Trivia 1P

    More examples of the need for an efficient but powerful central government keeps bobbing to the surface constantly.  Witness these two instances.

    First, last July, attorneys from 33 states and the Federal Trade Commission settled a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Mylan Laboratories and three other defendants over charges of illegal price fixing on two drugs used to treat Alzheimer's and other illnesses.

    Beginning in 1997, Mylan entered into contracts with the major suppliers of the main active ingredients in the generic drugs Clorazepate and Lorazepam.  The price for Clorazepate was increased 3,218% in just one month, January of 1998, raising the cost of a prescription from an average of $22.72 up to $754.  Just two months later, Mylan Laboratories also increased the cost of Lorazepam by 2,679% so that an average prescription rose from $13.60 to $378.  Revenues from just Lorazepam increased from $9 million in 1997 to $133 million in 1998.

    The settlement of $100 million includes both recovery of damages and the forfeiture of the illegally acquired profits.

    Next up we look at the world of publishers of the nation's school books.  In this case, 18 states and the U.S. Department of Justice sued Baker & Tayor, Inc. over civil complaints that the company overcharged public schools.  

    The company acknowledged that it had it had contracted with the school systems to pass along trade discounts of an average of 40% on trade books that it supplied.  Instead, the company simply changed the class of those books from trade titles to non-trade categories and pocketed the difference.

    Gentle readers, both of these criminal acts were set right not by the corporation itself nor and other entity that the right so loves to hold up as protecting the consumers from harm.  In both cases, a federal agency used its considerable might to force corporations to follow the law and punished them in the only manner that seems to get the attention of the suits in the suites, financial penalties.  Naturally, I still support the notion that the executives of companies that blatantly break the laws or who attempt to sell dangerous or harmful products should be tried and sentenced to long prison terms, the result of which would be a bit greater attention being paid to the letter of the law by these greedy little animals. ( 1 )

    Here is a tale that ends with a quote too obvious to even comment on.

    ABC's Sam Donaldson was speaking to a student audience at New York University when he proclaimed, "Anyone who says you should subscribe to a code of ethics, well stuff your ethics.  As quoted in the student newspaper the Washington Square News, he went on to state, "The marketplace will decide and will whittle me out if I'm not ethical.".  When questioned about the role of corporate ownership in regards to the slant given to news reports, Donaldson said it all when he replied, "I personally have not been touched by it, or maybe I'm just too dumb to notice it."  Wonderfully stated! ( 2 )

    File this under just another reason to be an atheist.

    At a recent seminar at the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Gospel Center, about 50 people were treated to a lesson in the correct way to spank their children by one Marvin Munyon and a teenage assistant (try to picture that!).  According to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram the seminar explained hat, "You spank them right here on the gluteus maximus, which God made for that purpose." (My emphasis).  Munyon went on to tell these sheep that using a paddle or switches should be used in order that the children not associate their parent's hands with pain.  Finally, the folks in attendance were told to start beating, er, spanking their children at the age of two or so since, he explained, "If you wait too long to begin physical discipline it may be too late."

    All I can say is "Thank God I'm an atheist!" ( 3 )

    In closing, here is another quote that needs no further explanation.

    Steve Friedman, executive producer of CBS's Early Show, on his hyping the network's Survivor, "Look, it's a hit show on CBS.  If I didn't take advantage of it, I should be fired for malfeasance ... That line [between news and entertainment] was over a long, long time ago.  That line is long gone.  Now you can lament and say it's terrible.  You can say it's over, the civilization is over.  You know what, to compete you've got to compete.  And we are in this to win.  And we will use this show to help us win."

    Sigh! ( 4 )



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