Myth Debunking

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

By the way, if you want a one-stop health care myth debunking place, bookmark this.  Here's the myths they debunk: MYTH 1: There is no health care crisis MYTH 2: Health care reform will impose rationing MYTH 3: Health care reform provides for euthanasia, "death panel" MYTH 4: Health care reform legislation will cover undocumented immigrants MYTH 5: Health care … Read More

Stewart vs. The Originator of the “Euthanasia For Granny” Myth

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

Jon Stewart is best when he stops being a comedian and just talks reason.  Betsy McCaughey, the first who equated end-of-life planning with government-influenced euthanasia, went on the Daily Show to make her case. Rather than trading barbs, the two of them actually discussed the house bill which supposedly supports the whole "death panel" meme.  (McCaughey never suggested, and in fact denies, … Read More

Texas Board of Education At It Again

Ken AshfordEducationLeave a Comment

These guys kill me: The [Texas] State Board of Education has appointed “review committees” made up largely of active and retired school teachers to draft new social studies curriculum standards as well as six “expert reviewers” to help shape the final document. The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks. The … Read More

Yahoo’s Novel Idea To Help Stop Email Spamming

Ken AshfordScience & Technology2 Comments

Here's the proposition: Everybody pay one penny to send an outgoing email. This will discourage spam, which consumes 33 terawatt hours of electricity every year.  A spam email sent to a million people would cost $10,000. No, you say?  You don't want to pay to send email? I hear you.  But what if it was voluntary? But wait, you say.  If … Read More

Terror Politics

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Disasters, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

I've largely refrained from posting about the Bush White House ever since Obama became president, but sometimes my self-imposed ban is hard to maintain. Now that Bush is out of office, we're finding that the actual illegalities are just as bad, if not worse, than imagined.  The firings of the U.S. attorneys, for example, were politically motivated and were orchestrated … Read More

Silliest “Serious” Objection To The House Health Reform Bill

Ken AshfordCongress, Health CareLeave a Comment

It still gets a lot of play, even among congresspersons: "The health care reform bill is over 1,000 pages long!" I'm not sure what that objection really means. Are they suggesting that, because it's a huge bill, it must represent a massive government program? If that's so, why don't they say it's a massve government program? Or, are they complaining that … Read More

How The Internet Sees You

Ken AshfordRandom Musings1 Comment

I don't quite understand this: Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.   … Read More

Five [Update: Six] Predictions About Gay Marriage

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

Over at NRO's The Corner, columnist Maggie Gallagher is compelled to present five predictions about the short term effects of same-sex marriage in those states which recognize it.  I'll address her predictions one at a time. (1)  In gay-marriage states, a large minority people committed to traditional notions of marriage will feel afraid to speak up for their views, lest … Read More

David Sedaris On Health Care

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

Not that he carries any weight, but I'm seeing his show in a month-and-a-half, and he got the question during a live chat, asking him to compare health care systems (he's lived in France for some time).  Here's his reponse: Allow me to answer with kidney stones. I had my first one at the age of 34. At the time … Read More

Health Care Without Republicans

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

It's becoming clear that trying to work out health care reform in a bi-partisan fashion ain't gonna happen. The "public option" itself was a compromise.  Obama and most left-leaning people would prefer a "single payer" universal health care system like most advanced nations.  The single payer system would, effectively, do away with insurance companies and treat health care like we do our … Read More