Archive for May, 2012
Regeringens plan om at lade overførselsindkomsterne regulere efter inflationen og ikke efter reallønnen i samfundet vækker harme hos mange socialt bevidste, fordi det vil udhule værdien af disse. Konsekvensen er, at arbejdsløse og pensionister kommer til at sakke endnu mere bagud i forhold til resten af samfundet.
Men. Virkeligheden er, at Danmark ud fra et økologisk og globalt synspunkt forbruger alt for meget, har for stort CO2-udslip og gør et langt større indhug i de globale energi- og råstof-ressourcer, end befolkningen på fem millioner berettiger os til. Hvis Danmark ønsker at følge en økologisk og klimamæssigt bæredygtig udvikling de næste 10-15 år – og det ville ærligt talt være en rigtig god idé – vil reallønnen komme til at falde, mens priserne stiger uændret. Og så vil overførselsindkomsterne, hvis den nye regulering fastholdes, faktisk vokse hurtigere end den almindelige løn.
Klima-aftrykket og ressourcernes fundamentale endelighed tilsiger faktisk, at Danmark kommer til at skære ned på forbrug, realløn, levestandard, velstand – kald det, hvad I vil. Den globale udvikling kan meget let komme til ganske ufrivilligt at pålægge os en sådan “forbrugsjustering”. Tricket bliver efter min mening og fra et humanistisk perspektiv at gøre det, så alle sikres og ingen bliver fattige. Dette er ikke, hvad jeg mistænker regeringen for at være ude på, men betydningen af den aktuelle skattereform blegner måske alligevel ved sammenligningen.
Eller også gør den ikke. Brug gerne kommentarfeltet til at fortælle, hvad (om noget) der er galt med ovenstående betragtninger.
Judson Jerome, i hans The Poet and the Poem, Writer’s Digests Books 1979, s. 351:
I have heard that, before Franco, there was an annual Catalan poetry contest, the prizes for which were awarded on the steps of the cathedral in Barcelona. The third prize was a silver rose. The second prize was a golden rose. The first prize was, of course, a real rose. The poet’s most difficult wrestling with his soul is learning never to be envious of the golden rose.
Det er oplagt, at mens smartphones er “smarte”, repræsenterer de et tilbageskridt for borgernes retssikkerhed og privatliv – udstyret med en sådan kan vi ganske enkelt overvåges og lokaliseres overalt, til hver en tid.
Dette er så meget mere ærgerligt, som en sådan håndholdt computer faktisk let kunne designes, så al dens kommunikation var anonym og krypteret – hvilket ville gør den til vores privatlivs måske ultimative værn.
Jeg har ikke set nærmere på det endnu, men The Guardian Project lader til at være et stort skridt i den helt rigtige retning:
While smartphones have been heralded as the coming of the next generation of communication and collaboration, they are a step backwards when it comes to personal security, anonymity and privacy. The Guardian Project aims to create easy to use apps, open-source firmware MODs, and customized, commercial mobile phones that can be used and deployed around the world, by any person looking to protect their communications and personal data from unjust intrusion and monitoring.
click to learn more about our mobile apps
The Android operating system created by Google provides an open-source, Linux-based foundation on which this project is building. From sleek, stylish smartphones to large format e-book readers, Android provides the most creative, functional and open platform on which to base this type of work.
The combination of Android and Guardian will create the most secure, trustworthy, mass market consumer smartphone solution for improving the privacy of our daily lives. Whether your are an average citizen looking to affirm your rights or an activist, journalist or humanitarian organization looking to safeguard your work in this age of global communication, Guardian can help address the threats you face.
Anonym browsing, krypteret kommunikation, og så videre. Så mangler vi bare at anonymisere kommunikationen med GSM (eller udvikle en fundamentalt anonym erstatning), og vi kan blive ved med at bruge smartphones uden at tænke mere på overvågning eller privatliv. Som det er i dag med iPhones og Googles mange “fortæl os hvem du er og hvor du er”-features, kan det hurtigt blive lidt bekymrende.
Dette er konklusionen i en videnskabelig artikel i British Journal of Cancer: Alt for mange danskere dør af kræft, og det diagnosticeres senere end i andre lande. Ville væsentlige offentlige figurer som Jakob Ejersbo og Tøger Seidenfaden have levet længere, hvis det ikke havde været for Danmarks forældede sundhedsvæsen, der gør alt for lidt ud af diagnosticering og tidlig behandling? Det er der i hvert fald meget, der tyder på:
Denmark has poorer 5-year survival rates than many other Western European countries, and cancer patients tend to have more advanced stages at diagnosis than those in other Scandinavian countries. Part of this may be due to delay in diagnosis. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the initiatives currently underway to reduce delays. [...]
The findings from the EUROCARE studies suggest that Denmark, like the United Kingdom, has poorer 5-year survival rates across a range of cancer types than other Western European countries (Sant et al, 2001; Karim-Kos et al, 2008; Berrino et al, 2009; Verdecchia et al, 2009). Mortality rates from cancer are also high in Denmark (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007). These findings led to a major public debate and a sense of disappointment regarding Danish efforts to control cancer. As a result, a National Cancer Steering Group was established in 1998, chaired by the National Board of Health with representation from all relevant specialties. National Cancer Plans were developed by this steering group in 2000 and 2005, which analysed the possible problems and made recommendations in relation to prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer incidence in Denmark is relatively high, reflecting lifestyle factors, for example, a relatively high prevalence of smoking (44% of the population in 1987, and 34% in 2000 were daily smokers) (Ekholm et al, 2006). As a result, initiatives were launched to reduce smoking, increase exercise, promote healthier diets and reduce excessive exposure to ultraviolet light. A cervical screening programme had been running for several decades. Following the Cancer Plan in 2005, a national breast cancer screening programme was established. In 2008, a decision was made to set up a colorectal cancer screening programme, but this has not yet been implemented. To improve treatment, necessary but politically difficult decisions had to be taken to concentrate cancer-related surgical procedures in fewer hospital centres (Gøtrik and Hansen, 2001).
Another problem to be tackled was that Danish cancer patients seemed to have more advanced stages at diagnosis than those in other Scandinavian countries (Association of the Nordic Cancer Registries, 2007; Berrino et al, 2009). This may have been due to bottlenecks at different stages of the clinical pathway with long waits from first symptom to start of treatment. The second Danish National Cancer Plan addressed these issues, recommending pre-planned, well-structured clinical pathways without unnecessary waiting times for investigations and procedures.
This paper provides:
- an overview of the Danish healthcare system to help understand where delays may occur;
- a brief summary of what is known about different phases of delay for cancer patients and
- an outline of the actions currently being undertaken to reduce delays.
Det er da altid noget, at “in future, fast-track diagnosis and treatment will be provided for suspected cancers and access to general diagnostic investigations will be improved”, men for nogen er det nok lidt sent. Det er muligt, at vi danskere er vant til at tænke på det danske sundhedsvæsen som “et af verdens bedste”, men på nogle måder er det altså skandaløst dårligt og bagud. Det kan kun gå for langsomt med at få det rettet op.
Link: Delay in diagnosis: the experience in Denmark
Forfatteren Stephen King, som du måske har hørt om (hvis du ikke har læst nogen af hans bøger har du med sikkerhed set en film, der er baseret på én), har et indlæg i The Daily Beast, hvor han brokker sig over, at folk som ham ikke skal betale meget mere i skat.
Det er værd at læse, ikke mindst i lys af tidens hyldest også af en bestemt, afdød dansk rigmand :
Most rich folks paying 28 percent taxes do not give out another 28 percent of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough. They don’t strip their bank accounts and investment portfolios. They keep them and then pass them on to their children, their children’s children. And what they do give away is—like the monies my wife and I donate—totally at their own discretion. That’s the rich-guy philosophy in a nutshell: don’t tell us how to use our money; we’ll tell you.
The Koch brothers are right-wing creepazoids, but they’re giving right-wing creepazoids. Here’s an example: 68 million fine American dollars to Deerfield Academy. Which is great for Deerfield Academy. But it won’t do squat for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where food fish are now showing up with black lesions. It won’t pay for stronger regulations to keep BP (or some other bunch of dipshit oil drillers) from doing it again. It won’t repair the levees surrounding New Orleans. It won’t improve education in Mississippi or Alabama. But what the hell—them li’l crackers ain’t never going to go to Deerfield Academy anyway. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.
Here’s another crock of fresh bullshit delivered by the right wing of the Republican Party (which has become, so far as I can see, the only wing of the Republican Party): the richer rich people get, the more jobs they create. Really? I have a total payroll of about 60 people, most of them working for the two radio stations I own in Bangor, Maine. If I hit the movie jackpot—as I have, from time to time—and own a piece of a film that grosses $200 million, what am I going to do with it? Buy another radio station? I don’t think so, since I’m losing my shirt on the ones I own already. But suppose I did, and hired on an additional dozen folks. Good for them. Whoopee-ding for the rest of the economy.
At the risk of repeating myself, here’s what rich folks do when they get richer: they invest. A lot of those investments are overseas, thanks to the anti-American business policies of the last four administrations. Don’t think so? Check the tag on that T-shirt or gimme cap you’re wearing. If it says MADE IN AMERICA, I’ll … well, I won’t say I’ll eat your shorts, because some of that stuff is made here, but not much of it. And what does get made here doesn’t get made by America’s small cadre of pluted bloatocrats; it’s made, for the most part, in barely-gittin’-by factories in the Deep South, where the only unions people believe in are those solemnized at the altar of the local church (as long as they’re from different sexes, that is).
I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-fucking-American is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.
Læs det hele!