I hope you read that title to the tune of the Beatles’ Come Together.
I have some thoughts around Coronavirus, and what’s going on in our world today, and thought I’d start sharing those here. This one revolves around how much Capitalism has to gain from the access to a vaccine.
The vaccine for this virus equates to money in the pockets of business owners. So it would behoove major corporations that would benefit from this, to pitch in money to expedite research/development of the vaccine.
Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of McDonald’s, Darden restaurants, Walmart, etc. Restaurants have the most to gain from us going back “the old normal”. Saying the old normal, hoping to eventually say “in the olden days” as I hope we do better than what we were doing before. And these restaurants in particular made their money by not compensating employees properly (in wages and benefits), whilst wooing the working class to their restaurants.
While Walmart does offer competitive packages to their managerial level, the majority of workers don’t earn enough. They are in the same category as those above, most of their consumers are working class, and they keep majority of their profits by not compensating the majority of their employees.
I’m sure they are making a FRACTION of what would normally, so chipping in some capital to get the vaccine sooner means they would go back to making BILLIONS sooner.
So, that’s step one: researching & developing a vaccine.
Step two is making that vaccine accessible to the consumers (the mass public). This means FREE, accessible vaccines to all that want it. This won’t mean no more new Coronavirus of course, because many won’t take it, but it’s something at least.
Lastly, I did look up the profits of the companies I mentioned, because let’s not kid ourselves, we all knew I was going to. Each has had profits in the billions for the last decade. And have so much to gain if we go back to the old days. I also made a nifty little collage of them, because that’s also what I do.
As I said, these were the 1st that came to my head. I know there are plenty of others.
McDonald’s made $21 billion to $28 billion consistently between 2013-2019 (those were the years I looked up)
Darden Restaurants made $5-8 billion annually the last decade.
Walmart’s profits came in at $400-$523 billion a year for the last decade.
You know how people get all worked up about “press 1 for English”? I see it all the time, posts on facebook complaining about this. Well, most of these posts express anger at those who’d rather hear a different language in their IVR interaction.
A couple of things about that. These are people who likely speak more than one language, and most of the people angry about it only speak English. Is it like some type of envy? That they’re jealous that they don’t have other options because they never learned another language? But instead it’s coming out like displaced anger?
The other thought I had is that they shouldn’t get mad at these people. They should be mad at the companies. It’s the companies that put the recording on. If they don’t think companies should be putting “press one for English”, they need to express that to the company doing it.
Actually, their thought is probably that “American companies shouldn’t be doing this”, or that “This is America, we speak English here”.
But guess what? There is a trend of profiting American companies that are moving their base overseas to avoid American taxes. Why aren’t more people mad at them?
If you’re reading this, you’re obviously are social on the internet, and noticed that fb “went red” on Tuesday. There was a social solidarity to wear red on Tuesday, as SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the US) was hearing arguments against Prop 8 in California on Tuesday, and against DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) on Wednesday. HRC (the Human Rights Campaign) changed their logo to red in support of marriage equality.
I did wear red on Tuesday, but I didn’t really change my profile picture on fb. I don’t know why. I didn’t really feel like it. It’s kinda interesting to see everyone “as one” kinda. Maybe it’s partly narcissism, but I don’t think so, b/c I’ve changed my profile picture to that “I’m w/ Coco” image when Conan O’Brien had his show taken away. Maybe it’s b/c I’m searching for a job, and I have gone through & only kept “non-political” pictures as viewable by everyone… I honestly don’t know why I didn’t change it. I just didn’t feel like fb is the place. I sign petitions, I make phone calls, and send emails. All my friends know my stance. Changing my picture on fb is not going to be my “voice”, I guess is what I’m thinking.
Here’s the thing. There’s so much going on right now. Our elected officials are acting like punks. Mississippi passing laws so that clinics that service uninsured, urban ppl can’t stay open. Arkansas passing unconstitutional laws that their own state officials asked them NOT to pass, b/c they WILL be sued and they can’t afford to pay out for lawsuits that will win b/c they already know they’re unconstitutional. What a WASTE. So much GOVERNMENT WASTE. It’s so sad 😦
Ok, so back to this SCOTUS thing. They will strike down Prop 8. If they don’t, so much of California is against it now (remember when it passed, it was b/c all those Mormons (LDS Church) paid to pass it through back then). California is easily influenced by ads (like the GMO labeling law that didn’t pass this past Nov). Anyway, California can undo that law now; unlike Ohio, the majority of ppl there are against a ban on same-sex marriage. And DOMA – they DEFINITELY will strike down DOMA. If, in the unlikely event that they don’t, Congress WILL. There are enough liberals AND conservatives in Congress against it that they will def repeal it if SCOTUS doesn’t strike it down first.
At any rate, we’ll hear about both these in June. JUNE, ppl.
In the meantime, like NOW, can we talk about our stupid, bull-headed Congressmen? I know I need to be specific about what exactly I’m mad w/ them about right now, but it’s the whole stupid sequester. What they had written up last year, “knowing” that they’d NEVER want to accept it, so it was their own ultimatum to themselves. But it DID happen, b/c of their stubbornness.
They now have to pass through appropriations for every little thing that they want exempted from the sequester.
Um, why don’t you just work on a budget that BOTH sides of Congress will pass?
So, as a result of our Congress being SO BULL-HEADED, we have to have them pass through bills for any part of government spending that we don’t want SHUT DOWN.
Thus HR 933, Congress’s temporary 6-month appropriations bill will allow agriculture in the US to continue, with federal funding. Shortly before this Agriculture Appropriations bill got pushed through for the President to sign into law, a rider was “anonymously” attached to it. This is section 735, aka the “Monsanto Protection Act”. It basically deregulated the farming industry so that farmers can grow crops without the “burden” of the government watchdog.
[sidenote: what’s kind of interesting here is that Republicans, who are AGAINST govt regulation are also upset with Obama for DE-regulating the agriculture industry. Do you see the hypocrisy?]
Let’s discuss what just happened. [Or, “break it down, y’all”]
– there was a govt shutdown looming.
– the agriculture industry was in jeopardy. [which would lead to food shortages, and thus a sharp rise in groc costs in an very vulnerable economy just beginning to re-emerge]
– there was a bill to help farmers.
Now, here’s the thing about this bill, WITH THIS RIDER attached:
– the President does NOT have a “line item veto”.
– – this means, he must pass the bill into law, or shut down the WHOLE thing, which means NO govt. funding for farms.
– it’s a temporary 6-month funding bill
– if he DID VETO the entire thing (which he could do), Congress had enough votes (2/3s) to over-ride his veto, and it would still pass.
Do I like the “Monsanto Protection Act”*? No.
Do I understand how it passed through? Yes.
* in quotes, b/c it’s not a real act/bill/law on its own, it was a section of a bill.
I hope you do too now. And, more than anything, I urge you, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. Please let them know how you feel, and YOU DO VOTE.
What we’ve learned in Nov. 2012 national election is that while Super paks spent BILLIONS of dollars, they learned that we won’t necessarily vote their ppl into Congress (or the White House). Remember, Karl Rove’s super PAC spent $103 million on ads; they got 1% return on their investment. Remind your Congress ppl that lobbyists can fund their campaign, but only YOU can give them their job.
And here’s an interesting article I found a few years ago: Are Homosexual Civil Unions A 600-year-old Tradition?
It mentions how in medieval France, they had a term “affrerement” (like brotherment) that served as a legal contract. They “pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ — one bread, one wine, and one purse.”
You knew I had to talk about it here at some point, right? I mean, I’ve been tweeting & leaving comments on everyone’s fb statuses about it.
First of all, “mosque” is in quotes b/c it’s not a freakin mosque. It’s an Islamic Community Center. Yes, there will be a place for prayer there, but it’s a smaller part of a $100 MILLION Cultural Center. It will also have a swimming pool, a gym, basketball court, an auditorium, a restaurant (& culinary school), a library, and art studios. Are we calling it “the ground zero pool”? No? Then why “ground zero mosque”? Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to stimulate the economy ($100 Mill project) whilst adding to the community?
Are we criticizing Christian churches around the Oklahoma City building site? Why is it that American laws seem to apply or be exempt for Christians? Division of church & state doesn’t exist like it should. Lots of religious organizations receive tax-exempt statuses, then give money to fuel their political interests. It’s like certain things are ok, as long as you’re the “right religion”.
“Ground zero” is in quotes b/c it’s not at ground zero! It’s 2 blocks away. Though, there was a mosque already 5 blocks from ground zero (GZ); it was there for like 30 years!
Though, there are currently strip clubs way closer to GZ. & they’re planning to build a 55,000 sq. ft. mall right on GZ. How is a mall paying tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11?!?! Mall to me means a bunch of corporate stores. Not even small businesses. Starbucks. The Gap. Banana Republic. How does that remember fallen heros?
Roger Ebert recently re-posted an op-ed piece that he originally published on Sept. 12, 2001:
A Green Field
If there is to be a memorial, let it not be of stone and steel. Fly no flag above it, for it is not the possession of a nation but a sorrow shared with the world.
Let it be a green field, with trees and flowers. Let there be paths that wind through the shade. Put out park benches where old people can sun in the springtime, and a pond where children can skate in the winter.
Beneath this field will lie entombed forever some of the victims of September 11. It is not where they thought to end their lives. Like the sailors of the battleship Arizona, they rest where they fell.
Let this field stretch from one end of the destruction to the other. Let this open space among the towers mark the emptiness in our hearts. But do not make it a sad place. Give it no name. Let people think of it as the green field. Every living thing that is planted here will show faith in the future.
Let students from all lands take a sunny corner of the field and plant a crop there. Perhaps corn, our native grain. Let the harvest be shared all over the world, with friends and enemies, because that is the teaching of our religions. Let the harvest show that life prevails over death, and let the sharing show that we love our neighbors.
Do not build again on this place. No building can stand here. No building, no statue, no column, no arch, no symbol, no name, no date, no statement. Just the comfort of the earth, to remind us that we share it.
You just can’t get your own health insurance. You can’t. It’ll suck.
Though, my new company health insurance plan sucks too. So, which to pick?
Our company used to have our health plan through Kaiser Permanente. A handful of us were the only ones who liked it. Everyone else didn’t. So, we switched to Anthem, which everyone else loves, but I hate.
They love it b/c they use their own docs. Even w/ Kaiser, which didn’t really allow for that, they did, & just paid the extra surcharge.
Well, I don’t have a doc. So, when I had to make an appt just to get a refill on my old prescription, I picked a doc & called to make an appt. Was told there wasn’t an opening for 2 months. I told them I didn’t care who I saw, anyone was fine, I just needed a new script. 1 month wait for that.
What if I was seriously sick? It’d be 2 months? I’d be dead by then.
W/ Kaiser, I’d call in the morn & would get to see a doc that afternoon. It might not be *my* doc, but since everything was on the internal computer system, they had my complete health history right in front of them. If I needed an x-ray or blood taken, I’d simply go downstairs to either lab.
W/ the new Anthem, if I need blood work, I need to go to a special Quest lab. I don’t even know where those are. I’m not sure that x-rays are covered.
A co-worker thought she’d stepped on a nail, so called to get a tetanus shot. She was told she’d have to pay the co-pay for the appt, plus whatever the shot cost (this can be $85 or more, depending). She also found out that if she’d asked for the same shot the day before, it’d be just the $15 co-pay b/c it woulda been a “preventative procedure”. Now that she’d stepped on a nail (she thinks), it’s a “diagnostic procedure”. Um…. sounds like pre-existing condition to me.
But isn’t that the whole point of insurance. Doesn’t the word itself mean that you’re investing your money in the case that something does happen?!?! They’re the ones that are supposed to be there to FIX whatever happens. I know that’s how my car insurance works. I don’t get a new bumper before I’m in an accident.
You know how I mentioned how I’d just moved & was super-duper sick?
Well, when you move to a new place, you need to buy essentials. No matter how sick you are. So, I made a really quick trip to the Target nearby, in the middle of a weekday, so as avoid infecting large groups of ppl. Grabbed my stuff & went out.
This was before I went to the doc, so I didn’t know how serious it was just yet. I was a little loopy on some dayquil though.
Well, being loopy & still being frugal, does not a good combination make.
I needed toilet paper.
Went to the paper area, & they had “premium toilet paper” on sale for $5.79. Well, next to it, they had “ULTRA premium toilet paper”, same # of rolls, ALSO for $5.79.
Well, mamma didn’t raise no fool.
Who buys regular premium, when you can get the same thing, ultra-premiumized, for the same price?!?!
Well, it’s been a bit over a month that I’ve had this toilet paper in my house, & it’s driving me CRAZY! Now that I’m well again, I have no idea what to do about it.
Turns out ultra-premium toilet paper means that it’s 3-ply, instead of 2. I felt guilty enough when I had 2-ply paper. So, now I find myself separating the plys!! Yes, seriously!
Why don’t they warn you about that? They should put the “3-ply” part in large bold letters so ppl know.
& who are these ppl? The ones that thought that an extra ply was needed on toilet paper in this day & age? Don’t they realize how wasteful that is? Who thought that would be a good idea? & how is Target, a store that promotes their Earth-friendly products, even carrying this stuff? I hope that buyer for Target’s been fired, that they will stop carrying this wasteful crap.
Meanwhile, I’m having issues every time I have to go to the bathroom. & spending my time separating plys, which is only making this stuff last longer, so I’m reminded it’s in my house that much longer.
So, I guess Chris Matthews said “Oh God” before someone spoke. Dude, who cares?!?!!
Seriously, I was shocked when I heard d*ck on primetime tv. I didn’t know you could say that on primetime. I know when JT did that digital short on SNL, they beeped it out everytime. And that was around midnight!
Those aren’t like a regular news broadcast anyway. Those are like commentary shows. Isn’t it the point for them to express their frustration anyway? Isn’t that why ppl watch? I know my sister loves to watch Keith Olbermann simply b/c of how he states his views. It’s total entertainment for her.