Monday, July 30, 2007

Yay ! Iraq won the Asian Cup

"Ahmed Mnajed’s admitted he is living a dream as Iraq’s players attempted to put into word’s their delight after landing a maiden AFC Asian Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Sunday." (AFC)

"Saudi Arabia had been the best attacking team in the tournament, scoring 12 goals on their way to the final, but could not find a way past the Iraqis, who had the best defence in the competition, conceding just two goals in six matches." (reuters)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

All these people in Caracas celebrate his and her birthday today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fascinating...Google & Blackle!

When your screen is white - an empty word page, or the Google page, your computer consumes 74 watts, and when its black it consumes only 59 watts. Mark Ontkush wrote an article about the energy saving that would be achieved if Google had a black screen, taking in account the huge number of page views, according to his calculations, 750 mega watts/hour per year would be saved.

Blackle was created by Heap Media to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. :- Make it your home - page today!

Read more here -

Asian Cup 2007 Final - Iraq vs Saudi Arabia

Check out the official website of the tournament.

Iraq won in a penalty kick against South Korea and Saudi Arabia buried Japan 3-2 in the semi finals.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Muslim leaders speak out about Islam on WashingtonPost. It's worth reading.

Norman Borlaug, the man that saves 1 billion people

"An elderly agronomist doesn't make news, even when he is widely credited with saving the lives of 1 billion human beings worldwide, more than one in seven people on the planet." (msnbc)

And you'd think one person cannot make any difference.
"TOP FIVE (all salaries are per year)

Oprah Winfrey ("The Oprah Winfrey Show"): $260 million

Simon Cowell ("American Idol"): $45 million

Judge Sheindlin ("Judge Judy"): $30 million

Katie Couric ("CBS Evening News Anchor"): $15 million" (Reuter)

As you can see, Oprah dominates the top paid TV entertainer ranking. The spread between the first rank to the second rank is a whopping 215 million dollars.

Tour de Retarded

"Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark has been removed from the race, a devastating blow to cycling's premier event which has been rocked by a series of doping scandals." (Reuter)

This happens every fuckin' year. You'd think they just give up.

Facebook founder 'stole our idea'

Three founders of ConnectU say Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the site while at Harvard..

More here

International AIESEC Alumni Congress 2007

This year AIESEC in Turkey hosts the

International AIESEC Alumni Congress, the

biggest event dedicated to the former members

of AIESEC from all over the world. As a part of

the International Congress 2007, the

congress is going to be held at the same venue

on 24 – 26 August.

”You will have the opportunity to meet many alumni

from different countries and to be involved

in the amazing atmosphere of the AIESEC International Congress 2007“


Alumni Reunion Night

Alumni Reunion Night is an event

where Turkish alumni who are not

able to attend the entire congress

will have the opportunity to come

together and enjoy the international

atmosphere of the AIESEC International

Alumni Congress.

August 25th, Saturday


A special Bosphorus Tour with a

cocktail and dinner

We are going to celebrate the

reunion of our alumni enjoying a

breathtaking view of the Bosphorous.

The fee of the event is €50 (for the

congress delegates, €40).

Contact Burcu Tahtalı at for more information.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Egyptian dominance at All-Africa games...

"After 12 days of competitions, the ninth All Africa Games came to an end on Monday night in the Algerian capital as Egypt topped the medal table with 74 golds and 199 overall."

Monday, July 23, 2007

a fun way to wash your hands...

The King is Dead, Long Live the King !

The last king of Aghanistan has passed.

a different kind of nomad

The Hedonist World Sex Guide - Single Male Erotic Vacations in Rio, Costa Rica, Thailand, Carribean and much more (Paperback) can be obtained on

The world most popular blogger

" The musings of an actress who writes about her pet cats and favourite television series have captured the imagination of internet users and made her the most-read blogger in the world." (TimesOnline)

She gets 100 million hits a day.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Iraq strategies

Bush conjectured that U.S. servicemen and women thrust into the horrifying chaos and violence of Iraq's Sunni Triangle may simply lack the proper perspective and cool detachment needed to implement an effective strategy against the insurgency. The commander in chief also wondered aloud why, for all their vaunted competence, American forces become disillusioned while fighting "for such a just and noble cause."

"I know I should support the troops, especially in a time of war, but if they can't handle the pressure, maybe they don't deserve my support," Bush said. "They're making me look bad."

"On the occasions I've met our troops, most of them didn't seem like they had much going for them," Bush added. "I don't think very many went to college or anything."

The Onion

In praise of dangerous area

"Discuss. Ron Bailey writes about Stephen Pinker's unmentionable questions. Among them:

Are suicide terrorists well-educated, mentally healthy and morally driven?

Would the incidence of rape go down if prostitution were legalized?

Do African-American men have higher levels of testosterone, on average, than white men?

Is morality just a product of the evolution of our brains, with no inherent reality?

Would society be better off if heroin and cocaine were legalized?

Is homosexuality the symptom of an infectious disease?

I find all those questions fascinating and well worth airing. Pinker is not so sure." (Andrew Sullivan)

I have a feeling that dangerous ideas are culture and place specific.

Voting...Live from Istanbul

Today Turkey votes for it's future. A future which holds a hard fight against terrorism in the southeast, more freedom for its minorities, privatization, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, strengthing of the economy and many more... I see today as a huge cornerstone for Turkey's future. Results start at 1900 GMT.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Friday - SCMP Style!

Jenny originally posted this link on the Beijing blog, but I thought it was too good not to share with more Nomadlifers. The South China Morning Post just earned a few extra points in my book - enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The conservative right's fifth column in Africa

Since the ugly Mr. Shikwati has been cited time and again here on nomadlife (last time here) and is getting (too much) attention in other fora as well ...
... he and his "institute" is part of a global effort of the (American) conservative right and free-market-until-death movement to free the West from its responsibility for the poor and give business a free shot in the developing world.

Enlightening NYTimes background here.

Sometimes "Think different" just doesn't do it.

(P.S.: William Easterly, on the other hand, is a very different story. He is, unlike Mr. Shikwati, an educated economist and most of his ideas are well-grounded in sound economic theory and analysis. And, in fact, his proposals and statements are far less radical and controversial in the development community than the media likes to portray it.)

Review of Harry Potter

Lots of people die..

Check out this NY Times review.

I am still trying to figure out how I can get a copy here in Cairo..

Sex is like 2 pieces of sticky tape

Mr. Love grabbed a tape dispenser and snapped off two fresh pieces. He slapped them to his filing cabinet and the floor; they trapped dirt, lint, a small metal bolt. “Now when it comes time for them to get married, the marriage pulls apart so easily,” he said, trying to unite the grimy strips. “Why? Because they gave the stickiness away.” nytimes

The case for promoting abstinence seems to be stumbling... what happened to just putting condoms on a banana? are students now [not] taught about sex through sticky tape?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

" A newly found imprint of a vast, ancient underground lake in Sudan's Darfur could restore peace to the region by providing a potential water source to an area ravaged by drought, a U.S. geologist says.

"What most people don't really know is that the war, the instability, in Darfur is all based on the lack of water," said Farouk el-Baz, director of Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing.

The potential water deposits were found with radar that allowed researchers to see inside the depths of the desert sands. The images, el-Baz said, uncovered a "megalake" of 19,110 square miles -- three times the size of Lebanon." (Reuter)

Download this page !

101 simple meals under 10 minutes

"90 Thai-style beef: Thinly slice one and a half pounds of flank steak, pork shoulder or boneless chicken; heat peanut oil in a skillet, add meat and stir. A minute later, add a tablespoon minced garlic and some red chili flakes. Add 30 clean basil leaves, a quarter cup of water and a tablespoon or two of soy sauce or nam pla. Serve with lime juice and more chili flakes, over rice or salad.

91 Dredge calf’s liver in flour. Sear in olive oil or butter or a combination until crisp on both sides, adding salt and pepper as it cooks; it should be medium-rare. Garnish with parsley and lemon juice.

92 Rub not-too-thick pork or lamb chops with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper plus sage or thyme. Broil about three minutes a side and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar.

93 Cut up Italian sausage into chunks and brown in a little olive oil until just about done. Dump in a lot of seedless grapes and, if you like, a little slivered garlic and chopped rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the grapes are hot. Serve with bread.

94 Ketchup-braised tofu: Dredge large tofu cubes in flour. Brown in oil; remove from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add a little more oil, then a tablespoon minced garlic; 30 seconds later, add one and a half cups ketchup and the tofu. Cook until sauce bubbles and tofu is hot.

95 Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.

96 A Roman classic: In lots of olive oil, lightly cook lots of slivered garlic, with six or so anchovy fillets and a dried hot chili or two. Dress pasta with this.

97 So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillet, along with plenty of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.

98 Rub flank steak or chuck with curry or chili powder before broiling or grilling, then slice thin across the grain.

99 Cook a couple of pounds of shrimp, shell on or off, in oil, with lots of chopped garlic. When they turn pink, remove; deglaze the pan with a half-cup or so of beer, along with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, rosemary and a lump of butter. Serve with bread.

100 Cook red lentils in water with a little cumin and chopped bacon until soft. Top with poached or six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling) and a little sherry vinegar.

101 Hot dogs on buns — with beans!"


End of our species

"In 1993, J. Richard Gott III computed with scientific certainty that humanity would survive at least 5,100 more years. At the time, I took that as reason to relax, but Dr. Gott has now convinced me I was wrong. He has issued a wake-up call: To ensure our long-term survival, we need to get a colony up and running on Mars within 46 years." (NY Times)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HoboHookah: Take the Party with You

Most of you cats on nomadlife are likely to enjoy or at least have partaken in a little hookah every now and then. Thus, we thought you might like to know about this nomadlife inspired diddy that T-rent and I have been working on for quite some time now. Yes, you've heard about it before, but we all know it's even more gravy the 2nd time around. If you're new to the community and aren't familiar with this nomadlife baby, it blows wide open your Sphere of Influence and offers some serious improvements over standard hookahs:

Durable, Built to Party Design
Light and Compact
Dishwasher Safe
Sets up in Seconds


We've firmed up a ship date and are set to revolutionize parties everywhere. It fits in a small soccer (futbol) bag and turns almost any liquor bottle into a hookah dream. But remember nomadlifers: this is not just a hookah, it's a party carried on your back. Take it with you as you cross those borders and let the conversation come to you.

Get yours here and become a Party Pioneer. Yes, we have international shipping.

Living the Dream pic
The revolution has arrived. Live that Dream, and share it. Party on.

(Here's the back story)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stop Saving Africa

"Perhaps most interesting is the language used to describe the Africa being saved. For example, the Keep a Child Alive/" I am African" ad campaign features portraits of primarily white, Western celebrities with painted "tribal markings" on their faces above "I AM AFRICAN" in bold letters. Below, smaller print says, "help us stop the dying."

Such campaigns, however well intentioned, promote the stereotype of Africa as a black hole of disease and death. News reports constantly focus on the continent's corrupt leaders, warlords, "tribal" conflicts, child laborers, and women disfigured by abuse and genital mutilation. These descriptions run under headlines like "Can Bono Save Africa?" or "Will Brangelina Save Africa?" The relationship between the West and Africa is no longer based on openly racist beliefs, but such articles are reminiscent of reports from the heyday of European colonialism, when missionaries were sent to Africa to introduce us to education, Jesus Christ and "civilization.

There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one's cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head -- because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West's fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West's prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.

" (Uzodinma Iweala)

on the other hand, Africa is still a fucking mess

"After deteriorating between 1998 and 2005, governance in Africa appears to have improved somewhat in the last year. However, governance standards for the continent are far from ideal.

After a serious deterioration between 1996 and 2005 governance in Africa has improved over the past 12 months, according to the World Bank’s latest Governance Matters survey, released in July. Even so, the aggregate index for 48 African countries is no better than in 2003 and is still some 4.5% worse than a decade ago.

Indeed, of the six governance indicators compiled by the Bank Africa’s scores for four—corruption, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and voice and accountability—have declined. Only in political stability and (marginally) the rule of law have the continent's scores improved." (Economist)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Living with HIV in Ecuador. Take care Buddy, keep those Viral Load down.


"A European anti-torture watchdog has expressed "serious reservations" about surgical castration being used to treat sex offenders in the Czech Republic." (bbc)


A day after the tallest man in the world gets married (who happens to be Chinese), he meets the world's shortest man (who also happens to be Chinese). As someone I know in the news industry put it: "This is turning out to be a freak show!"

(Reuters photo)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

dangerous books

here is the text of one of four approvals that is included in the opening pages of a Spanish book from 1612. one is from the king, two are from religious authorities, and one from a military authority. there is also a page from the printer fixing the price of the book.


By order of the lords of the Royal Council, I have seen this story, entitled Thopographia, y descripción de Argel, y sucesos, y sucesión de sus Reyes; composed by father Maestro fray Diego de Haedo, of the order of San Benito, and I have not discovered in it any thing that may be against our blessed Catholic Faith, nor against decent customs, and it is filled with much doctrine, and particular elegance, into which the author has invested much work, and it seems to me that he should be given permission to print it, for great fruits for christianity are bound to follow from it. In Madrid, the eighteenth of October of 1608.

Antonio de Herrera

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

making an example out of someone

BEIJING, July 10 — China executed its former top food and drug regulator today for taking bribes to approve untested medicine as Beijing scrambled to show that it is serious about improving the safety of Chinese products.

First they kicked out the farmers, now it's the businessmen/women's turn

"A total of 1,328 Zimbabwean businessmen and women have been arrested and fined for breaking official price controls in the past two weeks, police say.

The government ordered that the prices of many goods be cut in half, in order to tackle the world's highest rate of inflation - more than 3,700%.

But businesses say the new prices are below cost, so some firms have closed.

Zimbabwe's neighbours are trying to work on a plan to revive the economy - once one of Africa's most advanced.

A South African newspaper reported on Sunday that this could include pegging the Zimbabwe dollar to the South African rand but this has not been confirmed. "(BBC)

Awesome Interview with Michael Moore

This is Michael Moore rebuttals to CNN's report

It's as good as on Stewart's slam down on the CNN's now defunct Cross Fire a couple of years ago.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Pyramids are no longer seven wonders


• The Great Wall of China

• Petra in Jordan

• Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer

• Peru's Machu Picchu

• Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid

• The Colosseum in Rome

• India's Taj Mahal"


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Competitive Eating at its Finest

"Californian Joey Chestnut was crowned the new champion of competitive eating Wednesday, downing 66 hotdogs in 12 minutes to take the title from Japan's long-dominant Takeru Kobayashi. " -Bangkok Post

After six straight wins, I'm pretty sure Kobayashi has become a household name in competitive hotdog eating. If this guy doesn't have street cred in Tokyo, I don't know who does. Too bad he didn't get #7, but perhaps this will lead to a new generation of hot dog eaters in the US?

That's just the jolt the International Federation of Competitive Eating needs. A federation that "encourages communication, cooperation, and uniformity in the supervision and regulation of competitive eating events."

How many hotdogs can you eat?

Friday, July 06, 2007

In the Line of Fire

Guess someone took the book too seriously..

"A rocket was fired in the air in Rawalpindi while Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s plane was flying to Baluchistan. The rocket was fired from the rooftop of a house on Asgar Mall road in Rawalpindi, Dawn News TV channel said. Police fired hundreds of rounds near the house in what appear to a gunfight. Musharraf has safely landed in Kurbat, Baluchistan."
All this while the standoff in Lal Masjid in Islamabad continues...

Misc. from the Middle East

"First they exerted pressure on Jaysh al-Islam and the large Dagmoush family by arresting or shooting anyone even remotely involved in the kidnapping. Then hundreds of its police encircled the family-dominated neighborhood in central Gaza City. All of Gaza was convinced that negotiations had failed and the time had come to settle both the kidnapping and a more complicated feud between Hamas and the family with violence. But even as black-masked members of Hamas' elite Izzidine Qassam Brigades could be seen entering the area for a final showdown—one that could easily have killed Johnston—Hamas paused long enough to talk it out." (Slate)

This is an important written piece by a Slate correspondent about the situation in Gaza in light of the Alan Johnston release (it is confirmed there was no ransom exchanged) and the dynamics in the Palestinian politics.

And here's another proof that you need to have cultural understanding, even if you are a terrorist group.

"...Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a predominantly Iraqi organization with a small but significant foreign component, severely overplayed its hand, spawning resentment by many residents and other insurgent groups.

Imposing a severe version of Islamic law, the group installed its own clerics, established an Islamic court and banned the sale of cigarettes, which even this week were nowhere to be found in the humble shops in western Baquba to the consternation of patrolling Iraqi troops." (NY Times)

Arab society can put up with a lot of bullshit, but never ever take the cigarettes away from them. That's asking for real trouble.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

" Vladimir Putin pulled off for Russia what Tony Blair did for Britain in the latest Olympic vote.

Backed by the Russian president’s personal lobbying, charisma and government support, the Black Sea resort of Sochi was elected Wednesday as the host city of the 2014 Winter Games." (AP)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

First, Do No Harm

"Britain will conduct an urgent review of its methods for recruiting foreign doctors, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today, after it emerged that all eight of the people detained in the aftermath of the failed car bombings here last week are from the medical profession." (NY Times)


"To men here, fat is sexy. And in this patriarchal region, many Mauritanian women do everything possible — and have everything possible done to them — to put on pounds.

Other cultures prize corpulent women. But Mauritania may be unique in the lengths it has gone to achieve its vision of female beauty. For decades, the Mauritanian version of a Western teenager’s crash diet was a crash feeding program, devised to create girls obese enough to display family wealth and epitomize the Mauritanian ideal. Centuries-old poems glorified women immobilized by fat, moving so slowly they seemed to stand still, unable to hoist themselves onto camels without the aid of men’s willing hands." (NY Times)
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." ( US Declaration of Independence)

Alan Johnston free

After 114 days in captivity, he's freed today in Gaza strip.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

more sex tips from ovid

"Let me show you how, when you first wake in the morning, your face can be bright and fresh. Take imported Libyan barley, strip off its outer husk and chaff, measure two pounds of stripped grain, and add an equal measure of vetch steeped in ten raw eggs. Let this mixture dry in the air, then have your donkey grind it slowly, taking the rought quern round; prepare two ounces of powdered hartshorn, taken from a vigorous stag's first fallen antlers; stir this well into the powdery meal, then sift the mixture, at once, through fine-meshed sieves. Take twelve narcissus-bulbs, skin them and pound them (Use a marble block); add them in, with two ounces each of gum and tuscan spelt-seed, and a pound and a half of honey.
Any girl who uses a face-pack according to this prescription will shine brighter than her own mirror."

Ovid, On facial treatment for ladies

Has Development failed?

This article questions whether the theory of 'development' as proposed by the UN, World Bank and IMF mostly, has failed. Read it and ponder. My thoughts on the article are here

Welcome your new Cement Overlord

"Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the world's richest man, worth an estimated $US67.8 billion, after overtaking Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to a respected tracker of Mexican financial wealth.

A 27 per cent surge in the share price of America Movil, Latin America's largest cell phone operator controlled by Slim, from March to June made him close to $8.6 billion wealthier than Gates, said Eduardo Garcia in Sentido Comun, the online financial publication he founded.

Garcia estimated that Gates was worth $59.2 billion.

Forbes magazine reported in April that Slim had overtaken billionaire investor Warren Buffett for the No. 2 spot in the world's richest stakes but was still behind Gates." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Is Microfinance making a difference?

Read an interesting article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Certainly a great deal of truth to it and it accepts the wide non-economic benefits of microfinance.

But it under estimates the impact microfinance could have if it is widely scaled up; it underestimates the impact of non-entrepreneurial lending (e.g. those who borrow to increase their crop yields or buy more animals); and it ignores one of the main reasons for China's job growth which depended on entrepreneurs lending money in unsustainable ways (should all countries start lending out money as easy as China did, and then, like China, use its accumulated wealth 20 years later to bail out those banks who have no chance of getting the money back?).

Monday, July 02, 2007

More on the smoking ban in England

It includes smoking shisha inside public places...
Edgware Road in north London smells very different than it did a day ago.

Walking along on Saturday, one had to fight through the throngs of Middle Easterners who frequent the popular district of the city.

"Cigarette users take about nine or 10 puffs, they take in up to about half a litre of smoke. With a water-pipe, an episode of smoking may take anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour and it's estimated you can puff up to 600 litres of smoke over that period."

Good times is now over

"Mugabe, 83, had proved intransigent despite the “massive risk to life”, said Ncube, the head of Zimbabwe’s 1m Catholics. “I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe,” he said. “We should do it ourselves but there’s too much fear. I’m ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.”

Some parts of Zimbabwe have seen 95% of crops fail, leaving families with only two or three weeks’ food supply to last a year. Prices in the shops are more than doubling every week and Christopher Dell, the American ambassador, predicts that by the end of the year inflation could hit 1.5m%."

(Times Online)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

England's smoking ban is on

from july 1st 2007, england joined the rest of the uk in the policy of banning smoking inside most public spaces (this includes bars, restaurants etc). even as a smoker, i see this as a good thing, since smoke in a closed space is far from pleasant a lot of times.

i was wondering if where you are smoking is allowed in public spaces, and if yes, how far would you say you are from having it banned?

to start this, i would say that in greece smoking is pretty much allowed everywhere except civil services and some companies, and we are years away from banning it. if they even tried to, the people woudl just take to the streets, it's just part of the culture for the time being. what about other places?

Health Care - Socialized vs Free Market

"No offense, but you're an idiot if you can't see that health care is a special case. All of the markets you mention involve a normal exchange of money for goods/services. Companies have incentives to provide me with good food, housing, phone service, and entertainment, because if they don't, I won't buy their product. (energy and other utilities are another special case due to the required infrastructure, which is why they're generally provided by a heavily regulated government-granted monopoly, no free market). Health care doesn't work that way. In health care, there are two entities trying to profit - the hospitals and the insurers. When you get sick, the insurer already has your money; why would they pay if they can get out of it? If you have a heart attack, you'll go to the nearest hospital, and they'll bill you the same whether the care was great or terrible. Since neither insurers nor hospitals can be comparison shopped in most circumstances, why would they have an incentive to provide good care?

Also, most people understand food pretty well. We buy it all the time; it's fairly obvious what we need and what we're buying. Almost no one understands health care, and health care decisions are far more crucial than what food to buy. Do you really want the people making decisions for you at the most vulnerable point in your life to be motivated by how much money they can make off of you, rather than what would be best for you? With the exception of elective stuff like plastic surgery, health care just doesn't operate in a free market, and allowing a profit motive is just asking to be exploited." (Slashdot comment)