A few things to mention today, in lieu of more regular postings, I suppose... from theater to spelling to economic crisis to health care politics to the constitution.
Last night, Dorit and I went to see "We won't pay! We won't pay!" staged by the NORA Theatre Company in the new Central Square Theater (on Mass Ave in Cambridge, almost opposite Main St). We know one of the cast members, the amazing Stephanie Clayman (our kids are in school together), and because of that we got to hear about the show. It is great evening of comedic entertainment, mixed with a frisson of social commentary relevant (coincidentally) to our very recent times, but written in the early 1970's by Dario Fo, commenting on the parlous economy and fragility of the State in Italy at that time. It is playing for another week; more details at the CST website.
Did you notice that the play was staged by the NORA Theatre Company at the Central Square Theater? Living in Newton Centre (near Centre Street), and being a Brit in America, this stuff is either pathetic or laughable, or both.
With thanks to Ethan Fener, I got to read a great mini-briefing from the Freakonomics blog of the NY Times on what is going on in the economy and Wall St, and what does it have to do with me? I recommend reading it.
You may have noticed my ongoing interest in the US health care industry (and the IT angle in particular). Recently I have been challenged to think about why I am in favor of more government involvement in health care. Here is a thesis, and I welcome comments or challenges. No-one seems to argue against the fact that it is appropriate for government to "own" national defense, and spend large amounts of taxpayer money on the military etc. I suggest this is because we all agree that a key role of government is keeping its population safe against belligerent external threats. This also manifests in the local government provision, through taxes, of police, fire, and rescue services. I assert that the same logic should apply in health care. Germs, disease and illness are belligerent threats to my safety and well being. If the government spends so much on bullets to keep me safe, why not spend proportionally on another threat to the public safety and well being, perhaps just as pervasive and destructive, and get properly involved in health care? Is this logically consistent? It seems so to me, but I am just a Venture Cyclist and no policy maven. What do you think?
Finally, last night driving past the gun control lobby billboard on the Mass Pike prompted a thought on the constitution (and the second amendment). Prompted by the approach our friend Eileen McDonagh brings to complex constitutional matters, I wondered whether we (those, like me, who believe in gun control) should use some judo tactics here. I propose a constitutional amendment that specifically protects certain kinds of gun ownership, but allows for strong state regulation, and explicitly prohibits the crazy stuff (eg automatic machine guns and armor piercing ammunition). It would provide for state's rights to regulate usage, storage and licensing fairly strongly through the state legislatures or state ballots. An explicit protection (so much better than the ambiguity of the second amendment) would preclude the NRA knee-jerk "thin end of the wedge" opposition to regulation and possibly split off the all-guns-all-the-time nuts from a more rational majority. As above, I am sure there are logical fallacies hidden here but, what the heck, I am a Venture Cyclist, not a constitutional lawyer... help me out.
Finally, back to venture cycling; fall is coming, get out on your bike - it is the perfect time of year to ride.