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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Missoula, MT
Home country: USA
Current location: Deep in Red State Hell!
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,249

About Me

Godless democratic socialist, look towards northern Europe for inspiration on what role-models our economy should aspire towards. Love the ACLU and donate heavily to them each year, wish they'd get with the program and defend the Second Amendment with as much fervor as they do the rest of the Bill of Rights. Proud member of the 99%.

Journal Archives

My Parents Are 57 and 61, Both Smokers, Finally Got Through on Healthcare.gov

They were originally going to go with the cheapest Silver plan, but it had a $2500 deductible and $11,600 max out-of-pocket. So I suggested they check out the Gold and Platinum plans, just for comparison. They are both in pretty good health (besides their smoking habit) but my dad had to undergo an angioplasty a few years back, clogged arteries. My dad got laid off his long-term job as an HVAC salesman a couple years ago, had been drawing unemployment and paying into a COBRA plan that cost over $500/month just for himself. My mom has been uninsured for years since arthritis stopped her from working. (She never applied for disability.)

They both have a modest 401K which my dad has been drawing on these last couple years which about to run out, but Social Security kicks in for him next year so that should help somewhat. Then my mom can start drawing on her 401K until she makes it to 62 herself. They were surprised to find out they qualified for a $611 monthly tax credit. They ended up going with a Platinum plan, the premium which costs just over $647/month for the both of them. $0 deductible, and only a $3000 max out-of-pocket. Not too bad considering their age and the fact that they admitted to being smokers on the application.

I'm trying to get them to quit smoking, try e-cigarettes or something, so they can save an additional $100/month on their insurance, then they would only be paying around $550/month for a Platinum plan. This will be much better coverage than they ever had their whole working lives, which is especially important now that they are at that critical age where they are at most risk: over 55, yet not quite old enough to qualify for Medicare. I'm just glad they will both be covered again. I was worried about my mom going so long without insurance.

The ACA really is making a difference in many people's lives. I hope they are able to get the kinks worked out and make this thing work. At least until we finally get around to expanding Medicare for all. One step at at a time...

State Cop Shoots at Minivan Full of Kids

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) - A simple traffic stop turned into a wild scene with a 14-year-old rushing a state cop, a high-speed chase and another officer firing at a fleeing minivan full of kids.

Now the driver and her son are facing charges while New Mexico State Police are investigating the officers involved.

It all started Oct. 28 on a state highway south of Taos. A State Police officer pulled over Oriana Ferrell's minivan for going 71 mphr in a 55 mph zone. In the minivan with her were her five kids. The Taos News reports the children range in age from 6 to 18.

On dash cam video released to KRQE News 13 Friday you can see Ferrell and the officer argue after Ferrell couldn't decide whether to pay the $126 fine or contest it in court. The officer instructs her to turn her vehicle off and stay put before walking back to his car.


She shouldn't have drove off, but that doesn't justify the violent police response -- one of the kids in there could have easily been killed.

Cops needs to chill the fuck out instead of play Rambo all the time.

"Measured response" is the order of the day.

That is all.

I Will Say One Thing About the Catholic Church...

They sure have harbored some incredible minds.

Many Catholics, both clerics and laypersons alike, have made significant contributions to the development of science and mathematics from the Middle Ages to today. These scientists include Galileo Galilei, René Descartes, Nicolas Copernicus, Louis Pasteur, Blaise Pascal, André-Marie Ampère, Gregor Mendel, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, Pierre de Fermat, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Marin Mersenne, Alessandro Volta, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Pierre Duhem, Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Roger Boscovich, Pierre Gassendi, and Georgius Agricola, to name a few.


For an institution so steeped in tradition, superstition, and folklore, they sure did evolve (even before the Renaissance) to lay the very foundation for modern science itself.

We're covering Gregor Mendel right now in Biology, his insightful contributions to the study of genetics.

I can't help but to think, if it wasn't for the Church back in the day with all their monasteries allowing such "philosopher monks" to be able to focus all their free time on on matters of the mind instead of endless busy-body work, we would have never gotten out of the Dark Ages.

I'm not so sure that the Church is really all that necessary any more, in this era of free-flowing information and esteemed secular institutes of higher learning, but I will give them props for the role they played back in the day, laying down the building blocks of the explosion of human knowledge and scientific discovery over the past 500 years, especially over the past 200 years alone.

It gives me great hope for the future of humanity, that even from the most guarded halls of dogma and ritual that such forward-thinking perspectives could arise, and even thrive.

Maybe even Islam will eventually come around and change its ways. Come back to contributing to the greater human knowledge like it did in its early days, instead of trying to drag us back down to pre-civilized levels of endless sectarian violence and hate.

We can hope, right?
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