“A Slight Openness”

From the New York Times.

“Among some Texans, the drumbeat of mass murder has fueled rising frustration and a slight openness to more gun regulation in a state where even Democrats proudly discuss their firearms. But the violence has done little to reshape the political realities in the State Capitol, where Republicans control both legislative chambers and all statewide offices.

In the past two years, as the state has been shaken by more than a dozen mass killings of four or more people, Texas has increased access to firearms, doing away with its permit requirements to carry handguns and lowering the age when adults can carry handguns to 18 from 21.”

Utter madness.

The Largess of Billionaires

Portland Oregon’s historically black Albina District would be better off with a more Scandinavian or Western European social safety net. Which would, of course, require a more progressive tax system reflecting genuine concern for the common good.

Absent Europe’s political values, and stuck with the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” individualism so deeply engrained in the (dis)United States, Allbina’s residents are left with the generosity of Oregon’s favorite plutocrat, Phil Knight, Nike’s 85 year old founder.

After reading Shoe Dog, the story of Nike’s founding, I’m a Phil Knight fan. In fact, he would probably be my first pick in a draft of billionaires.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Señor Swoosh is investing $400m to revitalize education, housing, and the arts in Albina. That’s less than 1% of Knight’s $47.2 billion estimated net worth.

That’s not meant to be disparaging especially given this:

“The Knights’ donations to the University of Oregon have funded professorships, expanded the main library and built numerous lavish sports facilities. The Knights have given $1 billion in the past seven years alone to launch and expand the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. 

They have given $500 million to cancer research at Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University. Mr. Knight also has given hundreds of millions to Stanford University, where he earned an M.B.A. in 1962.” 

It’s dumbfounding how much you and I have enriched Knight through our shoe and other sporting good purchases.

I’m glad he has a social conscience and is using some of the money we gave his company to improve the quality of life in a section of inner North and Northeast Portland.

Inside The Swiss Clinics Where The Super-Rich Go For Rehab

Subtitle: For the ultra-wealthy and the super-famous, regular therapy won’t do.

Unsettling.

The clinics seek recurring revenue more than their clients’ health and well-being. Some financial advisors are “fiduciaries” meaning they have a legal/ethical responsibility to act in their clients’ best interests.

To prevent these types of clinics from proliferating, the mental health profession should have a similar type of designation. Absent that, they may weaken the public’s trust in the mental health profession.

Fear Of “X”

Scientific literacy is in short supply these days so this FOX “News” article, “New York plastic surgeon’s viral TikTok video warns of exercise he says causes premature aging” probably shouldn’t be surprising.

I challenge you to find a worse “science” story. Whenever there’s no control group, the findings are highly suspect. And there was no control group. It’s all smoke and mirrors, by which I mean intuitions and anecdotes.

This embarrassing story is perfectly in keeping with Fox “New’s” modus operandi. Be afraid, very afraid of among many, many other things: immigrants, criminals (not white insurrectionists and fake legislators, just dark skinned ones), liberals, gays and transexuals, women, California (especially San Francisco), anti-gun advocates, non-whites, environmentalists, taxes, and the public sector. It turns out, fear sells. Really, really well.

Whenever you see FOX “News”, know that the “FOX” stands for Fear of “X”. And be afraid, very afraid of even seemingly salubrious things like exercise.