Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Bucket List

I've wanted to write a list of things I need to do before I die and today is the day to do it.

1. Read Leigh Brackett's screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back (only available at a library in New Mexico)

2. Visit Cedar Point and Disneyland

3. Run up the stairs in Philadelphia like Rocky

4. Eat wings at the Anchor Bar

5. Donate a kidney

6. Do the Ben Franklin thing with at least $500,000

Those are the only essentials, though I plan to add more.

Last Updated: March 26, 2010

Monday, August 17, 2009

Swiss Cheese

Paul Krugman points out today what everyone not living in a PVI R+10 district already knows: Obamacare will resemble the Swiss system more than England's NHS.

To save readers time I've done a simulation of Glenn Beck's response:

"If you think the Medicare doughnut hole was bad wait until you get Swiss cheese coverage under Obamacare."

Douthat: Pro-death panel

The token conservative columist for the New York Times decided to endorse "death panels" in his latest column:

"We’re already practically a gerontocracy: Americans over 50 cast over 40 percent of the votes in the 2008 elections, and half the votes in the ’06 midterms. . . . Somebody will need to say “no” to retirees."

Florida, cutting edge as ever, has been test-driving the gerontocracy for years and the reviews are in: "We're lovin' it." (It's like being at McDonald's 24/7.)

The only difference is that McDonald's doesn't tax other people to pay for your all-you-can-eat order.

Empire Strikes Back

From what I can tell The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars are neck and neck in the race to claim the "Greatest Star Wars Film" title (and perhaps greatest film period).

I never understood why. To me Star Wars is vastly superior. The action is better, the ending is more satisfying, the soundtrack is better and acting is fresher. But the biggest problem is that: "[Empire] suffered from . . . the classic problems of being the second act in a three-act play."

Then I watched the original unaltered editions last week and I gained something of a newfound respect for the ending. The middle is still muddled, but the direction and pacing of the last 20 minutes or so deserve more credit. Kershner does a great job of easing up on the throttle in the falling action, giving a few jolts of excitment to keep the movie from going into free fall (as in Return of the Jedi). The scoring is also at its best in the series aside from during the trench run.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Quote of the Day

From the Economix blog:

"Many Americans oppose [a mandate to buy health insurance] as an infringement of their personal rights, all the while believing that they have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it. This immature, asocial mentality is rare in the rest of the world."

That was written in April. If people had doubts then about the "immature" part then certainly the town hall meetings have changed minds.

Death Panels

There has been a lot of talk on TV and in the press about these death panels. I'm watching Meet the Press right now and Tom Coburn said it's fair to say the government is trying to kill people.

Look, I've taken these rumors about as seriously as I would a rumor that England is about to nuke New York City. What would be the motivation? I wouldn't believe it until I saw it.

But then I saw it with my own eyes.

I live in a county in Florida with, I believe, the 3rd highest concentration of old people in the country. Something like 60% of the medical costs here are paid for by Medicare (the government). We are the front lines of the fight against socialized medicine because are already have it, and if the government is trying to cut dead weight they would logically start here.

Well, they did.

I saw a SWAT team truck pull up next to my neighbor's house. A few police thugs got out, guns in hand, I heard shots seconds later, and the van rolled off.

Lock your doors. Call Congress. The death squads are on the move.