There is a lot of talk about access, so very little talk about increasing the supply of doctors and health care devices.

It’s open enrollment time, and as I worked on my forms for open enrollment, I took note of the differences in costs for each health care insurance plan. Yes, I have a day job, and as I surveyed the plans offered by my employer, I found that there were only two plans offered this year. Your employer may offer more.

I see that there is a PPO insurance plan, which is traditional insurance that most of us are familiar with. With a PPO, we have in-network and out of network providers with their corresponding costs. We have the discouragement enhancing copay, usually $20 a pop for office visits, and then we’re on the hook for 15% of the total costs for surgery and other big-ticket expenses. …

Breaking free from centralized power production must start somewhere. Democratize, not centralize.

In the last year alone, I’ve suffered five blackouts. Since I’ve moved here to Utah, there has been a blackout at least once a year in the 12 years that I’ve lived here. In the 40 years that I lived in Southern California, I can only remember a handful of blackouts during those years. The uncertainty of power service had become a low hum in my mind since the last blackout. I had to make a change.

So I sprung for the solar power and the batteries and last fall I signed up. Months of waiting and prep work followed. The contractor helped me with the paperwork, too. With their help, I’ll get some of the tax subsidies, $2000 so far, and I’ll get a somewhat decent rate for net metering at 9.2 cents per kWh. That should help me get to the $0 power bill that so many have shared with me from their own solar adventure. I saw that and I wanted that. …

Peace is often the result, along with a sigh of relief.

I have had enough of heated arguments, ultimatums, and threats. I’ve seen them personally and in the news. I’ve seen arguments blow away years of friendship, marriage, and kinship. I’ve seen people act as if they would face no consequences for their actions. What I have learned is that there is a consequence for every action. There is no such thing as impunity.

I have made a point to keep a cool head about me. Even when others are in a panic, I’m just watching. I’m taking notes while others are shooting their mouth off. I’m taking notes when others make threats or issue ultimatums. I have learned to note a threat of an action, and to wait and see. I have learned that when people issue an ultimatum, they rarely follow through because they don’t really want to do what they said they were going to do. The people who are quiet are more worrisome to me than those who telegraph their intentions. …

So that’s it.

I talk to myself. And I answer myself. I’m not crazy. I’m hard of hearing, mostly deaf in one ear, partially deaf in another. I have perfect audio fidelity when I talk to myself. I hear the voice in my head every day. I hear one clear voice every day, expressing my desires and preferences, my goals, what I’d like to fix, what isn’t working, how I’m feeling, and what I’d rather be doing the next moment that comes along.

I don’t really know if I have a soul. I have a friend who messes with my head. “Is your body you, or is there something else in there? What exactly are you?” And I really don’t know that answer. I know that I’m living and breathing. That I have a body. I know if I’m hungry or not. I know if I’m thirsty or not. I have a piece of paper that claims to describe the place, day, and time of my birth. I have a driver's license. …

How I was forgiven and how I forgave.

I have had a long history with debt. From childhood to adulthood, I can look back and see my trajectory. I can see how debt was my self-imposed burden and how I found recovery. I know now that I have forgiven debt and have been forgiven. I know the folly of keeping score.

When I was a boy, I lost the keys to the front door of our house. My dad stepped in and got the locks replaced for the key that I lost. Then he said that I was going to pay something like $90 back with labor. I didn’t have a job, or any sources of income because I was 10 or 11, I can’t remember. So I would just report to him for something to do and he would assess the work and assign a value to the work. When the work was done, He’d subtract that amount from the balance. …

Complaints are a distraction from what we can do to better ourselves. I save them for people who can actually help me.

Sometime long ago, I learned to live mostly without complaint. Maybe that was because my father told me, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Or maybe I learned that school administrators were fairly powerless against my adversaries. Or maybe it was because I had learned that complaining to people about their behavior triggers them into worse behavior than before. In the context of interpersonal relationships, I’ve learned to hold my complaints to myself and change my own behavior. In the context of business, I’ve learned to be the squeaky wheel.

When I was a boy, my parents had this power struggle over dinner time. My mom would ask my dad what time he’d be home for dinner. Mom would have it prepared for his arrival, but Dad was habitually late. If she didn’t have something ready when he came home, he’d be angry. She confronted him numerous times to no avail, no improvement. Then my mom decided that confrontation wasn’t working with a man who was quite possibly the world’s most advanced contrarian. …

Just because we have a difference of opinion doesn’t mean we can’t work together.

I’m beginning to see reports of people being fired just for having worked for Trump’s campaign or just being a Trump supporter. I still remember the woman who was fired for flipping off a Trump motorcade. Yes, I see that the people who engaged in the riots were encouraged by Trump to show up and “fight”. And it’s true that those people did show up at the Capitol to fight in support of Trump. I also note the irony of Trump supporters being fired for supporting a man whose trademark phrase is, “You’re fired!”

The people who engaged in violence at the Capitol last Friday did so of their own volition. We must assume that they have something called, “agency”. Agency is an awareness that the decisions we make are our own. That means there are no victims, only volunteers. Those people at the Capitol who were committing acts of violence against law enforcement, breaking glass, ransacking offices, and putting up a gallows with intent, are adults. They made their own decisions. If Trump advocated for sedition as some have claimed, and I think he did, those people who followed him had free will. They were not zombies. They could have made different choices. …

Conservatives have maintained control of the economic narrative for centuries, and Twitter is a useful distraction.

Pick your favorite news source and you’ll see a headline telling you that the Republicans are really upset that Trump has been banned from Twitter and Facebook. To the extent that Trump does not advocate the use of force or violence, I disagree with the ban. I don’t believe in cancel culture, and I would rather see him spouting off on Twitter so that I know what’s going on with him.

But as this article in Politico notes, Republicans have some mixed feelings about the ban. Obviously, they are unhappy that conservatives are getting the short end of the stick on social media, and truth be told, they are building their own alternatives. Unfortunately, their Luddism has allowed liberal techies to build social media solutions for the first-mover advantage. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all on the Left Coast. …

“Vote for me if you want to live.” Sounds like Trump.

I’m still reeling from the video I saw of the crowd chanting, “Hang Mike Pence”. I saw a video montage of the violence at the Capitol last Wednesday. I saw the man dressed up in military gear with plastic cuffs, ready to take hostages. I saw the gallows outside the Capitol. Those people…were serious. Trump? He wasn’t even there. It’s almost like he had a premonition about what would happen. What did he say to those at the Capitol? “Go home. We love you.”

The threat of death wasn’t just there, at the Capitol. For months now, Trump supporters have been threatening elected officials in the swing states. I feel for the elected officials in Georgia and the other swing states. Not only did they have to contend with daily news reports of lawsuits seeking to invalidate the results of Joe Biden’s election victory, but they also had something much more personal working against them. I heard that election officials and poll workers were being doxxed, they were being tailed, and they received death threats. …

I thought it was just a riot until people gave it another name.

I saw the pictures. I saw the videos. I saw the smashing of windows. I saw the cracked safety windows. I saw just how determined those people were to get into the capitol building. I saw evidence that if certain lawmakers were found alone, without defense, they would almost certainly have died. And I thought of Trump.

I see in Trump, a man desperate to hold onto the White House. This is a man who is a “billionaire”, who could have had anything that he wanted until he found something he could not have: another term as president. I saw that he was advocating for the disruption of the counting of the electoral votes from the election just passed. I saw that he wanted yet another day in court. …



Husband, father, worker, philosopher, and observer. Plumbing the depths of consciousness to find the spring of happiness. Write on.

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