If only some other country built a Great Wall

Then we’d know how it works out


Still waiting on news with Alison so I thought I’d write yet another political post, which I have rarely done in the past but these are different times.

All this talk about a wall reminds me of something I told you years ago that I’ll retell now.

For thousands of years, China was invaded by the north by:

  • The Xiongnu (aka Attila the Hun) between 133 BC to 89 AD.
  • The Jurchen between 960–1279AD, and they won (!) ruling China for over a century.
  • The Manchus, who invaded from the north and controlled China for over three centuries, 1644 to 1912.

It goes on.

In any case, some bright-eyed fella hit on the idea to build a wall. And for the next 1,800 years, they did just that at the cost of $13 billion to $65 billion. Finishing it at 13,170 miles, which is over five times the distance from NYC to LA.

When it was done, they kept an eye on that wall.

Then in 1839, the Opium Wars started – in the south – by a buncha white dudes. It never entered China’s imagination that (a) white dudes from (b) the south might try to invade. Cause it never happened before.

And guess what, they had no significant army, no significant navy, and no firepower of any consequence for the task to come. Because when you spend all your scratch on something to fix yesterday’s problem, when tomorrow’s problem comes, you’re in a lotta trouble.

The builders of the wall never had the imagination to think they could be invaded from anywhere but the north, and the arrogance to think that if they couldn’t imagine it, no one else could.

China paid for their myopia: Once the new invaders came, they sliced the country up into a buncha little colonies that only started to be sorted out a hundred years  – and millions of dead Chinese – later, with WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam war, and whatever this insanity is with North Korea.

It’s still being sorted out as China pushes into the South China Sea.

My point is that China trained itself to respond to yesterday’s threat with yesterday’s technology, blowing out its funds while doing it.

A great wall was easily defeated in 1839. 178 years later, a fool is going to try the same thing again, expecting a different result.

 

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Location: a white couch
Mood: impatient
Music: Do you believe in what you see
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Button, Button

Our experience on Obamacare


When I was a kid in the 80s, they brought back The Twilight Zone.

One of the stories, called Button, Button, taught me a valuable lesson about empathy; so much so that it stayed with me for some 30 years.

It was about a couple that was given a box by a stranger. On the box was a button. If they pressed the button, they’d get $200,000 but someone – whom they didn’t know – would die.

After a lotta struggle, the wife ultimately pushes the button. The next day, the stranger returns, gives them $200,000 and takes the box back.

When they ask what happens next, the stranger says that he’ll give the box, and the same offer, to someone else – someone that they don’t know.

No one’s asked me but I’m sure people are wondering: “What are you doing with all the money you’ve raised?” It’s only fair I answer it.

Originally, we weren’t sure how much our original insurance was going to pay towards Alison’s treatment. Her cancer was on the aggressive side of aggressive. The only “lucky” thing about our situation was that we were already on the platinum level of Obamacare, which essentially meant that we pay 10% and insurance pays 90%.

It has been a godsend to us. At last count, Alison’s 2016 cost of care was around $2.8 million dollars. Without the Affordable Care Act, Nathan and I would be bankrupt and Alison would be dead. It’s that simple.

But we’re not and she’s not, thanks to the ACA and everyone’s generosity.

With what’s left of our money, we’re paying for normal expenses – mortgage, food, bills – some experimental drugs, physical and occupational therapy, and exploring future options, like a potential cancer vaccine in Germany.

Mainly, though, we’re saving up to see what happens with the ACA. So we’re watching the news daily to see what unfolds.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about #Trump Regrets and how so many people are regretting voting for Trump because they realize that things like their meals and lives are jeopardy.

Yet, it’s hard for me to feel very sorry for them.

It’s like the box. They knew someone would suffer. That someone – like Alison – might die. And they were ok with that, until they realized that the person that would die might be them.

Her: What will they do if they lose their insurance?
Me: They’ll die the same way they lived: Never knowing that when you save someone else, you save yourself. It’s a shame for a million reasons.

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Location: about to start some more PT
Mood: fighting the schadenfreude
Music: Give my love to the future of the humankind
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