BREAKING NEWS … President to Outlaw Scalpels

26 03 2014

Washington, DC – The President of the United States today held a press conference announcing his intention to seek new federal legislation and regulations to save the lives of US Citizens put at risk by the medical establishment through no fault of their own.

A new study, to which the president referred, has shown that ½ of 1/10th of 1% of the 195,000 deaths in hospitals caused by medical error each year are due to the negligence of surgeons addicted to alcohol or drugs. As a result of these numbers, 9.75 deaths each year on average, the president has asked Congress to outlaw scalpels.

“Since adequate treatment for addiction is not available to surgeons at this time,” the president said, “we must outlaw these tools of death.”

Comments from Congressional leaders are expected to be forthcoming.





Only Bad People Oppose Social Justice…Right?

25 03 2014

Here is a great piece on the self-serving political phrase “Social Justice,” so often used by the smug, narcissistic, so-called “Progressive” movement. In this video, Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute and National Review offers a realistic and accurate definition of the term social justice; something which is virtually impossible to receive from anyone on the left of the political spectrum.

Watch the video, “What is Social Justice?” presented by Prager University.





Beware the Prophet of Love

24 03 2014

Beware the prophets of “unconditional love,” for they seek nothing but to control you. How?

By teaching you to seek the unreachable; to strive for the unattainable; to reach for a chimera, the mythical goal of what they call “unconditional love,” these prophets cause you to find yourself wanting – to see yourself as a failure – to see yourself as worthless. This will impel you to seek them out for their forgiveness, and will compel you to seek their “teaching” to help you to attain this unreachable goal.

This also forces you to surrender your reason and judgment to them; the very tools you possess which allow you to understand your world, and your place in it – the very means by which you value others and yourself, forcing you to rely upon them for your understanding of your world, your morality, your self-worth, and the means by which you may achieve happiness.

“Judge, and be prepared to be judged.” ~ Ayn Rand

By surrendering these judgments to them, judgments you should make only for yourself, you also surrender your will, your ability to think for yourself, and your right to make your own choices. This is the power over you that they seek; that is, to do your thinking for you.





21st Century Sports – a Fan’s Perspective

20 03 2014

It’s not just my age that makes me this way; I’ve long been a traditionalist when it comes to sports.

I despise the ghetto/gang culture and attitude that permeates all levels of basketball, from high school to college to the NBA, and which has begun to intrude on the NFL. I hate the proliferation of dreadlocks in the NFL, and believe that it is adding the rise in concussions due to poor helmet fit. I hate the foolish beards being worn in pro baseball lately (the Red Sox being by far the most foolish), just as I continue to hate the designated hitter. I dislike the trend toward goofy looking uniforms at all levels of sports, especially college football (thank you Oregon Ducks who used them as a tool to increase TV exposure when they sucked as a football program), with ridiculous “throw backs” being used by the NFL solely to generate income from fans who do not mind looking stupid – as stupid as their favorite players.

Spring training is here

However, I do find that as I age, I am becoming less and less tolerant of poor officiating in my chosen sports; less likely to accept the “human element” in the games I enjoy. Worst among these is the inconsistent strike zone in Major League Baseball. This is, after all, the “Major League,” the pinnacle of the sport, so why do we continue accept the notion that “it all evens out in the end?”

Such a notion makes absolutely no sense when you think about it anyway because, what if it doesn’t, and what if it happens on a critical play at the end of the game? Are we really expected to shrug off a bad call that cost our team the 7th game of the World Series, thinking “Oh well, the other guys had a bad call in the first inning?”

In fact, this is such a ridiculous notion that I wonder why we, as fans, have put up with it for so long.

Breaking from tradition makes perfect sense if it improves the game, either the fairness of the officiating or the competitiveness of the athletes/teams involved. (Think of tennis and the technological breakthrough on service calls.) Having said this, I think it’s time to bring pro baseball into the 21st Century, using technology to determine balls and strikes.

Human umpires are simply too inconsistent, making countless errors during a nine inning game. This leads to frustration on the part of everyone involved, not least the fans, for whom the games are supposed to be played. With the technology available today, it should be easy to place sensors in home plate that will determine the exact location of every pitch, allowing for a flawless strike zone in every situation and in all conditions.

With the money available in professional baseball, implementation should be no problem and I call on MLB to begin experimenting with available technology immediately, for the good of the game.

AND…Nah, don’t get me started on what passes for announcing and commentary on televised sports these days, or this little missive will never end, since the list of incompetence is almost endless.





From the Department of Redundancy Department

13 03 2014

Well, I guess it’s about time to offer this list of poor but increasingly common word choices, before it grows too large to handle. I’ve been compiling the list for some time now, with most of the contents coming from books I’ve read, though many of these choices can also be heard spoken on television, in movies, and among the general population (though, admittedly, my exposure to them these days is limited due to the nature of my work.)

The use of redundant phrases in both speech and writing seems to have expanded dramatically since my childhood, which I find distressing. I also marvel at the fact that, even as avenues for expression have grown so significantly, eloquence has declined markedly. Thanks to the internet, virtually everyone not only “has a voice,” they also possess the means of expression.

While redundancy in computer systems, cars, and space travel is to be commended, providing back-up in case of failure, in language it becomes tedious in the extreme.

I’ve found two definitions for the type of redundancy found in language: 1) more than is needed, desired, or required, 2) repetition of the same sense in different words. The second definition is the most commonly accepted, but I prefer the first, for it not only defines, it also offers judgment, “more than is needed, desired, or required.”

You see, for me, the use of redundant language is a sign of disrespect for the audience, with the speaker or author believing the audience to be too stupid to catch the meaning without obvious repetition. Of course, it may also be a sign of intellectual laziness on the part of the author or speaker, even a sign that he or she is too stupid to know the difference. It may also be simply that speech has become as trendy as everything else in our culture, and overstating a concept is now seen as cool. Whatever the case may be, I find it sad that the lack of respect for the beauty of our language is being destroyed by laziness, stupidity, and that the lack of style has become a new type
of style.

Chase after – instead of chasing from in front.

Followed behind – rather than following before, I guess.

Refer back to – which is far easier to do than referring to something which has yet to happen.

Follow along – as if you could pursue without accompanying.

Continue on – as if you could proceed without carrying on.

Rise up – rather than ascending down, you see.

Lift up – rather than elevating downward or lowering up.

Descend down – as opposed to descending up, of course.

Past history – because it confuses people when you refer to something yet to come in the past tense.

Past experience –because it’s so difficult to rely on an experience you’ve not yet had.

Returning back – can’t exactly regress forward, now can ya’?

Cooperate together – rather than collaborating while alone.

Combine together – rather than fusing apart, of course.

Add in/Added in – because add just isn’t clear enough.

Subtract out – because “subtract in” is your only other choice.

Shrink down – rather than shrivel into something larger, as most of us tend to do.

Kneel down – instead of kneeling erect.

Enter into – as opposed to entering out of a place.

Gathered together – as if assembling separately were something to worry about.

Do you have any redundantly surplus phrases that you’ve recently read or heard repeatedly reduplicated recurrently? If so, feel free to leave a reply response or comment remark down below at the bottom beneath.





Some Facts on ObamaCare

10 03 2014

According to a recent article at WashingtonPost.com, just 10% of enrollees for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act did not have such insurance prior to the implementation of the law, also known as ObamaCare. This is striking news when one considers the fundamental justification for the enactment of a law that affects 1/6th of the national economy – to provide affordable health insurance to some 30 million people without it.

Could this mean that fully 90% of enrollees actually did have health insurance prior to October 2013, and have been forced to enroll now because their previous plans were cancelled – due to the specific coverage provisions of ObamaCare?

Just 10% of health care enrollees were uninsured previously

Citing a February survey of enrollees taken by McKinsey & Company, the article notes that enrollment by the previously uninsured rose by 27% last month, up from just 11% in January. However, the survey also points out that while enrollment has increased among the previously uninsured, a mere 53% of these new enrollees have actually paid for their new health insurance policy, compared to 83% among those who did have insurance previously.

“The survey also attempted to measure what has been another fuzzy matter: how many actually have the insurance for which they signed up. Under federal rules, coverage begins only if someone has started to pay their monthly insurance premiums. Just over half of [formerly] uninsured people said they had started to pay, compared with nearly nine in 10 of those signing up on the exchanges who said they were simply switching from one health plan to another,” the article said.

In an effort to avoid looking partisan, I’ve tried to find information offered from sites that are not perceived to have “an ax to grind” or that seem to report only from one perspective. Unfortunately, when it comes to accurate data on ObamaCare, this has proven to be quite difficult, particularly as it relates to “main stream media” sources. With that said…

Up to 1 million health care enrollees may not actually be enrolled

The ACA defines enrollment as those who have paid their first months’ premium. This is the law, not merely a regulation. Yet, according to Ed Henry at FoxNews.com, despite claims by the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) of 3.3 million enrollees in the new health care exchanges, industry sources estimate that 10% – 25% percent of the sing-ups have actually not made this defining payment; with some estimates as high as 30% who have yet to make their initial payment. These estimates could mean that more than 1 million so-called “enrollees” are not actually enrolled.

Is this the reason that HHS and the rest of the administration continue to claim that data on who has paid is not available, despite the fact that this data is necessary to make the payment of federal health insurance subsidies possible?

The one fact we can be sure of when it comes to ObamaCare is this; whatever the real numbers are, this administration will massage, alter, and obfuscate them to present the most positive outlook possible. In other words, they will continue to lie to us.





A Change is Coming

4 03 2014

If there is one thing we can be certain of in this life, it is that everything changes. With that in mind, it’s time to shift the focus of this blog to include a broader range of subjects.

My life is about more than simply riding bikes, though that is my principle mode of travel. It is also about perceiving, understanding, and participating in the world around me. This is particularly difficult for someone who spends his days working from home, with few options for travelling beyond a relatively restricted orbit. Yet, I remain curious, and feel the need to share some of that curiosity.

I hope, over the next few weeks and months, to be able to inspire a similar curiosity in those who read this revamped blog, while also expanding my audience. I also hope to generate conversations with what I post here; for I am not looking for applause or unconditional acceptance, but rather the sharing of ideas and my justification for them. I hope to challenge belief systems, and have my own challenged as well. I hope to spark debate, and inspire others to think more clearly and objectively. I hope to inspire the use of logic and reason, and to dispel the use of superstition, emotion, and myth as foundations for thought.

With all of this in mind, it’s time to begin…

Yesterday I read an opinion piece from, of all places, the New York Times. In it, Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, shared his thoughts on “The Downside of Inciting Envy.” I’ll not go into the details of his thinking here, the piece is self-explanatory and you now have the link. However, I will say that the piece inspired some thoughts about the nature of “Progressive” thinking and policy making that I would like to share.

Yes, it’s time for some politics.

The “Progressive” Philosophy

What passes for “Progressive” economic policy today consists of two extremes; the teaching of envy and altruism. Those on the lower levels of economic success are taught to resent those above for “taking advantage” and “gaming” the system; while at the same time, those on the upper levels of success are taught to “sacrifice” their success to others, always at the overbearing insistence of government rather than personal choice and private charities. Both extremes are morally bankrupt – and antithetical to human nature.

The rational mind does not envy the successful, but uses them as role models for their own success. Neither does reason allow for the sublimation of one’s own happiness to the happiness of others.

Of course, these two extremes are also in direct conflict with one another; for if one were to succeed beyond another’s ability to help them, it would then behoove the “altruistic” individual to resent them. Likewise, those at the upper levels of economic success quite naturally begin to resent those who eventually begin to “demand” their help.

Contradictory principles such as these can lead to nothing but pain, misery, and self-loathing for anyone who accepts and practices them. The rational being will reject them out of hand, while irrational beings will accept and promote them, then wonder why, despite their hard work to achieve this so-called ideal life, they live in constant misery.

If this hits home with you, please feel free to leave a reply below. I will try to respond as quickly as possible.








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