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Member since: Fri Jun 22, 2007, 03:01 PM
Number of posts: 1,185

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FBI Documents from Child Molester No One Has Seen

Might indicate a CIA conspiracy

The best advice on intra-family political conflict


Is a nationwide WIMAX a way to preserve Net Neutrality?

Been trying to rack my head how consumers can bypass the big cable giants

Thought experiment for "Free Market Healthcare"

I have one of those born on third base thinks he hit a triple libertarian friends, and he truly believes if all of us just paid out of pocket for health care costs, prices would go down. He likens it buying any old commodity, like buying a refrigerator. Anyways, I wrote him this vignette to reveal how absurd I think it is. Any comments or criticisms would be appreciated:


Thought experiment:

Suzy gets sick has a seizure. We'll say in this universe that health insurance doesn't exist, it's purely out of pocket, because Emperor Dave wants society to work on free market rules, and make sure people like Suzy have "skin in the game".

So you go to the Emergency Department, because SUzy is now vomiting and seems kind of lethargic.

The Emergency Physician greets you and Suzy, performs a history and physical, and then says to you "Mr.Smith, I think Suzy might be having febrile seizures, but I cannot rule out an infection or even maybe a tumor. I have a couple of tests I think I need to run in order to figure this out. You need to tell me what I can order, so here is the price list"

1) Lumbar puncture: $3000
2) MRI: $5000

You say to doctor, hey, aren't theses prices a little high?

The Doc says, hey, these are the prices the hospital charges.

You say, I don't think Suzy needs a lumbar puncture. Can't we just get antibiotics and save some money?

Doc says, sir, if there is an infection, we need to know what the organism is in order to target it appropriately.

You: What's the evidence that a Lumbar Puncture is even necessary? And why do we need to do an MRI too?

Doc: Hey, this is based on the latest research. You have to trust me on this one. If we wait too long, Suzy might suffer serious neurological damage.

You: You know what, I'm going to shop around a little bit. And Emperor Dave is right, we consumers are smarter than these doctors, we can go on google and figure out what the best evidence based practices are!

Doc: OKay sir, there's another hospital down the street that you might be able to get cheaper care, but I'm pretty sure most of those docs get pretty bad reviews.

You: Fine, it's a free market, and if these guys offer a good price, it must be better.

You go to the "The Price is Right Emergnecy Dept" . The place is dirty, a little dingy, but this is the magic of the market at work here.
Suzy waits for a few hours, but you've gotta make sure you get a good price on this thing. She is getting sleepier but is still awake. You are dedicated to finding the best, cheapest care you can find.

The new doc says, hey what's up guys? Only have 5 minutes, based on what the nurse tells me, we should do a stat lumbar puncture and a CT scan.

You: Whoa, wait a minute, why do we need to do an LP? What does the research say?

Doc: Hey man, you gotta trust on this one. Here is the price list:
Lumbar puncture: $100
CT Scan: $1000

You: Wow, those are some great prices! How do you guys compete? Also, why CT scan instead of MRI

Doc: We get a lot of our supplies from Pakistan (those people work practically for free over there!) and the CT scanner we use instead of the MRI because it's a lot cheaper.

You: Any difference between the CT and MRI

Doc: Well, MRI does provide better views, but is more expensive you see. Gotta keep that magnet going 24-7! The CT scanner exposes you to radiation, but is definitely cheaper.

You: What are the dangers of the CT scan? Should I be concerned?

Doc: Here's a stack of medical literature you can review. Read it over and let me know what you want to do.

You: What? Are you kidding? That's what I pay you for!

Doc: Excuse me? Hey man, Emperor Dave only says we have to give the information, I can't spoonfeed it to you. I wouldn't wait too long because little Suzy's looking a litte tuckered out. What do you want to do?

Any DU PC gamers out there?

Need some advice on gaming PCs.

A Crash Course in the NSA Programs and the Fourth Amendment

A divide is now presenting itself in the disparate responses to right-wing nutjob Ed Snowden playing the Left with respect to NSA's perfectly legal, court and Congress supervised, communication data gathering program. The people who are up in arms about politics don't seem to understand technology, and the technology nerds obviously have little idea about government, laws or rights. So the two sides - the politically clueless tech nerds and the technically clueless political screamers have come together to launch this "Restore the Fourth" campaign, a play on both the Fourth Amendment and the Fourth of July.

Legal question

Have a buddy whose dad died a year ago. Apparently the new wife ( married only a few years ago) has been somewhat of a hard ass w the money. My buddy's mom (ex wife of the deceased) is now suing the estate for back spousal support which she is apparently entitled. It's not much (20 k) and the widow came back w a counteroffer of 12k with the stipulation that all the kids sign away the rights to the house which is now occupied by the widow ( in the will it states that the house will go to kids when the widow dies). My buddy is pissed because in addition to that this gal wants the family to pay half the mortgage and some taxes on a 401k. The plot thickens...the dad had a safe deposit box full of gold....it might be worth a lot, but it also might be empty. Apparently he can legally access the box. He wants to get someone to drill into the box, take whatever is in there and give it to his mom. Unsure of the legality of this, since he said probate hasn't gone through yet. Partly he is doing this to get back at the widow( who he previously had a good relationship with) partly to take care of his mom. He wants my opinion. Not a lawyer but I guess the principle should be to take of his mom. Thinking this might be a bad idea. Any ideas?

Need a free, web based scheduling program or spreadsheet program

I work for the government, and about a year ago we got permission to use a web based scheduling program that cost money. Now the new CIO says that there is no way in hell that he will authorize the purchase of commercial web based software because of all kinds of regulations. This really puts me in a hole, because my stafff really like this program. Any free staff schedulers out there or at least hosted spreadsheets?

You guys have to check out the Amazon reviews for "All In"!

They are hilarious! The funniest ones are those reviews made by people who probably know Petraeus or Broadwell. Check out the one by MSNBC military analyst Ken Allard....the dude is probably shitting his pants right now!!!

Calling my conservative parents first time after election

not sure how to respond. My sis says my dad is really depressed about the whole thing. I almost just want to avoid the topic altogether, but it's inevitable that it will come up. How do you guys handle this stuff? I hate getting into policy debates or shoot down wingnut paranoia because those discussions go no where.
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