Archive for the 'I like women entirely too much' Category

Jan 01 2016

Happy New Year!

One of the traditions I like in Japan is their New Years greeting: Akimashite omedetou gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! ( Happy New Year. In this year too, please favor me).


(It's a one size fits all Nengajo- New Years Card). This year is Heisei 28.

Here in Germany, the S.O. and I were witness to the annual carnage that is Germans going nuts with fireworks. It was foggy this year so we could not see the adjoining villages as clearly as last year, but the carnage full throated with a low level of fireworks going from about 8 o'clock and all hell breaking loose at midnight. One can buy all kinds of fireworks in the grocery stores in the period right before Christmas.

Sadly, I was not at a New Years party much as I would have liked to be. So we enjoyed some of this:


The S.O. fell asleep and I watched the London and Edinburgh fireworks on BBC. Quite impressive-and made me want to be there myself.

In Munich there was a terrorist alert, police ward of an "imminent threat", while in Dubai there was a major building fire. True to form the Arabs showed how utterly tasteless they can be by going ahead with their huge fireworks show anyway.

Brussels, on the other hand canceled its fireworks because of credible information about terrorists. After all, they probably can only support one police orgy per year.

The Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Singapore fireworks looked awesome-wish I had been there.

But here I am at home-yet again. Meet the new year-same as the last year.

Happy New Year.



2 responses so far

Dec 26 2015

Happy Boxing Day!

Greetings to one and all!

Contrary to some reports, rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I am still alive, still thinking,  and hopefully now, able to return to writing.

My original plan had been to return to posting after we got back from the cruise. Unfortunately events took another turn and I have spent the last couple of months first traveling, then in and out of hospitals and doctors offices-as a result of that travel. I'll spare you the details, but while I was in Israel, I became violently ill. Rather than do the smart thing and go to an Israeli ER-I gutted out eight hours on a plane back to Germany. That only made things worse and I ended up going straight from the airport to the hospital.

Moral of the story? Be careful where and what you eat! And don't let yourself get dehydrated!

However, that is not all of the story. The other part was-I just did not feel like I had anything useful to say. My passion for American politics remains, however it does not take a skilled observer to point out that American politics is currently a huge mess. 2016 is going to be a critical year for the land of my birth and I am quite depressed with the prospects. I fear we , as Americans, will do our best to take a bad situation and fuck it up beyond all repair. It's what we do. I mean really, Donald Trump?

The final piece of the puzzle was doing some professional thinking about the remainder of my working life, which is not as long as it should be, or as well resourced as it needs to be.  Regrettably,  I have not been able to find my way back to Asia-but I did get some good news after my hospital stay(s) which helped balance out what was otherwise a depressing outlook in general.

And then there is the demon known as Netflix………….

Over the course of the next week I will have some prognostications regarding the upcoming year. And it is my intent to more actively discipline myself to write. We'll see how well my stick to itivness is on that subject.

Nonetheless, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukuah, and any other holiday that you are to celebrate.


5 responses so far

Oct 19 2013

My timing is always bad

For the record, I really hate sand traps. I hate them with a passion.

Today was a beautiful day and so the S.O. and I went to play golf. This may be the last time we get to play this year. But we picked a GREAT day to play. The sun was out, the leaves are in their full color now and it made for really nice walk through 6300 meters of pristine German golf course land.

As for my score-well the less said about that the better. Had some good shots-and some not so good shots. I was able to keep my driver under control today, thus giving me some nice starts on each hole.

Then along came those damn sand traps.

Regardless, I am not going to let it spoil my mood for the weekend. Especially when there are plenty of "life sand traps" that are waiting to suck me in.

Because right after the Shutdown vote was complete-this happened:


Wait a minute! I already went through this drama two years ago. Taking this job was supposed to be a way to ensure I did not have to go through that personal torture again.

And while two years ago it cost me my job, this time its only going to cost me my self respect.

You see, the organization I work for and with is being "merged" into another organization. The entire proposal is poorly thought out, not a good idea, in that commonest of military situations, its an idea that has been tried before. It failed miserably then-and it will fail again.

Its kind of a personal tragedy for a whole lot of people. For my co-workers all of whom I really like. For our current boss,  who is a gifted officer and an outstanding person. The kind the military produces far too infrequently .Someone we work with- not so much as for-and has been really good at shaping our little group into an effective team.

The place we are merging into? Not so much. Its run by a guy who to put it bluntly-only knows of loyalty as only a one way street. Having decided that the DOPMA imposed restrictions that forced him to retire were not for him, created his current position and then hired himself to fill it. Then as he created his organization-he adopted a deliberate hiring strategy of hiring folks with much less experience than he has, or had, so that he can be the visible face of experience to the chain of command above him. All of my co-workers are aware of this-because all of us civilians were not hired by him when the hiring was going on. We all have as much or more experience and seasoning than this guy who is going to be "our boss". He did not want to hire "old guys"-and that is pretty evident when you look at the makeup of his organization.

Then there is the idea behind the merger. It was the desire of a guy who wanted it when he was on active duty. Our current group told him to take his idea and stick it where the sun does not shine. Now,  as a well paid contractor, he returns routinely to Germany and has been conducting a whispering campaign to get it accomplished. He too, failed to realize his proper role as a retired officer. I've always hated guys who don't understand that the proper role of us retired guys is to be an adviser and keeper of a experience for the current group of military who are having their turn in the sun. I had mine, I quite fine with playing that role of adviser and coach now. As I have noted before-while I treasure my time in the Navy, that box is sealed now. And I am just fine with that.

Some guys are not. And so he got his buddy who now has his old job to ram it down all of our throats.

Whether I will be doing the same things I am doing now-that is still to be seen. I hope so, I like it and I have become good at it. It will be wretched to go from actually liking my job to going back to treating it as just something to be tolerated-in order to keep the bills paid.

So all of us have pretty much come to the same conclusion. Its time to find a new job. So I am back in full job hunting mode again. Its not something I relish, but some things are just unacceptable.

At least I have a job, for now. As the budget dramas play out we will have to see if that remains a true statement.

And that will probably drag me back to the United States, a painful prospect to be sure, but one that may be simply unavoidable. Hopefully it won't be back to Alabama-but that too remains a distinct possibility.


I am slowly coming to the realization that I probably will never get back to my beloved Asia, except for occasional "me" trips, of which I plan to avail myself of the opportunity in the coming year. But finding a full time gig there? Its a candle flame that is slowly, and painfully, dying. When I came here I had real hope that I could use my time here in Germany as a springboard to getting back to paradise. Of course, I was not counting on the government going completely and totally insane. Unfortunately it did-and the window of opportunities drastically narrowed.

Double damn.

But I am determined not to let it spoil my good mood. I have time and I have worked for psychopaths before. I can do it again, if need be, till I can hit the EJECT handle. One of my co-workers is still in the Navy reserves-he's already looking into getting called up to active duty till the dust settles. The other folks have no such luxury. We have to search for our own exit ramps.

And today was a beautiful day.

A bad day at the golf course always beats a good day at work. And the prosepct of good days at work has gotten much narrower. It is what it is. You deal with that stuff and you find a way to be happy regardless.

And so I shall.

3 responses so far

Jul 04 2013

Happy Independence Day

Or as the German’s refer to it-just another work day.

But for me it was good-slept for about 12 hours recharging my batteries from hard booming work in Bucharest.

Took the S.O. down to France today-and we did some French wine shopping. Came back to a dinner of Chinese food and German beer. What better way to honor America than by celebrating internationally?

I spent a lot of time today remembering one particular 4th of July, one that truly represented a declaration of Independence for me, 4 July 2000. That literally was a time of great independence for me. I had broken free from the chains of bondage to that unique specimen of womanhood, fat shrew Americanus-and while I still had a many months of legal hassles to work through, to be rid of that and be free to savor the life beyond the marital grave was indeed a wonderful thing. No 4th of July in 13 years hence has had the meaning for me that that particular 4th did.

Because it also represented the freedom from bondage from the “program” of a particular quack, who had 6 months earlier tried to use his medical license to justify his “right” to interfere in my private life. I can honestly say-he is the one person, really the one and only person-that I have hated with a passion that remains unquenchable. To this day I still despise him-and the “system” he misrepresented.  Maybe eventually my hatred for him will dissipate-in the meantime my remembrance of the words, “ a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security” has special personal meaning for me. In other words, through my betrayal and misfortune at his worthless mind and hands-I learned anew for myself about my inner strength and MY RIGHT  to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Perhaps the suffering he inflicted must needs have come-BUT WOE BE UNTO HIM BY WHICH IT CAME. A cheery” fuck you” to him-a worthless excuse for a medical professional. He had no right to interfere in my life then-and he will never have the right or the opportunity again. Neither did his employer-a point he never understood. His job was to dispense medicine-not to make value judgments.   If you want to know where my stridency on the rights of the Sailor came from, while it did not begin there-it most certainly reinforced the need to defend them. I was lucky, I had the means and seniority to break free from his chains. I shudder to think of the long train of victims he inflicted damage to-who never got the chance to break free from his malpractice.

God,  it felt good and liberating to write that-and I only hope that someday he reads it, or better yet I get the chance to deliver the sentiment to him in person. The 13 years of relative victory-with more than a couple of unplanned detours-represent my personal revolution. My independence day victory.

In the final analysis, its the chains that we let be tied around us, they are the ones that really hold us back. Be them from work, or bad personal choices, or money-or the lack thereof-or just simply allowing people to try to exercise a sway they have no right to exert.

Personal declarations of independence are tough-but once in while you can break the bonds that bind you-and find the courage to step boldly into the unknown.

I hope there is still the strength within me to find it again-and to stay on the path less traveled by-for it has made all the difference. Fuck you KMB!

And Happy 4th of July to the rest of you!


2 responses so far

May 29 2013

And they say it like its a bad thing………….

Duffleblog has a nice little post up on the graduation speech that the Academy graduates should have heard:

ANNAPOLIS, MD — From a podium in the United States Naval Academy’s storied Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, President Barack Obama offered hearty congratulations and a bit of advice to an exultant field of 1047 graduates about to take their first step into lives of substance abuse, scandal, and despair.




“Today – in this single, fleeting moment – we all are just so proud you,” the president said in his commencement address. “Remember this, because it’s probably all downhill from here.”

Citing countless reports of adultery, alcoholism, rape, and dumbfounding incompetence discovered in the military’s officer corps, Obama painted a candid picture of what the nation’s best and brightest could look forward to upon entering the fleet as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants.

“Let’s face it,” the president told the expectant young officers. “The few of you that will be any good at your job at all will get out. The rest of you will be pushed through a broken promotion system that rewards mindless compliance with outdated standards over anything even vaguely resembling conscious human thought. As you rise through the ranks, you’ll receive awards and honors you don’t deserve and develop a wildly inflated sense of self, until finally you arrive in a position to grossly abuse the power and people in your charge. Give yourselves a round of applause.”


Just stirs your heart doesn't it?

And then came the part where SECNAV gave some practical life advice:

Oh, and to the 80 percent of you fools who will be married in the next month, a heartfelt Mazel Tov,” Mabus added. “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

“Frankly, if last year’s figures were any indication, an overwhelming number of you are headed for broken hearts and drawn-out custody battles – which makes sense when you consider the frequent deployments, dollar handjobs in Guam, and the fact that you’ve basically been prisoners on this campus for the last four years and have developed no social skills to speak of whatsoever.”

After reciting the oath of office, amid cheers from family and friends, the proud disasters-to-be filed across the stage to receive their diplomas and shake hands with their Commander-in-Chief.


But Bruce Dern already told us this 34 years ago:

One response so far

Apr 27 2013

My kind of month

Well, sorry for the lack of postings. Was in Israel all last week-and on the road again tomorrow. So for your viewing pleasure, here are a pix from Jerusalem. I was trying to shoot a picture of Jaffa Street when this girl decided to jump in front of the camera-so I took her picture instead:


Yea-her friend thought it was funny.

More Israel pictures tomorrow-it was a good trip learned a lot, and hit the long ball a few nights.


One response so far

Feb 26 2013

My hero!

No further comment needed.


Truly, a great American.

For the other 14 bad ass people you have never met-check here.

One response so far

Dec 01 2012

Wistful, on a sunny Saturday morning.

Chloe: I haven't met that many happy people in my life. How do they act?

From the movie, The Big Chill


I have been back in Shopping Mall for the these past three days-taking meetings and combining it with a surprising stroll down memory lane. As with my previous visits and returns to the land of my birth, it is kind of like putting on a threadbare set of clothing, that is no longer stylish-but remains quite comfortable and still amazingly fits you and does not fit you-all at the same time.

My previous place of employ remained much the same as it ever was-good people toiling in a huge bureaucratic maze, with lots of talent and little empowerment. It was a joy to see the leadership pictures up without the scowling grimace of one LTG Patrick O'Reilly  staring out at you. Nonetheless, in talking to people, it was readily apparent that the carnage he initiated still remains, damage whose repair will take a long time to accomplish.

The SO, through a combination of whining and cajoling and pleading-has come along on this trip. She could have gotten her way a lot easier, with the simple and more efficient tool of sexual persuasion, but she seems to have locked that highly effective tool in her locker, never to be used again. That is , in itself, a most unacceptable situation and is going to be have to confronted eventually. When, I am not exactly sure-since a little voice inside of me tells me that she is perfectly content to have "shut down" sexually. What she fails to understand at all-is that this an unacceptable situation for me and I will not abide it for long. Its either put out or get out-and she has yet to discern that. Its clearly on my mind as pass through day after sexually frustrating day. 

But its not something I can solve now-and in my current mood is more of a digression from the surprised nostalgia that has been sweeping over me. Rather its in seeing before me the past few years and recognizing I as comfortable in dealing with them-if not at all happy in them. The happiest time of life was back in Japan, pre SO, and it seems as if the hand of time is a one way vehicle-that is never going to allow me to ever go back.

So now I am sitting in a coffee shop-waiting for my turn to go to the airport. I am awaiting my departure for the second leg of this journey to a major American metropolis ( a status that  Shopping Mall does not qualify for.) Because of her late addition to the trip-long after I had made my own travel arrangements for a mid day departure; I had to put her on a plane to that metropolis earlier this morning. I went by the house and took a look at it. All appears well and the tenants appear to be taking reasonably good care of the place. My one hope is that they will renew the lease for another year and spare me the financial agony and empty house would bring.

I don't think the world is going to end in 21 days-and I feel pretty confident 2013 is going to be a watershed year for me-in many ways, but now I have not the slightest inkling of what they may be. I actually caught myself contemplating what life might be like if I returned to this Godforsaken city. I continue to shiver at the the thought. Were it not for the presence of the S.O. I would drown those contemptible thoughts in a healthy dosage of premium quality booze. Unfortunately I can't-so for now its just better to pour out my heartfelt feelings through forgettable blogger prose, finish my coffee and prepare for the drive to the airport.

Happy December!

One response so far

May 30 2012

The Pacific Century.

There will be no port visits to Pattaya or Phuket.


Wanchai, Orchard Towers, Lucky Plaza, Geylang and pretty much any place fun in the Philippines-Will be off limits.


Massagee in Ropppongi or the Honch? Forget it. Oh, and if you say you know what a soapie is? Stand by for NCIS to pay you a visit.


Picking up cute Japanese girls at Gas Panic? Your new, socially correct, feminist overlords will allow none of that. And don't  even think-of taking your NANPA prize back to a love hotel.

A nice walk up the hill in Itaewon or Texas Street?-completely out of the question.

Your cruises will be almost ten months long.


With curfews and liberty restrictions.


Don't even think of asking the Corpsman for Condoms.


Oh,  and lest we forget,  there will be a 2.1 Carrier Commitment in the Persian Gulf from now till hell freezes over.

You won't be able to go to Australia because of fuel costs-and if you do you will be expected to work on com-rel projects.


And you will get breathalyzed crossing the quarterdeck.


But hey, enjoy the Pacific anyway.


I'm sorry I never will get to meet you! Thank God for German and Australian tourists-to pick up the slack left by your absence!

5 responses so far

Apr 28 2012

Taking a little detour.

And I'm back. Have been back for a couple of days-but tomorrow I am off again. Just time enough to do laundry. This time the travel is within Germany and I will be out of pocket for a couple of weeks.

I do plan to post some though-and I intend to use those opportunities to write about relationships. For two reasons really: one, its on my mind right now-as I read a book called The Happiness Project and two, I want an excuse to write some explicitly erotic prose. If you are prudish-or that is not your cup of tea, well, you can consider yourself fairly warned. - Women say that size doesn't matter but I have yet to meet a woman that owns a 3 inch crooked vibrator.

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Mar 31 2012

A serious rant

Only one day left in the month to get in a post on March Madness. Not basketball, but the Madness known as Women's History month. Yes, Yes, that oh so special time of the year when we get to celebrate the history that women want us to know about, while white washing the details they would rather just not see printed in the paper. Which is designed to be translated into its real meaning:

“Setting the bar for historical achievement so low-than any average everyday achievement for either a man or a woman becomes ‘historic’ if it is done by a woman”

You can quote me on that if you wish.

Oh and I guess after recent experience-we should get the usual disclaimers out the way first. I don't give a rat's ass if your daughter is a Naval Aviator, an engineer, CEO of a  multi-billion dollar firm, or for that matter the first woman to eventually walk on the moon. Nor do I care if your husband is supportive of what you want to do. These are my feelings and thoughts, these are issues that need to be discussed-not swept under the rug, and I'll write about them. If you think that gives you a carte blanche to go after me-I've got a message for you.


So, as is my custom in March- I intend to use this little missive to write about something that got me really peeved the moment I read it and heard it.The source of my anger? This little headline in Navy Times:

Getting Personal: Naval Air Forces plans character-building workshops.

(It appears the article is behind Navy Times firewall so I can't send you a link-but the article is on Page 18 of the April 02, 2012 issue.)

Starting this spring the Navy's  air wings, squadrons, and aircraft carriers will take a moment to stop and delve into some real life, but awkward scenarios in a move the top commander hopes will tamp down personal misconduct and misbehavior.

Naval Air Forces will roll out its new "Character and Integrity" program, developed by a contracted consultant and organized in the "train the trainer" format. Each training workshop will provide group discussions and include a video message from VADM Allen Myers.

" The real intent is to improve decision making skills  and give our people interventional strategies so that we do not adversely impact our readiness as war fighters because of character- related and integrity -related incidents, " said Cmdr Pauline Storum, a Naval Air Forces spokeswoman.. Top leaders "heard….we don't have a tool to help our people make better decisions."

I'll pause while you throw up now.

If that last paragraph, does not make naval veterans angry-very angry, then I think you have not been paying attention recently. Or have just given up, and acknowledged the fact that every thing the nay sayers said back in the bad old days about the great experiment has come true with a vengeance. 

So by implication, the generations of officers that fought the war in Vietnam, lived through 70's, gave rise to the 600 ship Navy and fought Desert Storm and Desert Shield were unprincipled, bastards with "no character?"-No character indeed because after a long at sea period they went ashore and got a little unwrapped, and part of that getting unwrapped might have included a tryst or two with the local female population? Bullshit!

But so many people are getting fired!

Yes they are. But as I pointed out before its as much about today's environment and the lack of consistency in application of standards that contributes to those firings-as well as an interconnected world that intrudes on things that quite simply: are none of Al Myers-or the rest of flag counterparts business.

I'll say it again: "The "moral character" of our force (whatever the hell that means) is just fine. 99% of our Sailors do the right thing-every time, all the time when it comes to the particulars of their profession. For the other 1% there are already sufficient remedies in place-there is absolutely no reason to add to them."    

And of course, later in the article-the familiar old canard of Tailhook gets trotted out. THAT Navy was killed a long time ago-by stupid Politically Correct actions like this one. ( And for what its worth-THAT Navy was a hell of lot more fun than this one.)  And just as full of "character"-where character had a clearly defined professional basis and less of a personal one. of course it was Tailhook that led the Navy down the path that made it think that its leadership had as much of right to tell you how to live your personal life as well your professional one. ( P.S." the true story behind the sensational Tailhook Scandal and how Paula Coughlin was anything but innocent"-but 8 million dollars works wonders.)

What should be an insult to anyone's "integrity" however-is that the Navy has to outsource this training to an outside firm, with several folks who just happen to be "friends of a friend of friend".  That should strike more than just me as odd and particularly insulting-the institution and to our Sailors.

But today's Sailors don't have the time.

Really? They don't have the time to do their central job as officers and chief petty officers? Lead their Sailors?   Yea-I think that would get in the way of all the diversity training that needs to be accomplished.  And it certainly would get in the way of IG's throwing people under the bus. Give me a fucking break. Hey Al-how much did this little ( probably non competitively bid) contract cost the US Navy? How much-probably a fair amount I think.

So what does all this have to do with Women's History month, you ask? Good question-and it really doesn't- save for one major thing. The primary argument against gender integration was the amount of problems it would create by having men and women live together in close quarters in a profession that prizes companionship to a  large degree. Add to that- long series of events that closed the doors on other more discrete and non threatening means of releasing that tension concurrently ensued-and you should not be surprised at the result.  The Star Trek Navy doesn't exist. And it never will. 

There is no moral crisis in the Navy. The average naval officer or Sailor is getting up each morning and going to work on time, pays his bills, takes care of his family, serve his country-and maybe just maybe-desires to have a good time once in a while, while doing so. Its not an unreasonable expectation on his or her part.

I wonder if there will be a module in the course about how its bad to stab your contemporaries in the back. That always denoted a certain lack of integrity-right Al?

4 responses so far

Feb 16 2012

I love it when I am right………

Yesterday I wrote:Don't kid yourself, this is just the opening act in a war that is designed to, at one and the same time, pervert the meaning of the First Amendment-and at the same time empower insurance companies to go right back to fucking people over.

And leave it to Darrell Issa to prove me right:

The Republican pols who so gleefully pounced on the contraception mandate issue, thinking it would simultaneously titillate their conservative evangelical voter base and ObamaCare haters everywhere, while serving as a “wedge” with Catholic voters, have been frantic to frame the issue as one of “religious liberty,” not of access to contraceptives or of women’s health care. As you may have heard, this “framing” effort went horribly wrong this morning for House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) at a hearing on the mandate.

Here’s the background from Igor Volsky:

Ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) had asked Issa to include a female witness at the hearing, but the Chairman refused, arguing that “As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”

The proposed witness in question, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, is a friend of a fellow-student who lost an ovary after being denied contraceptives prescribed as a medical treatment. She is also obviously connected to one of the “religiously-affiliated institutions” that are at the center of the controversy, even according to the opponents of the mandate.

Issa’s imperious exclusion of Fluke, accompanied by comments that she was not “qualified” to testify, helped dramatize the fact that every single witness he called for the hearing’s first panel was a male religious authority opposing the mandate. The two female Democratic Members of the committee subsequently walked out of the hearing in protest.



Because while the deranged wing of the GOP is continuing its freak out about a standardized practice-their evil apprentices are on still on the job:

In their latest move in the battle over contraception coverage, top Republicans in Congress are going for broke: They’re now pushing a bill that would allow employers and insurance companies to pick and choose which health benefits to provide based simply on executives’ personal moral beliefs. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the top GOPer in the Senate, has already endorsed the proposal, and it could come to a vote this week. The measure would make the religious exemptions to President Barack Obama’s health care bill so large they’d swallow it whole.


“This is about gutting the Affordable Care Act and the protections it was meant to establish,” says Leila Abolfazli, a lawyer focusing at the National Women’s Law Center who focuses on health and reproductive rights.

Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires all health care plans to offer certain services and benefits, including birth control. Last week, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) offered a “conscience amendment,” to the law, pitching it as a way to allay religious employers’ qualms about providing birth control to their employees.

But Blunt’s proposal doesn’t just apply to religious employers and birth control. Instead, it would allow any insurer or employer, religiously affiliated or otherwise, to opt out of providing any health care services required by federal law—everything from maternity care to screening for diabetes. Employers wouldn’t have to cite religious reasons for their decision; they could just say the treatment goes against their moral convictions. That exception could include almost anything—an employer could theoretically claim a “moral objection” to the cost of providing a given benefit. The bill would also allow employers to sue if state or federal regulators try to make them comply with the law.


Don't think insurance companies won't drive a truck through that loophole. As a commenter noted at John Cole's place: "This is an AMAZINGLY bad idea. It rewards those employers who deny coverage, and sanctions those who don’t.. This is one for the history books in bad ideas, it really is. I think we should all remember that this idea came about because of churches + Republicans, setting public policy."

Not a good mix, apparently.

No responses yet

Feb 09 2012

By request.

Commenter Cupajoe wanted a rant against marriage. By amazing coincidence-I'm feeling right down on that subject tonight. Ask,  and ye shall receive:


Lovingly stolen from Expat at Large!

6 responses so far

Oct 22 2011

Tomorrow is the day.

The day we get on the plane and I begin the journey to once again take my rightful place among the ranks of American Expats. I think we are ready-although the S.O. is just two steps above basket case level right about now.

The S.O. does not deal with change well. Unlike me-she likes order and routine, and the humdrum existence of house and hearth allows her to her cleaning, her daily laundry and the rest of her routines. The last few days of packers and movers ( who she regards as lazy compared to their Japanese counterparts-they really were not that bad, it could have been much, much worse) have unsettled her  greatly.  The sight of the empty house, coupled with the idea that those filthy Gaijin will be walking across her well kept floors in shoes, just perturbs her to no end. And this is for a house that she says ( repeatedly) she didn’t like that much ( she liked it more than she cares to admit).

We both have been having ongoing discussions about what put us overweight. She blames my books, I blame her dishes-the truth is both are to blame, which is why she will be splitting the expense with me-although she doesn’t know it yet. We are playing the cards we can to get the weight down ex post facto, but eventually we will get bitten in the ass. She realizes deep down she bought too much “stuff” over here and in Japan.

It sort of came to a head last night,when she threw a T-shirt at me. I realized it was not so much at me for the then topic of discussion-but at my inability to settle and stay where she could enjoy her routines. Like many women, she cares only so much for the happiness of her man. That  is quite secondary, even tertiary,  when it comes to interrupting her routine and her source of life support. Its not unique to her-its a finding I have seen across the species.  It doesn’t matter so much if I am happy in the location or professionally-so long as she is taken care of. She will work through it of course-as soon as we settle on a house, and get unpacked and settled, and she can build new routines. Routines that will have her riding the S-bahn and learning German after a fashion. We apologized to each other this morning at breakfast. (She’s right-I should have been more ruthless with respect to my library, she recognized I am right about her plates and hibachi’s).

But for both of us, tomorrow will be the beginning of a new adventure and a voyage to an uncertain shore. We will keep you advised as it unfolds. Gambarimashou!

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Mar 03 2011

All down hill from here

More and more men are showing up for body pump class.

I do not consider it a positive development.

After class, when Angie the dominatrix instructor was done showing us how fit she is, and how unfit I am- I went in to the locker room, changed into my swim suit, and meandered to the jacuzzi. It almost felt better than an orgasm to get in that water. Notice I said, almost.

In the jacuzzi pool were four young men ( boys) and a girl. The girl was wearing a bikini and the boys were obviously trying to impress said specimen of woman hood. I being the old man ( at least as far as they were concerned) just crouched in the pool and listened to what they had to say.

The were discussing drinking a mix of Red Bull and something else I did not quite hear. They referred to it as two uppers and one big downer. Now I guess I am showing my age-but I never thought that was the right way to impress chicks. Then again, my conversation with strange women these days mostly consists of: ” I’m American, I’m staying at [fill in the blank] and how long have you been in [also fill in the blank], where in [Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, China] are you from?”

Probably the most interesting thing to me was the vitality and sheer enthusiasm in their faces. Everything was still an adventure out there waiting. Life had yet to beat them down. One of the guys talked about heading down to Auburn this weekend for a “PJ” party. ( PJ for those who don’t know is that magic elixir created with fruit juice and grain alcohol guaranteed to make just about any women who consumes several glasses part with bra and/ or panties). I turned my head away and smiled-somethings don’t really seem to change.

Oh to be their age and know what I know now. The girl soon left the pool and they followed in hot pursuit. She was quite trim and the physical maladies of life were all downstream for her. No post partum fat for a while me thinks.


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