Sunday, July 03, 2005
New Iraqi anti-insurgency forces using tactics reminiscent of the kinds
of regimes that need to get overthrown. From the Observer:...The
Observer has seen photographic evidence of post-mortem and hospital
examinations of alleged terror suspects from Baghdad and the Sunni
[War and Piece]
SCOTUS battle: I'm just wild about Harry
One of the nice things about
Harry Reid is that he doesn't look in the mirror and see a President
(yeah, Joe Biden, I'm talking about you).
Here he is, ever so gently and reasonably setting Bush up: "I am
convinced this is an opportunity for the president to bring the country
together," Reid said during a news conference at UNLV's William S. Boyd
School of Law. "We do not need a lot of... - Lambert
Evaluating O'Connor's Evaluation.
Kate's outrage over the Washington Post's feminist assessment of
O'Connor strikes me as well-placed. The article, which tries to
illustrate the chilly relationship between the women's movement and one
of their most emancipated, ceiling-shattering members, starts by
And now for something a bit different .
More pics here
I gotta say it was a trip watching The Who and Pink Floyd perform last night. For>What's Wrong with These Pictures? Crisis Pictures
is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that buys and publishes
photos from world trouble spots that the mainstream media don't publish.
News America Now says GOP Senator Rips His Party A New One in an interview published this weekend. It's Chuck Hagel, and the NYT piece is previewed in Editor & Publisher.
You could let ABC/Disney know how you feel about their broadcasting Paul Harvey's Tribute to Slavery, Nukes, Genocide.
The guy who did the research that some took to mean pot causes cancer now says it doesn't.
Ahistoricality sees a personalized license plate.
Play Yellow Elephant Bingo.
this is the post I was working on when I learned that my mother was
dying. As you can imagine, that derailed me somewhat. I had a couple of
other posts planned for the day, but I just haven't felt like
concentrating. This one was nearly finished before I decided I'd rather
scan that picture of my mother and post it, but it didn't really suit
my mood after I got the news that she was gone. We apologize for the
interruption of services and hope to have them restored shortly.
Random thoughts on the myth of pussy control.
Lindsay did a fabulous post the other day on
how male privilege and the defense of it can blind people to things
that should be as obvious on the nose on their face. Case in
point--General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan limiting the traveling
rights of Mukthar Mai, the woman who was gang-raped to punish her
brother and who instead of killing herself as expected pressed charges
against the rapists and has since become quite the hero. Lindsay's
point was that Musharraf is so blinded by male privilege that he could
not see that Mai is a hero that speaks well of his
country--instead he, as is traditional with all patriarchies, is
focused instead on the shamefulness of being a victim. (Victims, of
course, are shameful because in patriarchies women are blamed for their
own victimization.) The parallels to our culture are unmistakeable and
the thread got derailed by the same old fight about how much
responsibility is on rape victims for their own abuse--of course, the
official story is we only blame them to help women understand how not
to provoke men to rape.
As usual, I cannot believe how many seemingly well-meaning men
defend the practice of blaming victims for their own abuse. I didn't
see how men who don't rape really benefit from the belief that men
should be considered such uncontrollable animals that women have to
restrict our own freedom of movement to stay safe as if we were
avoiding walking into the jungle to avoid tiger attacks. After I wrote this post,
though, I think I figured it out. The benefit of having male sexuality
defined as so uncontrollable and aggressive that rape is inevitable
doesn't have a direct benefit to men, but it does have the indirect
benefit of contributing to a larger model for understanding
heterosexual sex, one where women are blamed when anything goes wrong. [Pandagon]
Wolcott on Lowry. You definitely don't want Wolcott on your case:
keep the baseball analogies going a bit, Rich Lowry, editor of the
National Review, reminds me of a centerfielder backpedaling for a ball
destined to land way over his head. Or should I say "backpeddling"?
Twas barely a few issues ago, and he was trumpeting loudly and unambiguously in a NR cover story on Iraq, "We're Winning."
The situation migrated south since then, and today he has an article on
NRO hedging, "It's Winnable." So we were were definitely winning in
Iraq a couple months ago, and now it's still possible to pull out a
win, and presumably a month or two from now it'll be "There's Still an
Outside Shot at Winning," and a few months after that it'll be "How We
Could Have Won If All of My Previous Articles Had Panned Out."
. . He also brought a thread of silver lining into the Corner with a
post about the latest lousy Iraq poll numbers titled, I am not making
this up, "PUBLIC OPINION ON IRAQ--COULD BE WORSE."
If he keeps lowering the bar, he's going to become a limbo master.
Ouch. Update [2005-7-3 17:57:57 by Armando]: Please click through for the whole post. I've used a lot of his piece, and it is only fair he get the hits.
Chellie Pingree: Canada Cozies Up to Big Pharma
shouldn’t-be-shocking-but-still-is news out of Canada last week that
their health minister will attempt to ban the shipment of drugs to the
US has the hands of the pharmaceutical manufacturers written all over
it. I had an opportunity to discuss this bad news on TV a couple of
nights ago on CNN's Lou Dobb's Tonight show. Currently the business of “re-importing” drugs from Canada back to the US is a $700 million dollar leak in Pharma’s
stranglehold over total control of drug sales in the US and is getting
in the way of their maintaining their status as the most profitable
industry in the world.
It is just this simple--Canada, like virtually every other country
in the world, negotiates with the pharmaceutical manufacturers to set a
reasonable selling price for medications in their country. (To be
perfectly clear--this is not “socialized medicine,” not a
“subsidy”...this is just a government seeking the best price for its
citizens.) And, if your home is in a border state like mine (Maine),
the contrast is striking. I have “ridden the bus” to Canada more than
once with a group of seniors. For some of them the ride is six to eight
hours long, but filling their prescriptions at a Canadian pharmacy can
be well worth the trip--and, for a growing number of Americans, the
only way to get what they need. The last time I shared the bus with
this hearty band, there were 25 seniors buying a three- to six-month
supply of the drugs we will all need someday--for heart problems, blood
pressure, arthritis. After making their purchases in a cross-border
drug store that looked just like one back in Maine, they sat down over
coffee to compare their receipts to the ones they had brought from
home. Their collective savings were $18,000. I once sat next to a woman
taking Tomaxifin, a wonderful drug that has made a life-saving
difference for many women with breast cancer. She paid $110 for her 30
day supply at her local pharmacy in Maine, yet in Saint Stevens, New
Brunswick, the same amount only cost $12.35. As far as I am concerned,
that is criminal and there is just no excuse for it, period. For many
people these are life-saving drugs and people really do make choices
between buying food and medication every day.
Anyway, you no longer have to “ride the bus” to get the best price.
Internet web sites have made it possible for people all over the
country to get some of the same discounts and, as they become more
widely used and talked about, the more politicians have been hearing
from their constituents telling them that they want to pay the
discounted prices. Because of this, there are no less than four bills
in Congress that would sanction and expand the process of
“reimportation” and they have a lot of support from both sides of the
aisle. Of course, they also have a lot of powerful opposition from the
administration (complete with “embedded” former members of the industry
in key positions) and, oh yeah, millions of dollars of opposition from
Pharma--spent in a wide variety of ways to influence the process
including lobbying, campaign contributions, paying people to write
op-eds supporting their position, huge “aren’t we benevolent” media
campaigns... I could go on.
(Now I want to be careful not to make too big of heroes out of these
same members of Congress. Many of those “fighting” for reimportation of
cheaper drugs back to the US were the same legislators who voted for
the provision of the Medicare bill that specifically prohibits any
negotiating for better prices ... so much for government acting “more
like a business.” Can you imagine a law telling Wal-Mart that even
thought they were one of the largest purchasers in the world of any
product, they were not allowed to ask for a discount??)
Well, in spite of the tremendous opposition, the practice of
bringing prescription drugs back from Canada has been growing. Seeing
the increasing difficulty of beating the policy makers, Pharma just
decided to use their best weapon--fear and intimidation. There have
been growing threats that Canada would experience “supply problems” if
the volume of drugs shipped back to America continued to increase.
Imagine how that feels to a Canadian sitting home wondering if their
local drugstore was going to run out of their vital heart medication
thanks to Americans looking for cheap drugs--Americans who are only
trying to purchase their medications in Canada because American
lawmakers have not been as willing to play tough as Canadians.
Anyway, it is all a scare tactic--the only reason that there would
ever be a short supply in Canada is if drug manufacturers stopped
sending them. And what honest argument could they possibly make for
shipping boxes of a critical drug to Detroit but not Alberta??
I watched them do this once back in Maine. When I was a state senator, we passed a bill allowing us to negotiate
for better prices (just like they do in Canada). Well, that made them
mad. You can probably imagine that “made them mad” is an
understatement. So, while they tried to kill the law in court (which,
by the way they never did--all the way to the Supreme Court), they
threatened to cut off our major wholesale distributor of medications
and sent letters to the Department of Health and Human Services. Just
to prove they were really tough, instead of marking the shipping labels
“Maine,” they just delivered the same drugs to the Pennsylvania branch
of the distributor....and let them ship back to Maine.
Here is the long and short of this: What the Canadian Health
Minister is doing is wrong and what the pharmaceutical manufacturers
are doing is even more wrong. Sadly though, our collective fingers have
to be pointed back at the many gutless politicians who have, once
again, let themselves be influenced by those handing out campaign
contributions and the legions of lobbyists who sadly yield more
influence than the millions of frustrated Americans still paying the
highest prices in the world for medicine. When we were debating our
bill in Maine I think that our governor had the best analogy--he said
that it is like you are the one person on the airplane who paid full
fare and everyone else is in the cheap seats. Welcome to America--time
for a new travel agent. - Chellie Pingree
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Evil makes a comeback.
A couple of Sundays ago, I noted an odd pairing of articles
featured in two of our major papers. While the New York Times wrote
about the torture houses run by Iraqi insurgents, the Los Angeles Times
focused on nearly...
[Body and Soul]
This is a Joke, Right?.
The conservatives say that
Gonzales isn't conservative enough for them? What the hell do they
want? This guy steps on the principles of the Geneva Conventions and
sees no problem with using torture, and that's not conservative enough?
J. Christ, what would he have to do to win their hearts and minds? I
thought they backed this sort of shit. I thought they liked the hard
line approach. How...
By email@example.com (Pissed_Off_Patricia).
Rape, Pillage, Repeat.
So where did that $8B go? Some interesting answers: The IAMB then spent
months trying to find auditors acceptable to the US. The Bahrain office
of KPMG was finally appointed in April 2004. It was stonewalled. ‘KPMG
has encountered resistance from CPA staff regarding the submission of
information required to complete our procedures,’ they wrote in [...]
The Living Word.
George W. Bush is not Lord. The Declaration of Independence is not an
infallible guide to Christian faith and practice. Nor is the U.S.
Constitution, nor the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
"Original intent" of America's founders is not...
Queenie Elizabeth Baranian Avedikian, 1918-2005 .
picture got a bit messed up over the decades, but I'm sure she'd want
us to remember that she used to have great legs. She was a spectacular
ham and had a resonant alto voice that she used to joke was really a
bass. She also drove me out of my mind, but that's the way of mothers
and daughters. If there's a Heaven, she cooks the food.
Sunday Discussion Group — Plame Game Edition.
It figures. Just figures. Friday afternoon, in advance of the July 4th
weekend, the same afternoon of the most important Supreme Court
retirement in generations, and we learn that Karl Rove is up to his
ears in a criminal scandal that could rock the White House.
Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to a [...]
[The Carpetbagger Report]
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7/12/2005; 11:35:43 AM.