Saturday, January 30, 2016

Demise of the Presidential Debate

Mudslinging season is in full swing and I don't see it letting up anytime soon...or ever.
Watching the debates begs the question 'who's in charge here?'. Glad you asked. From 1976 until 1988 the League of Women Voters, a civic organization, sponsored and moderated the presidential candidate debates. There were rules, regulations, policies and procedures that candidates were required to follow. Then in 1987 the Bush and Dukakis campaigns entered into a secret 'memorandum of understanding'. As you know, anything with the word 'secret' in it cannot be explained away logically. With that secret understanding in place, the League of Women voters withdrew their sponsorship stating the new debate format “would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter” and the organization did not intend to “become an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public”. Hence, the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed, a non-profit, private firm headed by both Democratic and Republican parties.  (non-profit?  ya think?)

The presidential debates are more closely related to a Don Rickles roast than a debate of issues that impact the American public.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment below. (your comment won't show up right away, it might take a day or two.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Healthcare or Sickcare - What's Your Preference?

The adage 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' probably shouldn't be taken literally, there is a lot more to good nutrition than one apple. I do believe however, and this is from my own experience, that eating real food will keep you out of the doctor's office and off prescription drugs.
Eat real food!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Wish I Hadn't Seen That
This is one of those things that I wish I hadn't seen happen, it sort of ruined the moment.
You might remember country singer Donna Fargo, she had two crossover hits in the early1970's. The first was 'Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A'. then followed by 'Funny Face'.
Ms. Fargo was appearing at a hotel in Las Vegas in 1981 or 82 I'm not sure of the year, but anyway I had backstage passes. So there I was backstage while Donna Fargo was on stage singing. There were a lot of people backstage, most of them were working, running back and forth, and the rest were guests. I noticed one young woman just standing backstage wearing a set of headphones and holding a microphone; the same kind that Donna Fargo was using on stage.
Then it happened. When the song Donna Fargo was singing required her to hit a high note that lasted several seconds, that girl backstage sang it, with the microphone she was holding. Donna Fargo looked like she was holding the note but no sound came from her for those few seconds. It happened several times during the show.
I wish I hadn't seen that!    Enjoy the video.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Prescription Drugs - Direct to Consumer Advertising

I can't help but wonder if it's really necessary or appropriate for pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs in television commercials. Do they want to create more hypochondriacs? And what about doctors, do they want patients who tell them what drug they want to try because they saw it on TV? These ads (allowed only in the United States and New Zealand) are the reason prescription drugs are unaffordable to so many people. Pharmaceutical companies spend $4.5 billion for television advertising.

There might be some good news on the horizon. As of November 2015 the American Medical Association voted for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising. Nothing has been decided yet (it could take years I suppose), but the cost of prescription drugs should be more affordable. We'll see!

Of course there are regulations mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (my least favorite government agency, for a lot of reasons) that these companies must adhere to. Hah! As usual the FDA is vague and pro big pharma.

Here is what the products ads MUST tell you:
At least one approved use for the drug
The generic name of the drug
Risks of using the drug – under some circumstances the ads can give only the most important risks.

Here is what the ads are NOT REQUIRED to tell you:

Cost of the drug
If there is a generic version
If there is a similar drug with fewer risks
If changes in your behavior could help your condition (such as diet and exercise)
How many people have the condition the drug treats
How the drug works
How quickly the drug works. However if they say it works 'quickly' they must define quickly

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