Does This Make Sense?

Did you ever notice that the pills you take may differ in size, shape, and color depending on whether they are a name brand or a generic pill? Look at the Advil or Motrin in your medicine cabinet and compare it with the generic ibuprophen. I never paid attention until Dad pointed out the differences in the pills he takes whenever his pharmacy changes the manufacturer. Take a look:

  • Row 1 is a single baby aspirin
  • Row 2 is the generic versions of his blood pressure medicine. Despite the fact that the four pills vary in shape, the formula for each is the same.
  • Row 3 are two generic versions of the allergy medication, Singulair
  • Row 4 is a thyroid supplement.

This can have dangerous consequences because it is clear that a change from a square yellow allergy medicine to a round yellow allergy pill could be confused with a similar-looking round yellow thyroid supplement, particularly when the person taking those pills is an elderly person living alone who may have beginning dementia issues. In addition, there are reports of people refusing to take the different appearing drug because of fear and distrust that the variation in shape or color is no longer the same pill.

Why does this happen, one may wonder? Apparently, patent laws do not permit generic drug manufacturers to produce drugs identical to the brand-name counterpart.

In my unprofessional opinion, this is a dumb law, and I think that while our presidential candidates are discussing plans to reduce drug prices, they may want to at least consider eliminating the patent law prohibiting generic drugs from copying the appearance of the brand-name drug. There is probably a good reason for such a law, but the confusion that this likely causes could have life-threatening consequences.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

It’s Nearly Too Late

When I was young, our house backed up to my mother’s uncle house, whose yard was filled with apple, pear, and cherry trees (not to mention his grape vines). My first house as an adult backed up to a buffer of woods between our property and the homes behind ours.

The house we purchased in New Jersey again backed up to woods, so there was always plenty of wildlife to eat my tulips and woods to play in, which also added a bit of serenity to the view out of the back window.

Our home in Chapel Hill sat on a piece of property half the size of the other two, but the previous owner had built that very serene Japanese garden in the backyard, which always sounded like a gentle rainfall and was quite soothing from my perch in our screened porch. When we rented the house in Atlanta, not only did we have trees again, but also a nice little stream in the back yard to look down upon from our deck.

As I write to you today, I am enjoying my view from the screened porch of house #6, realizing that the time to do this is numbered as the days grow shorter and the temperatures are beginning to drop. I listen to the birds call out to one another, watch the butterflies chase each other on the lantana, peer across the pond at the pine trees along the banks of the water, and look for my friends, Ozzie and Harriet, those two very beautiful white herons which I recently mistook for drones. (I don’t know why but they did!)

This is my favorite view, and as I drive around my town and watch as thousands of beautiful pine trees are decimated to make room for one housing development after another, I realize that views such as mine are disappearing forever.

Bryce told his mom that if he were to run for president, his platform would be to make it illegal to cut down trees. While he is only six and does not realize that a blanket law like that could not be made, he told me that he learned while listening to a podcast that “pretty soon we won’t have good air to breathe.”

So today I went to the library and found two books on global warming for him to read, because although it is happening in my lifetime, my children and grandchildren will be impacted by its effects much more dramatically than me. And Bryce was correct about the loss of good air. One of the books I borrowed for him was written by a scientist, who teamed up with the Smithsonian Institute to write the book. The author mentioned that trees and other green plants covert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but those trees and forests are being cut down in such huge number that there is no longer enough plant life to absorb the carbon dioxide on the planet.

We are in deep trouble, my friends, and while we have so very many problems to repair in this country, in my opinion, if this is not at the top of the list, the other problems will disappear along with the life on this planet. Anyone who chooses to deny this science is ignorant and selfish.

 

 

Just Another Presidential Oops

When I noticed the “Esperanto” trending on Twitter recently, I was brought back to my school days when I had done a report on this subject. Don’t worry if this is unfamiliar to you. I thought it was a dead issue long ago.

For those of you not in the know, I will give you a brief lesson. Esperanto is a language which was developed during the late 19th century with the intent that it would become an international language. Although it did not take off, it is still spoken today by anywhere from 200,000 to 2 million individuals worldwide. Clearly there is not accurate data on the language.

If you want to learn Esperanto, I would suggest you go to Hungary, where it is taught in some universities, or use good old Google to find the Esperanto-USA group. It really exists but I am not interested in doing your research.

But getting back to why it was trending on Twitter. It turns out that our president, who has an annoying habit of not proofreading his Tweets because he is perfect and does not make mistakes, he erroneously referred to the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, as Mark Esperanto. I guess it’s like when Grandpa called Doogie Howser Hogie Dowser.

I Don’t Get It

I once wrote that my hope for my children was that in the end, they have “a good life with plenty of laughs and good memories.” I will add that I don’t care if they live in a small home or a huge mansion, if they have fancy cars or a single second-hand automobile, and I don’t care if they wear designer clothes or outfits from Target. All that matters is that I have raised happy, independent children, each with a strong sense of right and wrong.

I taught them to be truthful and kind to others, so it was difficult to watch when their friends were unkind or made disparaging comments on the playground. I am hearing about this happening already in preschool and it breaks my heart.

Cursing was not spoken at home, and when one of them hurt the feelings of another, they were taught to write a note of apology. So it has been with a heavy heart that I have watched our country being led by a man who clearly was not raised with any of those values—where money was worshipped over integrity, and people still believe in him.

As I watch our country’s reputation erode throughout the world, our clean air and water get dirtier, and our climate continuing to warm unchecked, I know that the experiment to elect an outsider has failed miserably. And I truly don’t understand why everyone in this country does not see this.

Elijah Cummings said two important things:

  • “I’m hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want, and that we should be passing on our children so they can do better than what we did.”
  • “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?”

I will fight.

Five and Counting

I have lived in five states, but South Carolina is the only state where I can be assured that it will not snow every year, and where I have the opportunity to meet (or at least hear speak) each candidate running for president. My list for the 2020 election is currently at five (Klobuchar, Harris, Biden, Buttigieg, and Bullock), and as the February primary approaches, that number will definitely increase.

This past weekend I met Governor Steve Bullock, who is unfortunately not well known since he jumped into the race later than the others and has not been in any debates. I knew little about him, so as we were driving to our meet-and-greet, I went to his website and reviewed his positions. Dad and I arrived early, as did Governor Bullock, so we had time to chat with him before he spoke to those in attendance.

I liked him and am upset that only those at the top of the polling and fundraising are getting much attention so early in the process.  Many of his views align with mine, and I think the fact that he won as a Democrat in a Republican state makes him a strong candidate to consider.

I don’t have a preferred candidate yet, so I would like the chance to hear from more than just the leaders of pack. I am also bothered that at least four states, including my own, have cancelled the Republican presidential primaries. While I am not a fan of South Carolina’s candidate, our former governor and congressman, Mark Sanford, I believe it is wrong for the Republican Party to not give the other three declared candidates a chance to run against Trump.

There are too many people making decisions for me. Mommy is not pleased!

P.S. I have it on good authority that Elizabeth Warren is now advertising on the Kid’s Learning Channel along with Tom Steyer, so I will probably have to bring Bryce to get a selfie with her.

It’s Time for Him to Go

Three times in my life I have witnessed the impeachment process, but the first two never moved as quickly or made my head spin at the rate as the Trump impeachment.

The Nixon impeachment was the story of the Watergate break-in and clandestine meetings with Deep Throat. I was in high school when it began and in college when it all ended with Nixon resigning in disgrace. It took a long time. You all saw the movie.

You were all young during the Clinton Impeachment—ages eight through twelve—and the subject brought up topics which I was not prepared to discuss with any of you. Did we talk about it? I was mad at Hillary for not throwing Bill’s clothes off the Truman Balcony as a show to the women of the world how she felt. It ended with acquittal in the Senate.

Now you are witnessing yet another president going down the path of impeachment, but this time, the charges are so much more serious and the pace of evidence being uncovered is happening at lightning speed. Listening to the news accounts and watching the rapidly-changing polls now favoring the investigation and what I believe will ultimately be the end of the Lord of the Lies Administration, it will not be as long a process as the other two impeachments.

I am not sad to see him go because he is an ignorant, immoral, and cruel person, but it is sad that we must go down this path again. I read the entire Mueller Report as well as the much easier to read transcript of the president’s discussion with the Ukranian president and the Whistleblower report. I think America is reading those last two documents because they can be read during the commercial break of their favorite shows.

In case you don’t understand the process, here is a great chart which will help you understand the process.

 

He Has Chosen Who and Why?

Do any of us really enjoy watching commercials, except possibly during the Super Bowl, when businesses compete to be the best and most memorable? When we record our shows, it is possible to avoid them, but at times, we are all unwilling viewers.

A prime example is when watching videos on YouTube. At times, we are not subjected to any advertisements, while at other times we must watch only a few seconds. Then there are those commercials that no matter how hard we try, we are forced to sit through an entire 20-30 second clip.

No one is immune, and I must say, it is sometimes puzzling to determine why certain shows are targeted by a particular product or person. I began thinking about this after learning that Bryce, a six-year-old little boy, is now one of the 9% in this country who has already decided on his presidential candidate. It’s Tom Steyer!

Bryce is a kid who does not watch the nightly news nor does he watch shows where one would anticipate being exposed to political commercials. Instead, he watches YouTube shows such as the Kids Learning Channel or marble races. He is learning about math, geography, root vegetables, and now, Tom Steyer, since this candidate’s campaign has determined that “The Countries of the World with Flags” is the place to capture votes.

I recently asked Bryce about his preferred candidate, and after a little coaxing, he told me he likes Tom Steyer. I then told him that Bampa and I had seen several of the candidates in person, and because the environment is so important to him, I suggested he make sure it is equally important to his guy as well. I also asked if he would like to hear any of the candidates speak, particularly Tom Steyer of course, and he told me that he was interested.

Since he has been under the mistaken impression that a woman cannot be president, I hope he can see one of them when they come to town so I can set him straight. Too bad he has to wait until 2032 to vote for president.