Monday, December 09, 2002


That is the heading of the latest story on the topic in �The Guardian� -- no less. The article still insists that global warming is real so purveyors of scientific fact such as Amax, John Daly and Aaron Oakley still have work to do but if Britain�s No. 1 Leftist broadsheet is at least acknowledging that there are two sides to global warming, I suspect that the writing is on the wall for the whole global warming scare.



When Air New Zealand (a government-owned airline) crashed one of its planes into Mt Erebus in Antarctica some years ago, there was evidence of negligence in setting up the plane�s navigational system. But pinning the blame on any one person or procedure was difficult. Top people all over New Zealand were involved in various ways with the airline and they all appeared to be covering up for one-another. The New Zealand government of the day was so despairing of getting to the bottom of the matter that it imported a judge from Australia to head the official enquiry. No New Zealand judge could be found who could be trusted. Even so, when the enquiry was over, the judge reported that he had been confronted by �an orchestrated litany of lies� in the course of his enquiry and it remained dubious whether enough changes had been made to prevent further such disasters.

This account of recent events tends to confirm such fears. Air New Zealand planes are just falling apart as they fly through the sky. It has now happened four times in the last four months. Maintenance is still obviously a low priority for this bureacratized monstrosity of an airline. When they owned Australia�s Ansett Airlines, Ansett also had major maintenance problems -- leading to its eventual bankruptcy.

Here is an account of what passengers actually saw in the latest incident.



Canadians sometimes seem to have an obsession with being different from the USA. This appears to have been disastrous in the field of health insurance -- where Canada has a �single tier� system. In this system you have only the government to rely on for your health care! How any sane person ever thought that was a good idea escapes me. The result of course is NEGLECT rather than CARE. To get important medical services, Canadians often have to cross the border into the USA. Even the Canadian Prime Minister does so!

The big claim to fame of the Canadian system, however, is its universality. Medical care in the USA is clearly better but you have to have health insurance to use the best of it -- and many poor people have no insurance. Poor US patients are forced to go to badly overworked public hospitals.

It seems a pity that the Australian compromise is not better known in Canada. Australia has a compulsory and universal national health insurance scheme (with premiums collected through the tax system) that enables people to access health care in either the public or the private sector. Government insurance routinely pays for you to see a private doctor and will also pay part of your costs if you are admitted to a private hospital. The scheme is �community-rated� -- i.e. everyone pays the same, no matter how �at risk� they are. Like the Canadian system, however, the scheme falls down when public hospital admission is called for. Urgent cases are treated promptly and well in public hospitals without charge but anything that is not life-threatening can take years to get treated in public hospitals.

For those who dislike the thought of such a wait there are private hospitals that will treat you promptly and well but there will be extra charges that you will have to pay that are not covered by the government insurance scheme. There are, however, many private health insurance schemes you can join that will pay for the whole or almost the whole of those extra chages.

It seems to me that having to wait for non-urgent surgery is a fair price to pay for making a lesser contribution to your own health insurance.



We hear so much about Iraq these days that news about US economic policy tends to get swamped. Here is a useful summary of what is happening at the moment. Decisions President Bush will have to make soon are going to make a big difference to prosperity in the USA -- and hence to some extent in the world generally.



This is what passes for education at the University of Michigan. Read this excerpt from one female student�s account of a COMPULSORY �course� she had to do there:

We had to go around and talk about at least one way in which we have been/are oppressed. When my turn came up, and I answered that I have never been oppressed, the instructor corrected me, saying that I must have been, as I'm female. I persisted, saying that being female has never been anything short of a blessing for me. The instructor was relentless, insisting that I was necessarily oppressed at one point in my life. The instructor asked to speak with me after class. He was visibly shaken and angry. He told me that my classroom behavior was disruptive in the least (although I was never voluntarily disagreeing), and that I would be kicked out of class and would thereby lose my job and my housing for the next year unless I learned to be more cooperative.�

Link via Cruel Shoes



The Greenies LOVE pushbikes as a means of transport. So much better than cars, in their view. So next time you see a cyclist pumping away and obstructing other traffic have a little laugh to yourself about this report on habitual mountain-bike riders summarized by Medpundit on December 3rd.:

"On average, the study found, the bikers produced only a third the amount of sperm as those who were not bike riders. The researchers suggest that trauma to the testicles causes vascular damage affecting the sperm".

Bike-seats can be a hazard to your fertility!


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