Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!
Note that in the process of launching (redoing) this site in a news board format, I've altered the page's traditional color scheme. Although I'll keep a hint of purple on the front page to avoid stark white, the background color must be lighter if my viewers are going to read a lot of regular-sized text on the front page. (The old page was mostly a list of links, and so there wasn't much reading to do. I could use a prettier color because of that.) The link colors have also changed, to make used and unused links easier for first-time readers to understand. There's a pretty greenish royal blue for unread links, and a darker purplish-blue for read links (slightly more enjoyable than the bright royal blue for read links and dull blue for unread, as with most boards). I�ll continue to work on the format, in an effort to make the front page easier to read, hopefully without losing its attractive, refreshing appearance. - PR
40 inmates hospitalized after California prison riot
�LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Forty prison inmates were sent to hospitals, four of them airlifted, after a riot erupted at the California Institution for Men in Chino, a spokesman said.
�. . .The scene of the violence was a medium-security housing facility with seven units, each unit housing about 200 inmates, he said. Some 80 officers responded to the riot, during which a housing unit was set on fire. As of Sunday morning, authorities did not know how the fire started.
�The inmates' injuries ranged from stab wounds and slashes to head trauma, Hargrove said. Some injuries were considered life-threatening. No prison staff members were injured.
�Hargrove said the inmates used "weapons of opportunity" such as broken glass during the riot.�
South Florida doctors paid thousands by Eli Lilly; While policymakers question whether drug makers are hurting healthcare reform by paying doctors fees, Eli Lilly revealed that it paid 10 South Florida providers more than $10,000 each during the first quarter. [WRH]
�As Congress looks for ways to reduce healthcare costs to help fund the nation's 50 million uninsured, several leading lawmakers have expressed concerns that drug makers lavish payments on doctors to influence them to prescribe the latest, and often most expensive, drugs.
��Large corporations do not typically spend these sums unless they think they will get something out of it,'� said Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, in a Senate hearing last month. Kohl and Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, are pushing for federal legislation to require all drug makers to reveal what they pay doctors.
�Grassley-instigated investigations have found cases like that of an Atlanta psychiatrist, Charles B. Nemeroff, who heavily promoted the benefits of GlaxoSmithKline drugs without revealing that he had received $800,000 from the drug maker. . .�
PAM COMMENTARY: The problem with paying �independent� doctors to talk about drugs is that the doctors can represent themselves as an objective voice, and get into situations where a straight-out pharmaceutical salesman couldn�t. Otherwise the drug company would just send a salesman. In such cases, a doctor is taken more seriously than a salesman, even though their credibility should be judged as though they�re on the payroll. I�d like to see a ban of these sneaky sales practices. Either the doctor is a salesman or he isn�t -- why mislead people into thinking that he DOESN�T work for the drug company?
This is just one of many problems with lax regulation of the pharmaceutical industry. I�d say the biggest problem is the amount of direct-to-consumer drug advertising on television. MANY people have mentioned to me that they want those TV drug ads banned completely. I don�t even have to explain that, because we�ve all seen them, and we all know how irritating they are. Notice that often pretty scenery or a wedding is used as a backdrop to those commercials, as though taking their drugs has anything to do with getting married, jogging along the water, or rowing a boat. That�s to take the viewer�s mind off of the medical problems at hand, and make them think of something nice instead of critically analyzing things like the side effects they have to mention by law if the purpose of the drug is stated in the ad. Those ads not only have the effect of patients specifying to their doctors what to prescribe, whether they need it or not, but it drives costs up because often the newer drugs being advertised are meant to replace older drugs that are just as effective, but now available with a cheaper generic option. The drug ads themselves also drive up the cost of drugs -- in fact, one representative from Wisconsin had a presentation with lots of charts at Fighting Bob Fest a few years ago, showing that the increase in costs of making drugs was NOT due to R&D expenses as the drug companies claimed, but from increased ADVERTISING expenses. TV ads also serve to convince people that they need drugs to feel well, when in fact healthy eating habits and lifestyle are the key to good health, and the ideal is to be disease-free and not in need of ANY drugs.
I�ve also heard from multiple sources that pharmaceutical sales representatives hit doctors� offices hard, that there are many samples and free pens, notepads, etc., slathered on them all the time. So how easy is it to prescribe something when you see the drug�s name all over your office every day? (There have also been accusations of kickbacks for prescribing certain types of drugs, but that doesn�t involve all doctors, and those problems need to be handled in the criminal system.) It�s odd that our country allows such free-wheeling sales & marketing in the type of industry that is also heavily regulated due to potential dangers of the products. They�re advertising their stuff as though it�s as safe as candy, but that�s just not true. Their drugs are so dangerous, especially if used improperly or for the wrong condition, that someone has to go to school for YEARS before they can prescribe it to patients. And then, even when properly prescribed, legal pharmaceutical drugs are still among the top ten causes of death in this country!
The Biden and Clinton Mutinies [R]
�The Biden and Clinton "foreign" policy is: 1) to recreate the same old Cold War (with a new appendage, the US versus Iran nuclear confrontation) for the same old reasons: to pump up domestic defense spending; and 2) to continue sixty years of supporting Israeli imperialism for the same reasons that every president from Harry to Dubya (perhaps barring Ike) did so: to corner Israel lobby money and votes. Regarding the latter, Obama did the same by grabbing the Chicago-based Crown and Pritzker family money very early in his campaign and by making Rahm Emanuel his very first appointment (the two are hardly unrelated). . .
Hence Biden and Clinton's mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama's popularity weakens. When the results of the latest Rasmussen presidential poll were published, showing Obama's declining numbers, there were news reports of cheering in Tel Aviv. . .�
PAM COMMENTARY: Yeah, back on the campaign trail, whenever Obama would go along with anything McCain said, he�d lose points in the polls. Now he�s going along -- somewhat -- with people he beat in the primaries. Gotta remember that the losing tickets� ideas probably WON�T be boosting your popularity any time soon. . .
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Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com