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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not Down Syndrome, but LCS - Lifetime Companion Syndrome. Human Variation on a Theme

Dan Widing with Napoleon's recruit, Bratislava, Slovakia

Labeling. Be careful.

Your "Disease" is my Lifetime Companion.

Watch it, Buster.

Fodderize by generalizing.

Down Syndrome is no more fungible than bald head syndrome. Vet the concepts before coming to conclusions that A's are alike, and to be treated in one way,  but B's are not.

1.  Examine the Syndrome syndrome.
Misapplication to a Condition 

Take the concept of Syndrome itself. A dreaded term. A syndrome is a "set." A gang of "things." In traditional "medicine," a set of:
  • signs and symptoms (ooooh!)
  • which tend to occur together and
  • which represent the presence or absence of a particular ( more oooh!)
  • "disease" or (is there hope? NO! No hope)
  • an increased chance of developing a particular ...
  • ... there we go again - "disease."
See MedTerms at ://

How does "syndrome" fit with people with an extra chromosome? There may be a connection with some with related heart issues or something, fair enough.  But that chromosome arguably makes them more humanly kind, spontaneous and giving than the rest of us. What's not to like. What does the world need more of.  Rush or Dan? Whose household has more genuine, good-hearted fun? Who keeps close relationships. Ask. See Vetting Authority.

2.  Conditions and genetic code variations; vs "diseases"

2.1. Are we cataloguing-crazy in our culture. 

We are obsessed with finding "disease." Are we? Is every person that follows or has a different internal-genetic-whatever-drummer diseased? Do they have an affliction that reduces their ability to enjoy life, is leading the body to die faster, puts them in pain, inflicts diminished quality of life so the "afflicted" should be deprived of it or subjected to efforts to "cure?"

We may indeed be uneasy ourselves around difference - color, gene codes, the wheelchaired, gender issues, languages - but that is us, not them. Does that make sense?

2.2  Difference, not disease.

Differences in sorts and conditions of children and adults can be joyous, or tragic, or unexpected, or fascinating. Variations on a theme of overall humanity, like all of us are. Like Paganini - Variations on a Theme. Different sounds, recognizable melodies all.Think Daniel Lessner and Brahms - at YouTube at // Or Bach Badineri - at ://

No "disease" just because the melody modulates, moves around with the orchestration.

3.  Labels.  Spot the Perception Management.
The Old Propaganda At Work

How do you know?

Either we know something is true,

a) from our own experience; or because

b) we have been taught.

Do you trust the teacher? That becomes the issue. Who told you so. How do they know. Vet. Is it the bombast or ideologue persuading, or a measured, objectively weighing fact-thinker, and who has which agendas. See perception management at work here - phrase first seen in David Baldacci's book, "The Whole Truth," not wonderfully written, too many sobs and tears, but a catchy phrase: Old paradigms.
  • Style.  Preppy gives status. Still?  Once did.  Perhaps preppy is a disease. The preppy syndrome. Characterized by pink and lime green. Will Lilly never die? Preppy, no socks, tassels, the holy grail of the boomers. Is that right? And Preppies can be cheerleaders and then become president. How silly is that, when preppy becomes the main stepping stone. Are we past worship of the preppy?
  • Belief.  Evildoers. The culture of Belief identified the good vs. the bad not so long ago, and some even now, say, this one is evil,  has moral "Disease." Not human. The traditional pogrom justification program.
  • Genes. Some say of human conditions, that these here are not to be recognized, and certainly not to be kept in my family. Their choice, but how much of it is perception management, by language itself. Lay out a "syndrome" and someone will define it as a pejorative. Then another person will accept it as given, and act accordingly. Away with difference.
The culture only uses labels to press and reinforce the pitiable, the inferior status. Is that true? Test it out.  What is the function of the "less than," if not to cast it aside in the next breath.
Think of labels and how they work as to "status." Labels ascribe status. Keep this or dump that. The home organization boxes that say Keep, Recycle, Discard.

Labels too easily lead to less thinking, not more. Just put it in the box and be done with it.  Institutions especially like the shortcut of labels. So do political parties, talk shows filling up their time by wasting ours.

4. More on labels. No Maid! Hear it still.

Back in the day, we recall holding the hall phone back in the long kitchen hallway, and saying, "Wait, I'll get the maid."

Louise Wilson then appeared in her starched uniform. Looking stern.. With those pearl buttons on pokers that went through little holes, tall, thinking, dignified, educated, light-skinned black and living in (separate quarters up the back stairs for that in the old houses) and working in our kitchen five days a week,  overseeing all meal functioning. Her husband, Walt, would come sit in the rocker by the fridge off and on. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. There it all was. Magic. We still make "Louise's eggs."

"No maid!" she hissed at me. "NO MAID!" And she was right. She was no "maid."

5.  Perception management.

The greatest teacher of all. Propaganda.

The term "propaganda" is old now. It has become too closely connected to WWI, WWII, Nazi, Cold War heating up again, to be truly effective as a concept.  It can be disregarded because it sounds foreign, sinister, manipulative, and we want to think we are too educated by now to be swayed like that.

So - change the label to Perception Management. That meets current subtleties. Look it up. beyond use of the term in Baldacci - go beyond Aristotle's Three Legs of Persuasion, see The Manager, at ://  Learn the concept. Your ideas are being managed. Is what you think not your own?

Perception management enables us to label in ways that Miscue, Purposefully Diminish People, put them in Boxes to serve somebody's goal in asserting a superiority, and not "describe"in a neutrally informative way.

Daniel Widing, Lifetime Companion, Politically Involved, there with Uncle Don waiting to see Candidate Obama.

6.  A condition is not a predictor of contribution.
  • Think of all of us, and see what we were born with. And the variations that are possible:
  • Who has more value among us? What is value, to what, why, for whom.
  • Rush Limbaugh, Chucky, the entertainment-exploitation world; will they be wept for when they die, or will there be broad relief that they indeed failed. More value in their work?
  • Or in our son, Daniel, Customer Service Clerk, about to turn 36 and with - horrors! "Down Syndrome".
Variations on a theme.

7. Daniel

Each person, unique. Choices to be made at every step, for those in positions to make choices. What to do about or with what, but at least have full information, each situation its own,  deciding in fear and trembling, more choices and different ones as time goes on.  Location, location. Breath. Common sense. Keep, not keep, foster out, embrace, hide, deny, how best to promote this one's independence, how to foster skills, flexibility, confidence. How to allow a decider to recover.  Moral decisions are that way. There is ambivalence. Personal. To be weighed, lived with by the people making the decisions, their reasons. To be allowed to do that. Balance lives. No one automatic here, another there. No automatic.

4.1 Legislation either way. No.

4.2  Pregnancy Testing for it?  Can't stop it - there's money to be made. New techniques every day. People think they can shape their lives. Maybe so. Maybe they can. Maybe not. See Lenetix Inc. at ://  Fine.  Information. Not so good, however, when early crude techniques to get that information led to too many miscarriages, the slipped needle or whatever, errors, but we understand techniques are better now.

4.3 For any decision, manage the perceptions so information used by a decider is neutral, accurate. What perceptions have developed that lead to the desire for the test.  Until the climate is receptive, welcoming, for any pregnancy, there will be cries for terminations, and that is the logical outcome of the stage we set as a culture.  Youth, perfection, problem-free lives, style, double standards, all get weighed.  We ask for it. So - efforts needed on the perception side.  There are many sides to a reality. Noone else in a position to weigh. FN  1

5.  LCS.  A Condition.  An area that can benefit from realistic, neutral, informational, full spectrum of possibilities, Perception Management.

How to foster a truer image, not maudlin, just opening up other ways of seeing.  Hear again that old Darlin' Companion - Johnny Cash and June Carter - hear://  Influence the choices - no bans on them.

Experience.  Get to know people with LCS. Imagine, or better yet, take them new places.  Love the dated. Don't redecorate the house - live with the little bathroms and popcorn ceilings and formica, and go somewhere instead.  Investment choices.  In people. Yours to choose.  Or not.  One size does not fit all. FN 2

FN 1
Watch how the news that "it" has "Down" "syndrome" in there, is received. Watch folks opt out fast, and because we set that up. We are responsible. Perception management. The Down may be somebody's last name, but it conveys the opposite of up. Or choices based on gender, other selections touted by a culture as more desirable. Information is not the issue. It is why the information is sought. And that is us.

Go ahead. Test for the baldness gene in utero. Bald is flaw! Make your decisions about whether you want to live with a bald person or not. But at least decide on neutral information - not on the basis of somebody telling you the condition makes the person disposable, fungible. You'll have another, dear. Vetting. Vet our own assumptions. Vetting is good.

FN 2  Meet Dan up there.  He has LCS - Lifetime Companion Syndrome. Finally, we as a family concoct a label that fits, when all others have failed us, and him. My mother said to me, wistfully, when he was little, "You'll never be lonely." And she was right.  Learning best by doing? See Europe Road Ways. We never dreamed that could be.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Big Pharma, Big Divorce, Big Wall St. Omnipresentsuperprofiteering on Human Need

Aspirational Industry and Professional "Codes" 

Do Codes Really Raise the Bar

For Standards of  Service and  Quality;
or merely Shield the Bad?

Would Fiduciary and Enforceable Legal Standards 
Combined with Duty to Disclose
Unmask the Profiteering

Health, Law, Investing - 

Examine the Profession-Serving Codes They (We) Live By

I. Voluntary, Aspirational Codes of Conduct:  
Pretty; but Set to Vagueness; Holes in the Netting Too Big  


When can a consumer effectively sue for breach of a provider's professional obligations, or industry standards, as set forth in the codes of conduct or standards setting.  Professional boards review complaints based on prfessional codes, may sanction breachers; and some patients/clients/consumers sue in courts - but only at great expense, mostly to find out what went on.

Can firm legal standards in the interest of the consumer be set, or is there too much money to be made in fostering concealment and buyer-beware in any kind of sales. Does our form of capitalism says that the bottom line for the accumulator comes first, and the consumer interest second.

Is this true:  That the language is like a sieve. The interest of the recipient consumer-patient-client is defined by the provider,  not the recipient. And maximizes the finances of the provider.  Think. How does information-concealment and making processes more complex, and adversarial (my interest against yours), serve anyone but? Do healthy economies really require that, or is it just habit etched in stone.

A. Codes 

These vary in teeth, clarity, enforceability and scope


For this category, flip the card that says Pharma. PhRMA to you. See PHrMA Marketing Code at ://

The marketing goals:  read as follows.  Patients have access to the medicines they "need" and products are used correctly, to maximize patient "benefit."

To do this (market what patients "need" and see that the products are used right), the focus moves immediately to the healthcare professionals:
  • inform the professionals (emphasis supplied) about the benefits and risks in order "to help advance appropriate patient use."
  • provide "educational and scientific information" (how much? slanted how?)
  • support "medical research and education" (whose?) and
  • get feedback by consulting with medical experts (don't ask the consumer)
Overall, the healthcare professional's care should be based on the patient's medical needs and the professional's medical knowledge and experience. All that pp 1-2.  And call us consumers or clients, please, not "patients" because we are out of that.

  • At p. 3. Note that these standards are  all voluntary. No teeth. No enforcement.

These sections relate to everything they do in sales: "marketed products" and "pre-launch" activities.

Go on there and read all about the marketing and methods of persuasion encouraged. Read read and do you find anything on full disclosure to the public, enabling them to discuss issues with their doctor. Anything there about all the test results, not just the ones supporting the product, etc. They will end up prescribing socks to worms after all they have gotten through PhRMA. No fiduciary duty to anyone, just sell, sell. 

2.  LAW

Reasonable diligence and promptness in representation is required, see model rules of professional conduct from the ABA at Center for Professional Responsibility at ://; home page at

That is not much.

So read on: A lawyer must have the skills, do the prep and have the knowledge and thoroughness that make for "reasonable" representation. Are you paying only for "reasonable" representation? If I pay for a Hummer, why can't I sue for representation by a Hummer, and not just "reasonable" standards for the transportation?  If a court awards me counsel because I cannot pay, is "reasonable" enough in any legal representation?  Interesting question.

There are fairness sections, see :// including no obstructing access of the other side to evidence (no obligation to disclose, however). See coping with false evidence at ://

Obligation to see that the "tribunal" has all the facts? No. Is that also true in Great Britain? Or do lawyers have a broader duty to disclose there. Have to check.

3. WALL ST. (generic)

The Wall Street Journal in 2005 asked in an article if Wall Street finally needed an ethics code, a professional code, not just an individual company code, see "Does Wall Street Finally Need an Ethics Code," by Dennis K. Berman, at ://

Without that, who is the investor/ banker accountable to, and what are the normative priorities among self, client, regulators. Conflicts of interest, behavioral guides, some recognition of what obligation to society. Individual codes are in most banks, says the article, and Enron had a fine one that was clearly ignored.

Needs consensus. Not likely. Too much money to be made? Or was.

Here is one financial services company's ethics statement, "KMR Consulting Services" at ://

There they promise to undertake a client relationship only where they have the expertise to expertise needed to represent the client "effectively," not just the "reasonable representation" of the Model Code, lawyers, above. They have to disclose gifts, financial interests with third parties in connection with the representation (do doctors have to disclose their gifts from PhRMA?)

II. The  clash of objectives - profit vs. sense of community, sappy problem solving

The trouble is, that hits the providers' bottom lines in reducing their profits.

Is it true that all it takes, to put the focus back on the interest of the client, is imposition of a fiduciary standard in these (perhaps all) marketplaces. Full disclosure. Overarching consideration. Why are we so wed to commercial standards of unfair dealing?

Then other smaller matters would fall into line.

That is the theory: Reduce the need. in commerce and services. to spend money finding out facts, and let money stay in the consumer's pockets.  No trickle down, no bailouts of providers. Just force fairer dealing by disclosure and accountability. Imagine.

D.  Would angles like these work

1. Health. Should labels disclose all ingredients all the time, all testing results disclosed and by all sources, all facts about all issues out there.

That also helps address the deceived doctor -  doctor beware - and from that, the patient beware. Big PhRMA made accountable and transparent.

And stop calling us patients. We are clients.

2. Law.

Ditto. Why not provide that disclosure obligations flow from both sides and to the tribunal.

"Discovery" costs more as a phase of divorce than analysis and negotiation or trial. Is that so? Can families afford to spend their kids' educations on a divorce? What does it take to add up, divide by two and give a tilt, then implement. A great deal if you don't know what there is to add up, and that includes the valuation issues. Big Law. Make adding up and dividing into rocket science. At least make people lay it all out, new legal standard.

3. Wall St.

Hopeless. Try to get any of them to think in fiduciary terms, and  looney tunes laughter will fill the hall. Hear Daffy at ://

E.  Why not?

Because we like it like this. Those of us relatively on top, rather than relatively on bottom.

1. Consumers:  Lay out your wish list anyway

We are not asking for all that much.

  • Health: how can the individual best promote it, and so be a more productive person.
  • Family: how can the individuals best restructure it in divorce, for a "least-damaging for all" new start. That means financial devastation as well as emotional.
  • Investments: how can the individual assess where to put money so it may best meet present and future needs.
2. Providers, service sellers and promoters.  Lay out your wish list.

Seller and buyers, under aspirational codes
Was Marx correct?
Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion by society.
Karl Marx, see "Karl Marx Quotes" at ://  Anybody can cherry-pick any authority to prove anything.

But is it so, that capital wants to engage in full-throated capitalism and accumulation activities as long as possible, while doing enough to meet consumer needs, with standards, as defined by the provider, to keep out of trouble.

Each profession does have its own ethical code: but does it translate broadly.

Lots of statements, in the bottom of the dixie cup like mercury when the old thermometer broke, the big globs eating the little globs, then make all split apart again. Ephemeral. How a practitioner is allowed to pursue his or her craft, so long as there is enough "benefit" to the consumer --  i.e. a completed sale, transfer of service or product, and somebody pockets. If the need can be met at less cost, is there an obligation to do it?

Of course not. If the substance cannot be patented, profits are less, why pursue. If the divorce can cost tens of thousands by playing hide the ball, why not go all the innings possible. If the fine print on the subprime mortgage destroys, and the soul on the other side of the desk missed it and signed, fine.

3. Is there ever a connect?

Problem solving. Human needs. Health problems. Family problems. Investment planning problems. Solve the problem, efficiently, full discussion of choices? Or, instead, watch the problem providers play hide the ball from each other and the clients, and run roughshod as measured by exorbitant fees. Is that so? Is this a jaundiced view?

What may add some teeth to the voluntary standards, the mission statements on the walls?  And what would cut the cost of litigation?  Fiduciary standards of conduct and disclosure in professional, medical and consumer matters.

1.  Solicitor and barrister on this side of the pond: The radical idea is to get the information out first and fast; use the British kind of categories of lawyers, tweaked, to do that.  Hire a "soliciitor" to get the information - a total pooling of everything -  and only then get the other kind of lawyer in to argue in court or negotiations - the lawyer as  "barrister" -  the merits for their side, based on the facts already laid out. No cover for concealment.

2.  Set fiduciary legal standards for quality and service and product.  Can we really impose a legal standard of the fiduciary on commercial and professional dealings?
We can, but would anyone then make a profit.  Is profit dependent on the Great Wool Over Eyes in terms of what is really being provided. Get what you can because and when you can. Could it work nonetheless? How to try.

Adult Supervision Needed In The Marketplace 2.1 . Set standards for truth with teeth - We are accustomed to the commercial standard of truth, which is none of it necessarily.

Say what you need to say in order to sell. Disclosure limited and if disclosure may impact negaqtively on the profit, fog the disclosure.'

Is that so?

If so, whom does the "commercial" standard of truth serve: It is effectively zip, so long as it sells the product or service, even at a minimal level, and without killing the buyer.

The commercial nonstandard of nontruth serves only the seller. The promoter. The provider.Will there be voluntary compliance with a higher standard? Doubtful.

At the very least, would the various financial and other sales players in our economy ever voluntarily enforce a fiduciary-type factual disclosure requirement in transactions.

Transparency, disclosure. Can traditional capitalism tolerate it? Sure. Marx himself warned not of the basic principles of accumulating, but of its dooming by getting out of control. Assert control.

Or does it? Open the discussion.

An ounce of doggerel and call us in the morning: to the meter:  ba-dum'/ ba-dum'/

Buyer Beware turns 'we the people' into sheeple.
Don't look for help in Senates or by Steeples.
Read the Codes and Laugh Until You Weeple.