Friday, April 24, 2009

Separatists on parade revisited: parade forgotten?

For a short time in December a new western separatist group emerged, though its rollout was marred by a series of missteps that I chronicled at the time (here). Several unsuitable characters were recruited for its council:
  • its BC chair had to be removed over "incompatible philosophies" (here: apparently it had to do with his views on race war and political assassination)
  • one policy chair resigned when problems with his claims about his experience emerged (here and here)
  • the next policy chair claimed a degree from a diploma mill (here)
In the meantime, apparently its all gone stale. The webpage seems not to have been updated in months, no progress seems to have been reached in filling vacancies in the council, and their founding convention has been forgotten.

Here is their convention page as of this morning (here):

The date, of course, is noteworthy. The convention is supposed to start today. Given that as of this morning "prices and location are yet to be determined" one assumes that it did not happen.

Apparently it has been postponed or forgotten.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Waiting lists grow in American clinics

The Washington Post has an interesting story on the effects of the recession on a clinic in North Carolina.
Just six months ago, the clinic delivered same-day care to most callers, the gold standard from a health perspective. But in October the delays crept to four days, then 19 in November and 25 in December. In January, HealthServe temporarily stopped accepting new patients, and almost immediately 380 people put their names on a waiting list for when the crunch eases.

The problem?
In the past two years, North Carolina's number of uninsured has climbed 22.5 percent, the biggest jump in the nation, according to an analysis by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, a quasi-state agency. Nationwide, about 22 percent of adults do not have health insurance. Here in North Carolina, 25 percent of adults -- or 1.8 million people -- have no coverage. An additional 9 percent are underinsured.

For most Americans, health insurance and employment are linked. Every 1 percent increase in the jobless rate translates into 1.1 million people losing coverage nationally.

Canada's system, much pilloried by the fabulists of the right, doesn't look so bad now, does it?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I didn't realize this was political at the time...

... but in retrospect, every thing's clearer:

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Having a form of godliness…

And just when you thought that the odd mix of market capitalism and evangelical Christianity in North America couldn't get any stranger, some enterprising profit seeker has introduced a new religious service.

You Pay, Computer Prays For You
Information Age Prayer is a site that charges you a monthly fee to say prayers for you. A typical charge is $4.95 per month to say three prayers specified by you each day.

"We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying," the company states. "Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen."