Jun. 28th, 2017

drwex: (Default)
I have been trying, and failing, to write about what I can only term the Healthcare Massacre. This entry is incoherent and doesn't have a nice point but if I don't get it written I'm never going to be able to write other stuff, so here goes...

Shortly after Trump was elected, I wrote that I was feeling like we'd been here before. One of the things I will forever curse Reagan about is his refusal to see AIDS for what it was, refusal to fund research, and associated refusal to treat people with a then-fatal disease as human beings deserving of dignity, respect, and compassionate care.

Hundreds of thousands of people died of AIDS; I knew only a tiny handful of them and a slightly larger handful of the people who cared for and survived them but their stories have stayed with me. Then I saw a photo of a wheelchair-using activist being loaded into a police van from a protest outside Mitch McConnell's Senate office to which someone remarked that we might be witnessing the birth of a new ACT UP, a way to give a voice to those whose cries are not being heard. I read stories like this: https://twitter.com/aliranger29/status/878428841773019136

Go ahead, read that and say with a straight face that you need a tax cut more than that child needs to live. I won't even address the obscenity that this child will be condemned to death so billionaires can get an even bigger tax cut than you and I will get. Ali's story is just one example and of course we sympathize with cute children but he's representative of that population whose voices are not heard. Perhaps they do need an in-your-face advocate like ACT UP to clear a space for them on the national stage.

But I can't think of ACT UP without thinking about those people I stopped hearing from in the 80s. Engaging with this issue in any meaningful way is hard enough. I look at my children and think about what would happen if one of them needed lifetime medical care, of a sort that could blow the lid off "lifetime caps." Oh, right. They very likely will.

As I said, this is kind of stream-of-consciousness. I don't have a neat conclusion nor a snappy retort. I don't want another issue to have to focus my energies on. But I can't let this one go - the ghost voices in my head are too strong.
drwex: (Troll)
So much has happened since last update it's not even vaguely possible to try journaling it.

I'm just going to talk about the kids here for a bit )
So that's my kids - how about yours?
drwex: (Default)
I originally wanted to do another bullet-point list to cover a bunch of things but the first thing about kids turned out to be a full entry on its own, so let's try this again...

- Politics. I've been on the phone a fair bit. Living in MA means I mostly call my Congresscritters to thank them and encourage them to keep #resist -ing. Still, I called the Governor about the Paris accords (yay, let's get this sh*t done and maybe have a planet to leave to our children because fuck DJT).

I called three state Senators and three Reps who are on the committee trying to pass marijuana legislation because the Senate version is a lot closer to what I and the majority of others voted for last time around. The House version seems to be a repeal-by-legislation effort that I think is BS. I also want the Lege to tackle some of the crucial issues that weren't defined in the referendum, such as establishing a uniform standard for intoxication, drafting rules for part-time residents or people who live outside MA but commute here for work or entertainment, and so on.

I'm still nominally involved with the local ACLU "People Power" group, which seems to be about 4-5 of us. We did meet with the Burlington Chief of Police, who's an interesting fellow, and found him much more receptive than I expected. We already had a good reception from the Middlesex County Sheriff so this is more heartening. We're unlikely to go on a full sanctuary city route like, say, Somerville. But we seem to have more law enforcement support than not. I'm all for tackling our Town Meeting in the fall when it reconvenes but getting the other people in the group motivated is proving challenging. Sadly, the ACLU doesn't seem to have a lot of skill or organization behind this so a lot of people are sort of floundering.

- Work. It sort of is. We're starting the annual review cycle which is always stressful for me and is going to be more stressful for my minions if only due to them being junior and not used to this kind of thing the way I am. I'll have more to say about work in a locked entry at some point.

- Car, house, big stuff. We're on the verge of finally getting the house painted. You'd think finding contractors to do this stuff would be easier but I find myself wandering the virtual hallways saying "someone please take my money to do this work" a lot. People are busy, just don't show up, or turn out to be incompetent. On the other hand, sometimes it's really nice to have a professional on the job, as when we called a plumber to deal with a backed-up sink and it turned into $1300 worth of work. Yay project creep; yay having people with the right skills and tools on hand to get it done in a few hours.

I continue to find my car "OK" six months in. I doubt I'll ever be bowled-over excited about it, but it's functional and it gets the mileage I want. As noted in the earlier entry, we're going to have to replace Pygment's car soon so shopping for that has commenced.

- Project Social continues to be a dismal near-failure. I am just not able to arrange time with as many people as often as I'd like. People be busy, y'know? It sounds silly to write this just before I head out the door to a social evening with one of my favorite people but over the long arc of weeks and months it's clear I'm not doing enough right things in this space.

- Arisia is moving along at the slow pace you'd expect from summer. I'm working hard to fill all the important jobs in my half of the division. Once I have those in place I'll feel better and may be able to relax a bit more. Yah, right.

- Looking forward to vacations in July, one to see the g/f and Gettysburg and then a getaway with Pygment. Lots of my cow orkers are taking at least July 3rd off and many are taking the whole week but it doesn't hook me that way. I hope we can make it to some good fireworks on the 4th and maybe one or two of the parties that traditionally happen that day and that will be enough for me.

How about you guys? What's your top bullet point (or two) right now?

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