Archive for June, 2012

06/29/2012

To paraphrase the Chief Justice:

by wfgodbold

“If you don’t want shitty laws, stop electing shitty politicians.”

Of course, John Roberts didn’t actually write this; he wrote:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

Politicians lie. It has ever been thus. So of course they would lie about a tax, and claim it’s not actually a tax, and then argue in court

Like Althouse points out today (in her post on Orin Kerr’s thoughts on the decision and whether Roberts might have changed his vote), maybe Roberts is trying to send a message.

Something along the lines of, “Yes, the price of freedom is still eternal vigilance, you fucking idiots. That means vigilance against our government even more than against external threats.”

Now, I don’t like the decision; I’d be much happier if the ACA had been held unconstitutional on all grounds (especially since Congress now apparently has the power to tax inaction (but at least they can’t regulate inaction!)). I imagine this will lead to Congress justifying their inane bills on the basis of the Commerce Clause and their power to tax, just to be doubly sure the Court will uphold whatever nonsense they decide to pass.

The Washington Post has a handy tool to let you see what the ACA means for you. Apparently for me, it means I can either pay $1500-3000 in premiums for health “insurance”*, or I can pay the annual penalty of $695.

Well, gee. I’d have to be a damn idiot to buy health insurance before I actually needed it once the ACA goes into effect.

I don’t know what this decision means in the long term constitutionally, and neither does anyone else. If someone says they do, they’re lying or selling something. Or in the case of a politician, according to Chief Justice Roberts, probably both.

*Look. It’s not insurance if higher-risk customers aren’t charged premiums in commensurate with that higher risk. That means that people who are likely to use doctors, hospitals, emergency rooms, and whatever have to pay more for their premium than those who do not. It’s not sexist to charge young men more for their car insurance than young women if young men are statistically more likely to get in wrecks and cost the insurance company money. So why the fuck is it sexist to charge women more for health insurance premiums if they’re the demographic that is statistically more likely to use services that health insurance pays for?

The way the ACA is set up, healthy young people are required to pay insurance premiums to subsidize old sick people. Except if the healthy young people are not financial idiots, they’ll just pay the penalty until they actually need insurance, at which point the insurance companies will be required to accept them as customers, and then have to pay through the nose for whatever treatment their (now pre-existing) condition requires. And since the penalty is so much less than premiums (according to the notoriously right-wing Washington Post**), only idiots will pay for insurance before they need it.

And since no young and healthy people will pay insurance and cover the costs for the old and infirm, insurance companies will go out of business. The ACA is apparently designed to force the insurance industry into collapse. Man, politicians are great at managing economies.

**Yes, that is sarcasm.

06/27/2012

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing*: Science fiction, or science fact?

by wfgodbold

In the light of the recent news regarding the LDP’s plans to build an actual working Gundam**, I started thinking about our own mecha warfare capabilities.

Sadly, we’re heading down the mobile doll route instead.***

Of course, more level heads think this is just a blatant ploy by Japan’s Liberal Democrats to gin up support from the youth.

Which as such doesn’t actually bother me; it’s far more appealing a ploy than nonsense like “We are the change we seek.”

*For those of you who had better things to do than watch mecha anime on the Cartoon Network in the 90s/early 00s, or better things to spend your money on than the DVDs, a big part of Gundam W focused on using human-piloted mecha as opposed to autonomous robot mecha. Also, angst and teenagers and lots of impressively animated mecha fights (which is generally enough by itself to justify watching Gundam). As far as I’m concerned, pretty much anything can be made better by judiciously applying mecha (and you do get bonus points if those mecha transform).

**Which I saw last night, and instead of posting, I put it off, and now it’s olde news. This summer has really done a number on my already lackluster blogging skills.

***I say sadly, but that’s my romantic streak coming out, I think. Sure, it’s disturbing, by Treize Khushrenada makes some compelling points about the use of robots in battle. Practically, though, robots in battle are great. Less danger**** for our side is always a good thing.

****Assuming we come up with some way to stymie the inevitable robot revolution.

*****Odaiba Gundam image from Wired. Yes, it’s an actual, life-size Gundam. No, this one isn’t functional, but IIRC the arms and head could move, and it obviously lit up.

******I don’t actually have anything to say, I just wanted to add another string of asterisks. I’ve got a few weeks worth of links coming in a tab clearing post, and hopefully I’ll be able to return to a more normal update schedule. I’ve slacked off enough.

06/04/2012

Still busy.

by wfgodbold

So here are some links:

Namco’s next Tales of game is Tales of Xillia 2! I wasn’t expecting this at all (since only a few of the Tales of franchise have had actual sequels), and now I’m really looking forward to it.

There’s a Kickstarter page up for a new Tex Murphy adventure game! The only one in the series I played was The Pandora Directive, but it was pretty good (in spite of a few esoteric puzzles).

Good Old Games has the Ultima and Wing Commander games on sale (for another 6 hours) at half off. I played so much Wing Commander II back in the day. I had such a blast shooting down Kzinti Orions Catians Kilrathi. Once I had the computer properly configured, anyway (which was never trivial with Origin games).

I’m still pretty pressed for time (though it’s not as bad as I thought, since the law review write-on ends next Monday and not this Friday (like I originally thought)). Hopefully things will clear up by next week.

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