Thursday, September 10, 2009

US vs Costa Rica

I found this video on Huffington Post, it's by Paul Hipp who has integrated some rather recent images into his song. Who knew Italy was #2 on the list? Or the Republic of San Marino was number three? Anyway here's Hipp's take on the WHO rankings:

Here is a song celebrating our proud ranking in the World Health Organization's list of world health systems for all the obstructionist hecklers to sing as they continue down the road to total irrelevance. Enjoy!!

September Lassitude

Up North they tell us autumnal breezes are starting to blow, cooler weather comes in September in the Northern Hemisphere and people start to look through their closets for warm clothes to fend off the encroaching season. Not in Key West.Key West is said to be part of the United States, as evidenced by the massive putting out of more flags all the time...
...but the cartoon strips in the newspapers reflect a different reality than one observed in the islands at the tip of Florida's already different seasons. When I lived briefly, and horribly, in Fort Myers, only three hours north by ferry, winter sometimes brought frost, a most unwelcome thing, but in Key West the coldest ever recorded was 41 degrees one winter long ago. 41 degrees (5C) is the often quoted figure below which the thermometer will never go, but I don't recall seeing a temperature recorded much below 50 degrees (10C) which I will say is quite cold enough. However all this talk of cold weather is premature in September.
Perhaps we will get a mild cold front on October, a harbinger of the drier season to come, but it's not until the second cold front hits and marks a moderate temporary drop in temperatures that I will start to park the Triumph brazenly in the sun of an afternoon. Till that second firm cold front afternoon temperatures will continue in the 85 degree (30C) range. Pedaling a bicycle is quite the trial still in September's hot still air and I see more and more electrical conversions appearing on our streets:If you read the book "Quit Your Job and Move to Key West" you will find an accurate appraisal of September, a quiet month in the city when one sits around hoping for work if employed in the tourist industry and waiting for the heat to break. This year has been hot, with relatively little breeze, and even for someone like me who likes the heat, it has been rather intense this summer. So with all the cultural indicators pointing to a change of season one can get a bit impatient for things to change down here too. Or one can sit and wait it out, if one has the patience:
Even riding the motorcycle gets to feeling a bit like riding into a hair dryer, and vinyl seats like the black one on this cute Daelim 125cc single will burn human flesh if left out in the sun:
Removing clothing can be hazardous unless sunburn isn't a concern:
I find traditional Florida louvered windows to look lovely...
...but I confess to my carbon rapacity: I prefer air conditioning.
This is the time of year that all normal people, those who are not mad dogs or Englishmen, seek out the coolness of the shady side of the street:
People can be seen everywhere walking around with ice filled cups of fizzy corn syrup, which they abandon where they can, adding to the bleakness of the afternoon heat:
I spotted a Federal Fly Trap of some sort. It seems rather too hot even for dangerous insects to be flying around these days:
And over a fence I heard a water pump humming and I smelled the smell of chlorine liberating itself from molecules of water. I stuck my camera over the top of the fence and shot a picture at random. It looks cool and refreshing, even now in the comfort of my air conditioned home:I am not alone riding a green Triumph in Key West, though this aggressive Speed Triple has a few more horsepower than my Bonneville. If I were a youngster this is probably the bike I would riding:
And even though tourist season is supposedly in hiatus for a few weeks, until Fantasy Fest brings some life to the town for a weekend, there are still people arriving and dragging their sweaty suit cases along the sunny side of the street:
Roll on winter, say I, summer's heat has outstayed it's welcome.

The President's Plan

This is the plan the Republicans have been fighting while saying we don't need reform in this country. If you look at the points it addresses you will understand this is a modest enough goal for the world's leading industrialized nation. especially as we spend 13 trillion to save big banks and trillions more to kill people in Afghanistan and Iraq to no visible purpose. I would prefer the cheaper more sensible single payer system, but for the next 14 years until I qualify for Government-run "socialized medicine" in the form of Medicare this will have to do. Is this so damned revolutionary? Really? I despair of my fellow Americans sometimes.

From Getty Images Republican Joe Wilson (South Carolina) calling the President a liar:
More Stability and Security for ALL Americans

If You Have Health Insurance

More Stability and Security
• Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
• Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are
sick and need it most.
• Caps out-of pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
• Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu shots
and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.
• Protects Medicare for seniors and eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in
coverage for prescription drugs.

If You Don ’t Have Insurance

Quality, Affordable Choices for All Americans

• Creates a new insurance marketplace – the Exchange – that allows
people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy
insurance at competitive prices.
• Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance and to help small
businesses cover their employees.
• Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured who
can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.
• Offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high risk” pool to
protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the
new Exchange is created.

For All Americans Reins In the Cost of Health Care for Our Families,
Our Businesses, and Our Government.

• Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
• Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to
identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
• Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors
focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
• Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can
afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.