Saturday, May 1, 2010

English Only in Alabama?

OK, today I am embarrassed to say I am from Alabama. One of the candidates in the upcoming governors race in Alabama, Tim James, has a TV add that states the Alabama driver's exam should be given in English only.

James believes it will save money. Currently the test is provided in 12 languages. Here is what The Atlantic has to say on the issue on 04/26/10:

So, if we change the existing language rules on the drivers license exam we could lose billions in government funding. Maybe it's the businessman in me, but I see lots of foreign investment staying clear of Alabama with this redneck attitude.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

U.S. Healthcare - Reduce the Administration Burden

I was listening to Mitch McConnell (R-KY) yesterday blasting the Senate Democrat health care bill. He states that the main goal of healthcare reform is to reduce costs and this bill does not do that. He also states that a government option is bad as it would reduce competition. This is interesting as Canada's government run healthcare system costs about half of the U.S. system.

The 01/28/09 clip below from takes a look at Canada's system and the results are quite staggering. In an interview with Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton economics professor and healthcare expert, Dr. Reinhardt states that if the U.S. could bring its healthcare administrative costs down to that of the Canadian level, the savings would be more than sufficient to provide health insurance to those who currently do not have coverage.

Our current costs for healthcare in the U.S., costs that are rising faster than the rate of inflation, are not sustainable.
Senator McConnell, stop all this rhetoric and let's get the system fixed. We need the reform the House and Senate are pushing for.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gates Arrested and Acts Like a Kid

The top news item this week was the recent arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. by the Cambridge, Mass police who were called by a neighbor to Gates home when the neighbor thought someone was breaking into the home. It turned out the Gates was the one entering the house and when confronted by the police was arrested for disorderly conduct. The Cambridge police subsequently dropped charges.

Both Gates and President Obama are of the opinion the Cambridge police acted "stupidly". Now I do not know what was said between Gates and the police but I believe this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. It appears Gates may have overreacted and due to his position at Harvard is now taking advantage of the confrontation.

I believe the following iReport by Desire Grover provides a good analysis of the issue.

Gates needs to give it a rest . And the news feeds need to as well.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

United Airlines - Unsatisfied Customer

On a lighter note, this past week saw a new video on YouTube where a disgruntled Canadian customer took his complaint public with a video that has had more than 2 million hits . Enjoy:


Canada's Government Health Care

There are lots of comments circulating in the U.S. about Canada's government run health care system and the comments we are hearing a lot, especially from the Republican side, is that we should be worried that our system could end up like that of our friends to the north. So let's take a look at Canada's health care.

Recently on July 6, 2009 CNN reported on health care in Ontario, Canada with their "Reality check: Canada's government health care system". The U.S senate's top republican, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the senate floor "cherry picks" an incident where a Canadian traveled to the Mayo clinic in Phoenix for treatment and then, supported with with incorrect facts, the senator argues that we in the U.S. are headed down a path like Canada where treatment is delayed or denied. His comments to the senate are here.

This approach by our senator is purely political and a tactic meant to scare the American public and does not present either correct or balanced facts. Compliments to CNN for investigating this further to obtain the facts. They interviewed Hamilton General (Ontario) chief of staff Dr. David Zelt and this interview and others follows:

They also interview Canadian senator Hugh Segal (Conservative - Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds) who corrected the comments on Ontario health care from his fellow conservative senator from Kentucky.

I am concerned that our senator from Kentucky compares the health care systems in the U.S. and Canada by presenting a slanted view and a view with an agenda. A simple analysis of the facts show that Canadians pay less for health care per capita, cover all citizens and residents, and have longer life expectancy (Canada 81.2 years, U.S. 78.1 years - source: .

Yes in Canada there are waits for some elective surgery and yes decisions have to be made due to cost and benefit. But the outcomes appear to be better in Canada while at a lower cost. So let's present the facts correctly senator.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Senator Shelby and Healthcare

Ok, I live in Alabama and recently one of my senators, Richard Shelby (R-AL) was interviewed on Fox News and made the comment "Obama is destroying the best health care system the world has ever known." You can find some of the interview at (from DailyKosTV).

I am not sure what the senator has been smoking to arrive at this conclusion as our "best system" has 46 million uninsured, the highest health care cost per capita in the world, and long wait times in emergency as emergency rooms are the choice for uninsured. In this country the responsibility to provide coverage rests largely with the private sector and employer sponsored plans. This saddles companies with current and legacy costs and makes U.S. companies non competitive with companies from other countries that do not have this burden. Add this to one of the reasons that led to the bankruptcy filings of GM and Chrysler?

Speaking of bankruptcies, did you know that the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. is the inability to pay medical bills? This risk does not enter into the mindset of citizens from countries with universal public coverage.

Compare our "best system" as Shelby states to those of Canada or Australia which have universal coverage. When you lose or move jobs in Canada or Australia there is no risk or worry about one's future health coverage. It moves with you. You do not lose coverage just at the time when you can least afford funding an individual plan. Also by the way, life expectedly is longer in Canada and Australia.

The way I see it is that either Shelby is mis-informed or simply has his blinders on. Either way his comments have no basis in fact. We cannot continue on with the present system where costs have been increasing at a much higher rate than inflation. It is simply not sustainable and eventually, companies will cease providing access to health plans and no one will be able to afford private health cover.

Senator Shelby, let's present the facts.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blog Created

The Randolph Journal is now online.


An international perspective of issues facing America.

This journal will provide my views on current issues facing the nation. The way I see it....


Hey, it's still a free country

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