Do you like Tupperware? We do, and we're still using most of the Tupperware we received as shower gifts over 30 years ago! Several months ago when we had German house guests, for some reason we talked about Tupperware. They told us about some of the items available through Tupperware in Germany that we don't see here. This week they sent us a package through a mutual friend coming back from Europe. In addition to some German coffee (mmm!), there was a German Tupperware catalog. I looked online to see if it were also available there. If you'd like to check it out, you can go to tupperware.de  One of the items available is called Banana Joe  (picture above). I don't think it would keep a banana fresh. Is it for protecting the banana from bruises in your lunch bag?
Here's a little Tupperware story from my files:
What's A Tupperware Party? (author unknown)
One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Eli noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party." This explanation satisfied him for only a moment.
Puzzled, he asked, "What's a Tupperware party, Dad?"
I figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. "Well, Eli, " I said, "at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other." Eli nodded, indicating that he understood this curious pastime. Then he burst into laughter.
"Come on, Dad," he said. "What is it really?"
Tupperware is known for "locking in freshness." To me, much of what has been happening in our nation's capital this year is anything but "fresh," and instead our leaders are locking out freshness, in favor of old ideas (ideologies) that have failed for others. For some reason they believe they can make these ideas work for them, and that the others failed simply because they didn't run things right. The French have a saying, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." = The more things change, the more they stay the same. It reminds me of the following:
The evolution of medicine...
What doctors through history have said in reply to "Doctor, I'm in pain":
2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen; say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition; drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil; swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective; take this antibiotic."
2009 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"
The redistribution of wealth that is happening fast and furiously is nothing new. It's the ancient rob Peter to pay Paul thing ... especially knowing that it's a pretty sure way to get Paul to vote for you.
Our leaders' answer to economic hard times is to spend money we don't have, at unthinkable rates and in incomprehensible amounts. Being a language guy, I readily admit that economics is not my strong suit. But I know better than to borrow exorbitant sums of money that I would not be able to pay off in three lifetimes. Duh, you don't get out of debt by spending! Our government's answer to everything is to throw money we don't have at whatever problem and non-problem that comes along. My mind goes to the Stimulus Package(s), the Cash for Clunkers debacle, etc. We are seeing only half of the campaign promises fulfilled — we're seeing massive change, but little to no hope.
The push to get the Health Care Plan (a.k.a. Obamacare) through as quickly as possible, without even knowing what all is in it seems to me unwise at best. It's kind of like the definition of Tupperware party up above, but in this case our lawmakers aren't sitting around trying to sell bowls to each other, but rather trying to sell each other on a plan that could move our nation one giant step closer to bankruptcy. Come on, Congress-critters, do you really know what Obamacare is?! A reader sent me one version of the 1,000+ page Health Care Plan. If you'd like to read it, click on this link - HR320.pdf  If you do read it, you will be light years ahead the vast majority of our Congressmen who are poised to vote in favor of it. I found a flow chart online that explains how things will work. You can see a larger version by clicking on the thumbnail picture of it above.
The textbook we use in our first three semesters of French here at the university tells us that France has an excellent health care system. But I've heard otherwise from some people. My dentist here in Greenville has quite a few patients who are Michelin employees living in the US for several years. Some of these patients have come in in great pain. When the dentist checked them out, he discovered that they have decay under their fillings. Upon further investigation he learned in each case that the dentists in France don't use novocaine to numb people up before drilling. They drill until the person can stand it no longer, and then put in the filling, sometimes on top of decay.
Friends who lived in France for a while told us that their four-year-old daughter fell in their yard one day and had a huge gash in her chin. When they couldn't get it to stop bleeding, they took her to the emergency room. The personnel cleaned it up and said that she would need stitches. The gave the mother a bed sheet, told her to wrap it around her little girl and to hold her still while they stitched it up. Apparently novocaine is something that socialized medicine can't waste money on. Barbaric, huh?
I have heard some say that if Obamacare goes through, we will end up with a system with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the US Postal System. We've been reminded in the past two weeks by the Cash for Clunkers program that people still flock in hoards to freebies. Won't they do the same with "free" health care? How is the government in charge of Medicare and Medicaid on the verge of collapse going to manage an even bigger system?
Just this week a reader told me about her recent visit to her doctor here in USA. I asked her if she'd write it up for me to include in this post. She wrote it out and included a humorous side note to me, which I left intact with her permission:
I recently had my annual physical. As a part of the yearly aches-and-pains discussion, my doctor and I talked about my arthritic knees and how much pain is too much pain. The doctor said that if I am ready to discuss joint replacement, I'd better do it now because under Mr. Obama's new health plan, knee replacement coverage would be denied, if not seriously curtailed.
Note to Rob: I wonder if there will be a quota system, e.g.
Me: "Doctor, I'm ready for that right knee surgery."
Doctor: "Rats, you just missed the cutoff for right knees this decade. What about a left hip? Most folks your age learn to adjust to the unusual gait."
It was interesting to me to hear what her doctor had to say about Obamacare. She currently has excellent health care, but that could/would all change. Our government leaders seem to subscribe to Red Green's  oft-repeated principle — "If it ain't broke, you're not trying!" They seem to be bent on breaking a health care system that, while not perfect, is the envy of many other countries.
I did a web search to see what other doctors are saying. Here are links to several interesting articles:
I usually steer clear of political issues on my blog, but this is such a big issue right now that I wanted to express myself and hear what my readers have to say. I know that the issues are huge and varied and cannot possibly be covered in this blog post. What do you know about and think of Obamacare? Some of you live in countries that have socialized medicine. What are your thoughts about your national health care? Is socialized medicine a fresh idea, or is it something less than fresh, something that's going to get us locked into a big container called Obamacare Tupperware, that we will never be able to get out of? I would love to see a lively, civil discussion of this issue in the comments.
"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service exam." - Ronald Reagan
Anything free is usually worth what you pay for it.