Places Around Indiana

I thought I would use this week’s ISOA post to show you some pictures of old buildings and such I have found during my travels in Indiana.

Week 12 Inside The Loony Bin – Healthcare & The Supreme Court

Banner- Looney Bin

 This will be my first “official” report looking at the Washington DC loony bin from a drone level view. Here goes:

Healthcare – The GOP continues to try to formulate a health care plan that will abolish Obamacare. They have had 7 years to put this together but like usual in the loony bin, they wait until the last minute. It seems they can’t agree within their own party what it should look like. The RadCons don’t want anything, while others don’t want to cause anyone to lose coverage. I guess they are having a vote sometime today and I’m willing to bet that something will come out of the House sooner or later but it stands zero chance of getting through the Senate. It will be interesting to see what that body eventually has to say on this issue.

One major problem with all of this is that the conservatives don’t seem to know the difference between health insurance and healthcare. They think as long as they can convince the insurance carriers to offer a plan to everyone, it doesn’t really matter at what cost, then everything is solved. Of course, those of us outside the loony bin who happen to get sick once in a while know that the insurance stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting costs under control is the major issue that they are totally ignoring. Another problem with the GOP is that they just don’t seem to like poor people. So, their first primary attack on Obamacare is to drastically reduce Medicaid funding. They just don’t seem to have any idea of what “Brother’s Keeper” means to the rest of us.

The only viable option to solve these issues is a single-payer system as the rest of the world already have. Over half of us are already there via Medicare and Medicaid so it is not as if that solution is foreign to us. In Canada, which has had a single-payer system for decades, healthcare costs per citizen is less than half ours. Maybe it is time to talk to them about how they accomplished that. But the loony bin would never admit they don’t know everything so that simply won’t happen.

Another interesting side point that is happening this week is that California is putting a single-payer system in place. I have to keep and eye on that in the coming months.

Supreme Court –  I see the loony bin folks are finally getting around to filling that year long vacancy on the Supreme Court.  Of course, the Democrats are playing the “sour grapes” card and that, of course, is about posturing which is the main business of all those folks. It seems inevitable that the current nominee will get the job but the opposition party has to strut around thumping their chests before that happens.

Oval Office Progress Report – Here we are eight weeks into this new administration and I can’t really see anything that they have accomplished? They try to ban people from coming into our country but the federal courts keep declaring their attempts unconstitutional. But the main problem is they just seem to run off on so many nonsense issues as to stifle any possibility of real progress. But then again, maybe that is a good thing. As my hero, Will Rogers said the best thing congress can do for the country is to take a three-week vacation and that is especially true for this current executive branch. Let’s give all those yahoos 50 weeks of paid vacation a year. That would solve a lot of problems….

 

Fear vs Hope..

Banner Having Y Say It seems my recent brush with death has left me with a different attitude toward life.  We are tragically wasting our lives with our obsession with fear when instead we should be celebrating all the reasons that hope is on our horizon.

This should be an age of hope. We are advancing so rapidly in the areas of medicine and technology as to make our future a bright one. Soon we will no longer have to worry about cancer or any number of other infirmities. We will be solving those puzzles with our knowledge of the genome.

Technology is replacing the need for human manual labor in so many areas. Once we text-2055651_640.jpgrecognize that a person does not need to put in a 40 hour week to be determined valuable we can move beyond that 100-year-old paradigm. Voice recognition has made major improvements in the last year or so. For me, that means closed captioning is almost real-time and more accurate than it ever has been. Anyone that uses a smartphone knows that voice-to-text is also getting much more accurate. I suspect that in the near future a universal translator will be on the scene. That will mean that we can go anywhere in the world and fully communicate despite language barriers. Our future is bright indeed.

fear-2083653_640.jpgBut for far too many of us our world is a world of fear. We fear others that are different from us. We think their overlying purpose is to do us harm. Republicans hate Democrats, progressives have conservatives. Our fear list is almost unlimited. The current U.S. Federal administration is all about fear. They are seriously considering drastically increasing an already absurd military budget while making some draconian cuts to brother’s keeper issues. Everything seems to be about fear now. Hope has moved to a back burner when it should be on the forefront.

What will it take to turn this around? A paradigm shift probably. Generally, you can’t decide to do a paradigm shift, it just happens when the right circumstances occur. Instead of letting our fear dominate our lives we need to just “get over it”. We were much closer to armageddon when I was a child in the 1960s than we are now. Almost everything was more dangerous then. I am a big believer in learning from history so we don’t have to constantly learn the same lessons over and over again.

Yes, a handful of bad guys killed a few thousand of us almost seventeen years ago but that is a very small number considering many other things. Let’s not fixate on bad guys, they have always been around and always will, be but being paranoia consume us is really letting them win. A terrorist’s sole purpose is to strike fear in those they hate. We are giving them exactly what they want by our obsession with fear.

Thinking Outside The Box On Education

crayon-banner  “Thinking outside the box” is a new sub-category within the Crayon Marks category. The term “thinking outside the box” entails a thinking process, which uses an unusual approach to a logical thinking structure. It´s a process which aims to escape relational reasoning,  and rising to another level.

school-1465744-640x480 copy.jpgThere is just too much stuff today where people say “That’s the way we have always done it.” To me, that is just an excuse for being too lazy to try to find something better. One of those areas is in our educational processes. I recently read some articles written one hundred years ago that show we really haven’t made much progress in education reform. We are stuck facing the very same issues without really trying alternative methods.

Most people, especially progressives are pretty upset that Betsy DeVoss is the new education secretary, but I welcome the radical change in leadership. Maybe some basic change will finally happen in this area. I have several retired teachers who read RJsCorner and they often vent their frustration with the educational systems today. I hope some of them chime in on this post to give their opinions.

The public school system as it is currently set up seems to be biased against a child who really wants to learn. Instead, it is about handling the ones who just don’t seem to care about their educations. That attitude likely comes from their parents for any of a number of reasons. For teachers, it is mainly about keeping control of their classrooms and not actually teaching students.

I am a Hoosier and I’m pretty sure that Indiana is toward the front when it comes to charter schools and vouchers.  I know there are a number of charter schools in our adjacent county which includes a major university. We are told by our government representatives that having a choice allows those who really want to learn to find a venue to accomplish that. I kind of buy into that.

Teacher’s unions just seem to be more interested in teachers than educating students. That is another basic problem that needs to be addressed.  How much will Mrs. DeVoss end up accomplishing in this area is very much the question at hand? But I think it is finally time to do some destruction so that maybe a phoenix can rise from the ashes.

I know that educating future generations is and should be a top priority of our country.  I also know that the vast majority of my property taxes and even my State taxes go toward that purpose and that much of that money is currently being wasted. Right now change, any change is better than kicking the can down the road. I wish the new education secretary success in changing the status quo.