Tuesday, 22 April 2008, 18:52:55 EDT Perm Link

"Healthcare is not a privilege. It's a right." -- Heather Arnet

Wrong! The only time anything close to "healthcare" is mentioned in the United States Constitution is in the one sentence preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

"Welfare" does not mean healthcare. Yes, it has to do with your health. But look at the full clause: "promote the general Welfare." That doesn't mean you are guaranteed to be healthy and happy from the day you are born until the day you die. It means the United States government, as established by the constitution that follows the preamble, will not do anything to prevent you from being healthy and happy. It in no way implies the government is there, nor obligated, to make you healthy and happy.

This healthcare issue is probably the most infuriating one being discussed in the presidential campaign. I agree that healthcare is too expensive. But that doesn't make it my responsibility to pay for your healthcare.

Let's examine the problem. Before health insurance people were expected to pay all of their own medical bills. Let's say you broke your leg and need a doctor to set it and cast it. Under the original model, the money comes out of your pocket. Simple. But then someone got the bright idea to "insure" you against such accidents for a monthly (or some other annual) fee. Now when you break your leg the insurance company will pay the bill. Awesome right? Hell no.

Think about it. Instead of a one time fee, you pay someone, who is not a doctor, an annual fee just in case you happen to break your leg. So now the doctor is getting paid by someone who has a lot more money than you (because they presumably insure many more people than just you). What is the doctor going to do? He's going to raise his prices because now his client can afford to pay more. Oh, but now the insurance company is going to raise the rate it is charging you to make up for the increased expense at the doctor. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

Doctors are now charging exorbitant amounts for their services because they expect you will have a giant corporation paying your bill (and all of the people charging him outrageous prices for his supplies since he has the money for it). In turn, the insurance company charges unaffordable prices for its policies. Now the individual can no longer afford health insurance. So employers start offering health insurance as a benefit of employment to attract skilled labor. This goes on for a while until the employers can no longer afford to pay the insurance for all of their workers. So they start cutting health insurance from their fixed costs.

And we arrive to our current situation. People find that they can no longer get a "free ride" at work (nevermind that the cost of health insurance was coming out of their pay). So they have to try and buy insurance on their own. They learn just how expensive it is and balk. Now they want the government to foot the bill; that is, they want everyone in the country to pay for their broken leg.

So now people think healthcare is a right. That's just perfect.


Wednesday, 09 April 2008, 15:08:44 EDT Perm Link

I've removed my referral link to Usenetserver.com. I do not feel comfortable recommending them anymore. Over the past year they have gone from great to infuriating. There are times when the service says you are connected too many times when you haven't even been connected for hours. The SSL server gives 403 errors while the non-SSL server returns 223. But the non-SSL server, and the SSL server, randomly sends the wrong articles!

Needless to say, I'm in the market for a new Usenet provider. I tired out Newsguy.com's free trial last night, but it was too slow. I was never able to break 200KB/s down, and the initial connection took an inordinate amount of time. The problem is, there are really only a couple of good providers. Most of them are reselling someone else's service. Specifically, most of the market is in the hands of Highwinds (of which the fairest priced providers are a part) and Giganews. UNS is owned by Highwinds. So is Newsguy. But Newsguy seemed to work a little better, if slower, because it sent the correct articles for the same request that UNS was getting wrong. So I don't know if it is just UNS screwing the service up, or if it is an endemic problem with Highwinds.

Anyone have any suggestions? I want SSL included in the base, unlimited bandwidth, package along with no X-trace header, short post log retention, and long binary retention (100+ days preferred).


Sunday, 30 March 2008, 10:07:36 EDT Perm Link

One year.

Wilburn Sumners

I miss you.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 20:22:14 EST Perm Link

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: My campaign is about an America of shared opportunity, shared prosperity, and shared responsibility.

Translation: "My campaign is about promising everyone they will have free access to the luxuries they desire. It's about taking the smart, motivated, people's money and giving it to the lazy and stupid. It's about putting the burden of your neighbors bad choices on your shoulders."

I don't think there is any clearer statement as to what she thinks the federal government should be doing. She thinks the federal government should be making life easy for its citizens at the expense of those who have worked hard to achieve. She thinks that if someone makes a decision that adversely affects their life then the government should step it and make it all better. Like a mother kissing her child's boo-boo.

That isn't a constitutional republic. It's a socialist state.


Monday, 18 February 2008, 22:03:22 EST Perm Link

Obviously, that will be an issue both for Blacks and Whites, and one of the things my candidacy has surfaced is people have some confused views, both in the White community and the African American community about this. But what it does say is I think the vast majority of Americans right now, what they want to know is how are you going to help me hang on to my house now that the sub-prime lending crisis is in full force?

What are you going to do to help me deal with my job now that the plant moved to China? How can I save for my child's college tuition and my own retirement at the same time? And if I can answer those questions effectively in the last few months of this campaign, then we have an excellent chance of getting this nomination.

Barak Obama on the Tavis Smiley show. Maybe I misunderstand Article II, but I don't think any of those things are the responsibility of the president. In fact, I think every single one of those things are the responsibility of the individual. You took out a loan to buy a house you can't afford? You lost your job and didn't put any money away for hard times? You can't afford your $50,000 SUV, 55" LCD TV, five cell phones, and whatever other luxuries while trying to put money into a retirement fund and pay for your spoiled kid to go to college? Guess what I have to say to that? Too bad! You have the right to pursue happiness. You don't have the right to be guaranteed happiness.

I wonder who has no hope of getting my vote...