Saturday, August 23, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude: Drowning Out the Cubs?

When a heavy flash rainstorm interrupted a game at Wrigley Field Tuesday night in the 5th inning, the Cubs were up two on wildcard hopefuls, the San Francisco Giants. But as the rain fell, the grounds crew was unable to coax the giant tarp across the entire infield. Nowhere to be seen is the lickety-split efficiency characteristic of MLB groundskeepers, but a team struggling under the ever-increasing weight of an increasingly rain-soaked tarp lying awkwardly caddy wampus across the field. Fans can be heard chanting, “Pull! Pull! Pull!”but to not much avail. Here’s video of their struggles respectfully set to Benny Hill music (Sorry, guys):

But what caused the problem? Mere surprise weather system or the unintended consequences of overbearing regulation**?
Add the Affordable Care Act – or, specifically, the big-business Cubs’ response to it – to the causes behind Tuesday night’s tarp fiasco and rare successful protest by the San Francisco Giants.
The staffing issues that hamstrung the grounds crew Tuesday during a mad dash with the tarp under a sudden rainstorm were created in part by a wide-ranging reorganization last winter of game-day personnel, job descriptions and work limits designed to keep the seasonal workers – including much of the grounds crew – under 130 hours per month, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge.
That’s the full-time worker definition under “Obamacare,” which requires employer-provided healthcare benefits for “big businesses” such as a major league team.
“Cheap,” said one of three high-ranking officials from other organizations the Sun-Times contacted Thursday – all of whom fall below the Cubs on Forbes’ annual revenues list.
For their part, the Cubs deny staffing changes, saying that a fair night turned stormy foiled them after they sent some grounds crew home based on a bad forecast.
Too good to check.

Rule 5 Saturday - Adriana Karembeu

For this week's Rule 5 extravaganza we have Adriana Karembeu (originally Sklenaříková, but us Americans can't be expected to figure out how to pronounce that), a Slovakian model and actress, known for her long legs, and her early career promotion of the wonderful Wonder Bra.

In addition to modelling for Wonderbra, Victoria's Secret, and Playboy, she has a minor acting career, including a cameo in "Asterix at the Olympic Games" (2008), playing the wife of Geriatrix, so, she either has a sense of humor, or it paid well. She also did season as a contestant on the French version of "Dancing with the Stars" in 2011.
She began studying medicine in Prague, but after winning a modelling contest, realized her true dream of wearing little or no clothes for a living.

Some NSFW pictures from her 2002 Playboy photoshoot here, here, here, here and here.

GOODSTUFF is featuring Eva Mendes in his 152nd Blogging Magazine.

The Changing Room Prank

Friday, August 22, 2014

Socialism Reaches Another Milestone in Venezuela

Venezuela plans to introduce supermarket fingerprinting
President Obama kissing Venezuelan President Chavez 

Hat tip to to Wombat-socho's "Live at Five: 08.22.14."
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling.

He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.
But the opposition in Venezuela rejected the plan, saying the policy treated all Venezuelans as thieves.

Critics said fingerprinting consumers of staple products was tantamount to rationing and constituted a breach of privacy.

Up to 40% of the goods which Venezuela subsidises for its domestic market are smuggled to Colombia, where they are sold at much higher prices, the authorities say.

"The amount of staples smuggled to Colombia would be enough to load the shelves of our supermarkets," Gen Efrain Velasco Lugo, a military spokesman, told El Universal newspaper earlier this week.
It's inevitable that when you begin price controls, the goods will be sold anywhere else they can get an appropriate return, and end up having to be rationed. Obamacare, anyone?

However, fingerprinting women shopping in supermarkets is a novel, and deeply creepy innovation.

Whale Enters Chesapeake Bay, Dies

'Thin, disoriented' bay whale found dead
The sickly whale that was spotted swimming erratically in the rivers and creeks of the Chesapeake Bay for the past week was found dead Thursday afternoon along the shore of St. Julien's Creek in Chesapeake.

The Stranding Response Team of the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach had been tracking the 40-foot whale every day since it was first discovered in the lower James River last week. Early Thursday afternoon, following reports that the whale was motionless, the team confirmed it had died.

"Yesterday it was kind of stuck in some shallow water, and during high tide it managed to free itself of that only to go across the creek and kind of be stranded there," said aquarium spokeswoman Joan Barns.

"It is sad. So many people have been so interested, and we hate to be the deliverer of bad news. It is kind of nature taking its course."

The creature was believed to be a sei whale — a "great whale" that normally inhabits deep ocean waters.
As tempting as it is to quip that getting into the Bay made the whale sick, it far more likely that the whale got sick at sea, became disoriented, and entered the Bay by accident, or looking for a calm refuge.

So now what?

And even if they choose not to blow it up?

Blog Post du Jour

William Teach at Pirate's Cove catches the walarmists thinking aloud: Crucial Lessons From Naomi Klein’s “Climate Change” Book For Warmists
In These Times’ Ethan Corey and Jessica Corbett are really amped about Naomi Klein’s hyper-alarmist book on “climate change” and offer 5 crucial lessons. Let’s look at two which underscore what I and others have noticed about the Warmist movement:

1. Band-Aid solutions don’t work.
“Only mass social movements can save us now. Because we know where the current system, left unchecked, is headed.”
. . .
Instead, Klein argues, we need to break free of market fundamentalism and implement long-term planning, strict regulation of business, more taxation, more government spending and reversals of privatization to return key infrastructure to public control.
In other words, it's a ploy to promote Marxism.
5. Confronting climate change is an opportunity to address other social, economic and political issues.
“When climate change deniers claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth, it’s not (only) because they are paranoid. It’s also because they are paying attention.” 
. . .
This is exactly what we’ve been talking about: “climate change” is being used as a means to push far left Progressive (nice fascist) Big Government policies. Control of economies, control of people, restrictions on business, restrictions on private investment, government doing it all, taxing people out the ying yang, government owning businesses (particularly infrastructure and energy, which gives Government control over your life). Look back at that quote from Klein again

“When climate change deniers claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth, it’s not (only) because they are paranoid. It’s also because they are paying attention.”
. . .
Damn those deniers for paying attention!

Obamacare Schadenfreude: Form Follows Function?

Obamacare tax forms may pose challenge for enrollees, exchanges
Obamacare customers won’t be able to file their tax returns next year until the government sends them a form detailing their coverage and tax credits, and if those forms are late some taxpayers could face a delay in seeking their refunds.

Federal and state officials said they’re working on the forms, known as the 1095A, and vowed to meet the Jan. 31 deadline for issuing them. But some tax professionals are skeptical, citing the administration’s iffy track record on being able to meet other deadlines in the massive health overhaul law.

“It really strains credulity to think 1095A is not going to be a big problem,” said George Brandes, vice president for health programs at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Filers need the forms to calculate whether they received the correct subsidy from the government, or if they owe money to cover a difference.
To the legislator, the judge and the lawyers, the law is the important thing, but to the bureaucrat, the form is the key. The form is what you use to force people to abide by your vision of the law. If they don't fill out the form correctly, you fail to receive the benefit for which you are pleading, or the freedom to pursue your dreams. Lois Lerner helped design tax forms.

The fact that they have not yet figured out how to incorporate Obamacare into the existing structure of forms suggests how radical the changes the law has imposed to the tax and healthcare systems.

Student Arrested, Suspended Over Dinosaur Killing Fantasy

High school student says he was arrested for killing dinosaur in class assignment

Story illustrated with some equally realistic human dinosaur encounters.
A 16-year-old Summerville High School student says he was arrested Tuesday morning and suspended after writing about killing a dinosaur using a gun.

Alex Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a "status" as if it was a Facebook page.
So, at Summerville High School, they actually have to teach kids how to use facebook?  Maybe they should try a business letter, or a letter to bureaucracy begging for mercy, things that are far more likely to be useful.
Stone said in his "status" he wrote a fictional story that involved the words "gun" and "take care of business."

"I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business," Stone said.
I think that's the point that the teacher should have realized she (and I'm willing to be it was a she) that the story was not a realistic scenario.
Stone says his statements were taken completely out of context.

"I could understand if they made him re-write it because he did have "gun" in it. But a pet dinosaur?" said Alex's mother Karen Gray."I mean first of all, we don't have dinosaurs anymore. Second of all, he's not even old enough to buy a gun."
Technically, some have argued that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs with minor advances and should be considered as dinosaurs, so I suppose if he could be fantasizing about killing his neighbor's chicken or parakeet, it could be considered possible. And while it is certainly illegal for a 16 year old to buy a gun, it's more than likely that with only a little effort, a 16 year old could probably buy one with sufficient money and effort. Making drinking by teenagers illegal certainly hasn't prevented any number of them from obtaining beer.
Investigators say the teacher contacted school officials after seeing the message containing the words "gun" and "take care of business," and police were then notified on Tuesday.
The cops should have laughed them off. But they are not allowed to anymore.  Each event, however silly, must be investigated as a potential Columbine.

Were students pre-informed that the word "gun" was forbidden in school essays?  I doubt it. That would draw too much attention from pro-second amendment parents who might object in advance.  No, the anti-gun crowd is trying to make the concept of guns forbidden with random and extreme punishments.
Summerville police officials say Stone's bookbag and locker were searched on Tuesday, and a gun was not found.

According to Gray, Stone was suspended for the rest of the week. Gray says she is furious that the school did not contact her before her son was arrested. She says her son followed directions and completed an assignment.
Amen. The trick to working with teenagers is to be explicit with your rules. If the word "guns" is forbidden, write that down. If fictional stories are out in an assignment to make a fictional facebook post (already a contradiction), you have to make that clear, otherwise the students will (especially the more restive males), and even if you make it absolutely clear, they'll leave footprints right up and onto the line.

The teacher and administrators responsible for this should be sued. Or better, as Instapundit suggests:
To be thorough, they should have searched the neighbor’s yard for a dead Triceratops, too. Everyone involved in this tragedy should be flogged naked through the streets, then put in the stocks wearing a dunce cap.