Friday, May 30, 2003

And it wasn't Pete Rose...

A wanted parolee got busted by the "Kiss Cam" at a Cincinnati Reds game.

"Intentional" mistake?

The Washington Post reports that (emphasis added):
Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch company that owns several large U.S. retail food chains, said today that it had found $29 million in intentional accounting mistakes in its Tops Markets subsidiary, which operates several hundred supermarkets and convenience stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

What's an "intentional mistake"? I thought that was just called "lying." (Thanks to Bernsteinblog for the pointer.)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Health care "crisis"?

... and Gephardt's program is to link health insurance even more closely to employment.

I will not show my face in a picture! (Except for the mug shot.)

It seems that the woman who is suing to wear her headdress in her driver's license photo has already had a picture taken without the veil. The Smoking Gun reports that Sultaana Freeman was arrested in Illinois in 1999 for battering a foster child, and pleaded guilty to felony aggravated battery. They include her mugshot picture, taken sans veil.

Health care "crisis"?

A column on Reason Online notes the fallacy of the "health insurance crisis."
Who are the people uninsured for a year or more? It turns out that 60.5 percent are under the age of 35, and 80.2 percent are under 45. Furthermore, 86.1 percent of those uninsured for a year consider their health to be "good" to "excellent," and they are not wrong. Consider the risk of death faced by those under 35. In 2000 there were 134,419,000 Americans in this age bracket. Of the 2,404,598 Americans who died that year, 112,005 were under 35, or about 4.6 percent. Using death as a crude measure for serious health risk (can't get more serious than death), the under-35 uninsureds were risking one chance in 1,200 of dying from whatever causes in 2000. And while 60.5 percent seems like a high number, keep in mind that the rate of the uninsured among the population as a whole remained small—only 7.3 percent of those under 19 were uninsured for the whole year; the 19-24 bracket was at 14.4 percent; and the 25-34 group came in at 12.3 percent.

Another great point:
To the extent a crisis exists, it's because nobody in the health care "system," least of all patients, feels that they are in control of their health care arrangements. Patients feel insecure about losing their coverage first because it's tied to their jobs—either their employers will drop their benefits, or they'll lose their jobs outright. Second, while most patients say they are satisfied with their managed care plans, a significant proportion feel that such plans deprive them of control over their health care choices. Meanwhile, discouraged physicians are being turned into paper-pushers handling mass quantities of government and private health insurance paperwork, while being limited in the tests and drugs they can order for their patients. Physicians are also being squeezed by federal government restrictions on what they can charge their patients. This means that doctors typically lose money on Medicare and Medicaid patients, which forces them to raise prices on their privately insured patients to make a decent living.

We will never solve health care until we get the government out. The government has created this mess -- more government is by no means the answer.

Computer guilt

OK, I just got a guilt trip from my mother because I threw out my old computer instead of donating it. Like I wasn't feeling bad enough. In case anyone else is critical, here's the thing, OK?

The computer was ancient (in computer terms). It was a Pentium MMX, with a broken CD-ROM drive and I was removing the hard drives. So it wasn't worth anything, even as a donation -- nobody would take it. And it wasn't like there was Pentium Rescue I could call to rehome the thing. So lay off, OK?

Hot air about global warming.

Well, Ann Coulter has a column today, noting, once again, that global warming has not yet been proven, and is basically being used as a smokescreen to find more ways that the governments of the world can stop people from doing what they want to do. Some decent tidbits, however:

In 1998, President Clinton denounced Republicans for opposing his environmental policies, citing Florida's inordinately warm weather: "June was the hottest month they had ever had – hotter than any July or August they had ever had." This, after the Senate rejected the Kyoto Treaty by the slender margin of 95-0. In fact, all the world's major industrial powers initially rejected the treaty, including Japan. That's right: Even Kyoto rejected Kyoto.

. . . .

We didn't wait for more data when DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was banned on the basis of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, which brainwashed children into believing DDT would kill all the birds. American soldiers in World War II were bathed in DDT. Jews rescued from Nazi death camps were doused in DDT. It was a miracle invention: Tiny amounts of DDT kill disease-carrying insects with no harm to humans, protecting them from malaria, dengue and typhus. But in 1972, the U.S. banned one of the greatest inventions in modern history.

Now environmentalists are in a panic that African nations will use DDT to save millions of lives. Last year, 80,000 people in Uganda alone died of malaria, half of them children. The United States and Europe have threatened to ban Ugandan imports if they use DDT to stop this scourge. Environmentalists would prefer that millions of Africans die so that white liberals may continue gazing upon rare birds.

Liberals don't care about the environment. The core of environmentalism is a hatred for mankind. They want mass infanticide, zero population growth, reduced standards of living and vegetarianism. Most crucially, they want Americans to stop with their infernal deodorant use.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Soon I will turn into the Starchild...

So I threw out an old computer over the weekend, and as I was removing the hard drives from the computer (you do remove the hard drives when you dispose of old computers for security, don't you?) I swear I heard the computer say to me, a la HAL9000, "What are you doing, Dave... Dave, stop..."

It was very disturbing. And I felt terribly guilty when I took the poor thing to the curb, and the monitor tilted up and I know it was just looking at me, pitifully. I hope someone came by and adopted it...

A Family that Blogs Together ...

gets no work done ...

The blogging hath begun! Except not by me.

See, I told you there would be brilliant musings. Of course, my father got the first brilliant musing in, so I'll have to try and catch up...

Mr. Bush goes to Jordan

The President's proposed trip to the Middle East next week is is a cause for intense concern. I cannot believe that the President is going to go through with this charade. One can always blame the State Department for its asininity, but the President is a big boy, and he can make his own decisions. I still have faith in him, so I have developed a theory:

The only way that there will be peace in Israel is if the 'Palestinians' self-destruct. There appears to be an incipient civil war brewing among them. Perhaps, Sharon (and the President) have decided to play the endgame in which they remove the last vestige of common denominator among the 'Palestinians' - that is: the opposition of Israel to peace talks and to the dismantling of setlements. Once that opposition is removed from the equation, all that is left is a fight for power among the various 'Palestinian' factions.

Admittedly, this requires an assumption that the game that Sharon (and the President) are playing is exceptionally Machiavellian. The argument can be made that Barak did the same thing, and the 'Palestinians' became stronger not weaker. The response to that argument is:

The 'Palestinians' are not stronger now, they are merely more desperate and thus more deadly;
the time wasn't ripe for a 'Palestinian' civil war last time whereas, now, the President has succeeded in marginalizing Arafat, who is in a last ditch fight for survival; and Barak was incapable of thinking in Machiavellian terms, whereas Sharon has proven repeatedly that he is a master at it.

I am hoping against hope that my admittedly optimistic theory proves valid. But the President's proposed trip to this meeting is not a good sign. I am also enormously concerned for his safety. This trip is a bad idea all around!

The inaugural post!

So, basically, this would be where the brilliant musings of a Kaufman would go.