Dutch Documentary on Donald Trump

uJpJX5nZ

There is a recent documentary that has come out regarding Donald Trump and his business associates that is a must watch for people who are concerned about the future of the United States.  What struck me most while watching the first part of this was why the U.S. Congress seems to be sitting on its hands.  However, what bothered me the most about the second part was the greed and zeal it takes to deliberately set out to rape and rob a country.  I encourage you to watch this documentary.  Let me know what you think.

2aoX9lMC4GoZJBmN

http://www.alternet.org/video/donald-trumps-financial-ties-russian-oligarchs-and-mobsters-detailed-new-documentary?akid=15556.302291.6IM7Io&rd=1&src=newsletter1076882&t=2

 

http://www.alternet.org/video/dutch-documentary-part-ii-blood-trumps-and-kushners-hands-deals-africa-war-zone-diamond-mines?akid=15566.302291.syzStJ&rd=1&src=newsletter1076957&t=2

What is a Pre-existing Condition?

sickness1

There has been a lot of talk about pre-existing conditions, what they are and if people who have them can be denied health insurance, or be made to pay more for health insurance.  A pre-existing condition is anything medical that happened before a person’s health care policy went into effect.   In the bad old days, before the ACA, health insurance companies could refuse to sell policies to people who were sick, or who had been sick.  There were companies who did sell policies to these people, however the cost was much too high for the average person to pay.  With the ACA, these people were able to buy policies for about the same price that the average “healthy” person could.  With the advent of TrumpCare, these pre-existing conditions don’t need to be covered by insurance companies.  Here is a list of some of these conditions that no longer will be covered.

C_M3vH6W0AAEQmX

 

As you can see, a lot of people have these conditions.  For example, I was born of with a heart murmur and I have had asthma in the past.  Heart murmurs, as I understand it, can be a crap-shoot.  It’s a 50/50 chance of needing a medical intervention.  I never even knew I had one until I was pregnant, then I was told that I’d had it all my life – go figure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMNOvVX8e4I

What do you think about these pre-existing conditions?  Are you in danger of losing your health care?  If you do lose it what will you do about it?  Let me know in the comments below.

A Story – The Life of an 87-Year-old Woman

8d40d0941399a21efebd2897112d98b4

My name is Agnes, and I was born 87 years ago, in an area known as Jamaica Plains, N.Y.  I was raised in a shack with an outhouse in the backyard.  My “home” was the only shack in the neighborhood and we were the poorest family around.  My mother ran off when I was five, and my older brothers raised me because my father was a drunk.  At fourteen I got a job working full-time at the local Five and Dime, so I quit school to make money.  At 17 I got pregnant and married Charles.  I had always wanted to work as a secretary and live in NYC, but that was one dream that didn’t come true. Once I had the baby I became a stay-at-home mother, and soon we had four children.

Poverty-Quotes-3

Charles worked hard, but he was only a “helper” for a carpet-installer and the money wasn’t there.  So, he went out and started his own business.  We ended up living all over the Midwest, and life was pretty good.  Once the children were in school, I took a typing course so that I could become a Secretary, just like I’d planned.  However, somewhere in there Charles’ started gambling his pay away, and then he took up drinking, too.  I never knew if and when he would come home, or what kind of a mood he’d be in when he did come home.  Thankfully, no matter where we lived, I managed to get a Secretarial job.

Our children moved out and began their own lives, so we moved to New England to be closer to Charles’ family.  This was a mistake, since they were all big drinkers, too.  I kept working, but my pay as a secretary never really went up, and Charles’ pay never went up, either.  Eventually we retired and collected Social Security, but that was all we got since none of the jobs either one of us had ever provided a pension plan.

Charles died from his many illnesses, and I had to move out of our two-bedroom apartment into a smaller one-bedroom.  I had to part with most of my furniture that I’d been able to keep over the years because it didn’t fit into a smaller apartment.  They also only gave me one week to leave my apartment due to “regulations”, so I had to plan a funeral and pack to move at the same time. This is because I am on housing assistance (funded by the federal government) because my Social Security payments fall below the federal poverty level.

It makes me sad when I see people in our government who want to take these programs away from people like me.  I not only get help with my rent, but I’m on heat assistance, I use food stamps and I get Meals on Wheels.  If I can’t have any Meals on Wheels, I don’t know what I’ll have to eat because I only get $75.00 a month on Food Stamps.  After I pay my rent which is a set price, my heating bill – which is also set at $75.00 per month, so I can’t pay less because if I do, they’ll take away my assistance, I don’t know how I will eat on what I have left-over plus the &75.00 food stamps.  Usually at the end of the month all I have left over is enough to pay for my telephone and my very limited cable service.

My family doesn’t usually help me out since they all have children and payments of their own.  I’m very worried about this new budget that’s been proposed.  Charles and I worked all our lives, but now I’m being made to feel like I am a drain on society.  I would like to try to enjoy my remaining years, but mostly I sit at home by myself with my heat turned down as low as I can tolerate it and watch Turner Movie Classics.

poverty-is-like-punishment-for-a-crime-you-didnt-commit-quote-1

 

*Just a note, I paraphrased some of this story, and changed the names of the people, but it’s pretty accurate.  Most of the seniors that I work with have small lives that consist of going grocery shopping and watching movies on t.v.  They don’t have money left-over at the end of the month.  Also, they get government assistance for the following: heat, housing, food stamps, and the notorious “help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” button.  For the seniors who qualify, they also get either a homemaker or companion for a few hours a week so that they can stay in their apartments, as that is a cheaper solution than sending them all to nursing homes.  Most of them see their families very infrequently, in fact, their closest relationship is usually with their homemaker.  It’s very sad to see people who have worked hard all their lives reduced to such circumstances.  These are the people who will be hurt by these deep cuts to social welfare programs.

 

This Day

thisday

Like probably many people, today is going to be a difficult day.  Yes, I am talking about the Inauguration.   When I was in high school, I volunteered at a program that was run out of my high school called Instructors of the Handicapped (IOH).  We taught mostly children who were either mentally impaired, physically impaired, or both, to swim.  The program ran from 1 to 5 every Sunday of the year, and was seldom cancelled.   There were 5 classes, the first 3 were for the children who lived at home with a care-giver.  These children were well taken care of, and lived with loving families who tried to enrich their lives.  The last 2 classes were for the children who lived in an institution.  These children suffered neglect.  The institutions have since been closed down in my state, and the remaining people now live in group homes.  I understand that they are much better cared for.  IOH was a huge part of my life, and the most fulfilling.  I had one child who was in the process of dying, and in my senior year she died. She added much more to my life than I ever did to hers.  Another of my kids was boy with Epilepsy.  We never knew when he’d have a seizure, but he was one of the best swimmers, and had the most positive outlook on life I have ever seen.  But the kids who stole my heart, were the ones from the institution.  Unfortunately, most of the other instructors would skate out around the same time the bus arrived, leaving us short on instructors – these could be difficult kids who acted out in inappropriate ways.  They were hard to handle, could be frustrating, and not everyone could deal with them.  I loved them.  Over the years, I got to know them really well.  They were mostly sweet and gentle.  They wanted to be loved and to make us happy.  I will always have a special spot in my heart for those of us who aren’t average.

meryl1

The day that Donald Trump made fun of Serge Kovaleski who has arthrogryposis, I was transported in time.  All I could think of were the bullies who have always, and always will, make fun of anyone who is not perceived as “normal”.  In my opinion, we were all treated to a show of who Donald Trump is.  He’s the bully in the class.  And the rest of us had just better watch out.  So, what to do?  Keep being the loving people you are.  Stand up for those of us who are not “normal”, stay true to your hearts.   I know it sounds like a cliché, but be the change you want to see in the world.  Be a shining star of love, acceptance and understanding.  Be love.