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Showing posts from November, 2013

Healthcare.gov and the Small Church

So I spent some time on Healthcare.gov today, the questions being 1) How hard is this, really? and 2) Is there a comparable plan to my employer's healthcare plan (the UUA's Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield) that would cost less money?

Last night I created my user name and password, and then was booted out of the system because it was under maintenance.  Fair enough.

I went back in today.  I had to answer some security questions that prove that I'm me.  It turns out the government has more handy access to facts about myself than I do.  I had to chase down the information of what year my car is. 

Then I had to provide information on the members of my family, including how much money we make, before taxes.  That's complicated.  How do I classify my housing allowance?  I decided to just put it in as income before taxes, even though it won't be taxed.  What about my husband's income?  Well, he's an adjunct professor.  We never know how many classes he'll be g…

Science Fiction & Thanksgiving

**SPOILER WARNING**

This is what is on my mind this morning, as I come back from a weekend where I went out to the movies twice, once to see Catching Fire and once to see the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.  There's a common thread that runs through both the recent Doctor Who seasons and the Hunger Games trilogy, and that is the effects of war on the survivors and the ethical struggles before and after making a decision to kill innocents in order to end a war.

It's not really in Catching Fire that this question occurs; it's actually in the next book, Mockingjay.  In it, there are two parts that I'm thinking of -- first, there's the decision by District 13 to bomb children and aid workers to advance the rage against the Capitol.  Here's the description of when Katniss learns about the weapons that will eventually be used in that way:
This is what they’ve been doing. Taking the fundamental ideas behind Gale’s traps and adapting them into weapons against hum…

Generations and the loss of JFK

The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is tomorrow. And with this anniversary I'm reminded of what a major moment this was in the history of our country and in the lives of most Americans who were alive and old enough to understand it fifty years ago.  It's one of those moments where people remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened or when they heard.  People remember it as a "Turning Point" where there was a "Loss of Innocence." 

I don't remember it.  I was born after the fall of Camelot.  I was born into a world where the Loss of Innocence had already happened, the Turning Point was past, and we were in the age of cynicism.  I have some sympathy for Steve Friess who wrote an article in Time titled "Five Reasons People Under 50 Are Already Tired of JFK Nostalgia" and Nick Gillespie who wrote in The Daily Beast, "JFK Still Dead, Boomers Still Self-Absorbed."  Those of us younger tha…