What are “Family Values”?

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As we all know, the Republican Party of the United States claims to be the party of “family values”.  So, I was wondering what, according to the GOP are these “family values”, and how this political party is supporting them.  Here is the official statement from the GOP, link provided.

“The family is the bedrock of our nation. When American families flourish, so too does our country. Our Party’s economic and social policies, including tax reform, education, health care, and the sanctity of life, should always promote and strengthen that most sacred bond.”  https://www.gop.com/issue/family-values/canonical/

My next question is how is the Republican Party supporting these family values?  My answer is not too well.  Let’s take this consecutively.  As far as economic reform is concerned, the Republican party has worked overtime to decrease the economic power of the regular wage-earners.  Minimum wage increases have been over-turned; many republican politicians have stated that they would like to get rid of any minimum wages and let corporations pay whatever wage they feel like; and corporate welfare has been running rampant while at the same time individual citizens who are on welfare and/or food stamps have been demonized.

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As far as social policies, minorities, whether classified by ethnicity, race, or gender/sexual orientation have again been demonized, denied legal standing and/or been violently oppressed.  There are cases where legal citizens have been picked up by ICE and detained, sometimes for months with no legal representation allowed.  Other examples are the ability of business owners to deny service to those who don’t follow the owner’s beliefs; and corporations to deny employees access to certain types of health care.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/14/republicans-cuts-programs-food-stamps-welfare-veterans-238314

As far as tax reform is concerned, the agenda that has just been introduced to Congress contains the biggest tax cuts of all to businesses, corporations and the richest 1% of people in the country.  The rest of it still seems unclear.  I’ve included links for you to look this up for yourself. However, while lowering taxes on corporations, businesses and the richest of the rich, this is going to increase our total debt by anywhere from 1 to 2 trillion dollars.  That’s okay though, because of the fact that these tax reductions on the rich will “prime the pump” and create a “trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor”.  Unfortunately, we are now deeply in debt because that did not work before.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/tags/tax-reform

How does the party of “family values” help regarding education?  Well, we can just go ahead and say that they’re all for getting rid of public education (the bedrock of a democracy), and pushing public money into for-profit (charter) schools.  These schools have been found to have various questionable practices from segregation to non-college educated “teachers” to not teaching science or higher-level mathematics.  Here is a quick link for you on problems with these schools.

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-charter-schools-2016-8

The health care issue is quite interesting.  According to the “family values” quote above, the Republican Party claims to worry about health care for families.  However, as the last few months have shown us, they “care” by trying to take away health care from as many families as they can.  Just one example of that is the refusal to renew the CHIP program.  Now, up to 12 million children will have no health insurance.  I’ll leave this paragraph at this point, since my post is getting quite long.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/8-million-kids-lose-health-insurance-chip-program-isnt-renewed-heres-looks-like-one-state/

As far as the sanctity of life is concerned, the family values party seems to believe that such sanctity ends at birth.  Why would I say that?  Well, as we have all become aware, through health care reform, the GOP has pushed for denying people who have almost any pre-existing condition off health insurance; along with taking welfare and food stamp programs away from the disabled and poor.  Also, if we add in the effort to dismantle any form of minimum wage, there doesn’t seem to be a value for life after birth.

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So, what are your views on this?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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Just Plain Despair

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Life is hard, it has its ups and downs, and often the downs can be longer than any of its ups.  I really dislike when people set out, in a deliberate manner, to make other people’s lives harder than they have to be.  Seriously, don’t we all have so much to deal with already?

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Sorry for the “f”-word, I couldn’t find an image without it.

I truly do not, and probably never will, understand why other people want to make the sick, die simply because they are poor, or even middle class.  Seriously, if we take the ability to buy health insurance away from people, they will die.  The medical profession isn’t going to magically be able to help all the sick people.  And, remember, this includes all people both the very young and the very old.  Everyone who is not wealthy enough to afford the out-of-control price of insurance.

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What kind of a society are we that this is acceptable behavior?  No concern for the sick, the poor, or anyone who isn’t rich?  Because we will not survive.  We either rise together, or we all fall.

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Be Your Own Advocate!

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I’ve been writing about self-education for a long time.  I truly believe that the more educated you are on a subject, the better off you are.  Do you check out the reviews of a product before you buy it?  How about ingredients on the side of a box at the grocery store?  Do you know what most of those ingredients are?  Are you the type to look something up if you don’t know?  If you are, then you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Knowing what your buying and/or ingesting is a good thing.  Finding about more about a disease you or a loved one may have is another good thing.  Educating yourself is always wise.  If you’ve got a long-term disease, keeping up-to-date on new ways to manage/deal with it is a great thing to do.

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No one is going to take care of you.  Self-care is one of my problems.  I live I the land of denial at all times, and this has been a real challenge in my life. I’m really good at taking care of everyone else, but not so good at taking care of me.   As a quick example of this, my underwear drawer is full of torn panties.  I know what you’re thinking, but unfortunately, they were not torn in a fit of passion, they are just old. In my defense, I’m still losing weight and am waiting to drop some more to replace them with a hopefully smaller size.

Being your own advocate can be hard.  This means that you have to take responsibility for yourself, whether it be at work, at home, in relationships or with your health.  Being responsible is difficult.  However, think of the benefits (besides great underwear), you can influence in your own life.  Wouldn’t it be great to live the life you really want?  This is what being your own advocate can achieve for you.  Let me know what you do to advocate for yourself.  Let’s see if we can inspire each other!

health-advocate

What is a Pre-existing Condition?

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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.

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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.

Health Care?

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Okay, so I’ve simply got to say something about the plan for healthcare under the TrumpCare proposal.  I realize that “they” don’t want us calling it TrumpCare, however, if “they” were allowed to call the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare, then I really don’t see why this proposal can’t be called TrumpCare.

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Actually, the plan is to throw as many people off health insurance as possible.  Does that sound extreme?  Then tell me why, as a fifty-something year-old, under this plan, my insurance would go up 5 times what I’m paying now.  Yes, not 5%, but 5 times the cost.  Are they insane?  My health insurance per month would cost roughly what our monthly income is.  That would leave us with no money for food or shelter.  Oh, and by the way, Jason Chaffetz, I don’t have an expensive phone, instead I probably use one of the oldest flip phones still in use, and have no internet connection on it.  My husband though, has an expensive one that is for work, and therefore is paid for by his place of employment.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/07/if-jason-chaffetz-wants-to-compare-healthcare-to-iphones-lets-do-it-the-right-way/?utm_term=.1801ab53d187

I’m leaving some links below for those of you who want to educate yourselves further.  Please read them, as the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/03/07/the-new-republican-health-care-plan-is-awe-inspiringly-awful/?utm_term=.b904f58689ee

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/how-republicans-plan-to-ration-health-care.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/health/risk-of-losing-health-insurance-in-republican-plan.html

 

Vitamin B-17 – aka Laetrile

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I have been hearing a few things about Vitamin B-17 also known as Laetrile.  This is a vitamin that I’ve never heard of before, so I was intrigued.  When I looked up information regarding this “vitamin” I found that it’s not actually a vitamin at all, but a substance found in raw nuts, the pips of many fruits (apricot for one), lima beans, clover and sorghum, called Amygdalin.http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/laetrile

This website was full of information regarding the use of Laetrile as an alternative cancer treatment.  They say that when laetrile breaks done in the system, it becomes arsenic and can poison the person ingesting it.  Also, they point to two studies where there was no discernible positive result for people who did use laetrile as a cancer treatment.

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  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/10/18/laetrile-cancer-research-cover-up.aspx

However, the above website has a lot of information regarding the Sloane-Kettering trials on the use of laetrile as a cancer fighter.  The takeaway from this research is pointing at a direct correlation between drug company profit vs. actual curing and preventing cancer.  Am I surprised?  No, I’m not.  When people are suffering from high blood pressure, heart attacks and other diseases, oftentimes the only “cure” that is suggested by a doctor is a pill.  No diet or exercise routine is even discussed.  Why, because frankly, there is no money to be made by suggesting a lifestyle change.  What do you think of cancer research?  Do you think it just might be a business designed to make as much money as possible for the pharmaceutical companies?  Let me know in the comments below.

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New Ideas for Health Insurance

     Like most people, my family has to sign up for a new health insurance. When we went through the process, the most important questions had to do with cigarette smoking, and our height and weight. Of course they asked the medical issues questions, but nothing about our lifestyle other than smoking.

     So, my question is, why not? Why didn’t they ask how many times we eat meat and cheese; how many times do we exercise a week; or do we meditate? Why were lifestyle questions not asked? Why are lifestyle choices not considered for pricing of health insurance? If someone lives a lifestyle that keeps them healthier than one where meat is eaten repeatedly during the day, sugar is consumed at astonishing rates, and junk food is inhaled consistently, of course the health care costs are going to be higher.

      I would really like to see a system much like those offered by such stores as BJ’s (I know you get rewarded by receiving money back), but in this case where you get a reward for being healthy. How about if people were able to earn points for losing weight; dropping their high blood pressure; going from too high blood sugar to normal blood sugar; and other such healthy pursuits. We could all get so many points for these actions, and then use the points for classes on how to cook healthier food; classes on meditation; or other healthy pursuits.  Even points to be used for massage; or other stress relief.  How fun would that be?

     This would be a worthwhile endeavor, and wouldn’t it be great to become the healthiest nation, instead of the unhealthiest one?  People love getting rewarded; it’s a great motivational tool and wouldn’t it be fun to get classes, etc. free or for a reduced price?  What do you think about this idea?