Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why is Sweden's health care relatively good?

Swedes maintain that they get good (they mean great) health care, and the statistics partly confirm this. In fact, Sweden’s health care was recently noted as the tenth most efficient in the world (excluding smaller countries). The decentralized regional system of government (regional governments, taxing incomes in the range 10-12 percent, are primarily responsible for health care, public transport, and cultural subsidies) has undoubtedly contributed to this, especially since the national voucher/guarantee system enacted in 1992 has increased competition between regions and thereby placed pressure on politicians and hospital administration.
The fact that one in every ten people voluntarily foregoes care even though they need it, according to the regulating authority Socialstyrelsen's status report 2011 (3 percent of whom could not affordcare, p. 64), should also lessen the pressure on the health care system. It should also be noted that Swedish bureaucracy overall is comparatively effective and efficient (likely a result of the country being very small and having a long tradition of both governmental transparency and a hardworking population), so why would this not also be the case in health care?
The main problem is naturally due to the central planning of health care, whether or not it is planned by regional “competing” governments. While access and quality are guaranteed by national law, Swedes usually have to line up for care. As noted above, wait times may be days or weeks for appointments with GPs while several (or many, and increasing) hours for ER care, but the real problem is apparent in specialist care such as surgery where wait times are not uncommonly several months, or even years. -- Per Bylund

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pete Carroll, 9/11 Truther

This is a story that originally broke on June 13, 2013.  With the Seattle Seahawks headed to the Super Bowl, it is emerging from the archives into the headlines.  It would be wonderful if Carroll reaffirmed his interest in what really happened on Sept. 11, 2001, but that seems unlikely.  The Seahawks head coach is getting paid to worry about Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos, not the politically-incorrect issue of government lies and cover-ups.  Note: Someone should pay him to worry about government lies and cover-ups.

A 9/11 truth Super Bowl?

Rome had its gladiators. The Aztecs had their epic human sacrifices. But in all the annals of bloody spectacle, nothing has ever drawn a crowd like America's biggest annual event: The Super Bowl.

In 2011, 111 million people watched the Super Bowl, making it the most-viewed television program in US history.

American football, unlike European football, is a violent, militaristic game. The gist: Two teams of eleven muscular men in plastic armor pummel each other into oblivion as they march up and down the field capturing territory while trying to penetrate each others' “end zone.”

The game rose with the military-industrial society it represents. American football surpassed the gentler sport of baseball as America's national pastime during the post-World War II years of US imperial expansion.

Normally, the Super Bowl – with its ritual militarized violence and crass, tasteless, often downright perverse advertisements – represents American culture at its worst. But this year's Super Bowl, scheduled for February 2nd, will have one redeeming feature: It will put the national spotlight on the rise of the 9/11 truth movement.

The Seattle Seahawks, who will be playing the Denver Broncos for the championship, are coached by a 9/11 truther, Pete Carroll. This fact has already begun to astonish the middlebrow world of mainstream American football audiences.

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yogurt Pancakes or Waffles

Perfect for breakfast, brunch or anytime you're hungry.  If you want to win points with your kids, this is an easy way to do it.

In a large bowl mix:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup milk
3 eggs beaten
1/2 stick of butter, melted
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt

Some lumps are okay.  Allow batter to sit for five minutes after mixing.

Pancakes: Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter onto hot griddle, turn when ready (bubbles will appear on top) and serve with melted butter, maple syrup, yogurt, blueberries, eggs over easy, etc.

Waffles: Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter onto hot waffle iron in a large X pattern, allow to cook until golden brown and crisp, serve.