Thursday, October 24, 2013

Episode 133, Obamacare as a Technology Disaster

I call it OTIS--Obamacare Technology Information System. As an IT project, OTIS is a failure.

Large software projects often fail. They commonly wind up way over budget, way behind schedule, and well short of functionality goals. Many end up abandoned entirely.

That's the history of computer programming, going back to the earliest days. Surprisingly, things haven't improved that much over time. Even today you will find failed efforts that in hindsight should never have been attempted, at least under the circumstances.

Obamacare as a technology effort will write another chapter in the history of failed software projects. With interfaces to large, complex, and poorly understood government systems, OTIS is much more than a website. OTIS is a major system layered atop multiple other systems. The goals for OTIS were overly ambitious, the timeline ridiculously tight, and the leadership lousy at all levels. We know this, because that's always the case when something as big and messy as OTIS crashes.

If you've ever been a programmer on a large project, you can imagine what it was like for the OTIS project team. They were on a death march. Everyone working heads down, writing code, testing code, logging errors--watching the list of problems grow as the go-live deadline loomed. And on the fateful day, holding their collective breaths, watching it all collapse.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Episode 132, From ObamaCare to Death Camps

Ok, an extreme theme for this podcast.

Obamacare is here. It's still somewhat theoretical given the startup failures of the insurance exchanges. So far there's not a lot to like if you are one of the 40+ million without healthcare insurance. Go ahead and sign up, we dare you.  (It doesn't work, I tried it!)

But as we are constantly reminded, Obamacare is "the law of the land." Illegitimately rendered law, perhaps, but oh, it's the law. Except when the Chief Executive issues thousands of waivers and delays the employer mandate with the stroke of a pen.

Keep in mind that the real goal here is total government control of the health care apparatus in America. This is the prize, folks. Extinguishing the last beacon of liberty (faded as it is) and revving up the best and final socialist experiment on Earth is the goal. With total control of health care, you get total control of nutrition--the food supply--and mental health--the definition of what is sane (supporting your government) and insane (opposing it).

Resist if you like, but under penalty of fines, and threat of physical incarceration. If you resist the state, you must go to a re-education camp. And if you continue to resist while in camp, you may be shot "while attempting to escape".

There are two sustainable political systems in this world—one based on liberty and self-reliance, the other based on totalitarianism. Every system in between is transitional. You are either moving towards more liberty or more totalitarianism. I know where I’d rather be. How about you?

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Also, as briefly discussed in the podcast, Matt Bracken speculates here and here that Obama may use the debt ceiling-induced government "shutdown" as an excuse to turn off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT cards, provoking riots across the country, so that he can invoke national emergency powers. We will soon see. (Links courtesy of Western Rifle Shooters Association.)
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