Archive for May 18th, 2011|Daily archive page

Leaked cables show U.S. tried, failed to organize against Ecuador compulsory licensing

Leaked cables show U.S. tried, failed to organize against Ecuador compulsory licensing.

Compulsory licensing:

Compulsory licensing authorizes generic competition with patented, monopoly protected drugs.  Generic competition reduces costs and enables public agencies to scale-up treatment and other services.” 

The losers are the untold millions unable to pay for the drugs they need and, what’s more, shut out of any future that promises a better world. But it’s not a surprise. So much of the idea of the nation formed and reformed over the last 150 years is about presenting a theatre of war for private corporations, not for “the people.” Indeed, the people who count, who matter, are already, in this logic, part of the moneyed interests. Yet, I’m hopeful, for the very fact that Ecuador is doing this, and that Brazil has also intervened with a not too dissimilar option, and that sites such as exists, and that there could even be such dramatic revolutions in northern Africa and in the Arab Gulf states, all these things, recuperations of the enthusiasm we saw prior to 9/11 and the Iraq War, all give me hope. There is a sense of social justice.

Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners – ProPublica

Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners – ProPublica.

Why is an open government policy and programme important? Because, as we see from the ProPublica article and from the very recent history of the Japanese nuclear reactor responses and suppressions and collusions and misdeeds, governments suppress information that affects the wellbeing of their nations’ residents. It’s not a matter of ignorance or accident. It’s a question of actual intentional suppression.

I tend to believe things are getting better, for a couple of reasons. One is that there are tools now that more people have access to and also know how to use, and there is a sufficiently large enough audience for this sort of information. (Proportionally, it may be quite a lot smaller than before, but the actual numbers, the quantity, is what counts.) Second, the *point* of government is evolving and clarifying. As we continue to emerge to a kind of post-enlightenment democratic complex, one less woven with racist and racialist threads, though these are obviously still colouring the material of our being, to one that actually allows us to claim as our identity our ambitions. Yes, that’s wildly optimistic.