#HappyChineseNew Year: ” Chinese Calendar – Year of the Horse 2014″

#AceChinaNews says `The Chinese Calendar 2014′ and this year is the `Chinese Year of the Horse’ 

Chinese-New-Year-2014-Horse-Wallpaper-2-9Unlike western calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years.  Within the ‘Stem-Branch’ system is shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals:

2014 is the year of the Horse.  It is the jiăwŭ (甲午) year (Wooden Horse). Ji is the first of the ten celestial stems and ăwŭ (Horse) is the seventh of the twelve terrestrial branches and thus 1/7 marks the year of the Horse.

Rat    Ox    Tiger Rabbit  Dragon Snake Horse Sheep Monkey Rooster Dog  Pig
2008 2009  2010  2011  2012  2013   2014  2015   2016    2017   2018 2007

Calculating ‘When is the Chinese New Year in 2014′

The fact that the date of Chinese New Year varies within about a month is a clue that it’s linked to the new moon.  A rough, and almost infallible guide is that the Chinese New Year follows the second new moon after the winter solstice.  The winter solstice falls on December 21st, the next new moon is on January 1st 2014, and the second new moon is on January 30th 2014.

Will and Guy admit that the precise rules for determining ‘When is the Chinese New Year’, are far more complex.  For example, one problem with any lunar calendar system is that some years there are 13 new moons.  The Chinese deal with this by slotting in an extra intercalary month.

chinese-new-year-2014-year-of-wooden-horse-art-by-mani-navasothy-qpThose Born in the Year of the Horse

Horses are popular, quick-witted, charming, cheerful, and talented.

People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skilful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much.

They are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex.

They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice.

They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.

Fire-Horse-HD-WallpaperAstrologically, the horse is placed directly opposite the rat. The rat is the creator and the horse is the “consumer.”

Therefore a horse year may be marked by an increase in business and commercial activity, particularly those involved with non-essentials like luxury cars, high fashion, alcoholic beverages, athletics, and anything “male” oriented.

Unfortunately, it is often a year of waste. A household should be careful to make sure they don’t overspend their budgets during a horse year.

Chinese Horse Folk Tales Chinese New Year 2014 - Year of the Horse

As in most Chinese Stories there is a moral hidden within them; these examples are no exception to that rule.

An Old Man’s Wisdom – A Blessing in Disguise

Once upon a time in Chinese myths, there was a wise old man who lived in the steppes. He owned many horses. One evening, after a long day of working in the fields, he came home to discover that one of his horses, a mare, had run off. His family and his neighbours searched the surrounding area. When they finally gave up, they sent him their condolences, ‘We are sorry that this unfortunate incident happened to you.’

The old man of the steppes remarked calmly, ‘The loss of my mare is not necessarily a bad thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’

The next morning, the old man of the steppes looked up in the horizon and saw two horses coming towards his house. The first horse was his mare that had run off, and the other was a stallion following the mare. Even from a distance, he could see that this stallion was a war-horse of great stature and worth. He quickly inquired at the county office whether anyone had reported the loss of their stallion.

The county magistrate advised him to keep the horse until someone had reported it missing. That evening, the old man’s family and his neighbours celebrated the return of his mare as well as his newly acquired stallion. At the celebration, he was called upon to make a speech. The old man of the steppes stood up and remarked calmly, ‘The acquisition of this stallion is not necessarily a good thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’

Chinese myths say that a week later, the old man’s son took the stallion out for a ride. Not being skilled in manoeuvring a great war-horse, the boy suffered a terrible fall. As a result, his leg was broken. The old man’s family and his neighbours crowded around the boy and commented, ‘This is an awful thing that has happened. This stallion has brought bad luck to the family.’

The old man of the steppes stood by the boy and remarked calmly, ‘This accident is not necessarily a bad thing. All will be shown for its true worth in time.’

Sometime later, the kingdom was involved in a cruel and unjust war with a neighbouring kingdom. All the young men of the kingdom were called upon to enlist in the army. The old man’s neighbours lamented as all their sons were called off to fight in the war. It was impossible to escape the draft as the enlisting officers moved from county to county and house to house in search of all the young men. Inevitably, they finally came upon the old man’s house.

Seeing the stallion in the yard, they remarked to themselves, ‘This must be the home of a great warrior. But why has this coward not gone off to war? We must seize him at once.’

When they searched the house, they found only the old man of the steppes, his wife and their crippled son.

The enlisting officers then remarked, ‘This young man would have been a fine soldier if it were not for his broken leg. We cannot take him with us.’ And thus, their son was exempted from fighting in the war.

The old man’s neighbours, observing with amazement the declared, ‘What wisdom this old man has, that he can foresee both good and bad incidences for what they are truly worth.’

More Stories For the Chinese New Year 2014

Buying a Good Horse Chinese New Year 2014 - Year of the Horse

There was an Emperor who was willing to pay a thousand pieces of gold for a horse that could run a thousand mile without stopping. For three years he tried in vain to find such a steed.

Then Chenglei offered, ‘Let me look for a horse My Lord.’

The Emperor agreed to this.

After three months Chenglei came back, having spent five hundred pieces of gold on a horse’s skull.

The Emperor became enraged. ‘I want a live horse.’ he roared. ‘What use is a dead horse to me? Why spend five hundred pieces of gold on nothing?’

Chenglei replied philosophically, ‘If you will spend five hundred pieces of gold on a dead horse, won’t you give much more for a live one? When people hear of this, they will know you are really willing to pay for a good horse, and will quickly send you their best.

Sure enough, in less than a year the Emperor succeeded in buying three excellent horses.

Chinese Horse SausageHorse Sausage

A 213 metre long and weighing some 1,256-kilogram horse casing sausage is dried in Yining of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Photos – Xinhua

A Kazak horse meat butcher made the sausage with casings from 30 horses and thigh meat from another eight 5-year-old horses.

Did You Know? Horse Trivia and China
  • The record for most runners in a horse race is 228 set in Bayanwula, Xiwuzhumuqinqi, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China on 25th July 2005.
  • The White Horse Temple [Baima Si] in Luoyang, Henan Province, was the first Buddhist temple in China, established by Emperor Mingdi in the year 68 AD. The historic, leafy site features several ancient buildings.
  • The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the First China. The figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Chinese New Year 2014 - Year of the Horse
  • Xian Cavalryman of the Terracotta Army.
  • Four bronze horses with chariot. Representing part of the Emperor’s army

Chinese New Year 2014 - Year of the Horse

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” Affordable Healthcare for Who? Certainly Not for the Citizens – According to These Figures”

Blue Cross Brand Bullies

#AceHealthcareNews says during the “Christmas” period l was looking at certain companies that purport to serve the betterment of society and especially the ” Health Care System” one such company that had certain articles – very skilfully woven was “Blue Cross” looking deeper and a little research later l found more this time from various new providers.

One of the worst things about companies that are involved in the “Healthcare Industry” is that they look first at turnover, secondly profit and thirdly at their future growth. The word “Care” should be applied in thought, word and deed, but it never gets a look in, as smoke and mirror’s covers up the #truth.     

This latest article confirms my suspicions and highlights not the article that l will add to the bottom of this post, but what really certain not-for-profit companies really mean by not-for-profit as these fee scales show:

WASHINGTON – The New Year brings yet another negative surprise from Obamacare: a raft of new taxes and fees that already are translating into higher health insurance premiums for average Americans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest private health insurer, has notified customers it’s raising their premiums by as much as 10 percent in January because of eight new levies and fees in the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

Blue Cross linked the increase to taxes and fees taking effect Jan. 1.

“The ACA includes new taxes and fees,” the insurance giant told each policyholder in a three-page letter, titled “Information about Your 2014 Renewal.” “The costs required to pay these new taxes and fees are included in your premium and will not be charged separately.”

Blue Cross of Montana sent out a similar notice, while Blue Cross of Alabama cited the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

"Mackin Disputes Obama's Statement"Blue Cross polices and costs are expected to set a standard for the industry, influencing how insurers adjust to the law, which is also raising premiums because of mandates that expand coverage and benefits. Aetna has also blamed taxes and fees for coming rate hikes.

Specifically, the insurance companies have referenced two Obamacare charges taking effect Jan. 

1. One is a flat 2 percent tax on all health insurers, which is expected to raise $8 billion for the administration to help pay costs of the overall act in 2014, but raise health-care premiums for consumers by more than 3 percent. The other is a yearly “reinsurance fee” of $63 per person insured.

2.There’s also a $2 fee per policy that funds a new federal bureaucracy called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Insurers also must pay a 3.5 percent user free to sell health plans on the HealthCare.gov website.

Although these taxes are imposed on insurance companies, policyholders end up paying for them in the form of higher premiums. Over the next decade, the Washington-based Heritage Foundation estimates the average American family will pay roughly $5,000 more in premiums to pay for them all.

And these are just the Obamacare taxes and fees that insurers are warning customers they’re passing on to them. There are also hidden taxes, such as the medical equipment levy that will make heart valves, stents, pacemakers and other medical devices more expensive.

All told, there are more than 20 new or higher taxes and fees embedded in the Affordable Care Act – more than half of which affect families earning less than $250,000 a year.

The new taxes, which cost more than $675 billion over the next decade, include:

  • A 2.3 percent excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that’s already devastating the medical supply industry and its work force.

The levy, which took effect Jan. 1, 2013, is a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs more than 360,000 working in plants across the U.S.

"Stop the Healthcare Rip-Off's"Several major manufacturers have been impacted, including:

  • Stryker Corp. of Michigan, which blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs.
  • Indianabased Zimmer Corp., which cites the tax in laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings.
  • Indiana-based Cook Medical Inc., which has scrubbed plans to open a new U.S. factory each year.
  • Boston Scientific Corp., which has opted to open plants in tax-friendlier China and Ireland to help offset a $100 million charge against earnings.
  • Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc., which expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million.
  • A $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance” and other rules set by the Health and Human Services Department (took effect in 2010).
  •  A 3.8 percent surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends that applies to single filers earning more than $200,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
  •  A $24 billion tax on the paper industry to control a pollutant known as black liquor (took effect in 2010).
  •  A $2.3 billion-a-year tax on innovator drug companies (took effect in 2010).
  •  A 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons (took effect July 1, 2010).
  •  An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
  •  A hike in the threshold for writing off medical expenses to 10 percent of adjusted gross income from 7.5 percent (took effect Jan. 1, 2013.).
  •  A new cap on flexible spending accounts of $2,500 a year (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
  •  Elimination of the tax deduction for employer-provided prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
  •  An income surtax of 1 percent of adjusted gross income, rising to 2.5 percent by 2016, on individuals who refuse to go along with Obamacare by buying  a policy not approved by the government (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
  •  A $2,000 tax charged to employers with 50 or more workers for every full-time worker not offered health coverage (delayed).
  •  A $60 billion tax on health insurers (effective Jan. 1, 2014).
  •  A 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac, or higher cost, health insurance plans (goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018).

As promised here is that article posted and sent to my news desk: 

DETROIT, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the only health insurer to offer coverage to people in all of Michigan’s 83 counties on the federally-run health insurance marketplace that opened today at 8 a.m.

Blue Cross and its affiliated HMO, Blue Care Network of Michigan, offer some of the lowest-priced plans across Michigan’s 16 rating regions.  In the majority of counties in Michigan, BCBSM or BCN bronze and silver plan options offer some of the most affordable premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Products, pricing and plan design are available onwww.healthcare.gov and on the BCBSM website at www.bcbsm.com/myblue.

“Blue Cross and Blue Care Network have worked very hard to put affordable health insurance options in front of Michiganconsumers as uninsured people and small employers begin open enrollment today,” said Terry Burke, BCBSM vice president for individual business.  “As people examine their choices, Blue Cross will be offering guidance – both online and on the phone – to help people make a health plan choice that is right for them.”

The Blues offer a total of 18 options for coverage.  These products are available on the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, opening today, through independent Blue-certified insurance agents and directly through BCBSM and BCN.

“The Affordable Care Act has significantly changed what health insurance covers, how it’s sold and what it costs. With the marketplace now open, consumers will be able to choose from 18 competitively priced Blues products, with options available toMichigan residents in every county,” Burke said.  “We are proud to offer some of the lowest-priced plans in Michigan.  These affordable options give more people the opportunity to choose Blue Cross plans.”

Both Blue Cross and Blue Care Network will offer plans at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels. Under ACA guidelines, Bronze plans will cover 60 percent of health care expenses, Silver plans cover 70 percent, and Gold cover 80 percent. Catastrophic plans, available to individuals under the age of 30 or those qualifying for a hardship, have a higher deductible and are not associated with metal level actuarial values. 

Editor – says judge for yourself.  

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“Archbishop Kurtz Asks President Obama for Temporary Relief from Burdensome Fines Against Ministries of Service to the Poor, Sick and Vulnerable”

English: President Barack Obama with Judge Son...

English: President Barack Obama with Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the East Room of the White House where the President introduced her as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice David, May 26, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says Archbishop Kurtz Asks President Obama for Temporary Relief from Burdensome Fines Against Ministries of Service to the Poor, Sick and Vulnerable

1. Urges temporary relief from HHS mandate while courts decide

2. Highlights other exemptions, extensions granted for economic, administrative reasons

3. Mandate’s penalties to hurt, rather than help, shared goal of expanding coverage

 

Extracts from WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has asked President Obama to temporarily exempt religious institutions from crippling fines if their insurance plans exclude sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives.

English: Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court j...

English: Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court justice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Archbishop Kurtz also asked the President to consider that the U.S. Supreme Court already has agreed to hear two cases related to the mandate created by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At least 90 cases have been brought to federal courts by individuals and institutions objecting to the imposition of the HHS mandate. Most of the decisions to date have favored those bringing suit.

Archbishop Kurtz’s request comes as the Administration has offered exemptions to numerous people and organizations having difficulty in implementing the ACA. Individuals who faced penalties for not meeting deadlines for enrollment have had deadlines extended. Businesses with 50 or more employees will not be fined if they drop or otherwise do not offer health insurance at all for 2014. After 2014, if these businesses do not offer a health insurance plan, they face a fine of $2,000 a year per employee.

Meanwhile, beginning as early as January 1, 2014, organizations such as church-sponsored universities, hospitals and social services, face a fine of $100 per day ($36,500 per year) per employee if they provide health coverage that does not include contraceptives, including abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization.

“The result is a regulation that harshly and disproportionately penalizes those seeking to offer life-affirming health coverage in accord with the teachings of their faith,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “The Administration’s flexibility in implementing the ACA has not yet reached those who want only to exercise what has rightly been called our ‘First Freedom’ under the Constitution.”

“I understand that legal issues in these cases will ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court,” he added. “In the meantime, however, many religious employers have not obtained the temporary relief they need in time to avoid being subjected to the HHS mandate beginning January 1.  I urge you, therefore, to consider offering temporary relief from this mandate, as you have for so many other individuals and groups facing other requirements under the ACA.”

#AceHealthcareNews

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entire letter follows:

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States, I wish you and your family every blessing in this New Year.  The bishops pray regularly that you and our other public officials will have renewed strength to fulfill the duties of your office with integrity, justice and compassion.

In this regard, your Administration recently relaxed the rules governing individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act, so Americans whose current plans have been canceled may claim a “hardship exemption” from some requirements.  This is the latest in a series of actions to advance the ACA’s goal of maximizing health coverage, while minimizing hardships to Americans as the Act is implemented.  For example, the ACA exempts small employers from the mandate to offer health coverage, and you have suspended this mandate for all employers through 2014.

One category of Americans, however, has been left out in the cold: Those who, due to moral and religious conviction, cannot in good conscience comply with the HHS regulation requiring coverage of sterilization and contraceptives. This mandate includes drugs and devices that can interfere with the survival of a human being in the earliest stage of development, burdening religious convictions on abortion as well as contraception. To date, at least 90 lawsuits representing almost 300 plaintiffs have been filed to challenge this mandate, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear two of these cases in its current Term. Most lower courts addressing the issue have found merit in the plaintiffs’ claims and granted at least temporary relief, while some courts have denied relief or have yet to act.

Many Catholic and other nonprofit institutions caring for those in need through education, health care and other services are not exempt from the contraceptive mandate.  For reasons articulated by the courts, the Administration’s final rule of July 2013 does not alleviate the burden on their religious freedom.

Please consider, then, the result of your Administration’s current policies.  In the coming year, no employer, large or small, will be required to offer a health plan at all. Employers face no penalty in the coming year (and only $2000 per employee afterwards) for canceling coverage against their employees’ wishes, compelling them to seek individual coverage on the open market.  But an employer who chooses, out of charity and good will, to provide and fully subsidize an excellent health plan for employees – but excludes sterilization or any contraceptive drug or device – faces crippling fines of up to $100 a day or $36,500 a year per employee.  In effect, the government seems to be telling employees that they are better off with no employer health plan at all than with a plan that does not cover contraceptives.  This is hard to reconcile with an Act whose purpose is to bring us closer to universal coverage.

The result is a regulation that harshly and disproportionately penalizes those seeking to offer life-affirming health coverage in accord with the teachings of their faith.  The Administration’s flexibility in implementing the ACA has not yet reached those who want only to exercise what has rightly been called our “First Freedom” under the Constitution.

I understand that legal issues in these cases will ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, however, many religious employers have not obtained the temporary relief they need in time to avoid being subjected to the HHS mandate beginning January 1.  I urge you, therefore, to consider offering temporary relief from this mandate, as you have for so many other individuals and groups facing other requirements under the ACA.

Thank you for considering this urgent plea. Again, be assured of my continued prayers in the coming year as you seek to serve the American people.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

SOURCE  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

#AceHealthNews

 

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#AceNewsGroup Wishes All Our Readers A Happy New Year And A Prosperous 2014#Peace

https://acenewsservices.com/

Ace News Group Wishes All Its Readers A Happy And Prosperous New Year

#AceNewsGroup wishes all its readers a ” Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2014″ and may your life be filled with goodness and mercy. 

Reflections on a New Year that has not yet arrived, and one that began for me by “Caring” and ended with “Sharing” as l spoke to more people about their lives. 

As l grew into a person with greater compassion and humility, than l ever believed possible, by understanding forgiveness, that comes from experiences, never from judgement.

That allowing myself to release feelings, sometimes good and sometimes bad, allows want to turn to need, and need to turn to forgiveness.

So let 2014 be a year of “Peace and Love and let us all “Care and Share” and let “Charity” be from the “Heart” not our Pocket.  

God Bless.

Editor  

 

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