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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Health Care Reform Bill

The health care reform bill was passed in the House of Representatives a few weeks ago, and so it has become the law of the land, though the usual political Nasties have vowed to nullify it, and so far the attorney-generals of 14 states have set into motion lawsuits claiming that the bill is unconstitutional.

In the interest of honesty I confess that I have very little idea of what's in this bill. But I believe I am really really far from alone in that. Believing that, like all big bills considered by the U.S. Congress, it consists of hundreds and maybe even thousands of pages of stipulations expressed in some extremely murky prose, reading it was never a possibility for me. And again, I wonder how many did, before it was passed.. Again I'm certain that that number is miniscule in the extreme.

All I know is that I have read that 32 million of our fellow Americans who up to now didn't have any medical insurance coverage and were going "barebacked" will now be getting it, and that was the main focus of the whole thing for me.. It was never right for all the Haves in the American populace who were comfortably sailing along with good medical coverage to fight so hard to keep the millions of Have-Nots from being able to enjoy the same feeling and situation of medical security. And all the arguments put forward against the bill struck me as being specious in the extreme. But if you were old enough and were not totally ignorant of history, it was easy to know that all those types of arguments had been heard before, every time any serious effort was made to bring a scorned segment of the American populace up to the same level as the dominant group. It goes all the way back to the days of slavery, and even earlier, with opponents falling all over themselves predicting that the fall of the nation is near at hand with the passage of such and such a measure, though that's never been true after each of these moments, and after the passage of health care reform, the chances are less than usual for an apocalypse to take place, because that passage is being followed this time by a sort of vacuum of events that is going to last for a long time, while the operative people finally read the new requirements, and that is going to take a good little while, all by itself. And in that period very little of consequence that can happen as a result of this bill figures to be experienced by most people, again for a long time, most likely not for many years. Meanwhile carloads of other issues are waiting to have their day in the dawn and to take up everyone's time and attention..

But that's not keeping the opponents of health care reform from blowing noxious smoke into that emptiness anyway, no matter how much time works to blow it away without expending the least effort while doing so..

It's just sad that so many people have nothing better to do with themselves, and that so many others think that their empty emanations into the winds are nevertheless worth noting.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Unintended Boost to Health Care Reform

A chief contender for the title of the most odious known man in the United States has just announced that if the health care reform bill is passed, he will leave the country.

Such a statement, as much as anything else that this man has said, shows that everything he says is emitted out of the same bodily orifice that he is otherwise believed to use to defecate, and I don't understand why he would pass a wind to which the possible suitable responses would be so numerous as to be beyond count.

Isn't it incredible that large enough numbers of people exist in this country to have made this man a millionaire many times over and to feel that his departure from these shores would be a tragedy many times over. If enough people exist who merely believe that his absence would be something of a shame are even in the majority, then the others, including myself, are really under enough threat that they need to be looking with greater interest at prospects in Canada, Mexico, or almost anywhere else.

All I know is that, whatever its failings, and however much it will cost, the cost of passing the health care reform bill would be cheap indeed if this man were to keep his word, though everyone knows that he never would. His end of the politcal spectrum, tipped by him, is characterized by such constantly demostrated deficiencies in character.

Dilemmas and Dire Disorders

Steve Bates, over at the Yellow Something Something, formerly, before Obama came in, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, is in dire medical trouble. Apparently mostly because of diabetes, his right foot has gotten into such bad shape that he can barely manage to get from one room to another without a walker, and he has just gotten a diagnosis from an orthopedist who says that at some point, maybe quickly, he should allow his foot to be amputated. But he might be able to go to a hospital that specializes in treating diabetes wounds, and where the doctor who interviewed him for admittance, though not an orthopedist, had quite a different and much sunnier view of his condition, or at least of the wound. So things still look to be drastically up in the air.

In the midst of such a serious business, I am wondering about an especially crucial element in all this, and that is what Bates' redoubtable lady has to say.. Though it's not something that men like to acknowledge or even notice, women usually have a better idea about the best ways to go than do men. That's why women don't get into nearly as much trouble,. But so far nothing has been reported about Stella's thoughts on the matter.


Many years ago, in 1953 to be exact, when I was being interviewed about the possibility of being given a medical discharge (never implemented, I think mostly because of my righteous attitude), during a 2-month stay in the Air Force hospital in Riverside, California following an attack of regional enteritis, the doctors said that no cure to that malady was known -- they had merely cut out a section of my intestines and let it go at that -- and I would always be under its threat, and that one of the effects would be that when I was older, I would be inefficient.

And this morning I mentioned to my wife that that seems to be happening, quite a lot. After all, I can't even keep this weblog running regularly, though each and every morning something and sometimes a lot of things pop into my head that I could easily put in it but never get around to it..

But she pooh-poohed that and said instead, "You're inefficient because you're absent-minded and also because you like to do things the hard way."

I couldn't argue with either of those, and just yesterday we had seen a vivid example of the former.

It had been raining all night, one of those gentle, steady downpours that are so great for sleeping and for beautiful things to pop up once more out of the ground following a hard winter. And I discovered that during my switcheroos of my computer monitors, I had left a perfectly good Dell Trinitron CRT 17-incher sitting outside in that rain on one of the side decks where we don't go often, intending to carry it back up to the workshop but then having forgotten about it.

This doesn't wreck my monitor situation, but I had been depending on keeping that one as a good backup.

I don't know if all the water ruined the monitor totally, having had a chance to enter through the numerous vent holes in the top, and I haven't read anything about that eventuality in the literature.

My plan is to wait at least a month before trying to turn it on. It will be interesting to see what happens. Meanwhile I positioned the monitor upside down, though I noticed that no water drained back out through the vent holes. Is that a good or a bad sign?

I am not a professor, but it seems that I've always been absent-minded, because there are so many interesting things to think about and all crammed up in the same bunches of time.

So my wife's comment hit a nerve in exactly the same way that my mother did so many years ago, when I was a child. Quite often that wonderful woman would say with mild exasperation that I would forget and leave my head sitting around, too, if it wasn't attached to the rest of my body by my neck.

But that's what happens when you are forever concerned with the Big Issues of the Day. Right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Preferred Prognosis

L.G., the longer serving of the two endlessly quaint receptionists at the eye doctor's shop, told me today that according to the Farmer's Almanac, as reported on the news, the winter is not through with us yet, and we will have one more heavy snowstorm later this month.

However, I much prefer to go by the predictions of the Wishful Thinking Almanac, as written by me (and published mentally) and generally a more reliable source, and it says not so, and that instead the current clear sledding into another great spring will keep on going without any interruption.

After all, the brightly green daffodil shoots are six or seven inches tall, the forsythia is not far from doing its thing, and other birds are joining the crows.in the woodland chorus.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Since Then

Many things have happened around here since February 17. Many small things, and today the last remnants of the long series of snowstorms that started way back in December are almost finished finally melting away in near 60-degree temps, and the dead leaves have things on the ground all to themselves again.

Maybe, just for the record, I might mention some of those small things, but not right now. But today I do have a new monitor, the first LCD one I've ever had, not counting the one that my wife inherited from her job, which is now two years into history. This one is a 23.8 inch widescoreen, made by Hanns-G, and though much bigger, it's lighter than her Dell 17-incher. I got it from Newegg, where their great system of customer reviews gave it a 77% 5-star rating, which is kind of incredible, because usually the good stuff doesn't do any better than something in the 60 percents. I missed a sale on it for $169 by $10, and a few days after I received it, it went up $20 more.

I've had it for about a week, but today was the first time I was able to turn it on. The reason is the fault of either myself or of the monitor's designers, and I was nearly on the point of returning it as DOA, because I was unable to turn it on. It had no power switch that I could find, and its quickstart instructions said that the power could be disconnected by pulling the power plug, which suggested, logically speaking, that the power could be turned on by plugging in the cord. I have had a piece of computer equipment -- I forget what -- that had same rude, crude feature.

But this morning, being highly reluctant to return the thing, as I am also with everything else, and being unable to shake the feeling that I was missing something, badly, and also unable to believe that a company, especially one with such a popular machine, would make a monitor without a power switch, I looked at it more closely one more time, and at last spotted the switch, though I had to push it to confirm that it was indeed a switch. It was very small, and it was cleverly hidden under the panel and disguised as part of the base or the stand, and without any sort of a marking.

And so it goes. A lot of little foibles like that are happening with me these days, but I still have no reason to complain..