A – Someone who never had health insurance and paid for service out of pocket, cannot afford the service he now needs to stop going blind. He feels Obamacare has let him down because he cannot enrol when he needs care. South Carolina opted out of the, largely, federally funded medicaid subsidy that would have covered him. Is he too stupid to understand his own interests, or a victim of a state government which is prepared to see its citizens suffer in order to score a political point? Why is that point so important to them?
B – A Manhattan jury deadlocked on Friday after 100 hours deliberating the fate of Pedro Hernandez, a mentally ill New Jersey man who had repeatedly confessed to murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979. The holdout was respected by his fellow jurors and the judge and has ably defended his actions. If you agree with him, why do you think his behaviour is so rare? If not, should the need for unanimous jury agreement be less strict?
C – This article is an entertaining and informative look at medical decision making in face of uncertainty. I would be comfortable having its author consult on me. However, do you think other professions – detectives, policy wonks, auditors, etc. – face as much “important” uncertainty and take as much care?
D – Paradise Lost! Where would you go if you had to leave Lakeside?
E – As was done some years with respect to South Africa, a world-wide boycott against Israel is now being organized. In the US a boycott is considered free speech; in Canada, last year, “countries” were added to woman, minorities, religions, and other hate-crime protected groups. Now Harper is prepared to use the law against the Israel boycott organizers. Remembering that US corporations now enjoy free speech is the Canadian (and the rest of the world) law better or worse than the US’s?
F – All civilized countries have been harmed by rogue bankers, but Iceland has now jailed four of their’s between 4 to 5.5 years for market manipulation. They also let many of their banks fail. Is Iceland still civilized?
G – Ferguson has highlighted problems with bail. Huge numbers are being held in sub-standard local jails for months, and even years, prior to trial or plea bargain. A small group of risky-to-the-public suspects are refused bail, a large group can afford a bail loan, and many are too poor to afford a loan. The cost of bail-prison does not normally equal revenue (even after accelerating prisoner charges to poor people). The social costs – lost jobs, lost kids in the case of single parents, etc. are high and unfair to presumed innocents. So why don’t we just banish bail?