Friday, September 18, 2009

According To Whim... The Legend

Ok, I posted a comment to your final argument Chris, so read it.
Next to everyone else...

I just wanted to give you an update to According To Whim Season 2.
Things have been going slow but they have been going.

Chris and I shot the club scene last week and that leaves less than a page of shots to complete. Still quite a bit of editing but Episode 1 is almost done. Not sure if I will be able to get Chris' job scene done. I might have to just give the camera to Chris again since we can't seem to get together often enough.

I told everyone (who was listening) that I wanted to finish shooting by Ocotober 1st. I am guess that is not going to happen. Who knows after I get back in town Chris might free up some time and we can do this.

Either way, the majoity of the show is done so that is SOMETHING.

I'll Make Everyone Happy and STFU

by Chris McGinty

Although I’m falling into your paradox trap here – I do not argue the exact opposite of anything someone else argues. I actually wrote a blog about this on My Space, but whatever. I’ll give you the simple version of it. Truly unique thought scares people.

I’m not trying to say that I’m some sort of misunderstood genius. I actually have a pretty low IQ if the truth be known. What I have though is an unwillingness to accept a whole lot at face value. My roommates believe me to be some extremist right wing free market guy, so it’s funny that you’ve placed me on the far left. I’m giving you both the same argument, and you’re convinced that I’m at the extreme opposite end of each of your beliefs.

I will try to clarify my position, but you’ll have to really remove the partisan shades and read what I write.

I am simply looking for open-minded discussion of an issue. You’re right about one thing:

“…what I said were my beliefs and it was pointless to argue them because I wasn't trying to sway anyone…”

And here’s the sad fact. After reading your thoughts, I actually thought it would be pointless to post my beliefs, because they would be written to someone who can’t even step far enough out of his cocoon of beliefs to get some facts. And if for nothing else, about that I was right.

I liken it to Loren’s statement, “Universal health care is the ONLY way to go. Nothing else will work.”

But whatever. I’m sorry that so many people I know don’t get it. And I guess I’ll just shut the fuck up. Because my leftist hippie ideal world of businesses communicating for the good of profits and customer benefit is actually the right wing ideal of free market capitalism with moral restraint. According to you it can’t work because it’s leftist. According to my roommates it can’t work because it’s on the far right. So what the fuck ever.

You can all continue to believe that I’m just trying to piss on your parades, rather than considering for one moment that I may have done some reading, some listening, some viewing, and then sat down and thought through what I learned (you know, thought for myself, rather than blindly following.)

You’re all right: Nathan, Loren, Miguel, and all my other detractors; I just argue to be an asshole.

So I’ll stop being an asshole…

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Help Obiwan-Bush-obi youre my only hope.

Not mad. It's hard to hear you when you will argue for the sake of arguing (no matter what the topic you will find the opposing side and argue for it).

Ok. let's get on with it...

In actuality there are no human rights. Let's clear the air. No matter how hard you argue, the argument of 'rights' is simply one of philosophy. Rights can be given by a government's law, but there are no 'human rights'. Do you agree this to be an empirical fact? Let's move on...

Do you remember our scene in ATW season 2 where I argue that more benefits to the poor or unemployed only make them more comfortable and once you are living comfortably enough, why pursue a job? Same thing here. Not hard to put 2 and 2 together.

I don't want Universal health care, public or private, Obama or otherwise... remember I don't care that not everyone has healthcare.

I don't care how 'corrupt' the insurance companies are. I don't have anyway to defend it because it not a statement I have to defend. I don't care. I am not making an opinion on the matter... simple enough.

I doesn't affect me. It might in the future but it doesn't now. I go to the doc, get my checkups, get my blood pressure medicine, pay my copays and I am done. Isn't much, so I don't care. Will I care if I need something major down the road and it's really expensive? Maybe but I will need it so I will pay it. If I can't pay it I will simply do what Chris does, intend to do the best I can to pay and it and go on with life.

You say I am wrong when I say I believe most people don't care not everyone is covered... As much as I am forced to believe all the absolute truths that lay all around me on the interweb your polls are too close to close down my argument. I still believe people don't TRULY, HONESTLY care.

I still believe the government programs are run badly and nothing will change. Sure there are private businesses that are run badly too... THEY GO OUT OF BUSINESS (unless congress throws our money at them). Just because there are bad business in the private sector doesn't negate my statement.

Yes I was against private bailouts. Your point is useless.

Finally in your stunning study from the Lewis Cannon Group I can't comment properly cause I don't quite understand what it means. If you are saying the government program did financially better than the private program... who cares. I don't want to have to buy my insurance through the government.

Ok, your final statement REALLY REALLY either showed your RAVING liberal side or you were just trying to get attention.

If the insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals would sit in a field of sunflowers, smoked a peace pipe, dance around, hugging each other they would come up with a solution to ... 'just make enough to stay in business'. Ha! Go back to the 60's hippie!

As nice and liberal as it sounds, it's a crock. That's as much fantasy as Peter Pan. Get real.

I think we both know that the real issue is PUNISHMENT OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES for making money.

If they want to make things more affordable (which they don't, that's just the guise for the power grab) they would just regulate health costs.

Their chant of 'insurance insurance insurance' means nothing. It has nothing to do with the issue.

Insurance does not equal Healthcare. They are two very different things.





Why doesn't the government just drop all this other crap and focus on the 5% of (unwillingly) uninsured Americans? That’s what they KEEP GOING ON ABOUT but why add all this other stuff in there?

Free medical care for the poor, that's what’s it's supposed to be about (at least that's what Obama keeps saying).

Also, don't the poor already have free health care in Medicaid; why not just expand on it (if they feel they absolutely have to expand SOMETHING).

If that doesn't work, they can simply go into the ER and get free medical care. They don't have to pay that bill. They just walk in and walk out.


Oh man. Chris I know you love to argue for the fact of arguing but really most of the stuff in my original post was what I said were my beliefs and it was pointless to argue them because I wasn't trying to sway anyone, I was just stating what my beliefs were. Oh well, this will make a good next book I guess.

PS. While spell checking when spellchecker came to Obama the suggested word was Osama…
Hey… I report, you decide.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Walking and Chewing Gum – and – Typing and Thinking

by Chris McGinty

So I spoke with Nathan on the phone the day after President Obama’s speech. I had a lot of thoughts about the whole thing, and Nathan tried to sort of throw out what I believe to be “rhetoric to discredit” without any sort of factual or philosophical backing. My phone died, and I made the mistake of forgetting my phone charger. The last point we were on when I had to go was when Nathan asked me at what point healthcare was a “human right.”

Let’s see, in the US our inalienable rights are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. He’s right. As long as lack of healthcare doesn’t kill you, you still have life.

I called him back on a land line and pointed out the Hippocratic Oath, which is believed to have existed since 4 BC. Versions and variations of the oath are still used in modern hospitals. There is a loophole where if you give the patient a reference to a hospital that is better equipped to treat the patient, you can “get rid of them.” You cannot, however, outright refuse treatment in an emergency room. This is a law, and is therefore a right.

Maybe Nathan meant healthcare coverage wasn’t a human right, and this is where we get into the Blog that Nathan wrote at some point before I got home. I think his blog may have been some of the stupidest shit I’ve ever read. Well that’s not entirely true. The problem is that there is a lot of crap Nathan said while on the phone that never made it into the blog. So his blog sort of works if you didn’t hear the dumb shit he said on the phone. See Nathan, I told you my blog would make you mad, so let’s get going on this.

Nathan said over the phone that giving everyone coverage would just cause people to say, “Oh, I don’t need a job, because the only reason I had a job to begin with was to have health insurance.” And the result would be more people living on the taxpayers dollars.

Seriously.

I don’t even really know where to start here. I wish now that I had written the blog I was thinking through about: minimum wage and the new standard of two income households. It would make it easier just to refer you back to my thoughts on that while explaining my thoughts here. Now I’d just have to write a really long blog to get it all down. The problem is that if you write anything longer than a page and a half Nathan won’t read it.

So let’s deal with Nathan’s blog directly to start with and then maybe I’ll come back and deal with the phone conversation.

Point One – Nathan Doesn’t Want Obama’s Universal Healthcare: Whose universal health care would you be ok with? Adding Obama’s name was sort of unnecessary and suggests that you have a bias. Just saying. No matter how independent you claim to be, I think you’re still a Republican.

Ok, real points.

Point Two - Nathan’s Four Points: Nathan doesn’t care that not everyone has health coverage. Fair enough, because we still have it better than many third world countries. Nathan doesn’t want more government bureaucracy. Still fair, even if a bit vague. It presumes that we are creating more bureaucracy by accepting the reform plan, but it probably is so fine. Nathan doesn’t want more taxes. Who does? And I’ll deal with this later.

Finally, Nathan doesn’t give a crap about how corrupt insurance companies are. *rolls eyes* Yeah, whatever. It’s never affected him he says. *rolls eyes the other way* Because Nathan has never had to pay higher than reasonable premiums because of CEO compensation or the rising cost of health care because of unpaid treatments. If this ever does affect Nathan, Nathan will simply go to some other insurance company. And he probably will up until the point that he has a pre-existing condition that keeps him from doing so. But until then he can say, “It has never affected me.” This thin excuse for an argument might be good if he could say it never will; ever.

Point Three – Nathan Truly Believes that Most People Don’t Care that Not Everyone Has Healthcare: I truly believe that this is because most people think he’s imposing his own beliefs on the faceless masses through what’s known as presumption. So I typed in a search, and found a collection of nine polls from various sources on Pollster.com. They show a choice between controlling the cost of health care and insuring everyone. The polls are each stated differently, but give a choice between: controlling costs, expanding coverage, and unsure. Five of the nine polls are in favour of expanding coverage. The highest percentage in one poll for controlling costs rather than expanding coverage is 54%. So what does this mean? Here’s the thing, when qualifiers were thrown in to these kinds of polls that suggested that either controlling costs or expanding coverage could affect the polltaker personally and negatively the polls swung wildly. I personally believe that people are reacting out of fear.

Point Four – Nathan Thinks that the Current Administration is Blah Blah Blah, Votes and Power and Money: Again, Nathan is still a Republican.

Point Five – Nathan Doesn’t Think the Government Will Get It Right This Time: This is an interesting argument; not because it makes any sense, but because it makes no sense, yet is still widely used. The argument goes, “Look at the mess that the post office is. Look at the mess that welfare is. Look at the mess that Medicaid is. Look at the mess that Social Security is. Do we really want to pull our healthcare out of the private sector and hand it over to the government?”

This makes a weird presumption that the private sector always gets it right, and the government always gets it wrong. If not it's a false comparison. You can’t take the worst of government programs, compare them to the best private sector companies, and then go, “See!?!?!!!”

Back to the point of not wanting to pay more taxes. What of these bailouts? Whether you’re for them or against them, it wasn’t throwing more money at the post office, or at welfare, or at Social Security, or at Medicaid. It was, “Holy shit all these privately run companies are about to fail because they don’t know how to run themselves correctly.” Private sector.

Maybe you could argue that the private sector gets it right more often and that's reasonable, but the issue is that the insurance companies aren't getting it right. The basic business model for any insurance is that a group of people pay a certain amount of money into a pot and then money is paid out from that pot as needed. If a privately held insurance company cannot do the second part of that transaction, based on the signed agreement, then guess what? They ain’t runnin’ they shit right. Private sector.

And we’ve seen them flail. Here’s the sad part. The insurance companies would probably benefit from not only what Obama said in his speech, but also what the Republican rebuttal said. Because they said the same fucking thing. We need to cover everyone. They just want to go about it differently.

The Lewin group, whoever they are, published a study that proponents of Medicare have used to prove that the government does a better job of controlling health care costs, and the study shows that Medicare costs increase by 5.8% annually while private insurance costs increase by 7.4% annually. The only thing I actually care about in that statement is that medical care is significantly outpacing inflation. You have to go all the way back to 1982 to get a year in which the cost of inflation was higher than 5.8%

So how have they flailed to reduce costs? They’ve done co-pays, in-network doctors, reduction of covered health issues, and reduction of covered tests and procedures. In many other industries this constant revamping of the business in ways that profit the company, but do nothing for the consumer would cause the business to fail. But we have two choices as this industry goes. We can have health insurance, or we can risk getting sick and potentially dying. So they don’t have to care about how happy their customers are, because the customers have nowhere else to go.

If the insurance companies, the hospitals, and the doctors really wish to keep things as they are there is a very simple solution. It involves the insurance companies, the hospitals, and the doctors getting together and asking each other as well as the customer, “How can we keep everyone as healthy as possible, without going out of business?” The solutions that would come from those talks would fix the whole mess. The fact that those conversations haven’t happened is why we are where we are. And that… is your private sector hard at work.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A bedtime story

Waaay back, when I was five or six, my brother and I received a book of stories and poems from our snooty, uppercrust great aunt. Although published in the USA, it was definitely British in origin, with a number of stories involving colonial India and Africa, teatime, and full of words like "whilst", "colouring", and "realised". I credit the book for planting the first subcionscious seeds of my love for British storytelling and stiff uppper lippitude.

Several years ago, I rediscovered the book in a box of old stuff. I realized that several of the stories were just begging to have their endings re-written to make them a bit more interesting. I got around to doing three of them. Here is one of the improved stories. Enjoy!

Bernie and the Snowman
Bernie was a large St. Bernard dog who belonged to a little boy called Peter. One day, it snowed heavily and Peter decided to build a snowman.
Out he went and busily spent the morning building the snowman until his mother called him in for tea. Peter turned to call Bernie to follow him and what do you think? Bernie was jumping round and round the snowman and suddenly he charged at it and knocked it down!
"Oh, Bernie!" said Peter. "Look at what you've done!"
"Never mind," said his mother."You can build another one."
But, whenever Peter built a snowman, Bernie waited until he had finished and then knocked it down. Peter grew tired of of building snowmen just for Bernie to knock down, so he tried to think of some way to stop Bernie. Then he had an idea!
One Saturday, when the snow was still quite thick and when his father was at home, Peter told his father this idea and he agreed to help him. Peter's mother took Bernie for a walk whilst Peter built the finest snowman you've ever seen. As soon as Bernie cam back, he dashed towards it to knock it down.
But, this time, Bernie got a shock. The snowman growled and snarled and waved its arms about and began to walk toward Bernie! Peter's father was inside the snowman! He had put on some old clothes and Peter had covered him with snow, leaving just the face clear.
Poor Bernie didn't know what to do. Shocked and confused, he charged at the snowman with his sharp teeth bared. Peter's father only had time to utter a short "Aargh!" before Bernie's fangs ripped out his throat.
Blood stained the snow red as Peter and his mother ran into the house. You can be sure Peter never had any clever ideas after that!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why I don't want Obama's Universal healthcare

1.) I don't care that not everyone is covered by healthcare. Sorry, it's the truth.
2.) I don't want more government bureaucracy.
3.) I don't want more taxes.
4.) I don't give a crap how corrupt or 'evil' insurance companies are. It has never affected me. Even if it did, I would simply go to some other insurance company.


Now for the debatable stuff:

I truly believe that most people don't care that not everyone has healthcare. I think the current administration is simply doing it for votes. votes=power=money

I don't think the government will get it right this time (like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Post Office). They will run a bloated, inefficient program. Wasting even more taxpayer money.
That's fine an all (the inefficient programs they are running) BUT this will be dealing with people health and lives, not letters, and money.

If they pass it. I see a republican congress and Presidency next election. Not only will you have the fencers turning their backs on the democrats but you will probably see a lot of retribution from the insurance industry. I am guessing they are powerful and they have lots of money to play against the democrats.



Finally:

I have realised that my silver lining (or protection) from the future money grabbing of ANY party run government is my Jedi Cannon. I have already done (and lined up) $4,000 in charitable work that will go against my taxes. I will just keep doing this to it's maximum each year.

Doodad indeed.

More like power anti-government weapon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Walmart People


Ok, I have to plug this site:


Oh man, reminds me of home.

The site is a little slow, give it time to load, you won't be dissapointed.