Showing posts from January, 2011

Politics: Health Care Bill, where the Dollars go?

A helpful article on where the cost is.

Health care is valuable and helping more people gain better access is a good thing.

However, is this the best way to do it?

The "how" question is where there is a difference of opinion.

It is a national shame that so many people have a hard time with our health care system. No question we need to spend money to do better but are we spending it wisely in this new health bill?

We need to recheck our assumptions about some of the solutions that have been passed. Good intentions are not enough.

As in previous posts, I'm a big fan of vouchers (part I in the bill according to this article). It puts $$$ in hands of people who need it to buy health insurance. My guts tell me that is the part of the bill that should be protected. But many of the other provisions that come with it place too much power into the hands of too few regulators in DC. That is the part I think is upsetting people.

If anything, my assessment is that the states …

Life: Remembering the I have a Dream Speech

Simply wonderful!

Students recite portions of MLK's famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Devotional Thoughts: Thinking about the Puritans

What do you think of when you think of the Puritans?

I think of the Puritans coming to America and the courage it took to cross the sea and try to scratch out a new life in the New England colonies. In that regard, I admire them.

Of course, there are the negative connotations of the word puritanical.

Its a given that any group will have its successes and excesses.

But what did they believe about their faith?

One of my reading goals for the year will be to work my way through this book that excerpts some of their writings. The book also gives a brief sketch of the historical context of the Puritan movement and short biographies of the writers of the excerpts contained in the book.

What I'll do here for blog posts is to share a tidbit here and there.

According to the book, the English Puritans (1560-1710) sought reform of the Church of England. The Westminster Confession and Catechisms (1647) that are still widely respected today was strongly influenced by Puritan theological p…

Money: Final Four Stock Picks

Disclaimer: not in the financial planning business, investments can and do lose money, and this is offered as opinion and does not constitute advice for your specific financial situation, etc.

Agribusiness based in Switzerland.
People have to eat and this company is one of the big players on the world stage.

Internet hardware.
The internet is going to keep growing and this company is one of the top companies in that industry.

Electrical utility.
Great dividends and people need electricity and this is one of the biggies that is well-run.

Great dividends and by all accounts VZ's cellphone coverage beats everyone else in the USA and they just got rights to sell iPhone. This could be good in getting more customers but it could be bad if their network gets clogged!

Life: Sal Giunta, Medal of Honor Recipient

Thank you Sgt. Giunta for your service.

And thank you to all who serve to protect freedom and freedom living people around the world.

Politics: Immigration Reform

As in health care reform, some claim to want "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Call me a skeptic about "comprehensive" solutions. I don't have a lot of confidence that a bunch of experts can dream up a system to handle really huge problems. Perhaps, a more modest approach would be helpful.

In the case of immigration reform there are several issues and perhaps it is best to address them one-by-one rather then trying to "shoot-the-moon" with a comprehensive solution/reform. From what I have gathered, these are the distinct aspects of overall immigration question:
(1) Shortage of high skill labor.
(2) Shortage of low skill labor.
(3) Illegal immigrants who are already here.
(4) Border security.

Issue #1
High tech companies need highly skilled workers and they complain the US doesn't produce enough scientists, engineers, programmers, etc. They want to hire those kinds of workers from overseas and are unable to hire enough because the quotas are q…

Politics: Blood Libel and Palin and Current Climate

Palin uses the phrase "blood libel" and the political world goes bananas. Alas, the phrase has been used on many other occasions by people on both the left and right. Perhaps the term is overused but the outrage over Palin sounds like "heads I win, tails you lose."

UPDATE: More uses of blood libel cited.

Memo to both sides: calm down and chill out.

Sadly, I had a feeling that the political dialog in the USA was going to go even further downhill when I first heard the horrible news about the shootings in Arizona. I heard the story on KNX1070AM radio here in Los Angeles. As part of the coverage, Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez was contacted. The interview began with Ms. Sanchez describing her relationship with Congresswoman Giffords as they served on some committees together in the House. From these comments I had a very good feeling about Ms. Giffords and all subsequent stories about her I have heard since support the perspective that she was one …

Politics: Repeal and replace?

Of course it won't actually happen. The House could pass a repeal bill and it will die in the Senate.

But as a thought exercise, what would a "replace" look like in my opinion as a pajama wearing blogger?

People say, we need a "comprehensive" solution to the problem of health insurance availability.

But that presumes a solution from DC is the best solution. The problem is that too much power is consolidated into the hands of a few regulators in DC.

Realistically, the health care system in very rural North Dakota is going to be somewhat different than a more urban state like New Jersey. As such, right now, health insurance is regulated at the state level.

So, how does one develop policies that help the people in the upper right quadrant of the matrix?

What about block grants to the states for the states to use in any combination of the following manners:
(1) To expand their current Medicaid program
(2) To expand or create government run hospitals and clinics…