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Archive for the ‘National Healthcare’ Category

Clowns to the left...


Ever get a song in your head, then you can’t get it out?  I have days like that.  One morning I can recall waking up and out of nowhere I started singing a variation of The Birthday Song. An obscure version that most have never heard and this sorry piece of lyric writing commands my attention for the better part of the morning.  I even passed the “curse” on to a few others.

So, the other day I’m watching the news and pondering my navel when I turn to my wife start singing the lyrics from the Stealers Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you

This morning I am reminded of that song once again.  I work from home, often finding myself, legs up on the coffee table, reclined on the chesterfield (that’s for my Canadian family), laptop whirling away as I program, with the national news on the television.  The mind is an amazing thing, I can be head-down writing code and I hear something totally outrageous being reported oinly to have it jerk me out of my programming moment to listen more intently.  This day was such a day.

It’s no secret that I am “done” with insider politics, today’s news beckons a national voter response.

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An early Public School

An early Public School

My formative years were during the 60’s and 70’s, it was an exciting time to be young.  I remember going to baseball games with my father to cheer on the Washington Senators, being proud of the Washington Redskins as they won their first Super Bowl, watching basketball championships between the Lakers and Knicks and of course watching Cassius Clay, then later  Mohammad Ali, dazzle the sports world with his inside the ring theatrics.

I played little league baseball. I was schooled in the competitive philosophy that it was important to win. The excitement of making a team was like winning a lottery to many of my friends.  It was a good thing to just make the team, despite little hope of playing in the “big games” because you weren’t “that good”, in the end you were part of a winning team. Even kids living in my neighborhood were my mortal enemy during the little league season, all because they were on the other team.  Other than making sport of each other for a bit after the season was over our attentions moved on to the next seasonal distraction.

Politics, at times, feels like a sporting competition to me.  A new political sporting season can occur at any time.  The event that currently dominates is this season’s  political/social debate that focuses on a national healthcare strategy. This isn’t the first such competition…er… uh… debate.  The last time our political parties squared off on national healthcare was in the early 1990’s.

In one corner the “Democrats Socialist Agenda Government Controlled Healthcare At Rich Folks Expense Team”, and in the other corner the “Republicans Wrapped In The Flag Protector of All That Is Good and Holy Sole Defender of Free Markets In Defense of The Rich Folks Team.”

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Surgeons in a hospital, it's it public or private?

Surgeons in a hospital, it's it public or private?

Every time I hear the tv and radio heads discuss the current national healthcare legislation, both sides of the political aisle are overstating the real information. This isn’t the plan for us, it stinks. But this shouldn’t be the end of the discussion on SOME OF SORT strategy either.

I hear the mantra, “I don’t want anyone between me and my doctor!” and think of all the free market health policies that are highly restrictive. When there is a question of the viability of a particular procedure in your time of crisis you have to trust an insurance company review board to approve the continued coverage to keep you alive. Movies have been made about their bottom-line. Further, all policies have life-time limits of coverage (some amazingly low), and schedules of how much they are willing to pay hospitals and doctors for nearly every type of medical condition. If you are wealthy, none of this really matter, you can self-insure.

What is so great about our current system?

The current system costs to much, we all agree with that. The current system isn’t really a “free” market system since insurance companies can’t compete across state lines. The current system doesn’t accept new customers with pre-existing conditions, tough luck if you get sick BEFORE you can afford the insurance. The current system is Read the rest of this entry »

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hotwingsI can recall the kitchen being my family’s meeting place. We would all hang out with mom as she was cooking the evening meal, my sister’s often stayed closer to learn a bit of cooking while my brother and I were content to think cooking was a wonderful, mysterious endeavor we would never understand.

As an adult I was able to avoid typical cooking duties by having a wife that enjoyed doing it. I relegated myself to the BBQ grill where (exercising the patience of a shrew) I ruled the with a firm hand on a spatula and another on a water spray bottle to beat down the flames coming from the fat soaked charcoal that would burn my cheap hamburgers. But rule I did.

My first honest consideration of a culinary nature came after watching a friend cook some hot wings. I saw her cook hot wings on a number of occasions, it seemed effortless. This I discovered is a timeless truth, when someone makes a task seem effortless it’s because they’ve put in the time to be fully at ease with it. I asked her to teach me the “how” of cooking hot wings and bravely enter the domain of the kitchen. As it turns out, her kitchen was a very hot place. I never really considered that good hot wings come with a price, the process requires you to be near a hot deep fryer and a skillet that percolates with butter and hot sauce and spices.

My biggest mistake in learning to cook hot wings was rushing the preparation work. I can’t tell you how many wings died a vile death at my hands because of this.

Our national discussion regarding healthcare has an interesting parallel to my own cooking adventure. The idea is pretty good, but arriving at something that works for our country seems like a mystical event.

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