Jack Bauer

If Pop Culture Influenced Insurance Eligibility: Twelve Potential Reasons You Might Get Denied

Hat-tip ametrine of DelphiForums.

With healthcare and insurance reform still topping the charts as hot topics, Jimmy Wellington of The Fake News blog posted a good bit of snarky humor: Woman Denied Health Coverage After Chance Encounter With Jack Bauer

Below are the top 12 pre-existing conditions for which someone could get denied health coverage in Jimmy's piece -- but do go read the whole thing.

  1. Do you ever beam down to an alien planet while wearing a red shirt?
  2. Does your boyfriend or relative have supernatural powers that he uses to save innocent people on a regular basis?
  3. Do you do menial work for the Dharma Initiative?
  4. Is your best friend a werewolf?
  5. Are you a black person who finds themselves and their group of white friends in a scary or supernatural situation?
  6. Do you ever find yourself between Al Sharpton and a camera?
  7. When the entire world blacks out and sees 6 months into the future, did you see nothing?
  8. Does your school librarian keep many books about witchcraft, werewolves, and, most importantly, vampires?
  9. Have you recently seen a car with two good-looking FBI agents and a lot of sexual tension between them?
  10. Are you frequently in a car driven by a member of the Kennedy family?
  11. Have you seen a 1950’s British Police Box in your neighborhood – especially if you don’t live in the 1950s or Britain?
  12. Did you have a dream of you and all your friends dying in a horrible accident, but told everyone about your premonition and saved most of you?

I must say, perhaps I'm a tad prudish but I wasn't overly fond of the Kennedy reference -- p'raps because of the relatively recent passing of Senator Kennedy, and need for MA residents to elect someone to finish his term. But otherwise, my favorite references were the red-shirt and Doctor Who ones...yeah, I'm a sci-fi nut.

Anywho, those ought to give folks a few moments of illusory enjoyment before the crushing realities of the day encroach on our minds once again...

War on Terror? Torture? Prosecute Us?

There is an ongoing debate over the closing of America's most notorious detainment/torture center at Guantanamo and the legality and efficacy of using torture to extract "information" from detainees in that and other facilities.

In a piece in this morning's Washington Post titled Torture? Prosecute Us, Too Richard Cohen leads with this:

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." So goes an aphorism that needs to be applied to the current debate over whether those who authorized and used torture should be prosecuted. In the very different country called Sept. 11, 2001, the answer would be a resounding no.

Contrary to what has become the accepted noise, "the world" did not "change" on 9/11. Our laws, our treaties and international agreements as well as our values remained. We did not become a "very different country" on September 12, 2001 despite Mr. Cohen's (and others) claim.

In many ways it is our body of law that binds the past, present and future. The rule of law gives constancy to our "values." Laws may change but the process of change is, and should be reasoned and deliberate, not an impassioned reaction to the events of the day. That kind of reaction to the passions of the moment is the path of the lynch mob.