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Retards, Hookers and Society September 30, 2009

Posted by Who? in News, Politics, religion.
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There have been a lot of stories in the news lately re: prostitution – Everett coffee stand bust, Lakewood coffee stand bust, etc.  The latest out of Lakewood troubles me though.  Seems that the girls are sharing trade secrets and playing a crafty entrapment card; ie “If you’re not a cop, touch my tra-la-la.   Article here.

And here is the troubling part, the Assistant PoChi is asking the Council for a new ordinance that would allow officers to arrest/cite women for prostitution/soliciting sex for asking that question.  This is a problem.  Generally it is not a sound policy to arrest, cite and try a citizen/hooker for a crime that they have not committed.   As much as it may be a prereq, the statement above is not soliciting sex for money.

One of my professors used to say that “hard cases make bad law” and this is a perfect example.  Should we keep pretending that arresting women for prostitution works?  Or should we reevaluate our strategy?

Furthermore…we need to back this train way back up…do we want cops requesting changes to laws?  In theory, citizens elect representatives to make those kinds of decisions for them.  Cops proposing laws is backwards.  They take an oath to uphold the law not to influence or create the law.  Now that I think about it, this issue is just as big, if not bigger, than the prostitution element.

I wonder if people will ever figure these kinds of issues out.  Prosti, weed, assisted-suicide…We should have the right to regulated choices as long as they don’t hurt other people.

You know what is really retarded about the current approach towards prostitution?  It creates a downward spiral and ultimately promotes it.  When a woman gets charged with or convicted of prostitution, that shows up on her record.  If she wanted to try to change her life and get a 9-5  job, she has to explain that.  Think about how hard it would be for a woman in that socio-economic position to overcome the shame and then explain that in an interview – I think there is a movie with Charlize Theron that plays out that scenario.  The current model pushes them to society’s margin where drugs, pimps, crime and violence reign supreme and hold them prisoner.  Citing women for prostitution does nothing to fix the underlying problem.

Legalize. Regulate. Tax.

I’m tired of ranting about retardation.

Update 10/7/09- The City Council passed the change with a 6-0 vote and acknowledged that they are in “uncharted territory”.  The article includes more of the details (they need circumstantial evidence as well) which is good but I’m still not sure how I feel about this.

The Obama Transition November 9, 2008

Posted by Who? in Election 2008, Politics, Random.
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Interesting article from Wired- “Bush Revelations Anticipated When Obama is Sworn In

This is one of those things where you want to know, but you don’t want to know.

Hemp, Pot & Hedge Funds October 23, 2008

Posted by Who? in Business, Health, Jobs, Lifestyle Design, Politics, Random.
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Yes, there is a difference.

Farewell Letter from Hedge Fund Manager Andrew Lahde

He pretty much sums it up- don’t really know what to add on this.  Amen?

“Capitalism is broken”.  Some might argue that our system was never working in the first place, but as of now it truly is broken.  Click here for an awesome book/eye-opening perspective- Economic Interp of the Constitution by Charles Beard (1913).  Funny that I’ve been kind of dancing around this conclusion for the last couple years.  It took someone else stating it for it to really come home.  The socio-economic system in this country is broken.  I hope that the $700B bailout package will be THE last straw.  It is the crown jewel of a system that is built upon the illusion of democracy and meritocracy.  We live in a country that is of, for and by the elite.

More on the true character of Palin October 7, 2008

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In case you weren’t convinced of the Palin M.O.- read this.

Calling Mrs.- I mean Mr. Palin’s snowmobiling HOBBY a business is ridiculous. Shows that is willing and able to play with legal fire. I wonder if the great State of Alaska footed the bill for the the attorney to file family tax return?
I just had an “oh shit moment”…is this what she means when she has “small business experience”?

I can’t wait for this to come out.

The Tragedy of Medicare Fraud: Opportunity Cost October 6, 2008

Posted by Who? in Business, Health, Politics, Random.
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Just came across a post in USA Today- “Rampant Medicare Fraud Suspected in Miami”. True to its government-run form, there seem to be some problems surfacing in certain Medicare paid services (Home Health Care) across the country; it seems to be particularly out of control in Florida.

“Miami-Dade County is on track to cost Medicare a projected $1.3 billion for home health care services this fiscal year, up 1,300% in just five years, government data show. Investigators suspect that fraud is helping to drive the increase because the population of Medicare beneficiaries in the county grew only 10.2% between 2004 and 2007, the latest government data show.”

This is so outrageous that you almost can’t help but laugh. How does 1300% growth go unchecked? How can the administration look at that and not say “Wait a minute- that seems a little high…”? Remember, that $1.3 billion is for Miami-Dade County ALONE. The financial waste of that county alone is staggering, but the real tragedy is the economic cost– the cost of wasted opportunity.

Let’s say that 25% of that $1,300,000,000 is the result of fraud- who knows what the actual number is but it’s safe to say that a large percentage of 1300% growth is the result of fraud. Twenty-five percent of $1.3B is 325 MILLION dollars. That is almost a 1/3 of a BILLION dollars flushed down the toilet in ONE YEAR. That is the real tragedy of federally administered health care.

Think of what an innovator could do with $325 million. Think of what an innovator could do with the interest alone on a principal balance of that size. And, again, keep in mind that this is the waste from one county and one tiny portion of the Medicare budget.

Opportunity of the Day: a private contracting firm that protects against fraud in Medicare services.

Eliminate the waste and put it in the hands of people that can create value through innovation.  It’s not rocket science.

HealthCare 2020 October 5, 2008

Posted by Who? in Business, Health, Lifestyle Design, Politics, Random, technology.
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What will healthcare look like in 2020?  2020? That’s way out in the future; we’ll probably have Jetson brand pill dispensers in our homes by then. But think about that for a second-that’s barely more than a decade away.  We might not have the pill dispensers, but one thing is for sure- things will be different. Step back 10 years- could you imagine a company not only caring about but paying for you to invest in your health?  Last fall, The Boeing Company encouraged employees to take a Health Risk Assessment and they offered a $50 gift certificate to all that participated.  Over 100,000 people partcipated.  This year, less than a month into the event, over 35,000 people have taken the Assessment and received almost $2 million in gift certificates. 

So let’s start there, healthcare is changing.  From the ways that we seek and consume info and services to the way that we view our role in partcipating in our health and paying for those services.  No matter the outcome on November 4th, 2008, things will be different.

Changing Consumption: Information and Services

The internet is changing the way consumers seek information and this includes health related info.  Three months ago I injured my wrist playing basketball.  You can guess what I did next, right?  I taped it up and finished playing- (It was a close game!!).  But—when I got home that night and my wrist completely locked up after I took the tape off, I got online and Googled something along the lines of “how to tell if your wrist is broken”.  Ended up on WebMD and later found myself at the ER.  That process is very interesting when you think about it and it represents one of the ways that healthcare has and will continue to change.  Without even realizing it, I did a prelimary examination.  I wanted to know if my wrist was broken.  Where do I go when I want information?  Google.  Medical information is no longer solely possessed and distributed by doctors and nurses AND the methods of distribution are changing.  Last week, Charlotte wrote about “telemedicine” in her post “Everything But Touch and Smell“. 

Changing Perspectives

People and even companies are changing the way that they participate in healthcare.  Boeing is just one example.  Not only have they talked the talk, but they have backed it up.  Big company or not, two-million dollars is a lot of money.  Think about that.  Attitudes are shifting from treating symptons and injuries towards wellness, lifestyle and prevention.  Not everyone is going to jump on the Wellness Bandwagon, but it will be a part of the paradigm shift.  The industry, operations and practices have to change; I spent 6 hours in the ER only to have a Physician’s Assistant refer me to my primary-care physician.  You can be sure that next time, that hospital won’t be getting my business.  And that is the key- healthcare is a business.  The table is set for innovators to come in and “wow” consumers with quality, value and efficiency.

How will we get wellness and medical information in 2020?  What will the doctor’s office, wellness center and hospital of the future look like?  Where will it be located?  How will it flow and operate?  Who will the cost-structure look like?  What the system will look like in the future is almost beside the point; the important part is that it will be different and, with the right ideas, better.

Who to Blame Video October 3, 2008

Posted by Who? in Business, Election 2008, Politics, Random.
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This video makes it look like Obama has some pretty ugly ties to the Mortgage Industry.
Decide for yourself.

The Biden Sigh: McCain Ad “Sighs and Lies” October 3, 2008

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First post-debate ad from the McCain camp.

I almost can’t believe that McCain is going to try to reach back and revive the negative power of the “Gore Sigh”.  Journal article here on the Gore Sigh.  I hate deceptive and manipulative tactics.  Thus, I hate modern politics.  I just sighed.

First off, it wasn’t a sigh.  It was an exhale through the nose that caught the mic.  I interpreted it as a human breathing deeply during a stressful situation- I don’t know what he even would have been sighing in response to.  Second, of all- c’mon.  You’ve got to be kidding me?  Tired, old tactics for a tired old candidate.

I want to meet the members on McCain’s team that formulate strategy and tactics.  I want to see who it is and what they are like in person.  This is exactly the kind of stuff that turned Ted Kacynzski into the UnaBomber.  It is deception and manipulation and this is for one of the most powerful elected positions in the world.

McCain Video October 3, 2008

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Just saw this over at My 2Bucks.

I don’t necessarily agree with the commentator, but I do like to see the raw footage. I’m beginning to notice big variations in “performances” from Palin and McCain; I’m sure everyone on the campaign trail varies from time to time (that sh*t has got to be grueling), but I’m talking about candidates looking completely different. For example, McCain comes across as lucid and real in the video- an impression I don’t often get/have never received from him. He was still spewing bullschwag ( “She is qualified”) but he came across very different.

In last night’s debate, Palin came across very different as well. Her performance last night demonstrates why she was chosen- that woman can speak, she is endearing (right word?) and she is attractive. What she is not however, is intelligent; she will not be able to handle difficult situations comprised of lots of gray area and tricky nuances.

I don’t have enough caffeinne in my bloodstream to come to any kind of point right now- see if I can come back later. I want to explore my feelings about the “If I say it, it’s true” tactic that politicians use- ie when McCain fundamentally disagrees with the reporter about Palin’s experience. Being adamant and ignoring reality doesn’t make it true…or does it? Also, what is with this “I respect you…” bullzhit?? Moral of the story: people confuse speaking with intelligence.

Also, did you hear when, in detailing her “experience”, McCain cited her involvement with the PTA. WOW! Qualified to be VP because she served on the PTA? It’s gettin deep around here. According to the McCain theory of experience, Paulson should just pack his stuff up now. I was ASB Treasurer. The fact that he would even cite that blows my mind.

VP Debate Drinking Game October 1, 2008

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I’m sure there are plenty of variations out there but just saw this over at Slander ’08.

Crazy to think that it feels like a lot of people are expecting a circus with the vice presidential debate.

Haven’t really thought about it too much, but I don’t really like Joe Biden: career politician, arrogant, refers to himself in the third-person. Maybe Obama has a different experience with the guy but it seems like he was picked to shore up two “weak” spots with Obama- experience at the national and foreign level.

Who knows? It’s so hard to get an accurate feel for someone when you only see clips and hear bytes. Regardless, my snap judgment is that I don’t like Biden. If it keeps McCain out of the White House, I don’t really care though; all is well that ends well.

Hopefully the debate goes well tomorrow night. By that I mean, I hope Palin continues to look like a retard AND, more importantly, Biden doesn’t come across as condescending. No one likes a smug Senator turning his nose up at the cute, small-town girl.

I wonder how people around the world feel about the possibility that the American people might vote someone like Palin into the Vice President’s office.