Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday--May 8

It is very cold this morning. We had a freeze warning for last night but we barely missed that--I think. The temp may go lower before the sun comes up. I planted the new mints (peppermint and chocolate mint), three of the dwarf dianthus, and the tomatoes. I put my modified milk jug cloches over the tomatoes which, I hope, protected them.

I haven't said much about politics. There isn't much to say about that pathetic, vicious circus that hasn't been said--repeatedly. I also think most of the arguments dance around, or ignore entirely, the most basic problems. A case in point, the health care debate which isn't about health care itself but about access to a means to pay for health care which for most of us is insurance (or a damn good income with enough left after daily living expenses to pay out of pocket.) I have a lot of questions about the efficacy of modern medicine--questions that go beyond the autism/vaccination cage match seen in the mainstream media. In other words, we aren't even debating how effective our medical treatments actually are and, considering the staggering costs, we should be. And very few commentators (of whatever expertise) actually note that access to insurance is a slippery concept. Just because a company offers an insurance policy (providing "access") doesn't mean many people can afford it. And just because you have an insurance policy doesn't mean you have meaningful "access" to health care. I am among the "lucky" Americans who could handle a $500 emergency wincing all the while. That $500 represents 20% of a $2500 medical bill--you know, the part Medicare doesn't pay. I don't know what the average deductible is for individuals' health care policies but I have read of $2000 and up. That is $2000 the insured person ha to pay before the policy kicks in. That would be out of my reach.

There are times when Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel gets something unequivocally right and this is one of those times. The current administration doesn't like the conclusions nearly all climate scientists draw from the data so they erase the data. I would like to smack the Repthuglican morons in the face and tell them "Look, you assholes, we can and should argue about 1) what holes or gaps may be in the data, 2) how the data is collected, 3) what conclusions we can reasonably draw from the data given points 1 and 2, and 4) what we can and should do given those conclusions. But the data is the data and shouldn't be discarded or erased because you don't like the conclusions others have drawn."

Our political circus and the questions our news media chooses to ignore. I try to ignore most of what #45 does and says. I know it will be hyped way out of proportion and be either misleading or outright lies. As Andrew Bacevich notes there are questions which in the news media's current focus on #45 aren't being asked. We haven't had truly hard hitting, deep delving journalism for a very long time.

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