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Sunday, July 01, 2012 ISSUE #714

Storms knock out electricity, newspapers and more

    WESTON, West Va: No electricity, no phone, no newspapers, no radio or TV stations, no mail, no gas stations, no stop lights, no Wal-Mart or Kroger, no air-conditioning, no running water. That’s life this weekend for a third of West Virginians and millions more from Illinois to Virginia and Maryland, the result of high winds that cut a wide swath across the region Friday.
    Chain saws, generators (with extra fuel), and charcoal grills are in high demand. Neighbors are looking out for neighbors and anyone else who needs help.
    Shade trees (the ones still standing) provide relief from sweltering heat. Without radio, TV, or internet, folks can sit around and actually talk with each other.
    Thousands of workers are not relaxing. Power company crews, electricians, roofers, and tree removers will get no holiday break this week. 
    Power outages create a peculiar irony. While living conditions may remind us of the “dark ages” of 50 to 75 years ago, we eat like kings.  The best cuts of meat from the freezer are cooked on the grill: prime rib, pork tenderloin, venison steaks. And for dessert, gorge on ice cream before it melts.
    Churches were open Sunday, worshiping in the cool of the morning, with light from stained-glass windows.
    Of course, this “no electric” situation is mild compared to the folks with “no house” because of wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico.

    The Supreme Court made history June 28. Chief Justice John Roberts handed down a decision that was unlike others from the highest court. He decided the Affordable Care Act was based on additional taxes rather than a mandate. Now President Obama and the Democrats had sworn it was not a tax and never would be a tax. They did this swearing with one hand on the Bible and the other on the heads of the voters. But when the Supreme Court says it’s a tax, it’s a tax. Everyone knows Congress loves to levy taxes so Mr. Roberts, with four other justices, said it is constitutional. But did you notice he kind of deferred the final decision to a “court” he considers higher than the Supreme Court: the American voters. At the same time, though, he sorta chastised the same voters for what they did in 2008 when he said, “It’s not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    Justice Roberts’ decision to rewrite the law before ruling on it goes along with a statement by  President Franklin Roosevelt, “The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.”  FDR and President Obama like that word “elastic”.
    The main concern of the big majority that have health insurance is that they will lose access to their favorite doctors and hospital staff. On top of that loss, they will have to pay more taxes to cover the uninsured. No one seems to know whether there’s 50 million of ‘em or 10 million. Thanks to Justice Roberts, we’ve got something to argue over for the next 5 months.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:
    “Congress ought to really get into the main show next week... They will get settled down to ‘steady taxing’.”
DT #2633, Jan. 13, 1935

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