected you and others who aren’t aware of how far their exploitation has gone.

Part 1. Me. Well this doesn’t need any great research Medtronic has cost me financially, they have stolen my time, my health and my Karma. Why?

I was fitted with a Pacemaker made by Medtronic *[1] after fainting in my home. I look back now and consider ‘should I have had the operation in the first place knowing what I know today’. To explain, I got out of bed one morning and felt lightheaded, I fainted banged my head and when I came to, I decided to drive to the local hospital. I was admitted and six days later was fitted with a Medtronic Pacemaker. What I didn’t know at the time was the track record of what I regard as a completely unethical money-making machine that puts profits before patients was the maker of this device. After months of tests following a “recall” of my device by Medtronic I was told that I needed a different Pacemaker and have the old one removed (under local anaesthetic) which was quite painful. The Pacemaker was replaced by a German made Biotronik *[2] Pacemaker. As I write this I felt it appropriate to give Biotronik an opportunity to speak their mind and sent this message, (I recently had one of your Pacemakers fitted to replace a Medtronic device, I can say your pacemaker is now working well. However, I am now very concerned that Medtronic is putting profit before patients and continues to place patients at risk. I am now writing an article for the Times newspaper exposing some of the facts that I’ve uncovered and by way of this message wanted to give you the opportunity to have your say whether that be by means of your mission statement or whatever you feel appropriate. You don’t of course need to respond at all I should mention that this case has been running for some time and has now involved friends (politicians in Malta and the USA) Who I’m assured will want to see some real action against this company. Thank you for producing a reliable device and I look forward to hearing from you.) I will forward their reply if and when I get one.

So enough about me what about Medtronic *[3]. Medtronic was founded in 1949 in Minneapolis by Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie, as a medical equipment repair shop.

Through his repair business, Bakken came to know C. Walton Lillehei, a doctor of heart surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The deficiencies of the pacemakers of the day were made painfully obvious following a power outage over Halloween in 1957, which affected large sections of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A pacemaker-dependent paediatric patient of Lillehei died because of the blackout. The next day, Lillehei spoke with Bakken about developing some form of battery-powered pacemaker. Bakken modified a design for a transistorized metronome and created the first battery-powered external artificial pacemaker.

Medtronic’s original headquarters in St. Anthony, Minnesota

The company expanded through the 1950s, selling equipment built by other companies but also developing custom-made devices. Bakken built a small pacemaker that could be strapped to the body and powered by batteries. Work in the new field later produced an implantable pacemaker in 1960. The company built headquarters in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Anthony, Minnesota, in 1960 and the company moved to Fridley in the 1970s. Medtronic’s main competitors in the cardiac rhythm field include Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical. In 1998, Medtronic acquired Physio-Control for $538 million.

Animal rights (2005 to 2010) In 2005, 2008, and 2010 PETA threatened to submit a shareholder resolution to improve animal welfare standards in the company. In 2005, PETA attempted to stop five specific animal experiments that it deemed “crude and cruel”. In 2008, PETA protested the outsourcing of animal testing to countries with lax animal welfare laws, such as China. In 2010, PETA attempted to stop Medtronic’s reported use of live animals in testing and training. In response, Medtronic conducted a feasibility study that found that banning the use of live animals was impractical. Medtronic continues to use live animals for testing and training but has said that it will look for alternatives in the future. In each case, PETA withdrew its shareholder resolution after talks with Medtronic’s leadership.

Tax inversion to Ireland (2014)

Medtronic legal headquarters, 20 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

In June 2014, Medtronic announced it would execute a tax inversion to Ireland by acquiring Irish-based Covidien plc (a previous U.S. tax inversion to Ireland in 2007), for $42.9 billion in cash and stock. The tax inversion enabled Medtronic to move its legal headquarters to Ireland, while maintaining its operational and executive headquarters in the U.S., thus allowing it to avoid taxation on more than $14 billion held overseas, and avail of Ireland’s beneficial low corporation tax regime. Medtronic’s tax inversion is the largest tax inversion in history and given the changes in the U.S. tax-code in 2016 to block the Pfizer-Allergain Irish tax inversion, is likely to remain the largest. Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak defended the tax inversion in a 2015 interview to the Financial Times saying, “We just followed the rules and the deal was done based on strategic merits”. Ireland is less than 0.1% of Medtronic (or Covidien) sales, and the majority of Medtronic’s sales, and an even greater percentage of Medtronic profits (due to the higher margins on U.S. medical devices), are from the U.S. healthcare system. In 2016, the Star Tribune reported that Medtronic was still winning U.S. Federal contracts and attending U.S. trade-missions as a U.S. company.

In terms of scale, on 23 November 2018, Ireland’s largest stockbrokers, Davy Stockbrokers reported that the total capitalization of the Irish stock market was €104 billion (this does not include Medtronic, which Davy do not consider an Irish company). In contrast, on the same day Medtronic’s capitalisation was listed on Bloomberg at just over $130 billion (or €115 billion).

Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien plc made Medtronic the world’s largest medical device company by revenues.

Post tax inversion to Ireland (2014–)

In February 2016, the company announced that it would acquire Bellco from private equity firm Charme Capital Partners. In June, the company announced its acquisition of HeartWare International Inc. for $1.1 billion. In December 2017, Medtronic acquired Crospon in €38 million ($45 million). In September 2018 the company acquired Mazor Robotics for $1.64 billion ($58.50 per American Depository Share or $29.25 per ordinary share. In late November, Medtronic acquired Nutrino Health Ltd boosting the company’s nutrition-related data services and analytics.

In May 2019, Medtronic announced it would acquire Titan Spine, a technology company focussed on titanium spine implants. Chief Executive Officer Omar Ishrak *[6] will retire in April 2020 and will be succeeded by senior executive Geoff Martha. In January 2020, the company announced its intention to acquire Stimgenics, LLC and their primary therapy, differential target multiplexed spinal cord stimulation.

Acquisition history Medtronic Global rankings

In May 2018, Medtronic was ranked as the world’s largest medical device company by 2017 revenues (see table below).

In March 2017, Bloomberg’s database of U.S. tax inversions listed Medtronic and Wright Medical Group (Medtronic’s 2015 inversion to Ireland was over $100 billion, while Wright’s 2015 inversion to the Netherlands was $3.3 billion), as the only U.S. tax inversions of a U.S. medical device company in history. In February 2018, the Wall Street Journal listed Medtronic’s 2015 tax inversion to Ireland as the largest U.S. corporate tax inversion executed between 2013 and 2016. In May 2018, Medtronic was ranked as the largest corporate tax inversion in history.

So not only is this company exploiting the worlds population but its also avoiding tax to the US government of $ billions. Should they be brought to task? Should Omar Ishrak their CEO be asked to explain the actions of this company under his watch before he “retires” (well word has it he’s off to yet another money-making opportunity). How much money can one man accrue and what does he do with it all?

I hope the US government responds to what is a complete disregard for ethics and also regain control of this huge tax injection which can be used for the betterment of us all.

[1] https://asiapac.medtronic.com/xp-en/index.html

[2] https://www.biotronik.com/en-sea/about-us

[3]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medtronic

[4] https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/healthcare-professionals/products/product-performance/dual-chamber-pacemaker-recall.html

[5] https://www.medtechdive.com/news/medtronic-recalls-pacemakers-due-to-software-error/548668/

[6] https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/about/leadership/omar-ishrak.html

A Day to Remember

It’s 6am on Friday 31st January 2020, I’ve been looking forward to 2020 for some time now 20/20 vision and all that, but strangely my view on things has changed and I think for the better. Take yesterday for example, and don’t forget I’m running 2 blogs apart from this I also have http://www.britishbuddha.com which when I set that up made the mistake of adding blog to the BB part. Confused? Well I certainly was, but to get back on track (I really must stop rambling).

I set off yesterday with a mission, as usual I’d had little or no sleep (I can’t understand how this worn out body keeps going). It’s now 6-45 so to continue, confusion reigns as with 2 blogs, 3 email addresses numerous domain names? I need to simplify my life (perhaps that’s where Odoo can help. After all they paid for most of the day yesterday. So the Marriott Hotel in Malta, its only been open 2 weeks it’s got to be their flagship location, its huge, its luxurious, its state of the art. Do you think I’m exaggerating? OK all will be revealed. IF you ask via this blog

Internet Scams

I’m sure we all know the danger behind internet scams, these people are getting even more resourceful in their effort to get our money and there are so many places where they will attempt to do it. Facebook of course has long been infested with scammers but Facebook has gone to strenuous efforts to clamp down on their activities. So now these criminals have turned to such unlikely places as LinkedIn and whatsApp to get the results they’re after bank details etc. However there is an even darker side to this dark industry.

As some will have found they use many kinds of bait to draw us in, offers of money from an African Millionaire, offers of sex from good looking women and that’s were I found the real dark side of what these slave traders are about. I’ve had attempts made on me regularly over the years, fortunately with my background I can spot one instantly, so on one particular occasion I thought it would be interesting to play along and pretend they’d hooked me, what I found was titillating and to be honest (I don’t mind being shown naked female bodies). But some of the lengths these women went to to demonstrate their ‘wares’ made me think surely they’re not doing all of this in their own free will.

So I continued to play along to get to the truth and what I discovered was sickening. Thousands of people women, men and children disappear every year, we read about a handful in the news some of these women for example end up in the modern sex slave trade being forced to perform all kinds of acts to make men in this case think ‘wow I’ll give this woman the money she needs for her passport or ticket to come and be with me’. Well it ain’t gonna happen. These women are slaves being held captive probably somewhere in Africa by certain black men who need to be exposed.

This carried on intermittently on WhatsApp for a long time but I kept up the charade “26/12/2019, 11:02 – Messages to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info.
26/12/2019, 11:02 – +233 20 351 3656: Good morning its Shelly
26/12/2019, 11:05 – John Paul Chalkley: Good morning shelly, I’m going to Malta today from my home in gozo so will be out of contact where do you live? In the USA?
26/12/2019, 11:15 – +233 20 351 3656: No am living in west Africa in Ghana now and you please..?
26/12/2019, 11:15 – +233 20 351 3656: So that will make you occupied ..?
26/12/2019, 11:51 – John Paul Chalkley: Well I’m travelling and will be out of contact no internet for most of the time. I’m leaving very soon, enjoy Africa an interesting place 🙏
26/12/2019, 11:53 – +233 20 351 3656: Oh really
26/12/2019, 11:54 – +233 20 351 3656: Where are you travelling to..?
26/12/2019, 11:55 – +233 20 351 3656: How many days or weekend are you spending there.?
26/12/2019, 11:58 – John Paul Chalkley: To Malta just 2 days for agnihotra it’s a special ceremony for the new moon I wrote a blog about it.
I really have to go now stay safe 🙏
26/12/2019, 12:01 – +233 20 351 3656: Be safe
26/12/2019, 12:01 – +233 20 351 3656: Thank you so much for sharing your life to me
26/12/2019, 12:01 – +233 20 351 3656: Can I more pictures from you okay
26/12/2019, 12:02 – +233 20 351 3656: When you return back we will chat more… xx
26/12/2019, 18:38 – +233 20 351 3656: Hi
27/12/2019, 12:37 – John Paul Chalkley: I’m back but after waking up from a strange dream(see my Facebook) we had another power cut also on my Facebook.
Take care
28/12/2019, 12:08 – +233 20 351 3656: Good morning
28/12/2019, 12:08 – +233 20 351 3656: You’re welcome back nice to hear from you
28/12/2019, 12:26 – +233 20 351 3656: How are doing today.. xx
28/12/2019, 16:56 – John Paul Chalkley: Hmm bad day sorry I’m about to drown my sorrows and turn off the phone, bad bad day.
Let’s speak another time x
28/12/2019, 17:16 – +233 20 351 3656: Sorry what happen to you please let me know the situation am even just imagine how you said it’s bad day to you
28/12/2019, 17:18 – +233 20 351 3656: ..?
28/12/2019, 17:50 – +233 20 351 3656: Hi are you online
30/12/2019, 21:30 – +233 20 351 3656: Hi
30/12/2019, 23:04 – +233 20 351 3656: Missed video call
30/12/2019, 23:05 – +233 20 351 3656: Am here what are you doing
30/12/2019, 23:08 – John Paul Chalkley: I’m in bed what are you doing
30/12/2019, 23:09 – +233 20 351 3656: Just watching TV baby I feel alone and I want chat with you
30/12/2019, 23:09 – +233 20 351 3656: What did you all days
30/12/2019, 23:09 – +233 20 351 3656: How about the Christmas my faithful one
30/12/2019, 23:10 – John Paul Chalkley: Okay chat away, most of my news is on Facebook
30/12/2019, 23:10 – +233 20 351 3656: Last time why you told me you’re in bad day
30/12/2019, 23:11 – John Paul Chalkley: It’s been a bad month because of conflicts with some people
30/12/2019, 23:12 – John Paul Chalkley: Send me a picture so I know who I’m talking to
30/12/2019, 23:13 – +233 20 351 3656: IMG-20191230-WA0002.jpg (file attached)
30/12/2019, 23:14 – +233 20 351 3656: You can also call me Clara Simona cause that’s use to my all personal
30/12/2019, 23:15 – John Paul Chalkley: Wow you are gorgeous why bother talking to me you must have plenty of boyfriends
30/12/2019, 23:15 – +233 20 351 3656: Really
30/12/2019, 23:15 – +233 20 351 3656: Can I have more of you
30/12/2019, 23:15 – John Paul Chalkley: Yes
30/12/2019, 23:16 – John Paul Chalkley: Like what
30/12/2019, 23:17 – +233 20 351 3656: Any normal ones of you
30/12/2019, 23:19 – John Paul Chalkley: IMG-20190924-WA0000.jpg (file attached)
30/12/2019, 23:19 – +233 20 351 3656: Oh okay baby I want to changing my sim now can we chat more
30/12/2019, 23:20 – John Paul Chalkley: 👍
30/12/2019, 23:20 – +233 20 351 3656: +233240729122
30/12/2019, 23:20 – +233 20 351 3656: Text me now
30/12/2019, 23:21 – John Paul Chalkley: What do you want me to text
30/12/2019, 23:22 – +233 20 351 3656: Just hi
30/12/2019, 23:23 – John Paul Chalkley: This is weird I prefer WhatsApp its encryption and I never text
30/12/2019, 23:24 – +233 20 351 3656: I want change my number there I Will just text you yes
30/12/2019, 23:24 – +233 20 351 3656: So you won’t see me here again
30/12/2019, 23:25 – John Paul Chalkley: Ok my number is on Facebook along with my life story and pictures
31/12/2019, 08:12 – John Paul Chalkley: VID-20191231-WA0004.mp4 (file attached)
31/12/2019, 08:13 – John Paul Chalkley: My place Shelly
31/12/2019, 09:23 – +233 20 351 3656: Very nice place
31/12/2019, 09:49 – +233 20 351 3656: Missed voice call
31/12/2019, 09:23 – +233 20 351 3656: How are you doing today
01/01/2020, 14:17 – +233 20 351 3656: Good afternoon to you
01/01/2020, 14:34 – +233 20 351 3656: Missed voice call
01/01/2020, 14:38 – John Paul Chalkley: IMG-20200101-WA0009.jpg (file attached)
01/01/2020, 15:59 – +233 20 351 3656: You look very nice dear
01/01/2020, 16:01 – +233 20 351 3656: What are you doing now happy new happy year to you
01/01/2020, 16:23 – +233 20 351 3656: Missed voice call
01/01/2020, 19:31 – John Paul Chalkley: PTT-20200101-WA0014.opus (file attached)
02/01/2020, 15:39 – +233 20 351 3656: Hi how are you doing
02/01/2020, 15:50 – John Paul Chalkley: Just got new phone setting it up now
02/01/2020, 15:51 – +233 20 351 3656: Oh good
02/01/2020, 20:11 – +233 20 351 3656: Hi
03/01/2020, 20:30 – +233 20 351 3656: Hello
03/01/2020, 20:42 – John Paul Chalkley: You do know that i know this is a scam nice photos though but kets block each other now.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
03/01/2020, 20:43 – +233 20 351 3656: Sorry why that
03/01/2020, 20:43 – +233 20 351 3656: Why did you said this to me
03/01/2020, 20:44 – John Paul Chalkley: All you want is money by by 😎

The pictures sent were VERY revealing all deleted now but sad that these women in this case were exploited in this way, it’s clear from the grammar that the person doing the talking isn’t Shelly who may or may not be in Ghana.

So what can we do? What did I do? Well first of all report the post to whichever organisation you’re using Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp whatever then broadcast as far and wide as you can to get the message across, this could have happened to someone you know who’s disappeared. The truth is out there, beware of the half truth (you may have got the wrong half). Most people will turn a blind eye (but in the world of the blind the one eyed man is king. Take care out there it really can be dangerous.

Cicero, Buddha and The Two Doctors on Old Age

Dr B or a Buddha as I regard him

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

I first published this book review as a “conversation” between ourselves and Buddha (Sid) exactly one year ago at the start of 2019 and it seemed appropriate to repost it for all of my new followers as well as having a sort of timeless quality to it. The central issue is for us old fogies NOT to become a member of the “forever young brigade”, a theme I will continue to expand on in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy the post and that it inspires those of you in or approaching old age.

Patience! This IS a book review!

Buddha walks into the wine bar, sits down in his usual corner and waits for the Two Doctors to arrive. His favourite bottle of Badoit Rouge is placed on the table with a glass and the waiter opens the bottle and pours the sparkling mineral water. Christmas is coming…

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Hope Trumps Despair!

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

I’m glad to see the back of 2019 for a great many reasons, all of which contributed to make it the second worst year of my life! The general “atmosphere” of this great country of ours was polluted by the political machinations over Brexit, particularly the failure of the “losers” to accept a democratic referendum. More particularly, and more personal however, was the first year in my whole life when my health seemed to fail me.
In March after a range of symptoms, tests, scans and consultations, I was diagnosed as a Coeliac. This means that I am completely wheat intolerant, 100%, and must spend the rest of my life on a gluten free diet. Not entirely a problem though, we already follow a whole food diet and set about reading all of the bottles and jars in the house and discarding everything that had even a trace of wheat…

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I HAD A DREAM

As the great MLK said Martin Luther King had a dream and I’ve had many dreams lately, its almost like some Divine light is guiding me and won’t allow me to sleep. Now I ain’t afraid of death, I’m a Buddhist I believe in reincarnation so one way or another I’ll be back when I come back I want to come back as a tree, IF I get to choose. I’m posting this quickly now just in case well you never know what’s gonna happen next but when I come back to this post to finish I’ll describe my dream which involves black friends the government conspiracy etc etc.

SO here I am again to continue. In my dream yes I dare to dream, I was in America working for these guy’s it was a conspiracy of HUGE proportions. It’s very complex so bear with me. My Guru Prabu Darma Yasa was in the dream along with a friend Lydia. I was in the USA being kept under guard while I worked for these guys who were employed in a secret organisation aimed at keeping the truth a secret and the truth when I saw it in my dream was of global proportions. Now I was being kept in the open which is the best place to keep things out right in front of ya. I was working alongside a black man and his mother cleaning and stuff. They didn’t know about their ancestor how they came to be in the USA so I explained I’d lived in Hull the centre of the half way stage for the slave trade about the museum which showed in graphic details how thier ancestors had been shipped from place in Africa like the Congo or Niger (river) or today’s Nigeria (that’s where the name Niger came from)

I will continue until it’s finished but here’s where I am so far..

This secret government organisation which even the President didn’t know about had been going since the start of the slave trade. It was funded. Well my dream never told me that, but I would imagine some white supremacy group bent on keeping the black man down. Now I have many black friends one saved my life Rodney Brown another worked with me she was called Ell Michele well her real name was Latrice Ross. The dream featured Lydia and Melody in Lydia’s case I was her ex BUSINESS partner, in Melody’s case her ex-husband. I wish them both well.

I realised for the first time how the black people in America were being supressed in one way or another. I’m a retired volunteer cop and I saw first-hand how even the cops picked on blacks. One day for example we stopped a poor black man for straying over his lane in his car on the highway he showed his wallet inside was a picture of his dead wife. He was taken to prison that’s the last I ever saw of him. I decided rather quickly to leave as a volunteer cop was allowed to keep my ID and later left America (supposedly Land of the Free).

You may think these are the ramblings of an old crazy brit but be assured I’m just an instrument in getting the word out there I don’t know who’s guiding my hand but the bugger is keeping me awake night after night and I beg for some sleep. Rodney saved my life on a lake in Texas I was drowning and being an ex-footballer he threw me a line. I had many black friends I met Stedman Graham a US football legend, big guy I had my photo taken with him when he visited my ex-wife’s school Winfree Academy.