Friday, August 17, 2007

Mainstream Media Continues to Show its Anti-War Bias

On the way to the office yesterday morning, I heard a news story on ABC News regarding the exploding rate of suicide among troops. One would be lead to believe that our troops were under so much stress that they were offing themselves at high rates. After delving into the numbers, it appears that the media is just pushing its anti-war agenda. It appears that the suicide rate for soldiers is actually less than for civilians, historically. Also, it could be a random spike in the data. I believe the sample size may be too small to be given much credence in any event. With a small sample, even a few deaths can cause the percentage to spike.

Bloggers are all over this, so the media may let the story die (as it should). The true story here is about the media suicide, not the Army. The media's credibility is already in the dumper and a few more stories like this won't help.

Well they are, you know, on the other side. I guess this is to be expected.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

1998 Temperature Myth

It looks like NASA screwed up. Of course, we'll be stuck hearing about how 1998 was the hottest year on record forever. I predict it will be another myth that never dies, much like they myth that a homeowner with a gun is 43 times as likely to be killed or kill a family member as an intruder. That myth has been discredited for years, but the anti-freedom zealots continue to trot it out.

The first rule of being a liberal is to never let the facts get in the way of your position.

Fred Thompson for Vice President?

If Fred decides to run for President (which he will), could it be that the end game is to be a vice presidential pick? Personally, I think he should be at the top of the ticket, but look at the other two front-runners, Guiliani and Romney. Forget McCain - he is finished. Both Guiliani and Romney are from the northeast and are barely conservatives. Fred is a decidely strong, southern conservative. He can provide the balance for any ticket. If either Guiliani or Romney are nominated, they will not pick the other as a Vice Presidential candidate due to their close geographic bases. They will need someone who can help them carry some states that they would not otherwise carry. Fred is the only obvious choice that fits the bill. Newt Gingrich might also fill the bill, but I don't think he has his eyes on the second chair.

I think the converse may also be true. If Fred gets the nomination, I think the area where "help" will be the most valuable will be the northeast. I think Guiliani is the obvious VP pick for Fred. Guilini is a liberal Republican and would give Fred his best chance of carrying NY. It would be too funny if Hillary could not carry her "home" state. I'm still laughing at those who whine about Al Gore in Florida. Tennessee beat Al Gore. Florida was just a side show.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ed Cone Smacks ABC in Elizabeth Edwards Flap

Perhaps we have finally found a Democrat that admits to not being God. I'm no fan of Elizabeth Edwards, but she ought to at least be given credit for not denying her "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman" statement to Ed Cone. I hope no one asks her whether she believes that the government can make John black or make him a woman, because the answer will likely be an emphatic "yes" as long as it can be done at taxpayer expense. Well, at least the woman long it is an included benefit as part of a comprehensive, universal healthcare plan.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An Interesting Solution to Healthcare

This may be the solution to the leftist-engineered "health care crisis." Simply move the system more a capitalistic system. While I don't think all of Kling's ideas are doable (such as removing licensing requirements with full disclosure), many of the ideas are rather sensible.

As someone who is a student of personal finance and economics, it has long been clear to me that you insure for things that would be extremely harmful to you financially absent insurance and that you do not insure for the "small things." Insurance is just too expensive to insure for all of the little things. That is why you keep deductibles high. That is why you do not buy the insurance offered to you by the cashier at your electronics store. Insurance for those items is simply too expensive and you are only making insurance companies richer by doing so.

But when it comes to healthcare, we through common sense out the window. Americans tend is to overinsure by insuring for all of the little things and health insurance is a prime example. So that we can "get our money's worth" from our insurance, we go to the doctor too much. We have too many tests run, etc. After all, "the insurance will pay for it." This system gives us no incentive to shop for lower priced services or to be discriminating when being tested for every little thing. Accordingly, demand for services increases and prices rise. There is no incentive for providers to provide lower cost services under this regime.

Mr. Kling leaves out one important element of a comprehensive reform package: tort reform. While there are advantages and disadvantages to a "loser pays" system, I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, particularly in a medical malpractice setting. At a minimum, judges should be given discretion to award fees to the winner, even if it is not automatic.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Most hated S&P 500 Stocks

Think Big provides a list of the most hated S&P 500 stocks. I have long suspected that stock analyists are generally wrong more than they are right. Sure, it is easy to "pile on" a loser and some of the stocks in the list have definitely been pigs as of late. A true contrarian might pick this list as a good starting point for a buy list.