Wednesday, September 29, 2004

VERTIGO//watts4u2 review

After almost a full week of listening to U2's new single, "Vertigo", I'm still hooked. I loved it on the first listen and I think it is U2's most rockin' song EVER. Straight ahead U2 rock, in full flight. It's condensed U2. It begs to be turned up loud. The asthetic facade has been lifted and we're left with the real U2: Guitar, Bass, Drums and Bono.
Full disclosure here: I've been begging for a less produced/more rockin' U2 project since Unforgettable Fire. There have been bright spots along the way (Desire, The Fly, Holy Joe live), but as great as these and other rockin' U2 songs were, "Vertigo" takes it to another level with it's no-holds-barred rock/punk sensibility. Edge's riffs are simple, classic and loud, and the chorus is catchy and uplifting. It's not U2's most innovative song, it's more of a collection of the great things they've done compacted and turned up to....catorce!
U2 have never really done a song like is more straightforward than anything I can recall. The influences on "Vertigo" are innumerable and I'm making a mix tape of those tunes now. Non-U2 influence includes the Who, the Ramones, the Clash, and I hear some Lenny Kravitz (You Got Me Runnin') and Stone Temple Pilots (Vaseline)in there too. A few saavy U2 fans think they hear the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" in there. Another fan says All That You Can't Leave Behind is to Motown what Vertigo is to Stax. I prefer Stax, and if "Vertigo" is a good indicator, "How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb" will be U2's best album ever, and that's really saying something.
The beginning of "Vertigo" may make you wince at first with the "catorce" thing, but it gets better with each listen. To add to the "catorce" talk, I think that in the part right before the guitar solo, Bono shouts "Just 4" in Bongolese, but that's open for interpretation.
If you'd told me the new U2 song would start out with a heavy/fast guitar riff and the declaration "Turn it up loud, Captain!" I wouldn't have believed it. It's too good to be true!
"Vertigo" hits the bone for me, it's one of those songs you can get excited about and listen to again and again, it leaves you wanting more.
The lyrics are all themes U2 have touched on before, and many of the guitar licks sound familiar, but "Vertigo" brings them together in a new, fresh and exciting way. There is still some overdubbing in parts with a cell phone? ring in the second chorus.
The clip of the 10" Jacknife Lee mix doesn't sound too promising, but I think we'll get a few remixes....hopefully one by David Holmes, whose instrumental "Beautiful Day" mix was a big hit with me.
The time is right for this song, "Vertigo", and it flat out rocks.
Turn it up loud, Captain!





Monday, September 27, 2004

"Get Me a Doctor" Says Pepper

THM: Pepper Writes Another Carolina Comeback Story :: Mick Mixon looks at the former Tar Heel who has survived an aneurysm.

Great survival story about one of my childhood heroes...


4moreyears, originally uploaded by watts4u2.



resoluteman, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Bono Brings Forth New Music

Bono Brings Forth New Music, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

"Vertigo" now available on iTunes

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Bono the Great

The Observer | Comment | Pro Bono:

"'You can see the halo over his head,' said Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, a man not given to irony or overstatement."

"'I believe that Bono has used his celebrity status for more good than anyone who has ever used their celebrity for any cause,' says Jim Leach, the moderate Republican congressman for Iowa"

"At a time, then, when we seem mesmerised by the empty lives of the rich and famous, Bono seems single-handedly to have grasped the idea that fame can be a means to a bigger, more morally honourable, end, his undimmed idealism now tempered by a very real and hard-earned understanding of global economics and the politics of aid."

Bono is heaped with praise in this well-informed article.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Homeland Security: Mission Accomplished You Say Yusuf, I Say Youssouf...:

"Still, the TSA is learning. It recently acknowledged that a Federal Air Marshall, unable to fly for weeks when his name was mistakenly put on the 'no-fly' list, was in fact not a threat, and removed his name from the list."

Another "would be funny, if not so sad" story for ya. With the $400 Billion we've spent on Iraq, I bet we could have retnia scanners at all airports and we could upgrade and simplify this outmoded system.

This incident pissed off moderate Muslims, even the ones who like US.

Where Did the RatherGate Story Go?

Conservative bloggers....y'all who spent 2 months on Swift Boats Vets and just 2 weeks on Dan Rather's botched story....why has the RatherGate talk suddenly ceased? Why aren't you conservatives still in a furious uproar? It would be perfectly legitimate to be outraged that one of the three major news anchors had it in for your candidate and even aired false documents. Why did the uproar die down so quickly?
Because, some Bush-Backers noticed:

Dan Rather vs George Bush on the facts
September 22, 2004

Dan Rather, CBS News Anchor
1) given documents he thought were true
2) failed to thoroughly investigate the facts
3) reported documents to the American people as true to make his case
4) when confronted with the facts, apologized and launched an investigation
5) number of Americans dead: 0
6) should be fired as CBS News Anchor

George W. Bush, President of the United States
1) given documents he thought were true
2) failed to thoroughly investigate the facts
3) reported documents to the American people as true to make his case
4) when confronted with the facts, continued to report untruths and stonewalled an investigation
5) number of Americans dead: 1100 -- so far
6) should be fired as President of the United States

Friday, September 24, 2004

"Turn it up loud, Captain!"

U2 : - weblog - news - info , one of the very best U2 sites out there has some links to the rockin' new U2 single "Vertigo". You gotta hear this one to believe it!

Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce? Is this album #14? Are they restarting from "War"? Is this the Anti-Unforgettable Fire? What if U2 had gone more punk and less asthetic after "War"?

Enjoy and let me know what you think

Thursday, September 23, 2004

U2 Vertigo

U2 Vertigo, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Can you feee-eel it? Wow!

U2's Back!

update: link looks to be dead, I'll try to find another and link it - Ch� U2!

Click on link to go to download page for U2's new single "Vertigo".

I love it! Just what I've been wanting from U2 for years, this song ROCKS, and at the same time it's very U2. Less production, almost live in the studio feel, I hope the whole album was recorded like this. It's a hit right out of the box, but maybe too rockin' to be as "everywhere" as Beautiful Day.
Parts remind me of other songs I've seen mentioned, just want to add "Where Did it All Go Wrong" to that list.
Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce? Is this album #14? Are they restarting from "War"? Is this the Anti-Unforgettable Fire? What if U2 had gone more punk and less asthetic after "War"?

Homeland Security at Work - Airport screeners missed weapons

Yeah, but they caught that evil-dooer, Cat Stevens!

watts4u2 posts in the @U2 Forum, part II

@U2 Forum - U2 Fan Community:

People in the "Real World" section of the @U2 Forum needed some help figuring out why they shouldn't vote for George W., so I put in a few words:

" The UN never passed a resolution authorizing military force to topple Saddam. In fact, the US knew a resoultion worded that way would not pass, so they abandoned it and decided to defy the UN and invade Iraq. The resolution you speak of called for 'serious consequences' and specifically did not include a threat of force.
Also, the Congress never passed a Declaration of War, as required by the Constitution. Presidents have side-stepped this for ages, but in THIS war, we are without a doubt the aggressors and therefore Congress should have had to make a formal declaration of war. Bush would have never been able to pass that through Congress, so it wasn't even considered. They preferred the open-ended 'threat of force' bill that gave them the most leeway, and political leverage against anyone who opposed it.
The miscalculations of George W on Iraq are too numerous to count, and his insistence that things are getting better would be laughable if it weren't so sad. The war in Iraq has made the War on Terrorism much more difficult and emboldened terrorists worldwide, while at the same time we've dissed almost all of our strongest allies, with Bush's 'go it alone' policies.
But we are where we are, so the real question is what do we want to do from here? Rather than change diapers, I like the baseball analogy: it's time for a relief pitcher, and Kerry is the perfect man for the job. Respected worldwide, Kerry has experience with wars gone wrong and he is more capable of doing the job than just about anybody save John McCain (who the Republicans should have nominated in 2000....he would have won in a landslide).
If you've been a Bush-backer, but don't like the way things are going in Iraq, then say a fond 'Thank You' to George W for ousting Saddam, but place your vote for the person that can best handle the situation we are in right now.

Did you see the reaction Bush got at the UN yesterday?
We can't go on like that for another 4 years.

watts4u2 posts in the @U2 Forum

@U2 Forum - U2 Fan Community:

" Bush is very careful not to come out and blatantly lie, but I would characterize him as 'misleading' the public on WMD and terrorist connections to Saddam. In addition to misleading the public on the reasons for....I have to say it- invading Iraq -, Bush and his team were manipulating intelligence data from the CIA, Pentagon and State Department....they ignored details that hurt their case for war and exaggerated details that helped their case. Many of the details that helped their case turned out to be false....
Did Bush lie? I don't think you can say that exactly, but I do think you can now say that he led us into an unjust war against an enemy that was no real threat to its neighbors or the US. We now know that economic sanctions and the inspectors were both effective in limiting Saddam's ability to wage any kind of attack, and he was as isolated as Castro (who hasn't caused the US any real trouble in 40 years). There was not imminent threat, no need for pre-emptive war. Bush mislead us, the whole world, and it reminds me of the fairy tale about 'crying wolf' time there may be a real danger out there and the world won't listen because we were all mislead about this wolf.
And when you get right down to it, isn't being mislead on the Iraq invasion worse than a bold-faced lie about a BJ? "

George W. Rather?

All ye Republicans, lend me yer big floppy, charming ears. What Dan Rather did with those memos was wrong. He mislead us with false information. To think we would believe that George W. slacked off toward the end of his National Guard duty....that's an outrage!
But let's see....who else mislead us with false information recently? Seems to me I remember somebody who told us that Saddam was an imminent threat, repleat with WMDs, Biological and Chemical agents with little remote control planes that could fly through our cities, spreading death across America. He even showed us a bit of evidence: satellite photos of buildings, testimony from Iraqi exiles like Chalibi, yellowcake from Nigeria. Who sold us this false information backed by dubious sources? George W & Co.
Bush's evidence, much like the RatherGate Memos, turned out to be false. Therefore, if you're upset with Rather's false evidence and misleading story, then certainly you should be upset with Bush's false evidence and misleading story.
The big difference is that Rather's "miscalculation" has only led to a firestorm on Blogs, while Bush's miscalculations have led us into a deteriorating state of occupational war.
The consequences of Bush's false information have been more serious than Rather's.
The end of Rather at CBS News? The end of CBS News itself? SHOCKING!
The end of the US as a respected leader of the free world?
The instigation of an questionable war in the heart of the Middle East?
...mmmore than SHOCKING.

I'm thinking Congress should call hearings about the "memos" Bush & Co. sold to us before the invasion....seems to me that is more their job than going after Dan Rather.
And I'm no Rather fan...stopped watching him years ago and the last time I saw him was when he interrupted a golf tournament to announce Reagan's death.

He was terrible...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"Piece Plane" - U.S. & World - Watch-List Passenger ID'd as Cat Stevens

Whew! Now We're Safe.

Good work Homeland Security, I feel so much better knowing Cat Stevens can't visit the US. Nice work diverting the plane before he had a chance to hijack it.

Maybe they though his song was "Piece Plane" not "Peace Train"...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bush the Liberal - The nobility and folly of democratizing Iraq. By William Saletan

Bush the Liberal - The nobility and folly of democratizing Iraq. By William Saletan

Been reading Saletan for a while now, and his views are pretty close to mine....he supported the war when Iraq was an "imminent threat", but now no WMD and no 911 connection, plus bad planning for the "peace"...

If you read the papers you know that Iraq has been and continues to be a catastrophie on many levels, and the occupation will continue indefinitely...we are trapped. If we stay to create a "stable" Iraq, it will take at least 10 years, maybe 40. If we leave even in the next 2-3 years, it's very likely that Iraq will fall into a civil war, destabalizing the already unstable region. We may have created a bigger terrorist monster in Iraq by deleting the evil dictator. So, we will be forced to stay and the casualties will mount, year after year, while our security here at home is none the better for it. How did we get here? George W. and his gang led us here, and he's proud of it.

Monday, September 20, 2004

John Kerry Sent Me an E-Mail Today

kerry edwards, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

....and you can tell Clinton's gang has been at work. It's a masterpiece, and it would have been great at the convention. This makes me think the debates may be more important this cycle...if Kerry can use logic like this to break Bush down on TV...maybe it will make a difference. I still have some hope in the American electorate. Don't let me down.

If you want to read Kerry's letter, I'm sure it's on their website.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Chromed Moon

Chromed Moon, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Photoshopped from a while back. The DSC-P5 just can't really capture the moon without some help.

Close Up

Close Up, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

She likes the camera


Self-Portrait, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Anna Grace took this herself with the old Agfa camera on timer.

Friday, September 17, 2004

100 Coolest Cars

BenzAuto320, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Automobile Magazine ranks the coolest cars "the kings of cool", and though the 300CE didn't make it, it's close cousin the 500E came in #90. I still think the CE is "cooler" but more horses were important to this ranking.


Sur-Fi-re, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Fixing a Hole

Fixing a Hole, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

mo - fi-ah, for surv-ivah

mo - fi-ah, for surv-ivah, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

'President Bush You Killed My Son'

Woman wearing 'President Bush You Killed My Son' T-Shirt disrupts first lady's rally

He was trying to disarm a bomb.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

By Any Means

Pop Goes Politics - Is the new protest music any good? By Jody Rosen

Nathan's band is making some waves on Slate today!

Trans Am
Liberation, Thrill Jockey
Click here to listen to "Total Information Awareness," here to listen to "Spike in the Chatter," and here to listen to "Uninvited Guest."
War on Terror catchphrases like "Total Information Awareness" and "Spike in the Chatter" sound like song titles in search of creepy music, and Washington, D.C.,-based Trans Am delivers just that on this suitably dystopian soundtrack. But there's only so much a mostly instrumental neo-prog rock band can say. Whether droning "Security … Technology" over power chords in a vocoder robot voice, or layering samples of Arab journalists describing bombing runs on Baghdad atop clattering canned beats, Trans Am's message is the same: That George Bush sure is a scary warmonger. Liberation's most satisfying variation on this banal theme is "Uninvited Guest." The song stitches together bits of Bush's speeches ("Our commitment to weapons of mass destruction is America's tradition," says the president to roaring applause) and plays them over an eerie Afrika Bambaataa-style synthesizer riff.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Rives and Watts

rives and watts, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

I have a reader!
Remember this?

At the beach

CLP06453.GIF, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

AGC strolls

Whose side is God on?

Heaven Sent - Does God endorse George Bush? By Steven Waldman

Now that Dad has spoken, what does God have to say about the election?

The whole article is worth a read, here's the conclusion:

"'s hard to recall another instance of a presidential campaign so confidently promulgating the idea that its candidate had divine endorsement. The potentially dangerous implication is that since God put George W. Bush in the White House, opposing him is opposing Him. A person could get smited for that.

Of course, it's always possible God did put George W. Bush in the White House. But if He did, it doesn't theologically follow that He wants him to have a second term. Even those who believe that God controls world events usually concede it is hard for humans to divine the intent of the Divine.

After all, in the Bible, God is described as doing things for all sorts of inexplicable reasons—sometimes as a reward to the people, and sometimes as a punishment."

Dub Endorses Kerry

I'm proud to present my Dad's e-mail to the larger viewing public.

People , Kerry came home after his tour in Viet Nam and testified before Congress that the war in Viet Nam was wrong . He's saying it again about Iraq . I'd say listen carefully to this man .

I did not serve in Viet Nam but spent thirteen months on Okinawa , as a Marine officer prepared to go to Nam , and sat on about a dozen court martials of Marines accused of committing atrocities in Viet Nam , so Kerry is not wrong on that account . It was a minority but it happened , and broadly . And I had $.15 martinis at Happy Hour at the Officers' Club with career Majors and Lt. Colonels who said the war was wrong , we were not fighting to win , that the " Domino theory " was not valid , that we should find a way out of the morass .

So , Kerry was not wrong in his protests as he blamed the politicians , the strategists , a minority of the troops , and tried to reason with an administration that was ultimately to come to agree with this bold dissenter . This man showed leadership , commitment , valor and real manhood while his opponent was still wrestling with his demons .

I believe that Kerry can give the USA a new start on the world scene and that the USA needs to do all we can to re-create strong allied relationships to oppose the worsening terrorist threats . Just don't dismiss Kerry as a " war protestor " . He showed uncanny awareness and resolve to take the position he did . He also might be our best approach to handling the Iraq situation that everyone is having to accept because " we are where we are " ( and not discussing whether we ought to have done what we did ) , and the terrorists' attitudes toward the USA .

Then there's the economy , jobs , health care , fair taxes , global warming , energy policy , and other issues not on this administration's radar screen . I'm only suggesting that all of us step back a bit and think about the realities , letting our brains " do the walking " , not letting our gut instincts pull the lever or point that electronic pencil !! I have voted nine times for Republican presidential nominees , including Goldwater , but I suggest , in the interest of our children and grand-children , a nod to Zell , that you consider Kerry as a viable best-case for the USA and our world .
Watts Carr III

Saturday, September 11, 2004

One Thousand Dead

Frankly, when we launched the war, I expected it to be higher...I figured we might loose 2-3000 in the invasion alone. But, that was when I assumed that Saddam would attack our troops with chemical and/or biological weapons. Luckily (or not), many more of the wounded survive these days, thanks to specially designed "bullet proof" vests that ooze a blood coagulant when pierced.
The "casualties" (dead and wounded) in this war now are more than the dead and wounded from 911.
Had we found the weapons stockpiles....or even a fraction of what we expected, this sacrifice may have been worth it. Had we found direct terrorist ties with Saddam, something to suggest Saddam would arm terrorists with may have been worth the sacrifice.
But that's not what we found. Saddam had nothing....N_A_D_A. Iraq was a threat to no one but itself. There was certainly no imminent threat.
At some point before we stormed Bagdad, our troops were given the OK to remove all their Bio-Chem gear. How did we know so soon that those kinds of weapons were no longer a threat? I'll have to research that when I get back home.
Wether or not it was a good thing (for us) to get rid of Saddam, the fact is, we were sold a false bill of goods in the lead-up to the invasion. Even with these puffed up allegations, the Europeans would not support us. Why should we expect them to help us that they know George W. was misleading them (or trying to mislead them) into a war, they would be fools to trust George W and they would rightly be voted out of office. Had our troops been attacked with WMDs, it would have been easier for Chirac & Co. to lend us support. These leaders would have a much easier time selling their participation to their voters with John Kerry in office, even then it's not guaranteed, but something tells me he has some pull with the French, and their longstanding ties to Iraq would be helpful.
OK, now I'm babbling on and on about's just that this election is so important for America....never before in my life has there been so much at stake. If we voters endorse Bush with a clear election win, it will send a message to the world that we, the American people, are complicit with W and his actions in Iraq. We, the American people, saw this president mislead us into war. Electing anyone who misleads their country into invading another's all I can do not to invoke the dreaded 1930's Germany.
One thousand of America's best and brightest are now dead because of this war. What have we gained? Yes, Saddam is out of power, but Iraq is a more dangerous place than ever. We must leave, but not until we're sure it won't turn into an Afghanistan with oil, a terrorist haven, a theocracy, and now we have to deal with all the tribes, the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites....damn, we had somebody to do this for us....Saddam! I for one, preferred Iraq when it was taking care of itself.
Ah, maybe we'll still find the weapons, right? Sure, I believe ya, George, tell me another one.

Another Day in Chapel Hill

Boy, what a beautiful day in Chapel Hill. Another good day of econ dev,made some more contacts and went to dinner at the Rat (again) with a couple of other classmates. It was as good as ever and I think they appreciated the 'inside look' at Chapel Hill. Somehow lost our third and I drove Russel from Norfolk by the Pile on the way home to the Hampton Inn (this is in Durham?....I had no idea the city limits met with Chapel Hill's way on this side of 40.....the Friday Center might be 1/2 mile from Durham).
Franklin Street is quite different from when I was in school, but it's also pretty much the same. I miss the Top of the Hill gas station, Papagayo's, Record Bar, but most of the staples are still there....The Rathskeller, the Shrunken Head (closes at 5:30), Ye Olde Waffle Shop...
Toward the end of my Gambler, I discovered that my coursemates are gonna vote for Bush. Oh, man! Well, that's OK, I wasn't about to push it, I have lots of friends voting for Bush. When we left dinner, we walked by the post office where there were people gathered with candles, holding a vigil with signs that read "1000 Dead", and "How Many More", etc. I joke to my new friends, "let's go over there and let me get y'all roughed up" was funny, you had to be there. The protesters were largely in their early 50's, not many college kids. Bizarre.
When we left, Jennifer turned right when we turned left, and I don't know if she's made it back to the Hampton Inn yet. I feel bad, but we did make an illegal U-turn and backtracked Franklin Street twice looking for her, so I hope she made it back OK.
The Econ Dev course is mighty interesting and it has given me a lot to think about. In some ways, the course makes me more worried about the future of our economy in North Carolina and America as a whole. But, I'm still an optimist and think we'll find a way with help from, and despite the government.
I'm missing my babies, Tracey & Anna Grace, will be home tomorrow!

Econ 101

Long day of economic development study in Chapel Hill today. We had a couple of good speakers today including Robert Pittman from Lockwood Green consulting, but the highlight of the day was the speaker we had for dinner at the Friday Center tonight. Boy was he tasty! ;-)
No, really, we heard a great speech from Mac Holliday tonight. The statistics of manufacturing job losses in the South over the past 3 years are overwhelming....but put in context with the decline in agriculture employment since 1940, and it gives me some hope that we can find a better, faster route to the promise of the "new economy" in the South. Tell ya what, it's many factors to consider, but it is clear some things need to change and Education is the key. That's not going to be the answer for everyone though. I am convinced that there will always be a certain percentage (15,20,25?) of people who will not strive to get an education, and I don't think there are enough jobs at McDonalds for all of, I believe we as a nation need to have the ability to produce goods. Make things. This is the backbone of capitalism and they can't all have service jobs. What about these people....these good people, our neighbors, our countrymen? We need some good manufacturing jobs.
The course is giving me a lot to think about, so pardon the ramble.....I've basically been in class for 12 hours straight!

Blogging from Chapel Hill

Started the Economic Development course today, some interesting info and lots of nice people. Everyone knows Dad from Commerce Dept.
Great drive from Wilmington, overcast with not too much rain, except for the standard I-40 downpour for about 10 blinding minutes. The '89 300CE is running like a champ, and I loved driving it around Chapel Hill today....wish I'd had it back when the car was new and I was still in school!
Will have a collection of blogs to send from my trip, along with some silly pictures. Too rainy today, so will have to settle for some from the hotel room. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sunset at Bald Head

Wow, a nice comment on Flickr before this shot even makes it to Blogger. This shot is probably 10 years old at least, 35mm, scanned by Canon. I am a sucker for sunset pictures....

Monday, September 06, 2004

360 Atop Old Baldy

360 Atop Old Baldy, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Turned for Clie viewing pleasure

Saturday, September 04, 2004

watts on the clie 090404

watts on the clie 090404, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Clinton's Heart

"Well, lemme say this, it's not just the Republicans who want four more years"

-Bill Clinton calls in to Larry King Live from the hospital

Ronald Reagan would have been proud of that line, a classic.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Blog Search Engine

Blog Search Engine -Search Engine and Directory of blogs. Looking for blogs? Find them on

Not sure what this will do, but here goes...

From the Drug Makers

"In 2003, PhRMA member companies invested an estimated $33.2 billion on research to develop new treatments for diseases - an estimated 17.7 percent of domestic sales on R&D - a higher R&D to sales ratio than any other U.S. industry.

At this level of investment, PhRMA member companies spend more on R&D than the National Institutes of Health and the international pharmaceutical industry."

In 2000, direct to consumer drug advertising cost over 2.5 Billion, with 15.7 Billion spent in total on drug promotion. And these numbers are rising fast since 1996. I think we can fairly extrapolate that 2.5 Billion to 3 Billion, and the 15.7 Billion to 17 Billion to try to get close to 2003 numbers for comparisons sake.
So, the Pharmacy companies do spend more on research and development than advertising. About twice as much. Still, I don't feel much better about that, and the "trends" in increased prescriptions at higher costs is troubling.

John Edwards Blasts Prescription Drug Advertising -- 08/16/2004

John Edwards Blasts Prescription Drug Advertising -- 08/16/2004:

"According to the Kerry-Edwards campaign, pharmaceutical companies more than doubled their spending on advertising and marketing between 1996 and 2001. Advertising and marketing costs rose faster than spending on research and development, the campaign said."

Getting closer....

More Prescription Drugs

"In the U.S., prescription drug spending increased from US $50.6 billion in 1993 to $93.4 billion in 1998, an 84% increase over a five-year period. Four categories of drugs accounted for 30.8% of this increase: oral antihistamines used to treat allergy, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs and ulcer treatments. These categories include seven of the ten drugs most heavily advertised to the public in 1998. That means that direct-to-consumer advertising could have added more than $13 billion to the US drug bill in 1998. In 1999, two thirds of the increase in spending on prescription drugs in the US was for 25 drugs with the most intensive DTC advertising campaigns"

Click on link for more interesting tidbits. Still trying to crunch some numbers here....

Bono O'Reilly - The O'Reilly Factor - Interview - Bono: Not Facing AIDS Crisis 'Foolhardy'

Bono is at the Republican convention and sat in for an interview with Bill O'Reilly on FOX last night. Talk about up my alley!
Notice that O'Reilly refers to our former Senator as "the late" Jesse Helms. I hope he means late for the convention, because as far as I know Jesse is still very much alive. Strange that the slip would even make it into the transcript. Jesse Helms is still alive, right? Besides that, it was a great interview, read the transcript on the link above. Here's a couple of exerpts:

O'REILLY: Let me ask you a couple of questions. I understand the late Jesse Helms, the arch conservative, the late Jesse Helms of North Carolina was a very big booster of your cause, is that correct?

BONO: Yes. It's been amazing. I've been really surprised. You know, I came at this from -- you know, I grew up in a Labour household, you can imagine in the north side of Dublin. I have all my opinions. I have my opinions of conservatives, and they weren't all good. And then I met some conservatives that really turned me around on that. They were really just conservatives. They were people that will had their convictions that were different to mine, but they held them, you know, from a true place.

Then I met Jesse Helms, who you know, who people in my band wouldn't speak to me because I was meeting Jesse Helms. And he did an extraordinary thing. He did something no politician does. He publicly apologized for the way he had thought about the AIDS virus. He says, I've got it wrong. And he got emotional about it, and he turned it around. And he made a lot of other people who were very judgmental about AIDS...

O'REILLY: Look at it in a different way.

BONO: ... look at it in a different way.

O'REILLY: I've been to Africa as you. I'm not as widely traveled as you, but it is a corrupt continent, it's a continent in chaos. We can't deliver a lot of the systems that we send there. Money is stolen.

Now, when you have a situation like that, where governments don't really perform consistently, where there's just corruption everywhere, how can you cut through that?

BONO: It's funny, we worked with this administration on two things. Historic AIDS initiative, and a thing called the Millennium Challenge, which is a way of increasing aide flows to Africa, but only to countries that are tackling corruption. So really important, and not well described initiative.

O'REILLY: So like Uganda, which is really trying to do something, the money would flow there.

BONO: Yes.

O'REILLY: But in Sierra Leone, wouldn't go there.

BONO: Exactly.

O'REILLY: OK. I like that. Because that, at least, gives you a chance.....

O'REILLY: I like it, and I think it can be done. You're going to have to work hard to get it done. Is that a rosary around your neck there? Is that a rosary?

BONO: The pope gave me this, it's a Michelangelo designed....

O'REILLY: You're certainly doing God's work. I mean, I admire you very much for what you're doing.

BONO: God must have a great sense of humor to have me on board.

O'REILLY: No. No. We need people like you to command a worldwide audience and to get people at least thinking about this. And then we need the politicians out here in the convention, in both conventions to come up with a strategy. I do agree that if America could take the lead, it would turn public opinion around and help us in the war on terror.

Note my title "Bono O'Reilly" is a take-off on the Who song "Baba O'Riley", look at the lyrics from that song:

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland

Sally, take my hand
Travel south cross land
Put out the fire
And don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together
Before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh, yeah
Teenage wasteland
They're all wasted!