Today, A Smorgasbord

Not a Very Irish Way to Say We have a Mix of Topics Today

First of All – EXCUUUSE ME!

If you are inclined to make a comment on one of these blogs, which I very much encourage, you will have noted in the last couple of weeks or so that there is a comment heading, but no way to enter a comment. Two readers pointed this out to me a couple of days ago. I was unaware, just wondering why no one commented of late.

We are trying to trouble shoot this anomaly. May take a few more days, so please bear with me. Have been considering switching my service provider for the blog – this might be the factor to make it happen. Stand by! Working it as best I can. I miss you folks!

Now, back to our regular programming….

About TikTok

So, the US Government is really flirting with banning TikTok. An interesting coalition has come together on this, and users, especially young people are up in arms about it. I must admit I am of two minds on this one. Generally, I am not much in favor of banning much of anything, including communications systems. This is something subject to abuse once begun, and it often fails anyway. People find workarounds.

But there are some real concerns here. If you think China does not have access to the data and links involved in TikTok, I think you are kidding yourself. I really don’t care how many videos they have of teens doing silly things, but the links and patterns discernable are worrisome. The system could also be used to spread internet infections and taps on a massive scale.

Interestingly, I was actually thinking recently about getting an account recently, after a long period of no interest. I thought it might be informative to see how this thing really worked. Fortunately, when you look at an App in the Apple store, one of the things you can revies is how that data affects your privacy. They show how much and what type of data the app collects and how much of it is tied to your ID and how much is more general than personal.

I have never seen a privacy list of invasions so long as this one. I expect almost none of the TikTok users ever looked this up or even thought about it. I will pass. Will be interesting to see what Congress and the government decide and how that plays out.

The Madness of Private Health Insurance

It is generally recognized that the US health system is singular in how bad it is in so many ways. There are many factors, but I think first among them is the mess of private insurance and the roll that plays. Doctors, hospitals, and patients have to deal with a mountain of paperwork, exclusions, and confusions, with almost no regulation or transparency.  I have been reading some recent examples of people being denied care or suffering other abuses because a clerk 3 states away decided something was not covered, in spite of what your doctor thinks.

This is a stupid way for an advanced country to operate and to treat its citizens. No system is perfect but almost any universal national system would be better than this.

Let The Tapes Roll

Here is a simple, straightforward campaign tip. Call out a large number of critical national issues. Play two video tapes on each topic, side by side. Let’s hear directly what Biden says on the record and what Trump says. No editing, just roll the tapes. Do the same with printed texts that are already published. Start with Trumps social media posts, for example.

Lay this out simply and clearly and swamp the media with it. I am convinced most people will, when they confront the contrast straight on, will get it. While we are at it, run a good list of all the people of great stature and experience who worked for Trump in the last Administration that now loudly declare he is the worst ever and no one should even consider voting for him. Polish that off with a list of senior Trump officials who were investigated by proper authorities (often their own agencies Inspector Generals) and note that no Administration in history has a record of misconduct this bad – no one is even close.

The RNC Completes Its 3rd World Conversation

The RNC is now run by a Trump lackey and his no relevant experience daughter in law. They promptly fired pretty well everyone with professional qualifications and plan to replace them with people whose only qualification is absolute loyalty to Trump.

And they are setting up a system to pay even more Trump legal bills with RNC funds.  Why in the world would anyone ever donate to the RNC again. That was the last bit of the puzzle; the Republican party is now officially gone, replaced by a cartoon of subservience to a nut. One could not have imagined.

Daylight Savings Time. Nuts!

 We do have a bit more daylight to play with, now that everyone’s sleep is messed up. The evidence is clear that DSL is not a good idea – most countries do not use it. I would prefer standard time all year but pick either Standard or DLS and leave it alone. Quit messing with our clocks!

Thank You Sci-Fi

I saw the movie Dune II recently (I liked it very much). It reminded me what a great gift top of the line science fiction is. I think I might pull Dune out to read yet again (not the first time for that. To Frank Herbert and Dune, Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek, Ray Bradberry and the Martian Chronicles, Isaac Asimov and Foundation, and so many others. You fire up our imagination, show us what is possible, remind us what to fear and what to hope for. A fine genre of literature.

See You Next Week

Looks like we will have a good mix of politics, medicine, international affairs for starters next week. We still live in interesting times. We do have a lot to think about.

                  Bill Clontz

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