Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toxic Air Fresheners

Think about the insane irony of this:

We live in a country that allows companies to sell us toxic air-fresheners.

...This is a sign.
This is a really bad sign.
This is a sign that our system is fundamentally flawed. And this isn't the only sign.

We live in a country that subsidizes (with billions of taxpayers' dollars) the sale of toxic fossil fuels by filthy rich companies – who make tens of billions of dollars in profits every fiscal Quarter by hiding the real cost of fossil fuels.

We live in a country that essentially authorized the sale of hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic debt – only to force the taxpayers (us) to pay the crooked banks' debts when their schemes failed. 

Are we all so jaded by bad news that we aren't willing to see the obvious?
Our system rewards bad behavior. We're shitting in our own mess kit. Or at least we're allowing others to pollute, in some way or another, everyone's mess kit.

We can't just keep letting them get away with this. Everybody suffers.

Our country is being run by the least scrupulous among us. They're the ones willing to pay the highest price to influence politics. This process is so infused into our system that we perceive it as the “real world.”

But our “real world” is in dire trouble. And if we don't fix things, ultimately there won't be anything left to fix.

We desperately have to fix our political and reward system, and we're running out of time.

But fixing things won't be easy.
Because we can't fix anything until we've fixed everything.

I believe a lot of people have figured this out.
I think this may be what the #OCCUPY movement is about.

I support them. And I hope to join them soon.

What this Country needs is more democracy.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

It Doesn't Make Sense To Rob From Our Own Future

First the good news:

Actress/Writer Suzanne Somers has grown a new breast.

This may not seem important to anyone but Suzanne Somers, but the implications are astounding.

Back in 2001, Suzanne Somers had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy that left one of her breasts as flat as if had been a mastectomy. To rebuild the breast, she chose Cell Assisted Lipotransfer – which involves transferring fat from another part of her body and mixing in stem cells to enhance the survival rate of the fat grafts.

To best explain the success of the procedure, I'll quote Suzanne Somers in Life Extension Magazine:
If I can brag a little, it is beautiful – high and firm and real and soft and unscarred. Talk about reverse aging. My breasts look like they're from a young woman. I cannot tell you what this has done for me psychologically.”

That's going to sell...

How about some more good news:

Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that “senescent cells” contribute to aging related diseases. They have shown, in genetically altered mice (that allow senescent cells to be killed by drugs), that many age related diseases can be avoided. In the picture here, both mice are 9 months old. The mouse on the right received drugs to eliminate its senescent cells.

The New York Times article reporting on senescent cells states:
In both mice and people, senescent cells are few in number but have major effects on the body’s tissues. Killing the cells should therefore have large benefits with little downside. The gene-altering approach used on the mice cannot be tried in people, but now that senescent cells appear to be harmful, researchers can devise ways of targeting them.

Drugs already exist to combat some of the inflammatory hormones secreted by senescent cells. The body’s immune system, which probably clears away senescent cells all the time but does so less efficiently with age, could perhaps be trained to attack senescent cells more aggressively. Or researchers could one day develop specific drugs to kill the cells, when the differences between ordinary and senescent cells are better understood.”

That's going to sell too...

Science has been marching on. The technology to help us live a healthier old age and likely live far longer is being worked on. At this point, we have no clear idea where this is taking us. But we have to consider the possibilities. We have to consider the possibility that those of us who can afford it may live far longer than we might expect.

In other words, those among us who have the most power to influence history really need to start thinking longer term – because they might still be alive in the distant future.

The irony of the super-rich money making tactics could be that they may be creating their own hell. They need to consider what is the pleasure of living for hundreds of years on a polluted and dying planet?

Environmentalists worry about animals and plants and ecosystems. “Captains of Industry” worry about profits. But the reality is that damaging the only home humanity has is damaging our future. And not just our distant future. And not just the future for the poor. Everyone will suffer. The air is polluted for everyone. Our food is contaminated for everyone. Everyone is already suffering the initial consequences of Climate Change. And the Earth is already suffering the biggest mass extinction since the loss of the dinosaurs.

The #occupy protestors are right. We need radical and fundamental changes to our systems if we intend to create something more like a Heaven on Earth instead of a Hell.

This shouldn't be just about taxing the rich. This should be about rewarding good business behavior – and changing bad behavior to sensible behavior.

What our systems need a lot more of is common sense.

The 'invisible hand” of commerce would work far better if long-term greed were rewarded better than short-term greed.

This will require a fundamental change in how our economy works – which will require the pressure of those most rewarded by our present systems.

Think about it; what would you do different if you knew you might live to 150?