Friday, March 5, 2010

Howdy, all. Another nice day coming up. Plenty of sun and warming into the 40s. I will be glad when we get into the 60s and can open the doors for a bit of a breeze. Still a bit too early to take the plastic off the windows.


And today looks to be as nice as yesterday with some rain coming in overnight. As you can tell I didn't find a lot to say yesterday. We'll see how today goes. We noticed that one of our all-year garden and farmer's markets has fresh asparagus on sale for $.99/lb and jumbo eggs at 2 dozen for $2.99. We are going to go and take a look. As I said before 'God bless whoever invented the modern freezer.'

As I passed through MSNBC on my way to my e-mail I found this article. It is long and only the first two pages are on MSNBC. They provide a link to the rest of the article and thankfully it isn't behind a pay wall. The health care debate is often ridiculous and petty but this article puts the issues into focus. It also indicates how incredibly insane this system is and how little the tepid measures under debate will really do to rationalize health care and its costs. Be prepared to have your emotions yanked. I read a story a good many years ago--just when a lot of people started questioning the efficacy and cost effectiveness of some (especially 'end of life' care). One of the people profiled survived the Nazi concentration camps and, when faced with the decision of whether to have treatment or not, wanted any treatment that would give even the slightest hope of more time. Having experienced one miracle, another certainly wasn't out of the question. Luckily, he was not faced with the prospect of how much his insurance company would pay or what Medicare would pay or whether he would be financially cleaned out by the treatment. That was before insurance companies dropped customers at the faintest hint of costly medical treatment, before they instituted life-time caps, before costs after Medicare plus insurance payments could still bankrupt a person.

Sunday Mar. 7

Well, I never did get back to this. We did make our little trip to the farm market and got a bit more than we had thought. The asparagus was nice and we now have, I think, 10 meals worth in the freezer. We also found tangerines for $.99/bag and picked up one bag. We haven't done that for quite a while. I get weekly e-mails on the specials so we will visit frequently over the season.

I found this article at Newsweek by way of MSNBC on the rise of a complex global middle class. These kinds of articles always amaze me--largely because they are so amazed at how the assumptions that underlay so much of our interaction with the rest of the world can be so wrong. The idea that as more of the population of the developing world moves into the comparative prosperity of the 'middle class' they would become more like us was ludicrous to any one who gave the matter more than a fleeting thought. 'Middle class' merely defines an economic group who may or may not have social, religious, or political values in common. Members of that class don't have to be liberal, secular, or democratic in their values as the author of this article have found out. We might ask if our own middle class is not becoming more authoritarian, religious, or conservative in responses to events that seem to threaten their economic status. We might be very unpleasantly surprised.

There has been a bit of talk on the news stations about the Postal Service petitioning Congress to allow it to cut delivery from 6 days to 5 by cutting out Saturday deliveries. The first time this balloon was floated it caused more of an uproar but this time--not so much. I found this op-ed piece from a small Colorado paper this morning. Everything the author says rings a bell with us. We don't mail nearly as much as we once did. None of our bills go out in the mail any more. We schedule our bill paying through our bank's on-line banking service. The only bill we don't pay that way is our rent and we never mailed that. We drop the check off in person because we like to chat with our landlords and their manager. Mom does get her prescriptions by mail and she sends out family birthday and anniversary cards by mail. Dropping one of the delivery days won't matter to us at all and it doesn't matter if it is a weekday or Saturday that is dropped.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh my!!! That's a gut-wrencher!!!!! And I've been thinking a lot about such things so it really hits home. I've pretty much decided how I'm going to arrange things but God and I both know all too well how complex things can get. It scares me a lot and I cry for those who haven't such good insurance and I rage against those who would deny us the care we need. Life and the pursuit of happiness are guranteed us the Constitution unless we get sick I guess and then all we have left is liberty --the freedom to die because we can't afford to do anything else.