Wednesday, 24 March 2010

If Only We Were Denmark

I sat and spent thirty minutes last night....listening to three separate news channels explain how wonderful it was to have all the kids now covered and no insurance company could hinder their needs....they had to accept them. I kept waiting for the explanation how this would economically work....and CNN, MSNBC, and ABC just couldn't do it.

So I sat and pondered. I am left with three observations on how so many kids could be added and this budget situation would fall into play.

First, imagine yourself in Bama....Sunday...July...and hot as heck. You've made up five gallons of ice tea and chopped up three lemons and sat the chairs up on the porch. Over the next four hours....in mid-90's heat....you have around six people come over and you share some wonderful ice tea.

You all sip a good bit of tea but with five gallons and six folks on a hot day...you've got plenty to share with guests.

So with this new "all kids of free" mentality....let's revisit the house in July with a fresh scenario. You move the chairs up to the front yard and near the highway. Instead of six folks visiting and the five gallons lasting four hours...it's gone in a matter of two hours...and you have to make more. So you brew up another five-gallon jug of tea. The question is....who pays for the second jug? The answer? You...and no one else. It was your decision to share....and no one else.

The second observation? I went to Crete last summer and had a fine vacation. At the very beginning...upon arrival...there is this moment of decision left to me....to toss all beverages into the deal and pay nothing for sodas, beer, wine or mixed drinks....for $120 for the entire week. I sat there...thinking. Seven days and $120. It was a simple decision.

So they tagged me. I felt great. I was dreaming of the mixed drinks and wine....and the hot afternoons on the beach, and the evening moments where you sat at the bar and just chilled.

So I immediately walked up and ordered a Whiskey Sour. The Russian gal made up a 8-ounce plastic cup and tossed in three ice cubes. I took a good long sip...and then started think...where was the alcohol? It was lightly sour but not the alcohol content I expected.

Three minutes later, I finished my drink and ordered a second. Over forty-five minutes....I had five of these drinks. I never felt a single bit of alcohol in my system. I watched her pour a shot each time of whiskey into the cup....but I'm guessing it had to be watered down.

So that night, I switched to beer. It was cheap beer with a three percent alcohol rate. I had three cups over an hour....and never felt any buzz.

For the second hour, I switched to red wine. After three cups in sixty minutes...I finally started to get a buzz.

When you sit there and think about this great idea of tossing everything into a pot....there is always an element of money involved. If you wanted real drinks...you need to pay for it.

In this case....you can't add these kids to the mix...unless you factored in more money. You can imagine already where the premiums will be by December of this year....likely twenty percent higher than they are today...as a minimum.

My last observation is that neither the media or the political figures grasp that medical procedures are a business activity. They are still trying to envision this as a plain medical situation. That concept ended in the 1960s.

Our expectation now is huge. We don't want mistakes by hospitals or doctors. We want to live to 85. We want freedom from pain and suffering. All of this expectation...factors into money. You can't escape that.

Every kid you throw into the system...every drug addict....every alcoholic....every nut who needs a full-time institution...all equals money. Yes, the system works great in Denmark...because there are no real drug addicts, booze is taxed way beyond your imagination, and tobacco tax makes smoking something you just can't afford. Oh, and you can't drive over fifty on country roads.

So we are now stuck in a system....with no full way of grasping the future.

No Prophet is Accepted in His Own Country

I watched Lost last night. I will readily admit....no TV series...for written script or story...can touch Lost. Last night...deep into the final season....we finally came to an episode dedicated entirely to Ricard Alpert (the character who never aged and we knew he'd been on the island for well over 100 years).

There are a thousand mysteries still left in the story, but last night gave you an enormous compass for explaining the entirely story from the very beginning...which you never understood before.

Lost....with all its complex story twists and turns...is absolutely a religious story in depth and creativity. At some point Richard is judged for death in civilization and a Bible of his is opened in his presence....to Luke 4:24. The line: "And he said, Verily I say unto you, 'No prophet is accepted in his own country."

You had to sit there and think about the intended role of Richard Alpert for the next 100-odd years and how he fell into this role of a prophet.

By the end of the show....you came to fell that Jacob was always "God" in nature, and that lil Smokey was the "Devil" in nature. The Devil wanted his escape from the island, and God wanted to contain him so he could wreck havoc on the world.

The Lost crew? They were brought to the island as candidates in a fashion...with some living and some dead now. You are left with six. My suspicion now is that the six will fill the void of Jacob. Their mission was never to protect the island....it was to ensure the world survived on without massive havoc from Lil Smokey (aka the Devil).

What remains? We have the element of the "father, son, and Holy Ghost". Richard Alpert will fill the father-role, and Jacob as the Holy Ghost.....and the guy locked in the sub is likely the son-figure.....although we don't even know who the heck he is.

The six? The devil so far has convinced three of them to side with him. He needs all six to convert and he can be cut loose from his boundary. I'm thinking he's got a rough time with Jack and with Hurley. Neither man has anything left to desire. Jack may be threaten with Kate's death...to entice him....but Hurley has nothing that he will give into.

So I'm left with the best written script of all time and it's maddening to think I have seven episodes left to finish up this story.

Just a Little Bit of Cosmic Rays

The woes of Toyota have been spelled out over the past hundred days....and no one has yet come to a real conclusion as to the real problem.

This week...a wild idea got thrown on the table about this computer braking and acceleration problem.

Someone has suggested and the smart guys are seriously reviewing this idea....of space radiation causing errors in computer systems on cars.

The curious thing is that the protection around the various components on vehicles...wasn't exactly a major concern or such....at least until now.

So a blast here or a blast there....and suddenly...you've got no control over the acceleration. We didn't have this problem before because folks didn't incorporate computers into the control of the vehicle....just the monitoring.

My guess is that it'll take a year to prove this...and probably another dozen accidents....before someone wakes up and says there's a major issue here. By that point....Toyota will be forced to buy back every single one of the affected "computerized" cars. Then someone will ask if this affects aircraft, and we get into some serious thinking about what risks we are taking on a daily basis.