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Showing posts from April, 2007

A Terrifying Picture

Read (beg, borrow or steal) the Opinion piece in yesterdays [4-23-07] Wall Street Journal (my favorite newspaper) by Jonathan Kellerman calledBedlam revisited. (subscription) It's dynamite. And it has an absolutely terrifying illustration by David Klein.
I was moved to write a letter to the editor about it. Of course the odds of getting a letter published in the WSJ are pretty skinny. The nice thing about having a blog, is that I can publish my letter!
So here 'tis...
Letter to The EditorThe biggest question raised by Jonathan Kellerman’s powerful “Bedlam Revisited” is this:Can our country reverse a truly monumental mistake?When “institutionalization” morphed into “community psychology” in a few short years, and we quickly developed the witches brew of mass homelessness as Kellerman notes, and prisons full of psychotics, there was not so much as a “woops” from the political class.Huge mistake?What mistake?We had several recent instances here in Albuquerque in which schizophrenics…

Canadian Health Care Better and Cheaper

Inject this, anti-universal-health-care people! The most common argument from the right wing “free market” health care advocates is “just look at Canada.”Well a big, well-designed research project (I should know – 30 years owning a market research company) did just that.Guess what?Canadians spend half as much per capita and get the same or better results as the U.S.A.See an abstract of the study at:http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/view/8/1Here’s a press summary from The Toronto Star:Apr 17, 2007; Anne-Marie Tobin; Canadian press"In looking at patients in Canada with a specific diagnosis compared to Americans with the same diagnosis, in Canada patients had at least as good an outcome as their American counterparts – and in many situations, a better health outcome," said one of the 17 authors, Dr. P.J. Devereaux, a cardiologist and clinical epidemiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton."And that is important because in the United States, they're currently spendi…

Golf, Golf, Golf

Shameless Plug

If you want to read about the game, I mean deep into the psychology, the philosophy and the priapsis of golf, aim your browser (consider the wind) toward http://bogiejohnson.blogspot.com/
and have a giggle along with your new driving-chipping-putting-betting insights.

Sam Johnson (NO one calls him "Bogie" to his face) is an old bud of mine. And I do mean old. You can read some of his stuff at www.tees2greens.com - he's one of their "5 star" columnists - but it's easier to read his blog, navigation-wise.

Have fun.

Ethanol Starvation: Biodiesel Inflation

Starvation by BiofuelsAh, the absolute certainty of the Law of Unintended Consequences. In a nutshell:Food prices are rising because – surprise! – the demand for corn, soy and sugarcane/beets to make ethanol and biodiesel is driving up the cost of these basic food commodities.
Quoting from The Wall Street Journal (my favorite newspaper):
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117608539258763747.html?mod=world_news_whats_newsSoaring prices for farm goods, driven in part by demand for crop-based fuels, are pushing up the price of food world-wide and unleashing a new source of inflationary pressure.
The rise in food prices is already causing distress among consumers in some parts of the world -- especially relatively poor nations like India and China. If the trend gathers momentum, it could contribute to slower global growth by forcing consumers to spend less on other items or spurring central banks to fight inflation by raising interest rates.…And, on the more human side:In one bustling open-air …