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
Tuesday, July 3. 2012
Why I said goodbye to NASCAR.
Good Reason to Kill #24: Pancake Battery
Surf Dog Competition Sees New Guinness World Record, Gains National Attention
Mitt Romney’s summer vacation full of competitive sports and family meetings
New York Times Asks: Should Air-Conditioning 'Be Rationed Away? via Al Gore’s Mansion Could Not Be Reached for Comment
Why the Education Bubble Will Be Worse Than the Housing Bubble
Sorry, Bucko, Europe Is Still In A Death Spiral
Euroland as an empire
Will More Doctors ‘Go Galt’ Because of Obamacare?
Obama Spanish language ad blitz aims to wrap up Latino vote
Palestinian Crimes against Christian Arabs and Their Manipulation against Israel
VDH on the election: Good News — What Good News?
Another Obama Record… Number of Americans on Disability Exceeds Number of People in New York
Food stamps + EBT card + easy disability = votes
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Cookie-cutter cars are the bane of all forms of auto-racing. Does anyone remember Richard Petty's Lotus Type 56 at Indy in 1968? It had a turbine engine and four wheel drive. It was driven by Graham Hill (remember him?) and Joe Leonard. It was easily leading the race when its fuel pump failed near the end.
Does anyone remember Carrol Shelby (recently deceased) and the Shelby Cobra that tore up the European Formula One road racing tracks back in the 1960s?
Indy and Europe banned all innovation after that because it embarrassed the stupid. NASCAR has done the same.
All this crap about throttle plates and fairness. It is to gag.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Bird Dog: Will More Doctors ‘Go Galt’ Because of Obamacare?
Ari Armstrong: According to the government, I can only recommend a screening mammogram for women over 50 every other year until 74, then never again.
I saw several references to that regulation in the health care bill so I'm inclined to believe it.
Regardless, medicine becomes about politics in proportion to the amount of government involvement. As evidenced by this situation. Benefits, or lack of them, will be (are being) determined by vote or bureaucrat rather than choice.
Doctors and hospitals have been squeezed by Medicare and Medicaid for the most part to the detriment those with insurance - all that "free" healthcare has to cost somebody something.
Could be. She's a doctor; she ought to know her own business, though certainly doctors err when confronted with confusing regulatory thicket.
So please show us that you know her business better than she. I mean, maybe you're a doctor.
But anyway, please cite statute, cite regulation.
Please do your due diligence and make sure the authority you cite isn't contradicted or modified by other law or regulatory authority. Be prepared to state with confidence that there is no such contradictory authority. It's the best practice anyway; so you don't look like a weasel in front of an administrative law judge and so you won't be surprised by counterarguments available to opposing counsel.
And consider: is she wrong under current law & regulations, or law and regulations that aren't currently in effect but are slated to go into effect? Or are the things she's worried about only proposed regulations, and not settled?
Oh, and remember, most of the regulations the ACA will require haven't been written yet; I'm not certain that a majority have even been proposed. So in some respects worry over what effect the ACA will have are indeed unfounded. Nobody knows!!
And consider: if she's wrong, why? Why aren't the law and rules crystal clear? Or are they, and she's simply making a gross error?
But if they aren't, can we expect the regulations implementing the ACA to be a model of clarity? Clean, efficient, streamlined, and actually conducive to the general welfare?
Name a subject, Zachriel is an expert on it. Or at least he writes as if he/she is an expert on it.
For individuals/families in the upper middle class earning upwards of $100K a year, it will be a lot cheaper to pay the tax/penalty than to purchase health care insurance independently if it's not provided by an employer. The decision will be a no-brainer. So we can expect a lot of non-compliance (the IRS has no enforcement powers under the law if I understand its role correctly from reading various summaries of the law) and a lot of opt-outs, at least until a serious medical problem arises and insurance is needed to defray the costs of medical care. For poor families, on the other hand, the decision looks like it will be a wash once the new federal health insurance subsidies are taken into account.
Actuaries of insurance companies, sharpen your pencils!
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) regulates insurance; and in fact, it requires payment for mammogram screening as part of comprehensive insurance.
Despite her protestations, Ari Armstrong can recommend anything that comports with her professional obligations. She is confusing a suggested guideline by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force with a regulation. The guideline attempted to balance detection with the problem of overtreatment. The American Cancer Society still recommends annual screening, and it is still paid by Medicare. Women should consult their doctor to learn what's right based on their individual risks.
T.K. Tortch: she's simply making a gross error?
Yes. This is very similar to the so-called "Death Panel" controversy. The proposed law made it so that end-of-life counseling would be paid for by insurance (not that end-of-life counseling be mandatory); yet, it degenerated into silly political posturing.
QUOTE Wall Street Journal Online Nov. 19,2009:
As recently as 2002, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force affirmed its recommendation that women 40 and older undergo annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. Since regular mammography became standard practice in the early 1990s, mortality from breast cancer—the second leading cause of cancer death among American women—has dropped by about 30%, after remaining constant for the prior half-century. But this week the 16-member task force ruled that patients under 50 or over 75 without special risk factors no longer need screening.
So what changed? Nothing substantial in the clinical evidence. But the panel—which includes no oncologists and radiologists, who best know the medical literature—did decide to re-analyze the data with health-care spending as a core concern.
I guess you're also certain of what the current HHS secretary (and her fellow bureaucrats) and future HHS secretaries (and their fellow bureaucrats) will devise as regulations for the insurance and healthcare industry in general. There are huge swaths of the bill are yet to be determined. Obamacare already defines what must be covered by insurance regardless whether the insured needs or wants it or not.
When the cost of "insuring" people gets "too expensive", do you know what will suddenly be "no longer covered"?
Tests for prostate cancer, that's what. Men will get the raw deal because women know how to b*tch and kvetch until they get what they want.
And btw, don't depend on your doctor to know what is coming down the pike with ObamaCare, especially if you belong to an HMO as I do. I've asked my primary care physician questions about the medical implications of ObamaCare for more than a year and he's been totally out of the loop. He told me didn't even follow the controversy. He's depending on the hospital and HMO administrators to tell the medical staff what constitutes "best practices" and what he can or cannot do.
Agent Cooper: Tests for prostate cancer
National Cancer Institute: The evidence is insufficient to determine whether screening for prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or digital rectal exam (DRE) reduces mortality from prostate cancer.
Most prostate cancers are very slow growing, and people frequently die of other causes before the prostate cancer causes much trouble. The problem of false positives has led to unnecessary treatment, often resulting in incontinence and impotence. It's an important issue, a scientific question that has nothing to do with recent changes to the U.S. health insurance system.
Of course, you can always pay for your own test, and most insurance companies will pay if the doctor recommends due to other factors, such as heredity or urological problems.
mudbug (quoting): "But the panel—which includes no oncologists and radiologists, who best know the medical literature—did decide to re-analyze the data with health-care spending as a core concern."
That is false. The United States Preventive Services Task Force does not consider costs in their medical recommendations.
mudbug: I guess you're also certain of what the current HHS secretary (and her fellow bureaucrats) and future HHS secretaries (and their fellow bureaucrats) will devise as regulations for the insurance and healthcare industry in general.
Again, that wasn't the issue. The doctor claimed that she wasn't allowed to make a different recommendation consistent with good medical practice, but she certainly can.
I'm curious how the NYT would feel about rationing away home heating in the winter for northern states.
I was never a big fan of NASCAR (nor the Indy 500 for that matter... that thing about only turning left and all), but the real killer for me was when the organizers started lobbying governments for money to build tracks - just like those disgusting football, basketball, baseball, hockey, etc. teams.
Until then, auto racing was pretty much alone in major sports as one that paid its own way and didn't ask for tax money from people who didn't care about it. At that point, they became just another money-grubbing enterprise after my money.
As for their getting in bed with the government - don't they know the people who watch it don't care - no hostile - to that agenda? Stupid.
As for the rules, that just shows it is a business more than a sport, which is not all bad. I loved the whole idea around the old CanAm series and my favorite cars in it were the Chaparrals. Minimal rules produced some very innovative and interesting cars, but it eventually made the cost to compete astronomical. I long for those days and those kinds of rules, but I also know that in many cases, in spite of some stupid rules (like grooved tires in F1), they do serve a purpose and sometimes they make the cars safer. As for restrictor plates... as stupid and as dangerous as they are, given their (stated) goal of having cars that "look" like cars you can relate to - they probably didn't have a choice. The solution to "too much speed" ideally should have been solved at least partially aerodynamically but then you wouldn't have "stock cars".
Ultimately, as more docs do go "Galt" and try to do cash payments, refuse to see new Medicare payments or go into concierge practices, the States and or Feds will make sure to change the rules, so that doctors will be forced as a condition of getting a medical license to see ALL patients. Then, doctors will have become completely enslaved, but it has to happen in order for anyone to have "access" to medical care. It will be pushed as a "fairness" issue, when it is of course nothing but a restraint-of-trade issue and servitude. I believe bills like this have already come up for vote in Massachusetts.
That's going to be the inevitable outcome. Doctors who can quit, will, those who can't will try to change their practices, and then the government will step in (further) and complete the ruin of American medicine.
NASCAR has not had cars I can relate to since the '60s. After that, they began to look too much alike for me, and with all the decals and stickers they resemble a herd of zebras. Indycar--I couldn't identify them easily, either, and the announcer team didn't work for me, either. I watch F1 (still some trouble identifying some teams) because I really like SPEED's announcing team.
Regarding pancake battery; I am tempted to say that violence in response to verbal assault is never justified. But one component of domestic violence that is that the "victims" usually have instigated the violence by practicing a form of passive aggressive behavior against "their" victim which then results in a violent response. I suspect if this case were investigated that the "victim" also told her brother he used too much butter, sat in the chair wrong, combed his hair incorrectly, used a fork to cut his food and in general berated him into a violent response. Sometimes I believe that much of what we call domestic violence is really daewinism in action.
You mean she nagged him and he took exception to it. Nagging is the #1 sport of married women: women marry a guy despite all his "faults" and they spend the next umpteen years expecting to change him into something he wasn't or isn't.
My advice to men, based on 47 years of marriage to the same strong willed lady, is TRAIN YOUR WIFE PROPERLY from the first day of wedded bliss. It's live and let live. Hey, if I get "nagged," I nag right back. That always puts a swift end to it.
Was a big fan back in the 80s and 90s even though I hated the restricter plate racing.
But then NASCAR embraced political correctness and that was that.
A friend of mine dropped the sport some years back when they went through the stands confiscating everyone's little Confederate flags.
The other problem both with stock car and open wheel racing is the lack of speed. Racing used to be technology unbridled, and you could do anything in the quest for speed.
Now speed has been sacrificed for parity.
sometimes I wish it were 1967 and I was listening to Vin Scully call the Dodger games in that lineup. but its 2012 and things change. so in NASCAR.
NASCAR's top divisions don't race "stock" cars because that would insanely dangerous; more so in 2012 than it was back in the 1967. even the super speedways are unsafe for Sprint series cars at the speeds they can be driven at, hence restrictor plates or tapered carburetor spacers. without the plates a Sprint series car was driven at 228mph at Daytona, data shows that roof flaps won't keep a car on the track if it gets turned around at speeds over 204. now they're trying to configure the aero performance so you don't get chains of cars nose to tail at 200mph without resorting to speeds that not even seasoned drivers want.
top series cars are purpose built racers (everything is purpose built) that resemble production models (and will more so in 2013) because that is their heritage. but they're what works at the top series. if anyone likes short or dirt track stock cars, your local track runs races every weekend.
things change. Earnhardt is gone, Gordon's generation is in decline but new talent like Stenhouse Jr, Keselowski and Dillon are coming into their own.
so NASCAR has to accommodate the economic and political winds. so there's Toyota and fuel injection and some greeny gasoline additive. so? NASCAR had its roots in bootlegging. guess what -- they're not carrying moonshine anymore.
Regarding Asians taking jobs Americans don't know how to do:
I worked in one of those fields and it was tough to compete with immigrant Asians. Most American born Asians were no different in skill, knowledge and ability then any other American. So what's the difference? What is it that makes immigrant Asians able to do the "job Americans don't know how to do"? Actually it is simple. Most of the jobs we are talking about are exempt from labor laws requiring overtime pay. Most Americans will work a few hours more but not 40 to 60 hours more. The Immigrant Asians will and do not complain. That is the sum total difference not more skill or knowledge just the willingness to be worked to death without complaint. The employer knows this but cannot say Americans would expect compensation for working 100 hours a week or that Americans simply won't do it so we must hire "slave" labor from Asia. None of this is to say that The Asians aren't intelligent, hard working and in many cases brilliant. It simply boils down to the fact that they are willing to give up their private/social life for the job. I don't blame the employer, I blame the law that requires overtime pay for blue collar jobs but not for white collar jobs. I will guarantee you if the employer had to pay for those overtime hours the difference between immigrant Asian workers and American workers would disappear overnight.