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Morwen Oronor

Goodness, it's time I changed my status

May 4, 2011 at 4:38am

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The US health Reforms

March 23, 2010 at 7:25am

It's really great that the US are going to have some sort of universal health system but I have to wonder why these things have to be so complicated and why there has to be the involvement in insurance companies.

Surely insurance companies should deal directly with clients who want to buy their services and people who don't want to deal with insurance companies should be able to get a basic health service provided for them and paid for them out of the taxes collected from the populace.

And before someone screams in horror about the idea that income tax should be used to provide health care for the unemployed, consider how many people there are who pay enormous insurance premiums for health insurance and never use them.

My opinion is that health care should be available to all who want it, and I'll come to my ideas for funding in a minute without the person making use of the service having to produce anything more than some sort of proof of identity. Now to the details as I think it would work, and work world-wide.

Firstly, there are enormously wealthy people who want the best and who can afford to pay the highest premiums for their health care. These people should be allowed to continue to do this but they should deal individually, I suppose through an insurance broker with their insurer. However, the extent of the cover should be determined by the amount of the premium paid, in the same way that a life insurance policy pays out a benefit according to the benefits, so if you choose the least expensive option, you get to go to a private hospital but have to share accommodation and a bathroom with your roommates. At the top end of the scale, you get a private suite and the most talented and expensive surgeons, all paid for from the funds carried by your insurer and to the limit set by the insurer. And part of this cover is that in order to keep the premiums reasonably low, you pay for your own day-to-day benefits and for regular check-ups and items such as dentures and spectacles and so on. Your insurance will cover you for only the unexpected and unplanned and for pregnancy and childbirth.

If you don't want to pay for private insurance, then you pay into the government fund, as most people do for government pension schemes and unemployment benefits. Again, if you are able to pay for your own day-to-day costs you do so, or accept the most basic generic alternative at a state 'out-patients' clinic, however if you are destitute and ill and need medication, you can get whatever you need at the state hospitals and clinics. This way, ordinary people at the bottom of the earning scale don't have to pay for expensive private insurance but they pay instead into a fund run by the government and that is available to everybody, even the wealthy, as long as their record in the system shows that they are contributing or that they are destitute, in which case their file in the system will reflect that.

My feeling is that giving all health cover to insurance companies is not as economically efficient as a system run by the state would be. Health department employees earn less than insurance company staff do and overheads in government departments are cheaper, so doesn't it figure that these premiums would also be cheaper.

Or do I continue to imagine a sort of governmental utopia of incorrupt people and wonderful service?

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The Pope's apology

March 22, 2010 at 7:04am

This is perhaps going to provoke a bit of a stir, but do other people think that the pope's apology was as much good as a wet dishrag?

Where is the moral outrage? Where is the sympathy and emotion about the children who've been traumatised by perverted priests for more than a thousand years?

And how dare he blame the 'secular' world for having had the influence that caused the priests to behave in this way? And why only to the people of Ireland? What about children in other parts of the world who've been manhandled by priests in the past?

]Here is the full text of the letter


Fast-paced social change has occurred, often adversely affecting people’s traditional adherence to Catholic teaching and values. All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected. Significant too was the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel. The programme of renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council was sometimes misinterpreted and indeed, in the light of the profound social changes that were taking place, it was far from easy to know how best to implement it. In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations. It is in this overall context that we must try to understand the disturbing problem of child sexual abuse, which has contributed in no small measure to the weakening of faith and the loss of respect for the Church and her teachings.

That is just an insult. While should the more liberal and open-minded attitudes of the world towards sex and the bringing it out of secrecy into the open where children can feel free to discuss whatever it is that adults do to them and that makes them feel uncomfortable be the reason for the abuse of decades past.

I think Ratzinger needs to take a reality check, he needs to learn a little about the real world and to stop protecting these criminals. They ought to be brought before the courts of the land and be sent to prison for their crimes.

This is MO on a soapbox expressing outrage against the abuse of children by the people they should be able to trust more than any other than own parents.


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Friendship and the internet

March 18, 2010 at 3:10am

When I spoke about getting a broadband internet connection, people used to ask me why and what I would use it for. Mostly people who don't use the internet, seem to think it is this bad thing that you 'buy' from a telephone supply company and that allows you to keep in touch with children who live far away and possibly, if you are really clever, to do internet banking, which of course is very dangerous because, they say "the bank has your personal PINs and the employees will be able to steal your money" and it doesn't help that news stories about the odd child who gets into trouble because o indiscretion on the internet blow the idea of "stalking" out of all proportion.
But what they don't know, and what they don't do, is to allow for, or even stress, is the friendships that result from having access to the web and from the membership of social networking sites.
When I first got 24-hour access to the web, I used it yes, to do internet banking and emails, but to also do research for my studies, as I was still actively pursuing my university qualifications at the time, and it was easy access to material I couldn't get at local bookstores or our local library; but then I also started joining messageboards. On one of these I met my two best internet friends, who I know will be friends I'll keep for life, Petal and Heart. Between the three of us we searched for a permanent home where we could stay in touch without having to sign up for the complexity that is Facebook and that was when I stumbled across Runboard.
In the first week here, I found some of the other people who I now regard as good friends and who are still active members of my board, Kaunisto and Leo. And further there were the Runboard staff who I would also love to meet in real life but as that's not likely to happen, for which I am a little sorry but the chances of my being able to travel to America are very slim, so to Lesa, Corey, Rick, Erika and Queeny and Barbara, Miss Piggy and others who are 'new' old members of AG, the chances are that we may never meet in person but I still think of you as "friends," and not in the Facebook sense where your friends are just the people who ignore your daily updates.
But I digress, I really wanted to say how this week that I've been worried about Petal being in hospital has made me realise how real interent friendships are. People who don't understand how it works and how these friendships develop, tend to dismiss them as being "not real" because, according to what these people say to me, "it's not the same as talking to someone on the phone or seeing them in person" and that's where they're so terribly wrong.
These friendships are every bit as real as the ones we make in real life. To me they're even better because, even though you might not be speaking to your friends in person, and sometimes don't even know what they really look like, they are there for you whenever you need them, more than the ones who you have to drive out to see, or wait for a convenient time to talk to one the phone, your internet friends respond to whatever you post directly without all the other social baggage that comes with going out to see them and, now, that Petal is really ill in hospital I really know that my life will have a huge hole in it if I lost her.
So to all my internet friends, cheers. And may our friendship continue to thrive.

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March 13, 2010 at 5:57am

It's funny how we enjoy weekends and time off for ourselves when we are young and have busy lives.
Then we retire and suddenly every day is a weekend day yet we still enjoy the weekends more than any other. For me Friday afternoons is 'me' time. The house is all clean and sparkly after the cleaning lady's been and Barry's off at bowls, so the dogs and I park off in front of the TV to watch whatever we like to watch and chat a few zzzz's while we're doing it.
Then on Saturdays Barry has a late sleep then a big breakfast and he goes off to collect the mail and visit some friends who look forward to his weekly popping in. When the weather is cool, I might tag along but mostly it's my time to catch up on blogs, and websites where i post and generally to do what i want to do whether it's reading or sleeping through the afternoon while he watches Saturday sport.
Sundays are more like preparation for Monday, the same way they were when I had to be in an office on Monday morning. I might do some laundry or some special cooking and then watch TV in the afternoon with Barry.
So why is it that the routine is so fixed that we just don't do everyday things at the weekends and weekend things during the week, why do we still stick to the same routines we had 10 years ago? Strange.

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March 12, 2010 at 5:47am

About eighteen months ago, a really unpleasant experience which involved my dog and a monkey, made me rethink the way I eat.
I decided that I would give vegetarianism a try to see how i would cope with my various health problems and naturally old age and the ravages it causes to the human body.
Since then I've stopped eating anything containing animal products although I have to admit that despite my revulsion for the way dairy herds are treated, I cannot quite give up milk and cheese, although I am only using animal-rennet free cheese now.
Why the revulsion for the treatment of animals, after all, aren't they necessary to our diet and aren't we supposed to be omnivores? The meat is there in the fridge in the supermarket anyway so why fuss about an industry that will continue despite the fuss that vegetarians and vegans make about meat-eating?
Because animals raised for the meat industry and the harvesting of animals is savagery. Well to me it is anyway and I am proof that if we eat the way our primate ancestors did, i.e. a diet consisting mainly of fruit, roots, nuts and other vegetation, resorting to killing other animals only when there is nothing else to eat, we show our true 'humanity.'
]The Cove is a movie that received the best documentary Oscar and it's subject matter is the secret harvesting of dolphins to feed the world's hunger for sushi.

]Death on an animal farm being shown soon on HBO highlights the treatment of animals being cultivated purely for their meat.

And then there is this:

Cheese is made by coagulating milk to give curds which are then separated from the liquid, whey, after which they can be processed and matured to produce a wide variety of cheeses. Milk is coagulated by the addition of rennet. The active ingredient of rennet is the enzyme, chymosin (also known as rennin). The usual source of rennet is the stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves. Vegetarian cheeses are manufactured using rennet from either fungal or bacterial sources. Advances in genetic engineering processes means they may now also be made using chymosin produced by genetically altered micro-organisms.

The killing of calves for their meat and then their stomach enzymes of the child being placed in the mother's milk for humans to dine on.
There are alternatives to animal rennet and more and more cheese manufacturers are using these:
]vegetarian cheese.

I'm not saying that people should stop eating meat. If you hunt a single animal and use it's products for your diet, this is the most humane way to get meat products, buying into the factory-farming industry is simply immoral, despite the taste and the idea that the meat is there in the fridge, is it really necessary to support this when there are natural and healthier alternatives.

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