Once again the voters in Harmony County got slammed for being “stupid” by the powers that be in Washington, DC. Normally folks would be insulted by that remark, but when the smart phones they are carrying around are about 20 IQ points higher than the people who use them the slur might not be too far off the mark.
The whole “stupid” flap started when the Obamacare laws got railroaded through the Congress around two years back. It was touted as an all things for all people law that was going to provide healthcare at reasonable prices for everyone in the country, whether you were here legally or not. The author of this “one size fits all” tome was a fellow named Gruber, a lower level staff weenie for President Obama.
Brother Gruber filled up his coffee pot with double expresso, sharpened all of his pencils and set to. After a marathon effort he produced a 1,200 page epic. Let me give you an idea of how big it was. The next time you are in a place that sells paper stack up three reams and pick it up. A pretty hefty bundle is it not?
This ‘Bill’ was written in a combination of medical-speak and legalese. Two languages, when combined, are as easy to understand as Vulcan. (“Live long and prosper”.) So what we have was a book that was approximately 840,000 words long. This puts it as number five or six on the list of longest novels ever written in English. Not only was surprisingly it long, it flew through both houses of Congress in less than two weeks
Hang on, these people cannot agree upon the color of the rest rooms without months of tedious debates, but cradle to grave health care for everyone in the country became law at warp speed. So this is where I have to ask, “Who is really stupid here?” even Nancy Pelosi said, “First we will pass it, then we will read it.”
I suppose we are second-hand stupid. We were the ones that put these world-class speed-readers in office. They got the bill, genuflected in the direction of the White House, and said in unison, “Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full,” and we got us an unread law. Since then virtually nothing that was hyped about Obamacare has come to pass. If anything services are down, insurance prices up, doctors headed for the tall and uncut, the online registration program, written by a Canadian company, cratered and not nearly as many folks have signed up.
Well, we got us a whole new crew up in Washington. These conservatives are supposed to fix everything and set the world right. I have followed politics for more years than I am willing to admit. However, as far as I am concerned Teddy Roosevelt was the last decent president we had.
We have another election coming in two years. If these yard birds don’t do a proper job. Then it is time to throw the rascals out.© 2014, Jim McGowan
Do you remember the old saw, “House guest and fish begin to smell after three days”? Well, once again that message was driven home. This time the guest came in on all fours. No, not my Uncle Seamus out on a spree. But ‘Sam’ my grandson’s adopted puppy who has recently joined the family.
Sam is a mutt. His owner and family went on a weekend vacation to the beach and I was asked to puppy-sit while they were gone. Being a natural born sucker I agreed without thinking. What I failed to think about was the Kilkenny Brothers who, in reality, are the house owners and I am their guest.
Fast Eddie and Lazy Jake are typical kitty cats. They like things one certain way and abhor change of any kind. Move their food bowl six inches to the left or right and they are going to need months of therapy and cases of Pussy Cat Prozac.
So last Friday in charges the pooch. Since he is a pup he can only do two things well. He can act goofy and slobber. He has both of these skills down pat. The instant he burst through the door the combined feline blood pressure went through the roof. Their fur stood on edge, their backs arched, they went up on their tippy toes, and hissed like a barrel full of snakes. It was in that position the backed up into the bedroom and took up permanent refuge under the bed. They then set up a concert of moans and growls that lasted for the rest of the day.
Sam lives in a household filled with cats. He gets along with most of them and by and large they ignore him. So when he was confronted with hostility of the cats he stopped dead in his tracks. The best he could do was a half-hearted “woof”. When the boys disappeared under the bed he comforted himself by running into the kitchen and gobbling up all of their food.
Since share and share alike was not going to work I was doomed to enforce some cat upsetting changes. I moved their food and water into the hallway, no biggie. But I had to move the litter box into the bathroom. Note to self: There is no such thing as putting too much baking soda in the litter box and air spray is cheaper when you buy it in bulk.
Sam is used to sleeping in my grandson’s bed. So when he decided it was nappy poo time he hoped up on my bed. This started the growls and moans and hearing this he stuck his nose under the bed. Not to worry, the scratches should heal quickly. He backed off and he started growling and barking and this was how I spent the weekend trying to sleep.
The night-long conversation was; The Kilkenny Brothers, “Grooooowl”, Sam, “Woof, woof, woof!” me, “Everybody shut the @%&* up!”
The only other house guest who maneuvers on four limbs allowed in is going to be Uncle Seamus. The boys like him and he brings them beer. ©2014, Jim McGowan
My grandson Jake is a senior in high school. He is due to graduate this spring. In a very surprising act of maturity he determined that he is not ready for college and wants to do a tour in the military, specifically the Navy. He said he wanted to see the world. I told him that the earth is 75% water and he would get to see it through a porthole.
So after a brief family conference I got volunteered to take him to see the local Navy “Walking John” in Columbia. (“Walking John” is a term of disrespect for recruiters.) I had only one rule. I told Jake that, “If he attempted to sign anything or even looked at a pen I would break every bone in both his hands.” This is experience with recruiters talking.
I would like to see a show off hands of all of my readers who enlisted and got everything that the recruiter promised. Humm, somebody, anybody? Well, that is shocking news. It seems that we all have been sold a bill of goods.
So Jake and I walk into the recruiting office and, I know this sounds sexist, lo and behold it was not a ‘Walking John’ it was a ‘Walking Jane’. Petty Officer Holcomb greeted us cordially and the very first thing she wanted was for Jake to fill in a form. I immediately said a rather gruff, “No”. That sort of slowed her down, but she went into her spiel after a slight hesitation.
Let us get something straight. Quite possibly the biggest truth benders, even worse than journalists, are recruiters. They get paid to tell you what you want to hear. Their time ashore is based solely upon how many people they can sign up. There is a quota. If they do not make that quota they are going back to the room with the porthole view.
There are other bennies for recruiting duty. Holcomb told us that she gets an extra $978 a month to live on civvies’ streets. Think how nice an apartment you could get for that and how much left over. They get a special uniform allowance and a free car. Top it off with they do not see their supervisors except weekly as opposed to constantly when they are out on the rolling waves.
Holcomb went on and on about the time spent in port. Her ship pulled into Marseilles and they got time off and a discount trip to Paris and stayed for free at a USO hostel. La, la, la. Then I dropped the bomb and asked her just how long she had been at sea before pulling in. It turns out it was six months.
Well Jake and I had a few questions concerning pay and how long was the enlistment, etc. Jake is now thinking it over that is good. While I am pleased he is going in I am not taking any chances.
I am going to buy some Iraqi war bonds just in case.© 2014, Jim McGowan