Saturday, October 25, 2008

Corporate Greed is Killing Health Care

Do you ever wonder why health care costs so damned much? It's probably all of those overpaid doctors, right? Do you know who has the best suits and shoes in the house? The pharmaceutical representatives and GE executives. Those nice people that pass through the hospital on Monday morning with printed marketing banter and a box of stale donuts.

Why are we paying out so much for "healthcare IT solutions"? Health care has turned into a cash machine for certain entities who continually sell hospitals trash in a box and string them along looking for pay-up upgrades and enhancements. I'm talk to you Phillips. I'm talking to you GE.

How much should someone pay for a Dell workstation, loaded with Windows 2000 server, running a Java application that was poorly coded by Russians? How can a support team for such an expensive product actually recommend scheduled server reboots to make up for the memory leaks in their applications?

When is someone going to step forward and say "this is all bullshit!". The problem here is greed. In the past when better solutions were developed in the name of "open source", those solutions end up being bought by ... GE and Phillips.

Fuck you GE. I'm not buying your light bulbs. We end up finding fixes to your products for you. All that money we pay in support for your product should come with rebates every time we have to fix something ourselves and then tell you how we did it.

Stop raping hospitals.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Corporate Greed is killing Aid

A long, long, time ago a guy by the name of Nixon sat down and spoke about the privatization of health care. The topic was "HMO's". Nixon opposed the idea and thought it would be odd to give corporations the ability to decide what level of care is necessary to remain profitable. But Nixon will forever be remembered as a thief and liar. So piss on him.

There was this other guy that people called Ike. He warned us of the military industrial complex. Nobody really understood what the hell he was talking about. He was old, and leaving his term as president. He was probably just grouchy. Who cares if our military outsources work. If they are paying someone else to do the dirty work, they must be saving money and freeing up troops. What the hell would a General know about military work anyway. Piss on him.

Privatizing makes money! It's good for the economy. Why have departments playing around with Federal aid money when we can gamble it into stocks and make some REAL MONEY. Think of all the jobs we can generate from that money. Moneys not the only thing that matters in a corporation. There is also ... well ...

That takes me to Fannie and Freddie. Two agencies started to help out people in danger of losing their homes. It was a good idea, and it was assembled during the depression when people really, really, needed it. Then in 1970 the decision was made to let these agencies gamble the governments aid money. So how does an agency that offers aid do "well"? They bail out more people and spend more money. But those people we helped will pay us back, right? Oh wait. They're broke. And now so are we.

Now the bad news. Who is going to bail them out? You are. Your tax-payer funds. I feel the governments pain on this one, because they don't want the innocents who *work* for these agencies to be laid off. These folks were actually doing their jobs. But what about the CEO's who squandered funds in large amounts to bad investments? Shouldn't they be held accountable for these actions? No. Rather, they are asking for 24 million which they have "earned" in severance pay. And who is paying their severance? YOU ARE.

Why do I bring this all up? Because while people are watching Sarah Palin play with her glasses and grapple guns in Newsweek - issue like this don't even make the front page.

See for yourself.

When will we learn that "corporations" are not the answer to anything but greed and corruption?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Corporate Greed Killed The Saturday Matinee

It used to be when you went into a movie theater before the show, you had half an hour or so to watch the same 12 slides or so run through a carousel style projector. It was usually out of focus and featured archaic trivia about movies from another generation. These days, you are treated to a special "before the show" ... show. This blatant and pathetic advertisement is an attempt to get you to buy a car, watch some really bad television shows, and perhaps go shopping.

But before you know it, the movie has started. Or rather, another parade of previews has begun. It's nice that I paid $19 to watch all of these commercials and to subject my children to R rated movie trailers for R rated films.

Now I can sink back in my seat, and watch Iron Man talk on his LG phone, drive his Mustang, drink a Coke, and make the best use of his Cisco networking equipment and his Apple Macintosh.

I suppose the studios want you to believe that they need to resort to selling all of this advertising space because of all the piracy going around.

I don't buy it.

Corporate Greed Killed Customer Service

Remember the last time you called a company for support and a friendly person answered the phone? We're getting to the point now where out-sourcing customer service is no longer the problem - it's automated prompts that are taking over.

Take the case of Virgin Mobile. When you call their toll free number, the phone is answered by Simone. Simone is the voice of a young "urban" woman who spits slang and always sounds like she is on the verge of laughter. I'm not sure who had the idea for this marketing disaster but I am betting it was a group of corporate suits who figured that this was just what the MTV generation wanted. Here's a question for them. When a young "urban" teen calls in for technical support, do they even want to talk to Simone? Something tells me that the rudest and goofiest sounding teenager still demands a little bit of professionalism when they are calling to get assistance with poor service.

I bought my son a Virgin Mobile phone for Christmas this year. It was a pre-paid deal. I think I am lucky because it's the most awful customer service experience I have ever paid witness to. The worst I am out, is the $100 dollars I paid for the phone and about $20 in minutes. The phone stopped working in February, and I call in every couple of weeks to get assistance. The help is always the same. "Let's reprogram your phone, and then wait four to eight hours". Now they tell me "you might want to "top up" your phone ... because your minutes have expired". But I can't even call Customer Service with this phone, or use the crippled menus on the phone to order more minutes for it. And frankly, why would I want to? You sold me a phone which only half-worked for two months and then quit. Now you want more of my money? That's not going to happen.

My next pre-paid purchase will surely be a Verizon phone, as they seem to be the lesser of all cellular evils. When you call them and get a live person (which is not very difficult) they always tell you "thank you for calling Verizon where you are our number one priority". It's a little lame, and I'll bet the customer service representatives get sick of saying that 5,000 times a day. But it's a welcome change to the alternative ... Simone spitting slang and laughing at me. I wonder how long that service will last before it's replaced with automated prompt disasters?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Corporate Greed Killed the Electric Car

I watched a documentary last night called "who killed the electric car". It seemed rather obvious to me. Corporate Greed killed it. GM was forced into designing an electric car by a panel in California who were in charge of creating cleaner air. When GM fought back and *claimed* that they couldn't reasonably build an electric car that people would want - the panel gave into them. The head of this panel then went on to join a group that was working on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Normally you would say "the jokes on you, a hydrogen fuel cell car will never be made affordable". But the whole project is made possible with funding from oil companies. Why would oil companies fund a project to create a cheaper alternative to their overpriced product? Because they are funding the impossible to string you along.

Oil companies want you to believe that they are working on finding alternatives to high priced fossil fuels.

* Hydrogen cars cost $1 million to produce
* Creating hydrogen fuel from water, takes 3 times the electricity that a battery would use to carry a car the same distance
* Ethanol is a waste of good corn, and requires so much corn that farmers will eventually damage their fields (draining the dirt of nutrition that the crops need)
* Sugar is a far better source than corn for fuel - but that comes from overseas

The best alternative to paying too much for gas, is to limit the profits allowed by the oil companies. But as long as the oil companies are lining the pockets of your politicians - that will never happen.

My Volkswagen is 40 years old (happy birthday). It gets 32 miles to the gallon. Shouldn't modern vehicles be getting better fuel economy than that?

Corporate Greed is Killing Your Cell Phone

I just un-boxed a new Palm Treo phone Monday so that I could activate it and synchronize it with our Exchange Server for a doctor. It was running Windows Mobile 2005. For those keeping track, Windows Mobile is up to version 6.1. This was a Verizon serviced phone but our other local cellular provider, Embarq, will also sell you a brand new phone with a three year old operating system.

Microsoft discontinued version 5.0 for several reasons. The primary reason was to create a new product with a few new features so that they could raise the cost of licensing. If you have used Windows Mobile 5.0, you all ready know the other reasons that they did away with it. It's slow as molasses and it's so loaded with bugs that you will find yourself soft-booting your phone at least once or twice a day.

So why do you have a brand new phone with a three year old operating system? Because cell phone companies and Microsoft both behave like greedy little children. In the end, it's you that is losing for having to carry around a failed product in your pocket.

If you are a victim, do yourself a favor and head over to You will find that many have resorted to downloading bootlegged and unsupported operating systems for their phones so that they can make simple phone calls.