Monthly Archives: January 2017

Make America Nasty Again!

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I feel so honored!  Today, a right winger, bitter clingin’ Trumpite referred to me as a….you guessed it…a NASTY WOMAN!   I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I had merely pointed out that Melania Trump was a former stripper, and pow!  I am a bit perplexed, however, because I’m not the one who stripped for money.  That was the pretty mizzrus.   Our FLOTUS.  SHE is the stripper, not I.  Anyway, it really tickled me to be part of the 100 words in this person’s vocabulary.  (snicker)

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I’m not going to engage with this woman further, but if I did, this is what I would say:

If you voted for trump because you believe in fiscal conservatism, you should be furious that your tax dollars are going to build a wall that will have zero impact on the effects of immigration.
If you voted for the trump to “drain the swamp” you have been hoodwinked because he filled his cabinet with more conflict of interest than any ever.
If you hate the left because of “Political Correctness,” you need to be asking yourself if you’re okay with trump censoring communications from MULTIPLE government organizations like the National Park Service, the EPA and more.


If you voted because you hated Secretary Clinton’s email server, I expect you to be calling your representatives to ask why trump, Steve Bannon and others continue to use their unsecured personal emails and why your president is still using an unsecured Android device.


If you believe that fertilized eggs are people but refugee children are not, you need to stop acting like your concerns are religious, ’cause you’re no Christian, sweetie.


If you voted because you believed trump  would better protect you against terrorists, you need to ask yourself why it’s okay that your president just took away $130 million in anti-terror funds from New York with his punishment of Sanctuary Cities.


If you are angry that your insurance is too expensive, you should ask why your senators are repealing ACA without a replacement, an action that will leave 20 million people without insurance at all.


If you wanted to bring jobs back to the US you should be angry that Mar a Lago just hired another round of international workers, over Americans.


If you were concerned with national security I expect you to be concerned with the restructuring of the National Security Council with an anti semitic, fascist, racist, misogynistic domestic abuser.


If you believe the Clinton Initiative provided unequal treatment to countries that supported their foundation, you should be livid that trump has moved to block visas from Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, but not places where he has business ties like Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Not only that, but the countries that are blocked have literally BILLIONS of American business dollars invested in them and are considering blocking people from the US.  Trump doesn’t have business interests in these particular countries, so in effect, he will be destroying his own business competition while letting known terrorist countries into America willingly. 

But hey….You want to call me names? Have at it!  I’m proud to be who I am, and I’m ashamed to share my country with you.

This is About Insurance

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This is about insurance:
This is the most straightforward explanation of the nature of insurance and health savings accounts I have seen.
Insurance is a way of sharing the cost of risk. Health insurance is no different. It is a lottery where you buy a ticket and bet you are going to lose and hope you don’t at the same time. There is no free lunch.


We all need to understand this: First, for those who are confused, the Affordable Care Act, “ACA,” is the same thing as “Obamacare.”


Now, when Trump or Paul Ryan say they want to replace the ACA with “Health Savings Accounts” (HSAs), they are also saying they want to replace Obamacare or Medicare or Medicaid with YOU paying for your healthcare.


That means YOU pay for chemotherapy…YOU pay for all surgeries and hospitalization… YOU pay for all your family’s doctor visits, urgent care, ER visits, and prescription drugs out-of-our-pocket.
A Health Savings Account is just a tax-free way for you to save up money to pay for your own medical bills. So if you are paying off college loans, or saving for a house down-payment, or simply living paycheck to paycheck, guess what — a Health Savings Account does you no good, unless you have discretionary funds to deposit into it. And even if you manage to save five grand or ten grand in an HSA, that could all get wiped out in one hospital visit for you or a family member. Then you are back to square zero again.


Even if you can supplement your HSA with affordable health insurance, you will be eating away at money that you should be investing for your retirement or your kids’ college tuition.
Statistics reveal only the top 3-5% of Americans can save enough for retirement, college AND their own out-of-pocket medical expenses. Therefore, the tax benefits of HSA’s will only help those people.


Please call your Congress member to express your concern.

Pay Attention, People!

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lF YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION THIS IS WHAT TRUMP HAS ALREADY CRUSHED FROM OUR GOVERNMENT!!! TRUMP MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN……FOR WHOM???

· To recap:

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.

* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”

* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

And today: the wall and a Muslim ban.

Teachers Can Change Lives

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I woke this morning to find my husband in tears…but they were happy tears. He had just received an email from a student from 20 years ago. I wanted to share it with you, because it just goes to show how much positive influence a good teacher can have. It made me so proud to read this:

Hello, Dr. Freed!

Xxxxx and I were thinking of you this morning, and so I decided to share some of our happy thoughts with you!

I think your teaching made a strong impact on both of us. I have never considered until this morning that Xxxxx and I fell in love in your class.. I wonder how much of a success factor it was that we shared ourselves in that environment, through the stories we wrote?

You assigned us the challenge of writing original fiction short stories every week. As I faced rejection from his parents because of my father’s West African contribution to my skin, I explored my thoughts in writing. My first story for your class featured a European-American male in a secret relationship with a girl he wasn’t supposed to love – a slave. You listened with full attention, looking over your wonderful half-glasses, and I felt heard.

I also heard you. Really heard you. At age 17, I respected and believed you when you told our class that we were special. You told me a phrase I’ve repeated to myself often, when I felt blocked in writing: “Your writing is worth waiting for, because what you write is good.” That single vote of confidence has saved me from despair a number of times. It grew in me like a Rama word. I remember a few key lessons from you clearly. You taught me that a title had to have the right balance between providing information and attention-getting. You said that no writer could produce a story that didn’t reflect his own life, in some way. There was no real separation between author and product, and the writer who is honest with herself must come to terms with how much of her work is fantasy and how much is a look in the mirror.

You shared yourself with us, too, through your own writing. Both Xxxxx and I remember your short story about the robber who came and broke into a heart. On a lighter note, we also remember how you made us laugh as we analyzed James Joyce. You asked us what the meaning of “bottle green eyes” might be, and Xxxxx answered quickly, “A leprechaun!”

In spite of meeting my spouse in Freshman English, your film critique class was my favorite. Do you know that I cannot watch a film today without hearing the voice of Dr. Freed? You ask me, regularly, “Why was THAT song playing in the background? Did you hear those lyrics?” I often tell my own four children today that “Every word is a choice.” That’s a Freed film class phrase for sure. 🙂

We miss hearing from you, and maybe that’s why I’m writing you now. I imagine that you aren’t on Facebook, but that you might be sharing yourself and your wisdom
through your stories. I’m sure you’re writing prolifically; is any of your work available for the public (or us) to read? I saw that you’ve written some pieces for theater?

You attended our wedding when I was 20 and Xxxxx was 22. We will celebrate 20 years this June! Here is a picture of our family of 6, grown through both birth and adoption. Our 15 year old son XXXXX is almost 16; XXXXX is 13; XXXXX is 8; and XXXXX is 7. We still remember that when we met you, you told us stories about your skinny 16 year old son who was 6 feet tall. Parenting seemed so lofty and removed from us then.. Now our own nearly 16 year old son is 6’2, and I’ve written more than a few short stories about raising little people. Time flies!

What became of your two students?

We are living the life of liberal arts graduates, I suppose, if that means using various talents in our careers and free time! Xxxxx graduated from UST with a BA in Biology and Philosophy and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. However, he currently works as a software developer in the IT consulting firm we own together. Ha!

The late, great Dr. Gordon-Kelter would be proud of the diversity. He still loves dogs as much as ever. (Do you remember telling me that you knew Xxxxx heart was good because you’d read what he’d written about dogs?). For my own part, I was a UST French major who minored in biology, went on to earn an MBA (Management Information Systems) from UST and to work as a software consultant, and am now a practicing licensed marriage and family therapist. If it helps my case for a unifying theme, though, I did speak French throughout my IT career. 🙂

May God bless you! I wish you the very best in all you do. One day, we want to see one of the screenplays you always dreamed of writing – I think you said there would be a theme of a blue car that appeared in all of your films. Is that still the plan?

Warmly,

XXXXX and XXXXX

The Affordable Health Care Act

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As his first order of business trump signed an executive order to repeal the ACA. Here’s what this means… even if you are safely covered behind employer-provided insurance, the protections set forth in the ACA (Affordable Care Act), apply to you too. And if those protections are repealed along with the rest (or any part) of the program, you will also be affected.
That means you may be trapped in a job, because your pre-existing condition may mean you will not qualify for new insurance offered by another employer, and the cost of private insurance would be prohibitive. If your employer shuts down, lays you off, or even changes insurers, well, you are out of luck. The Senate GOP voted this week that they would not require an eventual ACA replacement to protect against discrimination for pre-existing conditions, which was the standard before the ACA.
It means that you (a young adult under the age of 26) or your adult children (over 18) may find yourselves without the protection of insurance, as the Senate GOP voted last night that an eventual ACA replacement will not be required to allow young people to remain on their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26.

It means that if you have a high-risk pregnancy, or life-threatening illness such as cancer, you may not be able to afford all the care you need, because you may hit lifetime or annual caps. If you have an infant born with any kind of severe medical condition, or premature, they may hit their lifetime insurance cap before they are old enough to walk. The Senate GOP voted last night that an eventual ACA replacement program would not be required to prohibit lifetime insurance caps.

It means that if you are a struggling parent who is uninsured or under-insured, you will no longer be able to count on at least your kids getting the routine medical and dental care they need under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). The Senate GOP voted that CHIP is not required to be protected by an eventual ACA replacement.

These provisions of the ACA affect everyone in this country, not just those without insurance through their employers.

If you are not okay with these changes, call your representatives and let them know what’s important to you. Nothing has been set in stone yet, but our legislators have shown us a map of what they plan to do if constituents don’t make their voices heard loud and clear.

The Federal Week in Review

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The federal week in review:
1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees many of whom have not completed an ETHICS review and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department–for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.

We all need to wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.

A Quiet Day

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I didn’t speak with a single person today.  I turned off my phone, turned off the computer and spent my time meditating, practicing my guitar, practicing my piano, studying, cleaning my house, playing with my puppy, organizing and cooking. It was divine.  It was a full day, but everything was done at my own pace.  I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy my alone time, because I am seldom alone.  I consider it a great luxury.

John is in San Francisco going into the first round of rehearsals for his new play, which will open in June.  He is so excited, and I’m excited and happy for him.  He has worked very hard to get this far.

I am nearing the end of my training to be an integrative wellness and life coach.  This certification will go along with my masters degree in Psychology, and boost my marketability with my new company.  It has been hard work, draining at times, and I have had to get up at 3-4 a.m. to do my job.  I have really been burning the candle at both ends!

Burning the candle at both ends can be grueling, but it can be so satisfying if one is doing what he or she wants to be doing…and this is the case with me.  I have a higher goal, so the temporary inconvenience of working long hours and staying up late will pay off in the end.  It feels so great to be married to someone as busy as I.  We have a lot to share with one another, and I am very grateful for this.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a snow day, which means I will have Ingrid all day long, if school is cancelled.  I look forward to that, but if she doesn’t come, I will have another day to myself to appreciate and enjoy.

I apologize for not keeping my readers more entertained with this blog lately. I’ll be back to my regular posts once I complete my certification training.

Ciao for now.  xoxo