Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In which I make observations about various things

So today I had an asthma attack and went to the doctor. I have to add that it is scary to have to fight for breath and it's also kind of scary when it's your own body preventing you from breathing. It also really wears you out. I'm tired. I also emerged from the doctor's office and even bigger fan of the Taiwanese medical system. I paid 150 NT to see the doctor, this is $4.55 US dollars. For the two inhalers the doctor prescribed me I paid 140 NT, a whopping $4.25 US. All told it cost me less than 9 dollars to see a doctor and get a prescription. And it also only took about 25 minutes. In the States, I'm lucky if I pay less than 99 dollars to see a doctor. Now hopefully these two inhalers do their thing. Universal healthcare is awesome.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm getting kind of disturbed by presidential funerals. I mean, I guess I'm still too young to remember most other presidents dying, but did they really get this royal funerals, with their body being paraded around the country? It just seems like the president is becoming more and more like a king.

Also I don't really know much about Gerald Ford, but it seems like a lot of the articles I've been reading valorize his loyalty to Nixon. I mean, is everyone forgetting, this is Nixon, you know the guy who broke a lot of laws and stuff? Incredibly anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist blah blah blah. I mean, if Ford says this type of guy was his best friend, and they were on the same page, what does this mean exactly? Loyalty is great and all, but just cause the guy died doesn't mean we should forget the other dead presidents he associated himself with.


disreputable bird said...

Thank goodness for Taiwan's health care system! I hope the inhalers did the trick.

As for the funerals, I started noticing the outlandishness with Reagan. Since I lived in CA when Reagan was governor, I don't have a lot of fondness for the guy, and his presidency didn't endear him to me either, so I was really baffled by the emotionalism and near beatification that went on, especially on TV. When Bob Herbert wrote a reality-check op-ed in the NY Times, I was so grateful that I e-mailed him a thank you.

With Ford, I recall being angry about the blanket pardon he gave Nixon. Other than that, I know he fell down a lot and accidentally hit people on the head with golf balls. For me, Betty Ford, with her openness about cancer and substance abuse, was the remarkable one.

America does seem to have become enthralled with the imperial or royal style in leadership these days, complete with fawning courtiers and assorted yes-men, and maybe that's being reflected in presidential funerals. I hope we come to our senses soon and cut it out. (Altho there's no discounting the entertainment benefit to be had from this kind of remark, via Attaturk at Eschaton, from Chris Matthews covering the memorial service: "The last time I talked to President Ford he was lying down much like he is today.")

Jamaica said...

Eek. I'm glad you're okay.

And, apparently, Bloglines doesn't like updating from you, as I was making my way through the blogosphere and came here from somewhere else, and was like, "Wait, she's been posting this whole time and I haven't heard anything? That sucks," and then I had to go read everything you've written in the last month and a half.

(Apparently, long silences make for run on sentences. Who knew?)

Anyway, you should totally e-mail me. I'd e-mail you, but I am either blind, or you don't have a contact thingy here. It's myfirstname.mylastname at . So very innovative.

Miss you! Glad you're having fun over there.