Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sleeping cat snore-oneration

There was a thing or two accomplished around the house today, but it was more difficult than it needed to be. Why? Cause one, and Cause two, for your edification. His eyes are open but he's sound asleep, grunting and snoring.

She had her face buried in her paws, sound asleep, letting out little wheezes. 

Sleeping cats, especially snoring sleeping cats, emit waves to lull humans into snoozing themselves. Then of course, they are easy prey for lap capturing purposes. I have resisted, so far.

Even so, there was wine stuff today.
That's an Italian Nebbiolo and the attendant grape skins. I like to warm them up a bit before adding the yeast. The one below is a Portugese Cab Sauv being racked from the primary into a carboy.

I finally finished up two books I've had on the go for a while.

The first is a clear outline of what is not as right as it could be with the Canadian medical system. It only looks good in comparison to the American model. But compared to Australia and various European systems, it isn't so good. Where it was really interesting was the history of the program, and how what we are living with today, and the problems we face, are a direct outcome of the choices made not all that long ago.

One of the most important is that the founders, including Tommy Douglas himself, noted that everybody should pay something into the system for each use of it. It isn't free, and people should be reminded there is a cost. As it is now, most hospital and doctor related costs are invisible to the average user. I've often thought that every citizen should get a statement once a year showing their health care usage. It should note how much they cost the system, how much each member of their family cost the system, along with some numbers for comparison, such as the various averages for other people of your age.

Of course, there are many entirely legitimate reasons an individual's health care might be expensive, and a great many that are not. We do need to get better at providing alternative forms of care, such as various kinds of assisted living, and more targeted delivery of health information and services. But if people knew that x many thousands of dollars were spent on the various services, and their costs in particular are well above average, and there was a suggestion they might have to pay a percentage of the costs above the average after a review of their situation, maybe it might lead them to do something to reduce those costs.


The essential problem (and this is my opinion, not Simpson's) is that health care is an extremely valuable good, in economic terms. There can be nearly infinite demand for it. Why not ask for that second or third opinion? Why not get that new test, just to be sure? Why not get another round of medical imaging, just to see if anything has changed? Why not show up at emergency just in case?

However, there are a great many people lining up to take advantage of that supply, along with a limited number of people and facilities to provide the supply. As long as it's "free", people will continue to use as much of it as they can. That leads to the current system of triage by necessity, meaning wait times. The people with money try to buy themselves to the head of the line, and spend some of their money trying to bring in right wing solutions that make it easier to do that, at the cost of the people without money doing without basic care. Not a world I want to live in.

Still, this is one of the several topics that Canadians need to have a grown up conversation about. Good luck waiting for it to happen under Harper's watch.

The other is a very interesting look at history, over a fairly long term. Today's problems are not new and unique situations. They've happened over and over again. Same problems, same inadequate solutions, same dramatic ending, as in banks going bankrupt with depositors losing everything, empires falling, or many people dying of plague. Then we do it all over again. The similarities between The Roman Empire and the American Empire are striking, right down to the elites rewriting the tax code so they don't have to pay any. At least the Romans were smart enough not to get sucked into a land war in Afghanistan. With two superpowers in recent history being forced to withdrawal with bloody noses, you'd think America would know better. But no.

Bank failures and depressions. Most people know about the Great Depression of Dirty Thirties fame. However, there have been a constant stream of recessions and depressions and bank failures and busts in American history. All are from causes similar to what is happening now with the sub-prime mortgage mess. All are being resolved in similar ways (bankrupcy), except this time the greedy pigs got rewarded, and now want to do it again.

Income inequality has lead to riots and civil unrest time and time again throughout history. The times when America worked best was when incomes were only somewhat unequal. The lower class could become middle class, and the middle class could become wealthy. Now the very rich are changing the rules so that they get ever more of the pie and everybody else gets less. The 1% is a convenient number, but it's actually fewer than that. They can see the beginnings of civil unrest, but they don't care. They and their Republican lap dogs, and idiot Tea Party attack dogs, go on attacking solutions that will work, and continue to promote nostrums that will make the problems worse. They've already put up their slogan in big letters everywhere you care to look, if only you have eyes to see, "Fuck you Jack, I've got mine and I want more."

The only thing I didn't like about the book is the somewhat simplified language, and some of the jumps to relate various points. I believe them to be valid, but sometimes it's a bit hard to join the dots. But then, in some cases he's dealing with several thousand years of history. If you want every single dot joined and documented, you need to start reading Jared Diamond or professional historians.

In other news I was on the bike another 45 minutes today, pedaling a bit faster and a bit harder. Still working on trying to be smooth. Core and stretching after, using the ball. This is doing good stuff for my legs. They are relaxing and feeling much better now. Plankaday was mobility plank, not timed. Front, side, front other side, legs up, out, forward, and a few pushups.

Crappy freezing drizzle mixed with periodic snow. I'm sure glad we didn't have to go out today. Tomorrow's commute downtown isn't going to be any fun.

1 comment:

  1. Love the cat pictures! And "lap-capturing purposes"! Hilarious!! Totally agree about the need to make people more aware of how much their health care costs. I think a modest user fee would help too. If people had to pay $10 for every visit to a doctor or ER, they wouldn't be so quick to go for no good reason.


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