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Sound the Retreat!

Back on May 17th, we wrote a post on “Another Example of Why the Government Shouldn’t Try to Control the Market.” To summarize, in 1983, the government passed a law called the “Orphan Drug Act” (ODA) which gave incentives to drug companies to research and develop drugs for rare diseases.

Twenty eight years later, a pharmaceutical company named KV Pharmaceuticals applied for and was granted a patent on a “combination drug” that was available, but not patented. KV Pharmaceuticals then announced the price of the drug would rise some 10,000%. People were outraged.

Yesterday, the FDA announced that they would allow a cheaper version of the drug to be sold, effectively ending the exclusive patent KV Pharmaceuticals had.

“There were concerns about the quality of unregulated drugs, and as a result, the FDA has given exclusive manufacturing to St. Louis company KV Pharmaceutical. But for the government to give the exclusive rights of the drug to a single company who now wants to significantly profit from the manufacturing of this drug is quite alarming, inappropriate and immoral,” (Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing editor of health at FoxNews.com and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey) said. “This drug is not expensive to manufacturers, as proven by the independent pharmacy services who have been providing this drug for as little as $10 per injection.”

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All Animals…

Years ago, I worked in a store that was on public street. All of the management staff drove to work as no mass transit came within any type of walking distance. We coped and parked on the street, feeding the parking meters like some insatiable coin eating monster.

There were times when you couldn’t get to the meters. Whether it was because you were dealing with a customer, the boss was calling or you simply forget, far too often there was a slip of paper from the local police department on the windshield. Most of the management staff was racking up 2 – 3 tickets a month worth about $80, plus we were feeding the meters. Other managers in other stores didn’t have that problem as most of the other stores were located in malls. It was not uncommon for us to feel that by working at this busy store, we were actually taking a pay cut because of the parking.
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Imported from Detroit?

The image to the left is part of Chrysler’s new marketing campaign.

The logo and campaign itself are getting some discussion in the world of advertising and graphics.

On the graphics side of the discussion, many people feel that the logo is “amateurish” and “lacking sophistication.” These criticisms may or may not be valid. Certainly there is an “unpolished” feel to the logo, but if that is what the company was going for, then the logo is a success.

The logo itself comes from the combining of the new Chrysler logo and the Robert Graham statue of boxing icon and Detroit native Joe Louis in downtown Detroit.
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Union Dues – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

There is a sound emanating from the smoke filled back room of unions in Florida.

It is the sound of panic.

It is the sound of alarm that the supposed ideal of unions – freedoms of assembly, freedom of choice, and the very value of unions – is about to be severely tested. Ominously, it is about to be tested by union members themselves.

The genesis of this is a CS/HB 1021, a bill that is making its way through the Florida Legislature and passed the House by a vote of 73 – 40, a vote mostly along party lines.

The bill does several things. First, it allows union members to request refunds of union dues if the union uses those dues for political purposes the union member disagrees with.

Assume for a moment that a member disagrees with the political positions of a certain candidate running for office. The member is not going to vote for the candidate so why should his dollars go to a candidate that he does not support. The Supreme Court has ruled the donations to a candidate are a form of political speech, so the question then becomes why is a union member forced into political speech with which he disagrees?
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Obama’s Libya Strategy

Our friend William Teach over at Pirate’s Cove informs us the resident and famous orator in the White House (seen at left) will be speaking to the country on Monday concerning Libya.

When George Bush was president, Obama was highly critical of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he has continued both conflicts to this day.

Clearly Obama has done a complete and total reversal of his stance on the president authorizing a military action. Back in 2007, candidate Obama said:

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

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Fear the Turtle. Oh Crap.

Today my beloved Terps lost to North Carolina in a game that boggles the mind.

The Terps raced out to a 4 – 0 lead in the first quarter. The Terps were playing good, crisp lacrosse. They were winning face-offs, ground balls, and getting good looks at the goal. Near the end of the quarter, Maryland took what I thought at the time was an ill-advised shot which the Tarheels’ goalie stopped with ease. Subsequently, North Carolina scored making it 4 – 1. Going into the second quarter, Maryland had a 3 minute penalty for an illegal stick that was ruled too short by the officials. Carolina scored once on the man-up situation and then again just as the penalty ended, making the game 4 – 3.

Carolina then scored again after it appeared the refs missed a call of a Tarheel attackman in the crease, tying the game at 4 goals apiece.

The writing was on the wall.
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Dam Goats

The picture to the left is of a couple of Alpine ibex goats. (Click on the picture or here for a larger image.)

What is amazing is that the goats actually climbed the front face of the Cingino Dam in northern Italy. The face of the dam isn’t perfectly vertical, which allows the goats, who have a specialized split hoof, to climb the rocks on the dam where they happily lick the rocks for salt.

According to National Geographic:

The goats are attracted to the dam’s salt-crusted stones, according to the U.K.-based Caters news agency. Grazing animals don’t get enough of the mineral in their vegetarian diets.

I know this is a silly question, but one has to wonder what the first goat that climbed up this dam was thinking. Or even better, what he said to his buddies. Can’t you just hear it now……
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Take a Picture of A Farm? Go to Jail for 25 Years.

Imagine this scenario…. you and your are driving down a pastoral road in the sunshine state of Florida. You crest a small rise and see before you a beautiful farm. You stop the car and can hear the soft mooing of cows grazing. In the distance, a corral of horses are playing while a tractor rides through a field of crops. It is scenic beauty.

You pull out your camera and snap several pictures to preserve the memory.

You climb back into your car and drive away.

Several miles down the road, the flashing lights of a police car appear in your mirror. You pull over and after showing the police your identification, you are asked if you stopped at a farm a few miles back.

“Yes we did. My kids had never seen a farm like that. It was beautiful. We took some pictures.”

“Okay sir,” cop says, “turn around and spread your legs. Place your hands on the car.”

After being searched in front of your kids, you are handcuffed.

“What did I do?” you ask.

“You photographed a farm, sir.”
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