August 24, 2009

CDC to Promote Taking a Whack at Tallywhackers

While I am not male and I don't have any particular preference opinion on this subject, I do think circumcision should be a decision made by parents, and not pushed by public health officials under the auspice of HIV prevention.  I think this verges on nanny state.

What do y'all think?

[Please classify the pronouncement of whether or not you are circumcised under the category of TMI. Thanks.]

Posted by: conservativebelle at 01:56 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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August 20, 2009

The Government Needs To Start Paying For Healthcare!

How can the richest country in the world spend less money on health care than all the other developed nations?   Its barbaric! 

As it turns out, its also total bullshit:

Obamacare proponents have long decried the "failure" of free market health care in the U.S. "If only we had more government money" they said! If only we could throw some more taxpayer dollars at it then everything would be okay! The free market has failed, so we need government to step in!

We have a free market in healthcare in the U.S at the moment?

Yeah, right.

In fact, the U.S Government spends more per person on healthcare than any other major developed country.

I repeat. Per person, when it comes to healthcare the U.S Government spends more per person than pretty much any other government. This isn't total spending. This doesn't include insurance or individual payments. This is government spending. Only. These are OUR taxdollars. And we have more government involvment in health than any other major nation.

Go look at the graph and marvel at how much more we'd be spending with Obamacare.  Soon our care will be twice as expensive and half as good.  Its like paying $5,000 to sleep with Rosie O'Donnell. 

Posted by: Moron Pundit at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 18, 2009

Behold The Glories Of Socialized Medicine, Vol. 932,102,283,888,825

Yeah, don't expect an ambulance to help you when you might need one.

“I went into the bath and realised she was going to come quickly. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it out of the bath, so I phoned the maternity ward back and told them to get an ambulance out.

‘They said they were not sending an ambulance and told me I had had nine months to sort out a lift.’

That may be true, but first hand experience tells me that babies don't always arrive on schedule. Besides, any excuse to mock Socialized Medicine should not be ignored.

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August 14, 2009

The other Death Panels

These are not the Death Panels you are looking for. No really. This is not a Jedi mind trick reference.

Dropping the end-of-life counseling was no big deal. In fact, that sort of counseling made some sense. Having taken my grandfather to a number of doctor visits in the last few years, I can tell you there's already a private push for living wills and medical directives.

"Death Panel" is of course hyperbolic, but if there is such a thing that deserves to be called a Death Panel, it's the "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research" created by the stimulus. (How stimulated do you feel now?)

As Philip Klein writes in his AmSpec piece "Live or Let Die", Tom Daschle cooked up the idea of a Federal Health Board based on the UK's "National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence" (NICE). This is your basic "best practices" board -- the red pill or the blue pill sort of stuff. Except if we listen to Daschle, the Federal Health Board would be given legal authority:

For instance, Daschle explained, there could be a requirement that all government programs would have to abide by its recommendations and that requirement could extend to any private insurer participating in the government health insurance exchange. And as Daschle wrote, "Congress could opt to go further with the Board's recommendations. It could, for example, link the tax exclusion for health insurance to insurance that complies with the Board's recommendations."

There's your Death Panel, not this stuff about end-of-life couseling. Grandma's hip replacement is on the line... how old is she now?  And no, you don't get the drops for your eye infection, you get the nasty cream.  Suck it up -- it's the law.

Klein's piece is a well written and nuanced look at the issue of care rationing, not some wild-eyed hit job.  I highly recommend reading it.

Posted by: JoeCollins at 10:03 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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August 09, 2009

Keep your hands off my stomach!

What happened to you Australia, you used to be cool.
A coalition including the Cancer Council and the World Health Organisation's obesity centre at Melbourne's Deakin University said the food lobby's attempts to play down health risks linked to products high in fat, sugar and salt was like cigarette companies denying smoking causes cancer.

You can't really tell from this article, but apparently Big Sugar and Big Grease are saying something about how it's not their fault if people eat too much of their tasty products.
I know, what chutzpa. Actually claiming that people are responsible for their own choices

"But that's just one coalition of people totally looking out for our good. What can they do?" you ask.
The claims precede a Federal Government report...
The Preventative Health Taskforce is likely to recommend a ban on junk food advertising and tax increases on unhealthy products in its report.

How do you say "Our Hero!" in Australian?

(Disclosure: I'm fat.)
(Subsequent disclosure: I really wanted that T.O. video to stay on top for longer)

Posted by: Veeshir at 08:15 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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August 08, 2009

"The worst thing that can happen to you in a health crisis is not bankruptcy, it's death"

Watch Congressman Keith Ellison turn tail and run.  For once, he's sick of hearing himself talk.

from IHateTheMedia, where I could probably crib half a dozen links a day.

Posted by: Alice H at 04:18 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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August 07, 2009

Any chance we could leave the schools to, I don't know, educating the kids?

You only have to dig 992 pages into the bill to find it.*  I'll sum it up, as it's about eight pages of crap.  I don't even know how to refer to this thing by section, as it's apparently an amendment to something else that may be in this bill or may be something else, I have no freaking idea.

Pages 992 through 1000 establish School-Based Health Clinics (SBHCs).    The goal of this portion of the bill is to establish full-service health clinics - the phrase used in the bill is "comprehensive primary health services" - operating during school hours on campus in underprivileged areas. The SBHCs will follow federal, state, and local privacy laws.

So let's get theoretical here - what sort of medical services might be provided to students that would require specifically calling out that privacy laws will be observed regarding parental notification?

There's also the issue of encouraging parents to further abandon parental responsibility by allowing them to remove the albatross of actually caring what's going on with their children enough to take them to the freaking doctor, but that's for another post.

*No, I haven't read 992 pages of this monstrosity.  I was reading the table of contents and saw the title of the section and had a feeling that there was going to be something pretty bizarre there.

Posted by: Alice H at 11:53 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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August 04, 2009

Be careful what you say - Big Brother is watching

The White House is concerned enough about the dissent over health care reform that they have decided they need to start keeping track of people who oppose it.

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

Since everything the democrats spew out of their mouths in regards to health care is disinformation and lies a cynical person would suggest that they should all be reported to The White House. Maybe even multiple times by multiple people just to make sure they get the point, but I am not a cynical person so I won't suggest that.

This tracking effort by the administration does make me wonder though - How is it that when, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration suggested that truckers, mailmen, delivery drivers etc. be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report it to the government that that was an infringement on civil liberty on par with the holocaust but liberals / democrats seem perfectly OK with monitoring a private citizens freely expressed opinions.

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August 02, 2009

The Great CARS Computer Takeover

I saw Allah dismiss this as just another crazy Glenn Beck conspiracy theory and didn't bother looking into it any further* but after being pointed to it by someone who's opinion I actually value, I have to say.  It IS something and it is something fucking bad.

Now, I can't get to the page where he says he saw this disclaimer but I have no doubt that he saw what he says he saw (they probably have removed it... down the memory hole) and it is very disturbing but I think it speaks to the completely fucked up nature of EULAs everywhere.  As this post I found explains, this isn't REMOTELY the first time someone claimed something as absurd as this in a EULA and I bet its just about as enforcable:

In case you didn’t know already, EULAs are always ridiculous. The Chrome EULA originally listed everything you did on the Internet as property of Google. Everything you post on Facebook is property of Facebook. Everything you do anywhere is property of Company X. It’s in nearly every piece of software you’ve ever used.

On the technical end, this specific instance is meaningless. It states that they have full access, but no, they do not have full access. Despite fear-monger central [How can Fox News be fear monger central when the left's news agencies are all saying that global warming is going to END THE FUCKING WORLD?  Oh well, nobody said liberals were logical -MP], there isn’t a secret backdoor that lets the evil computer people monitor everything you ever do and all of your files. While there are a disconcertingly high number of unpatched and improperly secured Windows machines out there, it’s not a simply just going through the list of logged in users and taking a peek at their harddrives.

And guess what, no, in general, it’s not really considered legal. The general agreement is that the nature of EULAs are unenforceable and would not stand up in court, though precedence is lacking.

Emphasis mine.

He is correct to state that just because you click "Accept" on that EULA, it doesn't physically create a method by which the government can actually DO the things they say they have a right to do any more than Google saying they own your soul in the Chrome EULA makes it so.  The woman in the clip above has clearly talked to someone that knows about computers as she drops the term "tracking cookie" but I can assure you that there is no physical means for a fucking tracking cookie to compromise your security in the way she describes.

Frankly, it would have to install some pretty intense software to even begin to have the ability to do what they say they can do and that would be pretty clearly unconstitutional. 

So, is this a big deal?  This particularly:  no.  Its about par for the course for these types of things and I'm pretty sure no EULA of this nature has every stood up in court and never would.  The problem is  if the government were to actually believe their bullshit, which they are starting to do more and more under Obama, who knows what ridiculous demands they could make of these dealers in the future. 

Again, I really doubt any of this would stand up to real judicial review and I REPEAT, AGREEING TO THE EULA WILL NOT GIVE THEM ACCESS TO ALL OF YOUR DATA PHYSICALLY but the idea that the government could use it to intimidate private citizens and businesses who are ignorant about their legal rights is a bit disturbing. 

For example, everyone knows that signing a waiver of your rights to sue before undertaking some dangerous activity is less valuable than the paper its printed on.  The only reason haunted houses and bungee jumping companies make a grand show of having you sign it is that it makes you think you can't sue so many people just don't.

Similarly, if you think the government has the right to all the data on your computer, you may not make a stink when they come for it.

So my message to you is, make a fucking stink if the government comes for anything that belongs to you.  Just because you agree to something doesn't make it binding because, as is the case here, you can't agree to a contract that is illegal.  You know, if I sign a document saying I promise to kill myself for 50 dollars I don't really have to kill myself.  Same thing.

PS - Any lawyers out there want to agree/disagree because I'm just a moron who's had some experiences with EULA and waivers and sees how it works in practice.

* - Not because Allah dismissed it but because it just sounded too ridiculous to be true. 

Posted by: Moron Pundit at 06:29 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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August 01, 2009

Traction Park

Back in the day, when Ralph Nader was leading the charge of the nanny state, in northern NJ there was a place, a magical place.
They called it Action Park.
It was kind of like Disney World. If Disney World had been built by the criminally insane for the terminally stupid and/or hopelessly suicidal.
Or maybe it was what happened when you took a bunch of moonshine crazed rednecks and gave them enough money to buy a theme park and a bunch of NJ politicians. Most of the rides had to have started with a slurred "Let's see what happens".
Being a red-blooded, American male, 20 years old+/-, I loved it.

Posted by: Veeshir at 03:57 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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