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Comment: Re:This Post May Not Be Popular... (Score 1) 231

by Sentrion (#47566843) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

I'm definitely not a fan of global "corporatism" having undue influence and leverage over local and national governments or over the lives of private individuals. But when you say that people should be content with what they have and be happy, understand that the philosophy of Primitivism advocates this as well, and free internet is not a per-requisite.

If we're talking basic human rights, shouldn't the right to food, shelter, clean water, sleep, growing your own food, selling your own products and services, buying your own medication at the global market price, and freedom from conscription come before broadband and Youtube? I'm all for broadband for the people, but there are a lot of other rights that are not guaranteed in the USA or many other countries. And unlike many protectionist, mercantile regulations and policies of urban fascism, free internet is a problem that could be solved at a grass-roots DIY level. Many undeveloped parts of third world countries are coming online with wireless internet networks even though there are no roads, power lines, or sewer lines. Hops are installed that carry signals from village to village. These projects often take place even without government support.

What surprises me is to see lack of any sort of effort in the US to bring about a "public wireless internet", following the same model that brought us public television or public radio stations, pledge drives and all. If the FCC would loosen some restrictions to how HAM radio frequencies are utilized, there are probably already enough amateur technicians that would be eager to plant the seeds for a nationwide ad hoc user supported public network.

Comment: Don't Bother Anymore (Score 1) 231

by Sentrion (#47565237) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

My credit has been crap for years mostly due to a steady flow of medical and therapy bills for my "special needs" child that far exceeds my ability to pay. But one benefit of not giving a fork about my FICO score is that I don't even bother to deal with the BS from cable, cell phone, internet, gym memberships, "free" trials, or anything else. When I want to change or drop a service I find it much more convenient to just close my bank account and open a new one than to deal with "Customer Retention Counselors". Sure, I get letters for debt collectors every day, but no one has bothered to sue me. Of course, if I had any savings or disposable income that could be a different matter.

Comment: Re: Not such a big problem (Score 4, Interesting) 74

by Sentrion (#47407917) Attached to: Blue Shield Leaks 18,000 Doctors' Social Security Numbers

Physicians tend to partner up with other professionals, like lawyers, bankers and CPAs when they start their own private practices. Many established physicians ARE going broke and filling for bankruptcy after getting drawn too deep into the business side of medicine. Instead of keeping focus on patient treatment, many physicians have their entire life savings linked to the profitability of their practice, which has more to do with negotiating the best deals for insurance reimbursement, malpractice insurance, building leases, utilities, and capital expenses such as X-ray, EKG, or sonogram machines. The bankers and lawyers structure things so they have the lion's share of ROI while the physician is personally exposed to the most liability. Then they have lawyers, bankers, limited partners, and shareholders pressuring them to be more "profitable", which means cutting face time with patients from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, prescribing drugs from suppliers that will pay back "incentives", referring to other specialists and facilities that offer kickbacks, separating physician fees from facility fees to juice more from insurance, performing more tests than necessary to defend against liability while receiving more reimbursement from insurance and medicare, performing sneaky out-of-network or uncovered services on unsuspecting patients with deep pockets, and more frequently flat-out defrauding medicare, medicaid, and private insurance companies.

Patients and physicians both would benefit from either a single-payer system like the UK and Canada have, or a maybe a public-private system like Australia has, where those willing to pay more direct or willing to buy commercial insurance can be treated by private physicians rather than publicly employed physicians, just like we have public and private schools in the US. In the US we actually have a shortage of physicians, especially if we are going to start covering care for more of our poor and working class. Yet many excellent candidates are not admitted to medical school because only the cream of the cream were selected. There are also many qualified physicians educated in Europe and Asia that cannot EVER practice in the US simply because they didn't get their degree here. Direct government investment in programs to train and certify physicians without forcing them into hundreds of thousands of dollars of unforgivable student loan debt would be a benefit to aspiring physicians and patients alike. Direct government assumption of financial liability and discipline of physicians would free physicians to earn an honest and comfortable living while providing patient care that serves the interest of the patient.

Gradually shortening the terms of pharmaceutical patents and finding more cures and treatments through non-profit, grant-funded, university research would help to substantially lower the family burden when it comes to the cost of care. At the end of the day it is the scientists putting in 80-120 hours each week that makes cures possible, and even those scientists working for Big Pharma are not raking in the dough compared to the executives, lawyers, and pharma sales reps. Scientists are not paid any less at the University level so the argument of profit incentive is rather mute.

Comment: Re:I take it (Score 1) 185

by Sentrion (#47377871) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

I have to agree. If someone posts Jihadist fantasies online and is also heavily involved in a pyrotechnic hobby, I think we (law enforcement) step in and do something about it. Kids have been arrested and tried as adults when they had notebooks filled with very detailed Columbine-like plots against their schools. You are free to have creepy thoughts all you want, but if those thoughts appear to a jury to be a murder or terrorist plot, then be prepared to serve some time for those thought.

Comment: Re:Should probably be locked up (Score 1) 185

by Sentrion (#47377403) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

It's hard to find deer meat at the local grocery store, but yet all my friends have tons deer sausage overflowing out of their freezer. The key is to simply change your mindset and harvest the "wildlife" you see coming out of a vegan restaurant. Myself, I like corn-feed meat, so I would probably set up my hunting blind in a Golden Corral parking lot. I've been told it tastes like veal.

Comment: Re: Facebook is dumb. (Score 2) 160

by Sentrion (#47377001) Attached to: Facebook Fallout, Facts and Frenzy

I made friends with over thirty people on Facebook and had a vibrant social life for over a year until I found out they were all zombie accounts run by the same person. I was still OK with that until I realized that I had spent over $2,000.00 on wedding gifts and birthday presents for all my "friends". But then again, you can't put a price on friendship, right?

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.