1. You are now permitted to listen to Christmas music. All previous Bah! Humbug! classifications of Christmas music before Thanksgiving are now removed.
2. You are now permitted to plan for decorating your abode and/or place of work to a Christmas/Chanukkah/Eid theme. Just call your theme what it is, not the generic "holiday" theme.
3. "Winter" is not a holiday, it is a season. If you "celebrate" Seasons, you may celebrate Winter. If you do NOT live/practice an Earth Religion such as Wicca, you may NOT celebrate a "Winter Holiday". You might bring this up at the next School Board metting you attend as the resident Culture Watch.
Reid gets the "nuclear option", and now the Senate needs only 51 votes to impose cloture of debate, not 60.
As I see this, that gives the (D)onks 13.5 months of mayhem, then control of the Senate will come back to the GOPes. As things are unravelling now, the Senate will surely change hands next November.
The problem happens then, and the GOPes don't realize it. As of now, they are crowing that Reid shot himself in the foot, believing that a GOPe-controlled Senate will then be able to un-do Obama-care, etc with just 51 votes.
Nazzofast, heffelants. Reid put the "nuclear option" in, and he can reverse it after the 2014 election. What the GOPes need to do NOW is ask him point-blank, on the Senate floor, if he intends to do that. If he doesn't answer with a flat NO, every GOPe Senator needs to refuse to participate in any Senate votes when the new cloture rule is invoked.
This is either a forever change or it's just a new gimmick of the tyranny of the Left. Make the little weasel tell us, now, that the rule is not just a device for packing the Federal Courts with lefty Judges.
If tampering with the Senate rules can mean a tyranny of the majority, it's time for a change of government, and that change should not wait until next November. As it stands, since this ayem, lifetime Federal Judges are the biggest threat to freedom that we face.
Oh, BTW, with that change of government, all current Federal Forever Judges must lose their jobs until a non-partisan review panel decides whether they are actual judges or just politicians in black dresses, based on their records of judgments.
Anyone who is familiar with the geography of the Pacific Northwest knows that North of Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada), and on the Inland Passage, the Gulf Islands, lies an archipelago of islands which you must pass to get to Southeast Alaska.
That archipelago was known as the Queen Charlotte Islands since they were discovered by the British explorer, Captain Cook in 1778.
Apparently, in an act exacting late revenge on the Brits and their local stooges for almost wiping out the entire native poulation of the coastal Pacific Northwest with smallpox back in those pioneer days, the Haida Nation, the original inhabitants of this archipelago rich in seafood, and thereby, existence, has forced the Canadians to rename the island group.
It is now known as "Haida Gwaii", which probably means, "up yours, White Eyes", in Haida.
Please annotate your geography books, charts and maps with the correct name now...
BTW, if this spreads, those West Coast Canadians are going to have to update their National Health Service to provide corrective oral surgery on demand, else how are the local Euro-transplants even going to attempt to pronounce the Haida dialects, which seem to have been copied from the clicks, whistles and hisses of the larger sea mammals thereabouts, with the occasional calls of sea-birds thown in for exclamation relief.
No, really. A visit to any tribal museum, and I have been to the biggest one in Victoria, B.C. several times, will tell you that all the peoples are descended from the spirits of either the Great Eagle or the Raven. As the tribes developed within the Haida Nation, the belief system tells us that the influence of the spirits of sea animals, fish or invertibrates intertwined with the that of the birds. The Eagle, of course, represents power and strength, and the Raven intelligence. In the southern tribes, influences from the spirits of land predators crept in, the bears, big cats and wolves, for example.
You can't sell the Haida short on engineering, either. Their Nation invented a saw to rip tree-trunks into timbers and planks, and their tribal residences and meeting halls were magnificent wood structures, far superior to any other native buildings on the continent, and probably the planet. Their large dug-out canoes were seaworthy enough to fish and hunt from in the sea and weather conditions you have seen on "The Deadliest Catch" or "Coast Guard Alaska".
The Haida even invented Democratic party politics. Their chieftains would hold lavish festivals, during which lavish earthly goods and food worth months and years of labor were given away to attendees, who were invited for the purpose of friendship-making AND buying allegiances. These festivals were called "Potlatches", and they resulted in the transfer of so much wealth among the tribes that the Provincial and Federal governments passed laws forbidding the practice, as some of the chieftains were getting wealthy enough to cause problems for their British colonial masters. The last potlatches were held around the beginning of the 20th century.
I hope this name-change offers some respite from the major guilt trip that Canadians have been flagellating themselves with since the Dominion became a completely independent Nation in 1982.
There is some movement on the Right to try to apply some "fix" for Obamacare that the Left will approve of, then after passing the "fix", both sides return to their hustings and campaign happily for more of the same bad Government.
Justice delayed is Justice denied.
What we have seen so far in the past 5 weeks of the Obamacare rollout is that:
It wasn't ready in it's details.
It was an unholy alliance of two sets of thieves, the Government and the Insurance Industry.
The Government IS going to be hoist on this petard because Obamacare will crash mightily long before the upcoming Congressional Election.
By now, you have seen just how badly the roll-out has gone. Far more health insurance customers with existing plans have been cut off from them than have new health insurance customers been enrolled in new plans. The idea behind the failed scheme was that new enrollees would pay the freight for both the 'po folks AND the new insurance entitlements, e.g., all women get childbirth coverage, everyone gets portability, pre-existing conditions are ignored, etc. This basic assumption, that creating a new class of insured would pay for all the changes to the overall pool of insurance, was fatally flawed from the start, and is now proven to be a failure.
The failure of the economic model in Obamacare means that the whole system will now fail, and nothing can be done to prevent that, but some will try, and those mistaken legislators will be from both sides of the aisle. The Left, of course, desperately wants to hide the failures as Election 14 approaches, and the Right thinks that putting a patch on the program to kick it down the road past Election 14 will somehow make up for their bullheaded and hurtful action to shut down the Government over the Left's refusal to accept repeal of the whole misbegotten program.
Both the Left and Right are wrong.
What is really happening now is that the Health Care Insurance magnates' evil contribution to Obamacare is coming to light. When Obama went on TeeVee the other night and said, (paraphrase) "I never said that you could keep your old plan, I meant that you could keep it if it met current standard", he was being technically correct, sort of an "it all depends on what the definition of is, is" statement that Billy Clinton made as his Oval Office pecadilloes were exposed.
The problem is, NO current plan meets the new "standard" of Obamacare, and the insurance companies should have been warning their policy-holders about that for the past year. Insurance policies are VERY specifically written, and Obamacare rules demand so many new changes to support the new "reforms", that EVERY plan will have to be new. The new plans will give one more opportunity to the insurance companies to rake in obscene profits, and they are already showing us how big those profits will be.
No one gets to keep their "old" plan.
Get that? I'll repeat it: No one gets to keep their "old plan".
Why do you think that Obama/Pelosi gave his buddies, the Unions, all those "indulgences" so they would be exempt? Because he knew that he had been lying by telling everyone "if you like your old plan, you can keep your old plan". He knew it beforehand. Take that to the bank, O-believers, as you cash in your savings to pay for your "new" insurance plans. Take it to Craigslist as you put that boat and/or RV you can no longer afford out there for sale with millions of others to try to make room in your budget for a doubling of your premiums. Take it to Grocery Outlet for cheap foods as you can no longer afford to shop for organic stuff at Whole Foods. Take it to Wally World as you shop for clothing, because Nordy's or Macy's is definitely not in your price-range anymore.
Here's one example: Kaiser Permanente. I used to be insured by them, and I had their "C" plan. I was last on that plan in 2003, when I retired from the Sheriff's Office. It had $5 doctor-visit co-pays, $5 pharmacy co-pays, and everything else was fully-paid. Kaiser "C" will now have $30-40 office visit co-pays, $25-30 R/X co-pays, and a cap is introduced, somewhere in six figures. I think my old lifetime cap was $1.5M. That plan used cost the County about $600/month. Nowadays, the County splits the cost with workers, and the new "C" Plan split will be almost $800 for the County and the Deputy. Oh, one other thing: Kaiser now has a waiting list for surgeries. A good friend stayed on the program after retirement, and his wife needs a new hip. By the time she get the surgery, she will have been on the waiting list for 14 months. In the past, she wouldn't have waited a month for that hip replacement. She is in constant pain from her failed joint, and they throw a few pills at her, but don't fix the joint.
You might ask, "what do YOU have for insurance, Dawg?" I have Medicare, which has been severely cut to shift money to the fiscal sinkhole that is Obamacare. Because I retired from the Air Force after a full career of 22 years, I also have Tri-Care, the military system, which acts as a secondary payer to Medicare. I could also file for VA care, but haven't, for reasons of personal liberty you might have read about here.
In sum, the program can't be fixed, and you need to IMMEDIATELY suspect the motives of anyone who wants to "fix" Obamacare. The only "fix" you'll get is that the "fixers" will line their pockets with more insurance-company cash. Obama/Pelosi/Reid had plenty of Socialist models for healthcare to model Obamacare on that have at least had their major bugs worked out, but they ignored the mostly-successful Swiss system, the very-successful German system, and struck out on their own with the resulting mess that you see now.
Just to get you in the mood for the rest, go watch this video. I hope there's some extra room in your chest, 'cause your heart's gonna swell some...
Now, about our national leadership. I was going to sponsor a meme of word-smithing to properly describe the horror that is that leadership, but I seem to have miraculously found a website to do that for me.
I expect that at Examiner.com, they have a plan to welcome the Government, when, shod in it's usual jackboots, it comes storming through their doors.
That Government didn't get there in time to stop this article though, or this one. In fact, just click through "News" > "Politics" > "Republican" and they are ALL worth reading. Take your high blood pressure meds first, though...
There's a Thud coming that I'm not sure we'll survive: planetfall. I'm not ready to throw MY "end of the world" party, but I might just be pondering the guest list...
In the meanwhile, here are some ordinary Thuds, Mark One, Mod Zero...
Thud the First: Obamacare. It's going down big-time. Coupla things you might not know about it's onrushing failure: The Canadian company that was hired to set up the Web presence of ObamaCare, CGI, is the same outfit that tried and failed to set up the infamous Canadian Firearms Registry, which NEVER worked to specification, despite better than 20 times it's original budget being spent. With a change to Coservative Government, the Canadians wisely decided they could do without the Registry, and pulled the plug on it. OUR Government should have figured out that this outfit couldn't organize a three-car funeral procession, but they didn't. That's possibly because of two women, Valerie Jarrett, who has a personal association within CGI, and Michelle Obama, dittoe...
Thud the Second: Obamacare (again). The company that is supposed to "fix" the HealthCare.gov site is QSSI, a subsidiary of United Health, Inc. For those who don't follow the healthcare financial scene, UHI is the giant outfit that was already involved with Government healthcare before Obamacare even took effect. They run the Western portion of the Government/Military healthcare system, TriCare, having muscled Wisconsin Physicians' Services out of the contract. WPS had done a very good job. UHI had previous problems, which we might call "growing pains" if we are charitable: When UHI took over Tricare, they also took over Express Scripts, the companion service to Tricare which provides pharmacy benefits. When they took over Express Scripts, there was a perfectly good Web presence already there for the service, and it operated flawlessly. Never mind that, UHI gave the old website the boot, and put in theirs, which operated like a 1995 website, complete with big delays loading and many error messages and "come back later" advices. Ummmm....isn't this the exact failure mode of Healthcare.gov? Well, UHI finally fixed the Express Scripts site, and strangely enough, their fix makes it look and operate like the old Express Scripts system. Problem for Healthcare.gov: there's no prior system to fall back on. Smarties in the IT bidsnez say the entire site will have to be re-coded from scratch. QSSI is NOT up to that task, but they are in charge. Does this whole mess begin to look more like planned failure than incompetence to YOU? It does to me.
Thud the Third: Obamacare (I can't shake that feelin'...) Remember those 23 Executive Orders signed by the President on 01162013? #16 of those orders states:
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
As I reported earlier this week, it appears that healthcare orgs connected to Healthcare.gov ARE asking the "gun questions". Of course, there is Federal law that specifically prohibits the Government from compiling lists of who owns guns, and this Executive Order ignores that law. With the few that have gotten through on Healthcare.gov, selected a plan and linked to the plan, those gun questions are getting asked, and that data is being compiled. The anwser is the same: "I refuse to answer that question." THEN we get to see if healthcare is actually a "right" as Obama pretends that it is. If it's a right, you cannot be denied it by refusing to answer questions about non-medical things. If refusing to answer the gun questions means you get denied a healthcare policy, then it's not exactly a "right" that you have health insurance, is it?
Thud the Fourth: Suicide "prevention". This gets fairly philosophical, so bear with me. If a person has true personal freedom, does it not include the right to terminate one's own life? If it does include that right, why does the State spend so much money trying to dissuade folks from exercising that right? If it does NOT include that right, why aren't suicide attempts classified at Attempted Homicides? They are not so classified. This becomes an issue because of high-profile suicide attempts. For some insane reason, the minions of the State believe that they have a DUTY to heroically prevent suicides, sometimes at great risk to their First Responders. Then again, some folks live by an actual Code of Honor which allows them the freedom to end their lives. Note that the Nation of Japan has never repudiated the ancient Code of Bushido, they simply don't ascribe to it at present. Many, many folks took their own lives over the years according to that Code. Is Bushido wrong? If you say yes, can you prove that empirically and not just by inserting your own personal Code? I didn't think so. Get the damn Government out of our personal life choices that affect no one but us.
Only four Thuds this time. Subscribe to my Facebook page and you will get several more on a daily basis...