Our health system is barbaric

This is tragic. The fact that we’re still arguing over whether or not our society should watch out for the collective health of everyone is barbaric.

On Feb. 8, she was a healthy 32-year-old, who was seven and a half months pregnant with her first baby. On Feb. 9, she was a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down by a car accident that damaged her spine. Miraculously, the baby, born by emergency C-section, is healthy.

Were the Obama health care reforms already in place, my brother and sister-in-law’s situation — insurance-wise and financially — would be far less dire. My brother’s small employer — he is the manager of a metal-fabrication shop — does not offer health insurance, which was too expensive for them to buy on their own.

The Barbaric Health Care Debate

Jonathan Chait writes about the “barbarism of the health-care repeal crusade.” Frankly, he nails it. Emphasis mine.

To me, and essentially everybody on the liberal side, the answer to that question is obvious. I’m comfortable with the market creating vastly unequal rewards of many kinds. But to make health insurance an earned privilege is to condemn people to physical suffering or even death because they failed to secure a job that gives them health insurance, or they don’t earn enough, or they happened to contract an expensive illness, or a member of their family did.

[via New York Magazine]

Stop SOPA

I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/4757/uncensor

As ███████ who █████ for a ███████ ████ ██████, ████, and ████████ the ████████ and its ███████ ████████, it is █████ ████ we ████ ████. ████ ████████ ██████████ of the ████████.

████ me in ██████████ ████ ███████████████ and ███████ ████ ████ we won’t █████ for ████.

Uncensor This

Presidential nicknames

It seems like every President ends up with a nickname, that rightly or wrongly, sums up their legacy.

Reagan was “The Great Communicator,” Nixon was “Tricky Dick,” Theodore Roosevelt was “The Trust Buster” (among many others), and even George W. Bush was mockingly named “The Decider.”

Wikipedia has a more in depth list as well.

With the way President Obama has been handling things, I think he’s earned himself a new nickname.

The Great Capitulator

Heh.

Interesting tidbits from Wikileaks

The Wikileaks controversy has been pretty horrifying to watch play out, at least with regard to various organizations and companies such as PayPal, Amazon, Mastercard, and EveryDNS denying or revoking their access to services.

In case you were wondering, Wikileaks is actually a good thing. Here is a site that lists various reasons why. Of course, by even mentioning Wikileaks, one might jeopardize their chances of ever working for the U.S. State Department.

Interested in some of the more juicy or amusing tidbits from Wikileaks? Check out Cablegate Roulette!

FROM: PARIS, FRANCE
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: SEPTEMBER 06, 2006
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL
SEE FULL CABLE

An Unforgettable Scene

¶6. (C) As the Ambassador was about to leave, Sarkozy went to the line of floor-to-ceiling windows that open from the interior minister’s office to the gardens of the interior ministry, and called over his nine-year old son, Louis, who was playing on the lawn (Sarkozy lives with his family in apartments above his office). Sarkozy was clearly happy — and proud — to be in the company of his young son and seemed tickled to be able to introduce him to “the Ambassador of the United States.” Louis appeared at the threshold with a small dog at his feet and a large rabbit in his arms. To shake hands with the Ambassador, Louis put down the rabbit — and the dog started chasing the rabbit through Sarkozy’s office, which led to the unforgettable sight of Sarkozy, bent over, chasing the dog through the ante-room to his office as the dog chased the rabbit, and Louis filled the room with gleeful laughter.

(Emphasis mine)

Predictions for America’s Future

Happy Tuesday mourning morning!

If only 15 years remain, the odds of frittering them all away still remain high. Congress and the president are now in gridlock; the American system is flooded with corporate money meant to jam up the works; and there is little suggestion that any issues of significance, including our wars, our bloated national security state, our starved education system, and our antiquated energy supplies, will be addressed with sufficient seriousness to assure the sort of soft landing that might maximize our country’s role and prosperity in a changing world.

TSA Checkpoint Sign

tsa-sign.jpg

Oleg Volk created this TSA checkpoint sign in 2008, which is now getting attention due to recent abuses by the organization.

Interestingly enough, the social location service Loopt is offering 10 iPod touches to people who check in to an airport using the app on November 24th, and tweet about being pat down by the TSA.

As a slight gift to opt-outers out there, Loopt is giving away 10 iPod Touches for TSA touching. Just check into your airport on Loopt* on Wednesday, November 24 (with iPhone, iPod Touch or Android), share a bit about your experience, push it to Twitter with the hashtag #touchedbyTSA, and you can win an iPod Touch. That simple.

Another TSA problem? Data collection

Another problem with the TSA? Lack of data collection. A former assistant police chief writes on the potential for passive discrimination, due to the TSA’s lack of data collection:

Over the last fifteen years or so, many police agencies started capturing data on police interactions. The primary purpose was to document what had historically been undocumented: informal street contacts. By capturing specific data, we were able to ask ourselves tough questions about potentially biased-policing. Many agencies are still struggling with the answers to those questions.

Regardless, the data permitted us to detect problematic patterns, commonly referred to as passive discrimination. This is a type of discrimination that occurs when we are not aware of how our own biases affect our decisions. This kind of bias must be called to our attention, and there must be accountability to correct it.

One of the most troubling observations I made, at both Albany and BWI, was that — aside from the likely notation in a log (that no one will ever look at) — there was no information captured and I was asked no questions, aside from whether or not I wanted to change my mind.

Given that TSA interacts with tens if not hundreds of millions of travelers each year, it is incredible to me that we, the stewards of homeland security, have failed to insist that data capturing and analysis should occur in a manner similar to what local police agencies have been doing for many years.

[via Mr. Alan Cooper on Twitter]

It’s a two for one deal…

Sarah Palin works her magic… by endorsing a candidate from the wrong state. Oops!

Pennsylvania voters can’t afford cap and trade legislation, says Sarah Palin. And that’s why they need to send Republican John Raese to the Senate.

Except that John Raese is the Republican nominee in West Virginia.

Obviously, that’s just the liberal elitist mainstream media trying to give her a “gotcha” moment. You betcha’!

Coupled with this gem from earlier this morning, the Tea Party is on a roll lately!

I love election season.