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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

the cost of healthcare

healthcare is a problem in this country, but i haven’t had the time or inclination to dig into it much… so i bounce thoughts off the surface every once in a while, and today i have a number to hang a thought on.

U.S. citizens spent $5,267 per capita for health care in 200253 percent more than any other country.

so, with a 40-hour week and a 50-week year, there’s 2000 hours in a working american’s life (for now i’m going to ignore non-working americans even though they count as “capita”). $5267/2000 = $2.63 per hour for health care (if you put in the rest of the “capita” it’s higher, of course).

this isn’t going to be quite fair, but with the federal minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, oddly enough, that $2.63 works out to just a shade over half (51.1%) of the minimum-wage. the reality is probably much simpler – real minimum-wage workers don’t get health care.

posted by roj at 5:54 am  

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

rnc and rove on defense

this is an interesting statement…

Following is a statement by Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Ken Mehlman on the partisan attack on Karl Rove:

“It’s disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks.”

so the rules have changed. do i get credit for discoraging a president from engaging in a false “war on terror” [in iraq] based on a false premise?

posted by roj at 4:49 am  

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

i’d like to buy the world some water

incalculable damages…

The Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Atlanta based Coca-Cola company, has threatened Mr. Sharad Haksar, one of India’s celebrated photographers, with a lawsuit.

the work is a commentary on something i’ve been thinking about, off and on, for a while. lack of water.

it sounds like coke has some real trouble out there in the big wide world.

visit the artist (look for coke and nike)

posted by roj at 10:25 pm  

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Theodore Woodward

typhus

posted by roj at 9:24 pm  

Monday, July 11, 2005

dennis for $5 billion

i just heard a report that initial damage estimates for hurricane dennis are $5 billion.

$5 billion? how is this possible? didn’t all the big storms last year take out all the wimpy buildings and clear out all the loose crap? did people just buy more crap and leave it out? did they rebuild the same crappy buildings? or when a storm blows a tarp off your roof, does that count as a whole roof?

unpossible! i can’t believe this.

posted by roj at 6:07 pm  

Monday, July 11, 2005

John Stubblefield

sax

posted by roj at 5:44 am  

Monday, July 11, 2005

the search for water

i knew it was dry in australia… but i had no idea how dry it was…

Volcanoes spew up ice, not lava [the austrailia, via news.com.au, 2005.07.11]

A SMALL, bitterly cold moon orbiting Saturn may this week be identified as the most likely place in the solar system for liquid water to exist.

someone send those poor people some rain.

posted by roj at 3:33 am  

Friday, July 8, 2005

plan 9 from outer space

ow available at the internet archive.

but is it art?

posted by roj at 5:26 am  

Thursday, July 7, 2005

we are all britons

posted by roj at 8:27 am  

Thursday, July 7, 2005

what you just bought for iraq

just so you know where your tax dollars are being put to work…

The U.S. military has signed on Halliburton (NYSE:HAL – news) to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion, the Army said on Wednesday.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider such an announcement necessary, she said.

it’s been a long time since i did contract work of any sort with the federal government, but once upon a time, i vaguely recall that all contracts over $25,000 (yeah, that’s 25 thousand) were required to be announced (at the time, in the commerce business daily). perhaps someone more familar with the current federal acquisition regulations can explain how a bureaucracy as large as the army field support command manages to offer up a $5 billion contract without “considering” an announcement of some kind.

and while we’ve got your attention, let’s consider what else $5 billion might be doing… (yeah, i know this isn’t entirely fair…)

$5 billion could save 6 million kids [washington post via seattle times, 2005.06.25]

For about $5.1 billion, the lives of 6 million children younger than 5 could be saved each year, provided the money were spent to extend proven methods of disease prevention and treatment in the world’s poorest countries.

“In 15 years we could have a dozen cables running full steam putting 50 tons in space every day for even less, including upper middle class individuals wanting a joyride into space. Now I just need the $5 billion, Edwards added.

The Real Cost of Hunger [un chronicle, 2001]

Beyond what the United States and other countries are now doing, it will take an estimated $5 billion a year, of which $1.2 billion would come from the United States. If this annual allocation were continued for fifteen years, until 2015, we could reduce the 800 million hungry people by half. To erase hunger for the remaining 400 million would cost about the same if it were to be accomplished in the fifteen years leading up to the year 2030.

Laser project attempts to trigger fusion [ap via jsonline, 2005.05.24]

“We never intended to spend $5 billion to $6 billion to build a laser facility for . . . civilian research,” Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee that funds the NIF program, lectured an Energy Department scientist last year when he learned fusion ignition experiments might be postponed.

posted by roj at 7:41 am  
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