Permanent Distraction

A place in a space that nobody can walk on.

WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.

…Personal change doesn’t equal social change.



Key & Peele: Movie Hecklers

i don’t actually do this when i go to movies, as the like four people who follow me who’ve actually been to movies with me can tell the rest of you, i am an innocent baby who approaches the cinema with wide-eyed gormless fascination whenever i am exposed to it, but by god do i start doing this the minute i walk out the theater door, i know this struggle is real

(via aintgotnoladytronblues)

Daily Kos: Another Health Insurer Caught Falsely Cancelling Thousands of Health Plans




Following the report that Insurer Humana was fined $65,000 in Kentucky for sending out 6,500 misleading cancellation letters for low-premiums plans only to be automatic re-enrollment in high cost plans before these customers were given a chance to shop on the open exchange for a better and cheaper plan - we now have a new report that Anthem Blue Cross is being sued for tricking people into dropping their “grandfathered” plans.

Think that’s bad, well this is even worse.…

“Blue Cross successfully enticed tens of thousands of its individual policyholders to switch out of their grandfathered health plans and forever lose their protected grandfathered status,” states the lawsuit. “Blue Cross concealed information about the consequences of switching plans and intentionally misled its policyholders to encourage the replacement of grandfathered policies.
And more……
The lawsuits, filed Monday in Superior Court, may signal an emerging customer pushback against the approximately 900,000 cancellations in California alone of individual health insurance policies that will take effect Dec. 31.
900,000 Cancellations.  False Cancellations of plans that, which under the Affordable Care Act are “Grandfathered” and Don’t Need to be Cancelled.  The Insurance Companies are doing it to Scam their Customers into higher cost plans and away from the ACA Exchanges in a practice that violates State Law known as “Twisting”.
The plaintiffs, Paul Simon, 39, and Catherine Corker, 63, of California say that they are among the customers that Anthem Blue Cross pressured to drop their grandfathered policies in 2011 without giving them all the facts about new Obamacare requirements that could raise the price of their plans in an effort to cut its own costs. Simon and Corker would have preferred to remain on the grandfathered plans permitted by the law, and are now asking the courts to block Anthem from canceling any more policies unless the company allows consumers to switch back into their grandfathered plans.

“This is about an insurance company manipulating the situation and concealing the facts,” said William Shernoff, an attorney for both the plaintiffs, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We are asking the court to give our clients and everybody else in the same situation the option of going back to their grandfathered policies.”

These lawsuits may take some time to work their way through the court system, but what can work even more quickly is the CA State Insurance Commission and also the Court of public opinion.  Just like in Kentucky the CA Commission has the ability and power to Restore These Improperly Cancelled Plans and get customers back the “Plan they Prefer” if that’s what they truly want.

Perhaps if a few (thousand) of the customers who received letters claiming their “grandfathered” plan was cancelled were to contact that commissioners office, there might be some action on this faster rather than later.…

California Department of Insurance
Consumer Services Division
300 South Spring Street, South Tower
Los Angeles, CA 90013

California Department of Insurance
Fraud Division
9342 Tech Center Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826

800-927-HELP (4357)

I’m just saying…perhaps the President isn’t the one who should apologizing for these Cancellations, the Insurers Should be.

Someone please explain to me how defrauding 6,500 people leads to a $65,000 fine. A $10 fine for robbing someone of what could, over time, become hundreds of thousands of dollars? 

Just like the Republicans crying “Voter fraud!!” while they fraudulently disenfranchise voters, the real insurance fraud is being committed by those who use fraudulence as a MacGuffin.

These cancellations, keep in mind, are a large part of why the Republicans have been screaming about the President “breaking his promise” that people can keep their plans if they like them, and why he just capitulated and gave insurers an additional year to maintain inferior plans that leave people underinsured, financially vulnerable and unable to afford care despite paying premiums faithfully.

So here’s the sequence:

  • Insurers know they’re going to have to do away with noncompliant plans by 1/1/14 but continue to sell them even after they knew the requirements of the ACA and after it was upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • Insurers then act in bad faith, fraudulently cancelling plans unnecessarily or automatically enrolling customers in higher cost plans, in order to steal customers’ money.
  • The insurers are not punished in any reasonable way for this fraud.
  • Republicans blame the president for these bad acts, rather than the insurers who carried them out.
  • The national media, especially TV media, follows suit, trotting out “victims” of policy cancellations and running factually false pieces about cancelled plans were cancelled.
  • House Republicans put up yet another piece of legislation meant to undermine and destroy the ACA by giving insurers another year to comply with the minimum coverage regulations required, but it ends up being moot because the president does the same executively, thanks to the pressure brought to bear because the insurers committed fraud.

In what universe does this make sense?

(via aintgotnoladytronblues)