Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chaos! Subversion! Sweet!

I was on the verge of sympathizing with some blogging buds on the general and particular suckinesses of the Democrats when I spotted this piece at I don't usually reproduce someone else's words in full and verbatim, but this time I'd like to. These things have a way of disappearing behind firewalls and this one is too good to lose, so I c&p'd the whole thing for you, with Peter Wallsten's words in bold, and mine interjected in regular type.

Democrats scramble to prevent Florida primary election fiasco

An early contest could shift delegates to less-popular presidential candidates -- or discount their votes for the party's 2008 nominee altogether.
By Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
May 20, 2007

WASHINGTON — For front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, Florida looked to be a major battleground in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. With its big, sprawling population, the state was a natural for high-profile candidates who could afford costly campaigns, and the prize was a whopping 210 delegates.

But now, because of an unexpected glitch, those delegates could go to a candidate most Americans don't even know is running: a crusty former senator from Alaska named Mike Gravel. Or maybe to Ohio Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, the quixotic peace candidate who barely registers in the polls.
Yay, Kucinich! Let's hear it for the Peaceniks! Kucininch, the only candidate with a not-for-profit health care plan.

It sounds like just another wacky political dust-up from the land of hanging chads and butterfly ballots. But the problem is considered so serious that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and state party officials are embroiled in frantic behind-the-scenes negotiations to stave off a potential disaster that could quickly spread across the nation.

The trouble sprang from a decision by Florida lawmakers to jump to an earlier spot on the primary election calendar, following the lead of other big states tired of voting too late to have a meaningful say in choosing each party's nominee.
The wacky land of hanging chads and butterfly ballots. That would be us, always at the forefront of elections shenanigans.

But whereas California, Illinois and many other states are moving to set their primaries for Feb. 5, Florida opted to leap ahead to Jan. 29 — a week earlier than allowed under Democratic Party rules. And that has triggered mayhem.

National Democratic officials have vowed to enforce party rules that strip delegates from any state that moves too early in the calendar, and also from candidates who campaign in those states. The penalties were meant to stop states from continually leapfrogging each other in a race to be among the first to vote.
Frogs! Who knew you had to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a President?

As things stand now, Clinton, Obama and other prominent contenders may not be eligible to win any Florida delegates, though the state offers a compartively large share of the total needed to win the Democratic nomination. Under one scenario, it could turn out that no Democratic candidate gets any Florida delegates.
The turncoat bastards don't deserve our votes.

Democratic officials are alarmed by these possibilities, though they are reluctant to talk about the problem for fear of jeopardizing the negotiations.
Alarm! Jeopardy! [Politics for $500, please, Alex.]

For starters, they don't want to undercut their own candidates in what many consider the biggest swing state for the general election. And if the Florida crisis is not resolved quickly, it could prompt other states to change their voting dates again — with some ballots possibly cast as early as 2007. New Hampshire, which plans to vote Jan. 22, has said it will do whatever is necessary to protect its status as the first presidential primary state.

All agree they need to find a solution.
Or a gel. Or a sol.

"The alternative is chaos," said Mitchell Berger, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer and fundraiser for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a top-tier Democratic candidate. "I'm encouraging everybody to calm down, take a deep breath and figure this out," said Berger, who is privy to the negotiations.
Chaos! [and privies!]

It was not supposed to be this way. To prevent this very problem — and to protect the practice of retail politicking in the traditional early-voting states — Dean and other party leaders established a nationwide schedule for primaries and caucuses, starting in January 2008. They designated Iowa as the first caucus state, along with newcomer Nevada. New Hampshire and South Carolina were approved for primaries soon afterward.
Retail politicking? WTF?

The DNC, trying to keep the selection process from being too front-loaded and thus stacked against candidates with smaller war chests, also adopted a rule saying no other state could hold a primary before Feb. 5.
I approve of this sentiment, as my candidate hasn't got the largest war chest in the tribe.

But Republicans in the Florida Legislature — supported by many Democrats — pushed through a measure setting Jan. 29 as the date for their state's presidential primary. Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, is expected to sign the bill.

If that date holds for picking Florida's Democratic delegates, penalties for violating the party's rules would cut Florida's delegation by more than half, to 92 votes. But most important, the rules would also take away any delegates won by candidates who campaigned or raised funds in the state.

Tension over the 2008 calendar is especially high because, for the first time in half a century, there are competitive primaries in both parties. The GOP, which also has rules designed to keep order in the nominating process, plans to strip Florida of about half its delegates to the national convention if the early primary is held. But the DNC rules go much further.
Order in the nominating process? We don't need on stinkin' order!

Strategists for Clinton vow that the senator from New York will campaign in Florida no matter what, underscoring her intent to build a campaign for the general election. Other well-known contenders such as Sen. Obama of Illinois, Edwards, Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are not likely to forgo the fundraising riches of Florida, one of the country's biggest sources of campaign cash.

That means that Florida's delegates could fall to the also-rans who appear on the state ballot but face no pressure to campaign there.
Way cool!

Or, it could mean no candidate gets any Florida delegates. The Democratic rules also contain a provision that no candidate who receives less than 15% of the total primary vote may be awarded delegates, though party officials admit the rule is vague and it's not clear what would happen if the top vote-getters were disqualified.
What happens when you can't even give your votes away?

"This is a new road for us to head down," said Phil McNamara, director of party affairs and delegate selection for the DNC, which will hold the party's national convention in Denver in August 2008.

One possible solution gaining steam is to forget the primary and schedule statewide Iowa-style caucuses for February 2008.

But whereas Florida taxpayers would underwrite the primary, the Democratic Party would have to pay for the caucuses — estimated to cost as much as $10 million. And, though Iowa has a tradition of caucuses set in living rooms and firehouses, they might not work so well in the diverse, bare-knuckles political environs of Florida. A typical condo complex in Broward County has more residents than many Iowa towns.
Bare knuckles political environs! Our condos are bigger than your towns! Our senior citizens can beat up your farmers!

A state nominating convention is another possibility. It would be less expensive, but some strategists worry that it could create the perception that party bosses were picking the nominee.
You mean they're not trying to do that already?

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a quick resolution is the fear that if the DNC makes concessions to Florida, it could face new demands from other states. Even worse, some fear a legal battle could result if one candidate wins the statewide vote and another wins the caucuses — especially if the Florida delegates are needed to determine the nominee.
Legal battles for votes? Bring it on!

GOP officials in the state say they had no idea until late in this spring's legislative session that the change would create so much turmoil on the Democratic side.
Yeah, riiiiiight.

"I don't think anybody made us aware of that until the very end of the process," said Marco Rubio, the Republican state House speaker.

And Jeremy Ring, a Democratic state senator from Broward County and co-sponsor of the legislation, defended it.

"If the choice is Florida is relevant and has no delegates versus being irrelevant and having delegates, I'd choose being relevant with no delegates," Ring said. "We did this so 18 million Floridians could take part in the presidential primaries, not so a few hundred people can go to a party in Denver."
SMACKDOWN! Relevant Without Delegates vs Irrelevant With Delegates!

My original plan had been to stay registered as a Democrat until the day after the primary, then switch my registration to Independent the next day. I'd have done that years ago, except that Independents don't get to vote in primaries here in Florida and it hurts me something fierce to even think about losing an opportunity to vote.

Now that we're poised to accidentally-on-purpose throw the monkey wrenches to the wolves, though... Well, we'll see what happens on or about January 29.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Modest Proposal

You might as well start here with Mark Purdy's opinion piece on jock culture. I did, having been a bit of a jock myself [and nerd and geek and dork] all through school, and for some years after. One of my [many] soapboxes is Organization Is Evil, so I'll step down off of that one for the moment and just agree that jock culture needs an overhaul. Call this Plank One in my proposal.

If you've already clicked on the link, you noticed there's a list on the right hand side of the page of Related Stories, and that they're all about the De Anza rape case. I've read several of those, including this one, where the prosecuter explains one of the reasons for not going forward with the case:
Is it sexual assault when a victim is too intoxicated to consent to sex? Yes, but we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was so impaired that she could not understand what she was doing. We must also prove that the defendant should have known that she was incapable of consenting.
Well, heck, if you've got to prove all that, no wonder we can't get anywhere. So, for Plank Two, I propose we use Twisty's definition of consent [it's a good one]:
Well, what if lack of consent were the default? What if all prospective objects of dudely predation — by whom I mean all women — are a priori considered to have said “no”? What if women, in other words, were seen by the courts to abide in a persistent legal condition of keep-the-fuck-off-me?

Last one, Plank Three: What if we remove sex from the equation, dispose of the word rape altogether [and the phrase "sexual assault"], lump everything under one label? From Wikipedia:
Assault is often defined to include not only violence, but any physical contact with another person without their consent.
Don't use your penis, your fist, your baseball bat, your stun gun, your hairbrush, your [insert favorite object here] to make physical contact with someone without their consent. Don't reach out lovingly towards that pregnant belly, and don't admiringly stroke those manly biceps. Not unless their owner says so. Explicitly and enthusiastically.


In the grand new tradition of lolcats, O’DonnellWeb mashes up the lolcreationist just for the Creation Museum Carnival. Hosted by PZ Myers at Pharyngula.

I don't quite know what to say either.

A Journery Through Adoption


Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's ok to be feral

If I were to assemble the Anarchist Cat Manifesto, it would include this:
Being feral is OK. The goal is NOT "No More Feral Cats". The goal is "No More KILLING of feral cats".


... how many feral cats are out there? Some say 60 million, others 100 million. To [TNR advocates] that's 60 million ferals who need TNR. To anti-cat zealots, that's 60 million feral cats eating birds.


... all pet cats belong indoors. What a loony idea.

and this:
Claim: Cat licensing will help raise the status of cats.

In our view, this claim is on a par with the suggestion that licensing poor people or the homeless will help raise their "status." Of course, cat licensing proponents aren't making a comparison to people, but to dogs: if cats are licensed like dogs, they will apparently enjoy the same "status" as dogs. Unfortunately, dog licensing doesn't confer any beneficial "status" on canines: it was and is a tool for protecting livestock, enforcing rabies laws, and ridding the public streets of the perceived threat posed by unowned, free-roaming dogs. Indeed, since 1933 California dog licensing laws have explicitly authorized the impoundment of of unlicensed dogs, and millions of dogs have been impounded and killed by animal control agencies throughout the state as a result of these mandatory licensing laws.

This is the precedent to which proponents of cat licensing appeal when they claim that licensing will raise the "status" of cats. We doubt, however, whether cats would choose such a status for themselves. They might well prefer to retain the unlicensed status they now share with humans. And the dogs may want to join them.

home page for Best Friends Animal Society
t-shirt [no longer available] from don't shoot the cat

Dog Whisperer, my left foot.

Cesar Milan, dog intimidator

Gracie is a lovely, bouncy Labrador retriever who gets all excited over the opportunity to chase a chicken. Look at her at the beginning of the video: ears and head and tail up, eagerness and concentration in her facial expression, lively and quick movements.

Now look at her at the end of the video. Do you see a dog who is "happier because she's no longer obsessed" with chasing chickens? No. She's a dog who is stressed and fearful because some bullying, hissing stranger has just appeared in her formerly idyllic life. He's acting out his dominance/submission fantasies on her against her will and her formerly trustworthy family members aren't even trying to defend her.

Sure, you can control your dogs by thoroughly intimidating them, but why would you want to?

You have until Thursday, 23:59,

to submit your entry for the Inaugural Bralessness Bazaar: June 7, 2007. Hosted by Braless Living LA.

Greenland is melting and so is your underwear!

The Global Warming Debate: “People always complain about the weather, now they’ve done something about it.”

Two Excellent Global Warming Links: “How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic” and “The Skeptics vs the Ozone Hole.” Plus a Picture.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Climbing lessons

The kittens are getting large, and rambunctious, and toothy. They've got claws too. Mom cat, seeking respite but still wanting to watch over them, spends hours resting on the top of the porch fence.

Yesterday, the two blues sat just underneath, trying to figure out how mom got up there, and what they could do to get there too. You can't really see them in this photo [shot through the screen door], but they're the darker blurs at the bottom.

Last night, tiger kitten, the champion climber in the clan, decided to give lessons. First pupil: blue kitten 1.

Ever the iconoclast, patches kitten wants to start from a different place, and aim higher too.

Tonight? The sky's the limit, or perhaps the porch ceiling is. Dude! How're you gonna get down?!

The management recently provided me with a new one-size-fits-all screen door, which means that it doesn't [fit, that is], but since I had to ask repeatedly to get this one, I've been putting up with it. I'll say one thing though, all four of them have been practicing their new-found skills on it, and have left nary a claw mark in the screening material. Tough stuff.

I'm too sexy for my tractor


Give Me Your Vibrant, Your Strong, Your Exploitable

Who Is IOZ?: Give Me Your Vibrant, Your Strong, Your Entrepreneurial Eager to Make a Buck

IOZ, as an unrepentant and only-barely-domesticated anarchist myself, I'm in agreement with you on some basic values. But here's the thing: Why is it that you well-to-do big-L Libertarian free marketeers hate your fellow human beings so much that you're unwilling to pay them enough money to live as comfortable and dignified a life as you do?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive.

T'were Mustang Bobby and Bryan who first turned me on to Friday Cat Blogging.

I [heart] Snowball, but had also noticed that Bryan has a link in his sidebar to Alley Cat Allies, and he has ever since been enshrined in my heart as a good and worthy person.

Bryan's worthy character notwithstanding, I've warned him that I was going to blame him for these kittens. As you can see here, I was grousing, not too long ago, about not having any kittens of my own.

What followed was that a week later I discovered a whole passel of kittens on my front porch!! Kittens in grayscale. Kittens with a blue mom cat who is a dead ringer for Ringo. I'm just sayin'.

In all fairness, I should tell you that shortly after discovering said kittens, I sent Bryan a panicked e-mail, asking him [in rather more decorous language] WTF do I do now?!. He very kindly sent me back a link to these folks. Manna from heaven! A TNR group right here in my own little corner of the Redneck Riviera!

A TNR group whose website I then perused with growing dismay. It looked like they could help low-income people who needed to have their pet spayed or neutered [phone number 438-FIXX] and it looked like they could help someone who wanted to become caretaker of a feral cat colony. I'm none of the above. Still, I finally, a few days ago, decided to suck it up and send them an e-mail asking for whatever help they can give me. I hope they answer soon, because these kittens are probably going to be old enough to go to new homes in another couple of weeks.

15 minutes of fame, 30 years later

Remember this? The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

What's the hapless ski jumper up to these days? Find out here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The First Carnival of Radical Feminists

via Dr Violet Socks

Good news, bad news.

The GOOD news is: all five cats are using the litter box.

The BAD news is: all five cats are using the litter box.

This is good news because one of the reasons that otherwise perfectly good, healthy, lovable pets are given up to animal shelters is euphemistically called inappropriate elimination [no, Emily, you cannot have one of my kittens]. This is bad news because cat pee is noxious stuff, even when eliminated appropriately, and even when four of the five cats are weightless balls of fluff [holding nose].

bonus linky: lolcats

brief kitten update

One of the blue kittens [hard to tell Thing One and Thing Two apart at night] has become terribly interested in all things indoors over the past couple of days, including running up to touch noses with the dog this evening. Of course, all this bravery is exhibited from the other side of the screen door.

This slight amendment in open door policy, leaving the porch door open, but the screen door closed, has come about because curmudgeon cat is pissed about being locked away in the bedroom every evening for hours on end. Curmudgeon cat, when sufficiently motivated and left unsupervised for long enough, can open most of the doors here. I suppose I could always lock him away in the dishwasher, it's brand new and has a sturdy latch that can only be operated from the outside. This strikes me as a too-permanent solution to the problem.

The plural of anecdote IS data [part 2]

Someday I will actually work on improving my blogulation skills, like learning to make sticky posts. For now I'll just make a new post occasionally, with updated data and just lazily link to my introductory rant. You needn't bother to follow the links in the original post, I've reproduced them all here.

Data to be updated periodically*
[compilation of anecdotes]

* particularly if syd keeps providing me with stuff.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Mom cat, kittens, curmudgeon cat, and the dog are all doing well. I, on the other hand, am feeling a bit under the weather. Back whenever.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Detente, part 1

When last we blogged on all things kitten, a couple of nights ago, the dog had enthusiastically joined in the kitten games. Over-enthusiastically, in mom cat's opinion. As a result, relations at last night's open door policy session were a tad strained.

Mom cat gives dog the evil eye.

Dog wisely decides that retreat is the better part of diplomacy.
Blue kitten 2 and patches kitten are brave enough to play at ground level.

Tiger kitten, mom cat, and blue kitten 1 watch from above.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Help! We're being invaded by kittens!

Actually, that was my nefarious plan all along.

These kittens are not receptive to people. The dog has been very patient, and after many hours he has convinced them that he is [mostly] harmless. They will now all, mom cat too, walk up to the dog, even going so far as to touch noses with him.

Me, they run from. And hide. For ages after I walk out onto the porch, bearing food and water. Tiny fluffy cute little ingrates. But every evening, as I sit here in front of the computer blogging all things kitten, or lie on the sofa reading all things Agatha, I've left the door open between the porch and the living room. Mom cat was the first to cave. Because of this, I think it's possible that she's not truly feral, but a pet that was dumped when the owners moved.

Anyways, Mom cat has made several forays into and around the living room, streaking out of here in a flash of blue-cat lightning if I so much as turn the page in my book. Ttyping doesn't bother her, though. Maybe it's because reading is quiet, punctuated by a sudden move [hand reaches up to corner of page], accompanied by a sudden sound [sound of page turning]. Typing on the other hand, is a steady[-ish] stream of white noise [punctuated by the occasional muttered four-letter word], accompanied by a steady stream of white-noise-like movements.

Difficult to know what goes on inside their furry little heads, though. Probably Schrodinger equations [forgive the lack of umlaut].

Patches kitten was the first to follow mom cat's lead and step foot over the threshold. Got both front feet inside, planted on the carpet, and froze, as though wondering how the heck to get one's feet back off the carpet. Evidently, picking up one paw to return it to the outdoors puts too much weight on the paw that's still on the carpet. Careful, dude! That paw might sink irretrievably into those fibers!

The problem was solved by rocking back on the hindquarters and simultaneously lifting both front paws, followed by a pirouette to freedom.

Sofas are irresistible though, and patches kitten was back last night, bounding over the threshold, around the door jamb, and behind the sofa. Then out from under the sofa. Then around the legs of the coffee table, under the sofa, back our from behind the sofa, around the door jamb, followed by a final leap from the carpet of the indoors to the concrete of the outdoors. Do... While...

What signal is it that travels through a school of fish, a flock of birds, a herd of horses, where all individuals suddenly move as one organism? I don't know, but I saw it in action tonight: all four kittens burst through the doorway, all at once, all lined up for the start of the Preakness, and stampeded into the living room, heading for the sofa.

The dog is thrilled. The kittens have now come to see him! All those hours he has patiently lain here just inside the door, or slowly and gently stepped out onto the porch have paid off. Unfortunately he got into the spirit of things a bit too enthusiastically and ran out onto the porch when the kittens did. Mom cat took this badly and fluffed up to three times her size. I've called the dog back inside, and closed the door, but I can still hear mom cat's fur crackling from here.

No photos tonight. Too much fun just watching.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Reserve yours now.

mom cat: _____________
tiger kitten: upstairs neighbor
patches kitten: DragonTat2
blue kitten 1: _____________
blue kitten 2: _____________
dog: mine
curmudgeon cat: mine, and he wants his porch back. yesterday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The kittens are home again, all four, safely corraled. Until they get their climbing legs under them, which should be in just a few days. With luck the new containment [and my nerves] will last through the rest of this work week. Mom cat continues to sneak over the wall for now.

Speaking of work, I went off to it this morning not knowing the fate of any of the five furries. Not knowing what to expect from the animal control side of the issue, I took off from work early today and went by the pound, just before they closed, just in case they had any new additions. None that I recognized, thank goodness.

Three long narrow rooms of just stray cats, floor-to-ceiling cages on each long wall, every cage filled, almost all of them with mom cats and their kittens. I wanted to take them all home with me. Not home home, just out of there. The survival statistics are grim and I will leave it to you to do the arithmetic, should you be so inclined.

The visit was heartening in one respect: the employee who took me on the look-for-your-impounded-pet tour is sympathetic to the plight of feral cats, and took down detailed descriptions of mom cat and the four kittens, promising to keep a special lookout for them and detailing everything I could do to maximize the chances for survival of my Fab Five, as I've come to think of them. Stray cats get 24 hours here and then pffft! that's it for them.

So now I feel like I have my very own mole in the animal control department. This appeals to the subversive in me. In keeping with the theme of subversion, I include this photo: dark, grainy, hard to make out. There really are five cats in there. The quote stenciled on the mat they're sleeping on: This is not a joke. If you ever want to see these people again, leave 5 lbs of fresh tuna in a plain brown bag. Signed, the cat.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I was afraid this would happen.

The kittens have been getting out and about and drawing lots of admiring attention. Neighbors have been dropping by more and more the past few days [it's a large and busy apartment complex], and ooh-ing and ah-ing over them. I'd almost managed to lure them into the great indoors by last night, but Momcat moved them off the porch late this afternoon.

The dog and I went out looking for them just a little while ago, but didn't find them anywhere nearby. I've left out food and water [and hiding places] for them, hoping they'll sneak back under cover of darkness, but I'm none too sanguine about this.

The weather is mild, we're surrounded by dense scrubby woods full of prey [why there are so many ferals around here in the first place], and several of the residents leave food out for the "neighborhood" cats. Their chances of survival are better than many, and certainly better than if the management had called animal control and had them taken away.

If they don't come back on their own, the dog and I will be taking longer and more frequent walks through the neighborhood, but this evening we're both sitting around the place moping, feeling sorry for ourselves.

UPDATE! I hear mewing from the front porch!
oh... i hope... i hope...

Updated update: A momcat-sized shadow and three kitten-sized shadows [one of them definitely black and white patched] were visible in the dark when I peeked out the window just now. Okay, I can sleep now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's right here in black and white.

mom cat: supervising is the hardest job

tiger kitten: who knocked over the food bowl?

patches kitten: what food bowl? where?

blue kitten 1: not me! i'm way over here by the water bowl and my doppelganger is ... somewhere.

blue kitten 2: you'll never take me alive!

dog: i can clean that up for you.

"... the injustice of having to leave your country,

simply because an imbecile got it into his head to invade it... "

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Also, you have to listen to me because

Which God or Goddess are you like?
Your Result: You are your own God or Goddess

Sorry to say, i have no answer that fits you. You are your very own person, and you like to do things your own way. You have stumped me this time, but i will soon make a quiz that will have your answer, just you wait...

God Zeus
Goddess Sekhemet
The Christian God
Goddess Bast
Which God or Goddess are you like?
Make Your Own Quiz

Some definitions, from Wikipedia

universal health care
publicly-funded health care
socialized medicine
social health insurance
single-payer health care

The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It

Paul Krugman and Robin Wells present an analysis and an answer. It's a lengthy read, but mostly correct.

Y'all have to listen to me.

The New York Times says so.

You can take the quiz here and read the article here.


Monday, May 07, 2007

A Modest Proposal

Medicare [2005, 2006]:
37 million old folks [2005]
$324,911,000,000 spent on their medical care [2006]
not quite $9000 per person

Veterans Affairs [2007]:
5.5 million veterans
$31,510,000,000 spent on their medical care
not quite $6000 per person

Nobody wants to see the health insurance industry go belly up [well, I do]. They're taking in and throwing around a chunk of money: $227 billion last year [about $12 billion of it profit] for the 13 largest companies. The disappearance of those 13 companies alone would [theoretically] put 200,000 or so folks out of work [not entirely].

Thud! Thunk! Crash! That's the sound of free-marketeers falling over in a dead faint at the very thought. Nanny state! Socialized medicine! Government interference between a woman and her doctor!

Oh. Boo. Hoo.

So, a proposal for them [and you]: let ordinary people buy their way into their choice of either Medicare or the VA system.

How much should the government charge? It would be a challenge, but I could swing $6000/year if in return I got guaranteed coverage. In fact, that's just about what I was paying before, to the insurance company, for coverage that turned out to be useless once I reached my [$1500? I forget] out-of-pocket maximum. Funny thing, but about the same time I reached that magic out-of-pocket number, the insurance company had paid out about $5000 to my doctors, hospitals, labs, etc, at which point they started denying the rest of my claims.

It's not like any for-profit insurance company is going to offer to cover me now for $6000 or even $10,000 per year in my present state of health. What have they got to fear from uninsured and uninsurable little me?

I'm firmly of the opinion that we could and should jump right into single-payer universal health care, but until the rest of you agree with me, I would be happy to follow the Libertarian mantra and go vote with my dollars.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Speaking of China

It's not just our pets that they're poisoning.

No, it's not West Texas

It's China. That infamous Wall, to be exact.

Yes, I do have a "thing" for China.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I'm a girl!

Finally. I usually end up being labelled a boy on all these Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus tests.
And you are... ?