A brief note for those waiting for the end

With the Supreme Court ruling firmly in the books it has come to my attention via social and news media outlets that the End Times are surely near. While I am in awe of this truly remarkable feat of prognostication, especially given that the Bible is quite clear that no man shall know the date, I feel compelled to point a few other things out.

1st up is that while the United States has often felt the need to identify itself as a Christian nation, it is by no means the only one in existence.  Should the U.S.A. suddenly go the way of Godless heathens, there are still roughly eight to nine hundred million other Christians out there in the world today…

2nd is that while the our learned Supreme Court has now acknowledged that the government should stay the hell out of marriage, this ruling has not suddenly changed the sexual orientation of the members of this apparently fallen nation.  I was, of course, very concerned about my marriage and possibly reassigned sexual orientation, so I immediately conducted a rigorous scientific investigation into my sexuality.  After watching Die Hard, Terminator 2 and The Transporter, I have determined I feel no compunction to rip the clothes off of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzeneggar or Jason Statham.  Fearing that I might only be attracted to the pretty boys, I also watched Fight Club and some god awful Ashton Kutcher film.  Alas, no feelings of desire or unrequited love came to me while I snacked on my soda and popcorn.  Comfortably convinced that I harbored no feelings of attraction towards the opposite sex, I can rest assured that the ruling has not suddenly turned us all into a nation of homosexuals headed for the Pit.

3rd point.  Although it is popular to beat one’s Christian chest and proclaim with passionate moral authority that the world is indeed facing the End Times and is headed straight to Hell, I have to ask, “How is this a problem?”  A Risen Christ back on Earth is something Christians are supposed to be looking forward to.  Paul expected Christ to return while he was still living, and he desperately looked forward to that moment.  Additionally, if He is coming back soon, we won’t be here.  There’s that whole Rapture thing, remember?  And finally, according to the Bible, the world has been going straight to Hell since at least the writings of Revelation.  The destination was never in doubt…

Hopefully this helps to put a perspective on current events, and for those of my fellows that have not had the time to reassure themselves of their sexuality, you can rest assured on the results of my very thorough experiment.

 

Amanda Palmer: Playing the Hitler Card

We live in an age of endless, foaming outrage. The only answer is to try to feel empathy for other people, no matter who they are.

Source: Amanda Palmer: Playing the Hitler Card

 

I came across this while reading an interview with Neil Gaiman and another author.  Very interesting what they had to say regarding the pigeonholing of written works into genres.  That said, I had to read something his wife wrote when I noticed it in the sidebar.

It was the title that drew me.  Anyone that has spent more than five minutes browsing “discussions” on the Internet has likely encountered Godwin’s Law, usually to their annoyance.  I was curious to see what she had written.  As it turns out, she wrote quite a bit, and most of not about Hitler.  What I like about her piece is she has very articulately described what I have thought and felt for many, many years.  In sharing her frustrations, she has mirrored my own.  I love the Internet, I enjoy reading people’s thoughts and following their discussions.  I abhor the general absolutism, lack empathy and understanding or any position but their own.  Of course, that was happening long before the Internet, but as this is my time, I get to rail against its current incarnations and the detrimental effect it has on human relations. 🙂  I do not believe the world is a worse place than it was in the past.  As an optimist, a humanist and a passionate promoter of a positive future, I believe we are doing better in many facets of human life than we have in the past.  That said, I am firmly convinced that the world can use more introspection and empathy; that we should confront uncomfortable truths head on and hopefully gain a better understanding of ourselves and others, even if that means we take the time to understand why Hitler made the choices that he did.

Montana health insurers ask for double-digit rate hikes

HELENA — Insurance companies in Montana are requesting double-digit rate increases next year for the health plans of more than 77,000 people covered through the online exchange created by President

Source: Montana health insurers ask for double-digit rate hikes

 

“Double-digit rate increases were the norm in the years leading up to the Affordable Care Act.”

Yes, they were. It would appear they still are, in fact. The ACA can be considered a failure for no other reason than this point alone. It’s a shame that the Gazette did not bother to pursue this point further, rather than reducing it to a quick line buried in a sea of justification.

“After the law passed, the companies had to set rates for a new marketplace without any history to base them on, she said.”

Interesting that she should say that. Prior to the passage of the ACA I had insurance through BCBS. I had an extremely high deductible, middling coverage for anything other than catastrophic circumstances and a premium of several hundred dollars a month. After the passage I had the same thing, except they wanted to increase my deductible another $500-$1000 a year…  The insurance industry lives and dies by statistical analysis.  Few industries are more qualified to extrapolate data into projected outcomes than they are.  No history indeed.

“Dworak said 72 percent of his cooperative’s customers receive subsidies.”

I think we have found the root cause for the increase. If an insurance company gets free money from Uncle Sam, then surely they shall want to see just how much more they can get…

Forsooth, Dave, Polka will never die!

For my good friend Dave.  I know your views on tattoos, but perhaps you would make an exception for this?  Nothing blatant, just something on the bicep, perhaps.  Say, right next to the one with “Mom” inscribed in a heart.  They are running a limited print that can be found over here.

Polka will never die