Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Accuracy of the Press (or not as the case may be)

Some people believe what they read in the press (and by "press" I mean any news media). Personally I have almost no faith in the accuracy, honesty and integrity of most of the "main stream" media - there are one or two exceptions. I've seen too many stories containing blatant lies, where I have had personal knowledge of what actually happened. So it comes as no surprise to me to read this story: Bee Can't Verify 43 Sources in Columns.

One has to ask the question, "How many more journalists are just making it up as they go along?"

Monday, June 27, 2005

Drug Company Reps Overheard

A friend just sent me an email about a conversation between two pharmaceutical company sales reps that she overheard. I think you'll find it interesting:

I just spent a very interesting lunch in a Southern California restaurant seated next to two sales representatives for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The senior rep. was schooling the junior rep. in how to make it into the "big time" as a drug company salesperson by increasing her sales of psychiatric drugs, in this case the anti - depressant Effexor, which is approved by the FDA only for "major depressive disorders." Since no biologic marker is needed to "prove" the existence of a real disease in the case of "mental disorders" and doctors are free to prescribe nearly any drug to anyone, the sky is the limit with psychiatric drugs - - they can pass out prescriptions for them like peanuts at a ballpark.

In the 20 or 30 minutes I listened to the drug reps' conversation, not a single word was said about improving patient health or a single caution uttered about the extreme adverse effects of this drug - it was all about raising their own personal sales statistic.

They had charts of exactly how many total prescriptions for anti - depressants were filled by month in their sales area and exactly what percentage of those sales went to Effexor. They had names of doctors, with how many prescriptions and for what type of drug, etc., so they could easily see who to target and who not to bother with.

The senior member showed the younger one how to calculate an increase in market share and figure out exactly how many NEW prescriptions for Effexor that would require. Then, he told her to convince 11 doctors to agree to write "just five more 'scrips' for Effexor each week." Even if most of them "lied and didn't do it," he told her, she would still probably get five that would, and thus could meet her targeted increase in Effexor sales.

This, to me, was a pointed reminder that the psychiatric industry is not based around helping people who have actual diseases but is a willing and eager marketing tool for profitable, expensive and potentially debilitating drugs - with no thought whatsoever for the adverse consequences to any of the individual human beings who ingest them.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Interesting Development In Australia

Believe it or not, there are people out there who encourage others to kill themselves. They find their victims in suicide chat rooms and newsgroups and tell them fast ways to end it all. Rather a disgusting and ghoulish activity but such people exists, for example: Karin Spaink - Promoting Suicide. Now in Australia such people won't be able to do it anymore: Australia outlaws using Internet to incite suicide

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Great Method of Spam Handling

A friend of mine is using this:
Spam Arrest - Take Control of Your Inbox. I haven't started with it yet myself, but I'm checking it out.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Reauthorization of the Patriot Act - The history of removing civil liberties

Here is an article on the US Government's history of taking away civil liberties in time of war: Violations of Civil Liberties are an American Tradition

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


More proof has just emerged that the war with Iraq was planned for a long time and the "justifications" were contrived: How Much Proof Needed Before the Truth Comes Out?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Quality of 50 largest Cities in America

An interesting study of the 50 biggest cities in the US. It evaluates such things as air quality, water quality, industrial pollution, etc. :
50 Cleanest (Dirtiest) Cities in America

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Get Some Great Music and Support War Veterans

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the Jive Aces, in coordination with the Royal British Legion have released a special single. Their jumping, jiving version of the wartime classic song, White Cliffs of Dover. The proceeds of the single will go to the Royal British Legion and support the families of those who fought for freedom and peace. You can purchase the single here: Jive Aces - "White Cliffs of Dover" . For more info on the Jive Aces you can check out their website: Jive Aces