Some quick hits from the Brits *UPDATED*

Britain’s Telegraph has three interesting articles, and the London Times one:

Read about the vast difference between Britain’s and France’s socialized medicine. I’d certainly like to know what accounts for the difference before I start making changes to the American system. Color me skeptical, but I bet Obama, who shows himself to be remarkably ignorant about so many things, doesn’t know.

Speaking of the NSH, here’s one man’s story of what happened to him when he tried to improve his treatment for cancer. It’s a reminder that a whole bunch of socialism is less concerned with getting a good deal for all and much more concerned with making sure that some guy over there doesn’t get a better deal.

One British columnist offers a good analysis pointing to a McCain victory in November.

And some good news: Although it’s for the wrong reason (shock collateral damage in the form of Muslim deaths), some of the most outspoken clerics in the Islamic world are starting to turn on Al Qaeda. (H/t Danny Lemieux, who read it at Flopping Aces.)

UPDATE: You have to read this one too: Melanie Phillips’ marvelous op-ed about the way in which the British body politic is trying to bamboozle Brits into ceding all national power to the European Union (and the way in which plucky little Ireland is the one thing that stands in the way).  Phillips also disclosed the really dirty little secret, which is that the horses have already left the barn:  the EU controls most of British day-to-day life already.

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  • Ymarsakar

    And some good news: Although it’s for the wrong reason (shock collateral damage in the form of Muslim deaths), some of the most outspoken clerics in the Islamic world are starting to turn on Al Qaeda. (H/t Danny Lemieux, who read it at Flopping Aces.)

    Arabs don’t like the weak horse and neither do they like impotent sissies.

    That’s one thing you can count on.

  • Ymarsakar

    Got a comment spammed here. Just one

  • Mike Devx

    The critical mistake is to agree with assumptions that make you think you’re going to win.

    Assumption 1: Obama is at the highest he can rise to. He won’t be able to attract hardly anyone he hasn’t already attracted. Easy McCain win.

    Assumption 2: Obama is at the lowest he can fall to. All the unsavory characters and mistakes are out of the way and will be forgotten. Easy Obama win.

    I don’t see either candidate or campaign team making the mistake.

    For that vast muddled middle, the Independents, who won’t be paying attention anyway until after Labor Day, will this be a values election or an issues/economy election? Or will it be a “who do I trust” election? If values, then McCain wins. If issues, then Obama wins. If trust, then it gets interesting. McCain as maverick wins, McCain as Republican loses unless further Obama gaffes after Labor Day worry the muddled middle.

    Is McCain enough of a change agent compared to Bush, or can Obama successfully tie him to Bush via the argument “McCain has agreed with Bush 95% of the time and has assured everyone he is a real conservative Republican”? Obama’s already begun beating that message like a drum. McCain is working the inexperience and untrustworthy angle. I don’t know which message will take hold. Do you?

    Will the usual indicators about two-term Presidents in a bad economy hold? This has always led to a switch in the Executive to the other party. Or is this that unusual a year where that iron-clad rule simply won’t hold?

    If before November Israel does attack Iran with US support, or if the US attacks Iran directly, what will the effects be?

    There’s all kinds of uncertainty in this election. I have no idea which way the American people are going to move. Certainly they don’t all seem to agree with me that McCain is clearly superior even though he’s a terrible communicator. Perhaps the election is already decided and we can’t see it yet – as the Dem race was actually already over when Hillary did not win out on Super Tuesday in early February? Or is the race really uncertain, and the better message, candidate, and campaign will make a critical difference leading into November?

    In any case, the worst mistake is to underestimate your opponent.

  • Tiresias

    With regard to the EU and Ireland, the one thing I’d point out goes to the “plucky little Ireland” comment.

    For the last ten years Ireland has been the sole demonstrably growing economy in Europe. Eire is booming; the best anybody else can do is stagger along aabout an inch above “zero growth.”

    It’s the first time in a long time (probably ever) that the Irish could say that. They’re unlikely to give that up. Never ones to quail before telling anyone else to go to hell, it wouldn’t be surprising if that’s what they tell the EU.

  • Ymarsakar

    Ireland should apply for State status in the US. We could use a people with a reformed Southern fighting spirit.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Britain and Ireland should join NAFTA. They are more like us than like “them”.

  • Kate

    I lived in France from 1989-2000, working as a musician. I met and married my husband there, and had the first of 2 children in a French hospital. Although theoretically one of the best public hospitals in Paris, I had the misfortune to have my son in August, when everyone is on vacation. I ended up w/ a c-section, because the doctor was “tired” according to the head nurse, and wanted to go home, I suppose. August is a bad month for health care in France. In fact _many_ thousands of people died in the August heat waves of 2003 and 2006. This seems to have been forgotten, although much was written about the lack of emergency room capacity at the time. 2003 was bad all over Europe, so it’s not really only France that suffered. Some changes were made to the system, so that “only” 2000 more people than were statistically expected to die, did die during the heat wave of 2006. The system isn’t at all free, or even close to inexpensive. Although it is difficult to compare economic systems in a vacuum, we (my husband and I) paid nearly 50 percent of our salary into mandatory health care and retirement plans. That being said, we did get to choose our family doctor.
    I much prefer the American system.