Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Race for the money

Pink Products

The Business of Breast Cancer

Just look at the market: one in eight American women will get it — based on current US populations, that works out to 19,337,500 potential customers. 192,370 new customers just this year who will spend the Medicare average of $31,735, or more, to treat it.

The CDC says $7 billion was spent on treatment of diagnosed breast cancer in 2007, but that number doesn’t come close to the total amounts spent on living with it or fearing you’ll get it. Eight in eight American women (154.7 million) are aware that they could be the one in eight.

Breast cancer is a multi-billion dollar business. For every positive test, someone profits. Those companies want you to survive for as long as you possibly can pay — for every death, those who profit suffer, too. Callous as that sounds, it is true.

Here are some figures to give you an idea of the scale of the efforts towards early detection and a cure:

Research Spending:

Then there are those who wish to influence your government to either find a cure, help those who suffer or pad their profits (please note: large lobby groups do not break out their spending by initiative, specific cancer, etc., but their influence is clear):

2008 Lobby Spending:

  • National Breast Cancer Coalition: $174,619
  • Medical Equipment & Supplies: $6.3 million
  • Big Pharma: $29.2 million (not breast cancer specific)
  • Insurance: $46.8 million (all companies)
  • Health Professionals: $95.2 million

In addition to hospitals, imaging centers, physicians, surgeons, radiologists, rehab centers, hotels near treatment centers, airlines, ambulances, family counselors, book publishers, vitamin firms, alternative treatment practitioners, wig, hat and pink paraphernalia stores, here are some lists of just some of those who are sucking on the money tit.

Drugs: $36.7 billion
This is a list of annual sales of drugs used to treat breast cancer. It is just a partial list and many of these drugs are also used for other diseases. It also doesn’t begin to list the drugs and the profits required to live with the pain, suffering and side effects.

  • Femara (Letrozole): $1.1 billion (Source: 2008 Novartis Annual Report)
  • Aromasin (Exemestane): $465 million (Source: 2008 Pfizer Annual Review)
  • Arimidex (Anastrozole): $1.9 billion (Source: 2008 AstraZeneca Annual Report)
  • Tamoxifen (generic): $1.1 billion, estimate (Source: 2008 AstraZeneca Annual Report)
  • Fareston (Toremifene): $2.9 million (still in testing: Source GTx, Inc. news release)
  • Evista (Raloxifene): $1.1 billion (2007 – Source: Eli Lilly press release)
  • Herceptin (Trastuzumab): $1.4 billion (Source: Genetech web site) –  note: annual treatment expense: >$100,000
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb): $162 million (recently approved: Source: 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Annual Report)
  • Ixempra (azaepothilone B): $500 million, estimated (Source: Squibb)
  • Xeloda (Capecitabine): $1.2 billion (Source: 2008 Roche Annual Report)
  • Aredia: $21 million (Source: Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network/Barr Pharma)
  • Pamidronate (generic): $553 million, estimate (Source:
  • Paclitaxel: $1.6 billion (Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb10-K filing)
  • Adriamycin (Doxorubicin): $550 million (Source:
  • Pamidronate (Darbepoetin alfa): $550 million (now generic. Source:
  • Aranesp (Darbepoetin alfa): $4.1 billion (Source: 2006 Amgen Annual Report)
  • Epogen: $2.5 billion (Source: 2006 Amgen Annual Report)
  • Procrit/Eprex: $3.3 billion (Source: & Johnson)
  • Aredia (generic/Pamidronic acid): $21 million (Source: Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network/Barr Pharma)
  • Epirubicin (generic): $68 million (Source: Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network/Teva)
  • Faslodex (Fulvestrant): $250 million  (Source: 2008 AstraZeneca Annual Report)
  • Lupron, Eligard (Leuprolide): $1.8 billion (Source:
  • Gemzar (Gemcitabine): $1.3 billion (2005 – Source: Eli Lilly press release)
  • Neulasta (Pegfilgrastim): $3 billion (Source:
  • Neupogen (Filgrastim): $300 million (Source:
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere): $2 billion (Source:
  • Vinorelbine (generic/Navelbine): $26 million (Source:
  • Zoladex (Goserelin Acetate): $1.1 billion (Source:
  • Zometa, Zomera, Aclasta and Reclast (Zoledronate): $1.2 billion (Source:

Mammography Equipment: $610 million (US only). Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Price range: $58,000-$76,000 each. Doesn’t include CT’s, ultrasounds, new digital breast imaging equipment, or mobile devices.

Breast Implants (not just breast cancer):

  • Allergan: $310 million (source: 2008 Annual Report)
  • Mentor Corporation (Johnson & Johnson): $328.4 million (source: Bloomberg)


  • Breast Cancer Postage Stamps: $34.5 million (since 1998)

Dew Survey Results

Q1DewPieLast month, the Dew conducted our first site survey — a pretty comprehensive attempt to learn what you like, don’t like or want to see more of. More than 100 readers, roughly 8% of our Dewsletter subscribers, took the time to complete the survey. Thank you. Your feedback will be the basis for decisions shaping the Dew in the months to come.

Here are some highlights of what we learned:

  1. We’re doing pretty well:  97% said their overall experience was good to excellent. The Dew also received high marks for overall design, navigation, type size, loading speed, ease of login and the Dewsletter.
  2. Favorite categories were:
    1. Talk of the South
    2. Portraits; Scenes
    3. Recommended Reading
    4. Politics
  3. Least favorite categories were:
    1. Videos
    2. Dewings
    3. Play
  4. 62.4% of you found us through referral of a friend.
  5. 93.1% of you have shared the Dew with a friend or colleague, but only 39.4% used our sharing buttons to do so.
  6. 63.3% of you have posted a comment on a story on the Dew.
  7. 67% of you are active on Facebook; 29.3% on LinkedIn; 25.3% on YouTube; 12.1% on Twitter;  7.1% on Shutterfly and 5.1% on Flickr.
  8. 89.2% read the Dew at home.
  9. 56.4% of you read the Dew everyday and 35.6% read the Dew 2-3 times a week.
  10. 63.6% of you spend more than 10 minutes reading the Dew each time you visit.
  11. 70.3% of you are age 55+.
  12. 58.4 % are employed full time (27.7% self-employed) and 30.7% have retired.
  13. Your passions:
    1. Reading (94.1%)
    2. Writing (57.8%)
    3. Food (56.9%)
    4. Travel (51.0%)
    5. Politics (51.0%)
    6. Arts (47.1%)
    7. History (42.2%)
    8. Music (39.2%)
    9. Movies (34.3%)
    10. Family (30.4%)
    11. Heath/Exercise (29.4%)
    12. Community (29.4%)
    13. Volunteerism/Cause (27.5%)
    14. Environment (27.5%)
    15. Pop Culture (22.5%)
    16. Television (22.5%)
    17. Religion (17.6%)
    18. Beer (17.6%)
    19. Education (15.7%)
    20. Sports (15.7%)
    21. Shopping (11.8%)
  14. 86.2% consider yourselves “Southern.”
  15. Politically, you consider yourselves:
    1. Left (42.2%)
    2. Left leaning (21.6%)
    3. Moderate (19.6%)
    4. Right leaning (2.9%)
    5. Right (0%)
    6. Non-political, apolitical or not into labels (13.8%)
  16. Chosen alternative political labels:
    1. Democrat
    2. Liberal
    3. Progressive
    4. Green
    5. Ultra-Liberal
    6. Independent
    7. Populist
    8. Socialist
    9. Libertarian
    10. Tie of Republican and Anarchists.
  17. 65% of you are interested in writing stories for the Dew and 49% of you are interested in helping in other ways (we’ll be in touch).
  18. Of the questions asked only of Dew writers:
    1. 70.3% plan to submit 1 story this month; 18.9% plan to submit 2-4 and 8.1% plan to submit 5-10 stories.
    2. You are generally in favor of a writers’ forum, but aren’t terribly excited about it.
    3. 73.2% would like to receive story ideas (note to readers: on our writers’ page, most list their email address — write them with your ideas).
    4. Most don’t care about customized pages (those who do, will get them).
    5. Their motivations for writing for the Dew (in order): To share information/experiences; to be a part of this community; writing is their passion; to be heard and make a difference; it’s fun; followed by the rest.
    6. On what should be the Dew’s business model: 93.3% said to either operate as a writer coop (selling ads & sponsorships) or go non-profit (seeking grants & contributions) — note to readers: please comment.

Actual comments:

Comment on your overall experience with LikeTheDew

  • I look forward to getting my feed of the Dew every day.
  • The thoughtful perspective on life in our nation and our region is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the rancid political debate.
  • Wonderful stories and memories.
  • I look forward to reading the freshest stuff, and often dig deeper to make sure I haven’t missed anything. You guys ought to be able to make money with this.
  • Great way to start the morning.  Even if it makes me late for work sometimes.
  • The quality is top-notch. It’s nice to look at, informative and entertaining. I heard about it from some frends and now I’m spreading the word.
  • Enjoy reading and ability to comment.
  • Of all the Web sites spawned, at least in part, by the collapse of the AJC and other local media, LikeTheDew is easily the best. You guys have got at least the beginnings of a winning form of journalists and writers in the state and for that matter the region.
  • For the most part the articles are so interesting and definitely well-written.  And the chosen topics are always fun — as someone else said, the Dew is a great way to start the day.
  • A mixed bag, as it should be, I guess — some excellent, purposeful, inspiring articles … And some rants and pointless memoir-ish stuff.
  • High class material, fits the title, a good one.
  • It’s introduced and reintroduced me to the kind of Atlanta journalists I’d heard so much about growing up in Tallahassee and wanted to join as an adult.
  • I really enjoy the writing.  Yeah, I know, a silly thing to say, but these days, the quality of writing seems to be headed down to a deep, dark valley faster than I’d ever imagined possible. Of course, I’m terrified of rollercoasters, so my imagination may be limited, but still!
  • With the death of daily newspaper (delivery at least), I have been lusting for the written word. The Dew helps solve my problem.
  • I’m addicted to The Dew. Can’t live without it.
  • I’m very proud that Southerners are doing this, especially now, when journalism seems to be in decline. I’ve shared it with people who live around the country and sometimes share pieces on Facebook. My friends and I often check in with each other about pieces you’ve published.
  • I like being able to get more information than I’m currently getting from the AJC and I’m getting it in a more-comfortable format.
  • A good mixture of politics with Southern culture and history. However, ALL columnists should be required to use their actual name (that means you, Piney Woods!). I look forward to more stories on environmental issues such as water quality and availability.
  • I love the writing, the design, the mix of stories, the authors. My only suggestion is this: I like to print out various stories to take home and read after work. But instead of just getting the story, I get pages of other stuff. I don’t like wasting all that paper, but I don’t want to read the articles on line.
  • I like the regional approach to news and events.
  • I’ve appreciated the opportunity to read good writing once again.
  • Intelligent, articulate, funny, just a great read.
  • Not only do I thoroughly enjoy the  writing, I have encouraged several friends to subscribe and they have each told me how much they enjoy it.
  • As a fledgling new author, I REALLY appreciate the opportunity to have a book excerpt published on The Dew. But there is almost too much to absorb on a daily basis — so I subscribe to the weekly feed.
  • Love the writing.  Such a pleasure to begin my day with articles that do not  force feed me everything depressing that is going on in the world.
  • I dew love it. I look forward to receiving it each morning. Thankful that my daughter clued me in to it.
  • Love the dew, but would like to see a little less “nostalgia” pieces and more writing that reflects the here and now.
  • It’s a must read every morning, or late night before, as soon as I can move it from Junk Mail, which I’ve not figured out how to prevent its going into daily.
  • I love the stories about times gone by. Or any funny stories.
  • Never heard of it until now, but with 2 of my friends involved, It has to be GREAT. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, like the dew, don’t ya know, as my Grandmother used to say, don’t ya know.
  • Most welcome online whateveritis I’ve seen yet … when you’re ready to start charging for a subscription, I’ll be willing. Btw, Food & Drink would usually be my least favorite of anything, but I enjoy the quirky directions you’ve taken it.
  • The comments are always thoughtful and have often led me back to articles I may have missed or (heavens!) glossed over in haste. I enjoy all of the categories, just not all of the time. Don’t drop any on my say-so.
  • Love love love it when I have time to read it.
  • Excellent site with excellent commentary by a wide array of talented writers.
  • The variety of articles means there are many I’m not interested in but many I am. I like the different voices/authors. Reading a short blurb on Screen 1 and then clicking through if I want more is an easy to use device.
  • My only problem is that there is SO much good stuff!
  • The writing is always beautifully written, passionate, thought provoking and clever.
  • Like the Dew is an online publication that I’m glad to receive, and plan to get into the daily issues with greater concentration. So far I’ve been a front page scanner, but that is going to change. You all do a terrific service in getting writers around to readers. Such a good thing. Makes us a small town.
  • Content is great. Organization is a problem. I can’t always tell what stories are the most recent.
  • A publication must stand behind its writers and what is published.  Hysterical readers should not cause an editor to apologize for running a piece.
  • I like the variety and the good writing.
  • The fact that you’re doing this survey is testament to the good work behind the site.
  • Love the dew u can write dude…lol. I never knew how entertaining u really are. U should have ur own reality show and become a millionaire. But really love your writing style, ur wit and ballze approach to life. Hell instead of making lemons into lemonade u smash the f— out of them. Tell it like it is … just dew it!
  • I like the variety of topics … never know what I’m going to get each day.
  • Haven’t been a member all that long but I enjoy  reading The Dew most every morning.  Some of the political pieces are a little liberal for my taste, but heck I’m an open-minded kind of gal and that’s just the nature of politics.  But what I LOVE most of all is the southernness of the site and that is the thread that pulls the readership together; there’s something here for everyone, that is, if you’re Southern!  I fought being Southern for a long time in my younger days, but fortunately I wised up and came to fully love and embrace this region, which has no equal.  Good thing I did because it wouldn’t let me go.  I’ve turned a number of people on to your site, many of whom have related that they’re now addicted.  Keep up the good work.
  • It looks like a lot of work. Some stories are excellent. Others aren’t so good, but I basically like the mix and the idea of having writers of all different skill levels. I wish more progressives would contribute political articles. I worry about the long-term viability of depending on long-form essays and think some shorter items might help the energy. I also worry about finding enough new writers to keep it going.
  • Ever since the stewardess story I rarely open your emails.
  • Like the diversity of stories, personal to politics, food to fiction … all very nicely done, good reads.
  • I appreciate having the opportunity to share my work with so many fine writers.
  • Entries are entertaining, insightful, thought-provoking..sometimes all three at the same time.

Comments suggesting a story category you would like added

  • Can I list them all as favorites?  I tried to put some categories as good when they are ones I may have less interest in, but that was hard. I enjoy the writing so much that the categories don’t seem to matter.
  • Travel around the South, interesting out of the way places.
  • I’ve enjoyed so many great contributions, but for me the categories are a mystery. No way to pick a favorite. On any given day, any category might be a winner or a whiner. Rethinking the categories might bring some needed order to the site. And searching the categories with speed — on my PC, very slow loading. I give up.
  • I would like to read more from southern black folk like myself … we seem to be missing from the Dew … guess i need to start writing for the newsletter myself … other than feeling like a major southern voice is missing, i like it.
  • Political satire at its best!
  • Whatever happened to … those writers we loved who seem to have disappeared.
  • It seems like some of the categories could be combined: Arts & Reviews? Southern Scenes & Portraits? Clicking what’s a favorite and what’s good … when I come to the Dew I’m really a browser. I find I land mostly on political and food stories, but I browse and randomly enjoy many.
  • Perhaps a series of pictures of the disappearing south? Or just interesting things around the region? Not a column, really, just a slice of life.
  • To be honest I don’t keep track of which stories appear in the various “columns” above — for me it’s about the content and perspective of a particular story.
  • Someone/anyone who might have contrary or conservative views. The Dew is predictable, the worst thing any publication can be.
  • I still fear that we have more categories than we can sustain and content stays on the home page too long. Basically the site is about two broad categories, “culture” and “politics.” Separating “Food and Drink” from other “culture” probably still makes sense. “Dew reviews” was a good idea, but we haven’t sustained it and should probably just put those stories in arts or food. “Shared” should be more bloglike. Maybe Scenes and Portraits should be combined.
  • Perhaps a revival or reformatting of ” shared” so as to elicit short contributions from less polished contributors- — “on the top of my mind” or “look what ran through my mind” or “ideas in search of an article” or “in 50 words or less” or “random thoughts (could be upon editor’s e-mailed invitation)” or some way to solicit less formal compositions. Also, search out some Eisenhower/Goldwater moderate to contribute (the lunacy of the republican coup de radiopuke needs thoughtful challenge).

Comment regarding other thoughts about the LikeTheDew web site

  • Loads a little slow, but that just may be Safari. I just tried Firefox because of a Facebook problem, so I’ll see if it loads faster on Firefox.  Love the site. It’s a solid and straightforward design. Anything else would probably detract from the content.
  • Loading the “rest of the stories” frequently freezes the computer or throws you out of the site.
  • I have very slow satellite internet and videos are too frustrating to load and watch. If I could get DSL, I’d enjoy them.
  • I don’t play many, if any, videos from any site, so it’s nothing personal!
  • Don’t care for the dew logo, can’t explain why.
  • You done good.
  • Speed usually seems to be related to time of day. Since I usually check the site between 6-7 in the am, speed isn’t a problem. Around noon, it’s slower, but that’s usually due to service, not the website per se.
  • I’ve never used it, just read the inbound emails.
  • Design is excellent as are re-aggregating features. Might be more ambitious a design than the content merits. Simplifying by combining categories might make sense.
  • Need page 3 girl (could be g-rated and even include babies and dogs — also a way to reward thoughtful suggestions with a t-shirt without reliance on the luck of a drawing wait, wait … i can purchase one, sorry, i forgot

What other web sites do you frequent

  • CNN,, NYT, Facebook, Huffington Post
  • occasionally
  • Nytimes, sadly out of habit the, bbc, jerusalem post
  •, yahoo news, online athens, and many entertainment and sports sites
  •,,, ESPN. com
  • NYT, AJC, Washington Post, Google, Poets.Org, all fairly regularly; Politico and Huffington Post occassionally; many others when referenced to them
  • NYT, Politico, Salon, CNN, AJC, CL, Culture Monster
  • Ebay (sigh…); several animal blogs — PsychoKitty Speaks Out is my favorite;;; Attack of the Redneck Mommy (who is in Canada … what’s wrong with that picture?!); Rearranged Design; Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans; Daily Coyote; Not Always Right …
  • Facebook, google, nytimes,
  •, AJ-C digital edition
  • Facebook, EBay and lots and lots of blogs
  • Mostly news but some music
  •,,,, atlanta unplugged, various blogs
  • Washington Post; AJC when I can navigate it okay; Prairie Home Companion, NPR; Six Sentences,
  • NY Times headlines,,, links to other web sites from these sites, as well as Facebook.
  • New York Times, Amazon, Ebay, The Daily Beast
  • Politico, wrightandleftreport, wonkette, huffington post
  • Facebook, Amazon, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and I watch various TV programs via the internet.
  • Cnn, blogs (friends), msnbc, food network
  • Too many to list … hit at least 50 routinely every day
  • This is wonderful reading. Much of it reminds me of the best of the old Journal and Constitution. Celestine and Lewis would be proud!
  •, major southern newspaper sites
  • Blogs, research sites, magazines online, all kinds of news
  • BBC, Romenesko, ajc, NYT, Facing South, Huffington Post, etc.
  • Wall street journal; msnbc; yahoonews
  • Daily beast
  •,, most newssites
  •; Columbus Ledger-Enquirer; Richard Hyatt’s Columbus

Comments on the Dewsletter

  • I enjoy the diversity.
  • Love it!
  • More minority voices
  • I was getting it every day — and it stopped. Why?
  • I enjoy the wide variety.
  • Sending the Dewsletter plus individual stories can be annoyingly repetitive.
  • Date comments on day made!!!
  • Favorite story was Seabrook’s about trees
  • If you let readers limit what they see, they never expand their horizons. The newsletter is a good teaser, and I’ve read articles based on that that I would not have read otherwise. At the same time, guess it would be okay if I could rearrange the listing of sections, putting Sports last, for instance, in my case.
  • I would like to see a generalized comment page for Like The Dew, where we could express something that isn’t really a full article, but more a brief thought that might be Dew-worthy. Like “Letters To The Editor,” someone has something to say and this is the best place to say it.
  • I’m not sure what this is so I guess I don’t subscribe but the survey made me answer or else I did something wrong.  Other answer could be that I don’t know the difference?
  • Writers feel possessive about the Dew. It us us; it is our voices. Let’s not use all the space to talk to each other.
  • You should have a section for Southern fiction.
  • Would this be a good way to throw out daily or weekly lists of stories we’d like to see someone write?
  • There are copious ideas concerning improvement, however, with all Dew respect,  i aint had time to cipher on it that long and when an idea comes up (hey, i got one) maybe  a box to check eliciting — or is it soliciting the idea — yeah, i know there’s a place suggestions or comments — but maybe some way to pull opinions from those who aintzackly letter to editor writers — told you i aint had time, but i like the contest thing — hey maybe free tickets (which could be kinda a running joke since the tickets would be free already or unnecessary and in fact could highlight an arts or civic event, or even help a struggling gourmet restaurant or cool shoeshine kiosk)

Other ideas about ways you can help LikeTheDew

  • If there are specific things that I could do I would be very willing to do so.
  • I don’t know what ‘social marketing’ is and the expression makes me feel old. Same for the exploding number of social web sites, or whatever they are called … I can’t imagine how people would waste their time on Twitter.
  • I will be re-locating back east soon. I am sure I will have more ideas once I am again shopping at the Piggly Wiggly.
  • I’ve got a fulltime newspaper gig still (for now anyway), and they’d probably throw a hissy fit if I wrote elsewhere. Triple sigh …
  • I share it with every person I think would be interested. Have gotten lots of thanks from friends and family who enjoy it as much as I do.
  • I can come to all the parties.
  • These boxes are way too far away from the descriptions for aging eyes. Are there little blue dots connecting them? I can’t really tell.  A couple of categories up, I intended to click “history.” I may in fact have hit “shopping.” But I’m confident that after your experiences with focus groups at the AJC you won’t take these results too seriously.
  • Staying at a distance and offering unwanted and unwelcome ideas about moderating the tone of The Dew.
  • Wish i could do more to be useful but working more than full time for the moment…
  • Under passions listed were only wine and beer — no liquor or other attitude adjusters (legal of course,  somewhere at least)
  • I don’t really know what relationship initiatives is but it sounded so racy I had to check it.

Other suggestions to customize your story pages

  • I think unfettered posting by writers will erode the quality. I don’t know how much control is needed — or how to manage a review process. But I do not favor unfettered posting by more than a hardcore group of involved writers/editors.
  • I guess I’m revealing myself as something of a Luddite. I don’t really know what much of this means, but most of it sounds quite unattractively self-promoting. My reaction here is probably one reason I’m unemployed and fading into grumpy old age.
  • This survey could have been formatted and written much better.
  • Would prefer not to see the site become a clear fund raising tool for everyone’s individual causes … that could be a turn off if it becomes blatant.
  • When i grow up i would like to be a writer, not necessarily professionally; but i aint there nor nowhere near there so if i wuzta post more often it would need to be known i’d been goaded.
  • I would like to receive story ideas, which doesn’t necessarily mean I would like to write story ideas.

Other suggestions on how should be structured going forward

  • Don’t know enough about the business models, but don’t merge with other sites!!!
  • Keep it as is, for now, then re-think it in the next year or so. Who knows, big money may be out there!
  • I like the idea of a writer co-op, but don’t exactly understand how it would work. I would support any way to help the founders and the writers make a living.
  • The dew has its own flavor … let it marinate to find its way.
  • This is something I’ve given a fair amount of thought to and actually done a little research on.  I think there’s an opportunity to take what you’ve got and build a solid non-profit business.  That doesn’t mean you can’t make a living at it, nor does it mean you can’t charge for the product.  Both The Nation and Harper’s are non-profit.  The truth of the matter is that this approach is closer (in my view) to the original spirit of American journalism than the predominant (and now failing) model.  You need to look into this some more.
  • Going nonprofit or organizing as a co-op are interesting ideas for a site that has a defined purpose and identity. Do we have that?
  • If someone has a creative way to involve the peculiar qualities of the Internet in advertising, it could be a great success.
  • Whatever way will keep it going.
  • I don’t really have an opinion. I do know that the current business model is probably unsustainable. The people who run and operate it will lose interest eventually if they are not reasonably well compensated. Perhaps you should focus on using it as a gateway for writers and owners of private sites to drive viewers to their sites. I am not sure how you monetize that service but you could do it through ads if your readership has the right demographics. monetize that service but you could do it through ads if your readership has the right demographics.
  • I’d love it if somebody really would pay you a million bucks for it.
  • Rupert Murdoch says he’s going to charge for online news content by mid-2010, for ALL his sites worldwide. PricewaterhouseCoopers says 2011 will be a turning point for the future of online news business models, given the fall-out of Murdoch’s plan among his businesses and competitors, among other reasons. In my typical Southern stance, I’d hate for this site to “merge with other sites.” Alternately, I’m not sure where you’d get capital to “go for the big dough.”
  • The innocence and lack of a business model are part of what make it appealing to me.  of course i know there is a lot of work going into it and those folks should be compensated, I’m sure!
  • I believe the current model is make it so popular the money comes to the site all by itself, but i’m sure it could get expensive at some point, so i wuntbe offended if axed for contributions

Anything you would like to add

  • Keep up the good work. It’s been a joy to be on your team.
  • I’m really glad you are out there. It’s more comforting than you know.
  • As you can see,  I didn’t answer some of the questions. Sorry, I didn’t feel were applicable and some I didn’t know to what you were referring.  As a general rule, I think you earn an A and I love receiving Like the Dew.
  • This has been an amazing experience. The growth and the frequent remarkable displays of talent have been delightful and inspiring. I sense the need for a more order over the flow of contributions – maybe more specifically defined categories, i.e. music, movies, literature, politics.  Current categories seem mixed and matched, and so slow to load I give up. Is that my PC? or Dew?
  • I think its a quick way to keep up with Atlanta and Southern happenings. I enjoy the articles and read the ones that interest me the most. It’s a good way to keep up with what’s going on.
  • If it works, don’t fix it!
  • The best thing on The Dew recently was the Doug Cumming story on Bill Emerson and the string that followed.
  • I love the Dew, particularly the mix of professional writers and those new writers who have a story that they must tell. Initially I was afraid that there might be a little too much southern nostalgia woven into the body of the letter because that is basically the warp and weave of a culture- similarities derived from the past and reinforced by keeping others out, but I have been very happily surprised with the range of topics and even the use of a Yankee judge on the deviled eggs.
  • I love “Georgia BAckroadsd” and any stories about the south.
  • I’d like to see some fresh voices added to the writing mix; younger writers, maybe some more centrist or conservative political viewpoints–with the goal to keep the view vibrant and valuable to all kinds of readers.
  • I want to be one of your writers!
  • Have trouble thinking of what to write about, and receiving story ideas would really help. More of an editor than writer, I’m the one who always says, “I could have written that!” or, more likely, why did he/she not address this point?
  • I would actually buy a T-shirt!
  • Love the dew!!!
  • IN the last weeks, I’ve noticed that more and more contributions really don’t relate to Southern Politics and Culture ….. I’d much prefer that submissions stuck to the topic — maybe some slack could be cut — but not random articles that are off focus.
  • Would love to write for the Dew. Let me know the rules and regs.
  • The site has built up a substantial readership, and it would be a shame to squander that. The big issue is generating enough content to keep it going. I’d also like to see it stick to its mission of being politically progressive as it also covers cultural issues.

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be making some changes based on this survey and announce them here. We’ll also announce the T-shirt winner (for some stupid reason, I set the drawing in the official rules for November 30, 2009, so we’ll have to wait for that announcement for fear of breaking the official rules).

Thanks, again for all of you who took time to do this — really. And, for those who didn’t get around to it,  unlike missing a chance to vote and having to wait years to vote against someone who never should have been in office, please add your ideas in the comment area.

You can download the survey results (PDF) by clicking here: 10/2009 Site Survey Report.

Season of Fright

alcohol and pumpkin carvingOctober is a scary time. Ironically, the repossessed homes are the only ones not purposefully being turned into cemeteries, hauntings or spider lairs. Our zombie children are encouraged to express their true selves. Orange is no longer reserved for threat levels; Tennessee, Clemson, Auburn, Texas and Miami fans; Scot-Irish Protestants; and Guantanamo detainees. Giant gourds are purchased for mutilation and smashing. We reward those who threaten us with sweet treats rather than sending them to prison or invading their country of origin.

Already scary reality and autopsy shows are joined by marathons of Halloween, Nightmare, Hannibal Lecter, Exorcist, Blair Witch, Amityville, Chain Saw, Hellraiser, Dracula, Zombie, Alien, Charlie Brown, Squarepants and Christmas movies.

Republicans gleefully report the doom of Obama, capitalism, the sanctity of marriage, our way of life and civilization. Democrats woefully report the needless death and suffering of those without jobs, health insurance, homes, clean water, clean air, safety, democracy, peace or hope.

Wall Street investment bankers proudly proclaim their success at making money by betting on money with money that was given to them to keep them from reporting their failure at making money by betting on money with money that was given to them by those who thought they would make money on their money. Congress still has not acted banking regulation.

The faux news shows cover the faux news; parrot the provided talking points and recent polls; showcase the personal tragedy; debate the celebrity gossip, political indiscretion and media covering the media; but fail to cover the 5,200 events held on October 24th in 181 countries around the world to call attention to the need for action on climate change.

October’s TV ads continue to sell us solutions for October’s depression, incontinence, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, pain, constipation, balding and periodic pain if we aren’t frightened more by November’s side affects*.

The dollar is weaker; homes aren’t selling; loans aren’t being made; more banks are failing; consumers aren’t spending; tax and social security collections are way down; commercial real estate is in the toilet that’s been flushed; families under the poverty line, health care costs, energy prices, college tuition and unemployment claims are up; fewer people worked for the government, farms, construction, retail, service, transportation, warehouse or manufacturing; more people worked in health care; and unemployment benefits are running out. There won’t be another stimulus bill.

We’re still in at least two wars and sending more troops to Afghanistan. Civilian and military casualties are going back up.

7 patty Burger King WhopperBut have you seen this?

The Burger King 7-patty Whopper  – 5.8 inches tall, 791 grams of beef with 2,120-2,500 calories to honor Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system. That’s scary.

*Common side affects from actual warnings: headache; back, muscle, bone or joint pain; severe or continuing heartburn; diarrhea or constipation; flatulence; nausea; abdominal pain and bloating; painful swallowing; chest pain; pain in the arms or legs; blurred vision and an erection lasting more than 4 hours; swelling or tenderness of the breast; a specific birth defect; high blood pressure; an unsafe drop in blood pressure; shortness of breath; a slow heartbeat; weight gain; fatigue; hypotension; dizziness; faintness; decreased appetite; sleepiness; sexual side effects; nervousness; tremor; yawning; sweating; weakness; insomnia; fewer tears or have dry eyes; unexplained weakness; rare cases of tuberculosis; serious infections; a higher rate of lymphoma; vaginal bleeding; painful menstruation; leg cramps; breast pain; vaginitis and itching; difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue or face; a personality disorder; numbness; a bad rash or hives; problems urinating; long-term loss of potency; stroke; interaction with other medicines or certain foods; seizures; blood clots; a speech disorder; increased salivation; amnesia; paresthesia; intestinal bleeding; colitis; confusion; decreased levels of sodium in the blood; fluid in the lungs; hair loss; hallucinations; increased levels of potassium in the blood; low blood cell counts; palpitations; pancreatitis; ringing in the ears; tingling sensation; unusual headache with stiff neck (aseptic meningitis); vertigo; worsening of epilepsy; serious kidney problems; acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure; severe liver problems including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure; coughing up blood; cough that doesn’t go away; blue-grey color or darkening around mouth or nails; slow or difficult speech; loss of ability to concentrate; hallucinating; extreme tiredness; seizures; numbness, heaviness, or tingling in arms or legs; floppiness or loss of muscle tone; lack of energy; excessive sweating; fever, sore throat and chills; bloody (or black) vomit or stools; worsening depression; sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior including feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or not being able to sleep; dependency; unpleasant taste; thoughts of suicide and death.

NPR's series on escalating health costs

NPR investigates roles, and responsibilities of doctors and patients in escalating costs. In three extensive and revealing reports aired this week, NPR’s Alix Spiegel unravels how the current system affects the behavior of doctors and patients, and ultimately, makes our system more expensive and less effective. Sorry there’s no video, but watching a person talk on the radio isn’t nearly as interesting as it sounds.

Click on the arrow to listen:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”The Telltale Wombs Of Lewiston, Maine”]

Click here for the transcript


[wpaudio url=”″ text=”How The Modern Patient Drives Up Health Costs”]

Click here for the transcript


[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Selling Sickness: How Drug Ads Changed Health Care”]

Click here for the transcript

The perfect business plan

  1. Sell products that promise to solve life’s most feared problem: death.
  2. Acquire or force out all or most competitors in your market area.
  3. Make it unimaginably difficult, if not impossible, for a start-up business to compete with you.
  4. Spread regulation over 50 states so no one entity really regulates anything.
  5. Contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to campaigns of regulators at all levels of government including the courts and threaten each with loss of support in the next election.
  6. Promote privacy so no one knows what your service costs, what works, how well it works or how you do what you do.
  7. Gradually raise the price high enough that most consumers will be able to pay you for your service, but not have enough left to afford co-payments to use your service.
  8. Create a paper-based administrative system so complicated that it cannot possibly be audited.
  9. Deny payment of services for arbitrary reasons to routinely scare the hell out of your providers and their customers.
  10. Sell a product to those who don’t need it and tell them if they ever stop buying it and need it, they won’t be allowed to.
  11. Require every business to deduct the cost of your service from employee pay checks before they waste it on things like food or shelter.
  12. Require by law that all consumers buy your product or pay thousands of dollars in fines.
  13. Require government to pay for all consumers who cannot afford your product or choose not to purchase it.
  14. Play on the fears of the aged, the infirmed and the uninformed in your advertising.
  15. Play on the fears of the former middle class that government involvement will mean higher prices, higher taxes, and the services they worked so desperately to afford, will be diminished or rationed.
  16. Collude with providers to fix all prices and be the only source for payment of their services.
  17. Play Congress and the President by pretending to offer concessions on future price increases in return for a law to prevent government negotiation of prices.
  18. Stand ready with unlimited advertising budgets, corrupt industry experts and politicians, willing media partners and misinformation should any constituency turn on you.
  19. Gradually increase the pressure of your grip on society’s privates until the pain is so great we all fall on our knees and will do whatever they want.
  20. Don’t make or provide any useful function to society.

Drinking outside the box

Ripple - the wine that winks back at youComing of age in the South before the late 1970’s, one didn’t have much use for a corkscrew. Rumored to be the perfect accompaniment to smoking pot, wines were generally of the screw off type, didn’t require a glass, were available at better gas stations almost everywhere, and did seem to go with just about anything you’d eat in your car.

Among our many favorites, all with high alcohol content, artificial coloring and flavors, lots of sugar and priced under a dollar were: Ripple (it is said the Black Jesus turned water into Ripple – aka: the national wine of Watts); Boone’s Farm (20 flavors including Apple, Piña Colada, Melon Ball and Tickle Pink); MD 20/20 (aka: Mad Dog and made by Mogen David); Annie Green Springs; Orange Driver (tastes even worse when puked); Thunderbird; Cisco; Wild Irish Rose; and for fifty-cents more and only for special dates, there was Cold Duck (aka: Cold Turkey, Chicken, Gander or Stork and made from the dregs of wine and champagne).

Bum_WineThe flavor of these wines seemed to improve a good bit when mixed with beer – though they ruined the beer. Made famous by the classic 1949 R&B song, “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” by Stick McGhee, these wines were a commercial version of the original street version said to be made from alcohol and found-fruit left to marinate in a trash can for a few days. Which, of course, led us later to the recipe for PJ, but I digress.

Most of these wines were banned in the South as our frontal lobes began to come in and we were forced to switch to more sophisticated wines now only seen on Mad Men. Living in an age before Wine Spectator or the “internets”, yet aspiring to have the public sophistication of James Bond, we were forced to use our instincts. I remember so vividly an occasion in 1971 when I was invited to dinner by a high school friend at Greenville, SC’s exclusive, race and gender controlled, Poinsett Club. Our host was presented a wine list. Unable to recognize a name and unwilling to ask, my friend leaned to the ear of our black waiter and whispered. Turning back to us, he said, “It’s special occasion, so I ordered my favorite wine.” What John Walker couldn’t see from his chair, I did. The waiter went to maître d’, shared a laugh and disappeared for a few moments. Seconds later, wearing an overcoat, he left the restaurant. About 15 minutes had gone by when the waiter reappeared carrying a paper sack with a bottle of Mateus Rose purchased from a neighborhood Handy Mart.

Mateus_RoseOnly a few wines were available in the supermarkets we had way back then – if you can believe it, grocery stores were about the size of a modern library and libraries then were the size of a modern supermarket. Popular wines included Mateus Rose and Lancers (Portugal), Blue Nun (Germany), Italian Swiss Colony (California) and a handful of others.

We were forced to learn to use a cork screw. In subsequent years, I have mastered dozens of types of corkscrews from simple pull and mechanical versions, to those that force air into the bottle, to battery powered versions easier on my arthritis. Never fully escaping my roots, I have feigned the knowledge of the vinophile. Ordered wonderful wines on different continents. Swirled, sniffed, sipped, savoured and swilled away my credit limits and my childrens’ inheritance. Then yesterday, I bought a box wine.

That’s right, a box the size of a dictionary that magically holds four bottles of wine and costs about the same as Two Buck Chuck (current Trader Joe’s price in Atlanta: three bucks, plus tax, but not on Sunday). The wine was for my wife. My otherwise brilliant wife who was faced with her John Walker moment. Struggling with the dotted line and not wishing to admit she had never opened a box of wine, she followed her instincts. Taking a knife to pierce the box… well, you can guess the rest.

War At Home

DomesticViolenceMonthAccording to a 2006 CDC study, one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 
If you, or someone you know is being intimidated, threatened, shoved, slapped,  or hit, then you might recognize this behavior as domestic violence. Less overtly recognizable domestic violence behaviors include: forced sex, financial control, isolation, and emotional abuse. Help is available. In Metro Atlanta, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) operates a confidential 24-hour crisis line (Fulton: 404-873-1766/Gwinnett:770-963-9799), or  call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services.

October is  Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a short film created for Atlanta-based Partnership Against Domestic Violence by Kilgannon.


Click here for an extensive list of Violence Against Women Organizations developed by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

Obama wins Nobel

Nobel-Peace-Prize-medalWhat a surprise to wake up to: Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. For “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,”  the Nobel Committee said. Which in Norwegian translates as, “he is not George W. Bush.”

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. “In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations.” (from Salon)

Nominated for the prize just two weeks after becoming president and well before war broke out in town halls across America, Obama joins only two other sitting US Presidents as a winner, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002 after leaving office. Al Gore won the award in 20071.

The Olympic committee is said to be stunned. Likewise the Republican caucus. Fox News went silent for several seconds when the announcement was made. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton locked herself in a room and cursed privately.


1 Technically, he was not president based on the Supreme Court ruling.

Why Breast Cancer?

breastfeedinglargeWhy make curing breast cancer a priority when only 1% of the cases affect men? Fair question.


Cancer of the most beautiful and natural symbol of unconditional love, the source of mother’s milk, is caused by the chemical pollution man dumped on mother earth during the last century. That’s right, man. With hubris and ignorance, driven unabashed by greed toward  innovation without regard for risk, we poisoned our wives, our children and ourselves.

The last century’s men also invented industrial poisons that have, and continue to contribute to, many other deadly cancers. I could pause now and list how the innovation also led to improvement to lives, but that is well known. I could pause now and list the toxic chemicals or cite the proof – document links follow for you to come to your own conclusions.

These self-inflected toxins are still in the water we drink, the foods we eat and the air we breathe. For the generations alive right now, it is too late to simply remove them. Just as it is too late to reverse the effects of damage to our ozone that causes skin cancer. While we owe it to earth’s future to stop and begin to undo the damage we caused, the only way to save ourselves is to find the cures.

Let me say that again, the ONLY way we can save ourselves is to find the cures.

Much good work is being done. Governments around the planet fund most of the research – by a huge margin. But, as you might suspect, most of the research funding decisions by government involves politics. In what district is the research facility? Which pharmaceutical company will profit from the research, and how much did they contribute to my campaign? Will the findings be bad for business? Does the university have a proven (code for conservative that follow private patents) approach? Did we fund it last year and did I get any grief?

This is where organizations such as Susan G. Komen Foundation come in. Funded only by contributions and non-pharma sponsors, they have invested more than a billion dollars in research and training researchers since 1982. Their decisions, under the direction of Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr Eric Winer and a Scientific Advisory Board, to fund research is non-political. While they support many established programs of research, they also look, and often fund, emerging research that has promise outside the mainstream. This includes smaller research programs that don’t have the political clout to gain favor in Washington. Programs that innovate in ways that don’t always involve patents lasting long enough for Wall Street.

It may well be that these boutique programs find the magic to un-do what we’ve done to ourselves. Programs that allow some of our most brilliant researchers to follow paths that may lead to the cure instead of giving in to the financial realities of entrenched research paths. Programs that sustain paths of research that would be otherwise abandoned. Programs that don’t just sustain lives, but cure cancer (there will be a story in a few days about those who profit by sustaining lives, but for marketing reasons don’t want a cure).

This is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. For those of you reading the Dew who may wonder why we care, this is why: I want my wife to live, my daughter cured and I don’t want my granddaughters poisoned. Irony. Hard to appreciate, but real. Volunteer. Donate. Care. Support. Get involved. But don’t just stand there complacent. You’ve been poisoned already.



More resources: