Imagine Being Patient #4,154,560

The next time some dreamy pinko starts whining about how wonderful Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is, feel free to show him or her this article (when you are done kicking their ass, of course):

The NHS waiting list in England is the longest it has been in 11 years, official figures have revealed today.
A staggering 4,154,559 people – around six per cent of the entire UK population – were waiting to start hospital treatment at the end of August.  This number is the highest it has been since August 2007, and more than 3,000 people have been waiting more than a year for routine treatment.
A&E [ER] departments are also getting busier and cancer treatment waiting times have been missed for the 32nd month in a row, NHS data showed.  Experts today warned ‘alarm bells’ are ringing and the health service is heading straight for another winter crisis as it buckles under ‘relentless pressure’.  An ageing population and shortages of doctors and nurses have been blamed for increasing strain on the NHS and it taking longer to treat patients.

But hey… as long as it’s free, right?

And speaking of free, of course it turns out that “free” also means “rationing” (emphasis mine):

Shortages of Fluad, a new super-vaccine offering better protection for over-65s, means pensioners across the country are being turned away by GPs.  Deliveries of the vaccine to surgeries and pharmacies are being staggered due to supply problems and 40 per cent of the 7.8 million doses will not be available until next month.
The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended Fluad last December, but it took NHS England until February 5 to tell GPs and pharmacies they needed to buy it.  Clinics that failed to order by the April 12 deadline have had no stock delivered, forcing them to beg for supplies from others.

So if you’re (say) 63 years old, British and catch a potentially-deadly strain of flu, that’s just too bad.  Life’s lottery — or, to be more precise, the NHS lottery — just gave it to you between the cheeks.

Wear boots when kicking.

 

Now Multiply That By A Million

I saw this little story via Insty, and it made me not just sad, but furious.  Read it first.

They didn’t lose a fortune, because they never had the opportunity to earn one. Nothing happened. There they sit. And there they’ll stay.

And that’s where the writer is wrong.  You see, economists and accountants have a terms for this phenomenon, and it’s called “opportunity cost” — in other words, the financial cost of a lost opportunity.  Because when people open up their own business and it’s even moderately successful, they have to hire other people to work for them.  Those workers in turn become successful, and pay taxes, and perhaps use the learning to open their own businesses.

The aggregate opportunity cost of this ripple effect, just for this little case study, is potentially millions of dollars.  The Toni & Guy chain of hair salons started in precisely this fashion with a single outlet in the 1960s, as did the JiffyLube chain, back in 1979 — and I chose these two businesses deliberately, because those are the two types of business that the above story deals with.  Who’s to say that Kaitlyn and her husband wouldn’t have had a success story similar to Tony&Guy and JiffyLube?  But we’ll never know, will we, because the heavy hand of government regulation reached into their lives and killed their adventure before it could get started.

So when Donald Trump’s first action as POTUS was to decree that all government departments had to delete multiple regulations for every new one they wanted to promulgate, it was to free people to get going with their businesses and dreams.

Lest we forget, the fucking Democrats are the party of massive regulation and government intrusiveness — and remember that if you’re toying with a “protest” vote against Trump (or a quixotic vote for a third-party no-hoper) in the mid-term elections later this year.  (If you’re a lifetime Democrat voter and want socialism, then you’re at the wrong website and, if I may say, in the wrong country.)

It’s all very well for the economy to grow when manufacturing opens new plants and what have you (which is what Trump has also been making happen) — but that growth is finite.  Individuals starting their own businesses and becoming successful isn’t finite:  that is where America is at its strongest, and that is what will create true economic success for the whole country.  And Donald Trump understands this, and because of it he deserves our unflagging support, if for no other reason.

No Surprise

For many years now, I’ve been trying to cut down on using plastic stuff (e.g. Glocks), even though I know that here in the United States, the plastic trash is handled quite responsibly.  And of course, often it’s just impossible because so much packaging is made of plastic.  Still, I persevere because it’s the Right Thing To Do.

However, I have been to the Third World, and quite frankly, I’ve often wondered why I bother.  Anyone who’s done the same will know that there, the trash is never handled responsibly;  both personal- and industrial-scale littering are the rule, and not the exception.

So here’s the proof of what I’ve just said:

Shocking study reveals 90% of global plastic waste comes from just TEN rivers in Asia and Africa
As governments around the world rush to address the global problem of plastic pollution in the oceans, researchers have now pinpointed the river systems that carry the majority of it out to sea.
About five trillion pounds is floating in the sea, and targeting the major sources — such as the Yangtze and the Ganges — could almost halve it, scientists claim.

And here’s the pic:

…and no, the United States, often called the “world’s largest polluter”, does not have its giant Mississippi River included on the list.

All the smug, self-righteous tools in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. who think that banning grocery shopping bags and drinking straws will somehow alleviate the issue are, as always, thinking out their ass.  That, in the West anyway, is handled by putting the foul stuff into landfills.

For the record:  when it comes to pollution — be it airborne or material — the West is not the problem.  Look eastwards.  Hell, even the terrorists are Doing Something (when they’re not slaughtering innocent people, that is).

But of course, heaven forbid we should chide these polluting countries or (say) impose trade embargoes on them until they clean up their act, because rayciss.  Far better that we flagellate ourselves with stupid anti-pollution rules with the subsequent strangled economies, and ignore China, India, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Man, are we stupid.

Still Not Truckin’

Looks like I got it right:

Shortage of truckers is stifling the economy.

Recruiters that show up daily at TDDS are offering jobs that pay $60,000 to $70,000, with full benefits and a $4,000 signing bonus.

I suggested in my earlier post that this would leave the door open to illegal aliens being hired for trucking jobs by desperate trucking firms, but I think that we’re missing an opportunity here.  Why not invite foreigners to do the jobs, on the equivalent of an H1-B visa, i.e. a temporary work permit?  But I don’t mean just anyone:  I’m thinking Eastern Europeans, specifically Poles, who are already doing a lot of long-haul truck-driving in the EU.

Discuss in Comments.

Thursday Night Movie

Last week I ranted about the homogenization of cars, but I don’t want you to think that said homogenization is confined only to the automotive world.

Let me now turn my baleful gaze upon an old bête noire of mine, the poxy music industry, where this homogenization  has become economically critical. (I should say it’s become an “art form”, but “art” and “the music industry” are mutually-exclusive terms.)  It’s even worse than the auto industry, because at least the homo-cars are being driven by something other than pure sales appeal, i.e. fuel consumption efficiency.  Not so for the loathsome bastards who run the music business:  their homogenization is driven by naked profit-seeking — which is all fine and capitalistic, but then don’t try to dress it up as “art”, because it fucking well isn’t.  And they are just vultures — see here for just one heartbreaking example.

From Longtime Reader PeterB comes this excellent video, which explains why modern music sucks to People Of A Certain Age.  More to the point, however, is this:  beyond all the expressions like “timbral decline”, “harmonic compression” and so on, what becomes apparent is how music is being turned quite simply into the aural equivalent of Huxley’s soma:  something which delivers jolts of pleasure, but has no actual nutritional value whatsoever.

I know that manufactured pop stars — people promoted because of their looks rather than their musical talent — are not a recent phenomenon;  hell, that’s been going on since the 1950s.  (As an aside, the exquisite Cass Elliott would never have made it in today’s music world because overweight.) But at least the earlier pop idols could sing or play musical instruments, and record producers (grudgingly) allowed musicians some degree of latitude in the expression of their music — Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Lennon-McCartney and talents of that ilk were allowed to dictate what they sounded like.

No more. Now, Britney/Taylor/Justin are herded into the studio, given a lyric sheet and, having delivered the lines, are ushered out while post-production turns the synthesized noise into something that will be downloaded millions of times on Spotify.

It’s dreadful, it’s awful, and I am so glad that I am no longer a professional musician.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and listen to something which challenges my musical senses.  It may be a classical piece like Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2, it may be King’s X’s Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, or it may even be something simple like Alan Parson’s Pyramid.

But whatever I listen to, it will last longer than two minutes, and it will create a mood rather than deliver a brief dopamine hit.  For that, I’d just watch the wonderfully-talented (and sexy) Grace Potter.  No compression, sampling or any of the usual tricks there, just unrefined talent and ability.

Proper Advice

Megan Fox has some advice on “How to Go Out in Public as a Trump Supporter”.

This because White House staffers have been tossed out of restaurants, cinemas etc. by screeching SJW / Commie / Democrat / Antifa [lots of overlap]  loonies, and because we’re seeing this kind of thing in the so-shull meejah:

Unable to get what they want peacefully (e.g. via elections and rational argument), it seems as though the Left is starting to preach and foment violence, as they always do under such circumstances.  And as George Orwell once intimated, the Left are all for violence / revolution / [insert violent action e.g. gun confiscation, mass executions or gulag sentences here], as long as they themselves as individuals aren’t required to do it.

So my advice to all Trump supporters is rather more succinct, and less tongue-in-cheek, than Ms. Fox’s:

“How to Go Out in Public as a Trump Supporter”?

Armed.

As a wise man once said:  “I’m not going to start anything.  But I sure as hell am going to finish it.”  I wonder how the Left will feel if they actually have to reap the whirlwind they’re sowing.


Update:  Looks like I’m not the only one offering this advice.