December 20, 2009

...and so it begins

If these people take over health care, they're going to begin imposing more and more restrictions on personal behavior, until we have a tyrannical Nanny State like the UK.  Part of how they want to hike taxes to feed the bureaucratic leviathan is to impose a 10% tax on indoor tanning booths,
Will be hardest hit by 10% tax hike

Now, I know what you're thinking, okay, this will only hurt guidos and bleached out leather skinned bimbos, and you're right, but think about the entertainment we're gonna miss out on without the excess tanning these brain-dead idjits subject themselves to.  Sure, orange-y liquid tanning is funny on its own, but on top of a well done (as in thoroughly cooked) tanning booth tan? Magnifique! 

And it isn't going to stop there, the sin taxes are gonna keep piling up, they're going to try to make all of life's joys too expensive for people to enjoy, then America will resemble the UK, and then it'll be fucking Demolition Man.  It's all fun and games until the vice of your choice is banned/taxed/regulated into oblivion.

They opted for a 10% tax on tanning booths in lieu of a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery, my guess is this swap out was a personal favor to Speaker of the House Pelosi.

If you make over $200K, expect a payroll tax hike, if you have a health insurance policy, it's time to put aside some funds for a 55 gallon drum of Astroglide, because your rates are about to go up, bigtime. 

The latest legislation softens the immediate impact of taxes on health insurers like Wellpoint Inc. (WLP) and Humana Inc. (HUM). Insurers would have been hit with a $6.7 billion annual tax starting next year under an earlier version of the bill; now that tax starts in 2011 at $2 billion a year, and ratcheting it up to $10 billion by 2017.

And you know who that'll get passed on to.  If this happens this is gonna put health insurance out of the reach of more working and middle class people, and that'll be the excuse needed for a government seizure of health care, and health care will be the excuse to seize control of everything else.

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November 02, 2009

If You Like Bureaucracies, You'll Love Pelosicare

I want to come up with something silly to say, but I think the words speak for themselves.

Among some off the new agencies, the list cites a Health Insurance Exchange; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation; the Public Health Investment Fund; the Public Health Workforce Corps; an Assistant Secretary for Health Information; the Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health; grant programs for alternative medical liability laws, infant mortality programs and other issues; and about 100 other government-sponsored creations.

Folks, this is why fight. We need to stop this shit in its tracks.

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October 29, 2009

I hope Steyn is wrong...

...but I kind of doubt that he is:

I keep getting e-mails saying, "People will reach a tipping point and they'll no longer put up with this stuff." I doubt it. Right now the way to bet is that once free societies will retreat incrementally, one trivial step after another, into a totalitarian hell.
The funny thing is that the whole "WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!!!1!one!!1!eleven!" thing that the left was shouting over the past eight years was essentially right, albeit for the wrong reasons. It's easier for the vast majority of people to just say, "Well, the government will take care of it, so I don't need to bother." And while the tea party protests and eruptions of anger at town hall meetings made for lots of satisfying news coverage, I'm afraid that the people involved only represent a vocal minority.

In other words, I'm pretty sure we're fucked, at least in the long term.

Oh, and if you want to see the latest Nanny State idiocy Steyn is talking about in this instance, be sure to click on the link.

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October 23, 2009

A question for the lawyering types round this here blog

Can the White House say that a picture cannot be manipulated for political reasons and expect that it's legally binding?

As with all photos posted to the stream, however, users should be aware of the restrictions placed on their use: “This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”
Update: @gabrielmalor pointed me to this "rather fantastic" blog response.  And I have another question - since bloggers are now media, does this mean we're allowed to reprint at will?

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October 18, 2009

Leave It To The Nanny State To Bring The Stupid To Nursery Rhymes

Seriously, I should not be surprised at this development.

A version used on the CBeebies channel was altered so rather than "couldn't put Humpty together again" all the King's horses "made Humpty happy again".

The broadcaster said the change was made purely for creative reasons rather than trying to give a soft version of the rhyme for children.

A spokeswoman said: "We play nursery rhymes with their original lyrics all the time and the small change to Humpty Dumpty was done for no other reason than being creative and entertaining."

Sure. Whatever.

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October 14, 2009

Funny: Nanny Bloomberg's own health department handing out coupons for fast food

It's an incentive to try to get TB patients to receive treatments.

He said the agency is currently evaluating the program and considering healthier eateries.

Over the past 10 fiscal years, the city has spent $3.3 million on the TB giveaways, which also include coupons for variety stores and bookstores, but less than $300,000 of that total came from tax dollars, said agency spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti.

The amount given to each patient differs depending on individual progress, but the average patient receives $130 worth of free food and $580 in MetroCards, Scaperotti said.

Amazing, and unfortunately they probably have to do this, because if they don't, people won't show up for follow up treatments and we end up with resistant strains of TB.  It's still too much fun to rub stuff like this in Nanny Bloomberg's face. 

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October 13, 2009

Behold The Glories Of The Nanny State, Vo.213,111,222,333

Yup. Euroland is looking to start charging TV Licence Fees to cell ohone owners.

Responding to a query from a concerned citizen, the agency said it would not rule out obliging cell phone users to pay a TV licence fee if public service television providers make all their programmes available for mobile phone viewing.

"All equipment displaying a channel's entire output requires the payment of a television licence," Radiotjänst spokeswoman Anna Pettersson told newspaper Dagens Nyheter. 

I want to get worked up over this, but really, it does not surprise me. My only question is how long before  this silliness comes to America?

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October 12, 2009

H1N1 school vaccination a roaring success

Of course, the real answer is to forgo the permission slips and let the government act like the parents they want to be.

They tried to inoculate an entire school for H1N1. Instead they inoculated one-fifth of a school because not enough permission forms had been lined up. We've now reached the point where it's a demonstrable fact that the federal government can't even handle stage-managed health care correctly.
  I wonder how much of this was kids failing to take home and return the permission slips, and how much of it was parental pushback against a nanny state?

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October 06, 2009

Moe's Tavern Juice Bar

In addition to this being a stupid idea and a likely waste of money, it may very well be the first time that the word "whilst" has been used when referring to The Simpsons.

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September 30, 2009

Getting taken for a ride

I can't stand people who talk on their cell phones or send text messages while they're driving, but do we need to make a Federal case out of the issue?

Apparently, yes...

Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota spoke at the event to promote a bill they are co-sponsoring that would require states to implement a ban on texting while driving or lose 25% of their federal highway funds.

"We need every state to put safety first," Schumer said. "We need a ban on texting while driving in every state across the country and we need it now."
If the states want to ban this sort of behavior (like mine already has) that's their business. But why does the Federal government have to butt in and dictate how people behave while they're behind the wheel? Is that even constitutional?

That last question has, sadly, become more or less rhetorical.

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September 03, 2009

No Slider for you.

(Sort of updating Plebian's post where he notes they're messing with fast food in the NHS)
So some food nazis want to get local gov'ts to zone fast food places out of poor neighborhoods.
Some group called The National Research Council (under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, they are a committee of health care professionals, academics, and policy makers) put out the report about how we have to save poor people from White Castle.

It's mostly what you would expect, idiocy.
that studies show that fast food restaurants are disproportionately located in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

Wait, you mean that there aren't a bunch of Benihanas and Ruth's Chris Steak Houses in poor neighborhoods? And there are places where you can feed a family of 4 dinner for $20 or less?

So great idea, make it illegal to have fast food joints in poor neighborhoods.
Of course that doesn't mean Lawry's is going to move in. Or even Chili's.

If their good deed-ism makes it harder for poor people to eat out and more expensive for them to eat period?
Well, that's a price these rich liberals are willing to pay.
h/t Neal Boortz

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Some interesting links

Here are some interesting tales of the UK's NHS for you to ponder as you think about universal, single-payer coverage:

NHS urged to cut 1 in 10 staff to meet savings targets.

NHS medication errors double in two years.

To save NHS money, we should stop making ourselves ill (this one's a hoot if you care at all about individual freedom).

Fattening food banned from school canteens (and you thought Obama was going to lean on children!)

Here's the thing: those last two are perfectly logical responses if I'm being heavily taxed to provide you with health care.  In fact, if I have to pay for it, I don't want you to be able to smoke, or drink, or even drive a car over the speed limit.

The ultimate end of universal health-care is a return to prohibition-era restrictions on everything, because we can't very well have people costing more than their fair share, now, can we?

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September 02, 2009

Et tu Pittsburgh?

I didn't know that Pittsburgh was going to host the G-20 next month.

They're all afraid of the traveling riot that comes with it so they've decided to enact Philadelphia style, anti-state-law "laws" making carrying certain firearms illegal even if you can legally carry them according to state law.

Not all firearms, they have a list of 37 that will be illegal.  Because the rioters are going to check the list to make sure theirs are legal.
So the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has something to say about it:
We would be the first to concede that the gun provisions are legally dubious, given that in this case -- regrettably -- state law would seem to preempt anything Pittsburgh might enact. Empowering the police to be mind readers of intent is also troublesome

They go on say the city's masters have to be careful about it.
You can smell the foul stench of their "but" coming, can't you?.
But please spare us those who would make an unreasonable, absolutist defense of the Second Amendment

You know, cuz our political, social, intellectual and moral betters get to decide which rights we can be trusted with.

I've really been rooting for an asteroid lately. Not one the size of Texas, just a Lucifer's Hammer sized one. I'd ride it out in the Catskills, they should be above the tsunami and my uncle's family has been farming there for generations so we should survive.

Via Snowflakes in Hell, which I should be reading but I saw it via Say Uncle

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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.]

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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. 

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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