Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Huh? — October 21, 2016


Our Liberal Overlord refuses to tell us how he will act following the upcoming electoral change vote. Why bother participating if we don’t know the terms of reference for change. More arrogance and the sheep don’t seem to care. 

Prediction – no change. 

Yeah, whatever — October 20, 2016
A quote from Harpers Magazine — October 15, 2016

A quote from Harpers Magazine

A fact: when the prison system was much smaller, so was the billionaire-making system. Back in 1980, when California had around 24,000 prisoners, there were thirteen billionaires in the United States. There are now 540 billionaires in the United States and 124,000 Californians in prison. The link between the two numbers is anything but arbitrary. Wealth exists in direct relation to poverty, and poverty and incarceration feed off each other. Overcrowded homes, prisons, decaying suburbs, the streets, and early graves are some of the places to which the poor are being pushed. You can see correlations in all this data, loops and vicious circles and traps and dead ends, a geography like one of those board games where some rise and gain, while others fall and fail and hit the wall.

The bold emphasis is mine. I do wonder if this is true. 

Every man —

Every man

I absolutely love this article from 1933. It is as relevant today as it was then. I would change the title to every person versus every man  as the skills mentioned are as important to our daughters and granddaughters as they are to our sons and grandsons.

Between my father and my grandfather the skills mentioned were passed along to me. Unfortunately I was not taught to cook nor was there pressure to learn a foreign language. Both skills would have been immensely valuable to me.

The US Health Care  — October 11, 2016

The US Health Care 

I asked a friend who is well-informed and immensely successful in business why there was so much opposition to universal healthcare in the United States.  I also asked why the Canadian healthcare system is often mentioned as one reason to resist the provision of universal healthcare.  I prefaced my question with the statement that I did understand that cost may be prohibitive but my sense was that the objections were far deeper than cost.  His response follows:

Wow, I am probably not sufficiently savvy to best understand this but, really haven’t heard much of a Canadian call out for the opposition.  The “for” folks call out that Obamacare has allowed 20m uninsured Americans access to universal health care.  Also, children are now allowed on their parents plan until age 26 (was 21, I think but this is a big deal), pre-existing conditions are now NOT an excuse to deny  health care.  The major negative call out are two fold.  First, costs to the Americans on company plans has increased significantly to cover the costs of those enrolled in Obamacare.  The insurance companies view this very negatively as they are struggling to break even on the care coverage of this population.  Secondly, and this is a big one, people were told that they would be able to retain their preexisting doctors, and this has proved to be false.  So, the call out is the quality gap between in network physicians and previous principle physicians.  Personally, I think there has been a lot of positives here but, clearly, the program needs some serious tweaking.

His reference to networked positions is to the concept of HMOs which are employed physicians who have agreed to a fee structure and medical methodology which is imposed by the network managers. (One might suggest that this is very similar to the Canadian system where our political overlords mandate what our Canadian physicians are paid and are allowed to do.)

I did have exposure to the HMO network when my dad was receiving end-of-life care. My observation was that HMO provided care is not of the same quality as a non HMO physician. Interestingly under the private insurance channel the insurance buyer has an option of HMO or non-HMO. No surprises that the non-HMO insurance is more expensive as the insurance buyer and their physician have the option of care which is in the best judgement of the physician versus the best judgement of a bureaucrat who is making decisions based on minimal cost.

National News —
Private VPN network  — October 8, 2016

Private VPN network 

Unless you live in a hole, you have heard about people having private information stolen on the Internet.  In my line of work I occasionally encounter clients who have suffered significant cyber losses.  A friend who has a well-developed sense of paranoia suggested I review a private VPN product for personal use.  I took his advice and installed PIA. If you are concerned about your personal data or like me, annoyed that you are prevented access to certain sites because you live in Canada you might wish to consider a private encrypted VPN. 

Electoral reform —

Electoral reform

I have been reading the various options we are being offered by our overlords and political masters. I am still confused but getting there. 

I asked an informed elderly Tory his opinion. He will vote for no change. I asked another person how he will vote and was advised that he did not understand the options and would ask his priest how to vote. 

Another person told me that as they did not understand the options he would probably not vote. 

Cheater cheater —

Cheater cheater

One of my high school friends knows Donald Trump well. He travels in the same social circles, has had business dealings with Trump and has played golf with him. 
He describes Trump as a vindictive bully, always gets even and cheats at golf. Apparently cheating at golf is a very bad thing. I don’t play golf so the significance is lost on me. 

Carbon tax —

Carbon tax

As sunny ways tells us he will shove it down our throats I am still waiting for someone to explain it to me in simple terms.  Liz May and sunny tell us it is not a tax as it is revenue neutral. I have heard that it will not effect the poor as there will be a mechanism in place to prevent it from hurting the poor. Of course, those classified as richnreally don’t care as the implication of cost will not really affect them.  Therefore, it appears that once again the middle class bears the brunt of another tax.