Look out Any Window

Life is measured in great moments, seismic shifts in political and social structure that are only often ever truly understood decades after the event. Next week, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will literally send a letter to the European Union to inform them that in two years time, my home intends to remove itself from a political framework that has been part of my existence since childhood. When I voted in June of last year, it was to remain within this framework, but 52% of the people who did the same decided they didn’t like being homogeneous, and wanted again to stand sovereign.

integrity

Integrity is a difficult word to grasp in the current climate: on one hand I need to be honest and principled for the sake of two children’s futures. However, I’m living in a country which, like it or not, has been divided almost exactly in half. Left/right, red/blue extreme/tolerant… the list goes on. On the basic day to day level of things however, you’d be hard pressed to see that anything has altered at all. I’m supremely lucky to own a home, have a job and not want for either food or comfort. For all the other people who aren’t those things, life is undeniably the toughest and most brutal it has been for many years. If I am to maintain integrity as my country finally acknowledges it’s post-Brexit status to the World, do I also need to accept that unity is the only way forward?

What concerns most of all right now is the way that truth and facts are being ignored by people who seem to believe that the audience they’re talking to isn’t capable or willing to think for themselves. Integrity has been sacrificed by individuals, organisations who should know better than to try and pretend that our climate isn’t altering for the sake of their profits. They try and assuage the fears that people will be worse off by straight out lying, because the truth has somehow become bad and wrong. Sending people who legitimately work hard and contribute to a multicultural society away because they don’t look or sound like you is not the right answer. Telling me you are a Christian when you refuse to allow women the most basic of bodily rights is never, at any point anywhere, going to be either acceptable when your own basic perceptions can be so outraged by honour and dedication.

Half of the world has lost basic integrity. Many of them, I think, don’t even realise this has happened.

My biggest concern is climate change, a concept the President of the United States seems to believe is some kind of fantasy invented by organisations intent on stifling his family’s long term profits. Half my home town could be under six feet of water just like Evangeline was in 1927 if the polar ice caps keep diminishing: even if we can halt the damage done, there’s some very real and pressing issues with feeding a growing population, millions of whom are now starving or without clean water. These issues are what should really matter, but instead extremism and punishment are the current mantras, as if either of these things are really significant concerns when placed beside the planet we live on. After all, if there’s nowhere on Earth that can sustain life long-term, all those other issues become largely irrelevant anyway. Integrity dictates we should stand united on important issues, yet nobody seems to be able to grasp what really matters any more.

It is therefore really easy to see why cat pictures, memes, stupidity and tackyness are as popular currently as they undoubtedly are: it’s the antidote to serious thinking that everybody needs but no-one will admit they indulge in. It also explains the current obsession with self many people have, that you can at least change what you have direct control over. For me, at least, that focus is as much about having the mental and physical strength to survive whatever the next ten years may now throw at me. Being a minority is going to be a tough gig going forwards: everybody’s going to be fighting each other for the chance to establish a benchmark for integrity using a great many new and interesting definitions. Moral principles, after all can come in a great many different flavours, colours and sizes.

I’m looking forward to next Wednesday because then, finally, everybody gets to move on. We have to hope our Government is capable of doing the job they’ve been told to complete. There’s still hope for the future, right up until the point where everybody else decides you’ve failed. As long as integrity can be maintained? Anything is possible.

Now, all we can do is wait.

6 thoughts on “Look out Any Window

  1. The problem I see is people here are refusing to move on. They are grasping at anythingvthey can to revert the past 3 months. And the more people throw rocks and insults, the more on guard those in Washington become. Dirt from all sides, long thought buried is being dug up, and no work is being done as everyone looks to find any break in the facade. So many feel that the past 8 years has been nirvana, but I am seeing the consequences unfold. I have not had a pay increase in more years than I prefer to think about. In my line of work we are constantly bidding against companies in Canada, India, and Sri Lanka, to name the big 3. Not even taking into account other states where the cost of living is so much lower. I work at a small company. Any little bit of profit at the end of the year gets taxed at 50%. So it has been increasingly tough for us. When we hear that he wants to lower the corporate tax rate, it gives us hope, when he says he will make it more costly for overseas companies to do business, we have hope that maybe we can at least be competitive. When you look at a job that may take 4 people near a year to do, and cost $100,000, and a firm in Canada bids $30,000? Then there is health care. Everyone should be able to get medical care. But who is paying the bill. I have the equivalent of the basic level plan through my job. My wife has better, but pays $45 a week towards the cost. Our friend earns so little that he does not even get penalized for not having insurance. He falls between the level where you get health care for practically nothing, and being fined for not having it. If he gets sick, he has to pay out of pocket. Something new popped up. Our family doctor, has said due to the Affordable Care Act, and insurance changes, he is now going to a concierge practice. And if we wish to continue seeing him, it will cost $1650 per person, per year, with annual increases. My wife’s family has been with his practice for over 30 years. And now has to find a new doctor. People I know are having to choose to take the penalty because they cannot afford the affordable insurance. People are hurting. Most everyone I know, friends, family, we have been hurting for years. I mentioned to you before. My choice was to not vote for Clinton. She had no plan other than stay the course. I am mostly glad she did not win, because she would have inherited this mess.

    Maybe I am being selfish. Maybe the desire to keep my home. To keep working until the day I die, because there will not be anything to live on beyond what little I manage to save every week. That I have a problem with my inlaws having to pay triple or more for what little medications they have cut back to, over ordering from other countries. I could go on for hundreds of words more. I won’t. The point is that reguardless of who is in charge, the rich will remain rich, the poor will continue to be used as pawns in the political arena, and the rest of of that just go about trying to survive near the burden. It’s funny to see the protests and riots about everything. And to realize this is all history repeating itself from 50 years ago. Some things have changed for the better. But much remains the same. So you need to ask yourself. If things have not gotten better in the world doing things the way we have for 50 or more years. Why should we continue. The birth rate in the US and Europe is now below 2 I believe. Because we cannot afford to have kids. Heath costs, school costs. We are reducing our population growth and are trying to live within our means. When I see on some program the single mother with 9 kids from different fathers complaining that her federal benefits are being reduced and that she may have to find work. I feel sad that the system has pushed her into a way of thinking that she does better being a single parent because she gets more money that way. That we encourage all kids to go to college at all costs, graduate with crushing debt, and have trouble finding a job, where skilled trade jobs paying 8 times more, are frowned upon as meniak labor. They are not encouraged to pursue Art, or Writing, or to be an electrician, a carpenter, a welder. These are all worthwhile jobs. They are needed jobs. Heavens know, we don’t need more lawyers or politicians.

    I don’t know what the next 50 years brings, I don’t know what the next 4 will. All I know is I personally reached a point where I had enough. That I was tapped out. I cannot do any more, and I am moving on. Just wish everyone else would too. Move on an try to make the world a better place than when we got here. We cannot fix the world if we are all fighting over who has a better way to fix it. And we cannot help those in other countries that want us to solve all of their problems, if they are unwilling to try to help themselves.

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  2. Alt, I too am very concerned that Trump does not believe that climate change exists. I remember being very afraid when I read his tweets about climate change being a hoax created by China.

    I have severe allergies, and have been collecting data about the pollen count where I live for the past three or four years. We are having a Spring pollen season right now, and I have been very sick for about 37 days in a row, with no end in sight. I saw a news article the other day (maybe from The New York Times) about how spring has been coming sooner and sooner. If the Trump administration carries on as it is doing, (for example, by picking a guy who has spent years suing the EPA to lead it) things are going to get worse.

    In this, I am “the canary in the coal mine”. If we do nothing, spring will come sooner and sooner with more pollen (and pollution) in the air every year. As much as I complain about my allergies being bad, this year is the first time I’ve been truly afraid that the symptoms I am experiencing will become the new “normal” – even for people who have no allergies. I assure everyone – it’s not easy being sick for a month straight every spring (and then again every fall.)

    I remember being afraid about what would happen to people where you live, Alt when I heard Brexit had passed. I hope things go well for you and yours.

    Marathal, I am irritated with the part of your comment where you said: “Everyone should be able to get medical care. But who is paying the bill.” The reason I am irritated is because, to my ears, it sounds as though you are suggesting that the poor, who cannot pay for health care coverage, should suffer and die.

    To put this into context: My husband and I are both disabled. He is legally blind and getting Medicare. Nothing in medical science can fix his blindness. I have severe allergies (as I mentioned in this comment), rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. There is no cure for any of those things, either.

    As such, we are both very limited in terms of what kinds of jobs we can do. We are both still working, but make very little money. When I was somewhat healthier, I worked three jobs at a time (including when I was in college). My body won’t let me do that anymore. There was a time when I qualified for Medicaid, but I make just a tiny bit too much money to qualify now. I’m currently able to afford health insurance thanks to the Obamacare subsidy.

    I’ve been reading a lot about the GOP health plan, and how it will affect the ability of my husband and myself to be able to continue to afford health insurance coverage. It’s not looking very good at the moment, and I’m very afraid about what will happen to us when we, like your friend, have to somehow pay out of pocket for everything. It simply isn’t possible given our health issues that greatly limit our ability to work. It is very difficult for me to “move on” from the protections that Obamacare brought to me and my husband knowing that those protections are being taken away by the GOP.

    Also… could you point me toward an article about the woman with 9 kids? I’d really like to learn more about her situation.

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    • It was an article about a local woman to me, two towns over, in Camden NJ. The link that been posted was removed.

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    • Sorry, I did not mean the poor should suffer and die. Just that someone has to pay the bill. No one ever wants to be in a position they need hospitalization. My wife had surgery many years ago that was well over $500,000. She fortunately had great insurance. In today’s world even being in the same company paying more out of pocket, we would be declaring bankruptcy were she to need it now. Health insurance for all works, when no one gets sick. At some point the system fails because it is unsustainable. Bronze level coverage I believe had a $6000 deductible before it kicked in. Just what I was told. Part of this countries problems are that we like to sue. Watch tv any evening and you will invariably see a few lawyers telling you that you may be entitled. Doctors need extravagant malpractice just on the slim chance they make a mistake. My nephew switched his desire to be a doctor, to being a pharmacist. Because he saw how much his insurance would cost. There is no perfect system. It was supposed to be that all were entitled to the same level of care, and if you were poor, the government would foot the bill. If you refused, you paid a penalty. No one thought people would opt for the penalty. And the system has been drowning in debt, premiums are rising, and it has to be fixed.

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  3. An update on out of pocket concierge doctoring. My wife had a sit down with her doctor. There were a lot of tears. He explained to her why it had come to this. Part of the ACA changes, and insurance company changes has told him flat out. You cannot spend more than 8 minutes with your patients. Aside from working 10 hours a day as a doctor, he is spending close to 4 hours a day just doing the mountain of paper work they want now. He was faced with a choice of continuing as he was, his wife divorcing him, not seeing his children grow up, closing the practice completely, or going this route. He has spent the past 5 years fighting the insurers, and dealing with government changes. He was very sorry there was nothing he could do. But would help in any way he could for us to find a new family doctor.

    I don’t know all of the changes trumps plan is making. It’s a quagmire of legal jargon. I know that it is going to hurt a great many people. But I also know that many of those currently being covered may end up unable to afford what we currently have. I guess later today we will see what happens. I think in the end we all lose.

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