Framing the Dialogue

Archive for October, 2013

Whatever It Takes!!!

The LeekMany of the great unwashed have been waiting over three years for the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare, to provide not only better health care, but free health care for many.  Their enthusiasm for the free stuff overwhelmed the $600,000,000.00 website that has been under design for most of those years.  Many frustrated folks have expressed concern that the website allowed them to enter all of their personal information, but when it came time to get their lower insurance quotes thinks fell apart and few were actually able to sign up.  An Obama administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, tried to calm those expecting free or cheap health insurance noting that “people don’t have to worry if they already set up an account and entered all of their personal and health information.  The IRS now knows all of this and will easily be able to find you.  These folks will be sure to get theirs!”

Heartstone

heartstone croppedIn the mid sixteenth century the English queen requests that a London lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, to look into an old case involving the wardship of an orphaned brother and sister.  Shardlake is hampered by a hunched back and a dogged desire to seek justice often landing him in trouble with powerful folks and putting his life in danger.  Obviously there are no sophisticated forensic tools to use to help solve the mysteries and intrigues that Shardlake uncovers.  Heartstone by C. J. Sansom can only depend on the skills of the lawyer to tell his tale.  The backdrop to the novel centers around the end of King Henry VIII’s rule as England prepares for an invasion by France.

Seven K K

cloud badgeIt’s getting hard to come up with cute ways to celebrate my million mile-stones.  This one was my quickest million yet and it started with my worst day ever!  The day after I hit six million steps I got sick and had my worst effort at an embarrassing 722 steps.  I just could not get my ass out of bed that day.  The good news is that I have not gone below 10,000 steps in a day since then.  In fact, three weeks later I celebrated my best day ever at 31,000 steps (yep I got exactly 31K) and also that week was my best week ever at just over 116,000 steps (that’s over 16,500 steps per day average). 

Pittsburgh Noir

pittsburgh editThis book is apparently a part of a “franchise” that uses local writers to contribute to a “noir” or dark writings that take place in local neighborhoods.  That was the hook for me.  Pittsburgh Noir started out on a good note for me with Atom Smasher by Lila Shaara, but went quickly downhill with a series of either uninteresting or one that was downright disturbing (not in a good way).  Perhaps editor Kathleen George was just saving the best for last, but I almost quit reading before the cream of the crop namely Rebecca Drake’s tale Loaded.  I reread the last few paragraphs several times as it was very powerful for me.  THAT was a great short story and worth the price of the book for me.  All of the other stories paled for me and I am not related to the author.

Think If You Had To Walk In His Shoes

jpegOne really cannot feel too much empathy for the fact that billionaire Mark Cuban was pursued by the federal government on insider trading charges.  He could, after all, afford either to fight the charges or pay the fine without feeling any pain.  Cuban decided to do the principled thing, the costlier thing, the less expedient thing and fight the charges.  Obama’s Securities and Exchange Commission pursued Mr. Cuban on civil charges and not criminal charges.  I would guess that the burden of proof is less stringent on civil cases so they took the easy path expecting Mr. Cuban like many others to buckle and pay the fine.

Wishes and Glitches and Healthcare Oh My

imageHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stormed the Burgh yesterday to plug the Affordable Care Act snarkily referred to as Obamacare. With a big ASSist by Pittsburgh Steeler owner Dan Rooney. Rooney has not been shy about prostituting his football team to ASSist Obama in all things liberal. It did pay off as Rooney is coming off of his Obama-sponsored stint as Ambassador to Ireland. This latest gig has raised the ire of many conservatives as he used the publically-funded Heinz Field for the show. I don’t get the dismay or surprise. This Rooney and his Steeler empire have been feeding off of the public trough for a long time. They are a privately owned company until they need a new field, additions to the field, more seats in the field, the property around the field to name a few.

What A Difference a “D” Makes

renditionLike me, most of you who read this blog are painfully aware of the left-sided (“leaning” just seems far too light a word to use) media and their well-documented bias against the right and/or conservatives. The New York Times, the Washington Post, The L.A. Times to name a few all have very real and seemingly perpetual bias even though just once in a great while they get it right.

The Quest

The questNelson DeMille is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. His writing is smooth to the point where it is almost like I am not reading; as if I am almost in the story. The Quest  is a republish of a novel originally written and published nearly forty years ago. As noted in the foreword the historical events were current at the time of the original writing. Reading the adventure four decades later did not deter from the story.

Some Ice With That Drink?

scienceThis post primarily gets its information from a recent article in the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.  Unfortunately for Americans real news in generally unavailable from U.S. news sources.

First the scare…

“Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast.”

Then the “science”…