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.

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.

*bang*

Steve Scalise pushed through a “health care” bill that will strip coverage from millions of people, resulting in the deaths and suffering of– at a minimum– thousands.

They will die one at a time, surrounded by family or alone. They will live lives of poverty, crushed by overwhelming debt. They will linger in pain, even though cures and medications exist, because they don’t have the means to access them.

Violence doesn’t always happen with a bang.

Sometimes it’s as quiet as the stroke of a pen.

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.

You would think after thirty straight years of daily bombings they would have figured out that violence doesn’t work as a means to solve your problems.

The sad thing is, you can’t be sure which side I’m talking about.

Doddering

When Ronald Reagan was president he was asked by an investigating committee if he had secretly sold arms to Iran (which was illegal) and used the proceeds to fund a covert war in Nicaragua (also illegal).  His reply was, “I don’t recall.”

Seriously!

And there were people who leapt to his defense, saying a president couldn’t possibly be expected to remember every little detail of every little thing that went on in his administration.

So just imagine how much damage Donald Trump could do if his image was that of a kindly, doddering old fool.

Standing By

“There’s no such thing as an innocent bystander.”  ~Abbie Hoffman

People sometimes ask rhetorically, “If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?”  but there’s a big problem with that premise:  it assumes that only one man was responsible for World War II, and the millions of other people who participated were merely dragged behind in the great man’s wake, powerless to do anything other than bob along in the waves he created.

It denies the power of any individual– save the one– to influence world events.

I reject that.