Saturday, September 28, 2013

Government Shutdown : Who Will Blink

So who do you think will blink first?

MSNBC  Odds of Shutdown Increase
CNN House GOP Plan
FOX News Obamacare Delay

Of course, Hiram will say the GOP is threatening the good name of America.  However, I am trying to figure out how in the world does one stop the excessive spending without cutting up the credit cards?

Thoughts?  On the negotiations?  Obamacare funding? Other?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ideas for Creating Jobs in America?

Now here are some quick thoughts.
  • Chongqing is incredible and very different.  It is built in a hilly/mountainous terrain so there is green space between the urban areas.
  • 20+ story apartment buildings are everywhere and they are actively building probably another 50+ based on the cranes that are everywhere I have driven.
  • There are huge variations from high tech, fashion oriented, wealthy, modern to traditional, poor and ram shackle.
  • The picture of the woman brooming along the street is a common occurrence. The plants and trees near the highways are beautifully landscaped.  Imagine driving along 494, 55, etc and there is some person with a broom and dust pan walking along the street about every 2 miles.
  • Then the construction sites vary from modern equipment, to large groups of people out there with hand tools.  Huge modern cranes right next to bamboo scaffolding... 
Maybe we could give all the welfare recipients and the unemployed orange suits, brooms and dust pans....  It would definitely reduce the unemployment rate...  Thoughts?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not in MN Anymore

A view from my 14th floor room in Shanghai.  Buildings, buildings, everywhere...

Friday, September 20, 2013

North Dakota Oil Boom

Last weekend I spent a day with my parents touring the area around Stanley, Tioga and New Town North Dakota.  My Great Aunt Bertha had asthma and moved up to Tioga before the first oil boom because the air was drier.  She then became quite the business woman and worked as a liaison between the local farmers and the petroleum companies during the first boom.  Fortunately for my family, she also had the foresight to buy some land.

It was very interesting to see all the infrastructure development over the Baaken formation. They need a lot of electricity, water, gas pipelines, train loading depots and everything else that is needed to support the rapid population increase.  From my description you might think the area is becoming highly populated, well not really...  Remember that this is ~1000 square miles of pretty widen open spaces and crop fields.  Also once a well is up and pumping, there isn't much to it, just a pumper and 4 or 5 holding tanks.

The man camps were kind of interesting structures, they reminded me some of a habitrail for hamsters.  However as you can see from the video they seem pretty nice inside.

For more details on where the rigs are you can access the ND Oil and Gas Site.  And then you can select their GIS Map Server which shows every well (old & current), the path of the horizontal drilling, every active drilling unit and more.  Apparently ND gets ~11% of whatever comes out of the ground, so all the citizens should be pretty happy.  And the land owners are really happy since they get somewhere between 1/6 & 1/8 depending on the terms.  I met some of the locals and they reminded me a lot of Jed Clampett, real nice conservative folks who have a little extra unplanned for income coming in.

Here is a video that explains fracking.  And here is a discussion of some of the claims regarding fracking.  So now it is your turn, what do you think of what is happening in NW ND? Good, bad, indifferent?

FYI, I fly out for Shanghai China at ~11 AM tomorrow. And then I continue on to Chongqing, probably the biggest city you have never heard of.  Apparently they have some significant growing pains and poverty that the Chinese government is working to address.  I probably won't have much time for touring however I am sure it will be an experience.  In case you note my posting or commenting at strange times, now you'll know why.  Wish me luck !!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goal of American Healthcare?

Here is Sean's proposal from the last post.
"The goal should be to deliver quality health care to all of our citizens in the most efficient manner." Sean

What do you think?  "Should" this be our goal?  If not, what should it be?

It seems a bit socialistic for my taste, however I am curious how others perceive this.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ObamaCare Coverage Limits?

 Here are several statements that seem at odds.  Thoughts?
"You're the reason there's a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who'll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can't limit her coverage." Obama G2A Obama Promise to Spend More

"Health care is already rationed in this country -- by the ability to pay. So what we should be discussing is not whether or not rationing should occur, but on what basis we should do so." Sean G2A ObamaCare Shifting Costs Where?

"Sorry, I'm not going to wade through that bill. My personal experience is with my father, with scant days to live, being told that he had to leave the hospital because Medicare would no longer cover his stay. I offered to pay and was told that was not allowed under Medicare rules. Also, that is the rule under Canada's socialized medicine system and I have no reason to believe that Obama's is any different. Like Medicare and Medicaid, if they do not pay, the doctor may not accept private payment." Jerry G2A ObamaCare Shifting Costs Where?
What is the truth here:
  • Coverage with no limits?
  • Death panels wandering the nursing homes?
  • Why pay for Gold if everyone gets the surgery they require?
  • What really limited J's father's treatment? Medicare limits or Hospital greed. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why are there Fewer Women Bosses?

 Ok, let's take a break from ObamaCare.  Dog and I are disagreeing over what women think and why...  They have an opinion that women on the whole are just as foolish as men.  They believe that as many women as men are willing to put their career ahead of their children and family. MPP Why those at TOP. Fail...  Of course I disagree, I personally think most women are much smarter and more balanced.
"What about the pragmatic concept that the woman’s path to the top is blocked because many of them are smarter and therefore value a healthy work life balance?

I finished my MBA and made a conscious decision not to pursue the upper management ranks. The personal cost due to excessive travel and long days was not worth the money or position. I think most women agree, so I always find this topic amusing." G2A

"Just as there are men who want to do what it takes to get to the top, there are also women. I find the idea that women don’t want to be paid the same as men for the same work, that they don’t care about their careers as much, or that they are ‘too smart’ to want to succeed is bogus.

People want different things, but men and women want the same things. Women are just routinely not treated equally." Dog Gone

Okay ladies what do you think?  Having a wife and 3 daughters, I know I am probably incorrect for some reason...  Please enlighten me...  Thoughts?

Forbes Women Opting Out?
NY Times Women Like Childcare more then Men?
Columbia Consult
The Wonder of Girls Michael Gurian

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Obamacare: Shifting Costs Where?

Okay. Let's try to eat this elephant one bite at a time.  And since one really isn't going to reduce healthcare costs significantly without changing one of the drivers found in this link. G2A Healthcare Cost Drivers  We have to assume that Obamacare is for the most part just reallocating costs in some way.

So who is paying the costs today for the insured and uninsured?
  • Fed Gov't / Taxpayers: Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc
  • State Gov't / Taxpayers: State Health Services, etc
  • Insurance, Employer, Customers: Benefits, etc
  • Hospitals / Insurance: Pro Bono work, Cross subsidy, etc
  • Citizens: Premiums, Copays, Deductible, Direct Payments, etc
  • Charities: Funding in cases of need
  • Everyone: Lawyers, Court costs, Ambulance chaser ads, etc
  • Banks / Shareholders: Bankruptcy settlements, etc
So if the Fed and State governments are going to start paying part or all of the premiums for those who do not have employer subsidized health insurance.  And we citizens, business, etc are going to fund this activity by paying more some where. (ie government has NO money) 

Where do you think we will see the savings appear to offset these increases?
Or are the additional coverages and customers costing more than the program is saving?

Hill Medicaid Exception Clarified
Healthcare Town Hall
Human Arc ACA Shifting
WSJ Cost Shifting
NYT Detroit to Shift Costs
Fox News States Blind Sided by Shifts

Saturday, September 7, 2013

ObamaCare is Working?

Since I don't know much about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I am pretty indifferent to it.  However it seems that the Left are Praising it and the Right are Vilifying it...  So it should make for a good research topic, when I get time this weekend between outdoor activities.

I do have one piece of knowledge that has been confirmed by the HR groups of both the companies that I have worked with during the past year.  The premiums that my company and I pay for family coverage have gone up because of PPACA.  This makes perfect sense because the "benefits" my family may receive and the "risk" that the insurance company faces have increased.  Three of the key factors as I understand them are: kids are covered longer, certain benefits are mandatory and applicants with pre-existing conditions can not be denied or charged a higher rate.  Makes sense.

Here are Liberal links that praise the PPACA:
MPP Obamacare Doing What It is Supposed To (Joe Bodell)
MPP Obamacare is Working (Dog Gone)
MPP MN Sure Rates (Big E)

Here are Conservative links that critique PPACA:
Heritage Foundation:Obamacare

Here are a mix of links:
ObamaCare Facts
AARP: Fact Sheets
Kaiser Family Foundation
Policy Mic: Pros/Cons
Huff Post Obamacare
Bloomberg Cost Affordable
Wash Post Know premiums.  Affordable?
Wash Post Health care
Just the Facts: Healthcare
The Economist Rate Shock?

This post(s) will be developing all weekend.  So what links should I add and study?

A secondary goal is to determine if Liberal and Conservative links are factual or not?
(A side discussion Dog, J and I are working.. Dog says Conservatives make stuff up and J says Liberals make stuff up...)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Facts and Humanity

So Dog has posed an interesting challenge...  "I’m still waiting for you to provide a definition of who and what is human, including along our evolutionary history."  It was a part of this much larger comment...
"G2, all you have offered here is faith in place of fact, and no fact-based definitions.

We can agree in facts, and I am quite clear about the extent to which facts are accumulated in larger contexts. If you see an example where I have misrepresented any fact, please supply it. Beyond that, while there may not be perfect consensus, I have provided both the most current information, the conclusions from that information – which you have not challenged using facts.

You avoid anything which is factual that discredits your arguments. I don’t. I’m still waiting for you to provide a definition of who and what is human, including along our evolutionary history.

I have not extrapolated to any extreme degree, I have rather expressed here what the current status of science is. The appropriate criticism for extrapolation of facts – which is not faith or belief – relies on the quantity and diversity of those facts taken together. You haven’t offered up anything – ANYTHING – that argues against EITHER the facts or the conclusions from them.

You just offer up “I like my prejudices better”, and call it faith, without addressing the facts AT ALL.

These are not ‘just my conclusions – or facts’, they are the prevailing thought, which is well founded. You simply don’t like them." Dog Gone
Here were my responses...
"“prevailing thought” of a certain group of people…" G2A

"Why would anyone debate “facts” with you? You would just insist that their sources are biased, incorrect, stupid, disproven, etc. While insisting that yours are rock solid and unbiased.. Until you empty your cup a bit, accept that a lot of this is gray and respect opposing views, it is a waste of time…" G2A

"I often disagree with my readers but I do respect their differing views, whereas that is something you are not able to do yet. Open or close minded, it is your choice." G2A

"As for when a fetus becomes a human… I believe there is no correct black/white answer. That is why we have politicians and courts. This again will be a difficult concept for you. The fetus becomes human when the society in which you live says it does. And this can change over time… Just like values, crimes, success criteria, definition of beauty, sinful behavior, etc. You are a black and white person living in a very gray world…" G2A
 Now I know we have discussed abortion many times.  This time I would like you to forget about the whole concept of abortion, women's rights, Roe V Wade, viability, etc.  And just try to answer these questions from your personal perspective:
  • Are humans significantly different from other mammals? How & Rationale?
  • Did we evolve from a lower level of mammal? If so, when did we become "human"?
  • When do think a human becomes a human via the natural pro-creation process? Rationale?
  • Can you think of any "factual" way to prove or disprove the above to 90+% of humans?  (ie prevailing thought)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Impeach Obama?

J,    Maybe you can enlighten me and save me some research.  With some Conservatives openly dreaming of impeaching Obama, could you tell me what grounds they are imagining using?

I may not always agree with the President, however this seems a bit out there.  Thoughts?

WP Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment
CNN Nearing Grounds for Impeachment
Think Progress 10 Reasons GOP wants to Impeach President