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Showing posts from November, 2006

Satellite Radio

I am a technology junky. I admit it. I bought my first DVD player two months after they came out in the US (and spent about a year hoping I didn't buy a $600 CD player). I build computers for fun and I try to follow the new technologies coming out in that arena. However, for all of that, I also hate paying subscription fees. I canceled my cable because I thought paying for TV that I didn't really watch was a waste (my "rabbit ears" work just fine), I used a free dial-up account for internet because broadband was too expensive, I love the Tivo concept but can't bring myself to pay the subscription price. So it was quite a surprise to quite a few people when they found out that I do subscribe to satellite radio.

My road to satellite radio started out like any new technology, I saw an article about it and thought, "this is really cool!", followed by "if only it wasn't so expensive!". That's the way things stayed for a few years. Ev…

Political Issues: Healthcare

Healthcare has been a big issue for a while. It's frightening to see how much healthcare costs nowadays. I don't have some super plan to fix everything but I have a few ideas that may help.

1) Court reform for malpractice suits - Malpractice insurance pays out millions, if not billions, for punitive damages and I fear that many people think of it as winning the lottery. So, in order to make it more just, less prone to abuse, and less of a burden on all doctors (who have to pay the awards out of their malpractice insurance premiums), I would make a few changes.
A) Forbid punitive damages from being paid for by insurance. The whole point of punitive damages is to punish the perpetrator and is it really a punishment if insurance pays for it? This would have the effect of lowering insurance rates for doctors as well as making punitive damages an actual punishment.
B) Make punitive damages payable to the state and not the victim. This may not seem fair at first but the victi…

Political Issues: Iraq

Let me start by saying that I'm not a general and so speculating on strategy and deployment changes that would improve the situation in Iraq aren't going to be useful. However, I do have some suggestions for things that may help our troops on the ground.

The first thing I would do is have every soldier who is or may end up serving in Iraq start learning Arabic and Iraqi culture. Our troops' main mission is to keep the peace in Iraq. If they all had a better understanding of Iraqi culture as well as the ability to understand and communicate with Iraqis, I believe our troops would be better accepted, less likely to be attacked, and would be able to better deal with their day to day duties.

I would also try to do something economically. I heard that Iraq has around 60% unemployment. People who can't find jobs tend to get depressed and frustrated and depressed and frustrated people are easier for militias and terrorists to influence. Hard-working, happy people tend to …

Fantasy Congress

I found an interesting new online game the other day. It's called Fantasy Congress. It works like Fantasy Football or any other fantasy sports game. You simply draft a team of legislators (Senators and Congressmen) and you get points when your team submits bills, amends bills, and/or gets their bills signed into law. I tried it out and had a lot of fun.

The game follows the actual sessions of congress (the next one starts in January) so you don't know what's going to happen before it does (unless you call up your team members and ask them). It's fun that it creates a game out of congress but it's also educational in that you can see what really happens with legislation and you start to learn who is authoring it and how far it gets. It's a lot of fun and worth a look for anybody who wants to dabble.

So many things to do online...