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September 23, 2013

Everybody’s Fall ‘To Do” List

Steven R. Berryman

In no particular order, here is a Fall checklist of “things to do” and/or be aware of in the October 1st time frame. In this period of acorn gathering and inventory for Winter, one cannot be too organized.


Obamacare begins to kick-in.


Healthcare markets begin to offer you a “virtual marketplace,” where those without insurance can shop for and select their policy. This is a great idea for those without insurance, as the government and the Internal Revenue Service will fine you if you remain uncovered. This amount increases each year.


Poor people especially are encouraged to take advantage of this, especially as fines to them are waived, and, really, they’re just giving the stuff away.


Oh, and about that “if you like your plan you can keep it” stuff, many companies with 50+ employees will drop your plan and choose to pay a minor per-employee fine instead.


[Exemptions and waivers from the most insidious impact of the new national healthcare laws are already enjoyed by your Congress, congressional staff, the military, McDonald’s, Walmart, and many other savvy “players.”]


Pipes may freeze


This is at least as important as the above.


Don’t forget to walk outside at least long enough to see if you have turned off your outside water for the season – so the pipes don’t freeze. And then go downstairs to bleed the water line so there is no residual standing water. Frozen pipes do burst.


No, this has nothing at all to do with Maryland’s “Rain Tax.”


Buy your last guns


By October 1st – at least for Marylanders lucky enough to live under Gov. Martin O’Malley’s watch – you will have many fundamental firearms rights reduced and trampled. Buy your last handgun before mandated testing and fees and waiting periods (some just because Maryland State Police can’t keep pace with more stringent background checks) begin under law.


You will be in far better shape going forward if you do. Owners of handguns are “grandfathered” past some requirements if they are already in the club…


Owners of AR-15 style (the semi-autos NOT used in the Naval Yard shootings) long-guns, should be sure to buy one or have it legally transferred before it’s too late. Again, you will be able to own, but not purchase after October 1, 2013.


How else can we be prepared to “take it back” should the constitutional need arise?


Check your roof gutters for blockages


Yes, leaves have been falling, and birds have been nesting around your roof gutters and drains. Get on a ladder – or find some illegal immigrants-supported lawn service – to check this out for you. Ice damming along your roof can cause expansion and splitting of your open roof gutters, potentially leaking inside your home during the worst possible of timeframes.


In this case you would need to hire a drywall company possibly comprised of more illegal workers (who are NOT entitled to Obamacare so far, by the way...unless they are poor?).


Double-check what your government is up to


This is the time of year that defense contractors typically encourage “wars of choice” and other folly, especially in the Middle-East. You already know about the Arab Spring – Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc – now beware of Syria.


I just get that strange sinking feeling (supported by troop movements, moving Navy fleets around in the Med, and information from prestigious British tabloids) that despite all the fine international humanitarian work by Russian President Vlad of Putin, we still want to bomb something (anything?)....well, maybe at least 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles worth.


Air-launched, sub-launched, ship-launched, drone-launched. We have this great combo-deal going now…


And make sure to check the weather-strips around your doors and windows.


This could save you hundreds in gas and electricity bills over time.


...Well, you get it. Lots going on, and if you don’t make a list, and stick to it, some of this may get by you.


And if so, you’ll be sorry!


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