Monday, August 29, 2011

Government might have already saved your life…

If you’ve been told, “business good; government bad,” and had the unfortunate ability to give any credence to it, you still might be one of the millions of Americans whose generic medicines are available only because of the federal government’s intervention.

That’s right; at least 38 generic medicines are available only because the federal government has arranged import, storage and/or manufacture of drugs that pharmaceutical companies no longer make.

Why don’t our companies make these drugs?

These drugs have been dropped because they are not profitable enough!!!

Federal officials are once again entering the mix, because more than 180 drugs are now in short supply. These are also modestly profitable generics, and it does not seem to bother drug companies that some are used to treat things such as cancer.

The government can’t just import these drugs because some of the factories that would make them are in India and China; never having been inspected, some in locations that are not known. Once in the USA some products, from these same foreign manufacturers, have been tested and have been discovered to have problems, some life threatening.

I’m an older American and take prescription drugs to control my health; all but one of them are generic.

What about you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The USA’s businesses are zealously insisting on Status Quo!

The economy is in a very slow recovery from a severe economic recession that started in December of 2007. American for profit, privately and publicly held, companies are holding over $2 trillion on the sideline; not investing in the future of their own businesses.

Meanwhile, some of the richest folks (money made from these very businesses) are financing a very far, far right branch of the Republican party. That right wing group has been formed to drop anchor on the idea that infrastructure over 50 years old needs investment, maintenance or replacement technology; things that would employ many (possibly millions of) people and create the future.


The old business paradigm of, “least cost everything,” has made a very small number of people very rich, and continues to make them lots of money. It is living in the past at the expense of the future. These short-sighted practices continue to benefit a very few, extremely rich folks at an extraordinary cost to middle America’s present and the kid’s (and grandkid’s, etc…) future!

If you don’t believe that the transportation, water, sewage and power infrastructure is in massive need of maintenance or replacement, you need to check with your local organization of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers.

Those who spread the word that the USA doesn’t need investment and progress, or that we’re broke and can’t do it, are telling themselves (and others) an enormous, dangerous lie! Believe the lie, spread it if you want, and apologize to your family and friends for what you’re doing to them, our country and the future.

The USA is stuck in the 20th century.

In 1989 the state of Texas experienced more than two consecutive days in which the temperature never reached 32 degrees Fahrenheit: freezing. To compensate for the high peak demand for electricity, and insufficient generating capacity, rolling black-outs were instituted.

In February of 2011 Texas experienced more than two days where the temperature never reached freezing; insufficient electric generation capacity required rolling black-outs.

This meant that in the intervening 22 years that Texas had done nothing to address an infrequent, recurring problem!

In 2005, when I was employed by TxDOT (Texas Dept. of Transportation), I sent an e-mail to my representative in the state’s legislature observing that the conditions existing on the campus where I worked were ideal for the use of wind and solar generated electricity to reduce the power drawn from the grid.

Nothing ever happened!

Flat roofed buildings (offices, schools, malls, etc…) across the USA could accommodate many thousands of solar panels (for electricity and/or hot water generation), and significant numbers of small to medium sized wind-based power generating structures; it has been possible for decades.

There has been no progress in this area either!

The US central plains are known as the, “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” The Rocky and Appalachian mountains have large regions of strong, consistent winds. The three coasts (Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf) have consistent winds on and off shore. These areas have wind that often blows night and day, so that sustainable electricity generation is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

There has been little progress in taking advantage of these opportunities.

Anybody else see a problem here?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Redressing the Error of 2010!

Voters and, especially, non-voters did our country a great disservice by handing control of the US House of Representatives over to a group of intransigents who are anxious and proud to demonstrate their complete incompetence in: finance, economics and history.

Supporters of President Obama are angry because the President is trying to work with the US Congress; as the US Constitution outlines that he should. Meanwhile, that same Congress continues the practice, established well in advance of the Tea Potty, of handing off the job of governance to the office of the President.


The legislature is in the, self-tied, hands of perpetual, incumbent politicians who know that they can keep their jobs best by not doing their jobs. Every decision that an office holder makes will anger some constituents, eventually gathering sufficient opposition to his or her re-election. So, no matter what actually happened, “the president did it!”

President Obama needs to morph from the only reasonable adult in the room, to an authoritarian teacher in a room full of spoiled brats. These very same spoiled brats have displayed a desire, and willingness, to trash the American economy to undercut the re-election possibility of President Barack Obama.

The president has the power to send both branches of the legislature out on recess in extraordinary circumstances. The President should find, outline and utilize just such a circumstance. During said recess the President should make all the necessary recess appointments that would allow the executive branch of the federal government to get to work.

This will clearly demonstrate, to those of us who are still President Obama’s ardent supporters, the president’s willingness to do what needs to be done to actually lead this country back on to the path of greatness.

We (the voters) should find, encourage, support and vote for legislators that will help President Obama’s second term to be much more productive than the first.