Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grist for the mill

Some links to things we have been following, reading on, or just happened across recently...

Custom Made Cop Cars
Read here about the E7 from Carbon Motors. The first custom made for the cops, cop car. No modified, retrofitted Crown Victorias, Tauruses or Impalas here, no Mustangs either, this baby has more in common with the recently revived Knight Rider car or the Batmobile. As the company's CEO says, "You would never send a pickup truck to go put out a fire. Why would you send a family sedan to go take care of a homeland-security issue?"

Bill Richardson facing objections
High profile Chinese-American activists are opposing President-elect Barack Obama's nomination of Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary. Richardson was famously involved during his tenure as Bill Clinton's Energy Secretary with the high profile spying case against Taiwanese-American Wen Ho Lee. Lee worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was investigated for passing nuclear secrets to China. He always denied the charges, and although the man wouldn't let him off completely, obliging him to plead guilty to one felony count of downloading sensitive material, the presiding judge at his trial said 99 percent of what he was accused of passing was in the public domain. Richardson led what felt like a witch hunt at the time. He fired Lee and was the first to publicly name Lee as being under suspicion of espionage. Richardson has, "acknowledged the government made "some mistakes" in the Lee case," read more here in the San Jose Mercury News, incidentally a brilliant newspaper.

Get your surgery done in India
This one we saw in the New York Time's Health section a while back, talk about globalization. The health insurance company Wellpoint is trying out a pilot project at Serigraph, a huge printing company in Wisconsin. The program offers insured members the option of flying to India for elective surgery, with no out-of-pocket medical costs and free travel for both the patient and a plus one. Serigraph also has offices in India and the Times says, many of its employees are familiar with India. It quotes Dr. Razia Hashmi, chief medical officer for national accounts for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is affiliated with Wellpoint, "Knee surgery that costs $70,000 to $80,000 in the United States can be performed in India for $8,000 to $10,000, including follow-up care and rehabilitation. The quality is comparable to care provided in the United States, Dr. Hashmi said. All the physicians speak English, and patients can share their medical records and consult with a surgeon in India before making the trip." Read the original article here.

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