Thursday, July 09, 2009

And it didn't break.

Just set it back up, screw in another light bulb, put the shade back on and its good as new.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Care or Cost? Is the problem Health Care or Health Insurance?

A recent NewYorker article reviewed health care in an article entitled "The Cost Conundrum". The linked analyzed this article and came up with a different take on the data after correcting for demographic and baseline health differences.

In essence the NewYorker article is a classic, although plausible, hit job on the "rich" doctors which draws the conclusion that it is a corrupt medical establishment, determined to exploit the system, that has driven up the costs. The medical establishment has done this by investing in surgical centers, lithotriptors, CT scanners and other medical facilities and equipment. They then greedily refer and prescribe the services of these facilities to their unwitting patients. Subsequently they are paid by medicare or Blue Cross or another insurer and thus leverage the system to their own selfish advantage.

Whenever I find a group vilified for an epidemic problem I am curious about the research, the political leanings and personal background of the author and the logic of the conclusion.. in approximately that order. My background is in history and I have noticed that one's personal history has a habit of forming the axiomatic basis for reasoning.
Read more after the jump:

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson and the reality of human nature

Victor Davis Hanson has a writing style that is spare and manages to communicate his complex observations in prose so simple that it sometimes disquises the profound nature of his observations. His recent article "The Reckoning" fits this profile. In "The Reckoning" he details the many ways in which the Obama approach, much hailed by left leaning, politically idealistic sycophants, will inevitably lead to confrontation.

The absolute fact of human nature is that man dominates the world as its most successful predator. It is also a well documented fact that if one shows weakness to a predator the predator sees a future meal not an equal in the food chain. The true genius of American politics is that the constitution is designed to rein in the predators and make them subservient to the People. Seldom has an ego arrived in the Presidency that so challenged this system.

The Obama Way may well be the final step toward some catastrophic confrontation with Islam, Russia, Iran, Iran/Venezuela/Cuba/Al Qaeda/MS13 or some variation as yet unimagined. It is a simple fact that the world is dominated by predators who have succeeded and gained dominance in their local and regional environment. Outside of the US and Western Europe, where the predators have been relatively confined to the business and legal worlds and the military protection of civilian populations by societies that grew out of the classical tradition that is often the subject of Mr. Hanson's publishing efforts, the world is a much more Darwinian and violent place. Perhaps the safest place in human history to grow up, live and prosper has been the world of post WWII North America. Perhaps the least safe and most brutal locales have been the Middle East, China and the former Soviet Union. The predators who are dominant in these locales have different responses than those who went to elite universities in the post war US. There have been no restraints on them. They have triumphed through brutality and fear and violence. They have won elections through intimidation and manipulation.

Mr. Hanson illustrates Barack Obama's lack of preparation and experience through his tale of his own youthful experience with his neighbor and the conflict caused by his idealism and resolved by force which induced respect. It is doubtful that Mr. Obama knows this lesson yet. Putin, Castro, Chavez, Bin Laden and a host of others will no doubt instruct him.