Nightmare at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: Socialized medicine! (it works well)

August 16, 2007

Rep. Ron Paul, who wants to be president, made a speech recently on the floor of the House of Representatives where he suggested that Americans are mad at their government because the government tries to do stuff for them that they’d rather do themselves. Having recently spent two nights in the medical brig, I immediately thought that Paul is completely out of his mind — who in their right mind would want to do their own health care?

(Old joke: You know what they told the guy who wanted to do his own appendectomy? His doctor said, “Whatever! Suture self!”)

It seems to me people are upset because they can’t get health care at reasonable cost, and the government is doing absolutely nothing to fix most of those problems.

Then I read somewhere that Karl Rove urged his clients to bring up the bogey word “socialized” to describe programs their opponents advocate, since everybody hates anything that is socialized? Oh, yeah? You mean like people hate socialized roads, socialized water delivery systems, socialized sewer systems, and socialized airports?

So I was ready when Jim Wallis’s e-mail hit my in box this morning. His story about his experience with “socialized medicine” in London — a horror story that George Bush will use in his next State of the Union?

It’s a nightmare for sure — for the critics of “socialized medicine.” Read it for yourself, below the fold.

Here’s the usual, Republican view of “socialized medicine” (click on thumbnail for a larger view:

Government Optical

Pretty funny, eh? It’s totally groundless. Think about the government’s program of eye care for soldiers. Pilots and sharpshooters need great eye care. They get the best. They also get stylish glasses. And, though budgeted, you can get some style on Medicare and Medicaid, too — lots of styles, not just one. Our government operated eye care is socialized almost not at all in the classic, socialism definition of its being a planned output and planned outcomes system. Neither output nor outcomes are planned.

Socialized medicine really works. It’s a nightmare for the crowd that thinks bad health care or no health care is cheap, and the socialized medicine can’t work. Read Jim Wallis’s story, below the fold:

Read the rest of this entry »


What Churchill did NOT say

August 16, 2007

Winston Churchill often gets credit, or blame, for “famous quotations” that he did not say.

Cartoon of Churchill speaking (frustrated?)

Misattribution is a common problem in speeches, press releases, DeathbyPowerPoint, and in all other human interaction. I believe the third or fourth most powerful human instinct is to misattribute aphorisms to admired, famous people. So in business presentations across the world today, someone will quote Lincoln, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Franklin, Einstein and Churchill, as saying things they never uttered.

Below the fold, from the Churchill Centre in London, here is a collection of famous things often attributed to Winston Churchill that he did not actually say: Read the rest of this entry »


Toad mapping – another cool tool

August 16, 2007

What amphibians can be found in your local biome? Great Plains toad, Bufo cognatusWhat is the range of a particular amphibian, say the Great Plains toad? What does that toad look like? How does it sing?

hear call (10337.1K WAV file)

Great source to supplement geography lessons: Amphibiaweb, a special project at the University of California – Berkeley.

Quite student friendly — get to the world map, click on your continent (ooh! kids gotta know what continent they’re on! see social studies TEKS, World geography 4.C, U.S. history 8, World history 11), click on your country, if you’re in the U.S., click on your state. Photos, maps of the range, scientific names, sound recordings of their calls, description, conservation status.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cheney too racy for children

August 16, 2007

 PG-13 rating for this blog

One of those silly internet things:  Mingle2 rates blogs as if they were movies, and issues a rating like the MPAA ratings.  Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub?  We’re PG-13 here.  Why?

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • dead (3x)
  • dick (2x)
  • shoot (1x)

In discussions of casualties in war, a history blog might use the word “dead” a few times.  Considering how often I’ve posted about World War I, World War II, the Civil War, atomic bombs, etc., it’s amazing that the word “dead” only shows up three times.

And “shoot?”  Well, shoot, it might appear as a mild oath.

I try to police even the comments to keep profanity down, to keep the blog from being banned by bot programs in junior high schools.  So, how did the word “dick” sneak in there twice?

Dick Cheney.  It’s all his fault.  You can search just like I did, in the right column of the main page.  The search also turns up a post mentioning Charles Dickens, but that would have been a third mention.

It almost makes one yearn for the last year of the Nixon administration after the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, when bumper stickers quickly appeared urging Congress to “Impeach the Cox Sacker.”

Saying Vice President Cheney’s first name is profanity?  Who knew?


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