Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obamacare In Oregon



 


Move along.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.




I live in the State of Oregon in the USA.  Oregon has opted for its state-run CoverOregon health care insurance program in lieu of the HealthCare.gov marketplace. 

Healthcare.gov refers you to CoverOregon.com if you want to apply for affordable health care insurance.  And CoverOregon.com doesn't work.  It's been "open" since Oct. 1 but has yet to enroll its first customer.  Not one.

It should work.  The feds have already shoveled bucketsfull (an actual measurement) of money to Oregon.  We're a tech-savvy state.  We want it to work.  Nope, doesn't.

Our state has had to hire or reassign 400 workers "to process insurance applications by hand."  (Thank you, AP and The Eugene Register Guard)  

By HANDIn 2013With 400 untrained employees?  Who does that make sense to?  

Can't take it off-line, though.  That would make the Guv and the Prez look bad.  So temps, pick up your pencils and pull down your green eyeshades and get to work.  You're untrained?  Still, after a week?  Well, so what?  So is everyone else.

AP notes that Oregon "has a large population of young, underemployed progressives who might provide a burgeoning market for affordable coverage."  (Or perhaps make good temps, but I digress)  That is exactly the population whose premiums CoverOregon needs to attract in order to offset the health care costs of needy older Oregonians.  Healthy youngsters = low costs, elders = higher costs.  Simple, right?

Problem is, the elders will pay a little to get a lot and the youngsters, well, they just won't pay at all.  If they have catastrophic health care needs, they can enroll when the catastrophe happens and still be fully covered.  Except, I suppose, for the $95 penalty which they can't be required to pay, either.  

Plus, if the youngsters stay on their parents' policies (should those parents purchase policies before their own catastrophes) they won't be obliged to pay their own premiums (should they actually decide to pay) until they're 26.  So, no premiums from that group.  Oops.

* * *

I've had health insurance, most of it partially subsidized, almost all my life.  It's background noise in my life.  I'm glad I have it but I rarely think about it.

I know there are many good people who are not as fortunate.  They are in desperate need of health care insurance and it's just not there.  That's not the way it's supposed to be in America.  

Enter the Prez's answer, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Affordable health care for all Americans who want it is a good idea.  That's the way it's supposed to be in America.  Neither "all government all the time" nor exclusive of government.  If there was ever a time for the ever-elusive public-private partnership, this is the time.

But now isn't the time, it seems.  It's all-government all the time now and the government, at every level and in every department, is broken.  There is neither the leadership, the will nor the ability to fix it.  This didn't have to happen.

Oregon has a world-class private sector.  Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen lives here.  Nike's Phil Knight lives here and Nike is headquartered here.  We're up to our eyeballs in miscellaneous scholars and experts and over-achievers of every stripe.  Heck, I live here.  OK, forget that part.  

But who among them was asked to lend a meaningful hand to create Cover Oregon and stick around to make sure it rolled out successfully?  No one.  Where did the dollar-a-year experts go?  Cover Oregon and governor Kitzhaber preferred to roll the dice with its own employees and selected contractors.

Their disastrous result was predictable.  And do you really think that 400 temps are going to be the answer?  Seriously?  

Oregon was supposed to be the bell cow for the Obamacare roll-out.  As Oregon goes, so will the nation.  And Oregon has failed, at a cost of billions so far and billions more to fix it and billions more to run it and God knows how much more to spin it as a success.  

And the national roll-out has failed and the costs are skyrocketing.  Is it time to think the unthinkable:  Is America failing.

Poor us.

* * * * *

“My belief is that Oregonians need to hold people accountable for the actions that they make. And for this particular plan, it’s President Obama and essentially every Democrat who voted for it.  And in the state of Oregon it’s Gov. John Kitzhaber who is responsible for its implementation,” Oregon state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, told Northwest Watchdog.  ”He (Kitzhaber) needs to explain why, as an early adopter with additional funds that other states didn’t get, that we’re dead last in sign ups.”

(Thank you, Shelby Sebens of watchdog.org. and Fox News)
 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obamacare Death Spiral Begins


"If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan.  Period."

Who would have thought that simple assertion might be the death knell for the Affordable Care Act?  Well, not by itself, maybe.  It has a lot of help.

America accepted the ACA after it was rammed through a complicit partisan Congress.  But it did pass and it does not serve us to pretend it didn't.  We have what Congress and the Prez wanted us to have.  Most Americans, however grudgingly, knew that their health insurance, and therefore their health care, would change; some for the better, some for the worse. It was beguiling to believe that government health insurance would join "free Mexican food" in a utopian tomorrow.

Let's review what we were told:
  • Health care premiums would go down.  We were were even given a number:  $2,500 per family.
    The reality:  Premiums are going up - WAY up - and you can't choose what you want to insure.  67-year-old male?  "Pre-natal care for you, Buster, and don't ask any questions." -- "Hey, lady!  Turn your head and cough."
  • Coverage would be extended to those who never before could afford health insurance. 
    The reality:  Like whom?  The CBO still predicts 30M uninsured after Obamacare is fully implemented.  And now around 5M policy cancellations and growing? 
  • Healthcare.gov (HC.G for now) was on-track for full implementation on Oct.1.
    The reality:  Kathleen Sebelious knew last March that the ACA roll-out was imperiled, yet testified in April that it "we are on track to meet the October 1 deadline."  And again in July.  And on Oct. 1 said "... it's a great problem to have" and "the volume-related issues are ones that we welcome, frankly."
  • Problems with HC.G were mere "glitches" that were entirely expected and fixable, like when Apple rolls out a new product.
    The reality:  The "fix" turned out to be just a postponement of the individual mandate with the option of renewing your old plan, if... well, a lot of ifs.

You did hear one thing that turned out to be true:
"We have to pass the bill in order so you can find out what's in it."
-- Nancy Pelosi

On the other hand, NancyP also said:
"Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs."

So she may not be entirely in the game.  You make the call.

The Obamacare death spiral has begun.  We can see a dull red glare just over the horizon.  We don't know the date or details of its doom, but that flushing sound?  Well, you know.

* * * * *

Bill Maher opined that the prez didn't lie about Obamacare, he merely "evolved on honesty."  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013







No rants or opinions today.  This day is to be enjoyed in peace and by giving thanks to the numberless anonymous men and women who served so that we can live free.  I have written in this space on other Veterans Days.  I hope you'll take a look.

"Under the most demanding of circumstances and in the most dangerous corners of the earth, America's veterans have served with distinction. With courage, self-sacrifice, and devotion to our Nation and to one another, they represent the American character at its best."
     -- President Barack Obama, Nov. 7, 2013

Thank you, Veterans.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Million Muslims vs. Two Million Bikers



'Two Million Bikers' to D.C.: Chopper Video

Sounds like a post-apocalyptic straight-to-DVD movie, doesn't it?  The Muslims against The Bikers?  ["When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way"... and all that]  But it really happened yesterday.  Sort of.  The “Million Muslim March” (MMM), recently renamed “Million Americans Against Fear”, faced off against the “Two Million Bikers To D.C. Ride” (TMB).  How did the Muslims and Bikers fare?  Let’s look.  

The MMM organizers got a DC march permit for 9-11-2013.  The TMB folks were denied one on very questionable grounds.  Those issues were finally resolved.  Give the Muslims a point for better lobbyists.  How else did they compare?

According to NBCWashington there were about 25 attendees at the Muslim rally.  No, not 25 mil or thou or even 25 hundred, just... 25.  That included Dr. Cornell West, an activist professor who craves the media spotlight, no matter how goofy the cause.  The Cornell West of Democratic Socialists of America, Christian at a Muslim rally (try that in Tahrir Square!), lion of hip hop, song and acting and other things that don't require a sweat investment.  But this isn't about him, so I'll go on.  

So fine, 25 people exercising their rights to peaceable assembly and free speech.  I'm sure I could make common cause with some of them.  Not a bad way at all to spend a nice September day in DC.  Good for them and good for West. 

That's the MMM speakers above.  Seven of them.  That means there were around 18 non-speaker attendees.  A small polite group that meant no harm and did none.  Probably more cops than marchers.

One other thing.  There were a buncha (perhaps unrelated and just cashing in on somebody else's event, to be fair) 9/11 Truthers at the MMM rally, like this one:


 

Yeah, Cheney.  Way to think it through, darlin'.  Effective sign, too.  Don't have to spend any money on sign stock that way.  "See you guys at the Muslim thing, OK?"

Nice day for a ride, too.  No permit (at first) but the bikers went on anyway, those scoff-laws.  How dare they ride on streets they paid for?  Here are a couple of 'em:


Bikers ride past the US Capitol Building September 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Motorcyclists rode in and around DC to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.


Time.com noted "... thousands of bikes overflowing out of rest stops and parking lots on their way to the event."  That's a whole lotta bikers.  The Washington Times noted about "... a third of a mile" of bikes. 

Go ahead, count the bikes if you wish.  You can stop when you get to 26.

An insignificant Muslim rally where nothing much was said by the mostly non-Muslim attendees.  A bunch of bikers huffing about their delusional self-important patriotism.  Why did this puddle of nothing get national attention?  Why did it get my attention?  Was there a statement to be made or a conclusion to be drawn?  I don't think so.  Most commenters and talking heads were jabbering just because that's what they do, make news instead of reporting it. 

My internet friend Dr. Russell Burgos, adjunct professor at a couple of big SoCal schools, and who is welcome to contribute a column here any time, wrote this:
"Two-Thousand Teabagger Ride commemorates 9/11 by pissing off tens of thousands of Washington DC-area residents trying to get to work or the grocery store. "Bikers with the group 'Two Million Bikers to D.C.' are snarling traffic on the Beltway."
I like reading Russell's comments and I miss his blogs.  He often makes me reconsider the things I believe or advocate for.  Derisive commentary is his forte and he's darn good at it.  If you're not paying close attention you're liable to just say "Wow, cool!" and nod your head.  So pay close attention.

"Two-Thousand" to diminish the number of TMB participants while overlooking the 25 MMM attendees.  "Teabagger" to make you think this was somehow a conservative political biker event.  (Is there such a thing?)  "Pissing off tens of thousands of Washington DC residents..."   OK, I'll have to concede that possibility but the same would have been true had anyone bothered to show up at the MMM.  They didn't, of course. 

There's gotta be a point here somewhere, doesn't there?  It's a warm late summer.  Baseball is winding up and fans are dwindling at most parks.  Football is on but it doesn't play well in the heat.  It's not a warm-weather game.  Sorry, that's just a personal peeve.

We're bored and we're scared at the same time.  War is on the horizon despite the prez's Nobel.  Poison gas attacks have been going on for months and we're just now offended by them and combat deaths in general.  

The Cabinet Departments are incestuous cesspools where failure is the norm.  Politicians repeat their crimes and hope we won't notice... again.  Gross incompetence and malfeasance are spun as achievement.

We need something to take our minds off our confused misery.  How about

The Muslims versus The Bikers!

Kinda makes you forget what 9/11 is really about, doesn't it?







* * * * *

BTW, I could get more than 25 people to a lawn event with a few packages of hot dogs, buns and condiments.  "Hey!  Getcher free conservative hot dogs!  Over here!"  Maybe I could be an organizer for next year's MMM rally.

Conservative Hot Dog?  Not a bad name for a blog.  Hmmm.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Syrian Gas Attacks




 Warning:  This post contains graphic images unsuitable for children and other living things. 

_________________
_________________


Sometimes, words simply cannot suffice.
 


"There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child.  Things never get back to the way they were."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

* * * * *

The Syrian government has launched new gas attacks on Syrian rebels, killing at least 1,400, including many, many children and women.

It is said that "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."  Our UN ambassador was partying in Ireland - after 19 days on the job! - during an "urgent" Security Council Meeting last Wednesday concerning Syrian gas attacks.  She sent her deputy.  Where are our priorities?

We have no gas warfare red line.

We have abandoned any pretense to a moral high ground.

We are not our brother's keeper.

There is no Golden Rule.

We have no deeper interest than self interest.

Evil exists.

We are lost.  We have no leader or plan.  The wilderness is lonely and we are terrified.





* * * * *

From Time.com:

"Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi dismissed the possibility of an American attack, warning that such a move would risk triggering more violence in the region."

More violence than children dying of poison gas?  How?

Do something now, Mr. President.  I know, it's a war and it's dangerous but we need you.  The world needs you.  Don't lead from behind.  Now's not the time.

* * * * *

"I don't oppose all wars.  What I am opposed to is a dumb war.  What I am opposed to is a rash war." 

"We have real enemies in the world.  These enemies must be found.  They must be pursued and they must be defeated."


"We're not going to baby sit a civil war."

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

All, Barack Obama

* * * * *

"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people.  Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."


"Better to fight for something than live for nothing."

Both, George S. Patton

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Student Loans ... Changing the Change

 

These people borrowed nearly a trillion dollars from you and they don't want to pay it back.


Why is that a problem?  


We previously looked at the reformed and inferior Federal Student Loan Program on March 30, 2010, at  Student Loans and the IRS.  I hope you'll take the time to read it. Student loan reform was a bad idea then and has been implemented poorly since. 

How do we know it was a bad idea?  The prez told us so.  He was speechifying about student loans last week.  In preparation, The White House announced:

"We have to fundamentally rethink how higher education is paid for in this country."  (Thank you, The Atlantic)

But that's what was supposed to happen in 2010.  The prez was mighty proud of his student loan reform back then, part of his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Obamacare to most: 
"With this bill, and other steps we've pursued over the last year, we are finally undertaking meaningful reform in our higher education system..."  Barack Obama, quoted by ABCNews.com on March 30, 2010
Mr. Obama called it "one of the most significant investments in higher education since the GI Bill."  (Thank you, Christian Science Monitor)
The prez promised us $60Bil in program savings that would be used partly fund Obamacare, part to be spent on community colleges, part for Pell Grants, part to ease stringent repayment requirements and on and on.  Wow, who wouldn't be on board with something as cool as that?  

But if that had been true, why would we want to fundamentally rethink the president's own reforms from which he promised us such miraculous results?  Answer:  It wasn't true.

Here are two more answers:

1)  The education reform issue was advanced to give the prez a political wedge issue;  

2)  It provided for the federal government to take over a profitable private sector (although admittedly publicly funded) business activity.  You know, like ObamaCare usurped the health care industry. 

The wedge issue is a dandy and conservatives have wilted under it.  
"Hey kids, want some student loan money (stubux?)?  Let me help you out there.  Interest rates too high?  Let's cut them in half for a while by borrowing from Social Security.  Yeah, I told you it's bankrupt but what the hey, let's do it anyway. (Oh, you didn't know that?)  And don't forget, VOTE DEMOCRAT!"

Rates will go up again, of course.  It's a part of the plan that he doesn't bother to mention.

Then comes the reason behind the reason:  When the built-in failure happens, he'll blame the Republicans and lead a crusade to "fundamentally rethink how higher education is paid for in this country."  (See above.)  He's doing it right now.  

"Changing the change" might actually work if he can get enough of us to forget that the original plan was his, not the Republicans'.  "Hope and Change" and all.

Reason #2:  Central planning is all the vogue again.  The gummint knows better than we do about everything.  Therefore, we should do things the gummint way because, you know, it's a matter of smarter people taking better care of us than we can care for ourselves.  Personal responsibility morphs into "it takes a village." Why should the private sector make a profit?

The gummint has taken over major industries on the grounds that the Washington can, and therefore should, run them better than the private sector.  The gummint took control of crop production during the Great Depression.  Wiki notes of a Woody Guthrie song:
In addition to being a lament for the braceros killed in the crash, the opening lines of "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)":
"The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps."
are another protest by Guthrie. At the time, government policies paid farmers to destroy their crops in order to keep farm production and prices high. Guthrie felt that it was wrong to render food inedible by poisoning it in a world where hungry people lived.
A popular refrain is "Government, stay out of my bedroom."  True that, and the exact same sentiment applies to everything else in our lives - including crop production - except for the powers and duties conferred on the federal government by the Constitution.  "Stay out of my doctor's office" works, too.

Our Founders feared that a powerful federal government would threaten the freedom of Americans.  The Constitution tells us what the government can do, but that wasn't enough.  

The Bill of Rights tells us what we can do.  Nowhere is there a mention of gummint doing anything just because it feels like it.  Hello, Obamacare.  Oh, that's right, it's a tax.  Who knew?

Cars, banking, health care, student loans, crony capitalism loans to politically connected fat cats for solar panels and batteries that never worked or were never competitive or never existed.  Choose your industry.  Which one is working better than before gummint took it over?

Next up:  Gummint rates schools and directs students to the ones it thinks are best by increasing the amounts of individual student loans for them.  No, really.  (Thank you, BusinessWeek.)

Hey!  Gotcha again, didn't I?

* * * * *
"The bottom line is we're not broke, there's plenty of money out there, it's just that the government doesn't have it."
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) 
July 25, 2013





Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Doing Business With al-Qaeda -- Where's Our Outrage?


 
The US Army is doing business with al-Qaeda.  Literally.  

Their guys:

Think about that for a moment.  Americans are killing, and being killed by, these a-Qs but we're doing business with those a-Qs, who are using the profits to fund the first a-Qs.  The mind reels.

According to a published report:  "Special Inspector General John Sopko said his office has urged the Army to suspend or debar 43 contractors over concerns about ties to the Afghanistan insurgency, "including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al Qaeda."  (Thank you, FoxNews.com.)

Our guys:



 


 




The Army's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has strongly recommended that the Army stop doing that business.  Makes sense to me.  You?  But noooo!  (Thank you, John Belushi.)  The Army is going to keep doing business with the enemy, thank you very much.  SIGAR writes, and I'm embarrassed to quote this:
"In other words, they may be enemies of the United States, but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts.
Then WTF WOULD be enough to keep them from getting US government contracts?!  Regicide?  They'd like to.  Nukes?  They're trying.  Baby barbeques?  They're already doing that, so clearly that's not enough.  Killing our best and brightest young men and women?  They're doing that, too, yet we continue to do business with them.  Ramming loaded passenger jets into tall office buildings?  Yep.

The result?  We are co-sponsoring this:
 

And this:
 



And this:



Congress has taken note and at least one Representative has spoken out but, no surprise, Congress hasn't done anything about it. They're on vacation now, don'cha know?
"The fact that U.S. taxpayer money has ended up in the hands of terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan is totally inexcusable. It's sickening to think that we've been giving money to the very people who are killing our brave service men and women," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, one of the co-sponsors, said in a statement. 
In the report, Sopko's office noted that the U.S. has suspended 59 contractors and debarred 68 contractors following allegations that they were engaged in fraud and other misconduct. 
But the report said the refusal to send the same message to companies allegedly supporting terror and militant organizations is a "continuing problem." 
The report challenges the Army's claim that there was not enough evidence. The report said in each of the 43 recommendations, the office provided "detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and entities are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan." All were turned down. 
I wish I could vote for Rep.Chaffetz. 

And where is the Prez in all this?  Voting present, apparently.  He's in charge, f'God's sake, and we're at war.  One order, like, say, "Stop doing that, you idiots!" would be enough.  You can't be in a war and be afraid of confronting the enemy.  It's mutually exclusive.

* * * * *

"When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use."  Did Joseph Stalin say that?  Well, no, but it's a good story.  Supposedly said to his very close comrade Grigori Zinoviev in the '20s.  They were such close comrades that Stalin had him imprisoned and shot.  Fast forward to today:  "When we blow up the American imperialists they will sell us the explosives."  Same thing. 

What's the point here?  The ultimate point, I suppose, is that some of our tax dollars are buying the bullets and bombs that are killing some of our soldiers... and there is no outrage.  Is that what you want?  What's wrong with us?  Where's YOUR outrage?

I get it about war.  A lot of good young men and women die but aren't they supposed to die for something?  If we can boycott Iran, why can't we stop doing business with al-Qaeda?  At the very least, don't sponsor their killers.

The prez, like his predecessor, can't stop the war and he won't escalate it, either.  There is NOTHING in this war for America.  

Here's the Alibi for Ignorance proposal:  Have John Kerry meet with a-Q reps in Geneva, just like HenryK did in the '60s and'70s.  Escrow $50Bil in a Swiss bank for 120 days, at the end of which the US will be entirely out of Afghanistan.  No troops, no aid, no embassy, no USAID, no CIA, no NOTHING.  If the withdrawal was reasonably peaceful, a-Q gets to keep the money

Costs us the $50Bil plus the cost to depart.  After the $50Bil+, no more current costs and no more battlefield casualties.  We lick our wounds again, treat our damaged veterans and try to figure out how best to use our military next time.  God knows, we blew it this time.  Again.

And we remember this:


* * * * *

"When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin."
Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 6, 2013

D-Day 2013 and Teddy Roosevelt, Jr.




I last posted my respects to the men - and women, as Bob Welch reminded us in American Nightingale - of D-Day 1944 on June 6, 2010, calling it Back Page News.  This year, not do much as a single mention anywhere in our local rag, the Eugene Register-Guard, not even on the back page.  What a comment on our national conscience.  What a disgrace. 

To us in America, raised on US-centric WW II history, this was the critical event of WW II in Europe.  The beginning of the end, and maybe it was.  But that gives short shrift to the Soviet Union's sacrifices.  We don't much like them any more but back in the day they killed 9 out of 10 German soldiers lost in the war.  Russia and its contemporaries remember them and honor them.  Us, not so much.

There is talk of another major celebration in Normandy next year.  That's great, as far as it goes, but what about saying thank you today?  Today, the living and dead veterans get not so much as a nod.

Here is Nancy Reagan placing flowers on the grave of Gen. Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., in 1994 while President Reagan looks on. 



File:Teds grave.jpg

TRJr deserves a special mention.  Gassed and wounded at Soissons in 1918, he had to overcome strenuous resistance to being in the invasion at all.   His commanding officer reluctantly OK'd it but thought he was sending him to his death.  Oldest man in the invasion, second man off the lead boat in the first wave (give that some thought), only general to land with the first wave, only man to serve with his son on D-Day.  

Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day, one of only two sets of fathers and sons to win the Medal of Honor, along with Arthur and Douglas MacArthur.  As successive waves came ashore, he walked around under fire encouraging them to move inland and he personally led assaults against German positions, just as he did when he first came ashore.  He was admirably portrayed by Henry Fonda in the movie The Longest Day.  Maybe that's where you remember him from.  He is a man well worth remembering.

Here's his Medal of Honor citation:
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.
Only three other men won the Medal of Honor on D-Day, and one on June 7.  Four of the five were awarded posthumously, including TRJr who died of a heart attack on July 12, 1944, the same day he was promoted to major general.

TRJr is seldom remembered any more, just like the rest of the D-Day and WW II veterans.  But today is a good day to remember and thank him and them.
"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten."
-- Rudyard Kipling
Achievements, not deaths, are the legacy of Normandy but it is death that dominates our thoughts today.  For each recorded act of heroism and sacrifice and death there were hundreds more that went unobserved or are forgotten.  They died to keep us free.  It is to our shame that they appear to our children only as roles in a video game instead of in a story of heroism and sacrifice that we have taught them.  

Gentlemen and ladies of D-Day, thank you for giving my family and me our freedom and our future.




* * * * *

"We’ll start the war from right here!"
Teddy Roosevelt, Jr, upon learning that his unit had landed a mile from their designated beach on D-Day.