Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reform Starts at the Top

For some reason the idea of our government providing the citizens with health-care became connected with communism. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have a system of nationalized health-care in place.

Our current Congress is trying to "reform" health-care.

This is a bad idea.

People who are in favor of nationalized health-care believe everyone should have access to relatively inexpensive (or free) health-care. People shouldn't have to worry about going bankrupt because of health issues.

Those against universal health-care think the government will probably screw up the system just like they do everything else. They're worried we'll lose our spirit of medical innovation and become bogged down in delays waiting for routine procedures. They're worried taxes will rise to pay for medical treatment. They're concerned they will have to pay for abortions, boob jobs, and lung-cancer treatment for smokers.

Maybe paying for boob jobs isn't so bad.

I'm here to dispel a few fears.

1. Health-care is already the most bureaucratic system in the country. Would government control really make it worse?

2. Health-care is already very expensive. Have you looked to see what your employer pays in premiums? Assuming you have employer provided health insurance.

3. The bureaucrats are already making decisions about providing care. Not everybody gets what they think they need.

4. There are vast inequities in the quality of care around the country. If you happen to live in a suburban area, you probably have access to good quality care and services. If you live in a rural area or inner-city, you're probably out of luck.

The problem with reforming health-care is that we're trusting Congress to do it.

Bad move.

I'm starting to think our system of government is much more effective at creating waste, obstructing, and pandering to special interests. Congress is elected by the people to represent their voice in Washington. Unfortunately the voice with the most money shouts the loudest. Democrats and Republicans are no different.

So Congress starts crafting a piece of legislation that is a mess. Every Congressman and Senator has to put their own little twist to the legislation. The result costs a lot of money and will never achieve its intended purpose.

If they really wanted to enact health-care reform they would enact legislation appointing a non-partisan blue ribbon committee containing various people in the health-care industry - Doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, economists, consumer advocates, academics, even a lawyer or two.

This committee would study various health-care systems from around the world. It would craft a plan containing the best aspects and present this plan to Congress. Congress would then have the opportunity to accept the plan or reject it. No changes.

If we could keep the 535 members of our legislative branch from getting their grimy fingers on our health-care, we might achieve something.

It's never going to happen.

Unfortunately, the nationalized health-care ship in this country probably sailed sometime in the Fifties. The system is too large and too entrenched to change.

Brains and Blood

Vampires and zombies are very popular in pop-culture these days. If you allow me to over-generalize, I'll break it down for you.

Vampires and zombies are both "undead". They are also contagious. The bite of a vampire turns a hapless human into a vampire and the same is true for the bite of a zombie.

The similarities end there.

Vampires are good-looking, romantic, brooding, highly intelligent, and possessed with superhuman strength. Chicks dig this kind of stuff.

Zombies are decayed, mindless, eating machines.

Teenage girls love vampires. Twilight and True Blood are immensely popular with the young ladies in our society. They love the idea of a handsome strong vampire sweeping them off their feet and blessing them with eternal youth.

I don't get it.

Teenage boys love zombies. There is no romance with zombies. It's just mindless killing (or unkilling). Boys love the idea of letting loose with a shotgun, shovel, or flamethrower. There are no flamethrowers in vampire movies.

I get zombies.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sure, It's the Coldest Winter in Years...

One of the great things about living in Southern California is that you can go to the snow.

Did you catch that?

Go to the snow.

Yes, it's true. I can get in my car in the winter time and drive an hour to the mountains and enjoy the snow. I never have to worry about the snow coming to me.

No shovelling sidewalks, no frozen pipes, no crushing heating bills, no salt crusted roads. It's kind of awesome.

Today, we got in the Jeep and drove to Big Bear to play in the snow. It's the last day of Christmas vacation for Tabitha and the kids so we thought it might be fun.

We went to an area called Magic Mountain where for an exchange of a few dollars, they allow you to sign your life away and ride an inner tube down a groomed snow covered hill. We packed all of our warm clothes but didn't need them because it was about fifty degrees.


It's not as steep as it looks.

What's Aidan doing with that snowball?


Run away.

An accidental self-portrait. Look how blue the sky is.

It looks like he's holding a tiny inner tube on his shoulder.

Abigail loved it.

Getting ready for a run.

What's going through that evil little mind.

The magic carpet ride.