Category: Past Activites (page 1 of 13)

DMA Gentlemen Songsters Celebrate — Christmas Lunch with Bunny (December 2018)

A very merry time was had by all: Bunny, our long-time accompanist, entertained our Gentlemen Songsters singing group at her home in Darien, as she played songs on her magnificent organ, gave accordion lessons to Dave and then provided us with a holiday feast that will live in our memories for a very long time. Great fun! Tom

Investment Club: 9:00, Dec 3rd. 2018

We will meet at John Hess’s office at 30 King’s Hwy South, 1st Floor.

Investment Club

Interested in investing?  The join the DMA Investment Club.

Leader: Jim Phillips

Lower East Side Wandering – November 27, 2018

Happy Wanderers Lower East Side Wandering is on for Tuesday
November 27, 2018

The Wanderers will be exploring the Lower East Side of New York City on
Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Included in this wandering will be libations
at the dive Bar Milano’s, a tour of the Tenement Museum and Lunch at
Katz Delicatessen.Its expected to be a windy and chilly day so be warmly
attired.
Board the 8.36 am train to Grand Central from Darien or the 8.39 am train
from Noroton Heights.Upon arrival at Grand Central, congregate at the
Information booth in the center of its Great Hall.
Contact: Sunil Saksena, 203-561-8601 ssaksena44@gmail.com

HIKING MIANUS RIVER PARK, STAMFORD THURSDAY, November 8, 2018 10.00 am

HIKING MIANUS RIVER PARK, STAMFORD
THURSDAY, November 8, 2018
10.00 am
Mianus River Park is a 400 acre urban forest which straddles the towns of Stamford and
Greenwich and is owned jointly by them.At this time of the year the park is at its beautiful best.
While the hiking here is not difficult, the trails are strewn with leaves and roots and occasional
rocks, so you need sturdy shoes and a good sense of balance. We will hike approximately 4
miles and, starting at 10am, be done by about 12.30 pm. As usual, participation from spouses,
significant others and friends is welcome.

The hike will be followed by lunch at the Madonia Restaurant at 1297 Long Ridge Road, Stamford.

Directions
We will be meeting at 10 am at the Stamford entrance of the Mianus River Park which is near 68
Merriebrook Lane, Stamford. Do not go to the Greenwich entrance which is on Cognewagh
Road. Best directions can be had by googling 68 Merriebrook Lane, Stamford. There is a
parking lot on th right just across the street from mailbox for 68 Merriebrook.
Contact: Sunil Saksena
ssaksena44@gmail.com
203-561-8601 cell

Jeff Brameier: “The Importance of Athletics in High School”, November 14, 2018

Jeff Brameier’s talk is entitled “The Importance of Athletics in High School.” Athletics have been a mainstay of the high school scene for decades. Today, the field has vastly expanded, giving an ever greater variety of competitive options to both male and female students. While students get involved in high school athletics for the sheer love of the game, there are significant benefits from these extracurricular activities. The discussion will focus on the experiences Jeff has drawn on from his 40+ years of coaching at Darien High School. He was raised in Darien. He heads into his 36th season at the helm of Darien High School boys lacrosse program, where he has guided his teams to a win-loss record of 594-133 (.818), winning 17 FCIAC League Championships, 13 State Championships, including six in a row from 2005-2010. His team was ranked #1 public school in the country in 2014 and 2017. He has coached 91 high school All-Americans, 175 High School All-State players, 14 Connecticut Players of the Year and has been named Connecticut Lacrosse Coach of the Year five times. He was National Coach of the Year in 2014 and was inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2011. He has been president of the Connecticut High School Lacrosse Coaches Association for the last 31 years. In the past, he also has coached the Darien High School football and swim teams.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Wandering: East River Water Ferry Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This year saw the re-emergence of water transportation on the East River linking Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens.

We thought it would be interesting to retrace the history of water ferries by picking one of the more vibrant destinations known as Brooklyn’s DUMBO for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

To start out, we will take the train leaving Darien at 8:35 a.m. and Noroton at 8:38 a.m. and gather at the Grand Central Station Information Booth on the upper level.

From there, we will take the Lexington Avenue subway to 34th St. and walk east to the 34th St. ferry terminal to purchase tickets for the East River route, boarding either the 10 a.m. or 10:40 a.m. ferry to DUMBO.

We will then proceed to the Fulton ferry landing and go to the Brooklyn Historical Society Museum to watch an eight-minute film on the history of the area. Our wandering will include a beverage stop and later lunch at the Sugarcane raw bar.

For the return trip, there are ferries at 2:29 p.m. and 2:59 p.m. going back to the 34th St. ferry terminal, where we will retrace our steps to Grand Central in time for the 4:08 p.m. or 4:33 p.m. train home.

Contact: Mark Shakley, cell 203.945.9624, mshakley@aol.com

Book Discussion: An Odyssey : a Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Adam Mendelsohn,
October 10, 2018

When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey that his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician’s unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his ‘one last chance’ to learn the great literature he’d neglected in his youth–and, even more, a final opportunity to more fully understand his son. But through the sometimes uncomfortable months that follow, as the two men explore Homer’s great work together–first in the classroom, where Jay persistently challenges his son’s interpretations, and then during a surprise-filled Mediterranean journey retracing Odysseus’ legendary voyages-it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too: for Jay’s responses to both the text and the travels gradually uncover long-buried secrets that allow the son to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its wrenching climax, Mendelsohn’s narrative comes to echo the Odyssey itself, with its timeless themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home. Rich with literary and emotional insight, An Odyssey is a renowned author-scholar’s most revelatory entwining yet of personal narrative and literary exploration.”

 

Notes by Tom Igoe

Book Discussion: Destined for War : Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? by Graham T Allison, Nov 14, 2018

CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE HEADING TOWARD A WAR NEITHER WANTS. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war. In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.

 

See entry about Thucydides Thucydides

 

Two pieces shared by Tom Igoe

Graham-Allison-Opinion-in-Weekend-Financial-Times

The-Crisis-in-U.S.-China-Relations-WSJ.pdf

The Myth of the Liberal Order

The Truth About the Liberal Order

 

Dynamic growth of China’s GDP.

 

 

Current Affairs: International Trade, October 18, 2018

Discussion leader: Harris Hester

International Trade – It’s complicated

Foreign Affairs.  Three Cheers for Trump’s Foreign Policy: What the establishment misses by Randy Schweller

Foreign Affairs & Trade

China’s Small Share of an iphone

China’s Share of iphone

This is a brief fact check on the relationship between the federal deficit and the trade deficit.

http://www.crfb.org/blogs/did-trade-deficit-cause-20-trillion-debt

This is a more in depth analysis of the same thing.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/us-trade-deficit-not-debt-repay

 

41-Straight-Years-Of-Trade-Deficits-Yet-America-Still-Stands-Strong

 

 

Current Affairs: Single Payer Healthcare, Nov 15, 2018

Discussion leader: Charlie Goodyear

Summary :

SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS
USA Healthcare System
-17% of GDP (was 7% in 1971) vs. 9% Canada,10% UK, 10% Germany
-Coverage :
+50% Employer (155 million people, cost $20,000/family, employee pays
$5000)
+14% Medicare (+/- 55 million people)
+12% Medicaid, Veterans, Native Americans (+/- 50 million people)
+ 7% ACA purchased (+/- 20 million people)
+ 8% Emergency Room, Other
+ 9% Uninsured (+/- 30 million people)- 80% US citizens
-Drug costs : $1000/per person/year vs. OECD $500
-Estimated 100-130 million people have “pre-exsisting conditions”
-Life expectancy below OECD countries, Infant mortality higher
-Reasons for higher costs vs OECD countries :
+ Technology and drugs ( eg more MRIs per capita, no drug price controls)
+ Obesity (35% vs 19% OECD) and chronic illnesses (32% of Medicare costs
cover the last two years of life)
+ Much higher administrative costs (4% of GDP), double the staffing vs Canada
-Healthcare costs a major factor in personal bankruptsy( !0 million have bills they can’t
pay )
Canada Healthcare System
-Single payer system covering 100% of the population -no co-pays or deductables
-Doctors and hospitals privately owned and managed within system rules
-Managed by Provincial governments who pay all doctor and hospital charges
-System funded 50/50 with Federal government
-Provinces set prices and proceedures that comply with Federal requirements
-No private insurance allowed except for drugs and dental not covered by System
-Heavy involvement in drug pricing and approval, cost benefit analysis
-Essentially no US type media drug advertising
-Doctors earn about 2/3 of what US doctors earn/year
-Lower availability of medical devices (eg. 75% fewer MRIs per capita than US)
-Open heart and transplant surgery restricted
– Major problems: waiting times for referral to specialists (+/- 16 weeks ), doctor
choice limited, long delays for elective surgery
United Kingdom Healthcare System
-Single payer system covering 100% of the population-no co-pays or deductables
-Doctors are government employees and hospitals are government owned
-Managed by major regional authorities (ie Britain, Wales,Scotland, etc)
-Drug prices controlled by the government, strict cost/benefit analysis. No US
type media drug advertising
-Drug prescriptions cost about $12/ each, free for children.

– No dental coverage for adults
– Doctors earn about 2/3 of what US doctors earn
– Individuals may purchase insurance coverage with doctors in private practice
– Major problems: Long wait times (+/- 10 weeks for general surgery), limited availabiliy
of new(expensive) or experimental treatments, cost/benefit analysis, lack of mental
health services, very long delays for elective surgery
-Per capita costs $4K/year vs US $10K/year
-Many say “Underfunded but not broken “
Germany Healthcare System ( An alternative to “single payer” ??)
-An insurance based system with non profit and for profit insurers
-Covers 90% of population- required participation for all but highest earners
-Funded by 50/50 contribution by employers and employees -15% of earnings
up to about $70K/year (2014 data)
-Private doctors and hospitals but highly regulated
-No deductables and low co-pays -children are free
-Managed by regional authorities via “sickness funds” that are used to control
total costs
– Drug prices are controlled, cost/benefit analysis, no US type public advertising
– Doctors earn about 2/3 of US doctors/year
– Per capita costs less than 1/2 of US
– Surveys indicate significantly higher public satisfaction with the system vs US,
Canada or UK
( The relationship between the insurance companies, doctors, hospitals ,employers,
employees individuals and the regional government bodies is unclear and needs
further analysis and understanding)

Comparisons of Health Care Systems in the United States, Germany and Canada

https://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/the-u-s-health-care-system-an-international-perspective/

https://theconversation.com/why-market-competition-has-not-brought-down-health-care-costs-78971

https://theconversation.com/medicare-for-all-could-be-cheaper-than-you-think-81883

Single Payer Healthcare

Universal Coverage

The article below on drug cost shows how complicated healthcare is to understand, much less manage.  Factors such as age of population, availability of new drugs, the number of insured, etc. all interact.

Still, negotiation is an important factor.  The article states that many western countries (all government run healthcare) will only pay for improved outcomes.
But it’s not purely rational.  If some exotic drug will save your life, it’s worth a lot to you but maybe not so much to society if it starves other healthcare services.  The payers are subject to political pressure from interest groups.  Not simple.

The False Promise of ‘Medicare for All’

Cost is only part of the problem. Single-payer systems create long waits and delays on new drugs.

 

 

 

Wandering-Roosevelt Island, Astoria Queens, Oct 2, 2018 (postponed from Sept 18)

Tuesday, October 2, is the first Wandering of the 2018-2019 program year.

The Wanderers will journey to Roosevelt Island in the East River and to Astoria, Queens.

We will take the 8:35am train out of Darien and the 8:38am out of Noroton Heights.  The group will gather in Grand Central Station at the information booth on the upper level.

 

We will take the subway to the 59th Street station for the Roosevelt Island tram, cross to the Island and walk through Four Freedoms Park and the FDR Memorial sculpture display.

 

 

 

Then, via the East River Ferry, we’ll go to Astoria, Queens.  We will walk by many of the local landmarks associated with the earliest days of the motion picture industry in the United States, through Socrates Sculpture Park and several other sights, and finally have lunch.

We will return by subway in the afternoon to Grand Central for the train ride home.

If it rains Tuesday, we will not go.  A new date will be announced at our regular weekly meeting the next day,

Contact: Joe Spain, 203.655.1264, jhspain@sbcglobal.com

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