Search This Blog

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


Sunday, March 22, 2009

FDA Reorganization Now Three Ways: PharmaJocks Panic at Accountability

FDA jurisdiction to include Woodsies remedies
President Announces Revised Tripartite Restructure for FDA

Foodies, Druggies, and Woodsies

Will PhRMA Accept New Formation Including Fairness in Testing Doctrine and applied to the Woodsies?
Beware the Pharmajock, my son!
The cash that buys, the tests that fake....*

. They will not go gentle into that good night...**

WARSHINGTON Faux News Services.
In response to growing outrage at Big Pharma's unethical grab of the healthcare media perception management machine,see ://, President Barack Obama today at his weekly press conference released a revised outline of his proposed reorganization of the Food and Drug Administration.
This will include a specific role for a new third department, The Woodsies, or Alternative Medicine and other Alternatives in approach and ingredients. This step recognizes that quality care, efficiency and cost containment may be better served if the industry influence is offset by testing in other areas.

This includes oversight by a new cabinet post member, the new Secretary of Digestibles and Injectables (SDI) on behalf of the long ignored and maligned Woodsies.
The era of dividing the FDA into functions has arrived, apparently. Subject, however, to the ubiquitous saboteurs of anything who thereby line their own pockets, thanks to the Warshington Bubble Effect (WBE).
Last week.

The FDA was proposed as divisible into two parts. The first proposal, released last week, had divided the FDA into two parts and envisioned no separate Secretary.
One of those parts to serve food safety, including inspections for salmonella, belligerent bovine brain diseases, etc.; and the other to process reviews of new medicines.

This week.

The FDA is proposed as to be divided into three parts. After a week of public anger, cable maniacal fannings of flames, real and surreal, shouts and bus tours of the homes of Big PhRMA board members, the President declared that the FDA would now be separated into three parts, not two.

"Omnia FDA in tres partes divisa est," he said, sending the press corps to their history books, laurel leaves and uses of gall by saboteurs.

There would be a new Secretary of Digestibles and Injectables to oversee and facilitate the processes of the new FDA as to the Woodsies.

The parts.
  • Foodies. The first division of the FDA shall ensure food safety and be called the Foodies.
  • Druggies. The second division of the FDA shall ensure effective synthetic healthcare treatments, and be called the Druggies.
  • Woodsies. The third division of the FDA shall ensure effective dosage, pure and disclosed content and preparations of plant materials for healthcare treatment; and be called the Alternatives, for their Alternative Approaches to remedies and methodology in both the food safety and "medicine" fields.
Presumptions of Effectiveness In Cases of Competing Claims.

According to inside sources, the parts of this new FDA three parts, really a triangle in shape, will not necessarily produce equal parts. This is not necessarily an equilateral system.

The new FDA formation shall presume that proposals of the Alternatives as to methods and ingredients are more effective and desirable compared to methods and ingredients proposed by the Foodies and Druggies.

This operative presumption favoring the Alternatives, the third entry into the fray, recogtnizes and counters the long traditions of buying results and regulators, and dilutes the toxic auras of highly paid self-servers. Where there is a choice of ethics and money, money wins. However, not all agree that there is a right and wrong apart from the specifically legal and illegal, so the dance goes on.

Accordingly, the new Agency shall shape-change on a case-by-case basis, according to the determination of the Alternates, who remain at the top of the configuration. Their decision shall be appealable to the Secretary; and from there to a People's Court located at the geometric center of any triangle, and comprised of three appointees: one by the executive, one by the legislative, and one by the judicial branch. Service shall be for life. The decision of the People's Court shall be final.

Structure. See our website for further information, FN 1

Fairness in Testing Doctrine.

The Foodies or Druggies shall present their proposal for review by the Alternatives. The Alternatives shall determine whether or not to support the proposal. In case of non-support, they shall present their own proposal, and such shall be financed by the Foodies and Druggies as to testing such that resources and expertise are equal to those of the Foodies and Druggies. They may use former bonuses toward this end.

By requiring consideration of Alternatives at time of presentation, Foodies and Druggies shall be motivated to include full testing of Alternative proposals before making their own proposals, including found benefits and economies; and it shall benefit them to include the Alternatives' ideas from the outset.


To facilitate comparisons of methods and ingredients, all testing shall be transparent, all results made known immediately upon conclusion of every test. To fail to include Alternativemethods in comparative testing from the outset will, accordingly, cost the Druggies more in the long run.

The Trump.

Where the Alternatives propose an alternative approach to that taken by the Foodies or the Druggies, however, this proposal shall trump further approval of the proposal or finding of the Foodies or Druggies until testing of the Alternative process is completed.


To achieve this end of objective and equal testing of food-drug-alternative proposals, the Secretary of Digestibles and Injectables Department shall monitor, regulate and where needed, itself cause equal funding and expertise to test the proposal of the Alternatives. Then, at such time as the Alternatives can fund their own testing, they shall be compelled to do so, or may be taxed back in the amount advanced.

Financing the Fairness in Testing Doctrine. Estates angle.

Estate escheat. Funding for common good federal programs shall also address issues of abusive self-compensation, where feasible. In other words, try this as Better Yet New statutes shall now provide that nobody can pass on more than $5,000,000 to his or her heirs at his or her death; and such shall be enforced by judges without accusations of activism. The rest of the Estate defaults to the Federal Fund for Fairness in Testing. There is nothing more important than objective health testing. You gotta use it; during your life; or lose it in excess of $5,000,000 upon your demise.

This "equitable escheat" promotes productive use of fortunes during the life of the acquiror, not its hoarding for second and third generation hangers-on. See Andrew Carnegie, once richest man in the world, and his idea for that at Martin Luther's Stove, Gospel of Andrew Carnegie

An improved financial position for the Alternatives is not likely in the near future, however, since Alternatives probably consist of natural ingredients

1) widely available in the wild and

2) not subject to patent and the same kinds of profit as laboratory constructs, like sassafras remedies.

Heck, your Alternative remedy may just be in your own back yard, if you just had access to reasonable information on how to use it.


Understanding that the Secretary of the Treasury was panned earlier for providing an outline of a plan first, rather than having all the sticks and stones magically in place after being in office for a week or two, for immediate trashing, the new Secretary of Digestibles and Injectables offers these further details immediately. The SDI reserves reserves rights to revise depending on outcries of Foodies, Druggies, and even the Alternatives, who unrealistically had hoped to create a hierarchical system with Druggies at the bottom, always, and begging.


The president stated that his administration is consistent in its approach to torture. None. Torture is infliction of pain, injury and even death in extracting information. Such methods shall be subject to advance unanimous approval of the People's Court as to those proposed methods and results, to ensure absolutely minimal pain, if any at all, and treatment with humility, respect, comfort. That is, the designation of Vermin shall not remove such from their rights (numbers of squeaks of joy were heard at this point from under the floorboards),


"How about loopholes?" asked a voice from the floorboards. See our website for a discussion on loopholes, FN 1.

"Let me say this about that," said the President. And he elaborated on his plan: In particular,

PhRMA and any other proponent of a remedy shall not fix the result. That is, it shall not engage in any testing, for example, using mice or other rodents unless they first demonstrate that the species itself is not averse to the substance to begin with. Many plant components have developed a defense to being eaten by rodents, and thereby protect themselves against being eaten up by the little squeakers, or beavers. This is called "allelopathy," and many rodents are in an allelopathic relationship to the plant in the first place.

Pharma and the FDA are both accused of fixing test results by using rodents to find out about carcinogenic elements in the plants that the rodents wouldn't eat anyway.

Fixing the test. Would you trust these people?
Fixing test results is hereby outed. It is a cheap byt highly profitable trick, producing false results as to humans. The role of the Pharmajocks in passing legislation requiring animal testing without reference to the allelopathic situation as to rodents is just coming to light.

The use of rodents for deceptive pharmajockal testing is also exploitive of an uneducated FDA and perhaps even people without computers (most of the country?) who can't look things up easily.

It is, at least, self-serving, manipulative, produces false correlations as to humans and is generally despicable. (lone cheer is heard at the back where the Alternatives reporter cowers).

"Pain-infliction is addictive and numbing. So let's call that approach quits. I guess that's it," concluded the President. Silence. Then cheers from two of the three divisions.

And the floorboards.
* See Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll, at ://
Hear it at ://

** See Go Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas, at ://

FN 1 WEBSITE SUPPLEMENT (note, as with all news pulp references to a website, this effectively cuts off all people unwired)

Triangulation I. The structure shall not necessarily be equilateral, although the Foodies and Druggies shall at all times form the bottom base. The variable shall be the Alternatives, whose movable point depending on the case, may result in a scalene or isosceles triangle. See :// /. The nature of the angles depend on whether the Foodie or Druggie is being obtuse or acute, see, obtuseness having been the rule as to both to this point.

Triangulation II. Triangulation also refers to the "rescuer-persecutor-victim" game in human relationships, see :// Warshington thrives on triangling in people, so to change Warshington in this regard will require Consultants, to be in next year's Budget. It is impossible to see the blame game while in the middle of it?

Loophole protection. The president acknowledges that there is no life without loopholes. There will always be a loophole somewhere that someone will attempt to use, and the greater the need for fast action and the greater the scope of the deal, the more likely it will be that loopholes rush in where drafters fear to tread. That is not a problem for this President, who sees loopholing as part of the predictable process. Loop-hoops is part of the game of legislating. Often it is more efficient to start a job going, and cope later with loop-hoops exigencies, than draft for every exigency. "Fix one, more will just show up," he said. "People just wanna have fun." Dodd, you did good. Any big agreement is flexible in the drafting. Plug this one, and watch another pop right up. Loop Hole bopping - new video game, profits to the Alternatives.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

No-Glasses Week: An Experiment In Viewpoints. Eyeglasses Off.

No Eyeglasses Week
Vet the Vision Dependency Industry

Find a Green Approach for Some, If Possible

III.  Third update.  May 26, 2009. I am back to glasses for the computer because of all the typos I made without noticing fast.  That is a matter of pride, not real necessity. So my overall use of glasses remains significantly reduced.  In today's NYT, there is an article on eye exercises, noting scientific validation in the area of "orthoptics" for double vision, problems with focus, crossed eyes, and something called "convergence insufficiency."  Other areas, as for myopia, dyslexia-related, have no scientific validation yet.  See Eye Exercises Can Enhance Your Vision. Really? at

II. Update deux. End of Week 4. Few absolutes apply anywhere, and so to glasses.

After a month of virtually no glasses, with a very occasional slip, I have reinstalled a ratty pair by the sofa for the morning paper, and another ratty pair upstairs by the couch for afternoon siesta novel chapters, when time. Not bad. That's about an 80% reduction in glasses use. No walking around with them on my head any more, no perching on nose while I do laundry. Eyes definitely stronger. Now to keep it at that.   Aaaah. Not needed for computer. End of saga? I hear there is such a thing as behavioral optometry. What? Where? Vet! Meanwhile, here is a site for Chinese eye exercises; also look up the facial relaxer points at :// Goodbye, Forbes list, at ://

I. Update one: This is the end of Week 3 of no glasses. Use only to program a new thermostat, vet the phone book (is it a 3, 6 or 8?).  Eyesight stronger, can't wear the old drugstore readers. May need to go back to the magnification 1 or 1.25 possibly.  But not yet. It is really irritating not to be able to read fast and whip through books, newspapers. Sound out the words. But great panoramic views fo the world, eyes feel wide open again. Lots of guick looking about, darting, amazed at the lack of lines and rims from the old apparatus. Continuig.... trying to be consistent with the exercises, see  //; and at :// The exercises do seem to work, but this will take more time.

A.  The Issues

1.  Eyeglasses. Most of us dutifully line up to buy them when told. For some - eyeglasses are a quick fix that make muscles weaker in the long run, and addicted? Condition worsens? What are our choices. Were your children told to wear glasses early, when their issue really was developmental pace, a muscle slow development problem, not a real defect?
2.  Visual handicaps.  What is it like, coping with blur. What to learn if you go to the land of poor reading skills; and stay a while.

Ophthalmic astigmatismVET THE SPECS - 
Provided you won't endanger yourself or others.  
3.  Philosophy.   The balance over the exploitation.  We also explore a philosophy here.  When does an originally well-intended solution become exploitive.  See Thomas Aquinas: balancing the merits of the 1) intended consequence, and the 2) unintended consequence; of acts originally  intended to be the right thing under the circumstances.  See FN 1.
The balancing: 
Let's say that steps to better vision, a modern example, is a good thing.  Aquinas would say that that goal cannot justify making vision worse (addicting the person to glasses, for example) , so that the condition originally requiring the intervention gets worse, unless absolutely necessary, no other choice - roughly. Justice tossed for gain. From Godey's Lady's Book May 1865
That is a minimal intrusion rule, that operates without regard to Profit. 
Profit does not make a bad effect right.  Aquinas examined issues, not involving financial profit, but weighing one life against another, as in self defense. The origins of such rights, and the limits,  see self-defense discussion in the Aquinas example below..
We also look at the Bates exercise method of improving vision, another venerable source, this one 1920, stt Bogomilia. Site for the Unsung, W.H.Bates
4.  Who can do this? Not everyone is in a position to try this. I am, so I did.  See FN 2.  This is also part of a grown-up casting about for new looks at old assumptions, like an adult in Montessori School gravitating wherever - high time - see Sassafras Tree, Montessori for Grownups>
It is not easy. Monologue:  Who are you?  I can't see. Yes, there are typos in this. So?  Squint. Me? 
So I am a work in progres, ending but maybe continuing a week of no eyeglasses. And I may well not go back to them. I have an escape. There are indeed eyeglasses around, a dozen readers from the drugstore, different 1.25 to 1.75 depending on which I grab, right there on the lampshades. Can I do without.
B.  The Reasons
So why do without? I plan to do without because I am stubborn, and like to vet.  It got to the point that I had to have them.  Like getting crutches for a small fracture and staying on them forever. Why do that?
Other reasons: At first -
  • to see how much I really need them, and how much I have become habituated
  • to do without if I can - will muscles and refractions self-correct to any degree, when allowed to do that
  • to save money. I sit and step on and lose glasses; and the hinges catch on hair when they sit up top. Nose gets stuffy from the perching at the bottom. Neck gets sore from tilting up and down, seeing over, under, around, through. And headaches lately. Check that out; if but see first if the problem is 1)  bad, crooked, maladjusted eyeglasses; or 2) using eyeglasses too much, out of laziness - turning good distance vision into bad.
Reasons, emerging:
  • Empathy for fellow citizens who do not read, or read easily. What is it like to be reading impaired; slowed in comprehension; reliant on information through ears and eyes (like TV, horrors, or, worse, radio) because I don't have access to vetting what those people want me to believe.
  • Experience the vulnerability of not knowing what is propaganda and what is good faith. How much good reading skills increase efficiency, awareness, and choices in life. How limiting is it, really, when a person can't read easily and well. Stimulus Package  focus on education  - yes. Do more.
But go back to the first one - I got to the point that I could not read unless I had the eyeglasses on.  That may be the most important reason of all. Nuts, as General McAuliffe responded at the Battle of rhe Bulge.
C  Apply Common Sense 
Some bodies indeed recover from injury or weakness with minimal outside intrusion.  Why not mine?

Common sense for humanity says,  try the Green Approaach.Minimal steps first, before the Big Guns of the profit labs, and the sales reps competing for their "numbers" at your expense.  
Is this true:  That the natural adaptability and resilience of Body Parts is purposefully underrated and undermined by those in the White Coats coming after you. And it is because functioning bodies without their chemicals and intrusions make them no money. 
Is that true? They downplay what the body can recover from, if more gently guided back into health in non-emergency situations.  This is not a blanket disavowal. There is a place for intrusion. But is it everywhere?
No, we must force. Invade, Cut. 
What was that old study of British psychiatric patients in the 19th Century - half out to pasture, half subjected to the ice baths and all that.  The pastured ones recovered faster.
In eyeglasses, does wearing them longer than necessary, for purposes not needed, weaken the eyes. Enter addiction. Aquinas' unintended (or intended) side effect, the weakened eye, then requiring more use of glasses. So, it is the capitalist push, the market, and not the cure that is in mind. Cure the need for glasses, and it is goodbye to much of the market. 
Maybe. Capitalism goes to the labs and concocts, patents and cashes in, rather than exploring deeply what may be far less intrusive, naturally digested, produced from reasonable exercise, good soil. Of course. That is capitalism, and capitalism R Us.
Vision "Research" Lab. Mwah hah hah! Not serious. Here, the castle at Filakovo, Slovakia

The idea is that body parts and functions have evolved for millennia to keep us alive without lab or capitalistic intervention. 
Back to the eyeglasses. So, so long as I am not endangering you,  I would like to learn how to enable my own odd parts to work out ways to get on track if they go off, without folks in lab coats selling me stuff I may not need, and running to the bank at my expense.  

  • Lost. Some pleasure.No more wild hedonism in reading. Blur means that reading takes work 
  • Read less. More dependent on ears and sight for information, more vulnerable to persuasion manipulation.  Reduced acccess to FactCheck. May not even bother./
  • Propaganda vulnerability.  I am vulnerable to persuasion by ear, radio, and ear and vision, TV,  because I can't check out what I am being told.
  • Found.  Necessity and invention.  Ways around blur. A sweet spot.  Try a change in head tilt, down more, relax, slow blink, focus-changing, lid-lowering. Surprise Find.  Comfort, enjoy the panorama eyes give when uncaged, unframed. Feeling of involvement.
  • Found: Time. About 29 minutes per day, usually spent trying to find unsatupon drugstore reader glasses.  Lost.  Money. Couldn't read the chit. 'Way overtipped, but that's ok. Everybody needs a boon.   
  • Found.  Family values. I have to ask for help. Phone book, does this soup get diluted or not.
  • Found. An appreciation for reading skills issues, the need for adult literacy programs, glasses for those  who need so they can read the fine print on their mortgages, A sappy togetherness feeling, would you believe.
E.  Highlights - The Week of Fuzz

Day Seven

Deep in Aquinas today.  From the practical, the sociological, to the philosophical.  See FN 1.
Day Six
Empathy. An intellectually limited friend of my son's moved in for a week following a dust-up at home. 
This may be a permanent dust=up, and he is adult, two part time jobs and a truck, and is able with some help on how to use banks,  to live on his own, so we are looking up efficiencies.  He was never taught to read reasonably. Even write. How do you function productively and with a "future" when you don't read reasonably well. Or write reasonably well. Phone numbers all over the place. And I won't put on my glasses. So we are quite a pair. 
Learning and Proposals for Obama:  If this economy is to recover maximally, Obama is right in putting money in education.  People are more productive when they can read and write well, and productive people cost the government less.  .
  • Literacy stations are needed in the neighborhoods. open7AM-9PM.  Our friend could fit that in, on a drop-in basis. Vision exams and contracts ombudsmen provided to ensure understanding. Free plexi flexi page magnifiers, paid for by little ads on the margins for computer classes, tutoring.

Day Five
Ideas from todeay, the fifth day of our week of no classes. 
Fine print.  
No more fine print.  Exploitation thrives on fine print. Ban fine print. Nothing in binding documents less than a font size 10.And no words more than three syllables unless absolutely necessary.
This is a new appreciation for those, like me, who cannot read it. This is not a matter of disregarding obligations knowingly engaged.  Is this a element of the mortgage crisis that has not been addressed:  consumers,  given papers with literally fine print, and they have no glasses, have never had an eye exam perhaps, and there is no simultaneous plain language summary of the provisions in size 10 or 12 type face.

The reasonably well to do take for granted health and eye exams, education, and corrective lenses for those who need it, literacy, the ability oneself to turn legalese into plain language in contracts so they know what is going on. Others need more if they are to compete in the marketplace. An ombudsman to be sure the person understands,  Education. Glasses. even. If you have not experienced the great blur, take off your own glasses for a week.Fine Print Best With Good Light
How else to address the fine print?  Find print is a physical matter - if a person can read, can that person read the fine print, much less understand it.  Our education system is on the block here. 
Day Four
Family values.  

 No glasses is good for togetherness. I had to ask my husband to read the password on the underside of the 2WIRE router so we could hook on his replacement computerr.  I had a 3 for an 8 and he saved the day, with, I may add, his specs,  No glasses for one of the Group is good for family values.

Headache. Gone.  

This is not a miracle. With all those drugstore reading glasses perched down the nose, just watch the head tilt back- like artillery- to see when reading. Then it has to tilt back down so the person - me - can peer over top like some caricature when not. Muscle strain on the back of the neck, near the limbic brain probably, just under back of skull, causing rage.  
Sweet spot continues to work. 
This is interesting. A spot retina-lens that allows reading. Relax, move lids down, Diana-like, look up a bit, and there are the words. Waiting for you.

Now that I've found the retinal sweet spot (see Monday), watch the head stay more naturally with jaw parallel to ground. No, not on it. Don't be silly. And then -instead of the head moving all up and down and sideways, the head stays nice and still. Very relaxing. The lids Mae West down for the reading, and Lauren Bacall up. like awnings, to see the sink over there. The eyes do the walking. Not the head. The Bayer Registered Trademark people will be furious. 
Your eyes are no longer looking through bars. 

You can imagine yourself living inside your head like a buge bay window out there, or a comfy RV pillbox with the turret-eyes shifting about seeing all. The point is, this sitting-standing posture, head a little lowered and staying quieter, feels very good.
So far, no temptation to cheat. No desire to re-spec myself. We'll see, or not.
Contrast in Websites. Critique:  Increase the contrast, people.  For example, we love  ://  but the light blue print against the white does not work for this visually impaired would-be reader.  
Help for me is hanging there right on the lampshades in most every room, whee I make efforts to keep my dozen bent drugstore reader plastics in hopes of being able to find them (not guaranteed). .But I am not going there. At least not this week.
Day Three

Challenging all rules, days are mixed.

Lost.  The Book.  Squinty is still looking. 

Where is that Bates method book? Could it have gone to the library sale last spring? No! I need it! The internet Bates is overwhelming. The little book we had included sketchy pictures, and was all yellowed and brittle at the edges, cardboardy cover very friendly. I am looking because it is time to do the exercises more than the small finger massages on temples, and at pressure points on the face.
Found.  Facial massage. Those massage points do seem to work. They tell your eyes you are getting ready for serious reading. Why does our culture only think of cutting and forcing in order to remedy. You need glasses! No, no, say the eyes. Not that! Why not be kind to the body first. Try that.
Found.  Sweet spot. Notes on the method, then see what you see.  Focus is easier after wiggling the fop of the nows oops top of the nose like we already do when our eyes are tired. Gently rotate at the temples, or third eye on the forehead, or thumbs gently under eyebrows at the notchy place, fingers at hairline. Aaah. There is a sweet spot in my eye - tip head down lower the lids, and look through - suddenly quite clear.
Found. Joy of Sinus.
Also clears sinuses, not that that is an issue. No, do not squint. Let the upped lids laze down to half-mast, slow, frequent blinks or bl-i-i-i-inks; moving eye slowly around different spots, then let eye drift through and words really do become clearer, Why? Have to look up refraction. This is proving to be ongoing - no weights at high nose or low nose positions for the chains of glasses.
Found.  Paradigm shift.  Why buy things you really may not need. There is no end to what we orobably can do without. Even if I leap back to glasses, the process of questioning and trying self-reliance is in there.
This attitude of challenging why we have to buy things automatically, like glasses, is dangerous to the economy. Why is "dated" such a horror word on the home decorating or home purchase shows? Perception manipulation at work. If the tap works, why "upgrade."

Own resources first, purchase only as a far second.
Combining two interests, I am looking for do-it-yourself sites that are sparse in words, like verbal sound bites, and came across this make it yourself site at TipKing ://,
Lost.  Deep pleasure in reading. 
Used to anticipate and make time for reading. Reading has become work. I used to have choices: skim, or dig into words, or absolutely fling imagination into a story. Now I have to stop and fingerpoint. No wonder the kids are on video games and not reading. For people who read with difficulty, and never got past the learning until reading became a part of them, it is work. 

As time passes, and we adjust the angles and eyelid levels for reading (yes, odd as it sounds) reading is becoming easier again)

Found:  Appreciation for the illiterate, the educationally deprived.
They are us, just as bright, just as varied, but handicapped in a vital way. Are glasses the answer? Not necessarily. Education to prime people for the joy of reading and perusal - maybe.

Make good reading available to kids and adults alike, and watch the productivity grow. And the competition. Is that why schools in poor areas are allowed to underperform. Capitalism's successes beat out the competition?
Lost.  Deep reading.  Now, read for gist. That is a loss. I miss getting depth. Just not enough time to slog through. Is the lesson to slow up - yes. Without time to absorb, I am also dumbing down. I read the paper - what is left of it after the puppy pictures - to get the gist. Sad. A joy gone. Used to love going slowly into someone else's thought process. Now I think of an old editor's approach: give yourself a nickel for each word you delete and you'll be rich. Never did to that one. If somebody wants me to read now, the tale had better be pithy, point made fast, no hiding surprises because I just may not get that far.

I look back, as a high-level reader, gettng lost in worlds between the pages, thank you to my parents for the education they fostered, and the hyper-reading environment they set as an example..
Lost.  Cash.  Cash diminishes for poor readers. What does that thing cost? Poor reading is expensive. Couldn't read the curly pub receipt where my adult son and I went for an outing with Dad away, big night with the women's UConn basketball against Villanove - we won. But I overpaid on tip.

Worth it. Good server, neighborhood place. But more expensive this time.

Mixing up the days here. Going in order is boring. No rules. None.

Day One

The start.  Beginning a self-improvement regimen for mild ophthalmic astigmatism. What will I learn. Sounds terminal. It isn't. Hopeless? Maybe. Follow us through with the Good Dr. Bates to see how we may fix ourselves. This is not the Bates Motel. Forgive typos because, as you will see, things are indeed moving around the retina and thorugh the dotty fluid ini weird ways.

Dr. William Horatio Bates, an ophthalmologist in 1920, researched a work on eye exercises instead of accommodating weakness through glasses. See initial foray into the issue of whether most of us need all these glasses and contacts and what-not, promoted by the vision dependency industry at William Horatio Bates, Bane of Vision Dependency Industry.
That, has started us on an odd-ball path. A week with no glasses. We turn ourselves into handicapped reader iin one stroke. Cooks who can't see the quantity. Will I dare a new recipe.  Not.  Computer manipulators fishing around for the dollar sign. Love-letter writers who can't proof the stuff. Ha. Who did you say you were? Is this your picture? There were headaches we thought were from all those accumulated drugstore readers of varyig magnifications, and most being stepped or sat upon by now, and quite crooked. We are lucky - no eye disease, great distance vision, just the reading part, and one eye a little flukier than the other. You knew that. Pick up on the techniques at "Bates Method In A Nutshell," at ://

Find the simple temple area massage you can do yourself, and other tips at Doctor Yourself at:// Have your exams to see there is no disease, if you need glasses to drive, of course don't put them aside; but try at home as you can. The point is to get relaxed and let your eyes do what their function is to do. See.

We found that no glasses on that first day just slowed us up. Go more word by word, but eventually the word takes shape. Inveterate vetters here, se checked other sites and found, yes, the eye exercise bit is already mainstream, just under-advertised - see :// If this really leads to cure for some of us, no wonder the industry is not in favor. There goes the revenue. Is that so, or too cynical?

Day Two

What we think we are learning. Illiteracy is a missing-spectacles away. Who is superior now?

1. People who do not read well read less.

With slowed-down reading, I do less of it. No more instant gratification of skimming through. I am reading less news from fewer sourcces - used to check out AP (not good) against Bloomberg and the Financial Times (both more reliable), but now I see (barely) the first headline that is up there May not go further to vet.. Great library book upstairs, and the dictionary always nearby, but I don't cover the same ground. Have to avoid the 14-day books probably, and get the regular stack.

That means it is in the interest of those who control media to see that people do not read well. This talk on improving education? Doesn't benefit them. This talk of wiring the country, bringing internet to remote places? Over their dead wavelengths.

2. Poor readers depend on hearing and sight for information.

Out with the newspapers, in with the radio. This opens them up to radio ponzi schemes.

Suddenly, the world of radio and the audio-visual of TV takes over from careful reading, vetting information.  That's bad news.  Non-readers have few ways to vet .  No

And if people are poor readers who also have no computer access, those people are sitting ducks.

So, as a benign example, instead of looking up the history of Personent Hodie, that is too much work to figure out the words, so I shut my eyes and listened, and was moved - hear ://; and other classical works with hodie, at://

The illiterate, or non-reader: Poor readers can be easily ersuaded through ears, eyes/ It takes reading these days to vet and check
Is it true that the people who follow Rush Limbaugh read less than those of other shows?

Somebody check. A poll for everything. If their people aren't reading, but getting attitudes by osmosis, we are in trouble if the numbers grow. I remember we had a house painter doing the inside a few years ago. He had thte Radio Ponzi on every day, and it drove me to the supermarket. He loved it - it all got absorbved wihtout question because it was so loud and entertaining. Ponzi. The Radio Ponzi Scheme at work. The issue is not the speech, but the lack of access to vetting.

3. People who don't read well are creative about alternatives when they feel the need.

Phone book. Hopeless. Had to go to the local little directory. No problem. Just find alternative fonts and look for a 10 instead of an 8.

4. People who do not read well need encouragement to keep at it - whether kids or adults.

There is no fast fix in reading. This is where the industry has done an end run. They tell us we need them. They offer the fast fix, that fixes dependency forever. No hope. Fuzzy eyes? Line up for the glasses, the contacts, all that. Some may need that. For others, accommodating the weakness without a program to strengthen back again, is consumer exploitation.

Bates has it right. With some encouragement, we do think of eyes as muscles, in need of strengthening like other muscles, and will try to become independent. See the variation in your own vision, depending on what you ask it to do. Open eyes wide: gets more fuzzy. No squinting, but just lower the top eyelid down, relax, blink slowly and often, moving the focal point around, and Bates is happy. You can tell who is doing their Bateses by the slow blinking all the time, and moving that eyeball around. No staring. No gazing into space....

Finis for hodie.

Analysis is part of our heritage. Thomas Aquinas, 1224-1274+/-, see St/. Thomas Aqunias, Biography at :// wrote that any act can have two effects: the intended, and the unintended. The unintended effect is acceptable if it is necessary to the intended effect, and the intended effect is a good one. But the unintended effect cannot be the means by which the intended effect is perpetuated.  Make sense? See Summa Theologicae, at Summa Theologicae II-II, Question 65, Article 7, on whether a person may kill in self-defense. See :// 
He answered (roughly)  that the killing of the attacker may be necessary for the continued life of the target, but the killing - itself bad - cannot go beyond the scope of the original need. No shooting everybody in sight. Proportionality, restraint, lest the remedy become worse than the original problem. Is that an accurate rough summary, philosophers? 
FN 2.   I am in a position to try this; and I am willing and able to slow down for it. 
I am in the lucky list. I have good eyes. Regular checkups, prescriptions given but skipped for the nuisance, and an understanding opthalmologist who said he had no objection. And, I can take the additional time to read something: no external pressure to read something by yesterday.
So why not vet all persuaders: medical, religious, political - even the eyeglass industry. 
We we are a nation of consumers and exploiters. Bank and trinket hucksters sell anybody anything. Ka-ching. Why continue buying anything not really necessary, just for a sales pitch. So we vet the vision industry that has had me in its clutches, even in this limited way.
. .
Post script:   Am not putting the glasses back on yet.  Plan to have  a magnifying glass hovering by the phone book and cook book and in the car for a map.  So far, the positives of free eyes outweigh the rest. And it does feel good. Really good.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Role of the Scapegoat in Economic Downturns. Traditional Scapegoat Hunts: The Nearest Minority.

Economic Downturn and Scapegoating
Here: Minorities, Immigrants
In Europe: Hungarian Gypsies - Roma - Bear Brunt of Downturn

Take an article from Europe blaming a minority there for ills of the society, crime rise, downturn in economics:  the Roma, Gypsies. 

Take that same article and substitute a minority more prominent here:  substitute undocumented immigrants, ethnic groups, for "gypsies" or "Roma".  Find that the same article fits both parts of the world,  only the names have been changed to protect those traditionally privileged, and damn the nearest scapegoat.

1. The Article. The Financial Times about Hungarians blaming their Gypsy population February 20, 2009

Continue with a news analysis there by Thomas Escritt, regarding the majority blame of the minority for its problems.  Sounds like our own talk show hate-promotions.

2.  Paraphrase summary of the article here to show the similarities in how minorities are viewed. Deleted: the specific reference to the Gypsies, known as Roma; and reference to the Magyar Garda, the right-wing group in uniforms who claim to protect the superior ethnic Hungarians from "gypsy crime; and  the particular town where the events and rallies occur. Fill in your own.

Their headline: Hungary's Roma Bear Brunt of Economic Downturn. Ours would be:  America's Undocumented Immigrants Bear Brunt of Economic Downturn, or other local ethnic group unassimilated to the satisfaction of others.

3.  The action described in the article:

(Reporter reports)

Night falls in a minority settlement near ___________. Men from the settlement arm themselves and stop any car approaching and only let those through who show bona fide reasons for being there. This vigilante group formed after a series of anti-minority incidents instigated by the majority right-wing, including recruitment rallies to fight "minority crime."

The town used to be prosperous.

But the nation itself feels marginalized with the closing of industries, and this brings out strong feelings of prejudice against the minority, longstanding unease, targeting of a culture. So the minorities are hardest hit with increasing unemployment, particularly in areas where their numbers are high.

"The matter has reached critical mass," said a criminologist. "With the economic downturn, the traditional scapegoat hunt has happened. Since there are no immigrants in our country, this cultural minority are the target."

  • Employers won't hire them. 
  • Groups emerge on the right to oppose the minority with euphemistic names like "The Movement for a Better Nation." 
  • Politicians campaign on slogans of minority crime. They tout that the nation's traditional culture and the minority culture cannot coexist, and identify all crime committed by the minority in support of the proposal to get rid of them, and hold rallies well-attended by skinheads. Without comparable crime statistics for other groups.

And so minority panic increased, communities fearing retribution, when three professional sports players from surrounding countries were stabbed in a club, allegedly by the minority; and one died. The governmental reaction is to " 'act decisively' against violence" by the minority, as it is rising at "an alarming pace."

A sociologist delved into the background: the minority first were deprived in the 1970's of their traditional itinerant lifestyles; and compelled to settle; then the low-skilled jobs that they could get in better times, and on which they depended, have dried up.

And so on.

We also have a long history of scapegoating, with religious roots. See a history of scapegoating, from Old Testament times on, at Scapegoat and Azazel.

Does it work, to drive out the scapegoat?  No, not even in the Old Testament.  Merely driving the goat out does not end the issue. The ultimate decision rests elsewhere (a kind of appeal), and the goat just may come back, if it survives.

That defeats the original scapegoaters, who hoped for another result from their casting out.

Either way, there must be someone else tangible and nearby to blame, someone or some group that cannot fight back. Is there any majority that can take responsibility for the long-term policies, attitudes, hierarchies, that lead to this road.