The Town that Dreaded Shorties

Dinosaur Mystery: This huge-armed dinosaur is stranger than imagined.

Underwater Mystery: Amazing shipwreck pictures.

Women’s Issues: OTC birth control pills?

Obama: Apparently somebody else realized that the guy is a tweak to the right of Nixon. Oh yeah, and how dare he actually work with others around the world rather than just telling them all how shit is going down because we’re America and we know best.

A few random food and diet items: milk; resistant starch; sweetened soda isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for your chromosomes.

Taking care of business: some of the oldest operating businesses in the world; and the history of money.

Halloween is coming: and that means sexy costumes are coming for no good reason.

Mormons: They would like us to know that it’s not really magic underwear.

Some random economy items: rent is going up faster than wages; wealth is growing faster than income, too; and of course that assumes that workers are being paid at all.

I hope nobody is surprised: banks behaving badly.

And check out some new music: Mixtress B.

Bath Salts Shorties

Bottom line: “Even healthy oils are not calorie free.”

“You only think you need medication for that”: 5 psychiatric disorders with probable genetic basis.

Ancient Sea Creature: “The fossilized animal, an arthropod called a fuxhianhuiid, has primitive limbs under its head, as well as the earliest example of a nervous system that extended past the head. The primitive creature may have used the limbs to push food into its mouth as it crept across the seafloor. The limbs may shed light on the evolutionary history of arthropods, which include crustaceans and insects.”

Unintended Consequences: Keep up the fight, Karl Rove!

Bonnie Franklin isn’t even buried yet and she’s spinning in her grave: “[I]f [a single mom] wants to increase her take-home pay, what does she do? She has another child out of wedlock, right?… If she wants to lose it all, she finds somebody to support her and she gets married.” Right. You just keep saying that in public, Senator.

Mostly, it’s the sugar: Salt Sugar Fat author speaks. So does Stanford.

Great Beaches: I’ve only been to #6 and #8. I think #8 is far superior.

Bad news for the economy: Personal income and savings suck.

Bad news for the future economy: The student loan bubble sucks harder.

This is not new, people: The IRS doesn’t care if you got your money illegally, you still have to pay tax on it.

And yet look for it to be in the immigration “reform” cramdown: eVerify is like a no-fly list from the depths of hell.

I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time

USA Today tells us that thanks to patient surveys, hospitals are kissing our butts:

Special air-blowing vests keep patients warm pre-surgery. Private rooms are the norm. Staffers regularly check in with patients to anticipate their toilet and showering needs to cut down on call-light usage. Patients are given clear discharge instructions. Cleaning is no longer done at night. Patients are taught the difference between “pain-free” and “pain-controlled.”


Amenities such as free lattes and valet parking are not new to hospitals. They began offering them years ago in a high-stakes fight to lure patients. However, what hospitals are doing now is, for the most part, tailored to the survey questions they know patients will be asked.


“The problem is America is a free-market economy,” [Rajesh Balkrishnan of the University of Michigan] said. “We need to give patients a way to speak on what they think about health care, what works for them, how health care professionals work for them, because those factors go into determining whether treatments are successful.”

I don’t think any of us have a problem with the idea that they are trying to make a hospital stay a more pleasant experience. It’s hard to recover from whatever when there is too much noise to rest, for example. It’s great that staff is making a better effort at explaining what’s going to happen. Anticipating needs? Well that is mighty fine customer service. However, I think now we are starting to go too far.

For one thing, who the heck is paying for these valets, lattes, and pre-surgery warming vests? In the end, you and I are through higher premiums and taxes. Could we perhaps make do with a clean blankie and a coffee maker?

Second, all this nonsense loses sight of Reality. In Reality, people choose a hospital based on two factors and only two factors: What hospital will my insurance company pay for? or What hospital is closest to the site of the accident? The overwhelming majority of people don’t have the luxury of saying “General Hospital has a better record of surgical outcomes” or “St. Elsewhere has free espresso drinks!” Let’s stop pretending that any of this is considered by Joe and Jane Average when Joe’s having chest pain.

Speaking of Reality, I understand that Obamacare means more insured patients means more demand for physician services. But where exactly does Stacy think she’s going to find doctors for that medical office space she’s trying to rent out?

In Closing: it would be nice if reporters would actually read scientific studies before telling us what they say; light up crosswalks; they had to get water from somewhere; college readiness may be more than academic skills; some taxes are going up regardless of what gets decided about the fiscal cliff (at this point I’m mighty tempted to say let’s just go there and watch the backpedaling); OBEY; and the ultimate helicopter parents.

Shorties: The Hands of Fate

The Things One Finds: Roman beads in ancient Japanese burial mound.

Well, we all gotta go sometime: Ok, sure, we have more heart disease and cancer. We also have a whole lot less tuberculosis, flu, gastrointestinal infections, and diphtheria.

Because the real purpose is to make Chertoff a nice chunk of change: Not a single terrorist has been arrested through the use of whole body scanners.

It’s a good start: Two slimeballs convicted, one for molesting kids and one for standing by and doing nothing about it.

Oh really, USA Today??: “Supreme Court’s health care decision could affect millions”? Really? You don’t think that’s a given? By the way, it’s not a health care decision. It’s a health insurance decision and don’t ever forget it.

This is what rock bottom looks like: Former high school principal “went on a drug- or alcohol-induced rampage on Friday, stabbing several people — killing two — before driving his car into a crowded porch and brutally attacking a couple at a motel they ran. ‘You’ll be very proud of me, I just killed 10 drug dealers,’ Giancola told his mother afterward….”

Jill’s Got a Point: If already-low taxes and record profits aren’t enough to make “job creators” actually create jobs, what is?

Hillary’s at it again: saying radical stuff like how women need to be able to decide for themselves whether to have children. Hey Hillary, be sure to keep that message going once you get back to the States, mmkay?

How to Prevent the SWAT Team Bashing Your Door Down at 3 AM: boils down to “don’t be poor.” Because middle class and wealthy people never ever run drug operations or anything like that. Never. And the low level poor people never work for higher-ups who have money and don’t live in “the hood”. Couldn’t possibly happen!

Why That Burger Doesn’t Look Like the Picture: Truth be told, it’s a pretty good reason.

More Comedy Gold from USA Today: Are they running a newspaper or what? Apparently there are some Baby Boomers who have money to blow on $100,000 classic car restorations. Seriously? Because most of the Boomers I know are worried about whether they can afford retirement. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at old cars and I have a soft spot for classic VWs. Even so, I can’t justify spending that kind of money on any car. I keep thinking “That could buy 3 nice sedans. Or maybe a sedan, a pickup truck, and a convertible.”

Another reason to take the bus: License plate scanners are on the rise, telling authorities (and anybody who cares to subpoena the records) everywhere your car has been for the last 2-5 years. Expect this data to end up in a criminal or divorce court near you.

And last: Here’s what 100 grams of protein looks like.

I’d Bet a Dimon It

Oh Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was actually able to say with a straight face that the reason the economy has stalled is too much banking regulation. Somebody pass the man a fire extinguisher; his pants are surely ablaze. Fed officials “dispute” it. Heck, when Jim Cramer says you’ve gone too far, that’s a big hint.

We already — still — have a problem where banks think the rules don’t apply to them. That’s even more true at the “too big to fail” institutions. The Feds can’t make banks follow the law. The states don’t even have authority to make them follow the law. And yet Jamie thinks he has too many regulations?

Just ignore those pesky regulations, Jamie. Keep ignoring the law. And especially, ignore those angry consumers who are tired of getting screwed.


In closing: on health care; Jesus wouldn’t approve of Ayn Rand; national debt; local news; spam; band-aids on a bullet wound; I hope it never happens to his wife; the elements; food prices going up; wage “growth“; Hooverites; fossil sea turtle; and the continuing saga of Whitney Elementary.

Compare and Contrast

Over the weekend, the people who brought us TaintedEggs™ said that anybody who got sick? It was their own damn fault. Yes, that’s right, it’s our fault for enjoying eggs over easy, Hollandaise sauce, and Caesar Salads. These aren’t your grandmother’s farm fresh eggs, sweetie! Treat them like toxic waste that must be incinerated to be healthy!

Today the FDA pointed out that maybe, just maybe, letting 8 foot tall piles of chicken poop accumulate and having rats around might be part of the problem. I wonder how long until they find a way to make that our fault too.

In closing: it‘s still the economy, stupid; and giant raptor.

Am I Late? To the Discussion on Sex and Health Insurance, that is

It seems that certain loonies have realized that the recently passed health insurance reform bill actually might benefit women.

To wit, people — who happen to be women by the way — who manage to get coverage in the various state pools for those who can’t get traditional insurance due to pre-existing and/or chronic conditions might — might! — have abortions that are covered by that insurance. Now the President says something to the effect of “Oh no, no that’s not right. The Feds ain’t payin for no abortions. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads, religious zealots!” Actually, says a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, yes they will be covered but if and only if it’s rape, incest, or the woman’s life are in danger (not health, but life). Now remember that the entire purpose of this pool is that the insured has health problems bad enough to keep her from getting insurance elsewhere.

Yeah, because society is really better off when we make cancer survivors and the like pay for their own damn abortions. Dirty sluts!

Elsewhere, we have rumblings that certain conservatives (who must have been out of contact with reality for the last few decades) are upset that insurance coverage for The Pill — and for that matter the screening test you need before the almighty Gynecologist will allow you access to a twelve month supply, and not a single pill more — might become standard. Or, as Amanda Marcotte helpfully simplifies it, “Conservative Groups Demand High Abortion, Teen Pregnancy Rates.”

I would like to address one particular statement from Chuck Donovan at the Heritage Foundation:

People who are insured don’t want to pay for services they don’t need or to which they have moral objections. Parents want to have a say over what’s covered and what’s not for their children.

Let’s take this to it’s logical conclusion, shall we? They want you to think that they have a moral objection to birth control (and abortion, which is prevented by birth control). The second sentence makes it clear that they object to sexually active teens having access to birth control. So he does make clear what those of us who have kept track of anti-abortion rhetoric for a while have long known: they are really against sex. Well, more accurately, any sex they aren’t having. If they are against their kids preventing pregnancy and support women people “living with the consequences of sex” as most so-called pro-life people claim they are, they must surely also be against curing any sexually transmitted diseases they may contract. After all, that syphilis or gonorrhea is a consequence of sex!

And so why should insurance pay for this? Why should it be insured when Joe Average fools around and accidentally gives Jane Average a disease she’d rather not talk about in polite company? I don’t support people cheating on their spouses! Do you?

And with that, I stumble on why research has developed no vaccine against AIDS, let alone any hope of a cure.

Well guess what? The overwhelming majority of Americans think it’s a good idea to let other Americans plan the size of their families. The overwhelming majority of Americans think that although abortion is often a tragedy, it is most often the best possible end of an even bigger tragedy. And yes, have no fear, almost everybody agrees that it is a good idea to cure people with sexually transmitted diseases.

As “reform” is implemented, let’s not allow our elected officials to forget that while the squeaky wheel may need greasing, that alone won’t get you where you need to be.

In closing: ghost ship at ground zero; Wall Street “Reform” will soon be law; notice what happens after 2001; and pictures of Kyoto. Next time, hopefully, something on the economy.

Reform. For Freedom.

We have officially gotten to the point where corporations control us.

They control how much money we are allowed to make. They control our finances on the national, international, and personal level — badly. They control our health care in a system that is doomed to collapse under the weight of its own expense real soon now. Worst of all, they play by whatever rules they like while squeezing ordinary people to desperation. Now they have a green light to even more openly control our government.

And unless this worthless Congress remembers that the one thing corporations can’t do — yet, anyway — is vote, things are going to get worse rather than better. We desperately need real financial reform now, the kind that restores rules that worked through most of the 20th century and not the kind so riddled with loopholes as to be a gift to the financial services industry. We need insurance reform that puts more of our health care dollars to work providing health care and curtailing the abuse of patients who foolishly want the care they think they (or their bosses) are paying for, not a “reform” that forces everyone to participate in a broken system through mandatory coverage.

I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free,” the song goes. Free to do what? Free to get involved in staged protests of issues we don’t understand? Free to loudly proclaim “facts” with no basis in reality? Free to watch propaganda dressed up as news? Free to owe everything to the companies that hire us, care for us, and mis-manage our money with no hope of anything else?

If you don’t mind, I’d prefer a different flavor of freedom.

In Closing: Roman Army Knife; “Um, because it was the right thing to do and we didn’t want any lawyers saying we did wrong later? Was the 5th Amendment repealed while I wasn’t looking?”; nice to see that we are going to count job losses more honestly, but it’s a shame that Mr. Obama will be blamed for “losing” these jobs when he merely counted Bush Administration losses correctly; I couldn’t have said it better either; at least child abuse is down!; where genetic testing and “pro-life” collide; trees are loving global warming (much more so than the polar bears); and Americans are drinking more, but we’re not paying for the Good Stuff. So, uh, maybe the price of Scotch will return to rational levels? No? I thought not.