December 17, 2018, 05:14:36 PM

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Messages - J.R. Darewood

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You can choose not to own a car.
The mandate is a tax on poor people, with the money going to the very insurance companies that caused the American healthcare crisis.

I fail to see how an individual mandate is a stepping stone toward national health care.  In fact it's the opposite. The expansion of medicare (and who's eligible for it) would be the right step to take.  The individual mandate is the expansion of shady insurance racket, only creating a lobby of self-interested actors who will then shape parasitic policy in the future.

Spoiler for Hiden:
For my neighbors-- the woman who cleans houses, the guys who work the night shift at 7eleven and sleep four to a room-- they barely scrape by paying transportation costs, food and rising rent.  This destroys them.

I worked in healthcare for 3 years and almost went to medical school.
50% of healthcare costs go to insurance profits. Much of the remaining 50% goes to paying for more insurance (malpractice).  That which doesn't goes to nepotistic relationships with suppliers that charge a kajillion dollars for a toilet seat.  Nevermind the criminal state of pharmaceutical companies overcharging for their drugs. Hospital protocols put patients at risk to make decisions based upon profitability, not patient health.

Household debt in the US i larger than the national debt.  It's astronomical. An estimated 50% of this is related to healthcare costs.  And they keep going up.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, where many people are uninsured, the cost of medicine is dramatically lower.  You can go to an open pharmacy and get almost anything (except for sudafed, that's illegal).  It is illegal for people from the US to go to Canada or Mexico to get medicine.  How the hell is that right?

When my neighbor gets sick, she goes down the street to get antibiotics from the woman who keeps them stashed in plastic bags under the herbs she sells on the street.  They cost 3$ for a box of 2.  As opposed to waiting 3 weeks to see a doctor with an overpriced copay to be referred to a specialist 5 weeks later with an even worse copay to get drugs that might or might not be covered-- and see a doctor who doesn't see their patients again or truly know if their treatments are working (they're just following a protocol), my neighbor is seen instantly by someone who has decades of experience with sick people coming to her, and coming back the next day to say hello.

So why should my neighbor go into debt paying for a service she can't use, to empower the evil companies that make healthcare 3-4 times as expensive while providing no benefit to the system?

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 16, 2018, 10:40:53 PM »
Only in America

Lets celebrate destroying what every first world country has except us.

Look the US probably has *the worst* healthcare situation in the whole world in my opinion (and I agree that republicans are, in broad strokes, trying to make it worse)...

but to provide a counterpoint here this isn't "dismantling ACA"

The individual mandate was found to be unconstitutional. That's something I have to fully applaud.  The individual mandate was, in my opinion, morally reprehensible (forcing poor people who can't afford it to pay the very insurance companies that have destroyed our healthcare system is *NOT* by any stretch of the imagination "expanding access to healthcare". It's fucking disgusting. The black market pharmaceuticals in my neighborhood are what make any sort of healthcare even possible for the millions of poor people I live with, they barely scrape by day to day, and they find themselves faced with a healthcare penalty they can't afford and that is utterly useless to them anyway--they're on the brink due to rising housing costs, can barely afford food and it pushes them over the edge) My fear was that the republicans beholden to the insurance lobby would leave the individual mandate while dismantling insurance company regulation (ie pre-existing conditions), but I'm really heartened that they didn't do that, and i think this is a really good move.

The Supreme Court previously upheld the individual mandate  (but allowed the expansion of medicare to be optional based on the state, meaning red states have never seen any of the benefits of that expansion while overburdening the poor with the individual mandate, and experiencing coverage restrictions as a result of insurance companies tightening their belts)

So I have to say, this is actually really good news that has been spun to look bad.


So is anyone else watching Nightflyers?  They are guilty of some lazy writing (the flashforward in the opening, the MCs all joining up as a team without earning it, forced dialogue that serves as a recap to fill time jumps etc), but I still loved what they did with the psychics and that sort of twist on things and I certainly found the show suspenseful.

Sooooo... speaking of Nightflyers.... I bought a phone on promotion like over a year ago and I had a 100$ credit just sitting there, google daydream was on sale for 50$ so I used half of my credit to get one even tho putting a phone by my face scares me (because brain cancer), but DAMN ITS COOL!!!!   AND Syfy released a VR companion piece to Nightflyers and ITS SO COOL. 

@tebakutis  I just kept thinking this was right up your alley. Do you have a Daydream? You can probably see it on a Vive too, I imagine.

Daredevil just got axed for some reason.  ???  Despite the fact that I often feeling infuriated watching it, it's still one of the best superhero shows out there, with the best fight choreography I've ever seen on TV (I positively loved all of the fight scenes). It's a real shame.

My understanding (regarding all the Marvel shows getting cancelled) is that now that Disney plans to launch their own streaming service, they are cleaning house with IPs that are on competitors. Hence since Disney owns Marvel, all the Netflix Marvel shows that weren't already greenlit/filming (like the next season of The Punisher) are getting the axe. Less to do with quality, more to do with Disney wanting to pull its IP from others.

I have to admit, while I did watch all of these shows, I'm slightly hopeful that this might signal the end of the tyranny of the superhero.

[OCT 2018] Small Magics / Re: Small magics - Critique Thread
« on: December 16, 2018, 10:12:11 PM »
Meanwhile, comments on my story “Inheritance” would be welcome.

I don't have much to say @JMack other than that your story was very magical :)

The worldbuilding was sweet, folksy and fairytale like.  A lot of that had to do with things just *being*, not explaining things that just are because it feels like of course they are.  Wonderment made mundane so to speak.

“Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t, but what’s done is done, and what’s done isn’t always what we think it is." 

I fell in love with the story with this line. The tone and voice are pitch-perfect. The message itself is intriguing, and as you read on it turns out that it encapsulates the story perfectly and plays a key role in bringing it around full circle (someone important said stories return to the beginning but changed, which this line does perfectly).

I also loved the theme-- the guilt and second guessing over a simple wish.  Its far more profound than your typical conflict-driven stories.

The arc sort of meanders, which fits very well with the folksy tone of the piece (even tho it's not a standard construction I have to say I liked it).

The ending though, felt a little incomplete, or perhaps off in a direction that was too new. If I were to change anything (and really this is sort of an arbitrary "if it were my piece" sort of thing).  I would have had the errant brother return having stolen both wishes but used his (maybe to get away, maybe to come back) but feeling like his wish didn't give him what he really wanted.  When he guiltily returns the stolen wish, his brother realizes he has everything he wants gives him back the magic he stole, and then the estranged brother makes that sweet wish you refer to in the end.  That would have kept the focus at the end a bit more tightly on the magic and delivered a bit more strongly on "it isn't always what we think it is". As it is, the breaking of the magic didn't quite feel earned because we didn't really experience the full extent of the inner catharsis of realizing he *hadn't* killed his father and solidly transfer that into the breaking.  (though that could certainly be done with an inner monologue instead of the plot changes I suggested).

Writers' Corner / Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
« on: December 16, 2018, 09:51:07 PM »

Nothing so sweet
as the morning melodies of birds
a musical commemoration of sparkling sunrises, the green of trees
and things that are not dead

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: December 16, 2018, 09:36:00 PM »
Oh my. Draft 1 complete at 7,305 words.

Yeah, this will be easy to cut down to 5K.

@JMack  why do you need to cut it down to 5k?

Haven't written in ages. Trying to find time soon in the next few weeks.  Looking at some freelance stuff maybe too.

@J.R. Darewood, I found another monthly competition at which allows 5K stories. Since I seem to be motivated by competition and inspired by writing prompts, I’m giving it a swing. Especially since I finished our contest entry really early this month.

The prompt is fun too. Write a story that includes:
A feast
Decorating a tree
Songs sung once a year
A birth in unusual circumstances
And breaking into houses for altruistic reasons

Sound familiar? ;D

Sounds very seasonal :)  Good luck @JMack !

I've never heard of fantasy-writers  is it good for longer critiques?  I'm hoping to have my WIP rewritten in early 2019.

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: December 15, 2018, 07:46:59 AM »
Oh my. Draft 1 complete at 7,305 words.

Yeah, this will be easy to cut down to 5K.

@JMack  why do you need to cut it down to 5k?

Haven't written in ages. Trying to find time soon in the next few weeks.  Looking at some freelance stuff maybe too.

Is that to do with the job you applied? Or is that still a possibility?

Anyway *sends biscuits*

(note: this year I'm attempting to bake some biscuits as a present. Let's see how it goes...)

Haha no it was just my mood. I need to get out of the US for a bit and go someplace where everything's not overpriced and shitty
Come here to Yorkshire: lovely place to relax and cheap-ish :D
(and ignore the UK politics)

Awe thanks Scarlet!!!!  If it was easier to get over there I'd be there in a heartbeat!  Mexico on the other hand is just 2 hours away....

Linus got a herpes infection on top of the scarlet fever and his complete mouth is one big sore.
He hasn't eaten in three days and even drinking is hurting. Hopefully it's better soon...

Yikes! You and your wife need to get out of there before he gets you sick too!  :o

Oh, wait.  ;D
Yeah, the joy of parenting. Let's hope that Juri doesn't get it...

Oh wow that sounds awful-- poor Linus!  I hope he has a speedy recovery!

Double-post re: the OP.

A good book cover can draw me in but 99% of fantasy books in the US have awful covers so the vast majority of the time I read a book *in spite of its cover*.

Actually after reading the back copy and a few pages of books with good covers I have very frequently put them down so perhaps covers don't really matter for me after all...


Haha thanks @Eclipse ! Clearly someone is stealing my niche. Now I'm going to have to find something even less desirable than toilets to write about....

PS-- this actually looks very entertaining in a Gonzo Tom Robbins sort of way. Are you planning on reading it?

Fitz may have felt the weight of some of Hobb's shit.

Yes!  I think Hobb was taking extra strong laxatives when writing Assassin's Quest.

I have nothing to say. I just wanted to quote that.

Is that to do with the job you applied? Or is that still a possibility?

Anyway *sends biscuits*

(note: this year I'm attempting to bake some biscuits as a present. Let's see how it goes...)

Haha no it was just my mood. I need to get out of the US for a bit and go someplace where everything's not overpriced and shitty


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