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Just a small bit of closure and a cheer.

Listened to the Inauguration on the radio, just to be sure.

No More Bush!
No More Bush!
No More Bush!

The most disgusting things about the previous 8 years is that Bush/Cheney will not be tried and will get away with the lies, savaging the Constitution, eroding civil liberties, torture, malfeasance, influence peddling, and making America a shit stained icon in a world gone mad. If ever there was a time for a special prosecutor with maximum subpoena powers, this is really it. But, I fear that they will skate because their crimes are too big, too long, and too painful.

We can only hope when he gets off the plane, he shuts the fuck up, and we do not have to listen to him in any capacity, for any reason on any subject ever again, or until the heat death of the universe, whichever comes last.

Although, the idea of Bush doing a perp walk warms my heart.

Looking at the big O

Now that we have a new president, I have a few suggestions for him.

Infrastructure investment.
[1] Fiber everywhere! However care should be taken in demanding accountability in for doing this. Too often the incumbents telecoms have said with great PR fanfare that they are on the job, only to fail miserably.

[2] Health Care. Figure out if you are going advocating Health Care or Health Coverage. The differences are significant. We are all going to pay for it somehow, but we can surely do better than the current Health Insurance Companies.

[3] Copyright. Rescind it back to 14 years, for authors/creators, require registration, so that we have a database that can be used for solving copyright infringement issues.

[4] Shovel Ready Projects. Step back and think seriously about these as a lot of them are highway projects, for repair, they should be justified in terms of future use. See [1] Above. Here is a hint: The Internet is changing the way folks get news, changing the dead tree delivery metric, telecommuting is lowering the traffic and should encouraged, the way folks are buying things has changed and will continue to accelerate as time goes on.

[5] Government. Fire everybody and make them reapply for their jobs. My first thought was to line them all up against the wall and count them off by 2’s and then fire the 1’s, but even I think that is probably a bit harsh.

I still have a box of loosing lottery tickets I would like to be bailed out of. Who do I send them to?

Bush is Out.

Today is the last day that we have to hang our heads in shame due to GW Bush. There are all sorts of superlatives to describe Obama as our next CIC, so I will forgo them, as there folks more invested in this event, who write better.
BUSH IS OUT! Gone! I hope the door breaks his ass on the way back to texas.

Health Insurance Fee Data Victory, Sort of…

The State of NY has ordered United Health Group to update its fee database as part of an underpayment “scheme to defraud consumers”, settlement.
At issue is the United Health Group’s wholly owned Ingenix business unit, which operates databases that insurance companies use for making payments, under the rubric of “reasonable and customary”. However this ‘victory’ is limited to reimbursement when using an out of network doctor. These payments are calculated by what is known as the ‘prevailing local fees’. These fee schedules become part of the databases used for calculating payments that end up with your bill for services.

Here is the rub with this ‘victory’. It lets stands the concept of networks, where insurance companies and doctors agree on payments for services, under the assumption that the doctor will ‘win’ with a patient group requiring a single paperwork submission process, lowering his overhead and providing him with profit. The insurance company will ‘win’ by being able to negotiate cheaper fees in return for volume discounts, (those being the implicit promise of patients. Implicit rather than explicit as explicit is known as steering and is for the most part illegal.)

Prevailing Local Fees
PLF’s are calculations made by pooling billing data by geographical regions. The PLF fees which form the basis of this database, are skewed by ‘network’ arrangements, which have already been driven downward by pressure by the insurance industry. This database is shared among insurance companies, in what would seem in any other industry a violation of anti trust, but for federal McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 exempted the insurance industry from anti-trust regulation, so that this game can continue.
The insurance industry does not make money writing checks, they make money collecting premiums
You would think that on a common sense basis a provider like your hospital, clinic or doctor, who is doing a large volume of business, would have lower costs by ‘buying in bulk’, having less paperwork for payment processing, and so on. You would think that a big hospital which buys in bulk and has all of the diagnostic and surgical toys on site would provide medical care cheaper. Dream fucking on. So why is an aspirin costing you a dollar? Hospitals use every cost associated with their physical plants and add a piece of it for your bill. You come in for 6 stitches, you pay for an mri machine,staff, carts, advertising, and everything else the hospital can think of. Part of this is valid, most is not.

So when you get medical services, and receive bills that are far outside of what the contract between you and an insurance company, this is why. So the ‘victory’ is a bullshit move.
Even this is bullshit:

Under the agreement, UnitedHealth will pay $50 million to finance the creation of the new database, which will be intended to determine the prevailing costs of medical care in specific regions. Although the university to operate that database has not yet been selected, Mr. Cuomo said he would prefer it to be based in New York. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth’s Ingenix unit is allowed to continue running the operations.
Source NYT Online

Also note that we have not discussed health care yet.

I have eleven fingers! More New Math by the Green Loons!

I have eleven fingers. If i count down from 10 on my left hand, 10,9,8,7,6, and add the number of fingers from my right hand(5) I have eleven fingers. You do too.

In the latest display of Greenhouse New Math, an article showed up on the Times Online website, Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches , reported that Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross said that Google Searches were bad for the environment,

“that a single Google search generates 7g of CO2, versus around 15g for a tea kettle – something he calls a “definite environmental impact.”

How he pulled these numbers out of which dark matter universe he lives in is a mystery that will have to wait until his research is published. If.

Google actually responded with better numbers as they are probably the tightest folks with a buck on the planet.

Probably the most annoying thing about the Greenhouse New Math is how badly it is done. Take the search for example. Is it done to save gas looking for a product you will either buy online or drive to get, in the shortest distance? In either case, you are going to need a calculator to figure out this number, after you follow the daisy chain of carbon emissions and credits of your computer, house, car, gas, back to the death of the dinosaurs, that died and made your car, chair and the store you are shopping at. Don’t forget to subtract the carbon emissions of your breathing, and the polyester blend you are wearing while you rape the planet with your computer. Carbon footprints, Oh My!

Buried in the bottom of the Times article is the reference to Twitter, which all of the techmemmes are curiously silent about and the gigantic time suck as well as the consumption involved in tweeting with your cellphone (Carbon Footprint of a Mobile Phone) in disclosed locations, sucking megajoules of energy and accounting for more carbon spewage than a month of Google searching.
Bad Science or as one responder to the original article puts it “psychotic pseudoscience”, as well as bad math.

This is a ….wait for it…..
A real tempest in a teapot
heh heh

BONUS LINK!! Forget Google rationing: Only lighting farts can save the planet

Researchers Discover Massive Asshole In Blogosphere | The Onion

Long suspected now confirmed

Proud to be a Swede

Dead People Will Provide Heat to Crematorium Facilities

Homies 2008 aka the Bitchies

Housebloggers are a subset of the blog universe that can be defined as folks who own homes and write about their experiences, building, remodeling, decorating.  I do it. Most folks do it for the joy of it, some folks do it because they can, and some folks are in business to capitalize on it. There is nothing wrong with any of these reasons.

Apartment Therapy is a business in a blogging format. They are a member of the Glam Media Network Their focus is on pageviews and advertising with a decorating hook. This is an observation. According to themselves,(1.5M unique visitors per month, and 15 million page views, across a network of 5 sites) You would think that this would be enough.

They have a contest called the Homies trying for some of that audience participation social media voodoo. The prize is a hundred bucks and 5 seconds of fame.

One  finalist has asked to be withdrawn from this ‘contest’ already and the comments keep coming.

Yet another page view scheme headed off a cliff.