Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wet but mild Tuesday. Renting jeans? Why we need to separate health care from religion. Livestock associated MRSA. Mountains of toxic trash. Down the "memory hole."

We don't have anything planned away from the house today so the wet doesn't matter at all.  It usually doesn't matter anyway.  We figure we are sugar and we aren't the Wicked Witch so we won't melt.  Snow and freezing rain is something else.  That can get dangerously slippery and you can't always avoid the other nuts behind wheels on all those slick roads.

The TV (local) news this morning had a story that totally bemused me.  Evidently, in Europe, people who want to wear pricey designer jeans can now rent them.  The news story was very sketchy but this was probably what they were talking about.  The picture resembles the one the TV showed.  What do you all think?  As for me--I wouldn't pay $130 for any pair of jeans.

This is so wrong on so many levels.  First, Catholic hospital more concerned with religious based directives than the health and life of their patient.  Second, only hospital in the county.  Third, keeping the patient in the dark.  This is malpractice and I hope the woman gets a hefty settlement.

MRSA raises its ugly head again.  In turkeys in the U.K.  Although it evidently isn't a major cause of human illness, I agree with the author on her two major points: consumers should not be kept in the dark about the situation and we should be addressing the misuse of antibiotics in livestock farming.

After decades outlawed under the Soviets, polygamy returns in Kazakhstan.  I sympathize with the woman legislator who derailed the last move to legalize the arrangement by insisting that polyandry be legalized as well, I doubt it would work.  There aren't that many wealthy women.

The petcoke mountains in southeast Chicago has been the center of a growing controversy. Problem: there is a deeper question or two that aren't considered in the issue.  First, our industries put out increasing amounts of waste and we have no idea of what to do with them or how to safely get rid of them.  Second, the mountains of ash are the middle stage of a chain of economic actions that start in Canada and end in China and other Asian countries.  Tar sands oil from Canada is refined in a BP plant in Whiting, Indiana, and the residue (petcoke) is stored in Chicago before being shipped overseas.  How much regulation should be imposed at what stage in the process?  Third, how do you hold companies accountable for the damage done to the environment, health, and property along the way.  I saw a snippet from a company spokesman (during a segment on the evening news) who claimed that the ash wasn't any more dangerous than the refining, steel making, and other industries which operated for decades without the same level of opposition.  One of the residents countered that at least those industries provided relatively good paying jobs to residents.  The Koch brothers simply store the waste without providing much in the way of jobs.  Nobody benefits except the Koch brothers.

De je vous all over again??  I have watched the rise in housing prices over the last months (asking who is buying) and the euphoria among the economic talking heads (you know--those who didn't see the last crash).  Unfortunately, real estate is an integral part of a consumer based economy which demands that people heroically consume whether they have the wherewithal or not.

Al Jazeera's The Stream presented a conversation on the efforts of California and at least one other state to allow children (under 16) to "re-set" and erase embarrassing posts.  We listened and wondered exactly how workable such a system would be.  Given how quickly a post can travel around the 'net, can one really erase every trace of such a post?  Tomdispatch has a post by Peter Van Buren that ties into the issue and takes it to a broader level.  How much of our information is now in some kind of digital electronic blips on goodness knows how many different formats?  I have some 200 books on my Nook and have wondered if I shouldn't get hard copies of some of them to make sure I have them in case anything happens to the system.  After all, Barnes & Nobel has been on financial thin ice for a while and had at one point thought of splitting Nook off from the rest of the company to sell it.  Nothing lasts forever  and most of the hard copy books from past eras have disappeared but I have a gut feeling that digital blips are more ephemeral than hard copies.

No comments: