Question about healthcare.

Here’s a question I’d be interested in responses about. Liberals/Democrats often complain that we don’t have “Universal Healthcare” in the US. I think the accepted definition of this is “free healthcare for everyone provided by the government” and of course the government is funded by taxpayers (us). Smoking accounts for a significant percentage of this country’s health care costs each year (8% of an individual’s health care costs – tens of billions of dollars according to

So, my question is this. If we the taxpayers were to start paying for one another’s health care, do we have the right to demand that the people we’re paying for not smoke? I don’t smoke, is it fair that I pay for the health care of someone who does? Or, assuming we do have the right to demand people not smoke (presumably by making it illegal, since healthcare becomes a federal government program) what else can we make illegal? Eating at McDonald’s? Football? Skydiving?

Obviously when we start making things illegal, we start to trample on civil liberties, which is something liberals typically stand up for (as do I). So, I guess the answer is, under universal health care it is expected that people who go to the gym and eat right must pay the health care costs of people who don’t take care of themselves. Is that right?

More rumors – Microsoft to buy Yahoo?

I guess $80 billion isn’t enough. This would be crazy if it ever happened. A clear squareoff then between Microsoft-Yahoo and Google.

I hope it doesn’t happen because I really like Yahoo. They acquired some breakthrough companies like flickr and while Google bough up a few noteable flops…

  • Urchin Software which later became Google Analytics which had to shut down to new users not long after they released because they couldn’t scale (as I experienced).
  • Dodgeball which I presume no one uses since I use it only 2-3 times a week and am consistenly among the top 15 users in Seattle (and I know 7-8 of the other top users).
  • Picassa which I installed but don’t use and have no idea how it will make them any money.
  • Deja which was a sweet acquisition in theory because it brought us Google Groups but ended up being painful because people couldn’t actually post to newsgroups for years after the acquisition (which they could do with the original Deja, pre-acquisition).
  • Google has also built some lame things. Orkut never really caught on compared to Friendster, MySpace, FaceBook, LinkedIn and all the others. Their RSS reader has some cool features, but is ugly. GMail is pretty cool but at the end of the day they’re way behind hotmail and yahoo mail in terms of users.

To Google’s credit, their acquisition of Pyra (which brought us Blogger) was probably pretty good. Where 2 Technologies, which helped give us Google Maps is awesome (“Double True!”). To the extent that Sprinks helped with AdSense that may have been a strong acquisition too.

But, I have lately felt that Yahoo! “gets it” a little better when it comes to acquisitions… possibly because the last two have been great companies. As long as they don’t screw it up they’re on the right track.

Facts about Chuck Norris

Apparently these are circulating via e-mail, but they’re also on several blogs.

A few of my favorites:

  • Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
  • If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can’t see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.
  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
  • The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
  • Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
  • Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse… horses are hung like Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.


Schulte has pressured me to create a blog entry about going to Vegas in March. Since we don’t communicate verbally, and aren’t even good at communicating via e-mail, we’ll do it bloggy-style (shoot me for writing that) and discuss the trip in the comments. As far as I know, Schulte and his wife are in, Callahan and his fiancee are in, and Marysharon and I are in assuming we can work it so it doesn’t conflict with our trip to Costa Rica.

If I recall from the last time we tried to plan a trip to Vegas, we’d agreed on everything but no one wanted to be the first to buy a ticket. Why? Because we know each of us are jerks, and if someone buys a ticket, the next two guys will buy a ticket for a different weekend, leaving the first person hung out to dry. Or, the other two may not buy tickets at all. Maybe now that we each have companions there will be less of a fear of that. Or maybe not.

Who’s in for Vegas? When are we going?