The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

SPAM ME–SPAM ME NOT

Those of us who maintain our blogs on WordPress are fortunate.  We are provided with a spam protection device known as Akismet.  This program reviews the comments we receive and helps reduce the amount of spam in our comment notifications.

Although I receive a lot of comments, my spam comments which Akismet has caught are starting to rev up in number and are getting close to totaling as many as the legitimate comments I receive from my readers.  About 80% of them have one thing in common.

They are designed to get us to click on them so that they can show us the product they have for sale.  And what is that product?  Prescription pharmaceuticals.

Today alone I received eight solicitations.  None originated within the United States but came from  locations in Mexico, Spain, Ireland and Italy.  The drugs they had to offer included Viagra, Cialis, doxycycline and clomid, so we have two drugs for erectile dysfunction, one that treats Lyme disease and one to increase female fertility.  Now I’m beginning to question my own orientation and I’m definitely going to cut down on my walks through the woods where tics might be present.

In April last year, the Department of Justice cracked down on several large sites that were located overseas which offered people the opportunity to play poker on-line.   Apparently, these sites will soon be able to offer their services again to American players of the game.  (I guess they’ve figured out a way to tax any profits Americans might make).

The settlement calls for the three on-line companies to pay $731 Million, a portion of which is to be reimbursed to U. S. players whose funds were used to pay the board members and owners of one of the sites, instead of being held in segregated accounts as they claimed.  I’m glad these players will get their money back – or at least most of it.

But let’s put the vigor which the government put into its effort with on-line poker into perspective.  $731 Million is a lot of money in anyone’s book.  Heck, I would accept less and still have a fun weekend at Disneyland.  But when we compare that to the total of worldwide sales of pharmaceuticals for last year it pales by comparison.

The pharmaceutical industry last year had sales of $880 BILLION globally.

So I’d like to make this an open appeal to the FDA with a little help from their buddies in the Department of Justice.  Why don’t you look into these overseas providers who solicit Americans to buy their prescription drugs from them?

After all, the FDA doesn’t regulate the standards of manufacture of these drugs and who knows if any agency in the country of origin does either.  For that matter, who knows if they actually are real drugs or placebos?  Now there’s something into which the government could really sink its teeth.

And from a strictly selfish standpoint, I’d like to cut down on the spam in my in box.

Comments on: "SPAM ME–SPAM ME NOT" (6)

  1. You’ve focused on a very vexing problem.

    • As I am not on any prescription drugs this is moot to me (other than the spam mail annoyance). But I do wonder two things. 1) If these drugs are legitimate, why should they be able to offer them less expensively than the price a person can purchase the same item when it is manufactured in the U. S.? 2) If they are sub-standard or simply placebos, why has the FDA not taken action to protect the American consumer from fraud?

  2. But you know, the internet is still pretty much the wild west. Regulation is spotty at best unless there’s something damning to the government, in which case immediate action is taken (hel-looo Wikileaks). I think this is why such pharmaceuticals are able to pass through…

    • Since I published this post I have been receiving at least five and usually more solicitations via spam mail on Word Press for drugs from overseas. In fact, when I posted this, legitimate comments were ahead by about 200 over spam mail. Now spam is ahead by over 300 – and 90% of those are pharma offers. So, if you want a lot of junk mail, write about pharmaceuticals!

      • Oh! Just thought of something – I’ve learned to substitute certain letters in certain words with a different letter or an asterisk, or to add a dash. For example, pharmaceuticals would be farmaceuticals, ph*rmaceuticals, phar-ma-ceuticals, or however you want to do it. And sex would be s*x, or s-e-x. Etc. The reason for this is to keep the spiders of these notoriously spamming companies (like drugs, porn, etc.) from finding those words in your posts, thereby making you a target for their spam. Also make sure you have Akismet (the WP spam filter) checked in your settings. Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for the tips, SB. It just frosts me that we have to go to these lengths just to avoid the spamsters.

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