You and I agree on this, so don't blow a gasket. You don't want to pay for me. I don't want to pay for you. We both know that medical expenses are real and we've both taken responsibility for that.
I do have insurance (as I clearly stated), it does cover me fully if something catastrophic happens, and I can afford my deductible. Don't you think I considered the numbers before I signed up? I'm approaching 50 and there are significant medical bills in my near future. I've planned for them.
And yes I do pay, indirectly through my employer. I don't pay my premiums out of pocket, I pay them with my own sweat. It's not free and it's not cheap. And I still don't benefit from those premiums (even though they are credited to me as a taxable benefit), it all goes to paying other people's bills.
Nor am I advocating that people not buy insurance. I'm saying the PPACA is a loser's game, and it doesn't surprise me when people opt out. They didn't have insurance before for a reason; why would they want it now? There's no benefit. The system is broken, and Obamacare doesn't fix it, it only makes the brokenness permanent and rigs the game to ensure that you and I keep on paying for everyone else, like we have been all along. And anyone who buys insurance stops being a receiver and starts being a giver. That's a fool's choice. It's a protection racket, only instead of breaking our legs they threaten to bankrupt us with astronomical bills.
The solution is to control costs. We can start by dismantling the AMA's medieval "doctors guild" and reining in the lawyers. Insurance should not be necessary.
Funny, everyone complains about the disparity between the rich and the rest of us, but they fail to see that the whole point of insurance is so that the privileged can extort ridiculous amounts of money from everyone else, for services we cannot refuse. If there were no insurance, they could bill us but they wouldn't get paid. So who benefits from insurance? After all, we are still guaranteed basic ER treatment even if we can't pay. No, insurance benefits the rich, by guaranteeing their paychecks at the expense of the poor. And since the poor can't afford it, they put us on a lifetime payment plan called an insurance policy, selling us their service whether we actually use it or not.
We are told we are free. We are told that our money and our property is our own. We are told that our government answers to us. We are told we are not socialist. And most of us believe these things, though none of them are true the way we think they are, they are only illusions. The system keeps us indentured economically. It is designed to, because those who profit from it also control it. Over many decades we were lured in voluntarily, we have been giving up our rights and our freedom and our voice in exchange for toys and promises and pleasures. And that was our own fault for being selfish and greedy; though we were also tricked. But now it is becoming more and more entrenched in law, and where once we had to give these things voluntarily, now they are increasingly being taken.
I sympathize with people who have little or no health coverage. It has to be horrible and frightening. However, the fact of the matter and the fact of this world is that things aren't free and better things are more expensive. Especially in health care. The solution isn't "gimme shit free you guise!". The solution has to involve targeting the fucking ridiculous expenses. Why isn't anyone doing that? The reason we have to come up with these complex bullshit schemes for "cheap/free healthcare" that is neither of those things is because the medical industry can charge such ridiculous prices to health insurers, because health insurers disperse the cost among a great number of people and institutions. To the point where people don't quite realize how bad they're getting fucked. And, instead of people saying "fuck that, stop letting them milk prices", they say "fuck that, make my fellow man pay my way!".
Exactly. Quoted because it needs to be repeated.
I think only 44 people caring about not getting ripped by health care companies constitutes mass stupidity.
You mean only 44 people were stupid enough to fall for the rip-off, or else in sufficiently desperate medical need.
Have you actually looked at the cost/benefit of the plans in Oregon's ACA offerings? I did. The cheapest bronze plan (and the ACA is supposed to benefit the poor right?) costs 119/mo. Sounds like a bargain right? But after considering the 5250.00 deductible, and the fact that it only covers 60% of costs after the deductible is met, you'd have to spend 198.00 a month in medical bills to break even on having insurance, vs paying out of pocket.
Maybe a silver or gold plan is better? Here's the "highest quality" silver plan according to Oregon's ACA website: 242.00/mo premiums, but it doesn't pay for itself unless you have at least 300.00/mo in health costs. Invariably the better the plan, the higher the break even point, and thus the worse the value. Of course its disguised with low copays and stuff. The only way these are worthwhile is if you have very high costs, month after month.
Oh, and those are the subsidized rates. For someone like me, with an income, the premiums will be much higher, adn therefore the break even will also be correspondingly higher.
This is a huge scam... I spend maybe 300 a year... and I'm in my mid 40s, well past the point of being a "young invincible". I pay it out of pocket through a HDHP. Why would I want to go spend 1200 a year for a super cheap plan, which won't even pay anything because I'll never even get past the deductible? My out of pocket would quintuple, up to 1500/year, with absolutely no benefit.
For "young invicibles" with health costs approaching zero, one is WAY better off paying 600/year in penalties and paying your medical costs out of pocket, than getting suckered into Obamacare.
I know it's supposed to be some sort of communistic wealth redistribution. I am supposed to pay more than my fair share so that someone else can pay less than theirs. Fuck that! Why are they so special? I work for my money, I paid my dues, and no it wasn't fun. It was sacrifice. That I paid. Where the hell is my special treatment? Maybe I should quit my job and let you all support ME for free. Raise my taxes enough, take away my motivation for work and maybe I'll do just that.
Google had implicit trust due to laziness and ignorance and the whole benefit of the doubt thing. Google knew all along there is no actual privacy, but their customers didn't see it as an issue, and Google profited off the difference - exploiting and selling that data that their users did not think to protect, and offering cloud services to people who did not consider whether the cloud was secure.
The NSA scandal blew that wide open. Now their whole business model is in jeopardy. Where previously they said trust us, now everyone is saying lets go overseas to find someone trustworthy. Trust cannot be regained, so what Google needs to do is convince everyone that trust is not an issue. You can't trust us, but you really shouldn't trust anyone. And look: it won't impact your profits, and it fact it will save you a lot of money.
So Google is eating their own dog food, playing their own guinea pig. They'll work out the technologies on themselves. They'll say look its working for us, and you should do this too. If they can pull this off - simultaneously eliminate trust and save money doing it - corporate America will be compelled to follow whether they like it or not, because they can't deny the dollars. And like sheep, the public will follow whatever their corporate overlords are doing.
This has an additional benefit: Google can now say to people: hey privacy isn't our problem, it's yours. If you have something to hide that's your responsibility. This can of course be spun as "save the children" vs. "hiding criminal activity from the NSA" to give it some teeth. It lets Google totally off the hook and gives them carte blanche to do anything they want with your data. I'm thinking they'll still give us the tools to do it, but they know that most people are too lazy and complacent to bother, and those few smart or paranoid enough to do to do it will only make themselves targets to the gov't. Except for corporations, who get a free pass to maintain privacy. Once the ecosystem shifts to no trust and no privacy, and laws are passed restricting "technologies that could be used to conceal criminal activity," it will be hard to have any privacy without going offline. (And really, it already is.)
This not only saves Google's business plan, it accelerates it. I'll bet Facebook is going to be all over this too.
Customer: Hello Comcast? I would like to cancel my service.
Comcast: No can do, you have ten months left on your contract. Oh and check out our new streaming video service, for the same price as Netflix but way faster!! The first three months are free.
The internet is only "empowering" because they allow it. Which means it is not empowering at all, because they are not actually threatened by it.
It is easy to turn it off, just pull a plug. And they haven't even begun the process of locking it down. Once they mandate authentication as a prerequisite for access it's pretty much game over. Try using your phone anonymously! Seriously, would you use your phone to plan a terrorist attack? Soon the entire internet will be like that, whether we like it or not, and we'll be back to the days of clandestine face to face meetings in lonely places if we want privacy... except good luck getting there, with cameras on the street corners (Hi, UK!), drones in the air (Hi, USA!), and cars reporting your movements with GPS (whassup, Oregon!), cops demanding to see the papers of pedestrians (its for immigration, really).
The internet gives an illusion of power, an illusion of actually making your voice heard, an illusion of anonymity. Even the best anonymity we have is crackable by the NSA with sufficient motivation. Your voice? Drowned in a sea of clamor, cat pictures, celeb gossip, and media propaganda. Yet the feds can still hear you crystal clear, pick you out of the crowd and send a SWAT team to your house at 2am. Too bad they are the only ones. Slashdot, you're preaching to the choir here. It's just another soapbox illusion, gets us all riled up but we're still cooking with all the other frogs, with no escape and little hope.
Exactly. The incumbent ISP has the benefit of privileges granted by the pubic.
But sadly, the privileges often end up being no-hairs-attached.
Yes, although this is eventually true of men too, from what I've seen.
Many males, by the time they're in their 40s and 50s, have moved on from coding to architecture, management, multifunctional roles like customer engineering liasons, highly specialized SWE roles like JVM optimization, or have switched careers altogether. Hard to compete with the young kids who'll work 12 hours a day for pizza.
In other words, by the time the women are ready to come back, the men (of the same age) aren't generally doing that work anymore either. So it wouldn't be appropriate for women to return to that role. The main difference is that men tend to stay with it longer, through the family years, where women bail sooner. And that's good. People gravitate to what they are intereted in, and where there is demand. It is a fact that women are better at raising young kids, and more importantly they want to do it more than men do. We all know it.
The sexes are not interchangeable. They can fill the same roles, because as a rule humans are remarkably adaptable and intelligence goes a long way to compensate for gaps in natural talent. But often, one or the other will be better precisely because of talent or interest. The edge may be small but it is still significant.
For example, I think women are better in roles where they are dealing with people, or in program manager type roles where there are a zillion little things to keep track of all at once. I don't understand why, but I often see this pattern, and I see that women often to a better job than men do in these roles. Women are better at staying home with small children; if society pushes them in that direction maybe its because there is good reason for it. Men are better at focused attention. You don't need studies to tell you this, it's everywhere, it's obvious to anyone with even a little intelligence or intuition. Of course women can be good software engineers, and depending on individual talent and interest, may be as good or better than men. Humans are varied. Some men excel at things that women are usually better at. And that's all good. But it is foolish and ignorant to pretend that there is no difference, that differences do not exist in the population as a whole.
Talent is extremely hard to measure, but interest and motivation are very easy to see. Personally I think that interest is far more important than talent. It goes back to that large brain thing. We can learn to be what we want to be. And in my opinion, most women don't want to do software engineering. Why should I care? Why they be forced to do what they don't want to do, in the name of political correctness? I thought modern society was all about giving women choice?
one tech-bash featured a 600lb tiger in a cage and a monkey that posed for Instagram photographs. Google maintains a small fleet of private planes and helicopters at a local airport."
"Sean Parker’s multi-million-dollar wedding last June in a forest in California’s Big Sur stretched the bounds of forgiveness. The 364 guests were dressed in Tolkien-inspired costumes (designed and fitted by the woman who created the costumes for “The Lord of the Rings”). Sting sang one of the the couple’s favourite songs. Mr Parker, who founded Napster and was Facebook’s first president, gave every guest a leather-bound volume relating the “fairy tale” of the couple’s romance."
Then there's the free-riding:
"...so far [many tech companies] have succeeded in protecting themselves from the tax authorities and shareholders alike. Mark Zuckerberg owns 29.3% of Facebook. Larry Ellison owns 24% of Oracle. By contrast the largest single investor in Exxon Mobil controls only 0.04% of the stock.
...with a market cap of $290 billion Google is about six times bigger than GM but employs only around a fifth as many workers.
All this (and more) leads to the conclusion:
...one of the big developments of 2014 will be the growing peasants’ revolt against the sovereigns of cyberspace. The Silicon elite will cease to be regarded as geeks who happen to be filthy rich and become filthy rich people who happen to be geeks.
So: are these tech companies being attacked for being too successful, or are they not living up to their responsibilities? Are a few caged tiger-parties (who hasn't had 'em?) getting blown out of proportion, or have big tech companies been exempted from criticism for too long?"
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Wake up, everyone: a lot of other countries are a lot worse and deserve your vitriol more.
Are they? Or are they just further along in their plans? Everything that other countries are doing, your govt wants to do, and would if they thought they could get away with it. No govt is better than others, just some leashes are shorter than others.
A working draft of the treaty published by WikiLeaks prohibits the manufacturing or distribution of devices or services "for the purpose of circumvention of any effective technological measure." It goes on to prohibit devices and services that "have only a limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent any effective technological measure, or are primarily designed, produced, or performed for the purpose of the circumvention of any effective technological measure."
Derek Khanna, a Yale Law Fellow who submitted a White House petition that led to the Obama administration publicly supporting the end of a ban on unlocking, wrote in Slate that "while the White House was publicly proclaiming its support of cellphone unlocking, it was secretly negotiating a treaty that would ban it."
The treaty text never specifically mentions jailbreaking or unlocking, but the lack of an exemption to the ban on circumventing technological measures has Khanna worried.
"The treaty as proposed would stop all methods of circumvention," Khanna wrote in an e-mail to Ars. "The key is that there must be an exemption to allow for unlocking. In the draft text, there is no exemption for unlocking.""
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Schumer said the technology of so-called 3D printing has advanced to the point where anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can access the plastic parts that can be fitted into a gun. Those firearms cannot be detected by metal detectors or x-ray machines. Schumer says that means anyone can download a gun cheaply, then take the weapons anywhere, including high-security areas.
The Democrat is pushing the extension along with Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Bill Nelson of Florida. The effort was announced on Sunday."
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