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Addiction to Oil
Why do drug addicts have so much trouble? Someone addicted to alcohol, tobacco or meth knows it will harm his health, his family and it will probably eventually kill him, yet he persists. He hangs out with people who deny the dangers, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. Why? To him all that matters is the short term pleasure of his chosen drug. Republicans have a similar but even more dangerous addiction to oil. They are hooked on the short term pleasure of buying the most expensive gas guzzler the bank will finance. They are hooked on a lifestyle that measures self worth by how much you can consume and discard. Astoundingly, they are willing to condemn their children and grandchildren to starvation and a blasted, uninhabitable planet, something even the most wasted meth addict does not do. Republicans convince themselves that selfishness is a virtue and pretend they don’t give a damn, Drill, baby drill! Republicanism is the adult version of a child’s addiction to candy.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Advantages and Disadvantages
Whenever we humans make a decision, e.g. decide what sort of power plant to build, how long to design a kettle or cellphone to last, what to do with pollutants from a manufacturing process, what to do about soil erosion, how much to fund education, what recipe to use in a TV dinner, how safe to make cars… we weigh the advantages and disadvantages. The advantages often include profit. The disadvantages often include health risks and expenses. The catch is, the advantages nearly always accrue to one party, the one proposing something and the disadvantages fall on someone else, usually people not even party to the decision making. It is a rare human who takes everyone into consideration. Thus, over and over, we make suboptimal decisions with a minor benefit to one party and a massive disadvantage to another. This defect in human psychology is at the heart of our environmental problems. We evolved when everyone involved in a decision, the band, the village, sat together around the campfire and naturally had their needs taken into account. Today, corporations ruthlessly exclude input from anyone who might not be enthusiastic about their latest proposal. They even threaten them in various ways.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
American Big Problems
The United States is facing a large number of seemingly intractable problems such as:
- No action on global warming
- A stubborn recession
- A health care system that costs twice what any other country’s does and delivers worse outcomes.
- Massive public debt
- Two protracted, optional, pointless, aggressive, illegal wars.
- Massive oil spills
- Little action on alternative energy
- Polluted air, water and soil
- Erosion of fertile soil
- Banks ripping people off with dishonest business practices
- Banks gambling, then coming to the government to bail them out when they go broke
- Ballooning wealth gap
The reason all these problems are so intractable is that special interests don’t want them solved. US law allows these special interests to secretly buy politicians to harm the national interest. The solution is a constitutional amendment to take money out of politics i.e. stop corporations from donating to politicians altogether and limit donations from individuals.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Every other industrialised country but the USA has a universal health care system. You would think having to pay for health care out of pocket would encourage Americans to take better care of their bodies, yet they do very badly. They have far more trouble with life-style induced diseases such as obesity, diabetes and clogged arteries than people in other countries. Perhaps the problem is the out-of-pocket cost discourages Americans from regular visits where physicians can implement preventive measures and harangue them on life-style choices.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
American Health Care Insanity
Americans oppose universal health care because they don’t want to spend even a penny to save the lives of the deadbeats who can’t afford health insurance or whom the insurance industry refuses to cover. What they refuse to understand is they don’t even have to spend a penny extra to cover everyone. The health care industry is so obscenely profitable, all you need to fund universal health care is a small slice of that fat and savings from computerising and simplifying the paperwork, leaving the health care industry as merely incredibly profitable. Americans pay twice what any other developed nation does for health care, and in return get the worst outcomes — even worse than Cuba. If everyone else can do it, Americans too could cover everyone and still pay half what they are paying now, and start getting first class outcomes. The battered Americans have been ripped off so long, it sounds too good to be true.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
According to the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), the USA ranks #43 globally in IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) the most common measure of national health. This is the worst ranking of all the developed countries, just below Cuba and Taiwan. But, you splutter, the USA has the costliest care in the world; why is health in the USA so bad? There are two main reasons:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- American ideology requires that fairly substantial segment of the population goes without any health care at all. These people harbour all manner of diseases and parasites that they spread and respread to everyone else.
- Americans suffer excessively from environmental diseases such as overeating, sedentary life style, air and water pollution and chemical poisoning.
Americans Hate Each Other
The failure of Americans to institute universal health care is a reflection of the hatred Americans have for one another. This hatred will kill far more Americans than terrorists could dream of exterminating.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
America’s Queer Thrift
You might think it odd that the USA, the richest nation on earth, is the most reluctant to spend for the health and education of its children or the disadvantaged and the most reluctant to offer foreign aid. That is completely consistent with the national philosophy of selfishness, that asserts it is a Good Thing™ to take as much as others while giving as little in return. They have built a military bigger than all other countries combined to help American merchants exploit other countries in the name of this philosophy. Further, Americans believe corporations are more important than people. From a corporate point of view, children, the elderly and the disadvantaged are simply defective consumers. They are waste people and oddly Americans have unwittingly absorbed this attitude even toward others in their own families.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Anti Marijuana Lobby
The people who want to ban marijuana and discourage its use have a serious problem. When they quote some study about the negative health effects of smoking marijuana, they are immediately dismissed as liars. They are perceived as Puritanical Christians who, on principle, object to anything pleasurable, safe or not, e.g. sex, a glass of wine, a backrub, dancing, music, skinny dipping, roller blading…~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
There was once a young Republican who inherited an astounding collection of painting and art ranging from the stone age to the present day. He did not think of himself as their custodian, but as their owner. He felt he was entitled to do with them whatever he pleased. He owed nothing to his heirs. So he had an enormous fireplace built. He instructed his servants to keep a roaring fire going 24/7 fueled by the paintings. To supplement his supply of art work, he hired burglars to steal from other collections. He calculated, this way he could get all the art work in the world burned before he died. He discovered that when the paintings burned they emitted various poisonous substances such as lead, which impaired his health and made the fireplace room unlivable, but that did not deter his determination. This is precisely how the current generation of Republicans think about their global inheritance of oil.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Ashamed To Be American
It is embarrassing to admit one is American. No amount of flag waving and singing can disguise it. Why?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- America is the richest country on earth, but has managed to slide $14.3 trillion in debt.
- America is the richest country on earth, but has the lowest per capita expenditure in foreign aid.
- America gives most of its foreign aid, not to countries in need, but to Israel, a country with a roaring economy, a surplus and an apartheid system. The Israelis spend most of the money making life miserable for Palestinians.
- Americans have a military more expensive than the rest of the world’s put together. This is partly paranoia, partly bullying but mostly abject capitulation to corrupt arms dealers who sell goods at 1000 times cost.
- Americans consume the lion’s share of the world’s food becoming grossly obese while billions literally starve to death. Americans consider competitive gorging a sport.
- Americans spend at least twice as much on health care than anyone else, but enjoy the worse outcomes than any other developed country. They are on par with Cuba. They abjectly surrender to crooked health care companies who rip them off mercilessly.
- Americans undermine democracy throughout the world by propping up pro-western dictators. Their greatest shame is foisting Unocal’s representative, Hamid Karzai, the world’s most corrupt politician and the planet’s biggest heroin dealer on Afghanistan.
- Americans not only emit most of the world’s greenhouse gases, they gave launched a global campaign of lies to fool people into thinking this is a perfectly sensible thing to do.
- American tactics in war would make Hitler blush. America declared the Geneva Conventions quaint and routinely tortures every detainee and uses banned weapons to make deaths of civilians as slow and painful as possible.
- America brags about rule of law, but tortures people in secret prisons around the world, without trial or charge.
- The USA is involved in a number of illegal wars. The USA signed a treaty agreeing it would not attack other countries, only defend itself if attacked. This treaty trumps the constitution. Yet it laughs at its broken promise.
- Americans meekly handed over control of their country to corporations with the John Roberts Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United that allowed corporations and foreign countries to legally and secretly bribe politicians with unlimited amounts of cash.
Atrocious US Health Care
I hung out primarily with 20 something black employed people when I lived in San Francisco in 1985. To my surprise none of them had health insurance. They could not afford it. It drove me nuts. They always had some problem you would get fixed immediately if you lived in Canada. They would let it get worse and worse, trying to ignore the problem.
I don’t think Americans have any idea how terrible their health care system is and what a rip-off it is. It has outcomes on par with Cuba, below every other developed country. Americans are not aware of this because few people travel outside the USA to see what other countries are doing.
When you total up the bill for taxes, fees, hospital care, copayments, pills… in the USA you will spend twice what you do in Canada. The US system is designed to make extremely large amounts money by extracting as much as possible from patients. In contrast the purpose of a universal health care system is to keep people healthy.
The big advantage of universal health care is there is no excuse for sick people wandering around infecting others and getting worse. You just go into the nearest clinic and get in fixed. No extra bill. No paperwork. Riding a bus in the USA scares the heck out of me. It looks like half the passengers have some reportable disease.
In Canada, even the druggies and alcoholics get treated. The big benefit of that to everyone is this policy helps prevent the spread of infections.
I am absolutely baffled by the Tea Party desire to die for the right to pay twice as much as necessary for their health care so that billionaires can profit. They have a knee-jerk phobia over the word socialism but they have not the first clue what it actually means. They react as if it meant being put in a cage and tortured. It is just you set up a super insurance scheme to cover everyone. Because it is universal and gets economies of scale, it can afford to cover everyone, and offer very low rates, can be collected many ways, including taxes.
Dentistry has problems too. It is like putting yourself in the hands of the Mafia when you walk into a US dentist office.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Attracting Death Threats
Here are some of the ways I have discovered you can attract death threats:
- State that gay people should have identical civil rights to straight people, including marriage.
- Condemn soldiers who break international law by engaging in first strike wars and point out they have committed capital war crimes.
- Point out that the remote-warfare techniques used by US soldiers inevitably leads to them killing large numbers of civilians, including women and children.
- Suggest to young women that soldiers make poor husbands.
- Suggest that the USA’s own bad behaviour the root cause of terrorist attacks and that stopping such bullying would be the most effective way to deter attacks against the USA.
- Point out that by the CIA’s own definition of terrorism, the USA is the perpetrator the most state sponsored terrorism than any other nation.
- Investigate suspicious deaths at the hands of American health care providers.
- State that abortion laws as they stand are a reasonable compromise.
- State that you believe whales deserve the same protection from being killed that humans enjoy.
The people who make these threats either have no reasons to support their view, or they are ashamed of their reasons, so they resort to intimidation instead of argument. They are unprincipled people whom I enjoy irritating.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Basking in Former Glory
When I was growing up in the 1950s my great aunts on my mother’s side and my elementary school principal Mr. Allan talked of the empah as if Britain still dominated the world. Brits liked to bask in former glory. Americans do the same today, refusing to notice how their country has become shabby, for example:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70) source
- There used to be only a couple of countries with lower (better) IMR than the USA, the usual international measure for health care quality. Now the USA ranks #51 in the world. Even Cuba, a third world country, is #42, 9 rungs better than the USA.
- Two tiny unarmed countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, fought the USA to a stalemate and the USA had to withdraw. That does not bode well if an armed foe ever attacks the USA. In the invasions, the USA was so desperate, it resorted to torture and banned weapons. What sort of message of weakness and panic did that send to America’s enemies?
- The USA is in deep hock to China, its main global rival. The USA used to be the richest country.
- The USA education system now ranks #17. It has abandoned science and embraced the medieval fundamentalist superstition of creationism.
- All the America economy does nowadays is consume and speculate. It does not manufacture. It even outsources computer programming. That is not a sustainable way to earn a living.
- There is no river or lake left in the USA where it is safe to eat the fish. American have meekly handed over their country to corporations to be despoiled.
The idiocy of Americans is beyond belief. A majority of them believe a nutty conspiracy that birth announcements were placed in Hawaii newspapers back in 1961 to cover up Obama’s true nationality, Kenyan and that his true mother is Kenyan not a white American. These nutters imagine astounding foresight in the conspirators. How on earth would the alleged conspirators know this little baby would become president and need a phony birth announcement? Look at his colour! He can’t possibly be a full-blooded Kenyan! They also believe the Department of Health issued a counterfeit birth certificate. Finally they can’t find him listed in the birth records of any country but the USA.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
One of the great mysteries in politics is why President Obama campaigned for senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas after she did all she could to derail his health care bill.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
When I was in elementary school and in junior high, almost every day of my life I was beaten up by small gangs. I was completely miserable. I was completely frustrated. I felt as though I had no power whatsoever in the situation. As an adult, I can think of alternate strategies I could have tried (e.g positive intention analysis, extreme media shaming, ambush, striking with additional mass, martial arts, persuading I was willing to escalate retaliation without limit, heavy pressuring school staff, my parents and the bully’s parents to come to my aid, witty, cruel, pre-planned verbal attacks, enlisting peers, enlisting help of the civil justice system, enlisting help of the criminal justice system, bodyguards and pranging).
Perhaps what kids need is a lecture as part of health class on strategies to deal with bullying. The lecturer would also guide a discussion on what constitutes the legal and ethical treatment of bullies. The kids would come to understand why breaking bullies of their bad habit is actually a compassionate act, benefiting everyone involved, including the bullies. The bullies too would hear the same material. :) Bullying would immediately lighten up and become more like a game than a mindless sadistic compulsion. Even if kids are not being bullied then, they will probably encounter some later in life.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Business Has No Moral Obligation
Over and over, Republicans chant the mantra that businesses are exempt from moral considerations. Their sole job is to make money. They have no obligation to consider the public good or the damage they do to the environment or the health of their customers and workers other than complying with law. That is like saying rich people are exempt from the normal rules of moral conduct. Because they are rich they should be permitted to do whatever they like to whomever they like, the old droit du seigneur. They may want this licence, but that is no reason we should give it to them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Canadian Health Care
Republicans love to lie about Canada’s health care system. The crucial facts to understand:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Canadians spend 1/3 as much money as Americans on their health care yet enjoy better outcomes.
- The most important thing about health care in Canada is that you will get care no matter what. You can’t be turned down for any reason. In contrast, the US system commonly refuses service to people who become seriously ill or poor. The notion of preexisting condition has no meaning in Canada. Your premiums are the same no matter what your health.
- There are wait lists for non-life-threatening problems. Some people travel to the USA if they don’t want to wait. For anything serious, in my experience, it always gets handled the same day or the next day.
- Where I live in BC Canada, the health care outcomes are the best in the world with the exception of Switzerland.
Canadian vs US Health Care
In the United States, health care is considered a privilege reserved only for those who can afford it. In Canada, health care is considered a universal right for everyone.
The advantages of Canada’s approach include:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- If you have a financial reversal you won’t die if you get sick. Financial and health misfortune tend to come together.
- People will communicable diseases will be cured, rather than sent out onto the streets and buses to infect others.
- There are economies of scale of buying medicines and health care supplies.
- You get superior outcomes and people covered for 1/3 the cost.
In the USA, health care has degenerated from evidence-based medicine to compensation-based medicine.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Let’s say you heard thousands of autistic kids were smashing their heads into walls and giving themselves concussion. Would you say They like it. Boys will be boys. Leave them alone.? Consider there are millions of skateboarders, hockey players, football players etc. playing games guaranteed to give them concussions. When they get one, they take a few months off, then get right back to work on a concussion that will leave the unable to speak, walk, eat etc. that will require lifetime of care from others and millions of dollars in medical bills handed over to the taxpayer.
This is bloody insane. It is also unfair to the taxpayer. We must stop.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Western governments restrict the distribution of drugs and chemicals that potentially deleterious to health. It seems to me then, they should not be timid about restricting components of food that cause diabetes, obesity or cardiac disease, e.g. salt, sugar and transfats. When you have a public health system, people don’t have the right to make themselves deliberately sick, since the public gets stuck with the bill for patching them up.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
In the American health care debate, we have seen the power of corporate America to threaten and bribe the politicians to thwart the will of the majority. There are 100,000 private contractors in Afghanistan. Is it any surprise the collective power and wealth of the defence industry was able to quietly force Obama around 180 degrees to become a hawk?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Corporations Get Away With Murder
The US courts have consistently ruled in favour of corporations over people. Corporation may mislabel products. They may sell dangerous and addictive products. They may sell products that are serious health risks, all without restriction.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
The Cost Lie
The American people are so stupid that Republicans were able to fool most of them that government health care was unacceptable at any cost because it was an extra cost item, rather than something that would replace much higher cost private insurance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Crappy US Medical Care
Anyone who claims American private medicine is superior to Canadian universal healthcare clearly has not experienced both. I have, since I lived in the US and made many visits. My experiences with the US health care system were nightmarish. All they cared about was the paperwork for extracting as much money as possible. They did not give a hoot about the patients, even to the point of repeatedly giving drugs that were obviously causing severe allergic reactions. They treated patients like cattle. I consider their behaviour criminal. On top of that, statistics show the average American spends $8000 a year on health care and the average Canadian $4000 (through taxes and Medical Service Plan insurance fees), The US care is substandard, #42, below all other developed countries in the world, on par with impoverished Cuba. Americas are so conceited they pretend theirs is #1 even though their own C.I.A. says otherwise.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Criminal Health Care Conspiracy
The health care debate in the United States is not a difference of opinion on how best to deliver health care. It is a criminal conspiracy using all manner of outrageous lies and dirty tricks to con the American people into needlessly paying billions to insurance companies for third rate health care. Americas pay twice as much as any other country for outcomes on par with third world countries. Yet Americans are so flushed with patriotic pride they imagine they have the best health care system is the world. This deliberate blindness leaves them vulnerable to these scoundrels.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Crooked Chuck Grassley
You do think Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa knows that if he succeeds in derailing healthcare reform, he will kill thousands of times more Americans than Al Qaeda ever will and further that he will bankrupt his country. It is amazing what harm a crooked man will do for money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Cruel Selfish Bastards
To America’s eternal shame, American citizens made barely a peep of protest when she attacked two nations unprovoked to steal their oil, reminiscent of Hitler’s invasion of Poland, but threatened civil war when asked to ensure everyone got health care, even though it cost them nothing. They are just plain cruel, selfish bastards. They don’t deserve to survive as a nation any more than Nazi Germany did.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Digital DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) ID
If at birth, everyone donated a DNA sample, ideally sequenced in its entirety and stored digitally, then we would have a ID system to figure out who was present at a crime scene, a way of sorting out custody and parental responsibility, a fool-proof voter ID system, a medical ID system that works even if the body is nude, unconscious, dead or dismembered and a way of warning people of genetic health hazards to themselves and their potential offspring. Those benefits outweigh the drawbacks that mostly benefit criminals.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Division of Powers
In Canada, the constitution grants certain areas of the responsibility to the federal government and other responsibilities to the provincial governments. Immigration, for example, is a federal responsibility; so a province has no power to make immigration law or to enforce immigration law. Health care is a provincial responsibility. The federal government has to resort to an indirect technique to create uniform national health care law. They offer grants to provincial governments in return for them enacting laws the feds want. They cannot enact health care laws themselves. My reading of the US constitution is that it is similar, however, with a greater proportion of rights retained by the individual states than in Canada. However, the US supreme court seems to ignore the constitution, for example on 2012-06-25 when it allowed Arizona to write and enforce its own immigration laws, laws that would be constitutionally questionable even if the federal government enacted them. To their credit the Supreme Court did knock down some provisions where Arizona tread on federal responsibilities.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Malaysia has the death penalty for drug dealing. When I was there I saw gangs of teens selling marijuana. I could not believe they would take such a risk. I thought the penalty was crazily harsh. I have since reexamined the policy.
Consider the harm users of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl do:
- Harm to the health of the user.
- The user drops out of contributing to society and becomes a net burden. The taxpayer is stuck paying for their food, lodging and extensive medical care.
- The user betrays and steals from friends and family.
- The user abandons duties to wife and children.
- Users risk the lives of children with careless disposal of needles.
- Users require endless expensive rehab that hardly ever works.
These people have abandoned their role as humans. It is not that unreasonable to simply eliminate them. There is little point in investing money in them. With Draconian law, perhaps people would not try drugs out of curiosity or just for something to do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Early Opposition to Canadian Health Care
When Canada set up its universal health care system, there was violent opposition and massive strikes. Doctors and insurance companies predicted all manner of doom, much as the Republicans did in the USA over Obamacare. However, it worked out. It was much cheaper. The quality of the care was much better. Here in BC, now, there is a corporation trying to set up a two tier system, where the rich would get faster, more elaborate care. To my surprise, the doctors are the ones most opposed to it, the ones where were originally most opposed to government health care. Now, if Canadian politicians suggested eliminating or ever cutting back on universal health care, he would have no chance of re-election. It is amusing that Americans have been tricked into avoiding better and cheaper health care than what they have now, care that has been tested successfully in dozens of countries. It is almost like watching children afraid of ice cream who have been scared off it by fundamentalists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Extra Health Care
If daredevils such as skydivers, race car drivers, skiers, boxers etc. expect the public to pick up the tab for their hospital bills via socialised medicine, then the public has the right to force them to take precautions against serious injury or pay extra.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Fat is Beautiful
There are a number of grossly obese women, such as Candy Palmater on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), who preach that fat is beautiful, that obesity is normal and that there are no consequences to being overweight. They teach that polite people should never mention another’s weight and should pretend not to notice obesity.
Overweight people who listen to them could well stop trying to get their weight under control, and thereby shorten their lives by a decade or two. Fat promoters are a close relation to drug pushers. The convince others to harm themselves for selfish motives. The promoters of fat really should change their message to telling people there in no point in berating themselves or others, but there is definitely a big health and attractiveness plus in controlling weight. Even when you cannot reach your ideal weight, every step toward it still helps.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
If you are wondering if you should get your weight under control, consider what happened to these people who did not:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- John Belushi (1949-01-24 1982-03-05 age:33)
- Chris Farley (1964-02-15 1997-12-18 age:33)
- Elvis Presley (1935-01-08 1977-08-16 age:42)
- John Candy (1950-10-31 1994-03-04 age:43)
- Lou Costello (1906-03-06 1959-03-03 age:52)
- James Coco (1930-03-21 1987-02-25 age:56)
- Zero Mostel (1915-02-28 1977-09-08 age:62)
- Richard Griffiths (1947-07-31 2013-03-28 age:65)
- Orson Welles (1915-05-06 1985-10-10 age:70)
- Luciano Pavarotti (1935-10-12 2007-09-06 age:71)
Women are forever going on the radio and whining about how impossible it is to lose weight. They rudely rail at men because men don’t find their bloated unhealthy bodies attractive.
Gross obesity is a recent problem. What changed?
- Houses are now filled with tempting high calorie foods that can be eaten without preparation.
- People drive cars for short trips when they used to walk or bike.
- People eat high sugar drinks and snacks.
- Sedentary from watching TV.
What should you do?
- Don’t buy tempting high calorie snacks that can be eaten without preparation, especially sweet drinks. Once they get into your home, of course you are going to gobble them down. It is much easier to resist buying than resist eating.
- Sell your car and get a bike.
- Limit TV to an hour a day.
- Admit it that it takes a lot of work to buy the food and gorge enough to get yourself 50 kg (110.23 lbs) overweight. Weight gain doesn’t just happen by itself.
- Don’t let yourself ever make excuses for obesity.
- Think about how young other people as fat as you are dying.
The essential problem is humans evolved to deal with food shortages, not food surpluses. What you have to do is change your environment to better match the one you evolved for.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Fearing the Good, Embracing the Dangerous
Americans are plumb crazy. They are panic stricken by flu shots and affordable health care, but have no concern at all about environmental collapse, global warming or nuclear war.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Governments Can Hire
Republicans argue that the government can’t create jobs. This is absurd. Anyone who hires someone else to do some work creates a job. Governments create jobs every day: clerks, police, firefighters, road construction workers, bridge builders, school builders, school teachers, health care workers, air traffic controllers, meat and food inspectors, safety inspectors, building inspectors, elevator inspectors, the patent office, sewer maintenance people, waterworks people, people who manage public parks, the military, search and rescue… The irony is the Republicans simultaneously complain that governments hire too many people! What hypocrites!~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Health Care Costs
Republicans have been monumentally dishonest about public health care. Private health care in the USA costs twice what public health care costs elsewhere in the developed world and has outcomes below every other developed country. It is not #1 as they so boastfully claim. It is #40. The USA is on par with Cuba. The Republicans managed to bamboozle the public into thinking public health care would be and additional tax to what they pay now, not replacing it. They fooled them into thinking they would be paying twice as much, not half as much. The shame is on Americans and the American media for letting them get away with such a whopper. Obamacare is primarily forcing people who have no money to buy health insurance anyway. That is not Obama’s idea. That a concession to the Republicans who welshed on reciprocation.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Health Care Delusions
I am astounded that so many Americans are so stupid that they believe they have the best health care on the planet when 36% of claims are denied, seriously sick people find their policies canceled, premiums are twice what they are anywhere else in the world, 46 million people can’t afford any insurance at all and outcomes are on par with Cuba. This callous neglect the ill simply does not happen in other countries, but crooked Republicans have suckered American fools into thinking the status quo where insurance companies behave like Bernie Madoff is the best of all possible worlds. Far more people die from this insanity than will ever die from Al Qaeda attacks.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Health Care Funding Lie
Republicans like to repeat a preposterous lie, that if public medical care is discontinued, it will save everyone masses of money. Yes will save money in fees and taxes, but it will cost at least twice as much to buy those services privately. Americans already spend more than twice as much on medical care that any other country and get the worst outcomes of any developed country because they insist on obscene profits for private enterprise. Further, in America, way more people fall between the cracks without any medical care than in any other developed country. That proportion would get even worse if the public safety net were discontinued.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Health Is Only For the Rich
I am surprised that Republicans think they can sell as their major plank that health care should only be for the rich.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Hitler-Inspired Health Care
The Republican view of health care was inspired by Hitler. In a nutshell, those without sufficient funds deserve to die. On top of that, the believe the insurance companies should charge people at least twice what people in other countries pay. Insurance companies should be permitted to use any dirty trick imaginable to increase profit. They believe insurance companies should be permitted to legally bribe politicians to keep the game going. Further, they feel no shame that infant mortality in the USA, (the usual measure of quality of health care) is two rungs below Cuba, below every other developed nation.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Hobby Lobby Decision
The Hobby Lobby US Supreme Court decision permits an employer to withhold paying for health care for their employees if it violates his religious convictions. This decision is far too easy to abuse. If I, as employer, simply want to save money, I can refuse to pay for diabetes treatments by claiming my God hates people who eat too much. I can refuse to pay for HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) treatments since my god hates people who have sex outside of marriage. I can refuse to pay for liver disease treatment since my god wants everyone tormented who drinks alcohol etc. I could even go further and attempt to withhold 10% of the contracted salaries on the grounds my employees might use the money to buy drugs. To avoid this abuse, Hobby Lobby should have to pay an amount of money to its employees equivalent to the family planning/health care services it refuses to pay for directly.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
If Corporations Ran the World
Republicans keep telling us the world would be better if government stopped trying to run things. They want the corporations to run things instead. I don’t think this is such a hot idea. Why? No matter how badly the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Monsanto behaves, even if he directs his company to repeatedly break the law, there is no way to fire him. Have you ever tried to get service from Microsoft? They are worse than the government! Big business has all the disadvantages of big government plus the lack of accountability. As an employee, you are in the same rôle as medieval serf. There is no democracy. You do what you boss tells you or he fires you. We all know exactly how unregulated companies behave since we watched the investment houses melt down the US economy. We watched how US health insurance companies gave Americans care worse that Cuba and charged three times the going international rate. They gouge and screw. Why would anyone claim to |want more of this unless they were paid to lie, the way Republican politicians are.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Incentives to Health
With public health care, people have less incentive to look after their health. I think things that harm health should be taxed to compensate for the burden they put on the public health care system and do discourage their use, e.g. equipment for dangerous sports, fast cars, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, junk food, high fat food, sugar, soft drinks… Similarly, things that protect health should be subsidised, such as health club memberships (so long as you actually attend), dogs, fresh fruits and vegetables…~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Inconsistent Sacredness of Embryos
A treatment for infertility involves creating a dozen embryos, implanting the healthiest-looking one and discarding the rest. Fundamentalist Christians do not object. What happened to Every embryo and stem cell is sacred. Discarding one is morally equivalent to murdering an adult human being? Because the net result of the process is increasing the number of Christians in the world, they consider the murder of the eleven other embryos perfectly acceptable. So sounds what these loons really mean is overpopulating and destroying the environment is a virtue, where controlling population is an evil equivalent to murder. They are stark raving bonkers and hypocritical liars to boot.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Republicans are so insanely partisan that they feel compelled to oppose anything a prominent Democrat such as Barack Obama or Al Gore supports, from combating climate change, to clean air, to clean water, to healthful food, to universal health care, to ending the recession. Obama could inadvertently convince all the Republicans to murder their mothers and commit suicide by supporting motherhood and suicide prevention.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Insurance Company Shills
Politicians shilling for the health insurance companies remind me of villains in crime dramas, making up preposterous lies to cover their crimes. Like actors, they too are professional liars and manage to fool much of the audience.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Levels of Desire
In your personal life, you primary concern is security, a place to live, food, health care, safety… Once that is under control you seek pleasure: music, entertainment, games, toys, athletic pursuits, travel… One that is doing well, you seek power: influence in the community, chairmanships, published letters, websites, political office, enforcing your views on others… Given how many threats to security there are, I would expect voters to choose candidates mainly on security issues such as:
- global warming
- environmental collapse
- preventing soil erosion
- support for those who get seriously ill or lose their jobs.
- Creating a peaceful world where we are unlikely to be attacked.
But they don’t . They ignore the security issues and go instead for lower priority power issues, e.g. punishing people for being gay or for having abortions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Making People Buy Things
Questioning whether congress had the constitutional right to require people to buy health insurance should have been horse-laughed out of court. Governments have been making people buy things ever since I was a kid: air bags, baby seats, bike lights, car insurance, catalytic converters, child support, circuit breakers, drivers’ licences, home insulation, lawn mowers, leaf rakes, life jackets, motorcycle helmets, oars, safety flares, seat belts, sewer hookups, smoke detectors, snow shovels, tail lights and even clothes (nudity is illegal)… Right wingers periodically try to pass laws forcing people to buy firearms.
The Supreme court ruled correctly. If the government has the right to tax, namely to demand a fee and give nothing tangible in return, it surely also has the right to demand a fee where the taxpayer gets something tangible (health insurance) back. To give the Republicans debating point fodder in the presidential election, Chief Justice John Roberts did not express his decision that way, but ruled mandatory health insurance is a tax.
But health insurance premiums are clearly not taxes in the ordinary sense and neither are any of the those other things you are forced to buy. A tax is something you pay into a general revenue fund for the common good; you don’t get some object or contract in return. Republicans are playing dishonest word games to make it look like Obama is raising taxes.
Obama is actually lowering the total amount of money people have to pay for health care, the very opposite of raising taxes. Americans pay three times what anyone else does for their health care. They also have the worst outcomes, of any developed country. They are two rungs lower than Cuba in IMR. If Republicans would get out of Obama’s way and work for the benefit of the American people rather than big Pharma and the HMOs (Health Management Organisations), he could save them massive amounts of money more. There is an incredible amount of low-hanging fat in American health care that could be pruned to improve quality and lower costs, starting with standardised, simplified computer billing that every other developed country uses.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Mitch McConnell is the world’s most dishonest politician. He makes used car salesmen look like saints. He likes to tell black-is-white type lies that are obviously false to anyone who knows anything about the subject. He is speaking to those who have never heard of the issue.
For example, Obama called for hospitals receiving federal money to offer full services, including contraception. Some Catholics, for reasons that cannot enunciate, believe contraception is wicked and wish to block people who do not share that nutty belief from using contraception. They want the hospitals they own to take the federal money but refuse contraceptive services. McConnell said that Obama was trying to force religious beliefs on people. That is what Henry VIII, did telling the church what to believe. Obama did no such thing. Catholics can believe whatever they want. They can use contraception or avoid it. Hospitals can provide contraception or not. They just cannot interfere with other people’s access to contraception if they take federal money to care for their reproductive health. It is a simple issue. If a hospital takes money to provide a service, it damn well better provide it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Americans have such an inflated opinion of themselves, that nothing can shake it. They imagine they have the best health care in the world, yet their outcomes are lower than any developed country, even worse than Cuba. They imagine they are at the forefront of energy technology research and development, yet China outspends them 14 to 1. The Europeans are far ahead in green energy and electric cars. Americans imagine they have an unstoppable juggernaut of a military, yet two tiny impoverished countries, Afghanistan and Iraq have fought them to a stalemate. They are racing toward bankruptcy yet imagine they are the greatest nation on earth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Moral Obligation to Control Risk
Universal medical care has ethical ramifications. When other people are contributing to your health care, you have a moral obligation not to incur unnecessary expense. This means you have a moral obligation to:
- Watch your diet and exercise.
- Avoid harmful drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and cocaine.
- Avoid contracting serious diseases such as HEP-C and HIV.
- Avoid having children if you carry genetic defects that would mean they would need unusually expensive medical care, such as requiring a heart transplant or lifetime care for mental retardation.
- Avoid extreme sports where you stand a high chance of becoming paraplegic or brain damaged.
- Don’t demand drastic or expensive medical procedures when they would extend your life by only months.
It is only a matter of time until universal health programs start demanding people who make choices that increase their health care costs contribute extra for their treatment both before and after the trouble manifests. Another way to look at it, people are exceptionally prudent in their choices and cost little to support should get a discount on their health insurance bill.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Murder vs Attempted Murder
I don’t think there should be such a big difference in the penalty for murder and attempted murder. Whether the victim survives depends mostly on factors that have nothing to do with the assailant, e.g. time to get medical attention, general health of the victim and skill of the surgeon.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Right wingers complain about the nanny state especially when governments try to get them to stop smoking, control their obesity, exercise more or avoid unprotected sex. They claim they are not hurting anyone but themselves, so they should be allowed to harm themselves in peace. That is not quite true. Second hand smoke hurts others. STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) infect others. And, in a society with universal medical care, if you destroy your health, other people will be stuck paying your medical bills.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
No Need to Speculate
Every time Americans debate health care, they go off into the weeds claiming dreadful things will happen if the other fellow’s policies are followed. They act as if no other country has already solved the problem. You don’t need to speculate! Just ask your friends living in Canada, Britain, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands or France. The following crucial fact gets ignored in every US health care debate:The USA spends three times as much per capita on health care as any other developed country, but ranks below all other developed nations in outcomes as measured by IMR. The USA ranks #43, two rungs below Cuba, a third world nation.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Every other country uses single payer, computerised billing. American hospitals have just as many billing clerks as doctors. They drown in paper dealing with non-standard billing for every insurance company. Armies of clerks are not needed in other countries.
- Americans pay far more for the exact same pharmaceuticals sold in other countries. Why? Pharmaceutical companies bribe American politicians legally and illegally to make rules to let them rip off consumers.
- So many Americans go without health care of any kind. Sick Americans infect everyone else. American streets are as disease-ridden as anything I have seen in the third world, homeless people hacking away with TB (Terabytes).
- Any time anything goes wrong, Americans look about for someone to blame and sue. A medical error is looked on as a lottery jackpot. Other countries protect doctors from being sued but take away their licences. That puts an immediate stop to incompetence. Canceling the licence punishes the doctor, not the insurance company. As a result, everywhere else, doctors don’t have to pay such exorbitant malpractice insurance, which indirectly saves the patient a bundle.
- Americans are reaping the consequences of a cradle to grave junk food diet and sedentary lifestyle.
One-Tier Health Care
The big advantage to a one-tier health system is the rich people have to use it. They won’t let it deteriorate. If they don’t use it, they don’t care how bad it is and will defund it to save them money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Americans are fond of Orwellian language, for example:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Orwellian language examples Orwellian Language Examples Example Meaning Defence of Marriage Act Prevents people from getting married. Clear Skies Initiative allows greater air pollution. Homeland Security Aggressive foreign wars to control oil supplies. Healthy Forests Initiative hands stewardship of the forests over to the logging industry and allows renewed cutting of old growth forests. Beyond Petroleum Off shore oil and natural gas drilling and drilling in the national parks. New Freedom Initiative mass forced drugging of school children. Patriot Act Abrogating all the freedoms in the constitution.
Pay Extra for Ignoring Health
When health care is paid for by insurance, either private or public, it is reasonable to ask people to take care of their health and to charge extra to people who refuse to do so.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Pay For Deliberate Risk
If someone invites health problems with poor diet, lifestyle, alcohol/drug use, or dangerous sporting activities, or dangerous profession such as mercenary, should they have equal access to universal health care without paying a premium?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Plot to Kill Americans
The enemies of America must be chortling with laughter watching American senators plotting to kill off millions of American citizens by denying them health care. Al Qaeda, in its wildest dreams, could never hope for casualties that large.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
The politicians of both US political parties pay no attention to anyone but the richest 0.1% of the population who fund their campaigns. The behaviour of government including:
- Absurdly high military spending and endless pointless wars.
- longer hours and lower wages.
- collapse of manufacturing.
- Health care that costs three times what people in other countries pay.
- Spying on everyone.
- No taxes for the rich. Heavy taxes for everyone else.
- Bailouts for corporations, but no help for people in hurricanes, floods etc.
- Heavy pollution.
- Nothing done about climate change.
are exactly the way these wealthy people want it. They are the greediest, most selfish, uncaring, short-sighted bastards on the planet. They are the last people who should be running things.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
The US Senators and Congressmen have cynically computed they are further ahead to take money from special interest groups such the health insurance companies and the religious right and vote against what the majority wants because they believe just a little of that money will suffice to convince Americans with short memories to vote for them anyway.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Political Relevance of Delusions
Someone’s mental health is relevant when they run for office. If they believe pixies in the garden will give sound advice or come to the rescue from global warming that person is unfit to govern. If they harbour similar delusions about Jesus, we normally don’t consider them mentally ill, but for all practical purposes they are just as impaired. There is also the matter of gullibility. Anyone who believes that Mormon cock and bull story about the gold plates is just too naíve to deal with sharks like Putin.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Pretending to Be An Idiot
Isn’t it preposterous that the two candidates for president in the USA have to pretend they reject the science upon which the entire economy, including the health care system, including the corporations who fund their campaigns, is based? They feel compelled to pretend to believe nonsense wackier than anything even the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) abduction people proclaim, to mollify the Christian lunatics in the electorate.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Protecting You From Yourself
We have quite elaborate procedures to protect you from abusing prescription drugs, even for drugs that almost no-one abuses. We devote large teams to stop people from taking drugs such as cocaine, heroin and even relatively harmless ones like cannabis and ayahuasca. Yet it is odd that we as a society do almost nothing at all to protect people from injuring themselves with too much alcohol, caffeine, fat, high fructose corn syrup, salt, sugar, tobacco… In terms of total damage, these ignored substances could well be a bigger health problem.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Reasons To Withhold Health Care
Americans prosecute parents who withhold medical treatment from their children for religious reasons. However, it is perfectly OK for them to withhold treatment from their children if they cannot afford it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Republicans claim that if the government has anything to do with health care, it necessarily means overwhelming paperwork. That is simply not so. I had a CAT (Computerised Axial Tomography) scan yesterday here in Canada. I swiped my socialised medicine card through a reader on the reception desk. That was it. No questions. No forms. No charge. When an American friend of mine got a large shard of glass stuck in her eye in Portland, even though she had fully paid up insurance, it took an hour’s worth of paperwork (triplicate paper forms) before they would even look at her eye.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Refusal to Sacrifice For Children
There is something peculiar going on with this generation of Americans. They don’t care that much about their kids. Even insects, cephalopods and rodents will make huge sacrifices for the next generation. Today’s Americans will not. What sort of world are they leaving their grandchildren?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Every child is born with a share of massive public debt. Parents party and grandkids are stuck with the tab.
- Decrepit infrastructure.
- Polluted because parents would make no sacrifices at all to avoid turning the planet into a toilet.
- Unlivable climate because parents would not inconvenience themselves in the least from gushing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- They resent spending on schools or health care for their children.
The goal of the Republican Party is to stop the government from providing any services to the people, excepting the military. Everything — education, water, roads, health care etc. will be provided by unregulated corporations. There will be no unions. The wealth gap will be the highest in the world, in other words, much like Brazil. I gather not many people have visited Brazil, or surely there would be more second thoughts about his goal.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Republican Health Care Crazy Talk
When a Republican says Universal health care will bring death panels, you have to wonder about his mental health. Private health care already rations care in an extreme way both for those covered and uncovered. Universal health care explicitly improves both kinds of rationing. What the Republican really means is The HMOs I have invested in will likely pay lower dividends if universal health care makes it harder for them to screw their customers.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Republicans are such hypocrites to object to the law that everyone is required to buy health insurance. The provision was put there at their insistence as a sop to the insurance industry they front for. Had the provision not been included, they would have objected to permitting deadbeats to avoid paying for their own health care.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Republicans Want Third World Health Care
Republicans are under the delusion they are better off if only the rich have access to health care. Go visit a third world country. You will be exposed to TB (Tuberculosis), malaria, HIV, hepatitis and thousands of other exotic diseases. If nobody is sick, you can’t catch anything from them. If nearly everyone is sick, every meal, every hand shake and every sexual encounter takes your life in your hands.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Governments try to keep citizens living in the same town their entire lives with pensions, public health and customs & immigration bureaucracy. The coming generations will not put up with this. They will want to live in several countries throughout their lives without giving up pensions, health care or civil rights.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Rewiring Your Brain
If you could reprogram your brain, what changes might you make? Here are some suggestions:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Stop obsessing about things that do not matter, such as sports contests, national loyalties, ex-lovers, TV announcers mispronouncing words etc.
- Make yourself like the foods and exercises optimal for your health.
- Get rid of beliefs for which there is no evidence.
- Get rid of any miniature mental illnesses.
- Sort out your priorities of what you worry about to match the objective odds of them happening.
- Thicken your skin to the insults you will have to brave to reach your goals.
- Ensure a part of your brain is dedicated to paying attention to the emotional state of those around you.
Rising Health Care Costs
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies keep inventing ever more expensive health care treatments. We need some measures to push prices back down. Here are some ideas:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- About half your lifetime healthcare expenditures occur in the last year of life. When a person is believed to be in the last year of life, we should stop treatments designed to extend life, and focus on making the patient comfortable.
- We should allow people to have access to physician-assisted suicide, even if they are not at death’s door.
- If a fetus is badly deformed, abort it. Even if it survived it would have a horrible life with painful and expensive medical treatments.
- No publicly-funded fertility treatments. There are too many people on earth already. Let them adopt or become foster parents. Perhaps godparents could have an extended rôle in caring for children.
- People who need health care because of their own stupidity, e.g. skiing out of bounds, gross obesity, climbing in tiger cages, taking recreational drugs… should be treated as a second priority, only after everyone else.
- It should be illegal to put antibiotics in animal feed. This causes the germs to develop immunity to the antibiotics, rendering them useless.
- More use should be made of home care, with a nurse checking in periodically, mostly by phone. This would help contain hospital-contracted diseases.
- There should be a user fee for expensive procedures like CAT scans to put some pressure against using them frivolously.
I can understand why a few billionaires might support the Ryan/Romney ticket, but it is astounding that anyone else does. Why do I think that?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Ryan/Romney’s plan for jobs and prosperity is to use the tried and true Republican laissez-fair (hands-off, do-nothing) and tax-cuts for the rich approach that Bush used to create the recession in the first place. That is utterly insane!
- Ryan/Romney blame Obama for the lack of economic progress. Yet they and the Republicans doggedly blocked Obama at every turn when he floated bills to create jobs. The Republicans sacrificed the economic health of the whole country just so they would later have ammunition to make Obama look bad. They are traitors and hypocrites.
- Ryan/Romney’s retirement plan is invest $1 million and live off the interest. If you don’t have $1 million, tough. No more social security.
- Ryan/Romney’s business plan is to let the banks and corporations do whatever they please to their customers, the environment and their country. The only people that matter are the ones who own the corporations. Ryan/Romney want to remove corporate regulation so corporations would be allowed to fire, outsource, lie, mislabel, renege on guarantees, cheat and harm health in the pursuit of profit.
- While everyone is being asked to tighten their belts, Ryan/Romney want to increase military spending even though the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are winding down and no other country is seriously threatening the USA. Ryan/Romney have to reward their backers.
- Ryan/Romney’s new health care system works like this: if you get sick go to the Mayo clinic. If you can’t afford it, tough. Americans could easily have a system like Canada’s that costs 1/3 as much, has better outcomes and where you cannot be refused no matter what your current state of health and where you are never stuck with the bill because some bureaucrat denied your claim. Almost every industrialised nation has such a plan. They are not rocket science and they save vast amounts of money. If they chose, Americans could spend little more (still half what they do now) and have a Cadillac system with no wait times.
- If you or your spouse is raped, Ryan/Romney want to take away the option of terminating any pregnancy. You must raise that child and force yourself to forget who the father is. You have to bear the shame if he too grows up to become a rapist.
- Ryan/Romney are extreme anti-gay bigots. They don’t believe in equality. They believe in the right to impose their fundamentalist religious beliefs on others. Ironically, people that are rabidly anti-gay are usually fighting down gay feelings themselves. I was one myself. They are not so blatant about their racism as their homophobia, but they look down on immigrants, Hispanics, blacks and anyone without a white skin. Romney’s religion has a history of racism.
Second Rate Americans
The USA thinks of itself as naturally #1 in everything, simply because it spends more than any other country on its military. Not so:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Life expectancy below Bosnia.
- Democracy below Spain.
- Freedom of the press below Croatia.
- Corruption comfortably between Chile and Spain.
- Education below Russia.
- Prison population above Russia.
- Infant survival rate below Slovakia and just above Russia.
- Scientific literacy below Cyprus and just above Turkey.
- Quality of health care below Costa Rica and just above Slovenia.
- Mobile phones per capita. Russia is #2 and the USA is #16, just below Algeria.
Children sometimes drag around a filthy old security blanket. It makes them feel safe, even though it endangers their health. Similarly, adult Americans sometimes drag around a firearm, to make them feel safe, even though it is 22 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. It is time they grew up and gave up this self-indulgence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Single Payer Health Care
Americans don’t understand single payer health care. It does not magically provide free health care, just quality health care that costs half as much. Even if it is paid for it via taxes, you are still way ahead.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Why are people different colours? Evolution adjusts your skin colour to let just the right amount of ultraviolet rays through. Too little and you don’t get enough vitamin D. Too much and you get cancer and you don’t get enough folate. The closer you are to the equator, the more UV (ultraviolet) there is. The greater your elevation, the more UV there is. The more cloud cover, the less UV there is. The more vitamin D naturally in your diet (e.g. fish oils), the less UV you need. Your skin colour is the optimum colour at the location and diet where your ancestors lived. That is all it means. If people migrate, over the centuries their colour changes to match the new location.
All humans started out in the Great Rift Valley in Africa near the equator. Thus we humans were all originally black. White supremacy is one of the most bone-headed ideas anyone ever came up with.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
On 1980-05-17 the WHO (World Health Organisation) declared smallpox had been eradicated from planet earth. Yet some samples were kept alive in labs around the world. Why? The ostensible reason was to help in controlling a future unexpected outbreak. Yet if that happened, there would be no problem getting new samples of the precise problematic strain. I suggest the real reason is more sinister, to use in biological warfare.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Special Interest Bribery
Nearly all the problems America is having right now stem from a single cause — special interests have bribed the politicians to do things that hurt the national interest, including two expensive and prolonged wars and massive spending without raising corresponding revenue to cover the bills. The corruption has reached even into the John Roberts supreme court that made it effectively legal for anyone, including foreign countries, foreign corporations, terrorists and criminals to donate unlimited amounts of money secretly to politicians. Until the Supreme Court Justice Roberts dies or resigns there is not much hope of cleaning up that fundamental corruption. But what you can do is boycott corporations you catch bribing/donating to politicians to do things against the national interest. Let them know you are boycotting. Such companies include: all the big oil companies, Microsoft, General Electric, the big pharmaceutical companies, the health insurance companies, wall street investment houses and the Koch brothers empire of companies including Brawny Paper Towels, Dixie cups and Georgia Pacific.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Americans love to congratulate themselves that they are the most compassionate nation on earth. This simply is not so. They are the stingiest first world country in terms of foreign aid on a per capita/or per GNP (Gross National Product) basis. They deny millions of people health care. No other first world nation does this. Their streets are filled with the homeless, worse than a third world country.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Tea Party Whoppers
If by some magic every lie told during the 2010 midterm campaign had been silenced, the public would have come to realise the president is far better than they deserved. As it is, history will excoriate the voters for being so stupid and so gullible as to swallow so many Tea Party whoppers such as:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Giving tax breaks to the rich will reduce the deficit. Obviously if you reduce government revenue, the government has less money and has to borrow more.
- America is #1 in health care and needs no improvement. Actually, it is #40, on par with Cuba. Further, insurance companies soak Americans double any other country.
- The many lies about Obama personally e.g. that he was not born in Hawaii, he is a Muslim and he consorts with Muslim terrorists. That is all just made up. There is evidence at all to support it and plenty to deny it. Yet many Americans refused to look at the facts and just repeated rumours.
- Global warming is a hoax perpetrated by all the world’s scientists. This assertion is so ridiculous when people can watch the glaciers disappearing in their own national parks.
Telling Kids What To Eat
Cretins bellow when schools upgrade the lunch programs to serve more healthful foods to their children. How dare the govamint tell my kids what to eat? It did not occur to the cretins that the schools already were telling kids what to eat just as much when all they offered were fat burgers and colas. There is no way to serve food without deciding what it is.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Theft & Gluttony
The fact the USA uses its military to extort the lion’s share of the world’s resources would not be quite so disgusting were it not for the fact that obesity is the biggest health problem in the USA. The USA starves the third world motivated by gluttony.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Third World Attributes of the USA
Even though the USA is a very wealthy country, it has attributes of a third world country. Religiosity is far higher than other wealthy countries. Wealth inequality is far higher than other wealthy countries. It still does not have universal health coverage.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Two Kinds Of Medicine
The fundamental goal of corporate medicine is to make as much money as possible. The fundamental goal of socialised medicine is to keep people healthy and happy and voting for the currently ruling party. Unfortunately, the goal of making as much money as possible rarely coincides with the goal of getting someone healthy as quickly as possible. Sometimes, for example, when the patient has pre-paid for long-term care, it is advantageous to kill the patient. It is nearly always advantageous to avoid expensive treatments or drugs. It is advantageous to arbitrarily reject claims. It is always advantageous to avoid treating people who do not have substantial reserves of money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Unfair Protest Rules
Protestors must be peaceful, must not damage anything, must stay out of earshot from those they protest and must not interrupt commerce or they are arrested. However, the companies and governments they protest are free to lie, cheat, destroy entire ecosystems, poison aquifers, cause cancer, enslave people in the third world and block people from receiving health care necessary for life. It is time protestors fought on a level playing field, or learned to fight off the field.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
US Embargo Of Cuba
If Cuba threatened the USA militarily, there would be justification for its embargo. But it does not. The USA meddles in Cuba’s internal affairs tries to force Cubans to use a more capitalistic economic system. It is none of the American’s business. What America is doing would be like Europe mounting an embargo against the USA for refusing to implement universal health care. Obama continues it hoping to win the votes of Cuban expatriates who vainly dream of returning to Cuba to become the ruling class as their families were in the 1950s.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
USA Health Care in 45th Place
Republican John Boehner shouts over and over that the USA has the best medical system in the world, as if repetition would make it so. The C.I.A Fact Book puts the USA in 45th place, two ranks below Cuba.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
What Ills US Health Care
Health care costs in the USA are going through the roof. The Ryan plan that just changes the scheme by which the bills are paid merely rearranges the deck chairs. It does not do anything to bring the total expenditures under control. It actually makes them worse by making the entire population a captive customer for the insurance industry to easily exploit. The problem is:
- The Health care industry is obscenely profitable. They are permitted to keep jacking up prices even when costs have not risen. They are permitted to dump non-profitable patients. There are all manner of laws to favour monopolies include patent law and laws preventing the government from doing bulk bids on drugs and supplies.
- You spend most of your lifetime healthcare budget in your last year of life, most of that is the last months, weeks and days. There is no point is painful heroic measures that can give only a few extra weeks of misery. What’s worse, his treatment is forced on those who don’t even want to live any longer. Let people die with help and dignity, if they want to. Let us encourage people who will die soon to accept palliative care to make their final days as comfortable as possible, rather than radical surgery with almost no chance of significant benefit.
Every developed country has for all practical purposes solved the health care problem. They spend half or less of what the US does. They get much better outcomes. They have their problems, e.g. long waiting lists for hip surgery in Canada, but they are popcorn to what Americans face. All the US need do is copy any of the other developed countries (even Cuba does better on a minute fraction of the budget.) The main roadblocks are:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- The health care industry that has a vested interest in raising their billings ever higher. The Republicans act as their agents since the health care industry spends so much in campaign donations and under the table perks to Republicans.
- The Republican ideology that government involvement in health care is inherently wicked. They never explain why. It is matter of religious faith. Most American swallow this without thinking. They think there is something honourable about going without health care. When I lived in San Francisco in 1985, almost none of my friends had health care, even though they were employed. They all had untreated health problems. This is irresponsible. Your bad health hurts the health of others.
Why Republicans Oppose Health Care
Republicans are coming clean on why they so strongly oppose Obamacare. It provides health care to lower middle class Americans. It provides medical care to people with pre-existing medical conditions. They consider this unAmerican because in their view only the rich and healthy deserve medical care. They would not like it even if it put an extra $10,000 in their pockets. It is a privilege they currently have, or imagine they soon will have, over other Americans and they don’t want to relinquish that leg up. Republicans get far more joy by denying others than my pampering themselves.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Why Such Expensive US Health Care?
Why is health care so expensive in the USA?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- About 1/3 of the money spent is siphoned off as profit.
- In a modern US hospital are rooms full of people dealing with complicated insurance company billing paperwork. IIRC (If I Recall Correctly) 1/3 of staff are paper pushers doing pointless tasks like billing for every aspirin. There are no such billing clerks in other countries, just people doing medical records.
- US doctors spend a huge proportion of their time on paperwork. In other countries, they spend most of their time practicing medicine. This is a waste of rare talent.
- Drug companies spend more money on advertising than they do on research.
- The health care lobby has corrupted the politicians into enacting laws that help them rip off the people, e.g. prohibiting hospitals from bulk buys of drugs.
An area where democracy fails badly is deciding how to spend money on public health and safety. The people demand spending based on recent lurid news stories, completely divorced from how probable a given danger is. For example, we grossly exaggerate the danger of child kidnapping and grossly underestimate the danger of overeating and a sedentary lifestyle.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
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