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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Low Expectations

Although it makes me ill to think of it, the US is already deeply immersed in the ramp-up to the 2016 presidential election. Victor Davis Hanson has some sobering thoughts on the international difficulties that will face our next national chief executive.

At the rate things are deteriorating at home and abroad, I hope we make it to the 2016 election intact as a country. I also hope that yet another pathological liar doesn't become the next president. But maybe I'm setting the bar too high.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

NO-bamacare

I've previously mentioned some of my beefs with "Obamacare," euphemistically called the Affordable Care Act. Since first signing up on January 1, I've learned that the federal subsidies that lower my premium to a payable amount each month are actually considered taxable income. So for 2015, I'll owe taxes on an additional $5,000 of income that I've never seen.

Only the government could call this "affordable." (Maybe they mean it's affordable for them?)

Today, more surprises were in store as I researched finding a new physician. It seems that my healthcare organization--one of the largest in California--doesn't cover my Obamacare policy. I asked if it was because I had the cheapest (excuse me, the most "affordable") version, the "Bronze" plan. The representative in the hospital's insurance registration office gave me an airy "No."

"Bronze, silver, gold, or platinum, it doesn't matter," she casually informed me. "None of our doctors participate in that plan." Well, pardon me while I go drop dead.

I suppose this is one sure way of reducing healthcare costs: make sure that no one gets insurance coverage to see a doctor. Brilliant in its simplicity, stunning in its stupidity. NO-bamacare--a prescription for American healthcare's total collapse.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Free School

If you're not reading Victor Davis Hanson on a regular basis, you're missing out on a free education about the reasons our society appears to be collapsing in on itself. Treat yourself to some knowledge and visit VDH's webpage at least once a week. I promise, you'll be surprised by how much you will learn.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Mom, c. 1945 - she was what Dad would call "a real tomato"
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Learning to Not Think

"If you try to shut down public debate, is this a way of ensuring that you win—or an admission that you have already lost?" - Robert Tracinski

This is interesting reading about the increasing intolerance of left-wing ideology. It's sad but true that America now has a "party line" of liberal elite dogma that must be not only strictly adhered to, but never challenged. By anyone. At any time. Under any circumstances.

Below are just a few examples of contrary points of view that are rejected out of hand:

  • Against gay marriage? You're a homophobic cretin.
  • Have doubts about climate change? You're dangerously ignorant.
  • Believe in protecting our borders? You're unquestionably a bigot.
  • Think the rioters of Ferguson and Baltimore are wrong? You're totally racist.

There was a time not so very long ago in this country when reasonable adults could differ. Debate opposing ideas. Argue their cases. Not anymore. Those in the public eye who do not follow the combined gospels of the ruling elite and left-leaning academia (and are unwise enough to say so) are shouted down, ridiculed, and bullied off speaker's platforms.

What has happened to us? The Founders admonished that thinking people of strong character were necessary for the republic to succeed. How shocked they would be to see how far our capacities for tolerance, empathy, and civility have fallen, how quickly, and with such thoughtless disregard for the consequences. Americans today are taught from an early age to follow the popular "wisdom," to be part of "the crowd," not to think independently or to make individual choices through a rational, ethical thought process. And oh, how badly it shows.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Coming of The Queen

With the 2016 presidential campaign already in full gear (Lord help us), I am thoroughly looking forward to reading The Queen, an upcoming book about Hillary Rodham Clinton and her obsessive quest for the White House. The title is a play on Machiavelli's The Prince, which tells us that five centuries don't do much to change the dark side of human nature and its corrosive drive for power.

The book will be released in June but is available for pre-order. Author Hugh Hewitt's books are always readable and packed with solid information that has been verified beyond questionability. The Introduction, linked here, is a juicy kick to read. It will drive Hillary bonkers, because it's such an authentic description of her and her motivation.

As anyone who has been paying any attention at all in the last twenty years knows, if there's one thing Hillary can't abide, it's authenticity.

I've been a Hewitt fan, follower, and listener since I stumbled upon his radio talk show in the summer of 2002. He sometimes remarks on air that his mission until the next presidential election is to keep Hillary out of the White House.

From your lips to God's ears, Hugh. Along with Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash, may The Queen hit #1 on every bestseller list and be read by every concerned voter. The "survival of the realm" may depend upon it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Writing on the Wall

Handwriting is quickly becoming a lost art. I'm saving whatever surviving letters I have received over the years. I suspect that old-fashioned "letters" will be collector's items before too long, and they will certainly be something to show and explain to the grandkids.

I notice that even 40-somethings today print in block letters when they are forced to put pen to paper. When I went to school, back in the Middle Ages, "Penmanship" was a subject that you were taught, then tested and graded on. I remember I got as high as an "A-" in penmanship. In many school systems today, cursive handwriting is not even taught to the students. 

It's rather sad that our grandchildren probably won't understand what "getting a letter" means. If you're past your twenties in age, think back through the mists of time, all the way to the quaint 1990s. Do you remember when you found a handwritten envelope addressed to you in the mailbox? Admit it--it made your day!

Those days of pen and paper, like the days of board games, hardcover novels, and telephone landlines, are mostly behind us. But I think the decline of cursive writing is a loss for us all. You can write that down.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Celebrating Churchill

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

My favorite historical hero from the 20th century is Winston Churchill. April 9 was Winston Churchill Day, which may come as a surprise to many. It's the anniversary of his being granted honorary US citizenship. To celebrate this superlative leader, you can download his 8-volume biography for free from Amazon until midnight today, April 11.

My dearest hope in these troubled times is that we will soon be blessed with a similarly wise and fearless world figure who will lead us to more peaceful conditions. Judging by the current cast of characters, we'll have to wait a bit. Meanwhile, I've got my inspirational summer reading lined up.

Churchill at work, 1941