Selling Sex Overseas: Chinese Women and the Realities of Prostitution and Global Sex Trafficking by Ko-Lin Chin and James Finckenauer

Background from Wikipedia

I looked up the Teochew Han ethnicity, because I had never heard of it before. The author mentions it, because it is common in Thailand. Most Thai Chinese are of Teochew descent. The Teochew are originally from coastal Guangdong and speak an ancient dialect of Chinese. Their neighbors are the Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien (Fujianese). Famous people of Teochew ethnicity include:

  • Michael Chang, the American tennis player,
  • Ma Huateng, founder of Tencent QQ instant messaging,
  • Li Ka-shing, founder of the Cheung Kong property development group,
  • Major General Lê Văn Viễn of the Bình Xuyên, who use to run Cholon, and
  • Heung Chin, founder of the Sun Yee On Triad.


The authors studied Chinese women from People’s Republic of China (PRC) only. Most other books have focussed on trafficked women, but this one focusses on voluntary prostitutes. They repeatedly state that their sampling of prostitutes was not a random sample. The authors acknowledge that their samples were not fully representative and could be skewed. They used what is called purposive sampling, it is not random, but they try to interview a variety of people, and try not to be skewed toward any particular group. They admit that it is hard to find trafficked prostitutes, because they are much more likely to be hidden than voluntary prostitutes. All interviews were conducted by male interviewers, because they could not afford female ones. The interviewers obtained informed consent  from the prostitutes interviewed. No third parties were present during the interview, so the women could speak freely. Women were not pressured to answer questions. They documented rejections; there was a 9% rejection rate.

Kinds of People Interviewed

  • prostitutes
  • managers of venues
  • law enforcement officials
  • victim services providers
  • cab drivers
  • bartenders
  • hairdressers

Research Sites

  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taipei
  • Bangkok
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Singapore
  • Jakarta
  • Shenzhen (only location in PRC)
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City


  • xiaojie: little elder sister, Chinese term for female prostitute
  • xiaolongnu: little dragon lady, Chinese prostitutes in Malaysia
  • China doll: female prostitute (Malaysia)
  • wuya: crows, young Chinese students in Singapore looking for rich old men
  • chickenhead; man who arranges travel from PRC to a foreign city for prostitution
  • chipor: chicken lady, moves women from villages to coast
  • mommy: woman who finds customers for prostitutes
  • daddy: local male protector
  • falangmei: hair salon lady
  • jishi: technician, masseuse in spa or sauna
  • jockey: man who drives women to clients
  • yazi: duck, man who sell sex to women
  • yadian: duck house, yazi brothels
  • mistress village: city in Guangdong Province where rich businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan keep their mistresses
  • beigu: girl from the north (in Hong Kong)
  • KTV: Karaoke TV lounge
  • flower hall: nightclub where the chosen girl receives a flower ring around her neck
  • debt bondage: prostitute cannot leave her pimp until she pays off her travel fee
  • bounded rationality: making a choice in the context of limited options
  • symbolic politics: a form of advocacy that publicizes a problem, without actually helping solve the problem — used in this book with respect to the advocates of sex-trafficking laws

Motives for Becoming Sex Workers

  • member of rural poor in villages
  • alternatives pay poorly: domestic workers, dim sum cart, cleaning lady, factory work
  • daughter becomes a sacrificial lamb to help support the family
  • only daughters, not sons, are asked to support their families
  • girls drop out of school, but their brothers continue with their education
  • to pay father’s debts
  • to escape a bad husband
  • to support her boyfriend
  • to pay husband’s debts
  • gangster husband arrested
  • divorced women with children not receiving child support
  • women work overseas so family will not know
  • to be able to shop for nice things

Recruitment, Money and Working Conditions

  • Many overseas prostitutes were prostitutes earlier back in PRC
  • Most customers are ethnic overseas Chinese men
  • Mainland women are often recruited by a returned xiaojie, who receives a referral fee
  • Agents (chicken heads) are needed for travel documents
  • Women usually repay agent fee in 1-2 months of work.
  • Assault by a client is rare.
  • Pimp helps watch out for police and protect the women from violent customers.
  • Women keep about half of the fee paid by the john
  • Women can make good money just by sitting at customers tables at nightclubs (w/o sex)
  • Chinese prostitutes generally do not have any problem getting their clients to wear condoms. They refuse to have sex with them if they won’t.
  • Drug use is not common among prostitutes.
  • When there are no customers, the ladies play mahjong.

Differences in Work Locales

  • New York and Los Angeles: Favorite destination, because it pays so well. Prostitutes the U.S. are older and better educated than those in Asian locales. Before the Chinese influx, Koreans made up a large percentage of Asian prostitutes in the U.S.
  • Taiwan: PRC women in Taiwan are given away by their accents, so to avoid the police they cannot walk the streets and instead must work for escort services. It is hard to enter Taiwan from PRC. So the women need an agent, who arranges a fake marriage between a fake Taiwanese husband and the PRC woman and brings them back to China for a fee. The woman rarely sees her fake husband after she moves to Taiwan.
  • Hong Kong: Easy destination for PRC woman. It is legal for an individual women to operate a one-woman apartment for sex work. Hong Kong men prefer to go to the mainland to buy sex, for price and anonymity.
  • Macau: Macau surpassed Las Vegas in 2007; Macau more tolerant of prostitution than Hong Kong; look for them in the lobbies and basements of large hotels
  • Jakarta: officials more corrupt than most of the places studied, and the women had less freedom, because they were required to give their travel documents to their employers.
  • Bangkok: Chinese prostitutes in Bangkok don’t like Teochew clients, because they are old, cheap and gossip amongst each other.
  • Shenzhen: Prostitution in the PRC is concentrated on the coast.

Organized Crime

Asian organized crime has little interested in prostitution, because there is not enough money in it. Organized crime makes more money from drugs and gambling. In China girls are traded for adoption and marriage but not for prostitution.

Sex Trafficking

There is a lack of consensus on the definition of sex trafficking. Some radical feminists claim that prostitution is never voluntary. Because of pressure from the United Nations, the European Union and the United States, local officials are pressured to treat voluntary prostitutes as victims of sex trafficking and deport them.

Moral Crusade

Fighting against sex trafficking has become a moral crusade. There is a lot of hype regarding sex trafficking. T-visas give temporary resident status in the United States. Few have been issued for the victims of sex trafficking. Why? Is it because there are not many such women in the United States? Advocates of the sex trafficking view stand to gain government grants. Governments rely on NGOs and newspaper articles for sex trafficking statistics. The current book is an attempt to make a more objective and rational appraisal of the situation, at lease with respect to the overseas Chinese. This book has little information on the situation in Eastern Europe and Muslim countries.


The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of the Planet Earth by Eric M. Jackson


PayPal was founded by Peter Thiel, David Sacks, and Max Levchin. Peter Thiel was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Max Levchin was born in Kiev, Ukraine. David Sacks was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Peter Thiel and Norman Book had earlier founded the libertarian newspaper, The Stanford Review. Thiel and Sacks had earlier written The Diversity Myth, which criticized political correctness and multiculturalism at Stanford University. 

Money Transfers

PayPay was originally designed for people with Palm Pilot PDAs, to help them transfer money to each other. The Web interface was added as a secondary feature, but it became the primary feature. PayPal initially used the ACH (Automated Clearing House), which is what banks use with checks. It is slow, but the cost per transaction is very low. 

Online Auctions

The author, Eric Jackson, was in charge of marketing at PayPal. He had the idea of growing PayPal’s user base offering the eBay user the option to use PayPal to handle payments. PayPal became the most popular payment service at eBay. Paypal made it easy for eBay sellers to include a link to PayPal in the HTML of their storefront. 

The Customer Is Always Right

PayPal often had to back out of changes they made to increase their profitability, because the changes proved to be unpopular with the users. Changes often had to be backed out of in a matter of days. PayPal also paid a lot of attention to message boards. 

Transaction Fraud

One of the main problems PayPal had was protecting themselves from transaction fraud. PayPal developed a method to verify that their online customers had bank accounts. I’ve been through this, myself. PayPal deposits a small amount of money in your bank account. Then you go online and tell them how much it was. 

Merger with

For me, the most interesting part of PayPal’s merger with was the fact that the programmers used Microsoft Windows NT software, while the PayPal people used UNIX and Oracle software. Some managers at PayPal saw this as being an arcane theological dispute, which I thought disrespected the importance of technology. Thank god, the UNIX and Oracle team won! 

Acquisition by eBay

Soon after PayPal went public, it was acquired by eBay. 

PayPal Mafia

Many of the early PayPal people have gone on to found other important companies:

  • Peter Thiel was an early investor in Facebook. 
  • David Sacks produced and financed the movie Thank You For Smoking
  • Max Levchin was the main initial investor for Yelp, which was founded by PayPal engineers Russel Simmons,  and Jeremy Stoppelman. 
  • Elon Musk, co-founder of, later co-founded Tesla Motors and founded SpaceX. 
  • Reid Hoffman, Chief Operating Officer at PayPal, went on to found LinkedIn. 
  • PayPal programmers Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley later founded YouTube.

Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights by Ezra Levant

Canada’s national and provincial Human RIghts Commissions (HRC) were established to give the common person a way to protect themselves from discrimination. But as the amount of genuine bigotry has decreased in Canada, the goals of the commissions have changed. They now often persecute people merely for exercising their right to free speech, their right to criticize the political, religious, or sexual beliefs of others. Canadian civil rights activist, Alan Borovoy, originally a supporter of HRCs, has turned against their present incarnation, saying that he never foresaw the use of human rights laws as an instrument of censorship. There is no right not to be offended. 

The Human Rights Commissions are not required to abide by the strict rules that the normal court system is required to obey:

  • Hearsay is admissible in HRC hearings, 
  • No loser-pays rule for legal defense costs, 
  • No warrant required for HRC searches, 
  • No right against self-incrimination in HRC hearings, 
  • Proving that your assertions are true is an effective defense in traditional defamation of character lawsuits, but not for trial by HRC. 

Levant cites some examples of abuse:

  • The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal convicted Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation of discriminating against Ghassan Asad, an immigrant from Saudi Arabia, because a Kinexus employee called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to let them know that Asad was behaving suspiciously and might be a terrorist. 
  • The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal convicted the Vancouver Rape Relief centre of discriminating against, Kimberly Nixon, a male-to-female transsexual, for prohibiting him from counseling female rape victims, because they had a policy that only women were allowed to counsel female rape victims. The verdict was overturned on appeal. 
  • The Alberta Human Rights Commission ordered the Reverend Stephen Boissoin, a Christian, to cease making disparaging remarks about homosexuals in newspapers, email, radio or public speeches after he wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate criticizing the public schools for promoting a pro-homosexual agenda. 
  • The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal fined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police half a million dollars, because it objected to Iranian Muslim immigrant Ali Tahmourpour wearing a religious amulet during training exercises. 

In 2006, Levant himself got into trouble with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, when his Western Standard magazine reprinted the the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons cartoons about the prophet Mohammed, and when during a radio debate with Pakistani immigrant Syed Soharwardy, Levant insulted Soharwardy. Ezra Levant says that he was able to win, because of the support he received from Internet blogs and YouTube. 

In 2007, the Canadian Islamic Congress sued Maclean’s magazine for publishing an article by Mark Steyn that was critical of Islam. The magazine received support from the Toronto Globe and Mail, PEN Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, and was able to prevail.

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

Author and Title
Shubin, Neil. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

Sir Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen noticed similarities between the limb bones of various species, before Darwin. The general pattern was one bone in the upper arm, two bones in the lower arm, several small bones in the wrist, then the bones of each of the fingers.

The Fins of Fish
The fish fin does not follow this pattern. Instead of one bone attaching to the shoulder, it has four or more parallel bones attaching to the shoulder. The fin of the lungfish also has several bones, but arranged serially, going away from the shoulder, rather than in parallel. Only one of these bones attaches to the shoulder. The fin of the fossil fish Eusthenopteron has one bone attaching at the shoulder, followed by two bones further out, followed by several more bones even further out.

The Wrist and Hand
Shubin, with his student Ted Daeschler and mentor Farish A. Jenkins, Jr., discovered the first fish with a wrist, the Tiktaalik, in the Canadian Arctic. Next in the course of evolution, after the Tiktaalik, came the amphibian Acanthostega fossil. It has one bone at the shoulder, followed by two bones after the elbow, followed by several digits in parallel.

Genetics of Asymmetry
The author also talks about the genetics of limb development in the embryo. The concentration gradient of the Sonic hedgehog (sic) protein influences the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA). The ZPA is what causes the hand to be asymmetrical, with the pinky and one side and the thumb at the other. The gene for Sonic hedgehog was discovered in 1980 by German scientist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and American scientist Eric Wieschaus. The relationship between the Sonic hedgehog protein and the ZPA was discovered by Robert D. Riddle, Cliff Tabin and colleagues at Harvard in the early 1990s.

The fact that invertebrate eyes, such as those of insects, and vertebrate eyes are so different has always posed a problem for theorists of evolution. Invertebrate eyes increase surface area by having many folds in their light-gathering tissue, while vertebrate eyes have bristle-like projections. Detlev Arendt discovered a marine annelid worm called the polychaete that has two kinds of eyes, an invertebrate eye and a vertebrate proto-eye. It has also been discovered that the gene, Pax 6, that controls the differentiation of tissue into eyes is very similar in invertebrates and vertebrates.

Fish have no middle-ear bones. Reptiles and amphibians have one middle-ear bone. Mammals have three ear bones (and a pinna). All of the middle-ear bones evolved from the curved gill arch bones of fish. The stapes (stirrup) evolved from the hyomandibula of the reptile, which connects the jaw to the skull. The hymandibula, in turn, evolved from the second gill arch bone of fish. The malleus (hammer) and incus (anvil) evolved from bones in the back of the reptilian jaw, which in turn evolved from the first gill arch bone.

Three percent of the mammalian genome is devoted to genes that code for receptor proteins that bind odor molecules. In primates with color vision, many of these genes have become non-functional. We have traded smell for vision.

The Hard Parts
For their hard parts, mollusk and crustacean invertebrates, use chitin and calcium carbonate. In vertebrates, hydroxyapatite is the mineral that gives bones and tooth enamel their hardness. Hydroxyapatite first appeared in teeth, not bones, which were then made of cartilage. The upper and lower teeth of mammals fit well together (occlusion), but this is not true of reptiles.

The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama by Melvyn C. Goldstein

Tibet is a sparsely populated region on a high plateau north of the Himalayas. In fact, for thousands of years, many Tibetans have lived in areas that are now provinces of China: Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces. The Chinese province of Tibet is the largest part of ethnographic Tibet. For the vast majority of its history, Tibet has been an independent country, separate from China. However, because of its peaceful Buddhist nature, Tibet has never had a strong military, and so has not been able to defend itself. At various times in its long history, it has turned to the Mongols, the Manchus and the British to protect it.

The people of Tibet speak a language that is not a dialect of Chinese (the language of the majority Han ethnicity of China). The Tibetan language is similar to Burmese, the Dzongkha language of Bhutan, and various minority languages of Yunnan province. Tibetan has a written script imported from northern India.

Before Buddhism spread to Tibet, they had a shamanistic Bon religion. All Tibet Buddhist sects are part of the Mahayana school of Buddhism. The current “Yellow Hat” Geluk Buddhist sect was introduced into Tibet in around 1400 by an Amdo monk named Tsongkapa. The Yellow Hat form of Buddhism came to dominate Tibet in the years before Tibet came under Manchu rule. The Dalai Lama is the main leader of the Yellow Hat Buddhists, while the Panchen Lama is a secondary leader.

Mongol Empire:
Tibet was conquered by Genghis Khan, paid him tribute, and became part of the Mongol empire. The Chinese interpreted this as Tibet becoming part of China, but the Tibetans saw themselves as parallel to the Chinese, both parts of the Mongol empire. During Mongol rule, the main Buddhist sects were the Red Hat sects, Sakya and Kargyu. When Tibet was allied with the Mongols, Tibet provided the Mongols with religion, and the Mongols provided the Tibetans with military protection.

Ming Dynasty:
During the ethnic Chinese Ming dynasty, Tibet’s relationship with China was one of suzerainty: the Ming dynasty controlled Tibet’s foreign affairs, while Tibet had control of its own internal affairs.

Manchu Dynasty:
The Qing (Manchu) Dynasty ruled China from 1720 to 1911. During the Manchu (Ching) Dynasty, Tibet was under the protection of the Manchus. During the late nineteenth century the British, who were in India, established trade relations with Tibet.

Republic of China (1911):
When Sun Yatsen took power in 1911, he saw Tibet as part of China and wanted to expel the British from Tibet. Britain was not willing to fight for Tibet. Britain did make Bhutan and Sikkim into Indian protectorates. The British made a part of Tibet near Bhutan into the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Mongolia was able to become an independent country after World War II due to the support of Joseph Stalin.

People’s Republic of China (1949):
In 1950 the Chinese People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet and conquered the Tibetan army at Chamdo. Little blood was shed before Tibet surrendered. Tibet turned to the United Nations for help in preserving its autonomy from China, but the United Nations refused to support Tibet, due to the opposition of Britain and India. Between 1951 and 1959 China left Tibet alone to run its own affairs. In 1959 the C.I.A. supported a rebellion for independence in Tibet, but it failed. The C.I.A. continued to support the Tibetan rebels in their base in Nepal. The Chinese communists claimed that they were trying to liberate Tibet from feudalism and serfdom. They outlawed Buddhism and collectivized agriculture. The Tibetan were allowed to keep their language, however.
During the late 1960s the United States abandoned its support for Tibet, because it wanted to improve relations with the PRC.

Until the twentieth century, no Chinese people lived in Tibet. Many Han Chinese and Hui Muslims have moved to Tibet since 1984 to work in modernizing the Tibet and building infrastructure. There are now many Han Chinese living in Tibet, but they are regarded as being only temporary workers. The Chinese have become more tolerant of Buddhism since Mao passed away. Their religion is no longer outlawed, as it was during the Mao years. The PRC one-child rule is less strictly enforced in Tibet.

Independence Movement:
The Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government live in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. In 1989 the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize. The rulers of China do not want Tibet, the Uyghur Turkic Muslim people, Taiwan or Hong Kong to be independent. Many Tibetans would settle for what Hong Kong currently has: one country two systems. But the Chinese rulers don’t want them to have that. The United States Congress has made efforts during the past 25 years to give greater recognition to Tibet. The author believes that it is unrealistic to believe that the PRC will ever allow Tibet to become a separate country.

Viruses vs. Superbugs: A Solution to the Antibiotics Crisis? by Thomas Häusler

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
We are in trouble because many common pathogenic bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics. Because of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, many patients end up with chronic infections and limbs that need to be amputated. Boils and carbuncles are caused by staphylococcal bacteria on the skin. Pseudomonas aeruginosa often infects burn wounds. Clostridium difficile causes intestinal infections in hospitals. One bacteria studied was Clostridium, which causes gas gangrene. People lost interest in the phage treatment for typhoid fever when the antibiotic chloramphenicol became available in 1947. In India, many typhoid fever infections have become resistant to chloramphenicol. Antibiotics often fail for bone infections, due to poor circulation. Antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria, also.

Viruses That Eat Bacteria:
A novel solution to this problem is to use bacteriophages. Bacteriophages kill bacteria. Phages kill only bacteria, not plant or animal cells. They are specific. Each strain of phage kills only a particular strain of bacteria. They are more specific than antibiotics. Bacteria mutate or receive plasmids that make them resistant to a particular phage, but that phage can evolve so that it can continue killing that strain of bacteria. Hospital sewage is a good place to look for bacteriophages that attack hospital bacteria. Untreated city sewage are also a good place to look for phages. During World War II, Canadian and American scientists studied using phages to treat typhoid fever, with is caused by Salmonella typhi. Using bacteriophages to treat infection was considered during the early years of molecular biology, but abandoned by most researchers when antibiotics came along, so phages no longer seemed necessary.

Pasteur Institute:
Much of the early science was done by French scientist Félix d’Herelle worked at the Pasteur Institute during World War I
d’Herelle investigated the use of bacteriophage against:
• the Shigella bacteria that cause dysentery (a major problem in the trenches)
• the Salmonella bacteria that infect chickens
• the Vibrio cholerae bacteria that causes cholera (major study in India)

Eliava Institute in Tbilisi Georgia:
Georgiy Georgievitch Eliava studied with d”herelle at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Later, Eliava brought Félix d’Herelle to Tbilisi. The Institute for Microbiology in Tbilisi was founded in 1923 with Eliava as scientific director. It appears that Eliava may have come to the attention Lavrenti Beria. Eliava disappeared in 1937. Eliava’s stepdaughter Hanna was deported to a camp in Kazakhstan. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the phage research institute in Georgia has fallen on hard times.

Scientific Rigor:
Early research on the medical use of bacteriophages failed to adhere to the modern standard of scientific rigor. After World War II, Rene Dubos studied the treatment of mouse dysentery with phage in a rigorously scientific way. In order to prove definitively that phages are a good treatment, hundreds of millions of dollars of more research is required. The expense to perform clinic studies to obtain FDA approval for drugs for humans is so great, that much phage research is now being directed towards veterinary products.

In recent years, a number of biotech companies have pursued phage therapeutics:
• Gangagen Biotechnologies of Bangalore (half-bacterial-half-viral hybrid protein to fight staph infections)
• Intralytix (who product ListShield™ is used to kill Listeria monocytogenes on seafood)
• OmniLytics (producer of AgriPhage, a pesticide for bacterial stem canker in tomato plants)
• Viridax (developing phage therapies for staphylococcus aureus respiratory infections)

Soviet Georgia:
The most fascinating item in the book does not concern bacteriophages at all. It is a memoir by a Georgian that states that during Stalin’s reign of terror in the 1930s, members of cinema audiences were afraid to be the first one to stop clapping when Stalin’s photograph was shown, because it might lead to an arrest by the secret police.

Rising Plague by Brad Spellberg

Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them by Brad Spellberg

Infectious Disease in the United States
The three top infectious causes of death in the United states are: sepsis, influenza and pneumonia. Each year, more Americans die of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections than die of AIDS. MRSA was originally only a hospital-acquired infection, but now it is more often community acquired. Besides MRSA, there are also many other antibiotic-resistant bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Hospital Hygiene
Even if hospitals greatly improve their hygiene, and physicians stop over-prescribing antibiotics, there would still be many hospital acquired infections. The reason is that bugs crawl into patients on their catheters, plus their skin is broken during surgery. Also, chemotherapy weakens the immune system and makes patients more susceptible to infection.

Not Much Money in Antibiotics
Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to spend money on a drug that the patient will take only for a couple weeks. In contrast, blood pressure medications and statins are taken every day for decades.

Don’t Look to Academia for Antibiotics
The author points out that it is not sufficient to fund academic laboratories conducting basic research, because no academic laboratory has ever developed an antibiotic. Only pharmaceutical companies have developed antibiotics. Many foreign drug companies sell their drugs for a ot less than American drug companies, because the foreign drug companies have only manufacturing costs, not research and development costs. Most foreign companies piggy back on American research. After the European Union instituted pharmaceutical price controls, European drug development declined.

Project Bioshield
The author gives details about Project Bioshield, where the government spent a large sum of money developing a new vaccine for smallpox, even though smallpox had already been eradicated from the face of the earth.

Radiation Poisoning
The Hollis-Eden pharmaceutical company was promised a large order for its radiation-poisoning steroid drug Neumune by the U.S. federal government, which reneged on the deal after the drug was developed.

Changing the Rules in the Middle of the Game
The author describes the case of the Oscient biotechnology company and its sinusitis drug gemifloxacin, where the FDA changed its rules for clinical trials in the middle of the game, that is, while the clinical trials are being run.

During the 2001 anthrax scare, the United States government threatened to revoke the German Bayer company’s patent on ciprofloxacin if it did not cut the price in half. Bayer was accused of profiting from people’s suffering. But, to my thinking, Bayer should be criticized only if it created the problem it is attempting to solve. Bayer did not give anyone anthrax.

Irrational Mistrust of Big Pharma
The author is critical of the widespread dislike of pharmaceutical companies for irrational, emotional reasons. Those of us on the political Right are willing to admit that the people running large corporations are motivated more by profits than by compassion. But politicians and government officials are no more moral. They just pretend to be.

Lessons from the Orphan Drug Act
The author suggests that for antibiotic development we pursue something similar to the Orphan Drug Act for rare diseases. For individuals, the author recommends lots of hand washing, avoiding being admitted to the hospital, and, if admitted, keeping your stay short.