Why I’ll miss Edward Woodward

“Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.”

equalizerThe opening montage was classic fear and distress – people alone with menacing strangers in elevators, empty hallways, or deserted subway stations – paired with a memorable theme written by Stewart Copeland of the Police.

This show had to be one of my favorites of the mid to late ’80s. I was living in NYC at the time, so all of the locations were familiar (and they often shot in my grungy Lower East Side neighborhood). As I remember, the show’s casting was like a crime drama version of the Love Boat, with cameos by actors old and new from both the big and small screens (and occasionally Broadway). It was a smartly written show, with a cast of interesting and flawed characters.

Since these were pre-TiVo days, we would always try to be home on Wednesday nights to watch it…usually with dinner in our laps as we parked in front of the TV. Our game was to be the first to identify that week’s guest star, then marvel at Woodward’s combination of charm and deadly intent.

Check out the opening…

Cutting Through the Bull of the Universal Healthcare Debate

Rhonda Hackett, writing in the Denver Post, neatly debunks the cost arguments against Canadian-style Universal Healthcare in her article “Debunking Canadian health care myths”.

”…if the only way we compared the two systems was with statistics, there is a clear victor. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to dispute the fact that Canada spends less money on health care to get better outcomes.

As America comes to grips with the reality that changes are desperately needed within its health care infrastructure, it might prove useful to first debunk some myths about the Canadian system.

Myth: Taxes in Canada are extremely high, mostly because of national health care.

In actuality, taxes are nearly equal on both sides of the border. Overall, Canada’s taxes are slightly higher than those in the U.S. However, Canadians are afforded many benefits for their tax dollars, even beyond health care (e.g., tax credits, family allowance, cheaper higher education), so the end result is a wash. At the end of the day, the average after-tax income of Canadian workers is equal to about 82 percent of their gross pay. In the U.S., that average is 81.9 percent.

Myth: Canada’s health care system is a cumbersome bureaucracy.

The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn’t when everybody is covered.

Read the entire article…