atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1972: Ugly truth about socialized medicine in England hidden by government.

Since this week is apparently to contain a big Democrat push for socializing medicine in the United States, let's talk about how "well" it works in England.

It works so well, the majority party is doing its best to suppress reports about the abysmal quality of care under the British NHS.

* * *

Things are not going well in Greece. People are rioting in the streets over the Greek government's attempt to return to fiscal responsibility.

And it's a sign of things to come for the rest of us. Yeah, that's right; we're all going to be screwed.
...[W]hat I am referring to is the sense of resignation, or surrender, that has crept into the economic argument – a collective global realisation that public policy, fiscal and monetary, has reached the limits of its ability to fight the downturn. To many of you, this might have been obvious for some time. But there remained a deluded belief that governments and central banks could magic away the crisis, or at least save us from its worst consequences.
I do know that "deluded belief" remains strong in the United States, where everyone in the media is desperately trying to convince the American people that Obama has fixed the economy simply by being elected President.

Nothing has been done to fix the problems which got us here in the first place. That's why there are no new jobs, that and Obama's plans to socialize or tax just about goddamned everything he can get his grimy mitts on.

* * *

Roger Hedgecock is all right but in that piece he gets something wrong.

He says, "One of the 'alternatives'touted by the anti-nuke crowd is 're-processing' the spent nuclear fuel from power plants." This is not so. In fact, the anti-nuke crowd is against fuel recycling because it supposedly leads to nuclear proliferation.

* * *

Speaking of which, apparently Iran is building a "massive launch site".

The article says the site is apparently going to be used for a space launch vehicle which "...can be converted to be used as long-range ballistic missiles for military purposes."

Considering that the first Americans in space were put there with repurposed ICBMs that's not all that damn surprising. The entire reason Sputnik went up was to show the world that the USSR could put a nuclear warhead anywhere on the planet within about 90 minutes: if you can put a payload in orbit with a rocket, it means that particular model of rocket has enough delta-V to drop something of similar weight anywhere on Earth's surface.

Iran put a small satellite in a low orbit last year. They have the plans and technical data to build moderately sophisticated nuclear devices. All they need is the fissionables and they announced to the world last month that they can enrich uranium to fuel-grade. (High-grade fuel, at that--10-20% U-235.) And that means they can run the stuff in conventional light-water reactors, and separate the plutonium; and once they have enough Pu-239 they can start making bombs.

Small, efficient bombs which can be lofted by a missile.

* * *

I had another one of those "WTF?" dreams, where something happens and you don't understand (even in the dream) why the hell it happened.

I dreamed someone stole the red Escort. The jalopy which has not moved under its own power since November. Yeah, the one I got for $400. That car. In my dream, someone stole it.

* * *

Saturday I went to K-Mart and bought a gaming headset. It cost $20 with tax and it introduced me to the wonderful world of ventriloquism ("vent") in WoW.

It's pretty neat to be able to talk (rather than text-chat) with people in your group or in the guild at large. Pretty nifty stuff.

The only problem is how loud some people are; and others are barely audible. And I feel like a world-class nerd, sitting at the computer with a Borg implant. It's like being in Mission Control. Only without the cool rocket stuff. me, in 1985, video of me in 2010 playing WoW. I don't know what the hell I'd say about it. Granted, there wasn't a computer in the world in 1985 that could run the WoW software at a decent frame rate even if the software had been translated for whatever system we're talking about. (Cray X-MP?) So that would look pretty cool to me, I suppose.

I guess if you explained to the 18-year-old me that the headset let me talk to others who were also playing the game, I'd let it slide. ("All that stuff comes over the phone line? What kind of nifty modem speeds do they have in 25 years? What's the baud rate?")

ANYway, so I was with a group which ran Scarlet Monastery, and it was pretty interesting to see how superior vent is to text chat. So I'll be continuing with that stuff. It's cool.

But: I had to get help with getting it working. The guild information pane had all the specifics (IP, password, etc) but didn't explain step zero: "Go to XYSHJGF.COM and download the program..." Knowing that would have helped. Once I had that--courtesy of a guildie--bing bang boom, I had vent.

I had expected--don't ask me why--that the headset would cost more, and that was the main reason I kept putting it off. But Saturday I decided, WTF, I am going to go to K-mart and just see what's available, and if something is cheap enough, I'll buy it.

They had what I needed, for the right price, and it's fine. The cord is even long enough; what are the odds?

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