Thursday, 1 October 2015

70,000 Codes

If you think about it.....in the 1920s.....we probably had around one to two thousand ways that a guy could get sick or die.

This week, we (the US government) wrapped up the ICD-10 codes for hospitals and insurance companies....which tell you the various ways that we can die or get sick.

There are now 70,000 ways to get sick, hurt or get dead.

I paused over this.

One of my long-distant relatives had the misfortune of getting kicked in the head by a mule.  In those days, there was no code.  You just kinda noted his name and important dates on some headstone, and a couple of stories were generated over how it occurred.  The guy's been dead for a hundred years....but I imagine via the stories....at least twenty people have some knowledge of the guy.

Do we really need 70,000 codes?  It's hard to say.

It might be shocking to realize that eighty people die each year from bicycle accidents involving training wheels, or six people die each year from elephant attacks in the US.  My brother would probably note that six guys a year from the county die from boating accidents, although you'd need a sub-code to note alcohol in half of these, and lack of a life-preserver in the other three.

Somewhere in this mess.....there's probably a code for death-by-frying-pan, death-by-chimney-collapsing, death-by-angry-wife, and death-by-falling-off-the-roof-while-straightening-the-antenna.

The curious thing will be if we add another 10,000 codes by 2030.

The Stupid Hitler Comment

"I beg to differ.  If you go back and  look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech."

-- Ben Carson, via a comment to CNN on whether a Hitler character could occur in America like in Germany in the 1930s.

Journalists behave like 5th-grade kids and always like to ask this stupid question.....whether Hitler come come and get accepted by Americans.  They never ask.....what if Jesus or Mohammad arrived today.....would people accept them?  Could the Japanese repeat Pearl Harbor again?  Could the Bieber kid straighten himself out and actually get to an Elvis-status?  Could Nicholas Cage ever get a five-star part and deliver an Oscar performance?

Yeah, it's always a stupid Hitler question.

So, here's the thing that people never grasp about Germany and Hitler.

Germany had this pretender-like government from the Prussian period.....a Kaiser and a bunch of representatives from districts.

When WW I finally ended....the Kaiser was asked to leave, and Germany tried to forge ahead with just the Bundestag (their representatives).

Their first worry?  Well.....too many weapons got taken home by the military guys who let go, and the fear of communism (not nationalism).  Shocking?  It's the simplicity of how the 1920s went.  No matter what people complained about in terms of economics and a bad start.....their fear kept going back to communism and a revolution starting up.

So as bad as you might think of Nationalist Socialism (Nazis).....there was this obvious choice.....either go in this direction or communism.

Hitler?  Almost an unknown character until you get to the late 1920s..  The 1932 election?  As much as people chat about the Nazi win.....they got only 32-percent of the vote.  Two to one against them?  Yeah.

Because of the strange rules on creating a gov't......in the end.....the Nazis walked in and got power very easily....because people feared communism.

When you fear something greatly.....you tend to use different values.  And the values tend to screw up your voting standards.

It's fairly easy to bring Hitler into America, if you think about it.

Braking Bad

Over the past week in my region (Wiesbaden), we've had two episodes of "FULL-BRAKING".

For those who haven't had this experience in life, it's when you ride mass transit....have a bus with seventy-odd people on it.....a dozen of which are standing and lightly hanging onto this rope or some piece of steel.....and a car pulls out of nowhere and the bus driver applies 100-percent of brake power.  The results is usually chaos, massive bruising by those sitting, and those standing are thrown into the steel of the bus or onto the floor.

All of this involves the cops coming out.....a minimum of one ambulance (usually three or four end up at the site), and someone toted off with something broken.

I have to admit, over the last year or two and continual use of the German bus system.....you come to realize that the drivers try awful hard to barely tap on the brakes and drive like they had a herd of cattle on the back of a truck.

I've been lucky.  So far, I haven't experience full-braking myself and I know that sooner or later.....I'll be on the unfortunate bus myself.

A guy from Bama thinks about things like this.  In my youth, it was common advice for folks to note that when you get up and make a trip down to the county seat.....you needed to wear fresh underwear.  The reason given was that if you had an accident, you didn't want to be seen in the old stuff (worn for three or four days straight).

I'd really prefer not to have some ambulance tote me off, so I'm kinda selective in where I sit and how I sit.  Of course, in the mornings with the large punk crowd on the bus....you end up standing, and having both hands wrapped around real steel support.  This won't help much when three people standing next to you fall and collapse against you, and you end up taking their weight on top of yours.

So, I'm running off of luck, and just hoping I won't be on the wrong bus.

Russia, Syria, the US, and WWE

I am a fan of professional wrestling.....although I admit that I've never been to a match in my life....I'm strictly a TV fan.  The reason?  It's like an opera.....written out....scripted....and there's always a phase where another story gets dumped into the action and new strategies get introduced.  It's a live-action soap opera.

This week, Russia finally put its cards on the table.  If you paid attention back in July, there were several meetings going on in the Middle East with Russia meeting up with Syria, and then some meeting that the Saudis asked to have with them.  Something was in the works.

Over the past month, the Russians moved in air defense equipment, and fighter aircraft. Yesterday, the Russians stood up and gave notice to the US to stop it's flights over Syria or risk being shot down.  The Russian Parliament agreed to send troops....although no one says how many.

In a scripted way, Putin has finally put the right cards into the poker game, and the US cannot win.  All of this Arab Spring-talk and pretending that each revolution was internal?  Well....most folks don't believe it anymore.  Egypt woke up at some point, and took out the Arab Spring product.  Syria stood around and did a fair job of holding off Arab Spring.....at least till ISIS emerged.  And now, Russia will end all this Arab Spring business....at least in Syria.

Where this goes?  This is curious.

The US will probably go with some policy of continuing fighters going over Syria, and I suspect within two weeks.....one US fighter will be shot down.  The guy has to hope that he gets picked up by the Russians....because if ISIS gets him....it's a pretty bad scenario.  I think the Russians will be kind to the guy and fly him out to Jordan or Cyprus, and just let him go.  The US will get all hyper and threaten to take out the air defense sites.  Frankly, it just escalates into a massive mess if they attempt this.  The Russians will bring a dozen-odd ships and then suddenly go into massive air control situation with lots of enthusiasm.

What the Russians will do to help Syria?  If they put 20,000 Russian troops into the country and go aggressively, they could take take down any opposition to Assad (both ISIS and the 'others') in a matter of probably two or three months.

The US will be standing there.....as it has for months....talking about ISIS but not really doing much.  Putin will isolate ISIS and force them to leave the area.  Naturally, you might ask where ISIS will go, and that's the big question out of this whole strategy.

If they go into Iraq....will Putin follow them?  Will the Iraqis grasp that Putin is their friend, and allow Russia to follow ISIS into Iraq?  Will the US come to the aid of Iraq?

If they go into Saudi Arabia....will the US come to help the Saudis?  As the weeks and months go by with the US decision process....will oil prices escalate (back to the norm of $100 a barrel)?  Well, yes, and what countries benefit greatly from oil price escalation?  Well.....Iran and Russia of course.  If the Saudis get knocked out of action....how many oil producers will applaud?

Yep, it's a pretty gifted WWE-like scenario.  Good guys now who were bad guys before.....Good guys who are now bad guys.

President Obama?  He has to be sitting in a daze because he figured that he had Putin in a corner.  Putin might now be the real peace-maker in the Middle East.

As for the Germans?  Well, they figure into this too.  Let's say that Putin establishes Assad back into a peaceful place by January.  Syrians sitting in Germany will look at things and by March.....at least half of them will want to leave Germany and go back home.  I do agree....the younger ones will see dozens of reasons to stay in Germany, but if you are over forty and kinda home-sick....it just makes sense to go back.

Putin will probably throw in some reconstruction money, and help to put homes back up.

Germans will be happy over a bunch of Syrians leaving, and look at Putin as the guy who should have a Nobel Peace Prize....instead of President Obama.

In a way, you have to admire Putin.  It took a while to arrange the cards into the fashion that worked, but it seems to be a winner's hand.