Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Liberty Maniacs

From Ars Technica:

Liberty Maniacs @ Vafe Press

For 10 years, a Minnesota man has been selling T-shirts, mugs, and other items with slogans like “Department of Homeland Stupidity” and “The NSA: the only part of the government that listens.”

On Tuesday LibertyManiacs owner Dan McCall sued those agencies, arguing that he has a First Amendment right to parody the DHS, the NSA, and other government offices, and that he should be allowed to use the relevant seals.

Go.  Support them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Death By Indifference

From Rabbi Benjamin Blech at aish.com:
Researchers at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have just released documentation that astounds even the most informed scholars steeped in the previously known statistics of German atrocities. Here is some of what has now been conclusively discovered:

  • There were more than 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe from 1933 to 1945.
  • There were 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1000 prisoner of war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.
  • The best estimate using current information available is 15to 20 million people who died or were imprisoned in sites controlled by the Germans throughout the European continent.
 The take away:
The “decent” people were somehow able to rationalize their silence.
I contacted the good Rabbi about his references.  He was kind enough to answer.  He said he had read about this in Erich Lichtblau's  New York Times Sunday Review article on the Holocaust Museum's discoveries.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Obamacare In Five Pictures

I was reading an article on Tech Crunch about the tech debacle that is Obamacare, lamenting how start-ups were ready to have a go at it.  It mentioned, in particular, eHealth, one of the few companies certified as a "web based entity" authorized to act as a alternative to government web sites.  I got curious, and here's what I discovered.

My options for this year:

They say starting at $52/month, but...

...79 plans, starting at $209.75/month.
My options for next year:

eHealth estimates that I would get a subsidy of $451.00/month.  (They caveat the hell out of their numbers, solet's take this figure as a SWAG* for now.)
Now, my premiums start (supposedly) at $192/month.

And I find a whopping thirteen plans, starting at $593.11/month, pre-subsidy.  Post-subsidy, $142.11/month
I have no idea where they got the $52 and $192 numbers.  After poking about a bit by changing ZIP codes, I found that they changed, but stayed the same when I changed birthdays.  In any case, what's important is the final cost to me.  And I didn't even try to figure out overall cost based on deductables, co-pays and such.

It's a bloody mess...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mmmmmm, Could Be...!! (Updated)

This is probably not exactly true (he is speculating, after all), but it sure sounds plausible!

Head fake! Is Healthcare.gov only an

empty shell MOCKUP of a working

Obamacare exchange?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Obamacare exchanges, programming failure, mockup
(NaturalNews) As the days of glitches, snafus, down-time and critical errors mount up, evidence is mounting that the Healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange is not actually a fully-formed online application. More and more, it appears to be a mockup of a health care exchange enrollment system.
Go.  RTWT!!

(Via Mr. Taranto)

Update:  Added the "giggle du jour" tag so you all know that I'm not taking this article seriously.  You'll understand if you read the first few comments.  And, "The Health Ranger"?  Too cute...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Twenty-five Things

I found myself at Never Yet Melted, who has a list of "25 Ridiculous Things Obama Shut Down".

The first commenter posed a challenge, to which the second commenter responded:


We need a companion list: 25 things Obama could have shut down instead but didn’t.


25 things…, let’s see
Homeland (In)Security
Dept. of Energy
Dept. of Education
Any non-DOD/DOJ/Treasury group that has its own weapons stash.
Post Office
Dept of Agriculture
Dept of Labor
Dept of Commerce
Reduce Social Security back to a simple retirement program
The “Secret” Courts” approving NSA activities
All positions of “Czar”
Presidential and Congressional staffs
*Consolidate under the FBI, well-scaled down!
What do you think I've missed??

(Via Gerard)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dakota Has Passed On

Koda (as he was affectionately known), went into convulsions at about 2:30 this afternoon.  I took him to the 24-hour emergency vet, after trying a few first aid things at home.  They pumped him full of valium, which reduced the convulsions to mild tremors.

The vet was straight up with the prognosis - based on what the expensive tests that I can't afford might tell us, she was not optimistic that he could go home and be OK.  So, I made the decision to let him go.

He passed peacefully.  The med they use anesthetised him immediately, and continued on to an overdose.  He slipped away in less than a minute.

Pax vobiscum, Koda.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dakota (Updated)

Tuesday, Dakota took a pretty good tumble down a full flight of stairs, spine first.  Nothing was broken, but I noticed yesterday that he seemed to have lost balance and strength on his left side.

Last night, he went into full-body convulsions for a minute or so. 

We are off to the vet at 3:30.  Koda is resting on the air mattress down here on the first floor.

I don't like how this day is shaping up.

Update:  Back from the vet. We are treating "symptomatically", as the diagnostics for Koda would cost more than mine!  He now has industrial-strength steroids (Dexamethasone) to take over the next two weeks.  If his symptoms are caused by swelling resulting from the fall, this should clear them up.

I'm cautiously optimistic, which is a big improvement.


...Broderick Crawford Day!