“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading
“When all you are becomes defined as the amount of information traceable to you, what are we then? What have we become, in a world where there is no separation, no door, no filter beyond which we can say, ‘No. This is my personal space. Not yours. Here I am alone with my thoughts and free of any outside influence or control. This, you cannot have.’ I don’t know, but I don’t want to find out.” Who said it? Continue reading
“What they really want to see is, they want you to chop your fucking arm off, hold up your arm, wave it around spewing blood, and believe me, if you did that, the crowd would go fucking ballistic. You only get four good shows like that, though. Four good shows, and then you’re just a torso and a head, trying to get one of your band mates to give you one last hurrah and chop your head off. Which they probably wouldn’t do, which would really be hell.” Who said it? Continue reading
The Heartland Institute, an organization known to have pushed a pro-tobacco, “smoking is safe” agenda in the 1990s on behalf of Phillip Morris and that now pushes climate disruption denial, released a short “news” article on February 1 titled “Meteorologists Reject U.N.’s Global Warming Claims.” The article distorts the survey it purports to be reporting on and ignores the associated Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) paper’s conclusions in favor of Heartland’s political position. Continue reading
“To be truly free, and truly to appreciate its freedom, a society must be literate.” Continue reading
If you’re a doctor, it might be a bit unseemly to run a funeral home next door. If you’re a teacher, there might be some ethical concerns with peddling crack to your kids during recess.
And if you’re a pharmacy…
Once they were drug stores. Then they became pharmacies. And now? These days they’re in the business of business. The welfare of their customers? Fuck off, socialist.
I stopped into a Walgreens to pick up some batteries. If you’ve been in a modern drug store you know that they have the pharmacy in the back along with all the over-the-counter medications and up front they have all the stuff that – and let’s be honest here – helps fortify the market for prescription and OTC meds. I could go on here about the foodstuffs, for instance, about the many nefarious, even Dante-esque levels of corn syrup, preservative and transfat Hell, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just show you a picture I took while waiting in line. Continue reading
Despite pie-in-the-sky economic theory, competitively priced, quality products do not always trump those of lesser quality in the marketplace. A variation of Sony’s Beta format video was used for decades by professionals because of its superiority to the VHS format, but this didn’t stop VHS from becoming the dominant consumer format. McDonald’s does not make food that is cheaper, more nutritious, or even better tasting than a good sandwich from a local deli, but this hasn’t stopped the burgermeister from selling untold billions of its artery-clogging offerings. The US health care system gets arguably fewer positive results per dollar spent than any other health care system in the world, but there are US consumers who will defend it as being “the best” right up to their untimely deaths.
The truth is that marketing techniques often trump product value when determining marketplace winners and losers. Continue reading
Have you ever stumbled into a situation where something made you crave your long forgotten bad habit or addiction again, just one more time? You’d repeatedly proven yourself stronger than your old needs or patterns and were no longer even tempted. But then, perhaps because of the phase of the moon and the alignment of the planets, you found yourself suddenly and unexpectedly thrust back to the threshold of that need?
That happened to me earlier this week. For the first time in 14 years, I smelled cigarette smoke and it smelled good…. Continue reading
The city council of San Francisco has issued an ordinance that pharmacies are not allowed to sell tobacco products. The intent is to eliminate mixed messages about a pharmacy, ostensibly devoted to healing people, selling unhealthy tobacco. But two companies are suing the city of San Francisco in federal court to overturn the ban. The first, Walgreens, is suing because only stand-alone pharmacies are affected by the ban – grocery stories and big-box stores with pharmacies are not affected. Their legal logic is that the tobacco sales ban is discriminatory toward stand-alone pharmacies, and they have a point. Whether it’ll hold up in court is another question (the federal judge refused to delay the ban, due to start on October 1, while the lawsuit is being heard), and one I’ll not even attempt to address.
The second company, Philip Morris, is suing using a totally different legal logic. They say it’s an unconstitutional abridgment of their First Amendment right to free speech. Continue reading