A couple of interesting tidbits from the noose (pronounced “nooze”) today, which you’ve probably already seen if the topics interest you and about which I have a thot or two.
First up: the political elites have begun giving the side-eye to the tech sector elites, those to whom I refer as the monopolists. While it’s true that the politicos are right to take interest and, beyond that, action, what concerns me most is the effect the tech elites have had on the economy and humanity at large. Folks like me are being squeezed out of the economy, which in addition to being a clear sign of monopolist power is also strangling the technical innovation which can advance human interests on the global scale. I’ve been a technologist (which is quite distinct from “technophile”) for my entire adult life, and one who has had no choice but to stay ahead of the commodification of tech labor because, like all good technologists, I am just no damn good at conformity. Of course. It is impossible to think outside of the box you live in, so true innovation can only be accomplished by those who don’t live inside boxes. All the rest is incremental improvement of systems that might be junk or even more detrimental than mere junk at their cores.
Does human society benefit from the trillions of dollars taken out of circulation by the hoarding instincts of tech corporations whose primary purpose is the deep violation of individual privacy? If the answer is no, it’s time for those corporations to be dismantled in the public interest. Obviously.
Second, and far more important, Senator Sanders has introduced his Medicare For All bill, with a surprising number of co-sponsors. Many of whom are surely in it for only arguably wrong (self- and party- serving) reasons, but ya gotta work with what ya got. To my mind, universal health care is a moral issue, perfectly equivalent to disaster relief. If your home and everything within it you’ve worked a lifetime to acquire are wiped out, it’s a tragedy. Whether it was a hurricane, a wildfire, an earthquake, or the predatory health care industry that took it is, in the end, completely irrelevant to the individual who suffers that loss. Anyone who wishes to see the residents of hurricane ravaged regions provided for but who opposes universal health care is, perfectly clearly, fucked in both head and heart.
Walking down the shoulder of the road with no home and nothing behind and no home and nothing ahead is the same experience regardless of how you got there.
I’ve read some of the opposition’s arguments, but having two or more neurons capable of conducting in united purpose I find those arguments completely specious. Do I want the government between me and my doctor? Bet yer ass I do, because when it’s the government rather than a banker I get to cast a ballot which determines, in a collective manner, who that government is. It’s far too limited a power in our dipshit republican form, but it’s a helluva lot more than one gets when it’s bankers charging entry fees at the hospital door. Do I want my taxes to go up to pay for it? Hell yes I do, when my taxes go up by far less than the cost of the insurance premium I avoid by it. The decision makes itself for any person who is at least somewhat rational.
The core question, in my mind, is this: Does the individual American’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness mean more to me than the corporation’s right to extract profit? The answer is obvious. Yes, it does. Without question, without debate, and without hesitation.
A third, perhaps even more momentous but not so well publicized topic: It seems that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may be what’s behind the decreasing nutrient levels in plant foods — as plants consume the more abundant carbon to build carbohydrates (sugars) they take up less mineral nutrient and synthesize less protein. Essentially, what’s happening is that plants, including phytoplankton, are becoming junk food. Not that there’s anything any individual can do about it; I just find it interesting.
Perhaps useful: Snoogins (whose name is Starr but who is rarely called that), our excellent Chihuahua-monster, hasn’t suffered an epileptic seizure since we started her on puppy weed about ten weeks ago. Related: Miss Awesome, who was on a prescription diet because she made struvite crystals in her pee, has been just fine for months and months since we reverted to everyday canned Friskies with added water. The prescription shit (Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d) made her lethargic, fat, and frighteningly prone to puking. I’m kinda pissed at the vet because of it. I was already kinda pissed at the vet for other reasons, but this reason is far more concrete.
Hmmm… what else bouncing around in the vacuum between my ears might be worthy of note?
The price of skirt steak at the Dinkytown garbage vendor is now equal to that of T-bone steak. We now eat more pollo asada made with relatively cheap chicken thigh meat than carne asada because of it. Eating good is eating good no matter how you go about it and I’ve yet to encounter anyone who thought my chicken tacos weren’t worthy of consumption to the point of discomfort.
In my own experience, the easiest way to lose fifty pounds is to smoke pot every day for a few years. For what it’s worth and mentioned only because I’ve been abstaining and don’t like it. Normality sucks and, like working for a living, is highly overrated.
That’s all for now. Be well friends and neighbors!