llcoolvad: (cold)
OK, I know it's Saint Patrick's Day and all, but the pope is an ass.

"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will begin a seven-day pilgrimage on the continent. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."
llcoolvad: (hair)
A very interesting article on how to institute a national health care plan, written by my surgeon.

Also has the first anecdotal evidence I've seen that the recent Massachusetts plan is popular and is working. And the way he describes it, it makes sense, too. Huh.

"Massachusetts, where I live and work, recently became the first state to adopt a system of universal health coverage for its residents. It didn’t organize a government takeover of the state’s hospitals or insurance companies, or force people into a new system of state-run clinics. It built on what existed. On July 1, 2007, the state began offering an online choice of four private insurance plans for people without health coverage. The cost is zero for the poor; for the rest, it is limited to no more than about eight per cent of income. The vast majority of families, who had insurance through work, didn’t notice a thing when the program was launched. But those who had no coverage had to enroll in a plan or incur a tax penalty.

The results have been remarkable. After a year, 97.4 per cent of Massachusetts residents had coverage, and the remaining gap continues to close. Despite the requirement that individuals buy insurance and that employers either provide coverage or pay a tax, the program has remained extremely popular. Repeated surveys have found that at least two-thirds of the state’s residents support the reform."

I like the patchwork approach he suggests. What ever way it takes to get us to a system that isn't strictly employment-based, I'm happy.


Jan. 12th, 2009 08:35 pm
llcoolvad: (cold)
Well! This is kind of fascinating (albeit WAY too short): Barack and Michelle were interviewed and photographed back in May 1996 as part of a photography project on couples in America. Just think, 12+ years later, the "strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career" has turned into "is the President of the United States."

So what are you going to do with your next 12 years?

(found via kottke.)


Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:29 am
llcoolvad: (kitty)
So here's an interesting article about rising college costs, similar to what I talked about here.

Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, adjusted for inflation, while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families.


Seriously, where do colleges get the nerve? 439 percent??? Why isn't this rampant profiteering highlighted more in the press? One article in the NYTimes. Random mutterings other places. There's just no excuse for this, even under the guise of a "free market economy" (which considering that most of the private schools cost approximately the same is more like a monopoly than a free market). This is no less scandalous than the Wall Street fiasco, and you could effectively argue that it's more evil as it will lead to a less educated populace.

Feh! Time for the revolution! Up against the wall!

(ETA Times graphic)


Nov. 4th, 2008 11:11 pm
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Wow, I couldn't be happier! The 11pm hour ticks over and bam, we've made history.
llcoolvad: (Default)
Vote Here

I voted on my way to work today. I voted to keep income tax, decriminalize pot, get rid of dog tracks. I voted for a bunch of uncontested school board seats. And of course I voted for Obama.

I wanted a photo of my ballot with the circle filled in next to Obama/Biden, but alas, a cop told me no cameras right as I took a photo at the entry door.


I didn't get anything at the bake sale. And they never give us stickers at my polling place, so that makes me sad, but I guess I don't need a sticker to know I did my part today.

Hope you did, too!


Sep. 21st, 2008 11:58 pm
llcoolvad: (hair)
Final day of the Yankees at the old Yankee Stadium. Mariano Rivera has just walked out to the mound, it’s the 9th inning, and everyone is on their feet. Even considering how much I hate the Yankees, it’s a pretty emotional moment. The entire stadium is filled with flashes from cameras, and there’s a solid wall of noise. Every player that isn’t on the field is leaning on the dugout wall, watching the action. They’re playing the hapless Orioles, so there’s no doubt they’re going to hang on to the 7-3 lead they have, but it’s still the tiniest bit tense. One down. I think there’s going to be no clinch for the Sox today. Two down. Down to the last out ever at Yankee Stadium. Brian Roberts at the bat. Jeter is leaving the game for some reason. Fans are going nuts. The players are all embracing. Maybe they wanted him to have a little special time before the last out. Tipped his hat to the fans, pandemonium! Ball. Ball 2. Foul. Little chopper, and Yanks win. There’s the damned "New York, New York" song. History from 1923 to now, and Andy Pettitte gets the final win.

There’s such a sense people have now about history. They all understand what it’s means to be part of it, and they all want part of it. Even the players are scraping dirt off the pitchers mound into little baggies.

Oh, Jeter’s speaking. He’s got Rivera next to him. He’s pretty well spoken, Jeter is. He’s not reading off of anything, but is keeping his train of thought and sounds good. Oh, they all took their hats off to the fans. Maybe rehearsed? But still pretty good. Nice and flashy for a flashy town! They’re lapping the field, now, the players. A-Rod with his frosted tips. Cameras everywhere. Damned "New York, New York" song. It doesn’t look like one fan has left. Constant cheering. Pretty loyal fans for a 3rd place team in the division! Every fan has a camera up. Damn, there’s another loop of the song. They need a second song. “Start spreading the news…” Aw, just showed some kid crying.

I know just how that kid feels. I’m feeling really emotional about change right now. I think the financial crisis and the impending elections are really stressing me out. I feel, more this year than ever before in my life, that we are on the brink. We could go either way—good, bad—and there’s no guessing how it’s going to turn out. Are we all going to be scrabbling around for food in a few months? Are we going to make another 50 years before we crash? Or are we going to manage to squeak it out and actually fix things? I am afraid that no one really understands our financial scene, that it’s become this organic monster that’s truly unknowable, and that we don’t actually have our best and brightest trying to solve it. I guess I am just nervous!

Jeter got his moment, and now they’re signing off. Bye, Yankee Stadium!
llcoolvad: (pretty)
Watching tv this week, noticed new McDonald's ad. Rampantly anti-intellectual.

Setting: snobby coffee shop
Two women, one reading the paper, another reading a magazine
Woman 1: "Y'know, I heard McDonald's is making lattes now"
Woman 2: "McDonald's? Well, that's just...just...fantastic!"
Woman 1: "Now we don't have to listen to jazz all day long!"
Woman 2: "I can start wearing heels again!"
Woman 1: "I can read gossip magazines!"
Woman 2: "I can watch reality tv shows!"
Woman 1: "I like television!"
Woman 2: "I can't really speak French!"
Woman 1: "I don't know where Paraguay is!"
Voiceover with info about fabulous Mc-whatevers
Woman 2: "I just wanna show my knees, y'know?"

llcoolvad: (Default)
OK, it's taken me until just this minute to make up my mind, but I'm voting for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, and here's why.

I decided that I'm going to vote on issues and not the cult of personality, and universal health care is my number one issue this year. If anyone can move us toward that goal, she's the one.

I have nothing against Obama, mind you. If he wins the nomination you can be certain I will vote for him in November. But he's too young to relate to the universal health care issue on a personal level, so I'm voting with age and decrepitude, here!
llcoolvad: (Default)
Does anyone else find this article both hilarious and horrifically embarrassing?

It really says a lot about the man, anyway.

via kottke


Jan. 21st, 2008 12:00 pm
llcoolvad: (Default)
From Metafilter: A year from yesterday, George W. Bush will no longer be President. So here's yet another online quiz to help you "Test your party preference". But the policy questions in contention in this quiz may seem surprising to many Americans.

Results inside )
llcoolvad: (Default)

Watch past the halfway point, it gets funny!


Jan. 6th, 2008 01:54 pm
llcoolvad: (cold)
Via [ profile] zanzjan:

99% Dennis Kucinich
98% Mike Gravel
82% John Edwards
79% Chris Dodd
79% Barack Obama
76% Joe Biden
75% Hillary Clinton
72% Bill Richardson
31% Rudy Giuliani
26% Ron Paul
20% John McCain
14% Mike Huckabee
13% Mitt Romney
13% Tom Tancredo
5% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

I knew I was a Kucinich girl, but 99%? Yow. I wish he had a hope in hell of getting elected. I guess I'll vote with my heart in the primaries, though.
llcoolvad: (Default)
...prompted by an article in the Times about China and its impact on the environment. Just about the scariest article I've read in recent memory. There's a lot of focus on China lately with the recalls of all the dangerous products; and of course because of the approach of the 2008 Summer Olympics. I've been pretty interested in all of it.

I don't have any solutions. I'm just cranky. Doing laundry makes me cranky.

ETA: a few links
China Watch
The Consumerist's Chinese Poison Train
A different view
The U.S government's perspective
llcoolvad: (Default)
Interesting news snippet; teen sex (at least what's being reported) is down, condom use is up, teen pregnancy is down.

Education campaigns that started years ago are having a significant effect, said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based nonprofit group that focuses on prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

"I think the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the efforts in the '80s and '90s had a lot to do with that," Wagoner said of the improved numbers on teen sex, condoms and adolescent births.

This is that guy's opinion, of course, but I think we can all agree that popular culture hasn't gotten any less sexual. So the change must be coming from somewhere, and why not education programs? If it's true it can be a good argument that for long-term change initiatives to actually work, you need to actually give them a long term.

Yeah, yeah, obvious. I know. But don't expect obvious from your politicians. They're thinking in four year increments only.
llcoolvad: (Default)
Full version of Michael Moore's "Sicko" on Google video. Don't know if it's authorized or pirated, but it was great. Also don't know (if it's pirated) how long it will be there.
llcoolvad: (Default)
If you're a fan of Internet radio at all, it's very likely that you've already heard about how the Copyright Board has hiked the amounts of royalties and fees that Internet radio stations must pay to record labels, to the extent that many of them will go dark as soon as May 15 — the stupidest part being that regular FM stations pay NOTHING! And if you're as outraged as I am at this, you've probably already signed the petitions. But in case you haven't, or in case you thought about it and then promptly forgot to do it (as I did) here's your chance to help save Internet radio:

Link to send a letter to your congressperson.

A lot more information about the issue.

Some stations I listen to (many are just local radio that I can't get in my office, but some are from Elsewhere):

Don't just do it for the artists and stations! Do it for ME!
llcoolvad: (Default)
Scary and sad: S.D. Sen. Johnson in critical condition. He's a Democrat. You know, in the Senate. That we just took over by one. And his governor is a Republican. More than beyond the mere humanity of it, where I want everyone to be healthy and happy all the time, I really really really hope the guy can resume his duties.


Feb. 27th, 2006 11:42 am
llcoolvad: (cold)
Harper's Magazine essay by Lewis Lapham on why the President should be impeached. A little rabid, but hard to argue with.

"We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal—known to be armed and shown to be dangerous. "

EDITED to fix link above.


llcoolvad: (Default)

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