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Fear Of A Female President


      Nothing brings out the hate in American culture like a threat to the dominance of white men in blue suits. Barak Obama’s election left us looking at our first black president being lynched in effigy and an unprecedented level of obstruction. Hillary Clinton’s run for office left us with Donald Trump. We could, and will, debate for years what she did or didn’t do wrong, but a look at the facts leaves a clear message. Anyone who challenges the supremacy of the white male in America will be punished. How else can we explain the childish symbolism and sexism of an all white male committee making women’s health decisions. Even great, great, great grandpa on the frontier knew he he did not belong in the conversation about birthing babies, but now we have old white guys posing for photo ops. The old white guys must be really shaken to go so far. The linked article looks at research on this topic and the scary picture it provides.


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      Trumpcare/RyanCare/McConnellCare: Each One A Disaster For My Mo. Neighbors


          5 ways the House GOP Obamacare Repeal and Replacement would affect Missourians

          Republicans say their proposal would "rescue" Americans from the failures of the Affordable Care Act, which they have blasted as a one-size-fits-all law that forced consumers to purchase expensive insurance plans they didn't necessarily need and often could not afford. Democrats say the GOP's efforts to repeal-and-replace the ACA, or Obamacare, would strip health insurance from millions of Americans and shred the current safety net for the poor.

          The Congressional Budget Office clearly agrees with the Democratic Interpretation. In its two reviews of bills from House and the Senate the CBO has pointed to how hard the GOP will be on the very poor, the working poor, the chronically ill, the old and women.

          I worked as a Navigator for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and 2011 in a rural Missouri County. I live in a farming community composed of mostly small family farms where the wage earners usually have to have jobs to supplement farming income. It was not at all unusual for most to have little or no insurance for the adults in the family relying on insufficiently staffed and provisioned clinics. Children were covered by the CHIP program.

          I am proud to say that several dozen of my neighbors got health insurance they could afford that covered them very well thanks to the ACA. Sadly ost of them voted for Trump and the GOP believing his promises to lower their premiums, expand coverage, and improve accessibility and now nearly all of them face an end to the kind of care they have gotten used to and most of them do not realize what is coming their way.

          Here is what I have been sharing with them based on a number of state based research findings:

          A) The state’s uninsured rate would rise.

          More than 200,000 Missourians have gained insurance since the Affordable Care Act took effect, with the uninsured rate dropping from 13.2 percent in 2010 to 9.8 percent in 2015.

          Forecasts show that nearly 80 percent of those Missourians would no longer be covered. 160,000 Missourians will no longer be insured.

          Some people would choose to drop their coverage, because the GOP repeals the individual mandate that requires most Americans to purchase insurance. Others would no longer be able to afford health insurance under the Republican plan.

          B) The mandates on individuals and businesses would be nixed.

          Under the Affordable Care Act, people who failed to buy insurance faced a tax of as much as $2,676 in 2016. The penalty would go away under the GOP plan.

          However, if an individual or family dropped coverage and then decided to re-enroll, the House GOP plan would allow insurers to charge them 30 percent more for premiums for one year.

          The ACA also requires businesses with at least 50 full-time employees to provide its workers with “affordable” insurance — essentially, a plan that cost less than 10 percent of a worker’s household income. Failure to do that currently costs business owners up to $2,260 per employee annually. The GOP plan would nix that tax, so those business owners could stop offering insurance.

          C) Insurances rates would vary wildly (as would coverage benefits) and costs would increase significantly for older, low-income consumers.

          Much of the criticism of Obamacare has centered on the rising cost of private insurance plans, especially for individuals buying insurance on the health care exchanges with no federal help to offset the costs.

          In Missouri estimates are that premiums would rise for most of the insured by 15 to 20 percent over the next three years. Of course, many would be forced to drop insurance since their ages and medical conditions would permit far higher premiums for those who most benefit from having insurance. Additionally, since GOP plans allow states to eliminate many of the guaranteed coverage benefits, a number of insurance plans will be economical but will provide few benefits.

          In general, the cost of buying insurance on the individual market would go up for low-income, older Americans, and it would go down for younger, wealthier Americans. Both plans (although with each using different formulas) offer far less in the way of tax credits to those who qualify. They actually increase the number of those who will get no credits at all because the "working poor" will be excluded. The "working poor" are those who make less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. The assumption was that those individuals would qualify for expanded Medicaid. Missouri chose to "take advantage" of the Supreme Court ruling that said states could opt out of the expansion.

          In addition, the House GOP bill would ease limits on how much insurers could charge older consumers, who tend to have more health problems than younger ones. The GOP change is aimed at drawing younger people into the market, but it could mean higher premiums for seniors.

          D) Missouri hospitals could take a financial hit.

          With more Missourians uninsured, hospital officials fear they would have to provide more uncompensated care. Hospitals are required to serve patients who have no ability to pay their bills, but those costs have diminished under Obamacare, as fewer uninsured patients arrived at their doorstep. The GOP bills will leave those hospitals with much more uncompensated care.

          The Missouri Hospital Association estimates that the Republican plan could cost the state’s hospitals $5.5 billion over the next decade. The MHA also estimates that 30 public clinics and 9 hospitals will be forced to close their doors. Hospitals would be paying for a significant portion of the new law, at the same time as uncompensated care costs explode and Medicaid comes a less reliable source of care for the poor.

          When the hospitals take a hit so does the local economy. In many of the counties in my state the hospitals are one of the top employers. Closing hospitals hits the local economy and makes the poor poorer.

          E) Missouri would lose federal funding for Medicaid even the state chose not to participate in the expansion option.

          Missouri never took advantage of the Obamacare provision that allowed states to expand Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled. So in some ways, the GOP plan — which phases out the Medicaid expansion — will be less painful here than in other states that have come to rely on a generous federal match to expand coverage for low-income residents.

          But Missouri — like every other state — would still lose federal funding under the GOP bills because of other changes the measures would make to Medicaid.

          Right now, the federal government pays about 65 percent of the health-care costs for Missourians who are on Medicaid, and the state pays the other 35 percent. Under the GOP bills, that formula would be nixed, and states would instead get a capped amount of money for each Medicaid enrollee.

          The capped federal contributions would not increase as much as the projected cost of treating Medicaid patients, so states would face a growing tab for the program. In other words the GOP programs pass the expanding costs on to the states such that they become responsible for more and more of the costs of Medicaid.

          Critics say that would blow a hole in state budgets, prompting governors and state legislators to cut benefits and restrict eligibility for low-income residents. Supporters of the bill say Medicaid’s costs are unsustainable and the GOP bill puts the program on a more fiscally responsible course.

          In Missouri the largest single bloc of Medicaid holders are the elderly with more than half of these in nursing homes. If Medicaid is reduced what happens to them. Medicaid in Missouri is generally for the very poorest who can barely hold on now. What happens to them?

          I am a member of two Indivisible Groups that are focusing on the Health Insurance Bills. In meeting after meeting with GOP staff and members of Congress.....all they have is generalizations and platitudes.....they cannot respond substantively to concerns and questions. In my opinion they know how terrible their bills are.

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          Pundit Post

          22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate GOP Health Care Bill, CBO Reports


              The far left wing of the Democratic Party, the Sanders wing, often accuses the "establishment" wing of the party of not being progressive enough. What Sanders supporters don't seem to understand is that politics don't happen in a vacuum. In order to enact more of the kind of legislation progressives want, the Democratic Party has to be the majority in Congress and the president has to be a Democrat or someone who is willing to work with Congress to carry out the will of the people.

              Since Harry Truman was president, every president except Reagan/Bush 41/Bush 43 and now Trump have attempted to enact legislation to put in place some kind of system to provide health care for all people, or if you will, some kind of single payer health insurance plan. Reagan Republicans have fought these efforts every step of the way, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Reagan Republicans would benefit from such a plan as much as those who support it. And yes, I am saying the Reagan Republicans existed long before Ronald Reagan became president. Just as Trump didn't create the people who support him, but he merely spoke to them, so it was with Reagan as well.

              The only reason President Obama was able to do what Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, John Kennedy , Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton could not do related to health care, was because during his first term he had a near super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House. IMHO, President Obama actually missed a golden opportunity to enact, at the very least, a private health insurance system with a public option. Ideally though, he could have and should have forced through a single payer system.

              The reason President Obama should have forced through a single payer system is because people who support Republicans are by and large, selfish people (among other undesirable character traits) and they honestly don't believe the government, i.e. the people acting collectively, should do certain things, one of which is ensure that every person in the country has access to adequate health care. This is a fundamental difference between people who support Democrats and people who support Republicans.

              The reason it is ok with Republicans and those who vote for Republicans that at least 22 million people are projected to lose access to health care under their replacement for the ACA, is they approach health care, like they approach everything else, focused on "me" rather than "us". Remember when President Obama made the statement that, "You didn't build that!", and Republicans retaliated and successfully ran political campaigns on, "Yes, "I" DID build that"? Member? You member! You don't member?

              My point is simply this. We have been at a crossroad in the USA for several decades related to how We The People want to govern ourselves. One of the primary weaknesses in our society is that The People don't understand how the founding fathers designed our government. The only flaw in the "practice" of the design is they practiced it by limiting access to it to white males, initially. In the 240 years or our existence, we have yet to make our government of, for and by The People, responsive to The People. For example, ninety percent of The People want common sense gun control legislation to reduce gun violence. Yet, Congress refuses to enact such legislation because of the influence of the gun lobby.

              EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this country at some point in their lives will need access to health care. However, even those who can afford insurance often incur such a large cost that it puts them in financial hardship, and millions of our citizens only have access to emergency room care, which btw is borne by all of the rest of us at a very high cost. Yet, many of The People continue to support candidates who would deny them the same kind of access to adequate health care that they themselves have. I repeat, This is a fundamental difference between people who support Democrats and people who support Republicans.

              So remember when we resist, we don't only resist Trump, we have to resist a party that does everything with a primary focus on protecting wealthy people, by dividing everyone else.


              Twenty-two million fewer people would have health coverage over the next 10 years under legislation that Senate Republicans aim to bring to the floor for a vote this week, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

              The measure would dramatically scale back federal funding for Medicaid and financial assistance that low- and middle-income people receive to make private health insurance affordable. The hundreds of billions of dollars saved would mostly be transferred to wealthy people and health care companies in the form of tax cuts. And the bill would reduce the federal budget deficit by $321 billion over the coming decade.

              Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants the upper chamber to pass the bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as soon as Thursday. To date, at least five Republican senators have expressed opposition to the legislation, along with a variety of health care and patient groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP.

              Senate GOP leaders, who just released the text of the bill last Thursday, have already made major revisions, adding provisions that would lock people out of the health insurance market for six months if they go without health coverage for more than 63 days. That part of the bill is intended to prevent people from waiting until they develop costly illnesses or injuries to sign up for coverage.

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              Pundit Post

              The War On Seniors


                  The War On Seniors


                  The Congressional Budget Office just released its estimate on the impact of the Senate’s health care repeal bill ― and it’s even worse than the House’s bill. These numbers are a terrifying confirmation that Trumpcare is the first part of a Republican war on seniors.

                  The CBO confirms that the Senate’s version of Trumpcare would raid $772 billion from Medicaid by 2026 ― and that's BEFORE the largest cuts kick in. If the bill passes, 15 million Americans would lose their coverage next year, a number that would climb to 22 million by 2026.

                  The bottom line: Americans will suffer and die so that Donald Trump and Republicans can give huge tax breaks to the rich.

                  Six Republican Senators appear concerned over Trumpcare’s devastating Medicaid cuts. If three of them vote no, this bill will fail in the Senate. Sign the petition. Send them a message now!

                  Senators Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Dean Heller (NV), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Rob Portman (OH) have objections to the bill. We can stop this in the Senate!

                  Send a message to the Senate: Vote NO on Trumpcare!

                  These devastating cuts will disproportionately hurt older Americans by creating caps on how much Medicaid can pay per person, eliminating subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments and deductibles, allowing insurance companies to charge older Americans five times as much as younger people, and making nursing home care unaffordable.

                  On top of all of that, Trumpcare also raids billions from the Medicare trust fund. That sets up Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to go after Medicare next.

                  Three Senators can stop Trumpcare in its tracks. Add your voice!

                  Thank you for standing with us,

                  Michael Phelan
                  Social Security Works

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                  Pundit Post

                  Analysis Suggests Partisan Gerrymandering Has Benefited GOP



                      I think this is one of, if not the, most important and urgent issues concerning our democracy and the future of this country. It's a big part of why Republicans have been able to wrestle control (or keep control) as much as they have, even though their policies go against what a majority of Americans favor.

                      Get rid of gerrymandering, get closer to a system of one person, one vote - and you will see the gradual end of Republican dominance.

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                      The Trump Base: White Trash.


                          Many books have been written about how the ruling classes or the richest 1%, down through the ages, have controlled, exploited, and used the other 99% of the people so that the greedy rich could live lives of incredible decadence, while everyone else is either struggling for survival or living in absolute misery.

                          Frantz Fanon's book, "The Wretched of the Earth," published in 1961 was one of those, which addressed how those who were colonized by the great powers of the time, like Britain and France, were justified in using violence to overthrow the yoke of the colonialists, who would exploit them and their children to death for the enrichment of themselves.

                          While Fanon's anti-colonialism became a rallying cry after WWII, his expectation that those former colonies could establish their own independent government, and set up a society that was just and free, fell victim to the ancient historical reality that no sooner do you rid the country of the foreign devils, than the domestic ones take over.

                          We've seen that time and again in Africa (the Congo), Asia (China), as well as in the Philippines, and Indonesia.

                          The history of our species from the time it abandoned hunting and gathering, and started their earliest settlements, and formations of agrarian societies (10,000 to 15,000 years ago), has demonstrated that those with the will and the means to rule, invariably do so for the benefit of themselves, and a small group of their closest family and allies, and to the detriment of the vast majority of the other people.

                          I call it: The Ruling Class manifestation, which has been demonstrated and been obvious for as long as we have any history records of our past.

                          I remember growing up in New York City, attending public schools, and learning about the history of the USA, and being enthralled with the words and deeds of our forefathers, and the American Revolution, and how I believed that whatever the flaws or problems of my country in the past (Slavery, the Civil War, the Gilded Age of economic exploitation, The Great Depression, or Segregation), were all transient evils or set-backs that would be erased in time, as America built a country based on equality, justice and freedom.

                          Now I look back and realize how naive I was. The idea that America could successfully eliminate racism, after hundreds of years of slavery, the Civil War, and segregation was woefully unrealistic.

                          The idea that we could build and maintain an economic system that provided a fair distribution of the nation's income and wealth was childish in the extreme.

                          And the thought that we could be a society free of religious and ethnic prejudices, even as we claimed to be a "melting pot," proved to be a form of cognizant dissonance on my part.

                          The recently published book called, "White Trash," written by the sociologist, Nancy Isenberg captures the essence of why America is what it is today: A country with a serious, and sinister schizophrenic personality.

                          Ms Isenberg points out how America, from it's earliest beginnings, was a dumping ground for what the English ruling class called "waste people" or those they called "rubbish."

                          Beset with poverty, beggars, and petty criminals, Britain decided that the "New World," would be a good place to ship them off to, and with the proper supervision, they could produce profits that would enrich the Mother nation, while removing the blight of their presence from the homeland.

                          And so people were shipped to America as indentured servants, which meant that you were owned by whoever held the contract for your services, and not only did you owe them years of "service," which usually meant back-breaking labor under difficult conditions of heat or cold or facing hostile native populations, but if you ran away or abandoned your "owner," (assuming there was anywhere else to go), your obligation shifted to your spouse, and/or your children, who were held hostage.

                          And soon thereafter Britain and other colonial nations began the slave trade out of Africa, as Tobacco and Cotton provided the New World profits the ruling classes so desired.

                          But if the Ruling Class of England or the elite supervisory class that sprouted here in America thought that the New World would prove the cure for poverty or be the anodyne for their "unproductive populations," they were to be proven wrong.

                          And so aside from the black slaves, who had no choice about their role in society, many of the whites who were shipped here from England (petty criminals, vagrants, prostitutes, and other undesirables), and their usually large numbers of off-spring, soon opted out of their roles as poorly paid, dutiful workers, dedicated to making their employers rich.

                          These groups of people, who meandered into the backwaters and rural areas of the new country became known as "White Trash."

                          They were the ignorant, who weren't interested in learning or working, and primarily lived off-the-land, as much as they could (hunting, fishing, etc.) or they engaged in criminal acts of making moonshine or selling whatever contraband that would pay them.

                          After the Great Depression of 1929- 1939, most of the so called "White Trash," voted for the Democrats under FDR, since it was obvious that the Republican Party was the one that represented the rich ruling class, and had ended slavery, but that all changed after the administrations of JFK and LBJ, and especially after the Democrats passed the "Civil Rights Act," of 1964, ending segregation, and the legal second-class citizenship of black people.

                          Over the decades since LBJ, the Republicans cleaved to the "States Rights" positions, instituted their racist "Southern Strategy," appealed to the White Trash element, and politically took over the South, which had previously been a Democratic strong-hold.

                          And in this last election, Donald Trump personified and exhorted the White Trash to come out and vote for him.

                          He denounced Obama as a "Kenyan," and worse. He reviled Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers. He attacked Muslims as terrorists, and even insulted a "Gold Star" Muslim family, who lost a son fighting for America in our Afghanistan war.

                          And of course, Trump did what the Ruling Class, always does, he promised them a "New World" of jobs and a better life and that he would rid the country of all those undesirables, those immigrants and others, who had taken away their jobs, and ruined their towns with crimes.

                          But there was enough fear, hatred and ignorance in the white community so that Trump's propaganda had currency, and even a majority of white women would vote for the female sexual assaulter and thrice married philanderer, Donald Trump.

                          Since being elected Trump has demonstrated as usual that the ruling class will exploit the other 99% as it has always done, as Trump seeks to put national healthcare asunder to give the richest amongst us, billions in new tax cuts.

                          The fact is the richest 1% will rule and ruin the rest of our lives so long as we remain duped by their bait and whistles for race, ethnic, and religious bigotry.

                          All the Ruling Class cares about is ruling, and so long as we allow their stooges to run the country (currently Trump & the Republican Party), we will be like those indentured servants or slaves shipped to America so long ago, and be "waste people," who can easily be exploited and sacrificed so the greedy rich can continue their lives of profligate and disgusting decadence!

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                          Civil War Is Raging Inside The Democratic Party


                              Most likely one of the most crucial elections for the Democratic Party will be the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections and if we hope to put the brakes on the Republican/Trump plans to undermine just about every advancement we have made, not just in the Obama era, but for the past decades, we need to mend fences. The clock is ticking, and there are only 498 days until the mid-terms. That may seem like a long ways to go but when the Democrats need to pull it together and present an agenda supported by the base, which I might say, includes Progressives, that isn't all that far away.

                              Just as the Republicans did , a great number of the Democrats railed against the establishment politicians within their party causing a rift between two sides which is still to this date continuing. This obviously is something we need to come to grips with and get settled. There are even more internal battles going on within the Party with regards to the DNC and also some who think Pelosi should be replaced and bring in new leadership. Lastly there is a another battle and that is how to get the base fired up and out to cast their vote.

                              The Democrats are proud of a platform they brag to be the most Progressive platform in the Party history. With the exclusion of working to repeal Citizens United, the platform is indeed very Progressive. So, now let's make the right choices in candidates who are willing to deliver on those promises. The Party also needs to let the voters, all voters, know of their past accomplishments because, that if nothing else, will make the Democrats standout against the Republicans who have done nothing, absolutely nothing, in the past eight years plus to move our Country forward.

                              Can differences between the factions be put aside and can we find some commonality and move forward in a unified front? That would depend upon the leadership of the Party and their willingness to give their supporters what they seek. That would also be contingent upon the voters themselves and their willingness to put differences aside and work together. Can we do it? Sure, anything is possible but it will take work, lots of work which includes getting the base out to vote.


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                              Between Countries, The Great American Bridge Tour Heads To Ireland


                                  Dr Donna Wood and I have been competing - remarkably unsuccessfully - for the past ten days at the European Bridge Championships in Montecatini, Italy. It would have been a beautiful place to visit, I am certain, had the temperature ever dropped below 38 (100.4F) during the day. Due to a scheduling conflict, the playing facility became a giant, fully-enclosed white tent, complete with occasionally adequate air-conditioning, water stations that were never cold despite their electrical cords being plugged in and only a 90 second walk to the restrooms that required a walk through a fairground without grass or trees. Do not let the smile fool you, our tough as nails Dr Donna was melting from the heat.

                                  And I was not fairing much better.

                                  In other words, just another semi-annual European Open event.

                                  We did have the opportunity to meet new friends and catch up with old ones, (Arianna and Donna work together at World Championship events regularly) and as always, that is one of the great fringe benefits of our company's journeys throughout the world of bridge.

                                  Italian Professional and Yabberz member Paolo Clair and I also managed to eat our way from Florence to Montecatini Alta and back.

                                  We stayed at the Hotel Tonfoni, a quaint, family owned albergo in the heart of the city (49 Euros a person including breakfast, dinner with wine and - mercifully, air-conditioning), which was the saving grace for our trip. We love Italy, but not at this level of warmth coupled with 90+% humidity.

                                  As I write this we are on the path to Dublin to see Thomas Mac Cormac and the Irish Junior Team that are training with the Great American Bridge Tour - and we are certain that the weather will be a touch bit cooler on the most beautiful island on Earth.

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                                  Pundit Post

                                  The Parts Of Our Sum


                                      I am examining the fracturing, that foreboding feeling once more upsetting the bile of serenity. I am watching truth and lies, good and bad have its way with us and the dedication and commitment to our ideals fold away easily in the excitement of the moments. I hear keep your eyes on the prize and wonder if we even will recognize the prize as something to be wanted at all?

                                      This division in the country coming from every angle against every wall of justice and freedom we have is heart wrenching. I care for my country deeply, I care for the people of it with equal passion. I do not care if you hold a different view or a different religion, I do not care if you are for me or against me, I am Pro-People. If you are in need, I will do my best to help you. If you are in danger, I will do my best to protect you. We are free, we care for those freedoms, those rules of law and those sanctuaries that protect and hopefully if we are wise... nurture.

                                      Politics in itself requires some numbness to life out here in the real economy, with the real world problems. You simply cannot do it all no matter how hard you try. Your empathy and compassion get pulled at very strongly at almost everything. Yet to accomplish anything takes one dedicated focus, and a commitment to seeing it all the way through. You honestly do your best and fall short, like many things in life out here in the real world even political life is life on life's terms... Which means no terms.

                                      We the people have been micromanaged into subdivisions by our own fears and passions. Out marketed, pandered to and simply substantiated enough of our self righteous BS. The Costco of Humanity, some things can only be purchased in bulk. There is a saying that goes if you take someone else's inventory of what their problems are etc... Then when you are done, cross out their name and write your own in its place. You are only seeing what you are able to, not necessarily the truth, or the real story. There are many truths that don't need to be seen, do not need to be heard or written down because they are feelings and connections to greater things, events and points of history that have context beyond our Cadillac problems, and our self serving natures.

                                      I have heard the calls to the fronts of many issues, the yearning for a messiah figure; What is our biggest problem? What are the questions we should be asking? Healthcare will be the undoing... If I were a betting man in this kind of cosmic Casino we call Socio-political aspects of this, I wouldn't put my money down. I would keep in in my pocket because this is a crazy game and I am not even sure I know what the rules are, if any?... First of all I am not looking for a messiah, I am not looking for the biggest problem... I am trying to figure out if any of the rules matter anymore; Life on life's terms.

                                      Getting back to those things that connect us and prove to me in my heart of hearts I am right I simply need raise a few events. The Assassinations of the 1960's, America v USSR in Hockey, The Challenger Disaster, 9/11, The rescued Chilean Miners, Katrina////et al, The Tsunamis of Asia. The Refugee Crisis, The wonders of our mighty bots on Mars... Images of Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter as never seen before.

                                      That is but a minor collection, pieces of time when most of this animal we call us Humans knew there was something more than ourselves and a connection to a greater empathy, and compassion. Some would call it a spiritual or religious feeling, yet my best atheist and agnostic friends felt it too. Yes, when that flag of ours with it's stars and stripes goes up, this grown man cries. For it takes all of me to remember all of you and all of the sacrifices, justices and injustices along the way. If you believe in a higher power of any kind you know it has never abandoned you, just you it. Empowering the people again with a dedicated message of any kind of hope of uniting must come from one place; Our common good.

                                      We have a keen eye for differences, we thrive on drama and sense of shame and guilt. We build ourselves up on the psyches of the people we can manipulate and succumb to those we need close like frenemies who bring us the newspapers for free. We have our Ego's and our pride and our sensibilities and as far as the rest of the world is concerned it all starts with us, ourselves.

                                      Yet in some of those times listed above, we were definitely more than the parts of our sum; We were whole, we were strengthened and broken and rebuilt again all at the same time, we were either jubilant or dedicated, nauseated or wishing and hoping that there would be one more life saved, one more child safely on shore. In those moments, in that resolve we felt the American and Human experiences with all our beings. We knew what it meant to belong to something so intimately close and yet so vastly encompassing as the air we breathe; Life

                                      I do not know if there will enter a grand leader, or a historic event to remind us once more these very basic principles. That we are all Americans and we live and breathe and eat as she does. We are all affected and effected by the ripples of policy and the social stigmatas of the day. Yet we are, if anybody hasn't yet noticed that statuesque lady in the harbor, hope. It seems to me that holding that beacon aloft in any way shape or form, is worth the effort, worth self sacrifice that we must re-learn - again. There are plans in the minds of everyone, there is a passion for this or that cause or a few of them. There is a blanket belief against all things "wrong" with everything from both* sides. What the hell do you want people? There is the entire freaking menu and nobody can pick one thing to to make into the main dish? Well I make it hope, I make it the sum of our parts and not the other way around. I want to see this cohesive ability to bootstrap ourselves over this gawdawful menace to society and his cronies. There are ways that don't even involve the politicians you either cannot trust or want to replace. Hope, give it back.

                                      Now this is just my idea, but at least I am putting it out there. People who want to run for progressive platforms donate 50% of their donations to a non-profit. It would be a NP that is truly and honestly kept non-partisan, yet the benefiting charities would be primarily those being targeted by this administration. Fund Planned Parenthood, fund immigrant assistance classes and housing. Hire a thousand unemployed plumbers to go to Flint, Michigan and fund the water service needs. Yes, I have seen the coffers, I know how much they are taking in... Seems to me that this would impact a lot more voters than a dang TV ad during a rerun of the Big Bang Theory. I would rather have marketers that bring water to peacefully licenced protests, and energy bars for those who run out of gas. I would like to see the problems that arise in our country taken care of by the people who live here first hand. If that is going back in time so be it, I am keeping pace with the current administration I hope.

                                      Because to counter government the people must rise up to make the levels of justice even. To rise up peacefully and unite is to do this together, and lead by example. Nothing short of that example will be enough to unite us past the parts of our sum.

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                                      'Handmaid's Tale' Protesters Greet Mike Pence At Colorado Speech


                                          "The time is now," Pence said, explaining that former President Barack Obama's health law is "dead."

                                          And then to a roar of applause and approval, he said, "This is when we are going to defund Planned Parenthood once and for all."


                                          Protesters outfitted in red robes and white bonnets -- the signature look of "handmaids" in the Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale" -- greeted Vice President Mike Pence Friday outside a speaking engagement in Colorado at the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family.

                                          "The Handmaid's Tale" is set in a dystopian future, where fertile women are forced into sexual servitude and identifiable by their distinct wardrobe.

                                          The robe-wearing protesters -- who were part of a larger group of about 100, according to Colorado Springs ABC affiliate KRDO -- carried signs that read "Abort Mike Pence," "Stop Targeting Women's Healthcare" and "Stop Teaching Hate."

                                          "This organization believes being gay is a sin and that it's possible to convert people from being gay to straight -- it's ridiculous," robe-and-bonnet-wearing protester Nancy Stilwagen told KRDO of Focus on the Family. "So many people say we don't want Sharia Law in this country. People are pushing it. It's just not Islamic law. It's Christian law."

                                          Stilwagen carried a sign that read, "The Handmaid's Tale is not an instruction manual. It's a WARNING."

                                          Pence told the audience of 1,650 that the organization should rekindle its interest in politics, especially in light of the Trump administration's proposal to slash funding to Planned Parenthood.

                                          "The time is now," Pence said, explaining that former President Barack Obama's health law is "dead."

                                          And then to a roar of applause and approval, he said, "This is when we are going to defund Planned Parenthood once and for all."


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