Sha la la la la la

The Evil Party™’s plan will allow insurance companies to charge seniors quintuple what everyone else pays, whereas under the Slightly Less Evil Party™’s plan they would only be charged triple.

Either way, I’m seeing zero incentive to save money for retirement.  Under the auspice’s of either plan you’re likely to die deeply in debt, probably impoverished.

So unless you have some special affection for the health care industry’s shareholders– and personally, I do not– the only strategy that makes sense under this system is to save nothing, live for today, and live the best life you can for as long as you can.

Double D

One problem we’ve had lately is with what I call “Digital Doctors,” both human and veterinary. They want to run a battery of tests, then base their diagnosis solely on the numbers, charts, and graphs they see on the screen.

I’m not saying testing and diagnostics aren’t important. I’m saying they should pay more attention to the patient sitting in front of them.

Fogie

When I was a young man, you could buy a book and it was Your Book.  You could read it as many times as you wanted, loan it to whoever you wanted for as long as you wanted, even give it away when you didn’t want it anymore.  Keep it under your mattress if you want to, and nobody even knows you have a book.

Now we’re moving into an age where everything is owned, tracked, and controlled by a handful of corporations.  You can’t really buy anything.  Give them your money and they’ll let you use a digital copy, under their conditions, for a little while, with the caveat that they can snatch it away any time they want to.

They’re trying to say this is the way things should be, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

I guess I’m an analog man in a digital world.

If this were a Dickens’ novel, Steve Scalise would awaken and renounce his mean spirited, racist, homophobic past, and work tirelessly to ensure that all Americans have access to the same level of health care that saved his own life.

Sadly, this is not a Dickens’ novel.

Dormant Fears

I don’t know why this thought occurred to me in the small hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping, but it suddenly hit me that when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima that morning in August, it wasn’t just 70,000 people who died instantly. It was also animals and plants.

There were cats and dogs who had just had their breakfast. Kittens were nursing. There were birds coming to feeders, butterflies coming to flowers. The flash would have caught some birds and insects in flight, never to land.

Carefully tended autumn gardens would never be harvested. Flowers that were sources of beauty vanished. Bonsai trees, lovingly cared for sometimes for decades, in an instant turned to steam and smoke.

I was a child of the Cold War, and grew up with the fear that a madman would destroy the earth. Sometimes when I left for school I wondered if I’d ever see my parents again. I knew I could vanish in an instant, before my mind was even cognizant of what was happening.

Those fears faded with time. For most of my adult life I didn’t think anyone would be so evil, so cruel, so unthinking.

Until now.

Rambling About Us

Right now they kind of want it both ways. On the one hand they’re saying, “This is a you’re-on-your-own kind of a country,” but then they also want us to have warm, fuzzy, patriotic feelings because we’re all in this together.

It doesn’t work that way.

The flip side of “Nobody owes you anything” is “Then I don’t owe anyone anything.”

I’m not sure I want to live in such a place.