Third one down.
|Laugh it up. Assholes.|
David Cameron has said increasing UK contributions to the International Monetary Fund "does not put Britain's taxpayers' money at risk".
The PM said it was "in our interests" to support the IMF but stressed again that the money would not support a eurozone bailout.
He also suggested any increase would not be put to a vote in the Commons.
France has a system of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "best overall health care" in the world. In 2005, France spent 11.2% of GDP on health care, or US$3,926 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies.Great so let's spend more money on healthcare! A chorus of praise for this action goes up amongst of Britains established medical monopoly!
Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the public insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never gained self-management responsibility. Instead, the government has taken responsibility for the financial and operational management of health insurance (by setting premium levels related to income and determining the prices of goods and services refunded).So the government operates a virtual monopsony on healthcare spending just not on healthcare provision ("we are willing to pay this for that treatment"). It also garners the costs back from people in a manner in which they only pay what they can afford, very progressive.
The French National Health Service generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers. Until recently, coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place "universal health coverage" and extended the coverage to all those legally resident in France. Only about 3.7% of hospital treatment costs are reimbursed through private insurance, but a much higher share of the cost of spectacles and prostheses (21.9%), drugs (18.6%) and dental care (35.9%) (Figures from the year 2000). There are public hospitals, non-profit independent hospitals (which are linked to the public system), as well as private for-profit hospitals.The average, reasonably healthy health consumer has to pay some of their costs, ensuring that that consumer is at least sensitive to the price of it, either in noticing which way their health premiums are going or how it hits the wallet if they have to pay the difference, and as we know human beings are very sensitive creatures - they want to command the maximum number of high quality goods or services they can with the resource available to them (this is actually the real definition of wealth - getting something more valuable in return for something less; in this case lower healthcare costs for same/better healthcare). Those who can't pay or will have chronic long term costs are fully covered.
Average life expectancy in France at birth is 81 years.
Profit margins at the ‘big six’ energy firms have leapt more than 700 per cent as millions worry about keeping warm this winter.Those fiends! they are casting our elderly, our infirm and our poor into the oblivion of an icy, cold winter freeze, doomed to die.
The average amount of profit per customer has risen from £15 a year to £125 in just a few months, according to the industry regulator Ofgem.Wait wait wait - so before a few months ago the blood, sweat and tears of business men in the energy sector only roped them £15 profit for every piece of business? Wait - it was even worse before?
|via The Daily Mail - why are we getting so mad at this?|
The subject of the first e-petition to prompt a Parliamentary debate has been ignored by MPs when the debate took place.The online petition - signed by more than 240,000 people - called for those convicted of involvement in the summer riots to be stripped of their benefits.
The three-hour debate in Westminster Hall covered the wider response to the riots, but did not touch on benefits.
During the hearing, MPs shared their views on the causes of the riots, the police response and the impact on their constituencies
Nick Raynsford, Labour MP, said eviction should not be used as a secondary means to punish people who should have already been punished by the law.
Conservative MP Gavin Barwell said when one person in a family was repeatedly antisocial, this could be considered a proportionate response.
At least 23 people have been killed and scores injured in the worst violence since Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.
Clashes broke out after a protest in Cairo against an attack on a church in Aswan province last week which Coptic Christians blame on Muslim radicals.
Ministers are locked in battle over a Liberal Democrat plan to splash out £5billion to boost the economy.
As the International Monetary Fund slashed economic forecasts, Vince Cable stunned colleagues by claiming there is ‘flexibility’ within austerity plans for public spending on road schemes, business parks and faster broadband links.
He was responding to an IMF report which said growth will be ‘anaemic’ and warned the world was in a ‘dangerous new phase’, with Britain facing a one-in-six chance of slipping back into recession.
However, the proposals for substantial public spending on infrastructure deals – referred to as ‘Plan A-plus’ – are clearly being talked about and the Business Secretary insisted that the Lib Dems were not backing away from the Coalition’s commitment to cutting the budget deficit.
|Dead Island: Better Than Your POS.|
Dr Conan T. Barbarian was ripped from his mother's womb on the corpse-strewn battlefields of his war-torn homeland, Cimmeria, and has been preparing for academic life ever since. A firm believer in the dictum that "that which does not kill us makes us stronger," he took time out to avenge the death of his parents following a sojourn pursuing his strong interest in Post-Colonial theory at the Sorbonne. In between, he spent several years tethered to the fearsome "Wheel of Pain", time which he now feels helped provide him with the mental discipline and sado-masochistic proclivities necessary to sucessfully tackle contemporary critical theory. He completed his PhD, entitled "To Hear The Lamentation of Their Women: Constructions of Masculinity in Contemporary Zamoran Literature" at UCD and was appointed to the School of English in 2006, after sucessfully decapitating his predecessor during a bloody battle which will long be remembered in legend and song. In 2011/12, he will be teaching on the following courses: "The Relevance of Crom in the Modern World", "Theories of Literature", "Vengeance for Beginners", "Deciphering the Riddle of Steel" and "D.H. Lawrence". He strongly objects to the terms of the Croke Park agreement and the current trend for remaking 1980s films that he believes were perfectly good enough in the first place.
He is happy to hear from potential research students with an interest of any of these topics, but applicants should note that anyone found guilty of academic misconduct or weakness in the face of the enemy will be crucified as an example to the others.
Conservative party members enjoying last years conference. Probably.
Politicians who can take supporters for granted will do precisely that, particularly when taking supporters’ issues seriously would require upending the status quo.
'I may not agree with what you say, but I'll bayonet every bastard on the planet who says you can't say it, and then I'll riddle their Stasi - Fascist - Anti-Freedom Corpse with bullets for your right to say it...' (I think that's how it went anyway)
In a paper published in the spring issue of the journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Pal analyzed data from 98 countries. Her goal: to see if there were statistically significant correlations between press freedom and seven measures of instability, including ethnic tensions, external and internal conflicts, crime and disorder, military participation in government, and religious tensions. An increase in press freedom, she concluded, reduces all seven measures of instability. (emphasis mine)
Pal also noted that state ownership of media is associated with higher corruption, weaker civil liberties, insecure property rights, lower education and life expectancies, and higher infant mortality and malnutrition.
Council-funded home help and care home places for the elderly and adults with disabilities are currently offered only to those with under £23,250 of assets.
The Dilnot report said the threshold should rise to £100,000 and a £35,000 lifetime cap on costs would be "fair".
But the Treasury is known to have doubts about the expense of the plans.
Just over £14bn a year is spent by councils on social care.
However, the changes would cost an extra £1.7bn a year if they were implemented now - and this figure could rise by 50% as the "baby boom" generation begins to retire."
So under the law of unfeasible, made-up politician numbers lets call it £5Bn added to the above figure; this, if I've understand it correctly, is the amount of money taxpayers today will be screwed for whilst the vast Ponzi scheme wheels on.
I have an alternative suggestion: Greece is liable to British banks for £14.1Bn; I'll take a guess and say the same idiot bankers, who put themselves in a hole in this country for Gordo forked out billions, are the ones likely wrist-deep in greek debt.
So how about this - why not just do a straight swap for the debt? Those bankers get their debt clear in about 75 years and our wrinklies get to spend their twilight years in sunnier climes whilst the greeks enjoy the written off debt-swaps all for the knock-down price of looking after a few more wrinklies, likely re-energising local economies spending their own cash on cheap ouzo and dolmades.
I can dream.
Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
"Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws," said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). "It's turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights."
Bei Bei Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in a prison cell in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby. On 23 December she tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison after her boyfriend abandoned her.
Shuai was rushed to hospital and survived, but she was 33 weeks pregnant and her baby, to whom she gave birth a week after the suicide attempt and whom she called Angel, died after four days. In March Shuai was charged with murder and attempted foeticide and she has been in custody since without the offer of bail.
We've already seen a few rumblings, and I'm sure we've all heard the "it should be classed as child abuse" line many times already with regard to parental lifestyles. So why not just go that little extra step and push for the prosecution of women who have problematic pregnancies while also being obese, consuming cigarettes, or drinking in excess of guidelines, eh?
We'll just have to take it on trust that those currently taking the opportunity to rail against the religious right on the criminalisation of pregnant mothers will be consistent when the idea is picked up by the predominantly left-leaning health lobby.
At 23 months old my daughter favourite garden object is our clothes line pole, she is forever clambering onto tables to dance, and she has a prediliction for putting her face in piles of spilt talc when I change her.
Gary Bennell, 52, put aside his grief over the death of 27-year-old son Jon to admit he hoped he too would have the "guts" to fight back if confronted by intruders.
He added: "The family view is he's dead and we're sorry about it and we're grieving. He's not lived with us for a few years. He was on bail for burglary and that's just the way he was.
"My wife is gutted - broken-hearted. Whatever has happened in the past between us, he's still our child - or he was still our child."
A juror who contacted a defendant via Facebook, causing a £6m drugs trial to collapse, has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court.
Fraill also described her role on the jury in their conversations. "All that note-taking was just killing time. lol. drew more than i wrote lol," she said.
Mr Garnier had told the High Court that the contact and discussion had been in direct breach of the judge's repeated directions to the jury - and it constituted a contempt of court.
Peter Wright QC, for Fraill, said his client was terrified at the prospect of prison and was distraught and inconsolable about what she had done.
He described her as a woman of completely unblemished character before she "lost her senses" in the Facebook exchanges.
Thousands of sex offenders, including rapists and paedophiles, will be able to apply to be removed from the sex crimes register under human rights laws, the Government has announced.
A Supreme Court ruling has forced the Government reluctantly to draw up new rules allowing serious sex offenders put on the register for life to have their place on the list reconsidered.
The case is the latest involving the Act to set judges against political opinion. It has increased calls for reform of the Act, which is being reviewed by a Coalition committee.
Under current rules, anyone sentenced to more than 30 months in jail for a sexual offence is put on the register for life on release. Those on the register are monitored by police and visited regularly by officers. The Home Office estimates that there are about 44,000 people on the register, about 25,000 of them for life.
The thinktank suggests the introduction of a new prisoner minimum wage. This would be less than the national minimum wage to reflect the costs of board and lodging but more than current inmate earnings to encourage prisoners to work and save for their release as well as pay into a victims' fund.
No - I prefer freedom within a defined rule of law and the means to pay for it's upkeep; it matters not one jot if that is achieved by a dictatorship, democracy or theocracy, though all 3 and more besides have been found profoundly wanting.
Democracy beyond arbitrating over how best to deal with infringements on negative freedoms will also trend to tyranny and their suppression; it has become a decision between 2 wolves and a sheep as to who to eat for dinner.
And I will have no part in moralised cannibalism.
Chris Huhne’s career was hanging by a thread last night after his estranged wife agreed to testify that he asked her to take speeding points for him.
"We have used the best available data [and] the conclusion is that shale gas may indeed be quite damaging to global warming, quite likely as bad or worse than coal," he told BBC News.
Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all it's myriads of inhabitants was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe...would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life...And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the sameease and tranquility, as if no such accident had happened...If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but...he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren.
Theory of Moral Sentiments, part 3-5 - Adam Smith
Say a prayer for those who suffer in places like Libya, Syria, Nigeria or the Arabs in Israel tonight; at least be thankful your elsewhere and you and your family are safe.
Homosexual men are more likely to have had cancer than heterosexual men, as US study has suggested.
The authors speculate that the difference in the numbers of cancer survivors could be down to the higher rate of anal cancer in homosexual men or HIV infection, which has been linked to cancer.
Jason Warriner, clinical director for HIV and sexual health at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "We know that HIV can cause certain types of cancer, and that gay men are at a greater risk of HIV than straight men.
"Another factor potentially having an impact is Human Papilloma Virus, which can lead to anal cancer in gay men.
"The government currently runs a national vaccination programme for young girls, but we think recent figures on oral and anal cancers justify taking another look at whether the programme should be extended to include boys."
Jessica Harris, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "There is already evidence of some health inequalities as a result of sexuality, for example, smoking rates are higher in homosexual men and women than in heterosexual people.
Documents found at Osama Bin Laden's Pakistan home suggest he was planning new attacks on the US, including on the 9/11 anniversary, US reports say.
One plan aimed to target a US rail route, the reports said, although no imminent threat was detected.
Despite the best efforts of the belligerents, I still struggle to care. The facts are these: the referendum will not end debate on electoral reform, since the twin bugaboos of proportional representation and reform of the House of Lords lurk still in the wings. Nor will the referendum, regardless of outcome, make our system "more democratic"-- not that this would be a good thing, since for seventy years "more democracy" inevitably meant more bureaucracy, unsustainable deficits and a lot of unwanted, oppressive and inflexible laws, with negative implications for day-to-day life. So why on earth are Libertarians talking about AV at all-- which seems, by comparison, such an inconsequential issue, a procedural tweak of a right we exercise for thirty seconds every five years?
Libertarians seek to minimize the existence of masters generally, particularly the state, a goal which currently no major UK political party is prepared to adopt and we are, therefore, only notionally able to participate in mainstream policy debate; free elections of whatever major party will not change the fact that in Britain, the tax-to-GDP ratio hovers around 40%, the state gags private citizens and the media over trivial information and singing Carl Douglas constitutes a hate crime. In this context, the central question for all reform of any kind -- electoral, fiscal, penal, or otherwise -- must be: will this reform emancipate individuals? And if not: what position can we adopt to try to steer public debate in our direction?
The answer is not to lose hope, to keep writing and keep moving; as put by Sam Bowman, to "'stand athwart history, shouting'... Faster!" For everywhere we look-- Greece, Spain, Japan, here in the UK, and even in the United States-- the onslaught of circumstance operates to prove libertarians right: global economic shifts, individual empowerment, demography and the structure of democracy itself conspire together to undermine the foundations of the western welfare state. As the catastrophe unfolds, the conventional wisdom will cling to the old ideas, the quartet will play the same familiar tunes-- "our institutions are sound," "our way of life is sustainable"-- despite a growing recognition from all quarters that Western governments will, one day this century, no longer wield the coercive and economic power to meet the obligations they set themselves in the last one.
In the meantime, however, I suggest getting used to being told you're wrong.
But lets look at these GDP figures closer:
Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that in the first quarter the economy merely recouped ground lost from severe snow in December, growing by 0.5 per cent. With value added tax rising 2.5 percentage points to 20 per cent in January, economic weakness was always expected in the first half of 2011.
But the stagnant economy over the past six months will force another downgrade to official forecasts – unless the gross domestic product figures are subsequently revised upwards.
Current UK GDP is £1310 billion, making a 0.5% an increase in £6.55 billion over 3 months.
But compare this to the amount borrowed in March alone according to the ONS:
In March 2011, there was net borrowing (excluding financial interventions) of £18.6 billion, which compares with borrowing of £19.8 billion in March 2010.
So the government has spent the increase in GDP nigh on 3. times. over. in 1 month.
Yes I know that this isn't an exact comparison; no doubt someone will say the only comparitive is the rate at which we have to pay off the interest on this - life is too short to do those calculations.
But with spending like this, in comparison to the wealth generated cannot be good.
Stop spending our money Osbourne you annoying ass-hat.