Let The Big 10 Begin

The Illibuck

Tomorrow the Buckeyes play the Fighting Illini in their Big 10 opener.  And, as important a game as USC was, as fun and patriotic as the Navy game may have been, the Big 10 is where the rubber meets the road.  We remember when the Buckeye defense could not stop Juice Williams two years ago; we remember when, in times past, the Illini beat the Buckeyes.  We remember when the Illibuck went to the men of Champaign-Urbana.  And so, we want the Buckeyes to stomp the mortal piss out of the Illini come Saturday.  We want Terrelle Pryor to have an excellent game; we want Boom Herron to pound the middle and burst through for a touchdown or two, and we want the Ohio State defense to shut down the Illinois offense and humble Juice Williams, as he should have been humbled two years ago.  We want to bring home the Illibuck.

This is what we want, and what Big 10 football is all about.

One Big Baby !

An Indonesian woman has given birth to an 8.7-kilogramme (19.2-pound) ...

When I go to the library to use their computers I tend to have a regular routine, the first thing I do is access my e-mail which is usually cluttered with offers from Border’s Rewards to buy books at a discount and First Link updates which is a volunteer organization I accessed shortly after I retired in an attempt to check out volunteer opportunities.

After checking my e-mail I usually take a look at You Tube to see if there is anything interesting and newsworthy worth viewing and blogging about. If not then I typically access Yahoo.com which will have a number of revolving lead stories in their odd news section. I particularly enjoyed the picture with this odd news story and the look on the baby’s face on the left. If that baby could talk I bet she/he would be saying “Wow, you are one big baby” !

Healthcare Reform a No Brainer ?

Our grandfather used to say he had a “no brainer” when he was dealt a hand in gin rummy where he could lay down his hand after drawing one card off the deck. Webster’s dictionary defines a no brainer as something that requires minimum thought. I can’t for the life of me understand why reforming our healthcare system isn’t considered a “no brainer” for most people because we spend more than any country and everyone isn’t covered !

This article from the New York Times a couple years ago points out many of the flaws in our system and very little has changed in the two years since this article was written, except for the fact that the number of uninsured is now 48 million. President Clinton was on Larry King the other night and said that because the United States spends 17% of its GDP on healthcare it puts us at a huge disadvantage when competing for business on a global basis against other countries.

Again this month Money magazine had an article “Focusing on the Real Health-Care Risks”. To summarize the article they said that the debate we are currently having is about risk.

Risk 1 – Reform Hurts Care – to which they say our current system is hardly a fine tuned machine. We have short wait times for cutting edge cures (that’s why big wigs from other countries come to the United States), but our death rate is the highest amoungst rich nations and everyone is not covered.

Risk 2 -You Can Lose Your Coverage – when the discussion turns to helping the uninsured most Americans think of these uninsured people as “other people”. Even those with good coverage are not sensitive to the price of their care which pushes costs up, making their insurance more expensive and over time causing their employer to drop their coverage. 

Risk 3 – Medicare Implodes – People on Medicare are worried that reform will mean a cut in benefits, but if we do nothing the trust fund will be tapped out by 2017. The escalating cost of the Medicare program is the main driver of our long term deficit and can’t be fixed in isolation. The Medicare program just buys healthcare in the regular healthcare system so an overall reform that covers everyone which will make the system more efficient and slow the growth of Medicare costs which would in turn lower the risk of future benefit cuts.

To me it all comes down to a case of the “haves” versus the “have nots”. Most of us who are now “the haves” need to show compassion towards our fellow man “the have nots” because they are less fortunate than us. If healthcare isn’t reformed this year I know that it will be in the near future, most likely when more than 50% of our citizens no longer have private insurance because business can’t afford it and the “haves” become “the have nots” !

Another View From Abroad

Here’s an interesting perspective from Australia on the international perception of President Obama — complete with an entertaining reference to the “Fonzie” codicil to foreign policy.

Regardless of whether this writer is correct or not in his assessment, it should be concerning that people overseas are writing openly about our President as weak or out of his depth.  Even if that perception is flat out wrong, the mere existence of the perception could tempt one of our adversaries into taking a reckless action that they might not have tried otherwise.  Similarly, if the President comes to appreciate the existence of such a perception, it may cause him to take an action he would not have taken under other circumstances in order to try to correct that perception.

When it comes to foreign policy, it seems crucial to project strength and resolve, and then to back up words with actions.  The best American pop culture reference probably is not Fonzie, but rather the John Wayne character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

A Fan Of Fog

I’ve been to San Francisco quite a bit lately, and one of the things I’ve enjoyed about my visits is the fog.  Typically, it seems to be very foggy in the morning, and then as the day progresses the fog burns off and rolls back.  By afternoon, it is clear over the city, but as you look out past the Golden Gate Bridge you see the fog banks lurking out there, waiting patiently like a living thing, ready to roll back in and blanket the city once more.

We don’t have anything like this in flat, landlocked Columbus.  On the few occasions we do have fog, it usually is a few pathetic wisps that cling to the low-lying areas — nothing like the thick, plush fog banks that you see in San Francisco.

Although I imagine driving in the fog is a pain for San Francisco residents and commuters, I think the fog makes the City by the Bay a more interesting, dreamy, mysterious place.