Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RANT: Droopy pants is one of the stupidest fashion ever

Cracks in the windowImage by unsure shot via Flickr
Why is it popular to have ill-fitting pants that almost falls off one's butt, with the pant crotch almost to one's knees?

I mean, even African-Americans are making fun of the phenomenon! Remember "Pants on the Ground" (Youtube Video)?

Come on, even Lil Wayne had to pull up his pants on the Grammys, man! That's just ridiculous! As the pundits put it, "buy a belt, man!"

Why is it a fashion statement in the first place? It isn't! Do you know where it came from? PRISON. That's right, it came from some jailbirds. Prison jumpsuits are usually one size fits all. So you'll never find one that fits. Apparently, some jailbirds gotten so used to be idea of ill-fitting cloths, they decide to wear ill-fitting cloths even when they got OUT of jail.

When some of those ill-fitting-cloth'ed folks got turned around and became rap artists, and made money, and made music videos, they brought their lack of fashion to the TV, and people start imitating them, not knowing why these 'stars' wear ill-fitting cloths to start with.

Normally I don't care about people's fashion, as I think most fashion is ridiculous, but this is more ridiculous than most. Most fashion at least looks interesting, but this looks ridiculous, and has ridiculous origins.

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RANT: Nobody will be happy about universal healthcare

A surgical team from Wilford Hall Medical Cent...Image via Wikipedia
What we got in March 2010 was not even universal healthcare, but just some health insurance reform.

In universal healthcare, nobody will be happy, and I am talking about the three parties: the people (who will use the coverage) the providers (doctors, hospitals, and etc.), and the insurers. Here's why

The people want to be covered for everything, and pay nothing. Right? The reality is they can only get covered for something, and pay a bit more than something.

Providers want to provide everything, and get paid for everything at price of their choosing. The reality is providers can only provide something, and get paid for what the insurer chooses to pay up.

Insurer want to pay providers nothing, take in lots of premiums from the people. The reality is They have to pay providers something.

The needs are mutually exclusive, and it's a THREE-WAY relationship. So in short, nobody will get everything they want. Thus, nobody will be happy when the solution is available.

RANT: When rumors actually maim and kill, part 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Dr Andrew Wakef...Andrew Wakefield and wife, Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Since 1998, a bunch of paranoid parents, claiming that the MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella) vaccine may actually CAUSE autism, started an anti-vaccine movement, leading to massive drop in vaccinations for mumps, measles, and rubella. All of which were nearly eradicated in the 1980's and 1990's, that is, until this movement got started. Since then, these diseases are on the rise again. And autism rates are STILL going up for the past 10 years.

The only legitimate reason these anti-vaccine folks have that they can cite was a single paper, written by Andrew Wakefield and his group, published in February of 1998, in the British medical journal "The Lancet". So what did the paper actually say?

The paper is a study of twelve children with developmental disorders (i.e. autism). Eight of the parents claim that the symptoms started after the MMR vaccination. Studies show some sort of gastrointestinal problem in addition to the developmental problems seem to be in common among the children. However, the paper did NOT prove any sort of association between MMR vaccine and autism. What was its conclusion? Without the medical-ese, what it says is:
These kids, previously normal, now have digestive problems and autism, which seems to be triggered by something in the environment.
Absolutely NO mention of the vaccine at all was in the paper's conclusion. 

The author, Andrew Wakefield, in a press conference before publishing the paper, stated that he believe it may be prudent to use single vaccines instead of the triple-combination MMR vaccine until it can be proven that there really is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even though there was no evidence that single vaccines will avoid triggering autism. This is his personal opinion, and was NOT in the research paper.

RANT: Social Security was a fraud to start with!

Social Security Poster: old manImage via Wikipedia
Social Security is something invented in the 1930's. It was supposed to give you retirement money when you retire at age 65.

Do you have any idea what is the life expectancy of Americans in the 1930's?

62. Yep, 62. (as of 1935, 61.7 to be exact)

In other words, you are not really supposed to enjoy social security, even though you did pay for it. Yet you cannot opt out of it either.

What's more, the earliest social security law excluded almost 50% of the workforce. No domestic help, no hospital worker, no agricultural worker, and a lot more exclusions (see wikipedia)

That was 70+ years ago. Guess what the life expectancy is now? 78 (okay, 77.8, same link above, as of 2005).  Yet the retirement age, i.e. time to enjoy social security, is still 65. And the payout groups have grown steadily larger, and larger.

No wonder social security is going bankrupt. In fact, 2010 will be the first year that Social Security is actually running a deficit. It hasn't yet because it had built up a huge reserve in the past 70 years, but if the retirement age isn't adjusted upward, or the payout severely reduced, social security will cease to exist.

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RANT: China's tech theft, now done with $$$!

BEIJING - APRIL 20:  A model poses beside the ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Everybody knows Kia and Hyundai, but anybody knows Ssangyang? They are actually the fourth largest automaker in Korea. And they were just MUGGED by the Chinese, done with money, rather than espionage.

Ssangyong Motors, a minor Korean car maker (4th in Korea), was in financial trouble in 2005, and when Shanghai Motors (yes, from China), also known as SAIC, offered a financial deal, that they will establish a co-op venture in China, and take 51% stake of Ssangyong. The Koreans were very skeptical. It is clear that China wants the tech (SsangYang has hybrid tech, among other stuff that Shanghai motor doesn't), not the employees.

The deal was rammed through, with some promises that no one will be laid off. However, after the deal went through, and the plant was indeed established in China, but this also lead SAIC gaining access to ALL technology and researched made by Ssangyong Motors, including the hybrid tech. With no executive board input, the two company networks are linked, and as a result, virtually everything in the Ssangyang network was copied.