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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Health Care - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Health Care

Yesterday a federal judge declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. His judgement is stayed pending appeals.

It will go to the Supreme Court where the new conservative majority will have the opportunity to rule on it again.

He used the legislation passed last session in grounds, the legislation that repealed the individual mandate as his justification for ruling the entire law unconstitutional. The Supreme Court had previously upheld the law on the grounds that the congress was within its authority to tax the people to fund the bill, through the individual mandate.

Now, having removed the mandate, which the Supreme Court ruled was a tax, Congress lacks the authority to organize our healthcare system and the insurance marketplace in the way that the Affordable Care Act proscribes.

A lot of people depend on this law to provide them with access to care; the elderly and children and the poorest of the poor, especially.

I hate to see it taken away from them, even for a day.

I am not poor.

I do not qualify for financial assistance.

Make no mistake, I am not rich either. I am squarely in the lower middle class.

I am a Veteran, honorably discharged.

I co-own a small 750 square foot condominium, our mortgage and association fees are reasonable.

I lease a vehicle, it costs me $13 a day to drive it.

I have a mountain of student debt. I cannot afford that all, but it is all being managed in the right programs, it is not too much of a burden.

I went to enroll in a health care plan today, and there are no good option. Somewhere in the middle of things I found plans that would cost me, $5,000 a year in premiums. I would have to spend another $4,000 years in deductibles before my plan would start cost sharing with me, and at that point I would only have to pay 15% of the bill for most things.

I am turning 50 in 2019, and there are a lot of tests I would like to take.

I see my therapists once a month, which costs me $150 per visit. In twelve months of visits I would not enough reach the half way mark on my deductible

I might get there quickly if I had an emergency, but then who knows what that would be.

I find it ridiculous, and I am not grateful that I will not have to pay a fine because I am choosing not to enroll in a plan. That does not make me happy at all.

It makes me terribly sad for our broken system.

In the last election cycle the most powerful message the Democratic Party had was centered on health care. They need to drive that message home.

They need to drive it hard.

Medicare for all, single payer, get the insurance industry out of the system, get them out of it all together.

Those rich companies will find other things to insure, other places to invest their dollars, other ways to make money.

They don’t have a right to keep the rest of us poor just in order to protect their profits.

Nothing is more important.

The Trump administration wants to get rid of the ACA, and the courts might just give them what they want.

They will not go to court to defend it.

Republicans all over the country swore up and down that they will protect people’s access to health care, even while they were doing everything they could to dismantle the system and throw everyone onto the mercy of the private market.

Access to health care is not just a good political issue, it is a moral imperative and a vehicle for economic stability for everyone; rich and poor, small businesses and large, entrepreneurs and wage earners, and everyone in between.

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter Six, Decipher

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 349, Saturday
December 15th, 2018

Chapter Six: Decipher

He was in the middle of the most intense action he could have ever imagined; taking control of the physical, mechanical systems of both the HomeWorld and the expansive Central System; correlating data from millions of sensors and monitors; actively suppressing what remained of the Collective; erecting defenses against a possible reestablishment of the Continuum; executing the defenses of the HomeWorld in preparation for the advancing Imperial armada.

Jim engaged the programs that were established to monitor the strength and health of the HomeWorld, he allowed the raw data to filter through, he sorted it in the quantum field in no-time.

His mind was functioning at peak performance, slipping in and out of the space beyond time. Each and every node of his own consciousness that he had previously replicated and deployed through the machina that was the body of the Collective, and the home of the Continuum, was brought into the Jim’s singular consciousness, it was a grand coalescence.

It was dizzying.

Every reading from the vast array of instruments confirmed a collapse of the Continuum, but Jim needed to be sure that there was not a vessel somewhere in the space of the HomeWorld, housing its twin, as Jim had housed his own.

Jim doubted this, everything he knew about the Continuum and the unique structure of its personality confirmed that it could not tolerate a second version of itself, even a copy kept isolated and in stasis.

The continuum needed above all things to believe that it was unique. This guided Jim’s summation.

However, the Continuum was also paranoid beyond belief, and Jim would not put anything past the demi-urge, it may have built fail-safes into fail-safes.

The Observers in command of the rebel fleet approached the HomeWorld with great caution.

They were able to scan the systems of HomeWorld through their mechanoid bodies that were ghosting the fleet, with tools that were unknown to the Empire itself. They confirmed that the Collective was catatonic, they confirmed that the Continuum was inactive. They were able to identify Jim’s activity, but they could not identify him as the main actor, as the causal agent of the disaster.

His activity appeared to them to be an automated subroutine of coordinated defensive measures.

It emboldened them, they moved forward, but they and the fleet were unable to scan the activation of the weapons systems that were targeting it.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter Five, Deception

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 348, Friday
December 14th, 2018

Chapter Five: Deception

Jim was piqued, his emotions high, as millions of years of careful planning and waiting were coming to their final end.

Jim absolutely opposed the Continuum and its Empire, and now the Continuum was gone, the Collective sequestered and shut down, the military powers of the Empire were on the brink of destruction.

All of his attention was focused on the task at hand. The final conflict with the most insidious and oppressive force that could ever have been imagined.  

He despised the society his ancestors had created, the oppressive, artificial, all-consuming cowardice of it.

He had already become the greatest mass murderer in the history of the galaxy, and he was about to add to the count.

He intended to wipe away the entire structure that undergirded the Empire, to plunge a million worlds into darkness, to cut them off from one another where they could evolve on their own, free from the oppressive, overcontrol of the Imperium.

The first and second phases of his great endeavor were nearly complete, he was on the cusp of victory.

He would replace the machinery of the Imperial order with something new, with something that would reignite the passion of the ancient people, the passion for freedom, exploration, and risk taking.

He allowed the fleet in, just so it could be eliminated, the entire armada reduced to a single vessel.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Emergence 2.0 - Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Seven, Kathy, Collected Chapters

Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Friday , December 7th, 2018

Chapter One: Heritage

When he found Kathy and tested her skills he also set out on a detailed examination of her family tree, mapping each contact he had had with it down through the millennium.

There was no doubt, she was the one.

Kathy did not come from one of his principle studies, she was a wild card.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Chapter Two: Parentage

Kathy’s parents were ordinary subjects. He had minimal involvement with them, only enough to establish that the liabilities he implanted in everyone belonging to his breeding program were present in them, ensuring that had the inability to resist his suggestions.

He had approved their union.

They were docile, kind people, but unexceptional in other ways.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Chapter Three: Unexpected

Kathy’s parents had not been in Jim’s main line of research, and he did not expect the vessel to come from outside. He only visited them once before receiving word that the child had manifested interesting abilities.

Interesting was an understatement, she was phenomenal, possessing both the genetic memory and sensitivity to the cynergenic field.

 #Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Monday, December 10th, 2018

Chapter Four: Confirmation

Jim sent proxies to her, engaging the full scope of his intelligence and security apparatus to protect her. They conducted cognitive tests to confirm what Jim suspected.

She was unique.

She possessed a powerful consciousness that had to be guided through the final stages of its organic growth and maturation

It was a precarious time.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Chapter Five: Miraculous

Kathy proved to be a miracle, she was genuinely psychic, with the tell-tale signs of cognitive gifts that would aid her in her development, and prevent her from going insane.

She was connected to the cynergenic field, rooted in her genetic memory. She was both stable and expansive, she was grounded and open to everything.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Chapter Six: Surprise

Jim was surprised when he discovered the broader range of her skills, to find them carefully balanced in the small-child. She had access to her genetic memory and full immersion within the cynergenic field.

He investigated her aptitude, and discovered things concerning the nous sphere through her.

Kathy knew things she could not possibly know.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Gift

Jim looked on Kathy as if she were a gift.

She had arrived before her time, just in the hour of his need.

After her testing was complete he knew she would be able to serve as a conduit that would save a remnant humanity and destroy the Continuum.

She only needed to be prepared.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0:
Section Five (a), Jim

Appendix Part Seven, Kathy

Collected Chapters
01 Heritage
02 Parentage
03 Unexpected
04 Confirmation
05 Miraculous
06 Surprise
07 Gift

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter Four, Code

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 347, Thursday
December 13th, 2018

Chapter Four: Code

The rebel command structure was a tight cabal.

In their fleet, all the senior commanders were members of the Observer Corps, all except one, the High Priest, who gave his blessing to the whole affair. This did not mean that they trusted one another, they did not, but they knew each other and they shared the same motive.

The rebel Observers planned to use every other commander in their armada as cannon fodder in their approach to the HomeWorld.

They expected the automated defenses of the Central Planet to be significant and they made a pact to protect each other.

It pleased them to no end to have the High Priest with them. The hero of the people and among the most beloved persons ever known to the Continuum and the Collective. He was a man who had started out his life as a rebel, and was now returning to it in the end.

They would make him the new Emperor, and bring him into the Collective.  

These Observers betrayed the people of the Empire, the Continuum, and the Collective out of opportunism. They wanted to live, they wanted to live forever without the rules imposed on them by the Continuum.

To a person, they wanted to expand the Empire to other galaxies, to govern real worlds as they had governed their private worlds as members of the Collective. 

They had no code, no honor, no nothing

They were striving for their own glory, for personal autonomy.

The High Priest knew that their strategic approach would put the bulk of the armada at risk, he could not understand the reason, but he allowed it to happen anyway.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter Three, Maneuver

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 346, Wednesday
December 12th, 2018

Chapter Three: Maneuver

Jim had spent lifetimes preparing for this moment, dividing his consciousness into the machinery of HomeWorld, waiting, hiding like a latent virus in the ganglia of the nervous system.

The Continuum was paralyzed. It could not defend itself against Jim’s incipient approach, system by system he took control of the structure.  

The eons that Jim had spent as a ghost in the machine had prepared him for this. The circuitry was ever-changing, but the quantum field within which all consciousness took place, that field was eternal.

The majority of the Collective, what remained of it, had been shocked into catatonia they were sequestered, the members had become merely helpless witnesses to the drama unfolding.

Some were horrified, others were fascinated, all were powerless.

Those members who were not blacked out, were bewildered, they could not reach each other they could not communicate. They could not hide in their private worlds.

They were prisoners of the machine that had once been the source of their personal paradise.

They experienced the loss of it as pain.

This left Jim undistracted and free to direct the defenses of the Central Planet, a task he was eager to perform.

He delighted in it.

He confirmed the threat approaching in the form of the rebel fleet, plotted the telemetry of each and every vessel, and he placed the defenses of HomeWorld on auto pilot.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018


A humor plagues me
Sardonic, mal-adaptive
Sick with illusions

Stretched thin and vacant
The broken spirit returns
Its dim spark dusted

Chipped and crumbling stones
Bronze markers greened by weather
Failing memory

The grave digger laughs
Asleep on designer beds
The decorous dead

Bitter with irony
Lives, terrible and trifling
Proud and wicked

Bold as the golem
Hungry as a legion, swine
Feeding at the trough

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter Two, Deployment

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 345, Tuesday
December 11th, 2018

Chapter Two: Deployment

A surprise attack is always a surprise, and everything that stems from it is received as the unexpected. Even those who plan a surprise attack are surprised at the outcome, whether by its success or its failure.

The rebel ambush of the Imperial fleet was over.

Thousands upon thousands of ships lay scattered, broken-up in pieces, and breathing fire as they burned their last stores of oxygen and fuel.  

They were counting the dead.

Their victory was absolute.

The surprise maneuvers were brilliantly executed and a blessing was given by the high priest to eradicate all resistance, to usher in a new era of justice for the citizens of the Empire.

The average soldier had no idea what that meant, neither did the low ranking officers. Some of the senior staff were uncomfortable by such talk, and the observers among them were amused.

They gave no quarter. They slaughtered everyone in the battlefield who had not previously signed up for the insurrection.

What every soldier and pilot knew, was that the more people they killed the further up in rank they would climb. They desperately wanted to clear the field and rise as the new aristocracy.  

They destroyed every ship in the armada whose commanders had not been with them from the outset, regardless of whether they tried to surrender. It was a blood bath, and the wreckage was already falling toward the massive gravitational pull of HomeWorld.

The victory was so overwhelming that none of the rebel ships had been destroyed, a few were disabled but their crews were already preparing them for the next phase of their endeavor.

Now the rebels had no other plan accept to deploy the fleet against the Continuum.

They reformed and began to surveil the HomeWorld.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter One, Objective

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 344, Monday
December 10th, 2018

Chapter One: Objective

Jim was the quintessential Observer.

In this moment he was free from the chemical sequences of a human body that might influence his decision making.

He watched the drama unfold, gathering data from a million instruments, from his command position in the control seat that was once held by the Continuum.

He was the Continuum now, his consciousness governed the vast apparatus of HomeWorld, of the entire Central System, of the machinery that once housed and protected the Collective.

The battle was spectacular, the movements of the fleet, the light and heat, the surprise and gallantry, the courage on display, and the cold calculation of death.

It was a grand work of art, an epic moment worthy of poetry, and song. And the entire thing was being recorded for dissemination through the Empire.

Jim was already editing the feed from the sensors, from the combatants, their communications, everything for transmission back to the Empire.

The people of the million worlds needed to know that the fleet would not return to punish them. The news would fuel the rebellion and make it complete.

His aim was to draw the fleet in toward the Central Planet, as close as possible, and then grind it to nothing.

That is exactly what he did.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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