The first time that I have seen health system as a terrible issue in the US was a few weeks after arriving into US. My friend was telling me if I get any medical problem, I would be gone financially, if I am not insured. I didn’t notice till I saw an Asian person whose leg was broken in an accident, he went to his home country for operation and came back, even though he had to miss the important exams of the semester. Later he told me that the whole cost with ticket and hospital over there was almost one 100-th of what could cost here. I was totally shocked and frightened.
Since then I started thinking why is like that. Once I just read Truman’s pre-election speeches in 1940’s. Surprisingly I saw almost the same kind of talk and promises that I had seen during the last year of presidential election. It seemed for me that during at least last 60 years, there was hopelessly no progress at all in the system. I don’t really know why the situation is not the same in Europe, Canada or all other developed countries. Funny thing that I couldn’t imagine when I was back home – and nobody back home would believe it – is that about 40 out of 280 millions (14%) of US population do not have medical insurance (Almost close to this rate is true for hunger!!! population in the US). In another way, if something just goes seriously wrong for them, they should just forget about life!
I would easily say that health care system back home in Iran was much better than what I see here. Even though the salary is less in there, but the ratio of the salary over the same medical operation is much higher there. Some say that the reason is because of the strong abilities to sue medical system here and insurance companies take a lot of money from hospitals, they therefore need to charge patients in turn. But how about other countries like in Europe? Can’t you sue the hospital if anything goes wrong?
Is it really hard to fix this terrible and important issue?
Finally we decided to spend half of our holiday enjoying in nature, and half studying! So we went to Branson, Missouri. It was great. Branson is a European style city with lots of shows, great adventurous sightseeing, balloon over the city, cruise in the river, and a lot more.
We went to showboat belle, which was basically a show for 2.5 hours inside a cruise while sailing in the river, indeed when we were busy with eating tasty lunch and dessert. WOW!!! I had heard St. Louis as kind of art center, but didn't know about Branson. The city itself was like paradise. On the mountain, near the river and lake, ... especially because of Christmas, it was just everywhere amazingly lightful. We also went to Chinese fantastic acrobat show. I hope that I'll post some pictures here as soon as I can.
The weather was not very good, so we couldn't go for much outdoor activities. There was parasaling (6 flying people moved by a jet boat over the lake), diving shop , balloon riding that were not working because of the windy and cold weather.
Back home in Iran during the struggle between hardliners and reformists, since 1997 – after electing a reformist president – there were lots of deep discussions in dozens of social newspapers, that really helped my generations to feel the importance and value of freedom of speech, press, ideology, and more general information. The first months that I arrived in the US, I was surprised about the low respect of the people for this valuable thing that freely was out there. It wasn’t what I had expected to see at all. I was telling myself that it might be because this generation have not fought to gain it, so they don’t know how valuable it is. After seeing the support of lots of people about the restricted laws under the post-9/11 condition, I became certain that again security is becoming a reason to kill freedom. A very common method, that hardliners in Iran were reasoning about their method too. I was astonishingly looking into so much similarities between so-called hardliners (back home), and people in government here who were cause of those laws. Here are some examples:
1- Both groups claim to be so religious, to come from God, to have special mission in the world. Similarities between them could clearly be seen in their slogans, and speeches. 2- Both groups do not believe in freedom of information, and prefer to prevent free flow of information.
3- Both groups are alive by expressing their hate to their enemies, not by their own characters.
4- Both groups believe into black/white world, true/false system, 0/1 logic. They can not think about anything somewhat right, somewhat wrong.
5- Both groups would like to fool superficial and/or illogical people by showing themselves as religious people, and misuse their support.
6- Both groups believe in a focused and controlled governments.
7- Both groups do not have major support of academic people of their societies.
8- Both groups’ supporters are among small towns and/or villages, and their opponents are among academic and educated people mostly living in big cities.
9- Both groups do not care to do any cheating or anything to maintain the power, although claim to be so religious. But in practice, they use religion just to fool religious people.
10- Both groups claim that security is so low, and they need to decrease freedom in order to increase security. …..
Isn’t that strange? Could you believe such similarities?
Believers to a specific religion usually (1) do accept the previous religions and the same time (2) believe that their own religion is perfect, and people believing to chronically previous religions should be converted to theirs, and (3) do not accept religions chronically after their own religions. I have seen these three stages between each sets of religions.
Simply look into the relationship between Jews and Christians.
Christians accept Jews, but believe that their religion is better and more complete, but they do not accept Islam in heart (which started more than 600 years after their religion), and believe that Islam is a fake belief. They also believe that Mormonism is a fake religion (which started 1800 years after their religions). Muslim accept Jews and Christianity, but believe that their own religion is more perfect than those two, and they do not accept Bahaism (which started about 700 years after their religion) and believe that it is a fake religion.
Mormonism also accept Christianity and Judaism, but believe that their own religions is more perfect for humans. ……
Does this pattern tell us something? Doesn’t it tell us that all the conflicts between religions and those believers to them simply is because of maintaining the existing power and not letting the new power become present?
Indeed this is not just limited to religions, it can be applied to any sort of belief and ideology. In fact, the above hypothesis is true for majority of believers to the above religions not all of them, especially it is true for the ones who do not ‘think’ about what they believe but just ‘feel’ it, and then believe that nothing else will be true. I can call them Irrational people against Rational people.
County-by-county map for the result of election 04 gives smoother view than state-by-state map. I think there is a meaningful correlation between the cities and blue areas versus small towns and red areas. It's like an election between cities versus country sides.
Lorel and Hardey! These two pair of comedian were among my favorite when I was a kid. I used to watch their comic movies so much, and never be tired of that. I couldn't really find any helpful information about them like their birthplace, living areas, or ... . Does anybody know related websites?
Finally last week, as it was expected, Condoleezza Rice became 66th Secretary of State, and now the Cabinet will have a very solid, non-balanced decision about foreign policy. In the first 4 years of Bush presidency, Powell was the voice of wisdom in the Cabinet. Most people liked his character, even his opponents. Now there won't be any challenge between Defence and State departments. It seems the Bush is making his 2nd term, more family- and friend-based Cabinet.
During the last few days, the news about Nukes in Iran have been aroused. After the unvalidity of news about Iraq's WMD, it is kind of hard to convience that the news source is valid. The source of this news is from an opposition group based in Iraq since 1980's.
I am sitting in front of Food Channel showing the tasty food of Thanksgiving Ceremony. After having a brunch at 1:00 pm, it still makes you hungry.
From Coming Thursday, official day for thanksgiving holiday, we are off for 4 days. Although it is close to the end of semester, I hope that we won't be that much busy. We really need to be in nature for a while. You know what? Even last night, I dreamed driving 3 days to Niagara Falls. I found a very highway called something , Highway 60!, in my dream that was from somewhere in Missouri straight to Northern part of NY!!! I guess I really need to have some holiday.
Talking about TV channels, Travel Channel and HGTV (the programs that talk about bringning the nature into your home) are among our favorite channels. Travel Channel is great, it really encourages you to go to all the areas that they show. We love it. Indeed we got the idea of going to Colorado Spring from there, a while ago.
I just looked through the news: resignation of four members of Cabinet. I got curious about different departments in US government, their history and duties. Something was very stunishing about the history of some departments. There were lots of departments that were made or splitted in the Carter's period, less than 30 years ago. And including them was the Education department. No wonder why pre-academic education in the US is very poor, especially math and sceince. Is it really healthy in a long run for a country?!
I like the fun of road trip so much. A while ago, we went to a road trip to Colorado. You can say that Colorado is divided to two completely different parts, widely distributed deserts in the east, and mountain areas in the west, divided by highway I-25. Eastern part is almost nothing, for a long long driving. Unless you love desert, I don't recommend to go through it, especially if you are not cautious to keep your car gas tank full .... But just a few miles east of I-25, everything changes. Colorado Spring, Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park are among the most beautiful areas across this highway. Very beautiful !
I figured out something interesting. In here, i.e. US, almost every small lake, rock, road, ... has a name and some sort of semi-history. It is just sometimes very funny to call something historical while it just goes back to less than 20 years ago! I used to call history for something in the scale of some centuries. In my point of view, it just shows some kind of reaction of how US was made. Immigrant people from all around the world came here and tried to make history, from that time. It is similar to when somebody doesn't have a thing, tries to show more and more about it. Have you noticed about Japanese type of cartoons with very big eyes?!
Today was sort of rainy, the kind of weather that I don't like. It might seem contradicted with the green-favoriteness, but it is true. I was living in a city with lots of rain - about 80 days rain in winter! (no kidding), and above 95% humid. I would say something similar to Seattle by what I have heard about. So I think that's why rainy weather usually makes me upset.
Anyhow, I have to study a few things by tomorrow morning, so I better leave now.
It's getting almost 4 years that I have been away from my family and friends. In the first day of January 01, I arrived into US to study, and since then I haven't come back to my home country, Iran, mostly because of the very unstable, untrusted, risky rules of immigration office. There have been cases among my friends who had left for a one month vacation to see their parents, family and friends, but unfortunately they were not able to come back to here. So you should accept the risk of loosing the whole years that you have studied by then. Bottom line, you must not be able to see none of your families. It seems kind of stupid for me. Isn't it?
Anyhow, I am thinking that it's going to be about 4 years of living in the US. However I've had lots of experiences during these 4 years. My views about a lot of things have been changed, mostly about middle-class people of US. I might talk about that in this blog. Right now, I have a lot of things that I have to do. The problem is that I am just not focused and concerned to do them.
This weekend by now went alright. We did some things that we had plan to do for almost a year!! ... lazy huh? ... I told you before. Anyhow I am sort of tired. After working for some hours, we went to Taco Bell.. I was really hungry.
One of our friends is moving to Canada, Ottawa from the US in a couple of days. The funny thing is about timing of his moving that is a couple of days after re-election of Bush, so lots of people were thinking that he has to be so upset to do so.
Talking about re-election of Bush, I hope that economy and unemployment issues won't be at least worse than what it is right now. The gas price these days went down a little bit. Today it was $1.79/gallon while just one week before election it was above $2/gallon.
Oooopps, it was hard to choose a name for blog which was not taken before. It seems that I finally got a name which was not chosen and is actually my favorite too. I should mention that my original language is not English, but Persian. However I wanted to have an English name for blog in order to communicate with a broader range of readers. I would love to have a blog in Perisan too, but there are some minor problems. First I don't have support for Persian fonts on my PC, and more importantly I am kind of lazy to install it and go through all the suffer of software bugs. I hope that I'll do it very soon.
One of the things that really encouraged me to write my own blog was to get organized. I hope that it really helps me in this point of view. I will write in this blog about social, technical, cultural issues as well as about daily life. I might be not vary regular person to update it very regular, but I'll do my best.
Green is one of my favorite colors. I don't know its origin, maybe beacuse of my interest in natural things.