Friday, October 04, 2013

Feds set repairs on glitchy health care website

Feds set repairs on glitchy health care website | Political Headlines | Comcast:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bedeviled by technology glitches that frustrated millions of consumers, the Obama administration is taking down its health overhaul website for repairs this weekend. Enrollment functions of the site will be unavailable during off-peak hours, the Health and Human Services Department said Friday.
The department did not release a schedule for hours of operation, but an HHS spokeswoman said the site would be taken down at 1 a.m. EDT each night for a few hours. The website will remain open for general information.
Technology problems overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets Tuesday, embarrassing the administration just when the health care law was supposed to be introduced to average consumers.

 "Americans have seen once again that Obamacare is not ready for prime time," Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, said in a statement. "A dysfunctional website is the least of that law's problems."

Why are we not surprised?

They had to activate the website, before they could see what it was.

We are unable to confirm the rumor that the man who set himself on fire on the National Mall was the lead programmer of the website.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Government Shut-down

Gov't shutdown: No progress on ending stalemate | General Headlines | Comcast:
The political stare-down on Capitol Hill shows no signs of easing, leaving federal government functions — from informational websites, to national parks, to processing veterans' claims — in limbo from coast to coast. Lawmakers in both parties ominously suggested the partial shutdown might last for weeks. 
A funding cutoff for much of the government began Tuesday as a Republican effort to kill or delay the nation's health care law stalled action on a short-term, traditionally routine spending bill. 
Republicans pivoted to a strategy to try to reopen the government piecemeal but were unable to immediately advance the idea in the House. 
 National parks like Yellowstone and Alcatraz Island were shuttered, government websites went dark and hundreds of thousands of nonessential workers reported for a half-day to fill out time cards, hand in their government cellphones and laptops, and change voicemail messages to gird for a deepening shutdown. 
The Defense Department said it wasn't clear that service academies would be able to participate in sports, putting Saturday's Army vs. Boston College and Air Force vs. Navy football games on hold, with a decision to be made Thursday.
Oh, this is SO bogus!

We saw this in the Clinton Administration .. we've seen it so many times before.  And it's all Politics,  press releases generated by the Presidency and designed to frighten us with the prospect of "essential services" curtailed.

The goal is to encourage us to talk to our congress-critters and convince them to .. well, do whatever we can to pressure the into stop pressuring our Federal Government.

Didn't happen before; won't happen again.

Here's a thought: Why don't the President, and all the Legislators and all the President's Men .... just curtail their own monthly salary?

It won't make a  big difference,  but it will show how dedicated they are to achieving some sort of unanimity.

Oh, they won't even do that?  Okay, that is a significant indicator.

It's all politics, all the time.  You know it, I know it, and they know it.  It's just that none of our elected representatives (You know .. the guys whose salary we pay?) are willing to actually commit themselves to the same penalties we experience when WE can't pay OUR bills!

What a bunch of morons!

Airsoft .. BAD! No kid gets to play with them!

7th-graders suspended for playing with airsoft gun in own yard | Fox News:

Two seventh-grade students in Virginia Beach, Va., were handed long-term suspensions Tuesday that will last until the end of the school year for playing with an airsoft gun in one of their front yards while waiting for the school bus. 
WAVY-TV reports that 13-year-old Khalid Caraballo and Aidan Clark will face an additional hearing in January to determine if they will be expelled for "possession, handling and use of a firearm" because the guns were fired at two others playing in Caraballo's yard. 
A neighbor saw Khalid shooting the airsoft gun in his yard and called 911, telling the dispatcher, "He is pointing the gun, and it looks like there's a target in a tree in his front yard," the station reported.
I remember when I was a kid, somewhat younger than the kids cited in this article, I had a pair of cap guns.

They were awesome!

They had real cartridges, with a 'bullet' that was the length of the 'cartridge'.

The deal was, you pulled the 'bullet' out of the 'cartridge' and put a "cap" (percussion-initiated firing device .. okay, you had to be there to know what a "cap" was and what a "cap gun" was) between the "bullet" and the "cartridge".

Then you loaded all six into the cylinders of your cowboy gun, and you were set to shoot six caps!

This was a bit less firepower than the regular cap guns, where you loaded a roll of caps and could shoot up to 100 times with realistic sound effects.  At the same time, it was more "realistic" because you were loading real ammunition!

Okay, there were no projectiles; just sound effects.  But at the time I still considered it "awsome" although the term was not in common usage.

So, I'm wondering about my neighbors.

They had to see me loading cartridges into my twin six-guns, and shooting them at my friends.

Why didn't my neighbors report me to the police?

Could it be .. they were sane?

I consider myself much more fortunate in my childhood than Khalid Caraballo and Aidan Clark

Their neighbors are a bunch of  Ninnys.

I only say that because I'm feeling kind, and I won't use the foul language which describes my true feelings about them.  And the school board, too.

(Go to the link, see the video.  These are good kids.)

Another example of "Zero Tolerance" policies:

7th grader suspended for small gun keychain | Fox News Video

Another Northern California county votes to secede from state

Another Northern California county votes to secede from state | Fox News:

 A second far Northern California county has voted to secede from the state after Modoc County supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of secession. 
The vote on Friday comes just weeks after neighboring Siskiyou County voted for secession, according to the Record Searchlight of Redding. 
Modoc County Board Chairwoman Geri Byrne tells the Record Searchlight that she put the secession measure forward after hearing support for the idea from people in her district. 
"We're not saying we're seceding today, we're saying let's look into it," Byrne said. 
The goal is to form a separate state called Jefferson that would also include parts of Southern Oregon. The idea for the state goes back to the 19th century. 
Many of the residents of the rural counties along the Oregon-California border have long felt that those in the urban halls of power in both states ignore their needs.
We're not saying that this decision by otherwise 'normal people' was influenced by Secretary of State  (and "Unfit To Lead") John Kerry's signing the United Nation's International Arms Control Treaty.

We're just saying that some people are "voting with their feet".

And that's a good thing --- isn't it?  Was this country not founded on the principle of "Principled Dissent"?

(No, I'm not going to move to Jefferson County.  At least, not this week.)

Kerry signs UN arms treaty

Kerry signs UN arms treaty, senators threaten to block it | Fox News:
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday signed a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, riling U.S. lawmakers who vow the Senate will not ratify the agreement.
As he signed the document, Kerry called the treaty a "significant step" in addressing illegal gun sales, while claiming it would also protect gun rights.
 "This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors. This is about reducing the risk of international transfers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world's worst crimes. This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong," he said. "This treaty will not diminish anyone's freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes."
 U.S. lawmakers, though, have long claimed the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. They note the U.S. Senate has final say on whether to approve the agreement.
The nation's press rushes to assures America that this will not infringe upon the Second Amendment.

And, I think, they are right.

The Constitution imposes some limits on treaties.  Specifically, any treaty which infringes on American Constitutional Rights is compared to the rights of American, and in any contest between treaty and Constitution,   the Constitution wins.

What is ignored in the discussion is that Congress and the Supreme Court can join to determine that or any governmental activity selected by Federal, or even State government,  do not necessarily enjoy the protection of the Constitution.

Witness the seizure of private property in recent years to build shopping malls.   The Constitution states that confiscation of private property requires several tests to be met, including appropriate compensation and that the property be used for the "public good".  But events have shown that the expropriation of private property sometimes benefits developers more than "the public good", and compensation rarely leaves property owners in a state of equilibrium; more often, home-owners are left relatively destitute, with insufficient compensation to purchase an equitable property elsewhere.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, it seems to me that a corresponding risk is involved in this nonsensical treaty.

Our government has signed what is essentially an "agreement in principle".

Essentially, this means (in this limited case) that America agrees that the sale of arms is 'a bad thing', and has here agreed to strictly limit the international sale of arms.  The terms have not necessarily been defined, but essentially the American Government has agreed to need to limit the importation of arms.

Thank God for Smyrna!
Yes, you will still be able to buy your Glock, because has probably been manufactured in America.  But any firearm which is manufactured outside the Continental United States of America is subject to a legal Blockade.


Because America has just agreed that foreign interests will be allowed to interdict sales to Americans  from firearms manufactured outside the country.

Mister Kettle, PLEASE stop criticizing Mister Pot!

From this point on, it is entirely possible that law-abiding firearms owners in America will be proscribed from buying firearms manufactured outside the country (imports).


Because YOU, Mister or Miss Legal Firearms Owner, have just been (internationally) equated to Mass Murderers in Durfur.  Or machete wielders in Rwanda.  Or any other radical group which uses massacres to achieve their political or religious goals .. which are with  increasing frequency achieved by genocide.

Of course, nobody is suggesting that this is a federal effort to support Mr. Obama's "Gun Control" agenda.  And nobody is saying that imported firearms have ever been identified as a contributing factor to mass slayings in schools, churches, or shopping malls .. which, incidentally, are notoriously identified as "Gun Free Zones"

It just .. seemed like The Right Thing To Do.

Everyone is doing it.  Why shouldn't we?