2014-04-06

Healthcare: Her phone's ringing off the hook

Dr. Danielle Martin's getting calls to run for office from all parties at all levels of government. Watching this C-Span hearing from the US, I'm not surprised. She ranked with the best three others on the panel, and made former Canadian, Reagan-Thatcher-Murdochite Sally Pipes look silly.

Our healthcare system may not be perfect, people may be dying needlessly, but not as many as among our neighbours to the south. Hearing about France's, Denmark's, Taiwan's system, I think I'd be glad to trade aspects of our system for aspects of theirs, but we stack up pretty good. And we have another really articulate spokesperson that we can be proud to call a fellow-citizen. When you get past your best times of doing medicine, I'd be happy to see you as cabinet or prime minister, Dr. Martin. Well-spoken, well-stated, well-pointed out on all fronts.

2014-03-29

Pranking Indian Computer Jackers

I just finished pranking some Indian ComputerJackers. You know, the guys who claim to be from "Microsoft Windows"? I let them talk and told them that I would have to take down all their instructions so that I could follow them after I hung up. Why's that? Because I only have one telephone line and I use dial-up for Internet. They believed me for a bit and passed me on to three or four other people before they gave up. Saying that I use the Opera browser was the last straw. How many little untruths passed my lips in the space of 10 minutes -- that's 10 minutes of international telephone time they got no return on, 10 minutes reprieve to some other poor victim. 10 minutes in which my sons, admiringly, called me crazy. To which I replied, but you put me up to it. Maniacal laughter ensued.

For the record, their first step was to send me to double-u double-u double-u dot A em why why . com (why should I give them a click-through?) and they claimed to be in Sacramento. AMYY is, of course, based in Moscow, with a local dial-in in Virginia's DC suburbs (I visited them with a text browser, in case the site itself was a 0-day-sploit source and checked the Contact Us page). I was waiting for them to give me the temperature in Sacramento in Celsius (it's 16 there, right now), so I could nail them to the wall over units of measure. No typical 'marican uses SI units (they'd say it was 61) and I was relishing that last skewering step.

At this conference, Richard Mouw talked about "Just Adultery", as a side-handed critique of "Just War" theory. I think I could add a five minute talk-a-roo on "Just Prevarication".

I wonder how many times I'll have to lie like that before they stop calling this number? The story will be different next time. Maybe I'll claim to be running Lindows.

2014-03-27

Haiku #34 - Techno-conomy

Straight from department 402.

Technical debt and
Keynesian economics
Don't ever mix well.

2013-11-06

Plagiarist Rand Paul

Given his concern, in the face (farce) of a rapidly growing docket of plagiarism, with "being left alone" and having folks stop "casting aspersions on my character" than with academic honesty and with fair dealing in ideas, it's time to stop calling him "Dr. Rand Paul" or "Senator Rand Paul". His proper title and style of address should be "elevated" (at least toward the truth) to "Plagiarist Rand Paul".

And I invite His Xerocity, the Plagiarist Rand Paul to challenge me to a duel at his earliest convenience to deny that he deserves this honour. Weapons to be chosen, according to tradition, by the one challenged.

2013-09-11

Haiku #34 - on freedom

I wrote this in response to Eben Moglen's talk about Innovation Under Austerity and a discussion that ensued after the conclusion of Eben's speech (at about the halfway point of this video on Youtube).

all I know for sure
is that freedom starts inside
where no thug can reach

2013-04-22

Haiku #33 - The Return

So, I've been plodding along, writing haikus but not posting them and I wrote one this morning after a week-end that included, among other things, folding seven loads of laundry while watching IPL Cricket on PVR from SportsNet One. It was a match over a week old between the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, shortened by 10 overs in the first innings, but to no great detriment. That's why there's sports on the telly, anyway, isn't it: to give you something to watch while folding laundry, right? Okay. Getting together for a Grey Cup, Super Bowl or Grand final party can be great fun, too, but whatever.

This AM it struck me how similar this was to my watching NHL hockey on 1 week tape delay (1960s, remote BC town) when everyone knew the outcomes already. I might have been the only one (besides the real die-hards, that did not include anyone of my acquaintance) watching it back then. So I wrote a haiku about it. And a co-worker liked it. So I'm posting it. So there:

Back to my childhood,
watching sports no one else does
on week's tape delay.

2012-07-18

The Most Important Question U.S. Voters Face in 2012

"It's the economy, stupid," is not the question, although that IS an important one.

No. The really important question is this: Why do so many REALLY, REALLY rich white guys want people to vote for Mitt Romney and/or against Barack Obama? (face it, folks, the way things are structured today, nobody else has a hope...)

I'm not an American voter so I shouldn't say more but I can't quite resist.

Maybe it's because they're such patriots. But I doubt it.
Maybe it's because they want your best. But I doubt that, too.

But think about this question for more than a few seconds before you decide how to vote, please. And don't settle for simple answers either. This is one case where Occam's razor is more likely to slit a throat than give a close shave.