Re: Doug Bandow's Big Pharma's Just Deserts:
Doug Bandow's article misses an important point. Namely, Pharma has no respect for Americans or America. If they valued American capitalism they would not practically give their patented drugs to the socialists in Canada or Europe. If they really cared about America, their stockholders or even intellectual property, they would have uniform prices worldwide that would fund their drug research and development and provide a handsome return for their investors.
There is a price for almost everything. If one price point is the death of America's legacy Pharma companies, it may serve future generations better by depriving socialists of a free good and a cheap public right.
-- Ira Press
This article on another big government fiasco brings to mind an even more serious issue of government action or inaction that is causing untold pain and even death to our citizens. The unholy alliance between the trial lawyers (sure former Senator Edwards is and was just interested in helping people and just happened to get rich as an afterthought) and the FDA resulting in the decertification of certain almost miracle drugs and the failure or delay in certifying new needed drugs is causing unnecessary pain and death to thousands.
For example more and more infections especially staph infections are becoming more and more resistant to current broad spectrum antibiotics but the FDA is dragging its feet in approving many very promising new antibiotics. I speak from experience, when I had a knee replacement the first one was destroyed by a staph infection after two months. The doctors told me the only possible antibiotic to combat the staph was Vancomycin and there was a twenty percent chance it would not work and then the only option was to fuse the knee and be like Chester on Gunsmoke for the rest of my life.
Fortunately for me it worked but it is constantly on my mind that next time it may not. Every medicine has side effects and the risks must be explained to the patient and then he or she should be allowed to make the final decision with the advice of the doctor. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that were withdrawn because of a small increase in heart attacks by users are a case in point. Many patients say that these drugs meant the difference between a normal active life and being a cripple but now they no longer have a choice.
The government and the trial lawyers are there to help them, sure. Rather than pursuing the phony religion of global warming this is something that crazy old Al Gore and his cohorts could really sink their teeth into and actually reduce the suffering of thousands even millions of people.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan
THE FIRE NEXT TIME
Re: George H. Wittman's Iran's Revolutionary S.S.:
Mr. Wittman is preaching to the choir. Those of us who are regular readers of TAS already know these things and appreciate the real danger to the civilized world from these stone age thugs with no morality except murder is good and necessary for all infidels.
However, TAS readers are not now running the country. The party of cowards (at best) and traitors (at worst) are now in charge. It is absolutely necessary in order to be a liberal democrat to ignore all reality that doesn't fold into you viewpoint. During the Vietnam war American soldiers were thugs and drug addicts. The Communists were the joyful butterflies, happily flitting over fields of flowers, spreading peace and joy. You remember, John Kerry said something like that. So did Jane Fonda. They were able to ignore constant, recurring atrocities that were the policy of the Communists. One such that I saw just after it happened was designed to persuade a village chief to turn over his rice supple to the NVA. To show him the error of his ways in seeking first to feed his village, his pregnant daughter was roped to a pole by the NVA, with her arms over her head, her belly cut open and her infant ripped form her and burned while still attached to her by its umbilical cord. She died with the smell of her own flesh and that of her infant in her nostrils. Nice people who do things like that.
The Muslims openly tell us we will all be murdered. They tell us it is their religious duty to murder us all, each and every one. They tell us they will do it by cutting off our heads. They do cut off the heads of captives to punctuate their promises.
So what do the Democrats do? They go to Syria to make nice with a state sponsor of terrorism. Why? Because all this terror stuff is George Bush's fault because he won't be nice to the murderers. It matters not the truth of the situation, because democrats and Muslims have a hatred in common: George Bush and America. Democrats will make excuses and apologies for murderers internationally as they have done domestically since the time of Ramsey Clark.
I just had a liberal friend at my house who told me a congressman from Florida -- a Democrat -- told him Iran was chomping at the bit to establish a friendly relationship with America and as soon as we signaled our willingness to do so they would throw out the Mullahs and become a secular state once again.
I am very afraid.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
After reading the April edition of the Naval Institutes Proceedings it is apparent that unlike George H. Wittman a large number of Americans are clueless as to whom we are fighting in the GWOT and their quasi-political religious underpinnings. It is apparent that the "head in the sands" crowd and their kindred spirits in the appeasement intelligentsia have a new catch phrase -- "civil war in Islam." The suggestion is that our current conflict is merely spillover or as author Norman Friedman writes, "we are suffering the side effects of a war within the Islamic world, not of a concerted assault on us." God save us from such fools. This hearkens back to the Carter administration and Zbigniew Brzezinski's naivetÃ© that fundamentalism had no future in Islam.
While it may be an inconvenient truth for Democrats, their stooges in the media and a feckless American public we are at war and the main target of Islamic terrorists. In his excellent article Wittman nails it by identifying the Iranian Pasdaran and by inference all of militant Islam with the occult based Nazi S.S. Like their "forefathers" in the Third Reich our enemies are committed to domination of the world (a goal they have pursued since the late 6th century). The theological and ideological underpinnings of Islamic imperialism demand that the world submit to Islam.
Fortunately, conservatives have sources like Wittman and TAS to keep them informed. Prayerfully, as Democrats and the ignorant push appeasement and surrender conservatives will continue to support the GWOT and defense of the U.S. Unless, we stand up to imperialistic Islam then its victory seems inevitable, because the Europeans, Russians and Chinese wrongly believe by abetting its ambitions they can control, appease or manipulate the Osama bin Laden's of Islam. Like Friedman and the Democrats they are dead wrong.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Re: Christopher Orlet's Blaming the Barrel:
Chris Orlet notes "psychologists had been trying to understand why ordinary men do beastly things to complete strangers ever since reports came back from Poland about the Nazi death camps" and notes that the 1963 Milgram Study was coincident with the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.
Perhaps even more astonishing is when virtually all "ordinary men [are doing] beastly things to complete strangers" there are the most amazing exceptions, which Hannah Arendt thoroughly documented in her Eichmann in Jersusalem, A Report on the Banality of Evil (Viking Press, 1963).
On pages 165-166, Arendt notes "only then [February 1942] did the Germans realize that the country [Croatia] was still not judenrein. In the initial anti-Jewish legislation, they had noted a curious paragraph that transformed into 'honorary Aryans' all Jews who made contributions to 'the Croat cause'....Even more interesting was the fact that the S.S. Intelligence service...had discovered that nearly all members of the ruling clique in Croatia, from the head of the government to the leader of the Ustashe [the strong Fascist movement], were married to Jewish women. The fifteen hundred survivors among Jews in this area -- five percent, according to a Yugoslav government report -- were clearly all members of this highly assimilated, and extraordinarily rich, Jewish group."
On pages 167-170, Arendt documents the absolute refusal of the Bulgarian King, government and general population to turn Bulgarian Jews over to the Germans. She writes "...in January 1941, the [Bulgarian] government had also agreed to introduce some anti-Jewish legislation, but that, from the Nazi viewpoint, was simply ridiculous: some six thousand able-bodied men were mobilized for work; all baptized Jews, regardless of the date of their conversion, were exempted, with the result that an epidemic of conversions broke out; five thousand more Jews -- out of a total of approximately fifty thousand -- received special privileges; and for Jewish physicians and businessmen a [i]numerus clausus[/i] was introduced that was rather high, since it was based on the percentage of Jews in the cities, rather than in the country at large." And "the population of Sofia tried to stop Jews from going to the railroad station [for deportment] and subsequently demonstrated before the King's palace." And despite the apparent murder of King Boris by German Intelligence agents, "both Parliament and the population remained clearly on the side of the Jews." The "Chief Rabbi of Sofia was unavailable, having been hidden by the Metropolitan Stephan of Sofia." And most stunningly "the same thing happened in Bulgaria as was to happen in Denmark a few months later -- the local German officials became unsure of themselves and were no longer reliable." And "not a single Bulgarian Jew had been deported or had died an unnatural death when, in August, 1944, with the approach of the Red Army, the anti-Jewish laws were revoked."
Croatia. Bulgaria. Infinitesimal exceptions almost not worth repeating, right? What about France? On pages 147-149, Arendt documents that the French collaborationist government under Pierre Laval was initially delighted to assist the Germans in "resettling" Jews who had fled Germany and the rest of occupied Europe to France, stating "these foreign Jews had always been a problem in France" and that the "French government was glad that a change in the German attitude toward them gave France an opportunity to get rid of them." However, in the fall of 1942, when the Germans asked for permission to include French Jews, "This caused a complete turnabout; the French were adamant in their refusal to hand over their own Jews to the Germans." By then the reality of "resettling" had reached France, and all Jews, foreign and native, were dispersed throughout France, with over 250,000 surviving the war. Arendt concludes "The Nazis, it turned out, possessed neither the manpower nor the will power to remain 'tough' when they met determined opposition."
Orlet regrets his failure to resist peer pressure in what was in fact a totally innocuous psychological experiment. However, there is "good" peer pressure and there is "bad" peer pressure. If a group achieves a critical mass of "good," then it would appear that group can resist some of the most terrifying evils of all time. Unfortunately the converse may also apply. It would seem extremely important that the "right good" be taught and made second nature. Is that the case in America today?
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
It sounds as though Zimbardo and his fellow researchers went to a lot of trouble and considerable mental gymnastics but failed to consider what the Bible has to say on the subject: that mankind is fallen and therefore inherently evil; not inherently good.
Recognition of this truth leads to proper thinking; denial of it leads to untold misery. Consider: democracy with its system of checks and balances implicitly presumes those checks and balances are indeed necessary. All other forms of government incorrectly presume that such checks are unnecessary, because, it is thought, mankind is inherently good and wonderful things will happen if we simply put the correct "good" people in charge of everyone else. Somehow though those "good" people wind up having names like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot...
As C. S. Lewis put it, when considering competing theories the one which most closely resembles reality is the one most likely to be correct. Another way to say that is if it walks like a duck, flies like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. So again, our founding fathers presumed people inherently evil and set up our marvelous democracy. Others presume humans inherently good and set up systems the likes of which are in place in North Korea, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, to name just but a few. And those examples are not exceptions, they are in fact the norm as one tyrannical kingdom replaced another throughout human history the world over. At what point do we concede the point the overwhelming evidence requires?
-- R. Trotter
SORRY TO SAY
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Learning the Hard Way:
I disagree with Jennifer Rubin's column. We don't need more apologizing, but less. If this makes us seem out of the mainstream, then remember the immortal words of Bono, "F--k the mainstream."
-- Vern Crisler
P.S. Sorry, I just wanted somehow to work in Bono's line, and I'm truly sorry if it offends anyone. Sorry for disagreeing with Ms. Rubin, too. Really, I'm as sorry as can be.
Re: Russell Seitz's letter (under "The Truth Is Out There") in Reader Mail's Turing to Thompson:
Rather than plunge into the bickering about Mr. Tyrrell's latest provocation, I think I'll take the day off and discuss Russell Seitz's current comedic installment.
Mr. Seitz does raise a good question. In a variant of "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" we now have "If the aliens are so smart, why would they bother coming to Earth?" I'm of the "If I were an alien, I wouldn't bother" school of thought.
I don't think Mr. Seitz's reference to the known existence of planets similar to Earth will convince the devout Creationists in the audience. They are all preoccupied with the conservative version of navel-gazing and self-esteem-building that places them safely at the center of the universe and bans scary ideas. If you attend church regularly and wear a navy blue suit with an American flag pin in your lapel, that takes care of everything.
My one quibble is that Wi-Fi signals probably aren't going to make it out of the atmosphere if they can't always make it between the rooms in a house.
As far as the army sent to rescue us from the Martians is concerned, any alien worth his salt would have figured out that the story was fiction.
A couple more comments are in order. First of all, the universe is very large, and if there are other forms of intelligent life, they will be extremely difficult to detect. The SETI crowd may be a little fanciful, but we can't really imagine what effect contact with an extraterrestrial civilization would have on our civilization. Just two hundred years ago, no one on Earth could have imagined what life would be like today.
-- Abe Grossman
Pleasantville, New York
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Carolina on My Mind:
I sure hope you keep Mr. O'Hannigan coming with more articles, he is what we need. I think back on times and he sure puts a smile on my face.
Thank you for letting us know about him.
-- Ralph Hadcock
A NICE DAY FOR A CRACK-UP
Re: Elaine Kyle's letter (under "Reader's Remorse") in Reader Mail's Turning to Thompson:
I would like to respectfully ask you not to have Clinton's picture on your website. Do you think anyone who visits your website would be interested in seeing his ugly mug?
-- Jackie Carpenter
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