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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sunspots 155

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

(or not so funny) Doonesbury on fiscal irresponsibility in the White House.

Diagrams and illustrations of how neurons (nerve cells) work, from the University of Toronto.

From National Geographic (and many others): Fossil human poop/dung/feces shed(s) light on how long humans have lived in North America.

Lets just use the title: "Sex and Financial Risk Linked in Brain," from Wired.

Slate on how the next President should fix US healthcare policy (or actually start us on the road to having one). The article says that up to 100,000 US residents may have died because of poor healthcare, which is a horrible scandal.

. . . the more writing I do, the more reluctant I am to analyse and deconstruct it. There’s a real element of navel-gazing in the way some writers discuss their own work, and I’m quite uncomfortable with that. I think many readers would be surprised at how much of what writers do is instinctive rather than carefully technical – the knack lies in getting the technical elements right without being too conscious of what you’re doing. Good advice for aspiring writers might be: learn the tools of your craft so well you don’t need to think about them, then let your imagination loose. Juliet Marillier, "Talking Heads," Writer Unboxed, April 3, 2008

Trinitarian theologians use the word perichoresis to describe the happy fellowship of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Their relationship is often pictured as a tireless and joyful divine dance.) From Christianity Today)

Thanks for reading! Keep clicking away.

Image source (public domain)


Steve said...

Slate on how the next President should fix US healthcare policy (or actually start us on the road to having one). The article says that up to 100,000 US residents may have died because of poor healthcare, which is a horrible scandal.

I'm not a fan of socialized health care. It hasn't worked in the places it's been tried (the UK and Canada come to mind), and the '100,000 deaths' would likely increase, probably dramatically, as a result of such a scheme.

There is also the question of who pays for universal care, and the answer is that those who are employeed do. The cost of goods and services will rise as a result of companies passing along their increased costs and it all spirals downhill from there.

That said, we also have a Scriptural mandate to care for 'widows and orphans.' Who are the widows and orphans among us? A stupid question, maybe, but I don't think so. Do we care for W&O by implementing a welfare state?

Martin LaBar said...

The costs of goods and services are high now because of health insurance costs. Health insurance is the largest expense in producing an automobile in the US, the last I heard, except, I guess, for labor itself. In other countries with universal healthcare, manufacturers can sell for less, because they aren't paying for healthcare directly. (Of course it is true that taxpayers would be.) Manufacturers and the providers of services (including churches) are already passing on their increased healthcare costs in prices, or, in churches, in their need for increased donations, to cover what the taxpayer, in general, is not covering.

As to the Canadian system not working, I used to work in an institution with some Canadians also employed, all on a long-term basis, as in for many years. Not one of them were about to give up their Canadian citizenship, and the reason they all cited was that they didn't want to lose access to the Canadian healthcare system. No doubt there are flaws with that system, too, but at least they have a system. We don't.

We already have a welfare state, in many respects. Perhaps the reason is that churches, and individuals, haven't done their part to support widows, orphans, the elderly, and the disabled, but we haven't, and a welfare state is, for all too many of them, their only significant source of help.

Any "system" with over 40 million people not covered, is a disgrace. Any "system" wherein employers decide how many hours to let good workers work based on avoiding having to pay healthcare costs for them is badly skewed.

Thanks for reading.