From the Women’s March on Washington, my favorite sign (seen in a photo on the internet): “Ugh. Where do I even begin?”

I decided that I need to fight.  I don’t want my children to wonder some day why I did nothing.  I have some talent for writing, so I’m going to start doing it.

So much to write about.  Each day brings new shocks.  I’ll begin with Trump’s apparently modest first move against the Affordable Care Act.

President Trump (and you know, the validity of that phrase shows that we really do live in a world of “alternative facts”) has recently issued a fairly vague executive order asking government agencies, especially the IRS and Dept. of HHS to help people harmed by the Affordable Care Act.  One possible consequence of this order is that people may be given waivers from the requirement to buy health insurance.  That particular policy has not yet begun, and it hasn’t even been explicitly spelled out, but it is a very bad idea.  In fact, even hinting at it may have catastrophic results.

OK, let’s see what happens if such a policy is enacted and many people are given waivers.  There will be two malign results.

But first: how insurance works.  Before we get to health insurance, let’s do fire insurance.  I pay for fire insurance on my house.  Besides buying it because it’s required by the credit union that holds my mortgage, I buy it because I’m not an idiot.  I don’t want my house to burn down, and I don’t expect it to burn down, but I acknowledge that there’s always a chance, and if it were to happen, the loss would be immeasurable.  (I really like my house.)  But I’d get a payment from the insurer to pay off the remainder of my mortgage and help me and my family rebuild or buy a new place.  In the meantime, the money I pay the insurer goes into a pool to help out those families that do have the bad luck of home fires.  The money is not wasted.  It goes to people who need it, and if my family needs it, it will be there for us, too.  I hope we never need it, of course, but it would be foolish not to join into the insurance pool.  Since all the other home owners pay into it, too, it’s affordable.  If the only people paying into it were the ones standing on the sidewalk watching their roofs ablaze, it would be impossibly expensive.  To say, “My house isn’t burning; I don’t need insurance,” would be stupid.  These things can happen to any of us.  We’re all in this together.

Health insurance–same thing.  Say all of us who enter the pool are healthy (as those of us who enter the fire insurance pool all have non-flaming houses when we enter), we’re each going to hope to remain healthy (Salud! to all of you!), but it’s pretty darn likely that somebody will at some point get pneumonia or a broken foot.  Somebody’s going to get pregnant.  Mental illness happens.  In fact, each of us is a lot more likely to need health care at some point than to live in a burning house.  Some of us may have small health care bills (a cut hand that needs some stitches), and some of us may need a kidney transplant.  Some will have a severe incident that can be treated, paid off, and brushed into the past (a burst appendix), and some will have long term or lifelong chronic conditions (diabetes).  These things could happen to any of us.  We’re all in this together.

OK, back to the threat of waivers.

1.)   Say a lot of healthy people ask for waivers on the requirement to buy health insurance–the young and stupid who assume they do not need insurance (“My house isn’t burning”)–and a Trumpist HHS Dept., following the boss’s clear wishes, is generous in granting waivers to all who ask.  Being younger, they are less likely (not exempt, mind you, just less likely) to need medical care.  The older, sicker, less stupid will still want to buy insurance (the ones who live in houses more likely to catch fire).  Fewer people will be paying into the fund, and the ones left will be the ones most likely to need it.  Insurers will, therefore, have less money in them to pay for illnesses and injuries to people in those funds.  As a result, insurers will have to raise rates, probably very high indeed, or else they will not be able to pay for the health care of the insured.  Insurance rates will climb disastrously high, and people who need insurance will not be able to afford it.

2.) Inevitably, people who get the waiver will sometimes become ill or injured–sometimes in ways that call for quite expensive treatment–and without insurance, they will not be able to pay for their care.  If hospitals and other medical providers are not paid for the care, those medical providers will have to get the money somewhere, and raising rates for their paying patients (generally the rest of us with insurance) will be the most probable way to recoup that revenue.  That means that medical inflation and insurance rates will zoom higher than ever, making insurance and medical care more expensive and less attainable for everyone.  The death spiral opponents of the Affordable Care Act warned about will become real rather than (as it has worked out till now) imaginary.

All that is merely possible right now, and the executive order does not necessarily indicate that an expansion of waivers will happen.  But the possibility, the opening toward it, the clear intention of the President may itself cause some of these problems even before such an ill-advised policy is implemented.

Insurers, like any business or institution, need to plan for next year.  If last year’s policy carries through this year on into next year, then it will be comparatively easy to make predictions of costs based on consistent trends.  However, if policy is disrupted, then it will not be so clear what next year will be like.  There’s a possibility that sane bureaucrats in HHS will be stingy in granting waivers; on the other hand, pressure from the top may make them cruelly generous toward all and sundry who wish to court financial disaster.

Unsure of how the Affordable Care Act will be administered next year, some insurers may begin to pull out.  Though they may be able to predict roughly how much they will have to pay out for medical expenses next year, not knowing what the administration will do next year, they will not be able to predict how much they will be taking in in premiums.  Unsure that there will, next year, be a predictable and viable group of contributors to the pool, insurers may decide they do not want to enter an uncertain market that may well bring them great losses.  Withdrawing from the market will reduce competition and, thus, raise prices.  Or insurers may stay in the market, but fearing the implementation of a broad waiver policy, they may raise their rates to cover the costs of a smaller pool of older and less healthy contributors.  This uncertainty about administration policy, therefore, may lead to the collapse of insurance market even without an explicitly worked out policy.

My point is that the President’s executive order, even so vaguely worded that we’re not sure what its results will be, is likely to cause harm to the nation’s medical and financial health.

Stand against Trump.  Contact your representatives and senators.  You or someone in your family may be one of the people Trump wants to kill.


We have seen it all now. He stood before us all, he and his entire family showed the amazingly bizarre features of that diabolic eugenics experiment known as the “Trumps”. We have seen the dawn of a Trumps America. We’ve heard the commentary but what this writer has not heard yet is an acknowledgement of our new fearful reality.

A president was elected with more opposition then support among American citizens. I had thought that could never happen? I identify the many previous years of 49 to 50% decisions as proof that the victor has historically won a majority. Trump was elected with 46% of the popular vote to Clinton’s 48%. We all know the criminal electoral college circumvents democracy. Placing Trump at 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232 electoral votes. It’s all very disturbing. My real question is did the establishment parties who collaborated to elect Trump anticipate such a mobilizing opposition?

Leadership has many members on its team. strategists, sociologists, political theorists. It’s appalling that they would promote an agent of the highest office that was this unacceptable. I continue to examine electoral politics which produce winners at the expense of losers. that is to say that i mean, often opposition is markedly sterile, opposition is promoted only to manufacture the consent for the true establishment choice. The field of republican potential presidents was so wide, this was done to help you see Trump as the only choice.

Bernie was designed to mobilize the left wing of the democratic part toward Hillary who was the centrist candidate. What the party almost failed to do was produce a Hillary victory. Therefore the Democratic party was marked with scandal and obfuscation. Bernie should have won and become president based on popular vote, and it would have been a mote competitive electoral college victory as well.

But I suggest that this was not the plan. all along the way, the failings of republican candidates forcing your eye to Trumps good side. The Dive taken by Bernie, and now the total disappearance act of Hillary are all evidence that the only intentional candidate was Trump, with this theory in place we have to ask ourselves, didn’t the powerful expect opposition? Or do they undermine the people that much?

While the masses gather coast to coast and around the world,to express absolute disdain not just for the new president but for the process for which they seem to still be wrapping their head’s around. however, the people deserve the credit for as the process continues don this road away from democracy, the opposition will get stronger and louder until the bubble bursts. What the powerful have caused this election is the reestablishing of the struggle for all human right. The struggle of good against evil, the struggle of love over hate. How can you pick a man who has more opposition then support and ask people to follow him?  If you believed we had a race war on our hands with Obama, get read for real systematic warfare against the people, economic warfare, social warfare, the threat of conformity. Yet as always in the face of all this, will be the greatest opposition of them all, Love and Tolerance, Acceptance and Peace. Which side are you on?

Summary: Since 1995, police have been receiving federally funded Defense Department Equipment. This exchange seems to violate the Posse Comitatus act of 1878 and 1981. Local municipal and state police agencies are being outfitted with armaments and equipment used to invade and colonize foreign nations. These attacks on our citizenship and rights are gross and unjustified. 

 IN THE NEWS WE SEE RIOT POLICE, and mass protests around the modern western world, from the world cup to most recently Ferguson, Missouri, USA. The militarization of state and local police is not a coincidence. What began in 1995 with the creation of the Defense Agencies Law Enforcement Support Office, blew up in 2001 as a product of “the war on terror”; federal resources have “trickled down” to state and local law enforcement departments like never before.

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AP Photo/Fernando LlanoThousands of Venezuelans who blame their president for the country’s economic crisis just staged their largest protest rally in two years. But you’ll have a hard time finding any press photos of the event. The socialist government, which is increasingly cracking down on civil liberties amid a worsening crisis, booted foreign journalists and…

via Social media provides forbidden pictures from Venezuela’s largest protest march in 2 years — Fusion

APPHILADELPHIA—Delphine Matthews marched down the middle of Broad Street on Tuesday afternoon with her head held high. “Whose lives matter?” she shouted, echoed by several hundred marchers around her. “Black lives matter!” Those words are especially powerful for Matthews. Her son Frank McQueen, 34, was shot and killed by police two years ago in what…

via Philadelphia protesters say the Democratic Party needs to stand up to police brutality — Fusion

This is one of many examinations of Labor and human satisfaction, brought to you by Critical Provocation all this month of April – in honor of spring. We set out to examin the working lives of our brothers and sisters around the world. Please look for future articles examining everything from access to health care and education around the world, to the United Nationas annual Human Development Index.

We begin with working lives around the globe. 

How often do you work? In the Untied States we spend on Average 34.4 hours a week on our “main job”. This is according to the OECD, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S Ranks 16th longest work week. Mexico is first with 42.85 hours per week and Germany came last at 36th place for shortest work week of 26.37 hours worked per week.
What does this mean?
The United States Leads the World in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a nation’s boarders per year. Our GDP is almost 18 Million dollars, Mexico ranks 15th with a GDP of 1 million. While Germany is ranked 4th with a 4 million dollar GDP.
Mexican workers work longer hours per week and produce a smaller GDP. while Germans work the shortest and produce more. We work 37 hours per week on average and produce the most.
This raises questions:
Should we assume these statistics are positively correlated? If not, what metric should we use?
Does hours worked per week positively correlate to gross domestic product?
In the U.S. workers only work 4 hours less then the longest working Mexicans, who work on average 42 hours per week. We work less and produce 17 million more per year in goods and services. We owe something to our nation’s size and our population, we have many more people working 4 hours less  per week then Mexico.
The U.S has a population of 318 million, Mexico 122 million and Germany which is the smallest geographically and whose workers work the least has 80 million.
A positive correlation does not exist between GDP and Average Hours worked per week alone. Other Factors need to be taken into account.

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