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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Few Doors Down From Nowhere

Work brings me to Statesville, NC this evening. If you value your life, if you hold the lives of your children and your children's children dear, you'll never set foot in this town.

Although the Hardee's that, out of necessity, served as supper wasn't bad.

What a Wienie

Some guy out in Wyoming, where it was once proclaimed that men were men, is complaining because the authorities wouldn't come to his home and get rid of his snakes. Poor baby.
Man Gets No Help for Snake Infestation

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- They're coming into his yard at an alarming rate, probably from a nearby creek bed. But Shawn Schreiner said when he told animal control about his snake infestation, he was told he was on his own.

Schreiner called animal control for help removing and deterring the snakes, but Steve Amrine, an animal shelter supervisor, said animal control generally doesn't deal with free-roaming animals that aren't a danger to people.

No anacondas yet, although he did find a four-foot snakeskin, probably from a bull snake. (link)
Shoot. Where I come from, four-foot bull snakes aren't even keepers. We are required by law to throw little ones like that back for being undersized. The Marlboro Man needs to come down to snake central where we search out the tiny ones in order to sate the appetites of the really nasty ones.

Fools

It probably didn't require a degree in rocket science to make the prediction but, when a jury in Texas awarded a quarter of a billion dollars to the spouse of a man who died of a heart attack after having injested Vioxx, I made the comment to Paula that the fools on the jury don't have a clue as to what the repercussions of their near-sighted actions will be.

Whether you're willing to consider this or not, it is a cold-hard truth: Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, is beholden first and foremost to its shareholders. It will turn a profit for them and will increase its per-share value. Or it will go out of business.

Merck, along with every other drug manufacturer, can take the easy road. They can make aspirin and anti-itch cream. Acne ointment and in-grown toenail salve. Suntan lotion and hemmorhoid medicine. They can avoid the more risky pharmaceuticals all together (don't forget, every drug on the market today comes with some risk; even Tylenol) if that risk brings about a Texas-like jury verdict. In this Vioxx case, the jury learned that Merck had proper warning labels to accompany its higher-risk medicine, but bought into the argument that the warnings weren't strong or clear enough.

I am not alone in my assessment. The Wall Street Journal has this this morning:
Verdict Stokes Backlash That Has Hit FDA And Manufacturers
'The Goalposts Have Shifted'
By SCOTT HENSLEY, PAUL DAVIES and BARBARA MARTINEZ Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Friday's verdict against Merck & Co. over its Vioxx painkiller will stoke a growing backlash against the pharmaceutical industry that is already affecting the development and marketing of drugs in the U.S.

The industry and the Food and Drug Administration have put renewed stress on caution, which probably will inhibit the arrival of new treatments to the market. Drug makers are rethinking what sorts of drugs to pursue and develop, based on their anticipation of potential safety and cost problems. (
link)
So. Applaud the verdict if you will. Celebrate the fact that one evil pharmaceutical giant got what it deserved, if you dare. But someday, when you're in the hospital dying from some "incurable" disease or you're in excruciating pain that makes your life a living hell, you'll then wish - and pray - that a drug had been formulated to make it all better. A drug that might have been invented had it not been for fools in Texas.

Quote of the Day

This comes from Mark Steyn:
Casey Sheehan was a 21-year-old man when he enlisted in 2000. He re-enlisted for a second tour, and he died after volunteering for a rescue mission in Sadr City. Mrs. Sheehan says she wishes she had driven him to Canada, though that's not what he would have wished, and it was his decision.

His mother has now left Crawford, officially because her mother has had a stroke, but promises to return. I doubt she will.

Perhaps deep down she understands her grief curdled into a narcissistic rage, and most Americans will not follow where she has gone -- to the wilder shores of anti-Bush, antiwar, anti-Iraq, anti-Afghanistan, anti-Israel, anti-American paranoia.

Casey Sheehan's service was not the act of a child. A shame you can't say the same of his mom's new friends. (
link)

'Take Back The Memorial'

There is a growing movement in New York to stop the 9/11 memorial at "ground zero" from becoming an anti-American museum of hate, as some say is the current plan. Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, weighs in with this in the New York Post:
Unfortunately, the memorial proposal that started out as pure, true and virtuous has been hijacked by a few with an agenda that has nothing to do with truly memorializing the events of 9/11.

An online petition named "Take Back the Memorial" has already gathered over 40,000 signatures, including more than 2,000 family members of 9/11 victims. This speaks volumes.

New York City firefighters have long supported an appropriate, living, public memorial for the World Trade Center site and have been happy to lend our name and support — until now. We view this as hallowed ground and what is now planned is not sacred and not appropriate.

America must know the facts and demand honor be returned to the memorial efforts. (
link)
2,800 men, women, and children, including 343 New York City firefighters, were murdered on 9/11. They deserve a memorial that does not insult, degrade, or diminish their lives or detract from that infamous day.

You can find the petition - as well as detailed information about the controversial plans for the memorial
here.