Sunday, May 10, 2020

What the pandemic has taught me

1. Humanity has taken more than its fair share from this biosphere. Nature is finally fighting back. Things will never be the same going forward. Get ready for a new vectored normal of fewer clustered people, slower economies, cleaner air but unprecedented climate trends with disturbing possibilities. Akin to post war times, some opportunistic regimes will emerge more powerful with acquisition of depressed or vulnerable assets.

2. Gone forever are the days of the 10 minute news clips before movies in the cinema. Welcome to the new world of two versions of the truth, one liberal and the other right-wing. News is now relentless, tainted with politics, motivated by profits, contaminated with each spin doctor playing pied-piper to their following.

3. A worldwide virus affliction should unite us, instead it brought concealing of truth, distrust and a blame game between nations and administration organisations. Globalization is giving way to nationalization and redistribution of manufacturing channels. A definite time to start changing loyalties away from countries that played others during these times.

4. We have lost the ability to own up for mistakes. An apology is now a sign of weakness and is never to be offered. The new norm is a "what-about" counter attack. Conversely, ombudsmen attacking a culpable party select information out of context and do not convey a real picture. There seems to be swift conclusions, lesser thinking part of complex issues.

5. Do not trust "experts". We are in uncharted waters.  Percentages of population infected, likelihood of fatality, timeline of normalcy, availability of vaccine estimates, economic trajectory of rebound or depression are guesses at best or junk data at worst. Irresponsible public figures cause widespread damage with misinformation.

6. Friends, family, music, walking, simply being outdoors are privileges I have begun to tremendously appreciate. Once lock-down restrictions are over, here's hoping we are more forgiving, kinder and more grateful versions of our former selves. Our future minds don't judge a person on their affiliations, associations but by their everyday actions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Barney purple - govern a nation with this modern dinosaur

2018 was an uphill journey, it took all my efforts and energy just to stay afloat, no blog last year.

That said, here is a new 2019 with most world socio-political-economic compasses getting polarized,
almost a contagion spreading out across nations bringing waves of intolerance, quick decisions, hatred, fear.

Not blue, not red, taking the best parts of different nations, portions of our past to come up with proven ways to make a nation prosper

1. Healthcare - Primary healthcare free for all. Extended (Dental, vision, alternate care) healthcare privatized with government subsidies based on a figure (S*) evaluated by income, valued assets (home, vehicles, number of people in household). Prevention of monopolies by healthcare providers, insurance to prevent fraud. Copay mandatory even a small token amount. Euthanasia be made legal, state to trail off  financial support for patient care in vegetative state.  Experimental treatments on cancer, AIDS, stem cell research etc jointly funded by academia/industry/healthcare where possible to help encourage pioneering technology.

2. Education - Free primary education for all. Paid secondary education with subsidies based on S*, part reimbursable with one year military service. Mandatory for all to instill discipline, patriotism and ironically, to touch on the futility of war. Universities seeking to charge high tuition to declare balance sheets justifying costs. Universities producing patents/invention with merits receiving higher government subsidies. State to encourage with grants, more vocational, trade oriented schools for skills in this ever changing world. Licensing requirements for every trade to encourage quality, fair wages and regulation.

3. Political leaders, Senators - Written promises required when campaigning for election, written balance sheets of expenses for taxpayers money, achievements. Libel/Slander penalties applicable by a public figure for false claims or unfair criticism of/propaganda against opponents. Ineligible to run for office without military service or with prior libel/slander history. Fines for proven misappropriation or corruption (well below normal thresholds of litigation). This is very important as the spoken and written word from persons of influence shape the minds of the people. Untruths are septic and dangerous and there is no current mechanism to check them.

4. Economics/Taxation - Compulsory 25% spending on infrastructure - Constant monitoring of health indices of the country via supercomputer models - GDP, Debt, Exports, currency, commodity, inflation with " simplistic "Alarms" so as to reduce speculation of actions of any one person in charge. Taxation based on S* factor. Deductions for self-employed, GDP boosters, exporters. Billionaires get large tax deductions on S* for helping under-privileged, non-profits, philanthropies, local employment, local banking and investments to make it attractive for their business and personal wealth to stay domestic.

5. Industry placement - States with lowest GDP, per capita income, highest unemployment to be prioritized with incentives for industry expansion. Again, a real-time system monitoring mix of fossil/renewable energy (this index should drop every year), population densities (draw people away from cities for jobs in newer towns by setting up industry/power generation in sparse zones, augment weak spots in the power, communication, water, sewer grids. Limits on "concrete/steel" sprawl. Requirements for parks, green areas, trails to be mandated in real-estate laws. Powerful monetary green should champion real natural green.

6. Industry engagement - Abolish PACs where industry special interests can influence political leaders with financial contributions over a certain amount. Close tax loopholes for zero corporate tax, stop short of penalizing offshoring of tax, rather offer incentives to domestic banked companies and for innovation that makes a difference to economics. Penalties for political meddling, stock market manipulation, written accountability clauses for executives with pay scales/bonuses exceeding a certain limit. Further incentives for green practices, contributions toward climate change mitigation, so the responsible folk get lowest, even zero tax reward.

7. Employment - Equal Opportunity employers should receive nameless resumes to avoid bias or stop claiming to be so. Tax breaks for companies that hire disabled, veterans, minorities, underprivileged, poorer folk with low S* numbers, phone jobs for folks unable to travel. Minimum and maximum wage laws required with accountability for wages over $350,000 per year including "pay % of it back" clauses if unable to deliver written promises. Social Security and government coffers to be modeled into Economy health supercomputers.

8. Immigration - Merit based immigration program with cap based on economic indices from #4. Refugees are offered citizenship with probation - over a longer period of time, higher tax rate for that period as payback of investment and monitoring to reward absence of criminal or other counter-productive activity. Medical tourism, sport, artistic achievers and student programs to be implemented for national profit. Failing countries with floods of refugees to be held accountable with sanctions, UN coalition assisted regime change.

9. Law & Order - Non-bailable offences include hate crimes, religious intolerance, ponzi schemes, securities fraud. Aboriginal folks to be given subsidies toward education and training for jobs in law and order. Police force to mirror population demographic in similar ratios. Handguns and Semi Automatics out of the hands of general population (law enforcement only) and automatic assault rifles strictly military issue. No private organization such as NRA to control arms industry, should be government.

10. News, Media - Similar penalties for libel/slander that apply to politicians and persons of influence are applicable on media. These truth rules extend to social media. Freedom of speech has an after-price if misused. The 24/7 media for profit discussion model is toxic. News is 10 minutes every hour on the hour, five minutes every half hour. Political affiliations to news media are prohibited.

Too extreme? Well ... for most times, I agree we do not need to go so far, maybe just some of these in some varying degree. For 2018, 2019 here and now - prolly not.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

How to live like a shameless SOB, cheat karma and live happily ever after

1. Grow a thick hide as far as maintaining relationships are possible. You will lose friends faster than a deciduous tree in fall. Just find a way to fill your day with random people and paid admirers. Money makes one beautiful and attractive, no question.

2. Accumulate lots of money, primarily with real estate. Lasting deals going gangrenous are a problem so consider flipping assets quickly. This step is essential to funding people referred to in step #1.

3. When someone accuses you of lies, misconduct, thievery, skulduggery or bad behaviour, aggressively blame them for their shortcomings. This softens the blow and will scare them away.

4. To prevent bystanders, onlookers, spectators from forming bad opinions of you, do not dwell on any one issue too long. Keep presenting new nonsense, cover up old bullshit constantly with new fresh turds of information. People will eventually get anxiety and data overload, will move on to other innocuous issues.

5. Do not ever read. Write instead. Reading makes one introspective and gives the conscience an opportunity to speak louder. Writing is a weapon of the mind, poison is very easily dispensed and does not require hazardous storage within, for extended periods of time.

6. Take graciously without giving, never say sorry, never think of equalizing the rich and poor. The most successful SOB is one who is perpetually entitled, whose very existence was a sign from the heavens to all around that you are just fortunate to see, touch or be in the shadow of such a great soul.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

American Healthcare and Pharmacology marketing

This year, my thoughts are toward the medical world, as an observer of the direction this system moves.

Being Canadian, one cannot ignore the ubiquitous truth that US healthcare is better than ours albeit out of reach of many. (That is only one of the many flaws of American Health system).
Hospital Care and doctors visits should be universally accessible in any country. No one should have to hesitate consulting a physician, with cost being the deterrent. I remember a restaurant owner friend in Texas who tried to get a pharmacy tech to examine a lump on his neck. She took one look at it, eyes wide and asked him to get hospitalized ... system broken.
Healthcare should not be completely free either. There should be a nominal co-pay (subsidized for seniors or the poor) for every doctor visit or pharmacy refill. This token payment is so system is not abused, discouraging people getting a social visit at the doc.

I wonder why so many drug companies are allowed to advertise on television for their new panacea drug - only to sneak in the disclaimer "talk to your doctor if you have dangerously low blood pressure, suicidal thoughts etc" ... but other than that the drug helps you improve your tennis game, play with your dog better and wave happily to your neighbour while walking, as never before.
Its odd - only the USA and New Zealand allow these ads ... I bet the kiwi ads are not as annoying as "tomorrow, tomorrow .. I'll love you tomorrow".
Eventually the telly ad gets pulled off, to be quickly replaced by a law firm advising you to contact them if you ever took that drug, so you may sue the pharma company for long term detriment.

A society where lawyers win and everyone else loses is definitely one widening disparity between the powerful rich and the have-nots.
Talk to folks who have chronic pain who have graduated to opiods, other narcotics and eventually got addicted.
Now there are even other prescription medications to treat those conditions - naloxone, naltrexone..
Dont get me wrong, I am deeply appreciative of the wonder medicines the new world pharmacy has to offer... but do not give me, an unqualified consumer, the choice or tell me how great your pill is.
Let that come from my doctor. Do the song and dance to the MD via a representative (like the rest of the world). I might just end up getting a generic anyway, since I don't have insurance.
You're not really excited to educate me, but more to justify pushing the price of your new meds up.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Manmade concept reaching obsolescence

Its a year since I last wrote, here we are again with ISIS and their wannabe self proclaimed recruits causing death, mal-influence across the world. Religion is still the among the deadliest killer of humanity, after land ...

Spirituality was mostly intangible, hard to describe, much less follow. So man invented religion as stepping stones to godliness and with the intent to preach a doctrine to a life of nobility.

But like Chinese whispers, as the commandments passed from the saints to the apostles to priests, clerics and their successors the gospel got distorted, morphing darker each time to suit personal agenda.

Holy books were written in ancient times that bore no semblance to life today and are probably obsolete as any other text from that time not containing history. They are still full of cause and effect stories of karma, where good and evil are quickly rewarded, punished.  This put the fear of god (not necessarily love) in humanity. We wish life were like that, and karma were really such a bitch !!

On the vague passages that are irrelevant today, we choose to interpret them with crooked conclusions full of hate, intolerance or judgement on who would, wouldn't be in favour with god.

Some religions evolved over time, some are going backward (as said last year). It's fair to say though, the maturity index of a faith is its extent of tolerance toward those that are extraneous to it.

My own conclusions - be good to others (at least start out that way), be good to the earth, the environment, the poor, the less privileged, the sick, the young, the old ... and your mother.
You'll be just fine believing in the force, thereafter.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Religion, Spirituality, Tolerance, Sexuality and Direction

Time for my annual blog :), or so it seems ...

It is very hard to change minds and hearts of people, sometimes a whole generation has to pass.
Some of us will be strongly religious, others spiritual without further definition, some agnostic, few atheist or with belief in science, karma or logic.
There are also those that just defy classification. Doubt is noble, a virtue.
Any or all are acceptable, what is not is intolerance in the name of religion.
Christianity has somewhat emerged from its dark ages of intolerance where a scientific revelation was deemed blasphemy. Many others, some older .. have not evolved or are in retrograde.
I would not call any religion peaceful if most of its followers disapprove of other faiths or customs, or show hostility when someone disapproves of them, never mind what "The Book" says. Demonstrate peaceful, don't say it .. if you want me to believe.
Science cannot explain all, man has to find a convenient simplistic answer, faith warms the heart and strengthens the soul. Enough said. Let the temples and churches be.
That aside, almost all rules in the holy books were written by men - just regular people, possibly appropriate for the time they were in and based on what was common knowledge.
This is a different world, people outnumber their optimal quantity based on earths biosphere by a factor of 3 or 4. We could suppose homosexuality is natures answer to man's indiscriminate procreation.  Maybe, maybe not .. but as said before .. to not be sure of complex phenomena shows more understanding and respect than myopic view of "man and a woman union" and anything else being evil.
What would help is if we put aside petty differences that have occupied our energies and hostile genes thus far, focusing not on making silly cellphone apps for the number of steps we take in a day or better streaming of choice music but more toward seeking ways to cleaner earth, water, energy harnessing power of sunlight, wind, atoms, magnetism among others and while doing so, conserve and preciously use resources we have

Thursday, July 31, 2014

One mans war is another mans terror - to the rest of us, its just sadness

July 2014

The worlds aflame - Israel/Palestine ... not one politician or newsman seems to show sufficient wisdom for insight that resolving this chronic conflict would involve not taking sides. Asking if one country has the right to defend itself is a futile question, will not lead to peace. When both sides meet face to face and agree to give up something reluctantly, preciously being held on to, there could be the beginning of resolution. Very difficult. It involves undressing the emotion, anger and ego before sitting colorless at the negotiation table.

Russia/Ukraine ... there is no war here, it is one large country trying to gobble up parts of a smaller one. the ill fated MH17 plane was collateral damage. US depends on Russia for its space program and EU on them for inexpensive oil for energy. Sanctions are not going to hurt them, if they raise prices on these services. Denounce all Russian as non-cool softly until Russians start hating their own leader. Long drawn process .. all criticism on Obama et al being too soft or firm is irrelevant.

Syria .. poor forgotten place of conflict since focus shifted to other world areas. ISIS, Boko Haram, al Shabab, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Janjaweed, Lashkar Taiba .... these are the true villians .. as much a threat as Ebola, AIDS, tsunamis, climate change. We need a global sustained effort to exterminate the threats they bring.