Monday, December 28, 2015

SAR #15362

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.


George Anderson said...

Reflection is a continous process. How sad is it that most of us don't bother to check ourselves because they mistakenly believe the media has their back? That said, it is easy to fall into an American centric point of view [re: A&O] when (and I don't believe I'm splitting hairs here) the actual 'divide' is the fraction of the one percent vs the rest of us.

Now, it's no coincidence that a majority of those 'freerange Buccaneers' live here [since our Justice System is the joke of the planet] so it appears as though like '*our' (*and I used the term in it's broadest possible form, just because you live here doesn't mean you're a 'member' of the predator class.)

Echoing your quip regarding our ability to affect the outcome of any of this, the road to awareness lies in framing. Fail to frame the problem accurately and you will fail to solve the problem.

First error is believing the problem is insoluable; it is not.

To digress and expand the discussion somewhat, I would submit that the 'root' of the problem lies with a legal system we have zero control over.

Some believe, by dint of the example that you can't get even a handful of people to agree on what kind of pizza to order, that getting hundreds of millions or even billions of people to agree on what should or shouldn't be a law is a fool's errand.

and again I posit this is a false meme.

We don't need a 'library' full of laws, we only require a handful...and that handful would be easily agreed to AND put a stop to the exploitation our current library of laws legally permits.

As 2015 draws to a close, maybe we should reflect upon the copious amount of nonsense being passed off as 'conventional wisdom' (that ever increasing levels of college education will solve the unemployment crisis or that we can nuke our way to 'liberty' (read greatness as our dumbed down populous equates one with the other!)

Time to grab the tiller and steer away from that fall we're being driven towards. A little management (and a healthy does of equality) will go a long way

dodahman said...

My Dad used to tell me 'all the good laws were passed long ago'.

dodahman said...

I should have added, 'thank you for this site this year. I hope it continues.'

George Anderson said...

Um, without context that statement is wide open but taking it generally, he's correct. Many laws, in their earliest forms, were 'purer' than the uber secret crap they pull these days.

Worse is how laws, ancient ones against usery and Habeus corpus were both suspended by the current supreme court via the 'patriot act'.

And there's nothing the average citizen can do about it because all politicians take their marching orders from the One Percent (or they don't get re-elected!)

Which is to point out that elections themselves are exercises in hand-waving, the 'illusion of participation'.

We should not 'elect' legislators, they are useless. We should, instead, vote on the laws, as necessary (and contrary to what the naysayers think you wouldn't be rushing to the polls every fifteen minutes. Decisions and laws are two different animals.)

If we all have to live under the law (and that's the whole point, isn't it, that the law treats us all EQUALLY...) Then we should have our say in the laws we must live by.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Ah, but wasn't the one about All being created Equally the first one violated? Or was that just about the pigs... some of them.

George Anderson said...

It is difficult to generalize and yes, all systems are only as good as the people running them. Integral to eliminating elected officials would be a system of competitions where candidates would prove their worthiness to fill the job they were, er, 'qualified' for.

Then there's the 'stick'. Remove judges from courtrooms and keep the only important part, the jury. Today's random service profile would remain (in the old days juror's were appointed and were usually connected to the party in power at the time.)

If an individual were found to be acting against the public interest (yes, slippery slopes remain slick) they would be exiled.

Another safeguard would be the laws regarding law itself.

Law number one would be the human anti-exploitation law. (Effectively wiping away the employer/employee relationship.)

Society needs what you do. Money makes it possible to not have to do everything yourself. Society would pay you and your money would be yours. The only things you would use money for is perishable, short supply items (like food)

The ONLY way to get money would be to work for it.

There would be no cash since all crime is 'cash and carry'. This would also make it impossible to convey funds to anyone else...when you die your money dies with you.

Understand, the new way of doing things would eliminate poverty by eliminating the 'surplus population.'

You don't have to 'buy' a home, it's a gimme. You don't have to pay for electricity, that's a gimme too. You don't need to pay medical bills, same reason, society pays doctors to care for the public, there's no need for you to pay them too.

But this goes on for several more pages...and it's air-tight.

We are definitely not 'created equal' regardless of what the founders thought...but we all deserve to be treated equally...and there's a big difference.

kwark said...

RE "Wind Sock": Well, "we" have to do something to show those damnable miscreants that "we" mean business. Well, not really LITERALLY business because a large proportion of those miscreants are employed. And you KNOW those hotel maid, nanny, house cleaner, cook, dishwasher, and lawn care jobs are STOLEN from real Amuricans so we really need to spend $millions to deport them!

The usual Fox News BS aside, don't you suppose it's just the Democratic side of the usual election cycle posturing? Where I live the onset of inflammatory anti-immigrant rants in the local paper by our Republican congressman is the first sign of the election cycle. Trump and the Republicans have already seized the low ground on this issue so our friends in the Dem leadership need to be able to show they're tough too . . . just without the spicy hateful language.

origin said...

George Anderson, almost every problem has a solution, some have multiple solutions. But just because a problem can be solved, doesn't mean that the problem will be solved. There's a huge difference.

And then, there are the problems that have a solution that only can be solved in the past (e.g. humans surviving climate change).

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

One more, origin: Not every problem should be solved, either.

George Anderson said...

No doubt there are many ways forward with compromise being the easiest. I share your conviction that a 'reshuffling' of the deck is unlikely to produce the desired results (because current circumstances are someone else's desired results...)

Unspoken here is every problem 'solved' usually creates two more (depending on who is doing the evaluating.)