I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
March 10, 2017 - 11:27 a.m.
I did not leave the house yesterday when it was beautiful. Today there's a snowstorm and I'm heading down to Red Hook. Sometimes life isn't fair. Why am I anxious? I'm on my meds. Give me a few minutes to get my heart rate down. I'll be back.
I'm back. This is the guided meditation I use, Guided Meditation for Detachment From Over-Thinking (Anxiety / OCD / Depression) . It's right on target. Give it a shot. Now if I can get the guy to pay me for directing traffic his way.
I saw Chicago last night. I had never seen in before. Interesting film, not sure if it's a great one. As a spectacular musical I am sure it loses a lot on the small screen. My memory played tricks on me; I thought that Liza Minelli starred in the original Broadway run but she was a temporary replacement. The stars were Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera. I should have seen the play back then, I remember it was available at TKTS, the half-price ticket stand, but Aubrey and I saw something else. I don't remember what but it was probably not as good. I'm the one that nixed it. For some reason, I thought I wouldn't like it. I have no idea why.
Maybe thinking about that was why I dreamed about Aubrey last night. I had a night filled with strange dreams. It was a night of dreaming about the dead; my mother was in another dream.
I didn't do anything interesting yesterday so it's time to strike an item, maybe two off my Diary Ideas list. There's lots of politics on it. I might use several of them and not go into great detail. I won't know until I try and write about them.
Amidst all the political turmoil I hope you've been following the GOP's attempt to repeal the ACA aka Obamacare. It's not going very well. I don't just mean that they've come up with a bad bill; It also will have a great deal of difficulty passing. Despite vowing to repeal the ACA for 7 years they GOP never came up with an alternative. The reason is that there is no alternative that the GOP can agree on. The Tea Partiers just want to totally repeal it and replace it with nothing; to go back to what we had before even though it means tens of millions of people will lose the healthcare benefits. The Trump Faction wants to give all the benefits of Obamacare without any of the regulations and have it cost much less. That's impossible but reality is not the Trump Faction's strong suit. The GOP establishment led by Paul Ryan submitted their plan which provides far lower benefits than the ACA but delivers their primary goal, cutting taxes. They are racing to get it passed before the OMB can give their assessment on its costs and how many people would lose their health insurance. They don't look kindly at facts either. The swing state and district Republicans are afraid to do anything as no matter what happens it's going hit their constituents hard and they don't want to face the backlash.
What I want to discuss is not the detail of the GOP plan but to use its fate as an object lesson. What it has struck home to me is that the ACA is the greatest universal health care plan ever proposed for the United States. I know that is going to raise a million objections.
I share all those objections. But the ACA has one huge virtue that makes it better than every other plan ever proposed, it got implemented. Truman, Nixon, and Clinton all tried to get a plan passed and they all failed. The ACA couldn't afford to lose a single vote that it got in the Senate and what came out was what was necessary to accomplish that. People like to think, "Obama could have done better; a better plan could have passed." It's easy to think or say that but history has shown just how difficult that would have been. Look now at what the Republicans are going through.
The Democrats, and it was more Pelosi than Obama, worked very hard getting all their ducks in a row. Before debate in congress started they lined up the support of the insurance company, doctors, and healthcare establishment. It was he objections of the insurance companies that doomed the Clinton plan. They spent a fortune getting voters afraid of what would happen under it. A national healthcare plan is a prime example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.
Hillary had the best idea I've seen for gradually getting into single payer, giving people above 55 the option of buying into Medicare as their health plan. As people saw that that worked the age could be lowered. Eventually it becomes Medicare for all.
If the GOP does succeed in dismantling the ACA, the first thing the Democrats should do when they regain control of congress and the presidency is to reinstate the ACA exactly as it was on the first day with no amendments; get it up and running as soon as possible. Then debate can start on how to improve it. We have no idea what the public mood will be then, what will be considered acceptable. One terrible consequence of the GOP's bad governance is that it makes people feel that the government can't do anything and distrusts putting the government in charge of anything. Paradoxically the failure of GOP policies advances their greatest philosophical goal, shrinking government.
Now I can cross healthcare policy off my list. Am I working on the list backward? That was the most recent addition to it. Some items have been on the list for over a year. Perhaps I'll handle global warming next. Not tomorrow though. I'm doing something fun tonight, Miles of Music House Camp Instructor Concert and Square Dance. The bill is:
Anna & ElizabethI might not stay for the square dance, I love it but I would like to catch the last bus if possible. You should come and check this out. Kristin and Anna & Elizabeth I can vouch for. I went to this last year and stayed for the dance and loved it.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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