Monthly Archives: August 2016
I didn’t get my degree in economics. Everything I know about the subject is like a fabric made of motley stitchings. I do what I can to know what I’m talking about. It’s complex. It involves math and countless variables. In America, we hate numbers like crushed tomatoes. There are people who pen hasty polemics that don’t show that the author understands the difference between the national debt and the deficit. And even when they do distinguish these large numbers, they don’t understand why we can sustain that debt and why it is important to global finance that it doesn’t get paid back too quickly, if it does so at all. It makes no sense on its face, but our debt makes the world hum-we are A Safe Bet. And we still finance at ass-kicking low rates.
Sustainable? I’m gonna pull a Donald Trump and say: look at the world. You see what’s going on. America is still great for the profit class-surprisingly stable- and that is a fucking ineluctable fact. Oh, sure, someday soon the house of cards we call capitalism will eventually collapse when labor can’t afford to buy its own products(we’re already halfway there) but for now, we are still an economic powerhouse that attracts investment. We will be part of tomorrow one way or another and the world knows it. And that truth transcends the numbers and the graphs. America has its thumb on the global economic scale, so worry not about the big scary zeroes, friends.
That’s all a circuitous way of coming around to talking about the goddamn Epipen. Does its saga make any sense? When a private company makes a vital product, can it be relied upon to provide it in a responsible fashion? This is a question we should be asking when a company like Mylan risks the health of thousands to make millions.
You’ve all seen the story, no need to recap. It’s pretty obvious by now that Mylan got caught being super greedy. Everyone in the upper echelons gets paid when they retag the price of the auto-injector, their flagship product since 2007. This last time around though, they took such a big bite that everyone noticed. Now the company is under political fire for their gouging.
I understand and accept that every company has to include in its price several things, including profit. And I understand grudgingly that this profit must increase. Such is the nature of a growth-oriented economy. But damn, when you’ve got a consumer base that isn’t going anywhere, that is to say, a group that can get sick and die without your shit, hold your horses before you rob them. Slowly, slowly screw them over so they don’t notice or don’t mind.
Mylan has a lot of chutzpah. Their product’s component parts are valued at approximately twenty dollars. The delivery system is not their own invention-that would be some guy at NASA. Now they are tweaking the design of the original auto-injector so they can patent it. They pulled off an incredible marketing coup by tying federal grants to placement of the pen at schools. The FDA has shielded them from competition, swatting down several possible rivals. All while enjoying inversion. So they are having a GOOD run. All the planets are aligned for continuing good fortune for Mylan Pharmaceuticals.
By the bloodless rules of supply and demand, Mylan can do whatever it wants as long as the market can hack it. And they have. Which brings us back to the question-should lifesaving medicine be exposed to market forces? After all, in other areas of the economy there are metrics in place for when regulators must step in, when trusts need busting, and when prices need some controllin’. Know what I say? If drug companies cannot mind their manners in the free martketplace, then they get an offer they can’t refuse. Buy them out. Take a controlling interest in the company. Am I suggesting a little socialism? Sure. A little red-line of sorts. Wouldn’t be the first thing we planned out. Some parts of it are too important to be left to the caprice of shareholder desires. Besides, they get most of their R&D budget from the government to start with. It’s at least in bad taste to be screwing over the taxpayer if you are in pharmacueticals.
My pinko dream may never need to come. Public outcry may be enough to shame the companies and our politicians into acting. I guess that’s the reason for the sudden decision by Mylan to produce a generic for its own product. Which, to this untrained mind, makes no sense at all.
What the actual fuck is all this about?
That’s what the French Riviera wants to know. So much so that they don’t want it on their beaches. That, friends, is what they are dubbing a “burkini”. This is a way for Muslim women to enjoy the beach while adhering to the Koranic dictate for women’s modesty .
Now when I read the Koran, I never ran into anything in it that demanded that woman cover herself the way that so many Muslim women do. It’s rather unspecific; the term is “modest”. I think we’ve all seen how far that’s been taken. And I really don’t think Muhammad intended for women to suffer discomfort or shame because of the weather. I’ve been to the big sandbox-it’s like being under a broiler. Then again, who knows because Muhammad was insane, believing he had talked to God.
The French beaches are wrong to discriminate against burkini wearers. As fucking stupid as it is to wear one, there is nothing inherently wrong with it. There’s no talking anyone out of their absurd religious beliefs. If a woman wants to roast in a full body wetsuit, let ’em have at it. Forbidding them from public space is only going to make their communities more isolated. You’re not teaching them anything-perhaps you think you are engineering liberation, but really you are fostering intolerance and discrimination. Leave them alone. It’s probably tough enough as it is to be a Muslim woman living in a doctrinaire household, where your husband can slap you around with God’s blessing.
We are cursed with the scourge of religion everywhere we look in this world. Yet in America, we are entreatied by our highest laws to respect it. As a nonbeliever here, I have to walk a fine line, wishing for its dissolution while acknowledging its importance to people. The French, who are more secular than we are, should be more practical about assimilating its Muslim community. It goes against all my fibers to rule in favor of respecting strict Islamic women’s dress codes, but it can’t be stopped just by covering women even more.
I can be a very bad lefty sometimes. I am often not good at being politically correct. It’s something I probably need to work on. Mea culpa.
I also get off on rank juvenility. Oops.
It is with these things in mind that I laugh my ass off at this:
As you probably already know, these statues were found in major cities across the country. Who’s surprised that the man with the big fat mouth has a teeny peeny? I fucking hope Trump sees these and sheds a tear privately because he fucking sucks as a human being and deserves to be embarrassed.
Shaming Trump as a response to the many offensive comments cited in the media since he announced his run for President doesn’t make us better than him. It puts us on the very same level. Turning the abuser into the victim just makes you the new abuser. I know it’s supposed to be about taking back power, but at what cost? Is it worth lowering ourselves to the same level as the man who is so often called out for inciting hate? Two wrongs will never make a right, no matter how hard we try to justify our actions and words.
There’s apparently two reasons that “our side” shouldn’t yuk it up about these statues: 1) body shaming is passe and 2) do unto others. We would be incensed if someone made effigies of Mrs. Clinton so we must not do this with Mr. Trump. Well, I guess there’s a point there. Perhaps there are better ways to disempower a piece of garbage like Donald Trump.
I’m torn. I understand the high road reasoning but on the other hand, jesus, it’s just a dick joke, give it a rest. I grew up in a generation raised on Truly Tasteless Jokes-I don’t have standards when it comes to humor. I’ll take it low and dirty-and clearly, Donald Trump will too, so fuck him. It’s been a nasty election and Donald is reaping what he has sown. I just don’t feel like being right, or correct at this juncture. After all, what are rules of engagement to a snake like Trump?
Ken Ham, the bible brandishing, excitable, man-sized rodent is twittering nervously about shit he doesn’t understand again. Much like Donald Trump, he can’t stand to be alone with his thoughts for long because they make him sad-so he takes to the digital dump and blurts out his righteous, albeit defensive, ruminations.
I get it, Ken. Your non-seaworthy conceit is a flop. I suppose if I wasted 18 million dollars of Kentucky tax money I’d be a little on edge myself. I’d have taken to drinking or worse by now. But not you, Ken. You’re getting out in front of this and preaching the truth! How can I not be convicted when you tweet things like
Evolution is a supposed process involving death, death & more death–death is a necessary part–death for everyone–it’s a religion of death
Wowsers, Ken. I never thought of it that way. I bet no one has-who’d want to? But let me focus you a bit. You’ve got evolution confused with life itself. Evolution is a process of change, not death. Life, necessarily, involves death death death and so forth. It’s rather self evident. Don’t be afraid! That’s not religion. It’s real. What do we do with death? We punch it in its stupid death face. We say what Nietzsche said:“Was that life? Well then, once more!”Now, what else have you got for us?
Atheism is a blind faith that doesn’t explain the evidence and is not confirmed by observational science-it’s the religion of naturalism
Scattering like buckshot tonight, eh, Ken? No problem. I want to call your pronouncements strawmen but let’s keep it real simple since you do. Look, brother, I love you, but crawl up your own ass and die with this “atheism is a faith” garbage. I. Don’t. Have. Any. Belief. In. God. Period. I pretty much lack the faith gene-lord knows I tried to believe for a decade or so. Faith and belief require activity, Ken, a type of activity which I do not pursue. As for the evidence, I’ve seen what passes for evidence from you-you’ve raised scripture-twisting to an art, pulling out bullshit from between every holy word.
Ken, you’ve got me stymied on whether or not I am a “naturalist”. Good thing I am here on a blog where I can take a minute to prepare myself for an accusation. I think I may have read a book or two of its genre. Google:
a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.
Guilty. That’s all I have to go on; that’s about all I know so far. But it begs the question: so fucking what? Once again, am I to be convicted because of my ignorance? Not by you or your kind. Never. People who are certain scare me.
But by now we should all be bedazzled by your logic, and therefore you deliver your coup de grace:
Christianity is a faith that explains the evidence and is confirmed by observational science–it’s the true faith.
And it is here that we find the source of Ken’s loneliness, because there aren’t even very many believers who think that is true. Most Christians are very comfy with compartmentalizing faith and science. Rare is the bird who thinks that bastardized cut and paste book contains all the secrets of the universe. I’ve read it a few times. It really isn’t that good as books go. Shit, Dianetics makes more sense than Christianity if I’m completely honest.
I gotta go, Ken. My religious, naturalistic, death loving life calls. Fuck yourself hard, would you?
In a number of ways.
I was wrong about Herr Trump-I thought we’d have dispatched him by December of last year. Most if not all of his contenders parroted a familiar Republican orthodoxy. But they were all swept away by a particularly virulent strain of populism. Donald Trump dug deep into America’s amygdala and spoke like some people’s idea of a regular guy. Which meant that he trafficked in bigotry, misogyny, gossip, anti-intellectualism, petty insults and Chicken Little-style patriotism. A regular joe but with millions-then again, we will not know what Trump is really worth since he’s scared to release his tax returns.
Populism, I have learned, is not always good. The People can be fairly fuckin’ stupid. At least 40% of potential voters will choose this life support system for a disheveled, orange angora rabbit no matter what he says. That alone is driving me to distraction.
Something else is happening, though.
Yesterday, Donald Trump suggested that gun nuts might shoot Hillary Clinton and/or her Supreme Court justices if she becomes president. I was flummoxed. It seems that this is some of Donald Trump’s vaunted humor; the problem is that he’s not funny at all. He knows damn well that the “Second Amendment people” are his people and some of their “remedies” are lethal in nature. That comment went straight to the bones of some really sick ass folk. And I’ve never seen the Trump machine go into damage control that fast. They knew he had screwed the pooch but good this time.
Every damn day, Trump sinks lower as his poll numbers do the same. Each utterance is worse than the next. And I think we’re all collectively beat down by it. I know I’m feeling it-all I can really think about is how fucked up Donald Trump is. I’m upset about this because I can’t remember details about why I support Hillary Clinton, whom I chose over Bernie Sanders as the pragmatist that I am. All I know now is Not That Guy. All my pragmatist scruples are working overtime to make sure this shitbird never gets close to holding office. In the meantime, my arguments for Clinton are foundering-perhaps they were not all that well rooted in the first place. But I know Hillary Clinton is essentially a good person. She’s a liberal with a voting record to prove it. She learns and evolves and clearly loves details. She knows that issues are complex and don’t lend themselves to bromides well. She’s calm under the gun. Tax reform. Childcare. Healthcare. Education. Infrastructure. Minimum wage….
There, I did it. I found some of my Clinton love underneath this miasma that Trump has created. But I spend a lot of my time just amazed at him. He’s a cancer that must be removed, and I’d hire lesser lights than Hillary Clinton to stop him.
I’d even take Jim Webb. That’s how far in the weeds I’d go.