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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:07 pm 
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What are you talking about Lumpy? What government health care are you being forced to pay for? The new health care set up, commonly called Obamacare by those opposed to it, is actually private health care and has not started yet that I am aware of. Of course, I don't pay a lot of attention to it since I am on Medicare. Actually it amounts to a sell out to the insurance companies by the politicians in payment for favors rendered. I am complaining about the quality of what we have, not commenting on how we pay for it. And the insurers are part of the problem. Concentrated wealth used to pay off politicians for advantage. That is why the new plan is not a single payer plan. Medicare is actually quite efficient by all studies despite complaints that it is not. The rampant costs come from the insurance and providers side by all accounts that are legitimate studies of fact and not fiction.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:22 pm 
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I really need to look into how Obamacare is going to work more :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:45 am 
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We've now had a National Health Service in the U.K. for 63 years, and while it has its problems (seized on, and often exaggerated, by detractors at home and abroad) most people here couldn't imagine life without it. As a baby-boomer, I've grown up benefitting from it. I for one owe it hugely for treatment over the years to myself and loved ones. The constant fear is of it being privatised "by the back door" on an excuse of financial saving. It is strangely disappointing to see how even the suggestion of a modicum of state provision in the U.S. is subjected to so much angst and hand-wringing. Refer to Tom's example of two societies, one where all are out to benefit only themselves, and the other where all work in harmony and for the benefit of all instead of self, and of which of those societies is ultimately most effective and of lowest entropy.

It's a long road, worldwide, but the start has to be made.

Arthur

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:48 am 
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Gallup   http://www.gallup.com/poll/8056/healthc ... anada.aspx 
Health Care Around the World: Great Britain
April 23, 2008 in Health Care Around the World, International Health Care Systems 
           http://healthcare-economist.com/2008/04 ... t-britain/
Health insurance in France

 http://www.ess-europe.de/en/france.htm

Health care in Spain 

http://www.spanishpropertyworld.com/hea ... _spain.htm

Health care in Sweden

 http://www.sweden.se/eng/Home/Society/H ... in-Sweden/

Family benefits France 

http://www.cleiss.fr/docs/regimes/regim ... an_a1.html

Family benefits Great Britain 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/you ... ildren.htm

Social Security Benefits in Germany 

http://berlin.angloinfo.com/countries/g ... curity.asp

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:28 am 
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Is the US the only "civilized" country that has health care dependent on employment?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:45 am 
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The U.S. Health System in Perspective: A Comparison of Twelve Industrialized Nations

"Abstract: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tracks and
reports on more than 1,200 health system measures across 34 industrialized countries. This
analysis concentrated on 2010 OECD health data for Australia, Canada, Denmark, France,
Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom,
and the United States. Health care spending in the U.S. towers over the other countries. The
U.S. has fewer hospital beds and physicians, and sees fewer hospital and physician visits, than
in most other countries. Prescription drug utilization, prices, and spending all appear to be
highest in the U.S., as does the supply, utilization, and price of diagnostic imaging. U.S. performance
on a limited set of quality measures is variable, ranking highly on five-year cancer
survival, middling on in-hospital case-specific mortality, and poorly on hospital admissions for
chronic conditions and amputations due to diabetes. Findings suggest opportunities for crossnational
learning to improve health system performance."

US health care spending per capita is more than twice the median, with half of that coming from private spending. While the other countries private spending is minute in comparison.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:18 pm 
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What I have said above was a generalization and not based upon a comprehensive survey but upon personal observation and some reading. Basically what others have posted is in agreement with it although it is hard to make generalizations without some element of error.

I believe it is consistent with reality to say that we pay in the US very highly for what we receive compared to elsewhere. This seems consistent with the references listed above. It is difficult to say that other countries are worse for waiting. I myself have had a 6 months delay, still only half over, in getting in to see a Rheumatologist. Both my father and mother in their last period of illnesses before their deaths, while they could not look out for themselves, received poor care with many mistakes made which would have been much worse if I was not there trying to catch everything done wrong or about to be done wrong. My father was given inappropriate medications right after I warned the hospital staff that they should not be given. The result was hospitalization and could have been worse. My father's doctors and hospital staff missed congestive heart failure which I had to catch to have it treated. My father's illness was misdiagnosed as Parkinson's for a couple of years before I forced upon their attention that he was not responding to the medication but to changes in the medications. They tried to make more than one mistake in the hospital that might have killed my mother if I had not caught and prevented the errors.

We pay highly for what we get because everything is profit driven from the hospitals through the doctors through the pharmaceutical industry. On top of that is the private insurance industry also making its own profits on top of it all. The latter trying to control it all for the sake of profits, not the advantage of the patients. There are major lobbying efforts for every player for big bucks. There are doctors being paid indirectly to use particular medications in their practice by the drug peddlers who call on them. It is common knowledge that the quickest way to low risk wealth for an intelligent person is to become a doctor. That is the way that it is here and we see the results in the treatment that we and our families receive.

All of this interfaced with a political system open to bribery and dependent upon ready sources of big bucks in order to pay for the marketing necessary to get elected.

Ted


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Who is profiting from our suffering as in where is all that $$$ going? That's the problem that needs distraction.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:46 pm 
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More information being posted on the Internet based upon recent census data is pertinent to this discussion. Here is a link to an article containing the following information. http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/ec ... te_income/ Quoting from this article below:
The nation's poverty rate rose to 15.1% in 2010, its highest level since 1993. In 2009, 14.3% of people in America were living in poverty.
About 46.2 million people are now considered in poverty, 2.6 million more than last year.

The government defines the poverty line as income of $22,314 a year for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual. The Office of Management and Budget updates the poverty line each year to account for inflation.
How the rich became the über rich

Middle-class wealth falls: For middle-class families, income fell in 2010. The median household income was $49,445, down slightly from $49,777 the year before.

Median income has changed very little over the last 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, the middle-income family only earned 11% more in 2010 than they did in 1980, while the richest 5% in America saw their incomes surge 42%.

"Over that period of time, it's not that the American economy has necessarily performed badly," Osterman said. "As a country we're richer over that period, but there's been this real shift in where the income has gone, and it's to the top."

Amplifying that trend, the bottom 60% of households saw their income fall last year, while households making $100,000 or more enjoyed a rise in income.
More children in poverty: The poverty rate for children under age 18 increased to 22% in 2010, meaning more than 1 in 5 children in America are living in poverty.

Meanwhile, the poverty rate for adults ages 18 to 64 rose to 13.7%.

For people 65 and older, the poverty rate was barely changed at 9%.

Following the recession, fewer young adults are moving out of their parents' homes. Last year, 5.9 million young adults age 25 to 34 still lived with their folks, compared with 4.7 million before the recession.
Note that those making gains despite the recession are those being protected from returning to previous levels of taxation that were reduced in the name of job creation and boosting the economy by or under GW Bush. We have a pattern of causation and results that all fits together.

The ownership of the mass media has been concentrated in the hands of just a few, the über rich as referred to in that article. The mass media has been used to turn aggressions inward among Americans and the über rich have disappeared from consideration, become invisible, as talk is of those making over $250K or over $1,000K and no one talks about the multi billionaires who own America and the media. No one says tax the multi billionaires, they talk about how it is not fair to tax the millionaires at the old and higher rates. The truly wealthy, the über rich as multi billionaires, are invisible and not talked about. The "low information voters" that are referred to in one article I posted are the target and the result of this deviation of attention by artful crafting of the news. The Tea Baggers chant no increase in taxes, just exactly what is wanted by those not paying their share under the tax rate changes and loop holes created. They are led to believe that it is the undeserving poor, those in true poverty, who are the cause of their distress. That aggression is turned inwards within the rank and file of Americans. Meanwhile, the source of the budget shortfall in the cutting of tax rates for the very rich, is not talked about and the target for that consideration, the über rich, disappears from view and consideration. If they are not visible to the mass of voters, there will be no movement to return taxes to levels that would have prevented the deficit from occurring in the first place. The ideologues elected to congress, along with those already in congress and dependent upon the über rich and corporations for their election funds and many of the freebies and perks handed out under the table, vote to cut social services in the name of balancing the budget while it is anathema to consider taxing the über rich. It is all a nice, neat and tight little circle of greed, self interest and disenfranchisement by deception.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:40 pm 
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To broaden the scope of exploration of ideas here, consider the following link. http://planetsave.com/2011/08/28/who-ru ... e-control/

This article discusses a paper by researchers at Cornelle University. Who Runs the World ? – Network Analysis Reveals ‘Super Entity’ of Global Corporate Control, a review of The network of global corporate control authored by Stefania Vitali1, James B. Glattfelder1, and Stefano Battiston1⋆
1 Chair of Systems Design, ETH Zurich, Kreuzplatz 5, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland,
⋆corresponding author

No need to give details but it comes down to interlocking mutual control and ownership of less than 1000 companies. The top 50 are listed at the end of the article. There is a link to download the paper in PDF form from the library as I have done at no charge.

This is not conspiracy theory. This is academic information and analysis of available data on these corporations. Talk about who owns the world, these people do.

Ted


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:16 am 
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This seems to be the current thread for dark social issues facing America and the World.

So here's this from The Wall Street Journal:

Should Faking a Name on Facebook Be a Felony?

Congress contemplates draconian punishment for Internet lies.

(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 60896.html)

By ORIN S. KERR

Imagine that President Obama could order the arrest of anyone who broke a promise on the Internet. So you could be jailed for lying about your age or weight on an Internet dating site. Or you could be sent to federal prison if your boss told you to work but you used the company's computer to check sports scores online. Imagine that Eric Holder's Justice Department urged Congress to raise penalties for violations, making them felonies allowing three years in jail for each broken promise. Fanciful, right?

Think again. Congress is now poised to grant the Obama administration's wishes in the name of "cybersecurity."

The little-known law at issue is called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It was enacted in 1986 to punish computer hacking. But Congress has broadened the law every few years, and today it extends far beyond hacking. The law now criminalizes computer use that "exceeds authorized access" to any computer. Today that violation is a misdemeanor, but the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet this morning to vote on making it a felony.

The problem is that a lot of routine computer use can exceed "authorized access." Courts are still struggling to interpret this language. But the Justice Department believes that it applies incredibly broadly to include "terms of use" violations and breaches of workplace computer-use policies.

(truncated)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:40 am 
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Is this perhaps related to a general crackdown and control of the Internet? The Internet is the present way that people can communicate and spread information that 'those who rule' might perhaps wish to keep under wraps. It is the one new thing in information availability as the mass media are under control and the schools are under control. Between the schools and the mass media, one would conclude that the purpose over all is to keep the populace fat, dumb and happy. Bread and circuses again.

Ted


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:12 pm 
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In my view it is one part of a large trend toward surveillance and control. We are already under a great deal more surveillance & control than is commonly supposed. Some outfits give hints in various ways... Yahoo, for instance, when you connect the instant messenger, has a pop-up that informs you that are your conversations are 'saved for you'. That is actually pretty decent of them: Five'll get ya twenty that what happened was that a federal agency told them to keep all records and not to reveal the fact that they said to do it. And so what they are doing is letting everyone know, under the guise of providing a service, that all your conversations are recorded. They leave it to the user to deduce that if his records are available to himself, they are available to others. But the potential monitoring goes much further these days ... nearly all cell phones and computers can be used both by the authorities and hackers (and so corporations as well) for both audio and visual eavesdropping. And while most of the information out there stays below radar and is of no consequence to anyone (except marketers) at any rate, there are agents out there, (I have no doubt, though I have to say that it is my conjecture) assigned to every group of people to be found ... churches, bridge clubs, community organizations, businesses, AA groups, colleges... everywhere. And further that anyone who shows any sign of being different or extrordinary in any way gets closer scrutiny.

-Montana


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:46 pm 
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The local sheriff's office has long had a policy of providing scanners to the local media that would tune in the police channels, the same channels as they use for normal communications and the same scanners. They have also always had so called 'tactical' channels that were scrambled and not available to others as they needed to keep it quiet about specifics as they closed in on criminals, etc. They have, on the basis of cost, now taken back those scanners provided and all police frequencies are scrambled. The media may never hear of something unless the police will it to be provided to them and with a substantial time break. No more 'breaking news'. No more warnings of wrecks causing traffic disruptions with suggestions to avoid them unless the police pick up the task of providing this information as it happens. And no more public over sight of what goes down in a 'bust'. The only information will be from the direction of the police viewpoint. The range of thinking in police departments ranges widely from intelligent and thinking individuals open to reason and even compassion and those who are enthusiasts intent on taking down 'perps' with all guilty until proven innocent. No public oversight means that murders or beatings, extracted confessions, etc. in custody no longer happen by definition. I know whereof I speak.

Ted


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:35 pm 
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"Felony"=no vote.
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