Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Mandating

I sat and pondered today over how mandated health insurance will pass via Supreme Court when questioned. I've watched "experts" over the past ten days claim that congress can do just about anything they want over commercial services and actually make you buy health insurance.

So I sat there and imagined standing by the Supreme Court guys....and asking some stupid questions...which really have nothing to do with health insurance.

In a week or month or year or decade...if congress stood up and said that we all had to buy travel insurance when we travel via air...would the same mandate work in that case? Could congress force us all to buy travel insurance?

Then I'd continue on....could congress mandate we buy rent guarantee insurance...to help us when we rent and the owners raise the prices? Did they have the power to mandate that?

So onward I went.

Mandated property insurance? Mandated pet insurance? Mandated home insurance? Mandated title insurance? Mandated landlord insurance? Mandated loan protection insurance? Mandated weather insurance? Mandated cattle insurance? Mandated crop insurance? Mandated crime or robbery insurance? Mandated earthquake insurance? Mandated medigap insurance?

Then I came to this funny area where I could actually envision coming up within a year or two...flood insurance. Imagine mandating that anyone in a flood plain area....had to buy flood insurance? Naturally, the folks in New Orleans would complain and want a lesser rate than the guys in Florida...so you'd grade the "have/have not" flood insurance rate....to be "FAIR".

Would the Supreme Court agree to mandated flood insurance and possibly some rigged up rates to help the poor of New Orleans?

I'm thinking that all nine members are going to sit there and pause over this. Basically...it opens up a can of worms about how much insurance you could mandate and how this would ever be fair or constitutional.

I sat and watched some "expert" try to explain away this mess in that we already have mandated car insurance in all fifty states....but the funny thing is that if you don't have a car...you don't have such insurance. The other funny thing is that this is rigged up via each and every state...so a guy in Bama pays $250 a year for truck insurance, while a guy in California pays $1200 a year for the same type insurance. The logic here would demand that we run health care the same way...so a guy in Bama pays $1500 a year, and a guy in California pays $5000 a year.

For some reason, I'm not buying into the experts argument on CNN. I'm suspecting that once you toss a bunch of insurance concepts toward the Supreme Court...they will all sit there and start to ponder where this starts and where it ends. And frankly...mandating some guy to buy flood insurance when there's been one flood in 85 years...just won't wash. The same argument could be used for healthcare....where a guy has been to the doctor once in thirty years.

Eighty-Eight Billion

At some point over the weekend...some couple here in Virginia....woke up and realized that their bank had credited their account by 88 billion dollars.

They reported it quickly...and then saw their account frozen for at least two or three days while the bank tried to figure out what happened.

I sat there....like most Bama guys would....contemplating my actions under such a situation.

Eighty-eight billion dollars.

The thing about that much money is that the bank would have figured problems within three days max. So the best hope is that you move in on day one...remove $200k through twelve to fifteen branches. If lucky, you might get a second full day with another $200k removed before they figure this whole problem out. So you pack up a bag...head for Grenada...with $400k for the rest of your life.

As you can see....I've put some time into thinking about this...not that I'd ever carry it out. But I'll sit patiently and wait for the eighty-eight billion to appear in my account. Then I'll make my decision.

Local Nut

Here's the deal. Here in Arlington...back around early December...there was this ad of sorts to work for the FBI. A couple of folks applied and one guy was hired. So he comes to work for this 29-year old gal and there's all this talk of their work for the CIA and various other government agencies. Our young guy had to sign paperwork for his security clearance (which had all that sensitive data such as addresses and social security).

So our young naive guy shows up and I'm guessing it's a small office arrangement...not in a government building...but he continues to believe things are legit.

After Christmas...our young naive guy is told by his boss that they are going overseas to Germany...on a classified mission. He visits his parents and tells them the great news of his future with the agency.

So his boss comes and takes him. A couple of days later...the boss calls the parents and tells them not to call the son because it's a sensitive and classified mission. A couple of days pass....and the son finally calls. They never left the US and he'd been ordered to stay in the hotel room with his boss.

The parents waited a day or two and then called the FBI. An investigation took off and finally this week....charges laid out for a local gal, Brenna Reilly.

I pondered over everything. Brenna is a ID thief...I'm guessing. She's likely got a fair amount of money squirreled away and I have my personal doubts that she will remain in the local area. The guy involved? I kinda feel sorry for him because he basically quit his good job....to work for some dimwit like this....thinking he was getting a real government job.

A Militia Game

I sat and watched this story unfold today....Christian Militia Arrested.

I paused a while after reading the story.....this involved a bunch of guys who proclaim they are Christians and they are preparing for a Christian battle royale of Biblical proportions.

I tried to conjure up this image of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John...armed with AK-47s....and working up their posse to serve Jesus. For some reason, I just couldn't think of something like this ever occurring.

Why is it that when you have militias....it's always a Christian or far-right wing or an extremist group? Why can't you have a liberal militia? Why can't you have a Catholic militia? Why can't you have a Islamic militia? Why can't you have a Jewish militia? Why can't you have a redneck Amazon gal militia? Why can't you have a systems engineer militia? Why can't you have a wussy guy militia? Why can't you have an environmentalist militia?

I realize I'm asking some questions that just don't make sense.

Here's the thing about these Christian guys who meet up and get this funny idea. It's always some major nut who is a potential candidate as a used car salesman who heads up the group. He talks up the coming war with the government, blacks, Latinos, cops, FBI, the CIA, the EU, the Canadians, Mexico, North Korea, or alien invaders.

So five or six really naive guys quickly become participants...and the deal is to build like a pyramid scheme...hoping to get a dozen more members who are equally naive. Naturally....being a Christian is important. If you are a atheist or Catholic...you can forget about an invitation.

Naturally...a militia scheme centers around guns. If you were just sitting and guzzling beer while discussing scripture...the militia idea just wouldn't work. And you have to have a moral enemy...otherwise...the scheme wouldn't work.

I'm guessing these guys arrested up in Ohio...are sitting there and wondering how exactly they screwed up and wondering if Grandma or Uncle Joe will bail them out. And Grandma is wondering if Jesus wrote any scripture approving of AK-47 usage.

A Stupid Argument

For those of us in Arlington...there's a brewing storm over public transportation costs. The Metro guys (hauling folks around DC, Arlington and the corner of Maryland)...are short on money by the end of the year....so somethings got to happen.

Most folks have indicated that a 40-cent raise or a few cuts on service...would be the acceptable deal for them. But things took a funny twist this week with a number of low wage earners saying that a rise in fares is unfair to them.

It's a funny thing. The uppity folks...those who make $75k or more....use the subway more than the buses (it's believed that around sixty percent of the riders are uppity folks). On the opposite side...it's believed that the majority of bus riders are regular wage earners (down below $50k). So the "busers" want their fair deal and to dump any increase onto the "trainers".

I sat and laughed over this suggestion.

I've riden the train into DC...and once you cross the river....pretty much everyone is low-wage earner. On the Arlington side....it might be upper class guys who ride the train but it's just true in DC.

The "busers" are hoping for a rate that stays about the same, and that the "trainers" end up with a sixty-cent increase deal to balance out the mess.

I'm going to avoid saying much....because I'm mostly a bus guy and I might come out ahead on this deal. Perhaps to help the case....I ought to dress in a lesser fashion and pretend to be on the gutter-side of life...to help the "busers" a bit.