What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random thoughts after a hard day at work.

At work I no longer log into a website to track my time. However, as the job description evolves I'm not required to track my time and send it to the receptionist for her to put into the database. The remaining daytime desktop operator is out for surgery, so I know get to cover for my old job. I have a goodly stack of vinyls (job jackets) behind my desk, some of which require "immediate" attention (these are for the "new job"). Normally I send my time twice a week. Because of the amount, I'm sending her daily reports. Today's was two pages long. Busy day.

I wonder if they make a Thomas Kinkade Magic 8-Ball? (would be perfect for an Xmas gift we need to get)

So, why aren't there Tea Party Protests at the G20? I mean, here they are, the actual government financial people working on things that will direct our fiscal policy. They're right there. Making decisions on how much intervention countries, including the USA, should do in their markets. Which industries should be supported and which ignored. All right there. Actual decision makers. Hello, tap tap, is this thing on? I see a bunch of "educational meetings" but no boots on the street.

Sam's Club already has Xmas decorations for sale. Not a lot, but the big tubes of "shatter proof" bulbs are on the floor (along with the card selection).

And thinking of Tea Party Patriots, here's something. Michael Moore agrees with you. There's too much government involvement in saving companies, or spending tax money to prop up failing businesses. And he thinks it's dangerous for the country. He said so on the Colbert Report. (sorry could only find the full episode) Of course he differs on other points, but when I saw this on TV I felt a disturbance in the Force, as if thousands of heads exploded all at once.

What I'm watching? The PBS Special Report on Healthcare Reform. Lots of good discussion and points being brought up (from the individual side, the business side, well-care programs, obesity, etc). I don't see that it's being repeated (which is a shame). I don't like all the points they bring up (there was a slight promotion of HSAs and a push of "wellness" programs at the workplace), but a pretty decent look at the issues. While you're watching, pay attention to the money sections (who is paying, how are they paying, and where are they paying).

Today's Department of Redundancy Redundant Department? "...please prepay in advance..." - actually seen today at work, I live in a Dilbert world.

While I'm thinking of healthcare reform there's been this red herring about "cost to employers", and while the economics of it I wholeheartedly agree with (again, the cost of healthcare has been leaning on the windpipe of the economy for too long), there's a side argument of "if we relieve employers of the responsibility to provide insurance, and put the costs on the employees, business could pay people more." Everybody who believes that will actually happen, stand up. See, what I see is that the cost will shift to the individual after the trade-off was made for lower salaries/pay to keep health insurance with no benefit to the individual.

US looking to deploy long-endurance hybrid airship over Afghanistan. It's a steam-punk world. Not exactly as sexy as Global Hawk or Predator, but three weeks loiter time. Man that's a long time between bathroom breaks. (tip of the tam o'shanter to Dan)

Also with healthcare, the other red herring stinking up the room, "Tort-reform." Okay, well, we have real life experiments on it. How much has tort-reform reduced the cost of health care in those states who passed it (Ohio, California, Wisconsin, Texas, etc)? Yeah, not much. When this was discussed at work the other day people were shocked to learn that Ohio has had two rounds of tort-reform in the early 2000's. Doesn't do much because it's not that much of a problem. Oh, and before we do it, instead of the doctors and politicians blathering on about it, I want to hear the insurance people say how much tort-reform will affect the cost of your health insurance. Understand in Ohio their response was, "We never said it would affect anything."

And finally, also thinking of bathroom breaks, this beats writing your name in the snow by a country mile.


Todd Wheeler said...

re: Airship link. Cool video, however the background music doesn't quite mesh with the flight of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Anonymous said...

Head is indeed all asplody here.

Please do not tell me you're going to compare Tea Partiers with this.

My son at Case Western Reserve wants to design airships. We need to suppress this fantasy: he won't be able to keep me in shiny things when I get old if he's designing blimps. I'm from Akron, I love blimps more than the next girl, but blimps is not gonna pay my medical bills.


Steve Buchheit said...

Todd, well I think the music is required by government contract. It makes it all hot and toasty in the conference room. Bouncy circus music doesn't get the government money.

Cassie, I'm not comparing them to any of the other protests, I'm just wondering where the heck they are. One of their major critiques is that they're upset about our government's involvement in business (bailout), that they believe we're spending too much in stimulus, and our debt to other countries is too high (or at least that's what most of them say).

So here is a meeting that has the decision makers right there discussing those very topics. And not just one or two, it's the whole deck of cards as it were. And it's here in the US in a city that has an excellent air port. Or in other words I'm saying to the movement, "Look, Muhammad, the mountain has moved right outside your door." It's served up on a silver platter. If the movement believed in their rhetoric they would be there. Instead, crickets.

It's beginning to look more and more like the movement is mostly about "We don't like Obama." (which, again, he was there discussing they very things they're upset about)

Anonymous said...

We don't know that they are not there. The media goes to the show - thus the violent protesters get the press.


Steve Buchheit said...

Cassie, I did a pretty intensive search for any activity. The local Pittsburgh chapter held an "educational forum" on the 9th, but there was no planned activity. The national organization didn't have one either. The state organization didn't have anything since earlier in the month (final town hall meetings).

So if they're protesting, it's a stealth protest. Given their "prominence" during the summer, it would be news that they were there. Sure, the violence would get top billing (as the anarchists always use the opportunity), but they would still get a mention. And I would expect to see Glen Beck and Hannity make a point to show the difference between the Tea Party's "peaceful and clean" protest and the violence used by the other protesters (of course mixing the genuine protesters and the anarchists conflating them together). Also, nothing there.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a friend who lives in Pgh and asked. She said there's no active Tea Party call for protesters. She said she wouldn't go if called - she doesn't think it's safe. Over $50K in damages so far to private businesses - many places just closed entirely and are taking the financial hit rather than put their people/facility at risk.