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You Become What You Hate If…

GenX and Boomer politicians — which is just about everyone in Congress — remember the old Soviets well.

The peddlers of fake history (looking at you, David Barton and Dinesh D’Souza), like, you know, just about any dictatorial head of state thug.

The ones who disenfranchised, imprisoned, and quickly began to murder political opponents for being political opponents (looking at you, GOP. You’re halfway through the first and simultaneously the second so far).

The ones quick to rattle the nuclear saber (Hello, Donald).

The ones quick to crack down on their minority groups and all who demand their human rights. With deadly force (have you been watching the news these last few years?).

The ones who boldly speak as Orwell had his villains speak in 1984. Who tell us, literally, that war is peace and poverty is wealth (Donald, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Limbaugh, Hannity, Alex Jones, Drudge, and too many more, again literally, to count).

You can point to politicians in general from those generations and see flashes of our leadership becoming what they hated and feared up until the Soviet collapse.

Hate and fear come in part from feeling threatened.

Feeling threatened comes in part from believing that threat could be fulfilled.

From fearing death.

Ever hear the old saying “fight fire with fire”?

It means “build a firebreak by burning a bare patch the bigger fire cannot cross”.

But, see, a lot of folks especially in GenX heard “wow the Soviet fire is strong. Get some of that strong fire and let’s use it ourselves”.

So you end up with a lot of GOP leaders running around acting like dictators.

Because the Soviets certainly espoused communism, but it was only for the little people.

Soviet leaders were oligarchic dictators first.

And the US right certainly cannot adopt communism, nor do they want it. (A few on the US left do adopt this crap along with the communism, but they are a bare straggle compared with the mighty river of neonazoid extremism Trump has nurtured on the right).

Since the GOP cannot become communist any more than the Democratic Party could, what is left?

Be oligarchic despots! Follow the example  chose (the ideology they’ve chosen, uncontrolled capitalism, can be for the little people. The oligarchs, the dictators, feed off the people and ignore the state ideology — such crude things do not suit born aristocrats. They assume they deserve the support of the state to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars in free stuff for billionaires. Socialism by another name, but only for the extremely rich. A safety net they begrudge the peasantry who they consider basically subhuman — as Mitt Romney put it, they won’t take responsibility for their own lives, apparently to be achieved by sending Mittboy a bunch of free money. He and all the rest think they’re entitled to feed on our blood and sweat as if we were beef steers ready for slaughter.

It’s no mistake that Donald has said again and again over the years that poorer (non-billionaire non-heirs of heirs like him) people are genetically inferior to the very rich. Hmm.

Trump really rich.gif

And then he used donors. Went as far as soliciting recurring monthly payments.

Who is the best example to look to, if you have become what you hate by adopting the most deadly and vicious tactics of your former greatest foe?

Why, the despot who rules the successor state of your old foe! Who better to teach you how to become what you once hated?

So here we are at the marriage. Please welcome Mr. Vladimir Putin and Mr. Donald Putin.

They will show us pigs to our trough, which is the same worn wood and thin slop whether it has “communist” or “capitalist” scrawled on the side by some talentless, unseen hack in the guts of the One True Party. The Aristocrats (link to VERY NSFW Gilbert Gottfried edition, which may or may not describe the Trump family’s private life but it’s probably pretty close in my opinion.

So, thank you for attending my political thingie, however you’d describe this. And feel free to chime in.

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Insurance Accountants Decide If You Get To Live: A Twitter Rant Followed By A Here Rant

(PATREON PATRONS: I’m sorry this is here and not on Patreon first. Patreon does not support embedding Twitter rants, and I kind of need them there for this one. Sincerely, I’m sorry you didn’t get to see this first, because this is a quality post. I won’t do this often, and I’ll make it up to you. *WRITES FICTION FURIOUSLY*)

I threw some related tweets on at the end. This is our reality in the USA: our care is outrageously expensive — the most expensive in the world by about double the next costliest nation — in order to pay unneeded middlemen: insurance companies. Our prices skyrocket to pay multimillion dollar salaries to the upper ranks of health insurance and health care provider corporations.

And to preserve those bonuses, those same executives slash access to care, are working on slashing the unprofitable right into the grave to make way for healthy people whose insurance costs continue to rise year after year.

Obamacare was better than what we had before. It hindered the ability of insurance company accountants to decide you needed to die to preserve their profits. It slightly dented the steady rise of health insurance premiums, which have continued to outstrip inflation by a mile for at least 30 years.

But before Obamacare was Obamacare, it was (Republican Mitt) Romneycare. It was the GOP counterproposal to universal healthcare, and as such it was designed to protect insurance and healthcare corporation profits at the expense of the lifespans and quality of life of the American people. And it shows.

We pay more as a nation for healthcare, and our lives are growing shorter and sicker. That’s what we’re buying for all that money. That, and a lot of yachts and fat tax-sheltered accounts in the Cayman Islands for fatcats.

But don’t just believe me. Read about our falling lifespans and sicker lives in Bloomberg, which isn’t exactly known for being a liberal rag.

“But,” you might say, “I’ve heard such terrible things about socialized healthcare.”

Sure, you have. I have too. But the simple fact of the matter is that in any nation with per capita or absolute wealth anywhere NEAR the same ballpark as the USA’s, it does a better job making citizens healthy, happy, and productive than our current or past system has managed to do here in the USA.

Here’s a conservative-slanted Forbes article about ten nations with economies considered more free than the US economy, but which have universal healthcare — which as you recall some of our own GOP hysterically calls “slavery.” I’m not agreeing with all the author’s points — but read it anyway. Overall it backs up what I’m saying above, but from another point of view and with some different conclusions that are, perhaps, less shaded by my own life, in which I have lived with a minor congenital hip deformity that has escalated into me needing a cane for mobility for the last six years (I’m only 47, DAMMIT) and suffering significant, life-and-mood-changing chronic pain. And why do I live with this pain and chronic suffering? Because my hip has never been a threatening emergency, so it’s not treatable. What could have been fixed in a couple of hours 20 years ago now requires a hip replacement I won’t get anytime soon unless I break my hip, in which case doctors will have to replace it (so a doctor specializing in hip replacement surgery has told me) because it wouldn’t heal soundly — and in fact is in danger of becoming necrotic (dead and rotting) because all the cartilage is worn away in there and some of the bone, and bone rubbing on bone and slowly grinding itself to death not only HURTS, but it also squeezes blood vessels and threatens the vital blood supply to keep the bone alive in there.

But I rant.

Takeaway: look, I like several aspects of capitalism. I’m trying to sell you books so I can earn money to make my family’s life better (HINT HINT HEY BUY MY BOOKS PLEASE), and so I am a one-person small business.

But NO SYSTEM SOLVES EVERY PROBLEM. Example: do you know why your local big grocery store has great low prices on an enormous selection of food? Because we have an AIEEE EVIL SOCIALIST INTERSTATE SYSTEM that makes trucking all that food to your store WAY faster and cheaper than the privatized equivalent, a chaotic web of toll roads governed by whoever happens to own each 20 mile stretch — even if they could all coordinate their efforts, which they couldn’t. And the AIEEE EVIL SOCIALIST INTERSTATE SYSTEM is safer than trucking my Washington apples the 2,900-ish miles to Norfolk, Virginia over a chaotic web of toll roads each built to a different company standard of composition and safety and not, after all, guarded by AIEEE EVIL SOCIALIST FEDERAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, but by whatever hooligans the local privatized road company could scrape together to protect their toll roads, probably by shooting anyone who looks suspicious from long range because, hey, that’s cheaper than taking chances. Nevermind that my Washington apples now cost $50/lb because of all the dead truckers in ditches with rotting loads of apples behind them.

Yeah, I’ve digressed. But you get the point. Pure ideologies suck, and capitalism is no exception. Just as a healthy diet requires diverse foods to meet our bodies’ many requirements, so a healthy nation requires diverse approaches to meet our peoples’ many requirements.

Healthcare doesn’t work well managed purely by capitalism. Like interstate highways, we need to all contribute a bit of our taxes toward creating and preserving a solid system that meets many needs for all our people.

Thirteen Word Story: Back To The Trees

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    Wars, famines, politicians casting every disagreement as life-or-death division, the screw-the-future shortsightedness of deregulated banks and businesses, the ever-deepening US suspicion of neighbors as enemies and basic social behavior as the demon-Stalinist-bugaboo of Cold War Soviet communism, the push deeper into religious extremism in the Middle East (copied, in rehtoric if not action — yet — by increasingly mainstream figures in US religion, like Huckabee)… there are a lot of forces working against the survival of the human race in the long term. To return to harping on my favorite harp-able subject, if we don’t get a large number of humans out of this nest we call Earth, we’re going to collapse this civilization and where we go from there is up in the air. Back to the trees is an option, should intelligence fail to secure us a future.

But wait — you came here for a thirteen word story. Here it is.

Back To The Trees

“Cooperate or fail — these once-civilized apes chose regression,” the alien xenoarchaeology professor said.