Universal healthcare is anathema to many people.
‘The government has no business to spend my tax money subsidizing other people’s health!’
Hence hose who cannot afford a doctor should either die peacefully or accept charity….

And when a private company sponsors a health care effort that company is perceived, by the same ‘many people’, as having ‘ulterior’ motives…

That’s what I consider to be a ‘perfect’ conundrum.

A self made trap!

On the other hand, let’s face it, this is a very rational attitude!
Given some private companies’ past behavior…

See what I mean?
‘Ulterior motives’ are wide-spread enough to having become normalized.
‘Greed is good’ sits high on the social pedestal.
People can no longer imagine any of their peers being driven by other motives but the immediate profit.
But the immediate financial profit!

Mind you, I’m not pretending Pfizer has suddenly morphed into a virgin knight riding a white horse and sacrificing itself on our behalf.

All I’m saying is we’re in a dire and immediate need to reevaluate our priorities!

The self made trap is 3D, you know…

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The difference between us and the rest is that we can choose.
People – humans, that is, are capable of deciding things while the rest of the animals use simpler mechanisms of determining the way forward.

The ability to decide has consequences.
The most important being ‘responsibility’.
The most common being ‘blame’.

When confronted with ‘uncomfortable’ consequences of the decision making process, people get to choose between blame and responsibility.
Between apportioning blame – and feeling better, and determining responsibility.

I’ve long ago given up ‘blame’.
Because blame is driven by emotion. Hence blinds the blamers. Prevents them from checking all the angles. Prevents them from getting as close to the reality as possible.

Let’s go back to the current pandemic.
A large number of people have not yet been immunized against Covid -19, despite the vaccine being widely available. In certain ‘jurisdictions’…

Because each of the yet unvaccinated has chosen to pass the opportunity?
Or because so much ‘dubious’ information has been floated around that it has almost drowned the sensible voices?

Should we blame the as yet unconvinced or should we ask ourselves what’s going on in the heads of the ‘gaslighters’?

Facts are clear.

WSJ is a highly reputable source, the information is old enough – if ‘fake’ it would have already been ‘debugged’,…
Then why isn’t this being hammered down our throats? Constantly?

The vaccine which had been used was Chinese?

Let’s make the same experiment using one of ours!
It has been already done?
Let’s hear about it!

We are in the middle of a pandemic.
Which will continue until we’ll build ‘herd immunity’. Which can be achieved through vaccination or by surviving the disease. Surviving the disease takes longer and costs way more than the vaccine. Lives lost, money spent for health care and money lost because of business interruptions.
And if we don’t build herd immunity fast enough, the virus might mutate into a new one. And we’ll be back to the square one.

The only section of the society which has anything to gain from our reticence to get the vaccine is BigPharma.
They are the ones who will eventually come up with a vaccine for the new strain of virus.
They are the ones providing the treatment given to the infected patients. They are the ones providing the tests.

Want to give the finger to BigPharma?

Go out there and get the jab!

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Mountain Gorilla is “the only great ape whose wild population is currently growing“.

Apparently, money brought into the ‘system’ by the (right kind of) tourists have made the difference.

In other places, ‘tourist money’ doesn’t seem to elicit much enthusiasm any more…

What’s going on here? Why money is OK in some places while others shun it?

Simple. Most tourists trekking gorillas in the bush actually get in touch with the visited reality while too many of those involved in mass tourism are herded along some ‘places of interest’ without actually getting the temperature of the places where they spend the money.
The first learn something while the second only feel good. ‘Feel good’ because they have been told that places which they have been herded along were ‘cool destinations’, not because of what they had actually experienced…

An anonymous bidder who agreed to pay $28 million for a seat on the flight has a scheduling conflict and will instead travel on a future trip.

What?!?

No, I’m not censuring anybody for how they spend their money.
I’m just asking myself what does that guy get for that kind of money.

Does he learn something interesting?
Does he have a meaningful interaction with the locals?

After all, what is this space tourism really about?
Experiencing things?
As in becoming ‘high’? There are cheaper alternatives, you know…

For the time being, let’s recap the consequences of different kinds of tourism.

The ‘old fashioned’ one helps local communities preserve their ways of life. And widens the minds of the travelers.
Mass tourism alter the places which had made it possible to such an extent as to change their very nature.
Space tourism burns a lot of fuel to make some very rich people even richer.

Meanwhile, on the same planet,

“You can walk across the street and see a Rolls-Royce, but you can walk down the street and find someone without clothes,” Motsepe said. “What you are seeing is a situation where the disgruntled society finally found an opportunity to express themselves.”

People concerned about the global warming keep talking about ‘sustainable growth’.
On the longer term, they are absolutely right.
If we keep burning fossil fuel – which had been accumulated during hundreds of thousands of years, we’ll turn back the flow of time. We’ll actually recreate the atmosphere which had existed during the Carboniferous Period.

But I’m afraid the circumstances which have given birth to ‘mass tourism’ are far less sustainable than our addiction to burning things.

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“To boldly go where no man had gone before!”

None of us had been asked for their ‘informed consent’.
Yet all of us are cramped together on Space-ship Earth towards the place where ‘no man had ever gone before’.

Now that this very suggestive image has been published, what is our voyage going to morph into?

Hell on Earth, as so many apocalyptic movies/novels have advertised?

Or are we going to heed to the present ‘wake-up call’? As we already did so many times before?

We have managed to eradicate, through vaccination, the smallpox. Polio, measles, diphtheria, rabies and so many other diseases are no longer a real danger. For those of us who had been vaccinated or have access to the relevant vaccines.

Yet faced with the current challenge, COVID 19, we have ‘doubts’…

Some of us have doubts about getting the vaccine, others about making the vaccine available to the entire ‘crew’.

What’s going on in that collective brain of ours?

What’s the rationale behind making the polio vaccine available for everybody, practically for free, while that for COVID is still out of reach for most of those who need it? Given our current industrial prowess…
Why is it so hard to understand that given enough time SARS Cov 2 will certainly mutate far enough from the original version to evade the current vaccine?

The fact that the authors above are working the equity angle speaks volumes.
Equity is, indeed, very important.
Only it relates more to ‘metaphysics’ than to the immediate reality.

Equity has to do with the perceived reality while people die in the immediate one.
The perceived reality will end up haunting us, indeed, only we have to survive the current situation in order to get to that stage.

The real problem with the lopsided access to the Covid vaccines being that while we ‘race to secure doses’ the virus has the opportunity to mutate out of our ‘control’.
Our concern with ‘equity’ somehow blinds us to the fact that ‘cutthroat’ is no longer a metaphor.
The longer it takes for us to understand that the entire crew of the space-ship Earth must be immunized the longer it will take for us to get ‘out of the woods’.

Why had our parents been able to eradicate small pox and almost do the same thing to polio?
While we’re still dragging our asses? And not exclusively about COVID… When we have so much information about everything?

What made the anti-vaxxers of those times less powerful than the current ones?

What makes me so sure the erstwhile anti-vaxxers had been less powerful?
Small pox had been eradicated, right?
I had measles. Before the vaccine had been made available. Never heard about anybody having measles until very recently.

A weakness in herd immunity contributed to the recent measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York. The level of vaccination in that community was down to about 70 to 80 percent, well below the critical level of herd immunity, which was due to the spread of misinformation about the safety of the MMR vaccine among other causes. A child who had visited relatives abroad brought measles back into his neighborhood in Brooklyn, causing one of the worst measles outbreaks that New York City has seen in decades. A total of 654 individuals were infected, causing the city to issue a mandatory vaccination in people living in the four Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Let me wrap up with this.

Whoa!
What’s going on here?
Israel, the country, had made a huge effort to save its people from the misery caused by Covid!
Why would the Ultra-Orthodox community need any extra-effort to let itself be immunized?

Why was Israel’s manner of thinking closer to that of our fathers’ than to ours?
What makes us so similar, in this respect, to the Ultra-Orthodox?

Well, our fathers had to fight for their rights. And Israel for its place on the map.
We, and the Ultra-Orthodox, had our rights granted to us.

Our fathers had to cooperate among themselves in order to get through.
Israel had survived, and thrived, as the consequence of a coordinated effort.

We are cocooned in our bubbles.
We have become spoiled brats. One way or another.

We really need to start thinking outside our respective comfort zones.

For no other reason that mutinies tend to make matters worse.
It so happened that during the last 80 years no major conflict had disturbed the peace on our ship.
No thanks to us. We haven’t done anything special. Being aware that a conflict between the major powers would have ended in MAD doesn’t count as ‘doing anything special’.
During the last two generations we sorta lost our bearings.

Hopefully we’ll wake up to the fact that the next disturbance will no longer be a ‘top down’ event.
Think about it. Ever since the French Revolution – the last bottoms up upheaval, all other ‘disturbances’ had been the consequence of somebody planning for them. Initiating them.

30 years ago, the socialist lager had crumbled. Under its own weight.
Nobody had planned that event. Nobody had planned for that event!
The democratic world had been stunned by the speed with which things had unfolded.

The socialist lager had crumbled for the simple reason that the people living there had become pissed of.
Pissed of by the growing distance which separated them from those living in the ‘capitalist’ world.

Some of that distance has survived to this day. But it’s shrinking! Fast!

Unlike the distance between the ‘civilized’ world and the ‘developing nations’.

This ‘cutthroat race (among nations) to secure doses’ while so many ‘civilized’ people share-antivaxxer propaganda only adds insult to the injury felt by those who don’t have access to vaccines.
And demonstrates how far off we have distanced ourselves from the ‘hard core’ reality.

The native speakers among you don’t need to be reminded of what ‘bounty’ means.
How ironic is it?
People manning ‘the Bounty’ had had enough and chosen mutiny in place of a continuation of what they already had.
Captain Bligh, on the other hand, had learned nothing of his first experience… “Bligh, who eventually would fall prey to a total of three mutinies in his career, was an oppressive commander and insulted those under him.”

Are we going to make anything of our present predicament?

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Pigs have orgasms.
What?!?
And why does it even matter?

Orgasm consumes a lot of energy.
By itself, not what it takes to reach it!
And it somewhat incapacitates the individual experiencing it.

Try evading an aggressor while having one…

Then how could they have survived?
The orgasmic pigs… experiencing orgasm must produce an evolutionary advantage to compensate the costs incurred, right?

The way I see it, orgasm – as well as all other ‘pleasures’, is the reward for a job well done.
For having sex, for eating, for doing the right thing…

Or used to be!

Those which/who naturally/naively experience pleasure are quite different from those who, and some ‘which’, experience pleasure for it’s own sake.

With an entire gamut of consequences…

Having a drink with friends versus drowning your sorrows in booze.
Experience a gourmet dinner versus ‘digging your grave with your own teeth’ out of sheer boredom.
Feeling high after successfully climbing a mountain versus just feeling ‘high’.

Why are we doing this?
Why do we put the cart before the horses?

Out of ‘boredom’, as Calhoun’s experiment strongly suggests?

I’m afraid that for us, humans, boredom is only the circumstance. The circumstance in which we happen to choose.
‘Cause ultimately it’s us who do the choosing.

Yes, we are under an immense pressure.
To conform.
To obey the rule.
To do what is expected of us.

But is it right?
Is it really good?
And, above all, is it sustainable? At any level…

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You might want to check my updated about.

Three of the terms involved are relatively clear.
We all know – think we know, what ‘fail’, ‘win’ and ‘cheat’ mean.
‘Honor’… on the other hand… is way more relative. Mostly to the company we keep.

For some, being honest is synonym to behaving foolishly…
After being educated in such a manner, not making use of every opportunity which presents itself to you – no matter how ‘shady’ it might be, is seen as suicidal. Not only that you loose the potential windfall, you also loose face!
You loose whatever public respect you ever had. You actually loose your honor!

Now, that I’ve already dug this far, the whole phrase needs context.
We know what ‘fail’ means but without circumstances….
What are we talking about here? Backgammon or a survival situation?
An innocuous game or a struggle to stay alive?

Most people will praise those who let themselves be killed for a noble cause.
On the other hand, it would be rather ‘bland’ to allow someone to kill you without attempting to ‘fool’ the guy into giving up, right?

On a different scale, history – and, maybe, this was what Sophocles meant in the first place, offers ample proof that communities which value ‘true’ honor last far longer – and their members enjoy far more comfortable lives, than those where cheating is a way of life.

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We start by being borne.

After a while, we are delivered. To the world. Born, that is.

That is when we open up our eyes.
When we start learning.
When the world starts teaching us.

Slowly, we develop a conscience.
We start adding meaning to what we see.
Which meaning is heavily influenced by what we had learned up to that moment.

Our conscience depends heavily on memory.
The place where we deposit both what we have learned and how we felt each time when we learned something.
How we felt actually ‘fuels’ our conclusions. The stronger the feelings, the more acute the memories.
Stronger feelings give birth to longer lasting memories.

But there’s a small problem here.
Each time we learn something new, everything we already know is reinterpreted in the light of the understanding we’ve just developed. Our memories are actually rewritten. As in ‘born again’.
Exactly the same – only stronger, if what we’ve just learned reinforces what we already knew.
Slightly to completely different if what we’ve just learned contradicts everything we’ve been previously taught.

Now, how many times did that happen?
How many times did any of us ‘turn around’?

Rarely? Seldom?
Because the meaning we attach to what we see is “heavily influenced by what we had learned up to that moment”?
Because changing our mind implies contradicting ourselves? Implies admitting that we’d been wrong up to that moment? Which makes us feel bad?

That being the reason for us tending to forget everything which contradicts our ‘biases’.
Not only we do not see it in the first place…
We might see it – some things we cannot unsee, no matter how hard we try. It’s there but we don’t remember it. We just act as if it wasn’t there.
Until so many unseen things pile up that we’re no longer able to hold them back…

And we are forced to open up our eyes!
Only those things are no longer there…
We’d already changed them. To fit our previously held convictions!

What do we do?
We close back our eyes? In the name of consistency?
Or we go to Canossa to learn how to make amends?

How much time do we still have?

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Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 conviction for sexual assault,

Let’s recap the events, as described in the NY Times article.

2004 – Ms Constand was raped by Mr. Cosby.
According to the 2018 sentence!
Please note that the Pennsylvania High Court didn’t say the 2018 jurors had ‘seen things”. Only that the trial shouldn’t have taken place!

2005 – The district attorney prosecuting the case “announced in a news release at the time that after an investigation he had found “insufficient” evidence. He later testified that he had given Mr. Cosby the assurance to encourage him to testify in a subsequent civil case brought by Ms. Constand. (A civil suit she filed against Mr. Cosby was settled in 2006 for $3.38 million.)”
As he was convinced he didn’t have enough evidence to make a penal case against Mr. Cosby, the prosecutor promised the defendant he will not be further prosecuted if he testified (a.k.a. ‘told the truth’) in the civil suit.
“In that testimony, Mr. Cosby acknowledged giving quaaludes to women he was pursuing for sex.”

2006 – The civil case was settled for $3.38 million. As in Bill Cosby agreed to pay that amount of money for something the prosecution wasn’t sure that it was able to convince a jury that he had actually done it.

2015 – The next district attorney reopened the case. And got a conviction. Despite the fact that the ‘main’ evidence had been provided by the defendant himself. Given after he was promised he wasn’t incriminating himself in a penal way.

2018 – Mr. Cosby is convicted for something he had done 14 years ago.

2021 – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides that Mr. Cosby had been practically duped into incriminating himself, found this to be unacceptable and released the former prisoner.

What are we, ordinary citizens, to make out of all these?

Be glad that our individual rights have been upheld?
It makes a lot of sense!
After all, upholding individual rights is what makes the difference between a free society and an authoritarian one.
Between people being free and finding themselves at the whims of the government.

Ask ourselves ‘what about the individual rights of the victim’?
That also makes sense.
But my experience of living under a dictatorship strongly suggests that letting some guilty people walk free is a small price to pay for making resonably sure that a government – any government, doesn’t accrue too much power over the individuals making up the people.

Ask ourselves ‘what happened to us’?
What drives so many of to use constitutional rights as loopholes?
Is this OK?

No legislation will ever be perfect!
That’s why verdicts are given by ‘peers’, judges are given so much ‘leeway’ and why, in general, the law is administered by highly trained responsible people and not by ‘machines’.

After all, how we use whatever we have at our disposal – legislation included, speaks more about ourselves than about the things we use and the circumstances in which we make our choices.

Voi folosi conceptul introdus de Maslow pentru a încerca să intuiesc la ce ‘etaj’ se află România. Ca dezvoltare socială…

Avem niște nevoi.
Pe care le știe toata lumea. N-are nici un rost să le înșir aici.

Avem o ‘organizare socială’. Populație, antreprenori și politicieni. Care interacționează într-un spațiu politic definit de legi democratice și își asigură subzistența pe o piață liberă care funcționează pe principii capitaliste.

Conform fișei postului, politicienii sunt aceia care ar trebui sa identifice și ierarhizeze prioritățile. Problemele care trebuie rezolvate. Apoi să propună societății diverse căi de urmat. Fiecare grupare politică în funcție de interesele pe care le reprezintă și de ideologia cu ajutorul căreia judecă lucrurile.
Restul populației este chemată – la date fixe precum și ocazional, să aleaga prin vot între variantele propuse de diversele grupări politice.

În afară de alegerile la nivel național, regional și local, democrația mai presupune și niște alegeri ‘interne’. Adică în interiorul partidelor. În timpul campaniilor electorale ‘interne’, partidele au ocazia să-și (re)definească și caracterul, nu doar să-și aleagă liderii.

Discutând această poziționare, unii se întreabă ‘Ce-o fi în capul lui Orban’? Având în vedere că acum 3 ani doar 21% din alegătorii de pe listele electorale au ieșit să voteze….

Înainte de a intra ‘pe fond’, aș vrea să mai adaug o imagine.

Ce înțeleg eu din toată chestia asta?

Că piramida nevoilor s-a transformat într-un aisberg.

La bază, avem nevoile Romaniei. Ca țară.
Deasupra lor, avem nevoile politicienilor. Nevoile indivizilor intrați în politică și nevoile partidelor, ca organizații.

Aceste două niveluri se află ‘sub apă’. Toată lumea știe că sunt acolo. Pentru că fiecare dintre noi vede vârful aisbergului! Dar nimeni nu știe cu adevărat până unde se întinde fiecare dintre aceste două straturi. Ce forma are fiecare dintre ele…
Asta pentru că nimeni dintre cei care ar trebui să o facă nu discută – „cinstit și lăutarește”, pe aceste teme. În afară de niște ONG-uri – care se străduie dar nu sunt băgate în seamă.

Se vede, în schimb, ce se întâmplă la suprafață.
Pe scena politică, pe ecranul televizoarelor si pe monitoarele device-urilor multi-media…
Se vede cum acționeaza politicienii noștri.
Ce fac și ce spun. Cum votează atunci când au ocazia și ce spun în diverse ocazii…

Cum am spus la început, treaba noastră – adică datoria civică – este să evaluăm prestația si propunerile politicienilor.
Să determinăm cu ce se ocupă aceștia.

Cu rezolvarea problemelor obștii sau cu rezolvarea problemelor lor?

Și mai e o chestie. Din modul cum acționează politicienii putem determina și ce părere au despre noi.
Mai bine spus, ce cred ei că vom face noi.

Să revenim puțin la cel mai precis sondaj de opinie făcut vreodată în România.
Referendumul pentru Familia Tradițională…

Optimiștii s-au bucurat că n-a trecut.
Pesimiștii s-au întristat că România alunecă pe o panta periculoasă.
Iar eu sunt încă îngrozit de-a dreptul!

21.10% la suta dintre cei înscriși pe liste au ieșit la vot, iar 91.56% dintre ei au votat DA!
Referendumul a fost anulat pentru ca prezența la vot a fost mai mică de 30%.

Cu alte cuvinte, avem în țară trei milioane și jumătate de votanți extrem de disciplinați. Cărora li s-a spus să facă ceva iar ei au dus sarcina la îndeplinire.
Ce s-ar fi întâmplat dacă cei care au organizat referendumul ar fi ‘periat’ listele electorale?
N-au făcut-o pentru că nu era în interesul lor?

Nu era în interesul lor ATUNCI…

Având în vedere noile poziționări ale unora dintre politicieni și modul în care se fac și se desfac alianțele de facto dintre taberele politice…

UDMR nu este de acord cu alegerea primarilor în două tururi de scrutin.
PNL voteaza o moțiune introdusă de tabăra social democrată din Parlamentul European pentru a face în ciudă USR-Plus iar PSD se abține de la acel vot.

Aproape 1 000 000 de romani au făcut cerere de rezidență în UK. Or mai fi încă trei milioane în restul UE.

Dacă pe listele electorale ar fi fost doar 14 milioane – in loc 18, acei trei milioane și jumătate de ‘disciplinați’ ar fi fost suficienți pentru a modifica Constituția. Și să nu uităm că Senatul – în calitate de cameră decizională, a adoptat propunerea de modificare a Constituției cu 107 voturi pentru (PSD, ALDE si PNL), 13 împotrivă și 7 abțineri.

Vom trăi și vom vedea ce se va întâmpla în continuare.
Se vor apuca politicienii să rezolve problemele noastre, ale tuturor?
Sau vor continua să le rezolve pe ale lor, profitând de ‘bezmeticeala’ noastră? Și de ‘disponibilitatea’ manifestată de 21% dintre noi?

Iar întrebarea de 1000 de puncte este:

Politicienii ca politicienii.
Ce facem noi? Noi aștia care ne dăm rotunzi… Care credem că le știm pe toate…
Dăm vina pe ‘disciplinați’? Pe politicieni?

Sau ne trezim și noi odată?
Încercăm să înțelegem ce se întâmplă în sufletele ‘disciplinaților’? Ce-i face să fie o pradă ușoară în față politicienilor fără scrupule?

Dacă reușim să le luăm ‘apa de la moară’, toți ‘fățarnicii’ se ‘usucă’ repede… Nici unul nu e ‘de cursă lungă’.
La noi e robinetul… Noi suntem cei care trebuie să ne hotărâm odată!