Monthly Archives: February 2008

Bloodsuckers Vs. Lifesavers

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Enterprise: When a great American company offers a medicine that lengthens the lives of hundreds of millions of people, you might think politicians would say thank you. Instead they say: How dare you advertise it.


Related Topics: Business & Regulation | Health Care


Pfizer has just been pressured by Congress into dropping its main ad campaign for the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, arguably the most popular medicine in the world and with very good reason.

Lipitor can lower the deadly artery-clogging substance by as much as 60% and, when combined with regular exercise and a low-fat diet, prevents heart attacks and sudden deaths.

Companies who do so much for so many deserve plaudits. But liberal politicians never rest in their search for corporate villains, and so they have demonized the pharmaceutical industry, just as they have an oil and gas industry that spends billions developing new technologies to reach crude and natural gas deposits that were inaccessible only a few years ago.

Just as Congress’ big shots have no appreciation for how “Big Oil” can cut our dependence on oil-rich enemy countries, they’re equally ungrateful for how “Big Pharma” cures and manages disease.

In his research on productivity and health care for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia business professor Frank R. Lichtenberg found a direct connection between new drug approvals and rapidly increased longevity.

Lichtenberg reckons the average new drug approval adds a total of 1.2 million years to the lives of current and future generations. With it costing the pharmaceutical industry about $500 million to bring a new drug to market, Lichtenberg extrapolated that the “cost per life-year gained is $424” — just a fraction of the economic value of a single year of a person’s life of $150,000, cited by Lichtenberg based on calculations by University of Chicago economics professors Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel.

Drug manufacturers such as Pfizer have been performing such incalculably valuable services to Americans and the rest of the world for generations.

It may have been the disorganized Alexander Fleming who won the Nobel Prize for accidentally discovering penicillin in 1928. But he actually failed to recognize its importance and abandoned his discovery. Pfizer, with its expertise in fermentation, mass produced the new wonder drug in response to an appeal from the U.S. government, saving multitudes of Allied forces in World War II.

This is of little interest, however, to Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and an octogenarian who has held his House seat since 1955.

Also known as “The Truck” — as in stay out of his way if you don’t want to be run over — Dingell was complaining that Pfizer was using Dr. Robert Jarvik, the physician who helped develop the artificial heart, as its spokesman for Lipitor — and paying Jarvik quite well for his services.

Pfizer on Monday chose to pull its Jarvik ads in the face of Dingell’s pressure, and in typical fashion Dingell issued a response that did little to disguise his gloating: “We trust that Pfizer is sincere in its commitment to ‘greater clarity’ in its advertising. My colleagues and I look forward to meeting with Pfizer’s management team to discuss their plans related to direct-to-consumer advertising.”

In other words, see you when you and your fellow corporate vassals come by Capitol Hill to deliver your oaths of fealty to your congressional masters.

A company that has saved and extended so many lives — including those of Congress members and their loved ones — are not allowed to sell their own valuable wares without politicians sticking their noses into it. They’re not allowed to educate the public in the most effective way about their medicines.

Such arrogant intrusion by politicians in search of corporate bogeymen isn’t just political grandstanding; it actually costs lives.

 

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Consequences of Selfishness

Eugene Peterson says:

 

It’s obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex, a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage, frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness, trinket gods, magic show religion, paranoid loneliness, cutthroat competition, all-consuming yet never satisfying wants, a brutal temper, an impotence to love or be loved, divided homes and divided lives, small-minded and lop-sided pursuits, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival, uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions, ugly parodies of community, I could go on…

Some Misogynist Fun

When we in the West get down on our women, we do things like make fun of their driving skills or spatial awareness in general. That’s how we cope – with humor. I’m tired of every dirty, backward, ignorant foreigner calling America, and by extension, Americans – stupid, bigoted, etc. etc. etc. It’s high time the Third World started taking some pointers from us about culture and the way we operate because damnit, we have our fun and we have our tensions, too. But we deal with issues with civility. We make jokes and movies about things that frustrate us to break the ice.

Nobody’s perfect and I’m tired of everyone holding America up to some unreachable moral/legal/social/political/military/economic/environmental standard such that we get slighted by every knave and dolt with a background in the part of the world we here in the West show so much sensitivity toward. Our consideration is not a free pass to go around making ignorant, licentious, subversive, inappropriate, crass, mean-spirited, ugly, demented accusations ad hominem and straw man style about Americans – especially about Middle Americans and even more especially Southern white Christians! We are the nicest (and most powerful) group of people on the planet.

When people want to talk about Americans and our problems, consider the source? What do the Muslims have to say about American misogyny, for example? I hope nothing because not only do we have happy families (in my view), but when you compare the way Muslims treat women (e.g., no laws against rape, stoning for adultery, etc.) and the way Christians, and by extension, Americans (and Europe) treat women (e.g., VERY liberally), there is just no comparison. It is a difference between night and day, between human chattel (in the Islamic world) and partners in marriage (in the Christian world), with the man holding a 51% stake – according to most if not all Southern, mainline *white* Christians.

Sure, we may lose the next POTUS election, but guess what, we still have more pull than any other faction or body of people on the ENTIRE planet in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD!

That’s my mind and I’m stickin to it. Enjoy:

Dubai – Medieval and Modern

A vid about Middle-Eastern rapists in Dubai and selectively applied laws to foreigners, but not citizens (prosecuting victims of rape for various charges – e.g., provocation, homosexuality).

If the vid doesn’t work, click this link (I think the author disabled embedded): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbJGh4LF5fE 

These people compress the seventh century into the twenty-first. In the West, we should do a LOT more research on [all Islamic] societies and regard these people in like manner to how they regard foreigners in their own lands. Blind faith in the morality of ‘tolerance’ is a stumbling block. Indeed, the consequence of ignorance leads us further to the edge of a precipice, over which we will take a nosedive and impose ruthlessness on ourselves once we find out just how much control we’ve lost over our society. In the words, part of which I’ve already borrowed of Newt G, the people who care about civil liberties ought to be thinking real hard about what’s next and what steps to take.

Supremacist Judges Attack Our Military

by Phyllis Schlafly

Two separate federal courts, one in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles, just ordered the United States Navy to limit its use of sonar, the underwater radar essential for tracking enemy submarines and detecting the ocean floor. These rulings tie the hands of our Navy and are the latest outrage committed by judicial supremacists.

The lawsuits were brought by environmental groups on behalf of whales and other sea creatures, using the claim that their ears and brains might be damaged by the sonar. The court rulings allow environmentalism to trump what the Navy needs to do to protect our national interest.

These February rulings followed an anti-military ruling last November by the Ninth Circuit, which invited injunctions against the Navy to restrict its use of sonar. In NRDC v. Winter, the Ninth Circuit held that an “injunction would be appropriate” against the Navy to restrict its use of sonar.

The Navy says it already minimizes risks to marine life and has used sonar for decades without seeing any injuries to whales. The Navy has even said it will shut off the sonar when whales are spotted, but the judge said that’s not good enough because visual monitoring might miss some dolphins and other small animals.

So, chalk up another victory for enemies of our armed forces, internal and external. It seems that the anti-military leftists have picked up judicial activists as their allies.

Why should our Navy have to grovel to federal judges for permission to defend U.S. national security? Most of our Navy’s activities are not even in the United States, and judges should not have the power to interfere with the Navy’s protection of our national interests.

Few persons on our modern judiciary have ever served in the military. Only one Supreme Court Justice is a veteran, Justice John Paul Stevens, and most of our appellate judges have no military service in their backgrounds.

Lawsuits are a poor way to debate and decide which military strategies work best for our nation. We do not want our enemies to have access to our military strategies and technology in open court, and the adversarial process of litigation is not appropriate to deciding what is best for our soldiers and sailors and the country they protect.

Perhaps liberals hope that one day they will be able to sue to obtain an order by a judge telling the President himself what he can no longer do in combating foreign threats. What if a federal judge had ordered President Truman not to drop the atom bomb on Japan because of its environmental impact?

Judges in black robes should not be telling our generals and admirals what they cannot do, and federal courts should not be interfering with the Navy’s duty to patrol the oceans. The Constitution did not make the federal judiciary our Commander in Chief.

Environmentalists have no compunction about filing lawsuits to protect animals at the expense of national security. For years, their litigation prevented a fence from being built on our border at San Diego.

The REAL ID Act, passed in May 2005, withdrew jurisdiction from federal courts over challenges to a fence built on our southern border. This law enabled the San Diego fence to be built without further delay and is now preventing another lawsuit from stopping the building of a fence along the Arizona border.

Unaccountable federal judges should not be giving orders to the United States Navy as it tries to defend our freedoms. Just as power was taken away from federal courts over environmental challenges to the building of a border fence, power should likewise be taken away from federal courts so that they do not interfere with national security.

Congress (including many Democrats) has already stripped jurisdiction from federal courts over the detaining of enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay. When the Supreme Court found a way to bypass that law, Congress (including many Democrats) passed a new law to reinstate the withdrawal of jurisdiction more broadly, and that law is now before the Supreme Court.

When the anti-military MoveOn.org published its insulting attack against General David Petraeus last fall in the New York Times, the Senate voted 72-25 to condemn that ad. But talk is cheap, and Senate resolutions do not have the force of law.

It’s time for Congress to assume responsibility to protect our national security by stripping the federal courts from jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy.


Further Reading: Judges


Read this column online.


Eagle Forum
www.eagleforum.org
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Alton, IL 62002

Telecoms Face Double Risk on FISA

Commentary

Quin Hillyer: Telecoms face double risk on FISA

WASHINGTON -Did the House Democratic leadership really sell out national security just to kowtow to rich plaintiffs’ lawyers who fill their campaign coffers?

Prompted by groundbreaking reporting by Townhall’s Amanda Carpenter and columns by Robert Novak and others, the notion that congressional liberals are letting torts trump anti-terrorism is firmly taking hold.

With good reason. Telecommunications companies clearly have much to fear in a major legal and moral catch-22 now that Congress has allowed a key intelligence surveillance law approved in the wake of 9/11 to expire.

The key sticking point in the proposed Protect America Act, which House Democratic leaders blocked last week, is a provision giving the telecoms immunity from lawsuits for helping the surveillance program without specific court orders.

The companies received written assurances from the Justice Department of the program’s legality, but now they face dozens of lawsuits seeking damages (for alleged invasion of privacy) that could run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

Carpenter’s report showed that, while only 29 of 100 senators voted against the bill, 24 of those 29 received campaign cash from one or more of the plaintiffs attorneys in suits already filed against the telecoms. In all, 66 of these lawyers have given some $1.5 million to Democrats. Republicans received just $4,250.

Without immunity, the companies are unlikely to participate in this program that experts of both parties consider vital to anti-terrorism efforts — and would thus hobble the program drastically.

After all, as The Wall Street Journal noted this week, without immunity, the telecoms face double legal jeopardy. If they lose money through the wiretap suits, they become vulnerable to a second round of suits — this time from shareholders for putting the companies at risk.

The diabolical trick is that the same attorneys could seek jackpots both ways. Consider Eric Isaacson, himself a donor of $32,860 in the past six years to Democrats, who has made a career with controversial firms known for just the sort of class-action shareholder suits that The Journal warned about. He worked for 15 years for Milberg Weiss, three of whose top partners have pleaded guilty to a vast criminal kickback scheme that operated while Isaacson was there. The firm and a fourth partner are also under indictment and face trial later this year.

Isaacson joined now-convicted former Milberg Weiss lawyer William Lerach — with whom he has co-authored an academic paper on securities lawsuits — when Lerach split from the firm to form Lerach Coughlin (now Coughlin Stoia), the lead plaintiffs’ firm in the wiretap case Hepting v. AT&T. Attorneys for the two firms have donated millions of dollars to Democratic committees and/or current House and Senate members, almost all Democrats.

Isaacson was not implicated in the Milberg Weiss kickback scheme. The point is he comes from exactly the sort of cutthroat milieu that makes telecoms balk (absent immunity) when asked for an emergency foreign-intelligence wiretap.

Just imagine how Coughlin Stoia could take information gleaned from “discovery” motions in the wiretap suit and use it to try to nail the phone company in a subsequent investors’ suit that is the firm’s stock in trade.

Remember the modus operandi of Milberg Weiss, tactics that Isaacson specializes in defending on appeal. As former partners described in their guilty pleas, the firm would troll for clients with stock in big corporations and then file suit almost any time the share-price dropped, without specific evidence of wrongdoing but based merely on what Lerach called his internal “X-ray vision.”

These tactics are advocated at conferences at posh resorts for judges and law professors sponsored by the Institute for Law and Economic Policy, for which Isaacson is a vice president and Lerach is the former director. They are bullying tactics, the moral equivalent of a shakedown.

Without immunity from such shakedowns, the companies surely would be forced to decline even the most urgent of future government requests. Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has sworn under oath that the end result “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

The real losers, then, will be the American people whose lives these lawsuits, and the Democratic House leaders, have put at risk.

Examiner

Fwd: This is an eye opener

Randomness about the insidiousness of liberal positions –

How Long Do We Have?
>> > >
>> > > About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new
>> > constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the
>> > University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic
>> > some 2,000 years earlier:
>> > >
>> > > ‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist
>> > as a permanent form of government.’
>> > >
>> > > ‘A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters
>> > discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’
>> > >
>> > > ‘From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most
benefits from the public treasury, with the result
>> > that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy,
>> > which is always followed by a dictatorship.’
>> > >
>> > > ‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the
>> > beginning of history, has been about 200 years’
>> > >
>> > > ‘During those 200 years, those
>> > > nations always progressed through the following sequence:
>> > >
>> > > 1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
>> > >
>> > > 2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
>> > >
>> > > 3. From courage to liberty;
>> > >
>> > > 4. From liberty to abundance;
>> > >
>> > > 5. From abundance to complacency;
>> > >
>> > > 6. From complacency to apathy;
>> > >
>> > > 7. From apathy to dependence;
>> > >
>> > > 8. From dependence back into bondage’
>> > >
>> > > Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul,
>> > > Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000
>> > > Presidential election:
>> > >
>> > > Number of States won by:
>> > > Gore: 19
>> > > Bush: 29
>> > >
>> > > Square miles of land won by:
>> > > Gore: 580,000
>> > > Bush: 2,427,000
>> > >
>> > > Population of counties won by:
>> > > Gore: 127 million
>> > > Bush: 143 million
>> > >
>> > > Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
>> > > Gore: 13.2
>> > > Bush: 2.1
>> > >
>> > > Professor Olson adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was
>> > > mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country.

>> > > Gore’s territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in
>> > > government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government
>> > > welfare…’ Olson believes the United State s is now somewhere between the
>> > > ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy,
>> > > with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached
>> > > the ‘governmental dependency’ phase…

It then goes on to speak of the scourge of illegal immigration.

I say, we should protect our nation from freeloading wanks, wherever they come from.