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Don’t Get Sick

 

As a freelance writer and communications consultant health insurance is necessary and expensive. Before this legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court, I could be denied coverage at any price (and I have even though I’m healthy); now it’s not only possible to buy, it will be affordable.

Being forced to buy insurance isn’t about freedom. Before this legislation, if you didn’t have insurance and you got into a serious accident, a hospital still treated you. That cost was picked up by the rest of us who buy insurance.

Not having insurance when you can afford it is irresponsible and unfair to the rest of us.

The uninsured roll the dice, reaping the benefit of not paying, and they still get coverage in an emergency. That’s unpatriotic.

With all of us in the system, those who absolutely can’t afford it get subsidized; the rest of us take advantage of the collective economies of scale.

That’s sounds a lot more like capitalism than socialism. Corporations are all about scale.… Read the rest


Prog Rockers Defy Age

 

Last weekend was the twelfth and final prog-rock festival Nearfest, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I caught the first night featuring Manchester’s Van der Graff Generator and Peter Hammill.

Van der Graff sound like a pre-Genesis power trio primarily fueled by two keyboardists (although Hammill’s guitar work is solid).

The sold-out festival was comprised of mostly balding men in their 50’s and 60’s. They rifled through vinyl in the merchandise room like it was the 70’s. And there was Roger Dean, signing prints of his famous YES covers.

I went with some friends who have their own prog rock band in the Bay Area. They’re working with the drummer of the Swedish band Anglagard, one of the more hippier acts to appear here. Anglagard was selling its new CD for $22 and people were lining up to buy it.

Aranus, a Belgium band, also played the night I was there. Technically flawless, however, for me, it had no heart; but my friends felt differently. “I got goose pimples,” one said.

There was no way I could sit through three days and nights of progressive rock, but it certainly was an enjoyable experience and I’m glad I went.… Read the rest


Batter Up

 

Saturday night we took my girlfriend’s kids to see the Bridgeport Bluefish, a nearby minor league team. It was Scout Night and after the game there had fireworks and then we camped in the outfield.

It was a cool and blustery night, but that didn’t stop the kids from running around well past midnight.

We had to be out of there by 7 a.m. Sunday morning, Father’s Day.

Several parents said happy father’s day to me and I wished them a good day too – I’m 53 and it’s the first time anyone has wished me a Happy Father’s Day. It felt strange, but if you’re hanging out with the Boy Scouts you’re either a parent or a perv—best to be mistaken for a parent than the latter.

Afterward, I took Mary and her two boys to a diner for breakfast.

At some point the little one said, “Sometimes people think you’re my Dad.”

“Sometimes people think you’re my Dad,” I volleyed back.

He smiled and dug into his pancakes.… Read the rest


To Drink or Not to Drink — Who Makes the decision?

Everybody knows big sugary drinks make big, unhealthy people. But do we need government mandating soda sizes?

Why shouldn’t ‘We the People’ have the freedom to choose SuperSize?

Nobody wants to be obese. Most people don’t want to die young either. So why do we make such unhealthy choices?

I’m all for freedom of choice, but marketers use advanced tools to maximize the impact of advertising and packaging. The days of Don Draper working up late-night creative based on intuition is long gone. Everything is tested and retested using advanced monitoring devices to determine heart rate, pupil dilation, breathing. Nothing is left to chance.

Is it any wonder people act against their best interest, defying health warnings as if they’re Zombies?

Although I prefer government to stay out of such matters, the People are at a disadvantage.
Marketers are always one step ahead: product placement in TV and Film, sponsoring our favorite musical and sporting events, even supporting our favorite charities—and each expenditure is quantified, evaluated and refined to maximize impact on our behavior.

Michael Bloomberg knows this better than anyone and he has certainly benefited from such corporate success, but he also realizes a fat, sick population is a … Read the rest