Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obamacare Sign-Up Old-School

Remember way back in the day when there were only three major networks on TV (four if you count PBS)?  Remember Saturday morning cartoons (do they even exist anymore)?  Remember when news programs devoted the majority of their time to reporting actual NEWS?  Remember late night movies, before cable when the only time you could catch a movie on TV was on the local channels after the 11:00pm news?  I remember all those TV ads where you could order stuff like the Mr. Microphone (Hey, good lookin'!  I'll be back to pick you up later.), the Super Slicer (It slices!  It dices!  It juliennes fries!), or the "Hey Love" compilation of R&B music that you could get in vinyl, cassette, or 8-track tape (Naw, naw, my brotha.  You got to get your own.).  This was all before the internet was a reality in most homes and you had to either send a check or money order to the address shown on the TV, or pick up the phone and call the 1-800 number they give you.  Sure it took 6 to 8 weeks to get your order, but once you got it, boy were you proud of yourself.  You saw something on TV you wanted, took the initiative and ordered it, and once you got it you immediately threw it in a corner where it's been collecting dust ever since.  Back when I was living at home I remember my mom ordered one of those "Bloomin' Onion Makers" in my house.  You know, the thing where you can make those Bloomin' Onions like they sell at Outback Steak House?  To date not only does this device have yet to produce so much as one bloomin' onion, I defy anyone in the family to tell me where it is.  But I digress.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GOP Shutdown: NOW can we have TERM LIMITS?!

The partial government shutdown is about to enter its third week.  To top it off, we're only days from defaulting on our bonds for the first time in this country's history.  And yes, it's the Republicans' fault.  Not because they're a bunch of slimy racist old bastards (they are, but that's beside the point), but because they're afraid of a group of even slimier and more racist old bastards...the Tea Party.  Mainstream Republicans see what's happening to their party in the polls and, like President Obama, they want this thing to end, but they also want to keep their jobs.  And because the Tea Party has apparently pledged to be against ANYTHING that Obama wants, any Republican who even hints at compromising faces a primary challenge from the Tea Party.  All because the top priority for politicians in the House and the Senate -- for BOTH parties -- isn't doing the job, but keeping it.

Ya think we can start talking about term limits now?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Republicans vs. Obamacare: Now What?

I've been working in IT in some form for just over 20 years.  Starting as a PC tech (which back then meant installing Word Perfect from 5 1/4" floppy disks), and working up to what I do now (programming and systems administration).  If there's one thing that I've learned is that users do not like it when you take things away from them.  Whether it's a software application, or their old monochrome monitor, even if you replace it with something better, they react as if you're taking away one of their children.  Once people start using something, and get used to using it, good luck trying to get it out of their hot little hands.

Our country is in the midst of a government shutdown.  Spurred by their Tea Party caucus, the shutdown started off as the latest volley in the Republican Party's futile effort to repeal, replace, de-fund, delay, whatever, the Affordable Care Act, or as I proudly call it...OBAMACARE, but has now become one long tragedy, or sitcom depending on whose side you're on.