Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Maine doctor has stopped accepting any insurance, posts his prices online, and is doing fine.

The future? A Maine doctor has stopped accepting any insurance, posts his prices online, and is doing fine.

the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls. “I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,” Ciampi said. “If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.” Ciampi expects more doctors will follow suit. Some may choose to run “concierge practices” in which patients pay to keep a doctor on retainer, he said.

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To the horror of global warming alarmists, the climate refuses to warm.

To the horror of global warming alarmists, the climate refuses to warm.

For those who are regular readers here at Behind the Black, none of the data described by Peter Ferrara in this article will be a surprise. I have been reporting these facts for years. However, the article provides a nice outline of what we know, and includes this sentence near the end that sums up the true problem we face:

Has there ever in history been such an almighty disconnect between observable reality and the delusions of a political class that is quite impervious to any rational discussion?

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Why are liberals so rude to the right?

“Why are liberals so rude to the right?”

This column was published not by the right but by the very leftwing Guardian. It has been years since I’ve seen a leftwing publication willing to let these kinds of questions be asked. Could we finally be seeing a crack in the wall of silence that the left has erected since the 1990s to protect itself?

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The bankruptcy of modern journalism.

The bankruptcy of modern journalism.

The story focuses on CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few establishment reporters willing to do some hardnosed investigation of the Obama administration, and the rumors that say she might be dumped by CBS because of this. Key quote, from her:

“[The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I’m the only reporter — as they told me — that is not reasonable,” Attkisson told Ingraham. “They say The Washington Post is reasonable, the L.A. Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.”

Reporters should always be unreasonable when responding to the talking points of politicians. That so many establishment news outlets today try to be “reasonable” while condemning the few reporters who are tough tells us that this industry has been co-opted and is no longer trustworthy.

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“Are these people [bloggers and tweeters] journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”

A Democratic Senator analyzes the First Amendment: “Are these people [bloggers and tweeters] journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”

Yeah, makes sense. Protect some people, but really, no one ever thought the first amendment applied to those people.

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Meteorologist Joe Bastardi: Blaming turbulent weather on global warming Is extreme nonsense.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi: Blaming turbulent weather on global warming is extreme nonsense.

Be sure to read the interview all the way through. The second half is especially devastating in its educated attack on the global warming crowd.

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The stupidity of gun free zones.

The stupidity of gun free zones.

On Monday, May 20, Dan was teaching gym and carrying his handgun in an inside-the-waistband hip holster. So, there was zero chance that his gun would fall out of his holster or hurt his students and a 100 percent chance that Daniel could defend his students if a gunman breached the school. Daniel is highly competent with firearms; he practices at the range monthly and also takes yearly classes to advance his firearm skills.

Another teacher observed what must have been the silhouette of Daniel’s handgun beneath his clothes while he was actively teaching his students. This teacher-observer panicked and told the principal that Daniel had a gun. Without investigating, the principal immediately called the police. Despite the fact that Daniel is a concealed-carry permit holder with a spotless record, the police arrested him for carrying in a “gun free zone.”

A few police officers tried to remove Daniel’s gun from his holster and were unable so Daniel had to tell them how. Which, again, speaks to how secure Daniel’s gun was at his side. To reiterate, there was no chance that his gun would endanger children; there was a very large chance that Daniel could use his gun to save their lives. The Wichita Police Department is a 12-minute drive and seven miles away from White Elementary. In the event of a mass attack, hundreds of defenseless children and teachers could be killed before the cops would arrive.

The man stands to go to jail, for doing nothing more than being prepared to defend the lives of the children he teaches.

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The state of Illinois illegally enters a beekeepers’ property, confiscates his bees, and destroys them.

The state of Illinois illegally enters a beekeepers’ property, confiscates his bees, and destroys them.

The story is very complicated, as the state believed the bees were infected with a disease that could spread to other bees. Nonetheless, they entered private property without permission or warrant, and took private property without permission.

Read the whole thing. It illustrates the complexity of freedom and law, while also showing the risks inherent with giving up our rights, even when it appears to be a good idea.

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Who are the real climate deniers?

Who are the real climate deniers?

I very much dislike the use of the term “deniers”, no matter who it is applied to, since it lowers the civility of the discussion. Nonetheless, the article is a nice thumbnail summary of the climate field, both in terms of the players as well as the areas of uncertainty and confusion. It also provides a clear illustration of the contrast between the two sides and how they tend to discuss these issues, best summarized by this quote:

It is also telling that in a radio debate between Harris [the skeptic] and Rhynas [the global warming advocate] that took place following Rhynas’s initial presentation, the former agreed to take questions from the public but the latter refused.

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The Virginia veteran who was arrested simply because of his political posts on Facebook has sued the police and other government workers over his arrest.

Pushback: The Virginia veteran who was arrested simply because of his political posts on Facebook has sued the police and other government workers over his arrest.

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How a high school band triumphed over a bureaucracy and union that tried to kill it.

How a high school band triumphed over a bureaucracy and union that tried to kill it.

The kids took to their social media of choice, Facebook, condemning the teacher’s union with harsh, sometimes obscene, language. On the afternoon they were supposed to report to the school library instead of the band room, they staged a mass sit-in on the concrete steps that led to the band room. The local newspaper went wild with letters of complaint from parents and community members.

The union reps went on damage control. Their goal, they insisted, was not to hurt the kids. They told the local volunteer choir director, whose class they had also forced into cancellation, that they did it “for the good of the kids,” arguing that only credentialed teachers should be allowed to teach children.

But here’s where this sad saga turns more sensible. [emphasis mine]

I want to note the anger the teenagers felt toward the union. Seems the union kinda shot itself in the foot. These kids will think badly of unions for the rest of their lives.

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Sunjammer, NASA’s next solar sail experiment.

Sunjammer, NASA’s next solar sail experiment.

Though the article headline focuses on the addition of space weather instruments to this solar sail, the article says very little about those instruments. One, Swan, is described as a “wind instrument”, which probably means it would study the solar wind. The other instrument would study the Earth’s magnetic field. Both instruments are needed to track the effect of the Sun on local space weather, since the one satellite we have to do this, Ace, is now more than a decade past its expiration date.

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Coming: A two-tiered health care system.

Coming: A two-tiered health care system.

As the article notes, this process is only being accelerated by the implementation of Obamacare, and is the result of third-parties interfering in the relationship of doctors and patients. Obamacare, however, will finish the process, condemning most Americans to bureaucratic medicine. slow, inefficient, and badly done.

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The House Ways and Means committee request for information from anyone targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is apparently bearing fruit.

The House Ways and Means committee request for information from anyone targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is apparently bearing fruit.

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, a member of Ways and Means, confirmed to The Washington Examiner on Thursday that the evidence being sent to the committee includes secret recordings with IRS officials. This information comports with legal sources who have clients who believe they were targeted by the IRS because they are politically active conservatives who opposed President Obama’s re-election.

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Solar Impulse has completed the second leg of its journey to fly across the United States powered only by the sun.

Solar Impulse has completed the second leg of its journey to fly across the United States powered only by the sun.

The Solar Impulse has broken its own record for the longest distance flight of a solar-powered aircraft following the second leg of its journey across the USA. Solar Impulse touched down in Texas at 1:08 a.m. local time after a flight of 18 hours 21 minutes having covered at least 868 miles (1,397 km). Two different distances have been reported for the flight. The Solar Impulse website says the flight “amounted” to 868 miles (1,397 km). However, according to a Phys.org report, Solar Impulse covered a distance of 1,541 km (which it rounds to 950 miles, though this is not the precise conversion).

It is thought the two distances exist because the plane actually lost ground during part of its flight due to headwinds.

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New details about Stratolaunch, its gigantic carrier airplane, the largest ever built, and the rocket that it will carry.

New details about Stratolaunch, its gigantic carrier airplane, the largest ever built, and the rocket that it will carry.

Like SpaceX’s Grassshopper, the goal here is to make the first stage completely reusable, thereby reducing the cost of launch significantly.

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