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Sun, 09 May 2021
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The tyranny of convenience

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© maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com
Our lives are ridiculously convenient in this day and age, and much of the consumer economy seems to be directed at making life 'easier' still. It seems that the more convenient life becomes, the more need there is for more convenience. Anything is possible in this technological age, and if it can't be afforded, then convenient credit can make it happen. There is no reason to wait for anything.

Just like an addict, the modern convenience seeker is rarely aware of the damage that the need to feed the need is causing.

The pursuit of convenience is big business and over the last 60-75 years we have experienced a profound cultural shift towards disposable consumerism. We've been sold the idea that life must be easy, and that the mundane things in life are to be rushed or delegated so that more time is available for enjoying ourselves. For several generations now our culture has been programmed to place an overly high value on convenience, and the flip side of this is that we have grown to loathe inconvenience to such a degree that we now perceive even slight delays in the delivery of convenience as inconveniences.

Who has time for anything to go wrong in our world today?

Our addiction to this complex lifestyle, requiring ever-compounded convenience, is one of the subtlest and most addictive tyrannies of the modern age.

Magnify

New study shows 59% of "tuna" sold in the U.S. isn't tuna

tuna
© tokyofoodcast
This is just the latest revelation in the stealth inflation and food fraud theme I have written about frequently in recent months. The non-profit group Oceana took samples of 1,215 fish sold in the U.S. and genetic tests found that that 59% of those labeled tuna were mislabeled. It seems that "white tuna" should be avoided in particular as "84% of fish samples labeled "white tuna" were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage." Oh and if you live in my hometown of New York City, you should pay particular attention:

Big Apple has big problem with seafood fraud: 94 percent of tuna and more than three quarters of sushi samples in New York City mislabeled.

Of the 142 fish samples collected in New York, 39 percent were mislabeled. New York City led the nation with the highest occurrence of mislabeled salmon as well as the highest amount of fraud among salmon collected from grocery stores and restaurants.

Bizarro Earth

Georgia middle school teacher arrested after student's fatal methadone overdose

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A 37-year-old Georgia middle school teacher was arrested Thursday in connection with the overdose death of an 18-year-old high school student. According to Atlanta's WSB-TV Channel 2, Emily Smith, a sixth-grade math teacher at Winder-Barrow Middle School has been arrested and charged with facilitating the sale of the powerful opiate methadone and the tranquilizer Xanax to a teen girl who was found dead in her home the next day of an apparent overdose.

Smith reportedly helped set up the sale of the drugs by way of a series of text and voice communications on her cell phone on February 13, the day before the teenager died.

Heart - Black

Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian was beaten, set on fire prior to death

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The family of Marco McMillian, Mississippi's first black and openly gay mayoral candidate, insists he was beaten, dragged and set on fire prior to his death. In an official statement, they suggested that the Clarksdale candidate's body was covered with bruises and burns when it was uncovered near the Mississippi River levee last week.

"We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire)," his family said in an email released through his campaign manager Jarod Keith. "This was reported in our meeting with the local coroner on two occasions. We were informed that the official autopsy report could take two to four weeks to complete.

Sheriff

Jason Sharp suspended from NYPD for punching 3-year-old son in the face

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Jason Sharp of the New York Police Department has been suspended from the force for punching his 3-year-old son in the face.

Sharp is a veteran detective in the NYPD's Brooklyn gang unit. According to court records, the 37-year-old struck his child after having a fight with his wife Michelle, 38. The fight occurred at the couple's home in Nassau County. Alcohol was involved.

"I had an argument with my wife and punched the wall," Sharp said, according to court records. "I had a few drinks today."

Dollars

Cancer victim kept in solitary confinement for 2 years without trial wins millions

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© AFP Photo / Timothy A. Clary
A 59-year-old cancer-stricken man spent two years in solitary confinement in a New Mexico prison, where he suffered from tooth decay, bedsores and a deterioration of mental health. His crime? Drunk driving.

And the man was never even convicted.

Now, former inmate Stephen Slevin has received a $15 million settlement to compensate for the torture he endured in the New Mexico jail cell. Slevin spent 22 months in solitary confinement, where he was denied access to a dentist and was forced to pull out his own tooth.

"He rocked [the tooth] back and forth over a period of eight hours before he was able to pull it out of his mouth," his attorney, Matthew Coyte, told the Associated Press.

Slevin was also deprived of showers, human contact, and outdoor recreation. While incarcerated from 2005 to 2007, fungus grew on his skin, his toenails grew so long they began to curl up, he suffered from malnutrition, and he lost a significant amount of weight.

Locked up in a 6-by-11 foot cell with no outside contact, Slevin's mental health quickly deteriorated.

"They left him long enough where he fell into a delirium and began to decay, essentially, as a human being," Coyte said.

Red Flag

Law lets South Dakota teachers bring guns into classrooms

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© Shutterstock
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) signed a bill into law on Friday that allows teachers to pack heat in classrooms, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.

Similar proposals have been considered in about two dozen states since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December, according to The New York Times.

Attention

Poaching pushing South African rhino towards edge

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© AFP Photo
South Africa's white rhino population will begin to decline by 2016 if the current rate of poaching continues, authorities warned on Friday, following the killing of scores of the creatures this year.

The stark warning was issued by the country's Environment Minister Edna Molewa on the sidelines of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok.

"We think we will start to have problems around the year 2016," she said, adding 146 rhinos have been killed illegally since the start of the year with 50 suspected poachers arrested over the same period.

Some 668 rhinos were slaughtered in 2012, a grim record that on current trends will be surpassed this year.

The white rhino population is estimated at just over 18,000 and its birth rate is higher than mortality rates, according to Fundisile Mketani, an official from the nation's Department of the Environment.

Heart - Black

Indian starving children's fund used to fix buses

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© AFP Photo
A fund of millions of dollars raised to help malnourished children in western India has been diverted to maintain public buses, a report said on Friday.

The "Child Nutrition Surcharge" was set up 16 years ago to collect a small percentage of each bus ticket fare in major cities in Maharashtra state, where thousands of children die from malnutrition each year.

But public transport officials say that millions raised have yet to be transferred to the state treasury because they allegedly need the funds to maintain buses and keep them on the road, the NDTV news channel reported.

Heart - Black

Mentally ill man missing in alleged pattern of 'patient dumping' by Nevada health officials

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A schizophrenic man has gone missing after an instance of alleged "patient dumping" by Nevada state mental health officials. According to a Wednesday report by Las Vegas' CBS Channel 8, a patient named James Brown was allegedly sent from Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas to Sacramento, California with only a one-way bus ticket, three days' worth of medication and instructions to call 911 for services when he arrived.

A California homeless advocacy group called Loaves and Fishes said that Brown was sent to their state without a destination in a pattern of systematic patient dumping by the state of Nevada. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Brown arrived in Sacramento on Feb. 12 after a 15-hour bus ride with no connections and nowhere to go.

Loaves and Fishes found Brown shelter for the night. The man told social workers that he had been sent to Sacramento against his will, a city where he had never been and knew no one. Joan Burke, advocacy director for the organization said that Brown has since disappeared, but social workers expect him to return to Las Vegas where the man said, "At least I know where the homeless shelters are in Las Vegas."

"Putting somebody on a bus who indicates a high level of disability and inability to function is reprehensible," Burke told the Register-Journal. "This gentleman was adamant that he had no connections here."