Saturday, September 19, 2015
Our society is organized around fears, mostly imaginary.
Relax: GlaxoSmithKline, which was fined $3 billion for fraudulently promoting several of its drugs, has known for over 15 years that its antidepressant drug Paxil is neither safe nor effective when given to adolescents and has withheld this information while pushing the drug's use. The fine will undoubtedly be some small fraction of the profits they made selling a drug that caused suicidal thoughts in nearly 15% of of the adolescents given it.
On Immigration: Either we believe in our founding principles, or we should give up the pretense.
Yellen, Passing The Graveyard: “Let me be clear that negative interest rates was not something that we considered very seriously... at all... today.” Today. Stay tuned.
Bigger Brother: Swiss health insurers are developing a plan to require their clients to wear digital health and fitness monitoring devices so they could charge higher premiums to sedentary couch potatoes.
Odds On: Nearly 3,000 of the 440,000 refugees who have attempted to cross the Mediterranean this year have drowned. That's a 0.6% death rate, which may beat the odds if you own a GM vehicle.
Readin': Children in countries where the kids are “most comfortable with computers”, have much poorer reading skills that in countries not quite so addicted to the tiny sceen. The more children use computers at school, the lower their reading skills. And cutting-and-pasting isn't writing, either.
What Could Go Wrong? Japan has changed its constitution to allow Japanese troops to fight abroad after 70 years of
Quote/Note: Our perception of how we are doing economically is based on how the Jones are doing. Not the 1% Jones. Not even the 10% Jones, but the Jones in our group. It is not the actual level of increase or decrease in our wages that matter, but whether we're doing as well or better than the neighbors. As for the 10%, we we wish them well because we deeply believe that we'll get there one day soon.
Second Chances: The Catholic Church continues to ship US and European priests who sexually abuse children to South America, instead of jail.
This Is Only A Test: A military coup lin Burkina Faso, ed by the country's former spy chief, has overthrown the country democratic government. Your task: find Burkina Faso on a map. Hint: it's in Africa.
If Only: The Supreme Court has banned all corporate contributions to individual political campaigns and to political parties. That's Brazil's Supreme Court, not ours.
Another Verse: So far this year over half a million children have fled attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Maybe we need to rethink a whole lot of things.
Tradition: A seventeen year old Saudi convicted of protesting against the government will be crucified. This does not seem to be an improvement over the more traditional beheading.
Food For Thought: August 2015 was the hottest August on record (as were the three previous months). It has been 100 years since a month – any month - set the record for being cold.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:01 AM