Funny you should say that, Pete, as I've been meaning to add a comment to this much flogged (and now off-topic) thread that most Canadians (and Western Europeans, I believe) are very happy with their health care.
The one most common rap on all such systems is that in some cases (usually super-expensive, rare surgury), is that rationing and waiting lines is one of the downsides. The upside is that on the whole, these public-oriented health systems do a much better job of protecting the public health. Indeed, we already "ration" health care in the US, to the tune of millions unisured or paying through the nose for coverage. Even those with the best health care coverage, often through a union collective bargaining agreement, year after year see huge percentages being eaten up by our disgustingly complicated system instead of seeing their actual wages go up.
From what I've been able to gather, those who champion this argument usually have a larger agenda that partly involves making sure that the profiteering that goes on in US health care (the pharmacological / medical / insurance complex) continues unabated. Either that, or they are an ideologue who can't fathom that the government should be involved in any sector of the economy, never mind the reality of such alleged "intrusions" in the "free marketplace," which incidentally is never totally going away.
There is some apparent truth to the waiting list claim, but it seems to be like a red herring. There are trade-offs in everything and society has to make a decision about what it most values.
Also, we see little clamoring in Canada and Europe for the U.S.-style health care "system."
The Bush Adminstration's minimalist, decentralized plan (i.e. "dump the responsiblity on local governments") against the prospect of a Bird flu pandemic is further proof at how vulnerable our rag-tag system makes Americans.
Back on topic:
likethebike wrote:I was reading an interview with Peter Falk the great actor and an avid smoker yesterday. He said that while he respected the aims of the anti-smoking crowd, he wished that they wouldn't be so over the top. He said, "It's getting to the point where you could light up in the Grand Canyon and somebody would be watching you from twelve miles away with a pair of a binoculars yelling "Put that out! Can't you see I'm allergic."
We've confined most of our discussions to restaurants and the like but this also applies to things like pool halls. Who ever heard of anti-septic pool hall? You expect to walk in there and be covered smoke. It's part of the ambience. It's not supposed to be nice.
Great story and I couldn't agree more. I frequent bars (pubs / taverns)frequently of late and the few smoking bars that exist are really not that oppressive with all the ventilation systems - and the ability to choose a good seat. It all works out fine. What a big hue and cry over nothing. There's only so much one can control in life.
When I first moved to one of a town near a major city that had banned smoking, I didn't know it and left that jazz bar wondering why everything was just too "clean" and perfect, like a bad movie set or something. I liked my clean clothes as I left, but couldn't help thinking how dull the joint was.
Mind you, I've experienced "sick" buildings before in the workplace (with unknown fumes in the ventilation system) and raised holy hell over it...