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Monday, November 11, 2013

Its basic economics

Oh the ignorance of a friendly facebook-shared article

President Obama is doing his best to stop insurance companies from taking advantage of the public by charging astronomical fees and finding any way possible to get out of their responsibility of covering their customers.

The fee’s are a natural response to the way the regulation has been set out in front of them for years. The new ACA regulation isn’t going to change that in the end.  Of course if you really wanted to fix prices, you just go all Venezuela on them.

and there is this bit on SNAP

Every dollar that was given to SNAP beneficiaries multiplies throughout communities.  A dollar spent at a local grocer, becomes an employee’s pay, which is spent on goods, that helps pay another employee’s salary, and so on.

Except you forgot to mention that the same dollar was taken from the local grocer in the first place. But its not $1.00, it’s a $1.50 because we need to pay for the people and infrastructure to run the SNAP program in the first place. So lets take that buck fifty, shave off the fifty and then feed it back into the economy.

And don’t get all “but I created a job with that fifty cents!” because you cant justify a government program because it creates jobs. It is inherently overhead. Let the grocer keep his fifty cents and put that directly into the economy where the would-be SNAP employee can get a job instead.

Republicans have the spine of a jellyfish.  They stand for absolutely nothing.  The only platform they seem to be able to get behind is their hatred of President Obama and all things Democratic

Wow. Just wow. Coming off of the “Its all Bush’s fault” era its hard to believe he can say that with a straight face.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Don’t arm people, let them arm themselves

We should arm …the teachers!
We should arm …the TSA agents!
There is a straw man argument that comes up every time someone mentions allowing citizens to protect themselves. That argument is something along the lines of “we shouldn’t require people of job XXX to carry handguns” because either we don’t trust them, or they don’t want to, or its expensive (guns polus training, etc.) or its just scary.
No one is saying that anyone should be forced to carry a weapon as part of their daily duties in order to “protect the children.” What they are saying is to just lift the restriction that prevents people from carrying a weapon. That’s a very important distinction. If you are not comfortable bearing that kind of responsibility, fine – we understand. If you don’t trust yourself with a gun, fine – we understand. But don’t project those self realizations onto others. For those who can take that burden on, let them.
Right now there are plenty of people who work in places that legally prohibited them from protecting themselves with the most effective tool for the job. If you just let them, you put the would be attackers on notice that they can no longer consider those places a safe haven to rampage during the time it takes for the local police to arrive.
Maybe then some of these murder/suicide plans just become suicide plans.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

“Hundreds of problems” means they have no idea how many

Yesterday in a Congressional hearing

Ms. Sebelius said officials had a list of “a couple of hundred functional fixes” that had to be made so the website,, would work smoothly for most users by Nov. 30, a deadline set by the administration.

This is likely utter nonsense. In software projects, especially large ones, one problem can easily mask others (and often does).

This is not a simple matter of having a list of all the known things that are wrong. Remember when the site first went online? People couldn’t register. Registration is required for everything else. That means they couldn’t even begin to figure out what else might be wrong until people started registering successfully. Now we are starting to see as they get that first part fixed.

As soon as we heard that they weren’t beginning to test things until it was way to late, I knew this was going to be a giant fiasco. Large government project? Check. Large complicated software project? Check? Doing testing all along? uh… wait… awwww crap!

This is very much a scenario of the “unknown unknowns”. We still have no idea how far down this rabbit hole goes.

If you tell me there are a handful of problems, I might believe you. If you tell me there are hundreds, you just admitted that you have no idea what is going on.