Monday, July 31, 2017

Was That Wrong? Mooch channels Costanza

Boss: "Mr. Scaramucci, you were hired as the communications director and you immediately preceded to say, on the record, that you were being c*ck blocked and that the president's senior adviser likes to suck his own c*ck."
Scaramucci: "Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time."
Boss: You're fired.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Republicans to Fight Fire with Gasoline

Trump and the Republicans are like firemen who have come up with a policy to fight fire but left in the part about pouring gasoline on it. As premiums have skyrocketed and as health insurers have left the business altogether, Trump and the Republicans, eager to decry the disaster and empathize with their suffering constituents, have decided to repeal everything about Obamacare, except the cause of its failure!
The essence of Obamacare, and it's internal contradiction, is the idea of banning the exclusion of policies based on pre-existing conditions. Insurance IS the pooling of risk by excluding those with pre-existing conditions, just as car insurers don't insure cars after crashes. Since insurance is not magic (no one would buy a policy before they were sick), the program must force everyone to buy policies they do not want, and so it requires tax penalties, mandates, etc. all to create the illusion that it's actually insurance, when it is really a stealth socialized system where healthy people are forced to pay high premiums and/or taxes to subsidize unhealthy people.
As the situation worsens and with their political future at stake, the Republicans have now decided to repeal everything about Obamacare except one feature, which they all agree must remain, and that is... wait for it.....the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions - the very cause of higher premiums and failing insurers! So what exactly do they want to change? Naturally, they want to excise the penalties and mandates - the only feature that makes that system marginally functional.
Evidently, they wish to keep the cause of the disaster while formulating some kind of alchemist policy that will promise everyone great insurance without costing anyone money. (That was essentially Trump's campaign promise.) Amazingly, now their goal seems to be just to pass anything, even if it ultimately fails, so they can tell people they did something. Fortunately, because a few Republicans, like Rand Paul, know this is doomed to fail, they are floundering, and their effort seems destined to fail.
Rather than articulating a free market solution to health care, such as repealing mandates, removing tax code incentives for employers to provide expensive insurance, reforming tort laws, liberating doctors, patients and insurers to voluntarily enter into mutually beneficial contracts, and encouraging the creation of private charitable and non-profit institutions that help the disadvantaged, the Republicans once again have shown they have no clue.

Someone Tell Trump He Won

Watched some of Trump's speech in Ohio. It seems like every few weeks he goes somewhere in the Midwest and, ostensibly, delivers the same campaign speech about how we are going to win and be great, and build a wall, etc.. Can someone tell this guy he won?! Like a dog that chased a car and got it, now what?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Don't Insult Swamps

I think calling DC a swamp is an insult to swamps. Trump's big mistake was not completely ridding himself of anyone who has ever stepped foot in that shit hole. He should literally fire everyone he can fire and start with a copy of the Constitution and take anyone who is willing to volunteer or work for minimum. Goal should be to repeal every law and start over. Federal government should be scaled back to original enumerated powers: affairs of state, reasonable military, police, and justice department for interstate disputes . That's it. That's all they were set up to do and is all they should ever do. Trump is swimming in the swamp, not draining it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Are Religious People More Tolerant Than Atheists?

I watched Amy Peikoff on Tucker Carlson address a study which purports to show that religious people are more tolerant than atheists. And, while she was reasonable and was correct that the study is flawed, she missed a chance to elucidate the major point in my opinion, and that is, that "open mindedness" in and of itself is not a virtue. Rationality is the virtue, while open mindedness is only a virtue in the context of searching for non-contradictory knowledge, not in a willingness to entertain the logically impossible or arbitrary. If open-mindedness means willing to believe anything, regardless of evidence, that is irrational and dangerous, and most certainly not a virtue.

Rationality demands evidence, and that's why it's consistent to uphold individual rights, capitalism, and atheism. In this sense, she also missed a chance to distinguish the rational atheist from the modern leftist atheist (which is the same thing in many conservative minds). She could have pointed out that the militant leftist is closed minded in an irrational way, with respect to being open to facts that do contradict their Marxist post-modern political and ethical philosophy. In this context, saying the left is closed-minded is a rational criticism. Again, rationality is the compass, not the false alternative of "closed minded versus open minded or tolerant vs. intolerant."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Obamacare's Contradiction

As I wrote about in more depth here, the problem with Republicans repealing Obamacare is not related to infighting or an inability to compromise, it's the failure to challenge an inherent contradiction from the beginning. Insurance MEANS excluding pre-existing conditions. What business would write insurance policies only to people who just wrecked their car? The purpose of insurance is for groups of people WITHOUT pre-existing conditions to pool risk in such a way that the collective premiums pay for an unlikely event. How could any pool work when everyone gets paid out more than they pay in?! If someone wants others to pay their bill, they should ask for a loan or for charity. But let's not call it insurance and let's not base the whole system on a contradictory premise.