Old Howard Union

51 – Prescription Drug Prices & Healthcare

It’s an understatement to say that prescription drugs are far too costly in the United States compared to other nations. The Pharmaceutical industries hold over our government extends far beyond lawmakers… What about those who interpret the law? A Federal judge recently ruled against a rule change put into effect by the President that would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose prices on televised advertisements. The judge ruled that the rule violates “1st amendment rights”. Sounds like a broad, garbage interpretation to me. What about the patient? What about the consumer? Prescription drugs are just the first dish in a platter of disaster in our American healthcare system.

Show Notes

  1. Judge Blocks Trump Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV Ads
Writing

Piece 42 – A Word on the Marginalized to Commemorate Pride Month 

A Word on the Marginalized to Commemorate Pride Month

By. Raimondo Graziano

This country has a long history of oppression and demonizing minority groups within the nation- historically marginalized groups as we collectively refer to them as. For much of our history this nation has been one ruled by a ruling elite, a political class of individuals – white, straight men. Now there is nothing wrong with being white or with being straight. To the contrary, that’s an okay thing. What is demonstrably wrong, is using ones position of inherent privilege to advance their needs and their wants alone. Using ones considerable advantage, whether it is a realized one or not, to purposely keep power concentrated in the hands of the few for the perpetuation of marginalization of those who cannot fight for themselves. Marginalization of those who are fearful for their lives simply for being born into a world who stigmatizes them as a group and as individuals just for being who they are.

Now, considerable progress has been made both legislatively and socially as well as culturally and economically. But to believe that our hard earned victories are shielded from assault by the powers that still be, is naive. Each day work is done to undermine the advances we have made on civil rights for all Americans including, and especially this month of Pride for the LGBTQ community, the advances made in normalizing the public thought and perception on identifying as a gay, lesbian or any other orientation. The opposition is hard at work on undermining and eroding our progress we have made in the name of peace and justice. Our fight is one for the recognition of the ills we have helped to sow, and righting the wrongs of our storied past. We cannot go it alone, and we cannot rest on our laurels. Rather we must see each day as a ceaseless war in the effort to ensure that justice and liberation is accomplished in full; success denotes progress, but success is not an end. Progress moves ever forward and it it the foot soldiers of this movement not only here in the states but across the world that ensure that our progress continues unfettered by rogue actors, and unfeeling, “moral” parties bent on peddling their false ideologies of tradition.

Their ideology is not one of tradition but one mired in backwards, degenerative policies that work to alienate and keep some of out brightest minds down based on purely racial, sexual, or social prejudices. Those within communities that are marginalized must fight for themselves and for those around them that they would call Brother and sister. Those who would call themselves allies must equally fight for their rights and ensure that our understanding of their trials, translates not into a co-opting of the conversation for our own benefit, but of an amplifier to the fight of those who are, or believe that they may be voiceless. That is why I am an ally. That is why I choose to fight, not only for my sister and for those she calls friend, but for the millions more in bondage who have no champion. We have an obligation to do right, and to do otherwise is to be a true, true coward.

Writing

45 – The Strategic Importance of Africa

Africa has for some time been a target of the nations of the West for exploration and has been used throughout much of its history by imperial powers. Colonialism left an immense strain and stain on the continent and when we relinquished our hold on these peoples, we did not leave the fundamental infrastructure and institutions neccessary for order. In the 21st century, the strategic importance of Africa cannot be understated. China, now the leader of the authoritarian nations of the world, is leading the charge on revitalizing the continent and the West ought to pay attention, with the aim of righting the wrongs of the past and working to create lasting partnerships rather than colonial holdings.

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Show Notes

Important readings pertinent to the topic at hand.

  1. https://china.usc.edu/china’s-strategic-partnership-africa-significance-challenges-and-implications-united-states
  2. Africa’s Strategic Importance
  3. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/why-africa-matters-to-us-national-security
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.csis.org/analysis/world-coming-sub-saharan-africa-where-united-states%3famp
  5. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.africanglobe.net/business/africa-important-strategic-continent-world/amp/
Old Howard Union

44 – In Support of A European Army

The European Union is perhaps the greatest project in peace on a continent in history – the nations of Europe are inextricably linked in their history and have been in conflict for near all of it – the union today has guaranteed peace for near seventy years. Today, that order is under threat from within and without. A unified European identity can only be maintained, and the international order can only be preserved and strengthened through a unified European Army.

———————————————————————————–Show Notes

Important readings.

  1. https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2019/01/macron-european-army-reality
  2. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/03/20/france-a-european-army-would-help-not-hurt-us-troops/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/world/europe/germany-defense-spending-european-army.html
  4. https://www.ecfr.eu/amp-article/commentary_the_european_army_a_tale_of_wilful_misunderstanding
  5. https://globalriskinsights.com/2018/11/european-army-european-military/amp/
Old Howard Union

43 – The West Needs Its Own Belt & Road

In order to effectively compete with a rising, increasingly demanding and belligerent China on the world stage – The United States and more broadly the west needs it’s own infrastructure investment initiative. The West needs it’s own Belt & Road initiative in order to cement its values across the world by showing the promise of a world lead not by authoritarianism, but by liberty and opportunity for all.

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Show Notes

Important readings for the topic.

  1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/1213429/economy-could-the-us-gdp-grow-as-fast-as-chinas-of-course-it-could/amp/
  2. https://www.heritage.org/asia/report/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-strategic-implications-and-international-opposition
  3. https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/the-us-needs-a-reality-check-on-chinas-belt-and-road/
  4. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative
  5. https://www.politico.com/magazine/amp/story/2019/04/30/washington-is-dismissing-chinas-belt-and-road-thats-a-huge-strategic-mistake-226759