Bracing against the wind  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to Fix Medical Research in One Law

The #1 reason why companies won't research or develop a drug or treatment - even if it works or has proven mechanism - is if they don't think a patent will hold.

If the drug is a pre-existing compound, or was published in research literature by a University... this will often preclude development.

This problem was illustrated quite nicely in a recent Newsweek article, but the author came to a rather backward conclusion.

The right solution is simple. The company that pays for the clinical trials and gets FDA clearance for a drug or treatment should receive an exclusive right to develop or license that precise treatment for several years - even if it is not patentable.

In other words...if you do a trial on Vitamin-C infusion as a cancer cure... and prove it, and get clearance to use that treatment.... then your company becomes the only company allowed to to advertise and sell Vitamin-C cancer treatments for 3 years.

Sure, lots of people will "off label" buy their own Vitamin-C and use it. But a good marketing team with an exclusive on a working treatment is worth its weight in gold.

A simple law like this would be extremely beneficial to the industry. Billions of dollars are wasted every week on developing new, less-effective drugs, when effective solutions already exist... merely because pre-existing drugs aren't patentable.

An incentive for innovative treatments - without needing to develop new drugs, would work wonders. Literally.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Will Work for Praise

I'm involved in several open source projects and free services that people seem to use. The SMX web development language, a couple CPAN modules, some tools at google code, a captcha generator, etc.

Most of them I built because I needed them, and open sources because of shameless self-promotion. I've noticed that, after releasing code, I completely ignore it unless either a) someone (usually me) needs new feature/fix or b) someone emails me and says they like it.

Praise is, apparently, the bigger motivator. After someone emails me to ask for a patch/fix... I fix it, sure. But after I get praise... I find myself, usually within a few weeks, adding things like testing suites, transaction support, plugins.... or some other major overhaul. Not sure *why* I do that. But after 10 years, I've noticed a pattern.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

State Healthcare : A Nail in the Coffin of Democracy

I really like the idea that if someone is, say, hit and run by a car, they don't have to go bankrupt paying for hospital bills. That's the kind of state-run healthcare anyone can get behind.... federally funded emergency care for accidental injury.

But that's not what we're going to get. Big pharma is the key lobbying group behind the new healthcare plan. With 80% of health expenditures being paid down in the last 90 days of life, what we have is hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for keeping dying people alive and on drugs, from atropine to Vicodin for an extra few months.

I don't think people realize what's happening.

Talk to any emergency room physician and they'll tell you that huge percentage of their time spent treating people they are legally required to - but that any reasonable person would see was a waste of time. From saying no to drug addicts and hypochondriacs to keeping people in pain alive that want to die, the problem with healthcare today is that legal requirements and liability issues prevent doctors from moving beyond the treadmill of time-wasting and working on care for patients who need it.

With all that money going to the wrong places ... it's no wonder that healthcare is expensive. The problem is, and always has been, that poor government regulation has driven up costs and prevented real care. Do we think that's going to get better under the new plan? No way. As coverage expands, so will "patient rights" - a codeword for doctor's liability.

Once a person starts taking drugs, they tend to stay on them for life. Schools are currently refusing to educate students that don't take medication after being diagnosed with ADHD. With government support, these drugs will be free. Some kids really have a problem, sure, but it is highly subjective diagnosis. A student who is smart enough to realize that our eduction system is broken could be easily diagnosed. A student who just needs a little more outdoor time could be diagnosed with ADHD. Unfortunately some of the brightest and most creative children in the country are being diagnosed with a disorder because classroom settings are too boring and curriculum is too slow and repetitive.

America is crumbling under the influence of corporate interest and, sadly, this bipartisan health care plan is more of the same.

But we don't have to worry about the population taking to the streets in protest... they'll be too drugged up to notice.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blame the Guy with Money

It's embarassing that people are blaming Goldman Sachs, a company who tried to refuse bailout funds, for making money. Remember, they tried to refuse the bailout money, and were forced to by Congress? Then they paid it back in full as soon as allowed by law?

Thank goodness some American companies are making money, bringing it home and spending it here.

When I worked at other companies, i grew tired at how people loved to blame intelligent, hardworking people for "raising the bar" or "making them look bad". Goldman has done just that... made every other bank look bad by proving it was possible, by hiring the best and brightest, to make money in hard times. And just like the watercooler losers who like to rib the nerd down the hall for actually getting work done, American politicians - the true vampires - are busy blaming Goldman for doing their job right.

But the most embarrassing thing is how widespread this is. The biggest problem with America is the sense of "entitlement" it's citizens have. Rather than work to get something, it seems we now demand or whine to have it handed to us. "What about me?" could be our new motto.


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Durham, NC Punishes Residents for Conserving Water

In response to the drought, Durham residents have cut water use by a record 30%. In response to this community effort, Durham's water utility company raised residential rates by 30%. That's a good idea.... instead of offering a higher tiered rate for residents who use more water than average, offset revenue losses by punishing the very people who worked hard to lower water usage.

Another example of our incredibly backward government system "in action".


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Friday, October 03, 2008

Drill Baby Drill!

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a detailed study of the likely outcome of offshore drilling for their Annual Energy Outlook 2007, titled "Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)."

This isn't some "liberal spin" organization. It's the DOE. The same DOE that liberals like to say is "in the pocket" of oil companies:

The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.

And what about after 2030? How much more oil would we get?

...annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher...any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant...
Only seven percent increase after 20 years. And even in 2030, there is not significant impact on prices? Basically that's ZERO increases EVER as far as I'm concerned. Forget environmental concerns, that's just a waste of time, effort and money.

So why does McCain like to talk about it?

Because he knows that it pushes the buttons of his opponents and wins him votes so he can take your hard earned money and line the pockets of his buddies. The oil industry doesn't give a crap about offshore drilling. They know there's nothing out there. They just want a campaign issue to fight on that appeals to Americans.

And they got it. 60% of Americans, who have been tricked and duped by the McCain spin doctors think that the "offshore drilling issue" is a "significant reason" to support McCain.

You can't blame the American people. We are being LIED TO. McCain's camp has convinced us that offshore drilling is going to make a difference... while they laugh behind their backs at our ignorance. Please email the DOE link to as many people you know that think drilling is important.

Here's the DOE link again:

This issue is a *red herring*. And if you think it matters, you're a sucker. And your tax dollars will go to people who are laughing at you.


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Uncomfortably True

Humor is often what's "uncomfortably true". In that vein, when is McCain his "funniest"? When he jokes about killing other people. In fact, aside from speaking derogatorily about USC (well, there are a lot of rich kids there), that's about the only time he gets a laugh. When he joked about putting an IED under John Stewart's desk, what was funny was ... John Stewart felt, for a moment, threatened. Despite what McCain has said in his campaign, on numerous occasions he has sung jokes and intimated that he believes we will be swiftly going to war with Iran.

If going to war with Iran is something that you think would be in America's best interest (even if you don't say it out loud), then vote McCain. He's your best bet.


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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Articles of Impeachment

I like the list, with the exception of the "Establishment of Permanent Bases" clause. Another big thing that's missing is that we went into Iraq *seemingly* for the purposes of inflating global oil prices in cooperation with OPEC.

Now I say "seemingly" since, well, that's what it seems to have been done for. Saddam was leaking oil at half-market value. Opec hated him. He's gone. Oil went through the roof. Bush's oil buddies get to laugh all the way to the bank. And we all get stuck with the bill.

Of course, since Bush & Co.'s buddies are in control of all the resources, he'll just have to lower the prices before the election, finger "new gains" in the war in Iraq as the cause, and then McCain will win... followed by 3 and a half more years of record-high oil.

IMHO, Americans won't be fooled in 2012. By then, a trained dog will be able to win running as a Democrat. Which is unfortunate. Because the socialist nutjob who will be winning in 2012 will make Obama look like a right-winger.


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Saturday, May 31, 2008

The John McCain Short List

Some talking points you may want to have in mind in case your Republican friend starts to argue with you:

  • McCain said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."
  • He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.
  • The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam.
  • John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • While claiming he is opposed to torture during his campaigh, McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.
  • He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires.
  • McCain, the owner of 8 homes, said the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job"
  • Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican said of McCain: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine."
  • McCain's campaign manager and top advisers are professional lobbyists, he has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign.


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Friday, May 23, 2008

Clinton's Veiled Assasination Threat

When America saw Bill Clinton get red in the face and talk about how he tried to kill Osama Bin Laden, we were watching a man comfortable with issuing death threats in general. You may not remember, it but I do.

Hillary Clinton's mention of the RFK assassination, in connection with Obama, left him and his supporters "visibly rattled".

This country is getting creepier and creepier. You don't toss around thinly veiled assassination threats on prime time. It's uncouth.


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bookmark this Electoral Poll Site

Since it's been slipping in Google's ratings, and I had to wade through a couple pages of crappy results, I'm writing myself a blog post to remind myself that is the best site as far as accuracy, coverage and depth of information on the presidential election in the U.S. It's like the "Craig's List" of voting.... clean, simple, and without pop-ups, videos or runaway opinion getting in the way of simple facts.


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Monday, May 05, 2008

Latest Barack Obama News, In My Opinion

In North Carolina, Republicans paid good money for an Obama attack ad, only 1 week before the primary. This meddling in the opposing party's election is an encouraging sign that can *only* mean that Republicans have decided that Hillary will be easier to beat. Meddling in another party's primary may or may not be seen as "ethical" or "fair game". But, IMO, NC voters should be smart enough not to be swayed.

Sure, the media is having a field-day with Obama's charismatic former pastor, and it's obvious that his radical sermons make great prime-time viewing. I have relatives in my family who would make Wright seem *boring*, and I'm sure Hillary's cocaine dealing brother in law, Roger Clinton won't turn up in the press, but it seems like white American's are "fixin' for a lynchin'" this year and just aren't ready for a President who grew up with controversial figures that they don't understand.

If Obama's pastor was a white conspiracy theorist, who talked about the 911 attacks being coordinated by the Bush-Bin Laden cartel (did you know there's Bin Laden airfield in Texas), we would have understood. Maybe some of us would have even been sympathetic. But, instead, he was a black conspiracy theorist. Ouch! When my white brother mails me a conspiracy video about depleted uranium exposure in the Iraq war, I can choose to think "harmless hobby" or "maybe there's something to it". But when I see Jeramiah Wright claiming that HIV could have been bioengineered as an assault of blacks and gays (yes, there's a gene that whites have gives them resistance and immunity to AIDS), I'm supposed to think "my god I can't vote for someone who hung out with this guy".

Sure, Hillary's mentor was Saul Alinsky, who was analogous to a secular, white Jeramiah Wright, a rabble rouser and conspiracy theorist from Chicago. But that actually gives her credibility among liberals... any news about that and Democratic voters would cheer.

The downturn in polls for Barack reflects white liberal America's misunderstanding of what Wright represents. He's a charismatic kook, but really, a lovable one... and among those who are struggling to get by in Bush's economy, he is one that is more to Obama's credit (in a political-street-cred sort of way) than to his disfavor.


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Monday, April 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stop Biofuels Now!

US, UK and EU politicians, including Bush, Clinton, McCain and Obama, and their well-meaning activists are wrong in their promotion of biofuels. Biofuel subsidies have to stop as soon as possible. There is a global economic and environmental collapse that is being hastened by this self-serving agricultural lobby.
Instead.... try solar:
How can we justify continued advocacy for biofuels versus alternative energies like solar - which isn't damaging our planet?

More references on the damage caused by biofuels: Wikipedia , IHT

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Canadaian Conservatives help Clinton

The sly contact made by conservative Canadian ministers with Barak Obama, and then the "accidental" leak of a memo to the associated press 2 days before the Ohio primary was far from an accident.

So now conservatives in Canada, pleased with "politics as usual", have chosen meddle in America's elections. And it worked. Clinton leaped on the bone offered by the Canadians and has been doing her best to smear Obama in Ohio.

The worst part is, though, that Obama's economic adviser fell for it.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Universal Pharma? Education or Oil Profits? You Choose.

When you vote for a president, are you really voting for one person? In some ways, yes, and only by reading policy papers and examining voting records can you really understand what they will do when in office.

Or you could follow the money. allows you to view campaign contributions by industry. It's a quick way of showing which kinds of people are in of support which candidates, and IMHO, it's the most telling.

Hillary Clinton tops the list of health-industry donors with her plan to federally subsidize the medical industrial complex.

Barak Obama is tops among (you guessed it) education and computer people.

Giuliani had a lock on the gambling and oil industries, before he dropped out. Now it's split. McCain's got casinos and Romney's got oil.

And you can guess who the Washington lobbyists love...


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Samson's Max-Out

Article by Adam Rush who crashed a John Edwards private fund-raiser. My favorite quote: "Are you telling me that Giuliani is going to beat me in the South? Are you kidding? That sounds like some kind of joke! Or Romett, what's his name?"

In 2004, I was politically active, reading speeches, comparing campaign issues from all the candidates Republican and Democrat. Seems like for 2008, I've sort of been asleep on the whole thing. I intend to at least listen to 1 campaign speech from each major candidate (Rep and Dem) before voting. Maybe I'll compile them here.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

9/11 Controlled Demolitions

This video on 9/11 is apparently very popular. If you do enough digging, it seems like there were a lot of things being covered up when it comes to exactly what happened to the world trade centers. Regardless of your political bent, it's an interesting thing to watch.


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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Honolulu Surge

We took Noakai to see the Christmas lights, and the giant shaka Santa, in downtown Honolulu. He went on a little carousel (by himself for the first time) and waved "hi" the over and over until he got bored and started poking the horse of the kid behind him.

Made a bad move and decided to read some news headlines. IMHO, the Iraqi "Surge" is a win-win political maneuver for Bush & Co. This is something they probably shouldn't get approval for by the new Democratic Congress, if the will of the electorate, which is 60% opposed to troop increases, is followed.

But if Congress doesn't give it to him, then he'll be able to say "If only you'd approved my surge", and blame the Democrats as Iraq slowly drifts into chaos. And if we do give it to him, he'll only chuckle and come up with an even more expensive and outlandish thing that's needed to get the increasingly amorphous job done. No matter what, the Democrats will safely be able to be blamed.

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