Week in Review
The supporters of Obamacare want to go farther. They want to have what the British have. A National Health Service (NHS). Where there are no profits. Only kind, loving care (see Radiotherapy campaigners march through Kendal posted 3/3/2012 on BBC News Cumbria).
About 2,000 people marched through the streets of a Cumbrian town to call for improved cancer services…
They want to stop cancer patients having to travel for treatment at hospitals outside South Lakeland…
Plans for a new £10m radiotherapy unit in Kendal are currently before health commissioners…
The MP handed a petition with 11,000 signatures to Cumbria director of public health, Dr John Ashton.
Mr Ashton said: “I’d like to see it happen sooner rather than later and I’m concerned that if the health bill goes through it will be in the long grass for some time because the national commissioners will have to make the decision and it won’t be a local decision.”
This is national health care in action. Making treatment for cancer patients so difficult to get that many just go without and die sooner. Proving once again national health care is all about costs. And the rationing of services. And if you have cancer and live in South Lakeland they will ration your treatment to reduce costs. So enjoy your national health care. Where they put people before profits.
Tags: British, Cumbria, National health care, National Health Service, NHS, ration
Week in Review
Once again the Falkland Islands are back in the news. And the Argentines are calling the UK pig-dog colonialists. Again. Why, one could say that this ongoing dispute is just Another Brick in the Wall (see Roger Waters says Falkland Islands are Argentinian in reported comments by Uki Goni posted 2/28/2012 on The Guardian).
“I am as ashamed as I possibly could be of our colonial past,” Waters is reported to have said to TVN journalist Amaro Gómez-Pablos. When asked if the islands are British or Argentinian, Waters reportedly replied: “I think they should be Argentinian.”
Actually, as an American, I’m rather ecstatic about Britain’s colonial past. As I’m sure the Canadians are (except, perhaps, the Francophile Quebeckers). And the Australians. The New Zealanders. The South Africans. The Indians. Sure, we didn’t always see eye to eye but look at us now. Some of the best places to live in the world were once part of the mighty British Empire. So even though I’ll never bow to British Royalty, I gotta tip my hat to the British. Their agricultural advances, representative government and capitalism sure made the world a better place.
And as far as Waters’ opinion on conflict resolution, suffice it to say I’ll listen to him when David Gilmour joins him on tour.
“My view is that certainly it saved Margaret Thatcher’s political career at the time at the cost of a great many Argentine and British lives, which disgusted me then and still does now. I was never a huge fan of Margaret Thatcher,” Waters told the press conference in Chile.
Waters arrived on the heels of the American actor Sean Penn, who sparked controversy two weeks ago when he lambasted Britain for what he termed “ludicrous and archaic colonialism” in the Falklands after meeting with President Kirchner in his role as special ambassador for Haiti.
Saved Margaret Thatcher’s political career? So the Falklands War was a political diversion? Funny. Because it was the Argentines who were suffering under human rights violations under a military junta and economic despair at that time. Who invaded the Falkland Islands to divert Argentines from their despair. Thinking the British wouldn’t fight for these islands. The problem was, though, that those living on the islands were for all intents and purposes British. And they wanted to remain British. Which they still do to this day.
The Falkland Islands were uninhabited when the British first landed there. They claimed the islands and left. Then the French came in and did the same. And built a settlement. Then the British came back. Then the French ceded their settlement to the Spanish. And the Spanish kicked the British out. Then the Argentines kicked the Spanish out of Argentina. And claimed all Spanish territory around them. Including the islands. Which they took. For about a decade. Then the British came back in 1833 and have been there ever since.
Argentina is as much a colonial power in the Falklands as the British, the French and the Spanish. Something that Waters and Penn simply overlook. And the only reason Argentina is interested once again in these islands is because the British have discovered oil deposits off their shores. Something else Waters and Penn conveniently overlook.
Which just goes to show you when it comes to geopolitics perhaps we shouldn’t listen to actors and musicians. As good as they are in their respective fields they seem to be a bit too eager to join in on the side of the underdog just to stick it to the big dog.
Tags: Argentina, Argentine, Britain, Britain's colonial past, British, British Empire, Falkland Islands, French, John Waters, Margaret Thatcher, Spanish, UK
Week in Review
Trouble in Xinjiang province. Han Chinese migrants are coming in and taking Muslim Uighurs’ jobs (see China violence: 12 dead in Kashgar city in Xinjiang posted 2/29/2012 on BBC News China).
Xinhua news agency reported that rioters killed 10 people, while police shot dead two of the rioters.
The report gives no detail as to what might have triggered the violence.
Security has been high in the north-western province since riots in 2009 in the capital Urumqi between the Muslim Uighurs, who are the largest ethnic group, and Han Chinese migrants…
Almost half of Xinjiang’s residents are Uighurs, Turkic-speaking Muslims with cultural and ethnic links to Central Asia.
Many complain that large-scale migration of Han Chinese workers from the east has cost them jobs and is eroding their culture.
China has invested heavily in Xinjiang and the region’s rich oil and gas deposits are vital to its booming economy.
Now I’m no expert in Muslim Uighurs-Han Chinese relations but I’m guessing the problem is the oil and gas deposits the Chinese want that they have. To power their economy. And I’m guessing the Uighurs are not too happy about this intrusion into their autonomous part of the country. And into their culture. For they may be in China. But their people aren’t Chinese. At least the Muslim Uighurs are not Han Chinese.
Oil is the lifeblood of a modern economy. So the oil and gas deposits in Xinjiang are going to become even more important to the Chinese economy. And the Chinese government. Which means things aren’t going to get better anytime soon in this north-western province. Which questions the ultimate staying power of the Chinese economy. For China is a large country. With a lot of diversity. And unlike in the United States, the Chinese aren’t saying their diversity is their strength. Instead they no doubt see it as their curse. For in an economy that is growing on its exports fueled by a cheap labor force, that diversity will only point out the inevitable income disparities. And cause discontent. Which will be further fueled by these cultural and ethnic differences. As they always are. Especially when cheap migrant labor comes in and takes people’s jobs.
Tags: China, Chinese, Chinese economy, economy, gas, Han Chinese migrants, jobs, Muslim Uighurs, oil, oil and gas deposits, Uighurs, Xinjiang
Week in Review
The social democracies of Europe are going broke. Why? Growing government benefits. And an aging population. Which means there are fewer people entering the work force than leaving it. Which, of course, means fewer and fewer people have to support more and more people in retirement. And how did this happen? Europeans stopped having babies. Fewer babies means fewer taxpayers. And fewer taxpayers means each taxpayer has to pay a large share of the total tax burden. Which spells one BIG problem. And Germany’s solution to all of this? Make it even less appealing to have and raise children (see Germany is healthy, could be healthier posted 2/24/2012 on The Economist).
Another interesting aspect of the German economy, and one of its major weaknesses, is often overlooked (though not by Matthew Yglesias)—low participation of (married) women and mothers in the (paid) labour force. There are two economic reasons for this shortfall: taxes and child care…
Progress has been made, though: from 2013 on, there will be a legal entitlement to child care when the child turns one, and all states are busy expanding supply…
With its ageing population—only in South Korea will the dependency ratio increase faster, says the OECD—Germany may be forced to speed up the reform process in order to raise the employment of women.
The social democracies of Europe have destroyed the family. The more the state provides the less children need parents. Even children as young as one will be put into the cold world of state-funded child care . So the mother can be freed of providing a loving and nurturing home for her children. And, instead, enter the work force and do something more useful for the state. Like paying taxes.
If they didn’t stop having babies they wouldn’t be in this mess. For even the greatest of all Ponzi schemes will work if there are always more people entering the scheme than there are collecting benefits from it. So the best way for Europe to save their welfare state is to nurture the family. Let mothers stay at home and mother their children. Stop making being a mom a four-letter word. Bring back the family and you start reversing the trend in 20 years. If you don’t and you provide more state-funded child care it will only require more taxes. Making it ever harder to raise a family (someone ultimately pays for ‘free’ child care ). Thus further discouraging women from being mothers. Which will never reverse the downward trend in birthrates. Or the downward trend in new taxpayers entering the workforce.
Tags: aging population, babies, birthrate, child care, children, Europe, family, Germany, government benefits, having babies, mothers, retirement, social democracies, state-funded child care, taxes, taxpayers, welfare state, women
Week in Review
Just when you thought the Euro was safe again (see Future of the euro again thrown into doubt after Irish announce referendum on new EU cash rules by Jason Groves posted 2/29/2012 on the Daily Mail).
Efforts to prop up the euro were again thrown into doubt last night after Ireland announced plans for a referendum on whether to accept new European spending rules…
Public anger over austerity measures is running high in Ireland and many observers were last night predicting a ‘No’ vote. That would not prevent the strict budget controls coming into force, but would leave Ireland unable to access future EU bailouts…
Ireland has twice rejected plans for EU reform in referendums, only for the votes to be overturned under intense pressure from Brussels.
Eurosceptics in Ireland are expected to use the latest referendum to highlight Ireland’s dire economic problems, which have required a £70 billion bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund.
Ireland giving away control over its own destiny to others due to intense pressure from an outside power? My, how times have changed. Once it took an occupying army to wrest their sovereignty away. Now all you have to do is to get a nation to spend itself into debt and they will eventually hand you the keys to the kingdom. Will they do it again? Time will tell.
Again, the problem with the Eurozone is the lack of a political union. But getting a political union of countries having such long and rich histories is not easy. For if it were they’d already have done it. But they haven’t. And probably never will. Unless countries step forward and agree to surrender their culture and identity. And give control over their destiny to a distant central power. Something that just doesn’t happen. At least, not so far in the history of this world. Where the trend seems to be definitely in the other direction. Where autonomous regions of countries yearn for their independence from the countries suffocating their culture and identity.
This is the risk of excessive government spending. You spend too much and you either ask for help. Or wreak havoc on your nation by destroying its financial institutions with bankruptcy. Neither is good. But one is less desirable than the other. Better still would be never putting yourself in between these two choices in the first place. And the path there is that dreaded ‘A’ word. Austerity. For this we know for certain. If Ireland had no debt Brussels wouldn’t be dictating terms to them.
Tags: austerity, bailout, Brussels, culture and identity, EU, EU bailout, Euro, Eurozone, government spending, Ireland, political union, referendum
Week in Review
Some women in the UK are living the stereotype. Or want to live the stereotype. Wanting to trade brains for big boobs. And for what? To attract and please men. And thanks to feminists women have never been more empowered to do just that. They have careers. Are independent. And have money. Which they can use to make themselves as pretty as they can be so men will notice them. And they can afford the birth control they need to please the man who notices them (see The Jordan effect: Third of young women would swap IQ for larger breasts by Eleanor Harding posted 3/2/2012 on the Daily Mail).
Shocking new research shows almost half of young women aged 18 to 25 would prefer to have large breasts than high intelligence – with a third even saying they would gladly swap…
The study, which has alarmed women’s groups, also found a quarter of those surveyed felt bigger breasts would make them feel ‘happier’.
And almost 60 per cent of the respondents believed that men would be ‘more interested’ in them romantically if they had bigger breasts.
In the movie Analyze This Billy Crystal plays psychologist Dr. Ben Sobel. And Robert De Niro plays mob boss Paul Vitti who suffers from anxiety problems. When Dr. Sobel learns that Paul has a mistress he asks how long did he and his wife have marital problems. Paul said they had no problems. Then Dr. Sobel asked why Paul had a mistress. And Paul replied because he can do things with her sexually that he can’t do with his wife. Dr. Sobel then asks if Paul ever tried to introduce those ‘things’ to his wife in the bedroom. And Paul says something like, “What kind of a sick son of a bitch are you? That’s the mother of my children we’re talking about here.”
I’m paraphrasing as it’s been a while since I saw the movie. But it is an example of that long held belief about how men feel about women. There are girls to have fun with. And girls you marry. And the feminists with all their work to empower women, urging them to explore their sexuality and providing them with access to birth control and abortion are making more and more women to have fun with. When it appears that what women really want is to get married. Based on their desire to attract a man. Because if they just wanted tawdry and casual sex all they have to do is go to a bar and say ‘yes’. No matter her appearance. Because alcohol makes everyone look beautiful. Both men. And women. With enough drinks in them anyone can do the ‘walk of shame’ the following morning after waking up in some stranger’s bed. And be filled with self-loathing as they creep back home.
This is not why women watch romantic comedies. Because they, like the heroines in those movies, want to find that one guy. So they make themselves as attractive as possible to attract that one guy. So they, too, can live happily ever after. In wedded bliss. Which is getting harder and harder to do these days. Thanks to all that empowerment. Which lets guys have a lot of fun with a lot of girls. Encouraging them to, even. Making it a longer time before they start thinking about settling down. And start looking for the girl to marry. Who will be the mother of their children. Who they will honor and cherish. And not just leave cab fare for her in the morning.
Tags: attract, attractive, big boobs, birth control, brains, children, empower women, feminists, mother, please men, trade brains for big boobs, UK, wife, women