andysocial: (Scream)

If you’re passing around something saying that Congress and federal judges are exempt from the Affordable Care Act, you’re passing around bullshit. There is no health care program called “Obamacare” to be exempt from or to participate in. The federal government’s health insurance already complies with the mandates for coverage contained in the PPACA, so they don’t need to change. Is that “exempt” or is that “already compliant with” in your mind?

Congress is a special case. The GOP inserted language in the PPACA to require congresscritters and their staff members to participate in the health insurance exchanges, rather than stay on their (already PPACA-compliant) federal health insurance. This was a weird thing to do, as the exchanges were intended to be available to people who did not otherwise qualify for employer-provided or other health insurance. It was a deliberate political ploy to portray “Obamacare” as so repellent that the Dems would reject the provision. That ploy failed. They neglected to include language in the law regarding whether the government (as the employer) would continue to pay for the health insurance or not. The OPM issued a ruling this summer saying that, unless another law is passed changing it, the government will still be authorized to pay the same portion of the insurance premium they do for other federal employees. Is that an “exemption” or is that a “unique situation contrived to be as insane as possible” to you?

Many of these memes passing around also state that unions are exempt from “Obamacare.” Since that is still not a specific thing from which to be exempt, what could they possibly mean? Many unions got waivers from a particular provision of the law, which would have required coverage caps to rise to $750,000 by last year and be gone entirely by next year. Some companies and unions didn’t want to pass that expense on to their employees, so they asked for and received waivers until 2014. At that time, the waivers for coverage caps will go away. It’s kind of an exemption, but not from the full force of the law. And, it’s going to go away in a few months. So…not really “exempt from Obamacare” after all. Oh, and only 25% of the waivers have gone to unions, but you know how much the Right hates unions. Now, personally, I would have denied the waivers for caps. That particular provision was intended to prevent people from running out of insurance if they had a long period of illness or an expensive procedure. It’s somewhat inhumane to allow some people to be subject to caps, but not others.

There are some groups which are completely exempt from any health insurance mandate. The two biggest groups are Native Americans and some religious groups. The religious groups which are exempt are the ones which are also exempt from paying into (and drawing from) Social Security, such as the Old Order Amish, and groups which have a mutual self-aid system in place that essentially has everyone pay for anyone’s health care in the group. Also, if you make so little money that you don’t even have to file a federal tax return, you are exempt from the mandate. You’re also in a really crappy life.

Anyway, anything to do with the Affordable Care Act is complex and hard to nail down to just a quick meme, but don’t believe everything that you read just because it feels truthy to you.

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham agree that the United States government must Do Something to address Terry Jones’ burning of a Quran. Several days after Jones burned a book in Florida, the duly elected (stop laughing) president of Afghanistan fomented some dissent about it, and some clerics in Afghanistan called on the USA to arrest Jones and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. And then they rioted and killed some completely unconnected civilians, just to prove how reasonable their demands were.

Terry Jones is an asshole. Fred Phelps is also an asshole. I don’t ever want to hear what those people, or others like them, have to say about anything. Their voices are irrelevant to my life and counterproductive to the causes of acceptance and tolerance and peace. However, they have the right to be assholes and say shitty horrible things and even burn a book (assuming the book is not stolen and they abide by fire regulations for the local municipality, of course). Popular speech, by definition, does not need to be protected; only unpopular speech needs such security.

How in the world do two United States Senators of no little seniority decide to promulgate a view that the rioters are not to blame for a riot, the murderers are not to blame for murders? Instead, in twisted “we’re at war” land, the person burning a book in Florida is responsible for the deaths of UN members in Afghanistan. Considering that the Undeclared War On A Specific Tactic is impossible to define in time or space, claiming that free speech must be curtailed because the USA has soldiers in harm’s way means that free speech is curtailed for all time. The UWOAST is a war (never declared so therefore not really but “police action” or “military excursion” doesn’t have the right ring to it) without end, and these two men, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, think that same Constitution doesn’t apply unless they want it to? Fuck them too.

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.


andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

As of this school year, Texas public schools will be required to teach the Bible. In public schools. After our illustrious Governor appointed the second creationist loon in a row to head the state Board of Education.

Why does the GOP want other people to laugh at Texas?

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

You just have to wonder about the priorities of the Catholic Church.

  1. Male priest has romantic relationship with a woman.  Reaction from the Catholic church:
  2. Father Cutie’s actions have caused grave scandal within the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami — especially our priests — and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large.

  3. Over 800 priests abuse thousands of children for decades, with the aid and collusion of the Irish government. Church reaction: silence.
  4. Priests sexually abuse thousands of children in the United States. Church reaction: move priests around and threaten anyone who speaks out with expulsion.
andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

Prince, in thrall to his Jehovah Witness beliefs, seems to be opposed to gay marriage and adoption.

Prince: Prince Says God Against Homosexuality.

This is the guy who wrote “Pussy Control” and “Darling Nikki?”  What the hell?

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

You may have heard a story or two on the news recently about the peculiar group of polygamists down the road from me. After attending a school function for The Boy next door to Fort Concho, I had an encounter with a Texas State Trooper.

School function, so I took photos. The sight of me with a camera was of some interest to the DPS officer, apparently. He asked if I’d been taking photos of the Fort, which of course I hadn’t been and told him that. Then he turned friendly and wished me a good day. About 50 meters down the street, I passed a man with a massive camera taking photos of the Fort, while standing in the street. Guess he was too obvious.

Anyway, I know that there are many issues (privacy, witness tampering, yada yada) involved in this mess, and I’m not about to raise a fuss about a rather minor thing, but I’m allowed to take photos of just about anything I want to. I can’t help but wonder how the conversation would have gone if I’d actually been so bold as to have taken a photo of Officer Friendly or (gasp!) even of the State Park, while standing on a public street. I’m sure the sky would have fallen.

Sure hope this circus is over soon. Housing all those people on the Fort has already caused at least one event cancellation.  This town uses the area for many community days.

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

It’s amazing to me how many people will deny reality in order to defend their prejudices and pre-existing notions. And there isn’t just one area of life that is vulnerable to this sort of reality denial; it can be everything from computers to cosmogony to theology.

Linux users have, for years, said it’s not the OS that is causing usability and productivity problems - it’s the lack of drivers. Of course, the average user doesn’t care why their printer doesn’t work, and is not going to blame HP for not supporting Linux, because their printer works just fine in Windows so it must be Linux’s fault that it doesn’t print.

Although the vast majority of the technology industry has come to the conclusion that Windows Vista is more trouble than it’s worth, some people defend it to the most ridiculous lengths. The driver defense comes up, just as with the Linux geeks from years past. “Vista is great, it just needs some drivers and people need to understand how to manage it. And the User Access Control dialog boxes aren’t very intrusive after you get used to clicking them every single session once per program or operation; people just need to get used to it. Of course, you can’t expect to run Vista on a machine with only one gigabyte of memory, no matter that the big box retailers sell 1GB machines with Vista Premium installed on them.”  And so on.

No, people won’t learn the OS in order to work their applications; they just want to click a file and make it work. To assert otherwise is to deny the reality of how the vast majority of people approach computing, in favor of some ideal world where everyone takes a three-week course in Vista before they operate it, and never go to skeezy websites and always keep their virus software updated… Well, you know.

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about theology? Nah. PZ Myers can do that for me.

andysocial: (freethinking)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

This is quite frightening.  55% of those polled think the Constitution of the United States established a Christian nation.  There is not one mention of any deity in the Constitution; not one.
Half say teachers should use the Bible as a factual textbook in history classes.  Seriously?  Did you know there’s no archaeological evidence for the Jews wandering in the desert for forty years?  Did you think that three million people might have left a slight impression?

56% think that freedom of religion applies to everyone.  The others say that there are some groups that don’t deserve the same freedom they want for themselves.
On the plus side, “only” 25% say the First Amendment goes too far, which is better than five years ago, when it was half.

Apr. 4th, 2007 02:34 pm

WWJD?

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

It’s apparently a very good week for twisted videos from YouTube.

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

If you haven’t heard of the controversial art show featuring a giant chocolate Jesus figure, posed as if being crucified but minus the cross, too late. It’s been canceled. The hotel where it was being shown says they cannot guarantee the safety of the show, as they’ve received threats of violence and even death threats against the artist and the show backers. That’s how you convince people you’re reasonable and have the power of right and goodness on your side - threaten them with death. So, are we going to hear anyone say that Christianity isn’t really a religion of peace, as we’ve been hearing about Islam?

Of course, the entire art exhibit would have languished in total obscurity if not for the protests against it. Apparently the protestors’ parents never told them, “ignore him, he’s just trying to get attention.”

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

I find it interesting that in the NY Times story about Ted Haggard admitting to buying drugs, the gay escort who outed him is referred to by his full name. As anyone knows, whoever is written up in the news with his middle name is a serial killer or child molester.

Of course, the Reverend says he was tempted, bought the drugs, but did not use it. Why, then, are there multiple voice mail messages, which ask for “more product” in increments of 100 or 200 dollars?  If you don’t do drugs, why would you get more of it?

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

South Park tonight not only includes Flying Spaghetti Monster references, but the oh-so-important Buck Rogers sequence.  Have Stone and Parker been hanging out with Seth MacFarlane?

andysocial: (Default)

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

Ok, seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people? The Pope quoted an earlier pontiff, saying that Muhammed was a violent and inhumane person. Even more shockingly for a religious leader, he appealed to reason to build a dialog. So, obviously, the next step would be to call for his immediate death. There’s no better way to convince people your religion is not evil or inhuman than by butchering anyone who claims otherwise. Yep. Good plan there.

Update:Just to prove how wrong anyone is who calls them violent and unreasonable, Muslims have now firebombed two churches (neither of which was Roman Catholic) in the West Bank.

Tags:

Profile

andysocial: (Default)
andysocial

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
161718192021 22
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:22 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios