Friday, January 26, 2018

Why Medicare for all is a win for America

Watch this if you care about Medical Costs.

It was a good Town Hall, far more then any other sitting Senator or Congressional Rep would care to do.
Medicare for all would..

  • Reduce business costs as employers would no longer have to spend so much time, money and staffing to handle company based insurance,
  • Reduce lost productivity since their employees would be healthier.
  • Save workers money paid towards premiums.
  • Raise employee and likely business taxes but STILL mean each pays less annually, and get rid of copays and time lost while waiting to see if they will cover a procedure.
Who wants it or something like it?

  • The Left wants Medicare for all because its the moral and christian thing to do.
  • Medical Providers (Other than Insurance and Drug companies) want Medicare for all because it saves them money and hassle.
  • Businesses want Medicare for all because it saves them LOTS of money.
  • Workers should want Medicare for all since employers can more easily higher full time people.
  • Workers should want it since wages could go up.  Ok, they may not but its the same logic as giving tax cuts and hoping they use that money to increase wages.
  • Older workers who are often let go and discriminated because of their age. Insurance companies try to discourage companies from hiring older workers.
  • Women who are discriminated against.
  • Vets who are also discriminated against by insurance companies.
  • Taxpayers who will save by reducing all these bailouts and cut back on related expenses.

Who does not want Medicare for all?
  • Banks who profit from foreclosures from medical bankruptcy.  This is the number 1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA.
  • Drug companies who make billions off scams with insurance companies.
  • Insurance companies who profit off your pain and suffering. They take your money for premiums then try everything they can to avoid paying the bills they promised you they would take care of.
  • Some Conservatives who feel the old way is always the best way and fear change.
  • Politicians who rake in billions from Banks, Drug and Insurance companies

Chain Migration

So President Trump talks a lot about Immigration and one of his pet scarecrows is so called "Chain Migration".
He is claiming it needs to end as it lets immigrants bring in relatives then those bring in more and son the whole country is overwhelmed with races he hates.
Is this true, or just another one of his lies?

Look for yourself

  • The Cotton/Purdue Plan
As you can see, it takes a long time and passing strict requirements, including proof of financial capability to sponsor a family member.
Think about this and the other ideas the GOP are floating around.
  • They want to end or reduce the ability for American CITIZENS to bring in foreign relatives. This means they want to take away YOUR rights as citizens. This affects soldiers and business people deployed overseas who marry and want to bring their family home.
  • The GOP want to limit immigrants who have family here and instead bring in workers to compete for your jobs. As usual its all about the money. The GOP wants to provide cheap labor to the corporations that pay for their campaigns and other perks.
So tell me why Trump supporters think this is a good idea?  Your letting them take away YOUR rights as an American and your jobs!

Immigration Reform does need to happen, but building a wall and trying to bring n cheap labor is not the right way. We should improve border security, but in a manner that is less wasteful of taxpayer money and does a better job.  We also need to focus more on those who overstay Visas which is really where most illegal immigration comes from.
We also need to stop with the idiotic rhetoric against Sanctuary cities. Trump wants to force local police to act as ICE.  Local officials say that States Rights should be protected and why should they have to pay for federal programs. Not only does this unfairly penalize and take away the local rights it increases the risks to local citizens.
When local immigrants are afraid to talk to the police crimes go unreported and gangs grow in power.
Sanctuary cities merely tel ICE to do their own job and the local police will do theirs.  It is a system that works as these cities have lower crime rates and are more prosperous.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pyramid #3/111 Combat II Review and author notes

So this months Pyramid #/111 Combat II is out and I decoded to review it here.
More talk about the issue can be found on the Steve Jackson Games Forums.


The Witched Gun

I liked this article, well researched and good flavor stuff with decent crunch.
There was a lot of background flavor and cultural references which I liked. The crunch felt a little lacking but covered several magic systems and options. The reason it feels lacking was it felt like a mall part of the word count and by covering so many systems it was almost like a bunch of footnotes.
Overall I did like it, and the crunch includes new options as well as pre-built abilities to save the GM and players time.

The Wrestler

This adds a new profession to the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The Wrestler adds a new option to your game and includes a full template. Its a great well written article by the DFRPG author and GURPS line editor Sean Punch that lets players have a nonlethal combat specialist. Sometimes you want to capture instead of kill your foe and these guys are great at it.


Car Wars in space?!
This is a great setting and should be given its own book and possibly series, or a kickstarter box treatment. Seriously this is a great Space Opera setting and I think the best one in that genre GURPS has produced.
The key feature that makes it work is the setting feature that FTL travel only works through Stargates and these stargates have a harder time with larger ships. This means that starship travel is based around smaller starships which are more affordable on PC budgets. It then goes over some history which took the setting from an established and stable interstellar government to more of a Wild West or Pirate and Privateer setting that supports Car Wars style dueling and fighting.
The article includes several worked spaceship designs and is really suitable for some forms of Space Opera.  Space Opera is a large and popular genre that includes Star Trek, Star Wars, Starship Troopers, Lensmen, Fifth Element and many other books and media.
This variant is more towards the square jawed heroes, dashing rogues, western/frontier, and party focused space combat.
                 Settings are hard to do, GURPS has so much breadth and appeals to such varied interests that no setting can appeal to a majority of GURPS players. However David Pulver created one that can I think appeal to a lot of them.

Animal Combat Styles

This was my article so I wont speak to its quality, however I can speak to the reason I wrote it.
GURPS Martial Arts was designed primarily for humanoid combat. While certain nods were given to animals in that and other books I felt we needed more. This article covers the most common ones such as hunting cats, diving attacks of hawks and falcons, and even pack tactics. The article is great for beastmasters, druids, shaman, and any shapeshifter or animal (trained or PC) and includes styles ans new techniques for most animal types.

Creepy Charly

The Author J. Edward Tremlett specializes in creative and often odd character and setting ideas, He did not disappoint with this one with Creepy Charley. A mysterious Arms dealer that comes with varied backgrounds and possible plot hooks.This is a good one, aimed at modern day but could be converted to other settings.

Random Thought Table

A good solid look at Strategy and ideas for just making combat more interesting. Solid reading, especially for newer GMs.

Overall great reading but the crown jewel of the issue IMHO is Astroduel!  which I feel obligated to say again is a GREAT SETTING.
I like complex and rich settings, I really do. But this one is a simple beer and pretzel setting that can get more complex if you want it to.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Holding your Representative Accountable to YOU

Have you noticed how so many politicians pivot and avoid answering questions?
How when held to task they the excuse of a five year old "But look at so and so!"

The trouble is most politicians say one thing on the election trail and do another once elected.
Conservatives pretend to be patriotic and christian to get votes, yet once in office sell the country off to their donors and foreign investors and behave in unchristian like ways.
Liberals ignore pragmatism.

Regardless of what your issue is you need to be willing and able to voice your concerns and preferences.
So here is some contact and general info for the people who are supposed to represent YOU.
Who Represents me
Government contact info
By zip code

Open Secrets The go to site for checking on campaign finance.  See who bought your politician.
Personally I prefer politicians who get most, if not all their money from individual contributors. That means they got paid by voters, not companies or political organizations.

Friday, January 19, 2018

As Shutdown looms, the blame game continues

Its amazing listening to the news and the excuses and blaming going on.
Republicans are saying its all on the Democrats, Democrats are saying its the Republicans so whose fault is it?
The answer of course is both, but we have to review the details to decide where and with whom we want to blame.
The issues at the heart of it.

  • CRs or Continuing Resolutions: Republicans cant come up with a budget that satisfies moderate and far right members within their own party.  So they keep using stopgap measures and the Pentagon and other agencies are demanding a real budget.
  • DACA or the Dreamers: President Trump canceled the program and told Congress they have until March to come up with something. At least 3 bipartisan plans have been floated but extremists such as the Freedom Caucus and Rep Jim Jordan wont have it. Democrats want it and realize that they cant trust Republicans to keep their word on any deal.  So they want to see something passed now rather than rely on a 'promise' to deal later.
  • CHIP: The Children Health Insurance Program was defunded by Republicans in prior CRs so they could use it as a bargaining chip in future negotiations.
Republicans refuse to compromise and feel that since they were elected everyone in America wants what they want.
Democrats feel that the people who elected them want some different things.
Both sides want something different and say they represent the people who elected them. The difference is Democrats have shown they are willing to compromise, not just now when they are out of power but when they had power as well. In fact many of their constituents feel they compromise too much and have voted for replacements. On the other hand the Republicans since taking over in 2017 have shown an unwillingness to compromise and try to force everything through along party lines. 
The Republicans have shown they will not compromise and that they feel that EVERY American wants what they want since they were elected. The problem is not everyone voted for any individual politician and Americans are a diverse people and this is not a dictatorship.
They are pushing hard for everything they want, rather than compromise, and claiming they have a blank check.  Trouble is we voted them in to get things done and for certain issues but they seem unable to govern and think everyone is 100% in lockstep with them on everything.

So who is responsible?

I blame the Republicans.  They are in charge, they set this up in advance by de-funding CHIP canceling DACA, those were 100% Republican calls.
Perhaps just as importantly they have proven they cant be trusted and will not deal honestly and in good faith. That means Democrats have to either fight now or surrender completely until the next election. Republicans backed Democrats into a corner thinking they would fold because they view previous compromises Democrats were willing to make as weakness.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Conservative case for legal Marijuana

News on the recent legalization in California prompted me to think why so many conservatives are against to.
Conservatives do not like change, I get it but do not consider that a valid reason for anything.

Legalization saves money, and a lot of it.

Conservatives, at least fiscal conservatives and those for a smaller government  should reason that..
  • We have more nonviolent offenders in prison than violent ones. This costs taxpayers tons of money to keep people locked up who are not a threat to society.
  • Tax it like other addictive substances, such as tobacco and alcohol and not only does lower prices and easier access make it less safer but it generates tons in local tax money.
  • Use some of that money to fund rehab and drug treatment facilities like we do with tobacco. That saves money taxpayers are already spending on those programs.
But what about the people it makes lazy and unreliable for work?
Well what about them?  Locking them up just costs us more money than other social welfare so we come out ahead.  And if you dont want them eligible for programs, Im fine with that too.
And since fewer people are locked up we have more available for work anyway.

Unless its about race and keeping people unable to work because you dont like their life choices.
That kind of conservative we dont need in this country