Sunday, July 8, 2012

Diggapedia: Weekend Wrap-Up

·         While watching the ABC Sunday Night News, I noted the following commercials:  Nexium, Advil (2x), Arriva (talking diabetes meter), Shingles, One A Day Women’s Vitamins, Enbrel for psoriatic arthritis, Citracal, Centrum, and AARP (2x).  Hmm I wonder to what demographic they are catering.   Who would have guessed that watching the news could make you a hypochondriac?

·         Sticking with pharmaceuticals and marketing, here is a short list of pharmaceutical companies and the Department of Justice fines they have faced (still think the market can self-regulate?):

o   GSK – July 2012: $3billion

o   Pfizer – Sep 2009: $2.3billion

o   Abbott Laboratories – May 2012: $1.5billion

o   Eli Lilly – Jan 2009: $1.4billion

o   Merck – Nov 2011: $1.0billion

o   AstraZeneca – Apr 2010: $0.5billion

·         America spends as much on defense as the next 14 nations combined, a whopping $711billion.  Globally, the U.S. is considered hands down the most powerful, militarily speaking, country in the world.  According to the WHO, the U.S. spends more on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world.  Also according to the WHO, the U.S. ranks 37th in quality of healthcare, just behind Costa Rica and just ahead of Slovenia.  Clearly we need to turn healthcare over to the Department of Defense so we can spend the most, but at least be number one.

·         The need to mix religion with science is a great human rationalization.  Case in point the much ballyhooed Higgs boson aka God particle debate. In reality in 1993 the famed American physicist Leon Lederman, frustrated by his inability to locate the Higgs boson called the particle the “goddamn particle”.  However his publisher didn’t think it would be a good idea and changed the name to “god particle” to help his client’s book sales.  I wish Christopher Hitchens was still with us as I expect his commentary would be nasty and biting.

·         On June 18th, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded Texas A&M University a $176million grant as part of a biodefense center to shore up our nation’s ability to develop and deploy vaccines.  The idea that the anti-federal government anti-science anti-healthcare State of Texas accepted the grant shows you that money talks and Tea Party bullshit walks.

·         According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3.4million job openings on the last business day in April.  Additionally, according to the June BLS report there are 12.7million people unemployed.  So why haven’t these 12.7million been able to secure the 3.4million openings? Is it due insufficient training or education?  Lack of mobility? Or perhaps the job openings aren’t real?  That’s right, what if the job openings are simply a big business ruse?  After all there have been 3million job openings for a year now.  Something isn’t adding up.

·         And then there’s Herman Cain: “Look at it this way, if America had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves.”  Attention male version of Palin, Britain abolished slavery in 1833, 32 years before the Emancipation proclamation.  Try reading a history book.

·         Not to be outdone by Crazy Cain, washed up rocker Ted Nugent came up with this beauty: “Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.” Two things come to mind, Nugent is saying we’d be better off without the 14th Amendment and better off with slavery.  Secondly, for Nugent to have any idea what the Founding Fathers were thinking or would be thinking today is presumptuous and preposterous.

·         And to top it all off an Alabama pastor Reverend Mel Lewis and his Christian Identity Ministries scheduled a 3-day, “whites only” conference. The Christian Reverend argues that his white followers are the “chosen race” and says the American right to practice religion should be given to them as it is to others. To think I thought in this day and age I thought the only ones holding “whites only” events was JCPenney.  

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