Issues of Our Time and Destiny



INTRODUCTION:

Gentle Reader – The next months and years in our United States will be fraught. How so many of our people could have been convinced to vote for a fraud, a charlatan, a self-described abuser of women, a man who encourages torture and war-crimes, encourages violence upon dissenters, is a question that will consume gallons of ink and reams of paper (or 1s and 0s). There will be much blame to pass around; indeed analysis has already begun.

In this Section –  Issues of our Time and Destiny – we will discuss what went wrong and how we can correct the wrongs. I have some thoughts in this and will post them as well as the thoughts of others. Please comment and criticize if you wish.

By the way, the title of this page, Issues of our Time and Destiny, is from a poem of one of the victims of the first 9/11, Victor Jara, a crime in which we were complicit and for which we have never accounted. A bit of a problem when we only look forward and never back.



It had been my intention to write a multi-part series on Health Systems as a way to lead into further discussion about the direction our health system should take. There are also issues related to women’s health, the opiate crisis, mental health services (or their lack), and the role of the “unsung” in the history of medicine and science (who amongst you remembers Bernard Fantus ? More on him later).

But not today. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and their minions are trying to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), replacing it with legislation that will harm many of us. If you think I am overstating the issue and being excitable, read on. I will not reiterate here the pluses and minuses of the ACA, you may read the several pieces written by me as well as others on that issue. Here, I will “simply” point out the destruction that will be caused by this new attempt to strip health care from the American people…..more follows

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https://ajlayon.com/2017/09/22/the-graham-cassi…xes-for-the-rich/

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“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Those over a certain age will remember this phrase from then Presidential-candidate Robert Kennedy’s 1968 speech. I use it here purposefully, to begin a series on health systems and health. We hear repeatedly – I’ve said this – that our system is inadequate, expensive, unresponsive; a Rube Goldberg system that results in high-cost and poor outcomes. This price is not just in dollars: it is lives lost, potential wasted, opportunities destroyed.

I have been extremely critical of the so-called “Repeal and Replace” or “Just Replace” process that Representative Ryan, Senator McConnell and Mr. Trump attempted to institute; that it unwound is a plus for our citizens. This does not mean that what we have in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is optimal, or even just ok. Thus, I dream of what could be and say: Why not?…..more follows

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https://ajlayon.com/2017/09/20/the-health-syste…five-part-series/

he House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act of 2017 (House Resolution 1628) on 4 May 2017. While the Senate is in the process of re-writing this legislation, it is being done completely in secrecy. Democrats, Independents and even Republicans are being kept in the dark. When Republican Senators are asked about even the broad outlines of the bill, their response is: We don’t know. Because they don’t know……more follows

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https://ajlayon.com/2017/06/27/why-has-senate-k…em-com-news-item/

Maybe Death Isn’t All That Bad: Trump’s Budget Proposal Slashes Spending by $3.6 Trillion Over 10 years – Guess Who Pays ?

The “oil spot” theory of counter-insurgency asserts, in brief, that if we take an area and make it safe for the population, the effect of this improved safety would spread beyond the confines of the area made safe(er), kind of like an oil spot spreads. Not being a counter-insurgency expert, I can’t be sure I have this exactly right, nor that it actually works – Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq come quickly to mind – but you get the point.This oil spot analogy may work in life as well; at least in my life as I am living it now. I am thinking, specifically, about death.


https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/maybe-death-isnt…s-guess-who-pays/

Photo

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., right, speaking with Lanny Breuer, an assistant attorney general, ahead of their testimony in 2010 before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which investigated the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Credit Jim Lo Scalzo for The New York Times

There are many facets to the populist, anti-establishment anger that swept Donald J. Trump into the White House in Tuesday’s election. A crucial element fueling the rage, in my view, was this: Not one high-ranking executive at a major financial firm was held to account for the crisis of 2008.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/nytimes-how-letting-bankers-off-the-hook-may-have-tipped-the-election


18. Gentle Reader – Adrian says what I have been thinking better than I. How could we ? Stay home ? Not vote ? Carp about Hilary’s flaws ? Complain about her changing positions ? (don’t serious people change their positions when faced with new facts ?). How could we let her and ourselves down by not standing by her, and in so doing, allow a racist, KKK and American Nazi-supported, woman hating and abusing, would-be-torturer thug and his minions into the office of the President ?

This will be a bad four years, a bad generation. Yes, generation. The men  – and they are likely to be men – that this President-elect puts into the Supreme Court will color our lives for a generation.

I am a Muslim

I am a Jew

I am a woman

I am a man

I am a Mexican

I am an American

This criminal will never be my president.

(the subtitle is mine, Adrian isn’t responsible)

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Adrian J Anchondo

Owning Our Shit

(or: Hilary Didn’t Let us Down, We  Failed Her)

I’m about to piss y’all off. I might even lose some friends because of this. If you’re too much of a (grab ’em by the) pussy to handle it or tired of angry rants, maybe you should stop reading now because I’m going in on all of us. It’s been a week since the election and I’ve had some time to weep, rage, drink a bottle of wine, gather my thoughts, eat lots of carbs, weep again and drink two more bottles of wine, but still I have not yet been able to come to peace with the worst thing that has happened to this country since they made a standalone movie for Catwoman. But maybe bitching to you, my friends, my fellow progressives, may help bring some solace and help us understand where we went wrong so we can come together and kumbaya or whatever.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/owning-our-shit


17. Gentle Reader – Is this what our fellow citizens who voted for the President-elect wanted ? If not, speak up. Words have power, my friends. The President-elect’s words are there for all to see.

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 ‘You Deserve to Be Gassed’: Hate Crimes Skyrocket After Trump’s Win

U.S. Election 2016 – Haaretz – Israel News

Debra Nussbaum Cohen Nov 13, 2016 4:35 PM

NEW YORK – In the days since Donald Trump won the American election, as many 250 reports of hate crimes were filed with the Southern Poverty Law Center, it says — roughly the amount they receive in a typical five or six month period.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/you-deserve-to-be-gassed-hate-crimes-skyrocket-after-trumps-win


16. Gentle Reader – A Trump failure might doom our country, perhaps even our world. Yet I am unsure that success will be any better. How can I wish success to a man who wants to evict 11 million people from our country ? How do I wish success on a man who says he will order our soldiers, sailors, and marines to torture ? In what world do I wish success for a man who believes – and insists he will – commit war crimes by killing the families of those we believe are terrorists ? How can I wish success to a man who brags about his sexual predations ? And anyway, how could I face my daughter, Maria, and my granddaughters – Marianna, Sloane, Harry – if I wished him well in these things ?
 My parents are 1st generation Lebanese, both sets of their parents came over to the US about the time WW I began. My mother’s parents came through Ellis Island, the “legal way”; my dad’s parents entered through Canada and then simply crossed the border into the State of North Dakota. My paternal grandfather became an active participant in the populist movement in North Dakota.  During WW II, my dad was a sailor on the USS Yorktown; my mom a Coast Guard’s Woman. My son is a former Marine.
My son asked me to help with the Military Medical Corps so, even though I am not the person who follows orders or enters into a disciplined body of people with ease, I complied with my son’s request. I signed up for the (first) Army and then Navy Medical Corps. If my son needed better care, so did his buddies and if they deserved it, so did our enemies. After all, I am a physician; we take care of all who seek our aid.
My Navy packet is in its last stages of either acceptance or rejection ( I am a bit older than they prefer but have pretty good trauma and burn skills). If they were to have said “Yes”, I would have gone.
Would have.
I am pulling the packet. I cannot serve under a commander in chief who has said he would order torture. The reasons I walk with little spring in my step these days are the following: not only do I fear the President-elect’s behavior, his policies on a woman’s right to control her body, climate change, and so forth. No, not only that.
I wanted to serve my people more than I have done in the last 35 years; I was to have been a Navy physician. And now, because I will not serve a man who would have us torture, commit war crimes, I cannot.
Gentle Reader, one simply carries on.
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Where I wish President Trump failure

Opinion writer November 14 at 7:28 PM

The people chose Hillary Clinton. But it’s the electoral vote that counts, not the popular vote, so Donald Trump will be president. And no, I’m not over it.


15. Gentle Reader – I don’t know Professor Tuttle, but I wish I did. If I met her, I would address her as “sister”.
A fine piece, detailing the concerns many of us have after the election of a man fulfilling the definition of a fascist, and appointing people to positions of power in a way that does nothing to limit that concern.

Go to the profile of Sarah Tuttle

We are not ok.

Note: This has been removed by the AAS from the Committee for the Status of the Women in Astronomy. It has been replaced with a modified version. I (ST) was told it was an unacceptable “legal and reputational risk” to them.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/httpsmedium-comniaiswe-are-not-ok-ad4691fb86adsourceuseractivityshare-1f3238c8482f-1479216709


14. Gentle Reader – Sometimes laughter is the best way to make the pain and sorrow abate, if only for a short time. This really is Hilaryous. (Sorry !)

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Go to the profile of Hillary Clinton [parody]

Are You Fucking Kidding Me

by Hillary Clinton

Hey America! Remember me?

You know, Crooked Hillary? Lucifer’s BFF? Benghazi with the good hair?

Well, you did it. You got rid of me. You don’t have to look at my pained smile or listen to my nagging voice anymore.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/httpsmedium-comshithrccantsayare-you-fucking-kidding-me-86bdc2c638d6sourceuseractivityshare-1f3238c8482f-1479217003


13. Gentle Reader – Dissent is as American as our Republic. The very Republican Party that spent 8 years blocking every program President Obama attempted to put into place is in no position to be telling us to “just pull together”.

The President-elect has given voice to some rather terrifying positions, from banning an entire religion, to anti-Semitism, through support for torture, to violence against women.

Does ANYONE need wonder why there are protests in the streets ?

And to my fellow citizens who are in the streets, a word. Peaceful protest is the way. And remember, it is easier to take to the streets than to build a movement.  We must do the latter, as well.

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 What Trump Needs to Learn About Protests

THE NEW YORKER

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/what-trump-needs-to-learn-about-protests-the-new-yorker


12. Gentle Reader – We ignore the coalition of Roosevelt at our peril.

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Dangerous Idiots: How the Liberal Media Elite Failed Working-Class Americans

Sarah Smarsh
October 13, 2016
Trump supporters are not the caricatures journalists depict – and native Kansan Sarah Smarsh sets out to correct what newsrooms get wrong.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/dangerous-idiots-how-the-liberal-media-elite-failed-working-class-americans-portside


11. Gentle Reader – Another analytic piece attempting to assist us in our understanding of what we missed, how we made this error.

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Notes From a Very Close Election

Bill Fletcher, Jr.
November 11, 2016
In the Trump era it is the movement that Sanders was part of coalescing that becomes key in building a resistance with a positive vision. One of the weaknesses of the Sanders message was its failure to unify matters of class with race and gender. This is about telling the right story about the United States. It is also a matter of tapping into significant social movements—Occupy; immigrant rights; LGBT, environmental justice; Black Lives Matter. This is where hope lies.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/notes-from-a-very-close-election-portside


10. Trump health-care agenda evolves toward core Republican thinking – The Washington Post 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-health-care-agenda-evolves-toward-core-republican-thinking/2016/11/11/a31858c4-a828-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html?tid=a_inl#comments


9. Labor Leaders Deserve Their Share of the Blame for Donald Trump’s Victory

Portside

http://portside.org/2016-11-13/labor-leaders-deserve-their-share-blame-donald-trump%e2%80%99s-victory


8. Gentle Reader – Blowback, indeed. We are about to reap the whirlwind.

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Through the Gates of Hell

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176210/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_through_the_gates_of_hell/#more


7. Gentle Reader – This man is not a firebrand, not a radical. If he’s worried, we should worry.

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https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/press-release-from-senator-harry-reid-not-a-radical


6. Gentle Reader – The first, by no means last, profound disappointment we will see with the election of this man.

Three items are particularly poignant:

1. Carrier Executives have said too bad so sad, we’re leaving;

2. The increase in salaries for working people OCCURRED UNDER THE PARTY OF ROOSEVELT. THE ONE WE JUST REMOVED. There were none under the Party of the Rich – er, Republicans.

3. In this article, one of the workers interviewed comments that Hilary has “never worked a day in her life”.  What a profound lack of understanding of what it takes to study, to study The Law. And then to vote for a man who has done more harm to workers than we can imagine.

Breath-taking

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Can Trump Save Their Jobs ? They’re Counting on it

Nelson D. Schwartz

The New York Times

11 November, 2016

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/can-trump-save-their-jobs-theyre-counting-on-it


5. Gentle Reader – Allegory sometimes makes it easier to see what is happening to us.

Teju Cole is the author, most recently, of the essay collection “Known and Strange Things.” He is the New York Times magazine’s photography critic.

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A Time for Refusal

Teju Cole

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/a-time-for-refusal


4. Gentle Reader – yet another piece trying to understand how we could have made this historic error.

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America’s Dark Underbelly is Now its Face

Nov. 13, 2016

By Peter Certo | (Otherwords.org) |

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/americas-dark-underbelly-is-now-its-face


3. Gentle Reader – The next months in our United States will be fraught. How many of our people could have been convinced to vote for a fraud, a charlatan, a self-described abuser of women is a question that will consume gallons of ink and reams of paper (or 1s and 0s). There will be much blame to pass around; indeed analysis has already begun.

In this Section –  Issues of our Time and Destiny – we will discuss what went wrong and how we can correct the wrongs. I have some thoughts in this and will post them as well as the thoughts of others. Please comment and criticize if you wish.

By the way, the section title, Issues of our Time and Destiny, is from a poem of one of the victims of the first 9/11, Victor Jara.

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From the NEW YORK TIMES
303

NOVEMBER 12, 2016

Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era

Nicholas Kristof

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/lies-in-the-guise-of-news-in-the-trump-era


2. Gentle Reader – this thoughtful piece is from the Washinton Post. Authored by Steven Pearlstein, a WaPo business and economics writer, he is also Robinson Professor of Public Affairs at George Mason University.

Some data before you go on to the article:

UNDER OBAMACARE –

1. 129 million of us – including about 19 million children – with pre-existing conditions are protected from denial of coverage and reduced benefits;

2.  105 million citizens have benefitted from annual caps on out of pocket spending;

3. Prior to this year’s (2016) open enrollment period, 16 million uninsured have gained coverage;

4. Another 14 million of us – in addition to the above 16 million – have received coverage through Medicaid since Obamacare’s first open enrollment in 2013;

5. Tax credits have helped 7.8 million Americans, who otherwise couldn’t have afforded it, buy insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplaces;

6. 5.7 million young adults gained coverage under Obamacare because they could stay on their parent’s health plans until age 26.

Source whitehouse.gov

All of this is real. All of this shows the positive power of government intervention.

All of this is at risk now.

There are consequences to our choices.

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Repeal Obamacare ? Not Quite So Easy….Unless You’re Peddling Hokum

Steven Pearlstein

13 November, 2016

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/repeal-obamacare-not-quite-so-easy-unless-youre-peddling-hokum


1. Gentle Reader – it may be me, my own flawed character or even lack of “pedigree”, but I’ve thought for years that way too much attention is given the brainiacs on the East Coast. Here is a beautiful and haunting piece by our own Gary Fincke, the Charles B. Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.

Would that we paid attention to more like him.

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 Post-election empathy

Gary Fincke

Nov 12, 2016

For the last two days, I’ve tried to put the best face on the election results. There’s no point in ranting. There’s little to be gained by accusing others of being racist or misogynist or just plain stupid for voting for Trump even though, despite the claim that working-class America elected him, I know that in the working-class neighborhood in which I grew up, Trump would have been dismissed as a “pig” or worse.

https://ajlayon.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/issues-of-our-time-and-destiny

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