Thursday, July 29, 2010

I wonder how many iPad owners are also new iPhone owners...

I've got nothing against Apple. They make quality products (usually), but have most certainly priced themselves out of most markets.

Except for at least one. And honestly, I don't think I'd want to admit to owning an iPad or a new iPhone after that study came out.


Vilmar over at Kickin' and Screamin' also covered this: "One in five Californians say they need mental heath care."

Explains why they keep voting Liberal. They, collectively, have the mental health of a depressed lemming (Ken and Ricki and a few others excepted, of course).

Shock! Dismay!

Americans are self-rationing their health care! That isn't right! Don't they know that's the government's job?

Okay, all sarcasm aside, the current recession is causing people to forgo the Cadillac insurance plans with no deductible, go to urgent care clinics and doc-in-the-box offices for standard checkups (instead of going to the family doctor at twice the rate), and elect not to have the elective procedures they might have gone for in years past.

The health care industry are a little puzzled. And concerned. This is going to force them to lower their prices to attract business back, for a while, at least.

That's the best thing about a demand-driven economy: prices are self correcting. Goods and services only cost what people are willing to pay. And, until Obamacare/mandatory Medicaid comes into effect and turns it into a command-driven sector of the economy, the health care industry is still demand-driven. Doctors and insurers can only charge what people are willing to pay.

Maybe not the final step, but getting close.

The KGB--er, FSB--has regained its former power, thanks to Putin's puppet.

I'm sure Dear Leader is watching and taking notes.


I know this is speculative fiction, but it could easily happen. Key quote:
"America’s collapse occurred when government ceased to represent the people and became the instrument of a private oligarchy. Decisions were made in behalf of short-term profits for the few at the expense of unmanageable liabilities for the many."
I really like John Ringo's vision a lot better. It's a lot more optimistic.

Of course.

Charlie Rangel, of the House of Representatives ethics fame, is trying to bargain away his violations.

I wonder if what he's trying to make vanish is the open knowledge that lobbyists are providing his counsel and paying his legal bills?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Massachusetts is trying to bypass the constitution with their little game with the electoral college.

While I can see it coming back to bite them in the ass, I still think that they're trying to disenfranchise flyover country, rather than themselves. Where is the greatest concentration of population? Blue states. Where is the greatest concentration of Democrat votes? Inner cities and cemeteries.

Massachusetts isn't the only state that's pushed this through, either. So have Illinois (Chicago), New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington. They claim that it wouldn't come into effect unless more states pass similar legislature.

Like what happened when the 17th amendment was passed, the states that have passed this claim they want the people to have a greater say in who is elected President. And like the reality of how senators quit listening to the people once the state legislatures no longer seated and recalled them, this new law is going to do nothing but shaft the people it's supposed to benefit.

An honest, transparent government, indeed.

Now, telling someone to stick something where the sun doesn't shine might well get that "something" sent to the SEC.

That'll be a switch.

A black teenager is likely to be charged with a hate crime on top of assault and battery for attacking a white man. And it is a hate crime in this case: the black kid went after the white guy because the white guy was listening to rap.

I just wish we could charge all rap artists with a hate crime for producing the crap they produce--inflicting it on the rest of us should count.

Oh, wow.

Talk about stupid. A judge in Arizona is directly telling the people of Arizona that they are too stupid to know what's right and what's wrong.

This is going to lead to bloodshed. No, I don't think someone's going to go after the judge. I think that people are going to set up shop along the border to hand out a little vigilante justice.

And justice it would be, just as it would be if I shot someone coming in through one of the windows of my home. Or found someone camping peacefully in my living room without my permission.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not sure why this is news, but at least it's heartwarming.

A kitten got stuck in a police car. So, cops and firefighters dismantled the car to rescue said little dumb ball of fluff.

And yeah, that was in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sometimes I wonder just how stupid elected officials can be.

Then I see stories like this: Nebraska Town May Halt Voter-Approved Immigration Law to Save Money.

Stupid politicians. If it was voter-passed, voter approved, the voters are going to be really pissed off, and there will be a backlash that will unseat said city council.

Ruin things for everyone, why don't you?

Chicago gangs are taking over sports teams' accoutrement to designate membership. A good blog buddy of mine, Oldcatman, has it entirely correct:

Same with any other race. And, in my opinion, any individual that uses sports team branding to designate membership in a criminal organization is a nigger, regardless of race.

I think this is what Arizona intended to happen.

At least on some level. I don't think the state meant for legal residents and naturalized citizens to leave (and I don't think the ones who understand U.S. law are), but the news that illegals are leaving the state in droves has to be counted good news by everyone with a brain.

I have nothing against legal immigration. I'd actually like it if the immigration number restrictions were relaxed. I don't want to see any other requirements for immigration (like checking backgrounds, health status, and double-checking that it's Juan Valdez, and not Abdulla Hussein) relaxed, but I don't see any reason to prevent healthy and otherwise law abiding citizens from fleeing their corrupt and oppressive government for a place where they can build a life without it being confiscated because someone else wants it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I feel old.

Yesterday, we were taking the imp to see my mother, and stopped at a convenience store to get some extra caffeine for my other half. I glanced up and noticed a small sticker on the door, just above the handle, that announced that they accept the modern equivalent of food stamps.

A convenience store that really doesn't have anything in its grocery section (candy, jerky, chips and cookies) takes food stamps.

I grew up on food stamps. They didn't used to be accepted by convenience stores that didn't sell bread and milk and such. They didn't count for alcohol.

Now they do.

What the fuck is wrong with this country? It was bad enough when I found out that a local pizza place that sells premade pizzas for people to take home accepts food stamps. It was worse when I found out that college students in larger cities go on food stamps so that they could afford gormet food. The Daily Caller reports that Portland State University states that food stamps aren't charity, but a right.

Oh. That explains it.

When my family was on food stamps, we got a thick envelope stuffed with 295 food dollars worth of food stamps. They worked like cash...but for the looks we got when my mother pulled them out. There used to be a stigma attached, especially to single, healthy adults--even those with children--that simply doesn't exist anymore, thanks to the EBT cards, which (unless someone is looking over the user's shoulder and sees them choose that option on the pin pad) looks identical to a debit card. See? No stigma. Nothing to see, here. Move along.

To tell the truth, I'm not sure the stigma that used to be attached to food stamps would do any good to get people off of the program, anymore. I'm pretty sure that modern Americans, those who apply for such, consider themselves completely entitled to live off of the hard work and paychecks of others.

Take, for example, the WIC program. Every time we go to buy baby food (less and less, as the imp insists on eating the same thing as we eat more and more), we have to edge past people looking through their WIC certificates as they get baby formula and baby food. And usually, there's an X-Box game in the cart.

My other half and I would qualify for WIC. I've been pressured to apply for it. I've even been told that my state offers mothers that nurse a higher dollar allowance with a wider variety of permitted/covered food than it does mothers who just chuck a can of cheap formula (or not so cheap formula) in the cart.

We both refuse. It's not because it wouldn't make things easier--the imp is, after all, still on Prevacid, which runs nearly a month's grocery budget by itself--but because we can cut luxuries from the budget, and still afford everything we need without government assistance.

I remember the shame of using food stamps.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I hope it works...

For a nation that has been accustomed to cradle-to-(early) grave socialized medicine for more than sixty years, it's going to be incredibly hard for Britain to successfully decentralize.

However, if they don't, with the current economic problems the entire world is having, they're doomed.

We need to learn from their (and Canada's, and New Zealand's, and everywhere else that's tried it) mistakes, and dump Obamacare/mandatory Medicaid before it completely destroys the best, most advanced health care in the world through starving it for funding, and choking it with regulations.

A little more privacy, please?

On a purely gut-level "this ain't right" reaction, I really don't like this. It's not that I mind sharing what I make per year in income (it's pitiful, and should shame the university I work for), I don't think the government has any business having access to what everybody makes in every job outside of every year's prepared taxes.

From the realm of unintended consequences...

Obamacare/mandatory Medicaid is not only not going to not cover preexisting conditions, but the passing of the bill has had several unintended consequences. Things like wiping out large chunks of private enterprise profits. Likely in the future, it'll wipe out employer-provided health insurance. But right now, the most recent "unintended" consequence is that health insurance companies are no longer willing to underwrite children.

That's right: the government is forcing parents that don't have family plans to put their kids on Medicaid now, which gives the government a whole lot more say over how parents are allowed to care for their kids.

That makes me wonder just how much of these consequences are actually unintended.

Oh, grow the hell up and stop whining.

New York City's lefty mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is planning to start charging a fee for trash pickup. New York City residents are whining "But that's what we pay taxes for!"

Grow up, grow a pair of gonads, pay your fees like everyone else in the country, or leave NYC for someplace where it's not supposed to be covered in the abusive property taxes you pay.

Sorry, Senator Conrad, but I just don't see it.

I've been thinking for days, and I just don't see how the interstate commerce clause permits you to argue that Obamacare/mandatory Medicaid is constitutional. Especially not since you also believe in a woman's right to privacy (pro-abortion), and this bill is one of the biggest federal invasions of privacy out there, despite what your side says to the contrary.

First of all, the interstate commerce clause doesn't apply, because I don't think there's a state out there that permits people to buy health insurance from out of state--which is one of the leading causes of high-cost health insurance. Therefore, the decision to purchase (or not purchase, as the case may be) a good or service in one place does not automatically mean that there was a possibility that an individual may have purchased said good or service elsewhere. In this case, there wasn't. Which renders your argument void.

Too bad more Americans aren't aware of their history, laws, and limits that the Constitution was created to place on you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Liars, damned liars, and communists.

"I remember thinking, Kanzler, back when I still had some faculties for it, that although the Communists may have gone under I could no longer tell the difference between a Red Russian and a Green German."--Watch on the Rhine, by John Ringo and Tom Kratman
I could easily say the same thing about a Green American. Unfortunately, that's what we've got in the highest office.

I am strongly beginning to suspect that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill debacle was a setup from start to finish, solely so that Dear Leader can further harm U.S. industry, with the EPA's willing and eager cooperation. Why do I think this? Several bits of disparate evidence that, when looked at with an open mind, offer a glimpse at a larger picture.

The stories aren't exactly easy to find, but they are out there: the Obama administration waived impact studies and safety regulations that are in place to prevent occurrences like the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which led to nearly three full months of spillage. Not long after the debacle, Dear Leader tried to impose a moratorium on drilling in the gulf. The attempt was blocked by the judiciary.

It wasn't the first time Dear Leader had tried to block new drilling, either. The first time he attempted to block drilling happened before the waivers for the Deepwater Horizon rig passed his desk. Which is what has led me to believe that this was a setup on Dear Leader's part to attempt to further damage the economy.

You see, the moratorium--even for just six months--carries huge consequences. The six month moratorium has and will cost between 8,000 jobs at a lowball estimate, and several tens of thousands of jobs at the high end. And that assumes that the oil companies don't follow Diamond Offshore's example, and simply move the floating rigs they use for the deepwater drilling. Should that happen, it's estimated that the U.S. could lose another 400,000 jobs.

And if that isn't enough, the clown in the number two slot has admitted that we already "can't recover all the jobs lost." And they're playing on Americans' love of their country, its ecosystems, and nature to try to force us to accept throwing more away.

How are they playing on our fears? Simple: both the administration and the EPA are blocking efforts to clean up the mess, and refusing aid to do it. The EPA in particular are doing their best to be obstructionist, by posing unreal expectations on the cleanup effort: "Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico."

They're also lying to us about how bad the spill still is, two weeks after it's been capped. Despite continuing hysterics from the environmentalists, cleanup ships have been having more and more trouble finding that which they were dispatched to clean up.

The good news in all of this is that neither the judiciary nor the people are about to take the threat Dear Leader poses to our economy lying down: more than 11,000 people in Louisiana are protesting the legal battle preventing them from working. Hopefully, the administration will shut up and get their fingers out of their ears, and listen to the ones that hired them in the first place.

I do not think it is too late to save our country. Not yet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Working hard, or hardly working?

BP has Photoshopped enough photos of the cleanup efforts on their website that it gives the impression of the latter--at least at first.

However, as I read the rest of the story, I realized that they were trying to avoid the appearance that they weren't doing enough. Yeah, they doctored pictures of a pilot sitting in a helicopter sitting on a ship's deck to make it look like he was in the air. The undoctored picture shows that the pilot is doing pre-flight checks in preparation to taking off. In other words, in an attempt to look like things are being done, BP gave the opposite impression. Same with the photoshopped monitor images.

Obama would blame Bush.

Steny Hoyer's right, but not the way he thinks he is.

Hoyer claims that America has been rationing health care for a long time, through insurers that deny coverage based on cost.

I assume he means health insurance providers that deny coverage to preexisting conditions unless one pays out the ass to get the condition covered, or that (because of regulations requiring this, that, and the other to be covered) is too expensive for the average family to afford without giving up luxuries like XBox systems and games.

Actually, the "health insurance providers" that are the most at fault for rationing care (like Britain and Canada do) are the VA, and Medicaid. Government providers.

Here's a bit of anecdotal evidence: in Missouri, at least, if you need dentures, can't afford to pay for them yourself, and are on Medicaid, tough shit. Medicaid ain't paying for them. Ask my mother.

Need glasses? Medicaid pays for a new pair every two years. Even for kids that may need new prescriptions every year.

Need hip replacement surgery? Welcome to the waiting list. They may get to you sometime before you die--unless they determine that it isn't worth it.

If you're on thyroid medication, as soon as you get put on Medicare/Medicaid, your doctor will lower your dosage or take you off. What do you need a health weight or energy level for? You don't contribute.

It's not the private sector denying care. They do deny coverage at what most people deem reasonable prices, but they don't deny care like the government programs do.

But that's okay. Before too long, Obamacare/mandatory Medicaid will apply to everyone, and we'll all be getting exactly the same denial of care that the government programs have always been so famous for.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

The sky is blue. The President is Red. The government-sponsored mortgage program isn't working.

I wonder what they'll announce next? The fact that summer time is hot? Oh, wait: that's what those heat advisories that the Midwest are getting are supposed to be doing.

No wonder his son isn't using his last name!

Rory Reid doesn't want to be associated with stupidity like this.

I mean, seriously. Those of us that pay attention know that Ford didn't take any government money. They didn't need to.

Toilet paper?!?

I can see cutting back city employees to four day weeks, not buying gas for nonessential city vehicles, and not decorating for Christmas, but really, Newark? Is it really bad enough that your city can't even provide the sandpaper that elementary schools nationwide provide?

At least the mayor isn't raising taxes.

Starting to feel much better...

I will be posting something specific on The FFOT this week (where I'm now a contributor), about why I've felt so awful (beyond just the morning sickness--which is mostly gone, now). Suffice to say, I have a further medical issue that has finally been treated.

I've been so exhausted that I've barely been able to keep up with grading papers (for which I am actually paid), and haven't been able to think straight enough to write. Thank God I decided to take things into my own hands--my primary care doctor is quite willing and able to treat my problem. No overbooked, undermotivated specialist needed, despite what the midwife would have preferred.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I hope this research is the first to go.

Not because I don't think it's worthwhile, but because the AIDS research lobby won't rest until the reason the funding was cut gets repealed.

What do I mean?

Well, we recently learned that those with pre-existing conditions will not be covered under mandatory Medicaid, or Obamacare (and yes, I think the smug spoiled child deserves to have his name attached to the piece of shit he passed). We're also pretty sure that employer-provided health care is going to start showing up as income on W2 forms.

Another probable effect that hasn't been mentioned is that, with the government putting caps on what pharmaceutical companies can charge for new drugs and new treatments, funding for research is going to dry up.

And it's going to happen before anything can come of the most recent discovery: a type of antibody that kills 91% of the different strains of HIV/AIDS.

So yes, I hope the research funding for that dries up faster than anything else, so that the gay lobby can be the loud part of the coalition of all the sane people working to get this bad law repealed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I saw this coming from the start.

In the beginning of the Obama presidency, mandatory Medicaid, was touted as a way for those with pre-existing conditions to get coverage. It was prophecied that it would shorten our wait times in emergency rooms, and reduce the costs we would pay.

In fact, while the politicians were fighting to bend us over the barrel and ram it up our collective national ass, they promised us these things, as well as that funding for research into conditions like cancer, AIDS, Alzheimers, and diabetes would continue. Basically, we were promised that it would heal all the sick, and wouldn't make anyone dead.

Like I told my friend that was for it way before it was passed--that ain't gonna happen. Neither is making it cheaper, or making wait times for care in emergency rooms shorter. The government is in the power business, not the philanthropy business (i.e., making sure those with preexisting conditions got the coverage they "deserved").

Looks like I was right. Experts are now predicting that preexisting conditions won't be covered under mandatory Medicaid, and that emergency room waits will be much longer than they are now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

You might be a gun nut...

...if, when you drive by a fireworks stand selling "Golden Bear" brand fireworks, you wonder if they're selling fireworks or reloadable brass-cased Russian ammunition.

We really need some type of a mental competence test for congresscritters.

I mean, if they're as disconnected from reality as Nancy Pelosi, they really need to be institutionalized, not re-elected every time they come up.

There is no way extending unemployment payments will help the economy. The only thing that will accomplish is to basically put people on welfare, and get them to not look for work. It is, after all, human nature to put forth the least amount of effort to maintain their standard of living. If people can just collect a government check and not work...well, they won't work.

No, the fastest way to create jobs would be to cut taxes, both those on personal income and those on corporate income. Oh, and repeal a whole lot of the regulations and rules (like the community reinvestment act) that directly contributed to the crash.

Instead, we're slated for some massive tax and regulation increases, beginning within the next six months.

Oh, goody.