Friday, April 30, 2010
We're so excited and honored to have added Denime to our stocklist. Availible immediatly are both versions of Denime's famous '66 model: (The Classic '66 on the left, the "New" '66 on the right)
The "Old" 66 is a traditional repro higher rise, with a '66 tapered leg and 14oz XX denim. (shown above)
The "New" 66 is a modernized version of the same silhouette: Lower rise with a smaller seat, and in a 12.5oz. un-sanforized denim.
Denime's fabric is well known for its coarse texture when new, and the handsome vertical falling that develops with wear. Both the 14oz and 12.5oz versions of this denim share these characteristics, however the 14oz uses thicker yarns that result in a slightly lumpier, thicker fabric.
You won't find these elsewhere anywhere on the West Coast. If you're in the market for a well built, unbranded jean with very Japanese textile sensibilities.... these are for you.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We had the pleasure of kickin it with the Sky High crew while we were our in Williamsburg last week. The movie looks amazing. Congrats, and thanks for the killer hospitality fellas.
More pics on-scene at SkyHigh's work studio coming soon..... gotta find that damn camera cable...
More pics on-scene at SkyHigh's work studio coming soon..... gotta find that damn camera cable...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"Toys banned in some California fast food restaurants
By Sara Bonisteel, Special to CNN
April 28, 2010 4:28 p.m. EDT
About a dozen fast food restaurants in unincorporated areas of Silicon Valley are affected by the ordinance.
(CNN) -- A California county on Tuesday became the first in the nation to ban toys from fast food kids' meals high in calories, fat, salt and sugar.
Santa Clara County supervisors voted 3-2 to ban the plastic goodies as promotions in meals with more than 485 calories.
County supervisor Ken Yeager said Tuesday that the ordinance "prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys to peddle high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium kids' meals," and would help fight childhood obesity...." read the rest of the article here
Really Santa Clara County? Really?? Its the government's job to set a hurdle for the amount of calories a meal can have, and still give away a shitty toy?? Now, I'm all for making some major changes in how Americans eat.... god knows we are a doughy, slovenly bunch.... but legislation is probably not the answer here, you morons. How about having parents be responsible enough to explain to their children how a normal diet is supposed to actually work instead?
I just can't stand these pussy-liberal "saving us from ourselves" style laws that treat the public like a bunch of idiot children that won't understand bacon double cheeseburgers are bad for their kids so long as you can get a pose-able Spongebob toy in the bag! The libertarian in me wants to tell them to go fuck themselves! Especially for how assanine this concept is in the first place! A calorie limit for meals that come with a toy?? This is a better idea than say, requiring additional educational materials or nutritional information for the food the little fat bastards are actually consuming? More heads up to the braindead parents feeding their kids this stuff? The toy's the problem?? Really?....... Christ.
Hotel Toshi is a great example of a brilliant new trend in and around New York. Fully furnished apartments rented out by the day, like hotel rooms. Essentially a day by day sublet, but you get clean sheets and towels, maid service, and an amazing amount of space for the money. We got a sick little 2 bedroom in Williamsburg for $150 a night! Cheap as shit, and fit three grown ass men comfortably. If you just need a place to crash, and not all the hotel amenity bullshit, this is totally the lick.
Plenty of scams on Craigslist that pretend to be the same thing..... so heads up. Hotel Toshi is legit. $500 deposit done through paypal, and refunded within hours of checkout...... Nor did they bitch that we smoked pot in our no-smoking room (it was 4/20 afterall).
AND they had Yeungling in the fridge at the office when we picked up our keys. Good job people!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This is my grandmother's favorite show. She watches religiously. I have that shit set on my DVR. AND its on at 7 & 7:30 in syndication.... I never watched this show for years, just assuming it was typical mainstream sitcom crap.... which it kinda is..... but good. I mean its America's sweetheart, Chuck Sheen, PLUS as seasons progress you get to see the cute young kid get fat, then adolescent and awkward! Not to mention every female character on the show, save for the Mother and the Housekeeper, is a MODEL/actress...... Two and a Half Men..... Smoke a blunt and watch it again, for the first time.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So I spend 45 minutes on La Brea today. Went over there with Jeff to see if American Rag had any good fitting chino's. Shot the shit with Max and Karl from Rogue Territory for a while.... I ended up finding a killer pair of 60's or 70's OshKosh painters pants for $30, bought 'em. Do I need my parking validated I ask? Nope.... they don't validate. They'll see the bag and know whats up, is what I'm told by the cute chick who rang me up.
Afterwards, I can't help myself, and we walk up to see the homies at Undefeated to see what they were pushing. Bought a pair of new Native crocs.... that are ill as shit, for the record.
On the way back into the American Rag garage, I hand my ticket to the attendant.... "six dollars please" she says.... Oh, no, I said, see, here's my bag... I bought something, I'm good. "No, you have another bag... that means you have to pay $6".... horseshit! I go back to the store to explain, show my receipt, and get whatever validation I need....
I get Sara, one of the managers. She looks flustered and bothered to begin with. "Read the back of the ticket" she says dismissively.... Excuse me? There must be some mistake here... I came into your store and spent money... I'm a paying customer! You're telling me that since I spent 12 minutes up the street after I shopped in your store, AND was foolish enough to come back with a bag, that I now have to pay for parking? Mind you, she couldn't even muster that much of an explanation... only that it said on the ticket... yadda yadda yadda... and we were shit outta luck. Not a mention of "thank you for shopping" or even a minute of her time to hear my situation. Why didn't I get validated? she asked... Because the person who helped me specifically told me I didn't need it.... Who helped you? Fuck that... I'm not a snitch... I'm not diming out the cutie (who was right behind us during this whole ordeal mind you), who already has to deal with your spiteful ass all day long.. I don't remember who helped me.
Then the cool lookin old dude Security Guard tracks us down and stops us... already in the car at this point.... to push the issue even further...... The fucking security guard! Over six goddamn dollars! From someone who spent money in the store! He knocks on my window and tells me if I ever park in there again, he's gonna tow my car.... Oh yeah tough guy? Go fuck your self. I don't even have plates on my car yet. You gonna tow every black Cadillac that parks in there? Blow me.
Moral of the story: TERRIBLE customer service!! WHY....WHY.....WHY in god's name would any business like theirs risk pissing off paying customers, over six dollars, in a parking lot that was 3/4 empty at the time any damn way! Maybe you were having a bad day Sara... But for christ's sake.... You owe us an apology. I'll wait.......
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
CNN's Special Investigations Unit reveals internal company documents on Bextra and Pfizer's health care fraud. Watch at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on CNN.
(CNN) -- Imagine being charged with a crime, but an imaginary friend takes the rap for you.
That is essentially what happened when Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, was caught illegally marketing Bextra, a painkiller that was taken off the market in 2005 because of safety concerns.
When the criminal case was announced last fall, federal officials touted their prosecution as a model for tough, effective enforcement. "It sends a clear message" to the pharmaceutical industry, said Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division.
But beyond the fanfare, a CNN Special Investigation found another story, one that officials downplayed when they declared victory. It's a story about the power major pharmaceutical companies have even when they break the laws intended to protect patients.
Big plans for Bextra
The story begins in 2001, when Bextra was about to hit the market. The drug was part of a revolutionary class of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors that were supposed to be safer than generic drugs, but at 20 times the price of ibuprofen.
Pfizer and its marketing partner, Pharmacia, planned to sell Bextra as a treatment for acute pain, the kind you have after surgery.
But in November 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Bextra was not safe for patients at high risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The FDA approved Bextra only for arthritis and menstrual cramps. It rejected the drug in higher doses for acute, surgical pain.
Promoting drugs for unapproved uses can put patients at risk by circumventing the FDA's judgment over which products are safe and effective. For that reason, "off-label" promotion is against the law.
If we prosecute Pfizer ... a lot of the people who work for the company who haven't engaged in criminal activity would get hurt.
But with billions of dollars of profits at stake, marketing and sales managers across the country nonetheless targeted anesthesiologists, foot surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and oral surgeons. "Anyone that use[d] a scalpel for a living," one district manager advised in a document prosecutors would later cite.
A manager in Florida e-mailed his sales reps a scripted sales pitch that claimed -- falsely -- that the FDA had given Bextra "a clean bill of health" all the way up to a 40 mg dose, which is twice what the FDA actually said was safe.
Doctors as pitchmen
Internal company documents show that Pfizer and Pharmacia (which Pfizer later bought) used a multimillion-dollar medical education budget to pay hundreds of doctors as speakers and consultants to tout Bextra.
Pfizer said in court that "the company's intent was pure": to foster a legal exchange of scientific information among doctors.
But an internal marketing plan called for training physicians "to serve as public relations spokespeople."
According to Lewis Morris, chief counsel to the inspector general at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "They pushed the envelope so far past any reasonable interpretation of the law that it's simply outrageous."
Pfizer's chief compliance officer, Doug Lanker, said that "in a large sales force, successful sales techniques spread quickly," but that top Pfizer executives were not aware of the "significant mis-promotion issue with Bextra" until federal prosecutors began to show them the evidence.
By April 2005, when Bextra was taken off the market, more than half of its $1.7 billion in profits had come from prescriptions written for uses the FDA had rejected.
Too big to nail
But when it came to prosecuting Pfizer for its fraudulent marketing, the pharmaceutical giant had a trump card: Just as the giant banks on Wall Street were deemed too big to fail, Pfizer was considered too big to nail.
Why? Because any company convicted of a major health care fraud is automatically excluded from Medicare and Medicaid. Convicting Pfizer on Bextra would prevent the company from billing federal health programs for any of its products. It would be a corporate death sentence.
Prosecutors said that excluding Pfizer would most likely lead to Pfizer's collapse, with collateral consequences: disrupting the flow of Pfizer products to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, causing the loss of jobs including those of Pfizer employees who were not involved in the fraud, and causing significant losses for Pfizer shareholders.
"We have to ask whether by excluding the company [from Medicare and Medicaid], are we harming our patients," said Lewis Morris of the Department of Health and Human Services.
So Pfizer and the feds cut a deal. Instead of charging Pfizer with a crime, prosecutors would charge a Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. Inc.
The CNN Special Investigation found that the subsidiary is nothing more than a shell company whose only function is to plead guilty.
According to court documents, Pfizer Inc. owns (a) Pharmacia Corp., which owns (b) Pharmacia & Upjohn LLC, which owns (c) Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. LLC, which in turn owns (d) Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. Inc. It is the great-great-grandson of the parent company.
Public records show that the subsidiary was incorporated in Delaware on March 27, 2007, the same day Pfizer lawyers and federal prosecutors agreed that the company would plead guilty in a kickback case against a company Pfizer had acquired a few years earlier.
As a result, Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. Inc., the subsidiary, was excluded from Medicare without ever having sold so much as a single pill. And Pfizer was free to sell its products to federally funded health programs.
An imaginary friend
I can tell you, unequivocally, that Pfizer perceived the Bextra matter as an incredibly serious one.
Two years later, with Bextra, the shell company once again pleaded guilty. It was, in effect, Pfizer's imaginary friend stepping up to take the rap.
"It is true that if a company is created to take a criminal plea, but it's just a shell, the impact of an exclusion is minimal or nonexistent," Morris said.
Prosecutors say there was no viable alternative.
"If we prosecute Pfizer, they get excluded," said Mike Loucks, the federal prosecutor who oversaw the investigation. "A lot of the people who work for the company who haven't engaged in criminal activity would get hurt."
Did the punishment fit the crime? Pfizer says yes.
It paid nearly $1.2 billion in a criminal fine for Bextra, the largest fine the federal government has ever collected.
It paid a billion dollars more to settle a batch of civil suits -- although it denied wrongdoing -- on allegations that it illegally promoted 12 other drugs.
In all, Pfizer lost the equivalent of three months' profit.
It maintained its ability to do business with the federal government.
Pfizer says it takes responsibility for the illegal promotion of Bextra. "I can tell you, unequivocally, that Pfizer perceived the Bextra matter as an incredibly serious one," said Doug Lankler, Pfizer's chief compliance officer.
To prevent it from happening again, Pfizer has set up what it calls "leading-edge" systems to spot signs of illegal promotion by closely monitoring sales reps and tracking prescription sales.
It's not entirely voluntary. Pfizer had to sign a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services. For the next five years, it requires Pfizer to disclose future payments to doctors and top executives to sign off personally that the company is obeying the law.
Pfizer says the company has learned its lesson.
But after years of overseeing similar cases against other major drug companies, even Loucks, isn't sure $2 billion in penalties is a deterrent when the profits from illegal promotion can be so large.
"I worry that the money is so great," he said, that dealing with the Department of Justice may be "just of a cost of doing business."
Friday, April 2, 2010
Over the next few days, we will be featuring some of the gorgoeous Stevenson Overalls product that just landed on our shelves. Stay posted!