Category: Government

November 30, 2016

Having health care is not a milestone

by admin — Categories: Economics, Government, Politics, Wising up — Tags: Comments Off on Having health care is not a milestone

I signed up for Apple Care, our state’s health care exchange. Until  now I’ve paid for my health care out of pocket and that has worked wonderfully well for me. I’d like to continue to do that and have a high deductible policy that covered me in case of disaster but that’s not available to us here.

So, let me tell you what shopping for health care was like.

I have five plans available to me.   Five.  That’s it, just five.  Only two of those plans cover the clinic where my primary care giver practices. None of the plans cover my local hospital.

Community Health Plan of Washington rates two stars on Yelp.  Ugh.  They also don’t have my provider’s clinic in their network.  Oh joy.

Molina Health Care of Washington has complaints filed with BBB that reflect the same lack of customer service and support I’m seeing in reviews on Yelp.  They say they cover my provider but give the number of comments I see that say they said this or that but it wasn’t true am I expected to believe them?  Yeah, not happening.

Amerigroup Washington Inc has BBB complaints and they aren’t pretty . . . and they don’t cover my provider clinic, and this site (health care review) has ugly reviews as well.

Coordinated Care of Washington has mixed (mostly bad) reviews, seven BBB complaints and doesn’t cover my provider.

United Health Care has horrible reviews though they say they have my provider clinic in their network.

By the time I’ve done all my research I am exhausted and depressed and my coverage hasn’t started yet.

So my question to you is . . . mandating everyone have health care isn’t a milestone of progress. It has resulted in a quagmire of incompetence and inefficiency. Next time you have to do anything with your health care coverage and run into a coverage or payment problem exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act and you reach the point where you realize it’s neither affordable nor does it provide care, please remember the government can do NOTHING better than the free market.

 

September 1, 2015

Why government will fail

by admin — Categories: Feeding the Soul, Government, Politics, Social networking, Wising upComments Off on Why government will fail

Obama’s press secretary is on record saying Congress is afraid of the NRA.  Silliness.  It’s we’re the government and we’re here to help trying to sway public opinion and walk on our freedoms.

It’s time we began recognizing and decrying this for what it is. It isn’t “control the masses”, though it could be. It isn’t “we have to take care of you, we’re the government”, though it could be. It’s an innate and basic failure to understand human nature.

We, as humans, are going to kill each other. If we don’t have guns we’ll use knives (don’t believe me, look at England). If knives are taken away, we’ll use sticks. If we don’t have sticks, rocks will do just fine. It isn’t the instrument used, it’s human nature.

The “we’re the government and we’re here to take care of you” crowd is trying to swim against the stream of human nature. It doesn’t matter how many times in whatever way they try it, it will fail and in the process it will reduce our freedoms and make our country weaker. Until we get to the root of that, we cannot change government.

One of the very best examples of human nature at work is welfare. Welfare was supposed to help. President Roosevelt (we’re the government and we’re here to help), with the aid of human nature, created a whole society of people dependent on the government. We as a nation are weaker as a result. Instead of poor houses and orphanages run by communities we have people living high on the public dime or stuck in a ditch from which they cannot climb. Welfare, the great disabler is at play thanks to the government and we as a nation are in debt as a result.

So, let’s not look to the government to make good decisions for us. They are blind to human nature and fail to take into account how human nature will play out when they enact something sweeping. If they should succeed in removing guns, they will make us as a society much weaker and less free, unable to defend ourselves from those who fail to respect the law. England and Australia may have a reduction in gun crime but they have an even greater rise in every other kind of crime. Human nature is, after all, human nature.

August 26, 2015

Everything Old is New Again

by admin — Categories: Feeding the Soul, Government, Politics, Religion, Wising upComments Off on Everything Old is New Again

There was a time in human history when communities were rounded up, imprisoned, dissected, murdered, starved and harvested, and the surrounding population turned a blind eye.  This complicity was national and the debasement of a whole sect of people was rationalized because they were considered sub-human.  A nation bought into this abuse because it was in their own best interest with gains in market share, land, property, esteem, power and wealth.

While 1940’s Germany’s treatment of the Jews may come to mind, this has happened in America, China, North Korea, Japan, the Middle East and Russia.  This depraved treatment of our fellow man has been justified on racial, religious and ethnic grounds.

Today we have the very same mental processes at work with abortion and the unborn.  Those advocating for abortion and support of Planned Parenthood have chosen to believe that human babies aren’t worth consideration.  They are considered sub-human and word-play is used to title them as such. We are being sold a bill of goods, that abortion is for the good of mankind.

As a population we are slowly starting to wake up.  Abortion is an act of personal selfishness which demeans human life.  To devalue one diminishes all.  To profit from this debasement is the new depravity.  Everything old is new again.

July 5, 2014

And then they came for me

by admin — Categories: Feeding the Soul, Government, Wising upComments Off on And then they came for me

On Facebook this morning was a post about a woman with brain cancer who got caught up in the whole Obamacare mess, lost her coverage and in the mess that ensued, died from lack of treatment.  There have been a number of things on Facebook lately that flipped my switch, this was just one.  Thus this post . . .

A system, administration, party or individual which puts the collective over the individual will never be bothered about a few cracked eggs. You see this in the avocation of abortion and in the promotion of systems that cause harm to individuals in a quest to caretake the masses.

When we lose our INDIVIDUAL liberty, we lose the ability to care for ourselves. We lose the ability to make decisions that are in our own best interest. We give up that right when we fail to fight to the last breath a system that decides what is best for us.

If we sit back and allow ourselves to be taken care of, what happened to this woman is a natural extension. Remember the poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you continue to allow the government to get bigger and bigger, to further reduce out freedoms and rights, it’s on YOU when they come for your rights and freedoms. Get a grip, people

December 18, 2012

Rephrasing the argument

by Nori — Categories: Economics, Government, Taxing the American Public, Wising upComments Off on Rephrasing the argument

This morning the Tea Party’s Facebook feed has another “bad Obama” posting.  Various conservative groups run this sort of thing almost weekly.  The latest is a repeat of how “bad” Obama is because he vacations in Hawaii and he’s off to do it again soon and it costs $4 million and “ew, isn’t that horrible”.  It reads like something you’d find in a sensationalist rag right below the newest bat boy sighting; rhetoric that attracts lemmings and does nothing to change minds.

I listened to a CATO podcast last week entitled “Be Charitable to Your Opponents’ Views” and it changed the way I argue about things like this. It’s my hope that all who listen get as much out of it as I did.  It made such a huge impact in the way I think I’ve left it in my RSS feed to listen to again.

This latest Tea Party posting is an excellent example of how we (fiscal conservatives) are phrasing arguments without insight or intelligence.  Instead of arguing on an emotional level, we need to make reasoned arguments on why we see the philosophy behind the behavior is misguided.  We need to make the opportunity (and argument) to change minds instead of just collecting nods from those who already agree with how we feel.

Here’s the cut to the chase piece on this “Obama wasting tax payer money on vacation” rhetoric.  Before we can hope to make a reasoned argument about it, we must understand how Obama thinks.  He believes in wealth redistribution and Keynesian principals of stimulus. When we start with that premise, we understand he thinks he’s doing a good thing, stimulating the economy.  By shortsightedly couching the argument as “Bad Obama”, we’re spouting unconvincing conservative rhetoric.  People who don’t think the way we do immediately stop listening and we’ve lost the argument.

So, the conversation needs to be rephrased. We need to make the reasoned Hayek versus Keynes argument.  We need to educate.  We need to explain why spending of tax payer money on vacations (or most everything else the government does) is based on proven flawed reasoning and the result is a reduced economy.

We’re failing because we’re voicing the message ineffectively. We need to argue the principles behind the philosophy and why they’re wrong.  We need to shy away from the bat boy sighting rhetoric.

July 31, 2012

Milton Friedman’s 100th

by Nori — Categories: Economics, Government, Politics, Taxing the American Public, Wising upComments Off on Milton Friedman’s 100th

Today is Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday.  There are few people for whom I have as much respect, nor any I laud more frequently.  In celebration of his birthday, I’d like to extend this idea.

What if, in the process of writing new legislation, a short treatise was required that referenced all the prior related legislation, what it was intended to do, where it failed or wasn’t being enforced and how the new legislation was going to fix the problem the previous legislation was unable to.

If we forced our legislators to look at the big picture, maybe we could get some to grasp reality and stop pushing out new legislation like so many deformed babies.  Over-regulation is killing our business, our country and our freedom.

Milton Friedman said “The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”  Wise words from a very wise man.

July 13, 2012

The Supreme Court and Obamatax

by Nori — Categories: Government, Politics, Wising upComments Off on The Supreme Court and Obamatax

Since the Obamatax decision came down from the Supreme Court, it’s been fascinating to listen to/read different people’s take on what the decision means, both short term and long. Of all the bits I’ve heard and read, I have found the perceptions of Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center to be particularly interesting.

Barnett is a libertarian, the author of nine books and over 100 articles. He regularly publishes opinion pieces in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal. His Reason interview is going to be on my favorites list for a while. I’ve listened to it three times so far and will probably listen to it a couple more times before I move on. At almost 33 minutes, it’s a bit long, but it truly is fascinating listening. Barnett covers the Obamatax decision, how the Supreme Court effects our freedoms, interpretation of the Constitution and the move toward originalism.

At the end of the interview Damon Root mentions Barnett’s website and writings on the Volokh Conspiracy website. Barnett’s annotated Declaration of Independence on Volokh is both illuminating and educational.

This is part of our advanced citizenship, to understand what is happening, the impact it will have on us and how we can work toward restoring our Constitution and Bill or Rights.

June 28, 2012

Dashed expectations

by Nori — Categories: Government, Politics, Social networking, Wising upComments Off on Dashed expectations
ken n 1: range of what one can know or understand; “beyond my ken” [syn: cognizance] 2: the range of vision; “out of sight of land” [syn: sight]

For some reason beyond my current ken, I expected more from SCOTUS today on their ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Healthcare act.  To say I’m disappointed is vastly understating my current state of mind.

I, as a common and lowly citizen (the non-military equivalent of the impecunious subaltern), expected a greater level of intelligence and economic/free market savvy from SCOTUS.  I think, for those of us displeased with the ruling, while slow in accepting that the supreme court is imminently fallible, find this as additional impetus to do more to get our government pared back to within the confines of the constitution.

It seems the Tea Party and supporters of Ron Paul increasingly feel the same way, tired of status quo politics, fed up with broken campaign promises and dedicated to a mission to replace those politicians who are unable to see and hold the line on big government.  November’s coming and it’s going to be interesting.

June 16, 2012

Favorite news sources

by Nori — Categories: Economics, Energy, Feeding the Soul, Government, Politics, Social networking, Taxing the American Public, Wising upComments Off on Favorite news sources

In my RSS feed (I use Bloglines as I’m still boycotting Google) I have over 30 hard and soft news sources.  I can get away with having this many because most don’t produce a lot of data daily.  For example, one of my favorite singers, Diana Krall, adds concert dates every couple months.  I subscribe so I know when she’ll be coming to our area.  The rest of the time the feed is empty.  Others, like Breitbart News, Daily Caller and Reason TV and Magazine, put out dozens of news items a day but I don’t read them all.  Many news feeds are all reporting on the same thing.  Much of it I can mark as read and move on.  Many of the sites are aggregate news sources (pulling news from other sites) which makes them a feed inside a feed.  I keep them on the list so I can get the newest news and follow the progress as the story develops or changes.  I get more of the big picture and I prune away any feed that can’t consistently report accurately.  I don’t have time for someone’s speculation.  That’s not news, that’s bias.

Here are some of my longest read feeds:

  • Cato Daily Podcast (my most favored feed)
  • Wall Street Journal (podcast, twice daily tech news briefing)
  • Cato (not prolific but interesting and educational informed commentary)
  • Libertarian News (rss for their US news aggregate only – see websites for other available feeds)
  • Breitbart News (a real hit and miss as much of this is a repeat if other news sources.  They chop one short video interview into multiple sound bite “stories” which is pretty irritating and some of their reporters can’t spell or use a dictionary (anyways not a word, and sherriff has only one r).  Despite that, Breitbart still rates highly with me as a news source.  They are also a member of the New Media.)
  • Reason TV/Magazine (libertarian commentary, some of it very good, some of it imminently skip-worthy)
  • Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (not prolific but thought provoking)
  • Downsizing the Federal Government (reporting on unconstitutional action/legislation, waste, fraud.  The feed is not prolific but usually interesting)
  • Daily Caller (fairly comprehensive, includes in-house reporting)
  • The Washington Independent (Fed Gov’t news, mostly in-house reporting)
  • Spokesman (reporting on Washington State legislators and legislation)
  • Supreme Court of Washington (WA State SC)
  • Public Sector (highlighting Public Sector Union waste/fraud/mismanagement and general self-serving duplicity/stupidity)
  • Freedom Foundation (small government commentary/news)
  • Liberty Live
  • Ron Paul 2012 (the philosophy, the rallies, the videos, the supporters)
  • CNS News (about a dozen items a day, mostly a repeat of other sources.  I’ll eventually prune this feed as it’s mostly a skip/mark as read.)

I also have a couple websites I visit daily.  After the top two, the rest on the list are for a slow news day or if I need a different slant on something breaking.

  • Townhall Cartoons (good political cartoons from a conservative viewpoint – weekdays only)
  • Drudge Report (news aggregate. Drudge was the seed for the New Media with the breaking of the Lewinsky story.  Epic.)
  • Libertarian News (a dot org with comprehensive news – includes categories for Sci/Tech (good comprehensive coverage), national news (CNN, Fox, BBC, Reuters, AP and Al Jazeera) world news (same list of sources) and tabloid headlines (the total superficial including Yahoo and The Daily Mail from Britain)
  • Newsmax Breaking News (conservative news, usually fairly stodgy)
  • Olympia Watch (Washington State political)
  • National Journal

Add to that a couple inspirational sites like Daily Good and Gimundo, a couple DIY sites (Make and One Project Closer) and one health specific (Celiac.com) and I’ve got a pretty well rounded source for news every day.  I just have to stay aware that much of what I read is someone’s personal, and occasionally not very learned, opinion.  And I have the Daily Mail tabloid news when I need to check on fashion and the slow motion train wreck of celeb’s lives on slow news days.  How could I possibly get through life without knowing which celebs have saggy knees!  <rolls eyes>  For the real girly, I check out shoepr0n on Tumbler where the only topic is fashion footwear.  With all that, who needs TV news?

Once you start an RSS feed you’ll find you do a lot of feed pruning until you’ve developed a comfortable volume with an array of content.  As you use the feed, you’ll get a feel for what is slanted by the author or site’s inclination to disaster-monger and you will find yourself weeding out the worst until you have a fairly reliable source for ALL the news.  Your perception will change when you are no longer restricted to just what the main stream media feels you should know.

June 16, 2012

Where the news is

by Nori — Categories: Feeding the Soul, Government, Politics, Social networkingComments Off on Where the news is

Over the last six months the way I get my news has changed.  I used to be a devotee of Fox, but the cancellation of Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch was the end of a slow change.

Napolitano’s show was the one I would watch faithfully.  Fox’s cancellation signaled a shift by Fox toward a more main stream media ideology.  In hindsight, I think Napolitano’s advocating for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson and his highlighting of corruption in government and the failure of our legislators to stay within the parameters of the Constitution and Bill of Rights factored into the show’s fate.  Napolitano spoke the unvarnished truth, something not very palatable for those with a big government preference or belief in the GOP’s status quo.

I announce my disaffection with Fox like it was a drop dead moment and it wasn’t.  Shep Smith’s broadcasts where slowly turning more socialist and pro government and when he came back after his illness/diagnosis, his broadcasts were increasingly angry, bitter and more slanted.  The news is grim enough without the festering overtones of an angry broadcaster and my life is stressful enough without adding to the burden.  So I stopped watching Shep.  That left me with Cavuto and Napolitano and, if I could find something to fill the time, Brett Baier.  When Napolitano’s show was cancelled, there was an awkward pause between the other shows I watched.  It didn’t take long before I stopped watching Fox regularly.  It no longer had the draw for me without Napolitano’s show in the lineup.  That was the piece that caused me to watch the other two if I had time.  Without the Napolitano draw, the Cavuto/Baeir bookends didn’t have enough appeal on their own to draw me to the TV.  Before long I stopped watching Fox altogether.  As Fox was the best of a bad lot, I wasn’t filling the gap with any of the other networks as what they presented was even more biased/slanted/filtered.  I was temporarily news-less.

So, where am I getting my news?  The same place others with internet access do, via a tailored RSS feed, news aggregate websites and the New Media.  I have a folder on my tool bar for Daily News.

Now that I get my news from many sources instead of one, I’m finding the news I’m getting is more fully rounded.  I’m also getting much of it three days faster.  Wadly will tell me about a story he saw on Fox and I’ll tell him I read it or saw a video on it three days before.   That tells me there’s a three day delay before Fox shares the story with its audience.  It occurred to me the days long delay is just long enough to make any viewing audience action moot.  By then, the story’s pretty much cold.  With a three day delay, how much effect would anything you do or say have?  In most cases, not much.

When you add to that all the news the main stream media doesn’t cover, stories big and small . . . all the Ron Paul rallies, the delegate fights, the stuff going on with climate change, the failure of wind farming, the crashing of the Euro, all the big and small Tea Party activities and the growing libertarian movement in young and old . . . it didn’t take long for me to understand the media was censoring what it wanted its audience to know.  And with the development of New Media, that’s becoming more and more apparent.  If you’re getting your news from the main stream media, have you even heard of New Media?  Do you know what it is and how it came about?  That, in itself, is pretty telling.

So if you’re relying on television news for your updates, you need to be aware your news is arriving late and is being filtered through the lens of the network.  Rather than support my case by giving you examples, I challenge you to spend a week comparing internet news to main stream media news.

And the beauty of getting the news over the internet is the flexibility with which it can be accessed.  I’m no longer stuck in front of the TV at a certain hour of the day to make sure I get my news.  On the internet, it’s there 24/7 and in much more detail, with many more viewpoints and opinions.  I can absorb as much of it as I have time/inclination.

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