View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cloudscapes and sunsets

Sunset at Stornoway, 11 September
Lowly cumuli on a grey sky at Stornoway, 11 September
Cloudscape at Stornoway, 9 September
Mountain-related clouds over the hills near Reinigeadal, Harris, 6 September
Cloudscape at Stornoway, 6 September
Sunset at Grimshader, 5 September
Moon over Stornoway Harbour, 5 September

Sunday 13 September

Overcast this morning, and what looks like a very fine drizzle. No wind - probably hordes of midges out.

Been hearing a lot about a Tea Party in Washington DC (on Twitter), and what is called 9/12 - although the implied connection with 9/11, the day before, is being attacked by some in the States. Apparently, many people attended a rally in DC to protest against plans by the Obama administration to spend nearly a trillion dollars on healthcare. The BBC put their number at 15,000, the organisers at 2 million. Anyway, Mr Obama (in my humble opinion from across the pond) should be applauded for wishing to extend health care cover to those 20% in the US who currently don't have that. Having read several on-line journals written by people who rank among that 20%, I am positively shocked at that situation.

The UK is unique, in that the NHS is in principle free to its users (apart from contributions for medicines, dental work &c). In continental Europe, healthcare provision is paid for through national insurance contributions mixed with private healthcare insurance. There is nothing wrong with private healthcare, but a state should always look to support those that can genuinely not afford to go private. The scare tactics being used, like quoting illegal aliens receiving kidney dialysis on the US government, are false and reprehensible. A doctor is compelled by his Hyppocratic oath to minister to all who need his services, irrespective of who they are. Or, more to the point, how much money they have. It is in that respect where the US healthcare system has gone off the rails.

Here in the UK, to continue on that theme, there is a shortage of dentists for tending to NHS patients. They prefer to do private work, exclusively. Pays better. IMHO any doctor or dentist working in the UK should be forced, by law, to take a set percentage of NHS patients as part of his workload.