Saturday, August 9, 2014

... And Now, Not So Lost ...

I got great news on Friday.  Well, better than great.  Fucking fantastic news, to be perfectly honest.  I received notice that I have been approved for full Medicaid and it is like massive weight taken off of my shoulders.  I can now get the physical health care and continue to get the mental health care I need.

But this is what Republicans and their conservative allies don't want.  They don't want the millions of Americans who need health insurance to get it.  They have fought and will continue to fight tooth and nail to take away and prevent the 99% from getting the medical and mental health care we need.  They are willing to condemn millions of Americans to a life of abject misery.  If they had their way, I would never have received Medicaid because it wouldn't exist.

I wish I didn't need the help of the government via Medicaid, but I do and I am grateful that the help was there and is now available to me.  Now I don't need to beg my parents each month for money to pay for my psychiatrist and therapist visits.  Now I don't need to beg friends to help pay for my medication.  And now, I can have the host of physical health problems looked at properly and maybe taken care of.

I have hope.  I have some direction now.  I am no longer so lost.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lost

Starting about a week before my 45th birthday on July 18th of this year, I have felt "lost".  I don't know if its a mild form of depression or if its some sort of midlife crisis, but my mind has been rather cloudy.  It is difficult for me to focus on anyone thing, let alone enjoy anything.  I have even stopped playing Star Wars: The Old Republic the feeling of being "lost" is so great and I have really enjoyed playing SWTOR.  Hell, I don't even find enjoyment reading anymore.


I wonder if this is a problem other manic-depressives have dealt with or is it just me?  Luckily I have a therapy session tomorrow (Wednesday) and maybe I can start not feeling so "lost" again.

PS Please don't worry.  I am not having harmful thoughts, I just feel "lost".

Friday, June 27, 2014

Who Will Decide Hobby Lobby / Conestoga Wood and Why It Matters

Like 99.999999999% of Americans, I am no expert regarding the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS).  But, as the saying goes, I know enough about SCOTUS to be dangerous.  It is a time honored tradition to try and guess what the SCOTUS will do and I will be partaking in that tradition today.  In fact, I am going to try to diving who will write the opinion in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby aka Hobby Lobby / Conestoga Wood (Hobby Lobby), for who writes the opinion will determine if the decision is (based on your ideology) is good, bad or ugly.

So here we go, starting with the one I think will be the author of the opinion.

Justice Anthony Kennedy: When it comes down to it, Hobby Lobby is about social issues, specifically, the ability of employees to have access to contraceptives through their employer provided health plans.  Except with respect to the matters of abortions and voting rights, Justice Kennedy tends to be on the moderate/liberal side of social issues.  Take for instance his authorship of the opinions in Romer v. EvansLawrence v. Texas and United States v. Windsor.  Both decisions expanded equality under the law to gays and lesbians.  If Justice Kennedy writes the opinion, which I believe he will, look for the court to decide that corporations, even privately held family owned ones, do not have religious liberty, reversing the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The decision would be 5 - 4.

Justice Antonin Scalia / Justice Clarence Thomas
: In my view, these two justices are almost interchangable.  Based on their history of supporting the concept of "corporate personhood", either Justice would easily vote to give all corporations religious liberty and the ability to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against its employees.  Either would affirm the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The decision would be 5 - 4.

Chief Justice John Roberts: His potential authorship is what scares the hell out of me.  Seeing how much he loves to "split the baby" when it comes to decisions, his authorship could only spell ugliness.  Take for instance his authorship of the ACA decision where he upheld the ACA but struck down the provision requiring States to expand Medicaid, thus overturning the "power of the purse" legal concept.  This has left millions of Americans in States that refused to expand Medicaid without affordable medical care.  If the Chief Justice is the author, look for him to declare that non-publicly traded wholly family owned corporations have religious liberty while publicly traded and/or non-wholly family owned corporations do not.  It would be a 6 - 3 decision with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito in dissent.

Again, this is all speculation.  Who will be the author of the Hobby Lobby decision is anyone's guess, but it is very important as to who will write it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem: The Voice of My Youth

The voice I so desired to hear every Sunday morning as I was growing up is no more.  Casey Kasem, the long time host of the venerable American Top 40 has past away according to CNN.

Like tens of millions growing up in the 1980s, Mr. Kasem was like the voice of God to me.  His was the definitive voice to know where are favorite songs stood in the rankings.  We listened to Mr. Kasem on our radios and Walkmans, waiting with baited breath to find out if our song had made it to number one.  We held back the tears as he did the vaunted Long Distance Dedication and we penned our own, hoping that maybe, just maybe, we would hear them.

But the voice of my youth has been silent for many years and now may Casey Kasem rest in peace.  That is my long distance dedication.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mental Illness: The Media's Deadly Selective Silence

On Sunday, one of the YouTubers that I subscribe to posted his weekly video, but it wasn't his regular super cheery video.  Calum McSwiggan (Cal) decided it was time to be serious and let us all in on a big secret: He had attempted suicide a few months back.  He expressed that when he was going through the thought process of making the video, he wondered if it wasn't showing weakness by telling the world (or at least his followers on YouTube) that he had tried to kill himself.  To me, Cal showed immense bravery.

As I wrote a couple of months back, I am bi-polar and have been for most of my almost 45 years.  So I understand Cal's daily struggle with suicidal thoughts and send him the biggest mental hug I can.  But his video got me thinking: Why is the media so selectively silent regarding mental illness?  Think about it.  When is the only time the media is even one bit concerned about those who have a mental illness?  That's right.  The only time they show any interest or concern is after a mass shooting, as if only the mentally ill can mow down scores of people with firearms.

This selective silence is deadly because we all know that the media shapes major issues and discussions regarding national policy.  Do you think that if the media weren't so silent, that it presented mental illness in a way that isn't connected to firearm violence that our nation's leaders would be able to continue to give a flying fuck about our nation's horrid track record regarding taking care of those with mental illnesses?  Of course not.

It is time for us to wake up the media and get them talking about mental illnesses without the cover story of firearm violence.  Its the only way to end this deadly selective silence.