Saturday, August 31, 2013

It Is To Laugh, Chapter 374

The latest uproar in the White House is over the Obamas' new puppy, named Sunny.  The rumor-mongers lost NO TIME in announcing that the puppy's REAL name is Sunni, as in "Sunni Muslims."  Because everyone knows what the Obamas are really up to, praying to Allah and all that heathen shit.  As a co-worker of mine recently stated with a confident smile, "I've researched it completely and I know.  He's a Muslim."  One thing I've learned in my field is that you should never argue with the crazy.  OK, then, he's a Muslim.  Whatever you want.


I wonder how the "Obama's a Muslim" set reads the fact that our 44th president has spent all five years of his presidency BOMBING THE SHIT out of various Arab countries.  As I type this, he is lining up his battleships and aircraft carriers around Syria so he can bust a move on Bashar al-Assad, ANOTHER Muslim president.  Who rules more than a few Muslim people.   Why?  Because Assad used scurrilous, non-cricket chemical weapons on his own people.  Obama will show Assad a thing or two:  he will blow up even more Syrians with weapons anyone can see are  PERFECTLY cricket.

See, everywhere you look there are people too crazy to argue with.

This Year's Apple Crop Up 1000% From Last Year!

I find today's headline about the Michigan apple crop particularly  -- delicious, shall we say? -- because it comes at a time when people are quite literally stocking up on shotgun shells and canned goods in preparation for...wait for it...


I kid you not.  Shotgun shells.  Canned goods. 

There is a retired banker just a few miles from where I am sitting, waiting eagerly for Obamacare.  When it kicks in, he is fully expecting the world to turn into a disaster movie.  He is all ready, with his guns and ammo stockpiled against the day when he will be living behind barbed wire, gunning down marauding packs of looters.  Obamacare, mark my words, is going to make this white-collar retiree into the ACTION HERO he's secretly wanted to be since he was a teenager.

A co-worker of mine says it will be the "end of America."  When I ask what he means by that, he never responds.

A recent article explained that the labor unions, whose votes made Obamacare possible to a great extent, are going to lose everything they've gained in the way of better health benefits...because of Obamacare.

It goes on to explain that the employer mandate included in the Affordable Care Act will basically put an end to full-time work.

Other news sources explain that Obamacare will drive medical costs UP.  It will force seniors to support young, healthy people who will OPT OUT of the system en masse, making the seniors' healthcare premiums impossible to pay.  (Even though most seniors have Medicare and do not pay health-insurance premiums.)  (Even though young, healthy people have a lot less in the way of medical costs.)  (Even though those who opt out will pay a fine to help cover any costs they do incur without insurance.)

Meanwhile, yet ANOTHER source describes the health-insurance mandate as a form of slavery, forcing young people to foot the bill for seniors. (Which they always have anyway, because they are the ones making the money that supports the legacy costs and Medicare funding of their retired colleagues.)

See the two paragraphs above.  If young people are supporting the old people's costs and old people are supporting the young people's costs, um, ISN'T THAT THE WHOLE POINT OF HAVING A NATIONAL HEALTH PLAN?

I was at a presentation this week about the new wave in mental health services, which is based on research findings that a mentally ill person dies 25 years earlier on average than a person without a mental illness.  Services are being set up nationwide to make sure people are getting mental health AND physical health treatment, not mental health OR physical health treatment.  OK, that sounds reasonable. Especially in light of the rumors that Obamacare is supposedly going to provide mental-health parity -- meaning that you get as much mental-health coverage as you do medical coverage, with the same co-pay.  But when I asked the presenter how he expects the program he's running to be altered when Obamacare finally kicks in, he smiled grimly and painted a picture of all the doctors disappearing from the field because they won't be able to make enough money to live on, so that nobody will be able to use the coverage they have under the Obamacare program.  What will the mental/physical health people have to work with then?  Funny, isn't it, that he stays in a job that he seemingly expects to disappear out from under him in a year or so?

Funny, isn't it, that he explained to me that the core of Obamacare is about lowering reimbursements to those poor, struggling doctors, when that other opponent of the plan quoted a couple of paragraphs back says it will somehow drive medical costs UP out of reach? 

I suggest that sales of shotgun shells and canned goods are up because people are to ready to believe every damn fool thing they read in the news.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

OK, Let's Get Off The Fence About This....

Today the news is full of horrified reports about how perfectly innocent citizens in Syria -- and as they inevitably pointed out, !!!SOME OF THEM ARE CHILDREN!!! -- have been writhing, gagging and dying in the streets, the apparent victims of chemical warfare at the hands of PARTIES UNKNOWN.

Um, OK, that's pretty untoward.  BUT THERE IS A WAR GOING ON THERE.  I just wanted to point that out. 

What strikes me about this reporting is that just a few weeks ago, the news people were wringing their hands about how untoward it is to use more surgically-precise methods on undesirables.  You know, like drone strikes, or siccing Seal Team Six on somebody a government wants dead. 

(Let's be real: we're talking about MY government.) 

I think it's pretty economical, in terms of lives lost, if you can direct a drone strike at just the person you want, and maybe the guys he has over for lunch.  It does give me a nasty twinge when I hear that they've done it to an American citizen like Anwar al-Awlaki.  They didn't exactly give him a trial by a jury of his peers.  But when I remember that he was instrumental in convincing Major Hasan -- a psychiatrist -- to open fire on a waiting room full of patients waiting to see their doctors, hey, the twinge feels better pretty quickly. 

I agree chemical weapons are terribly indiscriminate, and they kill anyone within range.  !!!EVEN CHILDREN!!!  But I'm just not sure that the horrified response is that justifiable.  The original horrified response to the first use of chemical weapons -- during the Great War -- was primarily about the fact that it was so gosh-darned UNSPORTING.  The SPORTING way to kill the enemy in that war was to have them fix bayonets and walk in a straight line across No Man's Land, into the hail of machine-gun fire, while bravely singing a war ditty.  Or maybe the national anthem; either way was fine, honestly.  But GAS?  DAMN, YOU, JERRY, THAT ISN'T CRICKET!

Can't we just be real for a minute and admit that human nature involves a constant jockeying, rung-climbing, elbowing and eye-gouging for position in the social rank, USUALLY OVER ISSUES TOO STUPID TO MENTION?  War is just the extreme version of that.  As soon as you throw a grenade or gas a pet shop full of puppies, it's official:  YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE.  Does it really matter whether you blew the puppies up or gassed them?  I think it's a fair question.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

And Let's Not Forget Peru...

It may be that Peru is up next for a major upheaval.  They're mad as hell and not going to take it any more!  I guess the last straw is that the government ombudsman, the guy who's supposed to police Peru's elected officials, turns out to be just another unqualified crony of the inner circle's biggest dogs.  It could be that President Ollanta Humala is going to be packing his bags and exiting stage left.  Then again, maybe not.  Stay tuned!

And Now Comes The Bulgarian Spring?

I guess even the Bulgarians are fed up with their lousy government.  They have been spending hours filling the streets chanting that they want the Mafia out of elected office.  Since this is not a nation of strategic interest to the USA, there is unlikely to be a costly and devastating American-funded war here, but who knows?  Tunisia didn't need our help to kick butt.