Monday, December 28, 2015
Paths are as important as goals.
Wind Sock: The Washington Post seems to have been selected to air a trial balloon story detailing a Homeland Security/ICE plan to scoop up and immediately deport hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Central American refugee families who are in the country illegally. Despite the ponderous certainty the early stories carried, such a plan has not been officially signed off on by the President, although it has been "vigorously" debated inside the White House..
Priorities: Iowa, which jails blacks 14 times as often as whites, spends $34,025 a year on each of its 40,000 prisoners - three times what it spends on each schoolkid.
Asked & Obvious: Americans once again gathered around the Christmas Tree and sang songs of hope and peace and wondered why there is no peace. Why? Because Americans don't have mirrors, don't see that their leaders in Washington are the reason there is no peace on earth. Protecting, projecting and maintaining the American Empire is the main cause (and main benefactor) of our rather distinct lack of peace, along with our God-given right to tell everyone else how to live.
Hypocrisy: Drug dealing Martin Shkreli has been described as a sociopath and worse. Well, yes. But he is just doing exactly what every other CEO in the country is supposed to be doing – making as much money as possible as quickly as possible. The dead are “externals”, like poisoned rivers and unbreathable air. And that's not why he was arrested. He was arrested for conning wealthy investors out of their money. That's the crime. Shkreli may be a rotten apple, but he's not alone in the barrel. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry is making a fortune off average Americans, who are paying more for the drugs they need than the citizens of any other advanced country. That’s largely because Big Pharma has wielded its political influence to avoid government cost controls.
Snap Quiz: Why do medicines cost so much in America? Chose one. a) We have the best health care system in the world. b) US drug companies do most of the research and then the other countries steal the drugs. c) Republicans. d) Capitalism. Answer: c, because of d.
Test Drive: Big Pharma, having addicted nearly all of our doctors and most of their patients to taking a daily dose of statins, is now going to get everyone taking blood pressure medication, willy nilly. A big study suggests that if persons with existing high risk factors for a heart attack padded drug companies pockets for a daily pill or two driving their systolic BP below 130, they would lower their risk a heart attack by 20%. Which, if your risk is high, like 50% over the next two weeks, can be a big deal. But if your risk of a heart attack is, say 20% over the next ten years, lowering it to 16% is not a show stopper. It doesn't matter, prepare to be stampeded.
Scare Tactics? There are a lot of stories being passed around about how disturbed the Republican establishment is by Trump's continued strength in the polls. Maybe they are worried, maybe not. Maybe they think their 'fear' will raise more money for the mainstream. But what if there is no mainstream and these guys are just afraid of losing their sinecures?
Shoe/Foot: The National Sheriff's Association - representing local law enforcement agencies that have lived high off the hog from property and money confiscated from the helpless - are outraged that the DOJ is no longer going to let them feed at the "asset forfeiture" trough. They say they are wrongfully being deprived of their share of the crime without due process.
The Meeting Will Come To Order: Every major country, and a good many less than major ones, constantly tries to infiltrate terrorist groups. At this point any six person terrorist cell contains informants for at least 5 major and 3 or 4 minor intelligence agencies. There's probably no room at the inn for actual terrorists, which is why they meet on Facebook.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:23 AM