A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Friday, July 18, 2003
Monday, July 21, 2003
Those unfortunate enough to be "in trade" -- the mercantilists -- aren't content to just peddle greedily, but now insist on subjecting their prey -- the customers -- to various forms of snooping, euphemistically called "retail ethnography" or "retail anthropology."
And not satisfied with merely spying on their own employees by using "mystery shoppers" (and cameras placed in workers' toilets), these ignoble marketers are now surreptitiously scouting the patrons as well.
The merchantry uses hidden cameras and microphones to monitor shoppers' behavior.
They hire "researchers" with handheld computers to track -- and log -- one's every move.
This is not shoplifting deterrence, but rather a sneaky intrusion into buyers' purchasing decisions, habits, and personal lives.
Of course the avaricious objective of this trespass is to determine how to display and market goods to extricate the customer from his money as swiftly and profitably as possible.
It may even be legal.
But it's also vulgar, sordid, demeaning.
The sellers claim they are indifferent to what people are buying, but rather what's not bought and why.
This so-called science of shopping ought to give all of us pause. (Linger not in those inquiring precincts.)
It's also another reason to hate shopping (as we -- and most men -- do anyway).
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Start the trading in the organ pits of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
And thus discard finally the hypocrisy, bribery and manipulation inherent in the organ transplant business.
Let's at long last get real about this.
Money is already being abundantly made (and even legally) by surgeons, hospitals and drug companies.
(Trust none of the above.)
Who gets these life-extensions now?
Sometimes the recipient has indeed been on a legitimate waiting list, under the "sickest first" rule, often a wasteful allocation when sickest dies soonest.
Rational triage is mandatory.
First, simply eliminate the sickest and the healthiest -- the former wasteful, the latter attendable.
Concentrate on the "best use" of the organ, with bias toward those waiting longest.
Some background in the sordid, nasty history of Preferential Treatment (a form of bribery practiced by celebrities in need):
On June 14, 1993 then-Governor of Pennsylvania, one Bob Casey, was the proud beneficiary -- within ten hours -- of a combined heart-liver transplant.
No waiting list for these princes.
And what about one Mickey Mantle? His June 7, 1995 liver transplant (magically delivered within hours also) extended his famous life a little over two months.
(Gov. Casey at least had the courtesy to enjoy his new equipment for almost seven years.)
Smell the nasty stench of corruption and favoritism?
Stop this nonsense about these organs as unpaid, altruistic gifts from kindly donors.
Not enough donors!
Just pay healthy people a brokered sum as determined by an open organ commodities market.
Trade them like the pork bellies they so resemble.
Prefer your bribery public -- and inclusive. And set trading limits so everyone can bid.
Build in safety nets for the indigent and the poor, and somehow protect impoverished donors from exploitation.
(We have absolutely no answers on how to accomplish that.)
We hope, in time, there will be adequate supply for the greatly increasing demand.
Perhaps animal organ farming in hearts, cloned kidneys, artificial livers?
Just be boldly open about these macabre transactions.
Sources gratefully acknowledged: 1, 2, 3, 4