Monday, August 7, 2017

The Wind and the Lion 1975

An oldie but a goodie.  I  popped my video tape into my yard sale VCR and played it last night.  It's still a good flick.  Sean Connery is The Rasuli, "last of the Barbary pirates".  Candice Bergen is Eden Pedicaris, American widow with two young children living in Morocco in 1904.  The movie opens with The Rasuli's horseman galloping along a North Africa beach, gorgeous color, very scenic shots.  He is out to create an international incident to support his cause by kidnapping Candice Bergen and her children.  She is having afternoon tea, in a the formal garden of a plush house in Morocco with a very proper English gentleman.   Very civilized scene.  He is wearing a white suit with tie.  Suit matches his white hair.  They are discussing  the proper wine to drink at this time of day.   Quick change of pace, The Rasuli, followed by a dozen horsemen come crashing thru the garden hedge and start laying about with swords.  Our proper English gentleman turns out to be practical as well as proper.  He produces a large revolver from his shoulder holster and starts blowing Arabs off their horses.  He does pretty well until he runs out of ammunition and is slain.  
    There is a lot of riding and fighting and scenery for the rest of the movie.  Lot's of priceless dialog between Sean Connery and Candice Bergen.   Candice gives as good as she gets.   Where Sean Connery is waxing poetic with quotations from the Koran, Candice Bergen tops each one with a Yankee saying such as "A stitch in time saves nine".
   We get to see the Theodore Roosevelt administration reacting to this outrage.  You get the impression that Teddy has as much pirate blood in his veins as The Rasuli.  Plenty of people have criticized this movie for modifying actual history, but heh, it's movie, not a history lesson.   Shakespeare did the same thing with English history and we like it.  The plot sticks together and makes sense.  The portrait of Teddy Roosevelt is vivid and in accordance with what I know of the period. 
   A fun watch. If you haven't seen it, try it, you'll like it. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Since the Republicans lack the stones to repeal Obamacare...

Maybe they could take some of the heat off by passing a few less controversial  measures to reduce the cost of healthcare.  Remember the United States spends TWICE as much money on healthcare as any other country in the world.  Perhaps bringing the costs down out of the stratosphere will ease things a bit.  As it is,  the Republican failure to deal with Obamacare will  probably cost them control of Congress in 2018.  Both houses. 
   They could try any or all of the following:
1.  Allow interstate sale of health insurance.  Any health insurance company can sell policies in all 50 states, no state paperwork required.  Insurance companies hate this, but they don't vote.
2.  Allow duty free import of drugs from any reasonable first world country, Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan, and the like.  Any medicine legal for sale in the source country can be imported and sold in the United States.   Drug companies hate this but they don't vote.  The FDA hates this but they don't vote.
3.  Clamp down on medical malpractice suits.  They just enrich lawyers and make health care more expensive for real people.  Lawyers  (congresscritters are mostly lawyers) hate this.  Unfortunately congresscritters do vote.
4.   Ease the airconditioning requirements down from the current plus or minus 2 degrees F to a more reasonable plue or minus 4 degrees F.  This will cut costs on new construction. 
5.   Tighten regulations on opioid prescriptions.  Drug companies and pill mills hate this but they don't vote.

Granted, none of these measures will do any thing to prevent  a bailout of insurance companies (stabilize is the new word for bailout), but  at least the Republicans could say they did something about Obamacare. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Is the Wall St Journal going greenie on us??

Yesterday's Journal published six letters to the editor under the headline "Unchecked Climate Change Will Lead to War".  Of the six letter writers, none discussed the science of global warming, things like is it happening, how fast is it happening,  what causes it.  One asserted that CO2 is poisonous, it isn't.  One talked about examining data over the past 21 centuries.  The thermometer wasn't invented until just 4 centuries back.  Lacking thermometers, ancient writer's ideas of hot and cold are pretty subjective.  Tree ring width indicates amount of rainfall, not temperature.  We have a few records of time of planting and harvest but that's about it.  That ain't 21 centuries of data in my book.  One writer thinks Zika, malaria, and dengue are caused by climate change.   That's false. Diseases are caused by germs or viruses (virii?).  One writer is an anti-fracker, and blames global warming and a whole bunch of stuff on fracking. 
    Dunno about that Journal.  They used to be better than this. 

I got spammed.

Some body found my blog and spammed a lot of my recent postings.  First time for that.   So I zapped all the ones I found.  If this keeps up I will have to tighten up on comments.  Right now it's open to everyone.  Spamming should be made a felony, subject to the death penalty.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Gotta stop the leaks

We cannot have the Washington Post printing Trump's phone calls with foreign leaders.  If privacy cannot be assured, and it can't now,  nobody is going to talk to the US president on the phone.  We need to find the leakers and subject them to a bit of cruel and unusual punishment.  Boiling in oil would be good.  Now would be the right time. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Firing Special Prosecuters (Mueller) is a bad idea

Nixon fired the special prosecutor who was investigating Water gate.  Can't remember the guy's name now.  Watergate was a long time ago.  Firing caused a nationwide furor and resulted in Nixon resigning the presidency before they got around to impeaching him.   I think for Trump to fire Mueller would work out about the same way.  I hope Trump understands this. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Opioid Crisis?

How much do places like this contribute to the opioid crisis?  They are spreading.  This one is in Littleton NH, which is about as rural as you can get.  Sources at the Littleton hospital tell me that these guys tried to get office space in the hospital.  The accreditation committee looked at the doctor associated with the operation and said "This guy has red flags sticking out all over him".   So they are in a store front on Meadow St.  All they do is write prescriptions for opioids.