Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On Deity and Justice

Look at the Crusades, Armenian genocide, Hitler's final solution, Stalin's genocide, Pol Pot, every person who starves to death while nations throw out food, multinational corporations paying starvation wages while raking in billions, rape, war, child abuse...

No one's god has solved those problems, or any number of them. Humanity needs to come to terms that we are alone in the deity sense, whether completely or effectually. We are responsible for enabling justice or inhibiting justice. Pain, suffering, hate, death, destruction, they all happen because WE let them. So long as we pass the burden of justice fulfillment off on one's god, we will not have solutions to these problems.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Affordable Care Act: What's Going to Happen

Ok so companies have spent millions of dollars trying to block and subsequently removed parts or all of the Affordable Care Act. The reason being, providing health care to full time employees is going to cut some into corporate profits. Let's put aside the reality that happy and healthy workers are better workers and ALL data shows that better paid / better supported workers produce more for the company. The talking heads of these companies don't care about that. They only care about short term profit. Why? Because that is what the American economy is built on. Short term, giant gains. Then you cut and run with your big severance bonus.

So, what's going to happen?


The Affordable Care Act requires companies to provide health care to employees who work more than 30 hours a week, i.e. "full time".

So: Companies will employ workers for 27, 28, and 29 hrs a week.

Why? Because if the employee averages over 30 a week, and the company doesn't provide health care, the company will be fined several thousand dollars per person each year this happens.

Why is this important?

It is important because you're creating a permanent class of part time workers. People who will HAVE to work several jobs to pay the bills and will still NEVER receive health care.

The Affordable Care Act will fail to provide health care to all Americans.


Because you've left it up to companies to find ways to wiggle out of the mandate. And they will wiggle. They're doing so right now. They're all planning internally. Many places have begun hiring and reducing hours. This will continue all year, right up to 2014 and the beginning of the ACA health care requirement.


Useful information regarding employer penalties:


So, single payer or not?

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Now and then I'll go back and read some of the things that I've posted in the past and, as you may have noticed by the lack of posts and the general tone I've taken in the past few years, I frequently feel tapped out of material to talk about.  It's not true that I don't have new ideas or concepts.  Insights abound, but frequently, especially as of late I feel like there are breakwaters holding back exactly what I want to say.  Sometimes it feels like no matter what words I use, it doesn't completely adequately express what I'm trying to say.  Language fails me and it never used to.  Perhaps it's confidence; perhaps it's practice. 

As I sit here and type I think, as I always do as I post.  There's an internal monologue going on reflecting on how what I'm saying comes across and gauging how well what I've said is illuminating my thoughts.  And, I've just been well off the mark for a long time.  That makes me want to post less and less.  It make the task of writing feel difficult.  It feels like a task or chore that I have to complete rather than self-expression. 

I realize as I sit here thinking about it, that the answer is pretty simple.  Many of my posts back in the day were very controversial to me.  That I put out my views for anyone to see was very personal.  I think that personal touch is what is missing.  The emotion.  The piece of who I am is missing from my writing.  I've become fairly robotic in a sense.  I do relay emotion, but not in a way that makes me vulnerable.  It's the vulnerability that made my posts of a strong quality to me in my head. 

I'm well aware that except for a few select posts, most of the time I write only for myself, but the act of putting that vulnerability out there was what made this a powerful experience for me.  I will have to try to put more of myself out there again in the future.  There is so so much going on.  Life didn't end when college did.  Although sometimes it definitely feels that way.  I'm still around.  And I'm still alive and kicking.  It's about time I put myself out there again.  My whole self.  Unguarded.  Open to wound.  Open to the world.

The first act that I'd like to do to accomplish this is to publish my full name right here.  But, I know that a lot of the stuff here would harm my life if I was attached to it.  More than anything, I would like to.  But I can't.  It's worth my job to continue to protect myself there.  But I will tell you one thing.

My name is Bryan and that's going to have to do for now.

What is Life and Who Are You

No really.  What IS life?  Not your life and my life, but life in general.  What is the determining factor between life and non-life?  And I'm not talking in a pro-choice / anti-abortion argument.  I mean what constitutes something living.  Near as I can see, life as I define it seems to be the point when someone or something realizes that it's alive.  Think about it.  There was a point where you weren't alive.  Focus on memories you have from long ago.  Think back as far as you can to your earliest memories.  And try to push back just one more day into your past.  Just one more memory further.  Are you really alive before you remember?

Take for instance a video recording of you as a baby.  Coo coo... yes very cute.  But is that you?  Think about you and everything that makes you... you.  Focus on you, the you that's inside your body.  Your mind, your heart, your soul.  What ever you call it.  Focus on that point.  Take it in.  Everything that is "you".  Focus on it.

And watch that video.  Watch that baby.  Is it you?  Can you find yourself in them?  They become you, but you're nothing like them.  And everything that they are has changed.  Granted they become you, and you are identical genetically, but nothing that makes you ALIVE is the same.  The voice in your head that's always with you.  That's all that life is to you. 

People are only able to comprehend based on their own experiences.  Everyone knows the voice in their head.  That is their life.  Everyone else has one, but we can't begin to imagine how different they are from ourselves or how similar.  I believe that you are alive from the furthest time in the past that you can currently remember and you will be until that voice stops speaking.

This leads perhaps to a lot of ethical life questions, but none of them are relevant.  It also seems very self-centered, and it is, but it's not a bad thing.  Self-centered is not selfish.  Selfish is favoring yourself over others.  Self-centered is a starting point for recognizing sentience.

Who are you?  You're the voice in your head that's been there from the beginning and will be there until the end.  The rest is irrelevant.

I think, therefore I am.

Monday, January 21, 2013