Monday, 5 October 2009

White Suits and Fake Kits


So it was a grand episode at the White House today....they got 150 doctors from fifty states to show up and "dress-up" for support of the universal health care bill.

The picture was something I looked at for two minutes. You just don't ever see 150 doctors in "whites" unless it's a train crash or hospital evacuation.

I paused for a while and looked at another medical story about five items down....a fake kit that some Chinese medical company developed....the "fake virginity" kit. Some doctor and medical research...has helped the Chinese to develop this funny salve stuff that makes things kinda "stick" and then the gal acts all surprised and hot that her new husband was "the first".

Basically, you had one group of medical experts who acted like this was the best deal since the 1978 AMC Pacer...and another group of medical experts who kinda want to help you pretend to be a "fake virgin"...just for $30.

Note, I didn't ask many questions over the virgin salve involved...I'm sure these Chinese medical experts did a lot of research and development testing....maybe down in New Orleans or at Fort Lauderdale.

Its an unusual profession...just one hundred years ago...you showed up at some state university...studied under some doctor for a year or two...and they gave you a certificate. You hauled out to some town in the middle of Missouri....put up a sign...and accepted patients. You mostly handed out pain powders, delivered babies, and gave Doctor Moxley's mineral spirits (45 proof). You were an expert because you had the sign, the certificate, and the only guy who could stand in a pool of blood when chaos was in full reign.

I started to wonder if the trick to getting people convinced of the universal health care bill was just to produce guys in white jackets to convince you. Could a used car salesman show up in a three-piece suit and sell you a car with 120,000 miles? Could some real estate guy in a suit of armor convince you of his honest intentions? Could a banker with a degree from Harvard Business School convince you of his competence?

After a while, you start to feel uncomfortable. It's kinda like some new husband who's just cleaned out the house trash and noticed some kit in the trash pile..."fake virginity kit" listed on the side. Maybe things aren't what they seem.

A Micky-Mouse-Rule and the FTC

Apparently...the Federal Trade Commission has decided that it has authority to require bloggers to disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

Most folks are saying that this is the first time that rules have been dragged out from the FTC on bloggers...they might be right.

Their continued discussion on the topic circles around the idea of how a blogger would disclose this...which they really aren't sure about the "right way".

The cost here? Up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

I sat for a long time looking over this comment. To be kinda honest...I have yet to make a damn cent off any blog ever, and I kinda wrote a rule that I'd just accept ice tea, donuts, or a beer...for stuff I wrote.

As for reviewing products....other than movie reviews...I think thats about the most you could ever accuse me under this Micky-Mouse-rule.

My grasp of the FTC over this? If I wanted to test sexual products and give dynamic ratings...and they happened to slip me a box of Cuban cigars....I'd wonder what the FTC was upset about. Now, if they paid me $50k to test Friskies cat chow....by eating a whole box....that might be different.

The other problem here....is that some folks are sitting in Banana Republics...and chatting up a storm over real estate in Florida swamps. How exactly does the FTC intend to take on these guys?

I see problems with the FTC...but then, they didn't exactly stop the banks from being fools and tossing billions into the wind....with the help of a bunch of Harvard Business graduates. So the same crew intends to watch over me and my blogging now? Maybe I don't have much to worry about.