August 03, 2002



Also Star columnist David Olive takes a piece out of Andrew Sullivan today, for his referring to Canadians and Europeans as "socialist parasites" for having lower drug costs. Sullivan claims that's the cost of drug R&D that the Americans are paying on behalf of everyone else... as Olive carefully explains, higher American drug costs have no visible effect on the rate of drug invention in the U.S. vice the rest of the world, and the extra funds are generally eaten up by aggressive marketing, patent-protection lawyers' costs, and the redesigning of existing drugs so that they can claim another couple decades of American patent protection for the same recipe. Aren't free markets wonderful? As Olive tactfully suggests, maybe Sullivan's desperate search for an AIDS cure is throwing off his reason just a tad.

Posted by BruceR at 12:26 PM



The Toronto Star is having a lot of fun with its scoop this week that almost all American pilots in theatre over Afghanistan are heavily medicated, using both uppers on mission, and sleeping pills back at base. This obviously has bearing on the actions of Maj. Psycho Schmidt that killed 4 Canadians in April. The British papers have picked the story up, and are having fun with it... oddly nothing on the issue coming out in the mainstream American papers, yet. Even's John Pike is wondering why.

Joey Slinger, a sort of Canadian Dave Barry-type humorist, has what might be his first actual honest-to-God funny column in decades on the subject today. (Anyway, I laughed.)

"Better bombing through chemistry" -- the motto of the squadron known throughout the Middle East as the "Totally Wasted One-Four-Six."
The controller thought of Capt. "Loose-caboose" Hawkins, now in the brig at Fort Leavenworth because, after completing a mission over Kabul, he'd flown his F-16 non-stop to the States where he'd landed in a plaza outside Boston and stuck up a 7-Eleven.
All he demanded at gunpoint was six bags of barbecue tortilla chips. "I had the munchies," he told the police who arrested him.
Then there were the "great big green things" that kept roaring up from behind them at warp speed. "Here comes one now!" a fighter-jock would shriek. "God! It's the size of Michigan! Look out! Yieeee!" Then he'd fire his Sidewinders as it flashed past.
"Did I get it? Did I get it?"
And while the missiles homed in on a charcoal brazier around which two dozen camel traders were huddled in the cold desert night, the combat controllers in the AWACs circling overhead would respond, in comforting tones, "Of course you did. You got it real good."

Read the whole column. It's quite good.

Posted by BruceR at 12:17 PM