Monthly Archives: January 2014

IMpersonal responsibility

Here we have a woman celebrating the big Three-OH on a Carnival Cruise ship. Apparently she had a few too many, “leaned over” the guard rail to get a better look at the side of the ship (?) and after a 7-level drop to the sea at NIGHT was rescued by one of the ship’s launches. What is wrong with this story? The rescue took 90 minutes (MUCH better than NEVER) and she asserts that a bartender got her drunk so she is suing.

You reap what you sow

A little hopscotch on the order of events, here. Part of her suit alleges that Carnival does not have a man overboard (MOB) detection system. When I was on active duty, MOB detection was a shipmate who witnessed the event shouting “Man overboard, starboard side” (example) and pointing continuously in the direction of the MOB. Throw, Tow, Row, Go is the order of events for recovering an MOB on small vessels (I LOVE to sail).

Large vessels do not stop on a dime. Full stop on the engines and your inertia can still carry you a mile or more. Backing down on the engines will stop you sooner but the shudder from the asymmetrical torque on the hull can be tremendous so unless the passengers are warned that the ship will not come apart, you will have general panic among a couple of thousand people.

Okay, back to it. Ms. Kirby (plaintiff) alleges that it took too long for her friends to convince the Captain that there was a problem. Not to throw stones but:

A) where were they when she was leaning off into infinity
B) why did they let her drink so much
C) how coherent were they
D) how believable were thay
E) why was none of THEM making every effort to keep her in sight til the cavalry could come

I had an exercise in OCS (Officer Candidate School, Newport, RI) where the scenario was you are the captain of a vessel in a storm and a small girl approached you scared and crying and says ‘Captain, please go THAT way’. I doubt anyone would actually change course to calm a child, nor would they for a potentially inebriated passenger.

Does she have a case? Nah! Will carnival pay? Yeah, of course they will. Easier to settle a nuisance claim and get the press off your tail rather than be seen as the corporate giant beating up on this poor defenseless woman.

As for my title? At what point did we realize it is better to abrogate personal responsibility for EVERYTHING? My grandson played soccer for several seasons…only the parents were keeping score and of course EVERYONE got a participation trophy. People are unemployed or underemployed and that is the ‘fault’ of “the MAN” keeping them down so the haves have more and the have nots, not. We have gone from the twinky defense to a retired police officer shooting another movie goer over possible tossed popcorn and texting during the previews. Shot dead! The news is already abuzz with the stand your ground defense.

I was taught that if I made a mistake, own it and fix it. No excuse, no rationalization, no finger pointing. A friend of mine says everything after “I’m sorry” is bs. What we have is commonly called the Nixon Theorem: ‘he who can smile when things go wrong has found someone else to blame them on’. Pay attention, Washington!

Income inequality?

There has ALWAYS been a divide between people in terms of income and “status”.  Nobles and serfs, Chiefs and Braves, Officer and Enlisted…the “Haves and the “Have-nots”. Throughout time there have been those who had higher prestige and ability as compared to the others in their respective societies. In most instances this defines the “ruling class”, the elites with ability granted them by their status.

Noblesse Oblige was the French term for this apparent necessity on the part of those better off to provide for those who were not. Some gained their wealth through inheritance, others through ruthless endeavor whereas others through determination and hard work.

The summer I turned 16, I worked for the Neighborhood Youth Corps and was assigned to the summer camp I had attended since I was 8. I made $300 duckets and was damned proud of my accomplishments as an Assistant Reading Instructor, Math Tutor and Sailing Instructor…and any other task I was given. I bought a 10-speed! I bagged groceries in the supermarket for spare change and went to the movies and horseback riding in Pelham Bay Park with my earnings.

Did I moan about how much more the counselors or the sickbay staff were making? Did I complain about the inherent unfairness of ONLY 300 smackers? I worked student security (S.A.S.P. LIVES!) for 3 years in college as well as grounds keeping during the Summer for sub-minimum wage since I was a full-time student…STILL no bitching rights. Good money on Active Duty then two subsistence jobs before getting hired as a Security Officer (guard in lay terms)for two firms simultaneously. When I worked EMS, I was also an ER Tech, flew Search and Rescue for the Civil Air Patrol and was a freelance Flight Instructor. All concurrently.

The President gives flowery prose to the tangible items that can be easily seen as divisors to the populace. We do not need to be reminded that there are some who live better than others. I still see daily examples of how hard WORK and PERSEVERANCE pay off in elevating one’s position. I was talking to the custodial staff in a hospital one day about homes and mortgages and I remember his comment like it was yesterday “I clean toilets for a living” and he still managed to make ends meet.

It is not the work you do or how much you are compensated for it. It is what you do with that time and money. Do you make it useful and productive? Do you organize and concentrate your efforts so that your actions move you closer to your goals? Or are you like the lazy squirrel. There are many forms of this parable….this one works well for the current Administration.

A redistribution parable

Excerpt from President Obama’s 4 Dec 2013 Speech on the economy (emphasis added):

“…and that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: making sure our economy works for every working American. That’s why I ran for president. It was the center of last year’s campaign. It drives everything I do in this office.”

I thought the Affordable Care Act was the meat of his campaign…No, Immigration reform was the meat of his campaign…shazbot!…I get lost.

The entire speech is transcribed in the link below. Also of note is the two minutes or so extract where Mr. Obama goes to the old standby of bashing Republicans.

Full transcript of the President’s speech

Inequality or laziness?

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

― Margaret Thatcher

By the By, though Mr. Obama ordered the lowering of the American flag to Half-staff for Nelson Mandela, the same Honor was not afforded Mrs. Thatcher.

The symbolic lowering of the U.S. Flag

Just to set the record straight, Gov. Christie (R. NJ) ordered the state flag lowered for Whitney Houston, not The President.

Gov. Christie lowers flag for Whitney Houston

ANYwho…

I cannot say I am anywhere near “well-off”. I have a job, own a home (well, the BANK does…we are paying them off ;~), the vehicles are paid for with NO thoughts of getting another anytime soon and the bills get paid on time. How? By NOT racking them up! The lights are on, the heat works and I need fuel (tomorrow is payday and SamsClub’s pumps open at 0600). I have a playdate with the grandkids this weekend and am procrastinating on MY homework…oh, hell, I AM well off!

WHY are there ‘unintended consequences’?

My ex-wife was taught to drive by her father and, as such, was passed on the family tradition of hit your turn signal, GO IMMEDIATELY to the fast lane. I found that out the first time she drove me on I-8 in the middle of God’s expanse of nowhere. Oh-dark-thirty and I am curled up in the fetal position snoozing. You know how a strange change in sound or pressure wakes you up? I opened my eyes and was inches it seems from an 18-wheeler tire. I grabbed the wheel. When I asked her “WTF, over?” I got the 411. Needless to say, with rare exception, that was the LAST time she drove me anywhere.

That process eventually caught up with her dad who in his quest for the hammer lane got tapped by another motorist and wrapped his car around the guardrail. Fortunately he was fine. Vehicle totaled and he never drove again.

Why this trip down memory lane? On my way in to work this morning I heard a snippet of a news article on the radio talking about ‘unintended consequences’ of —-dagnabbit! Heck if I can remember! Well, pick one!

I assert that there are NO unintended consequences, none whatsoever. Unintended consequences is Washington-speak for ‘shit happens, didn’t you get the memo?’ What it really means is that someone got lazy and did not do their homework. If you have all these self proclaimed intelligent individuals with way more training and education than the average Jane and Joe how do they miss all the small things that coincidentally screw the common folk and leave them unscathed?

“Mr. Spock: Lieutenant, I am half-Vulcanian. Vulcanians do not speculate. I speak from pure logic. If I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity, I need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen.  (Star Trek, TOS, Court Martial)”

Lawmakers drop a hammer and expect it NOT to fall. When it does, they are astonished that it broke something, landed on a foot or cracked the handle on the solid surface. Every blessed time! Prior to a few years ago, can anyone recall ANY discussion of “unintended consequences”? ANYONE? I cannot. This is such an underhanded opportunity for the government to do whatever they want, regardless the outcome, and just shrug it off when the expected outcome occurs.

image

Congress: “WE can’t go on ObamaCare!”

Recall the articles about government fearing the loss of talented people if they were forced to abide by their own legislation? The ‘brain drain’ as it was called.  Can anyone please tell me what it is about the Public Sector that makes them feel so superior to everyone else? What makes their contribution to the society so much greater than anyone else’s so much so that the Affordable Care Act would cripple their ability to work effectively.

For that matter, what do they actually DO? We have already seen during the “shutdown” that there were hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work. Though I can sympathize with a lad or lass being furloughed, if your own boss thinks you are non-essential then what were you doing the rest of the year? Warming a seat or more likely filling a budgetary requirement. Then again, what use is a person who supervises or manages “non-essential” personnel?

The Navy had a budgetary process called OpTar (Operational Targeted money or words to that effect). There was a specific amount budgeted for xyz and if you did not use it ALL you got less next fiscal year. I submit that if government does not spend the money allocated for personnel they get less next cycle which means less spending authority for them. Sounds like a real good reason to fill every seat.

Just as the Sequester was a process suggested by the Administration and never intended to be used, we have so many facets of our government that are running independently as opposed to interdependently.

Sequestration’s unintended consequence per Rep Boehner

Sequestration ‘consequences’

We are talking about reducing a nearly $3.5 Trillion dollar budget by $85 Billion. The government spent more than that in the time it took me to write this blog entry!

Just consider the time, resources and money wasted in duplicated programs.

The government identifies waste through duplication

Here, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had identified waste in government. According to the opening statement, this is the third annual report prepared in 2013 which indicates they have submitted two others. At no point did government pay any attention to their own investigative bureau and trim the fat. The “unintended consequence” here is taxpayer dollars wasted in programs that were redundant leading to the “NEED” to increase revenues (aka TAXES) to make up the shortfall in government spending.

While perusing articles for another post I ran into this. It is actually entitled “the Unintended Consequences of expanding MediCaid”. JUST what I was talking about.

Medicaid expansion INCREASING Emergency Room visits

In short, the Affordable Care Act sought to minimize expensive and unnecessary ER visits. What many do not realize is that people routinely use the ER as their primary care provider vice seeing a physician or nurse practitioner in a clinic environment. Some for the urgency of the situation and others because they are planning on ditching the bill (I was an ER tech many moons ago and could hear multiple conversations in the Triage area. Not eavesdropping, just keeping an eye and ear out for any changes in my patient’s status).

SO! People wait til they are REALLY sick or just show up for any little ache and pain. A common quetion was “How long has this been bothering you?” A common answer was weeks, months, years. Those were patients expecting medication refills from the discharge pharmacy so they would not have to pay for them. Either way, the ER’s get saturated and hospitals get fined for having to divert ambulance patients. This makes an extremely unsafe environment for the REALLY needy people by having space being taken by those who are in no REAL distress.

Hospital overflow

Due to THIS “unintended consequence” we will have more people with coverage who have nowhere to go, since the government has enhanced the freebie program.

I would say I despise these guys (the GUB-MINT) but that would leave me nothing to write about, ja?

What could you do in 12 weeks that you could not do in 99?

Okay, you and I have been working our collective arses off busting a hump to keep the heat on, the car running and food on the table. Personally, I come in before my shift officially begins to try to catch up on things that cannot be done during the day…I just do not have the time.  Then I see the task board and have to stop, get my tough behind moving and do not have another opportunity til the end of shift. I still must ask myself why are we going to add yet another unfunded liability onto the already burgeoning debt. Next question? IF the chronically unemployed have had “emergency” aid to the tune of 99 weeks, what is another 12 going to accomplish? Last question? Whadda we do in 3 months when THAT expires?

The ball is rolling, you KNOW unemployment will pass

The six Republicans voting with the Democrats

The last I heard from the President and various mouthpieces in Congress, there was a ‘Bipartisan’ effort to provide these benefits to our poor hapless brethren but this article indicates that bipartisanship turned into just another day of dirty tricks on the part of Sen. Reid where he tells the GOP to pound sand when they offer any contributions. Really nice to see, for ONCE, that members of the GOP found some backbone and are making sounds like they may withdraw their support for the bill.

Bipartisanship becomes business as usual
All we have seen regarding supposed vital social program negotiations is that we provide temporary stopgap measures that are not actually geared toward a solution but only toward procrastination. Fed-speak is “Kicking the can down the road”.  A tune that would be appropriate for anyone in government should be (paraphrased) “Help me make it through the (night) next election” (Sammi Smith had the best version of the 4)

Now,  Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has proposed that the WORD ‘welfare’ should be called a ‘transitional living fund’. Regardless of what you call it, it is STILL a handout.  My impression is that she is attempting to avoid the ‘stigma’ of being given something for nothing. She may want to check the current definition.

Welfare defined

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America (emphasis added):

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The preamble to the Constitution does actually specify the general welfare. I am certain the meaning has evolved over the centuries, as all words do, but at the time this was part of the thinking on the subject. A little lengthy copy from Cornell Law which I will cite momentarily:

“The grant of power to “provide . . . for the general welfare” raises a two–fold question: How may Congress provide for “the general welfare” and what is “the general welfare” that it is authorized to promote? The first half of this question was answered by Thomas Jefferson in his opinion on the Bank as follows: “[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.” The clause, in short, is not an independent grant of power, but a qualification of the taxing power. Although a broader view has been occasionally asserted, Congress has not acted upon it and the Court has had no occasion to adjudicate the point.”

Founders’ thoughts on the ‘General Welfare’

I doubt we have much to worry about regarding Rep Lee. She has an abysmal record on speech and thought eg. North and South Vietnam living side-by-side, wanting hurricanes named to reflect Black-sounding names, considering herself a Queen…

North and South Vietnam, living side by side

Rep Lee railing on Farm Bill

To hear her and many of her associates speak we are back to the Republicans being uncaring, unfeeling, sadistic, racist HATERS. We NEED to pass spending for programs because that is the way it has ALWAYS been done is the cry and chant from the Left.

We are OUT OF MONEY, folks. Ms. Pelosi, the cupboards ARE bare, the coffers are EMPTY….there is nothing left. We cannot afford to simply GIVE another dime to people who have, for whatever reason, not been contributing to the society.

According to the President, the economy has been recovering since 2010. It is SO strong, in fact, that we are looking to enact programs to have the ‘undocumented’ share in the benefits of American citizenship. With millions of people unemployed, supposedly unable to provide for the basic necessities of life for themselves and their families that we HAVE to care for them “womb to tomb, birth to earth’ (West Side Story), how can our society possibly stand a further drain on it from even more non-contributing people.

BOTH sides pretend to see this as an attempt at maintaining some level of fairness for their target group. All either side wants to do is garner more voters for their own party, the Democrats by handouts and the Republicans by complacency.  All are quick to claim that “we need to pay the bills already owe” (or words to that effect [Mr. Obama]).

We did not owe them til THEY spent the money we did not have. Is that not circular logic?

Swamp people (aka Washington bureaucrats)

You get what you pay for. The correlary to that is you get what you do not oppose. When the feller shows up at the door hawking snake oil and tonic…and you hold back the dog?…you get what you deserve.

Here we have a few links showing how well the Country is faring under the current administration. If history is any teacher, this is also a guide as to how well we will fare in the future under the current administration. Monosyllabically, this is gonna suck! (yeah, i know ‘gonna’ is polysyllabic).

You SHOULD recall the President’s pledge, repeated multiple times on the campaign trail, about those making less than $250 grand not seeing any tax increase. I must admit, he WAS specific in stating Payroll, Capital Gains or Income, NOTHING! Ahhh, there was the codicil, he said “nothing”. According to Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this administration was to be the shining light of a new form of Government. Listening to their words then and now, I see that they had their symbology askew. Instead of the Promise of Camelot:

“The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there’s simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.”

we got the malaise of Oz:

“We get up at twelve and start to work at one
Take an hour for lunch and then at two we’re done
Jolly good fun

Ha ha ha
Ho ho ho
And a couple of tra la las
That’s how we laugh the day away
In the merry old land of Oz”

Then again, who am I to grouse? Just your everyman, working daily to keep my family’s corner of the world safe, secure and happy amidst the turmoil that is the never-ending fight between Blue and Red which these days seems more like Blue and Grey. I have a cat and my daughters have had dogs over. THEY get along without any problems so even the fighting like cats and dogs analogy is false.

Where is Mr. “Can’t we all just get along?” Why do we NEVER hear from Rev. Jackson, Mr. Sharpton and the others who are quick to remind us what miserable so-and-so’s we are in terms of our ethnic interpersonal relations but mum when we have a common crisis, a shared arse-whooping? Just once, I would like to hear that one of them stick up for ALL of us, not just those of us on the victim-train.

The President PLEDGES no tax increases

The NON-tax tax

SCOTUS says individual mandate IS a tax

Digging into another tax resource

And then the President and the effervescent Representative Nancy Pelosi ‘talking loud and saying nothing’ (James Brown).

Would that we COULD see Congress’ thinking on things…

A new era of deceit and self-righteousness (I apologize for video quality)

Rep. Pelosi did not drain the swamp

Ms. Pelosi served on the ethics committee for 7 years and STILL does not know the difference?

After all of former Speaker Pelosi’s grand gestures of openness, bipartisanship and transparency we have her giving an interview casting aspersions on the character of the GOP as ‘legislative arsonists’. She actually began to say anarchists but that one was already used. We canna go ’round plagiarizing from each other OR…..the inter office memo said that for extra credit, the more incendiary slurs they could use, the better.

Former speaker Pelosi refers to the GOP as ‘legislative arsonists’

Okay, I know this is going to be cheesy but I HAVE to…..

Talking Heads “Burning down the House”

Her former position as Speaker of the House, the rhetoric…this was a natural. Again, I would apologize but to quote ‘Blazin’ Saddles’….”Uh-uh, baby….I HAVE to!”

There is a maxim in law that says a person does what they intend to do.  None of the current goings-on is without design.  we are getting what we were promised, a “Fundamental Transformation” of the Country. So to continue the symbolism about swamps and brain drains, how do you drain an empty vessel?

Sensitivity, thy name is Romney?

Once again, a faux apology is offered and we ALL know it is a CYA maneuver, a blatant attempt at saving face and keeping their jobs. Wait a minute, what am I talking about? It has to be something tres egregious for anyone on the left to take a golden parachute and bail. We know they, like matter, are neither created nor destroyed, only change form.

Ms. Harris-Perry’s apology

A FOX panel reviews the incident and the aftermath

Governor Romney could have run it into the ground and made a stink or spent the next 5 years regurgitating it as the President does on, oh, pick a topic….but he let it go at their WORD so the issue can rest.

Any money bet says some media hype artist resurrects it whether for ratings or because they cannot let go of the politics aspect of ‘how DARE he force that poor woman to eat crow?’.

So who in this scenario is the noble one? Thank you, Governor Romney, for being a good guy.

The truth takes a long time to catch up when the lie gets out of the gates first…DEUX

September 2012, Senator Reid hurls an accusation at then presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Sen. Harry Reid’s allegation that Gov. Romney is a tax cheat

Correct me if I am wrong but in our system of justice a person is considered innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proof is on the accuser, verdad? So tell me, how does Mr. Reid make a statement like that without corroboration, based on hearsay and repeat it on a couple of other occasions with impunity?

After that 50-some odd second clip, how many days, weeks or months of airtime did Gov Romney have to correct the record? Was it Mr. Romney’s responsibility to disprove the scurrilous charge or Mr. Reid’s to prove? We all know the answer to that. Oh, and I like the Senator’s line about having money ‘hidden’. How do YOU know about it if it is ‘hidden’, sir? By that regard, I have money ‘hidden’ from my wife because she does not remember the login information for the account.

Mr. Reid, the bully pulpit, as described by President T. Roosevelt, provided an opportunity for a public official to expound upon their views, not ask someone if they are still beating their dog.

Where are YOUR tax records, Senator Reid?

People who live in glass houses, Senator……a.k.a.

Matthew 7:1-3
King James Version (KJV)

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Why extend unemployment? Are we not ‘Saving or creating jobs’?

 

“Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.”

BLS data, emphasis added.

Okay, I do not profess to be a mathematician or any type of financial analyst but I can add. Why do we have ANY unemployment in America when we spent 787 Billion bucks to ‘save or create’ jobs for 10.9 Million people? Basic math says that EVERY one of those individuals would have made $72,201.83. Obviously, then the money runs out and those folks are again in the circumstance that predated their gratuitous employment…

‘This is an all-or-nothing proposition, ain’t it? If we make a find, we’ll be lightin’ our cigars with hundred dollar bills. If we don’t, the difference between what you put up and what I put up ain’t enough to keep me from being right back where I was this afternoon, polishing a bench with the seat of my pants. Put ‘er there, pard.’
Humphrey Bogart, Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Yes, mine is a simplistic view without benefit of the complications Congress adds to EVERYTHING like seasoning to food. My meaning is clear, though. With that much money being thrown at a problem, how in the world does the problem still exist?

Mr. Obama urges Congress to extend unemployment benefits, and takes a potshot at the GOP

This next link is a homemade clip I just recorded from TV. Just a 30-second screen capture of President Obama once again levying blame on the GOP for potentially stalling an additional 3-month extension to unemployment benefits. I wanna know, though, is the GOP the ONLY party in Washington? Are there not democrats also needed to pass extension on the benefits? Oh, yes, the Democrat lemming principle, falling blindly in trail behind the President regardless the insanity of the situation.

Excerpt from This Week with George Stephanopoulos

 

So the cessation of a program dating to 2008 is the Republican’s fault. Certainly is. Even with Democrats being in charge of all branches of government until the last round of midterm elections.

99 weeks of unemployment, nearly a Trillion dollars and:
1). We still have unemployment
2). The unemployment rate is decreasing
3). The economy is improving

These are all self-serving administration statements so their veracity will never be known. To be fair, I do not know the woman in the piece nor do I claim to know her situation. Still I can make some presumptions. She is unemployed. She has been receiving an unspecified amount of taxpayer based compensation and she does not think it is enough. How much is enough? Do we carry people on our backs until they CHOOSE to walk again? After awhile, it gets SO much easier to ride.

When I got off active duty I was ‘counseled’ to apply for unemployment. I did. I was also required to bring in weekly verification of everywhere I looked for work. I cannot imagine the backlog in some bureau if they needed to verify weekly job searches for 10.9 million Americans—-sorry, residents—-dammit—-denizens of the United States.

Employment verification as I recall it

Stimulus spending for job creation

Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data, November 2013

 

 

I am sitting —-NAH, I am laying in bed writing this and my Mrs is in the other room watching CBS News Sunday Morning which I can hear (as an attractive nuisance) in the background. I just heard that Congress is back from their Winter Break. They got ~ two to two and a half weeks off. I got Christmas Day and had to make it up on New Year’s Day. I STILL say they should work the same kind of schedules that you and I work, no exceptions!

President Reagan famously stated in 1980:
‘”A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” I hold that should stand for ALL politicians!

How is that ‘Affordable Care Act’ working out for ya?

I wish I could miss deadlines with impunity too!  My boss wants something by a certain time and/or date and I fail to deliver? The long table where everyone has coffee but me….oh, and no chair to sit in cause I ain’t gonna be there long.

The Affordable Care Act provided mandatory deadlines that keep getting ‘redistributed’ to a later time. I am not even going to attempt to figure why no one gets called on it. I will chalk it up to PFM (Pure F-ing Magic), the Teflon fairy or the cult of personality from an earlier post.

Monday, 23 December WAS the deadline for signing up and having coverage by 1 January. That got extended til Tuesday for the throngs of people clamoring to apply.  The administration has no data on how many have signed up, not that they seem inclined to tell us how well they are doing. Strangely enough, when ‘spiking the ball’ we get metrics measured with a micrometer. Sooooo since they may not have accurate info  “I, your host and narrator” (A Clockwork Orange) have some numbers for you.

Affordable Care enrollment data

This is a site that culls information from various sources. Some of the sites reporting have not been updated since the end of November. Others are more recent. Of particular note is the numbers that have been dropped by their insurance carriers seems to exceed the numbers that have signed up for coverage. My impression of this whole thing was that we were going to provide coverage for the several million who were without, not eliminate coverage for the many to give to the few…and those few seem resigned to NOT applying.

So what actually happens when the ultimate deadline of March 31st rolls around and we do not have nearly the compliance necessary for the system to work properly? Since the government is committed to this program, money will have to be diverted from other programs. It is doubtful they will be social programs so the default is Department of Defense cutbacks to throw bad money after worse.

The last question I have to ask is this. The whole thing was designed to provide Insurance coverage to the masses. What good is insurance if no provider accepts it?

Prophesy by soliloquy

I was watching one of the original Law and Order episodes and this was prophetic. And from around January 1991!

Spoiler alert:

30-year missing person case reopened when remains found. Collegiate community agitator actually undercover officer for division tasked with fomenting problems so a ‘Special Branch’ could target those they wished to arrest and prosecute. This was part of A.D.A. Jack McCoy’s argument.

“…If the police department doesn’t want to be embarrassed by revelations about its behavior maybe it shouldn’t behave badly.

The police stalked, harassed and mistreated ordinary citizens whose political opinions they didn’t like.

Is this acceptable in a democracy?

Is this acceptable in a society founded on freedom of thought and speech?

Can our society survive secret police monitoring of law abiding people who question government policy?”

The judge replied:

“Governmental secrecy is anathema to democracy”

Where’s the beef? Fast & Furious, Benghazi, NSA, IRS…ring any bells? There are some in the government and the media that would have us believe that these are ‘phony scandals’ and our interpretation of these events is flawed. They would have us believe that somehow all of these events are transpiring in a preplanned and coordinated fashion ultimately for our own safety and security. They would have us believe that the government NEEDS to maintain an air of secrecy surrounding these events because—well—THEY know BETTER than we do. We are all too unsophisticated in the ways of the world to properly care for ourselves.

You know how people will ask you ‘you think you know MORE than me?’ My reply is ‘no, I know DIFFERENT than you’. We all have a shared history and common education but we all assimilated the information based on ‘rules’ personal to the individual. So though we all learned the same information we recall differing aspects of it. Essentially, we know different aspects of the common information we were taught.

So, next time you are watching tv pay attention to the soliloquy. You never know when something from a decades-old show will have a modern-day significance.

Insensitivity, Thy name is Liberal?

I heard once “the first marriage is for children, the second marriage is for companionship”. Great memory, mine, as I recall WHAT was said and rarely WHERE I heard it so credit to the unnamed, unremembered source.

I would add that LOVE enters into the equation also but that is another story. I am twice married. My first wife was Filipino so my two sons are “Blackipino”, a term my youngest, Brandon, used. My present wife was born and raised in Vermont and New Jersey so between us we have two Black/Filipino sons and 4 Caucasian daughters with a plethora (can 5 be a “plethora?”) of grandchildren. We love them ALL regrdless their “birth parentage”.

This clip of Melissa Harris-Perry is astounding in the level of insensitivity and hatred it displays.  We will not get into the childish attitudes and behavior on the part of her guests. Oh, sugar, YES we will!  At issue is a family photo posted by Gov. Mitt Romney who has his adopted grandchild, Kieran, on his lap. Kieran is Black and this set the host and guests into derision mode. Sorry about the “ad” in the first 30 seconds.  The salient portion starts at about 3 minutes.

romney-2013-christmas-photo

Melissa Harris-Perry and guests deride Gov. Romney’s adopted Black child

Another tack on the issue

I have heard commentators attempt to “pooh pooh” it as this was not HER, but her guests. (“It wasn’t ME….it was the one-armed man…” [The Fugitive and The Mask]) Watch her. She does not appear to be offended by their comments, laughter or the “One of these things is not like the other…” song a guest began to sing. She could and SHOULD have nixed it as soon as it began and admonished the others that regardless their thoughts and feelings about the Governor, they NEED to show a respectful tone.  With this one photo they jeer the GOP, the Governor and Conservatives in general. Ms. Harris-Perry goes on to remark about how young Mr. Romney and young North West (Kanye and Kim’s daughter) could get married in 2040 and make the senior Romney and West in-laws.  Smooth, ma’am and as classy as you WANNA be!

This segment was a sort of “whaddya think” about several famous pix from 2013 and when one was the President’s selfie at the Mandela Memorial someone commented about the First Lady’s seeming displeasure and was immediately…I said IMMEDIATELY  boo’d down. Heaven forbid you snap on a Liberal.

I KNOW this is cliche but how many times have we heard ‘what if a Conservative said that…?’ Heaven forbid a Republican! We have heard nothing over the last few years but the GOP’s ‘WAR on (insert object here)’ be it women, the elderly, children…pick a card, ANY card. The lackeys in the media are replete with contrived stories about someone ‘on the Right’ looking down their snobbish noses at e’erbody else. Where was Ms. H-P when Angelina Jolie made her cross-cultural adoptions, or Sandra Bullock?

Bravo to ANYONE who has the love and resources to take on the responsibility to raise ANY child, much less one not of their own parenting. You are a parent by how you raise your children, not by how much their skin tone resembles yours. We are in a society so diverse that MANY of us can point to another ethnicity and have a relative. Go back a few years and there will be surprises that grandma never told you about but that is what has gone to make you, YOU.

These children are loved. They are also in the public eye. To make this an opportunity to throw stones at the parent only goes to cheapen you, ma’am, et al. You dishonor yourself, your profession and bring shame on any who agree with you.