atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1615: Gelatinous cube!

...don't ask me why. I just decided today's post would be title Gelatinous cube! because it occurred to me before anything else did.

Dungeons and Dragons--particularly Advanced Dungeons and Dragons--had a menagerie of oozes, puddings, slimes, and other gelatinous critters, including one shaped like a cube ten feet on a side: the gelatinous cube:
A gelatinous cube slides through dungeon corridors, absorbing everything in its path, digesting everything organic and secreting non-digestible matter in its wake. Contact with its exterior can result in a paralyzing electric shock, after which the cube will proceed to slowly digest its stunned and helpless prey.
Apparently a mature GC weighs 15,000 pounds. And check out "Gelatinous cube facts" (more like "gelatinous cube apocrypha", but whatev. The comedy there is not very good.)

It's amazing the kind of information you can find with Google.

* * *

So our mainstream media are reporting that there is a "coup" taking place in the Honduras. Guess what? It's not a "coup". It's a government acting to ensure that its sitting president doesn't take over. Read the article for the details, but here's a condensation of Boortz' "outline":

The guy illegally called for a referendum on changing the constitution so he could be president as long as he liked. Hugo Chavez had ballots printed for him. The Honduran supreme court decided that this was still illegal and ordered the Honduran military (which oversees elections) not to distribute the ballots or hold an election. The would-be dictator decided to get a mob together to hold the election anyway, and he and his cohorts were arrested.

This isn't a coup, military or otherwise.

And where is Boss Tweek in all this? Why, the very next day he is standing up for the would-be dictator!

The same lily-livered limp-wristed bonehead who couldn't be bothered to root for the Iranian protestors or to tell the Gargoyle to keep his missiles in his pants is instantly on the side of someone who wants to be a dictator, who's buddy-buddy with Chavez and Castro and Noriega.

Guess we know what side Obama's on. The same side Democrats are always on: the one which concentrates power in the hands of a few, the side of dictators and thugs.

* * *

Scipio follows up his excellent critique of islam with another one. There is nothing in there but the facts, people.

* * *

Episcopalian church sows the wind and this is the result.

Look, in a church which follows the teachings of Christ you can't just say, "Well, He didn't really mean that part." The Episcopalian church's pandering to homosexuals hasn't helped it, has it? Read the article for the details, but obviously the sect is in a decline because most church-going Christians think that homosexuality is a sin and don't wish to belong to an allegedly Christian church which says otherwise.

Most Christians agree that "hate the sin, love the sinner" is an apt distillation of what the church teaches us; just saying, "hey, we love everyone!" and forgetting about the sin is not. Homosexuals are allowed to be Christian, but in most cases the church is not going to say "Hey, sodomy and buggery and coprophilia and all the other sick shit you do is okay!" Sorry; that's just the way it is. Sin is discouraged, and as I recall Christ Himself said that homosexuality is a sin.

So the Episcopal Church has opened its doors and its dogma to homosexuals, and discovered that there are far fewer homosexual Christians than there are Christians who believe the teachings of Christ.

* * *

Looks like it's official: I'm committing treason because I dispute the validity anthropogenic global warming theory. (I wanted to write "conjecture" there but I'm not quite feeling snarky enough right now.)

Okay, it's June 30, and it's in the low 70s outside. It's been a chilly and wet spring here, and other than one week of high temperatures so far this summer ("official" summer, I mean, Memorial Day to Labor Day) has been a cool one.

All of this comes up in the context of this idiotic "cap and trade" bill the Democrats rammed through the House last week. This tax is going to choke whatever fiscal recovery we could possibly hope for in this brave new world of Obama-nomics. (I share Hyperbolic Chamber's opinion that this will be our generation's "Smoot-Hawley".)

But of course the Democrats and liberal elites don't care about what us little people will have to worry about; a US in which energy costs a lot won't trouble them because they're all rich. You and me, we'll have to set our heaters at 60° and our air conditioners at 85°, but Obama will run the White House at 78° in the winter because he won't pay the heating bill anyway--and when he leaves office he'll get rich on speaker's fees, like Bill Clinton and Al Gore did.

And a special "F**K YOU" to Paul Krugman at the NYT: "To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research." He calls me a traitor because I haven't swallowed the bullshit shoveled by him and his cronies, when in fact "the latest climate research" shows no warming since 1998 despite a steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

There is nothing either "irresponsible" or "immoral" about denying fake science.

* * *

Also from Boortz, some details on the impending health care socialization bill. It apparently includes taxing employer-provided health benefits.

One of the reasons health care costs so much these days--other than the desperate need for tort reform, and the end result of decades of Medicare and Medicaid meddling--is that the average person doesn't see the bill.

Oh, you get a bill, and you get "explanation of benefits" from your underwriter, and all that, but you don't have to pay most of the bill yourself. Most of the time your doctor sends the bill to your underwriter first, and the only paperwork you have to do is to write a check for whatever's left.

It wasn't always like that. It used to be that when you went to the doctor, you paid him before you left.

Then something came along: WW2. Total war meant a shift in American industry, and it meant a severe shortage of labor. Salaries and wages were capped; a certain business couldn't offer to pay someone more than another similar business--and so businesses had to find other ways to coax people into working for them.

Enter "nontaxable benefits": things that the employer could provide which didn't count as "salary" or "wages"...and one of these things was health insurance. "Look! I don't have to pay the doctor bill when I get sick!"

That still wasn't such a problem, by itself; but add Medicare and Medicaid to the mix. Government won't pay the going rate for any medical procedure; instead it establishes a fixed price for a region and pays that. If your hospital charges $1,000 for an MRI the government may pay $600 because "that's what it ought to cost" in your region. (Regardless of what the hospital's actual cost may be. Government doesn't care if you make a profit.*)

So here's Bill's Hospital: it must (by law) service Medicare and Medicaid patients yet it doesn't get enough from the government to cover its costs. What does it do? Raise prices! People with insurance end up paying more to cover the shortfall from the government-insured.

(Tort reform: doctors must perform all sorts of tests solely to cover their butts. Limiting lawsuit payouts would help bring costs down across the board.)

Because the average person doesn't see the bill, he doesn't really care about the price. "What? I need an MRI of my shoulder? WTF I don't care what it costs, my insurance will pay for it. Do it." So the insurance company is billed $1,000 and pays perhaps $800, and next year the premiums go up. The problem is that since everyone says "my insurance will pay for it" no one bothers to shop around, to see which hospital has the best price on MRI scans.

In short, there is basically no price competition in the medical industry. This is one of the main reasons medical care costs so much.

And in this environment the Democrats decide it's a crisis: Health Care Costs Too Much and This Is Unfair. And their solution? Socialize medicine, thus ensuring there is not and can never be any competition for health care dollars. (The fact that this is about like giving rat poison to someone suffering from strychnine poisoning does not occur to them; nor would they care if it had. This is about Democrats obtaining and holding power; and if you think otherwise, you are reading the wrong blog.)

And so--needing revenue to pay for this monstrosity--they will turn to those formerly "untaxable" benefits. Which means, in the end, everyone will end up making less money.

"Everyone", that is, except for Democrat politicians and union thugs.

*Though if you do make a profit you had better pay your taxes!

* * *

NY State Democrats throw a temper tantrum. One (or a few) of their numbers changed sides, thus giving a plurality to Republicans, and the Democrats refuse to play by the rules, claiming that they still control the legislation.

Refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance? Typical.

* * *

$40,000 for a 1988 Fiero GT? With 221 miles on it?

I take exception to this: "The craptacular suspension of the previous years...." The '84-'87 Fieros did not have a "craptacular" suspension. This is a common misconception even among Fiero fanatics.

While the '88 suspension is better than the earlier ones, it does not make the early suspension "craptacular". The Fiero is a nimble car regardless of which model year; the '88s merely have more desirable handling characteristics than the previous years.

"Craptacular" makes it sound as if non-'88 Fieros handle like dump trucks. Not so.

Then again, they also say "...revised armstrong power steering also add to the desirability of this last-year for the American mid-enginer." (Emphasis mine.) Although power steering was initially offered as an option for '88 Fieros, none were ever sold with it. The cars that had been built with PS were retrofitted with manual racks.

So I have to wonder how much the guys at Jalopnik actually know about Fieros.

Oh, and as for the question posed by the post? "Nice price or crack pipe?" I don't know. $40,000 is a lot of money for a still-fairly-common car, even if it is 21 years old and basically new. I'd have to say that I lean towards "crack pipe", myself. Then again, I think cars are meant to be driven, and if you want to drive an '88 Fiero you can get one for a hell of a lot less than $40,000.

* * *

And lastly, this was so damn cute I couldn't help but link it here:

It almost makes me want to get myself a bunny.

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