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Gender: Male
Hometown: Alabama
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Jun 13, 2015, 05:35 PM
Number of posts: 5,648

Journal Archives

Shkeli is Small Time, Congress is Helping Big Drug Companies Rip Us Off for Billions

Recently a 32 year old punk named Martin Shkreli called the nation’s attention to persistent and blatant price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. Shkreli, an ex-hedge fund manager and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – a company he formed in February of 2015 - took drug price gauging to a whole new level. In August he bought the rights manufacture Daraprin, a 62 year old drug use to treat Toxoplasmosis that no other company markets. The drug is used to cure a parasitic infection which usually doesn’t bother healthy people, but is a dangerous problem for people with compromised immune systems resulting for diseases such as AIDS and cancer. In September Shkreli abruptly raised price of the medication by 5,455 percent (from $13.50 to $750 per tablet). Those who most affected by this blatant act of medical thievery are generally in very poor health and often unable to afford expensive medication.

If you would like to read about the details of this outrageous crime against the public good, I would refer you to this excellent article: Drug Company CEOs Acting More Like Drug Dealing Thugs

Among those who have publicly criticized Shkreli are several medical organizations; the HIV Medicine Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America both issued statements condemning the price increase. I found it most interesting that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America also joined in on the attack on Shkreli. They are a lobbying group representing the major pharmaceutical companies. I suspect that that they were afraid that Shkreli’s actions will bring a lot of unwanted attention to similar, though perhaps not quite as blatant, price gauging by the major pharmaceutical companies the trade association represents.

Big pharmaceutical companies have a great deal they would not want brought to the attention of the American public. They don’t want anyone else to notice....

more: http://www.cajunscomments.com/shkrelis-drug-…of-the-iceberg/ ‎

Republican Chances in 2016 on Suicide Watch

It is amazing when you consider that when the Republican Party was formed in the late 1850’s, its one unifying theme was abolition, the banning of slavery in the United States. By any measure, at the time the elimination of slavery was a very liberal concept. Gradually over time the party of Lincoln moved further and further to the right. That process was greatly accelerated by the defections of very conservative Southern Democrats to the Republican ranks. As the GOP shifted ever further to the right, ultra conservative groups began targeting the most moderate prominent Republicans and drove them one by one from office. The public face of the Republican Party became more and more stridently conservative.

However, throughout this process the Republican establishment remained in control. While voicing the message of social conservatism sacred to many of its rank and file, most of the party leaders concentrated on achieving conservative economic goals and, most importantly, winning control of Presidency and both Houses of Congress. Backed by the big business campaign funding required to win major elections, Republican leaders have been able to keep the radical right extremists at the core of their party centered on nominating electable candidates for national office. Now, however, infuriated by the lack of success of Republican leaders in pushing conservative agendas through Congress and the failures of past establishment Republican Presidential candidates, the rabble rousers of the far right are now in full rebellion.


Can a poll be set up on the General Discussion: Primary board....

to ask which of the Democratic candidates people favor - or would that be considered "disruptive"?

Can a poll be set up on the General Discussion: Primary board....

to ask which of the Democratic candidates people favor - or would that be considered "disruptive"?

Why the Big Fuss over Trump?

It seemed that every time I turned a TV on over the last few days someone was interviewing, or was reporting on an interview they had done with Donald Trump. (Oh, everybody but Fox News because The Donald and the "Fair and Balanced" network currently have mutual "I don't want to talk to you" pack in place.)

The news jockeys must think that Trump is good for their ratings. They might also argue that he is in first place in all of the polls, but when polls cover 15 candidates and the leader pulls down only 20% to 30%, that's really not a big deal.

The people doing the polling generally include only Republicans or those likely to vote in Republican nomination process. A recent Pew Research poll determined that only 39% of the country's voters are Republican or Independents who lean Republican. So at most the people polled represent only 39% of all American Voters voters. In addition, the latest poll which was taken by NBC/WSJ shows Trump leading the Republican pack with only 21%.

It requires only simple arithmetic to understand how insignificant Trump's polling numbers really are. If you want to determine the percentage of all American voters who are favor Trump that are represented on the NBC/WSJ poll, you simply multiply 39% by 21%. So 0.39 X 0.21 = 0.082 or 8.2%. So the likely Republican voters who favored Trump on the latest poll represent only about 8% of all American voters.

So I ask again, why is it that Donald Trump is being treated as a major force in American politics?

Global Warming Deniers - And Other Deniers Through History

The climate change debate has now been waged both here in the US and around the world now for many years now. During that time scientists have uncovered more and more evidence that the earth is indeed warming and that the release of ever more greenhouse gases since the start of the industrial revolution is the primary cause. What was at first a well thought out theory has evolved a widely accepted scientific fact. It is normally very difficult to scientist to agree on anything, but a very high percentage of the of world’s climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring a rate far quicker then would normally be expected and that we (the humans on this planet) are largely responsible.


We begin to see these predictions borne out in the form of weather calamities on the TV news. However, polls show that there is still a large percentage of our population who are skeptical and many who flatly deny that the phenomenon has any basis in fact. There are even some weathermen (the guys who try to predict the weather over the next few days, not the climate scientists who study climate changes over much longer periods of time) who don’t believe that climate change is real. Why is this the case even in the face of ever mounting evidence to the contrary?


Carly Fiorina – Not As Advertised

Before watching the CNN Republican debates I was interested to see how Carly Fiorina, the only woman on the stage with ten alpha males, would acquit herself. I didn’t watch the second tier debate in the first round, but I had heard she did well and that her subsequent improvement in the polls made it possible to debate with the big boys the second time around. I knew virtually nothing about Fiorina going into debate, so I was essentially a blank canvas on which her performance could paint.

Wow! Continuing with that analogy, I were a canvas, after the event I would have been covered in many vicious strokes of black and blood red paint. Fiorina had by far the most strident manner of all of the candidates as she described her polices which were by far the most radical set forth in the debate. At times she backed up her harsh words with facial expressions which would have made me wince if she had addressing her remarks directly to me. She was well prepared and quick on her feet, but she never once smiled and I could help thinking to myself, “Wow, what a battle ax!” She may tout her business achievements, but I wouldn’t want to work for that woman.

I also have to also severely question her integrity....

Who Are These People?

Donald Trump is catching some flack for failing correct one of his vocal supporters who stated the country “has a Muslim problem”, “Obama is a Muslim”, and “not even an American”. Of course, none of this is surprising. What else would we expect from a man who sees himself as the unofficial president of the “birther” movement? Trump’s entire campaign is based on xenophobia, Islamophobia and intolerance and if he disagreed publicly with bigots he would risk alienating more than half of his most ardent supporters. But who are the people that are attracted to a candidate because he appeals to their base nature?


Bad Policing Exposed

Earlier this week, a white plainclothes NYPD officer rushed at James Blake, a mixed race former tennis star who was at one time ranked 4th in the world, tackled him and threw him down to the concrete of a city sidewalk in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Four other plain clothes officers then rushed in to hold Blake down and apply handcuffs. The officers then detained Blake for 15 minutes until they realized it was a case of mistaken identity. Blake later said that the officers never displayed their badges, never identified themselves, or told him why he was being detained, all violations of NYPD policy. When it was later learned that the person that the police were after was suspected of fraudulently purchasing cell phones, hardly a violet crime, the use excessive force became even more difficult to defend.

Of course Blake was released and then later received apologies from both the New York City Police Commissioner and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, but what if someone other than a tennis celebrity had been the subject of this case of mistaken identity? What if the five police officers had identified the actual suspect and acted in an identical manner. In all likelihood those situations would have gone unnoticed and would have never been identified by the media. The incident almost certainly would not have become national news.

What occurred on the streets of New York, and incidents far worse, have probably been repeated many thousands of times across the country for many, many years. After all, without solid evidence it has long been extremely difficult to dispute the statements of the police officers involved. When the cops failed to police themselves and covered for each other, who was going to successfully expose them? However, the hot spotlight of media attention is now probing the shadowy world of police brutality, unnecessary force and weapons use and bad apple cops.

Put yourself in the shoes of a cop who has for years bent the rules till they broke, but you always got away with it because there was no credible evidence to the contrary and your partner always vouched for you, and you for him. Maybe there were even situations where your actions may have been truly suspect, but a bit of false evidence planted at the scene diverted attention away from you. However, you have recently awoken in a far different world.

With everyone carrying cell phones, you never know when your next actions will be recorded on video for all the world to see. Surveillance cameras, mounted almost everywhere ostensibly to help you protect the public, are ready not only ready to record the actions of criminals, but yours as well. Witnesses have become bolder and more apt to testify against you. And of course there is always the slim possibility that you might screw up and pick on the wrong person, like James Blake. Worse yet your chief has put out the word he has requested funding to order body cameras for everyone on the force.

The minority of police officers who have been bad actors for years have to be watching one case after another unfold on the national stage where rule breaking cops who were caught acting like they always have are being embarrassed, fired, and even thrown in jail. These bad apples have to be thinking - that could easily be me. Even veterans, whose bad habits are hard to break, must be having second thoughts about how they should be conducting themselves going forward. Younger officers, often more cognizant of the reach of modern technology and changing public perceptions, will be far less likely to develop bad policing habits to begin with. The majority of police officers who protect and serve with honor every day must feel more empowered to not have to defend the bad actors in their midst.

Modern technology is making it easier for our police forces to bring criminals to justice, but that technology and changing perceptions are also giving the public a greater ability to police those sworn to protect and serve them. And that, in my book, is a good thing.

If you are busy trying to tear down a Democratic candidate on DU, this is for you.

I would advise you to follow the lead of all of the Democratic candidates and quit acting like a Republican. All of our candidates understand that it is not helpful to the cause of ensuring that we keep the White House in Democratic hands to try to tear down any of the other Democratic candidate.

God help us if a Republican wins the Presidency and they maintain their control of both the House and Senate. Also keep in mind the next President will probably be able to name at least two, maybe as many as four Justices of the Supreme Court, setting the direction of the court for the next ten to twenty years.

Why in the world would we want to make that the least bit more likely by attempting to discredit any of the Democratic candidates, one of which might be our nominee?

It okay to try to win the battle, just don't lose the war in the process.
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