Friday, May 22, 2009

The Girlfriend Experience-Trailer

HotForWords - Spy on me or 5 rules of Twitter

Blue DOUBLE Cross - you call that a plan?

That didn’t take long. Less than two weeks have passed since much of the medical-industrial complex made a big show of working with President Obama on health care reform — and the double-crossing is already well under way. Krugman's May 21 OpEd points out just how two-faced big insurance is. They will fight reform. PERIOD.

The insurance company plan turns out to be "protect the status quo."

Their "plan" is to let costs go on rising! Their plan is corporate bureaucrats and HMOs getting between you and your doctor to protect their profits - accountants deciding your doctor doesn't know what should be prescribed. If we address two things, 1) people who lose or can't get insurance, and 2) the totally out-of-control cost spiral, while we sensibly challenge insurance companies by creating a new public health insurance option to let the free market work its magic, everybody will be able to afford good health care.

Their plan is to keep cherry-picking the healthy and the wealthy and dumping you if you commit the sin of getting sick or injured - that's the insurance companies self-interested idea of cost control. You can't blame them, really, they're just trying to keep the CEOs and lobbyists well-paid, and it's been working for 30 years or more, and they've got many of our elected officials bought and paid for already.

There's no incentive for big insurance companies to control health care costs - they haven't been competing. The first hint they might have to do so got them to the table. They're scared stiff at the prospect of a public option, because they surveyed people and the truth is folks love the idea. I'm not talking about single-payer, mind you - the President isn't trying to turn us into England despite what you hear about socialized medicine. This first step that insurance companies oppose is giving Americans a real choice.

But the big insurance CEOs only paid lip-service to the President for fear of bad PR. Now they're doing an about face. Krugman skewers them, including the fact that they've had TV ads in the works since well before their meeting in D.C.

Health care isn't the problem, the high cost of getting coverage is the problem. Insurance companies and their champions on Capitol Hill oppose real reform; reform threatens their profits.

Bay To Breakers Rauchy Party Solution: Concerts


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In my last Bay to Breakers post we looked at an amazing race of top talent from around the World. Some of you thought "Well, who's interested in that part of The Bay to Breakers; it's all about the parties in the streets and the booze." Well, I've not forgot that perspective. Here it is.

Overall, the event was a success and the people in my video said so. Moreover the new regulations didn't pose the huge roadblock to a day of fun that the Citizens for The Preservation of The Bay to Breakers feared would happen. Still, something was missing: concerts.

The problem with the 2009 Bay to Breakers was "Footstock", the annual giant gathering place and party held in San Francisco's Polo Grounds, was closed at 2 PM. That's too early and the halting of the event midway through the Bay to Breakers caused a bottleneck that pushed people out into Golden Gate Park and led to massive parties in the streets and people sneaking past barriers to relieve themselves in the nearby pools. It was a hot day; having a big name concert to go to at Footstock would have caused people to want to get their and not hangout and clog the park's streets and roads.

No example captured the magnitude of this problem better than the "Spring Break" float started by a group of guys called "The Godfathers" (someone believed the float was started by Citizens for The Preservation of The Bay to Breakers head Ed Sharpless, but I could find no evidence to back that claim), and according to John Cote in the San Francisco Chronicle, the float makers planned to move the float into the course midway through it, rather than having it at the stating area as the race organizers wanted. The tiki-style creation had a DJ spinning pulsating tunes and women in bikinis dancing on it, and booze.

UPDATE: Ed Sharpless responded to my email by stating the float was did not start in the middle of the route, which is contrary to the information I was given. But the responses of those in the video would objected to the float's impact on traffic were unplanned and real and underscore the need for extended Footstock hours.

Midway through the floats march through San Francisco, police came and confiscated the alcohol they had on board, but that didn't curb a thing and only pissed off the crowd. The float continued through Golden Gate Park, where its operators took refuge under a bridge and the crowd following it started a massive rave-like event which looked every bit like the dirty-dancing nightclub-turned-day it was. Ok, it was fun to watch, but because it took up the entire street, cars and in particular emergency ambulances carrying heat-stroke victims (it was that hot) could not easily pass through. It took almost five minutes just to clear a space for them to pass through. That's valuable time. Plus, the street head was still filled with people.

Toward Big Concerts and Big Planning

That would not have happened if Footstock remained open and a band like "Coldplay" were the headliner, with a local group serving as the warmup entertainment. That's the way we used to do it. People were convinced they had to get through Golden Gate Park to be there; instead, in search of fun and with nowhere else to go, they made the park their own rave party. The Bay to Breakers should be the scene for big concerts and formed by big planning.

What's happening to our society? A "hook-em-and-book-em" mentality has swept America and found its way into the Bay to Breakers. Time to put on the breaks! We have to go back to actually planning large-scale events around the idea of getting people to do something rather than preventing them from doing something. We have this desire, it seems, to want to control each other; why? It causes an irrational level of frustration that's contaminating our society, leading to policy brutality, assaults on students by teachers, and a backlash of social unrest that causes a cycle of government versus the people to develop.


The Bay to Breakers is a celebration of people having fun. The planner and the community should work together to make it so. My solution is to have a $5 charge at Footstock for those who don't have a Bay to Breakers number, a pass, or a pass that they could purchase online or at the "runners expo" held the days before the race. Then back that with a big name, big deal-of-a-concert that starts at 2:30 PM, just as the crowds are streaming in from a long walk. The money could be used for cleanup and the concert.

That would restore a lost luster to one of the events that makes San Francisco a place people want to be.