Increasingly it appears that the South East Asian region has become the new Bermuda Triangle, the much vaunted vortex where air and sea bound vessels and their human cargoes either mysteriously disappeared or were lost due to inexplicable reasons. The tally this year is the loss of three commercial airliners from this Asian region, with some 600 lives lost. Each of the losses is surrounded in mystery as to their cause, and to date, only one of the three downed airliners has been found.
At some point one would think that the captains of capitalism would recognize that their failing model which requires ever more consumers to shore it up must change. Apparently not however. Year in year out and with each passing month there are multiple reports, efforts, and initiatives launched, aimed at ensuring that even the least quarters of humanity step up to the plate and either become consumers or if already a consumer – told to consume even more!
The most recent conventional philosophy of consumerism is that consumption has a social justice aspect. Economic inequality means that the poorer folks are not contributing enough to the economy due to their low consumption, “Widening inequality hurts the economy because low wages mean less of the consumption that drives business growth and creates jobs.”
Overtones of the social compact between medicine and the public still linger however, the idea that there is an exceptional relationship between the person who has the ability to save a life and those who might need them.
Over time that relationship has been broken down though. We have now learned that there are limits to the relationship, the aura that all they do is is intended to serve our best interests has been severely undermined – turns out that doctors do not know everything, that they can and do harm to others, and that they very clearly have a bottom line – it is about the money.
Hence, their “concern about the wellbeing of children” in this instance, the introduction of compact medical clinics within drugstores, should easily be dismissed for what it is – an attempt to keep the monopoly going in favor of their preferred business models, clinics and offices operated by doctors or by they and their partners.
Emily Bazelon’s essay in the New York Times is about a topic that I often think about, how certain words and topics for the better part of two decades have been and are being redefined to mean things that they really don’t mean.
“Bully” or “bullying” is the word and topic explored by Bazelon in her essay. She posits that it has come to be so defined that as presently used, “bullying” can mean a wide range of activity, from practically nothing behavior to extreme violence and everything in between. She likens this to crying wolf, that it either waters down or so infects society that either real bullies might go free, or non-bullies might be unreasonably snared by the net of expanded meaning that “bullying” has taken on. Continue reading
The Shanghai River is swirling with a repulsive bit of floating trash, at least a couple thousand plus dead pig bodies and associated detritus. It will be nice when this part of the world joins the basically modern world, gets with the environmentally and socially aware program, and realizes there is a whole world out here that is getting tired of playing host to the outrageous environmental messes the Chinesse people are making.
How un-revolutionary, the political patronage demon raises its ugly head, again! It wasn’t but five plus months ago that this girl was appointed to the Seattle Community Colleges’ Board of Trustees by her mother the lameduck guv Christine Gregoire. It was shocking bad form then, a clear case of nepotism, but this is just as bad if not worse. Courtney hasn’t even had the time to learn the territory that goes with her other patronage job, and here she is claiming one that is even more complex and requires far more business acumen and experiential heft than the other one, Port Commissioner. Continue reading
I had never heard of this problem before, but upon reflection it makes sense. There is a growing and unmet need to expand the accessibility capacities of video in such a way that those with a visual impairment will be able to have freer and more informed access to the visual mediums and repositories that are proliferating in our lives. This includes not just movies and tv, but portals to video such as that residing on YouTube and Facebook for example. Continue reading
While millions of dollars are being spent by the Mayor McGinn and by the City Council promoting and undertaking projects that predominately benefit business interests, the city’s streets, common areas, and infrastructure have become a scandal and are in a state of shambles. Continue reading
The New York Times recently had an article about suicides and the fact that many thousands of people die every year from suicides using a gun than through person-on-person gun violence.
One commentor on the article brings home a major point that is missed in the article – it’s not about “the guns”, it should be about what is the impetus that compels people to commit suicide in the first place. Continue reading