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cali's Journal
cali's Journal
August 17, 2016

Fuck 'em: EpiPen Price Surge Causing Families To Risk Severe Allergic Reactions

Bad as Martin Shkreli. Greedy pigs and nothing but.

Epinephrine-dispensing EpiPens have become a necessity for families with children suffering from severe allergies. However, as the price of EpiPen surges, the potentially life-saving medicine is being given a skip by users who have to make a choice between being broke or risking an attack.

In cases of severe allergic reactions, the synthetic adrenaline in EpiPens is used to counter effects like wheezing, uneven breathing, increased or decreased heart rate, swelling and other reactions. While a two-pack of EpiPens cost pharmacies about $100 in 2009, the prices have risen by more than 480 percent to its current price of more than $600, CBS News reported.

“If they don't have [the EpiPen], it could mean life or death,” pharmacist Leon Tarasenko of Pasteur Pharmacy in New York City told CBS. “Within the last two months, we’ve had about three patients who had issues with the price of an EpiPen,” Tarasenko said. “They did not receive it. They just refused to take it.”

While the actual price of the drug is only a few dollars, Mylan — the manufacturer of EpiPen — has few competitors in the field. CBS cited Bloomberg senior medical reporter Robert Langreth who said no significant changes have been made to the device since 2007 other than good marketing.

“This brand name, EpiPen, it’s like Kleenex to allergists,” Langreth said. “You know, it’s a name they know and trust. It’s what they prescribe. ... It’s a totally established brand name with little competition,” Langreth added. “That gives them freedom to raise the price every year.”

Tech Times reported a 67 percent increase in the number of people using Epipens over the past seven years, making the device the main source of revenue for Mylan. The pharmaceutical company told CBS that EpiPen’s price “has changed over time to better reflect important product features and the value the product provides,” as the company “made a significant investment to support the device over the past years.”



August 17, 2016

Trump advisor repeats call for Hillary Clinton to be 'shot in a firing squad for treason'

The rocks these people crawled out from under, need to be firmly replaced.

A New Hampshire state representative and advisor to Donald Trump's presidential campaign doubled down Tuesday on his incendiary calls last month that Hillary Clinton should be executed for treason.

But Al Baldasaro, who co-chairs Trump's national veterans coalition, blamed the "liberal media," a frequent target of the Trump campaign, for misrepresenting his language.

"The liberal media took what I said and went against the law and the Constitution and ran with it, and they said that I wanted her assassinated, which I never did," Baldasaro said in an interview with the Republican/MassLive.com.

"I said I spoke as a veteran, and she should be shot in a firing squad for treason," he added.

Reports published at the time quoted Baldasaro as saying Clinton should be shot by firing squad for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, not that she should be assassinated.


August 17, 2016

Powerful: Ballet Legend Mikhail Baryshnikov Warns Against Donald Trumpís Authoritarianism

Mikhail Baryshnikov, the famed Russian ballet dancer and actor who defected from the former Soviet Union in 1974, warned in a video released Wednesday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could bring Soviet-style authoritarianism to the United States.

“Take it from one who knows: Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled countries led by dangerous, totalitarian opportunists ― like Donald Trump,” Baryshnikov says in the video, produced by an organization called Art Not War.

The video is part of a campaign called Humanity for Hillary, in which artists have collaborated to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and advocate against Trump.

“I left a country that built walls to come to a place without them,” Baryshnikov says in the video. “But today, as a citizen of the United States, for the first time, I am hearing rhetoric that reminds me of the Soviet Union of my youth, where it was a crime, and continues to be a crime, to be different.”

August 17, 2016

I Don't Want A Talking Refrigerator

I just want one that silently keeps my food cold with an accurate thermostat.

I don't want a self driving car, or a car that can be hacked or tracked.

I don't want a home that I can "control" from the cell phone I don't own- or the Ipad I do.

It's not because I've done anything wrong or illegal or because I fear being interred in some mythical camp for dissidents- dog knows, if it came to that, I've posted enough on social media to damn me anyway. Not that I believe it will come to that.

It's because it offends me, for reasons great and small.

Maybe I'm a bit of a neo-luddite or just get-off-my-lawn ornery. But so much of emerging technology seems like nothing but frippery; bells and whistles galore and that's about it. There is, of course, technology that advances medical treatment, helps with environmental degradation, etc, but what does a talking refrigerator have to do with that?

A self-driving car? No thank you. I prefer to be in control, not to have control taken from me.

Take a Guided Tour Through Samsung Talking Fridge

Ford CEO: Autonomous vehicles will transform industry

In 1909, EM Forster published a prescient sci-fi short story called The Machine Stops. I read it when I was in my early twenties and it made an impression on me, though I can't say I foresaw the technological revolution's explosion into our current reality.


by E.M. Forster (1909)


Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment that my meditation opens, this room is throbbing with melodious sounds. An armchair is in the centre, by its side a reading-desk-that is all the furniture. And in the armchair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh-a woman, about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus. It is to her that the little room belongs.

An electric bell rang.

The woman touched a switch and the music was silent.

"I suppose I must see who it is", she thought, and set her chair in motion. The chair, like the music, was worked by machinery and it rolled her to the other side of the room where the bell still rang importunately.

"Who is it?" she called. Her voice was irritable, for she had been interrupted often since the music began. She knew several thousand people, in certain directions human intercourse had advanced enormously.

But when she listened into the receiver, her white face wrinkled into smiles, and she said:

"Very well. Let us talk, I will isolate myself. I do not expect anything important will happen for the next five minutes-for I can give you fully five minutes, Kuno. Then I must deliver my lecture on “Music during the Australian Period”."

She touched the isolation knob, so that no one else could speak to her. Then she touched the lighting apparatus, and the little room was plunged into darkness.

"Be quick!" She called, her irritation returning. "Be quick, Kuno; here I am in the dark wasting my time."

But it was fully fifteen seconds before the round plate that she held in her hands began to glow. A faint blue light shot across it, darkening to purple, and presently she could see the image of her son, who lived on the other side of the earth, and he could see her.

"Kuno, how slow you are."



August 17, 2016

USA Today goes full on in mocking Trump: Trump 2016 ó more reboots than Spider-Man

I've noticed that the regular reporting on Trump from that Gannett outlet has morphed into undisguised, blatant mockery.

The Trump campaign's cast of thousands got a little bigger this morning, with Breitbart co-founder Stephen Bannon coming in as campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway being added as campaign manager. Don't let the titles confuse you; campaign chair Paul Manafort is still in charge, probably! (Although this is kind of how things started out with Lewandowski's ouster.) Meanwhile, the roles of campaign boss, campaign overlord and campaign vizier have yet to be filled.


Breitbart now part of poll-manipulation plot

According to Zip, the new question and answer smartphone app, 84% of its users agree that the polls for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are rigged. (Though the question doesn't specify exactly who the polls are rigged for, we're going to assume that they're not rigged against Clinton, who's riding an 18-poll win streak.) The question of skewed, biased or deliberately rigged polls is pretty serious, so conservative news/politics website Breitbart is jumping into the polling business. “It’s an open secret that polls are often manipulated and spun to create momentum for a particular candidate or issue,” said Alex Marlow, the editor-in-chief of Breitbart News. He promised that Breitbart's results would deliver the results "without the mainstream media filter.”

The results of the first survey? Clinton leads by 5 among likely voters in a four-way race, which puts it right about in the middle of what the past week's worth of surveys have said. In other words, the poll-rigging conspiracy goes way, way deeper than anyone had suspected. (BTW, welcome to the mainstream media cabal, Alex! Check in with Cameron at the registration desk to learn the secret handshake.)



August 17, 2016

Here goes. I debated posting this, but I think it's fascinating

I understand that Glenn Greenwald is a hated figure by many here. I've never been a big fan. I've been an occasional critic. I've also appreciated some of his work. One thing I don't doubt is his intelligence and this is a fascinating and long interview. Whether you love him or hate him or have mixed feelings about him, this is a good interview. The interviewer does a great job. Greenwald appears very candid. I found it thought provoking regarding the current state of journalism, irritating at times, but well worth the time spent reading it.

The release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails last week was followed on Wednesday by Donald Trump’s invitation to Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. Trump has since claimed that he was being “sarcastic,” but some believe that he is all too happy to rely on hacked materials to further his campaign for the White House—and doesn’t appreciate the national security implications of Russian intelligence’s alleged breach of DNC servers. Others believe that Trump’s more isolationist foreign policy ideas, such as retreating from NATO, should be discussed rationally and that the DNC hack is being used as a cudgel with which to attack anyone who isn’t sufficiently hawkish on Russia. The hack, and its political and geopolitical implications, has also occasioned a debate about whether and how the media ought to cover leaked—or in this case stolen—information.

To discuss these issues, and others, I spoke by phone with Glenn Greenwald, the co-founding editor of the Intercept. Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, is best known for his role in reporting on Edward Snowden’s disclosures of National Security Agency material; that work, which appeared in the Guardian, won a Pulitzer Prize.

During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we talked about why media elites have trouble reaching Trump supporters, Greenwald’s differences with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and the future of privacy in a world of hacks.


August 17, 2016

British hate monger Anjem Choudary convicted on terrorism charges

Revealed: how Anjem Choudary inspired at least 100 British jihadis

Counter-terrorism sources say hate preacher is linked to terrorists from Lee Rigby killer to young Isis fighters

Anjem Choudary and his extremist groups are believed to have inspired at least 100 people from Britain into terrorism, including organisations committed to campaigns of murder against the west, the Guardian has learned.

Choudary avoided serious criminal charges for years, but his own conviction for terrorism, agreed unanimously by an Old Bailey jury in July, can now be reported after legal restrictions were lifted.

Documents from intelligence sources say his groups were at the heart of the Islamist movement in Britain, which has been left facing a “severe” threat of jihadi attack.

Choudary and an acolyte, Mohammed Rahman, were convicted after they urged support for Islamic State and pledged allegiance to the group.


A conservative estimate is that no less than 100 people from Britain linked to Choudary or his groups have fought or supported violent jihad, according to counter-terrorism sources. The figures were supported by a leftwing anti-extremism group that has studied the influence of al-Muhajiroun and its successor groups.



Britain’s most infamous defender of Islamist extremism was found guilty of eliciting support for the Islamic State, officials said Tuesday, marking what authorities described as a milestone in the British campaign to combat homegrown terrorism.

The verdict against Anjem Choudary, 49, is the first major conviction against a man seen across Europe as a Pied Piper for young radicals and a cheerleader for the Islamic State. His conviction immediately became the most significant example of how Britain and other European nations are moving to expand their counterterrorism operations, targeting not just active cells but also the voices of incitement.

A top associate of Choudary — Mohammed Rahman, 33 — was also convicted, and both now face up to 10 years of jail time. The verdict came after years in which both men had mostly dodged British justice, doing so by successfully playing the same democratic system they often railed against.

Choudary is a trained lawyer, and maintained that his polemics — he called for strict Islamic law in Britain and turning Buckingham Palace into a mosque — were expressions of free speech designed to “bait” the British press. His conviction, however, came after he appeared to cross a line by openly supporting the Islamic State.

In lectures and statements posted on social media and YouTube, he encouraged youths to embrace the Islamic State and denied its documented war atrocities, prosecutors said. In one piece of vital evidence, officials said, he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State’s leader in a conversation with a convicted Islamic State recruiter.


August 17, 2016

I like this. Clinton taps inequality expert Boushey as her transition teamís chief economist

Inequality expert Heather Boushey has been named the chief economist of Hillary Clinton’s transition team, the Clinton campaign said Tuesday.

Boushey is currently the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, as well as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. According to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Boushey researches economic inequality and public policy, employment and social policy, and family economic well-being.



A bit more about Ms. Boushey:


Boushey was born in Seattle and grew up in Mukilteo, Washington.[4] She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research and her B.A. from Hampshire College.

She was formerly a Senior Economist with the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee and before that, with the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Economic Policy Institute. Her work focuses on the U.S. labor market, social policy, and work and family issues. Boushey’s work ranges from examinations of current trends in the U.S. labor market and how families balance work and child care needs to how young people have fared in today’s economy and health insurance coverage. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and authored numerous reports and commentaries on issues affecting working families, including the implications of the 1996 welfare reform. She is a co-author of The State of Working America 2002–3 and Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families.

Boushey is a Research Affiliate with the National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and on the editorial review board of WorkingUSA and the Journal of Poverty. Her work has appeared in Dollars & Sense, In These Times, and New Labor Forum, and peer-reviewed journals, including Review of Political Economy and National Women’s Studies Association Journal.

On March 31, 2007, Boushey married Todd Tucker,[1] formerly research director of the Global Trade Watch division of Public Citizen, who specializes in the legal, economic. and political consequences of trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).



I like this appointment a lot. Kudos to HRC.

August 17, 2016

Donald Trump, in Shake-Up, Hires Breitbart Executive for Top Campaign Post

What a shame he couldn't just dig up Breitbart himself for the position.

LAS VEGAS — Donald J. Trump has shaken up his presidential campaign for the second time in two months, hiring a top executive from the conservative news site Breitbart News and promoting a senior adviser to a key new role in an effort to right his faltering campaign.

Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, will become the Republican campaign’s chief executive, and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster for Mr. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will become the campaign manager.

Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, will retain his title. But the staffing change, hammered out on Sunday and set to be formally announced Wednesday morning, represents a demotion for Mr. Manafort, who took control of the campaign nearly two months after Mr. Trump won the primary in Indiana, forcing the remaining two candidates from the race.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed early Wednesday by Ms. Conway in a brief interview, but she rejected the idea that the changes amounted to a shake-up.



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