Category Archives: General Cynicism

Saudi Fundamentalist Sect Responsible for Sri Lanka Terrorist Attack?

When the Wahhabis came, with their austere ideology and abundant coffers, the town of Kattankudy yielded fertile ground.

“In this part of Sri Lanka, faith was often the sole sustaining force during the civil war that raged for nearly three decades. Wahhabism — a hard-line strain of Islam blamed for breeding militancy  proposed a direct path to God, albeit one that aimed to return the religion to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.”

And:

“But the advent of Wahhabism, with its isolating dogma, has also shaken this multifaith island where minority Muslims have traditionally practiced a more inclusive faith. Birthed in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism’s stern intolerance denigrates not only those who don’t believe in Islam but other Muslim sects as well.”

“While Saudi Arabia insists the faith does not call for violence, critics have long blamed the kingdom’s mass export of its austere creed for fueling extremism and terrorism abroad. Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, and most of the hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic State used Saudi religious textbooks inside its self-styled caliphate in Syria and Iraq.”

Medicynical Note: And somehow this Sunni sect with strong Saudi government ties does not catch the Trump administration’s attention. Saudi Arabia the sponsor of this group receives US military aid, aid to develop nuclear reactors and the personal support of clueless President and his family connections……as well as the Israelis. Something wrong here.

American Justice? Assange vs Mohammed bin Salman

Assange taken from Embassy.

Medicynical note: Interesting contrast. For Assange, an extradition request from the US for the crime of publishing secret material which was probably illegally obtained came immediately after removal from Ecuadorian embassy.

Meanwhile, bin Salman who ordered the assassination of a US resident journalist working for the Washington Post and openly tortures his own citizens for seeking their basic rights is viewed as a friend by Trump and Pence.

I don’t doubt that Assange deserves careful scrutiny for several issues. But I’m absolutely certain that overlooking bin Salman’s murderous actions is a crime

Fiat-Chrysler Games the System

Rather than build fuel efficient cars FiatChrysler decides to cheat.

“Environmental regulations can create strange bedfellows, it seems. The Financial Times has learned that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will pay Tesla hundreds of millions of euros (specific numbers aren’t available) to pool the EV brand’s cars with its own fleet and avoid fines for violating stricter EU emissions rules in 2020. The move should help FCA meet the EU’s CO2 emissions target of 95g per kilometer by lowering its average from a higher-than-usual 123g. Fiat Chrysler has been relatively slow to adopt electric and hybrid cars — this buys it time to catch up without having to take many (if any) radical steps.”

Medicynical note: Gaming the system. Sad but apparently true, manipulating regulation is one key to success in capitalism. Ask Boeing, or big Pharma (here and here and here).

Meh. So a few people here and there die. As long as revenue grows what’s the big deal.

Government for sale……er…..SOLD

Trump’s administration is openly bought by foreign governments via his international network of hotels and resorts, including the one located directly between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, where a Saudi-funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms in the month after the 2016 election. His political party, which still controls the Senate and increasingly dominates the judiciary, has no interest in holding him accountable for any of this. And of course there’s the small matter of Russian interference in the 2016 election; as the limited information known so far from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report confirms, Trump and the Republicans were at the very least the passive and willing beneficiaries of efforts by a foreign power to influence the election outcome.”

“But Trump is only a symptom, the most blatant and cartoonish example of how the influence of outside money in Washington has become routine over the past generation. From the pervasive influence of the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf monarchies over think tanks and media organizations to virtually the entire U.S. government kowtowing before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to China’s warm relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and with the heads of some of the most powerful U.S. companies to the funneling of foreign money through the real estate industries of the country’s largest and wealthiest cities—the U.S. government is for sale.”

It is the Corporations

Backed by health insurance corporations, Trump and the GOP have spent years trying to repeal, negate, or undermine the law that’s provided health care to between 20 and 30 million Americans. (They failed in Congress, but they’re still trying in court.)”

“Backed by billionaires, they passed an almost incomprehensibly large tax cut for the rich that’s sent the deficit soaring to record heights — and immediately proposed huge cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to cover the difference.”

“Egged on by military contractors, they’ve put forth military budgets that award more money to a single corporation — Lockheed Martin — than the federal government spends on K-12 education. (And much of it is for a single plane that doesn’t work.)”

Medicynical note: And they want your civil rights, gay rights, contraception, right to choose, your unions and yes your Social Security too.

Robot gives patient fatal diagnosis……a new low

Hard to believe

Man told he’s going to die on video link robot….really!

More here

Medicynical note: I’m speechless.

Pizza and Prescriptions.

We’ve talked about doctors receiving honoraria and other payments from drug companies to influence their choice of treatments.  Always quite righteously physician groups have responded to such allegations with drivel about their professionalism and their over riding concern for their patients.  That works up to a point but in our culture money talks.

This puts such arguments to rest:

As little as one free meal from a drug company can influence which medicines doctors prescribe for Medicare patients, according to a study using Medicare records and recently released data from the health care law’s Open Payments program.

More here.

Medicynical Note:  For the almost 50 years that I’ve been a physician drug companies have vied for face time with physicians.  Some of it is fairly legitimate education on new better drugs but most is simply  a sales pitch to get the doc to change his/her prescribing habits, almost always with limited benefit and  increased cost.  Various incentives are provided to get this access–cash payments, meals, faux jobs, deals on medications given directly to patients.  It all works and it all costs the system integrity and cash. 

But hey that’s the way America works. Check out the gun lobby and the recent assault weapons votes.  Money buys access and influence.  Doctors are not immune.