Stage & Theatre
Transform Medical Research and the U.S. Health-Care System by Making Cures Profitable PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:29
By J. Thomas Shaw

Despite spending more than any other nation in the world on health care, only 15 percent of Americans believe we’ve got the world's best, according to a recent Pew Research Center and Gallup Poll.

The CIA’s “World Factbook” says the United States is ranked No. 50 for average life expectancy and the average age at death is 78.49 years – more than 11 years behind No. 1 ranked Monaco.

This is the price of a make-money-at-any-cost health-care system.

I have a three-step plan that will transform medical research and the health-care system, taking us from No. 50 to No. 1 for life expectancy by 2030 – if we act now. At the same time, it will cut our health-care spending in half and drive down insurance premiums, making coverage affordable for the vast majority of people.

Half of the country is demanding that the government stay out of health care while the other half is supporting a quasi-socialized health care system. With such vehemently opposing views, there is no chance for a consensus. Therefore, nothing will ever get done that moves us in the right direction. And this is exactly what Big Pharma wants.

Therefore, the first step is to change the debate. From Hillarycare through Obamacare, we have been debating health-care costs and health-insurance coverage. Cost and coverage are not the problems; they are symptoms of the real problems which are unidentified root causes for disease and a lack of cures.

The next step is to stop donating money to the mega health charities that take in tens of millions of dollars annually by offering hope to find a cure. They continually come up empty as a result of Big Pharma's influence over medical research. Instead, not-for-profit universities conducting medical research need to sever their ties to Big Pharma and seek funding from private citizens.

The majority of medical researchers want to be involved in discovering the causes and cures for human ailments, but they also have to live and they know who butters their bread. If private individuals fund this research, then our nation's medical researchers no longer need to be beholden to Big Pharma.

The third step is to fight fire with fire. Like any other publicly traded company, Big Pharma has a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder value by enacting business plans that will increase revenues and profits year over year. In the current environment, the best way to accomplish that is to get more people reliant on (addicted to) the drugs they produce.

Big Pharma's mission is not necessarily to get every single American popping their daily maintenance drugs, rather it is to make as much money as possible and selling addictive maintenance drugs is the best way to accomplish that as things stand now.

We need to change the tax code and enact legislation to make their pursuit of profits align with the greater good of the health our citizens.

This can be accomplished with a carrot and a stick. First we need to show Big Pharma the stick:

1. Institute a windfall profits tax on profits derived on any new products that are considered maintenance drugs.

2. Eliminate deductions for research and development expenses associated with maintenance drugs.

Next is the carrot:

1. Eliminate income tax paid on the profits generated by any product that cures a human ailment -- for eternity.

2. Offer permanent patent protection on any new product that offers a real cure. Expand patent protection to natural cures documented in human trials.

3. Fix pricing on drugs that cure human disease to make it as profitable to cure as it is now to maintain.

This is all about money. If we have the courage to make those changes to the tax code and enact this type of meaningful health care reform, in 15 to 20 years, we will have a cure for nearly every human disease known to man. In addition, the cost of health insurance will be affordable for almost everyone and the vast majority of us will end up living much longer and more productive and healthier lives.

About J. Thomas Shaw

J. Thomas Shaw is the author of “The RX Factor,” a fact-based thriller that pits one man against Big Pharma and the FDA. Fact-based fiction has the power to bring people from all walks of life together and focus on a single issue. Check it out at

Busybody opens May 31 at The Old Creamery Theatre PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Shelley Klimes   
Friday, 18 May 2012 13:47

Amana – Mrs. Piper, a cleaning woman for a suite of corporate offices, knows everything about everybody. But, when she stumbles onto a murder, she just might know TOO much! Will the murderer turn on Mrs. Piper to keep her quiet? This play will keep you laughing and guessing “who done it,” until the last scene.

Busybody was written by Jack Popplewell and is rated Theatre PG. The cast consists of Marquetta Senters of South Amana, Jeff Haffner of Cleveland, Ohio; Robert Kemp of Iowa City, Tom Milligan of West Amana, Jackie McCall of Marengo, Kay Francis of Naples, Florida; Eddie Skaggs of Cedar Rapids and Amber Snyder of Amana.

Directed by S. Joseph Nassif, Busybody will run through July 1 and is sponsored by Double Take Design, Inc. Media sponsor is KMRY. Show times are 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information or to order tickets, call The Old Creamery Theatre at 800-35-AMANA (352-6262) or visit the web site at


The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company has been bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest for 41 years.

Mitt Romney Speaks in Iowa Today PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Corrine Williams   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:50

Today Governor Romney will head to Iowa to discuss the deficit:

Romney returns to battleground Iowa for first time since caucuses to blast Obama on US debt

Washington Post

….Romney’s speech Tuesday afternoon in Des Moines is expected to promote spending discipline…….

Statement from Governor Quinn on Passage of Senate Bill 1313 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:10

SPRINGFIELD – May 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding passage of Senate Bill 1313:

“I am encouraged that legislators have taken this step towards restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. This legislation will help ensure that our retirees continue to have access to quality health care, while also lowering the cost to taxpayers.

“I would like to thank Senate President Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Radogno, House Speaker Madigan and House Minority Leader Cross for their collaboration and leadership. I plan to sign this legislation and look forward to continuing to work together to make the difficult decisions necessary to return Illinois to sound financial footing.”


News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 14 May 2012 13:55
Author John Logan's Tony Award-winning Red will be presented by an independent group of theatre professionals with numerous area credits. And in a ticket-pricing format never before attempted in the Quad Cities, the play will be offered to local audiences with a “Pay What It's Worth” policy, allowing audience members, after the production ends, to determine their own ticket prices.

A captivating, 90-minute drama about abstract-expressionist painter Mark Rothko, Red won six Tony Awards in 2010 (the most awarded to any Broadway show that year) including citations for Best Play, Direction, Featured Actor, and Scenic, Lighting, and Sound Design. Set in the late 1950s, the production follows the great American painter Mark Rothko (Mike Schulz) – as seen through the eyes of his young assistant Ken (Thomas Alan Taylor) – as they create murals for a flashy new building in New York City. Consequently, Red's audience becomes a collective “fly on the wall” in the painter's studio, as polar opposites Rothko and Ken dive into the most important work of their careers.

Written by acclaimed author John Logan – whose screenwriting credits include the Oscar-winning films Gladiator, The Aviator, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hugo, and Rango – Red will be staged in Rock Island's Center for Living Arts (2008 Fourth Avenue) on Friday and Saturday evenings, August 17 through September 1. Produced and directed by Tyson Danner, whose area directing credits include the Curtainbox Theatre Company's Time Stands Still and the Green Room Theatre's Doubt, john & jen, and Songs for a New World, the cast and production team will include:

* Mike Schulz (the Curtainbox's Time Stands Still, Speed-the-Plow, “Art”; Augustana College's How I Learned to Drive; the Prenzie Players' Cyrano de Bergerac)
* Thomas Alan Taylor (New Ground Theatre's Mr. Marmalade; Circa '21's Hairspray; the University of Iowa's Akarui, Salvage, How Catherine D__ Got Her Expression, Angel Bones)
* Jessica Denney (New Ground's Mr. Marmalade; the Curtainbox's Time Stands Still; the Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago's Quake)
* Lauren Nigri (the University of Iowa's How Catherine D__ Got Her Expression, Angel Bones, Operation Midnight Climax)
* Daniel DP Sheridan (Artistic Director for Davenport Junior Theatre; the Curtainbox's Danny & the Deep Blue Sea, Glengarry Glen Ross; St. Ambrose University's Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis)
* Jessica Sheridan (the Prenzie Players' Tartuffe; the Curtainbox's Wit, Fool for Love, Glengarry Glen Ross)

“We know that this play will speak to our audiences as strongly as it speaks to us,” says Danner. “And aside from that, it's a thrilling piece of drama.”

The team will also be presenting the show under the “Pay What It's Worth” policy, a ticket-pricing format never before employed in the Quad Cities.

Like many “pay what you can” programs, this method allows audience members to determine their own ticket prices. However, unlike those programs, Red's audience members will see the play first and then pay on their way out, allowing viewers to determine what the experience was worth to them.

This innovative pricing strategy is designed to create a completely accessible theatrical experience, regardless of financial means. It will also keep the driving force of Quad City theatre in the hands of audience members. According to Danner, “One way or another, audiences always have the final say in how much and what kind of theatre happens in their community.

“We trust our work and we trust the local theatre audience,” says Danner of Red's “Pay What It's Worth” policy. “It's a no-brainer.”

Performance Dates (7:30 p.m. performances, 6:30 p.m. doors):
Friday, August 17
Saturday, August 18
Friday, August 24
Saturday, August 25
Friday, August 31
Saturday, September 1

The Center for Living Arts
2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island, IL

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