The world can certainly do better than this. Here's why.

Monday, March 22

Upon Reflection...

I guess that this is still what a blog is for... So... I have thoughts.

Health Care

This morning, the U.S.House of Representatives passed, by a narrow margin, legislation that grants health insurance to 30 million people who do not have or cannot afford private health insurance. I applaud the efforts of the the ever-patient President and those who have worked through some difficult times to get this bill passed. As I have mentioned before, Americans are due for this type of health care and it's about time that they receive it.


Because this is America we're talking about, there is bound to be some assholerry. Undoubtedly. No disrespect due to those who have a brains between their ears, however, some dink is going to try his best to get as much as is humanly possible out of this. That is, people are going to try to abuse the system.

One would think that, when it comes to health care, this sort of thing would not happen. One would think that people would value health and well-being ahead of doing stupid things expecting to get nifty drugs. Or, doing stupid things for the sheer sake of doing stupid things expecting to be "taken care of" to some level of expectation. Or, doing stupid things to try to prove that this health plan can't/won't/doesn't work. Since it's America we are talking about, it HAS to happen. It is inevitable.

Further, the expectation is the mother of all disappointment so, if, come November (or... April, since election cycles start ridiculously early), there are Representatives wailing about how health reform has screwed their jurisdiction — take a moment to see if there is some other foul play afoot. Really, and I'd like to wear my hope on my sleeve here for a minute, people want to be good to one another and to themselves. There's a lot of money to be made in health care. Doctors take an oath against inflicting harm. The government has delivered on a mandate to watch closely for waste. Healthy people are productive people. Maybe this will all work out.

I expect that I'll be updating this post with examples as soon as the bill becomes law or as soon as they are available. Whichever comes first.

This isn't a shot at Americans. This is a shot at stupidity. It's out there. Be vigilant.


Having watched Africa Unite this weekend and having participated in a discussion about a unified Africa I'd just like to put down the few thoughts that I didn't mention on Sunday afternoon. Y'know, out loud. To people.

1. African "development" along the same path as the rest of the world would be suicidal.
2. United, an African trading block would only have power with complete control over resources and economy. So, the World Bank/IMF imposed debts and lingering remnants of the colonial era would have to be removed. Those powers will put up a fight.
3. A United Africa would have massive, post-colonial identity crises. Certainly, the industrialized world counts on this.
4. The stronger African nations cannot lead the way for the weaker ones. More than likely, it would have to be a grass-roots, bottom up, (pardon the pun) snowball effect.
5. Arms reductions across the continent.
6. Trade within the Union of African States, for a time, would supersede trade outside of Africa. Which, again, would irk the big boys on the global stage.
7. Trade agreements would be renegotiated and labor standards established to prevent the exploitation of Africans within or in trade deals outside the continent are necessary.
8. Uniting Africa would have to overcome many recent conflicts within Africa, not the least of which are in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Congo. This will be a long, long process.

Africa already has a lot to offer the world in terms of helping others to understand how to do more with less. How many are willing to look to Africa as a teacher in this age of dwindling resources?

Oh, I also want to start participating in this social experiment/MORPG.


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