Healthcare Reform thoughts

Ok, so the town-hall shouters are not helpful in any way, so I pose this question to you, my intelligent peers, friends and family. Grandma’s not going to be killed by a death panel, we’re not plotting the destruction of the private insurance sector, and medicare isn’t going to get killed off next year. What are the actual issues of this reform bill? I find it hard to believe that the bill is so perfect that the only arguments against it are imaginary ones. Surely there are actual points to debate and try to get changed before this bill gets passed?

Feel free to retweet this, I want to get as many opinions as I can. http://twitter.com/iotashan/status/3313014450

PayPal resolution center is useless

Twice now, I’ve had companies where I paid for services via PayPal. Last year, I was co-locating one of my servers with FDC Servers. They decided one day to unplug my server and throw it in a closet, and hold it hostage for an evening. Needless to say, I canceled my service and moved it to a datacenter in Madison. The following month, they decided to continue charging me for a service I had canceled a month prior, through PayPal. I filed a dispute with PayPal, and after a month, I got the verdict that they couldn’t help me because my claim was not for a physical item. Screwed by FDC, screwed by PayPal.

More recently, I made the mistake of trying to get iStockphoto to honor their return policy. They refused, and said to file a complaint with PayPal. I did, and again, PayPal waited a month to tell me that they couldn’t help because there was no physical item. Double-screwed again.

Here’s a screenshot of the resolution center options, when you try to file a claim:

PayPal Resolution Center

PayPal Resolution Center

As you can see, you can only dispute if a physical item doesn’t arrive as promised, or if someone has fraudulently accessed your account. With iStockphoto’s return policy scam, I called PayPal, and was assured that even though there was no option for a virtual good in the dispute center, each claim would be reviewed properly. Obviously this is not the case, given PayPal’s reply to my claim:

Unfortunately, we were unable to resolve this claim in your favor because the item purchased was virtual or intangible. As a result, we have not taken any action against the seller at this time but we have noted your dissatisfaction in the seller’s record for future reference.

Thanks for nothing, PayPal.

No, the other pedal on the left!

I was out running some errands, and saw this:

I noticed an elderly person being helped into a police car, too. One can only assume they were the driver. From the gas station across the street, one of the attendants mentioned her husband (or was it boyfriend?) was the manager of the Batteries Plus, and he said nobody was injured.

Neat cooking website for those who don’t know how

I “cook”

I “cook” things like Mac & Cheese, and I’ve started to dabble into baking from baking mixes. I want to cook more, but I just don’t know how.

Today, thanks to Digg, I came across startcooking.com. After just a quick glance, I can see they’ve overcome the hurtle of most cookbooks… they actually explain and demonstrate how to do things. No more reading a cookbook and wondering things like “what the hell does fluff with a fork really mean? When do I know it’s been properly fluffed?”

I think I’m going to have to make a trip to the grocery store.

CNBC vs Ron Paul’s supporters

I’ve been following Ron Paul for awhile. Very interesting fellow with very interesting ideas. He has an amazing following, obviously consisting of a younger, computer-savvy generation.

I was reading some random blog complaining about how CNBC did an after-debate poll online to see who won. Ron Paul was ahead with somewhere around 75% of the vote, and then CNBC took the poll down. Cue the outrage and conspiracy theories from the Paulies (yes, they have a term), and the obligatory YouTube videos and other memes. Now you have to take all that with a grain of salt, but then I found CNBC’s official response…

http://www.iotashan.com/blog/admin/entry.cfm?id=0

Some of you Ron Paul fans take issue with my decision to take the poll down. Fine. When a well-organized and committed “few” can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many,” I get a little worried. I’d take it down again.

Sincerely,

Allen Wastler
Managing Editor, CNBC.com

The hypocrisy of the statement is almost hidden by it’s candy irony shell. Never do they claim that people had figured out how to vote multiple times. Nowhere do they prove that there was some giant “Let’s stuff CNBC’s poll” conspiracy that was planned before the debate. All that happened was that Ron Paul’s supporters showed up to actually support him, and the other candidates’ supporters didn’t.

Last I heard, that was how voting works. One vote per person, until the time is up. If you don’t show up and vote, your vote doesn’t count. There’s not supposed to be some administrative body that decides that too many of one person’s supporters have shown up, and turn them away because they’re not “real” votes.

The truly criminal part of this whole situation is that later on in the evening, on live news, they cite results from the online poll, and don’t mention Ron Paul at all. Now, if Allen was truly being objective as he implies, they would have thrown out the entire poll, not just the results he didn’t like.

It appears that Ron Paul has found a following the likes of Apple’s or Colbert’s cults. In fact, if this writer’s strike ends before the elections, I’m sure Paul will be doing Colbert’s show again.

It’s rather fascinating… Paul has all these supporters, yet he barely acknowledges them, only mentioning them when the press asks. I have a feeling he keeps his distance from them because he doesn’t really know what they might be capable of, and is worried that they might do something against election laws. I think that is a smart position, but unnecessary. We’ll see what the Paulies are really capable of come January.