Canadian model of healthcare ails
Report ranks Canada's state-funded system near the bottom among industrial nations.
When Bill Clinton attempted to reform US healthcare in 1994, his administration often touted Canada's publicly funded, universal access system as a model to be emulated. As it turns out, th Canadian system may be crumbling under its own weight. Despite spending nearly C$100 billion (US$64 billion) per year on healthcare - the most per capita among countries that run a similar system - a study released last week by the Fraser Institute, a public-policy think tank in Vancouver, shows that Canada ranks only slightly higher than Hungary, Poland, and Turkey in the quality of service its citizens receive. Canada is the last industrialized nation to rely solely on government funds for its core healthcare system. There's an emerging view that it, too, may abandon a system that has long been a symbol of its national identity.
Fraser Institute < http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/ >
TX: HPD suspends 12 more in mass-arrest scandal
Coercion alleged; city sued for $100 million
A scandal involving the Houston Police Department's handling of a massive trespassing raid in West Houston on Aug. 18 ballooned Monday with the suspension of 12 more police supervisors, allegations of criminal coercion against the captain who led the raid and a $100 million lawsuit against the city. The 12 supervisors suspended with pay Monday include a captain, two lieutenants and nine sergeants.
NH: Police chief wants dorm forfeited under drug laws
Police arrested nine current and former McIntosh College students on drug charges Tuesday, as the city police chief said he was pushing federal prosecutors to seize a college dorm under federal drug forfeiture laws.
Federal government's bookkeeping needs fixing, too
Concealing debt and operating costs. Flouting court orders by shredding documents. Failing to properly track assets and liabilities. These misdeeds have blackened corporate America's eye and prompted criminal investigations and the wrath of Congress and President Bush. Yet these same accounting failures and sleights of hand have for years been common practice in the federal government, fiscal experts say. ... The financial statements of many federal agencies are in such dismal shape that the General Accounting Office (GAO) -- the investigative arm of Congress that audits federal accounts -- has been unable to provide an opinion on the government's finances for the past five years.
SC: 'Smart-Growth' Plan Riles Black Farmers
Like many property-rights advocates throughout the nation, South Carolina landowner Joe Neal has some choice words for his county's new "smart-growth" plan that may put his farmland off-limits to development in the name of helping the environment and fighting suburban sprawl. "It's robbery!" the hearty 51-year-old native South Carolinian exclaims, arguing his family tended the land for generations and deserves whatever the market will bear should they decide to sell some of their 92 acres just outside the capital city of Columbia. Neal calls the so-called smart-growth plan "a taking" that "restricts landowners from creating wealth." He says he cares about the environment, but "people are a part of the environment, too."
TX: Mexican mom says she wants baby to stay with Houston couple
The mother of a Mexican baby in a custody dispute said today that she wants to give her baby up to a Houston couple, and added that she had been intimidated by the U.S. government into saying otherwise. Speaking publicly for the first time in the case, Griselda Guadarrama also said she feared a lawyer the Mexican government hired purportedly to represent her. Both the United States and Mexican governments have contended Guadarrama wants to keep her baby, Aldo, and return to Mexico. Both governments have pressured to expedite the deportation of the mother and baby, arguing partly that they were acting in the interest of the mother.
CA: City of Angels Divided
Both Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley want out of L.A., and are demanding secession. After decades of idle threats and false starts, the measure is on the November ballot and it could have drastic consequences for the nation's second-largest city.
Mutant Marxists in the 'Heart of Darkness'
There's a Joseph Conrad kind of symbolism in the location of the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on Sustainable Development. A colection of central planners has convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, to further centralize control over private property and streamline the distribution of wealth from freer, more prosperous nations to despotic, underdeveloped ones. The intellectual and ethical impetus for this renewed assault on freedom and prosperity is the repugnant Marxist theory of environmentalism. Conservation is the central planners' Trojan Horse for a globally-coordinated assault on individual rights. These "watermelons" - green on the outside, rd on the inside - adroitly combine elements of fascism with socialism: They want to see an expansion of the "public commons," their euphemism for nationalization of resources. But they are not impervious to the methods of the Fascist State: Impose on private property owners a globally-harmonized regulatory and taxation regime. The degradation-to-the-environment theories popularized at the Summit are mutations of Marxism.
Reno Protest Masked As Official Web Site
It looks like Janet Reno's campaign Web site. It has her picture. It even has her own words, taken from transcripts of congressional testimony probing her handling of the deadly 1993 standoff with Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. And until early July, the now less-than-flattering Web site - www.renoforgovernor.com - was one that redirected Internet users automatically to Reno's official campaign site, www.renoforflorida.com But not anymore. Ken Adler, a California mortgag banker with a deep self- described dislike of the former U.S. attorney general's politics, noticed a few months ago the domain name was set to expire and waited for his chance to snatch it up. He got his chance in early July, paid $15 for the Internet address and posted the protest page, then waited for the Reno campaign to call with its checkbook ready. That phone call never came, so the Web page stands.
Walter Williams: Phony diversity
... Diversity is a big buzzword on college and university campuses. Diversity has fogged and claimed the minds of campus administrators so much so that they've created diversity fiefdoms. Harvard University Medical School has an Office for Diversity and Community Partnership. Brown University has a Diversity Institute. UC Berkeley has a Diversity Committee and a diversity officer. At George Mason University, where I teach, there's a Diversity Advisory Board and an Office for Diversity Programs and Services. At most colleges and universities, there's a diversity or multiculturalism agenda to propagandize students. According to Merriam Webster's dictionary, diversity means: diverseness, multifariousness, multiformity, multiplicity and variousness. The opposite of diversity is uniformity or identity. For the bulk of universities and colleges, diversity means race quotas, sex quotas and programs to insure that representative forms of sexual deviancy become an accepted norm. To insure this politically correct vision of campus life, there's one form of diversity that can't be tolerated. That's ideological and political diversity; there must be uniformity and identity. ...
A Congressman's Courageous Stand
Ron Paul's spirited defense of American freedom against an encroaching police state
There were few legislators still lingering in the House of Representatives on June 27, 2002, when Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, took the floor and asked, "Are we doomed to be a police state?" He then proceeded to give one of the most intelligent speeches on the state of our nation and our freedoms that I've come across in modern times.
Cantor Seeks Stricter License Requirements
If a Virginia congressman gets his way, state motor vehicle departments will require proof from non-citizens that they are legally in the United States before issuing them drivers licenses. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced uesday that he will introduce legislation when Congress returns from summer recess next week that would require foreign nationals to show proof of a valid, non-expired visa before they are granted a license or a state identification card.
CA: Latino leaders split on driver bill
A bitter split among Latino leaders threatened Tuesday to derail legislation that would allow up to a million undocumented immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses. After conceptual agreement had been reached by Gov. Gray Davis and the bill's author, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, critics called the terms discriminatory, unfair and unconstitutional.
CA: Senate backs bill on Bay Area smog
The Legislature was poised Tuesday to deliver to Gov. Gray Davis a bill to expand the state's Smog Check II program to include the Bay Area, a region blamed for generating waves of pollution that end up in the Central Valley. The Senate passed the measure on a 27-3 vote. Its author, Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, said he expects the Assembly to quickly concur on several Senate amendments and to send the bill on to Davis. The Assembly overwhelmingly approved the measure in May. Smog Check II, in place across much of the state, features a more extensive vehicle emissions test than the basic smog check rules. The inspections also are slightly more expensive.
CA: State budget stalemate: Day 58
Gap narrows, but big steps needed
Assembly Democrats and Republicans moved a little closer to a budget deal Tuesday, with the GOP agreeing to $500 million in "revenue enhancements" to balance the state's books. But with discussions continuing into Tuesday evening, the two parties remained far apart on how much of the $23.6 billion shortfall should be covered with additional cuts. The Democrats say they're willing to trim $200 million more from the $99 billion sending plan, while Republicans want $3.7 billion in additional cuts.
CA: Guard union's million-dollar pledge to Davis
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a powerful union whose members have benefited significantly under Gov. Gray Davis, said Tuesday that it will donate up to $1 million to the incumbent by November to ensure his re-election.
TX: Face-scanning system on hold at D/FW
At least for now, face scanners that can identify a potential terrorist will not be part of the security arsenal at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
CA: Tracking Bay Area Traffic Creates Concern for Privacy
Drivers who use electronic passes to pay bridge tolls in the San Francisco Bay area will soon find themselves participating in a broad government traffic-watch program, with highway officials tracking their movements throughout the region to gather data on delays and driving times. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is to begin installing about 150 roadside transponders in November for a network that will eventually cover 500 miles of freeway. Philip E. Agre, an expert on electronic surveillance, said he believed it was the first routine government use of the technology for any purpose other than collecting tolls. While privacy advocates have said they are wary of the new system, commission officials insisted that it had many safeguards to ensure the anonymity of drivers and that it would never become a tool of law enforcement or other prying eyes.
Washington spending going wild
Legend has it there were once two major political parties in America. The Democrats, I've been told, believed in higher taxes and more government spending to solve every imaginable social and political problem and some unimaginable ones. The Republicans, they say, believed in cutting taxes, restricting spending and limiting the size and scope of government - with at least a nod and wink toward the Constitution. They say legends die hard, but this one sure died quickly. Since February 2001, the phony $2.25 trillion in projected surpluses over the next decade have been wiped out - in one session of Congress. In the name of defense and homeland security, Congress has gone on a wild spending binge even by its own pork-like, gluttonous standards.
WA: We're not willing sellers', say River's End property owners
Mark Thomas, acting on behalf of the property owners at River's End on the Dungeness River, appeared before county commissioners to let them know once again that the private property owners are not "willing sellers." The commissioners planned to accept bid proposals for environmental impact studies and appraisals toward the buyout of property there.
Citizens Against Government Waste: Budget Deficit Reaches $157 Billion, But Congress Just Keeps Raising Spending
UK Wants Written European Constitution
A top British official called for a written European constitution Tuesday, a plan derided by conservatives as a prelude to a unified continental government.
Your ID Please, Citizen
What a national ID card might look like.
Christianity and Libertarianism: Harmony or Heresy?
When Is It Right To Lock Up Americans?
... As a federal judge and the Bush administration face off over how Hamdi's case should proceed, legal scholars are debating the issue of whether American citizens can be locked up in limbo, without legal rights or outside contact. ...
Johann Opitz <email@example.com> RKBA!