Paula Apynys

(pôl´· äap´· ä · neez)

Republican Rules of Engagement

June 23rd, 2017

When following political news, it helps to understand the rules of engagement that are, at present, accepted as normal by Republicans, Democrats, most media, and the public:

Republicans are always granted the presumption of innocence, until proven otherwise.

Democrats labor under the presumption of guilt until proven otherwise.

In most cases, no amount of evidence is enough to prove a Republican guilty and no amount of evidence is enough to prove a Democrat innocent.

Republicans are allowed to accuse Democrats of anything, no matter how unjustified, far-fetched, obviously malicious or factually absurd.

Democrats are expected to defend themselves against accusations, requiring time, effort and money.

Republicans are responsible for nothing — not their actions, nor the actions of others. (Although they will take credit for successes they didn’t earn.)

Democrats are responsible for everything, including the malicious acts others perform against them.

So long as Democrats accept these terms — and allow “the media” to accept these terms without pushback — Republicans win.

Healthcare and the Myths of Choice

March 29th, 2017
Choice? Really?

As of today, March 29, 2017, the ACA is still, to quote Paul Ryan, "the law of the land". Whether that will remain the case is unclear as, after a weekend of contemplating the ruins of their Repeal-Obamacare scheme, some Republicans are saying they'll try again. Separately Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an avowed ACA opponent, is now hinting he will purposely do what he can to damage the functioning of the ACA. So we'll see.

But in the meantime, for people who might want to actually improve delivery of affordable healthcare to Americans, there are two fallacies I'd like to address:

  1. That people view healthcare like a consumer product.
  2. That people even have choices.

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Repeal, Replace, Complexity and the ACA

February 27th, 2017

Today, Donald Trump said "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." That statement went unchallenged for, oh, 42 seconds before media and social media erupted with assurances that many, many people knew healthcare was complicated and had known it for some time.

The problem is for years and years various leaders have been wrestling with a set of incompatible objectives. You have "the healthcare industry" composed of large and small profit-making enterprises, including: insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers/distributors, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes, visiting nurse services, doctors, nurses, medical practices, etc. You have American citizens with their disparate incomes and zero control over the prices they are charged for medical services/products, and very little control (for most) over what they earn.

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After Despair

January 30th, 2017

The 2016 Election was the most devastating experience in my life to date. I have never felt that kind of despair before, the sense that my world had been altered in a frightening and horrifying way by external events. I literally sat in darkened rooms for hours at a time just…frozen. My thinking slowed down, as though thoughts had to crawl through thick tar to reach me. Out of sheer self-preservation I cut myself off from news and social media; I worked, did physical work, walked my dog, petted my cats, read a bunch of old novels, and meditated. 

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Should Moderators Fact-Check Candidates?

September 8th, 2016

One of the underlying themes in Wynne Frost and the Soul of Remorse is the destructive fruits of intentional dishonesty, both in the political realm, and within people themselves. As I started writing the book a few years ago I was worried about the potential ramifications of what I see as a long-running, deliberate policy of dishonesty emanating from political institutions on the right, but I would never have thought it could produce as bad a potential candidate for POTUS as Donald Trump. But here he is.

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