Archive for January, 2012

Bad Medicine

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Big pharma, Economy, Health care
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One of the big myths from Big Pharma is that it takes a billion dollars and 10 years of research for a drug. The reality is that MOST of that money, around 84%, comes from the U.S. taxpayer in the form of research grants.

Americans pay a premium of about 67% for prescription drugs compared to residents of the rest of the world. No other country in the world pays as much as the U.S. Yet you would think, in a true free market prices would come down over time, well i am sorry to inform you dear reader, that free market has nothing to do with it. Nope, our government is involved in setting the price you and I pay, thanks to the patent system that allows drug companies to monopolize drugs they produce, and to extend their monopolies almost permanently.

You see, patents make it illegal for a competitor to sell the same product for a certain amount of time. The longer they can extend the patent, the more money in their pocket.

Eventually generics take over, and the more generics created, the less money goes to the brand name. This causes pharma companies to retest the same drug for other uses in order to lengthen the exclusivity period. Basically tweaking the original formula to create a “new” version so they can jack up the price. This is called “evergreening”.

Other ways they rip of consumers is by setting prices higher in huge, unregulated U.S. markets than in nations with price controls. They charge individuals the steepest price, big purchasers the smallest. Even the way doctors are reimbursed for cancer drugs gives them incentive to prescribe the most expensive treatments. The drugs are usually given intravenously in hospital, or doctors offices, and Medicare pays doctors for the cost of the drug plus a small extra fee to help cover their overhead. The higher the price for drugs, the greater the fee.

As i have said in an earlier post, i got a friend that has to pay large sums of money in the hopes that he can extend his life by a few months/years. I am making it a personal mission to find out why this is happening and to raise awareness about such issues in hopes of fighting corporate monopolies that do no one any good.

 

Seeing as how war with Iran is becoming more and more inevitable, I would like those of you who are suckered in by propaganda, lies, false national pride, those at all the GOP conventions who cheered for war against Iran, not even taking a minute to consider the cost of human life, as well as money our nation DOES NOT HAVE, to take a look at what 10+ years have done to so many. I warn you, these videos are graphic, but if any of you out there were beating the drums for a war we don’t need, Watch these videos over

and  over

and over

and over,

until you get it in your head that this could be you, your family, and how none of this EVER needed to happen.

Peace cannot be this hard to attain

 

 

 

Launched on October 23, 2007, America, the EU, Switzerland and Japan began secretly negotiating a new intellectual property enforcement treaty – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Other nations got involved, including Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, and the UAE. Ostensibly for counterfeit goods protection, it’s about fast-tracking Internet distribution and information technology rules at the expense of Net Neutrality, privacy, and personal freedoms.

It establishes unrestricted supranational global trade rules. In the process, it tramples on national sovereignty and personal freedoms. Moreover, negotiations were secret until WikiLeaks reported in May 2008:

“If adopted, (ACTA) would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon (ISPs), including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information.”

“The proposal also bans ‘anti-circumvention measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players. The proposal also specifies a plan to encourage developing nations to accept the legal regime.” Those opting out face retaliatory measures.

Please click on the link and sign this Anti-ACTA petition, Dont let THEM censor US.

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/antiacta

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Fascism
Tags:
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:
 
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
 
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
 
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
 
4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
 
5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
 
6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
 
7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
 
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed
to the government’s policies or actions.
 
9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
 
10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
 
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
 
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
 
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
 
14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Just a thought for the day. Enjoy

Cartoons

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Economy, politics
Tags: ,

 

Guantánamo by the numbers

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

This election season, when you hear candidates talk of their support for Israel,remember these videos, and think about what the US is supporting. 

 

This, we don’t need!!!