It’s been a while since Raven or I have posted anything, so I guess it’s about time for a new entry.  A lot has been going on in the meantime, and today the Supreme Court provided some blog-worthy material.

In a 5-4 decision today in Shelby County v. Holder, the court ruled that the formula for determining which states and local jurisdictions needed prior permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws is no longer valid and needs to be updated.  This practice, known as “preclearance”, is in Section 5 of the Act. Modifying the formula will be within the purview of Congress.

While updating a section of the Voting Rights Act to reflect the way things are today instead of how they were in 1965 (when the Act was passed) might seem reasonable, some media outlets are using words such as “gutted” to describe the decision’s effect on the law.

Read more at ABC News, Reuters, CNN, USA Today and Yahoo News.  CNN has also published the text of the decision.

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Pork Roast

by Raven on March 13, 2013

in Food

Pork roast cooked in cast iron, on low heat over 5 hours. Glazed with homemade barbeque sauce, apricot jelly and brown sugar. Comfort food on a rainy day with melting snow.

porkroast

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It seems to me that some people predicted news articles like this.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.
The government’s draft application is now on the Internet.
It runs 15 pages for a three-person family. The online version has 21 steps, some with added questions.
At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application.
That’s just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help.

Health Overhaul Applying for Benefits

No, that’s government inefficiency for you. 15 pages? Multiple US govmint agency scrutiny? Really? How could that be?

Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up. Administration officials say the application form is being refined.
Still, the idea that picking a health insurance plan could be as simple as shopping on the Internet is starting to look like wishful thinking.

Well if we judge the skills of most people who voted this idiOt back into office, people will give up on this ridiculous process that was once wishful thinking but is not turning into the nightmare many of us knew it would be.

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A Peek Out the Window

by Raven on February 9, 2013

in New Hampshire

snowywindow
Outside a bedroom window. It appears to be brightening up outside but still windy and snowing!

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snowcovcars

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The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. “Obamacare”, was supposed to make health care more affordable and easier to obtain.  But ironically, in order for Clifton Springs Hospital in Rochester, NY to get ready to operate under the new law, they’ve had to lay off almost 60 employees.

Clifton Springs Hospital let almost 60 non-clinical employees go last Friday. Hospital officials says it’s all because they’re trying to get ready for the impact of the new health care act. The act changes the way health insurance is run and the way hospitals are paid.

The Affordable Care Act means many of you will be making more decisions when it comes to your own health care. Health care workers say co-pays and deductibles will be higher, that means things like x-rays and MRI’s will cost you more. So people will be forced to decide if they really want them. That might mean fewer people in the hospital.

Making more of our own decisions?  Pretty soon we’ll have to decide which of the four tiers of coverage offered under Obamacare.  According to information released by the IRS, the lowest “bronze” tier is estimated to cost about $20,000 per year for a family of five.  So much for being “affordable”.

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To Obama, citizens of his country are less important that Chiefs of Police.

At a White House meeting, Obama said that no group is more important in the gun debate and he said he recognizes the issue “elicits a lot of passion all across the country.” But Obama also said he believes Congress will respond to appeals from police.

“Hopefully if law enforcement officials who are dealing with this stuff every single day can come to some basic consensus in terms of steps that we need to take,” he said, “Congress is going to be paying attention to them, and we’ll be able to make progress.”

Get ready. The police will do whatever their zealous leader tells them to do.

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It would be very good if this were to really happen:

After Democrats in New York rammed a sweeping assault on the right to keep and bear arms through the legislature that failed to exempt police officers from the draconian restrictions, gun owners and even some lawmakers are planning what has been dubbed potentially the largest act of civil disobedience in state history. According to news reports, gun rights activists are urging everyone to defy far-left Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new registration mandate while daring authorities to “come and take it.”

Imagine how the Kings and Queens would feel if they had to come face to face with pissed off, hot blooded Americans whose right to bear arms was being infringed upon.

Preparations are already being made for mass resistance. “I’ve heard from hundreds of people that they’re prepared to defy the law, and that number will be magnified by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, when the registration deadline comes,’’ said President Brian Olesen with American Shooters Supply, among the biggest gun dealers in the state, in an interview with the New York Post.

Even government officials admit that forcing New Yorkers to register their guns will be a tough sell, and they are apparently aware that massive non-compliance will be the order of the day. “Many of these assault-rifle owners aren’t going to register; we realize that,’’ a source in the Cuomo administration told the Post, adding that officials expect “widespread violations” of the new statute.

Read the whole article here.

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Mac & Cheese With Bacon

by Raven on January 25, 2013

in Food

Mac & Cheese with Bacon- comfort food for people living in cold environments like New England right now.

macheesebacon

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Guns in America

by Raven on January 23, 2013

in Janie's Got Her Gun


American Gun Facts Infographic

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There are a few headlines that caught my eye the past couple days and they are relate to American workers, Jobs & Unions

Or lack of them.

First off: Recession, tech kill middle-class jobs

The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data; by devices such as smartphones and tablet computers that let people work just about anywhere, even when they’re on the move; by smarter, nimbler robots; and by services that let businesses rent computing power when they need it, instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear.

It all adds up to lower costs for consumers in the end, right? Can we get by with all these job losses? (We as in the USA)
I dunno I can’t opine on it right now because I’m still researching the issue.

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Next up: Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws

A school speech therapist who works as an independent contractor, she doesn’t have paid sick days. So the mother of two reported to work and hoped for the best – and was aching, shivering and coughing by the end of the day. She stayed home the next day, then loaded up on medicine and returned to work.

The above article is trying to deceive readers into feeling sorry for the therapist. First, she works for herself as an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR- she owns her own business, lucky lady…Like millions of other entrepreneurs, she can decide to give herself “sick days” if she wants; she can lay out terms in her contracts that include time off for when she is **sick**. And speaking of sickness, the aching, coughing and shivering sure do sound awful…but I doubt it was the real, actual, true blue FLU. Had it been that, she would have been out of work for more than a day or two. She’d have missed a week at least, with relentless fever, bed-bound body aches and severe respiratory problems. It sounds like she described a mild cold in the article and someone tried to pass it off as the flu….typical media ploy.

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unionjob

Last, did you know Obama has done more to destroy union membership, in his first 4 years, than Bush did in his 8 years?

The total unionization rate declined from 11.8 percent of wage and salary workers in 2011 to 11.3 percent in 2012. Private-sector unionization fell from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent, and the government unionization rate dropped from 37 percent to 35.9 percent. The total Obama-era decline is 1.1 percentage points, compared with 1.1 percentage points during the eight Bush years.

Although Obama has championed union causes, his tax and regulatory policies have systematically discouraged business investment and job creation in America for all workers — union and nonunion.

And this:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy.

Ahh but the people, the Union lovers in particular, will clamor to the left and to the Bambi no matter what. The age of entitlement, often called a benefit to so many in unions, is coming to an end. It’s one thing to offer health insurance to employees; its quite another thing to pay 100% for it. It’s one thing to offer access to a retirement plan, it’s quite another to be expected to fund the plan 100%. It’s one thing to give 5 or 6 weeks paid vacation; it’s quite different to pay for 10 weeks off (each year). Yet these are the very benefits so many unionites enjoy. Hey I would love 10 weeks paid time off every year.

While I acknowledge that many American businesses opt for oversees production in order to make higher profits regardless of unions or employment laws and regulations the unions forget that consumers ultimately pay the costs of the benefits. So when the cost of the product goes up and is no longer competitive with a another brand or similar product, we all knows what happens. Americans love to think they’re saving a buck or two. We’re greedy as hell.

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Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade, which struck down abortion laws in all states, and Doe v. Bolton, in which the court defined “health”, the protection of which was a condition for permitting an abortion.  Although they were handed down on the same day, the Roe case is better known.  I remember learning about the Doe case much later, during the late 1980′s.  Here’s some information about Mary Doe and Doe v. Bolton.  The number of abortions since the two cases were handed down is estimated to be around 54 million.  In 2011 alone, Planned Parenthood performed over 300,000 abortions, while receiving a record amount of taxpayer funding.

Today, people on both sides of the issue held dueling protests in front of the Supreme Court building.  Some pro-life leaders decided to place 3,300 flowers on its steps, one for each abortion that occurs daily in the U.S.

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