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  • On 23 Apr 2014 in Obamacare enrollees hit snags at doctor's offices, curious2 said:

    "Insurer Admits Nearly 1,000 Doctors Wrongly Placed On Covered California Provider List... State regulations allow insurers to change their provider lists without notice."

  • On 23 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    "Insurer Admits Nearly 1,000 Doctors Wrongly Placed On Covered California Provider List... State regulations allow insurers to change their provider lists without notice."

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in 17 years lost to war on drugs, curious2 said:

    errc says

    What's keeping the sitting president from rescheduling marijuana?

    It's technically the AG's decision, but the President could at least ask the AG to do it:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/02/12/18-congressmen-ask-obama-to-reschedule-marijuana

    http://www.laweekly.com/informer/2014/04/04/obama-willing-to-further-legitimize-marijuana-really

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/07/when-holder-says-congress-can-reclassify

    errc says

    Why is it so impossible for your ilk to ever hold your beloved party, accountable?

    I always wonder, where are the Pro-Choice activists with the placards saying "Keep Your Laws Off My Body"? The Solicitor General actually said to the Supreme Court that if a woman chose to have an abortion, she was participating in commerce such that the government could require her to submit to involuntary contracts with government-selected insurance corporations for her whole life. Where were NOW and NARAL? On board the whole time. It seems to me, if you believe in a principle that people have a right to choose what to do with their own bodies without government interference, then that principle should continue to apply even when your preferred political party happens to be in charge.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in House prices down third month in a row, curious2 said:

    The linked article says that "rising prices and a lack of inventory discouraged would-be buyers... Harsh winter weather in January and February also probably kept some properties off the market, contributing to a lack of supply that has further stoked price increases."

    The OP is yet another bizarro opposite headline brought to you by tovbot, saying the opposite of what the linked source says. The tovbot script is too busy posting new threads to read anything, but a simple copy & paste subroutine ought to line up the headlines with the linked articles.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports on the same data, median price up 8% YoY, while closings fell 0.2% as "prices have outpaced wage growth, putting ownership out of reach for some Americans." In other words, the problem is precisely the opposite of tovbot's headline; in reality, prices are increasing much faster than wages, which may be what is causing the number of closings to fall slightly.

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in Concept robot to recycle concrete, curious2 said:

    New Renter says

    structures built of concrete tend to be replaced every 40-60 years.

    That's what I understood it to mean. Also, the Roman technique of mixing ash into the concrete was lost until the 1980s, and there are many types of concrete now, so useful lifespans vary depending on (a) design/location/obsolescence, (b) era of installation, and (c) quality. Prototype 3D house printers use a proprietary concrete that includes plastic, and if the technology takes off there will probably be many options. The structure below didn't even last 40 years, though I don't blame that on the concrete per se:

  • On 22 Apr 2014 in House prices down across U.S., curious2 said:

    Yet another bizarro opposite headline brought to you by tovbot, saying the opposite of what the linked source says. The article says, "The median home price climbed, but not as fast as it has in recent months, up 7.9% to $198,500." Up 8% is not down. The tovbot script is too busy posting new threads to read anything, but a simple copy & paste subroutine ought to line up the headlines with the linked articles.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports on the same data, median price up 8% YoY, while closings fell 0.2% as "prices have outpaced wage growth, putting ownership out of reach for some Americans." In other words, the problem is precisely the opposite of tovbot's headline; in reality, prices are increasing much faster than wages, which may be what is causing the number of closings to fall slightly.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in You are 50% banana, curious2 said:

    I wonder if some of the genetic similarity between bananas and humans might actually result from cross-polination. Around 10% of the human genome consists of viral DNA that infected our ancestors. Single-cell bacteria can exchange genes directly. Primates living among the banana trees, eating the bananas, swallowing the seeds and (ahem) fertilizing and spreading them, might have created many opportunities for cross-pollination. I wonder if other plants that have less history with our ancestors might also have less genetic similarity to us.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    JH says

    i'm sick of certain health care issues being blamed suddenly

    I feel your pain, but from the opposite direction: I'm sick of holier than thou Democrats saying "the real reason you disapprove of Obamneycare is because you're racist and Obama's black." Actually, most of the lobbyists who wrote it are white, and it was based on Romneycare, and Romney is also white, and touted relentlessly by Jonathan Gruber (also white) who took undisclosed payments from the White House in connection with his supposed expert testimony, and btw Obama's mother was also white, but somehow certain people insist it's all about there being a black President, as if Clintoncare didn't get the same reaction in 1994. Clinton was actually impeached in his first term, though for other reasons; nothing like that happened to Obama.

    JH says

    I am for 100% socialist or 100% free market health care. We are in a slimy middle ground, and the aca only secured that position.

    Yes, what we have is called lemon socialism, privatizing gains while socializing losses, but anybody who dares say out loud the word "socialism" sets off an inflammatory reaction among partisan boosters of the legislation. To quote Yogi Berra (out of context), "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." We could have either a free market or a socialized system, but instead we have schizophrenic lemon socialism, because that maximizes power (including revenue) for the authors of the legislation.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    JH says

    curious2 says

    I really don't understand what you are trying to say with that comment?

    From the article but not quoted in OP

    Thanks, I appreciate the clarification, and I was already aware of those problems. What I didn't understand was the other part of your comment, which seemed a distraction.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    Sue them for breach of contract.

    LOL - in California, the exchange website requires you to waive your right to sue. You can arbitrate, but the industry hires the arbitrator. And, have you actually read those insurance contracts? They run more than 100 pages, mostly loopholes for the insurer. Good luck with your suit.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in You are 50% banana, curious2 said:

    Dan8267 says

    You are 50% banana

    I like this thread so much I wish that I could Like it twice. I'm no expert on genetics, but I am guessing 50% is an average for all human genomes, IMMV. If you're 50% banana, and you mate with someone who is also 50% banana, will your children be 100% bananas?

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    errc says

    You'd better hope that no green zeros hit!

    That's why I named the manager Houdini, and pointed out the risk of loss is mainly on the investors. He can still escape with his 2% management fee, perfectly legal as long as he's dealing with "accredited investors" (and almost anybody who owns even a 1br shack in Stockton is now rich enough to be "accredited", thanks to QE & ZIRP propping up the price of shacks).

    BTW, I don't mean any disrespect for the original Harry Houdini, a great performer who took all the risks himself and died practicing a dangerous craft. I borrowed his name because it has become synonymous with great escapes. The last attempt didn't work out so well for him, but he remains worth remembering.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    Rin says

    New Renter says

    The way you describe it you could be replaced with a website FAQ.

    That's sort of the goal.

    I guess my question would be, for what Warren Buffett calls "the two and twenty crowd," why would an investor want to pay such high fees? I've heard the answer that "if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys," but I question that too. Suppose Harry Houdini starts a hedge fund that consists of him taking his investors' money and dividing it into two funds, deducting his 2% management fee from both, then bringing the remainder to a casino roulette wheel. He bets one fund on black, and to hedge the risk of loss he bets his "contra-fund" on red. His fee is 2% of principal plus 20% of gains, so after one round he gets:

    2% of both funds+
    20% of the "winning" fund,
    = 12% of the entire principal invested.

    There is a small risk of total loss, but that risk is mainly on the investors who put up the principal. I can see how this is a great model for the fund manager to get rich, but how do the investors believe in it? Is it like in medicine, where they are conditioned to believe that the most expensive must be the best, and they don't question it further? Isn't overpaying relative to value really the opposite of investing?

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    Old practitioner's adage: "Always prescribe a new drug during its first two years on the market, while it still works."

    Just wait until the last SSRI patent expires and some "new and improved" placebo gets patented, the PhRMA-paid medical journals will gush with how great they are compared to those old and lousy SSRIs. Even Homefool might acknowledge it then.

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    New Renter says

    And again that was his choice.

    Yes, that's the point. He chose the most expensive thing, sold by the most aggressive salesmen, and it cost him his life in addition to the money he paid. With Obamneycare, America has made a parallel choice, paying more for the "conventional wisdom" instead of genuine evidence based decision-making. Evidence-based decision making is hard, but succumbing to the credentialed salesmen is easier, it requires only substituting an easier question: not "what is the right answer" but rather "which salesman has the most impressive credentials?" Sometimes I wonder why Obamneycare bothers me so much, and I think it is the mandatory dependence on misinformed conformity; I care about evidence-based decision making, it means a lot to me, and I don't like seeing the phrase misused and subverted into yet another misguided crusade, as when McNamara and the other self-styled "best and the brightest" conscripted everyone into destroying Viet Nam in order to "save" it. (BTW, McNamara was also very bright, and rich, and his career at Defense illustrated yet again that smart and rich people can make terribly lethal mistakes.)

  • On 21 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    Rin says

    My theory is....

    I like that theory better than your earlier one about intellectual insecurity, and there is more evidence to support it. If you look at President GW Bush, he loved to work out, and was in the top 1% physically for his age. He had no intellectual insecurities, in fact he got better grades at Yale than his classmate John Kerry, but Bush affected folksiness while Kerry affected intellectualism.

    Peter P says

    There is nothing wrong about trying to dominate. I doubt Genghis Khan would settle for 2nd best.

    This is another theory with evidence to support it. Khan was notoriously sadistic, and wrote that the sweetest part of victory was the suffering of the vanquished; he survived and reproduced more successfully than the people he killed, so Darwinian evolution favored him. If you cure the common cold, everyone benefits, but that's the problem: if everybody has it, then you don't have any particular advantage. Orwell wrote about that in 1984, the idea that the privileges of wealth must be scarce in order to be coveted and keep others "insanely envious" and on the treadmill. The mega-yacht might cost more than proving a cure for the common cold, but it adds value in the envy that it inspires in others, and having a whole crew calling you Sir.

    BTW, I added source links to my earlier comment about liver transplants, with no change to the text. People are so deeply conditioned to believe that the most expensive must be the best, that they become unable to comprehend that a cheaper solution might save their lives and spending more might kill them. Institutions evolve in a Darwinian virtual ecosystem that rewards complexity and predation; if they can make more money off something that kills you, they win out over "lesser" modalities that might save you both physically and financially. Sometimes I feel like one of the few dissenters in the last days of Jonestown, trying to resist drinking the Kool-Aid, but my words here are only anonymous comments, so I must remember to add source links.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    JH says

    This happens in medicaid too...before we had a black president. Not a new problem

    I really don't understand what you are trying to say with that comment?

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    New Renter says

    Not getting the best care and ignoring the best care are two different things.

    True, but there is a lot of overlap. We have a medical system that maximizes revenues by victimizing patients. The bigger the markup, the harder the sale. Many people long to feel valued, and salesmen exploit that. In medicine, the most expensive treatment is rarely the best, and there are too many examples where people made themselves worse off because they could afford to. In Steve Jobs' case, he stayed in the American system, which is the most expensive, somehow getting "residence" in Tennessee so he could get a shorter waiting list for a liver transplant from a cadaver. He could have gone to India and got a liver transplant from a live donor at a fraction of the price, no waiting, same success rate, and he could have gone back to do the same thing again. The liver is a remarkable organ, you can cut half of it out of a live donor, and it will regrow in both the donor and the recipient, so they'll both have whole livers within around a month. A healthy liver can keep pancreatic cancer under control for years; it's when the liver fails that the patient dies. People say Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer, but in fact he died from a combination of (a) magical thinking, (b) salesmen selling him the most expensive treatment, (c) the cancer spreading unnecessarily from his pancreas to his liver and then beyond. At least Steve had the option to go to another country; most Americans remain trapped in the now mandatory American CAFO system, surrounded by border enforcement stepped up by Obamneycare.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession, curious2 said:

    Francis says

    Who cares?

    I care. Doctors get blamed for Obamneycare, but most doctors opposed it. The political patronage networks wrote the legislation conscripting everyone into Obamneycare, and sent doctors onto the front lines, despite the opposition of most Americans including most doctors.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    But but but... they were on line first.

    If you're referring to the California provider lists, they were pulled offline when too many people figured out the providers didn't actually take the insurance.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession, curious2 said:

    turtledove says

    The hospital decided to go into competition with the guy. Since the guy had all the business, they needed to get rid of the guy (he refused to be employed by the hospital).

    Hospitals have taken over SF, and are now the city's largest industry. 20 years ago, more than 70% of doctors practiced on their own or in small practice groups that they co-owned; today, more than 70% are employees of large corporations or government. Obamneycare enriched the hospital executives tremendously, they're getting lavish payouts selling their hospitals to insurance companies so the insurers can bypass the MLR rules. For thoroughly documented reporting on the hospital executives' mentality, I highly recommend reading The Good Nurse. A serial killer was employed as a nurse by a series of hospitals, who made so much money as a result that they never reported him; executives even lied to police to cover up his crimes, until eventually two cops figured it out. He was convicted on dozens of counts of murder, but there were probably hundreds, and he's not the only practitioner who turned out to be a serial killer and eventually got convicted of murder. What gets me is that literally 100% of the hospital executives, at every hospital that employed him, covered it up and enabled him to move on to another hospital. There were no exceptions. People talk about the Catholic church covering up child molesters, but 100% of hospital executives who figured out the Cullen case decided to cover up and enable a serial killer. And for that, they were never punished, in fact they have been rewarded.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    New Renter says

    I assumed Curious2 was referring to the "stupid....

    I didn't call anybody stupid, I just don't understand the priorities of people who possess potentially life-changing wealth and yet can't figure out what to do with it beyond buying a bigger yacht. Paul Allen has a mega-yacht and an equally overbuilt football team, I like RealPlayer but seriously, when he catches a cold, doesn't it occur to him that he might benefit from a vaccine to prevent that? I mean, everyone catches colds, and everyone hates it, how do multi-billionaires blind themselves to the possibility of curing them?

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    I am insanely envious....

    That explains a lot.

    Islands are overrated. A realtor acquaintance told me he loved selling islands, because he'd always get repeat business. People imagine they want one, so he gets a commission when they buy, then they realize it's more trouble than it's worth, so they want to sell, so he gets an exclusive listing.

    You ignore 70 users on PatNet, so you might last longer than most on an island all by yourself, but not as long as you probably imagine.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in ConsumerWatch: Some Covered California Patients Say They Can't See A Doctor, curious2 said:

    Sadly, the inability actually to use their Obamneycare policies is unlikely to cure patients of their delusional support for the legislation.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in Bay Area Obamacare mystery: Where are the patients?, curious2 said:

    elliemae says

    You had the opportunity to choose other plans, but you didn't do so.

    Actually, the state exchange withdrew the lists, after too many people found out that the listed providers didn't take the insurance that the state claimed they did. I would link to the reports that I already posted, but it would be a waste of time, because you're stuck in your anti-reality bubble. The state said if you can't find any covered providers in your area then you can cancel your policy by March 31 - and then pay the penalty for being uninsured.

    elliemae says

    I'm done with this thread - and with you.

    That's nice dear. See you again soon, when you forget that you said you were done. The only message that you have is blah blah everybody hates elliemae and Obama, who needs elliemae to save the POS plan he signed blah blah, you might want to read about delusions of persecution and grandeur. Of course, while you are free to ignore me, nobody is free to ignore Obamneycare - our own government will impose a penalty upon us if we do.

  • On 20 Apr 2014 in The happiest profession is being independently wealthy, curious2 said:

    Rin says

    Larry Ellison....

    is a perfect example, and although your hypothesis sounds unkind, there must be some explanation and I don't know how to explain it. How can a guy with $50 billion be unable to think of anything better to do with it than finance a yacht race? I went to see one of the America's Cup races, and yes the event was briefly fun, but so what? Plenty of things are fun and cost little or nothing, so if he had $10 of fun he wasted the rest. Maybe he can say they developed a way to sail faster, but again so what, the boats were too dangerous for practical application and besides sailing faster is like Steven Wright's microwave fireplace, where he could stretch out by the fire for the evening in eight minutes. I wonder why the people who know Larry Ellison personally, don't give him an intervention along the lines of President Eisenhower's farewell address; every year that he sits on his $50 billion pile signifies, in the final sense, a theft from his own biography: his yachting boondoggle is not spending time and money alone; he is wasting the Nobel Prizes he could have won, the profound change he could have wrought, and the cures that might save the lives of his grandchildren.

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