Friday, April 24, 2015

Ben Affleck's Cotton Plantation

 Actor Ben Affleck does not own a slave-enhanced cotton plantation, though he may as well, in light of all the hoopla regarding his ancestry.   When the PBS TV program, "Finding Your Roots" researched Affleck's ancestry and discovered that his mother's history included a slave owner several generations back, Affleck asked that this little tidbit be omitted from the final edit.  The now Affleck-tarnished show yielded to Affleck's request, but the information went public anyway, causing a public relations stir, requiring the "embarrassed" Affleck to come forward and apologize for his attempt to time-machine historical fact.

Affleck's ill-fated attempt at historical erasure couldn't have come along at a better time, for among the wealthy and influential in our little American transformative oligarchy, we also have one Hillary Rodham Clinton, who famously attempted to shape-shift the truth via several statements recently -- her non-immigrant immigrant grandparents, for instance.  And Clinton is a woman who knows how to manipulate history with verve -- why have missing government property e-mails stinking up the house when you can just destroy the whole server?  Manipulate history to your liking.

I'm writing this a couple of days before a new episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" appears, so I've no idea what their writers plan for an opener.  But I have a pretty good feeling that they won't open the show with a satirical piece called "Ben Affleck's Cotton Plantation," because he's one of the "good guys," the same good-guy variety of which they fancy themselves.

Dr. Oz continues to be attacked by white-coat zombies among The Walking Med:  No sooner had Dr. Mehmet Oz defended himself against a herd of old medical cranks on his TV show Thursday, now a group of professionals from Oz's own Columbia University want him subdued.  For one thing, they complain that they are constantly spending time attempting to rebut his statements.  Well, too bad, that's their self-pity party.

Oz’s primary concern in this affair is his staunch opinion that foods produced via genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should be publicly labeled as such.  Conglomerate food entities, on the other hand, are strictly against the public’s right to know this little factoid – and millions of dollars have flowed and continue to flow to Congress to make sure they get their way.  If there was ever a case to be made for dropping lobbyists from tall buildings, this would appear a prime example.  The  oopsie  fear here is that we just don’t yet know the effects of GMOs on human health.

Oz has every right to express his views under the First Amendment, but one suspects his colleagues are a tad too consumed with jealousy or too boozed up with American Medical Association hocus-pocus to allow him to go gently into that good night of alternative medicine. 

That's long been a good question -- what makes the AMA or other medical organizations believe they've the right and responsibility to control doctors and guide everybody's health care?  And what has health care become?  Its progression has morphed the patient into a mere blood sample, a potted office plant whose general practitioner doctor is often forced to worship a computer screen, like it or not, bowing to numbers from the lab and required to honor the pharmaceutical corporate mentality by prescribing this toxin or that toxin.

In years past, I've seen older doctors on the verge of retirement, who opt to sit in their chairs and prescribe meds, barely interested in examining patients as individuals.  Then came a brief period of enlightenment when the doctor-patient relationship was popular and each listened to what the other had to say.  How times quickly changed!  Now, young doctors are educated in pleasing the drug companies first -- as nutritional education, the most essential knowledge of all, remains on the fringe.  So, we've come full circle --  from the old doc who lapses into little more than a drug pusher, to the bright young physician who, under corporate pressures involving big pharma, hospital administrations and other medical providers has been groomed to stick to one-size-fits-all lab work and perform fixes with poison pills and the like.  Yes, medications are important, but there's much to be said for the way medicine was practiced in days gone by -- and in other cultures around the world.

I vote for Dr. Oz and others who dare to be different by keeping us informed, because we've already seen instances of harm caused by doing everything by the damned book of regimentation encouraged through medical organizations and their paid-off buddies in Congress.  Our personal versions of health care should be our choice, even though choices always offer good and bad options.  It's your body and your family, folks, not theirs.

Michael Brown’s family sues everybody but the kitchen sink in Ferguson.  This is no surprise when you realize what kind of people you’re dealing with, and these folks are interesting.  Here, let me save the court costs – Brown was a thief, a bully and a thug who tried to murder the police officer who legally approached him.  Even Holder’s generally screwed up Dept. of Justice (when it comes to racial issues) was forced to admit it could find no fault on the officer’s part.  But the Brown family and its attorney, apparently born to litigate, are off and running.  When will we get around to charging the losers in frivolous lawsuits for all court costs?  Around the same time Congress tackles tort reform.

Go Hillary, go!   Go away, far, far, far away!  And take Jeb with you.