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Health care is complicated, we’ve heard both Obama and Trump express these truths in their own elegant ways, at different times. We have to stop trying to model healthcare off of an outdated, unworkable template. You can’t just tweak a sentence here or there—it’s the same reason our education system is in steady decline--we’re not actually trying to reform or even evaluate the problems, we’re just kind of putting unstained wallpaper over another slightly worn layer of moderately aged wallpaper that we have marginally refreshed every eight years or so since the 1930’s. And the system doesn’t work. So there are some people trying to create an intellectual model based on socially progressive countries all of which are a third (or more) the size of the United States, which also cannot work if for no reason other than the sheer size of our country.
But because our representatives are not willing to actually look at the problem—because looking at the real problem would mean objectively cutting corporate special interest groups and big pharma profits—they are not, in actuality, preparing to reform anything; revising our current healthcare system is fundamentally absurd because designing, and maintaining such a large socialist program that also puts billions of dollars into the pockets of insurance and pharmaceutical companies while simultaneously helping hundreds of millions of American citizens manage a decent standard of living is systematically impossible, and yet that’s the template that we continue to base our healthcare system on. The question of “reform” then becomes, “Who are we going to cut?” either people are going to pay or people are going to get cut, when we start with our current healthcare system as the template the only resounding question is who and/or what gets cut. Health insurance requires a pot of money for everyone to dip their hands into, and if we want to cover everything for everybody you’re going to pay a little more or people are going to lose either their insurance or their healthcare.
A large number of people will recognize that someone having little to no healthcare is a global problem, they might argue that “it is our responsibility to care for those that are not capable of caring for themselves,” while another large fragment of people might maintain the illusion that the American Dream is somehow Randian centric, in its entirety (This is a clause word, it implies that Randian philosophies are contextually applicable) –which is quite simply the equivalent of lacking empathy, and compassion—and these people have, essentially, lost their humanity or, and maybe more appropriately, political dissonance has become more important to them than their humanity. However, either purview is afforded with the standard that affordable healthcare requires medical insurance. And that is ingenuously untrue.
There are no clauses that we can add or remove and there is no amount of reform that will appeal to our humanity, at least to the degree in which our society, as a whole, is willing to accept. So, we have to start from scratch; our government and the American people have no choice but to completely, and unconditionally reinvent our entire healthcare system.
Fortunately, it really isn’t that complicated; the only problem is that insurance and pharmaceutical companies stand to lose, well...everything. Autonomous healthcare: we privatize healthcare. Completely. Our government has been attempting to reform healthcare based on the concept that health insurance is the foundation from which to build, that does not work. We need a system where medical professionals have to compete for our business. Let me say that again: Doctors would be competing for the benefit of the sick. This is the foundation from which we need to develop our healthcare system. The A.C.A, the A.H.C.A., and the Better Care Reconciliation Act do not work because they were all developed from the foundations of a system that disregards the needs of people.
With that said, it is importance to recognize that Universal Healthcare is an unrealistic concept for The United States of America. Our government is too big, too corrupt, and too conditioned to draft such an idea. First and foremost we have to “repeal and Replace” health insurance companies and to start anew, with the impression of capitalism. The most affordable healthcare for those who need it the most will only come by it when healthcare is owned and operated by medical professionals, not insurance companies or politicians. We can complain about it and we can “Repeal and Replace” our healthcare every four years until the American people lose whatever lingering trust we have for our crippled government, but until we recognize, as Americans, that we have forfeited our democracy for apathy ‘they’ll’ get better-and-better at signing, drawing, labeling our emblematic body casts.
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There are a number of issues that present themselves pretty aggressively every now and again when triggered by an event or a happening, these issues, depending on our own personal experiences with them, affect us a great deal, and yet time always seems to numb the impact and the influence that they have on those less experienced, and the issue fades away until another, similar, event again triggers the response.
We all know of the phenomena I’m referring to, and although many of us tire of the banter that rises up, the static that always interrupts the conversation (and the policy) that never seems to happen we need to recognize the necessity of these conversations. It’s become so consistently, and loudly disregarded that many people are tired of the noise, but not because the issue in-and-of-itself is not important to them but because the noise is so deafening; again, it has got to be time to address these issues. But we have to understand too what it means to “have the conversation,” because many people—those that are resolute in their resounding sameness or helplessly afraid of change—do not understand what it is that the rest of us are trying to say, well maybe not necessarily what we’re trying to say but how we’re trying to say it.
The people on the both sides of any issue tend to be loud, and the word revolution can be tossed around a good bit; I do think that it is important to recognize that how loudly one supports ones issues is not a reflection of social permanence, for example the LGBTQ community and the issue of same sex marriage tends to be a topic that is loudly discussed, but those of you who may not understand: any movement that has, and continues to gain traction needs a spark of immense light that will become a flame that will continue to burn, that does not mean that-that flame will burn with a ferocious heat forever, it just needed something to ignite it so that it might continue to burn with the same social unanimity as the rest. An issue has to be bright enough or loud enough to disrupt our circadian routines long enough for us to refine our foundations.
This post, however, is not directed entirely towards the LGBTQ community, or is it targeting Gun Control (which has been another important issue with social inconsistent ripples), no I’m using this time to bring to light our stigmas of mental health, and most notably: Depression.
Depression still harbors stigmas of fear and doubt and disbelief. We still have a hard time, as a society, recognizing things that we cannot see and that influence our daily lives in a way that challenge our behavioral constitutions. I have suffered from depression my entire life, I didn’t begin to understand it until I left home, for the first time, and challenged myself to start my life, as an adult, in a place that was unfamiliar and uncomfortable. And, until then, I didn’t know that my father had also suffered his entire life from depression, and my sister was going through similar transitions as me. My dad spent several years in therapy and adapting to a medication that would eventually change his life, while my sister would spend the next several years on a cocktail of medications that would ultimately take years and years for her to perfect and to accept. I would spend the next few years on-and-off a handful of different meds and multiple therapists and multiple therapies.
It’s interesting to me how people who have never suffered from depression cannot relate to the world in the same way that I can, it’s hard to put yourself in someone elses shoes particularly if you never actually take the time to try. I have noticed that there is something about suffering from depression that allows people to experience the world differently than others, and I don’t mean the obvious symptoms. There exists a sense of empathy that depressives cast that others have a more difficult time relating to, it’s easier, as a depressive, to walk in somebody elses shoes and to want to feel what someone else might be feeling.
What is your experience with Depression? How does Depression present itself in your life?
Different levels of depression exist for different people, and maybe that’s why it’s so difficult for others to understand, or possibly even to believe. But we all relate to our emotions differently based on our own life experiences and intellectual purview, so it makes perfect sense that two people might relate to their depression differently.
For me, for a long time, when the waves of depression would consume me I would lose myself in a sense of overwhelming hopelessness. Even today, as far as I have come in managing my depression, I can stare out a window and get lost in how simply pointless everything is. I eventually learned to manage my depression on my own without the help of therapy or drugs, although the hours that I have spent in therapy probably weren’t a total loss.
I was sitting on my couch one afternoon completely consumed - it felt as if my connection to whatever it is that does bind us to one another had been severed, and not only was I alone, but my existence in-and-of-itself was...not meaningless, necessarily but just: pffh, smoke. It wasn’t that I didn’t matter, it was that to matter was a concept completely lost on me, it was a contrived standard invented to sell us on our own existence - so I was sitting on my couch staring out the window there was some movie playing on the TV, I often kept movies playing so that the voices of others would help to make me feel less alone (it was on all the time, especially at night), and instead of feeling sadness, like usual, when my mind would interrupt itself to remind me that I needed to “accomplish” something, whatever that something was, I just stood up and I did it, and then I did another thing, and another thing, and another, and every time that depression swallowed me, I would force myself to do something. It wasn’t easy, but it got easier. And now although I do still get depressed it no longer controls me. It’s almost like John Nash finding a way to live with schizophrenia by recognizing the difference between what was real and what was not, and then making a real effort to walk in the direction you want to go.
I think an important thing to recognize for those of you that do not suffer from depression but who have relationships with people that do, and I know how easy it is to get frustrated and how badly you might want to help, but helping someone with depression does not present itself, as a labor or a reward, in the same way that other efforts might present themselves: the only thing that you can do is let them know that you are there, and then to continue to be there. Whether being there is a few simple words every day, or on a fairly consistent occasion, or texting them videos of amazing music videos, or removing yourself and them from the routine, every now and again, in whatever way that you can. Don’t force it, just reinvent your relationship with them a little bit, because over time every little bit changes things by rebuilding the standard a little higher, and with a little more hope then before.
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It's not my intention to offend, although it also not my intention to appease either, our political atmosphere today is one of inarticulate berating and it seems that one cannot afford an opinion without being attacked - we no longer merely disagree with one another, we actively seek any reason to segregate. I think it's appalling, so much so even that I refuse to engage in practically any conversation surrounding our political atmosphere.
There is, however, something that I cannot understand, and I need help trying to put it together.
I understand the appeal of the idea of what it is that Donald Trump might represent. The corruption of politics in the United States is beyond fathomable, there was a time decades ago when the swamp at least attempted to keep the corruption out of the purview of the American people but, for many decades now, the swamp has blatantly beguiled the American people into systemic submission without the slightest concern for subservient quietness.
The idea of bringing someone with a fresh constitution who has not been muddied into the arena, a business-person who might effectively rebuild our crippled platitude from the foundations skyward; the possibilities seem limitless.
But why are we trading a corrupt politician for a corrupt businessman? Politicians are still, at the very least, dependent on us for their tenure, corrupt businessmen are accountable to no one. It's the corrupt businessman the created the corrupt politician in the first place.
the only way I can figure it is that those of you who voted for Trump in the beginning, and those of you who are still supportive of him are not actually supporting Trump but rather the idea that seemed so appealing in the beginning. You continue to, somehow, look beyond the man behind the Twitter handle and you see an idea in front of you, you are capable of seeing through Trump and into the reality where we voted for a decent businessman - for all intents and purposes you don't see Donald Trump, you see someone else entirely; unless, of course, you're as rotten or bigoted as he most assuredly is.
Because how else could he possibly be explained!?
Hell, I like the idea of an elected official who is the product of anything but our political arena, I'm libertarian for Christ sake! But I cannot ignore the man: the vile, the disgusting creature that is Donald Trump. The unimpressive list of Presidential accomplishments does not reprieve him of his inhuman pitiless arrogance.
So I ask those of you that still support him today, in an attempt to help me understand: why?
If you are a decent, accepting, understanding American what on earth is willing you to support this man? I would like to know how you are capable of looking beyond the things he says and does, hell I'll even dismiss what some of you might call hearsay in regards to what some of you might not see as blatant racism or sexism, how about just his complete lack of decorum in stature of Presidential (a representative of world affairs) projection.
How are you capable of looking past that? I'm asking fervently, I need to know...
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One of my favorite poets, slam poets, spoken word artists, is Buddy Wakefield, his words have been a comfort to me inasmuch as a guide, he has inspired me to challenge myself beyond my comfort levels and to express myself in ways that I have either never considered before or that seemed impossible, to me.
Most of us never allow ourselves the time to explore our boundaries, we don't acknowledge what we believe to be our limits, and we definitely do not dare ourselves to press them, to redefine our limits, and then to continue to shatter them. For most of us, we live content in watching or reading the stories about other people testing themselves. While we dwell in the comfort of our limits. We never challenge our religious or political ideologies, we simply argue the same points and perspectives that parents before us have and their parents before them, we associate ourselves with people who already agree with our rigid untested worldviews and we pride ourselves in our irreproachable cementitious morality, without even the audacity to force ourselves to think critically.
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." ~ John F. Kennedy
I happen to see this as one of our biggest failings. And we look past it, no: we actively ignore it, and in proxy we employ the surrogates of political dissonance - we blame others, we point fingers, and when we do so from the comfort and the welfare of the privacy of our homes we inherently blame those that think differently than ourselves, because instead of constitutionally looking inwards at our own role we presuppose the ill-will of what we cannot relate to.
"This is not a showdown or a shootout, we are not facing off but I can feel the rumble between dusk and dawn as if the chance to come clean with myself will be outlawed unless I relax" ~ Buddy Wakefield
Every conversation I can recall having regarding politics and, when I refer to politics I am talking about the whole of human interaction, we are always - always - speaking as if we were in some sort of conflict, we think of life as something that we have to acquire or secure, and its apparent in everything: the way we are educated, its prevalent in our careers, our interactions, the way that we campaign and vote, how we worship but life does not need to be a conflict day-in-and-day-out, we are not here to climb over the backs of the people who might be "in our way..." there is no template for the manner in which we live our best life, or who we have to overcome in order to get there. That is all a part of the standard from which we limit ourselves, the standard in which our social infrastructure has been misshapen.
"If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity."
"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such think as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat your alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million death before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, cliches, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness...because the really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.” ~ DFW
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So this is my first column w/ Communitea Books. Here I'll discuss more personal perspectives, as well as worldview analytics, from, again, a place deeply-rooted in my perspective and life experience. First, however, I think it's important to illustrate the differences between a column and a blog or, at least, as I see it because I'm sure there have been a great many conversations about the issue exactly, and to no conclusive end.
The format of this column vs. my blog will be considerably shorter, which is to say that there will be a smaller word count. Granted, a few of my blogs lately have been fairly short which is part of the reason why I decided to adopt a column as well. My blogs will be 1,000 words or more, and in the blogging community it is widely considered better for your blogs to be between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Columns on the other hand are notoriously shorter, ranging between 500 and 800 words. That will be the greatest noticeable difference between my columns and my blogs. There are a couple of blog series that I started writing, most of which will be picked up, and continued via this column, such as my series on Communication, for example.
The key elements to Blogs, as the internet would have you believe (and the following list is something I agree w/ in terms of the philosophical differences) are listed below:
This column, although I welcome reader interaction, will follow the elements listed above. By that I mean, there will be a set publishing schedule; I will post a new column every Thursday afternoon, although the beauty of writing a column online is that I am not limited by going to press weekly, so I will likely also post columns throughout the week, with that said there will always be a newly posted column every Thursday afternoon. The intent of this column will be to influence and/or to inspire, I will eliminate diction that gives an indecisive or blaise-faire tone. The rest may present itself to you in time.
I look forward to writing for you, and to your readership.
Thanks so much,