Bizarre Headline: “Big Pharma Blocks Imports of Generic AIDS Drugs” into Africa

January 25, 2013
Ocean

“Big Pharma” patrols the high seas in search of plunder and patent infringement.

This headline comes to us from the venerable Democracy Now! news hour of January 23, 2013:

“Fire in the Blood”: Millions Die in Africa After Big Pharma Blocks Imports of Generic AIDS Drugs

When I saw this headline rolling up my facebook feed as most shared from Democracy Now!, two thoughts hit me almost at once.

The first thought was that Democracy Now! is to be commended for bringing this monumental story to us. Millions of people are out there dying, and I haven’t heard boo about it from any other media source. This is standard fare. If you want to get the scoop, tune into Democracy Now!

To understand my second thought, you must realize that I am a libertarian Juris Doctor. As a law guy, I tend to take things rather literally. So upon encountering a headline alleging that Big Pharma is blocking imports of generic drugs, I promptly envision the private fleet of pirates that Pfizer and AstraZeneca must have hired to swashbuckle and maraud and pillage the vessels of competing merchants. I delighted in this anti-corporate progressive fantasy for about ten seconds before hypothesizing the reality:

“Big Pharma isn’t blocking anything,” I suspected. “I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that some government is blocking those imports at Big Pharma’s behest, and I’ll have to see the story to find out which one and why.”  Read the rest of this entry »


Backlog O’Links for March 5, 2011: John Stossel on the regulatory juggernaut; Richard Wolff says weird stuff; Andrew Beitbart, I hardly knew ya; others….

March 14, 2012
  1. This could happen to you. They can take any law that they think you broke and take you to trial. And whether you win or lose, you’re going to lose, because by the time you’re done fighting it, you’re broke.

  2. The web site says “conservative”, but she markets herself as “libertarian” on facebook, hence my click of curiosity.

    I think this girl does pretty much what I do, but it looks like she actually makes a living at it. How cool is that? Unlike me, she actually goes out and talks to real people. That might be her edge.

  3. I wish I had all day to sit around writing blogs. This particular episode of Update is, well … weird. I can’t rightly criticize the guy, because he is a professor of economics and I am not. That is why I listen to him–but what should an economically aware consumer of online media make of a statement such as this?: Read the rest of this entry »


Links for January 17, 2011: “An American Conversation” on Tucson, Drug Prohibition, etc.

January 16, 2011
  • Reason.tv once again lives up to its name.

  • On January 5, 2011, a gang of gun-wielding thugs rampaged into a private residence and killed a grandfather of 12. My question is: Were the killers inspired by violent “drug war” rhetoric, or were they simply crazy? It is time for an American Conversation on the tragedy in Framingham. Raids like this are conducted over 100 times each day across America. Yes, people die.

  • Vodpod videos no longer available.

    ANN COULTER: I have one statement for you: the welfare state. No, people can not do whatever they want to do and live however they want to live, as long as Ann has to pay for it, when they can’t hold a job and raise their own kids and buy their own food and pay for their own rent. You get rid of the welfare state and we’ll talk about people sitting home and shooting heroin all day, but right now, oh, and now I have to pay for their health care!

    JOHN STOSSEL: So because we have a social welfare system, we have to give up these other freedoms?

    ANN: Yeah, as long as Ann is paying for it.

    Ann Coulter is a little more forthright than the average prohibitionist. Her argument is that since the government is forcing her to pay for something, then it might as well be what she wants most of all, which is to bastille her fellow citizens when she disapproves of their private, personal conduct. If she weren’t forced to pay for something, she might then be open to not paying out of her own pocket to imprison people who have committed no crimes against her or others.

    If Ann doesn’t want government health care money and living expenses to go to drug addicts, then her solution is counter-productive. Even prior to ObamaCare, the only people in the United States of America who have been constitutionally entitled to state-funded health care have been prisoners. Her argument, essentially, is: “I don’t want to pay for drug addicts’ health care food, room, and board, but I love throwing them all in jail, where I’m guaranteed to pay for all of their health care, food, room, and board. It is more important to Ann that we throw drug users in jail than it is that we save Ann’s tax money.”

    That is the logic of prohibition. For more hemming, hawing, evading, and stammering, see part 2:

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    You can decide for yourselves whether the logic of prohibition wins the day. Read the rest of this entry »


  • Links for July 12, 2010: Is the Energy Star Program a Rubber Stamp?; Much Ado About the Economy, Economics; Much, Much More!

    July 11, 2010
    1. The Government Accountability Office tested the government’s Energy Star program with phony products and found it essentially to be a rubber stamp–except that only 15 of 20 products were accepted and two were rejected.  I wish they’d explained the rejections in a little more detail.

    2. Every time a libertarian stays in the closet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.

    3. We need you out here!!! I highly recommend listening to Mises.org podcasts and watching Reason.tv. After a while, you’ll come to realize that you have ready responses to every statist argument that comes down the tube.  Also, take Christopher Hitchens’s sage advice to heart.

    4. “The Conscience of a Liberal”: Calling your opponent “bizarre” and “crazy” = Checkmate!!! See full ThinkMarkets.wordpress.com response hereRead the rest of this entry »


    Links for May 24, 2010: The War on Airline Carry-On Fees, Columbia Police Chief Wishes Marijuana Reform Movement Success, Thoughts on Oil, others….

    May 23, 2010
    1. The fun part of being a libertarian is that you get to blame the government for all your problems. The hard part, and the part that drives people away from the ideology, is that you have to relinquish your sense of entitlement. No, you are not entitled as a matter of natural right to carry your luggage onto an airplane at no charge. The airlines are providing a service for you, and they have certain terms that you must either accept or reject. Who knows? The baggage charge might reward those who economize by reducing their overall ticket price…..

    2. The chief of police of Columbia, Missouri, where the now-viral video of a marijuana raid was filmed, wishes the marijuana law reform movement success. Read the rest of this entry »


    Links for April 19th, 2010: What is a Libertarian?, Marijuana Law Enforcement in Philly, R.I.P. Jack Herer, others….

    April 18, 2010
    1. The Cato Institute posts this excellent intro to Libertarianism to share with your interested friends and family. At the end, Stossel asks for alternatives to the term “Libertarian”. I liked the term a lot until I learned that it used to be the term for “leftist anarchism”. I’d like to come up with another term to avoid the confusion.

    2. A step in the right direction for marijuana policy in Philadelphia. Now I wish I’d voted for Seth Williams. :-/ Read the rest of this entry »