Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blog # 103: Health Care, Nessi, Gates' Hurricane Busting

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy:

(February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) – image from

Is real healthcare reform going to follow Senator Ted Kennedy to the grave? That was the question of the day on the Wednesday following the Senator’s passing. It certainly is a piece of legislation we can identify with Senator Kennedy. Of course, the screeching voices which echo the desires of the Health Insurance Industry, all of which are making “killer profits” on the backs of their payees as they scream, “NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO!” to any kind of change.

The industry has indicated in no uncertain terms that it will fight any government option tooth and nail. Likewise any attempt on the part of the government to regulate the free wheeling Health Care industry. It is true that their prices are rising at many times the rate of inflation, and their tendency to avoid payments for their members health care by claiming “pre-existing condition” or some other excuse to avoid having to dish out what their payees have paid in, is a pretty bald face statement as to their particular definition of the word care. But by god they make a profit, and a DAMNED GOOD PROFIT it is, and they’ll fight hand over throat to keep their money tree in full bloom.

To a man or woman, Republicans seem intent on saying “nay” despite having offered amendments to several versions of the legislation. They see a parallel to 1993, when they opposed President Clinton, and were able to not only defeat Clinton’s attempt at Health Care Reform but were actually able to regain their majority in the Congress the following year. Our beloved and only slightly demented Senator DeMint gave away that strategy early on, and they and the Insurance Industry have sent meeting busters to Town Hall Meetings throughout the country ever since to make sure that Democratic members of Congress have no chance to explain their legislation to curb the industries excesses and invoke real competition into the mix.

Note the Industry’s (and the Republican’s) claim that a public option will “kill” the private sector. For heaven’s sake, see that statement for what it is really saying: that the private sector (as is presently operated) cannot compete with a government run, not-for-profit model. Translate that to mean a public option will force the private sector to both cover everybody and deliver what they promise, or go belly up and let the public option take care of their customers. Dim out the paid screamers for a minute and ask yourself one question, in the care of you and your family what is more important? The profits of the company that offers your policy, or the funding of care for you and your family? Who in their right mind would not support real care with a government option over the current status of pay in, and get booted out when you get sick health care?

However the private sector has a lot of green with which to grease the palms of their Republican and Blue Dog supporters. And their strategy is going to work, and Health Care will become impotent if not completely DOA, unless President Obama returns forthwith to lead his party through the perilous swamp of Health Care Reform. Of course, the Dems have lost Senator Kennedy’s vote, an important vote in the Senate, one which evidently is not likely to be replaced in time for HCR to be up for a Senate vote. And Barrack Obama is no Willy Loman, he’s an intellectual rather than a salesman. However, if real reform is going to pass, and the Democrats are to hang on to their majority in 2010 and the Presidency in 2012, then a salesman he must become.

You can do it, Mister President. You should wrap yourself in the cloak of the Health Care initiative of the late Senator Kennedy. Name the bill the Ted Kennedy Initiative for Constructive Health Care Reform, or some such high sounding nomenclature, and go back on the road to continue selling it. But most importantly, get that cadre of internet supporters that got you elected in the first place back on the job. After all, those youngsters are going to be the big winners under any kind of real Health Care Reform, so let them Facebook their support to the world and Twitter and Tweet the way to Health Care for all, and if they can do that and get active in supporting Democratic Town Hall Meetings where the legislation is being explained, then HCR will return to where it belongs, back in the ranks of the doable, back into the realm of the possible.

The opposition to Real Reform was keynoted by our very special favorite Democratic turncoat, Senator Joseph Lieberman. Dear Joe in purring tones, and with that condescending smile plastered all over his face, tells us, “there’s no hurry about Health Care Reform. Do it in tiny bits at a time.” That’s what he suggested on one of last Sunday’s TV programs, echoing the Insurance Companies lobby’s agenda line for line.

Absolutely there’s no hurry if you are America’s Health Care Industry, or you are being funded by them. A nice long delay will guarantee putting those lovely, do-nothing-for-anybody-except-the-very-rich Republicans right back in power, for, just as the Republicans have been ranting, it will become obvious to both Democrat and Independent voter alike that even with their impressive majority, the Dems cannot pull together long enough to do anything difficult like Health Care Reform. It need not end in defeat, however. There is time, although whether or not there’s the will is still open to question. I guess, as usual, only time will tell.

Postscript: Watching the memorial service for Senator Kennedy last night was a moving experience. But seeing John Kerry was troubling. It was a reminder of how Republicans were able to win re-election for George W. Bush by casting a real Vietnam war hero as a fraud, meanwhile electing a slacker who managed to dodge the Vietnam War, and was even AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard for a time. And considering that Bush was elected not by the people but by Supreme Court fiat in the first place, and this so-called conservative managed to outspend the total of every president that preceded him just makes the irony of the fraud that more compelling. And it is those forces which elected Bush and kept him in power which are behind the efforts to kill Health Care for all. The weapon which propels Republicans is fear. It is so easy for us to forget Franklin Roosevelt’s prophetic warning, “the only thing we have to fear is fear, itself.”

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Put This in Your Pipe and Smoke It!

If Google Earth’s Cameras in Space Captured Nessi – Does that Finally Mean that it’s Real?

From our “I’ll be goddamned department,” Sun reader Jason Cooke spotted "Nessie" while browsing Google Earth’s satellite photos. A security guard by occupation, Jason, 25, of Nottingham, said: "I couldn't believe it. It's just like the descriptions of Nessie." The complete Sun story may be found here!

Researcher Adrian Shine, of the Loch Ness Project, said: "This is really intriguing. It needs further study." Of course sightings of Nessi, pet name for the Loch Ness Monster, have been claimed for centuries. However Google Earth’s camera seems to have recorded the first satellite sighting of the monster.

You can see the object for yourself. Just open Google Earth and enter co-ordinates Latitude 57°12'52.13"N, Longitude 4°34'14.16"W. Below is the ancient sea dinosaur that the Google photo seems to resemble

The long extinct Plesiosaur is the prehistoric monster that most resembles the image captured from space. – images from The Sun

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Steve Jobs Quote of the Week

You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
Steve Jobs

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Bill Gates Chases the Big One!

Bill Gates, Scientists, Patent Plan to Tame Hurricanes

(CNN) -- Hurricane experts are throwing cold water on an idea backed by billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates aimed at controlling the weather. Hurricanes are fueled by warm water, and cooling the waters surrounding a storm would slow a storm's momentum.

According to the patents, many tub-like barges would be placed directly in the path of an oncoming storm. Each barge would have two conduits, each 500 feet long.

One conduit would push the warm water from the ocean's surface down. The other would bring up cold water where it lies deep undersea.

World renowned hurricane expert William Gray, who's been studying and predicting the storms for a half-century, doubts whether the proposal would work. Even if the technology does work, Gray said it won't completely halt a hurricane. "There is no way to stop it. The storm might weaken in the center, but the outer areas wouldn't be affected much." And flooding and storm surges are determined by these outer winds, Gray said.

Cold water that churns up during a storm slows down a hurricane naturally. But the coldest water is usually at the rear of the storm, so sometimes it's too late to weaken [the storm], Emanuel said.

The patents, which were only made public last month by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, were filed in January by Searete LLC. The company is a subsidiary of Intellectual Ventures, an invention firm run by Microsoft's former chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

Jimmy Kimmel Reveals the Real Secret of the Gates, Hurricane Buster Patent

So there you have it. The secret is out. Most of us weren’t aware of the fact that Bill Gates had left Microsoft to bring his notable expertise to, among other things, the control of one of mother nature’s fiercest players, the tropical hurricane. But it’s true, and it took Jimmie Kimmel’s inquiring mind to smoke out the real technique behind the patent. I should think you should be very impressed with the ingenuity the formerly richest American brings to his new task. I mean, all of us Mac heads always knew that the Windows OS must be good for something. We just never knew for what.

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Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press

Thanks to Lou Dobbs I finally liberated myself from CNN after Wolf by switching channels to msnbc. I find Chris Matthews a bit grating but not near as grating as Lou Dobbs, Same goes for Keith Olbermann, who follows at 7 (CDT). But at 8 o’clock comes a really refreshing hour with Rachel Maddow, she also of Air America radio as well as msnbc. On hulu we found an interview with Rachel by David Gregory on Meet the Press, which, if you have not yet run across her, will serve as an excellent introduction to Ms Maddow.

And Now For Something Completely Different

My computer’s Dictionary defines the word erotic as follows:

erotic |iˈrätik| adjective of, relating to, or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.

DERIVATIVES erotically |-ik(ə)lē| adverb

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French érotique, from Greek erōtikos, from erōs, erōt- ‘sexual love.’

And from the Thesaurus come the synonyms:

erotic adjective

erotic literature sexy, sexually arousing, sexually stimulating, titillating, suggestive; pornographic, sexually explicit, lewd, smutty, hard-core, soft-core, dirty, racy, risqué, ribald, naughty; sexual, sensual, amatory; seductive, alluring, tantalizing; informal blue, X-rated, steamy, raunchy, bootylicious; euphemistic adult.

How about you? What do you find erotic? How about two robotic heads kissing? It’s a pretty strange sight, seeing these two pieces of artificial intelligence whose heads rise up from behind piles of the stuff from which they are made, each groping for the other’s tonsils. But, damn it, to me this is erotic. And it makes you wonder, do they kiss using their tongues? Do they even have tongues? Click on the triangle below and decide for yourself.

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And there you have this week’s Little Eddy Blog. We tempered our sadness at the loss of that liberal Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, by celebrating the return to her family of kidnap victim, Jaycee Dugard, even though it seems like criminal negligence on the part of law enforcement that they were not able to discover her ordeal for 18 years, even though her captor was a registered sex offender and was arrested and served time during her ordeal. My friends, it is one weird world we live in, even if some things do work out eventually. It just doesn’t seem worth it to get up some mornings.

However, our Cusinart brewer-grinder helps us start each day right, and so we dive back in the swim every morning. Check back next week to see what we have ferreted out. Bye, now.

The Real Little Eddy

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