Thursday, January 17, 2008

SAR #8018

I didn't realize the 'ownership society' was
going to be limited to just the rich
and foreigners.

Constructive Criticism : US Defense Secretary Gates announced that soldiers from Canada, Britain and the Netherlands do not know how to fight a guerrilla insurgency. I'm sure they'll try harder.

Middle America : Americans favor: giving the FDA power to regulate tobacco (76%), laws to significantly increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and higher gas mileage (75%), having labels reflect where food and meats came from (85%), much greater government regulation of environmental damage by industries (66%). What delusions cause these same people to vote Republican?

Mirror : Even though homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom ranks No. 2 in the world for Google searches for "gay sex". The religious right ranks No. 1.

Cheese ! A prehistoric rat that lived about 4 million years ago, has been discovered. Weighing a ton, with a ten foot length, it is the largest rodent yet found. Scientists suggest it was large enough to use its massive teeth to fend off saber-toothed cats and giant, meat-eating birds. It was found in Uruguay by an amateur paleontologist. Just think how big it would have been if a professional had found it. (Thx, Mark W.)

Moving Experience : There's a move underway to move David. The David. Too many people want to see Michelangelo's masterpiece; tourists are overcrowding Florence. So David may move to the suburbs. Hope he doesn't plan on getting a sub-prime mortgage.

Single Malt : FDA research suggests that antidepressants work about 40% - 50% of the time. Placebos work about 30% of the time. Glenfiddich works about 80% of the time.

Finger Trap : Invest in large, dynamic, growing China! Profits to be made! China wants investment! Wait, China has a long history of not liking to be looted: Great Wall and all. It is never 'different this time'. If you orient your portfolio toward China, as your rug to Mecca, be sure to pray.

If 'A', Maybe 'B' : For decades, the benefits of lowering cholesterol has been a core principle of cardiology. It is, however, not always true. Some drugs, like Lipitor seem to lower both LDL and cardiovascular disease, but there is little proof that just lowering bad cholesterol does the trick. Some drugs that lower LDL do not lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Your mileage may vary, prices higher West of the Rockies.

It's A Raid ! European regulators raided several Big Pharma offices searching for evidence of a conspiracy to maintain drug prices after patents expire by preventing production of generic versions. Like bribing others not to make generics. Not the sort of thing one puts on the front page of the WSJ.

Positively : In the civilized world, income does not determine the care that citizens receive. In France, Germany, Britain and Canada people get care in hospitals, clinics, or medical offices because they are citizens. Either our healthcare system is lacking, or our poor are not really citizens.

Emperor, On Pants : George was asked what he said to the Saudi King to get more oil. The Decider replied one could start with, "if it is possible, your majesty... [But] 'if they don't have a lot of additional oil to put on the market, it is hard to ask somebody to do something they may not be able to do." Were we just told that they ccan't pump any faster? That the Kingdom was at 'peak oil'?

No comments: