Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vale Fidel

Fidel Castro was a more ethical leader than many of the US presidents he survived.

Cuba's healthcare and education were exemplary for a poor country.  They had a good record of preventative healthcare, and they exported more doctors and health professionals to other needy countries than many that were far richer.


28-Nov-16 Update - some figures from Wikipedia:

  • Life expectancy: Third in the Americas, after Canada and Chile
  • Infant mortality: 5.13 per 1,000 live births, down from 32/1000 in 1957.  Again, less than the US.
  • In 2015, became the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, acknowledged by the World Health Organisation.
  • As of 2014, there were 50,000 Cuban-trained healthcare workers in 66 countries
  • Literacy rate: 99.8%, tenth-highest in the world (vs c.86% in the US)

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


2016 will be remembered by history as a year of inflection and singularity - and not in a good way.

Why did the polls get it wrong on the US election?  That was probably the margin of Trump supporters who, when polled, didn't feel obliged to tell the truth.  Like their candidate.

Trump has many more outrageous and incorrect things to say, and he'll do it.  Much like Ronald Reagan, but with no semblance of class.  And people won't mis-remember Trump like they do Reagan.

Will he build a wall and make Mexicans pay for it?  No.  He might add a smidgen to what's already there, just to tick off that item.

Will he clear the swamp?  Of course not.

Will he put Clinton in jail?  He'll probably try.  He has a clear history of pursuing grudges.  But I very much doubt he'll be able to make good on that promise, for all his efforts.

What's left?  Global recession, unstable times, a nastier U.S. political landscape, a much worse time for America's working poor, let alone those without a job.  One thing he'll be able to do (with a non-hostile Congress) is roll back Affordable Healthcare.  An unstable polity in the hands of Clinton would be calmed; one under Trump will not.  He's anti-science, anti-truth, anti-climate-change... and a good way to make money will be to sell asbestos to Americas (Trump tweet 2012: "If we didn't remove incredibly powerful fire retardant asbestos & replace it with junk that doesn't work, the World Trade Center would never have burned down")

Be resilient in very turbulent times.