by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 3
word count (story only): 1683
:: This story follows immediately on the heels of Speed Bump!” and continues the theme of unexpected events and unexpected reactions. I do apologize; I usually plan better than this! Enjoy the last part of the story! ::
back to part two
:: Thanks for reading! ::
“We're going to Its Your Body Shop,” G began, shrugging diffidently, as only a teen could.
“In Humboldt?” the young woman blurted. Her fingers clenched, revealing large, white knuckles beneath her golden skin. “Like, really?”
“Yeah,” G brightened. “It would make the whole thing more fun if I knew somebody wading through things at the same time. I mean, my friends are great, but the only person who came close to understanding was almost literally run out of town by her family's reaction.” The teen pointed out the tinted side window on the van. “Dad, the tow truck's almost here.”
“Already?” Joshua frowned, then smoothed it away. He wasn't trying to overly influence the young woman, and she had every right to back out because of the emotional upset of the day.
( Read more... )
These are the eligible epics.
"So Closely Allied"
Twins Phoebe and Floyd have an unusual connection and superpowers enhanced through touch.
164 lines, $82
"As We Have Created It"
Not all dragons are necessarily monsters.
84 lines, $42
Friday is almost finished with this first draft…
- Dogs acting weird
- Glass blowing/glass art video compilation (I find this stuff ridiculously soothing to watch.)
- Redditors design the worst volume sliders possible (The curling one made me laugh)
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 3
word count (story only): 1423
:: This story follows immediately on the heels of Speed Bump!” and continues the theme of unexpected events and unexpected reactions. I do apologize, but it's spilled over into a THIRD part for tomorrow. I usually plan better than this! ::
back to part one
“I don't know what those boys did to the car when they spray painted it, but the car just started spluttering, then it wouldn't go more than twenty miles an hour, with the gas pedal all the way down,” the motorist declared, her voice rising as the story spilled out like tea from a shattered pitcher. “Then it stopped and it won't even start!”
“Okay, that's probably because of something put into the gas tank,” Joshua soothed. “Did you report the incident? I mean, spray painting that phrase on someone's car is a hate crime.”
“I wasn't the one who noticed it first. The busboy at the Global Garden noticed it when he went outside with a bag of trash, and then the manager came to tell me that she'd called the police.”
( Read more... )
I looked down to discover that a VOLE was wiggling in the space between me and the arm of the couch. Being a grown woman of great sensibility, I shrieked like a little girl, and leaped from the couch like it was on fire. The vole, sensibly, dove under the cushion into the recesses of the couch.
Heavily gloved and armed with a flashlight, I probed and prodded the interior of the couch, nearly cornered the terrified rodent several times, and finally gave up and set the live trap baited with peanut butter nearby.
The cat continued to doze.
We sat down to dinner, debating the idea of leaving Norway outside, because if he caught the scent of vole and saw it scrabbling around through the fabric, chances seemed good that we would wake up to shredded couch. We also speculate on how the vole got into the couch, let alone into the house, and decide the likely culprit is the sleeping bag we brought in from the garage that had been laying on the couch for several hours.
The cat snored louder.
Then, suddenly I caught sight of it braving the outside world and coming around the corner of the still-sideways couch. I hissed and pointed and generally flailed, and as quietly as we could, Jake and I got out of our chairs and started stalking the wily beast.
It made basically a beeline for the cat, who slumbered blissfully on, then darted back behind the entertainment credenza.
I put on the heavy gloves and positioned myself at the escape end of the credenza while Jake poked and prodded and hissed and generally flushed it my direction. "This is a terrible idea," I said, but patiently waited. The vole, cautious but not terribly cowed, came my direction.
The vole hesitated, just out of Jake's reach. I could have made a grab for it, but it would have sent him hiding if I missed.
The cat snored.
Jake rattled wires.
The vole darted.
Vole safely in my gloved grip, we all cheered.
The vole took a swift air flight out into the woods, and we returned to our dinners.
The cat wheezed on in sleep.
Senate Republicans have finally released what appears to be the draft text of H.R. 1628, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”
It’s 142 pages, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time deciphering it all. (Not a lawyer or a legislator.) But here are some things that stood out at me…
Elimination of the individual and employer mandate. (Pages 10-11)
Tax repeals on medications, health insurance, health savings accounts, etc. (Pages 25-29)
This includes the “Repeal of Tanning Tax” on page 29.
The continuing attack on abortion rights.
“Disallowance of small employer health insurance credit for plan which includes coverage for abortion.” (Pages 8-9)
“No Federal funds provided from a program referred to in this subsection that is considered direct spending for any year may be made available to a State for payments to a prohibited entity,” which is then defined as an entity providing abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. (Page 35)
According to a USA Today analysis, this bill would:
- Reduce or eliminate most subsidies for individuals and families
- “Eliminate the ACA’s requirement that insurers can’t charge older customers more than three times what younger customers pay for the same coverage. Instead, those in their 60s could be charged five times as much, or more.”
- Eliminate penalties to large employers who choose not to offer health insurance. (Elimination of the employer mandate.)
- Make it easier to drop coverage for things like maternity care and mental health issues.
CNN points out that the bill would also:
- Defund Planned Parenthood for a year.
- Require coverage of preexisting conditions. However, it also lets states “waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover… This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, so those with pre-existing conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.”
A PBS article says the bill would:
- Cap and reduce Medicaid funding, and allow states to add a work requirement for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicaid.
- Provide $2 billion to help states fight opioid addiction
- It preserves health care for people with preexisting conditions (with the potential exceptions noted in the CNN bullets, above), and allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan through age 26.
- It expands health care savings accounts.
- It provides a short-term stabilization fund to help struggling insurance markets.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release their report on the senate bill next week. The CBO estimated that the House-passed bill would result in 26 million fewer insured Americans by 2026, and would cut the budget by $119 billion over the same time. (Source)
Nothing here is particularly shocking. I’m glad I and my family can’t be kicked off our insurance for our various preexisting conditions…though some of those conditions might no longer be covered, which sucks. It would hurt the poor, the elderly, women, and the mentally ill, among others. None of my readers will be shocked to hear that I think this is another step backward. The ACA was far from perfect — it’s like a patient with a broken leg, but instead of trying to fix the broken leg, we’ll just throw them through a woodchipper, because hey, it’s cheaper!
It looks like this may be a tight vote, which would make this an excellent time to call your Senator.
Please keep any comments civil. I’m angry about this too, but I don’t have the time or the spoons to moderate fights and nastiness today. (Which probably means I shouldn’t have posted this in the first place, but I never claimed to be that bright…)
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
"A bit of legal arcana, as I recall," Corydalis answered. "They're trying to create a legal definition of a person."
"... isn't there one already?"
"Not as such. If I understand correctly -- realize this is not my field of expertise -- it's a matter of common law. Everyone knows what a person is when you see one, so you don't need to define one. It's surprisingly hard to define 'person' in a way that encapsulates everyone you'd want to define as a person without including things that you don't. A senile shapechanger trapped in their feline form, for instance, is clearly still a person. But a cat who can't shapeshift is just as clearly not. A mute elf is a person and a parrot isn't. You can say 'anyone born to members of the four races', but would that mean that if I don't know my parentage, I'm not a person? What if my parents don't know their parentage? Does the government issue documents at birth that certify personhood and do you stop qualifying as a person if you don't have one?"
Smoke blanched. "That sounds nightmarish. Why don't they just leave it as a matter of common law? Then the courts can decide on a case-by-case basis where they have all the specifics before them, right? Did a court rule that some person oughtn't have the rights of a person and they're trying to make sure it doesn't happen again?"
"No, not so far as I am aware. But some legislators, Lord Sky among them, believe that the absence of a consistent legal standard of 'person' opens a path to corruption and people registering their dogs to vote or somesuch." Corydalis's lips twitched as he tried not to smile. "I am inclined to agree with you that the matter is best left to individual judges to interpret as needful, and perhaps not the best to present Lord Sky's position that the legislature must weigh in upon the subject. But the matter is outside of my bailiwick."
"Mm. Mine too, I suppose." Smoke contemplated the subject. "Why would anyone want to make their notes disappear? Is it a very controversial subject?"
Corydalis waggled the fingers of one hand. "It has the potential to be. Several legislators are strongly opposed to Lord Sky or anyone else working on the subject. But it's not even a bill in committee yet, just a topic that he's thinking about presenting a bill upon. It is a long, long way from becoming law. I don't even know what his group's working definition is, but judging by the volume of their notes, they are putting a lot of thought into it beforehand."
"So you don't know what incident motivated them to start work on this bill?"
Corydalis shook his head. "Or if there was an incident, for that matter. Sometimes legislators look for things that could become problems in the future and address them now."
"Not yet. Did Hawthorne say how things had been rearranged?"
Try to get conversation back to whether he usually meets everyone who works at Courthall
Ask if there've been any other odd events like this one.
Stop talking shop and get personal
Author's note: I have a document of the Dreamwidth installments of PollRPG to date, if you've lost track of the story or want a more convenient place to look things up then the DW page.