You gotta love that the Ayn Rand Institute — and even Grover “drown-government-in-a-bathtub” Norquist — took government assistance to cope with COVID.



Thinly-traded BKUT last traded at $570.  Meanwhile, the shares we own, BKUTK — the exact same stock without voting rights — were $360 bid, $374 asked yesterday.  Whoever paid $570 for BKUT clearly thinks it’s worth more (or why buy it?).   I hope they’re right, because if it’s worth more than $570, it’s surely worth more than $374.  I’m not adding shares; but I’m sure not selling, either.



An interesting mea culpa from Wendell Potter:


I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec: We spent big $$ to push the idea that Canada’s single-payer system is awful and the U.S. system much better. It was a lie and the nations’ Covid responses prove it.

The truth: Canada is doing much better than the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19 testing and treatment. On a per capita basis, more Canadians are being tested and fewer getting sick and dying. This may shock Americans who still believe the lies I told about the Canadian healthcare system.

Here’s the truth: Our industry PR and lobbying group, AHIP, supplied my colleagues and me with cherry-picked data and anecdotes to make people think Canadians wait endlessly for their care. It’s a lie and I’ll always regret a disservice I did the folks on both sides of the border.

In Canada, no one gets turned away from doctors due to lack of funds. In America, exorbitant bills are a defining feature of the system. What about quality of care? When it comes to COVID-19, there’s been 21 deaths per hundred thousand in Canada versus 34 per thousand in the US.

Remember, in Canada there are no co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance ever.  Care is free at the point of service. And those laid off in Canada don’t face the worry of losing their health insurance. In the US, millions are losing their jobs and coverage, and scared to death.

Canada’s single-payer system is saving lives.  The US profit-driven corporate model is failing. I’ll regret slandering Canada’s system for the rest of my life.




Mask instructions from a Scot. (Translated.)  Sixty seconds. Thanks, Joey!



Listen to What Went Wrong in Brazil from “The Daily.”  It aired a few days ago, before Bolsonaro tested positive after months of dismissing the seriousness of the virus.  Though Trump is never explicitly mentioned in the podcast (unless I missed it), the parallels to their leadership skills — short of that last little detail — are hard to miss.



If you wade through this recent ruling, you’ll see that PRKR‘s trial in its lawsuit against Qualcomm has been moved to May 3rd.

Years ago, a jury awarded PRKR $173 million but the judge overturned the award and was affirmed on appeal — read the saga here.  Yet former FBI director Louis Freeh’s law firm joined the case last year; and the firm that initially won the verdict remains engaged, with skin in the game.  Among our fellow shareholders is the old-line investment manager Ingalls & Snyder.  That they all think the lawsuit has merit gives me some comfort.

I read email snippets like this one dated February 4, 1999 from Qualcomm’s Don Schrock to Rich Sulpizio — “this is critical technology that we must land” — and I think, well, who knows?  As happened once before, a jury might decide that “nothing” was not a fair price for QCOM to pay for PRKR’s hard work.  (And, PRKR argues, in the intervening years, billions of cell phones have been sold with its technology, so the award could perhaps be many times higher?)

 

 

 

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