Friday, May 21, 2010

Money Trumps Everything!

The other day I was visiting my doctor, and the wait before I could actually see him was insanely long, even while a prior appointment. I can't sit without doing anything, the restless in me forced me to read all the muscle charts on the wall on my previous visit itself. (I'm fine, thanks for asking btw!). On this second visit, I revised some of the charts and then wanted something more to read. Generally I get along my own book, but when I don't get one, I would read almost anything during such waits (probably even the brain-dead magazines like Cosmopolitan!). But I was in luck to have some better options (really? better?), TIME Magazine, it was.

When I opened it, my eyes fell on the Toyota recall episode. I have been totally disconnected with this news, so I thought of reading on. There were heated insults against Mr. Toyoda (President of Toyota Motors) by some demented people. I read that the US government had called Mr. Toyoda himself to be insulted, interrogated and to apologize publicly.

I read all of that first as it was all in bold and blocked fonts, hoping to get the summary, which I did: Money Trumps Everything!
Then I read the first few lines...
"... that brings the total number of deaths to 34 since 2000 allegedly related to unintended acceleration in Toyotas".
What in the !@#$ing hell!
F@#$ing 34, are you kidding me? No you are not getting the point here! These are alleged deaths, that too by yet unproven problems in the car, discounting all the driver error. And believe me, given that millions drive Toyotas across the US-of-A, I won't be surprised if 34 people aren't best of the drivers! And for that, the dimwitted wussies are making SUCH a big fuss. Calling the President of Toyota, such a huge press, massive recalls, threats, public insults and humiliation, unprecedented fines, legal turmoils, etc. etc. Please don't get me wrong, whatever the reason, I deeply regret the deaths. But that is NOT the point..

Point I'm trying to make is; and this is what I spent rest of the wait time at clinic; every single day if not millions, thousands die due smoking related ailments, mostly due to the dreaded cancer. And not just die, they die a freaking slow and painfully torturous death. Not to mention the torture the victims' close family members suffer to have to see this torture and live through it! E.V.E.R.Y @#$ing day! (Note: I lost my grandpa a while ago to cancer, so trust me when I say it is torturous enough just to see a cancer patient struggle let alone see someone pass away. And it won't be an understatement if I said that you wouldn't wish it on worst of your enemies).

God knows how many families have smoke ruined. I'm sure equal number of people die due to driving under the influence of alcohol. Almost equal under diseases caused by alcohol. Not to mention nuisance caused by frivolous alco-holes. And what about the f__ktards in Wall St. that ruined millions of lives, made millions jobless, homeless and foodless overnight! Giving them, not instant, but slow painful & humiliating deaths!

Tell me HOW the hell is THAT not any more criminal and worse than the alleged 34 deaths by accidental acceleration! And yet they aren't as much talked about lowly! Forget about law reform, fines, insults, or anything which will make it hard (if not impossible) to do such things in future.

Come to health insurance itself, you read left-right-and-center everyday how the needy are rejected coverage just so the CEOs can take back hefty bonuses to spend on their shitty w___es. Haven't you ever read how hard big Pharmas are (actually they were, they aren't any more now got what they wanted) struggling to keep the new better and cheap medical treatments away from hospitals? And BTW, did you know that the big insurers have HUGE stakes in tobacco industries!!!
Tell me HOW the hell is this not worse than the alleged 34 deaths by accidental acceleration. Keep noting the keyword 'alleged'!

What about current BP oil rig fiasco? How many people will suffer from the environmental damage caused by one of the biggest oil-spills in recent history? Yet, no matter what, the CEO of BP will still go back to his king-sized mansion probably in armored vehicle with hefty bonuses and have sweetest of sleep, while many will suffer from the aftermath of this spill.
Tell me HOW the hell is this not worse than the alleged 34 deaths by accidental acceleration.

And how many people have successfully sued any of these! Forget about suing, nobody dares lift a finger at them! Why! M O N E Y! With money comes great power! And that is what everybody bows down to. MONEY is THE ONLY common denominator in all of these cases. Money, in today's world has ability to trump everything.

The amount of money poured into lobbying so that these things can function as they are functioning, ensures nobody points a finger at them. They smartly poke holes into laws by saying, well, the pack of cigarettes says it is injurious to health to smoke. How can we help if people are stupid enough to smoke the shitty poison we make! And we dim-wittedly accept it as a rational argument, forgetting the very fact that if it weren't those assholes, there wouldn't be any cigarettes to smoke in the first place! Well, then, by similar argument, I'm sure the vehicle agreement states somewhere that manufacturer is not responsible for deaths resulting from using its machine! And we are not even talking about allegations, it is well known fact that smoking DOES cause cancer, and it sure does cause addiction and related permanent problems. Other respiratory diseases. Alcohol DOES cause multitude of problems. Health insurers ARE running away from their responsibilities to make unprecedented profits.

All these thoughts ran through me instantly within few seconds. So fast, I couldn't even grasp all of it, until yesterday when I had few minutes to capture the residue of what was still lingering around.

I was so numb at that instant that my heart started racing too fast at the mere thought of living in the world with such dickheaded demented people.
The rest of my appointment was a breeze, with me having difficulty following what the doctor was saying. All I caught was, nothing to worry ~~~blip~~~ take a break ~~~blip~~~ the pain will subside followed by a smile. Blips are points in time where I lost track of what the doc was saying. What about those poor b____ds, I wanted to ask, what about those poor b___ds, doctor, who has a smoke in his hand right now, one who lost his house, one who is abusing someone under the influence of alcohol, a father who's running around to scavenge enough money so that he can treat is ailing son just because the insurance company decided to drop the coverage? Will they be fine? But I'm glad that the words didn't spill out... I went back to my office to silently pound on keyboard and trying to shrug away the thoughts about the screwed up state of humanity, if we can still claim it exists! ~~~sigh~~~

But don't you worry, the word humanity/rationality/goodness will soon disappear from dictionaries, or even worse, will have NEW meaning altogether.And the future generations will never have to worry about it anymore, as these notions we understand today themselves will be extinct! Just as is depicted in George Orwell's 1984.

Seriously, I sometimes really feel sorry for current era. On one side we have superb mechanization that eases our lives, connects us from across the globe in the blink of an eye, eradicated many of diseases, genetically engineer plants but on other hand... this sh!t. Guess, the proverb, after all, is not entirely a moot: There is a price to pay for everything. But, I ask, is this price worth paying? Despite general delirious consensus, I still maintain it isn't!

God bless us all, we all need him more than mankind ever did before this.

With all this imbecilic feat of what was one a man playing circus in my mind, I sometimes have real tough time going to sleep ... what about you?
People, we have MUCH bigger problems to fight (tobacco, alco-holes, pharmas, insurance companies, Wall St., terrorists, lobbyists, etc.). Think about what the real problem is, before you try to solve it!

Some really very thought provoking articles to read that compliment this post:
  1. Health insurers want you to keep smoking, Harvard doctors say
  2. BP Oil Spill: 7 Secrets BP Doesn't Want You To Know
  3. CIGNA Employee Flips Off Mother Of Dead Girl Denied Transplant
  4. Aetna Forcing 600,000-Plus To Lose Coverage In Effort To Raise Profits
  5. Oil Reaches Louisiana Shores, photos that depict the devastation!
  6. Totally random, but very interesting insights into current medical practices:

- - - - - - - - - - - update Thu 08/19/2010 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
U.S. Study Points to Driver Error in Many Toyota Crashes

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Treasure Trove

For all those who are wondering that my blog has turned into a bickering philosophical diatribe, here... KMA :-P

Very few people can understand the joy of digging through goodies your Mom-and-Pop sent you from across the world! Just 2 days back I got one such bag and I cannot describe the joy of digging into it, just like we did as kids when daddy used to come home every evening and we would rip open his suitcase to steal away anything new and exciting :) I'm just re-living that joyous moment :)

Most of things in the bag could be easily bought here, what is missing in thouse bought items is the love in making and sending it :) In addition to love and effort what is different in it is Mom's meticulous touch to packing, nice hand-written labels on each packet (so I don't mistake one thing for another), detailed and never-ending instructions on phone on how to mix-and-match-and-consume the yummy stuff, and tons of other niceties that she had been planning and collecting for over a month!

Since 2 days my Mom's been forcing me to open it all and see what's-what. I'm of the opinion that I don't want to open it up all at once and burst the bubble of surprise. It is more fun to keep digging through the trove and find a pearl every day :) That induces a more lasting empyrean joy!

Love you Mom and Pop! You are the best'est of the best! ~~~muah~~~

Note: Special thanks to Vishal's Mom for reserving one full bag just for me & getting it all the way from India to me :)