Good morning everyone and happy Saturday once again! I closed out three leases this week, and the rest of my time was dedicated to catching up on some documentaries while wrapping up our 2012 tax stuff. Our appointment is today, and while we love our accountant (who says that?!), it looks like we’re going to be seeing more of him now that I have to switch to quarterly filings. With the Mercury retrograde in full swing, I’ve been extra careful to double check all of our paperwork, including those leases, doing stuff manually, making sure nothing is out of place. While I may not be big on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I swear this year, I’m going to hoist a couple of beers just to celebrate the messenger planet going direct.
And some of that proofreading has already paid off, as Ryan’s paperwork to reenlist actually went through Wednesday. Finally! He hasn’t heard anything negative as of yet, so he’s moving straight forward on waiting to retake MEPS. That’s pretty good timing, since he won’t be presented a contract until after things go back to normal, so it’s all good. So, if I could ask you all to keep our son in your thoughts, I would really appreciate it!
One thing I’m very disappointed to learn is the U.S. Army announced yesterday they have suspended their tuition assistance program, GoArmyEd, just after the Marines decided to go the same route. Things are still up in the air for the Air Force and Navy, but with this sequester thing going on, which is putting half of the cuts squarely on the military, I would assume that sadly won’t be too far off. I understand cuts need to be made, but I would like to think ensuring our vets an opportunity to transition into civilian life via educating them for civilian jobs wouldn’t be included. Silly me.
Now me being the optimistic cynic, at least I can be assured the issue of the VA sending sensitive info unencrypted wasn’t due to sequester cuts. That’s good, because the last thing we need is people screwing up all on their own and… Wait, what?! They’re saying no security breach occurred, but I don’t feel all that warm and fuzzy about veterans’ and dependents’ Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other private health data going over nearly open airwaves, on top of a bunch of other stuff. It also has me thinking with deeper cuts, things like that will only become more commonplace as overworked folks will seek to cut corners wherever possible. Not. Good.
Of course, that news took a deep back seat to the talking filibuster this week over the drone usage policy courtesy of the Obama administration, brought to you by the Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. It’s directly because of that the White House sent out a press release President Barack Obama does not have the authority to use a drone to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil if the citizen is not engaged in combat. So ummm… was that in place before or after the filibuster? Just askin’.
And of course, some folks got really riled up when John Brennan, the guy who got the CIA director job, the guy they were supposed to be talking about before Paul got to talking, took his oath without a Bible (oh noez!) and on the first draft of the U.S. Constitution… the version that doesn’t have the Bill of Rights on it. With all this drone business going on, the new head of the CIA swearing an oath on a document that doesn’t include the following makes people nervous. Let’s go over them, shall we?
I. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition – Y’know, this is the one where I, as a journalist (a hack at that, but whatdahey), can voice my cynicism, and both the Occupy folks and the Westboro folks can protest.
II. Right to keep and bear arms – Oh yeah, the whole gun rights thing. Like that hasn’t been in the news lately.
III. Conditions for quarters of soldiers – Okay, so I think we can all agree on this, that we don’t have to provide troops with housing in our private homes. It’s a nice gesture though I suppose, but naw, I don’t think anyone would argue against forcing people to supply room and board.
IV. Right of search and seizure regulated – Okay, back on target regarding Brennan’s new job. Without #4, the cops can come bust down your door on a hunch. (Some say they already do, but that’s besides the point. let’s keep up appearances, shall we?)
V. Provisons concerning prosecution – “I’ll take the Fifth,” said every mob boss ever. But it’s for you, too!
VII. Right to a trial by jury – See #6.
VIII. Excessive bail, cruel punishment – So wait, we can’t water board people? I’m confused.
IX. Rule of construction of Constitution – Okay, now I’m really confused, but that’s okay, because this one seems to confuse a lot of people. Something about privacy or something. Hmmm… CIA. Privacy. CIA using Facebook and Google? Okay, I think I get it. Maybe? Nah, that’s just a conspiracy theory. Paging Mr. Ventura… Mr. Jesse Ventura…
X. Rights of the States under Constitution – And this one here, this is so the federal government isn’t the only game in town, that the individual states get their say-so in how things are run. But, there’s always a million ways the feds can get the upper hand. What comes to mind is when they wanted the drinking laws to be 21 across the board back when I was a kid. Sure, the states can do what they want, but they don’t get any federal road dollars for doing it. Carrot, meet stick.
So as you can see, while sure, it can be a stretch deemed by some Brennan didn’t intentionally mean to choose that version of the Constitution to swear on (damn you, Mercury retrograde!), that he was going for the one George Washington had signed to be all fancy-like, others are seeing it as a wake-up call. Now I do think it was a good idea to ditch the whole Bible thing, since it signifies he’s doing the work based on man’s law and not God’s… yeah, I see where that can be viewed as more than just an oops. What say you?
Welp folks, I’ll leave it at that this week. I’m actually getting this article squared away the night before so I can be fresh for meeting with our accountant in the morning. The last thing we need is for me to do something stupid like forget our shoebox full of receipts! (Or like last year, go down there without the checkbook! My bad!)
Take care, and many blessings to you and yours!