Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Morning, everyone. It is a bit overcast today. They say we may get some small showers today but I am not betting on it. I will water my gardens later anyway. All of the plants I moved are adjusting nicely. The pole beans are flowering and I see a couple of fruit spikes growing. The sweet peas have more seed pods than flowers on the plants now--the first planting since the second has not yet flowered. I took the 3rd and 4th little tomatoes off of the 4th of july plant this morning. The other plants are flowering and fruiting nicely. I am a bit worried about the squash plants, though. We have seen only one bee so far this summer and squash require bees to pollinate them. I have begun to explore the possibility of hand pollinating them. Never had to do that before but I don't know were the bees are. And the yellow squash that has been blooming for two weeks now has not shown any indication of fruiting. Damn!!

Today John Aravosis continued his tale of 'An American in (the) Paris (socialized medicine system.)" I am astounded. I would not have expected that anyone could walk into an emergency eye clinic, be seen by a doctor within 20 minutes of arrival, diagnosed, and treated for a major retinal tear all in the same day and for about $170. Even if the wait to see the doctor had been the 2 hours the signs initially warned patients to expect or the 1 hour the receptionist thought likely, he still would have been finished with the initial treatment the same day. Can anyone tell me again what is so great about our 'capitalistic' system of medical (mal)treatment? What do we really get for all the money we spend except bloated insurance companies?

By the way John had an interesting earlier post that, I think, hits the nail on the head in explaining why health care reform is having such a tough slog. So far it has been a divide and conquer strategy for those who oppose the reforms. And it has been working. They paint the situation as one where the 'good' people who have worked so hard for what they have, have responsibly handled their affairs to that they can and do pay for health insurance, have jobs that pay for health insurance, manage their weight, don't smoke, don't drink and otherwise maintain a healthy lifestyle have to pay for the feckless b*****ds who don't do any of that. Has anyone else noticed the increasing number of 'news' segments that focus on the 'vices' that allegedly increase the cost of medical care or that focus on the growing number of employers that are using insurance costs as an excuse to force their employees (and in some cases, the employees' family members) to 'reform' their behavior or lose their jobs? This follows the same pattern I saw when Bush tried to 'reform' Social Security by remaking it into a welfare program for destitute elderly as a prelude to cutting it entirely. The opposing groups are dividing us and they will succeed in blocking any change.

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