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Category:NCAAB
Posted on: April 2, 2009 3:55 pm
 

A prescription for condoms?! What size?

Our federalies want us all to have good quality, readily available healthcare. Who doesn't? Healthcare costs are ridiculously high and we must find a way to reduce the cost. Naturally government thinks they can turn the efficiency knob such that we all get the needed coverage at a lower cost. This is where people tend to start getting off the band wagon citing previous attempts like social security, medicare and medicaid that have failed to deliver the panacea of social promise. Everyone on board so far?

So the idea of national healthcare has been advanced and a plan is in place to drive us irrevocable in that direction. We have protagonists citing successes in France, Great Britain, and Canada. We have antagonists citing failures in France, Great Britain and Canada. What to do? Who to believe?

Mistress Smorgie is not afraid to advance a notion, nay a plan, to greatly reduce medical costs. And get this, it is simple! And I can guarantee success! I know, I know. Our well earned pessimism prevents us from getting on board. But I will give it a try anyway and I will base it on a bit of data to make you all feel better.

Everyday in every doctor's office around the country there are tens if not hundreds of patients plunking down money to see their doctors in the so called office visit. Let's assume it is no more than 10 patients an hour per doctor in the facility - so 80 patients per day. Let's assume the doctor charges $100 a visit (might be high but it makes the math easy). If you have insurance you may have to pay something like $25 or $30 bucks out of your pocket and your HMO or other insurance picks up something less than the balance. So for every doctor in the building it is conceivable to raise $8000 a day. If the facility has 5 doctors and they achieve 100% utilization they can generate $40,000 a day in billable sales. That is a whole bunch of money in a year and totals something over $10 million before taxes, wages, overhead, etc.

But for what? Let's assume we have a general practitioner office with 5 doctors and no shortage of patients ringing our phones. What percentage of those folks are showing up because they are sick? Let's say 50% are showing up because they have something wrong. What percentage of these folks know what is wrong with them? To be simple, how many know they have a fever and a cold? Or a very sore throaght? Or poison ivy? Or a bladder infection? Or an ear ache? You get the point. We know what is wrong with us usually. And we know what the treatment will be. Ear ache or strep - amoxicillan. Bladder infection more antibiotics, poison ivy - methylprednisone, pretty simple so far. Why not make these medications semi-over the counter? Meaning why not let the pharmacist dole out these types of medications as they see fit, skipping the doctor's office visit. When they come up on something that is above their call they can refuse to dispense the meds and advise you to see a doctor.

Want a great example? The yeast infection (sorry guys). We women know we have one immediately. No doubt. Not too long ago we had to go to the doctor everytime to get a prescription for a medication we know we need. Fortunately the powers that be (feds) made these medications over the counter so we could stay out of the doctor's office. Have you heard of anyone becoming addicted to Monostat 7 in the last decade? We women are not abusing the system.

In some European countries you do not need a prescription for eye glasses or contacts. You just pick up the corresponding set right off the shelf. And why not? Is there any benefit in wearing the wrong kind of glasses? Who wants to do that? I like mine blurry so I think I will get these. That is garbage. You still have to go to the optometrist to make sure you are healthy and to find out what your eye condition is. But beyond that, you should be responsible enough to pick them out. Think of it like this. To buy new wiper blades for your car you have to go to a mechanic to tell you what size you need and then you go the autoparts store and present your prescription for wiper blades. Not the same? Wiper blades help you with your vision don't they. OK maybe it is a stretch. Imagine if condoms were by prescription and some of you boys had to get measured - extra small for this one, ouch!!

The point is people should be able to be responsible for picking and choosing medications they need in the more mundane cases. Not the fancy life threatening variety to be sure.

But why do you need to pay $100 to have the doc take one look at you and scribble something out on a pad of paper when you already know what you need.

OK - you don't feel comfortable self medicating (I doubt that - think aspirin and a lethal dose). Remember, the pharmacist is more than capable of deciding who should and should not have amoxycillin or prednisone, et al. These are the facts.

So a simple way to cut costs is to make more medicines available over the counter or at least semi-OTC where the apotheke or pharmacist doles it out.

 

 

 

 

Posted on: March 21, 2009 10:34 pm
 

Dear America - save your BS, you'll need it

 Today I purchased fertilizer for my yard at Walmart.  A bag of Scotts crabgrass killer was bargain priced at $56 and change for 15,000 square feet.  I remember paying about $35 give or take last year.  Wow! a mere 60% increase over 2008.  The fellow at Walmart asked if he could help me as I stared in disbelief at the price.  I said I would like to know what happened to the price of fertilizer.  "Well honey (he actually called me honey) fertilizer prices are up across the board."  Why?  "Well you see the price of oil has had an impact."  Huh?  Price of oil is down since last spring.

Another gent wearing Walmart blue approached and told me his father is a farmer and he too is in shock by the price of fertilizer for the farm.

Did I miss any stories about a fertilizer plant blowing up anywhere in the US?  The components of fertilzer are commodities so why the jump in price?  A little reseach links the rise to the cost of natural gas, a key component in the manufacture of nitrogen (in the form of anhydrous ammonia)  but wait just a darned minute.  Natural gas prices have fallen by almost half.  What gives?  A further look says we are running short of phosphates and potash. Are the environmentalists at work here - limiting the profligation of these chemicals? 

But world wide demand for fertilizer has fallen as the world markets have softened.  Should result in a price break.  Hmm.   Something stinks here around the fertilizer pile.

So folks, a warning to your pocket books.  Food prices are about to sky rocket.  Hyperinflation anyone?  And the weeds will be applenty as many folks make the decision to forgo fertilizing their yards this year.


PS.  My Mountaineers let me down big time.  Sadness in Cyndi's heart.

Posted on: March 19, 2009 10:50 am
 

A bonus track on the CD of life

 

AIG's executives really blew this one, paying out excessive bonuses to the executives who largely are to blame for the management practices that led to the downfall of the insurance giant. Insert your public outrage here. I am hearing folks demanding action as populism calls its politicians to task, finally I might add. But before you call your politician and demand they do something to get the money back or to stop such payouts in the future you have to understand there are contracts involved. Right, wrong or indifferent there are legally binding contracts that stipulate the size of a bonus based upon deliverables within a company's framework.

But the outrage is there. Populism is demanding an end to this "unfair" practice. Bonuses are being villified as unfair. But let's change the word. Instead of calling it a bonus, let's call it what it is - an incentive.

In the sports world we all understand athletes have contracts that are often laiden with incentives. Do this by this much and we pay you this much. Athletes have guaranteed money plus incentives. They get the guaranteed cash even if they get hurt and the incentives if they perform. Sometimes these contracts are written such that it is so easy to reach the incentives, like play 10 games in an NFL season. Stay relatively healthy and you get that incentive. Pretty simple. In baseball, get 400 at bats and there you are. You get the idea. Do you have a problem with these contracts? Because there may be no emphasis on individual performance or team winning.

In the real world there are all kinds of incentive contracts that are in effect. Commission sales is the most obvious. But so is waiting tables for tips. If service is good a nice incentive is earned. The customer is not obligated to tip mind you. The waitress is obligated to give exceptional service to earn her incentive. In the case of a commission salesperson, the guaranteed money is barely enough to live on. The commission is critical to the survival of the saleswoman. Incentives are there to drive the right behavior - maximize sales, improve customer service, improve efficiency, etc. As customers or stockholders we all like incentive contracts because it drives behaviors in the right direction.

I must confess. I am an executive at my company and I have an incentive contract. I get paid a guaranteed amount of money, my base, and I get an incentive bonus that can be lucrative (not by major league standards). In 2008, our first three quarters were strong and profits were outstanding. Our fourth quarter tanked like everyone else. Overall, we had a good year. But as the economy continues to drag on we have made personnel cuts. We are sharply cutting spending. We are doing everything in our power to weather the storm. But - we paid our executive bonuses. They were the smallest they have been in years, but we paid them. We discussed whether we should pay them. Some folks wanted their money. They felt they had earned it and by all rights, they had. Others felt is was bad form to pay the bonuses in light of layoffs. I tended toward the latter group but I will tell you I cashed the check they sent me. The discussion was ended when we were reminded that we were under contract to pay the bonuses. The company would not violate it's end of the bargain. The bonuses were earned based on the governing inputs (profit, market share, customer satisfaction, etc.) and we would get paid the money. We were also reminded that some people would make a court case out of it if they were not paid what they had earned. A true statement. Regardless, the company had met its objectives.

So, what do we do? Do we allow our politicians and bleeding hearts make it passe to accept a bonus? I remind you incentives are earned not accepted. Before you answer, I worked approximately 3000 hours last year and traveled 114 days out of the year. I worked while on vacation. I worked while I watched sporting events on TV. I worked in the airport, on the plane, in the hotel, at the pool - you name it and my Blackberry or laptop was on line and I was available. Sure I traveled to Europe but not with loved ones and they were not vacations. Twelve to fourteen hour days are average. The glamorous life it is not.

And my last point. The federal and state governments took a combined 41% of it. To use however they see fit. Paying for stuff I don't want. I earned it and they took it.

Incentives are good, right?

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Incentives
 
Posted on: March 13, 2009 10:22 am
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 

A little research to share with you folks.

I am going to use my home state for this example - West Virginia. How 'bout them Mountaineers dusting off arch rival Pitt! Back to my research, I could have just as easily used Ohio or Pennsylvania or any number of mid-Atlantic or slightly midwestern states, by the way.

Tiny little West Virginia has approximately 1.7 million residents. But it has five of the top 50 power stations in terms of pollution. Of course this is because they burn coal there, lots of it. Millions of tons of it annually. Makes sense, that is where a large percentage of the nation's coal is and it does cost a lot of money to ship it by rail all around the country. So they burn it there. These five massive power stations:

Fort Martin Power Station, Monongalia Count,y owned by Allegheny Energy

Harrison Power Station, Harrison County, owned by Allegheny Energy

John E Amos, Putnam County, American Electric Power

Mitchell, Marshall County, American Electric Power

Mount Storm, Grant County, Dominion

produce power for West Virginia. But why does little old West Virginia have so many power stations for so few people? Don't they try to conserve power there? Should we conclude these are wasteful people? Don't they know they will be punished for their terrible pollution by the clean states? Surely the West Virginians are not so stupid as to think they can continue to be so wasteful and produce so much pollution. And get this, West Virginia is dumping that pollution all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania (oh and the District of Columbia). That is criminal! What an outrage! The good folks that live downwind of West Virginia should demand a change. Tax those stupid polluting hillbillies. Tax them big so they will stop wasting electricity. That will show them. I can't stand hillbillies but stupid hillbillies are far worse I'm sure you all agree. Let's get even!

Some of you are reading this thinking Smorgie has lost her mind. But a little look-see at the Obama Administration's proposed Cap and Trade System and you find it is just such a vehicle to teach those stupid hillbillies a lesson they will not soon forget. You see C&T puts limits on the carbon PER CAPITA a state can produce. States with large populations have the lowest output of carbon per capita. Therefore, they are allowed to sell their credits back to the government who can sell them for a profit to polluting states like West Virginia. Small population states have higher pollution per capita, sort of a duh calculation there. So the best ten include the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington and Florida, and the New England states. The worst are Wyoming (least populous state), West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, et al. Small population states who mine and burn coal, refine oil, or are big manufacturing states. These states will be crushed by the Cap and Trade TAX. Let's be honest - that is what it is - a tax. They have two choices, reduce their pollution or raise their costs which they will pass on to the consumer. That is you by the way. Cap and Trade represents a revenue enhancement to the Federal government of a minimum of $100 billion per year or 4.2% of the federal income. Some say it is far higher, maybe $500B a year (21%). Either way that is a hefty tax.

What would you say if the President walked to the podium and told you he was going to raise your taxes by 4.2%? That is across the board mind you, 15% goes to 19.2%, 25% goes to 29.2% and so on. That is what Cap and Trade represents folks. A massive tax on your income.

Now I have to go back and correct an omission earlier in the article. I know West Virginians are not wasteful, at least not any more wasteful than other Americans. West Virginia sells it's surplus power to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware. And even those fools in Washington DC get their power from West Virginia power stations. It was planned that way 50 years ago.

I suggest West Virginia might just want to shut off its power plants and leave these using states in the dark in order to conform to the Cap and Trade system. Maybe then they will get the attention of those stupid flatlanders.

Will Syracuse have fresh enough legs to be able to play West Virginia tonight? We shall see. Go Huggins!

Posted on: March 6, 2009 8:56 am
 

Why use Yucca when you can waste more money.....

From the AP

WASHINGTON - Driving a last nail into a $13.5 billion coffin, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday that the nearly completed Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is no longer an option for storing highly radioactive nuclear waste.

Instead, Chu said, the Obama administration believes the nearly 60,000 tons of waste in the form of used reactor fuel can remain at nuclear power plants while a new, comprehensive plan for waste disposal is developed.

Chu's remarks touched off a sometimes testy exchange with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., President Barack Obama's rival for the White House last year, and provided the most definitive signal yet that the government's attempt to address the commercial nuclear waste problem is veering in a dramatically new direction.

At a hearing, McCain and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the decision not to pursue the Yucca Mountain project threatens the expansion of nuclear energy because the government can give no assurance on waste disposal.

For 22 years, a ridgeline of volcanic rock 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas has been the focus of the government's plans to build an underground repository for high-level reactor waste. To date about $13.5 billion has been spent on the project and last year the Bush administration submitted an application for a construction and operating license to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

'New strategy' promised

But Obama's first budget a week ago proposes scrapping all spending on Yucca Mountain except for what is needed to answer questions from the NRC on the license application "while the administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear waste disposal."

"What's wrong with Yucca Mountain, Mr. Chu," McCain asked at an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on support for scientific research.

"I think we can do a better job," replied the Nobel Prize-wining physicist.

McCain asked whether it was true that Obama — as well as Chu — view Yucca Mountain as no longer an option.

"That's true," replied Chu.

"Now we're going to have spent fuel sitting around in pools all over America," shot back McCain, who characterized the Obama position on nuclear waste — and its rejection of waste reprocessing — as a reflection of the administration's opposition to nuclear energy.

Chu said there were short-term answers other than Yucca, while a long-term solution to dealing with nuclear waste is developed.

"The interim storage of waste (at reactors), the solidification of waste, is something we can do today. The NRC has said we can do it safely," said Chu.

2,000 more tons each year

The federal government is obligated by law to accept the used reactor fuel from 104 commercial power reactors, but as yet it has no place to put it. The spent fuel, growing at the rate of 2,000 tons a year, now is being held in pools and above-ground concrete containers at reactor sites.

There appear to be no immediate plans by the Energy Department to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application before the NRC because to do so could trigger lawsuits from the nuclear industry. The NRC has up to four years to consider the application.

In 1987, Congress directed that only Yucca Mountain be evaluated as a future central government repository for the waste.

A report to Congress in December by the Bush administration — which strongly supported the Yucca Mountain project — dismissed suggestions that reactor waste be kept at temporary storage sites by the government. That would require Congress to change the 1982 law, the report said.

 

 

Amazing.  Storing nuclear waste at 104 sites or consolidating it into 1 controlled site in a geologically stable desert.  Which makes sense to you?  If you fear the tranfer of nuclear waste through your precious state remember this.  It is encapsulated in vitrified glass and is impervious to fire and collision.  They tested the impact resistance of these containers by hitting them broadside with a rocket powered locomotive (a fast train) and the case did not even scratch.  Don't believe me? Tune in to an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullsh!t on Showtime.  The episode of interest is called Lesbians, Hybrids and Nukes.  Besides being hilarious they show the footage.  They talk specifically about Yucca Mtn as well.  Very interesting.  Make up your own mind.

Let's waste some more money Barrack!! Let's stop nuclear power afterall it is the only power source capable of mass production that does not impact global warming.  That doesn't make sense.  You really are as stupid as I thinik you are.  Or wait, are you just pandering to your left wing enviro wacko buds?  Ahhh....there it is.  IC HowUR.

Posted on: March 5, 2009 5:08 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2009 5:11 pm
 

From where do women come?

For those that don't know about history ... Here is a condensed version:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals, and

2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by th e largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in??and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots, golfers and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history:

It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above.

A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be sent immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off. Me? I think it was a sophomoric attempt at humor. In other words, I laughed!

 

 

And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self....

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 4, 2009 10:51 am
 

It is my fault.....say it with me.

A little girl lost her lunch money at school and had to call her mother for more. "It wasn't my fault, mommy." She failed a test but "it wasn't my fault mommy." She wrecked her bike, it wasn't her fault. She spilled her milk but it wasn't her fault. She bent the fender - no blame there. She got pregnant, how can you blame a pregnant woman! She lost her job, certainly was not her fault. Someone is out to get her and has been stalking her her whole life. The stalker is her government. They mean well, but they enable the blame. Nothing is her fault, you see. And why should it when you can blame someone else. The American way is to refuse to take responsibility for your actions.

Obama's Administration has presided over the stock market loss of 25% of its value since he was sworn it. All the while he has blamed Bush for everything. But these are his policies that are making it go down, this is his budget that is cooly received by the financial markets. His budget proposes to spend $3.6 trillion this fiscal year against an income of $2.4 trillion. This is a $1.2 trillion deficit. So much for changing the way Washington works. Everytime Geithner (the tax dodger) speaks the market pukes. Will someone shut him up please.

And he has lowered his promise of no tax increase from $250,000 to $208,000. So what, right? those folks can afford it. If only I made that much money. Tax 'em! The problem is there are thousands upon thousands of small businesses that will pay higher taxes. These small businesses are the ones who will create the 3-5 million jobs Obama has promised.

By the way, the Administration has come clean with the 'need' to hire 100,000 people to execute Obama's policy. Some conservative groups estimate the need is higher (250,000). Whichever is correct, this is a huge growth of the government and represents a tremendous increase in the annual costs. Let's see, 100k jobs multiplied by $75,000 average (total compensation package including benefits) for a total of $7.5 billion in annual payroll or $25 from each American every year assuming 300 million of us. But the true number is about 3 times higher since you only charge the one's who have a job. Is it worth it?

And then there is all that negativity. The dire predictions, the sour looks, the desperate speeches, the incessant blaming....where is the hope this guy was peddling all last year? You gotta be kidding me. Does he not know that perception drives the market either bullish or bearish. If you make people believe it is going to be all right it will trend in that direction. And if you throw the proverbial wet blanket on it we have March 4, 2009. Endless downward pressure. You might want to hire a cheer squad in those 100,000 new government employees Mr. President.

All this and his approval rating improves to 68%. The chink in his armor is only 54% approve of his policy. When will gravity take over and plunge Mr. Obama back to earth? When will people hold him accountable? The great Democratic President Harry Truman said the buck stopped with him. I don't recall Bush blaming others for his decisions. Lincoln was pretty good about taking responsibility. Perhaps the American way even relieves this president of the blame.

Will Obama actually show us true change? Will he take responsibility for this mess or will he continue to shirk his responsibility? I know the answer to that question and so do you. But I just want you to remember we the voter can hold him responsible for his policies and reckless budgets.

I said I would not post until I had a trivial avatar, but you know, it is just too damned important that someone calls it the way it is than to sit idly by.

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 1, 2009 1:41 pm
 

Faaaaah Q CBS

Now the Avatar police have booted my pic of me wearing a swimming suit.  It was a simple two piece, black in color.  Full coverage, my breasts don't need a whole lotta material to acomplish that feat.  I was sitting out of the sun in an alcove next to a pool in the south of France.  My legs were bent, crossed at the ankle with my arms pulled up across my knees.  No vulgarity.  Not any where near the Spin section of this board or any of the half naked girls on Maxim.   I don't see the need.  I had more clothes on than the Venus de Milo.

But then I submitted a map of the USA.  That was denied for being too political.  Huh? Too political?  A map?  You gotta be kidding me.

Then I submitted a homely couple riding a tractor, still denied.

Then a skeleton sleeping on her keyboard, still nothing.

At least give me a female profile headshot in shadow in stead of a man.

Otherwise, you can Faaah Que Offe!

Category: NCAAB
Tags: cbs sports
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com