Grassroot Perspective – March 31, 2003-Get Your Wonder Drugs!; Long Lines Mar Canada's Low-Cost Health Care; Castle Coalition Defends Property Rights Across the Nation

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“Dick Rowland Image”

”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– Get Your Wonder Drugs!

Author: John J. Miller

Source: National Review, 2/24/03

Author John Miller presents an in depth portrait of the enormous peril,
risk, expense, and emotional investment in pharmaceutical research.
Miller uses the story of Pfizer’s Geodon, an antipsychotic drug used to
treat schizophrenia, to illustrate the amount of time and money that are
devoted to bringing a new drug from discovery to market. “For every
150,000 compounds our scientists make, we figure one of them will make
it to the marketplace,” says Derek Leshman, a Pfizer pharmacologist.
Miller tracks one compound that the company spent more than a decade and
hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, with great promise, great
disappointment, and ultimate success in developing a new wonder drug.
Full text:

– Long Lines Mar Canada’s Low-Cost Health Care

Author: Clifford Krauss

Source: The New York Times, 2/13/03

Clifford Krauss writes in The New York Times that Canada’s national
health care system is currently experiencing major problems with access
to care for its citizens, including long waiting lists, delayed care,
doctor and nurse shortages, and out-dated technologies. Canada spends
more on health care relative to its economy than every country except
the United States, Germany, and Switzerland. Nonetheless, 4.3 million
Canadians report having difficulty seeing a doctor or getting a test in
a timely fashion and 3 million are unable to find a family physician.
Krauss also documents the experiences of two women with breast cancer.
One had to wait three months after surgery to begin radiation therapy;
the other waited two months after a mammogram for biopsies that would
confirm the cancer. “The system’s shortfalls have opened the way for
tentative but growing moves toward privately managed medical services
and user fees in return for quicker service,” concludes Krauss.
Full text:

Above articles are quoted from the Galen Institute, Health Policy
Matters Feb.y 14, 2003

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

– Castle Coalition Defends Property Rights Across the Nation

By Scott Bullock

The Castle Coalition-the grass-roots advocacy group the Institute for
Justice formed to work with and train property owners and activists to
challenge eminent domain abuse nationwide-closed out 2002 with a whirl
of activity. The Coalition, led by IJ-s Nicole Church, witnessed
activity in a case that has been going on for a number of years, in
addition to providing much-needed assistance to individuals just gearing
up to fight abuse of eminent domain in their own neighborhoods.

The first day of December saw the castle Coalition organizing a vigil in
the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Conn., on the eve of oral argument before he Connecticut Supreme Court. It was a brutally cold and windy night, but still, more than 50 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in front of one of the homes threatened by the City and the New London Development Corporation (NLDC). Community activists lent support to the homeowners and the Institute for Justice, as they have throughout this three-year struggle. The feeling of solidarity and commitment to a noble cause were evident not only at the vigil, but also when many of the same people and others boarded a bus the next morning to make an hour-long trek to Hartford for the oral argument and to rally on the steps of the courthouse. It was a magnificent and exhilarating sight to see so many people in front of the courthouse as Dana Berliner and I went up the steps to present our arguments to the justices. After the argument, as we faced the media, activists and property owners surrounded us with their signs and supportive words. In contrast, I counted a grand total of zero supporters for the City and the NLDC,
unless you count their lawyers — and they of course had to be there.

For some unknown reason, the state of Ohio has seen an explosion in
eminent domain abuse. From the outskirts of Cleveland to several
communities in the Cincinnati area, local governments plan to destroy
perfectly fine middle-class neighborhoods to hand the land over to
developers to put in high-end retail stores, condominiums and other
projects favored by the misguided and ruthless city leaders and their
developer pals. One of the favorite tactics governments use in these
areas is to declare the well-kept, attractive neighborhoods
“blighted” because with a blight designation comes not only government
subsidies for developers but also the power of eminent domain.

The criteria cities use to declare an area blighted would be laughable
if they were not so dangerous. The City of Lakewood, Ohio, said a
neighborhood was blighted because many of the homes did not have attached garages or central air conditioning, while the City of Evendale declared a whole commercial strip blighted because about half of the properties
are within a 500-year flood plain (probably half of Ohio, if not more,
is within a 500-year flood plain!). These governments nakedly abuse
blight laws to force out small home and business owners to make way for their favored projects.

In mid-December, Nicole Church organized a whirlwind trip for Dana and
me through Ohio to meet with people who are just now organizing to fight
eminent domain abuse. We met with five groups of people around Cleveland and Cincinnati and provided them with the information and tools they will need to try to stop these projects before they get to litigation. And we will continue to work with these brave and principled people in the coming year to make sure
they are able to keep their homes and businesses.

Not Again in the Mountaineer State

Shortly before Christmas, Romona Taylor-Williams of Charleston, W.Va.,
used the skills she learned at the Castle Coalition’s first training seminar to rally opposition to the City’s proposal to engage in urban renewal in the East End section of the city. A large crowd of demonstrators (all wearing
their Castle Coalition anti-eminent domain stickers) turned out for the
first public hearing on the plan before a committee of the city council
and pledged that they would not allow the City to again destroy a
neighborhood in the name of redevelopment.

IJ submitted written testimony to the council committee opposing the
abuse of eminent domain in the area. The activism made an impact. The
newspaper headlines the following morning said it all: “Renewal
Proposals Blasted-Black Residents Say City Targeting Their Communities”
and “City Residents Not Sold on New Urban Renewal Plans.” With eminent domain abuse continuing nationwide, the first part of 2003 promises to be just as active as last year.

Scott Bullock is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice.

Above article is quoted from the Institute for Justice, Liberty and Law
February 2003

”Evergreen (Today’s Quote)”

“A specter is haunting the world. It is the specter of bankrupt state-run
pension systems. The pay-as-you-go pension system that has reigned
supreme through most of this century has a fundamental flaw, one rooted
in a false conception of how human beings behave: it destroys, at the
individual level, the essential link between effort and reward–in other
words, between personal responsibilities and personal rights. Whenever
that happens on a massive scale and for a long period of time, the
result is disaster.” — Jose Pinera

”’Edited by Richard O. Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He can be reached at (808) 487-4959 or by email at:”’ ”’For more information, see its Web site at:”’