Author Archives: Rip Rowan

The Problem with Health Care

In Tuesday’s debate, Tom Brokaw asked the best question of the night when he asked if health care is a privilege, right, or responsibility.  I think John McCain gave the correct response when he answered that it is a “responsibility”, and Barack Obama gave the incorrect (if popular) answer that health care is a “right”.

But regardless what you call it, health care is a critical issue in all parts of the world.  Here I present a summary of issues that explain the real problem, and what we must do about it.  You will find that, at the root of the problem, are people who dogmatically cling to the notion that free markets always produce the best outcomes, and people who dogmatically claim that dysfunctional markets must always be replaced wholesale by government programs.

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The Science is Unsettled

Last night, Joe Biden said of global warming, “I think it’s clearly man-made,” while his opponent, Sarah Palin, said that she believes that the evidence shows that both human and cyclical changes account for climate change.

So, which one is the scientist, and which is the religious fanatic?

But before I get into the question of climate change orthodoxy, the exchange between the two caused me to reflect on my observations of pollution in Europe.  It seems to me that many in this country think that Europe must lead the way in cleaning the planet, and the the US is lagging hopelessly behind.


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Is Obama Rapidly Aging?

I was surprised to see the latest Obama campaign graphic.  See if you can tell why:


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Obama-Nation 2: Judgment

Why am I writing in opposition to Obama instead of writing in support of McCain?

Quite simply, McCain is a known entity.  There’s lots of reasons not to like him, and they’re all scattered about the public record for all to see.  The guy is pretty much WYSIWYG.  It’s a waste of time to write about him.  But Obama is a mystery, an invented fantasy character.  He has no virtually no public record and in fact has never held a job other than a few years as Senator (state and federal).  The fascination with him is astonishing to me.

Moreover, I’m a contrarian.  I don’t just get in line with the popular people to do the popular things because they’re popular.  And when I see people going along with the popular things, I get suspicious.  Sometimes, in the case of Apple fans, the popular people are snotty pricks, but they’re right.  Other times, as with the Ridiculously Large SUV craze, people are just plain dumb.

Thus the series on Obama.

This installment is about judgment.  One of the Obama campaign’s top selling points is judgment, probably because they know they’re screwed on experience.  We’re supposed to believe that Obama’s track record of making sound judgments is a key differentiator in his favor.

But is it?

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Barack Obama: Bat Boy?


Is Barack Obama the Bat Boy?

What a Letdown


You may imagine my excitement when I opened my latest shipment from Amazon.

Sadly, though, the package did not contain any high explosives.

Pity.  I could have really used them.

Eternally Badass

Representing the USA in four events, including the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, will be Dana Torres – back for her fifth showing at the Olympics (from the NYT):

Torres had secured a berth on her fifth Olympic team Friday with a victory in the 100 freestyle. Her time of 53.78, remarkable for a 41-year-old mother of a 2-year-old, is nearly a half-second slower than the third-fastest time in the world this year.

She is simply an amazing, amazing swimmer.  One to watch for sure.