The Mind's Eye


2011 11081

When we visited our neighbors to the north in 2011 we came across many things that we had not seen before the this mural is one of them. The whole side of the building is a painting. It is all make-believe. I spent perhaps a half hour just taking it in. Click on the pic to see a larger view with more details….


The Darkest Day…

Ottawa, Ontario – Public Gardens

It think today is the shortest, and therefore the darkest, day of the year so what is more appropriate than a field of daises. The public garden in Ottawa is a beautiful example of peace and tranquility.  We visited there in 2011 during our one month vacation with our neighbors to the north….

Canada and the Volstead Act…According to Will…

2014-10-12_07-59-37Arrived in the Canada capital today. More sentiment here to be annexed by Mexico than by America. They know us too well. If we get any nation to join us it will have to be some stranger. We only have one reason for wanting Canada and a modification of the Volstead Act will eliminate it. Waiting instructions.

Will Rogers — 11 October 1926.

When we took our extended visit to eastern Canada a few years ago I kind of got the same feeling that Will did almost 100 years ago. Canada is happy to have put off the invasion by the U.S. in 1812. They see all our problems with guns, drugs, booze in Will’s day and healthcare issues today and rejoice that they pretty much solved all those things years ago. When we told some there how much we pay for our health insurance, even with Medicare, they were shocked.

Now don’t get me wrong, except maybe for the french speaking part 🙂 they treated us Americans with friendly grace and cordiality.  Especially those taking our tourist dollars. If I couldn’t be an American even with all our solvable yet unsolved problems, I would want to be a Canadian. Where we are hyper about so much they seem to be calm and that is a nice state to be in.

An Ode to My Canadian Friends…

Source: Is Canada Too Smug About Its Economic Future? – Businessweek. Over the past four years, Canada has been feted as the country that does practically everything right. Its banks are beloved by everyone from economist Paul Krugman to Moody’s Investment Service (MCO), which rated them earlier this year as the safest in the world.

While U.S. politicians bickered for years over free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, Canadians signed several pacts and launched free-trade talks with 50 other nations. Its economy has grown faster—and its debt has stayed smaller—than its Group of Seven peers.

Another success of Canada not mentioned in the quote above is that they have universal healthcare so thousands of citizens are not bankrupted each day due to overwhelming medical bills. When we were in Canada on vacation last year we mentioned that we spend about $1,000 per month on our health insurance and deductibles. My new Canadian friends were shocked to hear that.  They generally spend less than $50/month.

I want to celebrate Canada’s universal healthcare in this post. Here are some things that Wikipedia says about it:

Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities.[2] It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984.  The government assures the quality of care through federal standards. The government does not participate in day-to-day care or collect any information about an individual’s health, which remains confidential between a person and his or her physician. Canada’s provincially based Medicare systems are cost-effective partly because of their administrative simplicity. In each province each doctor handles the insurance claim against the provincial insurer. There is no need for the person who accesses health care to be involved in billing and reclaim. Private insurance is only a minimal part of the overall health care system.  Competitive practices such as advertising are kept to a minimum, thus maximizing the percentage of revenues that go directly towards care.

The politicians who strongly oppose universal healthcare in the U.S. frequently state that those who have it are very unsatisfied with it. But if you actually ask them here is what Canadians say:

Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.” A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada

I am a graph guy so I will close this post with a graph about the costs of our disjointed system compared to universal healthcare in most other countries:

Maybe now that we have the Supreme Court decision about our meager first step at universal healthcare we can start approaching what our Canadians neighbors are so proud of. I know in the title of this post I promised an ode, which is usually a song, but looking at the facts I do have music in my mind about future possibilities.

On The Road — Canada here we come…

We got the great-nephew married yesterday and will be heading north in a few hours. It was an interesting few days visiting with the out-laws, I mean in-laws,but I am more than ready to get this vacation officially on the road. One thing I had forgotten about was the ferocious mosquitoes they have here in northern Wisconsin this time of year! I suppose they will be even bigger in where we are going.