--Stupid state law #45,684: dead week. Because of dead week, we're not "allowed" to have the Board of Directors meeting tomorrow. But we're having it anyway--we just won't post the minutes or release official decisions until the week after Finals. Just another arrogant law meant to "protect" people which really serves to restrict people who are otherwise quite capable of making up their own minds.
--A good way to illustrate the dichotomy of political persuasions is to analyze the fight between the online Canadian pharmacies and the FDA. Basically, these folks up north are selling discount prescription drugs to Americans. The FDA has been beating them up, but now some DC politicians are getting involved to protect the companies. Now, there are two ways to look at this. First, the FDA holds that we can't let this go on, because the terminally dumb American public can't take risks for itself. The FDA has to *protect* us from our naive and simple-minded nature, because we can't do it ourselves. We're that weak and stupid. And to enforce this, they use what can only be called "scare tactics" on the public.
This is the classic liberal mindset, and you can see it in a hundred decisions and programs if you look. On the other hand, drug companies aren't crazy about what's going on in Canada. They spend billions bending backwards for the FDA's unholy battery of research for each drug, and they expect to profit in the end. Canada has less strict requirements, so their drugs cost less there. But they never intended for the price points for Canadian drugs to be paid by US consumers. So is the FDA doing this on behalf of drug companies? Are they "in bed with big business"? Maybe, but the FDA is itself the governing body which mandates the enormous costs to drug companies for research on any drug sold in this country.
Pharmaceutical companies are in business to make a profit. In the process of making that profit, they provide drugs which help millions of people live longer, healthier, happier lives. If you remove or even reduce their ability to make a profit, or if the FDA requires TOO MUCH in the way of clinical research, you remove the incentive to research new drugs. So the FDA has a balancing act to maintain between protecting consumers (requiring years of costly research) and ensuring drug companies can still afford to take on research into new drugs and improvements to old ones.
So, given all this, what do you think of Canadian pharmacies selling drugs online to Americans? Should they be shut down (i.e., restricted from shipping to the US) because there's a possibility that the drugs aren't as safe as ours and the consumer must be protected at all costs? Should they be shut down because they're eating into drug companies' profits, which could impact all of us? Should the FDA ease up on its draconian research requirements? Should the pharmacies be allowed to operate the way they want, free of intrusive government coercion? Where do you fall on this issue?
--The new EGM has a large spread on one of the new Star Wars games--Rebel Strike for GameCube. It's not one of the two upcoming SW MMORPGs, and it has nothing to do with Eps. 1-3. No, this one just recreates the first three movies in glorious detail. I cannot believe the detail in the Hoth battles. They got every rivet right on the At-Ats, and the X-wing vs. tie fighter battles over Hoth look incredible. Chewie's fur is soft and fluffy, and on Endor, there's a realistic forest scene with real sunlight shining through hundreds of massive trees. I ask again, how powerful ARE these things??
--UC Berkeley is known as the most liberal university in the US. How liberal? Well, there's actually a "Berkeley Republicans" group on the campus. They had a rally over the weekend. Their message was: "BOMB FRANCE". Well, maybe it's not "liberal", but it is whacked out.
--The biggest sexual harrassment case ever is being brought against Dial (they make soap). Here are a couple of the complaints: "a touch on a shoulder", and "he looked at me when I came in the room". Ouch. Bust out the castration device, we've got a bunch of pervs.
--I set up a second shadow portfolio based on the exact share allocation percentages in each of the mutual funds my trust fund is invested in. Of course, mutual funds are different than just watching stocks. I can't directly watch dividends (and dividend reinvestment), I can't account for commissions and transaction costs (and cap gains taxes), and the NAV is only updated once at the end of each trading day. But at least I can watch my trust fund against the S&P.
--To tell the truth, Animatrix looks a whole lot better than the new Matrix movie(s). Nine anime short films in seven different styles involving the Matrix "universe".