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Simple Answers To Hard Questions

How do you solve the health insurance crisis? Medicare for all.

How do you pay for it? Remove the cap on FICA and stop Congress from stealing the money to cover their bad ideas.

But you’re raising taxes. Au contraire, as Republicans have told us for years, poor people don’t pay taxes, and they pay FICA on every dollar they earn, so it can’t be a tax. 😈


1 Badtux { 07.24.09 at 4:33 pm }

That’s too simple and doesn’t put enough government dollars into enough oligarchs’ pockets, so of course we can’t do that! Besides, it would be Fascism. Like in Canada, where their jackbooted doctors are massed at the border waiting to invade us with their eeeevil… err… universal healthcare? The horror! Oh the horror!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

2 Bryan { 07.24.09 at 8:50 pm }

Well, the Canadians might invade to repatriate some of their RNs who have been conned into working down here. They tend to fulfill their contracts and then leave because the pay and working conditions are not what they were promised… oh, yeah, they also don’t get health insurance.

I realized it was silly, as it wouldn’t imposed any new burdens on people or small businesses, who tend not to make 100K and already pay FICA. It would really simplify payroll programs by not having to check for the limit every payday, nor having to change the limit annually. It would just happen.

Who wants a system where being born and having your parents get you a Social Security number was all that was required.

Of course, people who didn’t belong to the Social Security system would have to find their own insurance, but there has always been some danger inherent in clipping coupons.

3 Kryten42 { 07.24.09 at 11:48 pm }

Speaking of the (antiquated) Social Security system… have you seen this article?

Researchers crack Social Security number code

It was bound to happen. The code hasn’t been changed in about 80 years. 🙂

As for the topic at hand, perhaps a quite from Neils Bohr: “No, no, you’re not thinking; you’re just being logical.”

Heh… (Don’t complain! It’s either quotes from scientists, or more Looney Tunes… take your pick. 😉 :lol

Oooh! I’ve been wanting to use this one by Austin O’Malley! Very appropriate these days: “The statesman shears the sheep; the politician skins them.”

(No, I’m not bored. I’m stuck on a very annoying design problem and I find doing something completely different helps my mind solve the problem, and stops be getting annoyed enough to want to cause physical harm to someone). 😉

As Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” (of course, he meant that at a mich grander order than my personal problem, but it’s still appropriate. it scales nicely). 😉

Here’s some more… just because…

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.”

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!”


4 Bryan { 07.25.09 at 12:18 am }

If they had asked I would have told them how to read an SSAN, because it isn’t a secret and the Social Security card mentions in several places that it should never be used for identification. They are wrong about one thing, the birth date only works with recent cards because it is simple one up number assignment as requests come in, and people didn’t used to get cards until they got their first job. That also screws up their assumption on the location coding, because you could have gotten your first job and applied for the card on the other side of the country from where you were born.

It is other people who have been using the number for unintended purposes, like identification, that have screwed things up.

I would use the number to verify, in a general way, information on job applications, i.e. the card would indicate where they were when they applied for it.

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx.

5 SSG { 07.25.09 at 1:59 am }

@ Kryten42-Does your annoying design problem involve Internet Explorer? I’ve almost slit my wrists a couple times because of the utter frustration that POS browser causes. I have another Linux question for you, too, when you’re less annoyed. 😉

About health insurance..all I can say is I’ve not seen a doctor since 2002, because I simply can’t afford it. And it really shouldn’t be that way. For anyone.

6 Kryten42 { 07.25.09 at 2:26 am }

@ SSG: I try very hard never to think about IE! Sadly, my clients have lot’s of customers in the dark ages who they want to spend money on their websites. *sigh* IE5 & 6 were the worst nightmare for a web designer, but even 7 & now 8 have their own issues. Of course, all browsers have their own quirk’s, there are things in Opera & Firefox that drive me nuts too. Same for Chrome and ESPECIALLY Safari! (IMHO Apple are trying hard to be a mini-M$!)

But no, this particular problem doesn’t involve IE (at this point anyway, I’m sure it will eventually), it has to do with VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) (or VPS, Virtual private Server) setup on a hosting company I use, or specifically, hyperVM, which the company moved to and has discovered serious security flaws in the control panel and so they have taken it offline and are creating their own in-house which means I now have no control over the VDS and I’m trying to patch the Linux kernel with some mod’s I need to configure the iptables firewall to do what I want for a client. Until the CP is back, I have to email or post a message on the forum if I need them to make changes or restart the system, which means that instead of taking 10 min’s for me to do something, it takes a day, or more. Very annoying! LOL (You asked!) 😉

I hear you about the health insurance, sadly. I hope you are well and don’t need it! I’ve been in rehab (physical/mental) for about a year and a half after a bad accident, so that covers most of my bills, but I have to fight for everything when the question “Is this really necessary?” is asked by a moronic little public servant toad who’s never been sick in his/her 22 odd (average age) years of life so far! I’ve just started working again, but it’s very tough going so far. I have to relearn a lot, though, on the plus side, much of what I knew has changed anyway. IT is a VERY dynamic industry. 😉

7 SSG { 07.25.09 at 4:11 pm }

LOL, yes I did ask! I actually did understand some of that, believe it or not. Maybe this is stating the obvious, but shouldn’t they have tested the CP before going ahead with it? The annoyance level must be off the scale. You have my sympathy. 😉

Since we’re kind of hijacking this comment thread, might be better to just email each other? You can get my addy from Bryan. 😉

8 Bryan { 07.25.09 at 4:26 pm }

Go ahead and use the thread.

I was dealing with a similar issue with MySQL, as a major security problem had occurred involving phpMyAdmin that had to be dealt with. It appears to be working now, but it was a headache to be without it for while.

Trying to tune a system by e-mail, what a bloody thrill.

9 Comrade Kevin { 07.25.09 at 4:57 pm }

One has to change the mentality of most Americans, who see any tax revenue as suspect and bound to be wasted on frivolity.
.-= ´s last blog ..The Plight of the Activist =-.

10 Bryan { 07.25.09 at 5:07 pm }

CK, most Americans don’t get paid $100K/per year and won’t see any change. Most Americans don’t know what FICA is, other than a box on their W-2. Did I mention it’s a flat tax.

11 Kryten42 { 07.26.09 at 2:18 am }

Thanks Bryan. 🙂

PS. Groucho was a much more observant and intelligent fellow than people give him credit for, IMHO. 😉

You know… I really do NOT understand the issue the avg Joe Public has over this. I mean… I know it’s a dire lack of understanding and comprehension, but I don’t really understand why that is so. I understand what you say, and it seems simple and obvious to me. If I were still living in the USA, I’d be mightily p*ssed off! I don’t understand some people. *sigh*

@ SSG: I try not to make assumptions about a person’s level of knowledge or experience, especially when I know very little about them. 🙂 I’ve been in IT (in many areas) for over 30 years, but my memory and other faculties were scrambled over a year ago and I’m having to relearn anyway. It’s very frustrating when I am absolutely certain I know something, and discover I am completely wrong (not that I was always 100% correct before anyway, but it’s much worse now). The other annoying thing is knowing that I knew something, but I’m unable to remember, or only remember a part of it.

I’ve always believed in a famous quote, and you’ll find Bryan and others here feel the same, to paraphrase: There’s no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers. 😉

You’ll find that some threads wander all over for a bit. Bryan seems OK with that, but I’m always mindful that it’s his blog and his rules. 🙂

@ Bryan: Trying to tune a system by e-mail, what a bloody thrill.

it’s a good thing I know you are being sarcastic m8! 😉 😆 Yeah… it’s fun, fun, fun. Almost as much fun as having a root canal procedure. 😐

12 SSG { 07.26.09 at 2:59 am }

@ Kryten42-LOL, you’re funny as hell. Do you blog? If not you should. 😉 I have memory issues now myself..NOTHING like what you’re dealing with, but disturbing just the same. BTW, my Linux question is this: I’ve been trying to update Firefox browser from version 3.0.11 that came with the Ubuntu Jaunty upgrade, but really have no idea what the frack I’m doing. I got as far as extracting the program onto the desktop, but it’s just a folder. Um, ok, what next? Help? 😉 (This is why I suggested email)

No rush on that, BTW..

13 Bryan { 07.26.09 at 3:52 pm }

The difference between a root canal and doing anything via e-mail is that a root canal doesn’t depend on someone else’s typing skills.

I went through that with a site my older brother created. It is an understatement to say he is not technically inclined. If you are working on something and ask for a Phillips screwdriver, he isn’t attempting humor if he responds that he doesn’t know Phillip, and asks why you need his screwdriver.

He’s 100% Apple – IMac, IPod, IPhone. He can design buildings and bridges, just don’t ask him to use a tool.

Needless to say, his choice of hosting companies left much to be desired, including typing skills. They made you submit changes to a public “dump” site and wait for them to move them to the real site, and they charged for every “support operation” – FTP, e-mail, wait…

I’m quite familiar with that particular PITA procedure.

14 Kryten42 { 07.27.09 at 6:31 am }

@ SSG: Sorry, had a hectic day. 🙂

Here is a very useful guide to bookmark for Ubuntu jaunty Jackalope (I do enjoy the nicnames they give the Ubuntu projects!) 😀

Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Guide

It has a lot of very useful information you might fine useful. 🙂

As far as your Firfox upgrade question… What are you upgrading to? 3.5? If so, here’s a guide for that:

Installing Firefox 3.5 the right way in Ubuntu Jaunty

or this (posted at the same blog a day later):

Ubuntu Firefox 3.5 install: ubuntu-mozilla-security

The above sites are from my old Ubuntu bookmarks (I havn’t actually used Ubuntu for over a year now). I found this one that looks fairly straightforward. 🙂

Upgrade to Firefox 3.5 on Ubuntu 9.04 – Jaunty Jackalope

Hope that helps, if not, just let me know. 🙂

As for my having a blog… I blogged very heavily between 2003 and 2006. I was part of a group blog with a half dozen active bloggers called Loaded Mouth. We closed in Nov 2006 because most of us were just burned out (or blogged out). We blogged hard to try to educate the masses about the horror that was the Bushmoron Decade. I broke a big conspiracy in ’06 that took a lot of long days and research, that was carried by international blogs in several languages. I figured that was as good as it would get. 🙂 another commenter here (though she has been far too busy to comment of late) is LadyMin was also a blogger at LM. I was also a contributor on several other blogs, some gone, some mainstream now. 🙂 It was very hard to dig enough to discover the truth to blog about with facts. One of the reason’s I enjoy it here is because Bryan has the same attitude. 🙂

I suppose, when Bryan get’s fed up with me hijacking threads… I may start my own again… maybe. 😉

15 SSG { 07.27.09 at 4:44 pm }

@Kryten42-Oh, please, don’t apologize..totally not necessary. 😉

The Firefox upgrade..I first tried Synaptic, and ended up with a beta 3.5, with a strange name. I downloaded from the Mozilla site and unpacked the folder on the desktop..I was able to run the upgraded version from there, but it was kind of awkward, plus the fonts looked all farked up again, and it wasn’t able to access Flash player, because the browser technically wasn’t installed. I’ve tried what you suggested and even tried to install from terminal and terminal told me that Firefox was already the latest version. Jeezus. It shouldn’t be this hard to upgrade a browser. I mean, really..

Sorry I never saw your blogging project..it sounds interesting. (I, too, had NO love for Bush) Just started blogging again myself, after a hiatus..nothing as deep as what you did, or even what Bryan does. But it’s good anger management, if nothing else. If you’d like the link, let me know.

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated! 🙂

@ Bryan: How did you do the comment preview? I really like it, and would like to implement it on my own blog.

16 Bryan { 07.27.09 at 5:23 pm }

I use the Filosofo Comments Preview plug-in and it has been working well through a number of WP updates.

17 Kryten42 { 07.28.09 at 5:38 am }

@ SSG: No problem! Good luck with it. 🙂 I meant what I said, I always do. 😉

Bryan, you might find this interesting (or have you already dug into Loaded Mouth?) 😀

Here’s a couple (of sad to this day for me) obit’s *sigh* The closing of LM *WAS* truly the end of an era. But that’s the way this rollercoaster we are all on operates, isn’t it? I do look forward to new beginnings. But sometimes, some endings are harder than others. 🙂

In Search of Utopia (blog): Loaded Mouth (closing)
Pushing Rope blog: Loaded Mouth (closing)

BTW: The artwork was produced by a resident artist (part time) and wonderful guy who goes by the pseudonym of Zen Comix. Go and check out his work! Have a laugh. If you check the archives for < 07, you'll find some artwork he did for LM. 🙂

BTW2: 😉 Zen was nagging me years ago to start my own blog! 😉 LOL I think I would have, but then I had my accident and everything changed. Maybe… one day. I never say *never*. 😉

Milhous Fillmore Meets The Free Republic

Millhouse Fillmore was a character Zen created that just made me laugh! 😀 I miss all that. 🙂

Annnnnd… If you want (and have a lot of spare tme).. The Wayback Machine has a lot of my blogs at LM! (I liked the tags we had for stories! Like: “Feed The Wingnuts Some Sledgehammers”.) 😀

Loaded Mouth: Kryten42’s Blog

Umm… Ignore the first post! LOL (We didn’t ALWAYS post political stuff!) 😆

Did any of you see this image that appeared around October ’06?

Whatever Happened To: Never Again?

Said it all really. Lastly, I’d like to copy my blog I made on the aniversary of 9/11/01, if I may, it was a very important piece for me, and a turning point. I was (truly) surprised by the number of people who read it and commented, and crossposted it on several blogs. 🙂

What 9/11 means to me
Submitted by Kryten42 on September 11, 2006 – 07:55
Discussion Thread | 385 reads |

It’s September 11, 2006 here in Australia now.

It’s strange… What was September 11 for America, was actually September 12 in Australia. At first, whenever I heard someone mention the tragic events of 9-11, it took me a moment to think about what they were talking about. My mind had imprinted the date as 9-12. But now, 5 years later, 9-11 is 9-11. I guess we really can reprogram our memories, with time.

I remember clearly that day. I had been working late, and gotten home around 10PM. I put the kettle on and picked up the TV remote and was going to channel surf until I saw something interesting. Since we only have 5 free-to-air channels, and we had about 20 cable channels, it didn’t take long to flick through them. I stopped when I saw a shaky image of a tall building on fire, it looked familiar. I had spent time in NYC, and I recognised the twin towers. Most people in NYC I knew referred to them as the “twin towers”, not WTC.

I watched and I thought it was a movie I’d not seen or heard of, and I remember thinking that it looked like a pretty low budget production. Then, the second plane hit. And the cameraman was running, and people were screaming and running… And I suddenly realised it wasn’t a movie.

I had worked for a major defence contractor in the USA. After that, I had worked for a military intelligence organisation here, and had been to the USA and worked with our ‘oposite number’ there. I knew a lot about US internal security, about NORAD, and had even been involved in brainstorming scenarios in relation to Terrorist attacks on Aus and US interests. I have no way to prove this here and now, and wouldn’t in any case. But I have no reason to lie. One of the scenarios was a Terrorist hijacking an aircraft and flying it into a major building. This was in the 80’s.

I knew what had happened once I realised I was watching a true event. And I was shocked. Because it shouldn’t have happened. I could imagine one aircraft, but not two! Especially not 9 minutes after the first. And then I learned about the Pentagon, and PA. And I just knew it was all wrong!

A lot of thoughts were running like a freight train through my mind! I was thinking up possibilities… Scenarios, as I had been trained many years before. And, it didn’t make sense! I got angry. I didn’t know why, it wasn’t a focussed anger at any particular person or thing… I was just angry!

I found out eventually that I had lost a couple of acquaintances, people I met in NYC, on that tragic day. I didn’t know them well, but we had met a few times and we had shared some laughs and stories over a few good lunches in Blooms Delli and other great Delli’s NYC has. I miss those… I actually wept when I heard… The emotions that I think I had been keeping bottled up just erupted. It was a combination of sorrow, anger and frustration. I learned that Australians had died too, and other Nationalities, and I realised that it was a global tragedy.

I began searching for answers. At first, there we so many contradictory stories! Slowly, I began piecing the facts together bit-by-bit over the next couple of years. I became quite ill for awhile and couldn’t continue. And I lost my job and other personal factors stopped me from continuing my search for quite some time.

At the end of 2004, I began realising that I was falling in Love with an American woman I had met on a forum two years before. 🙂 It gave me a renewed interest in America! And I realised with a shock, that I had allowed myself to become insulated from the world around me. I didn’t care. About anything. That changed…

I started looking at Australia, catching up on the news and events. And I thought we had gone insane! Everywhere I looked, it seemed as though George Bush was running Australia! The PM, John Howard, was spending more time in the US and with Bush than the Queen, who is still our head of State, last I heard! I leaned that We had sent troops to fight in Iraq, I had known about Afghanistan and Bin Laden, and I thought that was right that we should. But Iraq?

I had worked in the Mid East for just over a year as a junior member of a team of security consultants for a company here involved with Mid East oil companies.

I had learned a lot about Saddam. And I remembered vividly ‘Desert Storm’ in ‘91. I began hearing about WMD’s and Saddam’s ties to OBL. I could write a book about all the things I knew and that I learned over the next year! 🙂 But in a nutshell, I know it was all bogus. And I began blogging, trying to make people wake up and learn the truth! I became a regular commenter on a few blogs. Eventually, I came across Loaded Mouth. 🙂 I liked tas’s irreverent style! And I am a sucker for Irony and Satire! I liked it here, eventually tas asked for help bloging, and the rest is history!

For me, 9-11 represents the point in time where the World went insane. When Americans lost sight of truth. When Americans allowed cowards, liars and thieves to control their Country, and who are trying to dominate the World.

I have heard George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the others called many things. And I have done so myself. I think it is a big mistake to try to dehumanise them. Because no matter how evil, they are human. The right wing extremists that blindly follow Bush and will hear nothing bad said about him, who really do worship him… These are dangerous people. You cannot change their minds! I am talking about the hard core followers and believers here.

The mistake in dehumanising people like Bush is in conferring on them some kind of *supernatural* aura and authority. He is just an ordinary man. He is nothing special. He may well be a fool of a man, and he may even be under the control of others, but he is a fool with power and powerful friends.

But he is a man. 🙂 And he can be stopped. The Bush administration is makeing many mistakes now, and all their past lies and sins are being revealed. This year, Americans have the chance to reassert *their* authority over *their* Nation!! Bush is not a God or a King! He is a Public Servant and nothing more! How did Americans allow him to be anything else?

So, on this 5th anniversary of that tragic day that this public servant named George W. Bush used to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and to use as a rationale for dictating to the World, I think it’s time to remember who you are. And to put a stop to the madness before it destroys everyone. By being cowards, by following a pitiful public servant who has NEVER done a single good thing, by destroying and killing, you prove to the World that the Terrorists won that day! People… just stop all the BS, all the lies, all the fear, all the hatred!! Take your country back!! It is NOT George Bush’s country! It belongs to all the people of the USA, not one megalomaniac! In a couple of years, he won’t even be President, and he won’t care about any of you! Not that he cares about you now. Can’t you even see that Bush is selling you all out? Where is the healing? It’s been FIVE years! How long do you want? Do you want to see the entire World in flames before you wake up? Before you stop hiding under your beds?

The only way you can truly respect and honour those who died on September 11, 2001, is to bring back courage, respect and Life!

I was going to write more, especially some comparisons and other thoughts, but I think that is more than enough.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Original, is here: Kryten42’s blog, Page 2

Bryan, you decide decide what you want to do about this comment. 🙂 It’s OK, I meant it when I said it’s your blog and I respect that. 🙂

18 Bryan { 07.28.09 at 4:44 pm }

You overrate my ability to control things, as this post was put in the spam file by the program, and I’m not sure why.

I have seen Dugan’s work, but that involves a problem that he was only peripherally related to, but nonetheless was involved in at a group site. The less said about that episode the better.

If I have a problem, I would say so.

19 Kryten42 { 07.29.09 at 12:08 am }

Hmmm. LM was the third blog I was a member of. I actually met taz and zen on the previous blog. We left after some issues and tas started LM and invited me and a bunch of others to blog there. I even blogged at DKos before they went all political nutter. *sigh* LOL

I really got started at “Why Are We Back In Iraq?”. Oh well…

Anyway, back to work for me. I’m my own slave-driver! 😆

Cheers. 🙂

20 Bryan { 07.29.09 at 12:32 am }

I just noticed that I still have Zen on the blogroll, so he can’t have totally annoyed me at the other place.

Kos was OK until he decided to be a “player”, and it went downhill from there, as he and the blog became captives of a subgroup of Democratic Party insiders to gain access. When you lose your editorial independence you become a tool, not a person.

Good luck on the problem.

21 hipparchia { 07.29.09 at 1:16 am }

you’re nobody until you’ve actually been banned from dkos.


22 Kryten42 { 07.29.09 at 2:01 am }

But an intelligent person leaves when they know they are about to be banned and so rob Kos and his rabid mob of a great deal of pleasure. 😛 Suckers!


23 hipparchia { 07.29.09 at 2:46 am }

that’s not intelligent, that’s mean! what would they do for fun if everybody acted like you, kryten?

actually, i’ve had one userid there banned, and the other banned and reinstated, so there! pfffffffffffffffffft!


24 Kryten42 { 07.29.09 at 5:17 am }

Hmmm. OK… that put’s you one up on me. Though… I’m not keeping score. 😛 😆

25 Bryan { 07.29.09 at 11:29 am }

I filed Kos under not worth the packets a long time ago. I have no time for Puritans, be they religious or political, when they fail to live up to their own standards. Hypocrisy is available everywhere, no need to expend any effort to be abused.

I defended him on the heat he took over his remarks about mercenaries, so I didn’t appreciate the crap he pushed during the election.

26 hipparchia { 07.29.09 at 7:46 pm }

mercenaries? i missed that, what did he say?

with you on the puritans. i don’t actually post there or comment there much, except to push single payer occasionally [and to read drsteveb], but it seemed worth the pushback to get unbanned.

kryten, i would never keep score! 😀 [actually, i don’t, but it’s fun to brag once in a blue moon]

27 Kryten42 { 07.29.09 at 8:34 pm }

[actually, i don’t, but it’s fun to brag once in a blue moon]

Yep! You are definitely allowed and entitled. 🙂 And sometimes it’s good to let others know you are part of the *sane* minority. 😉 😀

I have to post this! I’ve been PMSL (And I’m not a fan of Shatner usually, but he get’s kudos for this!) It’s Shatner’s interpretation of Palin’s farewell speech, accompanied by bongo’s for the perfect touch! PMSL This was done on Conan O’Brian’s show a few nights ago (I think).

Here’s a lower res version (with intro by Conan):
William Shatner reads Sarah Palin farewell speech

This is a HD (High Definition) version (large vid):
HD William Shatner Reads Sarah Palin’s Farewell Speech

Amazing… I’ll be laughing for days! 😀

28 Bryan { 07.29.09 at 9:11 pm }

After the four mercs were wiped out in Fallujah, he basically said “screw mercs”, with good reason based on personal experience. I’ve dealt with mercs, and I backed his right to say it.

Of course, we now know what murderous bastards the mercs were in Iraq, just like they usually are, and the Iraqis had good reasons to target them, but, at the time, Kos was being attacked by nearly everyone.

I’ve seen up at several places, Kryten, but I have no interest in Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Paris Hilton, or any of the other celebrities that the media fixate on.

29 Kryten42 { 07.29.09 at 9:15 pm }

Yeah, I remember merc’s too. Not at all fondly.

Sure… But it’s not Palin, it’s Shatner interpreting Palin. A distinction with a difference. 😉 😆 And kudos to Conan for setting it up. 🙂