Daily Archives: April 15, 2016

The Beginning Of The End For Obamacare

You can’t say UnitedHealth didn’t warn us.

* * *

Tracking the slow motion trainwreck of Obamacare has become one of our preferred hobbies: below is just a random sample of headlines covering just the most recent tribulations of the “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” Unaffordable Care Act:

But the most surprising article we wrote was our explanation from last November explaining why “Your Health Insurance Premiums Are About To Go Through The Roof” showing that even insurance companies have been unable to earn a profit under Obamacare, as shown in the following chart:

 

This was a stunning revelation because, after all, the Affordable Care Act was largely drafted by the insurance industry itself, and if for whatever reason, it itself was unable to capitalize on Obamacare, then it has truly been a disaster.

It all came to a head in late November of last year when none other than the U.S.’s biggest health insurer, UnitedHealth, cut its 2015 earnings forecast with a warning that it was considering pulling out of Obamacare, just one month after saying it would expand its presence in the program. At the time UnitedHealth Group said it would scale back marketing efforts for plans it’s selling this year under the Affordable Care Act, and may quit the business entirely in 2017 because it has proven to be more costly than expected.

In a statement, UnitedHealth said that “the company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.”

Needless to say, the implications for Obamacare – which had seen a surge in problems over the past year – were dire: As Bloomberg reported at the time, “a pull-back would deal a significant blow to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. While UnitedHealth has been slower than some of its rivals to sell Obamacare policies since new government-run marketplaces for the plans opened in late 2013, the announcement may indicate that other insurers are struggling.”

“If one of the largest and presumably, by reputation and experience, the most sophisticated of the health plans out there can’t make money on the exchanges, then one has to question whether the exchange as an institution is a viable enterprise,” Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst at Mizuho Securities said at the time. UnitedHealth further said it suspended marketing its individual exchange plans and is cutting or eliminating commissions for brokers who sell the coverage.

Fast forward to today, this largest U.S. health insurer, announced it has decided to pull the plug on two state Obamacare markets.

continue http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-08/beginning-end-obamacare-largest-us-health-insurer-exits-georgia-arkanasas

Categories: Uncategorized

Addressing climate change is not about saving the planet

Categories: Uncategorized

The Fight for the Future of NPR

160408_TECH_radiolede

Animations by Lisa Larson-Walker. Images via Flickr CC.

One day in May 2015, Eric Nuzum stood before a gathering of influential NPR trustees and board members, and showed them a photograph of a young woman with shoulder-length brown hair. “This is Lara,” Nuzum’s slide read. “Lara is the future of NPR.”

Leon NeyfakhLEON NEYFAKH

Leon Neyfakh is a Slate staff writer.

“NPR’s mission must be to serve that woman the way we served her parents,” Nuzum remembers saying. “Nothing else matters.”

 

At the time, Nuzum was NPR’s head of programming. The presentation, which he delivered at a meeting of the NPR Foundation, was meant to drive home his most closely held belief about public radio: that young people have different habits, expectations, and aesthetic inclinations than the millions of loyal listeners NPR has been serving since its birth in 1971. “Lara” was a stand-in for an audience that NPR was failing to attract—according to one analysis, the median age of NPR’s radio audience has steadily climbed from roughly 45 years old two decades ago to 54 last year—and one it would need to reach in order to guarantee its survival.

 

What Nuzum didn’t say during his presentation was that, one day earlier, he had decided to end his decade-long career at NPR and sign a contract with the Amazon-owned audiobook company Audible. Nuzum’s job there would be to develop a slate of original programming that would give Audible a stake in the tantalizing new market for audio storytelling. Although the NPR Foundation people didn’t know it yet, the man who was warning them about needing to win over Lara had just been stolen away by a corporate audio giant.

continue http://tinyurl.com/j69uz65

Categories: Uncategorized

Dark web mapping reveals that half of the content is legal

A recent global survey commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) showed that seven in ten (71%) global citizens say the “dark net” – “an area of the internet only accessible via special web browsers that allow you to surf the web anonymously” – should be shut down.

The Centre doesn’t say whether the polled individuals were made aware of what the “dark net” is and is used for (illegal things, but also to keep journalists, human rights activists, dissidents and whistleblowers safe while they are trying to carry out their job/mission) before answering the question. If not, it may be assumed that most of them have heard only about the illegal stuff effected with it.

At this point, though, I have to stop and clarify several things. The dark web exists on a variety of dark nets. Some are small, “private” peer-to-peer networks, others are large networks operated by public organizations and individuals (think Tor, Freenet, I2P). But the terms “dark web” and “dark net” are often (erroneously) used interchangeably.

I’m going to take a wild stab and say that when those who performed the aforementioned survey really meant “dark web” instead of “dark net,” and possibly some of the polled individuals thought the same, but in either case the results would likely be similar, if not the same.

continue http://tinyurl.com/hnn3d86

Categories: Uncategorized

American Alcohol Has To Be Radioactive

Categories: Uncategorized

“The System Is Rigged, It’s Crooked”: They Are Letting Us Know Our Vote Doesn’t Count

 

This article was written by Nick Bernabe and originally published at The Anti-Media.org.

Editor’s Comment: It’s all rigged, they control the party and select the candidate, and voting is little more than a charade. Only now, it isn’t just outside dissenters crying foul at the corrupt and undemocratic voting process – it is being openly admitted.

The two-party dictatorship has faced challenges by Trump and Bernie with grassroots supporters, and they are letting everyone know who holds the control over the White House – and all other elections for office by extension.

Your sense that the game is rigged and choices offered only to give you motivation and direction has been validated, and rubbed in your face. Look any casino, the House always wins, but the game is enticing enough to keep them all coming back to open up their wallets.

2016: The Year the Americans Found out Our Elections Are Rigged

Op-Ed by Nick Bernabe

“Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. senators and congress members.” – Former President Jimmy Carter

The 2016 election has been a wild ride, with two insurgent grassroots campaigns literally giving the political establishment a run for its money. But as the events of this presidential primary season play out, it’s becoming clear the U.S. election — and even more so, the presidential race — is a big scam being perpetrated on the American people.

Events from the last week have exposed the system as an illusion of choice and a farce. They have reinforced at least one study showing the U.S. is an oligarchy rather than a democratic republic.

The Wyoming democratic caucus took place on Saturday, purportedly to allow voters to have their voices heard in the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders lost the Wyoming caucus by winning it with a 12 percent margin.

Wait, what?

How does one lose by winning 56 percent of the votes? This happens when the political process is, according to the New York Post, “rigged” by superdelegates. The Post summed up this “strange” phenomenon:

“[U]nder the Democratic Party’s oddball delegate system, Sanders’ winning streak — he has won seven out of the past eight contests — counts for little.

“In fact, despite his win, he splits Wyoming’s 14 pledged delegates 7 to 7 under the caucus calculus.

“Clinton, meanwhile, also gets the state’s four superdelegates — who had already pledged their allegiance to her in January. So despite ‘losing,’ she triumphs 11-7 in the delegate tally.

continue http://tinyurl.com/jc2em8g

Categories: Uncategorized

IBM’s Watson AI Implanted Into a Robot, Evolves, Can Now Sense Emotions

Artificial intelligence is sort of the holy grail of computing, and while we may never reproduce the human brain or it’s capabilities in their entirety in electronic form, the world’s brightest minds are now capable of creating rather convincing systems that are beginning to learn more sophisticated concepts and even learn on their own. IBM is proving that with its constantly improving Watson cognitive computing technology, which one day might have us struggling to perceive the line between artificial and organic intelligence.You might be surprised at the progress that’s been made. In the early 1990s, Creative Labs bundled an amusing bit of software with its Sound Blaster card called Dr. Sbaitso. It was an AI speech synthesis program that interacted with end users as a psychologist, and while it was never meant to be taken seriously, it provided an early glimpse of where AI was headed.
Read more at http://hothardware.com/news/ibms-watson-cognitive-ai-platform-evolves-senses-feelings-and-dances-gangnam-style#TpVF8QB6t8AfazVU.99

Categories: Uncategorized

EU watchdogs demand revisions to Safe Harbour replacement

89212718_281905ea-4366-4477-a1a5-40de79c55ed0
Image caption Privacy regulators say they cannot accept the proposed data transfer pact in its current state

A panel of EU privacy watchdogs has demanded changes to a pact meant to govern cross-Atlantic data transfers.

The group urged the US and European Commission to revise and clarify several points in the proposed Privacy Shield agreement in order to safeguard EU citizens’ personal information.

The Privacy Shield is meant to replace an earlier data transfer pact called Safe Harbour.

Safe Harbour was invalidated by a court decision last year.

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party said it was still concerned about the possibility of “massive and indiscriminate” bulk collection of EU citizens’ data by the US authorities.

It added that it wanted further guarantees about the powers a US official would have to handle complaints from EU citizens.

“We believe that we don’t have enough security [or] guarantees in the status of the ombudsperson and in their effective powers to be sure that this is really an independent authority,” said Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the chairwoman of the group.

continue http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36036531

Categories: Uncategorized

CERN Physicist: We Have Done Something Evil & It Is Being Hidden

If the following report is to be believed, a physicist from CERN named Dr. Edward Mantill, a specialist in particle and subatomic research who studies “very very small” particle interaction, was involved in an incident at CERN on January 15, 2014 that may have secretly changed reality as we know it.

Many people are divided on the authenticity of this account as its origins are in dispute. Regardless, we are presenting it here for you to form your own opinion.


 

Dr. Mantill’s report states:

Most of you who have heard of CERN will have heard of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) the largest scientific instrument which exceeds 20 miles in diameter and travels under the sovereign territory of two countries (Switzerland, France). The public has been told that it was constructed at a cost of tens of billions of Euros for the purpose of studying the birth of the universe and the collisions that take place within the collider allow us a quick glimpse at certain phenomenon that can only be witnessed when particles hit one another at incredibly high rates. This is NOT what the machine was designed for, nor is it what the machine has been used for since it’s inception. CERN’s main purpose for building the Collider was too, well it was to open a door way. Allow me to explain: the doorway idea came into fruition in the 1960s.

After years and years of attempting to hide UFO phenomenon, including large scale and very public interactions such as the Roswell incident, and the Battle for Los Angeles incident well before that, the governments of the United States, Great Britain, and France decided to throw their weight behind the understanding of what precisely these objects were. The ideas flew far and wide. Were UFOs from another planet? Were they from another time? Or where they simply mass hysteria and mass delusion fueled by the overactive imagination of a public who were shit scared of communists and their technology? No, they were none of those. Our universe is but one page in a large book. Think of a closed book sitting on a table: you see each page stacked on top of one another, bound by the spine and sandwiched between the two covers. Our universe is but one page in a vast and all-encompassing book. And our page is certainly not the only one with rich, in depth thought and writing committed to it. Every page in the book represents a different dimension each with it’s own unique writing, own unique story, own unique way of isolating itself from the other pages. No page was to interact with the other, just as no ink bleeds from one page to another in a standard book. Each page, a universe unto itself.

continue http://www.topinfopost.com/2016/04/08/cern-physicist-we-have-done-something-evil-it-is-being-hidden

Categories: Uncategorized

This is The STUPIDEST Climate Change Hysteria Story of ALL TIME

too-hot-for-sex

The hands-down winner for the stupidest global-warming-hysteria story has to be the Australian broadcaster ABC.

They’ve decided that man-made global warming will stop women from wanting sex because they’ll just get too hot and sweaty.

I’m not kidding.

Their anecdotal evidence of this is that the birth rate rises ever so slightly during March. Meaning during the country’s winter months – June and July – it’s colder and people want to have more sex.

Women’s and Family Services acting director Keppel Schafer said the numbers were in line with the Sunshine Coast’s annual birth pattern.

And he said winter weather conditions were the reason behind last month’s baby boom.

continue http://tinyurl.com/jxy7q62

Categories: Uncategorized

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: