Imagine Shame

Imagine for a moment a world in which one might choose the type of healthcare insurance one wanted. The train wreck of Obamacare Employers would be free to provide, in whole, in part, or not at all, what healthcare insurance they wished as a perquisite to their employees. Employees would be free to choose from their employer’s plans, or choose their own plans, or choose to self-insure. Employers might choose to supply high-deductible ‘catastrophic’ coverage, low-deductible ‘maintenance’ coverage, less expensive coverage to their non-smoking employees, coverage that excluded well-baby care, or coverage that includes, or excludes, a combination of any number of these and other variants.  Christian Scientist, Baptist, and Catholic employers (whether churches, hospitals, schools, or simply adherents) might choose plans that excluded coverage of most illnesses, or of those symptoms and diseases commonly associated with drinking and dancing, or of abortions, contraceptives, and sexual prophylactics, respectively. Imagine a healthcare market that supplies the many kinds of healthcare coverage for which there might be a demand created by both employers and employees at mutually agreed prices.  Consider the liberty attendant to the risk of not buying health insurance. At one time, not long ago, this situation existed in America.  Such was the freedom associated with our healthcare insurance choices, as they were untrammeled by our national government.  Kiss this vision goodbye.  As long predicted, we are all about to choke on ObamaCare. Shame on any who believed in the hope and change advertised by Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Someday they will understand the well-worn cliché that nothing is as expensive as that which the government seeks to provide free. We truly deserve the government we elect. Shame on the Catholic bishops and organizations who solicited and promoted the passage of this law and who hypocritically whine about the rules and regulations now being promulgated under it.  Shame on this president who was well advised not to allow HHS to issue its ruling in the form it did on 20 January and who now believes that an accounting trick will resolve the First Amendment issues that it provokes.  Shame on Jacob Lew (the president’s most recent chief of staff) who claimed, during the course of multiple interviews, that the president had not changed his mind on this rule but that the president was simply now disclosing additional details about its implementation. Mostly, shame on us for not understanding that, when we allow legislation like the ACA to pass Congress, we bypass the institutions that mediate between our national government and ourselves.  These institutions exist not only to meet our needs in efficient ways, but also to provide us freedom and independence from the type of coercion HHS’s recent rulemaking represents. Rendering such institutions useless by binding them in an intimate, pervasive, financial relationship with our national government simply means they eventually become mere outlets for the giant, monolithic, policymaking machine of that government. Now, let’s take one final trip down memory lane.  The primary promise of ObamaCare, according to our president in New Hampshire as late as August 11, 2009, was:

“If you like your health care plan, . . .

. . . you can keep your health care plan.”

Romney – No Job Creator

Folks, All I know is what the good people at OS tell me is wrong with America.  Mitt Romney ain’t no job creator.  Well, so be it.

San Luis Regional Detention Center (SLRDC) - Main Entrance
Main Entrance – San Luis Regional Detention Center
(SLRDC)

Now, as y’all know, yesterday, bein’ the first Saturday of the month an’ all, t’was time for our little group, the ‘Board of Directors’, to meet.  We generally have solutions for most of the world’s problems.  However, we is sworn to secrecy. As I walked into Lon’s Restaurant last evening, most of the guys were already there. “Uncle!” “Hey!” I looked around the table.  The six of us have known one another for decades. We all had worked hard; we all had been fortunate; but our total combined net worth was probably slightly north of one tenth of Mitt Romney’s estimated $250 million – unless one of us is sandbaggin’. “What’s up?”  I asked. “We wuz jest discussin’ the social value of our investments.”  George said. “Yeah, right . . . .” “No joke.”  George said. “Well, George, you know why I invest.  I jest wanna pay my bills, take some trips, enjoy life, help the children, spoil the grandchildren, be selfish, and still have money when I die.” “No, really . . . .  Paul wanted to know if any of us wuz still job creators.” “What do ya mean?  We’re all retired.  We all sold, or shut down, our businesses.  How in the hell are we goin’ to be job creators when we don’ hire no one no mo?” I found my seat.  The waiter came over; and I ordered a sarsaparilla. “Well, Uncle, tell us again about those municipal bonds you bought last year for that there San Luis community center.” I am just fat enough that I can appear to strut, even while seated. “Boys, I jest got lucky with dat deal.  Dat issue had a 5% coupon; and I bought what dey had lef’ at a small discount, so my yield is actually a little higher than a snake’s belly.” Paul chimes in, “‘Course, da interest paid on dem bonds is tax-free at da federal and State level as well, so you bettah off dan Romney on dat score and yo net return may be better dan wat you might git on taxable commercial paper at 9%.” “‘True dat!”  I sez. “Remind me, Uncle, what dey doin’ in San Luis?” “Well, as y’all know, San Luis is about 20 miles south of Yuma, right on top of our border with ol’ Mexico.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Marshall Service need a detention facility there because of all the illegal activity in those parts; and they have shared a 548-bed confinement center in San Luis since the city invested in buildin’ it in 2007.” Scott asks, “This is one that was shown on Frontline recently?  It houses both men and women?” “Yep; and they wanted to add another 368 beds a couple of years ago because they done run out of space.  That there addition was completed in November of last year and those bonds I bought were issued by the City of San Luis to pay fer it.” Rich looks puzzled.  “What does the City of San Luis have to do with all this federal shit?” “Well, the City of San Luis owns the damn place.  It’s not a GSA building.  They lease it out to a private service, which is under contract to provide detention services for federal prisoners.  In return, this here private service charges us taxpayers based upon the facility’s occupancy; and parts of those there payments are returned to the City of San Luis to pay off the bonds issued to fund construction.” “Ahhhhhhhhh.”  Rich said “Yeah.”  I continued.  “So, this one-horse town of San Luis gets an infusion of about $500,000 a year into its budget as a result of this operation.” “Well, you know why we are interested in this investment, right?” “No. . . I cain’t figger that out.” “It’s because you’re a JOB CREATOR, Uncle.” “Huh?” “Yeah, just think about it.  Your money helped build a place that requires guards, maintenance men, and administrators, right?” “Sure . . . . and, now that I think about it, all private employees!” “In addition, your money was used to pay for materials and labor to build the place, right?” “Absolutely . . . .” “meaning . . . . all those people who worked in the mines to produce the copper for the plumbing and the electrical, the iron used for the steel for the structure, and the limestone for the concrete, . . .” “I guess. . . . “ “ . . . along with all those who refined those raw materials into the products that were used during the course of construction, AND all those who put the damn place together, . . .” “Yep, those too . . .” “ . . . were all paid, at least in part last year, to do what they did to finish the addition onto the prison with your money . . . .” “Damn right!”  I said, sitting up straight.  “So, I AM a job creator, eh?  Funny, I don’t feel like one.  I didn’t have no payrolls.  I didn’t have to hoist my ass early out of bed each morning to go to work.  I didn’t have to make no biznis-type decisions.” “Yeah, you be one of those ‘1%’ rich boys who ain’t doin’ nuttin’ for da po’ folk in our society . . . .” My drink comes and the conversation wanders off onto what our poor incumbent President inherited.  Triple A bond rating . . . . that kind of stuff. Finally, Paul sees me staring out of the window. “What’s wrong, Uncle?” “Hell, I was just wonderin’ what it would be like to run fer president.”  I said.

What Mitt Romney Will Face this Year

Fortunately, not all Liberals are Socialists or Progressives.  Fortunately, not all Liberals are this stupid.

Nevertheless, one must bless Representative Waters’ poor, pea pickin’ heart, and those who voted for her.  Maybe they are all confined to just one place on this planet.

Now, just skip over the propaganda in this piece and concentrate upon the reality of what is being said in this video.

One of the Best Signs at Church

Stained glass window depicting Saint Luke

Not too long ago, I was late for Mass.  While this isn’t unusual, on this day, for some reason, the parking lot was exceptionally full.  Consequently, the car was installed in an area different from where it is normally; and entry was made through the main doors, instead of one of the side doors. The main entrance consists of a set of double doors flanked on each side with stained glass windows three feet wide and six feet tall.  Many likely have wondered at both the beauty and innocence in play here. These stained glass windows are unprotected on the outside by either metal screens, thick plastic, or tempered glass as is normally the case.  Hence, an errant baseball from the parking lot could easily make its entrance into the church through one of these works of art. On the other hand, this uninhibited exterior lets these stained glass windows brightly radiate outward early in the morning by virtue of the architecture and alignment of the vestibule they terminate.  During the day, and especially in the evening, these windows cast their bright colors on the carpet and walls inside this area illuminating it in airy and slow moving ways. The Mass had begun.  We confessed our faults.  We made our way through the liturgy of the Word. After the departure of Father Kenn a couple of years ago, we had been assigned two priests from Africa whose accents were so thick that it is a struggle to understand their speech.  Nevertheless, several things are clear: These priests are exceptionally intelligent and enthusiastic about their ministry.  They work hard.  They are both greatly infused with the Holy Spirit; and their behavior seemingly conforms closely to the message left of us by Jesus in the New Testament. Be that as it may, since their arrival, I had been less enthusiastic about going to church.  This was my failing, not theirs. Thus, as the sermon started, other thoughts penetrated; and, as usual, I started drifting away, only half hearing what Father Robert was saying. “Some of you may have noticed that one of our stained glass windows was broken.  A poor boy came into our church through the window last night and was caught by the police.  Let us all keep him in our prayers.  He might not have had the best of intentions; but he deserves our wishes for his rapid recovery.” What?  Did I miss something?  What was Father Robert talking about?  A stained glass window was broken?  It could only be one of the ones near the main doors.  All of the others were too narrow, or too high, for human access.  Why hadn’t I noticed anything as I came in? Suddenly, the Mass could not end soon enough.  Why hadn’t Father Robert asked for extra donations to replace what was beautiful, and therefore expensive?  The liturgy of the Eucharist seemed to take forever. When the Mass ended, I purposely waited to fall in behind the crowd that seemed unconcerned about the window.  I wanted some time alone and unhurried with the scene of the crime.  It all seemed surreal, as if I had only dreamed what Father Robert had said. When the vestibule was gained, sure enough, it was noticeably darker, a fact unnoticed upon entry.  A plywood sheet covered the aperture where the stained glass window had been, confirming, to some degree, a connection to reality.  The plywood had been neatly cut to fit the frame.  It had been neatly installed. Father Robert stood in his normal place, next to this window, shaking hands with those who exited through the main doors, but not talking about the window or the events associated with its breakage.  There was no glass on the floor. All had been meticulously cleaned.  All shards had been removed from the frame.  This must have taken much time in the middle of the night. There was no collection plate, or box, appealing for extra funds. In an absent-minded way, I shook Father Robert’s hand and greeted him. However, my attention was elsewhere, specifically, behind him.  The main doors were open for passage.  I was forced out. Outside, reality still seemed remote.  An urge to confirm it presented itself a few steps down the broad concrete walkway.  I turned back to look.  Departing parishoners swerved to walk around me. Sure enough, there was the neatly cut plywood covering the place where that window had been.  The window was gone because some boy, possibly on drugs, had thought that there was something on the other side worth stealing and fencing to fund his next high. However, in the middle of the plywood, neatly stapled to it, was a sheet of copy paper.  Its message was smartly printed in large black font, seemingly just composed in Word and just produced from the computer printer.  It was immediately the sole object of the universe for me.  I could not squint my myopic eyes fast enough to read its message:

A GOOD TIME TO FORGIVE

Facts and Logic – Political Discourse In America