Since the hotel is in the middle of the amusement park area, there were dozens of little kids (middle school age and younger) all over the place at all times, especially by the swimming pool.
The bartender at the pool is a very nice lady from Scotland named Janie. We talked about how you still have enough sunlight (when it’s sunny) to read the newspaper outdoors at eleven at night in Edinburgh in the middle of the summer, while zillions of kids swarmed around us and ran under the swimming pool’s orca fountain.
You can stay away from the headlines but sometimes the headlines stay with you:
There was a large contingent of Venezuelans staying at the hotel. Entire families, who had purchased hotel and amusement park packages, costing thousands of dollars. The dissonance between this and the country’s situation was jarring, not only to me but also to my travel companions.
I’m sure very few people were actually at Kathy Griffin attempt at attention via the Trump beheading photo shoot. After all it’s the logical conclusion of the continual attacks since November and the media narrative that the election of Trump is the greatest crisis the nation has ever faced.
Since nobody would notice Kathy Griffin under normal circumstances it is natural that both her and the folks setting up the photo shoot would use such a method to get her out there and generate clicks and views
Furthermore as demonstrated by the campus left there there are plenty of folks for whom this type of thing is only going to make her more popular. You can make a good living out of that niche market. I can see the campus leftist’s now: Of Course Suggesting Beheading the President is OK, He’s Hitler you know.
What might surprise some are prominent members of the left from Chelsea Clinton to Keith Olbermann falling over themselves to denounce her actions. You might think this is just virtue signaling but no, their reactions are very calculated.
Consider, the left has just lost another special election in Montana and GA 6 election is coming up in a few weeks.
How would the left like to see Karen Handel running ads linking her Democrat opponent to Kathy Griffin, perhaps using the CNN segment of Molly Ball of the Atlantic dismissing it to show the MSM’s indifference to this kind of thing?
Given the reaction of voters in Montana the last thing the press wants is to give normal Americans already dismissing them as fiction another reason to tune them out.
Of course a campaign on that is on the ball would already have an add out linking Griffin and Ball to Jon Ossoff and demanding he denounce them. If he fails to then it can be played up, if he does then I’m sure that might lose him some fans with the more fanatical Trump haters that the left needs to turn out. The Handel campaign or one of the PACS supporting her should get on this at once.
And after they do then can send a card to Kathy noting how kind it was of her to give such a gift to their election effort.
A Republican Super PAC has found a new way to target Democratic candidates: Kathy Griffin.
A new ad uses the controversial comedian to criticize Democrat Jon Ossoff, saying her recent controversial actions are part of a pattern of behavior from “liberal extremists” who now support the House candidate running in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
As ever, Mark Steyn shouts into the wilderness, noting that, in the wake of the Islamic terror bombing in Manchester, England, UK politicians are all on-message, lamenting “sowing of division” as the alleged goal of yet another set of “lone” wolves.
When death stalks the land, make no mistake: He may look like a grim reaper, but he’s really a grim sower. An entire sowing bee of experts has so decreed. Indeed, in their warnings about sowing division, our betters are so non-divided that they give off the faintly creepy whiff of fellows all reading off the same cue card helpfully biked round to them by the Central Commissar ten minutes after the “incident” occurred.
You non-experts might think this a fairly crude sleight of hand – that concerns about “division” is a not so subtle way of suggesting that the real problem isn’t guys like Salman Abedi waiting with his nail bomb at the exit to the pop concert, but divisive types like you querying whether it’s prudent to keep importing more and more Islam into the western world. Well, screw you: if you disagree that the real danger here is the sowing of division, you’re just sowing even more division.
Pace The Toronto Star, I’m not sure it is “stating the obvious” to say that Monday’s attack was meant to “sow division”. What’s going on in Britain and Europe occurs because division has already been sown. It was sown by a careless political class that insisted there could be no questioning of a reckless demographic experiment. It is being reaped, as the division-sowing pop star Morrissey has divisively noted, by the political class’ hapless citizenry.
(This zombie-like messaging reminds me of 2008, when I noted how on-message American Democrat politicians were when they all asserted that “we can’t drill our way out of this”—the ‘this’ in question having been a so-called gasoline crisis.)
But, even before I got to Steyn’s conclusion–stated much more vividly that I can or want to reword here–the retort was in my mind: no, Islamic terrorists are not trying to sow division. They are trying to sow a singularity: a world that is totally Islamic. And, I contend that British and EU politicians know exactly what they are doing. They’ve planted Islam in Europe and allowed it to grow, to their own specific ends. And, when the time comes, most of them will convert–or at least wear to public face of Islamic piety. (I can’t imagine them giving up their expensive champagne.)
To these politicians, a bunch of blown-up little English girls are just the broken eggs for the Omelet of Unity. One with no ham, of course.
China also celebrated a three-day holiday over the past weekend—a festival commemorating the story of a famous poet.
People in Guangzhou, where I am teaching, packed the route along the tributaries of the Pearl River as more than 100 dragon boats cruised through the city.
The festival is a memorial of the death of the poet and politician Qu Yuan (340–278 B.C.) of the ancient state of Chu during the Zhou dynasty.
When the Zhou king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, the creators of the Terra Cotta warriors in Xi’an, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason.
In exile, Qu became China’s first great poet.
Years later, the Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. In despair, Qu committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.
The story goes that local people raced out in their boats to save him or at least retrieve his body. Thus, the story of the dragon boats began. When his body could not be found, the locals dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu’s body. Thus began the legacy of zongzi, or sticky rice. Hint: if you have never eaten sticky rice, you take off the leaf and the ribbon.
Smithsonian Magazine provides some great background:
“One of the most important mythical creatures in Chinese mythology, the dragon is the controller of the rain, the river, the sea, and all other kinds of water; symbol of divine power and energy…. In the imperial era it was identified as the symbol of imperial power,” writes Deming An, a professor of folklore at the Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. “In people’s imaginations, dragons usually live in water and are the controllers of rain.
“Dragon boat racing is ascribed to organized celebrations of beginning in the 5th or 6th century A.D. But scholars say the boats were first used hundreds of years earlier, perhaps for varied reasons. On the lunar calendar, May is the summer solstice period, the crucial time when rice seedlings were transplanted…. To ensure a good harvest, southern Chinese would have asked the dragons to watch over their crops, says Jessica Anderson Turner, a Handbook of Chinese Mythology contributor. They would have decorated their boats with ornate dragon carvings, “and the rowing was symbolic of the planting of the rice back in the water,” Anderson Turner explains.
The People’s Republic of China did not officially recognize the celebration as a public holiday. But the dragon boat races spread throughout the world. Since 2008, “Duanwu Jie” as it’s known in China, has been celebrated not only as a festival but also as a public holiday. It’s a whole lotta fun!
The Doctor: Think Think Think Think Think Think Stupid Doctor. Stupid Stupid Stupid [an idea hits him] Handsome Doctor! Adorable, hugely intelligent, but still approachable Doctor!
Doctor Who The Pyramid at the End of the World 2017
Hey Guess what? For a brief moment I thought Democrat house organ Politico has noticed that there is a difference between media coverage of Democrat “enthusiasm” and actually winning elections!
nearly a year after Sanders’ presidential run fell short, one thing is missing in the afterglow — a reliable string of victories at the ballot box.
The losses are piling up. Earlier this month, Democrat Heath Mello, whom Sanders campaigned with, failed to unseat a Republican in Omaha’s race for mayor. Kimberly Ellis, the candidate endorsed by Our Revolution, the successor group to Sanders’ presidential campaign, lost a fiercely contested race for California Democratic Party chair. And on Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte bested Rob Quist, another Democrat for whom Sanders campaigned, in a nationally watched House race in Montana.
Speaking at a victory party, Gianforte called the election proof “Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi can’t call the shots here in Montana.”
Could it be that the media has finally reached a stage of self awareness? Actually no. The clue to what Politico is really doing is out there. Not so much in the piece, although it hints toward it, nor its title and sub title “Sanders revolution hits a rough patch Bernie’s supporters struggle to capture the actual levers of power.” which again hints toward the message they want to send.
No the real message is in the URL of the piece “http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/29/bernie-sanders-ballot-losses-238889 (emphasis mine)
These aren’t “Democrat” ballot losses, these aren’t “liberal” ballot losses, they aren’t even Hillary ballot losses, these losses belong to Bernie Sanders who apparently can’t bring the party over the finish line.
I suspect Politico’s sudden realization “energy” doesn’t equal votes has more to do with marginalizing Bernie Sanders supporting the Democrat Establishment and Hillary Clinton in particular’s attempt to drive Democrats back into the “mainstream” fold than pointing out that the party is all smoke. It the MSM’s attempt to associate these losses with Bernie rather than the party
Ah the democrats and their media allies, out to get Bernie during the primaries and still out to get him when the day is done. I wonder how long after the rest of the MSM picks up this meme before Sanders supports figure that out?
Summary: We’ll be happy to enslave your planet, if you ask really nice.
Plot: In the middle of the most volatile region on the planet a Pyramid at least 5000 years old suddenly appears heralding the arrival of the alien menace that has been wargaming their invasion forever, but there is a catch, they need to be invited by people who love them, will the people of Earth do so?
Writing: One must be a little forgiving on a multi part story but after about 10 minutes so much in this episode is entirely predictable. The only exception was the fact that Bill asked for the Doctor’s eyesight rather than his life (although in theory one leads to the other). Furthermore no explanation is given as to why these folks need to be loved in order to take over the planet, again this might be in the next part but then again it might not. The story wasn’t bad per se but it could have, and in fact should have been so much better. Two pluses, I like the way the Character Rachel was written so her dwarfism is completely incidental rather than pushed and I really liked the Bill and Penny scene.
Acting: It’s rare that I mention a supporting actor first but Rachel Denning as Erica is first rate, since we know that Peter Capaldi is leaving it’s very possible that it might to introduce her as a companion (but likely that would have been announced already if true) she clearly has chemistry with Capaldi, more than Mackie frankly, but as he’s leaving that’s unlikely. Lucas and Capaldi do their normal good job and Mackie is fine (particularly in her scene with Penny which was great) but I found her acting in the climax completely unconvincing.
Memorable Moments: The Pope flashback, the Secretary General, and really not much else.
Doctor Who Flashbacks: The whole invaders from the beginning of time brings to mind the Silence from the Matt Smith years but other than that, not much.
Oddities: I can’t see the Doctor not realizing that Nardole would be vulnerable to the infection.
Pet Peeves: Two huge plot holes. #1 If there is CCTV and the monks are monitoring it why couldn’t the Doctor use that to let Bill see the current numbers (which is all he needs to figure the combination, the second is hole is MUCH worse. These beings have been wargaming the conquering of earth since the beginning of history , that being the case why not conquer it at the primitive time when they would appear as Gods and lovingly be given control. That’s so obvious that I’m almost insulted that it wasn’t brought up. And of course there is the gratuitous slam of Trump.
Erica: [As Tardis appears] Oh my god! The Doctor: No, I’m the Doctor, but it’s an easy mistake to make.
Penn: How did it go the dream version? [Flash back to the Pope scene from last week] [Laughing] The Pope! Bill:In person. Penny: The Pope, In your flat here? Bill:Yeah Penny: Your tutor has strange dreams. Bill:I bet he does Yeah Penny: Maybe he’s trying to keep you on the straight and narrow. Bill: Maybe yeah. How to you feel on the subject? [Armed Soldiers break in] WOAH! Soldier:Stay where you are, please remain still and calm, keep your hands in sight on the table. Ms Potts? Bill:Yeah? Soldier:who’s this. Bill: this is my friend Penny who the hell are you? Soldier:Room secure your excellency [elderly asian man enters] This is Miss Potts Sir. Bill: Hi Soldier: Ms Potts this is the secretary-general of the UN
The Doctor: Hello. Red Monk:We know you. The Doctor:Then you’ll know there is a line in the sand and I’m the man on the other side of it, you want to keep me that way. Red Monk: We will take this planet and it’s people. The Doctor:You will be prevented, you will be fought. Red Monk:We will be invited. We will take this world, we will rule its people, but only when we’re asked.
The Doctor: Think Think Think Think Think Think Stupid Doctor. Stupid Stupid Stupid [an idea hits him] Handsome Doctor, Adorable, hugely intelligent, but still approachable Doctor! What’s another way to destroy bacteria? Erica:Sterilization The Doctor: and how do you sterilize something? Ericia:Put it in boiling water The Doctor:or Erica:Put it in a flame. The Doctor:She’s got it. By George she’s got it. I’m not going to lie to you, this means you’re insurance premiums are going to go through the roof in fact pretty much everything is going to go through the roof because I’m going to blow up the lab. I just need some kind of trigger first. Erica:What are you going to blow it up with [it hits her] The Bacteria is making ethanol the green house and the lab are full of it! The Doctor: Seriously what are you doing when this is all over?
Final Verdict: 4 stars A pretty good episode but I expected so much more.
Ranking of Season: 2nd of 7 It was a tough call between this one and Knock Knock but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt over the multi part business.
SHREVEPORT — On this Memorial Day 2017, I am re-posting my traditional Memorial Day post about a local family that lost three sons in World War II. The story of the Kelley family always gives me pause and causes me to be thankful for the freedoms and blessings we have today. They were truly The Greatest Generation. I started researching this family years ago when my husband and I began visiting a local veterans cemetery — one of the oldest cemeteries in Shreveport, and we saw these two brothers buried side by side, one of whom died on D-Day. Their graves are always tended with fresh flowers (well, artificial but never faded and always in time with the season). I became curious about them and about the person who was still paying honor to their graves. I found a couple of family members, one in particular, who was very generous about sharing their story.
So today, I’m remembering the Kelley brothers:
It’s probably safe to say that Saving Private Ryan is all over your television menu this Memorial Day weekend. It’s difficult to escape the endless rebroadcasts of the moving story of Private First Class James Francis Ryan lost behind enemy lines after the Normandy D-Day invasion and the ensuing quest to save him.
The film is fiction but there is a real life version of this story right here in Shreveport. In fact, this sort of scenario existed across the nation for multiple families during that turbulent time. As we observe Memorial Day today, let me share with you the story of the Kelley family who lost three sons in less than two years.
Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror. In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary. He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd. When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.
Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England. Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944. He was twenty-four years old.
The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.
A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion. Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:
“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news. This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”
He was correct: the grim news was only beginning.
Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942. Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport. He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership. Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper. Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82ndAirborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska. In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France. They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.
Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River. Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone. They were scattered over a 15 mile area. The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night. The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned. Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.
“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”
Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop. He wrote:
I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy.
We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles. As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July.
When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch. It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, “mucksnell toot sweet Americanos”.
We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.
Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine. She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.” Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20. She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home. He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”
A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943. He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis. He never made it out of basic training. He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.
The remaining Kelley brother was Jack. Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis. His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas. It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryanwhere General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers. In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war. Jack Kelley died in 1998.
The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948. Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport. Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road. Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery. It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.
For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers. There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers. Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby’s daughter. I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.
As we observe Memorial Day today, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers. It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor each Memorial Day.
When Scott, a male model who says he’s in his 30s, kicks off the Hamptons high season this weekend at his Sag Harbor waterfront house, the unattached hunk won’t have any reservations about hooking up with women he hardly knows.
“I had a vasectomy a few months ago. Having a house in the Hamptons and being fairly well-off, I’ve encountered some problems — women try to get pregnant,” said Scott, a regular on the society scene who earns a cool half-million a year.
He recalled sex partners who have lied to him about being on birth control. “It’s a trick. [They say] ‘I love you, [we] don’t need a condom.’ ”
Scott — who describes himself as “Tarzan with light eyes” — typically beds up to 10 different women per summer and estimates that 20 percent of the single ladies he encounters are looking to trap a rich guy with a baby.
The goal? At the very least: 18 to 21 years of child support and, in some instances, a green card for the mother, since their child would be born in the US
It the culture that I was brought up with, the proper description of these guys would be a “bum”. And apparently these poor abused rich bums are horrified at the prospect that sex might have consequences and so it’s time to go under the knife:
“This extortion happens all the time. Women come after them. [They get pregnant and] want a ransom payment,” said Shusterman. “Some guys do an analysis of the cost — for three days of discomfort [after a vasectomy], it’s worth millions of dollars to them.
“I never see a poor guy [asking] for a vasectomy,” he added. “Rich guys are a population that’s abused a lot.”
Just ask John, a 34-year-old bachelor who had the procedure this month. (He asked that his name be changed for professional reasons.)
The real-estate developer and Upper West Side resident — who said he can have a different sex partner in the Hamptons every weekend — doesn’t want a repeat of last summer, when a woman he met at a party tried to pull a fast one after sex.
Now let’s forget the fact that this operation isn’t going to protect these guys from the various sexually transmitted diseases and the like, let’s also forget that the fact that the longer you wait to reverse a vasectomy the lower the chances it can be reversed and let’s concede Glenn Reynolds point that the women who do this are dishonest and dishonorable but the bottom line is the confirmation of this line by Stacy McCain at Medium.
Once you separate sexual behavior from its procreative function, so that “sex” is no longer about men and women forming permanent pair-bonds for the purposes of raising families, everything goes haywire. If “sex” is merely about hedonism, and if we can only discuss “sexuality” and “gender” as amorphous intellectual abstract concepts based on our emotional moods, then we can expect endless confusion and misery to follow.
But there’s more to it than that. If you look at the rules of Judeo-Christianity as taught and as written for thousands of years before our friends on the left and in academia got ahold of them, you figure out very quickly that said rules were not about punitive restrictions of a dictator demanding his subject follow his whims, but were about a loving father knowing what’s best for his children’s well being and happiness and steering them in the right direction.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a man just like the rest of these guys and I’d be lying if I didn’t wish that after 29 years of marriage I did as well in a year as these guys do in a couple of weeks, but I’m also old and wise enough to know how this will end, almost certainly with a woman much like the ones they are currently dodging in love with their money rather than themselves and if they are VERY lucky able to reverse their operation to have a family late in life who will stay just long enough to make sure the divorce settlement is to their liking.
but barring such luck it’s much more likely they will find themselves paying off student loans of woman’s studies majors for company while going long on Viagra futures as father time asserts himself.
Again this is not a question of a punitive result, it’s the logical ending to relationship goals based on hedonism.
Now if these fellows had been looking for a spouse early, they would not only have a readily available sexual partner but would likely have one whose affections were not based on the profit motive and a family to rejoice with him in success, comfort him in failure and when their later years came they would have family that would love them unconditionally.
Again this is not about rules or regulations this is about reality and in the end no matter how much money you have, reality will assert itself and no matter how little sympathy I have for these fellow, reality will have even less.
If these guys are smart they will stop looking for hookup and start looking for a wife, if not, may they be happy with the choices they make, because they’ll be living with them forever.
Following a good showing on his first overseas trip, President Trump returned to the states and called for something that has some on the right scratching their heads. He’s wanting more dollars put towards health care.
I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead - the Republicans will do much better!
One of the things that got the AHCA passed in the House was the decrease in spending on health care. The conservative Freedom Caucus pushed for several additions before voting for it, including the ability for states to opt-out of some of the more liberal points such as pre-existing conditions. However, the reason some gave for finally backing the bill is that it reduces overall spending on health care. What is the President asking for now?
Regardless of whether this was just a Tweet that can be disregarded as rhetoric in 140-characters-or-less or if its a sign that he really wants more money put into health care, the overarching theme is the same. Many in the GOP (and pretty much every Democrat), including the President, are missing the fundamental point that health care can only truly be fixed if the federal government systematically removes itself from the equation.
Obamacare isn’t failing because of subtle details or nuances. It’s failing because the concept behind government-mandated health care is fatally flawed. The differences between the ACA and the AHCA are so small that their cores are essentially the same. Both insert DC into an area where it simply doesn’t belong. By doing so, either will fail whether it has the letter (R) or (D) on its stamp of approval.
We don’t need more money plugged into health care. We need the massive amounts of money that are already pumped into health care focused by a consumer-driven free market. Businesses operate based upon the demands of three forces: government, consumers, and market conditions. Today, government has primacy in the equation by forcing the other two factors to be secondary. Consumers have very little impact in the equation because of mandates in both Obamacare and the current Trumpcare replacement being worked on in the Senate. As for market conditions, they are artificial because of government intervention. They will continue to be artificial if Obamacare is repealed and replaced with a variation of the AHCA.
Nearly everyone on Capitol Hill fears a full repeal for the same basic reason. They know that if it’s done right, it will work in the long term. The Democrats don’t want that because it exposes the long-con they’ve been working in DC for decades, the concept that more government is better. The Republicans don’t want that because they fear it won’t work quickly enough for them to retain power in the midterm elections. The AHCA isn’t designed to fix health care. It’s designed to pretend to fix it while mitigating fallout until election day.
If we systematically repeal Obamacare, we can have privatized health care once again. A replacement plan that tries to predict what will happen is foolish. Instead, we should repeal, then monitor and analyze the market. Over time, we’ll find the holes that need to be plugged. States, charities, and other organizations can fill most of these holes. Whatever is left, if anything, can fall to the federal government. This way, DC becomes the final safety net instead of being the first line of defense. That’s the way it should be in health care and a plethora of other areas.
The last thing this nation needs is more dollars redirected into health care. Those of us watching our premiums rise despite higher deductibles and worse coverage (which is a vast majority) know that there’s already “more dollars” in health care. It needs to be allocated properly through competition and the push for innovation. We can’t have the best health care in the world as the President hopes unless DC is willing to remove itself from the equation. Until then, the math will continue to fail miserably.
Netflix binge watching just brought me to Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands for the BBC crime drama Shetland, a series that is based upon books by Ann Cleeves.
Stoic Director Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), a Shetland native who moved back to the islands from Glasgow after the death of his wife, calmly investigates the archipelago’s murders–and as with many crime shows with a rural setting, such as Longmire, if added up the murder rate in Shetland would rival that of Baltimore. But who will tune in to watch a series about sheep rustling? Besides sheep rustlers, of course.
There have been three seasons so far–a fourth is currently under production. The first season, a two-episode entry entitled “Red Bones,” the series pilot, involves a World War II secret uncovered by an archeological dig, while Shetland’s annual winter celebration, the Nordic-inspired Up Helly Aa, takes place. “Red Bones” was released in 2013, amazingly there is a Donald Trump reference in it.
There are three two-episode storylines in Season 2. There are many, I suspect, in the Shetlands, so not surprisingly an eccentric hermit drives the action in “Raven Black.” The islands’ energy industry inflames tempers and worse in “Dead Water.” The final two-parter, “Blue Lightning,” set mostly on Perez’ boyhood home of Fair Isle, tells us that not even avian research centers are immune from homicide. This is the weakest effort in the series; the story seems stretched out, like a mediocre rock double album that would be a great one as a single disc release. And for much of “Blue Lightning” everyone on Fair Isle is stranded there because of a storm. Except viewers see no evidence of a storm. The BBC doesn’t have stock footage of crashing waves on rocks?
Fortunately Shetland bounces back for for a six-part episode for Season 3, its best. Just as I was wondering why the narcotics trade–a major blight in all European rural areas, particularly far-northern ones–was absent from the series, there it is. An incident on the Shetland ferry brings Henshall and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Alison ‘Tosh’ MacIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) to Glasgow–where much of Shetland is filmed–where they untangle a nine-year-old sexual assault that is linked to organized crime, obstruction of justice, and a senior citizens home.
Rounding out the cast is Steven Robertson as Police Constable Sandy Wilson, Erin Armstrong as Perez’ daughter, Mark Bonnar as her biological father, Anne Kidd as a forensic pathologist, and Julie Graham as Perez’ boss.
The accents are thick–so be prepared to use the rewind button on your remote or to switch on the closed captioning feature on your television while viewing Shetland. Unless of course you are Scottish.
Henshall is not just the lead actor but also the most accomplished one in Shetland. For his efforts he received the 2016 BAFTA award for best actor in television.
As expected, the cinematography is splendid, even though other parts of Scotland, those with treeless hills, often substitute for the Shetland Islands. Watching the series has me pining for a trip to Scotland and of course, the Shetlands.
But watching Season 4 will happen first for me.
In addition to Netflix, Shetland is also available on Amazon.