Tag Archives: Obamacare

Obamacare, the long Christmas and Inauguration Day

With its embedded links this post is a kind of ambitious round up. It comes on the twelfth day of Christmas and a time for  dealing with cold weather in Louisiana. January 6, 2017 the votes of the Electoral College have been certified on the Feast of the Epiphany. I have written about the Epiphany before and about the bridge between Christmas Season and Carnival Season. I have discussed much of the meaning of Christmas as I see it in an unpublished novel, several chapters of which I have included in this blog as well. I am not celebrating in great style this year, I covered some plants against the cold. i smoked a cigar and shared some hot cocoa in two different occasions with two different friends  –and the day is not over just yet.


I started typing this post  today on the Feast of the Epiphany — January 6. My thoughts included the following Epiphany related thoughts, “I love to go to Mass on that day but it did not seem to be likely this year. I love a lot of things I do not do. I love to buy a King Cake but probably won’t make that happen either. ” This was also the same January sixth when there was cold weather that needed to be dealt with and when I had to help a friend at the library delete a Facebook account. Then while I had already been thinking about the certified votes I had a chance to hear and see some of them during the break between typing and editing here.

Donald Trump ran in part on the promise that people would start saying “Merry Christmas” again. (I have blogged a good bit about Christmas and love it plenty well.) My sister’s recent blog post about a Christmas tree.  But about much more than a Christmas tree. But like many things Christmas is a complicated matter if you look at it hard enough. The holiday season is not the only thing in contention (having ended for most Americans but not all). The new assault on an airport in Florida has many Americans facing this day with familiar and not festive feelings.


There has been a bit more fuss than usual in this certification day in Congress. I also noted a greater awareness in the morning news shows that this was the day assigned for the Congress to certify the Electoral Votes of each State.  However, the protests appear to have been ineffectual,the process moving the President -Elect one step closer to being President. The heritage of representative government and electoral governance and Western Civilization are linked in complex ways. But when we think of Greek roots of Democracy we must remember Greek roots of organized Royalist Monarchy and Aristocracy as well. The Greek ideas of the role of the One, the Many and the Few are beyond what I can discuss today but Greece continues to yield up new wonders from its storied past .I remain convinced that our Constitutional tradition needs to be both relatively conservative and dynamic. I have spelled that out here and here — at least in brief. I have said much more in other places in the blog. But this is the star of a new year and the start of a new Presidential administration is on the way and I am in no position to exert influence of any kind. One of the issues in this transition relates to the nature and state of race relations in the United States of America. Two stories frame this debated and reported struggle. One story is the sentencing phase of the trial of Dylan Roof, convicted of the Hate Crime killing of the people known as the Charleston Nine:

  • Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54)
  • Susie Jackson (87)
  • Ethel Lee Lance (70)
  • Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49)
  • Clementa C. Pinckney (41)
  • Tywanza Sanders (26)
  • Daniel Simmons (74)
  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45)
  • Myra Thompson (59)

While only one of these was a politician several were leaders in the Black Church communities int he region. Dylan Roof gives every evidence of being a militant and selective terrorist. The other story is that of the hate crimes committed by four African Americans against a white guy of limited capacities which was broadcast on Facebook Live. these things remind us all of the racial tensions and animosities that exist in this country.

Those extreme situations only underline and bookend the much large tensions that involve race and other factors in more complicated ways. The Obamacare issues and the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act are only part of the overall struggle. people who do lots of work for which they are not paid at all or are paid far less than one can survive on are taxed and fined to pay for the most irresponsible, expensive and uncontrolled medical economy in the world  on behalf of those privileged to have had good jobs are willing to admit that they have no work at all. Our society is deeply corrupt in countless ways that rest heaviest on those most victimized by Obamacare. the repeal will likely benefit not those people as much as the richer people who will pay less for the healthcare insurance premiums under a new regime and the more successful small business people who may see their deductibles go down. For some people it may always seem like Santa Claus is coming on Christmas to those watching, for others like the winter in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia — very cold and brutal with no Christmas in sight. The middle fifty percent are the ones who can really afford to get excited about arguing the merits of the plans put forth.

For me this portends to be a very bleak year. But the actual Christmas that is ending has been better than average. I would like to hope for a happy New Year as well. But I am not there yet….


Personal Round-Up: a Distant Grief, a Dream and Preparation

This is a post which summarizes are rounds up the events and concerns in my life and sphere of activity in the last week or so. I used to do more of this type of thing but now I rarely post such things. But here is one which seemed worth posting.

The most significant thing that happened in my world this week in many ways did not affect me very much.  But it reminded me of how things could have affected me and of connections that have slipped away. That was the passing of Suzanne Bercier at forty from cancer. I had posted in this blog about her before in the end of a blog about more newsworthy events. On Facebook, I wrote a bit more but not all that much:

Suzanne Bercier has died. I posted the following update on March 17, 2014 and did hear from the Bercier family but nothing I felt the need to repeat in public. My prayer and thoughts are with Suzanne’s soul and her loved ones especially. I will leave it to all of you to inquire about arrangements through third parties or as seems proper. Here is the post from before:
” I understand that a dear friend of our family with whom I have long fallen out of touch is probably losing her long battle with a terminal disease tonight. I remember Suzanne as a sweet spirit and my thought and prayers go out to her family. I post this for anyone who may wish to know and may be able to support her loved ones in this time.

I am tagging three of her family members on my list: Edwin L. Bercier III, Edwin L. Bercier IV , and Anthony Bercier .”

However, I did not make the funeral. My mother did and blogged about it and you can find the post here. I have only just the chance to note her passing now and to say that that while she is a person I remember well, she does stand in for a whole group of people I remember — many of whom she never met. One wonders how life leads down the paths it does to the places it does.

I went to see my nephew Eli in the John Paul the Great Academy play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” last night. He played the “changeling child” with gifted pantomime and acting but there are no lines spoken by this character central to the plot. Eli is only in fifth grade. I brought a shrimp and diced tomato pizza to my sister Mary’s and a Coke to join with her pizzas and Cokes.  We had a nice meal and drove on to the play together.

I  have spent quite a bit of time in the lawn and garden every day of the last few weeks.  Burning out and digging up pests, clearing weeds out of desired plants, gathering up branches and raking leaves to join the weeds in the new compost bed and transplanting sod and turf patches  to replace the most distressed areas. This most distressed soil goes into the compost bed. These and other activities are all part of making this a house lot and not what it was.  In addition I have had some unforeseeable equipment repairs I may discuss later, have had to fill in the holes left in the pasture by the sod and turf I have dug out with horse manure.

Beyond that there is string-trimming and spraying stubborn  broadleaf weeds with Round-Up. I could work full time in this small place for months with the resources I have and the needs it has to get it into the shape I’d like.

In addition to all of these things I am trying to get my blog and other things into good order and that is no small thing. It is hard to say that I ever feel happy with what I am doing over all. But I am well aware that things are going to get worse because they are not getting better. I have decided to try to comply with Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. But so far have not been able to create a workable account. I have printed up many refusal screens but not accomplished much else.