Periodically I see articles (or they're sent to me by a good friend of mine in the UK) extolling the great glories of the UK NHS (National Health Service). They are frequently from the left wing Guardian (UK) newspaper. Well, last week the Guardian ran this article -
To keep this post short, here is a comparison from the above chart of the five year survival rate % for the UK and the USA (pre-Obamacare) and three other countires for three different cancers.
In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked France and Italy #'s one and two for their healthcare systems.
Breast Prostate Leukemia
USA 89 97 52
UK 81 83 47
France 87 91 59
Italy 86 90 47
Australia 86 89 51
Happily the survival rate for childhood leukemia is 88-89% in all five countries.
The moral of the story: for all the moaning about the X million number of people in the US who don't have health insurance, actual healthCARE is pretty darn good. Maybe we need to be careful about messing with the system.
The Central American country, which has long boasted of its green credentials on energy policy, was able to achieve the milestone thanks to heavy rain in the first three months of the year.
Around four-fifths of its electricity supply comes from hydro-electric power, which was boosted by rainfall at four major dams.
Costa Rica is one of the most developed countries in Latin America, ranking above Italy and several other European Union countries in the annual prosperity rankings put out by the Legatum Institute, a think-tank.
Its environmental record may not be easily copied by other nations - its tropical climate with high rainfall, mountainous interior, and relatively low population of 4.8 million people give it an advantage in terms of renewable energy.
More than ten per cent of its electricity in some years is generated by geothermal projects operating from its string of active volcanoes. It also has wind, biomass and solar energy plants.
Tapping volcanic heat! How cool is that!
Additionally, it has a low heavy industrial base, with its economy relying on tourism, agriculture - particularly bananas and coffee - and an Intel microprocessor plant.
Last year, all but six per cent of its energy was generated renewably.
That figure should come down further when a new geothermal project, commissioned last year by the government at a cost of $958 million, comes on stream.
“It’s good news that more geothermal will be coming on board, as there are obvious downsides of being too reliant on hydro-power, especially run-of-the-river systems, which can be hindered by seasonal changes in water flow,” Jake Richardson, an analyst at Clean Technica, told Science Alert.
Back in the late 70's when I was living in Jamaica, I had an opportunity to visit Costa Rica, but went to Panama and then to Guatemala (where my brother Jim was in the Peace Corp) instead.
Some England players showed their frustration at missing out on the Six Nations title for a fourth successive season, a period when their cumulative record is as good as Wales’ and much better than Ireland’s – the two countries who have won the championship since the last World Cup – by accusing Italy and Scotland of not fronting up on the final weekend.
England were not complaining last year after a comfortable 20-0 victory at Murrayfield, one that would have been greater but for the worm-infested surface that made it heavy-going underfoot, nor did they accuse Italy of capitulating on the final day in 2014 having enjoyed a 41-point romp in Rome, although the margin was not enough to require Ireland to do more than win in Paris later in the day to finish top.
1. THE GOSPEL OF LIFE is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of every age and culture.
The Church knows that this Gospel of life, which she has received from her Lord,1 has a profound and persuasive echo in the heart of every person—believer and non-believer alike—because it marvellously fulfils all the heart's expectations while infinitely surpassing them. Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded.
The Church, faithfully contemplating the mystery of the Redemption, acknowledges this value with ever new wonder.3 She feels called to proclaim to the people of all times this "Gospel", the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history. The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel.
The above is excerpted from the introduction. The first chapter is a profound meditation on the story of Cain and Abel.
This was mentioned on PBS last night. The video was posted on youtube by the rescued skier on March 5th.
The skiers are Australian and it's a helmet cam. https://youtu.be/XTli5YkoXog
Here's the text that's posted below the video on youtube - and which is below.
It is important to learn from the mistakes of others as well as yourself. I have uploaded this video to act as a learning tool to demonstrate what ill preparedness looks like in an avalanche rescue situation. As the buried skier, I am incredibly lucky to be alive. A full write up of the incident is available here: http://avalanchesurvival.tumblr.comThis video documents an avalanche accident that occurred in the Swiss Alps on the 30/01/2015. The accident happened within the resort boundary on a slope not known for slides. Please be careful and never take safety for granted. Decision making is paramount whenever off piste and always carry a beacon, probe and shovel. Most importantly get educated. Stay safe. Footage courtesy of Daniel O'Sullivan.
Can a smart, articulate, 40-something first term Senator trained in constitutional law, who disdains his colleagues and lacks executive experience, make the leap to the White House? President Obama proved it was possible in 2008, and now Ted Cruz will try to show that a Republican can do it too after announcing his campaign for the White House on Monday.
Neither man will like this comparison, and their world views are as divergent as any two men in politics. Yet Messrs. Obama and Cruz are strikingly similar in their pedigrees and political style. They were raised middle-class but made their way to the Ivy League and beyond by dint of talent.
They became lawyers but mainly as a launching pad to politics. The President was a state senator, Mr. Cruz the Texas solicitor general. Mr. Cruz is a better debater, and Mr. Obama a better speech-maker, but both are better talkers than listeners. Above all, they are political solo-artists in an age that rewards entrepreneurial candidates. They saw the Senate as a stepping-stone to the White House rather than a place to contribute or get something done.
Mr. Obama ran as the true-believing antiwar liberal to win his party’s nomination. Mr. Cruz plans to run as the only true-believing, courageous conservative in the GOP field. Like Mr. Obama, he will run as much against Washington and his own party “establishment” as against the other party.
Mr. Cruz is right that Mitt Romney in particular failed to motivate enough conservatives. But he is probably wrong to think that conservatives alone, especially white conservatives, can elect the next President. As GOP pollster Whit Ayres recently wrote in these pages, if the GOP nominee in 2016 carries the same share of the white and minority vote as George W. Bush won in 2004, he would lose, and handily. The next nominee must broaden the GOP’s electoral appeal.
This is not a counsel to walk away from conservative ideas. It does mean a candidate must offer an optimistic, inclusive vision and reform agenda that look beyond the Obama years. This also means appealing to voters who believe the GOP isn’t welcoming to minorities or the working class. Mr. Cruz’s hard-edged message against immigration may play in the GOP primaries, as Mr. Romney’s did, but it is a dream come true for Hillary Clinton.
The other question concerns the ability to govern as President. If a Republican does win in 2016, he will probably have a GOP majority in Congress and an historic opportunity to press conservative reforms. But Obama-style politics has not been a happy experience.
The President treated Republicans with the contempt he holds them in, and so he failed to bring along any of their votes. Had he worked across the aisle, like Ronald Reagan did, his reforms would have a better chance to endure than they do now. Mr. Cruz will have to convince GOP voters that he is not another self-centered governing rookie who thinks he doesn’t need to work with Members of Congress, however much he despises them.
Back when we captured the second and third mice, my friend Hallie sent an email saying "See one mouse. Count ten."
Guess she was right.
Brigid has taken a week long hiatus from putting out the trap, so the last one we captured and sent to the Hudson River mouse vacation home was on March 16th. Here are mice 5 to 9.
March 3rd - backside view -
March 5th - portrait quality
March 8th - speed merchant - he rocketed off!
March 11th - the only picture I didn't take - was off trying to make a living so Joe went with Brigid. Instead of unceremoniously shaking them out of the trap, Brigid decided to try luring this one out. All the other pictures were blurred -
Lastly, March 16th - three shots. Do you detect a pattern? Backside all. The last one was a lucky shot; he was racing away ...
No more food luring - just a dumping
And he's off!
If you're wondering how long it takes to put up a post like this - 21 minutes. Most of the time sorting through the pictures.
Yesterday I posted this Here's my guy for President - as if anyone cares with my choice being the Ohio Governor, John Kasich. My friend Dennis (Lt., PAPD, retired) left a comment on why he presumably would oppose Kasich; an intemperate remark(s) in 2011 about a police officer who gave him a traffic ticket. He even provided a link to the youtube vid of Kasich.
Well Kasich did subsequently meet with the officer and apologized.
"Today Gov. Kasich met with Officer [Robert] Barrett and apologized and that apology was graciously accepted," Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement to FoxNews.com. It was a friendly meeting during which the governor reiterated his support for law enforcement officers and for the dangerous and important work they do."
The apology came after public unions seized on the insult as ammunition in their fight against a bill to strip them of their collective bargaining rights.
Critics distributed a video of Kasich at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in January describing a 2008 stop along a state highway in which he was cited for passing too close to an emergency vehicle.
Barrett, told Kasich he'd face an arrest warrant if he didn't show up in court.
"He's an idiot," Kasich said. "You just can't act that way."
Kasich apologized to Barrett in a private meeting on Thursday. Jim Gilbert, head of the Fraternal Order of Police, told the Columbus Dispatch that Barrett requested the meeting after Kasich tried to contact him by phone Wednesday night.
But critics of Kasich, including the Ohio Democratic Party and Fraternal Order of Police, say the insult disrespects union workers and proves he doesn’t care about safety officers.
"I never thought I'd see the day when a governor of this great state would call a police officer an 'idiot' for simply doing his job," Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in a statement. "Even worse, he wants to eliminate the right of law enforcement workers to collectively bargain to provide a better life for their families."
As mentioned in the article from the NY Times I linked to yesterday, Kasich won re-election last year with 64% of the vote, so I would bet lots of police officers and government workers did forgive and vote for him.
Gore said forward-thinking investors are moving away from companies that invest in fossil fuels and towards companies investing in renewable energy. “We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore told the Chicago Tribune, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.”
He called on the tech-minded SXSW crowd, which is dominated by Millenials, to harness technology to launch a grassroots movement to tackle climate change and call out climate deniers. “We have this denial industry cranked up constantly,” Gore said. “In addition to 99 percent of the scientists and all the professional scientific organizations, now Mother Nature is weighing in.”
The former Veep even gave a nod to Pope Francis during his talk, showing a slide of the pontiff and saying “How about this Pope?” Pope Francis celebrated his two-year anniversary as Pope on Friday, riding a wave of popularity “that has reinvigorated the Catholic Church in ways not seen since the days of St. John Paul II,” said the Chicago Tribune. Gore said he was looking forward to the Pope’s highly anticipated encyclical on the environment which is due to be released in June or July. “I’m not a Catholic,” Gore said, “but I could be persuaded to become one.”
Well maybe he'll adopt Pope Francis' positions protecting pro-born babies. a preferential option for the poor, all that other good Catholic stuff?
Khamenei told a crowd in Tehran that Iran would not capitulate to Western demands. When the crowd started shouting, “Death to America,” the ayatollah responded: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.
So how many of those people "put into a deep coma and left to die" were actually straightout euthanasia? We can't tell.
“Recent Trends in Euthanasia and Other End-of-Life Practices in Belgium,” reports that 6.3% of Flanders’ deaths involved “physician-assisted death.” This term was defined as lethal injection at the request of the patient (“euthanasia”), assisted suicide, and “death without explicit request.”
But there is more: A full 12% die from “full continuous deep sedation until death.” Palliative sedation is not the same thing,meaning most of this involves “terminal sedation,” putting in a coma and denied food and fluids until death, a form of beneath-the-surface euthanasia.(For more details on this issue, hit this link.)
Twenty years after Mr. Bush converted to Catholicism, the religion of his wife, following a difficult and unsuccessful political campaign that had put a strain on his marriage, his faith has become a central element of the way he shapes his life and frames his views on public policy. And now, as he explores a bid for the presidency, his religion has become a focal point of early appeals to evangelical activists, who are particularly important in a Republican primary that is often dominated by religious voters,
He differed from his church, significantly and openly, over capital punishment; the state executed 21 prisoners on his watch, the most under any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. But he has won praise from Catholic officials for his welcoming tone toward immigrants and his relatively centrist positions on education — two issues in which he is at odds with the right wing of his party.
“As a public leader, one’s faith should guide you,” Mr. Bush said in Italy in 2009, explaining his attitude about the relationship between religion and politics ...
“In the United States, many people think you need to keep your faith, put it in a security box, if you’re an elected official — put it in a safety deposit box until you finish your service as a public servant and then you can go get it back,” he added. “I never felt that was appropriate.”
“You hear people say, ‘I don’t want to impose my faith,’ ” Mr. Bush told the newspaper The Florida Catholic days after leaving office in 2007. “Well, it’s not an imposition of faith. It’s who you are.”
The son and brother of Protestant presidents, Mr. Bush, if elected, would be the nation’s second Catholic president. Sometimes, he carries a rosary in his pocket and fingers its beads at moments of crisis. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has retweeted Pope Francis. He was part of the American delegation to the installation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, and during his travels in the United States he sometimes attends Mass in local churches.
As Lieutenant Colonel (Commanding Officer) of the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment of the British Army, Collins gave a rousing eve-of-battle speech to his troops in Kuwait on Wednesday 19 March 2003. The speech was extemporised, and was recorded in shorthand by a single journalist, Sarah Oliver. No recording or film of the speech exists, Collins told the BBC.
We go to Iraq to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.
There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.
If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves.
It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow.
The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam. He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.
It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts, I can assure you they live with the Mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.
If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.
[Regarding the use by Saddam of chemical or biological weapons] It is not a question of if, it's a question of when. We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself. If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.
As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.