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18h UTC; TUESDAY, 9 APRIL 2013: Just when you thought, reader, that spring 2013 was certain to make its presence known up in these parts where Your Correspondent is based ... along comes, perhaps, one last Major Winter Storm to confuse things along. In fact, it was raining(!!) earlier this morning, and ere the day progresseth onward, you can expect the rain segueing into a varying mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and (in due course) wet, slushy snow which is bound to melt rather quickly given the return of milder conditions ere the weekend arriveth.

And Not Only That: As if God was expressing disapproval over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's excesses of boasting designed solely for prolefeed ends (especially when it comes to jobs creation), portions of the Black and Trempealeau rivers on the opposite side of the Mississippi from Winona are under Flood Advisories or Warnings for the next day or so (especially to the Black River at Black River Falls and near Galesville, not to mention the Trempealeau River at that perennial trouble spot for flooding, Dodge). Hence, it might not hurt to give a modest donation to The Salvation Army's disaster relief endeavours against the possibility of clear and serious need for the afflicted.

Meanwhile, if ever there was a fresh reason for to stop patronising Walmart, consider this example--as in a former district supervisor (himself of colour, know) refusing to play along with Orders from Corporate calling for exaggerating the losses from "shrinkage" to maximise corporate bottom line.

Which, in its turn, is enough to wonder whether there's an unwritten law of "See Something, Say Nothing" prevailing in the so-called "REAL AmeriKKKa" (especially among the so-called "Taker" classes deemed "too dependent upon government") out of fear that their "narking" could prevent their getting better-paying jobs without having to move elsewhere, credit or even risking loss of welfare benefits. Especially when reinforced by subtle appeals (not put into plain words, know) to "respect others' rights, privileges and powers," in particular such "entitled as of natural right to those above you" with especial regard to:
  1. Commercial Free Speech (including, if Corporate Interest requires it, "the Right to Lie" as per Fox News Channel v. Franken);
  2. Conducting Trade and Earning a Livelihood Without Undue or Unreasonable Interference from the State; and
  3. Privacy (with particular respect towards such patents, trademarks, copyrights and properitary recipes, mixtures, formulae, trade secrets, &c., bestowing "a natural competitive advantage" to companies so holding over competitors).
One Unlikely Reason why a lot of medications are all the more expensive, as subtly endorsed and sanctioned by ObamaCare's opponents "in the national and sovereign interest" insisting that ekonomesie vryheid met Amerikaanse eienskappe is Essential to Our National Character and Identity as a Sovereign Peculiar Among the Nations By Divine Right: The tactic pharmaceutical interests have of extending patents about to expire on certain prescription medications by claiming subtle refinements to the compound tending to the synergistic, say, as were not in the original--"evergreening," as it's known in industry argot. Which, if anything, tends to the anti-competitive by preventing the introduction of generic versions thereof of equivalent purity, strength and efficacy to the original, and with better value for money ensuing, sooner onto the same free market socioeconomic paradigm "Tea Party" types insist on defending.

I bring this up in light of a late ruling by the Supreme Court of India invalidating a number of attempts to extend the patent of the anti-leukemia drug Gleevec on technical points vis-a-vis "improvements" in the original such, thus paving the way for cheaper generic equivalents to become thus available more widely. (Patent law in India is rather complex cf. our "morally superior" United States; hence, the issues here addressed may be setting global precedent over whether even minor rejiggering of the original compound, or methods of dosage and administration, qualifies for bona fide patent protection.)

(Of interest to note here is that The E. R. Squibb Co., out of chivalry and fair play, made its drug patents openly available to competitors free of charge, no questions asked.)

So what got into the mind of Phoenix' civic leaders in its introducing the new PHX SkyTrain system connecting Terminal 4 at Sky Harbour International Airport (PHX) with the East Economy Parking Area and the 44th and Washington light-rail stop when they've traditionally been viewed as a major bastion of ultra-conservative thought (John Birch Society, "Tea Party" and suchlike) as eschews public transit under the "Wise Use" banner?

(Eventually, the free driverless shuttle trams, each car accomodating 53 passengers, will reach Sky Harbor's other terminals, with service every three minutes during peak periods. Equally interesting will be the trains "taking the hill" en route--as in a special "hump" over an especially busy taxiway; the better so aircrafts' tails can pass through.)

Now that China continues expressing its unease over ongoing threats by the North Korean regime to launch "sacred war" against American and South Korean interests (the latest being a warning to foreign interests in South Korea to evacuate Seoul posthaste), it's enough to wonder what Beijing's real policies are thus directed. Especially given continued concern about North Korean refugees crossing the Yalu River into northeastern China should the Pyongyang regime suddenly collapse, and the humanitarian crisis thus unfolding ... not to mention the likelihood for a fresh outbreak of conflict on the Korean Peninsula which could mean as much reunification of the Koreas for the first time since Japanese occupation thereof between 1910 and 1945 as a reunified Korea gravitating towards the United States militarily, politically and socioeconomically, no doubt recalling Chinese historically-motivated unease over the Japanese occupation of Manchuria from 1931 on as Manchukuo, giving Japan free rein to conduct sadistic germ-warfare experiments via the infamous Unit 731 and full-on sadistic warfare epitomised by 1937's Rape of Nanjing. And let's not forget Shanghai's Foreign Settlement before World War II.

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