Friday, April 23, 2010

How many Executives Does it Take to Do a Good Deed?
or what are death panels, really?

Well Point is at it again. Dropping women from insurance roles when they are diagnosed with cancer. Guess what health reform did not prevent. No, it allows this to happen and then the government gets to pay for it. Kind of a no risk, cut expenses move for Well Point. They make money on you until you get sick and then they will dump you for government funded insurance as you get sick. Makes me think that the government, until regulations get tightened will pay for all the sick ones and the insurance companies will scam off the well ones. Who could have seen this coming?

No, really. What right-thinking person would think that this type of scam is possible? I look at myself as a fairly normal person. Would I even have the audacity to sit in a meeting and propose some one devise an algorithm to see when we have to cut someone's health coverage to keep our profits at X%? No, I would say, what do we have to charge to keep our profits at X% because we know what our costs are and can project what are income has to be to make ends meet. I don't have the mind of a psychopath. I sell insurance which means paying to those at a time of need. It does not mean take their money and when they need coverage, kick them to the curb. If I had to sleep at night, I could not do that to people. It is too cruel and unethical. Who does think of things like this? and why are they not in prison?

Screw the fact that this is unethical. It is rewarded in our current culture. Screw someone and make profits everyone lives happily ever after. That is the business executive model nowadays. That is what generates bonuses. Basically sentence people to death and you make more money. Death panels, anyone? There they are, plain and simple for people to see. Now it is time to push, write our congresspeople and make that sort of unethical behavior illegal and punishable by law. Sentence someone to a slow and painful death, you are making a premeditated decision to torture them and it needs to be handled that way in a criminal conviction and have civil penalties attached.

To put it bluntly, if you make those kind of decisions, what the fuck is wrong with you? I think of that kind of decision is not only unethical but needs to be prevented because there are people out there who can think like that. This ranks right up there with the cola mine owner donating to Tea Parties and local judges and figuring out how much he has to pay to keep Mine Safety off his back so he can make money. Well, he did that and people dies. He committed murder with premeditation proved by his actions. Put him on death row and take his company from him.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toone for a Day!

Fun for the day!

Drug Combos! and Wild Life

Here is one aspect of chemical and pharmaceuticals many don't think of.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Restoration, One Small Step at a Time

The first article describes in detail why there are water woes in CA. To summarize, when they started distributing water rights, no one actually did a calculation to see what normal water flows were, did a conservative estimate and did not let more than 90% of those rights be committed. No, in the voice of economic advancement, almost 800% of the available water was committed. Just think of that. Eight times the amount of water available was committed to projects and then as the water was unavailable people (fisherman who no longer have salmon, farmers with dry fields, etc.) became upset. Yet, the price of buying these rights is still cheap. When I left CO, it cost > $1200 per acre foot (326,000 gallons) unit. The unit was determined annually based upon snowfall, so you could get between 20-100% depending upon snow pack. Here in CA, I have heard anywhere from $300-$500 dollars for an acre foot. Why so cheap. And because water is unavailable, the farmers started punching in wells and dried up aquifers with the ground sinking in some cases up to 6 feet. The aquifer just shrunk and even if it were wet, it would never expand to take in all the water that was drained. The State Water Resources Control Board forgot to regulate well permits and water rights. OMG!!!!! Other western states do that continually.

The other article has to do with restoration of creeks, etc. The process is called daylighting, or bringing old drainages and creeks out of culverts under the streets and buildings back to the light of day. At least in small sections. I know they did this to a creek in Arvada when we lived there. I was surprised it happened, instead of putting in a new culvert and building over it. And the results were pretty, raccoons, foxes and small animals showed up quickly. I am guessing, since this is interconnected to bike paths, creek paths and river basins, there will be the occasional deer and coyote showing up, if not a bear or cougar eventually. In the Berkeley example, it will probably be just small animals, but every little bit helps. The appearance of nature in a city just brightens the whole day. I have often wondered what could happen if some of the rivers and drainages in LA could be if they were taken out of cement channels. I know car chases could not then be filmed there (think Grease), but how cool would it be to have to have restored duck habitat. Yes, it would produce mosquitoes, but ....


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Three Things before Rehab

1) Too bad Butler did not win. They were where they wanted to be, down by one possession and 12 seconds left. Dang!
2) If companies now have the rights of people, who gets charged in the deaths of the miners for safety violations. At best, it is manslaughter, at worst, since MSHA citations on safety were not addressed, it is first degree murder. Not trying to make light of a situation. If corporations have free speech, the same as individuals, they also have social obligations. One is bringing the workplace up to a safe level. When you are cited by MSHA or OSHA and do not comply, who gets arrested, the executives or does the company get the death penalty?
3) Given you can get a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback for a 3rd or 4th round draft choice, why not trade more draft choices and sign veterans? George Allen did it for years with various versions of the "over-the-hill" gang. The Raiders also did it in the 70s with their band of misfits.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Would you like some BPA with your water, Sir?

I can recall when polycarbonate was considered the safest vessel next to stainless for drinking water jugs and was sold as such by health food and organic food stores. Now, the opinion is not so good and you are asked not to feed your children from bottles that have a 7 in the recycle label on the bottom of the bottle. The chemical that leaches out is BPA, which lowers sperm counts and mimics estrogen. Little things like causing cancer and sex change in fish. Imagine scientists surprise as it washes up on beaches now! Who knew that the Pacific Ocean garbage dump would leach plastic as it is attacked by salt water, wind and sunshine? or epoxy paint could or would breakdown? No one could predict that, right? I mean we never see plastics fall apart in sunshine, do we? D'oh!