June 9, 2019 – The Controversy Over Drug Prices and { not quite } Universal Health Care –

Sunday, June 9th, 2019 – +23˚C / +74˚F under slightly steel greyed blue skies & ‘clear’ in Atlantic Canada @ 1:00 pm –

— People are dying because they can’t afford their medications and “Big Pharma” is hiding the cost of producing those medications and blocking attempts to speed the process of allowing generic drugs at a fraction of their “Corporate Protected” price rigging schemes. – And not just in Canada – but world wide.

– Photo from a tweet by the Baltimore Sun “Maryland joins multi-state lawsuit alleging generic price fixing” –

— First: a bunch of links:

— From The Washington Post: “Generic drug price-fixing expands to 300 drugs and 16 companies” <— This one has a very long url.

— This is from the CBC – an article concerning eye drops: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/eyedrop-waste-solution-1.5166985

— From The New Republic – “Big Pharma is pushing Big Lies

— From Tarbell dot org : “Rigged Drug Prices at Pharmacies and Hospitals” –  { & “America’s Broken Drug Supply Chain: What You Can Do” is below the lead article.

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— From 1995 until early 2002 I volunteered at WPKN FM { 89.5 FM in Bridgeport, Connecticut } where I served as the recording engineer for “Health Care in Mind” and “Progressive Voices” – call out shows hosted by Dr John Battista – a psychiatrist who had become active in trying to bring affordable health care to the state of Connecticut { – USA – just in case this article survives Donald J Trump’s administration and the U.S.A. doesn’t. } I was also the Director of Public Services for at least one year – screening PSA material to be sure that things submitted to the non-profit community based radio station for approval and airing as Public Service Announcements were not thinly disguised ads for commercial ventures.

— But the point is – Dr John Battista had done a lot of research and discovered that the State of Connecticut could save over One Billion US dollars a year if it went to a single payer Health Plan like that of Canada, The United Kingdom, and other highly civilized ‘Western’ nations.

— The Connecticut legislature became very interested in the Doctor’s research and several progressive Representatives asked him to bring a copy of his research to the General Assembly and testify about his research and his findings. The way the debate on this issue went – Friendly Representatives kept running back and forth from the floor of the General Assembly to where Dr Battista was waiting with encouraging messages, “Don’t give up – We’ll be up soon -” until around three a.m. when his disheartened allies from the General Assembly came to him and delivered the news – “We’re dead in the water – The state’s insurance lobby just killed us.”

— Dr Battista then became more and more politically active – joined the Connecticut Green Party and changed the focus of “Health Care In Mind” from what had been a patient advocacy themed show to bring on more and more progressive activists of all stripes to talk about health issues with a progressive slant. He also submitted a proposal for “Progressive Voices” – another call-out interview program that widened its scope to include all kinds of Progressive Issues. { I still have CD copies of half hour programs in which he interviewed Progressive Connecticut Representatives and an Attorney General who told us that one of his favorite triumphs was getting the state of New York to reimburse Connecticut drivers for fines they levied for not having current inspection stickers on their windshields when Connecticut had gone to a less rigorous program of inspecting exhaust systems with older vehicles exempt from needing to pass the same standards as newer vehicles, while New York State law insisted the whole vehicle be inspected and vehicles that did not pass had a short time to fix whatever caused the failure or be taken off the road.

— I also read an article in a Yale Alumni magazine that was lying in the waiting room at the West Haven Connecticut Veteran’s Hospital while my father was being treated in an emergency room for pulmonary distress on a Christmas Eve – The Article in that Yale magazine talked about Drug companies sending people into the Amazon Jungles with photographs of various diseases and rashes and other conditions, which they would show to indigenous shamen – The Shamen would look at a photograph, nod and lead the researchers to plants, roots, flowers, fruits, { – even bugs, larvae, and animals that could be prepared in some way } and indicate that these plants etc. could be used as remedies for those conditions. The article included a bit about one independent researcher who had gone the Amazon Jungle route, met with local healers and come back with recipes and examples of the remedies that could be mass produced quite inexpensively – and that researcher was very upset that a major drug company that was based in Connecticut would take a pill that had been prescribed to sheep at a penny a dose – and discover that it was effective against a condition in humans that usually needed major surgery to correct – and because that major surgery would cost in the region of $50,000 US dollars. The drug company felt well within its rights to sell that one penny per dose pill to desperate humans to the tune of $40,000. US dollars per year. I knew a junior executive who worked for the Drug company named in that article and asked him about it. His response was to send me a company newsletter that amounted to a cheer-leading {“Rah rah” ? } ‘Further adventures of our glorious CEO’ and that CEO’s glorious message to share holders.

— So, I have a little bit of insight into the corporate shenanigans that keep drug prices as high as they can get them. And I’m not really happy about it.

— One radio person from the nineteen eighties joked that Ronald Reagan would reincarnate as a single black mother on welfare as punishment for his policies and his declared war on welfare recipients. { I do not believe that God punishes anybody – I do believe in reincarnation and it is my take on the anomalies of suffering that we punish ourselves in order to become better persons and evolve toward ‘the better angels of our beings’. } I’m thinking that Pharmaceutical company executives would probably re-incarnate as innocent victims of poverty and diseases in third world countries where they will not be able to afford their medications and suffer intensely while most of the ‘civilized world’ could deal with those diseases at no cost to their citizens.

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— & because I needed to check out Tarbell dot org :  From Bill Moyers dot com —> an article about Tarbell dot org: “New Website Tarbell Fights Rich And Powerful

– Artistic Rendering by Udo J Keppler for Puck in 1904 – related to an article by Ida Tarbell. –

— Namesté,

— Jim Wellington – New Brunswick, Canada –

— Duh— Is it Tomorrow Yet?

Monday, September 26th, 2016 — 3˚C / 38˚F & Still Dark @ 7:00 am in our little corner of Atlantic Canada —

Farm Stand side yard.

‘Farm Stand with farm animals and Playground. Plus dark threatening clouds overhead.’

— I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday. Last Friday morning, Cathi was so sure that it was Saturday that she turned off her alarm after it went off. So I guess whatever we’re experiencing, it’s contagious. 😉

— Yesterday, we ‘discovered’ a couple farm stands on Hwy 105 South – on the east side of the St John River. Cathi had already seen them a while back and wanted to go there to check out what they had for sale, this was our first opportunity to do that. I thought we were in Jemseg. Cathi later told somebody that Jemseg is actually 50 kilometers south of where we were, in Maugerville. The first farm stand is one I heard about before – with a giant potato man waving at traffic in front of the building. It had been in the same family for generations and the sad farmer came to the realization that his offspring didn’t want to continue on with the tradition, so he was selling it. The second one, above, had this side yard with several penned up farm animals: goats, sheep, alpacas – and a bit of a playground to keep kids happy and busy while they were there. Yesterday also had a bunch of ‘sunshowers’ popping up all afternoon. You can see one approaching in this photograph- a couple minutes later it was pouring rain in just as bright sunshine and most of the animals ran under the roof of a small shelter like building in the centre of this fenced off area. Signs all around the fence there say “Animals May Bite” & in essence: ‘Don’t do anything stupid-‘ 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

Saturday – Optimistic In the Great White North?

Saturday, January 9th, 2016 -(-3˚C / +27˚F — Dark and hopeful @9:45 pm in this little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Higher minimum wages benefits almost everybody.

Who benefits from higher minimum wages? How about almost everybody?

There is a lot of -“#ResistCapitalism”- on Twitter this evening.

Noam Chomsky quote

Noam Chomsky was re-tweeted a lot.

'The Lion and the Unicorn' by George Orwell

George Orwell has been re-tweeted a lot in the past couple days. I want to see what this book is all about. This tweeter isn’t the most diplomatic and/or refined individual in the ‘tweet-us-sphere’, but he usually has something interesting to say. 🙂

Binged on season two of “Manhattan” last night. Watched all ten episodes. That was one heck of a television series. I betcha the guy who first described television as ‘the wasteland’ would have been positively impressed-

But then I woke up with a wicked headache this morning, and after a little bit of coffee and pleasant distraction later and I was fine.

I did let Jassper drag me up and down the street around sunset, he needed to sniff ever inch of both sides of our cul-de-sac here. & he only needed to roll around and bond with the snow and ice twice, but he did need to stick his nose deeply into snow banks in several spots, had to be reminded to, “Easy- Take it easy!” several times and only nearly yanked me off my feet once.

Re: Mercury Retrograde: I seem to be deeply introspective about my writing this time. & Deeply concerned about what I ‘put out there’ and/or leave behind when I graduate to the next level of existence – I would much rather leave behind a positively inspiring legacy than be rolling in riches. Now where do I concentrate my efforts? Hmmmmm-

— Introspectively yours,

~~~~~ Jim

 

-Archives- Arnprior & Original Globe Theatre Construction – Dec., 2009

Monday, 28 December, 2009

Afternoon snow falling near the museum in Arnprior. -jrw-

 

-Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.

Today was the Boxing Day holiday for federal employees and bankers.

Kind of a grey day, we had a bit of snow in the afternoon.

& The famous Globe Theatre in Stratford on the Avon had its construction begun on this day in the late 1500’s.

—–Jim

-Archives- Arnprior Weather – Boxing Day, 2009

Freezing Rain on Boxing Day

-Arnprior, Ontario, Canada. Boxing Day (December 26, 2009)

Arnprior was a skating rink this morning. Our poor dog had a heck of a time trying to find a nice, flat, and rough enough so his feet didn’t fly out from under him… spot to take his morning pee.

Anyway, the photo was taken looking East from just outside the TVCOGECO studio on Madawaska Street (kind of one of the back doors of the Town Hall.) (except the studio no longer connects with the rest of the lower floor of the building.)

The soundtrack was classical music from CBC-2.

—–Jim—–

-Archives- Arnprior Weather – Dec., 2009

They Say it might Rain For Christmas ????

Gloomy View with Church

Gloomy view from the Quality Inn parking lot, Catholic Church disant left. -jrw-

 

-Arnprior, Ontario, Canada. Christmas Eve, 2009.

It’s bitter cold in the Nation’s Capital Region (and we’re just west of the Greater Ottawa City Limits) (at least until a dis-amalgamation happens. Big “IF”)

So it’s kind of strange that after a couple weeks of bitter cold, they’re forecasting possible rain on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

We’ll have to see.

—–Jim

-Archives- Local Arnprior News – Dec., 2009

Excitement in Arnprior?

Bank with yellow tape and OPP cruiser.

Scotia Bank, Corner of Madawaska & John Streets – With Crime Scene Tape – -ttlxlt-

 

-Arnprior, Friday, December 18, 2009. And I thought the cold temperature was the story of the day.

Apparently, there was an armed robbery in town. Crime scene tape all around the bank, an unmarked truck that may have been a major crime scene investigation unit or something.

One OPP officer asked me through the door what I was doing with the camera. He seemed happy when I was concerned that no one was hurt.

An older woman walking South on John Street north saw somebody with a video camera, getting background shots for the local cable company (TVCOGECO) and asked him what was going on, I heard him whisper, “Apparently, there’s been an armed robbery.” “In Arnprior?” she gasped.

A younger woman’s face turned sour as she parked her car and crossed the street and wanted to go into the bank. The OPP Officer came out to where the tape ended and was speaking to her (I couldn’t hear anything) as I bundled my freezing fingers into my pockets with my camera and headed for the relative warmth of my vehicle.

—–T. Talxalot, frozen reporter at large. —–

Arnprior Weather, December, 2009 -Archives-

Brrrrrrr!

Hoar frost on & around the island at the weir in Arnprior.

There was diamond dust in the air & -24 C / -11 F ( -31 C wind chill) -jrw-

-Arnprior, Friday, December 18, 2009.

Brrrrrrrr! (but it was pretty.)

-24˚C /  -11˚F this morning in Arnprior. ((-31˚C / -24˚F wind chill))

So I pretty much froze my fingers off shooting a couple snap shots around town.

I tried to get some video with a flip cam too. I still have to plug that in.

Diamond dust is the frozen particles of moisture in the air when it gets this cold. The diamond dust didn’t show up in this photo, probably just too small and not quite the right angle to catch the sunlight magically lighting up the pixellated diamond dust.

—– T.Talxalot, reporter at large. —–

-Archives- Arnprior & District Museum News

Arnprior & District Museum Looking for new board members

Janet Carlile Photo

Arnprior & District Museum Curator Janet Carlile

 

-Arnprior, Ontario, Canada, December 16, 2009

The Arnprior & District Museum is looking for new executive board members.

The Museum Board is mandated to have 9 members. There are more than one openings.

This is a volunteer position. Duties include attending meetings (One meeting per month from September to June) and to set policy and advise the Curator.

Curator Janet Carlile has suggested that a new board member be recruited who has skills in marketing, public relations and fund raising for acquisitions; not necessarily to run the gift shop so much as to advise the other board members and volunteers on how to get the word out that the museum is here, has services to offer, meeting rooms available to the public, and items for sale.

—–T.Talxalot, Reporter at Large—–

Arnprior & District Museum News

Arnprior & District Museum Party for Volunteers

-Arnprior, Ontario, Canada- Monday, December 14, 2009.

-We got to the Arnprior & District Museum in time to wave goodbye to several of the volunteers who had come to their pre-Christmas party.

Curator Janet Carlile was on hand to thank the many volunteers who make the Museum work. She also announced that she was thankful to the town and people of Arnprior who support the Museum.

One volunteer was particularly impressed with the way students from Algonquin College put in so much time and effort to work near miracles every year with new exhibits, and this year, a kit to bring aspects of the Museum to local schools and other places.

In the second photo, Three volunteers are looking at a photo of firefighters and an old fire engine they believe might be the one that’s on display beside them.

During the party some of the volunteers spoke with wonder at how the fire engine actually fit through the doors behind the volunteers in this photo. Someone else remembered that the floor had to be reinforced to handle the weight of the vehicle.

—–Jim—–