September 2015

How’s THIS for “Old Stock Canadians”?

by Joey deVilla on September 23, 2015

conservative - embrace the abyss

Click the image to see THE ELDRITCH HORROR at full size.

Are the Elder Gods “Old Stock” enough for ya?! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu Harper wgah’nagl fhtagn!

Thanks to Heather Libby and Liz Phillips for the find!

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shkreli checkmate linkedin

Martin Shkreli, the douchey price-gouging biotech CEO who bought a drug company and jacked its product’s price from $13.50 to $750 for each pill, may have locked down his Twitter account to keep the convo between him and what are presumably friendly fellow douchebags, but his LinkedIn profile is open to the public…and it’s quite unsurprising.

I like to think that I’m reasonably well-connected, but I’m still a little surprised that I had a 3rd-degree connection with him on LinkedIn:
shkreli linkedin profile 1

Here’s his resume, which shows a rise from grunt to C-suite in 6 years. Looking at it, I’m reminded of the Dorothy Parker quote: “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

shkreli linkedin profile 2

The most telling part of his LinkedIn profile is the Skills section. Although Shkreli has described himself as a “self-trained biologist”, it appears to be an attempt to portray himself as a creator of wealth rather than a mere manipulator of it, if you consider the skills for which is endorse by himself and his peers:

shkreli linkedin profile 3

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Martin Shkreli vs. Jonas Salk

by Joey deVilla on September 23, 2015

shkreli vs salk

Click the image to see it at full size.

I hereby declare this the meme of the day!

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martin shkreli serious a-hole

Yesterday, I told you about Martin Shkreli, the douchey former hedge-funder turned price-gouging pharmaceutical CEO.

His drug company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, recently bought the rights to Daraprim, a drug that’s been around for over 60 years and is the standard treatment for toxoplasmosis, which affects up to half the world’s population, especially people with HIV or who are otherwise immunocompromised. His company has since changed the price of Daraprim pills, which are said to cost $1 each to manufacture, from $13.50 each to $750, making him Big Pharma’s biggest a-hole, a field in which the competition is pretty serious.

It turns out that the Daraprim fiasco is just another data point in a long pattern of pharma profiteering über alles:

shkreli on scooterboard

And he’s not afraid to make it personal, either.

Take a look at this police report, taken by the police in Summit, New Jersey back in December of 2013:

shkreli police report

It was filed by one Timothy Pierotti, a former colleague of Shkleri’s at Retrophin turned business rival. The report is about a year-long campaign of harrassment by Shkleri, which included:

  • Stalking Pierotti and his family,
  • sending nasty texts, emails, and social media messages to Pierotti, his wife, and even his teenaged children, and
  • Gaining access to Pierotti’s Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts and making damaging posts.

Shkreli sued Pierotti, whose lawyers filed documents saying that Shkreli sent threatening messages to Pierotti’s wife, such as letters saying “I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this”…

shkreli police report 2

Click the image to read the full document.

…and creepy, cryptic text messages like this one:

hey sweetheart

Click the image to more Shkreli creepiness.

Epilogue (for now)

At the time of this writing, Shkreli has announced that they’ll lower the price of Daraprim:

You may also want to check out this article by Kurt Eichenwald (he wrote Microsoft’s Lost Decade for Vanity Fair back in 2012): Man Who Hiked AIDS Drug 5,000 Percent Faces Investigation for His Old Job.

Also worth checking out is TheStreet.com’s Worst CEOs in Biotech for 2014, and guess who’s on the list:

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bubba cola

Of course I tried it. It’s not all that different from Diet Coke.

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martin shkreli, douche

Martin Shkreli (pictured above giving the douche salute), hedge fund douche turned pharmaceutical douche, bought the company that makes the standard treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitical disease, and raised its price from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.

Alas, the ethically questionable practice of buying up the companies that make a drug that’s been used for decades and turning their products into “specialty drugs” simply through price gouging is proving to be a profitable business model for a number of douches.

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Hello from the St. Petersbureau!

by Joey deVilla on September 21, 2015

01

The marina at St. Petersburg. Take this morning just before 9:00 a.m..

Welcome to the start of another working week! As I do from time to time, I volunteered to give Anitra a lift to her work in St. Petersburg, a drive that can take up to an hour or so, depending on traffic. That way, we both win: she gets a break from commuting for a day, and for me, getting out of the home office is a nice change of scenery.

I also made breakfast for the both of us while she showered this morning — scrambled eggs with spinach and a little onion — which should net me at least 100 Husband Points. I try to keep my score high. Later tonight, we’re catching up with friends on Pass-a-Grille Beach, a stone’s throw away from where we got married just over six months ago.

Chauffeuring Anitra to work has an added benefit: it’s also the perfect excuse to hook the bike on the rack and take some time to enjoy zipping around St. Petersburg’s beautiful, uncrowded, bike-friendly streets.

My car and bike rack, taken in Ottawa circa September 2011. It’s the only photo I have with a bike on the rack. I left the bike pictured above in Toronto for my oldest nephew; I now ride around on Anitra’s old bike.

I love biking around downtown St. Pete in the morning, but I end up asking the same question every time: Where is everybody?

02

All these photos, save the one of my car with the red bike on the rack, were taken this morning in downtown St. Pete between 8:45 and 9:00 a.m. today. You’d think the place existed in some sort of Jimmy Buffett drunken slacker time warp (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). This is Beach Avenue, the home of a lot of shops and sidewalk cafes and bistros:

03

Here’s 1st Street North. At this point, I’m still the only vehicle on the road:

04

It’s all quiet if you look north from the corner of 1st Street North and 2nd Avenue North…

05

…but looking west, I see what passes for morning traffic here.

06

Here’s an amusing sticker I found on a parked car this morning. This is my kind of emergency planning:

07

And finally, my current setup at the “St. Petersbureau”:

08

I hope your day’s going well!

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