January 28, 2017

A problem we don't need

Bo is all about health care.

According to the business website WalletHub, WV will be one of the states most impacted by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Not in a good way. Lots of people, including the participants in this press conference yesterday (which my dog attended), are speaking up about the issue and urging that the ACA not be repealed without a replacement that does no harm to the millions who benefit from the law-including around 225,000 West Virginians.

For more on the adverse impact of ACA repeal on WV's people and economy, check out this new and detailed report from the WV Center on Budget and Policy. And howl about it. This is a problem we really don't need right now.

January 27, 2017

A blast from the past

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Dec. 23, 1776.

January 24, 2017

What's next for health care?

Efforts to unravel the Affordable Care Act are in the works both from congress and the Dark Tower White House. There are a lot of known and unknown unknowns, as former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who actually looks better and better these days, might say. Here's a good summary.

As this op-ed by a fellow tai chi student points out, the folks in charge have had plenty of time to come up with a real alternative if they really wanted to. The (real) fact is that ACA repeal without a comparable replacement would weaken the state's economy, not to mention threaten the health care of 225,000 residents.

As this Washington Post article points out, unless something gives I'm afraid the above picture might be the shape of things to come. Literally.

January 22, 2017

Bigly sad

According to Prussian Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, the human mind naturally perceives the world through the lens of innate mental categories such as space, time and causality. One of these innate categories is quantity...

...which may explain why some people like Prince Joffrey President Trump are kind of sensitive about size.

One sore spot seems to be the relative size of certain public gatherings this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the Women's March at the WV state capitol, many of the attendees of which were male. Numbers kicked around were in the 2800 to 3000 range. For sure, it was enough to go all the way around the capitol grounds as the march took place.

I'm pretty sure that the last time that many people gathered there was during the teacher's strike of 1990, of which my memories are fond.

There were many witty signs there, but the winner to my mind is featured above. My own, which just said "Bigly sad" was pretty popular with those taking pictures, especially when accompanied by a pouting expression that appeared to remind people of someone.

Of course, we all know that a billion zillion gazillion googal-plex more went to the Baratheon coronation inauguration.