Tag Archives: medicare

Disturbing insights

This ignorant cracker entered the US Army in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis [when the Berlin Wall went up]. Given the similarities of patriotic rhetoric between countries he’d as happily taken the orders of an Adolph Hitler as John Kennedy.

Yesterday I was down at the laundromat, which was a bit crowded with the lower-end of the socioeconomic scale of Leavenworth, Kansas.   But because of the time of day, most were senior citizens or younger wives with kiddos.   Several old Vietnam era vets and a couple of granny-ladies.

When it’s that crowded in the place it forces people to become social instead of just staring at the clothing tumbling in their washers or dryers.   And when strangers discuss anything these days it will be sports, television, politics, or Muslims, for the most part.   Some of which inevitably leads to confessions of some nasty hatreds and deep biases.

I was a bit shocked when the discussion centered almost entirely on the president and the enthusiasm shared among the ones who were vocal on the subject.    These people, senior citizens who obviously rely on Social Security pensions and Medicare, are still devoted and determined to to see this president and the Congress with intentions to destroy their Medicare and Social Security remain in office.   Increase their power.

I’ll confess to have been quietly dumbfounded.   They sneered at the class of people who are openly critical or have doubts about the prez and the Congress that’s likely to put them out on the streets cold an hungry.  And the old vets were noisy about the opposition being expressed in some quarters to a proposed military parade somewhere.   Which I couldn’t care less about one way or the other.

But I’ve digressed somewhat.    All that got me remembering, wondering just what sort of people we veterans are, on the whole.   Obviously we aren’t deep thinkers.    And while many spout patriotic rhetoric and indignation, as nearly as I can tell most have remained the ignorant crackers most of us were back when we entered the military 50 years or so ago.

But what’s more disturbing than our lack of growth and acquired wisdom over the decades, is the fact so many of us evidently are using our stupidity as a launchpad for active participation in the political process.

To demolish our own livelihood.

Figure that one out.

Old Jules


Worth losing Medicare and Social Security to Make America Great?

the american way
I confess I don’t understand the logic, but around here eavesdropping on conversations between folks of SS pension age, they think losing their SS pension is going to be just ducky.

Not to say they’re mentioning Social Security, or Medicare, or Medicaid. But they’re obviously receiving it, and they’re tickled pea green with the politicians who have every intention of taking away that part of their livelihood.

They love this man in the White House now and considered the State of the Union message ‘inspirational’. Not one dissenting comment I’ve overheard yet.

Well, heck. As a man who relies on Social Security for my only source of income, and on Medicare for a substantial piece of my medications, I’d just like to say, I don’t think America is likely to become great by causing greater hardship for anyone at all in the population. And I’m a bit appalled to see so many people expressing their glee that a bunch of wealthy politicians of both parties are going forward with deliberate plans to do precisely that.

Fact is, if there was ever anything to admire about this country it was the claim that as a people we wanted to make life better for everyone among us.

And in my opinion only human scum would take any joy out of trying to make it worse for any of us.

Old Jules

Abdicating by autopilot

These are the outdoor cats tended by jeanne's family a few blocks away.  Note the cat with the pliers and spray lubricant waits patiently while those lower three hang around being useless eaters.  The top cat [above] knows all this but doesn't care so long as the work gets done by the worker cat.  It's all factored in, and the lower three cats are relatives.

These are the outdoor cats tended by jeanne’s family a few blocks away. Note the cat with the pliers and spray lubricant waits patiently while those lower three hang around being useless eaters. The top cat [above] knows all this but doesn’t care so long as the work gets done by the worker cat. It’s all factored in, and the lower three cats are relatives.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Puzzling critter, the human mind.  A year ago I hadn’t been examined by a physician for almost two decades and I took full responsibility for my health, was certain I would continue to do so without the involvement of physicians.

If I manage to remain alive long enough to write another long book I might begin with the premise a person just never can tell.  Or something profound along the lines of ‘never say never’.

I began trylng to understand how I got from there to here last night.  I’m thinking it had a lot to do with the cats.  At the time I had my [what’s now by hindsight clearly a serious] heart attack November 7, 2013, I was in the middle of nowhere on Gale’s property in Texas.  If I’d dived out of this lifetime and the cats were trapped inside the RV they might have joined me the hard way in a few days by dehydration.

Everything else, the week in the Kerrville Hospital, the trip to Andrews and stay with Eddie Brewer while attempting to begin VA medical care, the return to Gale’s and final dash to Kansas all followed in tiny increments of the mind.  Micro-abdications made in ignorance with a growing determination to know what the hell was wrong with me.

All without ever making a clear and decisive, well-thought-out decision to abandon the conscious philosophical position I’ve held twenty years and never doubted during that time.

So here I sit with a stack of monthly co-pay payments to make out of a skinny pool of finances, taking a lot of medications, carrying a defibrillator in my shoulder, and not profoundly improved in my physical capabilities over November and December, 2013.

Please don’t willfully misunderstand me and think I’m implying my choices were ‘wrong’.  I don’t know whether they were wrong, or right, or whether concepts of wrong and right even fit into the equation.  What I’m saying is that my life enjoyed a major change in direction without the guy in the pilot seat ever having given the matter any thought.

If not wrong or right, probably irresponsible at the least.

A year ago the chances of my living long enough to burn through the money, minus interest, I paid into Social Security over half-century was zilch.  I’ve never figured out what the interest would amount to, nor factored in the FICA paid in by employers.

But I confess in all honesty that I’m probably approaching the great divide because of Medicare paying off for my hospital bills and testing during 2014.  Not to mention all the costs the VA is absorbing in other testing and examinations.  This, by virtue of my being a hero and having protected the freedoms of all you vacant eyed US citizens.  Back when men were men and constantly faced the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases in foreign lands.

So without ever having made a conscious choice to do so, I’ve been reduced to the status of health beggar, become the burden on society I’d have sworn I’d never be.

Precisely how such a thing could come to pass certainly ought to be the subject of a treatise.

But it’s mostly because of the damned cats.

Old Jules