Robin Williams does NOT mention Costar Sarah Michelle Gellar on The Daily Show

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Robin Williams appeared on The Daily Show recently.  He has a new television show.  The Crazy Ones.  Jon Stewart and Robin Williams had a humorous interview.  They chatted about a lot of things.  But one thing he did not mention was his costar.  The reason why I watched the show.  Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Yes, Buffy.  The vampire slayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a pretty blonde girl in high school.  Who lived in Sunnydale, California.  Located atop a hell mouth.  Filling the city with demons and vampires killing innocent people.  Now what made this show so great is that the pretty young blonde girl, who the demons and vampires chase and kill in your typical demon/vampire movie, is the one chasing and killing the demons and vampires.  She’s the one saving everyone else.  She’s the strong one.  The champion.  The one you run to in times of danger.  And she does it with some great comedic timing to boot.  Which is why everyone fell in love with Buffy.  As everyone wanted someone as great as that in their life.  And Sarah Michelle Gellar did such a great job in bringing Buffy to life.

Which is why legions of fans will watch whatever she stars in.  Even if it’s crap.  Because they want to see her play another strong woman.  Especially one as funny and witty as Buffy.  The Crazy Ones may not be the show they were waiting for.  But they will take it.  No matter how annoying Williams can get.  And he can get annoying if you’re not a fan of his kind of humor.  Yet with legions of Buffy fans no doubt tuning in to see Gellar her costar, Robin Williams, did not mention her on The Daily Show.  Even CBS does not mention her when talking about how The Crazy Ones is a winner (see WINNER: “The Crazy Ones” (CBS)).

Better news for CBS: Robin Williams is soundly winning the Thursday night nostalgia war against Michael J. Fox, with his new ad-man sitcom standing as TV’s top-rated new series in total viewers. Sure, it helps that ratings behemoth “The Big Bang Theory” gets things started at 8 p.m., but “Crazy Ones” still pulled in over 11 million viewers last week with a weaker lead-in from “The Millers.” Expect a full-season order soon… and many more wacky boardroom antics from Williams.

Gellar just can’t get any respect.  Which is a pity because without her I doubt as many people would be tuning in.  I wouldn’t.  And I can’t be the only one.  So what is it with everyone ignoring Gellar?  Perhaps they just don’t like strong women.

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Melting Glacier reveals life it Previously Killed

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time the glaciers nearly reached down from the poles to the equator.  Then they retreated back towards the poles.  And they moved these great distances before man was adding any carbon to the atmosphere.  Which means glaciers were melting more before man started adding carbon to the atmosphere.  Pretty much debunking the theory of manmade global warming.  Yet when a glacier moves a fraction of what they once did people believe it’s global warming Armageddon (see Ancient forest revealed 1,000 years after being ‘entombed’ in gravel as Alaskan glacier melts by Steve Nolan posted 10/10/2013 on Mail Online).

An ancient forest which is thought to have been hidden for at least 1,000 years has been discovered beneath a melting glacier…

The forest is said to have been shielded from the ice by a tomb of gravel which most likely encased the forest as Initial carbon dating tests suggest that the gravel tomb, which is around 5ft high, may have been formed at least 1,000 years ago.

As glaciers develop they often emit summer meltwater streams which produce aprons of gravel…

But while the find has excited scientists, locals are concerned about the prospect of glacial melting.

They are worried about the threat of rising sea levels and the loss of freshwater sources relied upon for drinking water.

If you go back 1,000 years you are in the era of the Eastern Roman Empire.  Or the Byzantine Empire.  With its capital Constantinople on the Bosporus.  Modern day Istanbul.  The Western Roman Empire may have fallen by then but the Eastern half was still around.  So there were Romans walking the earth the last time these trees saw the light of day.

Now, interesting thing about the Roman Empire was that they did not have the internal combustion engine.  They did not have jet planes flying across the globe.  They did not have coal-fired power plants.  They did not even have the steam engine.  So the Romans were putting little carbon into the atmosphere.  In fact, manmade carbon during the Roman Empire was little different than it was for all of time before the Roman Empire.  Yet the glaciers moved down from the poles towards the equator and retreated numerous times.  All without the help of manmade global warming.

Another way to look at this is this life-killing glacier entombed a forest.  Killing all forest life.  And forcing what life remained fleeing in front of this life-killing glacier as it advanced down from the poles.  Now this killer is retreating.  Allowing life to return where it once had killed it.  Funny we don’t celebrate that.  We celebrate the end of winter.  When life returns after a few months of winter.  But when a glacier gives up its dead people feel sorry for the glacier.  Not its victims.

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Job Stewart called the Lying Kathleen Sebelius a Liar

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Young people get more of their news from The Daily Show than they do from Fox News.  And no wonder.  Jon Stewart is funny.  Witty.  Smart.  And he has some of the best writers working in television.  But he doesn’t understand economics.  All he knows is the Keynesian nonsense he was taught by schools interested in empowering the state.  For that’s all they teach now.  They don’t teach the Austrian school.  The Chicago school.  Not even the classical economics that made the United States the number one economic power in the world.  Which is probably why Stewart believes the government is good and righteous.  There to help people.  And not make a ruling class.  Like governments everywhere use Keynesian economics to do.

So Stewart may be ignorant about things economic.  But he has integrity.  Which is why he called Kathleen Sebelius a liar (see Jon Stewart accuses Kathleen Sebelius of lying to him about Obamacare by Jamie Weinstein posted 10/8/2013 on The Daily Caller).

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likely thought her interview with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Monday night would be an easy setting to pitch the Obamacare exchanges to young people. Instead, she ended up getting accused of being a liar by the popular comedy host.

During his interview with Sebelius, Stewart repeatedly sought an answer from the secretary on why big businesses got a delay in their Obamacare mandate to provide affordable health insurance to their employees, while individuals did not get a delay in their Obamacare mandate making them purchase health care or face a penalty.

In a rare monologue at the end of the show, Stewart said he remained confused and that he suspected that the secretary may have been lying to him.

Stewart is a card-carrying liberal.  He wants to support Obamacare.  He wants to believe everything the government says.  But he’s smart.  He sees what’s going on.  And he sees the unfairness of Obamacare in regard to the mandates.  Even during the interview he said the administration was making it difficult for people like him to support them.  Which is why he called Sebelius a liar.  Even though it was painful to do.

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Chicago getting Serious about their Crime Wave of Running Red Lights

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Some describe the gun violence problem in Chicago as epidemic.  Blaming the lack of jobs for young men.  And the lure of big money working in the drug trade.  Aware of this problem, the mayor of Chicago is focusing his efforts on catching those people running red lights (see New Chicago speed cameras capture more than 200,000 violations in just 45 days by Eric Pfeiffer posted 10/12/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Newly installed speed cameras in Chicago have tallied up some eye-catching numbers, with more than 200,000 violations captured at just four sites ” during the past 45 days…

So far, the city has only been issuing warnings to errant drivers caught on camera. If those warnings had been actual tickets, they would have amounted to $13.9 million in fines in just over a month. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he expects the new speed camera system to generate about $15 million in revenue before the end of the year, once the warning system transitions to issuing actual tickets after October 21.

An analysis from ABC News says that if the violations remain roughly on the same pace through 2014, the program will generate revenue “well above” the $40 to $60 million estimated by Emanuel…

Chicago has said that it plans to use the money generated from its speed cameras to invest in safety initiatives, after school programs, job initiatives and other funding projects.

Really?  You would think that he would want to use that $40-$60 million to shrink the $330 million budget deficit.  Or to apply to their $19.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for city, municipal, police, fire and labor workers.  You’d think these were the reasons to install these cameras.  Strictly for the revenue.  For, let’s face it, once drivers get burnt a few times they’re all going to start driving the speed limit.  And that revenue won’t be anywhere near their rosy projections.

Assume they hit their revenue target, though.  Is that a good thing?  Pulling $40-$60 million of economic activity out of the Chicago economy?  I mean, if that money goes to the government no one will be spending it in local businesses.  Perhaps causing some businesses to lay off some workers.  Or, at the least, preventing businesses from growing and hiring new workers.

Also, those cameras may cause some people to slam on the breaks at yellow lights. Paranoid about getting a ticket.  And seeing their insurance rates rise.  Which can be a problem for the car behind them.  Whose driver is not expecting anyone to slam on the brakes the moment the light turns from green to yellow.

You know what would be a better idea?  Balancing their budget.  Only promising pensions they can afford to pay.  And NOT spending the money in pension trust funds.  You do that and you won’t need any revenue-generating camera system.  And you don’t have to anger the police union for replacing cops with cameras.

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Hinchingbrooke Hospital breaks free from the NHS Bureaucracy and Improves Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Britain has government-run national health care.  The National Health Service (NHS) provides free health care to all Britons.  And the medical tourists who travel to the country for free health care.  Straining the NHS budget.  At a time when Britain’s aging population is stretching their limited resources thin.  Leading to longer wait times.  Longer travel times as they close local hospitals to consolidate their resources in fewer locations.  And rationing.

Even with their longer wait times, travel times and rationing of services they are still running a deficit in the NHS.  To address these chronic cost overruns they are trying to find £20 billion ($30.54 billion) in efficiency savings over three years.  But there is a beacon of hope for the NHS.  At Hinchingbrooke Hospital (see Set doctors and nurses free to use their common sense – as Hinchingbrooke Hospital does by Charles Moore posted on The Telegraph).

Last month, I visited Hinchingbrooke Hospital, near Huntingdon, the only NHS Trust in the country operated by a private partner…

I spent half a day at Hinchingbrooke, talking to doctors, nurses, administrators and patients, and seeing several wards…

One can visit a large organisation without being aware of big problems. Indeed, one of the great difficulties of the NHS is that internal communications are so bad that people can work well in one area without being aware of utter disaster a few yards away. In the case of Hinchingbrooke, under previous management, maternity was very good while the colorectal unit was shameful. So what follows is not definitive; but I feel I learnt something.

Uniquely in the NHS, Hinchingbrooke’s executive board is dominated by clinical practitioners (doctors and nurses, to you and me). The chief executive is an obstetrician. Only three of the 14 board members have non-clinical backgrounds.

In the only trust that has a private partner doctors and nurses determine how best to treat patients.  Instead of the faceless bureaucracy in the rest of the NHS.  Or what the proponents of Obamacare hope to force onto the American people.

One of the key working methods, borrowed from Toyota, is “Stop the Line”. Anyone in the hospital can stop the line if he or she believes that there might be a “serious untoward incident” or danger to a patient…

A similar, lesser action is a “swarm”. If you are urgently worried about something, you can summon all the relevant people together immediately. Unlike “whistle-blowing”, which is inevitably retrospective and often involves grievance and disloyalty, these ways of acting are instant and preventative. You are encouraged to use them. Someone stops the line in Hinchingbrooke most days.

Nurses work differently from most parts of the NHS. They all wear uniform, even if in managerial roles, and they are encouraged to take part in management without abandoning clinical work…

But what struck me about Hinchingbrooke was not that it was brilliantly original – simply that it was free to act according to common sense. Involve staff in decisions. Make sure that doctors and nurses can run things. Learn from commercial examples of how to improve services. Let the right hand know what the left is doing. Encourage innovation. Don’t “benchmark to the middle”, but to the top. And little things: get A&E nurses to wear identifiable name-badges; get rid of hospital car-park fines. Most of this is simple, but, in the leviathan of the NHS, it is not easy. And at present there are about 2,300 NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom, and only one Hinchingbrooke…

This is far behind the public. As you understand better if you spend a morning in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the public want health care free at the point of use, but have no ideological prejudice about who delivers it, or how. They rightly judge by results – are they, their spouses, parents, children, well or ill? Are the staff medically competent, efficient and kind? They are not sentimental about the most shocking producer interest ever to have gained power in this country.

The one hospital where things are greatly improving is the one hospital that is moving away from bureaucratic national health care and towards private health care.  Like it once was in the United States.  While President Obama and the Democrats want to move the American health care systems towards the bureaucratic national health care of the NHS.  Where there are longer wait times.  And service rationing.  Well, everywhere in the NHS but Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Do President Obama and the Democrats care that they will destroy the American health care system?  No.  Because it’s not about health care.  It’s about creating the “most shocking producer interest ever to have gained power in this country.”  Yes, it’s about the power.  Social Security and Medicare made the elderly dependent on government.  Giving the government power over the elderly.  If they can’t raise taxes they just threaten to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.  National health care, though, makes everyone dependent on government.  Giving the government power over everyone.

Until the day they can no longer maintain that power.  And that day has come in Britain.  Their aging population is breaking the system.  Which is in essence a Ponzi scheme.  The masses in the workforce pay in via taxes.  And the few sick consume health care services at the top of the pyramid.  While a bloated bureaucracy makes sure to take very good care of itself.  But the aging population is shrinking the workforce paying the taxes.  And swelling the number of sick consuming the health care services.  Inverting the pyramid of the Ponzi scheme.  As it will in America thanks to Obamacare.  Because the United States has an aging population, too.

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