Friday, June 29, 2012

The Real Reason Why Drug Costs Are So High in the United States of America

The United States pharmaceutical industry does good business. So it comes as no surprise that it makes good money.

In 2010, for example, the industry grew by 2.3%, and it’s expected to have grown even more in 2011 once all of the facts and figures are properly recorded and tallied. When everything is said and done, pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. alone should have made around $328 billion.

Fast forward three years where, according to industry analysts, it will hit $420 billion, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% from 2010 to 2015. Naturally then, it’s an area of the medical field that contains some very powerful, noteworthy companies with very well-off CEOs and other executives.

When CNN wrote up its annual list of 50 Most Profitable Companies last year, big name brands such as Exxon Mobil, AT&T, Chevron, Microsoft and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. made the top five. But amidst the standard oil companies, banks and international chains, the pharmaceutical industry held its own with businesses such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Abbott Laboratories.

And, while they didn’t make that prestigious cut, drug companies like Merck & Company Inc., AstraZeneca and Novartis are all worth quite a lot themselves. And there are plenty of other, smaller companies in the industry that take up their share of the market as well.

Merck alone, for example, made over $11 billion in total revenue in 2008, $18 billion in 2009 and $27 in 2010. And while 2011 numbers aren’t officially in yet, they’ll undoubtedly be comparable.

Pfizer, meanwhile, did even better with over $48 billion in 2008, $50 billion in 2009 and $67 billion in 2008.

As evidenced by that kind of intake, prescription drug companies can do very well for themselves. But for all the potential profits the businesses can rake in, they also happen to be part of one of the most maligned industries in the United States, ranking nine out of 10 in a Gallup poll last August for the most hated types of companies.

According to the results, 43% of Americans don’t have a very good view of drug companies. Though, considering the heated political debates over the last few decades, not to mention the cost and necessity of many drugs today, it’s actually surprising that pharmaceuticals don’t rank higher on the list.

For those interested in the other nine on the list, advertising and PR ranked 10th, airlines came in as the eighth least liked, education was seventh, the legal field sixth, banking fifth, healthcare fourth, real estate third, and oil and gas second. The federal government polled as the least liked industry across the board, with 63% of respondents rating it negatively.

A casual observer might automatically assume that the (even more hated) government seems to have a worse opinion of pharmaceutical companies than the general populace. Both Republicans and Democrats (though probably more of the latter) have used the high cost of drugs – and medical care in general – to make elaborate campaign promises, create poll-influencing talking points and win general brownie points with the electorates.

But when it comes down to it, they’re really in bed with many of the big businesses they claim to revile so much, though that’s beside the point for the purposes of this report. Their empty words nonetheless help to keep the general public in the dark as to the real reason why drugs cost so much in the United States.

European Prescriptions Cost So Much Less

It’s not uncommon to read news stories or hear people complain (or boast, depending on which country they’re from) about the United States’ very pricey prescription medication.

They’re not wrong either. The price discrepancy between nations has been bad for decades now, and quite probably has only gotten worse in recent years.

In 1991, the New York Times referred to a study that showed:

“Americans paid an average of 54 percent more than Europeans for 25 commonly prescribed drugs. Some essential drugs are especially costly in the United States. A month’s supply of Eldepryl, a Parkinson’s disease medication from Somerset Labs Inc., costs about $28 in Italy, $48 in Austria and $240 in the United States.”

Much more recently, in December 2009, D. Brad Wright, then a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina, wrote a piece on the subject that was consequently published in the Huffington Post. It examined three drugs – Plavix, Nexium and Lipitor – and compared patient-paid prices in various European companies and the U.S.

Wright found that Plavix users in Austria paid a mere $38. Canadians shelled out more than twice more at $86, the French $77, the Germans $85 and so on. U.S. citizens, on the other hand, paid anywhere from $133 to $540.

Austrians paid just about the same for Nexium as they did for their Plavix prescriptions, as did Canadians, while the French paid a decent $10 less and the Germans nearly $50 less. The most expensive the drug seemed to get in Europe in 2009 was in the Netherlands, where it cost just over $100.

Yet that was still an amazing deal compared to the U.S., where drug’s price ranged from over $160 to $424.

Lipitor’s range of prices in Europe was equally un-painful, with a low of $32 and a high of $83. But not surprisingly, the U.S. couldn’t measure up with that drug either. Lipitor users in the States paid a minimum of $125 and a maximum of well over $300.

Those three drugs aren’t made for anything simple like allergies either. Plavix helps prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with heart diseases. Nexium treats severe heartburn, specifically the acid that gets pushed up into the throat and wears away at the esophagus. And Lipitor combats the kind of high cholesterol that can too easily lead to serious, fatal side effects.

So without knowing the bigger picture, it seems perfectly understandable that Wright concluded his acerbic analysis with this commentary:

“Really, what can I say about these figures? It all has to do with patent law and direct-to-consumer marketing (the U.S. is the only country on the chart that still permits this practice). If you've ever wondered what all the fuss over "drug reimportation" was about, now you know. Prices in Canada are one-half to one-fourth the prices in the United States. Show me one American (who doesn't work for a pharmaceutical company) who would be opposed to getting their drugs at 50% to 75% off. I think you'll be hard pressed to do so. And this says nothing of the high-end U.S. prices. They're simply asinine.”

What Wright was referring to is Europe’s price controls. The governments of countries like New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, England, Germany and France all set strict limits on just how much each new drug that hits the market can cost.

Essentially, the U.S. really is one of the few – if not the only – major nation in the world that allows pharmaceutical companies free reign in setting prices as they deem fit. In this area at least, capitalism seems to reign free, trampling on the poor, the weak and the downtrodden in the process.

From an American’s standpoint, it’s anything but fair. And it easily explains why taking trips into Mexico and coming back with a few suitcases of prescription drugs appeals to so many U.S. travelers.

Americans Pay the High Prices Europeans Don’t Have to

There’s almost always more to a story than first meets the eye, and the sad tale of painfully high U.S. prescription drug costs is no exception to that rule.

What on the surface looks horribly unjust proves to be exactly that… but for completely different reasons than what many people automatically assume based on the meager facts typically presented to the public.

Yes, Europe, Mexico, Canada and so many other countries and regions pay less than the United States. But they do so at the expense of the United States. It’s even fairly safe to say that, without the United States paying more than its fair share of costs, the rest of the world wouldn’t have it nearly so easy.

Drug companies spend a lot of time and money bringing their products from theory to fulfillment, onto pharmacy shelves or into hospitals and into patients’ lives. The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) went on record that U.S. drug companies would spend $22 billion on research and development… in 2000.

Naturally, that price has increased significantly since then.

This should come as no surprise, though, considering the delicate material, tests and subject matter that the industry deals with. It requires the best, brightest and most educated minds to come up with a new drug idea in the first place, much less see it through each new testing phase – which can take years, even decades – to ensure that the product is worthwhile.

It also requires top-of-the-line equipment and facilities, which cost more than a pretty penny as well. Then there’s the cost of advertisements – and the industry does spend a lot on that area of the business, a fact that earns it even more criticism – and all of the other expenses associated with running a business, from staffing to utilities.

In short, there’s a reason why drugs are so expensive to buy: They’re so expensive to make.

Do the companies still make a tidy profit? As evidenced by the aforementioned top 50 most profitable countries, many of them make much more than that. But considering all of the time, effort and resources they put into designing life-saving and life-improving medications, it can be affectively argued that they deserve those rewards.

Writing for MedcineNet.com, Omudhome Ogbru, Pharm. D., explains it this way: “In a nutshell, the price paid by a patient for a medication must cover the costs of developing new compounds that become approved drugs and compounds that fail to become drugs, as well as marketing, post-marketing studies, and a profit. The profit ensures that the company provides a return to investors. Profit is the incentive for the risk that the company takes. Without the promise of a reasonable profit, there is very little incentive for any company to develop new drugs [or any company to exist at all].”

European nations – along with Mexico, Canada, Australia and others – quite obviously don’t think that way, which is part of why they set the price controls that they do. Another reason is because so many of them run off of nationalized healthcare in one form or another, and quite simply can’t afford to be paying the free market value. (In fact, according to England and Canada’s frank admissions in the last few years that their healthcare systems are broke, they can’t even afford the regulated prices they demand.)

According to the late economist John E. Calfee, “Those price controls prevent innovative pharmaceutical firms from reaping free-market rewards anywhere but in the United States. That is one reason why the world pharmaceutical industry, which 20 years ago was mostly based in Europe, has largely relocated to the United States.”

It also explains why Americans pay so much more. Essentially, drug companies have to make their money somewhere if they’re going to continue to exist. And since they can’t make it in Europe or elsewhere, they make it off of Americans.

It’s therefore safe to say that the various drugs’ real value is far more than what Europeans and other nations with set price controls pay for them… and far below what Americans are thereby forced to cough up to even out the scales.

While that isn’t fair in any way, shape or form, it is quite simply the way the world works right now. If America changes its drug pricing policy to make things more “fair,” pharmaceutical companies won’t have much of a reason to continue researching and producing new drugs.

And since Europe isn’t likely to change its mode of behavior anytime soon, perhaps the aforementioned Dr. Ogpru sums up the proper outlook on the entire situation best:

“There is no denying that drugs are expensive. However, the price of drugs should be weighed against their benefits. Since many drugs reduce pain and suffering, prevent disease, or extend life, they should be seen as miracles. Viewed in this light, and compared to other items that cost as much or more but do not provide the same level of benefit, drug prices may not be so unreasonable.”

Obamacare Passes and Freedom Takes another Huge Blow

So Obamacare passed 5-4, with supposedly conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the shamelessly partisan leftist judges to sway the vote.

Since the oral arguments made in March were nothing short of an embarrassment to the Left, and Roberts upheld the law as a tax when the Obama administration maintained up and down that it wasn’t a tax, it’s safe to say that the law didn’t pass on its own merit.

Still, what’s done is done. As Roberts did accurately point out, elections have consequences.

In this case, that means we put a destructive force into power who was able to bully and trick Congress into passing a dangerous piece of freedom destroying legislation onto American livelihoods. It also means he was able to position two shameless, anti-American socialists into the Supreme Court to uphold that power grab.

And we have to deal with it as best as we can. This is not to say that we have to take it lying down by any means, however.

American politicians have been whittling away our freedoms for quite some time now. And over the last century, American citizens have largely allowed them to trample all over us.

Through (the Left’s) uneducated, dangerously idealistic or downright selfish votes, and (the Right’s) docile submission to their perceived power, we’ve allowed government to reduce us to dependent children or worse while they pat us on the head and tell us it’s for our own good

It’s high time we recognized that we’re not children and, overall, government is not acting in our best interest.

It isn’t in our best interest whenever they raise taxes to further fund hostile nations overseas, pet projects for their pals, and thoughtless government spending. It isn’t for our own good when they pass laws dictating what we can and cannot do with the intimate or everyday aspects of our personal lives. And it isn’t for our own good when they vilify businesses, dumping further regulations on them that make it difficult or even impossible to grow the economy.

Obamacare does all three.

There are countless provisions in the law – including full-out waivers – that give individuals and industries a completely unfair edge over others. There are other portions that give government power over us where we’ve always enjoyed freedom in the past. And businesses from restaurants to retailers are already expressing concerns about their ability to function properly in a post-Obamacare market.

So, again, Chief Justice John Roberts was right to conclude that elections have consequences. America needs to recognize that going forward before our foolishness and passivity strip us of all of our rights altogether… if Obamacare hasn’t already done that.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

President Obama: the Man for the Job... If the Job Requires Battling Space Aliens

Can Obama win the good opinion of the Supreme Court when it comes to his signature legislation piece, Obamacare?

That’s the question that’s on everybody’s minds this morning.

But since that decision hasn’t been announced just yet, let’s focus on an equally pressing question… like who would fare better in an alien invasion: President Obama or Mitt Romney?

According to a National Geographic Channel poll of 1,114 adults throughout the United States, the answer is obvious. It’s President Obama all the way, at least according to nearly two thirds of respondents.

Of those people, 36% said they know UFOs exist, 11% said they actually saw one and 20% said they know someone who says they’ve seen one.

So there you have it, President Obama may or may not be able to successfully pass a wholly unconstitutional healthcare law forcing everybody to buy insurance. But when it comes to defending the United States from an alien horde, he’s the man for the job.

Just as long as those aliens are from outer space, anyway.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

President Obama Isn’t as Smart as They Want You to Think He Is

Buried at the very end of a short and playful CNN article about President Obama cheating on his wife’s Nazi-like diet regiment, there’s a brief note that President Obama recently broke “bread with some local dads at Kenny’s BBQ place in Washington D.C., where he accidentally walked out on his bill.”

Completely pushing aside the fact that he spent Father’s Day with potential voters and not his daughters, it’s hard not to wonder whether his little mistake is a sign of his out-of-touch outlook on the economy and his socialist views in general. (You know: What’s yours is the government’s and what’s the government’s is yours. Kind-of. But not really. So I’ll just take your product and leave you with the joy of knowing I patronized your establishment.)

You also have to wonder whether that kind of sneaky, barely-there mention – when it would have made headline news in former President George Bush’s case – is the reason why CNN’s ratings just fell to a 21-year low. And the same goes for the lack of coverage given to Obama’s verbal gaffe in congratulating the “Miami Heats” instead of the Miami Heat when he claims to be such a huge basketball fan.

Again, CNN and its ilk would have made a heyday if that had been Bush messing up like that.

The mainstream media aside, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Obama isn’t nearly as cool and clever as he tries to project.

Just remember that if you’re getting nervous about the upcoming elections…

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Entertainment Weekly Writer Says Brave's Tomboy Heroine Merida Might Be Gay

This past Saturday, I watched Disney-Pixar’s “Brave,” the animated story about Merida, a Scottish princess who prefers shooting arrows to taking her mother’s advice on how to be “a lady.”

Brave is a great story about a strong-willed daughter and a strong-willed mother’s mistakes, sacrifices and compromises concerning each other. Infused into those obvious morals of love and maturity, tykes and adults alike can enjoy its ridiculously funny humor, amazing animation and lovable characters.

Commentators are quick to point out the obvious: That Merida isn’t like the other Disney princesses. Sure, she’s got the same tiny waist and general adorableness, but she isn’t desperate for “true love’s kiss” at a tender teen age; she’s far too busy riding her horse at breakneck speeds for any of that.

To at least one numbskull, writer Adam Markovitz, this all means that Merida might be a lesbian, an opinion which he proudly espouses in Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch.

Markowitz quickly adds that “Merida isn’t an overtly lesbian character. Nothing in the story implies that she’s attracted to other women… She doesn’t completely swear off the idea of marriage to a man, and she never hints that she might have a hidden sexual identity.”

All true. So why in the world would he think her a lesbian?

Apparently because “She bristles at the traditional gender roles that she’s expected to play: the demure daughter, the obedient fiancĂ©e. Her love of unprincess-like hobbies, including archery and rock-climbing, is sure to strike a chord with gay viewers who felt similarly “not like the other kids” growing up. And she hates the prospect of marriage – at least, to any of the three oafish clansmen that compete for her hand – enough to run away from home and put her own mother’s life at risk. She’s certainly not a swooning, boy-crazy Disney princess… In fact, Merida may be the first in that group to be completely romantically disinclined (even cross-dressing Mulan had a soft spot for Li Shang).”

So let me get this straight Markovitz… If a woman doesn’t fit into a stereotypical girly girl box, she’s probably a lesbian? What about little girls who alternately play with My Little Ponies and Legos, Super Soakers and baby dolls? Are they really bisexual?

Or how about tomboys who say they like men but still choose volleyball over shopping and motorcycles over Mini Coopers? Are they really in the closet denying their sexuality?

Way to pigeonhole, you sexist twit!

Also, if she’s “completely romantically disinclined,” as you state, Mr. Markovitz, that means that – Wait for it… – she isn’t a lesbian. Which means that you rendered your article completely meaningless even before adding that “ultimately, it doesn’t matter if Merida could be interpreted as gay.”

So since your opinion is so clearly unfounded and unimportant even to you, stop forcing your clearly biased and openly obtuse opinions onto my gender. And while you’re at it, quit messing with my movies too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Middle School Students Intentionally Litter Up the Ground Zero Reflecting Pools

The New York Department of Education is investigating allegations that Junior High School 292 students threw empty soda bottles and baseballs into the National September 11 Memorial and Museum reflecting pools at Ground Zero during a class field trip.

Along with eyewitnesses – and the kids themselves – Memorial spokesman Michael Frazier says the situation was bad enough that the students were actually told to leave. Worse yet, one particular middle schooler might have brought bullets to the site, since police found three .33-caliber rounds in the security area.

When confronted about their bad behavior, the students had excuses like:

“No one was disrespecting. It was nothing like that. Everyone was kind of bored and it was just like something to do.”

and

“They were making jokes and throwing stuff in the fountain. It didn’t seem like a big deal.”

And these kind of badly behaved ignoramuses are our future.

Scary thought, huh?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hollywood Frets Obama’s Celebrity-Focused Fundraising Efforts Portray Him Negatively

Prominent, ultra-liberal (i.e. insane hypocrites) Hollywood stars are starting to get a bit jittery about President Obama’s heavy reliance on them. And in so doing, they’re finally shedding their typical desperate attempts to paint themselves as something other than extravagantly rich.

Yes, out of concern for the upcoming elections, they’re unwittingly admitting they belong to the hated 1% after all… and they’re simultaneously trashing Obama for hanging out with their ilk.

It’s certainly true that the President has been hob-knobbing with celebrities and other super wealthy donors to an excessive amount this election season. He’s been wining (and whining) and dining them out of tens of thousands of dollars a pop, such as at the $40,000-a-plate dinner Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour threw for him this month.

Considering that the likes of Meryl Streep, Aretha Franklin and Bravo’s Andy Cohen, among others, all attended, Hollywood is still solidly in the tank for Obama. But while they’re happy to slip some bills into his pants, drooling all the while, they still feel that the association might be highlighting him negatively.

In essence, he’s not spending enough time with “the little people.”

The Hollywood Reporter quotes one unnamed insider as saying: “We don’t like what he’s doing, but we understand it. He has to raise the money. It’s a bad situation.” And another called the strategy “a mistake. He’s supposed to be a man of the people, and he’s hanging out with Anna Wintour? Is he trying to turn the election into a celebrity reality show?”

Personally, I’m not really sure why they’re asking those kinds of questions now, considering the tenor of the 2008 elections, not to mention the last three-plus years. My only logical conclusion is that Obama’s chances at reelection are looking so badly that even Hollywood’s drugged up, dream world ninnies have to face the facts.

The Reporter added that critics thought the Parker-Wintour event especially “risked creating the impression of an elitist, out-of-touch candidate in a period of ongoing distress and growing economic inequality.”

In other words, the truth seems to be coming out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So What That I’m White? Get over It!

The University of Minnesota has a new campaign out bemoaning how unfair it is to be white.

As one particular old, white men declares on video, “Society was set up for us. And our silence keeps it in place.”

A young white woman follows that provocative statement up with: “We’re privileged. And that’s unfair.”

Now maybe they’re right. Maybe we are privileged. It’s true that we have been privileged in the past.

But times change. This is the present, not the 1950s. So maybe it isn’t really true anymore.

Maybe with the likes of affirmative action, government-inspired peer pressure to revere minorities, black attorney generals who declare that black defendants can go scot-free based on their ethnicity alone, hate crimes that only apply when it’s a white person attacking a black person and not vice versa…

Maybe with all of that, the situation has been reversed. Maybe white people are the persecuted now.

Regardless, I’m tired of having to apologize for the color of my skin, something that I didn’t choose and can’t really change (unless I stand out too long in the sun, which turns me from white to lobster red… hardly a privilege. Believe me).

I’m also tired of people assuming that I somehow live the easy life just because I’m white. I’m not sure what hoity-toity, blue blood background the people in the video came from to think that way, but let me assure them that I never got a handout due to my racial origins….

I got my share of B’s in college when I should have gotten A’s for all of the hard work and thought I put into the projects. When I graduated with my B.A. in English, I had to start from the very bottom rung of the corporate ladder – customer service – after a full year of rejection letters. And since then, I’ve been overlooked for recognitions, bonuses and raises I deserved; I’ve been relegated to the sidelines more times than I can count; and I’ve been told no numerous times.

Please somebody tell me where my white skin gave me a leg up in life? Because I don’t see it.

I’m not trying to complain, though I’m sure it comes across that way. I don’t want handouts, neither for my supposedly privileged race or for my purportedly underprivileged gender.

I want to make it ahead in life due to my own hard work and the skills and opportunities God gives me.

But I also don’t want to be judged because I’m white. Guess what liberals? I’m proud to be white! Why? Because that’s what God made me… Just like he made some people black and some people tan.

So you can take your censure elsewhere, because I’m tired of hearing it. It’s high time all of us – white people, black people and every people in between – stopped trying to make ourselves feel better and start actually doing something to make ourselves better.

And here’s a tip: Focusing on skin color doesn't cut it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Four-Word Answer to the Euro Zone Crisis: It’s All America’s Fault

European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says that the euro zone crisis is all the U.S.’s fault.

No big surprise there. Isn’t everything the capitalist pig, selfish swine, uneducated, ignorant, energy guzzling, soul sucking U.S.’s fault? At the very least, it’s George Bush’s fault. And since he’s an American, it’s pretty much the same thing.

The G20 summit opened in Mexico with – shocker, shocker – a lot of discord and dissent. With European leaders under severe pressure to act, Barroso declared that his continent was practically an innocent victim, a bystander that got caught up in the global chaos through no fault of its own:

“This crisis was not originated in Europe,” he opined, “… this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices from some sectors of the financial market.”

Poor Europe. Poor, poor Europe.

My heart bleeds for it, considering how the United States’ ruthless bankers kidnapped their European counterparts’ children and threatened to kill the little tykes if their demands for fiscal irresponsibility weren’t met.

Oh, wait? It didn’t happen quite like that, you say? Well, doesn’t matter. The point is that the U.S. is to blame and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind about it. So there!

Let’s not forget the United Nations’ letter of condemnation just issued to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for America’s brutal treatment of Occupy Wall Street members… good, clean people who just want the right to take other peoples’ money, legalize child sex trafficking, kill police, block traffic, poop on sidewalks, dabble in rape and child molesting every now and again, and complain when the homeless try to eat their food.

Bad America! Bad! What gives you the right to forcibly remove such sweet spirits from making dangerous nuisances of themselves, endangering and grossly inconveniencing the other 99%?

Clearly, the U.S. has a lot to learn. And it can start by taking a lesson from the 69-year-old German, Heidemarie Schwermer, who says she’s gone for 16 years without money.

Sure, she’s accepted coins to cover her train fare over that time, and stayed with people who provide her food and shelter purchased with their money. And yes, she barters pencils – made through capitalist measures – for fruit – grown by capitalist entrepreneurs. But those are mere technicalities.

If America had any sense and decency whatsoever left, it would renounce its capitalist claim to wealth and individuality. Because, come on! That method worked so well for Europe; why couldn’t it work for the U.S.?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Short, Short List of Topics Liberals Get Mad about… Including Child Sex Trafficking

Liberals get angry over the oddest things.

Like life. Life itself seems to upset them, especially when life includes Republicans. And if one of those Republicans happens to get an award? Well then life is really worth complaining about!

Such was the case of the women-centered Sewall-Belmont House, which plans to give its highest honor to former first lady Laura Bush. As a result, 22 women have formally protested the choice, including Sonia Pressman Fuentes, co-founder of the National Organization for Women.

For Fuentes though, her outrage isn’t “partisan. [Of course not!] I’m not complaining that she’s a Republican. [Silly to even think!] I’m complaining that she’s never done anything for women to get this award.” [Like her efforts to fight breast cancer. When did that ever help women!]

To be fair, Fuentes is also apparently disgusted with Michelle Obama, a “brilliant” former attorney who “just published a book about how to garden.” [Egads! How dare she?]

Really, it’s rather predictable that liberals would throw a hissy fit over Laura Bush receiving anything but the noose, considering her marital affiliations. But what’s maybe not quite so expected is just how much they hate soda, which has New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg trying to ban large sizes of sugary drinks and Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis trying to ban restaurants from selling the substance at all!

(Clearly, the fact that drinks like soda account for restaurants’ highest profit margin never came into consideration.)

But that’s still noting compared to their apparent hatred of stopping child sex sales.

That bears a repeat: Some liberals actually have a problem with halting child sex trafficking.

Really. Just ask Occupy Oakland, which will proudly tell you it’s true.

The group has absolutely no qualms about its recent protest of the National Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Watch conference, which seeks to raise awareness of the very real and present horrors of child prostitution. At least that’s HEAT’s claim; Occupy Oakland disagrees.

According to the deranged faction of the deranged Occupy Wall Street movement, which stems from the deranged liberal left, HEAT Watch isn’t combatting child abuse in its most vulgar form. Oh no, HEAT Watch is instead collaborating with police to attack sex workers and immigrants.

In other words, screw the kids. Literally. Just as long as conservative ideals such as wholesome family values – And cops, apparently. Who knew? – are demolished, they’re happy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Special Tribute to my Father, Who Definitely Deserves His Own Day of the Year


Yesterday was Father’s Day, but I don’t blog on the weekends. So while I gave my Dad his present (Part 1) yesterday – a case of Rush Limbaugh’s Two if By Tea peach tea – it only seems right and proper to say a few words here as well…

I have great parents, whom I’ve learned an amazing amount from: How to read (my Mom), how to write in the units abbreviation if I want a full point on that stupid math problem (my Dad), and how to be a free thinker instead of a blind follower (Mom and Dad). But just like there’s something special only a mom can really give, there’s a lot to be said for having a father, especially one as awesome as mine.

From the time I was a little girl, I recognized that my Father (a.k.a. Dad or Daddy) was something special. He worked hard to bring home the bacon, while still making time for my sisters and I, playing one silly game or another with us or listening to our ridiculous opinions that kids have a tendency to spout.

He taught me how to properly swing that light yellow wiffle bat, helped me ride my first bike, and taught me how to drive stick shift, even though I nearly gave us both whip lash that first afternoon. And throughout all of that, he was always encouraging me to think for myself.

My Dad never forced his beliefs down my throat. I don’t remember ever hearing “Because I said so,” when I asked why I should put my trust in Jesus, believe in Creation over Evolution, or vote for a certain candidate. He always gave me his opinion when I asked, but he did it in such a way that I knew I was free to argue – which I usually did – and come to my own conclusions.

But perhaps the best reason I can give for why my Dad is tops is because he taught me what I was worth as a woman.

Being merely daughter number two out of three, it probably would have been easy for most fathers to overlook me. But not my Dad; somehow and someway, he made sure that I knew I was just as important to him as my older sister, my baby sister and even my younger brother when he finally came along.

As an intellectual, my Father gave me full respect, pushing me to fact check and to strive for greatness in whatever hobby or career path I toyed with. In his mind, my gender was never a problem, just a fact.

In large part because of my Dad, I know my own value. I have a firm recognition of what I should put up with in a romantic partner – or the opposite sex in general – and what I shouldn’t.

Because of my Dad, I know that I don’t have to associate my worth with a man or not, nor do I hold much value in the amount of attention I receive or shallow approval I get.

I know I have an intrinsic importance above and beyond any of that. So thanks for everything, Dad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Military Goes Soft Saluting Homosexuals during Gay Pride Month

The military is going soft.

Not necessarily our military men and women; mainly the larger U.S. military organization (which incidentally isn’t very U.S., military or organization-friendly at this point).

It’s pathetic.

Just yesterday, the Pentagon purposely came out and said that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thinks it’s important to recognize homosexual attendance in the military.

My question: Why?

If being gay is really a matter of DNA arrangement, then why should we celebrate it? Shouldn’t we treat gays as – Here’s a thought! – human beings with their own individualities and uniformities, instead of praising them as an entire group for accomplishments that weren’t actually accomplishments?

And if being gay is a choice, then why should we celebrate their choice above everybody else’s? What’s so great about choosing to be gay that deserves its own recognition above choosing to be liberal or choosing to wear punk clothing or choosing to read prose instead of poetry?

Again, wouldn’t it make more sense in this case to praise or condemn each for his or her individual bravery or cowardice instead of treating them all as if “they all look alike?”

Then there’s the argument for allowing women in the Rangers, which has recently become an issue again. The pro crowd says that it’s misogynistic to bar women from areas of the military.

But is it really misogynistic to recognize that women are different? That even most men can’t become Rangers because they’re physically unfit for the tasks and trials involved?

Yes, women – like homosexuals, liberals, punks and prose prefererrs – are individuals. And yes, some women are stronger than some men. But give me one case of a woman who is THAT strong and then we can talk.

Until then, leave the military alone. Stop trying to turn it into one huge celebration of special groups, and start encouraging it to demand excellence once again… from the leadership on down.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Donald Trump Thinks Obama Made a Dangerous Bet with Saudi Arabia’s Oil Barons

Donald Trump is making noise again, this time about oil prices. According to him:

“… Saudi Arabia is doing Obama a big favor.… I think he asked for the favor and prices are coming down...” But if he wins reelection, “you’re going to see something with oil like you’ve never seen before. It will go through the roof. The favor will be repaid many times over.”

Now let’s be honest here. Donald Trump can be an egotistical braggart… largely because he IS an egotistical braggart.

But that annoying personality trait doesn’t automatically make him wrong.

Trump is a business expert, as evidenced by his business empire, much of which involves the international scene. So it’s not as if he doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this arena.

Yet even if he is completely full of it and simply making noise to gain more attention – as if he doesn’t have enough already – there’s still something extremely suspicious going on.

Gasoline costs are going down really, really fast at a time when gas prices almost always jump and stay high. Despite all of the predictions made just months ago about $4+ pump prices throughout the summer, no such thing has happened.

Stop for gas in my neck of the woods, and you’ll likely pay well under $3.50 a gallon.

Now, sure, if you check Yahoo! Finance this morning, you’ll see that oil is also down. But those featured prices represent futures, a market term pertaining to shipments not yet made.

In this case, we’re talking about months to delivery, which is why oil prices and gasoline prices don’t always reflect each other. When there’s movement in the oil market, it’s supposed to take a decent dozen weeks or more for consumers to feel the difference one way or the other.

So Trump’s not wrong to think it suspicious that prices are dropping the way they are when they are… in an election year.

To be fair, there are other factors to consider before passing judgment, including the ongoing global crisis that still has Europe locked in an epic mess, the U.S. delving deeper into its own catastrophe, and even China exhibiting worrisome signs again. In short, the international economic climate influences supply and demand levels, which can play havoc with gasoline prices regardless of what oil is doing or has done.

Yet even so, gas’ downward trend seems exceedingly convenient for the Barack Obama reelection efforts. And certainly, this is not normal behavior for the crucial commodity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First Arizona, Now Florida: Eric Holder and the Justice Department Sue another State over Illegal Aliens’ “Rights”

It may have seemed like a crazy anomaly when President Barack Obama’s Justice Department – led by the now infamous Eric Holder, who is currently under congressional investigation – decided to sue Arizona over its new and improved illegal alien law.

But apparently, it’s a political tactic that the current administration is quite comfortable using more than once, judging by Florida, its latest target.

Yesterday, Eric Holder and the Justice Department sued the Sunshine State over its attempt to clear local voter rolls of illegal aliens. The federal lawsuit contends that Florida violated portions of the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits such moves “within the 90-day quiet period before an election for federal office.”

Yeah right. This has nothing to do with re-electing an increasingly unpopular President. Uh-huh. Sure.

It’s utterly arrogant for Attorney General Eric Holder’s underling, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez, to equate the legal action with protecting American citizens… instead of maintaining the criminally erroneous status quo.

Yet he did. Shamelessly.

“It appears that Florida has undertaken a new program for voter removal… that has critical imperfections, which lead to errors that harm and confuse eligible voters,” he wrote. As if it’s not obvious that the Democrat party gets significant support from the very “inaccurate and unreliable” voter verification techniques he’s decrying.

Dead people, illegal aliens and repeat voters are all common liberal strategies at the polls. And they have been for some time now.

Also, considering Eric Holder’s intricate illegal involvement in the Fast and Furious debacle (which included intentionally selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Bryan Terry, not to mention who-knows-how-many Mexican men, women and children), it’s outrageous that he has the nerve to sue anybody.

But he clearly does. And like Perez, he seems completely comfortable about it.

Fortunately for the larger country, Governor Rick Scott isn’t fazed by their brazen behavior. He actually started the lawsuit battle when he filed his own grievances with the Department of Homeland Security for withholding state access to appropriate databases.

Since that’s the case, all I have left to say on the matter is “God speed going forward!”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Anthropological Look into the World of “Bronies”

Ever heard of Bronies?

Nope? Neither had I before last night, when an unnamed source clued me in about the subculture of men who have a fascination with... wait for it… My Little Pony.

Yes, THAT My Little Pony. The retro line of cute plastic horses complete with adorable brands stamped on their little bums; tails and manes done up in purples, pinks and girly greens; and cutesy names like Brilliant Blossom. (Incidentally, I still have BB from my own stint in the 80s.)

Believe me when I say that there is NOTHING manly about these critters. There isn’t a single pony, unicorn or Pegasus in the mix that should appeal to males. And yet, apparently, there’s a growing cult following of teenaged boys and men who watch the latest My Little Pony TV show adaption and collect the matching figures.

When I heard that, I of course automatically thought that there was something kinky involved. How could there no be when everything from food to stuffed animals is sexualized these days?

But I still did my research and dutifully typed in “Bronies My Little Pony” into YouTube. The results were a bunch of My Little Pony clips, from a Shaun of the Dead trailer spoof to entire episodes of the latest season. What I didn’t find, however, was even a hint of anything smutty…

There were no smarmy comments about which celebrity would make a great My Little Pony. Nor were there any nasty fan-made collages or anything remotely sexual about the show itself.

The little kiddie cartoon seems to be just that: A cartoon made for little kiddies, specifically of the female persuasion. And the Bronies? Well, they seem to be guys who just genuinely like a cartoon made for little girls.

Apparently, according to my source, Bronies actually like My Little Pony because there’s nothing inappropriate or suggestive about it. It’s wholesome, and that clean content attracts them.

If that’s really the case, then it’s an enormously sad commentary on our society today.

Like I noted before, EVERYTHING is sexualized these days and it’s increasingly impossible to escape the ads and the shows and the commentary and the outfits unless you go hide under a rock. People are sexual creatures but men especially are visual creatures, which must make the smutty onslaught especially difficult to shrug off.

Seeing as how a number of them feel driven to seek solace in something as cutesy-cutesy as My Little Pony – to the point where they form Bronie fan clubs and plan Bronie conventions – it seems safe to say that our culture is oversexed.

It’s probably high time we stepped back and just said “Neigh!”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama Girl Refuses to Say Whether She’s Voting for Her Former Crush or Not

During the 2008 presidential campaign, a figure emerged, one worthy of leading all bimbos, egomaniacs and nitwits to the voting booths.

That figure was… [Cue dramatic music] Obama Girl!

Strutting around in short shorts, midriff-exposing tops, cheek-baring panties and sassy bikinis, she took to YouTube to declare that she had “a crush on Obama.”

“You’re into border security; let’s break this border between you and me,” she crooned with a picture of Obama’s head nestled snugly across her ample bosom. And she continued making love to the camera with the apparently arousing lyrics, “You tell the truth unlike the Right.”

But like so many crushes – especially those held by mindless airheads – model/actress Amber Lee Ettinger’s purposely public obsession took a turn for the worst when Senator Obama became… [Cue ominous notes] President Obama. As “the best candidate,” started morphing into the worst winner, Ettinger cane down from her Obama high, which (shockingly enough) wasn’t producing the ecstatic state advertised.

She did an interview or two with Fox News and a few other news outlets over the years, expressing her disappointment that Obama had never reciprocated (i.e. given her a big publicity boost in return). And then she once again faded out of public view, proving that you can’t get ahead on mere hottie tottie bodies alone.

Just ask her Girls Gone Wild compatriots.

You can, however, get some unwanted consequences, such as the opposition media calling you up and asking if you’re still as stupid as you were in years past.

Put on the spot when the Daily Caller got ahold of her, Ettinger admitted that she’s “not as excited” about the 2012 elections as she “was the last time, that’s for sure.” Her last experience servicing the political world was “quite a roller coaster ride,” which is possibly why she’s staying silent (i.e. keeping her clothes on) this time.

Either that or maybe she’s embarrassed about her previous choice.

I know I would be.

Then again, I wouldn’t be caught dead all but making love to the concept of a candidate. And you really couldn’t catch me singing those poorly thought-out, poorly-rhymed, poorly-executed lyrics she sung.

So maybe she’s not embarrassed, even though she really, really should be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Spouts Multisyllabic Nonsense about Sex-Selective Abortion Bill

Texas’ 18th District is filled with some stupid people.

Like really, really, really stupid people.

Like monumentally so… to the point where it’s hard to imagine how they manage to feed themselves, considering their continued support of U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, idiot extraordinaire.

In Texas’ 18th District’s defense, my Maryland voting block isn’t exactly teaming with intelligence either. But right now, my Congressperson isn’t making headlines for blathering like a crazy person. Theirs is.

Yesterday, Sheila Jackson Lee, spoke out concerning a bill proposed by Arizona Representative Trent Franks, a Republican, which is designed to limit sex-selective abortions. In other words, it advises a legal stand against killing fetuses (i.e. defenseless babies) based solely off of their gender.

Now let’s face it: More often than not and if given the choice, people are going to choose to carry boys full-term over girls. As advanced as we like to think ourselves today, with our voting rights and our opportunities to lead Fortune 500 companies, we’re still treated like dirt too often, as evidenced by the prevalence of pornography and the promotion of femininity as mere sexuality.

(Incidentally, this is a problem that women help perpetuate just as much as men.)

Yet considering her voting record, Sheila Jackson Lee cares just as little about the security of her gender as she does her race. Her complete lack of intelligent inclination towards either stems from a lack of intelligence in general. Hence her tendency to say really, really, really stupid stuff, such as:

“I think the next act will be dragging women out of patient rooms into the streets and screaming over their bodies as they get dragged out of getting access to women’s health care. That’s what I feel like is occurring today with the legislation that is on the floor… first of all, there is bipartisan and unilateral and unanimous support that we should not have agenda-based abortions for the sake of getting one gender over another. That’s a human, humane and humanitarian issue that none of us quarrel with.

“This bill is a direct intrusion into the relationship between patient and physician. We realize that there is a suggestion that cultures around the world do this, but in order to change those cultures, this legislation will not work. What you really need is an affirmation of the value of women, and today PRENDA [Prenatal Non-discrimination Act] is an affirmation of the devaluing of woman because what it does is demonizes the physician and the woman, particularly here in the United States.

“And it suggests, it puts on them the idea that they’re going to go in and have an abortion for a dastardly reason other than the choice and the personal need and the faith conversation and medical needs of that particular patient. This is a Draconian, drastic initiative and, frankly, it should go down today.”

Things that make you go “Huh?” Because, really, there’s nothing else to say on the matter… except for this: 18th District of Texas, you all should be ashamed of yourselves!