This article is sent from RXRights.org. One of the commentators when asked what should be do replied very simply, “Very easy to stop this kind of corporate behavior. Start jailing the CEOs who are responsible for the fraud committed by their companies.” To this we can only add give them all the ax!

How Drug Companies Rip Off Taxpayers

Drug companies aren’t supposed to charge government programs like Medicaid and Medicare more than private health care consumers. Patients in these programs are supposed to qualify for the lowest priced medications. In fact, there’s even an agreement with drug manufacturers to offset federal and state costs through rebates.

The government requires drug companies to report their lowest drug prices quarterly. Based on these reports, the companies pay rebates to state and federal programs. But because prices are self-reported, there are many opportunities for fraud.

Take the case of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now owned by Pfizer). Beginning in 2001, the company allegedly sold Protonix to hospitals at half the price it charged Medicaid—and knowingly concealed this fact when reporting to the government. This case was settled for earlier this year for a whopping $784.6 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Trans Talent NYC

Posted: August 19, 2016 in *Celebration*, Events, HIGH queer art

What could be better than supporting local trans performers? Supporting the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) at the same time!

Join us in New York on August 26th for a night showcasing impressive trans talent from spoken word to music to dancing. For more details on the performers and to buy tickets ($10), please visit the event page.

Come for a one-of-a-kind performance by local NYC trans performers. All proceeds will be donated to NCTE to continue our fight for trans equality.

Hope you’re able to attend!

Thank you,
Mara

Mara Keisling
Executive Director
National Center for Transgender Equality

Support Lucka and Antonio

In Detroit, two street artists are heading to court to fight felony charges for allegedly painting the words “Free the Water” and a large black fist on the Highland Park water tower in 2014. Artists William Lucka and Antonio Cosme are facing hefty fines and prison time on charges of malicious destruction of property and more. Detroit has faced its own water crisis in recent years, as the city has cut off running water from tens of thousands of homes. The United Nations has condemned Detroit’s ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law.   For more on this go to HERE.

Help support Lucka and Antonio’s court battle. Donate now! Their Defense Committee is dedicated to ensuring that neither spend time behind bars, and that means a costly legal struggle. But the cost of not resisting is so much higher — for so many in Flint, Detroit, and beyond.

In Flint, residents have been living without clean, safe water for nearly three years, barely surviving on bottled water for all their needs. Detroit, too, is grappling with its own water crisis; the United Nations has condemned the city’s ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law even as tens of thousands go without running water to their homes.

The city is also cracking down on resistance in its drive toward a “New Detroit”: an anti-black, anti-poor vision of a “revitalization,” or what’s been called a “tale of two cities.” As part of that, the city has instituted an Anti-Graffiti Task Force, made up of police, to target certain types of public expression, done by certain people. Famed street artist Shepard Fairey, paid by billionaire Dan Gilbert to paint an enormous mural on a downtown building, recently had his own Detroit graffiti charges dismissed, as did two young white women from Grosse Pointe who spray-painted walls in Detroit. In contrast, the city seems intent on forging ahead with the “Free the Water” case against two young men of color who are deeply engaged in their communities and political organizing.

Let Lucka and Antonio know that they are not alone. Contribute generously to our fund-raiser and encourage others to do so.

Please visit our Web site for updates, to sign up for announcements, and of course to donate:www.FreeTheWater313.org

You can also “like” and visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/freethewater313/.

*   *   *
Antonio is a farmer, artist, and activist who has been organizing against water shutoffs since 2012. Cofounder of the Raiz Up — an Xicano, Latino, and indigenous hip-hop and arts collective rooted in Southwest Detroit — Antonio is involved with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management and the People’s Water Board.

Lucka is an muralist and highly skilled artist from Southwest Detroit. He volunteers to teach guitar with Grace in Action and is a member of the Raiz Up. Lucka’s art has spoken loudly against gentrification’s takeover and for original peoples, and he has been an integral member of many public art projects throughout the community.

For an excellent article from Hyperallergic  go to HERE.

Please spread the word.

Furbirdsqueerly got a note the other day from two of their favorite writers and travel specialists Olga and Bessy Marie. “Hey, guys and gals, we see you have opened up Furbirds again and we would love to write a story about our travels for you.” “Well,’ said the gang at Furbirds, “why not,” we always enjoyed the travelogues that came our way from Olga and Bessy Marie. One thing we love is to get postcards from our friends when they travel. We share in their joy and when a place strikes our fancy we check it out. Back in the day we had a large apartment. On one wall in the hallway we had what we called our post card wall. All cards we received, places that we traveled and any cards that met our fancy were displayed there. We have a wonderful photo of artists friends in NYC visiting us and all gazing at and admiring our wall. A collage of the world presenting itself to us each time we went into that hall.

Going Somewhere while staying in place.

by Olga and Bessy Marie

Summer was here and the living was never easy. How could it be for two old gals trying to get by on Social Security and a little bit of this and a tad of that, a few cans here, bottles there, a free lunch down the street at the senior center. Hey we gotta survive someone has to be a thorn in the foot of the establishment.  Olga and Bessy were tired. Just plain tired. Tired of it all. Tired of the everyday struggle and tired of the world that politicians were presenting in this election year. ESCAPE was written all over the place. Not feeling like getting on their traveling shoes, packing any bags, coming up with some never found extra cash, and going somewhere both said, why not just go no where. So that is what they did they went nowhere or at least in what everyone thinks of, is going somewhere for a holiday. Nowhere but home is where they stayed. All alone in their cozy little apartment on the end of the street. Sure they went out and about grocery shopping, to do the laundry, to buy some presents for friends and relatives but most of the time it was stay at home and go nowhere. That is what they liked and it liked them so very much. So much as a matter of fact that Bessy Marie said, “Let’s include a fine art picture of nowhere just so our couple of readers can see what we saw on our nowhere trip”. So below is a little souvenir of our nowhere and what Bessy Marie and Olga saw when they were going nowhere.                                   While they were at going nowhere Olga said, “Let’s play a little game of,”if we felt like going somewhere, where in the world would that be.” “ Well said Olga I could throw a dart at the map of the world and a dart would pick a spot for us to go to in our dreams. Got to do something while we are waiting around going nowhere.  As long as the dart doesn’t stick in somewhere where one can’t brush their teeth all will be okay. I don’t mind smelling a bit as long as there are a few other smelly folks around that we could have our smell mingle with and come up with one big smell.”  A new smell to bottle it up, call it crowd chaser and bring it to somewhere where everyone is overly clean and fresh. Chase the fresh and clean right out of the place. So Olga threw the dart at the map of the world and it landed smack dab in the middle of the ocean. “Well,” snorted Bessy Marie, “you had better try again Olga as I don’t swim and have not any plans on falling overboard from a ship and becoming food for shark and others that would love to gobble up fleshy little me. Out there on the deep blue sea rocking back and forth wave after wave would surly cause me to hang my head over the railing and loose not only my dinner but my breakfast and lunch too. Nah, Olga I have no sea legs at all and don’t plan on growing any. Nor am I a piece of meat with out feet that swims around and around, sleeping with one eye closed and one eye on the look out for anything bigger than me.” Even if I am an old crab sea life is not for me.”

Found Ocean by Olga.

So the old girl threw again. “Oh, please let it land somewhere I can talk to some native folks about their way of life and file a report with our travel bureau.”  Well that dart flew threw the air with all ease as Olga had been a star player on the little league team way back in the day when she was coming up in Goon City. Olga was the only girl allowed to play ball with the boys and she taught them  all how to play. The Goon City Trailblazers were number one for all the years that Olga played on the team and remained that way for as long as any of the boys that she taught the tricks of the trade batted and balled. Well smack dab the dart landed in the country of Armenia. Here is a map to show everyone where Armenia is located just so all of us will know where in the world we would go if we were going anywhere. We have gathered some interesting notes about Armenia from many sources we gather these in the service of the people without any malice, claims on the wors or thievery attended.

The dart landed right out side of Yerevan and we were pleased. Clapping our hands and saying yes we were on our way to an adventure in our minds. Two of our favorite fruits, and honey we know fruits, are very much a part of the nation of Armenia.

The pomegranate, with its symbolic association with fertility represents that nation. The apricot is the national fruit.

Read the rest of this entry »

In from ColorOfChange. This very disturbing article and action by Facebook.

Facebook just took away one of the most important tools we have to help hold police accountable – social media.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, at the request of police, deactivated the social media accounts of Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old Black woman shot to death by Baltimore County police last Monday. She was broadcasting the standoff on Facebook that led to police shooting her 5-year-old son and killing her.1

Social media and shareable videos have been crucial not just for raising awareness about the injustices Black folks like Korryn and her son face every day from police, but in allowing us to control our own stories and narratives. Without access to social media, the police control the narrative. And when police control that narrative we’re always portrayed as people who deserved to die. This a dangerous precedent. To keep our message from getting out, police are going to keep taking our social media out.

Demand Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stop censoring users at the request of the police.

With the introduction of Facebook live video last April, the social media giant will increasingly be put in the position of controlling one of the most powerful tools used to make police violence against Black folks visible. Just last month, the Facebook livestream of Philando Castile’s death at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests. But this latest incident makes us wonder, what if police had asked Facebook to shut down Diamond Reynolds’ Facebook as she streamed the police killing of her boyfriend, Philando Castile?

Had police done that, we might only have seen police fed news headlines about a Black man with a gun being killed by police. We never would have known the true story that Philando Castile was a licensed gun owner who was complying with police orders. And we would never have witnessed their brutality against him nor felt the grief and bravery of Diamond Reynolds and her daughter.

This is why Facebook’s decision to censor Korryn Gaines’ social media accounts at the request of the police is so dangerous for our communities. If Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook continue to comply with police requests to suspend social media broadcasts and accounts, it will rob us of our voices and our narratives and it will shield police violence from the public.

Demand Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stop censoring users at the request of the police.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone to great lengths to declare his and his company’s support for the Movement for Black Lives. He’s made public statements about the need to address systemic racism in the US and last month, and even hung a massive sign of support outside Facebook headquarters. But so far he and Facebook have been slow to take actions in support of Black folks.

Last year, Zuckerberg dragged his feet when it came to addressing the racist bullying occurring on his site. But when Republicans complained about censorship of right-wing content on his site earlier this year, Zuckerberg immediately hosted a meeting with top-GOP operatives to reassure them of his site’s neutrality. To date, Facebook has not acted to address Black movement leaders concerns with Facebook’s censorship of Black users like Korryn Gaines.

Not only that, but Zuckerberg was all too happy to let Facebook help sponsor Trump’s coronation at the RNC. But if we pile on the pressure while this issue is making front page news, we could force Mark Zuckerberg to go beyond words to action and make Facebook change its policy.

Demand Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stop censoring users at the request of the police.

Until Justice is Real,

–Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Evan, Anika, Bernard, Corina, Jade and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.

References:

1. “Facebook deactivated Korryn Gaines’ account during standoff, police say,” The Guardian, 08-03-2016
https://act.colorofchange.org/go/6589?t=7&akid=6086.1901838.Ta921c

gacc16

Applications for the Fall 2016 Great American Condom Campaign are open! Apply Today!

We are once again on a quest to find the most bold and visionary college students from around the United States to receive 500 Trojan Brand condoms to distribute on their college campuses.

Each year, GACC members give out over a million Trojan Brand condoms on college campuses across the United States, educate their peers about sexual health, and organize to improve the policies that affect young people’s health and lives.

What ingenious plans will you come up with to distribute them this year? A condom scavenger hunt? Condom raffle tickets? Condom demonstration flash mob? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

The application deadline is August 31st and it only takes about 10 minutes to fill out. Apply Today!

Do it for your country.

Visit Amplify – an online hub of youth activism –
for more information and ways to get involved. www.amplifyyourvoice.org