Canadian Doctor Schools U.S. Senator on Healthcare

Dr. Danielle Martin

It was only a matter of time before people supporting the “there-is-no-solution solution” to America’s health insurance problems started to foist their opinions on people from other countries.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee invited people with expertise on single-payer healthcare systems to speak before it.  The speakers came from Taiwan, Denmark, France and Canada.

During a meeting with the subcommittee, Republicans even took pains to mention the “problems” and “failures” of The Affordable Care Act to these people from other countries who have no stake in American healthcare politics.

At times, the hearing devolved into Senator Richard Burr taking potshots at foreign single-payer healthcare systems as if he were taking potshots at The Affordable Care Act.

During Burr’s questioning, Canadian Doctor Danielle Martin was asked how many Canadians died per year while on waiting lists. She didn’t know, but she then mentioned a study by The American Journal of Public Health that states 45,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance.

Map of China’s “Claimed Waters” in the South China Sea

The red line is China’s claimed territorial waters.   China is clearly trying to lay claim to the entire area from China to Malaysia and between Vietnam and The Philippines.  Does this seem fair to you?  And why do people even care about it?  Though there has been little detailed exploration of the area, it is estimated that the area has enormous oil and gas reserves.

Map of South China Sea

Here is another one.

Turning off Russian channels

This is a re-blog. Lanet – an internet and cable TV provider in Ukraine – apparently is no longer broadcasting certain Russian channels.

Voices of Ukraine

The Lanet network is no longer broadcasting channels that violate Ukrainian law by conducting aggressive propaganda, or calling to war by spreading enmity and hatred.

These include the following channels: “RTR-Planeta,” “Channel One Russia Worlwide” and “NTV Mir.” [all are Russian channels – editorial]

Preserving peace is the most important task for all of us, especially now. Thank you for your understanding.

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On a Different Note: A One-State Solution for Israel and Palastine

Articulate Advocate: Ali Abunimah may be the most-recognized face of the Boycott Israel movement. He draws crowds on college campuses with his call for a ‘one-state solution,’ meaning Palestinians would enjoy equal rights and the vote within a single state encompassing Israel and the occupied territories.
Ali Abunimah

Is a one-state solution possible in Israel?

Ali Abunimah is the leading American proponent of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which calls for a shared democratic state of Israel.  Abunimah’s popular Chicago-based website, The Electronic Intifada, is a not-for-profit, independent online publication which covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian perspective.

The “one-state solution” refers to the creation of a unitary, federal or confederate Israeli-Palestinian state, which would include all of the present territory of Israel, the West Bank, and include East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.  The idea would be to have a state in which all residents of Israel and its occupied territories enjoy equal rights and obligations.

Abuminah states: “The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status.”

Most of the arguments against the idea seem to focus on the fact that the “Jewishness” of Israel would be taken out in favor of majority Arab rule.

“In other words, the elimination of the self-determination of the one state that Jews have anywhere in the world,”  states Stephen Kuperberg, executive director of the Israel on Campus coalition.

Abunimah’s belief in a one-state solution is rare, but not unheard of.

Peter Hain, British Minister for the Middle East from 1999-2001 also argues for the one-state solution and has had doubts about a two-state solution.

“But I am increasingly unsure about whether (the two-state solution) is still achievable – mainly because, as time has marched on, and successive negotiating initiatives have come and gone, the land earmarked for a viable Palestinian state has been remorselessly occupied by Israeli settlers,” stated Hain.

Hain claims that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British First Secretary of State William Hague have also speculated that “the window for a two-state solution” is closing.

According to the New Statesman, a one-state solution has long been the favored option of many secular Israelis and Palestinians for reasons of principle.  Soon it may be not only the most principled, but also the most realistic.

Russia Uses Energy Supply as Leverage with Ukraine


That’s some nice gas goin’ through your pipelines…it would be a shame if something happened to it.

Gazprom, Russia’s gas-export monopoly, said on March 1 it may end last year’s agreement to supply Ukraine gas  at a cheaper rate unless it’s paid $1.55 billion owed for fuel.

Russia has previously used its supply of energy as “political leverage” against surrounding countries.   In fact, it did this very thing against Ukraine in the past, cutting off supplies twice since 2006 over payment disputes.

It’s the first time since the overthrow of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych that Russia has directly used its position as Ukraine’s dominant energy supplier to pressure the new regime.

According to one source, the Ukraine doubled its gas imports from Russia in the past year. They imported 45 million cubic meters of gas on March 1, 2014, compared with 20 million on March 1, 2013.

Over half of the Ukraine’s gas comes from Russia.  Gazprom exported almost 26 bcm of gas to Ukraine last year, which was more than half of the 50.4 bcm Ukraine consumed.

Also, the U.K.’s Daily Mirror states that one quarter of the European continent’s gas comes through Ukraine pipelines.