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Once more unto the breach


Exhibit One: The Best Care Money Can Buy

From the Washington Post

As their minivan rolled north, they felt their nerves kick in — but they kept on driving.
At the wheel: Lija Greenseid, a rule-abiding Minnesota mom steering her Mazda5 on a cross-border drug run.
Her daughter, who is 13, has Type 1 diabetes and needs insulin. In the United States, it can cost hundreds of dollars per vial. In Canada, you can buy it without a prescription for a tenth of that price.
So, Greenseid led a small caravan last month to the town of Fort Frances, Ontario, where she and five other Americans paid about $1,200 for drugs that would have cost them $12,000 in the United States.
On a different front President Trump Steps Up
The Executive order has three major parts: one on living kidney donors, one on deceased donors, and one on alternatives to center-based dialysis.
The executive order attempts to reform the system for living kidney donors as well as living liver, lung, and intestine donors, by making sure donors are held financially harmless for donating…
The second aspect of the executive order targets deceased donation. In the US, there are 58 agencies with local monopolies over the provision of dead people’s organs, known as organ procurement organizations (OPOs). For some time now, independent analysts and investigative reporters have argued that OPOs are underusing deceased donor organs by the tens of thousands….
The executive order scraps the existing evaluation system in favor of two simple, harder-to-game criteria….
The Affordable Care Act, in one of its lesser-known, cost-focused provisions, set up the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which has the authority to pursue cost-saving treatments that improve quality of care. The executive order instructs the centers to experiment with new approaches to provider payment — like rewarding nephrologists for directing their patients toward transplants, and for preventing patients from progressing to kidney failure for as long as possible
Dylan Matthews at
Exhibit Two: Refugees
From the -St. Louis Manifest@Stl_Manifest
                 7:21 PM - Jun 6, 2019
My name is Werner Stein. 80 years ago today I sought asylum at the US border and was turned away. I was murdered in Auschwitz.
The refugees aboard The St. Louis, like refugees and asylum seekers today, had grabbed their children and what little they could carry and risked everything traveling thousands of miles across the Atlantic while their entry visa applications were being processed. They did so because to stay where they were meant death. And because at the end of their voyage, what would ultimately become the Voyage of the Damned, was supposed to be hope, safety, and freedom. The end of their voyage was supposed to be the United States. The refugees aboard The St. Louis made their trip because of their hopes and prayers as liberty-loving people. Hopes and prayers that ultimately fell on deaf ears. For 254 of the refugees aboard The St. Louis, the end of their voyage wasn’t hope, safety, freedom, and a new life in the US, it was death in the NAZI camps. For the rest it was the fight to survive in the camps or as refugees in other states or fighting with the partisans throughout Europe.
Five years. Five years were all that separated the failure of the US and Americans to live up to their ideals and their valiant efforts, dearly paid for with blood, to do so. Five years were all that separated the America and the Americans that would turn away those fleeing from danger through danger with the hope of reaching safety in the United States and the America and the Americans that would ultimately rewrite the United States immigration laws post World War II to ensure that there would never again be a Voyage of the Damned. And 75 years later, the co-religionist of the doomed refugees aboard The St. Louis, himself the grandson and great-grandson of refugees, actively seeks to ensure that the United States will be the America of the Voyage of the Damned and not the America of D-Day. And all without even a peep of opposition of the President’s Orthodox Jewish son in law, himself the grandson of Polish Jews who fled into the forest and refuge with the famed Bielsky brothers.
Continued in the Hallway between Exhibits Two and Three:
The US has always had this tension. This war between its self-proclaimed ideals and its actual reality. On D-Day itself, as they were denied their rights at home as second class citizens in the US, African American troops placed their lives on the line to, quote Eisenhower, destroy the “NAZI tyranny over the oppressed people of Europe,  and achieve security for ourselves in a free world”.
These African American soldiers, many/most in the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only all African American unit to storm the beach at Normandy, took heavy casualties in both making the landing and carrying out their mission of deploying their barrage balloons to protect Allied aircraft.
Exhibit Three: White Privilege

Transcript from a Kirsten Gillibrand Campaign Stop

Question: I hear you saying there is a lot of divisive language coming from Republicans, coming from Trump and that we are looking for ways to blame each other. But the Democratic Party loves to throw around terms like white privilege. Now this is an area that across all demographics has been depressed because of the loss of its industry and the opioids crisis. So what do you have to say to people in this area about so-called white privilege?

Gillibrand: So, I understand that families in this community are suffering deeply. I fully hear from you and folks that I’ve talked to just in a few minutes that I’ve been here, that is devastating when you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost your ability to provide for your kids, that when you put 20, 30 years into a company that all of the sudden doesn’t care about you or won’t call you back and gives you a day to move. That is not acceptable and not okay. So no one in that circumstance is privileged on any level, but that’s not what that conversation is about.

Question: What is it about?

Gillibrand: I’m going to explain.

What the conversation is about is when a community has been left behind for generations because of the color of their skin. When you’ve been denied job, after job, after job because you’re black or because you’re brown. Or when you go to the emergency room to have your baby. The fact that we have the highest maternal mortality rate and if you are a black woman you are four times more likely to die in childbirth because that healthcare provider doesn’t believe you when you say I don’t feel right. Because he doesn’t value you. Or because she doesn’t value you.

So institutional racism is real. It doesn’t take away your pain or suffering, it’s just a different issue. Your suffering is just as important as a black or brown person’s suffering but to fix the problems that are happening in a black community you need far more transformational efforts that targeted for real racism that exists every day.

So if your son, is 15 years old and smokes pot. He smokes pot just as much as black boy in his neighborhood and the Latino boy in his neighborhood. But that black and brown boy is four times more likely to get arrested. When he’s arrested that criminal justice system might require him to pay bail. 500 bucks. That kid does not have 500 bucks he might not be able to make bail. As an adult with a child at home and he’s a single parent, if he is thrown in jail no one is with his child. It doesn’t matter what he says, I have to go home, I have a child at home, he’s only 12. What am I going to do? It doesn’t matter.

Imagine as a parent how you would feel so helpless. That’s institutional racism. Your son will likely not have to deal with that because he is white. So when someone says white privilege, that is all they are talking about. That his whiteness will mean that a police officer might give him a second chance. It might mean that he doesn’t get incarcerated because he had just smoked a joint with his girlfriend. It might mean that he won’t have to post bail. It means he might be able to show up to work the next day and lose his job and not be in the cycle of poverty that never ends. That’s all it is.

But it doesn’t mean that doesn’t deserve my voice, lifting up your challenge. It also doesn’t mean that black and brown people are left to fight these challenges on their own. A white woman like me who is a senator and running for president of the United States. has to lift up their voice just as much as I would lift up yours. That’s all it means. It doesn’t take away from you at all. It just means we have to recognize suffering in all its forms and solve it in each place intentionally and with knowledge about what we are up against

At the Exit: I Hope It Doesn’t Rain on Your Parade

The Lord sent a storm, thunder, winds, then said "fuck yo teleprompter", just in case his message wasn't truly received

— T. Fisher King (@T_FisherKing) July 5, 2019

Gotta hand it to our military. Trump wanted the pomp and celebration of a massive Bastille Day parade. What he got was four armored vehicles on display in the rain, a few football game flyovers and the military service chiefs didn't even show up.
DoD slow-walking at its finest.
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) July 5, 2019


Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from missguided souls who disagree.