We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, February 10. 2011
Dylan to share Grammy stage with Mumford, Avett Brothers
Does an academic dare come out of the (political) closet?
They shouldn't hide their real identities. But if they are all weenies, they could always play the victim card and scream "McCarthyism."
The Weather Isn't Getting Weirder - The latest research belies the idea that storms are getting more extreme.
It's just getting reported more hysterically. Weather sells soap.
Homeowners face 'new normal' in housing bust
If you bought before the bubble, you're doing just fine. Nationally, housing prices are now pretty much back to the historic trend line - thanks to a full inventory.
Malanga: Rhode Island: A Fiscal Mess Few Care About
Between chronic Dem control, unions, the Mob, and corruption, rational Rhode Island governance seems like a lost cause
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"It's just getting reported more hysterically"
That's true of everything the media does. Plane crashes are a biggie - one plane falls off a runway in East Clusterfark and for the next two weeks, every single aircraft accident in the world is dutifully reported in breathless terms with "Special Reports" on the causes. Look what happened to Toyota, the Pinto (in my opinion a good car), Lexus a while back, the dangers of "Pick Your Poison", etc. In a world of 24/7/365 constant news, reports, analysis, the hype machine is important to ratings and advertising rates. The end result is hysteria and over reaction.
Rhode Island: A Fiscal Mess Few Care About
Rhode Island is a modern example of the city-state in the same vein as medieval Florence, Venice, Hamburg or London. The population of Providence itself is around 171,000. Providence's "metropolitan" population (meaning the rest of the state) is just a touch over 1,000,000. That's the entire state. By extension, it is really a suburb of Boston.
You can literally travel the length of the state in less than an hour and from the CT border to Providence in 25 minutes. Providence as a city rules everything including state government and legislature. Nothing gets done until The Powers That Be in Providence bless it and get their cut of funds. Buddy Cianci was Providence's greatest mayor and during his tenure, de-facto governor. David Cicilline, Providence's current Mayor is pretty much in the same vein only he has a much lower profile.
A few years ago there was a very funny article in the New London Day about annexing Rhode Island into Connecticut. It pointed out all the advantages to CT the primary one being having actual state ocean waters that extend beyond 50 yards from the current CT coast. :>)
In any case, Rhode Island really should be absorbed into surrounding states - MA and CT. Never happen of course, but it should.
All nicely put, Cap'n. I especially liked this line from the Rhode Island article:
"Rhode Island is barely noticed these days."
Oh, you mean compared to all those days when we did notice Rhode Island? Uh, when was that again?
As far as I recall, the only time RI has been in the news over the past few years was when they first glorified themselves in conservative eyes by firing all the union teachers for ineptitude -- only to hire them back a few weeks later. Quite the accolade, RI.
As far as MA and CT absorbing them, they'd be fighting over who had to take them. :)
I'm one of those academics Instapundit was talking about. It is career suicide to admit that you're conservative here. I've seen it happen. I may be a weenie, but I have good relationships with my colleagues and I get my work done. Outside the office, I never could bring myself to socialize with work folk - I won't hide who I am in off hours.
RE: Conservative Academic in Closet (Instapundit)
How is this not plain, unvarnished cowardice? How do you
"make comments that are carefully crafted ....which allow your colleagues to think you're in agreement with them, but which nevertheless satisfy your own sense of personal integrity"?
Dude, how could you set the bar any lower? You are in self-enslavement. Are you sure the day is ever going to come that you can regain what you have lost? Wake up!
Yeah. If the Egyptians can dare to speak out, why don't conservative faculty in the US?
The Egyptians have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Conservative academics have everything to lose (funding, status, etc.) and nothing to gain.
Is it "cowardice"? I wouldn't go that far, but I read something the other day that might fit - Proverbs 28.1 "The weak flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." I think that was it.
Note: Nope - wicked instead of weak, but it still works. I need to go back to the Men's Bible Study group breakfasts Friday morning. :>)
Regarding the American Thinker article, the good doctor has fallen for one of the primary fallacies about comparing car insurance and healthcare insurance.
There are two legal requirements as the basis for car insurance: to cover loss of the vehicle while it is under a lien and to cover damages to other parties. If you take out a loan on a car, the loan contract will usually require full coverage until the loan is paid off so the lending company can recoup a loss. That's a contract issue between the lender and the borrower and not a government requirement.
States also all have liability responsibility laws so that, if you injure someone or damage someone else's property, there will be some money to cover the loss TO THE OTHER PARTY. It is not meant to protect the driver who carries the policy but the poor schlemiel who was in the way when the driver did something stupid. I wasn't able to do a comprehensive check, but some states will meet the liability requirement with a bond if you choose to go that route.
Neither situation applies to health care insurance in general. (Athletes and a few others are special cases.) People choose to drive and/or own a vehicle but living is not the same kind of choice. Moreover, I am not responsible to the good doctor if I fail to pay my bills to some other doctor.
Additional forms of driving coverage, like medical and collision, are usually good ideas. Carrying health insurance is prudent. But that decision should lie with the individual rather than any level of government.
I am very, very tired of the false analogy between car insurance and health insurance. They are very different.
I think, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, that Dr. George is referring to costs being like car insurance in that you can select your deductible and get credit for healthy life style choices like you get vanishing deductibles and in some cases decreased premiums for lack of claims as you do in car insurance policies.
I think, again I may have misunderstood Dr. George, that it is a case of letting market forces and innovation drive premiums and coverage rather than enforced top-down policies.
At least that's the way I've always understood the car insurance analogy with respect to health insurance.
Your analysis is correct as far as it goes: there should be a range of options, with lower premiums to those who expect only catastrophic/major coverage and higher premiums for those who are using their health insurance as a pre-pay. There may be good ways to lower premiums for people with healthy lifestyles, although it could produce a lot of lying.
The false analogy remains: liability insurance on your car is different from healthcare financial protection.
Liability car insurance -- the only kind that is mandatory, and it isn't always mandatory if you post a bond -- is not to protect the driver/owner but to protect me from direct damage by that owner. All other elements of car insurance are voluntary. There are a lot of good decisions in life that are not the government's business: whether a 19-year-old single person is sexually active or not, for example. For that matter, whether a 19-year-old married person is sexually active or not -- not government business.
Your decision about how to pay for your own health care is no business of mine. Nor do I want a gang of busybodies deciding what procedures I have to have coverage for, even if I don't want the coverage. Let insurance companies prepare packages of coverage, as you and the good doctor suggest, and let those who wish choose their plans.
And stop the dadgum comparisons to liability insurance. It's like comparing apples to philosophy.
Years ago, when I was a student, I was required by the university to be part of their health plan during term times. In the summer, when I usually was far away from campus doing some sort of manual work, I purchased an interesting product called "health insurance".
The way it worked was like this: If I had an unexpected illness or accident requiring medical care, the insurance would pay my costs (up to limit) less a deductible. The deductible was high enough that a routine visit to an "urgent care" type clinic for a minor infection would not be covered, but an emergency room visit or illness that became chronic would.
I found that if I spoke to any pharmacist they would tell me for free whether a visit to a physician was warranted, so I didn't even have to worry about wasting money on unneeded care.
The cost of this thing called "insurance" was low enough that it was no imposition even when my wages were quite meager and I was trying to save for tuition fees. I was able to get it even when I was resident in high-cost states such as Massachusetts.
My understanding of automobile insurance is that it works much the same way. What in the UK would be called "comprehensive" coverage does not guarantee to keep your car running and safe, merely to restore it to the previous condition or compensate your for its value after events such as collision, theft, or fire which are by nature unpredictable.
Nothing to gain, Tom, except maybe self-respect.
And of course, the hope that academia can be returned to sanity.
"Between chronic Dem control, unions, the Mob, and corruption, rational Rhode Island Illinois governance seems like a lost cause."
I live too close to Chicago to resist ....